Harmony Alternative Education Ltd
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedures
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd comes into contact with children through social and educational activities on a daily basis.
The types of contact with children and will be in The Harmony Centre and off site. All YP are supported by staff that have been through a DBS check.
This policy seeks to ensure that Harmony Alternative Education Ltd undertakes its responsibilities with regards to protection of YP and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support paid and unpaid staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.
The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2017
Keeping children safe in education 2018
The Children Act 1989
The Adoption and Children Act 2002:
The Children act 2004
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Care Standards Act 2000
Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
The Police Act – CRB 1997
Mental Health Act 1983
NHS and Community Care Act 1990
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children. In contrast, child protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
It can take a number of forms, including the following:
Financial (or material) abuse
Definition of a child:-
A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).
All staff (paid or unpaid) have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.
We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.
Additional specific responsibilities
The Headteachers of Harmony Alternative Education Ltd have responsibility to ensure:
The policy is in place and appropriate
The policy is accessible
The policy is implemented
The policy is monitored and reviewed
Sufficient resources (time and money) are allocated to ensure that the policy can be effectively implemented
Promoting the welfare of children
Ensure staff (paid and unpaid) have access to appropriate training / information.
Receive staff concerns about safeguarding and respond to all seriously, swiftly and appropriately.
Keep up to date with local arrangements for safeguarding and DBS.
Develop and maintain effective links with relevant agencies.
Take forward concerns about responses
Personnel with designated safeguarding responsibility
DSL: Sarah Baker (07508) 890789
Deputy DSL: Sarah Edwards (07831) 334488 and Victoria Balls (07432) 211616
5. Implementation Stages
The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation.
Criminal Bureau Records Gap Management
The organisation commits resources to providing Criminal Bureau Records check on staff (paid or unpaid) whose roles involve contact with children.
In order to avoid DBS gaps, the organisation will ensure ever member of staff has an up to date DBS before working with any YP.
6. Communications training and support for staff
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding
Induction will include :
Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy (and confirmation of understanding)
Discussion of other relevant policies
Ensure familiarity with reporting processes, the roles of the Headteachers of Harmony Alternative Education Ltd
Communications and support of safeguarding issues
One to one meetings (formal or informal),
Participation in multi agency safeguarding procedures and meetings in order to be involved in child protection procedures
Participation in joint client visits
Involvement in MASH referrals as appropriate.
Provision of a clear and effective reporting procedure which encourages reporting of concerns.
Encouraging open discussion (e.g. during supervision and team meetings) to identify and barriers to reporting so that they can be addressed.
Inclusion of safeguarding as a discussion prompt during supervision meetings/ appraisals to encourage reflection
Debriefing support for paid and unpaid staff so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with.
Seeking further support as appropriate e.g. access to counselling.
7. Professional boundaries
Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a staff member and a pupil. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place. Staff are expected to follow the Harmony Staff Code of Conduct
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organisation.
The following professional boundaries must be adhered to:
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd does not allow paid or unpaid staff to give gifts to or receive personal gifts from pupils. However, gifts may be provided by the organisation as part of a planned activity or accepted from the parents/carers of a young person to The Harmony Centre as a whole provided that they are of modest monetary value.
‘Personal relationships between a member of staff (paid or unpaid) and a person who is a current service user is prohibited. This includes relationships through social networking sites such as facebook and bebo.
It is also prohibited to enter into a personal relationship with a person who has been a service user over the past 12 months.’
If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures
8. Reporting Concerns
The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at Harmony Alternative Education Ltd.
The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows
First step: Any member of staff (paid or unpaid) from Harmony Alternative Education Ltd is required to report any concerns in the first instance to owners of Harmony Alternative Education Ltd. This should be completed within 24 hours. All records will provide a factual, evidence based account. Timely, accurate recording of very incident will be made, including telephone calls. Records will be signed, dated and, where appropriate, witnessed. Conversations with a child should always follow the basic principles:
Listen rather than directly question, remain calm
Never stop a child who is recalling significant events
Use the child’s language – do not substitute words
Advise that you will have to pass the information on – at no time promise confidentiality
There is always a DSL/Deputy DSL (Sarah Baker 07508 890789, Sarah Edwards 07831 334488, Victoria Balls 07432 211616) available who has the necessary seniority and skills, undertakes appropriate Safeguarding training and is given the time to carry out this important role.
The DSL (Sarah Baker 07508 890789, Sarah Edwards 07831 334488, Victoria Balls 07432 211616) will keep written, signed and dated records detailing any allegations and actions taken as near to the time of disclosure as possible even when no investigation is undertaken; following up any verbal referral in writing within 24 hours
Second step: The DSL (Sarah Baker 07508 890789, Sarah Edwards 07831 334488, Victoria Balls 07432 211616) will contact the relevant Children’s Social Care team depending on the home LA of the young person for an initial informal conversation (contact details are easily accessible in the main office)
Third step: Should a referral be deemed appropriate and necessary then the DSL (Sarah Baker 07508 890789, Sarah Edwards 07831 334488, Victoria Balls 07432 211616) will action and record this.
9. Allegations against staff
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd recognises its legal duty to report any concerns about unsafe practice by any of its paid or unpaid staff to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), according to the ISA referral guidance document
Child Protection procedures must be followed whenever any member of paid or unpaid staff becomes aware of a concern, or an allegation of abuse is made, about a member of staff. The Headteachers must be notified or, when the allegation is against one of the Headteachers, then the referring LA’s LADO must be notified (RBWM 01628 683202, Wokingham 01189 746141, Bucks 01296 382070, Slough 01753 474053). The first priority is to ensure that any action that needs taking to ensure a child or other children are safe is taken.
All allegations of abuse against staff must be referred to the referring LA’s LADO (RBWM 01628 683202, Wokingham 01189 746141, Bucks 01296 382070, Slough 01753 474053). . Reporting to the LADO (RBWM 01628 683202, Wokingham 01189 746141, Bucks 01296 382070, Slough 01753 474053) applies even where the nature of the alleged assault would not normally meet the threshold if applied to children in their own families.
The organisation will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
Safe recruitment practices
DBS checks undertaken
References applied for new staff
Records made and kept of supervision sessions
Training – register/ record of staff training on child/ vulnerable adult protection
Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned
Checking that policies are up to date and relevant
DSL and Deputy DSL in post
11. Managing information
Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the Data protection policy
All staff must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by the owner.
All staff must be aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.
Safeguarding information, including Child Protection information, is stored and handled in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998, ensuring that:
Used fairly and lawfully
For limited, specifically stated purposes
Used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
Kept for no longer than necessary
Handled according to people’s data protection rights
Kept safe and secure
Hard copies of records or reports relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection concerns will be kept in a separate, confidential file, securely stored away from the main pupil file.
12. Conflict resolution and complaints
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd is aware of the GSCB policy on resolution of professional disagreements in work relating to the safety of children / Escalation Policy (at www.gscb.org.uk ) and if necessary this will be taken forward by Harmony Owners
13. Communicating and reviewing the policy
Harmony Alternative Education Ltd will make clients aware of the Safeguarding Policy through the through the terms and conditions on the website.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the DSL and when there are changes in legislation.
Annex A: Role of Designated Safeguarding Leads
Role of Designated Safeguarding Leads
The DSL has explicit responsibility for matters relating to Safeguarding and Child Protection, supported by the Deputy DSL’s. These persons have the status and authority within the centre to carry out the duties of the post including committing resources and, where appropriate, supporting and directing other staff.
The KCSIE guidance sets out the broad areas of responsibility to which our DSLs are asked to comply with, having regard for our internal safeguarding policy and in liaison with the Lead DSL as appropriate:
• Refer all cases of suspected abuse to the local authority children’s social care
• The designated officer(s) for child protection concerns (all cases which
concern a staff member),
• Disclosure and Barring Service (cases where a person is dismissed or left
due to risk/harm to a child); and/or
• Police (cases where a crime may have been committed).
• Liaise with the headteachers to inform them of issues especially ongoing enquiries under section 17 and 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.
• Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and
safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with
The DSL should receive appropriate training carried out every two years in order to:
Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as early help assessments
Have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so
Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the safeguarding policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff
Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, those with special educational needs and young carers
Be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals
Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses
Encourage a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, among all staff, and any measures the centre may put in place to protect them
DLSs and all professional staff should, in particular, be alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
is disabled and has specific additional needs;
has special educational needs;
is a young carer;
is showing signs of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour;
is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems and domestic violence;
has returned home to their family from care;
and/or is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect.
The DSL should ensure the centre’s policies are known and used appropriately:
The Lead DSL has responsibility for ensuring the safeguarding and child protection policy is reviewed annually, however the Deputy DSL’s are also expected to participate in the process and assist with implementation as appropriate
Ensure the safeguarding and child protection policy is available publicly and parents are aware of the fact that referrals about suspected abuse or neglect may be made and the role of the centre in such activities.
Link with the local LSCB to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding
Where children leave the centre ensure their child protection file is transferred to the new school or college as soon as possible, though a copy is retained with us. This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt should be obtained.
Signed: S J Baker - Director
Dated : 7th December 2016
Update 1: 11th September 2018
Update 2: 13th November 2018
Harmony AE Ltd