Safeguarding and Child Protection COVID 19 - Policy adjustments June 2020
Safeguarding and the best interests of the children in our care must continue to come first.
This document sits alongside the following existing school policies.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
Whistleblowing and Managing Allegations
Peer on Peer Abuse
Staff code of conduct (and any associated acceptable use agreements)
Behaviour for Learning Policy
KCSIE, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 continues to be the key statutory guidance.
The arrangements provided by schools during this time must continue to be a safe place for all children attending. Children not attending school during this time must also be safeguarded, including online, the school must action any concerns brought to them.
In May 2020, the government issued guidance setting out the expectation for the gradual return of children to early years, school and further education settings. All decisions about reopening have been informed by our risk assessment process.
It is important that all staff and volunteers are aware of this policy adjustment, and are kept up to date as it is revised.
This document has been shared with all staff and volunteers
This document is available on the school web site policy page
DSL and Team
Each school should have a DSL or team member in school (strongly recommended) or available to staff every day. DSL and team members may use DSL and team members from other Havering schools for support and supervision, using the Havering DSL support network list issued by Hsis.
DSL and team members must make sure they have Havering key contact information available to them at home.
DSL or team contact can be by phone or other digital means such as Skype. GDPR and confidentiality must be strictly applied. Staff members should take particular care when making calls, holding or attending meetings from their home.
DSL or team member, or SLT member on site (where remote updating is not possible) should keep safeguarding and child protection records up to date with any concerns, contacts or issues.
Schools are gradually reopening; staff numbers are reduced. Staff on site must come from the school workforce and all vetting and DBS checks must be in place. Volunteers should not be used.
Each school must have a first aider on site each day, including a paediatric first aider where appropriate. This can be shared between schools when on the same site.
Every school will keep a daily register of all children and staff on site, this includes those attending for part of a day. This is in addition to the required school return to DfE listing children in school each day. First day calling should be in place for all vulnerable children.
Staff on site must know the emergency procedures for:
- Fire evacuation –lists of those on site should be on hand to check
- Site evacuation – schools should check that their external place of refuge is still available. This would be a very unusual and exceptional circumstance, but a place of safety should be identified.
Internal lockdown – staff and children may be in an area of the school that is not as familiar to them. Staff should identify internal locations where they could seek safety with the children in the event of a lockdown.
Safeguarding and Child Protection processes
MASH, Social Care and LAC team revised arrangements continue to apply. The school will work in partnership with multiagency colleagues and organisations.
All referrals will be responded to as usual. Partners are not physically located in the MASH and are be working together but remotely.
Social Care operating protocol COVID 19 (extract)
This protocol will be reviewed on a daily basis and will be subject to change.
Core response team: There is a Social Care core team available each day to respond to statutory requests for services – CIN / CP / LAC. This will be at least 8 social workers, with an additional 8 staff in reserve.
Statutory meetings: All meetings should be undertaken by skype video conferencing where possible to avoid physical contact.
Visits to children: Where Looked after Children are placed 20 miles or more, social workers and their managers will make the determination whether a skype call (or similar) may be more appropriate at the time of the scheduled visit. Social Care will review this weekly to ensure children are appropriately safeguarded and their welfare needs are met. Children on CP plans / CIN / LAC have been RAG rated according to risk and need. Frequency of visits and telephone / skype are being agreed by the team.
Responding to Child Protection enquiries: Responding to S47s is business as usual.
Child Protection Conferences and Looked after Child reviews (LAC) (Extract)
Conduct of Conferences: Minimise meetings and unnecessary direct contact. Chairs will invite professionals, parents and the Minute taker to join the Conference by telephone call or Skype, which will be pre-arranged by the Chair and Business Support Officer (BSO). The Chair will make the decision whether to hold one virtual meeting or several over no more than 3 days to obtain the views of the parent(s) and professionals.
Conduct of Looked after Reviews: Aim to hold LAC reviews but it will be a paper review utilising conference calls / Skype with professionals, carers, families and child (ren). This may not take place in one meeting but several over no more than 3 days. Attempts will be made by the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to speak with the child via skype / telephone dependent on their age, maturity and capability. IROs will schedule the next LAC review in line with statutory expectations with a view to when the crisis 3
has subsided, at the earliest date, consideration is given on the merits of the review date being brought forward to allow for a full and more comprehensive review can be undertaken.
Keeping in touch with children including vulnerable children not in school
Vulnerable children, those with a social worker, not in school should be contacted on a daily basis, less often if determined by a risk assessment. This can be by phone or skype for example. This keeping in touch calling should be supported by DSL/Team/Pastoral staff who are working from school, supported by those working at home.
Additional vulnerable children, identified by the school, should be individually risk assessed to decide on type and frequency of contact, including possible home visits.
Contact details for parents and carers, and additional emergency contact numbers should be kept up to date. There is a recognition that there may be changes in details about family circumstances over this time. We will do everything we reasonably can to update contact and welfare information for children and their families.
Children working at home should have a reporting routes for raising concerns, including worries about being online.
Reporting concerns about children (face to face or via phone, skype or similar)
All staff, in school or working from home must understand how to raise a concern. This should be immediate reporting to the DSL / Team using existing school processes. Staff could (face to face or digitally)
Talk to a DSL/Team member if they are in school
If DSL/team are not in school go to the SLT member in school; additionally contact the DSL or team member by phone, skype or similar
In school safeguarding and child concern procedures remain the same unless the DSL and team have identified process changes needed during this period to ensure concerns can be raised and logged in school and from home. Any changes to process will be communicated with all staff, in writing. The school will check to make sure all staff have read and understood the process change.
All types of risk and harm will sadly continue, it is expected that as children return to school disclosures will rise, it is important that COVID 19 does not overshadow and stop staff from seeing harm and identifying and raising concerns.
If a school is informed through disclosure or second hand information that peer on peer abuse is alleged, the safeguarding process must be followed.
Staff should be aware that some risk areas are likely to have increased:
Domestic violence and domestic abuse
Child criminal exploitation
Welfare concerns because of bereavement, poverty or job
The safeguarding and child protection policy gives details of these and other forms of harm.
Reporting concerns about adults working with children
Whistleblowing and Managing Allegations processes must continue to be followed if there are any concerns about the conduct or behaviour of an adult in a school or online. If the Headteacher of the school cannot be contacted the concern can be taken straight to the LADO. If the concern is about the Headteacher of the school this should be taken straight to the LADO.
DSL Training, Staff Training, Interim induction arrangements
The required DSL and team training every 2 years may lapse during this period of school closure. The DSL and team must ensure they have opportunities to keep up to date with risks and issues. This may be through local safeguarding partners, safeguarding newsletters, professional advice groups and online training. Training can be updated when schools open and face to face DSL and multi-agency support becomes available again.
Current staff will have attended at least annual whole school training or in year catch up events as part of induction or return to work. If new staff are taken on during this period they should read KCSIE part 1 as part of their 4
induction. Online training opportunities may be used to supplement induction. The next annual training should be considered including video and online opportunities, sported DSL and team in school.
Where the school provides support for children of key workers and vulnerable children on site and at home, appropriate support for their mental health and well-being should be in place, this can be an extension of the existing provision in the school. It may, for example, be delivered in school, over the phone or from specialist staff or support services.
The school will work to ensure that the request from Havering Youth Parliament is a key element in supporting all children. “Please take our range of emotions into account”.
Key contacts, national and local guidance
School key contacts
Deputy – Julie Fearon 01708 204560
Deputy – Karolyn Bonning 01708204561
MASH Team 01708 433222 (day) 01708 433999 (night) email@example.com https://my.havering.gov.uk/Pages/OnlineForms/Multi-Agency-Referral-form.aspx#Information
LADO Lisa Kennedy firstname.lastname@example.org 01708 431653
Havering CAD team Social Care : CAD Duty - CADDuty@havering.gov.uk Education: SEN - Sen@havering.gov.uk
Havering Virtual School Headteacher – Anita Stewart – email@example.com
CME Children Missing Education – firstname.lastname@example.org 01708 431777
Hsis Safeguarding Team Penny Patterson - email@example.com 01708 433829 Michelle Wain - firstname.lastname@example.org 01708 431650 Carol Rockey – email@example.com 01708 431651
Online Safety Amanda Jackson – Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Smith – email@example.com
HES Home Learning – keeping children safe online
KCSIE Keeping Children safe in Education 2019 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2
DfE Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers (updated 20th May 2020) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers
DfE Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19) (updated 21st May 2020) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-and-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=cc90fb4d-85d1-4c41-837a-dd29a3eccbc2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
DfE Coronavirus (COVID-19): Supporting vulnerable children and young people (updated 15th May 2020) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people
DfE – Mental Health and Behaviour in schools https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2
General COVID 19 guidance for educational settings (updated 20th May 2020) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
DfE COVID helpline firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 046 8687, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and 10am to 4pm at weekends. This number is for schools and parents, schools should be ready to quote their DfE number.
HES Hub COVID 19 guidance http://www.hes.org.uk/Page/16925
Havering Safeguarding Partnership (formerly the Havering LSCB) https://www.havering.gov.uk/info/20083/safeguarding_children
NSPCC, Undertaking remote teaching and learning safely https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/news/2020/march/undertaking-remote-teaching-safely/