Child Protection Policy
Designated Child Protection Officer
Name: Kassam Jaffer
Deputy Designated Child Protection Officer
Name: Zamir Nazerali
Name: Sajjad Govani
Name: Hasnain Merali
Child Protection Policy for Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa
(referred to as ‘Madressa’ from this point forward)
“Because of their day to day contact with individual children during the school terms, teachers and other school staff are particularly well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour or failure to develop.”
[Working Together under the Children Act 1989]
1.1 An effective Madressa-wide child protection policy is one which provides clear direction to staff members and others about expected behaviour when dealing with child protection issues.
1.2 An effective policy makes explicit the Madressa’s commitment towards the development of good practice and sound procedures. This ensures that child protection concerns, referrals and monitoring may be handled sensitively, professionally and in ways which support the needs of the child.
2.1 The Madressa takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people in its care.
“The welfare of the child is paramount” [Children Act 1989].
2.2 Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a statutory responsibility on the Governing Body [KSIMC Stanmore Executive] to have policies and procedures in place that safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils of the Madressa
2.3 There are three main elements to our child protection policy:
- Prevention through the creation of a positive atmosphere and the teaching, and pastoral support offered to pupils.
- Protection by following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are aware and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns.
- Provision to support to pupils who may have been abused.
2.4 This policy applies to all pupils, staff, volunteers and visitors to the Madressa
2.5 The Madressa recognises it is an agent of referral and not of investigation.
3. MADRESSA POLICY
3.1 We recognise that for our pupils, high self-esteem, confidence, supportive friends and clear lines of communication with a trusted adult helps to prevent abuse.
Our Madressa will therefore:
- Establish and maintain an environment where pupils feel safe and secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
- Ensure that pupils know that there are adults within the Madressa who they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty.
- Include in the curriculum material which will help pupils develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life, particularly with regard to childcare and parenting skills.
- Ensure that wherever possible every effort will be made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues from partner agencies.
4.1 Child protection is the responsibility of all adults and especially those working with children. The development of appropriate procedures and the monitoring of good practice are the responsibilities of the Harrow Local Safeguarding Children Board (HLSCB) http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/
5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
5.1 All adults working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to protect them. There are, however, key people within the Madressa and the Local Authority who have specific responsibilities under child protection procedures. The names of those carrying out these responsibilities for the current year are listed on the cover sheet of this document.
5.2 It is the role of the Designated Child Protection Coordinator to ensure that all of the child protection procedures are followed within the Madressa, and to make appropriate, timely referrals to Harrow Social Care Services in accordance with Madressa procedures. If for any reason the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator (see cover sheet) is unavailable, a Deputy Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator has been identifiedwho will act in their absence (see cover sheet). Additionally, it is the role of the Designated Child Protection Coordinator to ensure all staff employed including temporary staff and volunteers within the Madressa are aware of the Madressa’s internal procedures, to advise staff and to offer support to those requiring this.
5.3 The Governing Body and Madressa Administration team are responsible for ensuring that the Madressa follows a safe recruitment process. As part of the Madressa’s recruitment and vetting process, enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), DfES List 99 and other statutory lists and local intelligence checks will be sought on all staff that have substantial and unsupervised access to children.
5.4 The role of the Designated Child Protection Officer is to ensure that the Madressa has an effective policy, that the HLSCB Guidelines are complied with http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/ and to support the Madressa in this aspect.
5.5 The Madressa Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator and the Principal will provide an annual report for the Governing Body detailing any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by all staff and other relevant issues.
5.6 Representatives from the Harrow Referral & Assessment Service (Tel: 020 8863 554 / 020 8424 0999) are available to offer advice, support and training to the Madressa’s Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator.
6.1 All action is taken in line with the following guidance;
- Harrow Local Safeguarding Children Board (HLSCB) Guidelines, the London Child Protection Procedures, a copy of which is available in the Madressa Office and published on http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/fckeditor/editor/images/userfiles/file/london_child_protection_procedures_v_4__with_cover%5B1%5D.pdf
- “Safeguarding Children in Education” http://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Safeguarding%20Children%20Guidance.pdf
- “What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused” (HLSCB) http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/Workers/What_to_do_if_you_are_worried_about_a_child.aspx
- Partnership working (to Safeguard Children) http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/partnershipworking.aspx
6.2 All staff are to be kept informed about child protection responsibilities and procedures through induction, briefings and awareness training. There may be other adults in the Madressa who rarely work unsupervised, more usually working alongside members of the Madressa staff. However the Principal will ensure they are all aware of the Madressa’s policy and the identity of the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator.
6.3 Any member of staff, volunteer or visitor to the Madressa who receives a disclosure of abuse, an allegation or suspects that abuse may have occurred must report it immediately to the Madressa Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator (see cover sheet) or in their absence Principal or the Vice Principal.
6.4 The Madressa Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator will refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator who immediately refer cases to the Harrow Children’s Care Services Duty and Assessment Team on 020 8863 5544
6.5 The telephone referral to the Harrow Children’s Care Services Duty and Assessment Team will be confirmed in writing within 24 hours. Essential information will include the pupil’s name, address, date of birth, family composition, the reason for the referral, whether the child’s parents are aware of the referral, the name of person who initially received the disclosure plus any advice given. This written confirmation must be signed and dated by the referrer. Where possible the Inter-agency Referral Form should be used (http://www.harrowlscb.co.uk/download.asp?fn=Final_Inter_Agency_Referral_form.doc&root=Workers/documents)
6.6 The Madressa will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Care Services Duty and Assessment Team with the parents or carers unless to do so could place the child at greater risk of harm or impede a criminal investigation. On these occasions advice will be taken from HLSCB or the Metropolitan Police.
6.7 A statement on the Madressa website will inform parents and carers about our Madressa’s duties and responsibilities under child protection procedures. Parents can obtain a copy of the Madressa child protection policy on request.
7. TRAINING AND SUPPORT
7.1 The Principal and all other staff, where possible, who work with children will undertake appropriate child protection awareness training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities for child protection effectively, that is kept up to date by refresher training at three yearly intervals as set out in Safeguarding Children in Education.
7.2 The Governing Body will ensure that the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator also undertakes training in inter-agency working that is provided by the Education Safeguarding Service and refresher training at two yearly intervals to keep knowledge and skills up to date Temporary staff and volunteers who work with children in the Madressa will be made aware of the Madressa’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities.
7.3 Support will be available for staff from the Madressa Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator and the Principal in the first instance, as well as from members of the Madressa’s Administration team where there are concerns about queries about child protection.
7.4 All staff should have access to advice and guidance on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and conduct. These matters form part of staff induction and are referred to in the teachers section on the Madressa website.
8. PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY
8.1 Confidentiality is an issue which needs to be discussed and fully understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. The only purpose of confidentiality in this respect is to benefit the child. A member of staff must never guarantee confidentiality to a pupil nor should they agree with a pupil to keep a secret, as where there is a child protection concern this must be reported to the Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator and may require further investigation by appropriate authorities.
8.2 Staff will be informed of relevant information in respect of individual cases regarding child protection on a “need to know basis” only. Any information shared with a member of staff in this way must be held confidentially to themselves.
9. RECORDS AND MONITORING
9.1 Well-kept records are essential to good child protection practice. Our Madressa is clear about the need to record any concern held about a child or children within our Madressa, the status of such records and when these records should be passed over to other agencies.
9.2 Any member of staff receiving a disclosure of abuse or noticing signs or indicators of abuse, must make an accurate record as soon as possible noting what was said or seen, putting the event in context, and giving the date, time and location. All records will be dated and signed and will include the action taken.
9.3 These file notes are kept in a confidential file, which is separate to other files, and stored in a secure place within the Madressa office. In the same way notes must be kept of any pupil who is being monitored for child protection reasons.
9.4 If a pupil transfers from the Madressa, these files will be copied for the new establishment and forwarded to the pupil’s new institution marked confidential and for the attention of the receiving institution’s Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator.
10. ATTENDANCE AT CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES AND CORE GROUPS
10.1 It is the responsibility of the Designated Child Protection Coordinator to ensure that the Madressa is represented or a report is submitted to any child protection conference called for children on the Madressa roll. Whoever attends should be fully briefed on any issues or concerns the Madressa has and be prepared to make decisions on registration at the end of the conference.
10.2 When a child is placed on the Child Protection Register and is, therefore, a child with a plan, it is the Designated Child Protection Coordinator’s responsibility to ensure that the child is monitored regarding their Madressa attendance, welfare and presentation. If the Madressa are part of the core group then the Child Protection Coordinator should ensure that the Madressa is represented at these meetings; that there is a record of attendance and issues discussed. All concerns about the child protection plan and / or the child’s welfare should be discussed and recorded at the core group meeting unless the child is at further risk of significant harm. In this case the Child Protection Coordinator must inform the child’s key worker immediately and then record that they have done so and the actions agreed.
11. SUPPORTING PUPIL'S AT RISK
11.1 Our Madressa recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth or view the world as a positive place.
11.2 This Madressa may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Nevertheless, whilst at Madressa their behaviour may still be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn.
11.3 This Madressa will endeavour to support pupils through:
- The curriculum to encourage self-esteem and self-motivation.
- The Madressa ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and which gives all pupils and adults a sense of being respected and valued.
- The implementation of the Madressa’s behaviour management policies.
- A consistent approach agreed by all staff which will endeavour to ensure the pupil knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but s/he is valued.
- A commitment to develop productive, supportive relationships with parents, whenever it is in the child’s best interest to do so.
- The development and support of a responsive and knowledgeable staff group, trained to respond appropriately in child protection situations.
- Recognition that statistically children with behavioural difficulties and disabilities are most vulnerable to abuse so staff who work in any capacity with children with profound and multiple disabilities, sensory impairment and / or emotional and behavioural problems will need to be particularly sensitive to signs of abuse.
- Recognition that in a home environment where there is domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, children may also be vulnerable and in need of support or protection.
11.4 This policy should be considered alongside other related policies in Madressa.
12. SAFE MADRESSA AND SAFE STAFF
12.1 It is essential that the high standards of concern and professional responsibility adopted with regard to alleged child abuse by parents are similarly displayed when members of staff are accused of abuse.
12.2 Only authorised agencies may investigate child abuse allegations (Social Care Services, the Police or in some areas, the NSPCC). Whilst it is permissible to ask the child(ren) simple, non-leading questions to ascertain the facts of the allegation, formal interviews and the taking of statements is not.
12.3 The Designated Child Protection Officer should in the first instance contact the Harrow Local Safeguarding Children Board (Tel: 020 8863 5544 / 020 8424 0999). Where the allegation is against the Principal, the Governing Body will take this action.
13. WHISTLE BLOWING
13.1 We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.
13.2 All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues. If necessary they should speak to the nominated ‘whistle blowing’ staff member or the HLSCB.
14. POLICY REVIEW
14.1 The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring the annual review of this policy.
14.2 Ensuring that the list of key contacts on the cover sheet is kept up to date.
This policy will be reviewed in full by the Governing Body on an annual basis. The policy was last reviewed and agreed by the Governing Body on 5th February 2012
It is due for review in December 2012
Signature ………………………… Madressa Principal Date …………………
Signature ………………….……… Madressa DCPC Date …………………
Signature ………………….……… DCPC Date …………………
Signature ………………….……… Secretary-General (GB) Date …………………