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Barnby Road Academy

‘Where everyone is able to achieve their best’

Safeguarding Policy







Last Reviewed: September 2019 Next Review: September 2020
Committee Responsibility: Finance & Strategic           Approved on:            

First Strategic meeting of

each Autumn term         

Approved By: Trustees and Governing Body




Barnby Road Academy recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding children and protecting them from harm.

This Child Protection Policy will be reviewed by the Pupils and Personnel Committee of the Governing Body.




Contact Details

Designated Governor for Child Protection/


Jane Brown

01636 683900
Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads Sam Oliver & Steven Chamberlain 01636 683900
Deputy Safeguarding Lead Dave Webster &

Anna Woolridge

01636 683900
LA Safeguarding Children in Education Officer Cheryl Stollery 0115 8041047
LA Child Protection Contact/LADO Eva Callaghan or covering LADO 0115 8041272
MASH (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub)   0300 500 80 90

Emergency Duty Team

(Children’s Social care)

Outside of office hours 0300 456 4546

Our policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working in the Barnby Road Academy and takes into account statutory guidance provided by the Department for Education and local guidance issued by the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board.

We will ensure that all parents/carers are made aware of our responsibilities with regard to child protection procedures and how we will safeguard and promote the welfare of their children through the publication of this Barnby Road Academy child protection and safeguarding policy.

These duties and responsibilities, as set out within the Education Act 2002 sec175 and 157, DfE Statutory Guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and HM Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 are incorporated into this policy.


Child Protection Statement
We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.


The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, volunteers and governors and are consistent with those of Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP).

Safeguarding children is defined as:
• The actions we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm are everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
• Protecting children from maltreatment
• Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
• Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (page 6)


NB. Children includes everyone under the age of 18 years of age

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It also relates to the broader aspects of care and education including:
• Pupils’ health and safety and well-being, including their mental health
• Meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities
• The use of reasonable force
• Meeting the needs of children with medical conditions
• Providing first aid
• Educational visits
• Intimate care and emotional wellbeing
• Online safety and associated issues
• Appropriate arrangements to ensure school security, taking into account the local context
• Keeping children safe from risks, harm and exploitation: KCSIE 2019 Annex A

Safeguarding can involve a range of potential issues such as:

  • Neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse
  • Bullying, including online bullying (by text message, on social networking sites, etc.) and prejudice based bullying
  • Peer on Peer abuse
  • Racist, disability and homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse
  • Gender based violence/violence against women and girls
  • Extremist behaviour and/or radicalisation
  • Child sexual exploitation and human trafficking
  • The impact of new technologies, including ‘sexting’ and accessing pornography
  • Child on Child Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (KCSIE 2019 Part Five p65-68)
  • Substance misuse
  • Issues which may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence (county lines)
  • Particular issues affecting children including domestic violence, female genital mutilation and honour based violence and forced marriage
  • 'Up skirting' - a criminal offence from 2019 (KCSIE 2019 para 27)

Our ethos is that the effective safeguarding of children can only be achieved by putting children at the centre of a system where we listen and hear what they say. Every individual within Barnby Road Academy will play their part, including working with professionals from other agencies, to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and keep them safe. We will take opportunities to teach children about important safeguarding issues in a way that is age appropriate.


We complete a pupil voice questionnaire at the beginning of each academic term and identify any key issues that are highlighted and react accordingly.

Our Academy therefore, led by senior members of staff/governors, aims to provide a safe environment and vigilant culture where children and young people can learn and be safeguarded. If there are safeguarding concerns we will respond with appropriate action in a timely manner for those children who may need help or be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.


Where staff members have concerns about a child (as opposed to a child being in immediate danger) they will decide what action to taken in conjunction with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Although any staff can make a referral to children’s social care where a child is identified as being in immediate danger there should be no delay in a member of staff reporting the concerns directly to children’s social care or the police as required.


We also ensure that all our staff are clear that whilst they should discuss and agree with the DSL any actions to be taken, they are able to escalate their concerns and contact MASH or social care to seek support for the child if, despite their discussion with the DSL, their concerns remain. Staff are also informed of the Barnby Road Academy whistle blowing procedures and the contact details for the Local Authority LADO and NSPCC helpline.


Staff receive annual face to face and online training, and half termly update bulletins. New members of staff complete a simple induction checklist to ensure they are aware of key relevant information. All staff have access to our online Safeguard recording system where they can report and record any concerns or disclosures.

The Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or Head Teacher who is familiar with national and local guidance will share concerns, where appropriate, with the relevant agencies. We follow the Nottinghamshire Pathway to Provision to assess the threshold for each case and the actions required. We share concerns with MASH, health professionals, The Early Help Unit and any other relevant agencies.

Barnby Road Child Protection Policy

There are five main elements to our policy:
• Providing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop
• Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children
• Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases of abuse
• Supporting pupils who have been abused or harmed in accordance with his/her child protection plan
• Raising awareness of safeguarding children, child protection processes and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe

We recognise that because of the day to day contact with children, Barnby Road Academy staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse.

Barnby Road Academy will therefore:
• Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to
• Ensure children know that there are trusted adults in the school whom they can approach if they are worried
• Ensure that every effort is made to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies
• Include opportunities in the PSHE or RSEHE curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse:
    - recognising and managing risks including online, sexual exploitation, sexting and running away as well as radicalisation
    - developing healthy relationships and awareness of domestic violence, and abuse which is linked to ‘honour’ such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage, bullying and peer on peer abuse
    - recognising how pressure from others can affect their behaviour

    - knowing that as a school we will act swiftly to address any concerns related to serious violence, gang and knife crime or child on child sexual violence or sexual harassment incidents
• Take all reasonable measures to ensure any risk of harm to children’s welfare is minimised
• Take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of a child, working to local policies and procedures in full working partnership with agencies
• Ensure robust child protection arrangements are in place and embedded in the daily life and practice of the school
• Promote pupil health and safety
• Promote safe practice and challenge unsafe practice
• Ensure that procedures are in place to deal with allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff including volunteers (DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 Part Four Pages 53 to 64), and the NSCP Local Inter-agency Procedures
• Provide first aid and meet the health needs of children with medical conditions
• Ensure school site security
• Address drugs and substance misuse issues
• Support and plan for young people in custody and their resettlement back into the community
• Work with all agencies with regard to missing children, anti-social behaviour/gang activity and violence in the community/knife crime and children at risk of sexual exploitation
• Everyone having a duty to safeguard children inside/outside the school environment including school trips, extended schools, activities and vocational placements

We will follow the procedures set out by the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) and take account of guidance issued by the DfE in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 to:
• Ensure we have a Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) (who is a member of the school/college leadership team) and a Deputy Safeguarding Lead for child protection/safeguarding who has received appropriate training and support for this role

•The Designated Safeguarding Lead role is written into their job description and clarifies the role and responsibilities included (as defined in KCSIE 2019 Annex B)
• Ensure we have a nominated governor responsible for child protection/safeguarding
• Ensure that we have a Designated Teacher for Looked-After children
• Ensure every member of staff (including temporary and supply staff and volunteers) and the governing body knows the name of the Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead, their deputies responsible for child protection, and their role
• Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or to children’s social care/police if a child is in immediate danger
• Ensure all staff and volunteers are aware of the early help process and understand their role in making referrals or contributing to early help offers and arrangements
• Ensure that there is a whistleblowing policy and culture where staff can raise concerns about unsafe practice and that these concerns will be taken seriously
• Ensure that there is a complaints’ system in place for children and families
• Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and staff for child protection and safeguarding by setting out its obligations in the school prospectus and on the school’s website
• Notify Children’s Social Care if there is an unexplained absence for a child who is subject to a child protection plan and where no contact can be established with the child, or a parent or appropriate adult linked to the child.
• Develop effective links with relevant agencies and cooperate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters, including attendance at child protection conferences
• Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately; documenting and collating information on individual children to support early identification, referral and actions to safeguard
• Ensure all records are kept securely through our Safeguard online system
• Ensure that we follow robust processes to respond when children are missing from education or missing from home or care
• Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer
• Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed
• Apply confidentiality appropriately
• Apply the NSCP escalation procedures if there are any concerns about the actions or inaction of social care staff or staff from other agencies

Supporting children
We recognise that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a positive sense of self-worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The school may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. When at school their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. We also recognise that there are children who are more vulnerable than others, which include children with special educational needs and or disabilities.

The school will endeavour to support the pupil through:
• The content of the curriculum
• Maintaining a school ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives pupils a sense of being valued
• The school behaviour policy, anti-bullying policy and peer on peer abuse policy which is kept up to date with national and local guidance and which is aimed at supporting vulnerable pupils in the school.

• Our school will proactively ensure that all children know that some behaviours are unacceptable and will need to be addressed, but as members of our school they are valued and will be supported through the time required to deal with any abuse or harm that has occurred, or outcomes from incidents. Each case will be assessed according to local thresholds and a suitable action plan implemented.
• Liaison with other agencies that support the pupil such as Children’s Social Care (in line with the Pathway to Provision Version 8, published in March 2019), Behaviour and Attendance Service and Education Psychology Service, use of Complex Case Resolution Meetings and the Early Help Assessment Form ( EHAF), etc.
• Ensuring that, where a pupil leaves and is subject to a child protection plan, child in need plan or where there has been wider safeguarding concerns, their information is transferred to the new school immediately and that the child’s social worker is informed
• Ensuring that the vulnerability of children with special educational needs and or disabilities is recognised


Safe Staff and Supporting Staff
• The leadership team and governing body of the school will ensure that all safer working practices and recruitment procedures are followed in accordance with the guidance set out in KCSIE 2019 Part Three and advised by NCC HR policy and practice guidance.

• School leaders, staff and members of the governing body will be appropriately trained in safer working practices and access the safer recruitment training advised by NCC.
• Statutory pre-employment checks and references from previous employers are an essential part of the recruitment process. We will ensure we adopt the appropriate necessary procedures to carry out the checks required and where any concerns arise we will seek advice and act in accordance with national guidance.

• The school has in place recruitment, selection and vetting procedures in accordance with KCSIE 2019 Part Two and maintains a Single Central Record, which is reviewed regularly and updated in accordance with KCSIE 2019 paras 148-155.
• Staff will have access to advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and will be aware of the School Employee Code of Conduct, which includes contact between staff and pupils outside the work context. Staff can access a copy of this through the school server.

• Newly appointed staff and volunteers will be informed of our arrangements for safer working practices by a designated member of staff before beginning working and contact with pupils.
• In the event of any complaint or allegation against a member of staff, the Head Teacher (or the Designated Safeguarding Lead) if the Head Teacher is not present, will be notified immediately. If it relates to the Head Teacher, the chair of governors will be informed without delay. We will respond to all allegations robustly and appropriately in collaboration with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) LADO/Allegation Officer and HR Business Partner or HR Service.
• Staff may find some of the issues relating to child protection and the broader areas of safeguarding upsetting, and may need support which should be provided by the school and their Human Resources Team. Advice and support will be made available by the Safeguarding Children in Education Officer (SCiEO), LADO and NCC HR where appropriate to the leadership team.
• All new employees will be appropriately inducted to their role.

Links to other Local Authority policies
This policy, together with the following, should be read alongside and in conjunction with other policies and statutory guidance regarding the safety and welfare of children. These together will make up the suite of policies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in this school.
• Accessibility Plan
• Anti-Bullying revised for 2017-2019
• Attendance Policy

Behaviour Principles Written Statement
• Central Record of Recruitment and Vetting Checks
• Complaints’ Procedure Statement
• Cyber –bullying

• Equality
• E Safety Policy
• Freedom of Information.
• Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Guidance
• Radicalisation – Prevent Duty (Schools should have a Prevent Action Plan)
• Health and Safety Disability Equality Action Plan
• Home-school Agreement Document

• Peer on Peer Abuse - Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges, and response to 'upskirting'
• Physical intervention/positive handling
• Register of Pupil Attendance
• School Access Policy
• School Behaviour

• Knife Crime Protocol 2019 (multi-agency)
• Relationships and Sex Education
• Special Educational Needs

• CRB - Use of Reasonable Force Policy
• Staff Behaviour (Code of Conduct policy)
• Staff Discipline, Conduct and Grievance
• Schools information published on a website
• Whistle Blowing Policy

• Guidance for NSPCC helpline and usage

All Agencies

Roles and Responsibilities

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone in our school who comes into contact with children and their families have a role to play in safeguarding children. All staff in our school consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of children.

All staff within our school are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help to children to prevent concerns from escalating. All staff contribute to providing a safe environment in which children can learn by carrying out appropriate risk assessments when required to ensure the safety of the children is paramount at all times.

All our staff are aware of the early help process and understand their role in this. This includes being able to identify emerging problems to recognise children who may benefit from early help. Staff know in the first instance to discuss their concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and understand they may be required to support other agencies and professionals in assessments for early help.

At Barnby Road Academy we have a designated Safeguarding and Welfare Manager whose role it is to ensure that the children's safety and welfare is a clear priority at all times. We have a range of Social, Emotional and Mental Health support available from a dedicated team that is regularly accessing up to date guidance.


Regular Early Help workshops are held for parents/carers as part of the school offer.


Attendance at partnership meetings is a compulsory duty for the school with at least one and sometimes more members of staff attending any child protection, child in need, social care/LAC meetings.


Regular welfare newsletters are published and the parents/carers have access to the Safeguarding and Welfare Manager on her mobile phone to support in whatever capacity is required. We signpost to a variety of local agencies.


Safeguarding Training

All our staff are aware of systems within Barnby Road Academy and these are explained to them as part of staff induction, which include our child protection policy; the employee code of conduct and the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 Part One.


Our school utilises an induction checklist when staff are inducted which includes the above, but also other policy and procedural information.

All our staff receive safeguarding and child protection training which is updated every year. In addition to this training all staff members receive child protection and safeguarding updates when required, but at least annually.


Training is provided by the DSL and is in line with the local safeguarding children's partnership guidance. Staff also complete training through our online Safeguard system. Staff are kept up to date with local & national changes through regular bulletins.

All our staff are aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989 and understand the role they may have in these assessments.

All our staff know what to do if a child is raising concerns or makes a disclosure of abuse and/or neglect. Staff will maintain a level of confidentiality whilst liaising with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and children’s social care. Our staff will never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a disclosure or allegation, recognising this may not be in the best interest of the child.

Staff responsibilities
All staff have a key role to play in identifying concerns early and in providing help for children.

To achieve this they will:
• Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
• Ensure children know that there are adults in the school who they can approach if they are worried or have concerns.
• Plan opportunities within the curriculum for children to develop the skills they need to assess and manage risk appropriately and keep themselves safe.
• Attend training in order to be aware of and alert to the signs of abuse.
• Maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” with regards to safeguarding.
• Record their concerns if they are worried that a child is being abused and report these to the DSL as soon as practical that day. If the DSL is not contactable immediately a Deputy DSL should be informed
• Be prepared to refer directly to social care, and the police if appropriate, if there is a risk of significant harm and the DSL or their Deputy is not available.
• Follow the allegations’ procedures if the disclosure is an allegation against a member of staff.
• Follow the procedures set out by the NSCP and take account of guidance issued by the DfE KCSIE 2019 Part One.
• Support pupils in line with their child protection plan, child in need plan or LAC care plan.
• Treat information with confidentiality but never promising to “keep a secret”.
• Notify the DSL or their Deputy of any child on a child protection plan or child in need plan who has unexplained absence.
• Have an understanding of early help, and be prepared to identify and support children who may benefit from early help.
• Liaise with other agencies that support pupils and provide early help.
• Ensure they know who the DSL and Deputy DSL are and know how to contact them.
• Have an awareness of the Child Protection Policy, the Behaviour Policy, the Staff Behaviour Policy (or Code of Conduct), procedures relating to the safeguarding response for children who go missing from education and the role of the DSL.


Our school engages in learning opportunities/partnership work with the NSPCC, TETC team, PCSO's, health professionals and Women's Aid.

Senior Management Team responsibilities:

• Contribute to inter-agency working in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 guidance.
• Provide a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified.

• Ensure all staff and volunteers are alert to the definitions of abuse and indicators (KCSIE 2019 para 19-24), and through access to regular training opportunities and updates.
• Ensure staff are alert to the various factors that can increase the need for early help (KCSIE 2019 paras 26-30)
• Working with Children’s Social Care, support their assessment and planning processes including the school’s attendance at conference and core group meetings as appropriate.
• Carry out tasks delegated by the governing body such as training of staff, safer recruitment and maintaining a single central register.
• Provide support and advice on all matters pertaining to safeguarding and child protection to all staff regardless of their position within the school.
• Treat any information shared by staff or pupils with respect and follow agreed policies and procedures.
• Ensure that allegations or concerns against staff are dealt with in accordance with guidance from Department for Education (DfE KCSIE 2019 Part Four), Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) and Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC)

Teachers (including NQTs) and Head Teachers – Professional duty

The Teacher’s Standards 2015 remind us that teachers, newly qualified teachers and Head Teachers should safeguard children and maintain public trust in the teaching profession as part of our professional duties.


The Children and Social Work Act of 2017, places responsibilities for designated teachers to have responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of children who have left care through adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement orders or who were adopted from state care outside England and Wales.


The designated teachers attend all PEPs &LAC reviews and ensure that they are known to the child and their family. The child's wishes and feelings and pupil voice is always gathered prior to any meeting.


The designated teachers ensure that the wishes, feelings and individual needs of any Previously LAC are carefully considered.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

We have a two Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads who take responsibility for safeguarding children and child protection who have received appropriate training and support for this role. The Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads are senior members of the school leadership/management team and their responsibilities are explicit in their job description.


We also have two Deputy Safeguarding Leads who will provide cover for the Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads when they are not available. Our Deputy Safeguarding Leads have received the same training as our Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads. They will provide additional support to ensure the responsibilities for child protection and safeguarding children are fully embedded within the school ethos and that specific duties are discharged. They will assist the Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads in managing referrals, attending Child Protection Conferences, reviews and meetings and supporting the child/children.


We acknowledge the need for effective and appropriate communication between all members of staff in relation to safeguarding pupils. Our Designated Safeguarding Leads will ensure there is a structured procedure within the school, which will be followed by all of the members of the school community in cases of suspected abuse.

The Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads are expected to:

Manage Referrals
• Refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies
• Support staff who make referrals to children’s social care and other referral pathways
• Refer cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child and the DBS as required

• All cases are regularly reviewed and changes implemented if required.

Work with others
• As required, liaise with the ‘case manager’ (as per Part Four of KCSIE 2019) and the LADO where there are child protection concerns/allegations that relate to a member of staff.
• Liaise with the case manager and the LADO/ LADO Allegation Officer where there are concerns about a staff member
• Liaise with staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and deciding when to make a referral by liaising with other agencies. Act as a source of support, advice and expertise for other staff
• Take part in strategy discussions or attend inter-agency meetings and/or support other staff to do so and to contribute to the assessment of children
• Liaise with the local authority and other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the local Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership procedures and practice guidance


Our Safeguarding and Welfare Manager (DSL) attends the Designated Safeguarding Lead Focus Group Meetings which take place half termly at schools/academies around the County. The information received at the focus group is fed back to other DSL's and staff through meetings and bulletins. We have a dedicated safeguarding display board in school with relevant information, policies and helpline numbers. We link with other agencies including the NSPCC, TETC team, police and Women's Aid.

Undertake training
• Formal Designated Safeguarding Lead training will be undertaken every two years. Informal training and updating of knowledge and skills will be at regular intervals, undertaken at least annually. The Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads are responsible for their own training and should obtain access to resources or any relevant refresher training
• The Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads are also responsible for ensuring all other staff with designated safeguarding responsibilities access up to date and timely safeguarding training and maintain a register to evidence the training

The training undertaken should enable the Designated Safeguarding Lead to:
• Understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention through the Pathway to Provision Version 8, EHAF and the Early Help Unit
• Have a working knowledge of how the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership operates, the conduct of a child protection conference, and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so
• Ensure that each member of staff has access to the child protection policy and procedures
• Be alert to the specific needs of children in need, including those with special educational needs and or disabilities and young carers
• Be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals
• Understand the Prevent Duty and provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation
• Encourage a culture of protecting children; listening to children and their wishes and feelings

Raise awareness
• Ensure that the child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately
• Ensure that the child protection policy is reviewed annually in consultation with staff members and procedures are updated and reviewed regularly and implemented, and that the governing body is kept up to date and actively involved
• Work strategically to ensure policies and procedures are up to date and drive and support development work within the school
• Ensure that the child protection policy is available to parents and carers and uploaded to the school website and make parents/carers aware that referrals may be made about suspected abuse or neglect
• Liaise with the NSCP and ensure all staff receive induction training covering child protection and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately as they arise

Child Protection file
• The Snr Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for ensuring that when a child leaves the school or college their ‘child protection’, ‘child in need’ file or ‘confidential’ file is transferred to the new school or college at the same time the child goes on roll of its new school or education provision.

• We use Safeguard Software to record and monitor any safeguarding or Early Help concerns and to keep a clear chronology.

• Transfer of files to new schools are completed electronically if schools are using the same system. Where this is not the case a paper copy is sent by recorded delivery.

• During term time the Snr Designated Safeguarding Leads will always be available (during school hours) for staff in the school to discuss any safeguarding concerns. Appropriate arrangements will also need to be in place for any out of school hours’ activities in- line with the guidance contained in DfE KCSIE 2019 para 61 to 67 and Annex B.

Head Teacher

The Head Teacher of the school will ensure that:
• The policies and procedures adopted by the governing body are fully implemented, and followed by all staff

• The academy has an up to date Single Central Record (SCR) which is reviewed regularly and is compliant with statutory guidance.
• Sufficient resources and time are allocated to enable the Designated Safeguarding Leads and other staff to discharge their responsibilities, including taking part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings, and contributing to the assessment of children
• All staff and volunteers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice with regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner in accordance with agreed whistle-blowing policies
• The Head Teacher will ensure all staff have access to and read and understand the requirements placed on them through:- the Whole School Child Protection Policy; the staff behaviour/conduct policy; NCC HR Staff Behaviour Policy also known as the Code of Conduct
• The Head Teacher will ensure there are mechanisms in place to assist staff to fully understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019
• Where there is an allegation made against a member of staff (either paid or unpaid) that meets the criteria for a referral to the LADO, then the Head Teacher will discuss the allegation immediately with the LADO (within 24 hours) and ensure that cases are managed as per Part Four of KCSIE (2019). If the allegation is against the Head Teacher then the Chair of the Governing Body will manage the allegation – see below.

Governing Body

The governing body will be collectively responsible for ensuring that safeguarding arrangements are fully embedded within the school’s ethos and reflected in the school’s day to day safeguarding practices by:
• Ensuring there is an individual member of the governing body to take leadership responsibility for safeguarding and champion child protection issues in the school.
• Ensuring that the school has effective policies and procedures in line with statutory guidance (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2019) as well as with local NSCP guidance and monitor the school’s compliance with them.
• Ensuring that safeguarding policies and procedures are in place for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to promote a child’s welfare.
• Recognising the importance of information sharing between agencies through the statutory guidance provided within KCSIE 2019, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and the recently published HM Government guidance ‘ Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers, published July 2018.
• Ensuring cooperation with the local authority and other safeguarding partners
• Appointing Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads from the leadership team to take lead responsibility for child protection/safeguarding and that a Designated Teacher for Looked After Children is appropriately trained.
• Ensuring that all staff read and fully understand at least Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and ensure that there are mechanisms in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their role and responsibilities as set out in the guidance.
• Ensuring that the governing body is collectively responsible for the school’s ‘safeguarding arrangements’, even though a governor will be nominated as 'Safeguarding Governor' and a person who will champion all safeguarding requirements.

• All members of the governing body will undertake training about child protection to ensure they have the knowledge and information needed to perform their functions and understand their responsibilities.
• The Chair of Governors and Named child protection/safeguarding governors will access role specific training to enable them to discharge and comply with their child protection/ safeguarding responsibilities.
• Ensuring there is a training a strategy in place for all staff, including the Head Teacher, so that child protection training is undertaken with and refreshed in line with KCSIE 2019 and NSCP guidance.  
• Ensuring that staff undergo safeguarding child protection training at induction and that there are arrangements in place for staff to be regularly updated to ensure that safeguarding remains a priority.
• Ensuring that temporary staff and volunteers who work with children are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities
• Ensuring there are procedures in place to manage allegations against staff and exercise disciplinary functions in respect of dealing with a complaint.
• Ensuring that arrangements/procedures are in place to manage ‘low level’ concerns (allegations and concerns about a staff member that after initial consideration by the ‘case manager’ do not meet the criteria for a referral to LADO).
• Ensuring a response if there is an allegation against the Head Teacher by liaising with the LADO or other appropriate officers within the local authority.
• Ensuring appropriate responses to children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse, including child sexual exploitation and going missing in future.
• Be aware of the issues involving the complexity of serious violence, sexual violence and sexually harmful behaviour and ensure the school has the training and resources to manage any concerns or incidents of harmful behaviour.

• Be alert to the growing concerns involving knife crime and ensure the school works closely with the police and safeguarding partners to raise awareness of the impact of such crime and adopt proactive practice to address concerns locally and within the community.

• Ensuring appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect children online and children are taught about keeping safe online through the curriculum.
• Giving staff the opportunities to contribute and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy.
• Prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by adhering to statutory responsibilities to check staff who work with children, making decisions about additional checks and ensuring volunteers are supervised as required.
• Ensure at least one person on an interview panel has completed safer recruitment training when interviewing.
• Recognising that certain children are more vulnerable than others, such as looked after children and children with special educational needs and disabilities.

• Be open to accepting that child abuse and incidents can happen within the school and be available to act decisively upon them.

Looked After Children – the role of Designated Teacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead
• A teacher is appointed who has responsibility for promoting the educational achievement of children who are looked after. They have the appropriate training. The Designated Teacher will work with the Virtual School Head to ensure that the progress of the child is supported

• The Designated Safeguarding Leads will also have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual head. The Designated Safeguarding Leads will work closely with the Designated Teacher, as we recognise that children may have been abused or neglected before becoming looked after. We will ensure their ongoing safety and wellbeing as well as supporting their education, through linking with their social worker, carers and parents where appropriate

• We also recognise those children who were previously Looked After potentially remain vulnerable and all staff will be informed of the importance of maintaining support for them through our pastoral system. Barnby Road Academy will continue to recognise the importance of working with agencies and take prompt actions where necessary to safeguard these children, who may remain vulnerable.

Care Leavers
We recognise those children and young people who cease to be Looked After and become ‘care leavers', should remain supported and our Designated Teacher and schools staff will work with the personal advisor appointed for them to help develop a pathway plan with them and the young person.

Identifying Concerns
All members of staff, volunteers and governors will know how to identify pupils who may be being harmed and then how to respond to a pupil who discloses abuse, or where others raise concerns about them. Our staff will be familiar with procedures to be followed.

Staff understand that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition, and that in most cases multiple issues will overlap with each other.

Staff who regularly come into contact with children are aware of the DfE guidance 'What to do if you're worried a child is being abused'.

Some of the following signs might be indicators of abuse or neglect:
• Children whose behaviour changes – they may become aggressive, challenging, disruptive, withdrawn or clingy, or they might have difficulty sleeping or start wetting the bed;
• Children with clothes which are ill-fitting and/or dirty;
• Children with consistently poor hygiene;
• Children who make strong efforts to avoid specific family members or friends, without an obvious reason;
• Children who don’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities;
• Children who are having problems at school, for example, a sudden lack of concentration and learning or they appear to be tired and hungry;
• Children who talk about being left home alone, with inappropriate carers or with strangers;
• Children who reach developmental milestones, such as learning to speak or walk, late, with no medical reason;
• Children who are regularly missing from school or education;
• Children who are reluctant to go home after school;
• Children with poor school attendance and punctuality, or who are consistently late being picked up;
• Parents who are dismissive and non-responsive to practitioners’ concerns;
• Parents who collect their children from school when drunk, or under the influence of drugs;
• Children who drink alcohol regularly from an early age;
• Children who are concerned for younger siblings without explaining why;
• Children who talk about running away; and
• Children who shy away from being touched or flinch at sudden movements.

The four categories of child abuse are as follows:

1. Physical Abuse
2. Emotional Abuse
3. Sexual Abuse, and
4. Neglect

Physical Abuse: a form of abuse which 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 fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Some of the Possible Indicators Could Include:
May be recognised by: Children with frequent injuries, injury such as bruising, bite marks, burns and scalds, fractures but also by aggressive behaviour. It may also be an indicator of concern where a parent gives an explanation inconsistent with the injury or gives several different explanations for the injury.

Emotional Abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It 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. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature 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. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Some of the Possible Indicators Could Include:
May be recognised by: Developmental delay, attachment issues, aggressive behaviour, appeasing behaviour, watchfulness or stillness, low self-esteem, withdrawn or a loner, or having difficulty in forming relationships. Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise as signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. Signs of emotional abuse may be associated or similar to other forms of abuse so presence of emotional abuse may indicate other abuse is prevalent as well.

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. They may also include 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.

Some of the Possible Indicators Could Include:
May be recognised by: Inappropriate sexualised conduct, age inappropriate sexualised play or conversation, sexually harmful behaviour – contact or non-contact, self-harm, eating disorders, continual, inappropriate or excessive masturbation, anxiousness or unwillingness to remove clothes – sports/ PE etc., pain or itching in genital area, blood on underclothes, bruising in genital region and/or inner thighs etc.

Neglect: 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. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. 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); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Some of the Possible Indicators Could Include:
May be recognised by: Being constantly hungry; constantly tired; have a poor state of clothing; be emaciated; have untreated medical problems; be frequently late or have poor or non-attendance at school; have low self- esteem; display neurotic behaviour and/or have poor social relationships, have poor personal hygiene. A neglected child may also be apathetic, fail to thrive, or be left with or in the care of adult’s under the influence of alcohol or drug misuse.


'Up skirting' is now a criminal offence and sits within the category of Peer on Peer Abuse (KCSIE 2019 para 27 and page 89)


Up skirting typically involves taking a picture under a person's clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.


Contextualised Safeguarding (KCSIE 2019 para 32)

We will act in accordance with our safeguarding procedures and policies when dealing with contextualised safeguarding concerns.


We recognise safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside of Barnby Road Academy and/or can occur between children outside of school. All our staff, but particularly our Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) will consider the context within which such incidents and or behaviours occur. We recognise this is known as ‘contextual safeguarding’ and will consider by assessing whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that threaten their safety or welfare.  In such cases we will work with safeguarding agencies and support the child and family as part of any referral process.


We have procedures in place to respond to all areas of contexualised safeguarding including:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation – CSE.
  • Radicalisation and Extremism.
  • Criminal Child Exploitation – CCE.
  • Serious Youth Violence - County Lines.
  • Human Trafficking.
  • Harmful Sexual Behaviour – HSB.


Our staff will be alert to the potential needs for early help for a child who:

• is disabled and has specific additional needs
• has special educational needs (whether or not they have a statutory education, health and care plan EHAF)
• is a young carer
• is showing signs of being drawn into anti-social behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups
• is frequently missing/goes missing from care or from home
• is misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
• is at risk of modern day slavery, trafficking or exploitation.
• is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health problems or domestic abuse
• has returned home to their family from care
• is showing early signs of abuse and/or neglect
• is at risk of being radicalised or exploited
• has an age inappropriate understanding of sexualised behaviours
• is privately fostered

All our staff have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm including issues which can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse, which may include:
• bullying (including cyberbullying)
• physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking ,biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm;
• sexual violence and sexual harassment
• sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
• initiation, hazing type violence and rituals

All our staff will always act in the ‘best interest of the child’ and report or refer concerns in accordance with our policies and procedures

Children with Special Educational Needs
We recognise that children with special educational needs (SEN) and or disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Children with SEN and or disabilities are especially vulnerable when identifying concerns due to their impaired capacity to resist or avoid abuse. They may have speech, language and communication needs which may make it difficult to tell others what is happening.

This policy reflects the fact that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children which include:

• assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
• children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs; and communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
• Addressing individual behaviour concerns and incidents taking into account the child’s SEN and disability.

Taking action where concerns are identified

Our staff recognise the difference between concerns about a child and a child in immediate danger.
If staff have concerns about a child they will need to decide what action to take.
A discussion should take place with a Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead to agree a course of action.
If a child is in immediate danger or risk of harm a referral will be made immediately to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and/or the police immediately by the member of staff if required, with a Designated Safeguarding Lead being informed of the referral.

If a child chooses to tell a member of staff about alleged abuse, there are a number of actions that staff will undertake to support the child:

• The key facts will be established in language that the child understands and the child’s words will be used in clarifying/expanding what has been said
• No promises will be made to the child, e.g. to keep secrets
• Staff will stay calm and be available to listen
• Staff will actively listen with the utmost care to what the child is saying
• Where questions are asked, this should be done without pressurising and only using open questions;
      - Leading questions should be avoided as much as possible
      - Questioning should not be extensive or repetitive
• Staff will not put words in the child’s mouth but subsequently note the main points carefully
• A full written record will be kept by the staff duly signed and dated, including the time the conversation with the child took place, outline what was said, comment on the child’s body language etc.
• It is not appropriate for staff to make children write statements about abuse that may have happened to them or get them to sign the staff record
• Staff will reassure the child and let them know that they were right to inform them and inform the child that this information will now have to be passed on
• The Designated Safeguarding Lead will be immediately informed, unless the disclosure has been made to them
• Information should be shared with children’s social care without delay, either to the child’s own social worker or to the MASH. Children’s Social Care will liaise with the police where required which will ensure an appropriate police officer response rather than a uniformed response
• The Police would only therefore be contacted direct in an emergency

Staff should never attempt to carry out an investigation of suspected child abuse by interviewing the child or any others involved. The only people who should investigate child abuse and harm are Social Care, Police or the NSPCC.


We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential; however, a member of staff must never guarantee confidentiality to children; children will not be given promises that any information about an allegation will not be shared.


Where there is a child protection concern it will be passed immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Leads and/or to children’s social care. When a child is in immediate danger children’s social care/the police will be contacted.


The Head Teacher or Snr Designated Safeguarding Leads will disclose personal information about a pupil to other members of staff, including the level of involvement of other agencies, only on a ‘need to know’ basis.


All staff are aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. They are aware that the Data Protection Act 1998 should not be a barrier to sharing of information where failure to do so would result in a child being placed at risk of harm.


We acknowledge further guidance can be found by visiting Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership website:  


Information Sharing

Effective sharing of information between practitioners and local organisations and agencies is essential for early identification of need, assessment and service provision to keep children safe. Serious case reviews (SCR’s) have highlighted that missed opportunities to record, understand the significance of sharing information in a timely manner can have severe consequences for the safety and welfare of children. (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2019 para 23).


We will adopt the information sharing principles detailed in statutory safeguarding guidance contained within:

  • DfE KCSIE 2019 para 76 to 83
  • HM Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 Para 23 to27 and on pages 20 and 21.
  • HM Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (which has been updated to reflect the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) and Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) Policy and Practice Guidance.


All staff/governors/trust members have completed GDPR training.


Records and Monitoring

We use Safeguard Software an electronic system for record keeping, recording concerns and early help and to keep detailed chronologies of a child's journey.


Any concerns about a child will be recorded on Safeguard within 24 hours. All records will provide a factual and evidence based account and there will be accurate recording of any actions. Electronic records will show the name of the person entering the information, the date and time and where appropriate will be witnessed. Any written disclosures will be copied onto the online system. Where an opinion or professional judgement is recorded this should be clearly stated as such.


At no time should an individual teacher/member of staff or school be asked to or consider taking photographic evidence of any injuries or marks to a child’s person, this type of behaviour could lead to the staff member being taken into managing allegations procedures. The  online body map should be used in accordance with recording guidance.


Any concerns should be reported and recorded without delay to the appropriate safeguarding services, e.g. MASH or the child’s social worker if already an open case to social care.


Chronologies will be kept on our online Safeguard system. Staff, particularly pastoral staff, will record any minor concerns as communications. The Designated Safeguarding Leads will be alerted on the system should the number of concerns rise or, in their professional judgement, become significant. At this point the child will become a monitored child on the system.


Safeguarding, child protection and welfare concerns will be recorded on the online chronology. The main pupil file should have a red C in the top right hand corner to denote that the child is a monitored child.


Our school will ensure all online files and chronologies will be available for external scrutiny for example by a regulatory agency or because of a serious case review or audit.


Why recording is important

Our staff will be encouraged to understand why it is important that recording is comprehensive and accurate and what the messages are from serious case reviews are in terms of recording and sharing information. It is often when a chronology of information is pieced together that the level of concern escalates or the whole or wider picture becomes known.


Barnby Road Academy uses Safeguard electronic recording system.


We acknowledge without information being recorded it can be lost. This could be crucial information, the importance of which is not always necessarily apparent at the time.

On occasions, this information could be crucial evidence to safeguard a child or be evidence in future criminal prosecutions.


The Child Protection (CP), Child in Need (CiN) or Confidential file (KCSiE 2019 para 48 to 53, 76 to83 Annex B page 95)


The establishment of a Confidential Safeguarding chronology, which is separate from the child’s main school file, is an important principle in terms of storing and collating information about children which relates to either a child protection or safeguarding concern or an accumulation of concerns about a child’s welfare which are outside of the usual range of concerns which relate to ordinary life events.  It should be borne in mind that what constitutes a ‘concern’ for one child may not be a ‘concern’ for another and the particular child’s circumstances and needs will differ i.e. a child subject to a child protection plan, looked after child, CiN may be looked at differently to a child recently bereaved, parental health issues, etc. Professional judgement will therefore be an important factor when making this decision and will need clear links between pastoral staff and Designated Safeguarding Leads in school.


A Child will become monitored on the system in the event of:

  • A referral to MASH/Children’s Social Care.
  • A number of minor concerns on the child’s main school file.
  • Any child open to social care or previous social care involvement.


All ’child protection’ or ‘safeguarding chronology should contain:

  • Name, DOB, Address and contact details.
  • A chronology.
  • A record of concern in more detail and body map, where appropriate.
  • A record of concerns and issues shared by others.


The school will keep electronic records of concerns about children even where there is no need to refer the matter to MASH/Children’s Social Care (or similar) immediately but these records will be kept within the child’s chronology. 

Records will be kept up to date and reviewed regularly by the Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads to evidence and support actions taken by staff in discharging their safeguarding arrangements. Original notes will be retained (but clearly identified as such) as this is a contemporaneous account; they may be important in any criminal proceedings arising from current or historical allegations of abuse or neglect.


We use Safeguard online system to record all concerns, children who have been open to social care will be monitored on the system. If a child is subject to a child protection plan, CIN, LAC or EHAF this will be recorded on a tab on the individual record.


Where children leave the school we will ensure their confidential/child protection file is transferred to the new school or college as soon as possible (this should be within five days). This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure transit and confirmation of receipt should be obtained. It would good practice, wherever possible, for the file to be hand-delivered to the receiving designated safeguarding lead with a discussion taking place. There should be a smooth and safe transition for the child. 

Those schools and colleges that use electronic case record management systems should continue to have good dialogue between the Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads to ensure children subject to child protection and safeguarding concerns are well supported and any transition arrangements or change of school and or education provision should be seamless. 


Recording Practice

Timely and accurate recording will take place when there are any issues regarding a child. 

A recording of each and every episode/incident/concern/activity regarding that child, including telephone calls to other professionals, needs to be recorded on the online confidential chronology for that child. This will include any contact from other agencies who may wish to discuss concerns relating to a child. Actions will be agreed, and roles and responsibility of each agency will be clarified, and outcomes recorded. 

The online system allows for a log of activity, with a full recording entered on the child’s individual chronology.


More detailed recording on the records show the name of the staff member making the entry with the time and date and include an analysis, taking account of the holistic needs of the child, and any historical information held on the child’s file. Support and advice will be sought from social care, or early help whenever necessary. In this way a picture can emerge and this will assist in promoting an evidence based assessment and determining any action(s) that needs to be taken.

This may include no further action, whether an EHAF should be undertaken, or whether a referral should be made to MASH/Children’s Social Care in line with the NCC Pathway to Provision Version 8 document published March 2019. 


Such robust practice across child protection and in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children will assist the school in the early identification of any concerns which may prevent future harm.


The Designated Safeguarding Leads will have a systematic means of monitoring children known or thought to be at risk of harm (through the safeguard system and through an ongoing dialogue with pastoral staff). They will ensure that we contribute to assessments of need and support multi-agency plans for those children. 


Educating Young People (KCSiE 2019 para 89)

As an academy we need to teach children in an age appropriate way about youth produced imagery to prevent harm by providing them with the skills, attributes and knowledge to help them navigate risks. 


This approach to tackling sensitive issues promotes a whole school approach to safeguarding giving children the space to explore key issues and the confidence to seek the support of adults should they encounter problems. 


This issue will be taught as part of a wider PSHE, RSEHE programme and though IT curriculum work to underpin a specific message such as ‘sexting’. 

The work that we do therefore will include issues such as:

  • Communication.
  • understanding healthy relationships, including trust.
  • understanding and respecting the concept of genuine consent.
  • understanding our rights (especially our collective right to be safe and to feel safe).
  • recognising abusive and coercive language and behaviours.


We use the Jigsaw RSEHE programme, we have supported listening sessions and assemblies. There is a dedicated display board with safeguarding information and helpline numbers


Helplines and reporting

  • Children can talk to a ChildLine counsellor 24 hours a day about anything that is worrying them by ringing 0800 11 11 or in an online chat at
  • If parents or carers are concerned that their child is being contacted by adults as a result of having sharing sexual imagery they should report to NCA-CEOP at
  • ChildLine and the Internet Watch Foundation have partnered to help children get sexual or naked images removed from the internet. A young person can get their photo removed by talking to a ChildLine counsellor. More information is available at
  • Where staff members feel unable to raise an issue with their employer, or feel they have a genuine concern that is not being addressed we acknowledge they may wish to consider whistleblowing channels. Likewise If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC Helpline by ringing 0800 028 028 0295, or by emailing

We would hope that we are always open to discussing concerns and finding solutions which ensure children are kept safe.

Body Map Guidance for Schools


Medical assistance should be sought where appropriate.


Body Maps should be used to document and illustrate visible signs of harm and physical injuries. Through our Safeguard system.   


Do not remove clothing for the purpose of the examination unless the injury site is freely available because of treatment.


*At no time should an individual teacher/member of staff or school be asked to or consider taking photographic evidence of any injuries or marks to a child’s person, this type of behaviour could lead to the staff member being taken into managing allegations procedures, the body map on the safeguard system should be used in accordance with recording guidance. Any concerns should be reported and recorded without delay to the appropriate safeguarding services e.g. MASH or the child’s social worker if already an open case to social care.


When you notice an injury to a child, try to record the following information in respect of each mark identified e.g. red areas, swelling, bruising, cuts, lacerations and wounds, scalds and burns:


  • Exact site of injury on the body, e.g. upper outer arm/left cheek.
  • Size of injury - in appropriate centimetres or inches.
  • Approximate shape of injury, e.g. round/square or straight line.
  • Colour of injury - if more than one colour, say so.
  • Is the skin broken?
  • Is there any swelling at the site of the injury, or elsewhere?
  • Is there a scab/any blistering/any bleeding?
  • Is the injury clean or is there grit/fluff etc.?
  • Is mobility restricted as a result of the injury?
  • Does the site of the injury feel hot?
  • Does the child feel hot?
  • Does the child feel pain?
  • Has the child’s body shape changed/are they holding themselves differently?
    Importantly the date and time of the recording must be stated as well as the name and designation of the person making the record. Add any further comments as required.
    Ensure First Aid is provided where required and record
    A copy of the body map should be kept on the child’s Safeguard chronology.

 Peer on Peer Abuse

Our Academy recognise that children are vulnerable to and capable of abusing their peers.  We take such abuse as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult. This includes verbal as well as physical abuse. Peer on peer abuse will not be tolerated or passed off as part of “banter” or “growing up”.


In cases where peer on peer abuse is identified we will follow our child protection procedures, recognising that both the victim and perpetrator will require support.    


We recognise that peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways such as:


  • Child Sexual Exploitation (Appendix 7)
  • Sexting or youth produced digital imagery (Appendix 8)
  • Bullying 
  • Radicalisation
  • Abuse in intimate relationships
  • Children who display sexually harmful behaviour
  • Gang association and serious violence
  • Technology can be used for bullying and other abusive behaviour

There are a number of factors that make children more vulnerable to peer on peer abuse: experience of abuse within their family; living with domestic violence young people in care; children who go missing; children with additional needs (SEN and/or disabilities); children who identify as or are perceived as LGBT; or who have other protected characteristics (race, religion).


Research tells us girls are more frequently identified as being abused by their peers; girls are more likely to experience unwanted sexual touching in schools. 

Boys are less likely to report intimate relationship abuse.  Boys report high levels of victimisation in areas where they are affected by gangs. There is an increasing evidence base emerging on the sexual exploitation of boys (both by adults and peers) and LGBTQ young people.  We recognise that both boys and girls experience peer on peer abuse but they do so in gendered ways.


 Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Policy

The Academy adheres to the NSCP procedure in relation to child sexual exploitation.  This is our policy to summarise our position. 

We recognise that child sexual exploitation is a high profile issue both nationally and locally. 


Please Note: In February 2017, the DfE revised the definition of CSE:-

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity

  1. In exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or
  2. For financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology


The Academy recognises that the child sexual exploitation can cause a great deal of harm to a child, including physically, emotionally, educationally and socially. Where it exists it can also cause harm to communities including our Academy.


Child sexual exploitation can happen in a number of ways to both boys and girls, for example it can happen through various social media and this can still cause significant harm.  It can happen though inappropriate relationships such as older boy/girlfriends or through parties, gangs or organised abuse. Some children will be particularly vulnerable to being exploited, for example if they have had a chaotic upbringing or if they are in care or go missing, involved in gangs or being bullied.  We recognise however that any child can become a target for exploitation, particularly where the internet and social media are involved. This is because the normal life events that go with being a child or teenager in today’s age can be a challenge and make them susceptible to being groomed and exploited.


As an Academy we recognise that prevention is the best position with regard to CSE. We seek to support children to develop confidence and build resilience.  We will endeavour to support their age appropriate knowledge and raise awareness and understanding of what CSE is, to understand the risks of CSE and to spot the warning signs for themselves and also their friends and peers and by doing so keep safe. 


If prevention is not possible we aim to identify children who are at risk of, or being exploited very early. Early intervention is key to effectively working with the child to prevent or reduce the level of risk. Once they have been groomed some children will find it difficult to withdraw from their abusers and we need to contribute to helping to protect them. Some children feel that they are in a relationship with these people.   We commit to working with our inter-agency partners to safeguard and protect children. 


Much of this work will be through our programmes of personal, social and health education (PSHE) or through our Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) work.


An important part of educating our children is focussing on what is a healthy relationship and issues of consent. This will also target potential abusers at an early age with the intention of helping to shape their attitudes to others. 


We want to have a culture where the welfare of children is actively promoted and staff and pupils are vigilant. As part of this children will feel listened to and safe. 


Further information is available from the Department for Education:


 Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (Sexting)




The Academy recognises that ‘sexting’ is a growing concern amongst professionals and parents as it can expose children to risks, particularly if the imagery is shared further. It can lead to embarrassment, bullying and increased vulnerability to sexual exploitation. Producing and sharing images of under-18’s is also illegal.


There is no clear definition of what is ‘sexting’ and indeed many professionals, young people and parents have different interpretations ranging from sending flirty messages to sending nude or semi-nude photographs via mobiles or over the internet. 


This guidance is based on the UKCCIS Sexting in Schools and Colleges guidance 2016. The full guidance is located at UKCCIS 2016 Guidance. This guidance covers:

  • A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18
  • A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult
  • A person under the age of 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18
    It does not cover:
  • The sharing of sexual imagery of people under 18 by adults as this constitutes child sexual abuse and schools should always inform the police and CSC.
  • Young people under the age of 18 sharing adult pornography or exchanging sexual texts which don’t contain imagery.


The term youth produced sexual imagery has been adopted to provide some clarity and to distinguish it from imagery where there are adults involved in some manner.


The purpose of this guidance is to make expectations clear to pupils and their parents and carers as well as to be clear to staff about the school’s policy and procedure in responding to incidents. 


This policy forms part of our Academy’s safeguarding arrangements and our response to concerns about ‘sexting’ will be guided by the principle of proportionality and our primary concern at all times is the welfare and protection of the children and young people involved.

The Academy recognises that it is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to possess, distribute, show and make indecent  images of children (a child being under 18 years) but it does not define what is indecent.


However, the police accept that the law which criminalised indecent images of children was created before the technological advances of today and it originally sought to protect children from adults. It was not intended to criminalise children. Despite this children who share sexual imagery of themselves or peers are breaking the law and therefore we will seek to manage this type of case appropriately.  


All professionals including the National Police Chiefs Council agree that incidents involving youth produced imagery should primarily be treated as a safeguarding issue.  It is agreed that we should not unnecessarily criminalise children as the consequence of this can be significant in terms of their life chances in adulthood.  Where children do share images it is often as a result of natural curiosity and exploring relationships and in the context of the digital world we live in.


The Academy is therefore empowered to deal with the majority of these incidents without involving the police. 


Handling Incidents

The Academy may become aware of the issue in a variety of ways i.e. from the child direct, a friend of parent or a member of staff. 


We recognise that the child is likely to be very embarrassed and worried about what might happen.  We also recognise the pressure that is on a child can be under to take part in sharing such imagery but we will reassure them they are not on their own and will help and support them. We will also help them to understand what has happened and the context for the concerns. We will also discuss issues of consent and trust within healthy relationships.


All incidents will be followed in line with our safeguarding and child protection policy.  Where an incident comes to our attention:

  • The incident will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Leads as soon as possible.
  • An initial meeting with the appropriate school staff will be held to:
    • Establish if there is immediate risk & what further information is needed, whether or not the imagery has been shared
    • Consider facts about the children involved which could influence a risk assessment.   Further guidance and questions to consider is in Annexe A, page 25 of  UKCCIS Sexting in Schools Guidance 2016
  • A meeting with the young person will be held (if appropriate)
  • Parents will generally be informed at an early stage
    An immediate referral to children’s social care and/or the police should be made if at the initial stage:
  • The incident involves an adult
  • The child has been coerced, blackmailed or groomed or if there are concerns about capacity to consent
  • If the sexual acts are unusual for the developmental age or violent
  • Children under 13 years are involved
  • The child is at immediate risk e.g. suicidal or self-harming
    Where the above do not apply then the Academy will generally deal with this matter without involving the police or children’s social care although this will be subject to review.


This decision is made where we are confident that we have sufficient information to assess and manage any risks within our pastoral support and disciplinary framework. The decision will be made by the DSL’s with the input of the Head Teacher and others as appropriate and will be recorded. 


Examples of cases where there is no need to involve the police are:

If a young person has shared imagery consensually, such as when in a romantic relationship, or as a joke, and there is no intended malice, it is usually appropriate for the school to manage the incident directly.


In contrast any incidents with aggravating factors, for example, a young person sharing someone else’s imagery without consent and with malicious intent, should generally be referred to police and/or children’s social care.


The following information will be considering when deciding on a course of action:

  • Why was the imagery shared? Was the young person coerced or put under pressure to produce the imagery?
  • Who has shared the imagery? Where has the imagery been shared? Was it shared and received with the knowledge of the pupil in the imagery?
  • Are there any adults involved in the sharing of the imagery?
  • What is the impact on the young people involved?
  • Do the young people involved have additional vulnerabilities?
  • Does the young person understand consent?
  • Has the young person taken part in this kind of activity before?


Professional judgement should always be applied.


The images should not generally be viewed by staff unless there is a clear reason for doing so and the decision recorded, reporting of the content is usually sufficient.


  • We will NOT copy, print or share the image as this is illegal
  • If viewing is done, it will be with another member of safeguarding staff or senior leadership


Once a decision has been made not to involve the police or CSC then images may be deleted but we will be clear that this is appropriate action.

Where it is necessary to involve the police and it is appropriate we are authorised to seize any device (Education Act 2011) and pass it the police


CSC will be involved where there are concerns which meet the threshold or if we know they are already involved with a child. 


Educating Young People

As an Academy we need to teach children in an age appropriate way about youth produced imagery to prevent harm by providing them with the skills, attributes and knowledge to help them navigate risks. 


This approach to tackling sensitive issues promotes a whole school approach to safeguarding giving children the space to explore key issues and the confidence to seek the support of adults should they encounter problems.


This issue will be taught as part of a wider PSHE programme and though IT curriculum work to underpin a specific message such as ‘sexting’. 


The work that we do therefore will include issues such as:

  • communication
  • understanding healthy relationships, including trust
  • understanding and respecting the concept of genuine consent
  • understanding our rights (especially our collective right to be safe and to feel safe)
  • recognising abusive and coercive language and behaviours

Advice and information for parents


Resources parents could highlight to their children

  • ChildLine have created Zip-It, an app that provides witty comebacks in order to help young person say no to requests for naked images   Childline Zipit Ap
  • There is information on the ChildLine website for young people about sexting:

Childline information for young people


The NSPCC adults helpline: 0808 800 5002 The NSPCC has partnered with O2 to offer direct support to parents and other adults on issues relating to online safety.


ChildLine:   ChildLine offers direct support to children and young people including issues relating to the sharing of sexual imagery.


The Professionals Online Safety Helpline (POSH):   Tel: 0844 381 4772. This helpline supports professionals with an online safety concern or an online safety concern for children in their care. Professionals are able to contact the helpline to resolve issues.


Resources for teaching staff

There is a wealth of resources for teachers at page 28 of the UKCCIS Sexting in Schools Guidance 2016


Online Safety

Our Academy ensures that children are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely and this is part of our wider duty of care. We recognise that the use of technology can be a significant component of many safeguarding issues including child sexual exploitation; radicalisation and sexual predation.


Online safety now covers the safety issues associated with all information systems and electronic communications as a whole. This encompasses not only the internet but all wireless electronic communications including mobile phones, games consoles, cameras and webcams.  It also needs to take into account the increasing mobility of access to digital technology through the range of mobile devices.


Technology often provides a platform to facilitate harm. However, it important to remember that the issue at hand is not the technology but the behaviour around how it is used; the use of new technologies in education brings more benefits than risks.


Through our Online Safety Policy, our Academy will ensure that we meet our statutory obligations to ensure that children and young people are safe and are protected from potential harm, both within and outside our Academy. The policy also forms part of our Academy’s protection from legal challenge, relating to the use of digital technologies.


There are additional duties under the Counter Terrorism and Securities Act 2015 which requires our Academy to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material on the internet.


Our Academy will ensure that there are filters and monitoring systems in place to limit exposure to risks when children are using the Academy’s IT systems and technology that can be used online.


Our Academy recognises that whilst we have appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place, we also do not “over block” so that we do not restrict this teaching opportunity to teach children about keeping safe online.


Prevent Duty and Radicalisation – Revised November 2016

There are now duties imposed on schools and other agencies in relation to The Prevent Duty which came into force on 1 July 2015. The Prevent Duty is now incorporated into our existing policies. 


Further advice in relation to this is within KCSiE and also the DfE non-statutory guidance for schools and early years’ providers in relation to:

  • Risk assessment (page 5).
  • Working in partnership (page 7).
  • Staff training (page 7).
  • It policies (page 8).
  • Building children’s resilience to radicalisation (page 8).


We are proactive in our approach and have ensured the senior DSL’s have accessed face to face training to help identify risk and support other colleagues where there are specific concerns.  We will work with key partners to ensure that we are aware of any tensions within our local community and nationally and internationally, so that we can create safe spaces for our children to discuss their experiences and concerns. Where we are concerned about individual children there is a referral pathway which all staff will be familiar with. Initial advice and support can be obtained from the Tackling Emerging Threats to Children Team and more serious concerns should be referred to the Police Prevent Team or the MASH where there is a concern that a child is at immediate risk.


In exercising our specific duty under Prevent we seek to protect children and young people from being drawn into, and against, the messages of all violent extremism.  This includes and is not restricted to Daesh, AQ, Far Right, Neo Nazi, White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.


The use of social media and the internet as tools to radicalise young people cannot be underestimated. We recognise that those that seek to recruit young people to follow extremist ideology often target those who are already vulnerable in some way and that exposure to extreme views can make young people vulnerable to further manipulation and exploitation.  We will therefore ensure that we build children and young people’s critical thinking skills and resilience through both our curriculum and pastoral provision/systems.


As a school we are clear that we have a duty to safeguard young people from such dangers and we will actively promote resilience to such risks through our RE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, our SMSC and anti-bullying work, and in our policies for use of the school premises by external agencies, visitors, premises’ hire and our online safety and ICT policies.


 Female Genital Mutilation – Revised November 2016


Guidance Notes for Staff/Governors

Female Genital Mutilation is a safeguarding issue; it is child abuse and a form of violence against girls. Local guidance for schools is contained within Guidelines for all agencies including schools within the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board procedures NSCB Procedures FGM  which has been informed by the government Multi-Agency Statutory Guidance 2016.


FGM is a procedure that includes the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM); to assist or facilitate the practice; or to take a child abroad to undergo the procedure – Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The age at which girls are subject to FGM varies greatly from shortly after birth to any time up to adulthood.  The majority of girls have the procedure between the ages of 5-8 years. It is estimated that 24,000 girls in the UK are at risk and 66,000 women living with the physical and psychological consequences.


Although prevalence of FGM within Nottinghamshire is not likely to be high, no local authority area is likely to be free from FGM entirely. Staff and governors therefore need to have an awareness of the signs that a girl may have undergone FGM or be at risk of the practice. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 was amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015 which strengthened protection to women and girls through the introduction of FGM Protection Orders and placed new mandatory duties on professionals to report known cases of FGM on girls under the age of 18 to the police.  The duty only applies in cases where the victim discloses. If someone else, such as a parent or guardian, discloses that a girl under 18 has had FGM, a report to the police is not mandatory.  However, in these circumstances disclosures should still be handled in line with wider safeguarding responsibilities.  In all cases where schools suspect a girl to be at risk they must follow normal safeguarding procedures. Certain times of year present a greater risk to girls from practicing communities. 

The ‘cutting season’ during the summer months is often the riskiest time for girls as the healing time required following the procedure, often necessitates it being carried out during the long summer holiday.  The main indicators and risk factors are highlighted below but all staff and the nominated governor for safeguarding will need to have undergone at least basic awareness raising training to ensure they can identify when a girl may be at risk.


 School staff should be alert to the following indicators:

  • The family comes from a community that is known to practise FGM or is less integrated within the community
  • A child may talk about a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent
  • A child may talk about ‘special female visitors’ who are staying with the family, especially during the ‘cutting season’
  • A child may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion
  • A child may request help, directly or indirectly, from a teacher or another adult
  • Any female child born to a woman or has a sister who has been subjected to FGM must be considered to be potentially at risk, as must other female children in the extended family
  • A girl is withdrawn from PSHE/SRE without any specific reason being given


In brief the signs that FGM may have occurred are:

  • Difficulty walking, sitting or standing
  • Spending longer in the bathroom
  • Urinary or menstrual problems
  • Prolonged absence and then noticeable behaviour changes
  • Reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations
  • May confide in a professional but may not be explicit or may be embarrassed
    Where it is suspected that a girl may have undergone or is likely to undergo FGM staff must share concerns with the DSL who in turn should consult the MASH.


Where you suspect that FGM has occurred:

  • Be sensitive to the child, and family, be gender sensitive, make no assumptions, be non-judgemental, use simple language, record clearly
  • You have a duty to protect, safeguard and share information
  • Refer to Children’s Social Care for coordination of careful assessment (not necessarily with consent)
  • There will be potential enquiries under Section 47
  • Potential police enquiries
  • Possible use of police protection or legal orders such as FGM PO, prohibitive steps but not necessarily the removal of the child.

Where you know that FGM has taken place:


You must report this direct to the police in accordance with the mandatory duty.


Children Missing from Education

Following government consultation on plans to amend CME regulations, changes were made to improve information sharing between schools and LA’s to help identify children missing education and help protect to children from potential harm. data/file/55-416/Children Missing Education - statutory guidamce.pdf


All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. We are aware that local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area. 

We recognise that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.


When a child is absent from school without authority we will follow our procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.


We have an admission register and an attendance register which supports the Academy in safeguarding children who may be at risk of missing education.
We will discuss and agree actions with regards to individual cases with the relevant colleagues in safeguarding/education within Nottinghamshire County Council for pupils who are to be removed from the admission register where the pupil:


  • has been taken out of school by their parents and the school has received written notification from the parent they are being educated outside the school system e.g. home education – this will be communicated with the home elective team
  • does not arrive at the school as part of an admission process and we are not aware of their whereabouts
  • has ceased to attend school and no longer lives within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered and has been discussed with the children missing officer (CMO) as they have not been registered at a new school
  • has been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor  his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend the school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age;
  • are in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period; or have been permanently excluded


The actions that will be taken by the Academy are in the School Attendance Flow chart.

The flow chart summarises that every child should be accounted for, their whereabouts should be known, or we will make a referral to the relevant service. We will not remove a child from our roll unless we can evidence an agreement with the local authority to do so.


Where a pupil who fails to attend our Academy regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more we will follow Nottinghamshire County Council’s Attendance Flow chart.



Children can register in the morning and then go missing throughout the day without a satisfactory explanation.  If a child is ‘missing’, their whereabouts cannot be established within the school.  Schools will need to identify whether the child is at significant risk. 

Children are more vulnerable who:

  • are on a plan (child protection plan, child in need plan, looked after child, early help)
  • have specialist educational needs and or a disability
  • are using substances
  • have an education health care plan
    there are indications that the child is at risk of CSE, grooming, radicalisation

There may be other contributing factors that should be taken into consideration when determining if the child is at significant risk such as the child’s emotional health, known issues at home etc.


School staff will always try to locate the child and attempt to establish the whereabouts of the child.  Once a child has been identified as missing and cannot be located within school, the Designated Safeguarding Leads will be informed.


Staff will use their professional judgement and risk assess the urgency of the situation to help inform the timeframe required in establishing the child’s whereabouts before notifying the police. Parents/carers will always be informed before contact with the police is made, unless a child is at immediate risk of harm and a police response is needed.  This will be judged on a case by case basis.


When a decision has been made to contact the police, the police will require information from the school to assist in locating the child and returning them to a safe environment. 


If a child has a social worker or case manager (e.g. early help) then they should also be informed.


Where a child is known to regularly go missing from school, a risk assessment for the child will be undertaken.


For further guidance please see the missing protocol or speak to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Glen Scruby, Children’s Missing Officer. / 0115 8041045


Photographing and Videoing of Children in School 

At Barnby Road Academy we have taken a sensible and balanced approach to photographing and videoing children on the Academy site.
Taking pictures and video images of children’s achievements and activities is a wonderful way of capturing a memory and promoting successes. The policy document explains in detail the school’s requirement to obtain parental permission while taking such images and the safeguards in place to ensure anonymity (wherever possible) in their usage.

Further guidance is provided by the Information Commissioners Office on taking photographs in Schools and the Data Protection Act 1998 ICO: taking photographs in schools


Private Fostering Guidance for Schools

Schools play an essential role in identifying privately fostered children. Although most children in private fostering situations are likely to be safe, in some private fostering arrangements there are can be safeguarding issues and children and young people often find it difficult to know who to talk to about their safety or welfare.


This guidance aims to raise the awareness of the role of education professionals in highlighting cases of private fostering and safeguarding children at risk.


What is a private fostering arrangement?

A private foster carer is someone other than a parent or a close relative who cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, in agreement with the child's parent.  It applies only to children under 16 years, or under 18 if they are disabled.


A private fostering arrangement is not when a child is Looked After by the Local Authority or placed in any residential home, hospital or school.


Private foster carers can be part of the child's wider family, a friend of the family, the parents of the child's boyfriend or girlfriend or someone unknown but willing to foster the child.  A cousin, great aunt or a co-habitee of a mother or father would therefore be a private foster carer. Close relatives - a grandparent, a brother or sister, an aunt or an uncle, a step parent - are not private foster carers.


Who may be privately fostered?

This list is by no means exhaustive and indicates the scale and variety of situations and agencies these arrangements can cover:

  • Children whose parents are unable to care for them, for example if they have chronic ill health or are in prison
  • Children sent to this country, for education or health care, by parents who live overseas
  • A child living with a friend’s family because they don’t get on with their own family
  • Children living with a friend’s family because of their parents’ study or work
  • Children staying with another family because their parents have separated or divorced
  • Teenagers living with the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Children from abroad who attend a language school or mainstream school in the county and are staying with host families
  • Children at boarding schools who do not return to their parents in the holidays but stay with ‘host families’ recruited by ‘education guardians’
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking minors who are living with friends, relatives or strangers
    Children who are trafficked into the UK are especially vulnerable and are often living in de facto private fostering arrangements. Child trafficking is the movement of children for exploitation, including domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation and to support benefit claims (see for further information). Where trafficking is suspected, a safeguarding referral should be made to Nottinghamshire MASH.
    What to do if you are aware of a private fostering arrangement:
    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.  However, parents and carers often do not tell professionals or agencies about such arrangements; they may not be aware that they need to (and this may apply particularly to new communities in the UK such as migrant families from new-EU states), or they chose not to tell agencies about these arrangements.
    Children's Social Care are not involved in making private fostering arrangements but are responsible for checking that the arrangements are suitable for the child. As a professional it is important for you to notify Children's Social Care if you are in contact with a child or young person who is being privately fostered. This will help protect the child against abuse or neglect and provide some reassurance that the child is being looked after properly.
    Signs to watch out for:
  • Has someone else started collecting a child from school on a regular basis?
  • Has a child mentioned to you that they are staying with someone else or that their parent(s) have gone away for a long time?
  • Is there something unusual or unclear in the child's administration file? This may include copies of passports, visas and other immigration related documents which are unclear or do not clearly show that the child has rights of residence in the UK, or that it is unclear who has parental responsibility for the child.
    What schools can do:
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of the definition of private fostering and the Local Authority’s responsibilities when such arrangements occur
  • Look at admission files to check on the home situation, and make a note to follow up any circumstances which are not clear
  • Whenever staff become aware of private fostering arrangements they should notify the Senior Designated Leads.
  • The DSLs or another appropriate member of staff should speak to the families of children who might be involved in private fostering and check that they are aware of their duty to notify the Local Authority of the arrangement. School staff should actively encourage the parents and/or carer to notify Children’s Social Care of the arrangement.

    If you believe that a private fostering arrangement has not been reported to Nottingham Social Care you should contact them directly:


    Nottinghamshire Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub   0300 500 80 90

    [Mon-Thurs: 08.30am -5pm, Fri: 08.30-14]  

    Emergency Duty out of hours Team 0300 456 4546


    If you suspect that a child who is living in a private fostering arrangement is being harmed or is at risk of significant harm (including suspecting that a child may be trafficked) and urgent action is required, follow your Child Protection procedures as laid out in this Child Protection Policy.

    What happens after the Local Authority is notified?
    When the Local Authority receives notification about a private fostering arrangement, the Nottinghamshire MASH Team will arrange for an officer to visit the child within seven working days. They will contact the parent or person with parental responsibility, run checks on the carer and talk to the young person.
    This will be to ensure the young person is happy, safe and thriving in the arrangement and that they are able to access education, medical care and any other services they may need. The Local Authority will also check that the accommodation is safe and suitable and enable the carer to access suitable training if required.
    Providing everything is in order, the family will continue the arrangement with the social worker providing checks at regular intervals to ensure the young person is safe, happy and has access to all the services to meet their needs.