Policies

The policies contain the rules required for running our pre-school in a way which complies with the requirements of the EYFS and Ofsted registration and must be adhered to.

The Garden Montessori must meet all the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well.

Our policies cover the following:

Child protection

We are alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. We have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children. We also have regard for our responsibilities under The Prevent Duty to help protect the children we look after from being drawn into extremism and terrorism. We actively promote British Values to help build the children’s resistance to radicalisation.

Suitable People

We ensure that people looking after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles.

Staff Qualifications, Training, Support and Skills

The daily experience of children in early years settings and the overall quality of the provision depends on all practitioners having appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Staff:Child Ratios

Staffing arrangements must meet the needs of children and ensure their safety

Key Person

Each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents.

Health

We promote the good health of children attending the setting. We have procedures, discussed with parents and/or carers, for responding to children who are ill or infectious, take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and take appropriate action if children are ill.

We promote healthy eating. Lots of information and advice can be found in the Eat better, Start Better guide. You can find more information on https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Eat-Better-Start-Better1.pdf

Promoting Positive Behaviour

We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are understood, supported and met and where there are clear, fair and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour. This requires adult guidance to help encourage and model appropriate behaviours and to offer intervention and support when children struggle with conflict and emotional situations.

Equal Opportunities

We have and implement a policy and procedures to promote the equality of opportunity for children in our care, including for children with special educational needs or disabilities.

Special educational needs

We have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. We have regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice. We support and involve parents (and where relevant children), actively listening to, and acting on their wishes and concerns.

We work in partnership with the local authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEN and their families.

We tell parents about the Wiltshire local offer

Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment

We ensure that our premises, including outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose. We have, and implement a health and safety policy, and procedures, which cover identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.

Information and Records

We maintain records and obtain and share information (with parents and carers, other professionals working with the child, and the police, social services and Ofsted as appropriate) to ensure the safe and efficient management of the setting, and to help ensure the needs of all children are met.

 

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

The Garden Montessori fully recognises its responsibilities for

safeguarding and child protection.

 

Policy agreed (date):

         October 2018                                                        

Policy published (including on website) (date):

       November 2018

Next review (date):

      September 2019

 

Key Safeguarding Personnel

 

Role

 

 

Name

 

Tel.

 

Email

Headteacher

Virginia Sewell

07971 423299

admin@thegardenmontessori.co.uk                                

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

 

Designated Teacher for Looked After Children

Virginia Sewell

07971 423299

admin@thegardenmontessori.co.uk                                

Deputy DSL(s) (DDSL)

Melly Nile

07971 423299

admin@thegardenmontessori.co.uk

The key safeguarding responsibilities within each of the roles above are set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)

 

 

Children’s Social Care referrals:   

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):

Out of hours:

 

0300 456 0108

0845 6070 888

 

If you believe a child is at immediate risk of significant harm or injury,

you must call the police on 999.

 

Introduction

The Garden Montessori is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. We will fulfil our local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following key documents:

See Appendix 1 for further relevant guidance documents

The aim of this policy is to ensure:

  • all our pupils are safe and protected from harm.
  • safeguarding procedures are in place to help pupils to feel safe and learn to stay safe.
  • adults in the school community are aware of the expected behaviours and the school’s legal responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and child protection.

 

Scope

Safeguarding is defined as:

  • ensuring that children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances
  • preventing impairment of children's health or development and
  • protecting children from maltreatment.

The term ‘safeguarding children’ covers a range of measures including child protection procedures. It

encompasses a preventative approach to keeping children safe that incorporates pupil health and

safety; school behaviour and preventing bullying; supporting pupils with medical conditions; personal,

health, social economic education; providing first aid and site security.

Consequently, this policy is consistent with all other policies adopted by The Garden Montessori and

 should be read in alongside the following policies relevant to the safety and

welfare of our pupils:

 

  • Promoting positive Behaviour policy
  • Staff Behaviour Policy            (for safer working practice)
  • Health and Safety
  • Valuing Diversity and Promoting Inclusion and Equality
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • SEND policy

 

 

 

 

This policy applies to all staff in our school.

For the purposes of this policy:

  • Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in a paid or regular voluntary capacity.
  • A volunteer is a person who performs an activity that involves spending time, unpaid in school (except for approved expenses).
  • Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step-parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.
  • Child refers to all children on our school roll and any child under the age of 18 who comes into contact with our school. This includes unborn babies.

Any safeguarding concerns or disclosures of abuse relating to a child at school or outside of school hours are within the scope of this policy.

 

 

 

Expectations

All staff are:

  • familiar with this safeguarding policy and have an opportunity to contribute to its review.
  • alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse.
  • able to record and report concerns as set out in this policy.
  • able to deal with a disclosure of abuse from a pupil.
  • involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and interagency child protection plans as required.

 

Safer recruitment

All staff are subject to safer recruitment processes and checks and we follow the guidance set out in Part 3 of KCSiE.

At The Garden Montessori, we scrutinise all applications for paid or voluntary posts. We undertake interviews and make appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We maintain a single central record (SCR) of the essential checks as set out in KCSiE, that have been carried out and certificates obtained. The SCR applies to: 

  • all staff (including supply staff, and teacher trainees on salaried routes) who work at the school.

See also Training.

Staff Behaviour Policy (for safer working practice)

The Garden Montessori is committed to positive academic, social and emotional outcomes for our pupils underpinned by a strong safeguarding ethos. We are equally committed to the protection and welfare of our staff, who are expected to adhere to the highest standards of professional behaviour.

The Staff Behaviour Policy sets out staff behaviours that should be avoided as well as those that constitute safe practice and supports our commitment to safeguarding children.

Visitors

All visitors complete a signing in/out form, and are provided with key safeguarding information including the contact details of safeguarding personnel in school.

Scheduled visitors in a professional role (eg fire officer) are asked to provide evidence of their role and employment details (usually an identity badge) upon arrival at school.

If the visit is unscheduled and the visitor is unknown to the school, we will contact the relevant organisation to verify the individual’s identity, if necessary.

Curriculum – teaching about safeguarding

Our pupils access a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.

Early help

At The Garden Montessori, all our staff can identify children who may benefit from early help as a problem emerges, and discuss this with the D/DSL.

The D/DSL uses:

  • the guidance on the Wiltshire Pathways website and the Digital Assessment and Referral Too (DART)l as appropriate as part of a holistic assessment of the child’s needs.
  • the Multi-Agency Thresholds for Safeguarding Children on the WSCB website about suitable action to take when a pupil has been identified as making inadequate progress or having an unmet need.

Identifying the signs

All staff know how to recognise, and are alert to the signs of neglect and abuse. Definitions of abuse, set out in ' What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused - Advice for practitioners’ (2015) and 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (2018) along with notes from Safeguarding training, are important reference documents for all staff. Every member of staff is provided with a copy of Part 1 of KCSiE which they are required to read and which also includes supporting guidance about a number of specific safeguarding issues. Staff who work directly with children are also required to read Annex A of KCSiE (2018).

Responding to concerns/disclosures of abuse

Staff adhere to the following Dos and Don’ts when concerned about abuse or when responding to a disclosure of abuse.

Dos:

  • create a safe environment by offering the child a private and safe place if possible.
  • stay calm and reassure the child and stress that he/she is not to blame.
  • tell the child that you know how difficult it must have been to confide in you.
  • listen carefully and tell the child what you are going to do next.
  • use the ‘tell me’, ‘explain’, ‘describe’ and/or mirroring strategy.
  • tell only the Designated or Deputy Safeguarding Lead.
  • record in detail using the Welfare Concern Record without delay, using the child’s own words where possible.

Don’ts:

  • take photographs of any injuries.
  • postpone or delay the opportunity for the pupil to talk.
  • take notes while the pupil is speaking or ask the pupil to write an account.
  • try to investigate the allegation yourself. 
  • promise confidentiality eg say you will keep ‘the secret’.
  • approach or inform the alleged abuser.

All staff record any concern about or disclosure by a pupil of abuse or neglect and report this to the D/DSL using the standard form. It is the responsibility of each adult in school to ensure that the D/DSL receives the record of concern without delay. In the absence of the D/DSL, staff members know to speak directly to the MASH.

In some circumstances, the D/DSL or member of staff seeks advice by ringing the MASH for advice. (Appendix 3)

During term time, the DSL and/or DDSL is always available during school hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.

The voice of the child is central to our safeguarding practice and pupils are encouraged to express and have their views given due weight in all matters affecting them.

Missing children and children missing education

Staff report immediately to the D/DSL, if they know of any child who may be:

  • Missing – whereabouts unknown or
  • Missing education – (compulsory school age (5-16) with no school place and not electively home educated)

The designated teacher for LAC ( Virginia Sewell) discusses any unauthorised/unexplained absence of Looked After Children.

Children who do not attend school regularly can be at increased risk of abuse and neglect. Where there is unauthorised/unexplained absence, and after reasonable attempts have been made to contact the family, the DSL follows the WSCB procedure and refers to the MASH team as appropriate.

Where there are no known welfare concerns about a pupil, we follow our procedures for unauthorised absence and report concerns to the Education Welfare Service.

Children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Pupils with additional needs face an increased risk of abuse and neglect. Staff take extra care to interpret correctly apparent signs of abuse or neglect. We never assume that behaviour, mood or injury relates to the pupil’s additional needs without further exploration. Staff understand that additional challenges can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in pupils with SEND, including communication barriers. Staff recognise that children with SEND are also at a higher risk of peer group isolation and can be disproportionately affected by bullying.

To address those additional challenges, extra pastoral support is considered for children with SEND and they are also encouraged to discuss their concerns. The D/DSL works with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to identify pupils with additional communication needs and whenever possible, these pupils are given the chance to express themselves to a member of staff with appropriate communication skills.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.

Staff will inform the D/DSL immediately if they suspect a girl is at risk of FGM.

We will report to the police any ‘known’ cases of FGM to the police as required by law.

Peer on Peer abuse

All children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. All peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously. Staff recognise that while both boys and girls can abuse their peers, it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys perpetrators of such abuse. Peer on peer abuse is not tolerated, passed off as “banter” or seen as “part of growing up”. It is likely to include, but not limited to:

  • bullying (including cyber bullying)
  • gender based violence/sexual assaults

 

Consequently, peer on peer abuse is dealt with as a safeguarding concern, recorded as such and not managed through the systems set out in the school behaviour policy.

Victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported through the school’s pastoral system and the support will be regularly reviewed.

We minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse by providing:

  • a relevant curriculum, that helps children to develop their understanding of acceptable behaviours, healthy relationships and keeping themselves safe.
  • established/publicised systems for children to raise concerns with staff, knowing they will be listened to, supported and valued, and that the issues they raise will be taken seriously.

Preventing radicalisation

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting pupils from other forms of harm and abuse.

Staff use their judgement in identifying pupils who might be at risk of radicalisation and speak to the D/DSL if they are concerned about a pupil. The D/DSL will always act proportionately and this may include making a referral to the Channel programme or to the MASH.

Off site visits and exchange visits

We carry out a risk assessments prior to any off-site visit and designate the specific roles and responsibilities of each adult, whether employed or volunteers.

Where there are safeguarding concerns or allegations that happen offsite, staff will follow the procedures described above and in Appendix 2 or Appendix 4 as appropriate.

Record keeping and information sharing

The school:

  • keeps clear written records of all pupil safeguarding and child protection concerns using a standard recording form, with a body map, including actions taken and outcomes as appropriate. Appendix 3
  • ensures all pupil safeguarding and child protection records are kept securely in a locked location.
  • ensures the records incorporate the wishes and views of the pupil.

The D/DSL acts in accordance with Information Sharing – Department for Education (DfE) (2015) and in line with the Wiltshire Council Record Keeping Guidance which includes details about file retention.

Information about pupils at risk of harm is shared with members of staff on a “need to know” basis. The D/DSL makes a judgement in each case.

We are committed to work in partnership with parents and carers. In most situations, we will discuss initial concerns with them. However, the D/DSL will not share information where there are concerns that if so doing would:

  • place a child at increased risk of significant harm
  • place an adult at increased risk of serious harm
  • prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime
  • lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm to a child, or serious harm to an adult.

When we become aware that a pupil is being privately fostered, we remind the carer/parent of their legal duty to notify Wiltshire Children’s Social Care. We follow this up by contacting Children’s Social Care directly.

Escalation policy

Effective working together depends on an open approach and honest relationships between colleagues and between agencies.

Staff must be confident and able to professionally disagree and challenge decision-making as an entirely legitimate activity; a part of our professional responsibility to promote the best safeguarding practice. Staff are encouraged to press for re-consideration if they believe a decision to act/not act in response to a concern raised about ac child is wrong. In such cases the WSCB Case Resolution Protocol and escalation policy is used if necessary.

If we are on the receiving end of a professional challenge, we see this as an opportunity to reflect on our decision making.

Whistleblowing

All staff can raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school safeguarding regime. Our whistleblowing procedures, which are reflected in staff training and our Behaviour Policy for staff, are in place for such concerns to be raised with Virginia Sewell.

If a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with The Principal or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels are open to them:

  • The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline  

Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 from 08:00 to 20:00, Monday to Friday, or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

Managing allegations against adults

The Garden Montessori follows the procedure set out by the WSCB ‘Allegations against adults’ flowchart (Appendix 2):

Where anyone in the school has a concern about the behaviour or an adult who works or volunteer at the school, they must immediately consult the Headteacher (or Principal) who will refer to the Designated Officer for Allegations (DOFA).

Any concern or allegation against the Headteacher / Principal will be reported to the Wiltshire Safeguarding Adviser, Helene Schwartz (Helene.Schwartz@Wiltshire.gov.uk), and MASH (for advice) without informing the Headteacher / Principal.

All staff must remember that the welfare of a child is paramount and must not delay raising concerns by a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career.

Any allegation of abuse will be dealt with in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.

 

Training

All members of staff and volunteers have read, signed and understood the school’s Staff Behaviour Policy (for safer working practice).

We ensure training attended meets the minimum standards set out by WSCB in the document ‘WSCB recommended minimum standards for child protection training’.

Induction

The welfare of all our pupils is of paramount importance. All staff including volunteers are informed of our safeguarding procedures including online safety, at induction. Our induction also includes:

  • Plan of support for individuals appropriate to the role for which they have been hired
  • Confirmation of the conduct expected of staff within the school – our Staff Behaviour Policy
  • Opportunities for a new member of staff to discuss any issues or concerns about their role or responsibilities
  • Confirmation of the line management/mentor process whereby any general concerns or issues about the person’s ability or suitability will be addressed.

Safeguarding training

This training is for all staff and is updated every 3 years as a minimum to ensure staff understand their role in safeguarding. Any member of staff not present at this whole school session will receive this statutory training requirement on their return.

In addition, all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as necessary and at least annually. All staff also receive training in online safety and this is updated as necessary.

Advanced training

The D/DSL has additional multi agency training which is updated every two years as a minimum. The D/DSL also attend multi-agency courses relevant to school needs. Their knowledge and skills are refreshed at least annually eg via e-bulletins or safeguarding networking events with other D/DSLs.

Safer Recruitment

At least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken Safer Recruitment Training. This training is updated every five years as a minimum.

Preventing Radicalisation

All staff undertake Prevent training.

Staff support

Due to the demanding, often distressing nature of child protection work, we support staff by providing

an opportunity to talk through the challenges of this aspect of their role with a senior leader and to seek

further support as appropriate.

 

Monitoring and review

 

The principal ensures that safeguarding is an agenda item for every staff meeting.

This policy is reviewed annually or earlier as required by changes to legislation or statutory guidance.

 

 

 

Appendix 1

 

 

 

Related legislation and key documents

Children Act 1989 (and 2004 update): The Children Act 1989 gives every child the right to protection from abuse and exploitation and the right to have enquires made to safeguard his or her welfare. The Act place duties on a number of agencies, including schools, to assist Social Services departments acting on behalf of children and young people in need (s17) or enquiring into allegations of child abuse (s47). 

Education Act 2002 - This requires schools to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Education.

Sexual Offences Act 2003 - This act sets out an offence of 'abuse of trust' - a sexual or otherwise inappropriate relationship between an adult who is responsible for young people and a young person in his/her care.

Information Sharing – Department for Education (DfE) Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers 2018 This advice is for all frontline practitioners and senior managers working with children, young people, parents and carers who have to make decisions about sharing personal information on a case by case basis.

Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the CTSA 2015), section 26 requires all schools, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) Section 53(3) and (4) of this applies to schools if they broker student accommodation with host families for which the host family receives a payment from a third party, such as a language school. At a future date, the regulated activity provider will have a duty to carry out a barred list check on any new carer – section 34ZA Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

The Teachers’ Standards (2013) set a clear baseline of expectations for the professional practice and conduct of teachers and define the minimum level of practice expected of teachers in England.

Children Missing Education (2016) Statutory guidance for local authorities and advice for other groups on helping children who are missing education get back into it.