ADDENDUM

  

COVID-19 school closure arrangements for Safeguarding and Child Protection at Pastures Way Nursery School

 

Adopted on: 2nd April 2020

Ratified by: Head Teacher and shared with governors

 

Key Information

·         This addendum forms part of the school’s Safeguarding Policy. It is amendments and additional information relating to changes to safeguarding in light of Covid-19.

·         Staff should ensure they have read this Addendum, the School Safeguarding Policy (emailed to all staff) and Keeping Children Safe in Education:

·         https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/835733/Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2019.pdf

The way schools and colleges are currently operating in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) is fundamentally different to business as usual, however, a number of important safeguarding principles remain the same:
  • with regard to safeguarding, the best interests of children must always continue to come first
  • if anyone in a school or college has a safeguarding concern about any child they should continue to act and act immediately
  • a DSL or deputy should be available
  • it is essential that unsuitable people are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce and/or gain access to children
  • children should continue to be protected when they are online
Contacts: DSGO Lead is: Maria Sage Family Worker:

available to parents upon request, to staff in school or on her mobile.

Next: Emma Pobjoy Head Teacher:

available to parents upon request or on her mobile.

Next: Liz Jenkins SENCO:

available to parents upon request or on her mobile

Reporting concerns If any staff have concerns about children at home or in school, they should contact the DSGO Maria Sage on her mobile.

Maria will record the concerns on MyConcern the online recording system.

Out of hours’ emergency concerns can be reported to the duty team on:

0300 300 8123

If you have concerns about a member of staff and their ability or suitability to work with children, please report them to the head teacher on her mobile. If the concern is about the head teacher, you should contact the LADO on:

01582 548069

Vulnerable Children Will be identified by SLT and the most vulnerable will be offered places.

Vulnerable families at home will receive weekly contact for a designated member of staff. This will be recorded on a weekly communication log.

Staff will continue to work jointly with outside agencies to provide continued support.

Attending Children Local authorities and schools do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes

SLT have identified children eligible for care.

Office staff and head teacher will liaise daily to record attendance.   This will be sent by the head to the DfES and the LA.

Children attending should have their emergency details checked by the office staff.

If a vulnerable child does not attend or contact this should be raised with their social worker.

Online Safety @ home Parents will be reminded about online safety. They will be emailed the schools Online Safety Leaflet.
Mental health support for families

 

Staff are still available for support.

Families can phone the school on:

01582 600691

Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm.

Out of hours please email:

stayingathome@pasturesway.nurseryluton.com

Policy, procedure and updates. This Addendum will be shared with all staff on 3rd April 2020.   They will be asked to confirm that they have received and read the document.

Further updates will be shared ass and when needed.

This and the latest safeguarding policy will be added to the school website.

1. Context

From 20th March 2020, parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response.

 

Schools and all childcare providers were asked to provide care for a limited number of children: children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

 

This addendum does not replace the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and should be read in conjunction with the main policy.

Schools and colleges should, as far as is reasonably possible, take a whole school approach to safeguarding. This will allow them to satisfy themselves that any new policies and processes in response to COVID-19 are not weakening their approach to safeguarding or undermining their child protection policy.

 

Key safeguarding contacts

Role   Name Contact number
Family Worker and DSGO   Maria Sage 01582 600691
Head Teacher   Emma Pobjoy 01582 600691

 

Contingency safeguarding contacts

 

Role Contact number Email
Out of hours Duty Team 0300 3008123 mash@luton.gov.uk
LADO       01582 548069 Paul.James@luton.gov.uk

 

 

Safeguarding partners

 

With effect from Monday 23rd March 2020, the Safeguarding and Quality Assurance service within Luton will be convening Virtual Initial and Review Child Protection case conferences. All professionals must submit reports to the SQAS inbox and, wherever possible, be available for conference calls or any other telecommunication application that specializes in providing video calls. Where it is not possible to convene a virtual conference meeting the Child Protection Chair will determine whether a child should be subject to a Child Protection plan based on all of the information provided. This approach will enable Initial and Review case conferences to take place in line with the Council guidance regarding Covid-19.

 

Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

 

Those who have a social worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan and those who are looked after by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

 

Those with an EHC plan will be risk-assessed in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.

 

Eligibility for free school meals in and of itself should not be the determining factor in assessing vulnerability.

 

The senior leaders, Designated Safeguarding Lead and deputies know who the most vulnerable children are. The school will have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edge of receiving children’s social care support.

The school will continue to work with and support children’s social workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with, and supporting, children’s social workers and the local authority Virtual School head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children. The staff member responsible for this is Family Worker Maria Sage.

 

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. In circumstances where a parent/carer does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and the school will discuss the reasons for this directly with the parent. The school will share the names of those attending with allocated social workers to discuss their views on attendance/non-attendance. The school will put in place measures to ensure there is regular contact with non-attending children, this contact should be recorded and information shared as appropriate.

Where parents/carers are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID19, the school or the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England.

The school will encourage vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed.

 

Attendance monitoring

The school does not need to complete the usual daily attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance.

The school and social workers will agree with parents/carers whether children in need should be attending school. The school will follow up on any pupil that they were expecting to attend, who does not. All children with an allocated social worker, will be contacted by a member of the safeguarding team. The DSL will update social workers of any changes.

To support the above, the school will, when communicating with parents/carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, the school will notify their social worker.

Ideally, a trained DSL (or deputy) will be on the school site. Where this is not possible, a trained DSL (or deputy) will be available to be contacted via phone or online video. Where a trained DSL is not on site a senior leader will be responsible for coordinating safeguarding on site, which will include accessing child protection files.

All staff and volunteers will be made aware of who is responsible for safeguarding and how to contact them.

The DSL and safeguarding team will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which can be done remotely.

Whilst schools must continue to have appropriate regard to data protection and GDPR, this does not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. However, schools must be mindful of how this information is shared. Further advice about information sharing can be found at paragraphs 76-83 of KCSIE.

 Reporting a concern

Where staff have a concern about a child, they should continue to follow the process outlined in the school Safeguarding Policy.

Staff must report any concern immediately and without delay to Maria either at school or by phoning her at home.

Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children, they should continue to follow the school policy.

Safeguarding Training and induction

For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy).

All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.

Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter the school, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction. This may be conducted remotely.

 

Hub’ School – staff

If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to a ‘hub’ school, the school will take into account the DfES supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that: –

 

    • the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS, DBS number, date the check was undertaken and children’s barred list check
    • there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children
    • there are no ongoing safeguarding disciplinary investigations relating to that individual

Upon arrival, they will be given a copy of the school’s child protection policy, confirmation of local processes and confirmation of DSL arrangements.

Home School

 

The school will ensure that any change of school for looked-after children will be led and managed by the VSH with responsibility for the child. The school will ensure that they provide relevant information to the hub school such as the reason the child is vulnerable and any arrangements in place to support them. As a minimum the hub school should, as appropriate, have access to a child’s EHC plan, child in need plan, child protection plan or, for looked-after children, their personal education plan and know who the child’s social worker (and, for looked-after children, who the responsible VSH is). The school should ensure that this ideally happens before a child is transferred to the hub school and, where that is not possible as soon as reasonably practicable. Any exchanges of information will ideally happen at DSL (or deputy) level, and likewise between special educational needs coordinators/named individual with oversight of SEN provision for children with EHC plans. However, it is acknowledged this may not always be possible. Where this is the case, senior leaders should take responsibility.

 

Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable to work with children are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, the school will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) (KCSIE).

In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.

Where the school are using volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 167 to 172 of KCSIE. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.

The school will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found at paragraph 163 of KCSIE.

The school will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency TRA) as per paragraph 166 of KCSIE and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral’.

 

During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing Misconduct.Teacher@education.gov.uk

Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current national emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers will be in the school or college, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, the school will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in paragraphs 148 to 156 in KCSIE.

 

Online safety in schools and colleges

The school will continue to provide a safe environment, including online. This includes the use of an online filtering system.

Where students are using computers in school, appropriate supervision will be in place.

Children and online safety away from school and college

It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the Child Protection Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police.

Supporting children not in school

The school is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students.

Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive support in school, they should ensure that a plan is in place for that child or young person.

Supporting children in school

The school is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students.

The school will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19.

Peer on Peer Abuse

The school recognises that during the closure a revised process may be required for managing any report of such abuse and supporting victims.

Where the school receives a report of peer on peer abuse, they will follow the principles as set out in part 5 of KCSIE and of those outlined within of the Child Protection Policy.

The school will listen and work with the young person, parents/carers and any multi- agency partner required to ensure the safety and security of that young person.

Peer on Peer Abuse – Hub Schools (where appropriate)

The school will ensure that pupils are socialising with appropriate age ranged children whilst on the school site.

Concerns and actions must be recorded and appropriate referrals made.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-provider