We, at Lead-Forte Gate School, have a responsibility for the Pastoral Care, general welfare and safety of the children in our care and we will carry out this duty by providing a caring, supportive and safe environment; where each child is valued for his or her unique talents and abilities, and in which all our young people can learn and develop to their full potential. All staff, teaching and non-teaching, should be alert to the signs of possible abuse and should know the procedures to be followed. This Policy sets out guidance on the action, which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected and outlines referral procedures within our school.
The general principles, which underpin our work at LFG School, are those set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989 and are enshrined in the Lagos State. Child Protection Policy to keep all children and the vulnerable adult safe in our communities.
The following principles form the basis of our Child Protection Policy:
- It is a child’s right to feel safe at all times (UNCRC, 36)
- Children have the right to have a say in all matters affecting them and have their views taken seriously. (UNCRC, 12)
- We have a pastoral responsibility towards the children in our care and should take all reasonable steps to ensure their welfare is safeguarded and their safety is preserved.
- In any incident the child’s welfare must be paramount; this overrides all other considerations. (UNCRC, 3)
- A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents and families; but where there is conflict the child’s interest must always come first.
Lead-Forte Gate School has a duty to ensure that safeguarding permeates all activities and functions. This policy therefore complements and supports a range of other policies of the college including:
- Behaviour Management and Discipline Policy
- Use of Reasonable Force/Safe Handling
- Educational Visits
- First Aid and the Administration of Medicines
- Health and Safety Policy
- Relationships and Sexuality Education
- Use of Mobile Phones/Cameras
- E-Safety Policy
- Equality Policy
These policies are available to parents, and any parent wishing a copy should contact the School Principal or visit the school website at www.lead-fortegateschools.com
3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
3.1 School’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Team
The following are members of the schools Safeguarding team
- Chair of the Board of Governors: Dr Tunde Lemo (OFR) Designated Governor for Child Protection: Kikelomo Akingbade Headteacher: Abimbola Adeoye
- Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection: Philomena Onwusoanya
- Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead: Toyin O’sawe and Bukola Asaolu
The main role of the team is to:
- Monitor and periodically review the safeguarding and child protection arrangements in the school.
- Identify any actions required to address audit findings or regulatory inspection of safeguarding/child protection arrangements.
- Provide support for the Designated and Deputy Designated teachers in the exercise of their child protection responsibilities.
- Ensure attendance of Governors and staff at relevant training.
The roles and responsibilities of individual members of the Safeguarding team are summarised in Appendix 1.
3.2 The Chair of the Governing Board
The Chair of the Board of Governors must:
- Ensure that a safeguarding ethos is maintained within the school environment. Ensure that the school has a Child Protection Policy in place and that staff implement the policy.
- Ensure that Governors undertake appropriate child protection, recruitment and selection training.
- Ensure that a Designated Governor for Child Protection is appointed. Ensure that child protection records are kept.
- Assume lead responsibility for managing any complaint/allegation against the School Principal.
- Ensure that the Board of Governors receive termly updates and a full written annual report in relation to child protection activity.
3.3 The Designated Governor for Child Protection
The Designated Governor will provide the child protection lead in order to advise the Governors on:
- The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) The content of child protection policies.
- The content of a code of conduct for adults within the school.
- The content of the termly updates and full Annual Designated Safeguarding Lead reports
- Recruitment, selection, vetting and induction of staff.
3.4 The Board of Governors
The Board of Governors as a body must ensure that the school fulfills its safeguarding responsibilities in keeping with current legislation and guidance including:
- Ensuring that safeguarding/child protection is a standard item on the agenda of Board of Governor meetings.
- Approving the school’s child protection policy at least once every 2 years.
- Ensuring that there is a time-tabled review (every 2/3 years) of all other safeguarding policies and that they are presented to the BOG for approval.
- Receiving annual child protection reports.
- Ensuring that there is a staff code of conduct for all adults working in the school. Attending relevant child protection/safeguarding training for Governors School Staff.
Teachers and other support staff in school see children on a daily basis over long periods and can notice physical, behavioural and emotional indicators and a child may choose to disclose to them allegations of abuse. Members of staff must refer concerns or disclosures to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) /Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL) for Child Protection/Principal. In addition to this, class teachers should also keep the DSL informed in writing or verbally about poor attendance and punctuality, poor presentation, changed or unusual behaviour including self-harm and suicidal thoughts; deterioration in educational progress, discussions with parents about concerns relating to their child, concerns about pupil abuse or serious bullying and concerns about home circumstances including disclosures of domestic abuse. Pro-forma for reporting a concern or disclosure is included in Appendix 4.
If a member of staff does not feel that their concerns are being taken seriously or action to safeguard the child is not being taken by professionals and the child is considered to be at risk of continuing harm then they should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection, Headteacher, or to the Lagos State Government Safeguarding and Child protection team.
Parents can play their part in safeguarding by:
- Making the school aware of any medical condition or educational need.
- Keeping personal records up to date and making the school aware of a change in detail e.g., address, name, parental responsibility etc.
- Telephoning the school on the morning of their child’s absence, or sending in a note on the child’s return to school, so as the school is reassured as to the child’s well- being.
- Making requests to the school in advance for permission to allow their child to attend medical or other appointments including providing details of any arrangements for the collection of the child.
- Informing the school whenever anyone, other than themselves, intends to pick up the child after school.
- Ensuring that that school knows of any court orders relating to the safety and well-being of a parent and/or child.
- Familiarising themselves with the schools safeguarding policies e.g., Anti-
- Bullying, Positive Behaviour, E-Safety and Child Protection Policies. Reporting to the school office when they visit the school.
- Sharing any concerns, they may have in relation to their child with the school.\
4. DEFINITION OF HARM
Harm can be suffered by a child or young person by acts of abuse perpetrated upon them by others, young or adults. Abuse can happen in any family, but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health, or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens. Abuse can also occur outside of the family environment. Evidence shows that children with disabilities can be more vulnerable to suffering abuse. Although the harm from the abuse might take a long time to be recognisable in the child or young person, professionals may be in a position to observe its indicators earlier, for example, in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Effective and ongoing information sharing is key between professionals
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Neglect and
Harm can be caused by:
The procedures outlined in this document are intended to safeguard children who are at risk of significant harm because of abuse or neglect by a parent, carer or others with a duty of care towards a child. The main types of abuse as well as their physical and behavioural indicators are included in Appendix 3.
5. PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING SUSPECTED OR DISCLOSED CHILD ABUSE
5.1 How a Parent can make a Complaint:
Lead-Forte Gate School aims to work closely with parents/guardians in supporting all aspects of their child’s development and well-being. Any concerns a parent may have will be taken seriously and dealt with in a professional manner. If a parent has a concern, they can talk to the Class Teacher, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection, or the Headteacher.
If they are still concerned, they may talk to the Designated Safeguarding Governor or the Chair of the Board of Governors. Details of who to contact are shown in the flowchart in Appendix 5.
6. RECORD KEEPING
In Lead-Forte Gate School, all child protection records, information and confidential notes are stored securely and only the Designated Teacher/Deputy Designated Teacher and Principal have access to them. In accordance with the international standard COBIS policy on the disposal of child protection records, these records will be stored until the child is 30 years old.
7. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL STAFF PAID AND UNPAID
In Lead-Forte Gate School, all actions concerning children are upheld in the best interests of the young person as a primary consideration. LFg School staff must and will always be mindful of the fact that they hold a position of trust and that their behaviour towards the child and young people in their charge must be above reproach.
All members of staff are required to comply with the school’s Code of Conduct for Employees and Volunteers which is included as Appendix 2 to this policy.
8. STAFF TRAINING
When new staff or volunteers start at the Lead-Forte Gate School, they are briefed on the school’s Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct and given copies of these policies. All staff will receive basic child protection awareness training and annual/regular refresher training. The Principal, Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) /Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL), Chair of the Board of Governors and Designated Governor for Child Protection will also attend child protection training courses, specific to their roles.
9. MONITORING AND EVALUATION
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection and approved every 2 years by the Board of Governors for dissemination to parents, pupils and staff. It will be implemented through the school’s staff induction and training programme and as part of day to day practice. Compliance with the policy will be monitored on an on-going basis by the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection and periodically by the Schools Safeguarding Team.
Date of Next Review: September, 2023
(Chair of Board of Governors)