SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
EYFS: Section 3
- What to do if you have an immediate welfare concern
- Policy aims
- Statutory framework, key statutory and non-statutory guidance
- Child Protection Procedures
- Types of abuse – definitions
- Signs of abuse
- Children who may be particularly vulnerable
- Impact of abuse
- Teaching and Learning
- Supporting families
- Safe Recruitment Procedures
- Allegations Against Staff
- Online Safety Considerations (also see Online Safety Policy)
- Specific Safeguarding Concerns
- Use of mobile phones and cameras
- Fabricated or Induced Illness
- Domestic Violence
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Sexual Exploitation
- Children missing education
- Children who run away or go missing
- Children with a family member in prison
- Peer on peer abuse
- Child trafficking and modern slavery
- Private fostering
- Areas of risk for The Crown Nursery
- Physical intervention
- Procedure for dealing with complaints and allegations about staff
- Linked policies
- Contact details
1. What to do if you have an immediate welfare concern
Establish why you are concerned
- Child’s appearance – unexplained marks and bruises, clothes, hygiene
- Change in behaviour, presentation, attendance, progress and attainment
- Behaviour which causes concern, indicates risk or vulnerability
Immediately record your concerns on The Crown Nursery concerns form
Inform the designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Safeguarding Lead immediately
The designated Safeguarding Lead must:
Ensure the member of staff with a concern has followed procedure and recorded their concerns
Consider whether the child is at immediate risk of harm e.g. unsafe to go home
Consult with the Single Point of Access if appropriate
Refer to other agencies as appropriate e.g. LADO, Police.
To report a concern
Contact the Single Point of Access for Richmond by telephone.
Monday to Thursday, 8am – 5.15pm 020 8547 5008
Friday, 8am to 5pm
Out of hours 020 8770 5000
You can also make a referral on-line by completing the referral form.
Immediate danger: If a child is in immediate danger call 999.
If a member of staff or parent is concerned with how a safeguarding issue has been managed they can;
- Contact the single point of access for advice
- Follow the schools complaints procedures (see online policy)
“Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child…. School staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating. All staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.”
Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2020)
At The Crown Nursery we provide a welcoming, safe environment, where children feel valued and respected. We are responsible, together with parents, carers and the community, to safeguard all children and prioritise their welfare. This Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is one of a range of documents which set out the safeguarding responsibilities of the nursery.
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to incidents or concerns, in line with guidance from the EYFS Statutory Framework (September 2021). We recognise that the nursery may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.
We are aware that the behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn. We are able to play a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children by providing them with good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.
This document outlines what, as providers, we must do to protect children from harm. It outlines key principles and procedures and includes how we;
- Safeguard children
- Ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children
- Organise and manage provision to ensure children feel safe and well cared for
- Promote good health
- Manage behaviour effectively
- Maintain a safe and suitable environment
- Manage risk and keep children safe on outings
- Make suitable arrangements to support children with SEND
- Maintain records, policies and procedures
3. Policy Aims
The welfare of our children is paramount. All children, regardless of age, gender, culture, language, race, ability, sexual identity or religion have equal rights to protection, safeguarding and opportunities.
This policy is used, in conjunction with staff training and continued professional development, to:
- raise staff awareness of the need to safeguard children and their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse
- provide a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we, the nursery, contribute to assessments of need and support packages for those children
- emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff and develop and promote effective working relationships with other agencies, especially Achieving for Children (AfC) and the police
- develop a structured procedure within the nursery which will be followed by all staff and all members of the community in cases of suspected abuse.
4. Statutory framework, key statutory and non-statutory guidance
In order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, The Crown Nursery will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
- Children Act 1989 Care Planning, Placement and Case Review
- Children Act 2004
- Education Act 2002
- London Child Protection Procedures and Practice Guidance
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
- What to do if You're Worried a Child is Being Abused
- Information Sharing
We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that we have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which we believe that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse.
Our procedures also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.
We will take steps to ensure that any groups or individuals who hire and/or use our building inside or outside of nursery hours, follow the local child protection guidelines and are aware of their safeguarding duties.
We will ensure that all staff read and understand:
- The Crown Nursery’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) [Part One] and school leaders and staff that work directly with children will also read Annex A
- The Crown Nursery’s code of conduct
We will ensure that all staff are aware of:
- The Crown Nursery’s Behaviour Policy
- The role and name of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Charlotte Grubb)
The Crown Nursery will publish our Safeguarding and Child Protection policy on our website and hard copies will be available on request from the school office.
The roles of the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be explicit and we will ensure that they have the time and resources to fulfil their duties.
5. Child Protection Procedures
Safeguarding Lead: Charlotte Grubb
Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Aimee Savino
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children are defined as protecting children from maltreatment: preventing the impairment of children’s health or development and ensuring that children are provided with safe and effective care
At The Crown Nursery we recognise that there may be occasions when staff suspect that a child may be at risk, but have no ‘real’ evidence. The child’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical or inconclusive signs may have been noticed. We also recognise that the signs may be due to a variety of factors, for example, a parent has moved out, a pet has died, a grandparent is very ill or an accident has occurred. However, they may also indicate a child is being abused or is in need of safeguarding.
In these circumstances staff will try to give the child the opportunity to talk. It is fine for staff to ask the child if they are OK or if they can help in any way.
All staff must carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the key commitments of the EYFS Statutory Framework and keep children safe.
If any adult has any safeguarding concerns they must:
- Complete the ‘Concerns Reporting Form’ in a timely manner
- Record the type and position of injury on a body map if appropriate
- Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead
- The matter will be referred to the Single Point of Access (SPA) if appropriate
If a child makes a disclosure:
- Staff will reassure the child and listen without interrupting
- Staff will not force the child to continue talking and will not attempt to put words in their mouth
- Staff will not question the child
- Staff will not promise confidentiality - this promise cannot be kept in order that the child can be protected
- Staff will offer reassurance and assurance that they will take action
- Staff will write an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
- the date and time of the observation or disclosure
- the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible
- an objective description of the child’s emotional state and body language
- Staff will inform the nursery’s Safeguarding Lead
- The matter will be referred to the appropriate body by the Safeguarding Lead. This could be the Single Point of Access or the police
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosure on the ‘Concerns Reporting Form’
Staff should make an objective record (supported by the Safeguarding Lead if necessary) of any concerns, worrying observations or disclosures. Al reports must include:
- Child’s name
- Age of the child and date of birth
- Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
- Exact words spoken by the child
- Exact position and type of injuries or marks seen
- Exact observation of an incident including any other witnesses
- Name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time
- Any discussion held with the parents/carers (where deemed appropriate).
These records must be signed by the member of staff reporting the concern and the Safeguarding Lead. They must be dated and kept in a confidential file.
If a suspicion of abuse is recorded parents are informed, except where the guidance of the SPA team does not allow this. If the child is deemed to be at immediate risk of injury we will keep the child at nursery until the statutory services arrive. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
Monitor, review and re-refer
A suspected case of abuse must be closely monitored.
All staff must be clear about:
- What they are monitoring e.g. behaviour trends, appearance, attendance etc.?
- How long to monitor for?
- How to record observations and to whom you will feedback to?
- When to review the situation?
- When to refer?
If there is a minor incident in nursery
- We record all cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries in our minor incidents book
- Unusual childhood injuries are always logged and discussed with the nursery manager
- All signs of marks/injuries to a child, when they come in to nursery or occur during time at nursery, will be recorded as soon as noticed by a staff member
- The incident will be discussed with the parent at the earliest opportunity
- Such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to such records
If we have any concerns regarding an injury, the SPA team will be notified
Roles and Responsibilities
The Safeguarding Lead must;
- Take overall responsibility for safeguarding procedure and policy
- Have a regard to the following statutory guidance; ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, ‘Prevent duty guidance for England and Wales’ and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education
- Provide support, advice and guidance to all staff
- Ensure that all staff are trained to understand the safeguarding policy and procedure, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed including by other children i.e. bullying, racism and discriminatory behaviour
- Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Attend child protection training courses regularly to enable we identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect
- Notify agencies with statutory responsibilities of any concerns about children’s safety and welfare without delay eg. social care services, police
- Notify Ofsted of any incidences of serious harm or abuse at the setting as soon as possible
- Ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children
- Organise and manage provision to ensure all children feel safe, well cared for able to learn
- Maintain and implement all policies relating to safeguarding and child protection
- Review all policies relating to safeguarding and child protection regularly
All staff must:
- Understand that it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and that they have a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
- Keep the child at the centre of everything
- Ensure they are familiar with safeguarding and child protection procedure and policy
- Be alert to identify possible signs of abuse
- Provide a safe and secure environment for all children at all times
- Ensure children are never left unattended or alone with one other member of staff
- Build strong relationships to establish trust
- Always listen to children
- Support children to develop an understanding of how to keep themselves safe
- Encourage children develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in their care
- Take action quickly and responsibly if they have a concern about a child
- Record all concerns in a timely way on the ‘Concerns Reporting Form’ (appendix A)
- Inform the DSL
- Understand that that children can be abused by other children and that children with SEN are statistically more at risk of abuse due than other children.
- Create a culture of value and respect and have a positive regard for children’s ethnicity, culture and language.
- Work as part of a multi-agency team as required in the best interests of the child
- Ensure that confidentiality is maintained
6. Types of Abuse – Definitions
Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child, and may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm.
The different types of abuse
Neglect is a form of abuse and 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.
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)
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
Physical abuse 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/carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Emotional abuse may involve:
- Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
- Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
- Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction
- Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
- Serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is 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.
- 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.
Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2018, defines safeguarding as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Child protection is an aspect of safeguarding, but is focused on how we respond to children who have been significantly harmed or are at risk of significant harm.
Staff/practitioner applies to all those working for or on behalf of the nursery, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
7.Signs of Abuse
It is the responsibility of staff to report their concerns. It is not their responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused.
A child who is being abused or neglected may:
- have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries
- show signs of pain or discomfort
- keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather
- be concerned about changing for PE or swimming
- look unkempt and uncared for
- change their eating habits
- have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships
- appear fearful
- be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety
- frequently miss school or arrive late
- show signs of not wanting to go home
- display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy-go-lucky to withdrawn
- challenge authority
- become disinterested in their school work
- be constantly tired or preoccupied
- be wary of physical contact
- be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol
- display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age and/or stage of development
- acquire gifts such as money or a mobile phone from new ‘friends’ or adults recently acquainted with the child’s family
Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw and each small piece of information will help the Designated Safeguarding Lead to decide how to proceed.
It is very important that staff report all of their concerns, however minor or insignificant they may think they are – they do not need ‘absolute proof’ that the child is at risk.
8. Children who may be particularly vulnerable
At The Crown Nursery we recognise that some children are more vulnerable to abuse and neglect than others. Several factors may contribute to that increased vulnerability, including: prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues, a reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur, as well as an individual child’s personality, behaviour, disability, mental and physical health needs and family circumstances.
To ensure that all of our pupils receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:
- disabled or have special educational needs
- young carers
- affected by parental substance misuse, domestic abuse and violence or parental mental health needs
- asylum seekers
- looked after by the local authority or otherwise living away from home
- vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying behaviours
- living in temporary accommodation
- living transient lifestyles
- living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
- vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality
- already viewed as a ‘problem’
- at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE)
- do not have English as a first language
- at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM)
- at risk of forced marriage
- at risk of being drawn into extremism
This list provides examples of vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats for children with communication needs.
Children looked after and previously looked after
At The Crown Nursery we recognise that the most common reasons for children becoming looked after is as a result abuse and/or neglect. We will ensure that staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to keep children looked after and previously looked after safe. Appropriate staff will have the information they need in relation to a child looked after’s legal status (for example, who has parental responsibility, who is not permitted to have contact and who is not permitted to know where the child is being educated) and the level of authority delegated by the caring authority to the carer.
All nursery staff will:
- ensure the nursery has up to date details of a child’s allocated social worker
- promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for how children looked after and previously looked after learn
- make sure the young person has a voice in setting learning targets
- support each other and give advice about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual children and in making full use of Assessment for Learning
- make sure that the children are prioritised and that carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home
- be responsible for the development and implementation of all children looked after’s personal education plans within the nursery if appropriate
- attend training as appropriate
9. Impact of abuse
The impact of child abuse, neglect and exploitation should not be underestimated. Many children do recover well and go on to lead healthy, happy and productive lives, although most adult survivors agree that the emotional scars remain, however well buried. For some children, full recovery is beyond their reach and the rest of their childhood and their adulthood may be characterised by anxiety or depression, self-harm, eating disorders, alcohol and substance misuse, unequal and destructive relationships and long-term medical or psychiatric difficulties.
10. Teaching and Learning
Aspects relating to safeguarding and protecting children are included in all areas of teaching and learning across the EYFS curriculum.
At The Crown Nursery we know that children’s personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives. We provide a range of experiences which help children learn how to keep themselves safe from harm and which help them develop a positive sense of self.
Children will learn about:
- personal safety and needs
- positive relationships
- how to manage emotions
- how to develop resilience and perseverance
- how to express themselves
- how to look after their bodies
- healthy eating
- who to talk to
- people who help keep us safe eg. police, fire-fighters, nurses, doctors
- how to resolve conflict effectively
- stranger danger
- road safety
- fire safety
- online safety
- bullying (including cyber bullying
11. Supporting Families
At The Crown Nursery we know that building trust and maintaining relationships is central to protecting children and keeping them safe. We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring the child and liaising at all times with statutory services.
We will continue to welcome a child and their family to nursery whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse. We will support and advice families dealing with abuse and will follow any plans put in place by social care workers in relation to the nursery’s role.
The Crown Nursery recognises that in order to effectively meet a child’s needs, safeguard their welfare and protect them from harm they must contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and share information between professionals and agencies where there are concerns.
All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and that the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would place a child at risk of harm.
The DfE emphasises that: “The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.”
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a pupil to keep secrets which might compromise the pupil’s safety or wellbeing. It is important that staff and volunteers tell the pupil in a manner appropriate to the pupil’s age and development that they cannot promise complete confidentiality and that they may need to pass information on to other professionals to help to keep the pupil or other children safe.
However, we also recognise that all matters relating to child protection are personal to children and families. Therefore, in this respect they are confidential and the DSL will only disclose information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis.
We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to SPA with their parents and carers unless to do so could put the pupil at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with SPA on this point.
12. Safe Recruitment Procedures
- Applicants for posts within the setting are informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Applicants are informed of the need to check existing DBS certificates or to carry out enhanced disclosure checks with the Disclosure & Barring Service in order to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person is employed at the setting or has access to the children.
- Applicants are told that they are expected to disclose an convictions, cautions, court order, reprimands and warnings that may affect their suitability to work with children
- Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
- We request two references from previous employers or one reference from a previous employer and one personal reference for any new member of staff.
- Staff details are stored and kept up to date. These include; DBS certificate, identity documents (passport or driving licence), two proofs of address (within the last 3 months), copies of qualifications, two references
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- We follow the procedures set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment or resigns in circumstances relating to child protection that would otherwise have led to dismissal.
- We have procedures for recording the details of any visitor to the setting
- We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes in to the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff, or volunteer, within the setting, or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
- We will respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer may have taken or is taking place, by removing this adult from contact with the children immediately
- We will immediately contact the LADO on 0208 891 7370.
- We will report any alleged incident to Ofsted and outline the measures we have taken.
- We will co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
- Where the Director and statutory services agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, they will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as the children and families throughout the process.
- Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting because of misconduct relating to a child, statutory services will decide whether to notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority so that their name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List.
14. Online Safety Considerations
Children and young people commonly use electronic equipment including mobile phones, tablets and computers on a daily basis. These technologies and the internet are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. Unfortunately, however, some adults or young people may use those technologies directly to harm children and they may also be inadvertently distressed or harmed by accessing inappropriate material on the internet.
Parents/carers are encouraged to consider measures to keep their children safe when using the internet at home and in the community.
The Crown Nursery has a regard for the document ‘Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: online safety considerations’.
The Crown Nursery’s Online Safety Policy (found on our website) explains in more detail how we keep pupils’ safe in nursery and protect and educate pupils in the safe use of technology.
15. Specific Safeguarding Concerns
Use of Mobile Phones, Cameras, Wearable Technology, Personal devices
- Parents and carers are asked to switch off mobile phones if they are coming into the early years setting and leave the setting if they need to use their mobile
- Parents are generally prohibited from taking any photographs of children in the early years setting, but for special events such as nursery performances, may do so on the understanding that the images are not posted onto social media sites or otherwise shared
- Staff seek parental permission to take photographs of the children, which must be linked to teaching the curriculum and that they use school equipment only for this purpose. They must not be uploaded onto social media.
- Staff do not bring personal mobile phones or devices into the early years setting during time they are in contact with the children. They can only use them during breaks in the office.
- Staff do not use wearable technology during time they are in contact with the children. They can only use them during breaks in the office.
- We will follow the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 when taking and storing photos and recordings for use in the school.
Fabricated or induced illnesses
Staff at The Crown Nursery are alert to the issues surrounding fabricated or induced illnesses. Fabricated or induced illness is a condition whereby a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm through the deliberate action of their parent and which is attributed by the parent to another cause.
There are three main ways of the parent fabricating (making up or lying about) or inducing illness in a child:
- fabrication of signs and symptoms, including fabrication of past medical history
- fabrication of signs and symptoms and falsification of hospital charts, records, letters and documents and specimens of bodily fluid
- induction of illness by a variety of means
The above three methods are not mutually exclusive. Existing diagnosed illness in a child does not exclude the possibility of induced illnesses. The very presence of an illness can act as a stimulus to the abnormal behaviour and also provide the parent with opportunities for inducing symptoms.
Fabricated or induced illness is most commonly identified in younger children. Although some of these children die, there are many that do not die as a result of having their illness fabricated or induced, but who suffer significant long term physical or psychological health consequences.
Fabrication of illness may not necessarily result in a child experiencing physical harm, but there may be concerns about the child suffering emotional harm. They may suffer emotional harm as a result of an abnormal relationship with their parent and/or disturbed family relationships.
Staff at The Crown Nursery will record and report any concerns about a child who might be experiencing Fabricated or induced illness to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as with any other safeguarding concern. The DSL will consider the need to make a referral or consult with the Single Point of Access as with any other child protection concern.
The Crown Nursery has due regard to the need to prevent young people being drawn into terrorism.
We will therefore:
- Assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism
- Demonstrate that we are protecting children from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies
- Train staff to give them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism
- Challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism
- Ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet.
The Prevent duty defines terminology relating to terrorism as:
Radicalisation: ‘the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism’
Extremism: ‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
At The Crown Nursery we recognise domestic violence as a category of abuse and understand that a child witnessing family violence is at risk of:
- Behavioural and emotional difficulties
- Learning difficulties
- Long-term developmental problems
- Aggressive language and behaviour
- Restlessness, anxiety and depression
Female Genital Mutilation
FGM is child abuse and against the law. It causes serious physical and emotional harm. Professionals who are worried a child is at risk can call the FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550.
Families who practice FGM don't think of it as abuse. We need to give families advice and information that is sensitive to their culture and beliefs, but we need to make clear that FGM is illegal.
If a local authority has reason to believe a child is likely to suffer FGM it can apply for a court order to prevent the child being taken abroad for mutilation. This should be to prevent the child from undergoing FGM rather than removing her from her family.
From October 2015, the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) introduced a mandatory reporting duty for all regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales.
We will make a report to the police, if, in the course of our duties:
- we are informed by a girl under the age of 18 that she has undergone an act of FGM
- we observe physical signs that an act of FGM may have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
CSE is recognised as a category of sexual abuse. Children under school age are unlikely to be exploited but The Crown Nursery will work with statutory agencies as required if a child in one of our families is being exploited in this way.
The National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People defines sexual exploitation as:
“Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.
Child Sexual Exploitation can occur through use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example, the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain.
In all cases, those exploiting the child / young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and / or economic or other resources.
Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerable.
The Crown Nursery recognises that being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The designated safeguarding lead is aware of contact details and referral routes in to the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.
Indicators that a family may be at risk of homelessness include:
- household debt
- rent arrears
- domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour
- the family being asked to leave a property
If a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm, a referral to children’s social care will be made.
Children missing education
We recognise that full attendance at nursery is important to the wellbeing of children and enables them to access the opportunities made available to them. Attendance is monitored and parents will be contacted if children continue to missed booked sessions. we work in partnership with Achieving for Children when patterns of absence give rise to concern.
At The Crown Nursery we understand that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. We will ensure, where possible that we have more than one emergency contact number for each pupil. We will work in partnership with Achieving For Children when patterns of absence give rise to concern or if children do not attend school once they have left nursery.
The Crown Nursery recognises the statutory guidance provided for schools ‘Children Missing Education’ (DfE 2016).
Children who run away or go missing from home or care
The Crown Nursery recognises that whilst very young children are unlikely to run away or go missing, such occurrences are still a possibility. Children who run away or go missing, and are therefore absent from their normal residence, are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, offending and placing themselves in situations where they may suffer physical harm.
‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019’ highlights that 'Statutory Guidance on Children who Run Away or go Missing from Home or Care' (DfE 2014) requires that every child or young person who runs away or goes missing must be offered a return home interview (RHI) within 72 hours of their return.
When necessary and in conjunction with AfC or other relevant local authority, The Crown Nursery will facilitate return to home interviews, both in terms of releasing the young person from their normal timetable to participate in an interview and in providing an appropriate and safe space at nursery for the interview to take place.
Children with family members in prison
The Crown Nursery recognises that children who have a family member in prison are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health. We will work with agencies and resources such as NICCO to help mitigate negative consequences for those children.
Peer on peer abuse
Occasionally, allegations may be made against pupils by other children or their parents, which are of a safeguarding nature. Safeguarding issues raised in this way may include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. It is likely that to be considered a safeguarding allegation against a pupil, some of the following features will be found.
- is made against an older pupil and refers to their behaviour towards a younger pupil or a more vulnerable pupil
- is of a serious nature, possibly including physical or emotional harm
- raises risk factors for other pupils at nursery
- indicates that other pupils may have been affected by this child
- indicates that young people outside the nursery may be affected
Child trafficking and modern slavery
Human trafficking is defined in the UN Protocol on trafficking (adopted in 2000) as the acquisition of a person, by means of deception or coercion, for the purposes of exploitation. Human trafficking, or modern day slavery as it is often referred to, is a crime and a safeguarding issue affecting millions across the world and in the United Kingdom.
Staff at The Crown Nursery are aware of the existence of modern slavery and child trafficking and concerns will be recorded and reported to the Single Point of Access as appropriate.
Types of Modern Day Slavery:
These are examples of industries and services where slavery exist in the UK today;
- the sex industry, including brothels
- retail: nail bars, hand car washes
- factories: food packing
- hospitality: fast-food outlets
- agriculture: fruit picking
- domestic labour: cooking, cleaning and child minding
- additionally, victims can be forced into criminal activities such as theft or begging
Modern day slavery is an issue that transcends age, gender and ethnicities. It can include victims that have been brought to the UK from overseas or vulnerable people in the UK being forced to illegally work against their will. Children and young people have an increased vulnerability to slavery.
Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, and war are some of the situations that contribute to trafficking of victims and slavery.
Slavery can be linked to a number of safeguarding issues, including child sexual exploitation, but normally includes at least one of the following specific situations.
- Child trafficking: young people being moved internationally or domestically so that they can be exploited.
- Forced labour: victims are forced to work through physical or mental threat, against their will, often very long hours for little or no pay, in conditions that can affect their physical and mental health. They are often subjected to verbal or physical threats of violence against them as individuals or their families.
- Debt bondage: victims forced to work to pay off debts that they will never be able to. Debts can be passed down to children. Extreme examples include where a victim may be owned or controlled by an ‘employer’ or sold as a commodity.
Possible signs and indicators that someone is a victim of modern slavery that anyone working with children and young people should be aware of include:
- physical appearance: poor physical condition, malnourishment, untreated injuries, and looking neglected
- isolation: victims may not be allowed out on their own and may appear to be under the control or influence of people accompanying them, with the absence of a parent or legal guardian. they may not interact and be unfamiliar in their local community
- poor living conditions: victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, with multiple children living and working at the same address or premises
- personal belongings: few possessions, wearing the same clothes each day, and no identification documents
- restricted freedom: victims have little opportunity to move freely and may be kept from having access to their passport
- reluctant to seek help: victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to approach people and have lack of trust or concern about making a report should they be deportation or fear of violence on their family
If a member of The Crown Nursery staff suspects that a pupil may be a victim they will, in the first instance report their concerns to the DSL. The DSL will seek advice and support from the Single Point of Access who may in turn make a referral to the National Crime Agency via the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
Further advice can be provided directly by the modern slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700.
A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or a close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. Close relatives are defined as step parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts. It applies to children under the age of 16, or under 18 if the child is disabled. Children looked after by the local authority or who are placed in a residential school, children’s home or hospital are not considered to be privately fostered.
Private fostering occurs in all cultures, including British culture and children may be privately fostered at any age.
The Crown Nursery recognises that most privately fostered children remain safe and well, but safeguarding concerns have been raised in some cases. Therefore all staff are alert to possible safeguarding issues, including the possibility that a child has been trafficked into the country.
By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify Children’s Social Care as soon as possible.
If The Crown Nursery becomes aware of a private fostering arrangement for a pupil that has not been notified to Children’s Social Care, we will encourage parents and private foster carers to notify Children’s Social Care themselves in the first instance, but also alert them to our mandatory duty as a nursery to inform the local authority of children in such arrangements.
Self-harm is a coping mechanism which enables a person to cope with overwhelming emotional distress. Children and young people can self-harm and research shows that young people who self-harm can be at a higher risk of suicide.
Young people who hurt themselves often feel that physical pain is easier to deal with than the emotional pain they are experiencing, because it is tangible. The behaviour only provides temporary relief and fails to deal with the underlying issues that a young person is facing. Self-harm may last for a short time or it can become a long-term problem. Some people self-harm, stop for a while, and return to it months, even years, later, in times of distress.
Risk factors that indicate a child or young person may be at risk of taking actions to harm themselves can cover a wide range of life events such as: bereavement, bullying, cyber bullying, mental health problems including eating disorders, family problems such as domestic violence, any form of abuse or conflict between the child and parents.
The most common forms of self-harm are:
- biting self
- burning, scalding, branding
- picking at skin, reopening old wounds
- breaking bones, punching
- hair pulling
- head banging
- ingesting objects or toxic substances
- overdosing with a medicine
Self-harm is usually a secretive behaviour but signs may include:
- wearing long sleeves at inappropriate times
- spending more time in the bathroom
- unexplained cuts or bruises, burns or other injuries
- unexplained smell of Dettol, TCP, etc.
- low mood - seems to be depressed or unhappy, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness
- any mood changes - anger, sadness
- changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- losing friendships, spending more time by themselves and becoming more private or defensive
- withdrawal from activities that used to be enjoyed
The Crown Nursery recognises that whilst it is rare for very young children to self-harm, it is sadly not unheard of. We recognise that any suspicions of self-harm must be taken seriously and appropriate help and intervention will be offered at the earliest point. Any member of staff who is made aware that a pupil has self-harmed, will record and report the matter to the DSL as soon as possible as with any other safeguarding concern.
16. Identified areas of particular risk for The Crown Nursery
There are a number of areas which must be considered as they may provide some level of risk.
The Crown Nursery site is situated on a busy road. To mitigate risk we will:
- stagger drop off and pick up times to reduce the number of families congregating on the pavement
- create a safe reception area for children and parents/carers to enter
- have a no buggy policy to reduce time and congestion at drop off and collection
- offer an early drop off time of 7.45am to working parents to support families and reduce numbers arriving at similar times
- ensure children leave safely with parents/carers, safely strapped in buggies or holding hands
- install a video intercom system, so people can be seen by staff from the roadside before accessing the building
The Crown nursery is situated on the ground and lower ground floor of a four storey Victorian building. Other organisations may occupy the upper floors.
To mitigate risk we will:
- only use the entrance into the nursery
- ensure the door to the adjoining corridor is always locked
- cover the glass panel on the adjoining door to make it opaque
- obtain contact details for any organisations occupying the upper floors of the building and communicate regularly regarding fire safety checks, emergency exit procedures etc.
- regularly practice exiting the building in case of an emergency to ensure this runs smoothly and quickly
The Crown Nursery operates of two floors. To mitigate risk we will:
- ensure children transition carefully, safely holding onto supporting bannisters
- only register children for the downstairs room who are able to exit the building safely and quickly in case of an emergency
Accessing areas within the local community
At The Crown Nursery we make regular trips to the local parks, the post office, supermarket and train station. Please see
- Outside Trips Policy
- specific risk assessments for information on potential risks and the management of them.
The Crown Nursery acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child is endangering themselves or others, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person. Staff who are likely to need to use physical intervention will be appropriately trained.
All incidents involving physical intervention will be recorded and signed by a witness.
We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
We recognise that touch is appropriate in the context or working with children, and all staff have been given ‘safe practice’ guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundaries.
18. Procedure for dealing with complaints and allegations about staff
Despite all efforts to recruit safely there may be occasions when allegations of abuse against children are reported to have been committed by staff, practitioners and/or volunteers, who work with pupils in our nursery.
An allegation is any information which indicates that a member of staff or volunteer may have:
- behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
This applies to any child the member of staff or volunteer has contact with in their personal, professional or community life, such as if they had a child protection concerns raised for their own children.
To reduce the risk of allegations, all staff should be aware of safer working practice and should be familiar with the guidance contained in the nursery’s Code of and the ‘Guidance for safer working practice for adults who work with children and young people in education settings’
Guidance for safer working practice
Guidance about conduct and safe practice, including safe use of mobile phones by staff will be given at induction and all staff should be aware of The Crown Nursery’s behaviour policy.
All school staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a pupil. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual pupils or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.
We understand that a pupil may make an allegation against a member of staff or staff may have concerns about another staff member. If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children, the member of staff receiving the allegation or aware of the information, will immediately inform the DSL.
The DSL on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the local authority designated officer (LADO) within 24 hours and before taking any further action.
If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns nursery manager, the person receiving the allegation will immediately consult the LADO as above, without notifying the manager first.
Reporting to the LADO applies even where the nature of the alleged assault would not normally meet the threshold if applied to children in their own families. For example, a report of a child being smacked by a parent, with no injury caused, would be unlikely to require any response by police or Children’s Social Care.
A similar report of a child being smacked by a member of staff, however, should be responded to because of:
- the vulnerability of children away from home
- the higher standards of conduct demanded by law and regulation of those caring for other people’s children
- the position of trust enjoyed by such people
The Crown Nursery will follow procedures set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019.
Suspension of the member of staff, against whom an allegation has been made, needs careful consideration, and the manager will seek the advice of the LADO and an HR consultant in making this decision. All options to avoid suspension will be considered.
In the event of an allegation against the manager, the decision to suspend will be made in consultation with the LADO and HR.
If an allegation pertains to an adult not employed directly by the school, for example, cleaning staff, volunteers, sports coaches etc. the nursery will work directly with the employing agency and the LADO as described above.
Staff, parents and governors are reminded that publication of material that may lead to the identification of a teacher who is the subject of an allegation is prohibited by law. Publication includes verbal conversations or writing including content placed on social media sites.
19. Linked policies
Please list all relevant policies, such as:
- Local Offer
- Code of conduct
- Covid behaviour
- Fire safety
- Key person
- Health & safety
- Allegations against staff
- Teaching and learning
- Sickness and Medicines
- Risk assessments
- Intimate care
20. Contact Details
Phone: 0300 123 4666
SPA - Single Point of Access
Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm Call 020 8547 5008
Out of hours Call 020 8770 5000
Email: SPA@richmond.gov.uk or complete the on-line referral form.
To report safeguarding allegations against staff or volunteers, please phone the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 020 8891 7370.
Local specialist Police child protection team
Call 0208 247 6331.
Call 0808 800 5000 to speak in confidence
Text anonymously to 88858.
The Crown Nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the Safeguarding Lead at the earliest opportunity.