Zems is passionate about safeguarding our students. We believe that not only do we have a statutory duty to ensure that we safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm in our care, but also amoral duty. This policy and procedure focuses on how we recruit and train our staff, support our students, make referrals and deal effectively with allegations against staff. It incorporates a wide range of risks we need to safeguard against, including those related to the prevention of violent extremism.
Throughout this policy and procedure, reference is made to ‘children and young people’. This term is used to mean those under the age of 18 years old. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes (Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014).
Reference is also made throughout to ‘adults at risk of harm’. Adults at risk of harm are defined as people aged 18 years old and over who may need or receive community care services by reason of mental health or other disability, age or illness and who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. The procedure will be applied, with appropriate adaptations to all students.
This policy has been developed with support from Birmingham Local Authority, Safeguarding Board Manager, The Birmingham safeguarding Adult Board (WSAB), the West Midlands Regional Procedures and with reference to Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014).
Governing Body Responsibilities
1.1 The Governing Body at Zems Academy Ltd abide by their responsibilities as outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014. Governors also have specific responsibilities for ensuring that the Centre monitors the impact of its work and learners lessons from Serious Case Reviews.
1.2 The Governing Body instructs the Centre to:
i. Provide a safe environment for children, young people and adults at risk of harm to learn in.
ii. Identify those who are suffering, or are likely to suffer significant harm or who are at risk of radicalisation.
iii. Take appropriate action to see that students and children in the Nursery are kept safe at the Centre, and also that disclosures of potential abuse occurring at home or elsewhere are reported appropriately.
iv. Have a system for identifying concerns in relation to abuse of adults at risk of harm and effective methods of responding to disclosures.
v. Refer to concerns that a child, young person or adult at risk of significant harm or might be at risk of significant harm to the appropriate referral agents.
vi. Work effectively with others as required by ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013’.
vii. Take into account the interagency safeguarding procedures of Birmingham Safeguarding Children’s Board and Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board.
viii. Listen to the voice of the child and always act in the interest of the child.
ix. Appoint a designated person for looked after children.
x. Ensure appropriate safeguarding responses for children who go missing from the Centre.
1.3 The Governing Body will approve and annually review policies and procedures and receive regular information relating to safeguarding with the aim of:
i. Maintaining awareness of progress across the Centre and/or issues relating to the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm.
ii. Being reassured by the Lead Manager that systems are in place and effective in relation to the identification of children, young people and adults at risk of harm, and procedures for reporting concerns are widely known.
iii. Ensuring effective procedures for reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse by members of staff or others who come into contact with students through Centre activity are in place.
iv. Ensuring safe recruitment of staff and volunteers.
v. Ensuring staff are appropriately trained to discharge their duties in relation to safeguarding.
1.4 In developing policies and procedures, the Governing Body will take account of guidance issued by the Department for Education, Ofsted and other relevant bodies and groups including Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) and Birmingham Safeguarding Adult Board (WSAB).
1.5 The Principal, Governors and all staff working with children, young people and adults at risk of harm will receive adequate training to familiarise them with their safeguarding roles and responsibilities. They will be familiar with Centre procedures and policies and receive refresher training at least every 3 years. A senior member of the Centre Management Team will be the designated person with lead responsibility for child and adult protection. They will be the Safeguarding Co-ordinator who will be assisted by the Safeguarding Team who support and share responsibility for safeguarding students.
1.6 The Governing Body will receive from the designated senior member of staff with lead responsibility for safeguarding, an annual report which reviews how the duties have been discharged. In addition, the Principal will include information relating to safeguarding in his termly report.
1.7 The Centre recognises the following as definitions of abuse for children, young people and adults at risk of harm.
Types of Abuse and Neglect
1.1 Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
1.2 Physical Abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
1.3 Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child or adult at risk of harm such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve conveying to them that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitations of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in a danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
1.4 Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse involves the forcing or enticing a child, young person or adult at risk of harm to take part in sexual activities. It may not necessarily involve a high level of violence, whether or not the child or adult may not be aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
1.5 Neglect: Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
• Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
• Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
• Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
• Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment;
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.
This also applies to adults at risk of harem for whom neglect is an often under reported or challenged concern.
1.6 Forced Marriage: This involves a young person, or adult at risk of harm being forced into a marriage against their will.
1.7 Child Sexual Exploitation: Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for things such as money, gifts, accommodation, affection or status it is a crime not a choice made by victims. The manipulation or ‘grooming’ process involves befriending children. Gaining their trust, and often feeding them drugs and alcohol, sometimes over a long period of time, before the abuse begins. The abusive relationship between victim and perpetrator involves an imbalance of power which limits the victim’s options. It is a form of abuse which is often misunderstood by victims and outsiders as consensual. Although it is true that the victim can be tricked into believing they are in a loving relationship, no child under the age of 18 can ever consent to being abused or exploited. (Barnado’s 2012)
1.8 Children who run away or ho are missing from home: There are no exact figures for the number of children who go missing or run away, but estimates suggest that the figure is in the region of 100,000 per year. Children may run away from a problems, such as abuse or neglect at home, or to somewhere they want to be. They may have been coerced to run away by someone else. Whatever the reason, it is though that approximately 25 per cent of children and young people that go missing are at risk of serious harm. There are particular concerns about the links between children running away and the risks of sexual exploitation. Missing children may also be vulnerable to other forms of exploitation, to violent crime, gang exploitation, or to drug and alcohol misuse. Although looked after children are particularly vulnerable when they go missing, the majority of children who go missing are not looked after and go missing from their family home. The can face the same risks as a child missing from local authority care.
1.9 Domestic Violence: The Home Office defines domestic violence as “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 years old or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is; a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.
Children who live in households where domestic violence is taking place are seen to be highly vulnerable. There are other forms of abuse or behaviours that put children at risk, the links below provide useful information.
1.10 Female Genital Mutilation: This compromises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
1.11 Radicalisation: Some young people and adults at risk of harm may be vulnerable to radicalisation for the purpose of violent extremism. Concern regarding radicalisation will be referred to Channel which is a multi-agency panel who will offer guidance and support with the aim of preventing activity which could be deemed as criminal. The Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) will be advised of any emerging themes or immediate concerns/ disclosures.
1.12 Financial or Material Abuse: This applies to largely adults at risk of harm and relates to circumstance where trust in relation to financial matters is abused. Includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
1.13 Bullying: The Centre has a separate policy and procedure for bullying and harassment. Bullying someone because of their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and/ or transgender will not be tolerated as the Centre operates a zero-tolerance approach. Bullying of this nature is also against the law. Bullying can take many forms and includes:
• Emotional: Being excluded, tormented (e.g. hiding things, threatening gestures).
• Physical: Pushing, kicking, punching or any use of aggression and intimidation.
• Racial: Racial taunts, use of racial symbols, graffiti, gestures.
• Sexual: Unwanted physical contact, sexually abusive comments including homophobic comments and graffiti.
• Verbal: Name calling, spreading rumours, teasing
• Cyber: All areas on internet, such as email and internet, chat room misuse. Mobile threats by text message and calls. Misuse of associated technology i.e. cameral and video facilities, sexting.
1.14 Private Fostering: Is when a child under 16 is being looked after for more than 28 days other than by their parent/legal guardian and is not in the care of the Local Authority. To keep children safe the Local Authority must be notified of any children living under such arrangements. Whilst being privately fostered this does not mean the child is unsafe, the Local Authority have a duty to know who is privately fostered, to monitor that arrangement and offer support. If you are aware of any student who you feel maybe being privately fostered, please follow the safeguarding procedure for reporting to the safeguarding team.
Designated Staff with Responsibility for Protection from Abuse
1.1 In all cases where allegations are made against people who may constitute part of the children’s workforce, the Centre will consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). They will offer advice regarding appropriate next steps in relation to referral and investigation and ensure that all cases are handled in accordance with safeguarding procedures. Designated staff will have on-going communications with the LADO or designated officer for other authorities as part of their safeguarding responsibilities to ensure that Centre policies and procedures are effective and meet the requirements of current legislation. Allegations relating to adults at risk of harm will be referred to the Adult Safeguarding Unit (ASU), Birmingham Council. Members of Centre staff are people who are in positions of trust (PoT) and therefore any behaviour which may call that position into question will be communicated to the Centre and acted on. When dealing with other authorities the LADO may be referred to as the designated officer.
1.2 Senior Staff Member with Lead Responsibility: The designated senior member of staff with lead responsibility for safeguarding. The member of the Centre’s Senior Management Team has a key duty to take lead responsibility for ensuring that staff, are aware of issues relating to the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm. This includes the promotion of a safe environment for children, young people and adults at risk of harm who are learning within the Centre or in the workplace. They will have undertaken up to date training in child protection issues and inter-agency working, as required by the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board (WSAB) and will receive refresher training at least every two years. They will remain up to date with developments in child protection and adult safeguarding.
The designated senior member of staff is responsible for ensuring that:
• Cases of suspected abuse or allegations are appropriately referred to relevant agencies.
• Advice and support to staff on issues relating to safeguarding is provided.
• A record of any safeguarding referral, complaint or concern is kept, (even where that concern does not lead to a referral).
• Parents/ carers/ employers of children, young people or adults at risk of harm within the Centre have access to the Centre’s Safeguarding Policy.
• Liaison takes place with employers and training organisations that receive placements to ensure that appropriate safeguards are put in place.
• There is a liaison with secondary schools which send pupils to the Centre to ensure that appropriate arrangement are made for the pupils.
• Staff should receive basic training in safeguarding issues and are aware of the Centre safeguarding procedures.
• Safer recruitment practices are in place.
• Centre works with the appropriate partners to safeguard children.