Safeguarding and child protection policies

Safeguarding & Child Protection

 

The work of Releasing Potential involves working closely with many young people.  Releasing Potential seeks to enable those young people to enjoy a safe environment.  This means that Releasing Potential will endeavor to protect the young people from any risks from staff, outside members of the public and each other. Releasing Potential’s work with children pays due regard at all times to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2014 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016. It is our policy to ensure that all staff read and sign for having read Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and that this is updated annually.

 

SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

9.1  Risks from staff

9.2  Risks from members of the public

9.3  Risks from other young people

9.4  Good Practice Guidelines

9.5  Disclosure

9.6  Designated Safeguarding Lead

9.7  Physical Restraint of Young People

9.8  Releasing Potential E-Safety Policy

9.9  Child Sexual Exploitation

9.10 Child Criminal Exploitation 

9.11  Female Genital Mutilation 

9.12  Forced marriage

9.13  Preventing Radicalisation

9.14  Children Missing from Education 

9.15  Anti-Bullying Policy

 

The work of Releasing Potential involves working closely with many young people.  Releasing Potential seeks to enable those young people to enjoy a safe environment.  This means that Releasing Potential will endeavour to protect the young people from any risks from staff, outside members of the public and each other. 

Releasing Potential recognises that students are influenced by a range of environments and people, for example at home, in the local community, in peer groups and online. Students encounter risks in any of these environments; sometimes the different contexts are inter-related and can mean that students encounter multiple risks. Contextual safeguarding looks at how we can best understand these risks, engage with students and help to keep them safe.  Releasing Potential takes contextual safeguarding extremely seriously, and to this end, any issues which arise, whether connected to school or not, are reported on the web-based portal and judgements are made by the DSL as to whether or when to make a referral or plan interventions. 

Releasing Potential’s work with children pays due regard at all times to Working Together to Safeguard Children 2014 and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018. It is our policy to ensure that all staff read and sign for having read Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and that this is updated annually. 

 

9.1     Risks from staff

In order to protect the young people from any risk from staff members Releasing Potential will take the following steps:

  • All staff working for Releasing Potential will need to provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK; they will undergo an enhanced DBS check, including a Section 128 check, to ensure their name does not appear on any child protection register. These are updated every 3 years.
  • In the event that a prospective member of staff has been living outside the UK for 6 months or more in the past 5 years, an oversees good conduct check will be undertaken for each country they have lived in.
  • Two recent references will be taken from previous employers or trustworthy professionals.  Releasing Potential will undertake to ensure that these references are appropriate and will seek further reassurances should there be any problem. The DSL will follow up written references with a brief phone call when necessary.
  • All staff complete a pre-employment health questionnaire to establish fitness to teach. 
  • All staff undertake online safeguarding training on induction, which is updated annually. All staff sign annually in September for having read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe In Education
  • When Releasing Potential works with staff from other agencies or centres, Releasing Potential will require assurances that the staff members have been cleared for working with children.  Unless the staff come from the employing agency, Releasing Potential will ensure that a member of their own staff accompanies the young people. In the case of freelance staff and volunteers an application form will be completed, Enhanced DBS disclosure will be obtained. 
  • Details of all staff working in the school are kept on a Single Central Record by the DSL, this includes DBS numbers, Passport and Driving Licence numbers, renewal dates, oversees checks, dates of health questionnaires, training renewal dates etc.
  • All Releasing Potential staff, including non-delivery staff, complete the Level 3 course in Management of Challenging Behaviour. 
  • In the case of one to one working, staff will follow sensible guidelines relating to the timing and nature of the event.
  • Due to the nature of the work some physical contact may be necessary between staff and young people.  This will be kept to a minimum and where possible the young person will be encouraged to help themselves.  Except for when essential due to the nature of the activity, staff will avoid physical contact with the young people.
  • Staff are encouraged to create a ‘whistle blowing’ environment where inappropriate behaviour is challenged and reported, and where secrecy is not allowed to develop.(See Whistleblowing Policy)
  • Staff working with children are required to complete a range of daily reports on a web based portal, including Daily Logs for each child. Safeguarding concerns are emailed immediately to DSL and deputy DSL, and can be actioned as appropriate. The portal keeps records of all safeguarding concerns and actions, and can remind managers to chase/escalate when necessary. 
  • Staff are trained to understand that urgent issues should be reported to the DSL immediately.
  • A daily debrief takes place at each site where staff will share the events of their day with children. Notes are taken in a Debrief book, which is checked by the DSL or Deputy DSL daily.

 

9.2  Risks from members of the public

 

Many of the activities undertaken by Releasing Potential occur in public places, and may allow for potential contact with members of the public. To minimise these risks Releasing Potential will take the following steps:

        Each location used by Releasing Potential will be subject to a risk assessment including child protection issues.
        The young people will be advised to avoid contact with members of the public and will be supervised in potentially hazardous situations.
 
        When the young people are set a task which involves them being out of sight of a staff member they will always be in groups of at least three.  Young people under 13 years of age will never be left unsupervised.

 
9.3     Risks from other young people

 

Sometimes the young people Releasing Potential work with can be a risk to each other.  To minimise this risk Releasing Potential will take the following steps:

 

  1. All students will have a risk assessment completed upon them before they join any group. Any student who is judged to present a particular or new risk will have a dynamic RA carried out before joining other young people.  If necessary, the ratio of staff to students will be adjusted accordingly, and/or other appropriate controls and contingencies will be put in place. 
  2. Releasing Potential students are never left unsupervised, but the nature of some outdoor activities means that they may sometimes be out of the staff members’ sight for short periods. Where the nature of the activity requires for the young people to be out of sight, they will always be in groups of at least three and never where a young person represents a specific potential risk.  A group should not be unsupervised for more than 30 minutes and never when the young people are under 13 years of age. 
 
9.4 Good Practice Guidelines for Staff

 

All staff, including non-delivery staff rely on the learning from the Level 3 in Management of Challenging Behaviour, and treat all children and young people with, respect and dignity befitting their age; staff are careful of the language they use, their tone of voice and general body language.

Staff should not engage in any of the following

  • Invading the privacy of children when showering or toileting.
  • Making sexually suggestive comments about or to a young person even in ‘fun’.
  • Intrusive touching of any sort.
  • Any scapegoating, ridiculing or rejecting a child or young person.

 

Staff are encouraged to learn to control situations without using any coercion or punishment.

Staff should not let students involve them in excessive attention seeking, especially if that is overtly sexual or physical in nature.

Releasing Potential practices require that many students are assigned to one to one programmes. Staff are trained in working one to one – on and off site, and in vehicles. Dynamic Risk Assessments are made in all situations.

Staff do not share sleeping accommodation with an individual child or young person.

 

Working with physically disabled children

 

  1. A person has a disability if her or she has a physical or medical impairment that has substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal every day activities.’ (DDA 1995)
  2. Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and have the opportunity to achieve optimal development, in line with Every Child Matters outcomes, according to their circumstances and age, as other children. 
  3. Safeguarding children practice should empower disabled children by giving them a voice.
  4. All children have a right to independence, which includes a degree of choice around risk taking. 
  5. Staff can seriously add to the effect of any abuse if they are disempowering.
  6. Staff need to be aware of practical ways of empowering children with disabilities and to share empowering skills with co-workers, especially when dealing with incidents of abuse or suspected abuse.
  7. Disempowering disabled children in quite small, unintentional ways may silence them. 
  8. Empowerment may be needed over a considerable length of time to enable the disclosure of abuse, and, therefore, it needs to be a common thread running through all contact with disabled children. 
  9. If Releasing Potential accepts a referral for a disabled child, the organisation will arrange specific staff training on best and most up to date  practice with the particular impairment.
  10. Releasing Potential disabilities lead is Mike King. 

 

9.4.1 Definitions of Abuse

 

There are four definitions of different types of abuse.  Releasing Potential staff need to aware of these definitions.

 

Physical Abuse

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 or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.

 

Emotional Abuse      

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

 

Sexual Abuse            

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape and buggery) or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

 

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs.  It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care of treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 

 

9.5     Disclosure

  

9.5.1    What to do in case of disclosure:

 

Check List – Use if a young person discloses details of abuse.

  • Treat the matter very seriously.
  • Do not promise to keep it a secret
  • Listen very carefully.
  • Do not press for information but try to clarify names, dates, times, places and nature of abuse.
  • Find out whether they have disclosed this information to others.
  • Check whether Social Services have already been informed.
  • Explain that you will have to inform a senior member of staff and the matter will be taken further.
  • Write detailed notes as soon as you can.  Try to note the words used, the way they were said and the facts of who was concerned, the dates, times, places and nature of abuse.
  • As soon as possible inform a Director of Releasing Potential Ltd or the most senior member of staff available.
  • The person informed will then take over responsibility for handling the situation.
  • If you are unable to contact a member of Releasing Potential management and the issue is urgent, staff should contact children’s social care immediately on the most appropriate following number:

 

Hampshire Children’s Safeguarding Professional Line: 01329 225379

West Sussex MASH: 01403 229900

                                    03330 2226664 (Out of Hours) 

  • If an allegation is made about a member of Releasing Potential staff the person who receives the complaint must inform the Safeguarding Lead immediately without speaking to anyone else. The Safeguarding Lead will then contact the Local Authority Designated Officer who will advise and may wish to manage the process from then on.  If the allegation concerns the SEO or CEO, the staff member should contact the relevant LADO directly.

Hampshire LADO: 01962 876364

West Sussex LADO: 0330 2223339

 

9.6 Designated Safeguarding Lead

 

Releasing Potential has appointed Catherine Brennan, SEO, as the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

In the event of a complaint being made against the DSL, the Trustees will be responsible for ensuring the appropriate investigations are made.

 

Roles and responsibilities 
Role Key responsibilities
   
CEO, Mike King
  • Overall responsibility for safety and wellbeing of children at Releasing Potential 

DSL, Catherine Brennan 

 

Deputy DSL, Lara Penfold 

See above, with specific responsibility for ensuring that relevant policies are in place and are adhered to fully. 
Designated Safeguarding Managers, Fran Short, Katy Green 
  • Provide support and guidance to staff on safeguarding and Child protection concerns
  • Ensure staff are working within Safeguarding and CP policy and procedures.
  • Ensure that Safeguarding is discussed as a standing item at all debriefs and team meetings.
  • Liaise with CP Co-ordinator on safeguarding reports. 
All staff and volunteers 
  • Provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
  • Identify children who may be in need of extra help or who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
  • All staff have a responsibility to take appropriate action by reporting concerns as needed.  

9.7 Physical Restraint of Young People

 

Releasing Potential has a hands-off policy towards the young people and will only use physical restraint to prevent the real and imminent threat of physical harm to a young person or member of staff; this is an extremely rare situation, and has almost never arisen.  Directors and Trustees have taken the position that we would prefer damage done to property rather than to the physical/emotional wellbeing of a young person.  Releasing Potential believes that the use of physical restraint will often inflame a situation rather than defuse it.  Releasing Potential seeks to work with the young people by negotiation and common understanding and will never restrain a young person to prevent them leaving a site, unless this puts the young person in real danger of harm. The use of physical restraint can break down trust previously established between the staff and young people.

 

In the rare event of the need to restrain a young person, the most senior or experienced member of staff will be expected to do this, using as little physical contact as possible.  When restraining a young person a member of staff is expected to use the long bones and not joints as points of contact.  During the restraint Releasing Potential staff will endeavor to maintain the dignity of the young person and not to hurt or injure them in any way.  In the event of the young person needing to be restrained for anything longer than a minute the police will be called to take control of the situation.  The hold will be released at the earliest possible moment and steps taken to quickly defuse the situation and talk to the young person about what has occurred.

Once the physical restraint of a young person has occurred the staff member involved must complete a Use of Physical Restraint Form at the earliest opportunity.

 

Excessive or inappropriate use of physical restraint or use of restraint in anger may lead to disciplinary action by Releasing Potential.  It is emphasised again that the company operates a hands-off policy in all but the most extreme situations.  It is our experience that situations dealt with calmly and quietly can make the use of physical restraint unnecessary and build better relationships with the young people.

 

9.8      RELEASING POTENTIAL E-SAFETY POLICY

 

9.8.1 Purpose: 

Releasing Potential believes that the internet is a crucial resource for teaching and learning, and that it is important our students have access to it at school. We are committed to providing safe IT resources so that students can use the internet productively and positively, can learn about e-safety and remain safe at all times, in and out of school. 

 

9.8.2 Main areas of risk

9.8.2.1 Content

 

  • Exposure to inappropriate content, including online pornography, ignoring age 

     ratings in games (exposure to violence associated with often racist language),  

     substance abuse

  • Lifestyle websites, for example pro-anorexia/self-harm/suicide sites
  • Hate sites
  • Content validation: how to check authenticity and accuracy of online content

 

9.8.2.2 Contact

 

  • Grooming
  • Cyber-bullying in all forms
  • Identity theft (including ‘frape’ (hacking Facebook profiles)) and sharing 

       passwords

9.8.2.3  Conduct

 

  • Privacy issues, including disclosure of personal information
  • Digital footprint and online reputation
  • Health and well-being (amount of time spent online (Internet or gaming))

 

  • Sexting (sending and receiving of personally intimate images) also referred to as SGII (self-generated indecent images)

 

  • Copyright (little care or consideration for intellectual property and ownership such as music and film) 

 

9.8.3   Scope 

 

This policy applies to all members of Releasing Potential community (including staff, students / pupils, volunteers, parents / carers, visitors, community users) who have access to and are users of school / organisation ICT systems, both in and out of RP.

 

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 empowers the CEO to such extent as is reasonable, to regulate the behaviour of students / pupils when they are off the RP site and empowers members of staff to impose disciplinary penalties for inappropriate behaviour. This is pertinent to incidents of cyber-bullying or other e-safety incidents covered by this policy, which may take place outside of the school / academy, but is linked to membership of the school / academy. The 2011 Education Act increased these powers with regard to the searching for and of electronic devices and the deletion of data. In the case of both Acts, action can only be taken over issues covered by the published Behaviour Policy. 

 

RP will deal with such incidents within this policy and associated behaviour and anti-bullying policies and will, where known, inform parents / carers of incidents of inappropriate e-safety behaviour that take place out of school. 

 

9.8.4  Roles and responsibilities 

 

Role

Key Responsibilities

 

              

 

 

             CEO

 

  • To take overall responsibility for e-safety provision
  • To ensure that RP uses an approved, filtered Internet Service, which complies with current statutory requirements 
  • To be aware of procedures to be followed in the event of a serious e-safety incident.

 

 

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead

 

  • Takes day to day responsibility for e-safety issues and has a leading role in establishing and reviewing the school e-safety policies / documents
  • Promotes an awareness and commitment to e-safeguarding throughout the school community
  • Ensures that e-safety education is embedded across the curriculum
  • Liaises with school ICT technical staff
  • Communicates regularly with SLT and the designated e-safety Trustees to discuss current issues, review incident logs and filtering / change control logs
  • Ensures that all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an e-safety incident
  • Liaises with the Local Authority and relevant agencies
  • Is regularly updated in e-safety issues and legislation, and be aware of the potential for serious child protection issues to arise from:
  • sharing of personal data 
  • access to illegal / inappropriate materials
  • inappropriate on-line contact with adults / strangers
  • potential or actual incidents of grooming
  • cyber-bullying and use of social media
10

 

 

 

IT Support

 

  • To report any e-safety related issues that arises, to the DSL
  • To ensure that users may only access the school’s networks through an authorised and properly enforced password protection policy.
  • To ensure that provision exists for misuse detection and malicious attack e.g. keeping virus protection up to date)
  • To ensure the security of the RP ICT system
  • To ensure that access controls / encryption exist to protect personal and sensitive information held on school-owned devices

•   RP’s policy on web filtering is applied and updated on a regular basis 

•   That he / she keeps up to date with the school’s e-safety policy and technical information in order to effectively carry out their e-safety role and to inform and update others as relevant

  • That the use of the network/ remote access / email is regularly monitored in order that any misuse / attempted misuse can be reported to CEO for investigation / action / sanction 
  • To ensure appropriate backup procedures exist so that critical information and systems can be recovered in the event of a disaster.
  • To keep up-to-date documentation of the school’s e-security and technical procedures

 

Teaching staff

 

  • To oversee the delivery of the e-safety element of the Computing curriculum
  • To embed e-safety issues in all aspects of the curriculum and other school activities 
  • To supervise and guide pupils carefully when engaged in learning activities involving online technology 
  • (including, extra-curricular and extended school activities if relevant)
  • To ensure that pupils are fully aware of research skills and are fully aware of legal issues relating to electronic content such as copyright laws

 

 

All staff

 

  • To read, understand and help promote the school’s e-safety policies and guidance
  • To be aware of e-safety issues related to the use of mobile phones, cameras and hand held devices and to monitor their use and implement current school policies with regard to these devices
  • To report any suspected misuse or problem to the e-safety coordinator
  • To maintain an awareness of current e-safety issues and guidance e.g. through CPD
  • To model safe, responsible and professional behaviours in their own use of technology
  • To ensure that any digital communications with pupils should be on a professional level and only through school based systems, never through personal mechanisms, e.g. email, text, mobile phones etc.
  • To set a good example of use of technology by not using phones and devices when with students except when part of the session, or when absolutely necessary for safety/logistical reasons

 

 

 

9.8.4  Sexting

 

Sexting is when people share a sexual message and/or a naked or semi-naked image or video with another person. 

 

Children and young people may consent to sending a nude image of themselves. They can also be coerced into sharing images by their peers or adults online.

 

If a child or young person originally shares the image consensually, they have no control over how other people might use it.

 

If the image is shared around peer groups it may lead to bullying and isolation. Perpetrators of abuse may circulate a nude image more widely and use this to blackmail a child and/or groom them for further sexual abuse. 

 

It’s a criminal offence to create or share explicit images of a child, even if the person doing it is a child. If sexting is reported to the police, they will make a record but may decide not to take any formal action against a young person. 

 

Our responsibility

 

  • Even when incidents happen outside of school, we have a responsibility to take action to protect the children and young people involved. If a staff member has a concern about a child they should report it to the DSL.
  • As a school we have a responsibility to ensure that students are aware that it is against the law to produce, possess or share explicit images of themselves or anyone under the age of 18. 
  • Online safety should be taught as part of the PSD curriculum, and through discussion, displays and events throughout the school. 

 

9.9 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

 

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse which involves children and young people, male and female, of a range of ethnic origins and ages, in some cases as young as 10, receiving something in exchange for sexual activity. Perpetrators are found in all parts of the country an are not restricted to particular ethnic groups. 

 

Staff should be aware of key indicators of children being sexually exploited which can include: 

  • going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late;
  • regularly missing school or education or not taking part in education;
  • appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • associating with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • suffering from sexually transmitted infections;
  • mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing;
  • drug and alcohol misuse; and
  • displaying inappropriate sexualized behavior

 

Many children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation do not recognize themselves as such. 

 

Return interviews for children who have been missing from education cam help establish the reasons why they ran away and the support required and may prevent repeat incidents. Staff should work within the Releasing Potential structures and their relationships of mutual trust with the children to carry out return interviews when appropriate and to record and pass on this information to colleagues via Daily Logs and to the Safeguarding Lead in an email report. 

 

In assessing whether a child or young person is a victim of sexual exploitation or at risk of becoming a victim, careful consideration should be given to the issue of consent. It is important to bear in mind that: 

 

  • a child under the age of 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sex or any other kind of sexual touching;
  • sexual activity with a child under 16 is also an offence;
  • it is an offence for a person to have a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year old if they hold a position of trust or authority in relation to them;
  • where sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old does not result in an offence being committed, it may still result in harm, or the likelihood of harm being suffered
  • non-consensual sex is rape whatever the age of the victim; and
  • if the victim is incapacitated through drink or drugs, or the victim, or his or her family has been subject to violence or threat of it, they cannot be considered to have given true consent and therefore offences may have been committed. 

 

Releasing Potential uses the Portsmouth LSCB CSE assessment tool to determine the risk of CSE in individual cases where staff suspect it may be.

 

Where CSE or the risk of it is suspected, staff should report via the web-based portal/debrief process and/or discuss the case with a manager or the DSL. If after discussion there remain concerns, LSCB procedures should be triggered, including referral to the LA children’s social care and Police, regardless of whether the victim is engaging with services or not. 

9.10 Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) 

 

There are a number of areas in which young people are put at risk by gang activity, both through participation in, and as victims of, gang violence which can be in relation to their peers or to a gang-involved adult in their household.

 

A child who is affected by gang activity or serious youth violence may have suffered or may be likely to suffer significant harm through physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect. 

 

Definition of criminal exploitation

 

Child Criminal Exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage if ab imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into any criminal activity a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and /or b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or c) through violence or threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. (Serious Violence Strategy 2018, Home Office)

 

County Lines

 This is so called because it extends across county boundaries and is coordinated by the use of dedicated mobile phone lines. It is a tactic used by groups or gangs to facilitate the selling of drugs in an area outside of the area where they live. 

Safeguarding should focus on young people who are vulnerable to making the transition to gang involvement as well as those already involved in gangs. Staff should be aware of particular risks to young people involved in gangs from violence and weapons, drugs and sexual exploitation. 

 

Risks  

Teenagers can be particularly vulnerable to recruitment into gangs. This vulnerability may be exacerbated by risk factors in the individual’s background, including violence in the family, poverty, mental health problems. Girls may be at particular risk of child sexual exploitation. 

Young people can be groomed in person or online by gang members seeking to recruit them. 

 

Violence is a way for gang members to gain recognition and respect by asserting their authority in the street, with a large proportion of street crime perpetrated against members of other gangs or the relatives of gang members. 

There is evidence of a high incidence of rape of girls who are involved in gangs. Very few rapes by gang members are reported. 

 

Indicators of risk 

 

  • Child withdrawn from family
  • Sudden loss of interest in school or change in behaviour. Decline in attendance or achievement
  • Emotionally ‘switched off’, but also showing rage/frustration
  • Starting to use new or unknown slang 
  • Holding unexplained money or possessions 
  • Staying out unusually later without reason
  • Sudden change in appearance, including dress of a particular colour
  • New tattoos with gang style symbols
  • New nickname
  • Unexplained injuries and/or refusal to seek medical treatment
  • Graffiti style tags on belongings
  • Constantly talking abot another young person who seems to have a lot of influence over them
  • Breaking off with old friends
  • Associating with known or suspected gang members
  • Going missing
  • Being found by Police miles from home
  • Expressing aggressive or intimidating views towards other groups of young people, some of whom may have been friends in the past
  • Being scared when entering certain areas
  • Concerned by presence of unknown youths in their neighbourhoods

 

Children who are Looked After by the Local Authority can be particularly vulnerable to becoming involved in gangs and being criminally exploited. 

Referral

A referral must be made as soon as possible when any concern of significant harm as a consequence of gang activity, including child criminal exploitation becomes known. 

An Early Help assessment may be crucial in the early identification of children and young people who need additional support due to risk of involvement in gang activity. 

Where there are concerns about a child or young person being criminally exploited (for example if a young person is arrested for drugs offences away from home in an areas where they have no local connections and with no obvious means of getting home) from the first point of contact, Police and Children’s Services should consider whether they are victims of child criminal exploitation, and should pursue a safeguarding, rather than criminal justice response. 

If a case is open and allocated then the referrer must contact the allocated social worker, manager or Service Manager. If the case is closed, then a new referral will need to be made via the MASH. 

 

9.11 Female Genital Mutilation 

 

FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. 

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 places a statutory duty on teachers along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the Police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or by visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils, but the same definition of what is meant by ‘to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out’ is used for all professionals for whom this mandatory reporting duty applies.

Teachers must personally report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should also consider and discuss any such case with the DSL and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The same duty does not apply in relation to at risk or suspected cases (ie where the teacher does not discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out, either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) or in cases where the woman is 18 or over. 

 

9.12 Forced marriage

 

Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to case a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning difficulties, for example). 

If staff have any concerns over forced marriage they should discuss with a manager or the DSL. The Forced Marriage Unit can give advice or information: 020 7008 0151 or fmu@fco.gov.uk 

 

9.13 Preventing radicalisation

 

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. 

The internet and use of social media has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people. 

As with other safeguarding risks staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff should use their judgement in identifying children who may be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately, which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.

All Releasing Potential staff complete the online Prevent training, and are encouraged to access the government’s educate against hate website.

 

9.14 Children missing from Education

 

Releasing Potential understands the importance of monitoring attendance in relation to safeguarding children.  We work to guidance contained in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016. See Attendance Policy.

 

9.15 ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

 

9.15.1    Definition

9.15.2    Recognising bullying 

9.15.3    Anti-bullying procedures 

9.15.4    Action by staff 

9.15.5    Recording 

Every child at Releasing Potential has the right to a secure and safe environment. All members of the RP community have a responsibility to ensure that this exists and that any incidents of bullying are dealt with appropriately. RP will take seriously and investigate all incidents of bullying. 

 

9.15.1 Definition 

 

“Bullying is a deliberate act done to cause distress. It can range from ostracizing, name-calling, teasing and extortion through to physical assault on persons and/or property. It can be an unresolved single frightening incident which casts a shadow over a child’s life or series of such incidents.”

Other aspects of bullying behavior include: 

 

  • Verbal, physical or psychological intimidation 
  • Attempts to make others feel inferior making demands 
  • Offensive remarks of a racial or sexual nature 
  • Derogatory remarks concerning family, home life, appearance, race or sexual orientation. 
  • Cyber bullying

 

9.15.2    Recognising Bullying 

 

There are a number of behavioural signs, which may indicate that a child is being bullied. These include:

  • School refusal 
  • Absences 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Stomach aches, headaches, lack of sleep etc. 
  • Deterioration in schoolwork 
  • Bad behaviour 
  • Physical marks, bruises, scratches, etc. 
  • Wishing to remain in class during lunch or break 
  • Wishing to remain with adults 

 9.15.3  Anti- Bullying Procedures 

 

Releasing Potential will:

 

  • Investigate all incidents of bullying 
  • Take a serious view of bullying 
  • Take appropriate action 
  • Make available resource materials particularly SEAL 
  • Ensure that this policy is given a high profile throughout RP groups especially by staff
  • Ensure that all Trustees, staff, parents and pupils are aware of this policy 
  • Ensure good supervision of pupils at all times 
  • Include anti-bullying procedures and information in staff inset 

 

9.15.4    Action by Staff 

 

Members of staff will: 

 

  • Promote RP’s anti-bullying policy in class, in assemblies, in SEAL lessons
  • Use drama, role-play and discussion to consider issues of bullying 
  • If appropriate interview bullies and the bullied separately 
  • Involve the bully and bullied in what happens 
  • If appropriate use restorative justice strategies to  resolve the problems between the young people
  • Inform the parents of both bully and bullied 
  • Use strategies to change the bully’s behaviour 
  • Use restorative techniques where possible
  • Involve other members of staff as appropriate.
  • Encourage pupils to tell adults of incidents of bullying 
  • Encourage peer group pressure against bullying and bullies 
  • Apply RP sanctions including detentions and other punishments as appropriate in consultation with other relevant members of staff. 

 

9.15.5  Recording 

 

It is essential that written records are kept of incidents, interviews and action taken. Therefore, members of staff are reminded to record incidents using the schools’ behaviour management recording procedures and work alongside the schools’ pastoral system. This should be done by the member of staff dealing with the matter and in serious or prolonged cases of bullying this will involve progress leaders and ultimately members of the school’s leadership team.

Havant School Site:

Releasing Potential School

7 Kingcroft Court

Ridgway

Havant

Hampshire

PO9 1LS

Charity No: 1097440

DfE number: 850-6093

Chichester School Site:

Releasing Potential School

4 St James' Works

St Pancras

Chichester

West Sussex

PO19 7NN

 

 © Releasing Potential 2017