PART ONE: SAFEGUARDING POLICY
Ratified by the Governing Body December 2015
To be reviewed (annually) December 2016
1.1 Safeguarding is defined as –
• Protecting children from maltreatment;
• Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
• Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
(Working Together, DfE 2015)
This includes, but is not limited to safeguarding children in specific circumstances
Neglect Physical abuse
Emotional abuse Sexual abuse
Bullying, including online and prejudice-based bullying Racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse
Gender based violence / violence against women and girls Radicalisation and /or extremist behaviour
Child Sexual Exploitation and trafficking The impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour e.g sexting
Teenage relationship abuse Substance abuse
Gang / youth violence Domestic abuse / violence
Female Genital Mutilation Forced Marriage
Fabricated / induced illness Poor parenting
1.2 Sacred Heart Primary is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. We believe that:
• All children/young people have equal right to be protected from harm;
• Children/young people need to be safe and to feel safe in school;
• Children/young people need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse;
• All children/young people have the right to speak freely and voice their values and beliefs;
• All children/young people must be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other;
• All children/young people have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, and social needs as well as their educational needs – a happy healthy sociable child/young person will achieve better educationally;
• Schools can and do contribute to the prevention of abuse, victimisation, bullying, exploitation, extreme behaviours, discriminatory views and risk taking behaviours; and
• All staff and visitors have an important role to play in safeguarding children and protecting them from abuse.
1.3 Sacred Heart Primary will fulfil their local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:-
• Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
• Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges (DfE July 2015)
• The Procedures of Luton Safeguarding Children Board
• The Children Act 1989
• The Education Act 2002 s175 / s157
• What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (DfE, 2015)
• Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools: Departmental Advice (DfE 2014)
• Prevent Duty, Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
• Serious Crime Act 2015
2. OVERALL AIMS
2.1 This policy will contribute to safeguarding our children and promoting their welfare by:
• Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and children;
• Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust ethos in the school, built on mutual respect, and shared values;
• Creating an organisational culture that is safe for children;
• Introducing appropriate work within the curriculum;
• Encouraging children and parents to participate;
• Alerting staff to the signs and indicators that all might not be well;
• Developing staff’s awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities children face;
• Addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage in the least intrusive way; and
• Reducing the potential risks children face of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation, or victimisation
2.2 This policy will contribute to supporting children by:
• Identifying and protecting the most vulnerable
• Identifying individual needs where possible; and
• Designing plans to meet those needs.
2.3 This policy will contribute to the protection of children by:
• Including appropriate work within the curriculum;
• Implementing child protection policies and procedures; and
• Working in partnership with children, parents and agencies.
3. KEY PRINCIPLES
3.1 The key principle of safeguarding, as stated by Luton Safeguarding Children Board is that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. This is reinforced within the Statutory Guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2015)
3.2 In addition, Luton Borough Council has identified the following key safeguarding messages for schools.
• Always see the child first and consider what life is like for the child, maintaining a culture of vigilance
• Provide support and intervention at the earliest possible opportunity in the least intrusive way in accordance with Luton LSCB Thresholds Framework
• Have conversations, build relationships and maintain professional curiosity
• Focus on securing improved outcomes for children and consider what difference support or interventions have made on children’s lived experiences
• Build a culture of openness and transparency where all staff are able to demonstrate understanding of their role and responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
• Every child is entitled to a rich and rounded curriculum.
• Schools operate with public money: this should be spent wisely, targeting resources on the evidenced needs of children at school now.
• Governance is corporate and decisions are collective, but individual governors can and should take the lead on specific aspects of school life such as safeguarding.
• When issues arise, Head Teachers should speak out, addressing them internally where possible and engaging in a multi agency response when required in accordance with interagency procedures
4. KEY PROCESSES
4.1 All staff should be aware of the guidance issued by Luton Safeguarding Children Board Threshold Framework to ensure children in order to secure the support and intervention at the earliest possible opportunity in the least intrusive way. (http://lutonlscb.org.uk/pdfs/threshold-framework.pdf). This document is integral to safeguarding children in Luton educational establishments and will always be used to underpin decision making.
5.1 All staff and visitors will:
• Be familiar with this safeguarding policy and implement this consistently in the course of their work with children and young people;
• Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc.
• Be involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, Early Help assessments and plans, child in need plans and interagency child protection plans;
• Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse (See Appendix One for current definitions and indicators);
• Record concerns and give the record to the Designated Safeguarding Lead Joan Cullen ; and
• Recognise and respond to concerns about the behaviour of staff, students and volunteers which indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children following interagency procedures agreed by the LSCB;
• Deal with a disclosure of abuse from a child in line with the guidance in Appendix Two - you must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately, and provide a written account as soon as possible;
5.2 All staff will receive single agency level one training at least once every three years. Key staff with designated responsibility for safeguarding will undertake higher level training and will utilise these training opportunities available from the LSCB and other organisations as agreed by the Governing Body.
Staff training needs will be assessed by taking into consideration LSCB priorities and local context. Plans will be put into place to ensure staff have the appropriate training, skills and knowledge in order to undertake their safeguarding responsibilities safely and effectively.
6. THE DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD
6.1 Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Joan Cullen. She will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as the early help hub, children’s social care. Health, police etc. This person has lead responsibility and management oversight for safeguarding and child protection. The Head Teacher, will be ultimately responsible for coordinating all child protection activity within Sacred Heart Primary.
6.2 The Designated Safeguarding Lead will lead regular case monitoring reviews of vulnerable children. These reviews, together with any actions arising from the review and the rationale for decision making will be recorded in case files.
6.3 When the school has concerns about a child, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide what steps should be taken in accordance with the LSCB Thresholds Framework and initiate a response accordingly. The Head Teacher / Principal will be kept appraised of cases as appropriate
6.4 Safeguarding and child protection information will be dealt with in a confidential manner and in accordance with the LSCB information sharing guidance. Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the Designated Safeguarding Lead feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to deal with an individual child and / or family. A written record will be made of what information has been shared with whom, and when.
6.5 Safeguarding and child protection records will be stored securely in a central place separate from academic records. Individual files will be kept for each child: the school will not keep family files.
6.6 Access to safeguarding and child protection records by staff other than by the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be restricted, and a written record will be kept of who has had access to them and when.
6.7 Parents will usually (subject to point 6.8 below) be aware of information held on their children and kept up to date regarding any concerns or developments by the appropriate members of staff. General communications with parents will be in line with any home school policies and give due regard to which adults have parental responsibility.
6.8 Do not disclose to a parent any information held on a child if this would put the child at risk of significant harm. In such circumstances advice will be sought from Children’s Social Care.
6.9 If a child moves from our school, child protection records will be forwarded on to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the new school, with due regard to their confidential nature and in line with current government guidance on the transfer of such records. Direct contact between the two schools may be necessary, especially on transfer from primary to secondary schools. We will record where and to whom the records have been passed and the date. The practice guidance produced by Luton Safeguarding Children Board will be adhered to in relation to archiving child protection records.
6.10 If sending by post, children’s records will be sent by “Special/Recorded Delivery”. For audit purposes a note of all children’s records transferred or received should be kept in either paper or electronic format. This will include the child’s name, date of birth, where and to whom the records have been sent and the date sent and/or received.
6.11 If a child is permanently excluded and moves to a Pupil Referral Unit, child protection records will be forwarded on to the relevant organisation.
6.12 Where a vulnerable young person is moving to a Further Education establishment, consideration should be given to the student’s wishes and feelings on their child protection information being passed on in order that the FE establishment can provide appropriate support.
6.13 When a Designated Safeguarding Lead resigns their post or no longer has child protection responsibility, there should be a full face to face handover/exchange of information with the new post holder.
6.14 In exceptional circumstances when a face to face handover is unfeasible, the Head Teacher / Principal will ensure that the new post holder is fully conversant with all procedures and case files.
7. THE GOVERNING BODY
7.1 The Governing Body will ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They must also have regard to this guidance to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times
7.2 The governing body will ensure that:
• The school contribute to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015. This includes providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans
• The school will allow access for children’s social care from the host local authority and, where appropriate, from a placing local authority, for that authority to conduct, or to consider whether to conduct, a section 17 or a section 47 assessment
• The schools safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the local authority as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
• The school has an effective safeguarding policy in accordance with the procedures of Luton Safeguarding Children Board. These describe the procedures which are in accordance with government guidance and refer to locally agreed inter-agency procedures put in place by the LSCB. The Governing Body will ensure that the Policy is updated annually, and is available publicly either via the school website or by other means.
• The school initiates appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.
• That the Head Teacher ensures that safeguarding policies and procedures which have been adopted by the Governing Body are consistently implemented
• The school has a staff behaviour policy (sometimes called the code of conduct) which should amongst other things include - staff/child relationships and communications including the use of social media
• The school has procedures for managing allegations and concerns about adults that work or volunteer with children and that these include the procedures for making referrals to the DBS in accordance with legal duties
• The school operates, “safer recruitment” procedures and ensures that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and relevant volunteers;
• At least one senior member of the school’s leadership team acts as a Designated Safeguarding Lead which is clearly defined within the role holder’s job description and that this person has the appropriate authority, time, training, funding and resources to undertake this role as per Appendix B Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2015.
• The Designated Safeguarding Lead attends appropriate refresher training every two years;
• The school has designated a teacher with appropriate training, skills and knowledge to promote the educational achievement of Looked After Children
• The Head Teacher and all other staff who work with children undertake training at three yearly intervals which is informed by the local context of the school / Academy together with LSCB local priorities
• Temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities;
• The school remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay; and
• The school has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff/volunteers.
7.3 The governing body reviews its policies/procedures annually
7.4 The Nominated Governor for child protection at the school is Joyce Horne . The Nominated Governor is responsible for liaising with the Head Teacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead over all matters regarding child protection issues. The role is strategic rather than operational – they will not be involved in concerns about individual children.
7.5 The Nominated Governor will liaise with the Head Teacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead to contribute to the production of an annual report for governors and the local authority (s175/s157).
7.6 Ensure a member of the governing body, usually the chair, is nominated to liaise with the designated officer(s) from the relevant local authority and partner agencies in the event of allegations of abuse made against the Head Teacher, the principal of a college or proprietor or member of governing body of an independent school
7.7 Ensure that procedures are in place to manage allegations against other children that are commensurate with Luton LSCB procedures such as those for sexually problematic and harmful behaviours.
7.8 Ensure that there are processes in place which enables children and young people to express their wishes and feelings and provide feedback.
8. A SAFER SCHOOL CULTURE
The culture of this school is one that is safe for children and unsafe for adults that may pose a risk to children. There is a belief that safeguarding is the responsibility of all adults working or volunteering within the organisation and that all concerns will be reported to the designated senior manager (the Head Teacher) in accordance with the procedures of the organisations. Essential to this is professional curiosity, openness and transparency where the focus remains on the children attending the establishment.
Safer Recruitment and Selection
8.1 The school pays full regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE 2015). Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and prohibition order checks in relation to qualified teachers.
8.2 All recruitment materials will include reference to the school’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children
8.3 Joan Cullen and Joyce Horne have undertaken CWDC/NCSL Safer Recruitment training. One of the above will be involved in all staff / volunteer recruitment processes and sit on the recruitment panel.
8.4 We recognise the stressful and traumatic nature of safeguarding and child protection work. We will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and to seek further support as appropriate.
9. OUR ROLE IN THE PREVENTION OF ABUSE
9.1 We will provide opportunities for children to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being together with preparing children for life in modern Britain and embedding fundamental British Values.
9.2 Relevant issues will be addressed through the PSHE curriculum, for example self-esteem, emotional literacy, assertiveness, power, sex and relationship education, e-safety and bullying. This will be undertaken with reference to guidance around how to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
9.3 Relevant issues will be addressed through other areas of the curriculum, for example, circle time, English, History, Drama, Art.
Other areas of work
9.4 All our policies which address issues of power and potential harm to ensure a whole school approach such as
- Safe Recruitment
- Physical Restraint
- Code of Conduct
- Visitor/ External Speaker
- Social Networking
- Health and safety
- Children Missing Education
9.5 Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the school, which should ensure that children are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.
10. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO EXTREMISM,
10.1 Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. There have been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.
10.2 Sacred Heart Primary values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both children and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion. Essential to this school is fundamental British values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Equality of Opportunity, Freedom of Speech and the rights of all Women and Men to live free from persecution of any kind and it would be expected that views and opinions expressed would be commensurate with these.
10.3 The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. Sacred Heart Primary is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.
10.4 Definitions of radicalisation and extremism, and indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation are in Appendix Four.
10.5 Sacred Heart Primary seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.
10.6 The school governors, the Head Teacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the level of risk within the school and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the school’s RE curriculum, SEND policy, assembly policy, the use of school premises by external agencies, integration of children by gender and SEN, anti-bullying policy and other issues specific to the school’s profile, community and philosophy. In addition, the school Prevent Action Plan template may be used to demonstrate how the organisation is fulfilling the prevent duty.
10.7 This risk assessment will be reviewed as part of the annual s175 return that is monitored by the local authority and the local safeguarding children board.
10.8 Our school, like all others, is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will normally be the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The SPOC for Sacred Heart Primary is Joan Cullen. The responsibilities of the SPOC are described in Appendix Five.
10.9 When any member of staff has concerns that a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the SPOC and to the Designated Safeguarding Lead if this is not the same person. If a child or Young Person is thought to be at risk of radicalisation, a referral to Channel Panel will be made using the Early Help Assessment form.
10.10 Numerous factors can contribute to and influence the range of behaviours that are defined as violent extremism, but most young people do not become involved in extremist action. For this reason the appropriate interventions in any particular case may not have any specific connection to the threat of radicalisation, for example they may address mental health, relationship or drug/alcohol issues.
10.11 Staff have received WRAP training in order to raise awareness of Prevent and to understand their role in ensuring vulnerabilities are recognised and appropriate support or intervention is secured.
11. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO EXPLOITATION, FORCED MARRIAGE, FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, OR TRAFFICKING
11.1 Our safeguarding policy above through the school’s values, ethos and behaviour policies provides the basic platform to ensure children and young people are given the support to respect themselves and others, stand up for themselves and protect each other.
11.2 Our school keeps itself up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation.
11.3 Our staff are supported through training to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to specific issues, include such issues in an age appropriate way in their curriculum,
11.4 Our school works with and engages our families and communities to talk about such issues,
11.5 Our staff are supported to talk to families about sensitive concerns in relation to their children and to find ways to address them together wherever possible. However, if a child is thought to be at risk of significant harm and discussing this with the parent may increase the risk of harm, advice will be sought from Children’s Social Care Rapid Intervention and Assessment Team and a referral will be made
11.6 Our Designated Safeguarding Lead knows where to seek and get advice as necessary.
12. WHAT WE DO WHEN WE ARE CONCERNED
12.1 All concerns will be viewed alongside the LSCB Thresholds Framework in order to ensure the appropriate support or intervention is provided at the earliest opportunity in the least intrusive way.
12.2 Where risk factors are present but there is no evidence of a particular risk then our DSL /SPOC advises us on preventative work that can be done within school to engage the child into mainstream activities and social groups. The DSL may well be the person who talks to and has conversations with the child’s family, sharing the school’s concern about the young person’s vulnerability and how the family and school can work together to reduce the risk.
12.2 If, in consultation with the LSCB Thresholds Framework the level on concern sits at Level 2 or 3 and Early Help Assessment should be completed with the consent of the parent / carer. Additional support or advice for this work may be sought from the Early Intervention Hub / Stronger Families team. In cases where it is not possible to obtain consent from the Parent / Carer the school will seek advice from the Early Help Hub.
12.3 The school will review each case to ensure that any support or intervention provided has impacted positively on the welfare / safety of the child or young person and that improvement is sustained.
12.4 In the event that provision of Early Help has not led to improvements for the child / young person, or concerns escalate, the school will follow the step-up procedures published by the LSCB
12.5 In consultation with the LSCB Thresholds Framework, if the concerns about the child or young person indicate that they may be at risk of, or suffering significant harm a referral will be made to the Rapid Intervention and Assessment Team. The parent will be informed of the referral unless informing the parent may place the child / young person at increased risk of harm.
12.6 If the school are concerned that a child / young person has experienced or is at risk of FGM a Child Protection referral will be made to the Rapid Intervention and Assessment Team in accordance with interagency procedures produced by the LSCB
12.7 If the school are concerned that a child may be at risk of significant harm in relation to radicalisation or involvement in violent extremism a child protection referral will be made to the Rapid Intervention and Assessment Team
13. INVOLVING PARENTS / CARERS
13.1 In general, we will discuss any safeguarding and child protection concerns with parents / carers before approaching other agencies, and will seek their consent to making a referral to another agency. Appropriate staff will approach parents / carers after consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. However there may be occasions when the school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.
13.2 Parents / carers will be informed about our safeguarding policy through the school website, information pack for new parents and newsletters.
14. MULTI-AGENCY WORK
14.1 We work in partnership with other agencies in the best interests of the children. The school will, where necessary, liaise with the school nurse, initiate an Early Help Assessment, and make referrals to children’s social care. Referrals and contacts should be made by the Designated Safeguarding Lead to either the Early Help Hub, or the Rapid Intervention and Assessment Team depending on the level of need. Where the child already has a social worker, the request for service should go immediately to the social worker involved, or in their absence to their team manager or Duty Worker.
14.2 We will co-operate with any child protection enquiries conducted by children’s social care: the school will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as team around the family meetings, initial and review child protection conferences, together with core group meetings.
14.3 We will provide reports as required for these meetings in accordance with the LSCB interagency procedures. If the school is unable to attend, a written report will be sent. The report will, wherever possible, be shared with parents / carers at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
14.4 Where there are concerns about a child who may be at risk of or experiencing Child Sexual Exploitation, in addition to the processes referred to above the school will make a referral to the Child Sexual Exploitation Panel in accordance with Local procedures.
14.5 Where there are concerns that a child or young person may be, or is at risk of becoming involved in gang related activity, a referral will be made to the MAG panel in accordance with Local procedures
14.4 Where a child is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan, child in need plan or early help assessment, the school will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.
14.5 If a child has been exposed to domestic abuse or violence the school will contribute to the Multi Agency Risk Assessment process as appropriate. This is in addition to providing early help and support in accordance with the Luton LSCB Threshold Framework.
15. OUR ROLE IN SUPPORTING CHILDREN
15.1 We will offer appropriate support to individual children who have experienced abuse or who have abused others.
15.2 An individual support plan will be devised, implemented and reviewed regularly for these children. This plan will detail areas of support, who will be involved, and the child’s wishes and feelings. A written outline of the individual support plan will be kept in the child’s child protection record.
15.3 Children and young people who abuse others will be responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others within the school community. The school will seek support from other agencies in accordance with Local Interagency procedures which may include providing early help or making a child protection referral depending on the nature of the abuse / harmful behaviour. We will ensure that the needs of children and young people who abuse others will be considered separately from the needs of their victims.
15.4 We will ensure the school works in partnership with parents / carers and other agencies as appropriate.
16. RESPONDING TO AN ALLEGATION OR CONCERN ABOUT A MEMBER OF STAFF
The school will comply with the LSCB procedures for managing allegations about adults that work or volunteer with children in all circumstances
16.1 This procedure should be used in any case in which it is alleged that a member of staff, governor, visiting professional or volunteer has:
• Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
• Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
• Behaved in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk of harm to children
16.2 Although it is an uncomfortable thought, it needs to be acknowledged that there is the potential for staff in school to abuse children.
16.3 All staff working within our organisation must report any potential safeguarding concerns about an individual’s behaviour towards children and young people immediately. Allegations or concerns about colleagues and visitors must be reported direct to the Head Teacher unless the concern relates to Head Teacher / Principal. If the concern relates to the Head Teacher, it must be reported immediately to the Chair of Governors. Alternatively concerns can be reported directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in children’s social care, who will liaise with the Chair of Governors and they will decide on any action required.
16.4 If the Head Teacher are not available the member of staff should report their concerns to the most senior member of staff available who will make contact with the LADO and discuss the concerns. Contact into the LADO should happen at the earliest possible opportunity within 1 working day.
The LADO in Luton can be contacted on 01582 548069.
16.5 The LADO may request a referral, if this is requested the referral will be completed and submitted within 1 working day.
16.6 The school will engage with the LADO at all stages of the management of the allegation / concern and comply with the Statutory Guidance contained within Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015) and the local procedures published by the LSCB. In this regard, the school will consider whether it is necessary to suspend the member of staff while the case is being managed, however all reasonable alternatives to manage the risk will be considered.
16.7 Should the school dismiss a member of staff/volunteer as a result of a substantiated allegation, or should a member of staff/volunteer resign before an investigation has been completed, in accordance with Statutory Duty a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service will be made. If the member of staff is a qualified teacher, the school will in accordance with published guidance from the Department for Education consider whether a referral to the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) should be made.
16.8 The school will adhere to the Statutory Guidance contained within Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015) with regard to record keeping, references and compromise agreements.
17. CHILDREN WITH ADDITIONAL NEEDS
17.1 Sacred Heart Primary recognises that while all children have a right to be safe, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse, for example those with a disability or special educational need, those living with domestic violence or drug / alcohol abusing parents, etc.
17.2 When the school is considering excluding, either fixed term or permanently, a vulnerable child and / or a child who is the subject of a child protection plan or where there is an existing child protection file, we will call a multi-agency risk-assessment meeting prior to making the decision to exclude. In the event of a one-off serious incident resulting in an immediate decision to exclude, the risk assessment must be completed prior to convening a meeting of the Governing Body
18. CHILDREN IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES
18.1 Guidance on children in specific circumstances is in Luton Safeguarding Children Board / Luton Borough Council procedures as listed below
o Abuse Linked to Spiritual Belief
o Child Sexual Exploitation
o Safeguarding Children vulnerable to Gang Activity
o Supporting individuals vulnerable to violent extremism
o Private Fostering
o Children missing from home or care
o Children missing education
o Children of Parents who Misuse Substances
o Children of Parents with Learning Difficulties
o Working with parents/carers with mental health problems
o Working with parents/carers with disabilities
o Disabled Children
o Protocol for dealing with domestic violence when children are involved
o E-Safety – Children Exposed to Abuse through the Digital Media
o Fabricated or Induced Illness
o Female Genital Mutilation
o Forced Marriage / Honour Based Violence
o Practice Guidance & Procedures to distinguish between healthy and abusive sexual behaviours in children and young people
o Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked
o Protocol & Guidance; Working with Sexually Active Young People
o Working with hostile, non-compliant clients and those who use disguised compliance
DEFINITIONS AND INDICATORS OF ABUSE
Neglect is 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 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.
The following may be indicators of neglect (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
• Constant hunger;
• Stealing, scavenging and/or hoarding food;
• Frequent tiredness or listlessness;
• Frequently dirty or unkempt;
• Often poorly or inappropriately clad for the weather;
• Poor school attendance or often late for school;
• Poor concentration;
• Affection or attention seeking behaviour;
• Illnesses or injuries that are left untreated;
• Failure to achieve developmental milestones, for example growth, weight;
• Failure to develop intellectually or socially;
• Responsibility for activity that is not age appropriate such as cooking, ironing, caring for siblings;
• The child is regularly not collected or received from school; or
• The child is left at home alone or with inappropriate carers
2. PHYSICAL ABUSE
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
The following may be indicators of physical abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
• Multiple bruises in clusters, or of uniform shape;
• Bruises that carry an imprint, such as a hand or a belt;
• Bite marks;
• Round burn marks;
• Multiple burn marks and burns on unusual areas of the body such as the back, shoulders or buttocks;
• An injury that is not consistent with the account given;
• Changing or different accounts of how an injury occurred;
• Bald patches;
• Symptoms of drug or alcohol intoxication or poisoning;
• Unaccountable covering of limbs, even in hot weather;
• Fear of going home or parents being contacted;
• Fear of medical help;
• Fear of changing for PE;
• Inexplicable fear of adults or over-compliance;
• Violence or aggression towards others including bullying; or
• Isolation from peers.
3. SEXUAL ABUSE
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 act of sexual abuse, as can other children.
The following may be indicators of sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
• Sexually explicit play or behaviour or age-inappropriate knowledge;
• Anal or vaginal discharge, soreness or scratching;
• Reluctance to go home;
• Inability to concentrate, tiredness;
• Refusal to communicate;
• Thrush, persistent complaints of stomach disorders or pains;
• Eating disorders, for example anorexia nervosa and bulimia;
• Attention seeking behaviour, self-mutilation, substance abuse;
• Aggressive behaviour including sexual harassment or molestation;
• Unusual compliance;
• Regressive behaviour, enuresis, soiling;
• Frequent or open masturbation, touching others inappropriately;
• Depression, withdrawal, isolation from peer group;
• Reluctance to undress for PE or swimming; or
• Bruises or scratches in the genital area.
4. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Child sexual exploitation occurs when a child or young person, or another person, receives “something” (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of the child/young person performing sexual activities, or another person performing sexual activities on the child/young person.
The presence of any significant indicator for sexual exploitation should trigger a referral to children’s social care. The significant indicators are:
• Having a relationship of concern with a controlling adult or young person (this may involve physical and/or emotional abuse and/or gang activity);
• Entering and/or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults;
• Possessing unexplained amounts of money, expensive clothes or other items;
• Frequenting areas known for risky activities;
• Being groomed or abused via the Internet and mobile technology; and
• Having unexplained contact with hotels, taxi companies or fast food outlets.
The intelligence reporting form on the LSCB website will be used to share information with Police and children’s social care that raises a concern around CSE.
In addition to making referrals to children’s social care, referrals of children thought to be at risk of, or experiencing CSE will be referred to the Child Sexual Exploitation panel.
5. EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may 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 the 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 also involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), 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
The following may be indicators of emotional abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):
• The child consistently describes him/herself in very negative ways – as stupid, naughty, hopeless, ugly;
• Over-reaction to mistakes;
• Delayed physical, mental or emotional development;
• Sudden speech or sensory disorders;
• Inappropriate emotional responses, fantasies;
• Behaviours such as rocking, banging head, regression, tics and twitches;
• Self harming, drug or solvent abuse;
• Fear of parents being contacted;
• Running away;
• Compulsive stealing;
• Appetite disorders - anorexia nervosa, bulimia; or
• Soiling, smearing faeces, enuresis.
N.B.: Some situations where children stop communication suddenly (known as “traumatic mutism”) can indicate maltreatment.
6. RESPONSES FROM PARENTS
Research and experience indicates that the following responses from parents may suggest a cause for concern across all four categories:
• Delay in seeking treatment that is obviously needed;
• Unawareness or denial of any injury, pain or loss of function (for example, a fractured limb);
• Incompatible explanations offered, several different explanations or the child is said to have acted in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development;
• Reluctance to give information or failure to mention other known relevant injuries;
• Frequent presentation of minor injuries;
• A persistently negative attitude towards the child;
• Unrealistic expectations or constant complaints about the child;
• Alcohol misuse or other drug/substance misuse;
• Parents request removal of the child from home; or
• Violence between adults in the household.
7. DISABLED CHILDREN
When working with children with disabilities, practitioners need to be aware that additional possible indicators of abuse and/or neglect may also include:
• A bruise in a site that might not be of concern on an ambulant child such as the shin, might be of concern on a non-mobile child;
• Not getting enough help with feeding leading to malnourishment;
• Poor toileting arrangements;
• Lack of stimulation;
• Unjustified and/or excessive use of restraint;
• Rough handling, extreme behaviour modification such as deprivation of medication, food or clothing, disabling wheelchair batteries;
• Unwillingness to try to learn a child’s means of communication;
• Ill-fitting equipment. for example callipers, sleep boards, inappropriate splinting;
• Misappropriation of a child’s finances; or
• Inappropriate invasive procedures.
DEALING WITH A DISCLOSURE OF ABUSE
When a child tells me about abuse s/he has suffered, what must I remember?
• Stay calm.
• Do not communicate shock, anger or embarrassment.
• Reassure the child. Tell her/him you are pleased that s/he is speaking to you.
• Never enter into a pact of secrecy with the child. Assure her/him that you will try to help but let the child know that you will have to tell other people in order to do this. State who this will be and why.
• Tell her/him that you believe them. Children very rarely lie about abuse; but s/he may have tried to tell others and not been heard or believed.
• Tell the child that it is not her/his fault.
• Encourage the child to talk but do not ask "leading questions" or press for information.
• Listen and remember.
• Check that you have understood correctly what the child is trying to tell you.
• Praise the child for telling you. Communicate that s/he has a right to be safe and protected.
• Do not tell the child that what s/he experienced is dirty, naughty or bad.
• It is inappropriate to make any comments about the alleged offender.
• Be aware that the child may retract what s/he has told you. It is essential to record all you have heard.
• At the end of the conversation, tell the child again who you are going to tell and why that person or those people need to know.
• As soon as you can afterwards, make a detailed record of the conversation using the child’s own language. Include any questions you may have asked. Do not add any opinions or interpretations.
NB It is not education staff’s role to seek disclosures. Their role is to observe that something may be wrong, ask about it, listen, be available and try to make time to talk.
You must not deal with this yourself. Clear indications or disclosure of abuse must be reported to children’s social care without delay, by the Head Teacher / Principal or the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Children making a disclosure may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Listening to and supporting a child/young person who has been abused can be traumatic for the adults involved. Support for you will be available from your Designated Safeguarding Lead or Head Teacher.
ALLEGATIONS ABOUT A MEMBER OF STAFF, GOVERNOR OR VOLUNTEER
1. Inappropriate behaviour by staff/volunteers could take the following forms:
For example the intentional use of force as a punishment, slapping, use of objects to hit with, throwing objects or inappropriate physical handling.
For example intimidation, belittling, scapegoating, sarcasm, lack of respect for children’s rights, and attitudes that discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexuality. Excessive or aggressive shouting
For example sexualised behaviour towards peers, sexual harassment, sexual communication including via social networking, email, text, grooming behavior, sexual assault and rape.
For example failing to act to protect a child or children, failing to seek medical attention or failure to meet a child’s basic needs
2. If a child makes an allegation or raises a concern about a member of staff, governor, visitor or volunteer the Head Teacher / Principal should be informed immediately. If the allegation or concern may fall within the following criteria the LADO will be contacted at the earliest possibly opportunity and within 1 working day.
• Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
• Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
• Behaved in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk of harm to children
The Head Teacher / Principal will not carry out the investigation him/herself or interview pupils.
3. If a child makes an allegation of physical abuse against an adult that works with children and there are visible bruises, marks or injuries. Or if a child makes an allegation of sexual abuse against an adult that works with children Child Protection procedures will be followed and a referral made to the Rapid Interventions and Assessment Team. The LADO will also be informed.
3. The Head Teacher / Principal must exercise, and be accountable for, their professional judgement on the action to be taken, as follows –
• If the actions of the member of staff, are felt likely to fall within the scope of the interagency allegation management procedures as stated in point 2, the Head Teacher / Principal will notify the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (Tel: 01582 548069). The LADO will liaise with the Head Teacher and advise about action to be taken which will be in accordance with the interagency procedures for managing allegations. .
• If the Head Teacher / Principal is uncertain whether the concern or allegation falls within the scope of the allegation management procedures a consultation with the LADO will take place and the advice provided will be acted upon. This consultation and the advice offered will be recorded and held on file.
4. Where an allegation has been made against the Head Teacher / Principal, then the Chair of the Governing Body takes on the role of liaising with the LADO team in determining the appropriate way forward. For details of this specific procedure see the Section on Allegations against Staff and Volunteers in the procedures of Luton Safeguarding Children Board
INDICATORS OF VULNERABILITY TO RADICALISATION
1. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
2. Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as:
Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
3. Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as:
The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
• Encourage, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
• Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
• Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts; or
• Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
4. There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.
5. Children may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors - it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that school staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities.
6. Indicators of vulnerability include:
• Identity Crisis – the child is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society;
• Personal Crisis – the child may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;Personal Circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the child’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
• Unmet Aspirations – the child may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
• Experiences of Criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement / reintegration;
• Special Educational Need – children may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.
7. However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism.
8. More critical risk factors could include:
• Being in contact with extremist recruiters;
• Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element;
• Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature;
• Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage;
• Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues;
• Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations; and
• Significant changes to appearance and / or behaviour;
• Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and / or personal crisis.
PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM -
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT (SPOC)
The SPOC for Sacred Heart Primary is Joan Cullen, who is responsible for:
• Ensuring that staff of the school are aware that you are the SPOC in relation to protecting children from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
• Maintaining and applying a good understanding of the relevant guidance in relation to preventing children from becoming involved in terrorism, and protecting them from radicalisation by those who support terrorism or forms of extremism which lead to terrorism;
• Raising awareness about the role and responsibilities of Sacred Heart Primary in relation to protecting children from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
• Monitoring the effect in practice of the school’s RE curriculum and assembly policy to ensure that they are used to promote community cohesion and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs;
• Raising awareness within the school about the safeguarding processes relating to protecting children from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
• Acting as the first point of contact within the school for case discussions relating to children who may be at risk of radicalisation or involved in terrorism;
• Collating relevant information from in relation to referrals of vulnerable children into the Channel* process;
• Attending Channel* meetings as necessary and carrying out any actions as agreed;
• Reporting progress on actions to the Channel* Co-ordinator; and
• Sharing any relevant additional information in a timely manner.
* Channel is a multi-agency approach to provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist related activity. It is led by the West Midlands Police Counter-Terrorism Unit, and it aims to
• Establish an effective multi-agency referral and intervention process to identify vulnerable individuals;
• Safeguard individuals who might be vulnerable to being radicalised, so that they are not at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity; and
• Provide early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks they face and reduce vulnerability
APPENDIX 6 - RECORDING PROCEDURE
- Who - Person with concern
- Action - Complete a recording form
- Detail - Any member of staff, volunteer or visitor who identifies or receives a concern about the safety or welfare of a child should complete a Safeguarding Children Recording Form (unless the concern is of an urgent nature in which case appropriate action should be taken immediately and the form completed afterwards). The forms are available from the school offices.
- Who - Person with concern
- Action - Take the form to the Designated Safeguarding Person
- Detail - On completion of the form the person should take it to the setting’s Designated Senior Member of Staff for Child Protection- Joan Cullen. If this person is unavailable the form should be taken to whoever acts in his or her absence Sue Diggin or Helen Winslet. Important: The form is designed to facilitate a discussion about the concern or incident. The form must not be left for the Designated Person to access at a later date, for example in their pigeonhole or post tray. This may cause a critical delay in dealing with the concern and impact on confidentiality
- Who - Person with concern and Designated CP Person
- Action - Discuss concern with the Designated Person and agree actions
- Detail - The person who has made the recording should discuss the concern with the Designated Person. They should agree together, in conjunction with the LSCB Inte
Regular school attendance and punctuality are extremely important, valuable learning time is lost when pupils are absent or late. Pupils need to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. The school’s ethos demonstrates that children feel that their presence in school is important, that they are missed when they are absent or late. The school will take appropriate action when necessary in order to promote the aims of the policy.
- To maximise attendance of all children.
- To provide an environment which encourages regular attendance and makes attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated at the school.
- To monitor and support children whose attendance is a cause for concern and work in partnership with parents and carers to resolve any difficulty.
- To analyse attendance data regularly to inform future policy and practice.
- To work closely and make full use of the support from the wider community including the Education Welfare Service and multi-agency teams.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBLITIES
Responsibilities of families
The responsibility for ensuring children attend school regularly and punctually rests with parents/carers . However, where school attendance problems occur, the key to resolving these problems is engaging the child through collaborative working between the parent, the school and the Local Authority.
- Ensure their children attend school regularly
- Ensure they are punctual for school.
- Ensure they are appropriately dressed and in a condition to learn.
- Comply with the attendance policy.
- Make sure their child understands the reasons for good attendance and punctuality.
- Make sure appointments are made outside of school hours wherever possible and show evidence of the appointment when it is not.
- Notify the school when their child is absent as soon as possible, preferably on the first day.
- Provide a written explanation for their child’s absence on their child’s return to school.
- Follow the procedure for term time holidays
- Only allow absence from school for legitimate reasons.
- Work in partnership with the school.
Responsibilities of the school
The school will:
- Have a registration system that is accurate, informative and understood.
- Analyse data regularly and identify the actions that need to be taken.
- Follow up unexplained absences promptly.
- Ensure that attendance and punctuality have a high profile in our communications with parents.
- Have clear written guidance for parents.
- Promote good attendance and punctuality for all.
- Work in partnership with families and the Educational Welfare Service.
- Inform parents of their child’s attendance regularly during the school year.
- Set and monitor progress towards annual targets for attendance.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the Attendance Policy
Responsibilities of the Educational Welfare Service
The Education Welfare Service will:
- Monitor registers regularly.
- Identify pupils/families with attendance difficulties.
- Agree time limited action which needs to be taken by the school or education welfare officer.
- Feedback on the progress of cases and exchange of information.
- Issue penalty notices where applicable.
- Provide advice to the school.
- Work in partnership with the school and families.
- The School uses Attendance Manager provided by SIMS to store and monitor it’s legal responsibilities in relationship to attendance. This system consists of specialised software and OMR sheets.
- Registers are a vital legal document and teachers are required by their contractual duties to take an attendance register at the beginning of both the morning and afternoon sessions. Registers are completed electronically
- Registers must be completed carefully and accurately, as they provide a record of a pupil’s attendance. Failure to compete a register accurately leaves the school vulnerable to complaint from parents or carers and constitutes a risk if an emergency evacuation has to take place.
Parents and Carers can be taken to court if they don’t make sure their child attends school, without reason (as defined in law) and if their child has too many unauthorised absences.
All parents are responsible for their child’s travel arrangements to school and to ensure their child arrives on time. Even pupils coming from some distance are therefore expected to be on time. Pupils are marked late if they are in school before the end of registration but were not present when their name was called.
School hours are from 8.55am until 3.30 pm Monday to Friday. The school does not take responsibility for pupils on site prior to 8.45am unless they are attending the Breakfast Club. Pupils must not stay on site after 3.45pm, unless they are taking part in an organised school activity.
- Pupils arriving after the register has been closed at 8.55 am, will be considered as late.
- Pupils arriving after 8.55 must report to the School Office so that their attendance can be recorded.
- Pupils arriving after 9.30 am will be officially absent for the morning session. This will be considered an un-authorised absence unless a satisfactory reason is given, for example a medical appointment.
- Lateness is monitored
- Action to address lateness will be taken in line with the school’s strategy to improve punctuality.
- We expect parents and carers to collect their child promptly at the end of the school day as it is upaetting for children if they do not. Children who are not collected within 10 minutes of the end of the school day are brought to the school office and their namens are recorded and parents are contacted. Where childen are collected late from school persisently, these children will be placed in the Care Club and parents will be invoiced for the session.
- Parents/carers are asked to contact the school on the first day of absence to provide the reason for the absence. Parents/carers should provide a written explanation on their child’s return to school.
- Where Office Staff are not made aware of the reason for a child’s absence they will, wherever possible, contact parents/carers by telephone on the first day of absence.
- If any member of staff is concerned about a reason for absence, the Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher should be informed.
- In the event of continued sickness, parents are advised to provide information from a relevant practitioner. This keeps pastoral and attendance staff informed of the pupil’s needs and appropriate support can then be arranged where necessary.
Medical or Dental Appointments
Pupils must not leave the school premises during the school day without permission from the Headteacher in consultation with the parents. Routine medical or dental appointments are discouraged in school time because of the disruption that they cause. However, where appointments in school time are absolutely necessary, pupils are encouraged to attend school for part of the day depending on the time of the appointment.
- Absence from school due to a medical or dental appointment will be considered as an authorised absence. Parents should inform the school in advance and show the letter or appointment card as evidence.
- Parents/carers are encouraged to make all medical appointments out of school hours.
Missing Physical Activities
Permission to be excused from PE or Swimming should be made inwriting to the teacher concerned and should only be for medical reasons. An explanatory note from a medical professional may be required should the class teacher see it as necessary to confirm and endorse the request.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY for SCHOOLS
Holidays During Term Time
The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 have been amended and come into force from 1st September 2013. The amendments remove references to ‘holiday’ from school and extended leave of absence as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Requests for leave of absence should not normally be granted for the purposes of a holiday. The law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Head Teachers have the discretion to authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and it is only for the Head Teacher to determine what is truly exceptional. School days are precious; children only attend school 190 out of 365 days. There are 175 days a year which parents can use for any activities other than school.
Leave of absence will not be authorised in the following circumstances:
• Pupil’s attendance is less than 97% in the previous 12 months
• During SATs years (Year 2 and Year 6)
• In a transition year
• At the beginning of any academic year
• Retrospectively – requests received after leave has been taken
• If there are any other academic concerns such as poor punctuality, pupils ability to catch up on the work missed etc
• If leave of absence has already been taken in the same school year
We will also take into account the following:
• The pupil’s general absence/attendance record, e.g. Unauthorised absence
• Proximity of SATs and public examinations
• Amount of time requested
• Age of the pupil
• Length of the proposed leave
• Pupil’s ability to catch up on the work
• Pupil’s educational needs
• General welfare of the pupil
• Circumstances of the request
• Purpose of the leave
• Frequency of the activity
• When the request was made
Applications for Leave of Absence
Requests must be made in advance or the absence cannot legally be authorised. All requests must be made at least two weeks in advance to the Head Teacher by completing the school appli-cation form. A parent/adult with whom the child resides with must make the application even though the pupil may not be taking the proposed leave with them. The form must be fully completed and you will receive a written response confirming if the request will be authorised or not (appendix 1).
If leave is granted and you are travelling abroad you will need to supply us with confirmation of your return flight tickets, such as bringing a copy of the flight tickets into the school reception for us to copy.
If you take your child out of school without the school’s prior authorisation the absence will be recorded as unauthorised (which is illegal) and noted in your child’s school records. Leave of absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacher.
Where a parent/carer has taken their child on leave of absence during term time for 5 consecutive school days or more, without the Head Teacher’s authorisation, Luton Local Authority will issue a Penalty Notice. In these circumstances a warning will not be given. Penalty Notices are per parent, per child as appropriate, so if there are 2 parents both will need to pay the fine. From 1 September 2013 penalty notices will need to be paid within 21 days at £60 or £120 within 28 days. Unpaid Penalty Notices, will result in prosecution for the absence in the magistrate’s court.
The school make the decision as to whether the request of leave should be granted or not and the Local Authority make the decision to impose a penalty for this.
Failure to return to school on the date expected
If there is a reason which delays the pupil in returning to school the parent/guardian must inform the school immediately. The school will require evidence of this issue and will then decide whether the absence will be authorised. For any travel arrangements outside of the UK we require proof of return flights, prior to the leave being taken. This may prevent you from receiving unauthorised absence for your child and being fined if they are unable to return on the date expected. Each case will be assessed individually and medical evidence from abroad will not be accepted routinely as evidence that a pupil was unable to attend school.
A Pupil can be removed from roll in either of these circumstances:
• If you take your child on leave of absence which has been authorised by the school but your child fails to return on the agreed date, any extra time absent from school will be counted as unauthorised. If your child fails to return within ten days of the expected date of return then the school may remove your child from the school roll and notify the Local Authority accordingly.
• Or, if your child has 20 days continuous unauthorised absence.
Other absence from school will be considered on an individual basis and a decision will be made to authorise or un-authorise the absence.
Attendance is monitored regularly,
- The Attendance Officer will attempt to telephone families whose child is absent on the first day of absence where no reason has previously been given.
- Teachers must inform the Headteacher when they notice patterns of absence.
- Attendance data will be collected monthly to establish patterns of irregular attendance. This will include children with incomplete weeks; Monday and Friday absences; lateness; periods of extended absence; periods of un-authorised ; and all children with attendance below 90%. This data will be discussed with the EWO as part of the regular monthly meetings.
- The Headteacher and EWO will discuss the impact of the School’s Attendance Policy, attendance target and the strategies used to promote good attendance annually and the Headteacher will recommend an attendance target to the Governors .
- The Governors will set an annual target of attendance and unauthorised absence and review this annually at its first meeting.
The attendance monitoring file is kept in the KS2 Office
All absences both authorised, unauthorised absence and lateness will be reported to the parents twice a year, during the Lent Term at Parent Consultations and at the end of the academic year within their child’s report. The Attendance Officer produces these reports for SIMS attendance module.
In order to give parents/carers a benchmark to their child’s attendance to other children in the school and nationally the following grades will be used :
|98% - 99.9%||Very Good|
|94% - 97.9%||Good|
|90% - 93.9%||Satisfactory
Parents are able to make an appointment with the Family Worker or Headteacher to discuss any concerns they have.
Parents are given information about whole school attendance in newsletters (Appendix 2 - Attendance Fact sheet available from KS2 office)
To Educational Welfare Service
The Attendance Officer provides an attendance print out of 95% and below to assist the Educational Welfare Officer with their register check. This report is shared with the Educational Welfare Service.
To the Department for Education
Three times a year the Attendance Officer completes the FORVUS return as per guidelines.
To the Governing Body
The Headteacher’s Report includes an attendance update each term.
PROMOTING AND REWARDING GOOD ATTENDANCE
The class with the best weekly attendance overall in each Key Stage has the school mascot/cup in their class for the week.
The class with the best half termly attendance overall in each Key Stage has a certificate prominently displayed.
Children who achieve 100% attendance are presented with a certificate at the end of each term.
Children who achieve 100% attendance at the end of the year are presented with a certificate and attendance prize.
The rewards system is regularly reviewed and amended to continue to encourage good attendance particularly for poor attendees.
IMPROVING POOR ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
The regular monitoring and analysis of school registers enables patterns and trends to be identified.
Where poor attendance or punctuality is identified the parent is advised in writing that their child’s attendance/punctuality is being monitored for the next term. Parents are able to meet the Family Worker, Attendance Officer or Headteacher to discuss this.
Where the concern persists the Family Worker will invite the parents to s meeting to discuss the reasons for the absence or punctuality difficulties. The purpose of this meeting is to plan for improvement. The school will continue to monitor the child’s attendance each week.
Where no improvement has been made the Educational Welfare Officer will be informed and parents will be invited to a second meeting.
The aim throughout this process is to ensure all children have the best attendance possible. The school will work in partnership with parents and take into account individual circumstances, applying the process accordingly.
A visit to families at home will be arranged if necessary.
The policy and associated guidance will be discussed with staff and governors.
A copy of registration guidance will be given to supply staff working in the school.
Families will be informed of the attendance procedures via the school prospectus, school induction meetings and newsletters.
This policy was ratified by governors June 2013.
It will be reviewed in June 2015 or sooner if regulations change.
In keeping with the spirit of the school’s Mission Statement our behaviour and discipline policy is positively based on a sense of love and respect for each individual. Within our community everyone is valued and individual needs are regarded as important. We recognise that each individual is unique and deserves to be shown care, respect and courtesy. In promoting and living the Gospel values within our school community we expect them to extend to the home and wider community that we serve.
1. To develop a whole school behaviour policy supported and followed by the whole school community, parents, teachers, children and governors, based on a sense of community and shared values.
2. To apply positive policies that serve to create a caring, family atmosphere and enable teaching and learning to take place in a safe, secure and happy environment.
3. To use the family as our model so that any necessary correction takes place in a context of security, affection and concern for the individual.
4. To teach, through the school curriculum and the Catholic ethos of our community, values and attitudes as well as knowledge and skills.
5. To promote responsible behaviour and self-discipline and encourage in children a respect for themselves, for other people and for property.
6. To recognise that praise and encouragement are powerful motivators.
7. To encourage and promote good behaviour rather than to simply punish poor or bad behaviour by providing a range of rewards for children of all ages and abilities.
8. To make clear to children the distinction between minor and more serious misbehaviour and the range of sanctions that will follow.
9. To deal with all situations and problems promptly in a caring, professional and sympathetic manner.
To expect each member of staff to:
- recognise the importance of collective and individual responsibility for the
quality of behaviour whenever the children are on site or on educational visits.
- encourage good behaviour by ensuring that their own classroom organisation and management is of the highest possible level.
- should the occasion arise, seek advice from senior members of staff who, in turn, must support readily, while judiciously balancing the problems of a difficult pupil with the need to establish acceptable standards of behaviour.
Code of Conduct:
This code of conduct has been formulated with the safety and well being of the children in mind, and to enable the school to function efficiently as a place of learning.
- All members of the school community are asked to respect each other
- All children are expected to respect their teachers, other adults and fellow pupils
- All children are expected to respect their own and other people’s property and to take care of books and equipment
- Children are asked to be well-behaved, well-mannered and attentive
- Children should walk (not run) when moving around school, paying due care and attention to safety on the stairwell (KS2) as instructed
- If a child has a grievance against another child, it must be reported to a member of staff who will deal with the matter
- Physical violence is not acceptable, neither is retaliation. Repeated or serious incidents could lead to exclusion
- Foul or abusive language must not be used, parents will be informed of persistent use of inappropriate language
- Children and Staff are expected to be punctual, ready to make a prompt start to each new session
- Children must not bring sharp or dangerous instruments to school, or any item that might cause a problem. Toys or personal property must not be brought to school unless by prior arrangement with the class teacher.
- Children should wear the correct school uniform. Stud/small earrings and watches are permitted but are not to be worn during P.E. Rings, necklaces, bracelets and anklets are not permitted. Footwear must be sensible and appropriate; trainers and fashion shoes are not part of everyday school uniform. Hair attire should be simple and preferably in school colours. For swimming lessons (KS2) the children must wear appropriate swimwear as requested by Putteridge Community Centre.
In addition each class will have its own code of conduct displayed , often worked out with children.
An example of such a code could be as follows:
1. We listen carefully and follow instructions.
2. We treat other people how we would like to be treated.
3. We work quietly without disturbing our classmates.
4. We always tell the truth.
5. We always do our best.
Rewards and Incentives:
A major aim of the school policy is to encourage children to practice good behaviour by operating a system of praise and reward. This is for all children.
The Sacred Heart Primary system is based on praise/awards and the use of Golden Time (KS1) through which children can be rewarded for academic and non-academic achievements, for effort and for being caring, and for all aspects of good work and behaviour.
In Key Stage 2 the children are divided into four houses, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A record is kept of team merits and the scores announced during assemblies as well as displayed around the school. Children are given rewards for thoughtfulness, being helpful, good work etc. We hope that children will be encouraged to try their best in every aspect of school life.
Also individual certificates celebrating achievements will be awarded every Tuesday, to two pupils in each class. These are for good work, improved work, having the right attitude etc. They are recorded on the Good News Board (KS1) or Star Pupil Board (KS2) and weekly Certificate Book (KS2).
Incentive stickers/stamps/smiley faces are available for everyone. In addition, each class teacher gives verbal or written praise as often as possible.
Children are encouraged to display their achievements in and out of school in assemblies and in class.
Most children respond to this positive approach where their efforts are seen to be valued, and make considerable efforts to improve their work and where necessary, their behaviour.
Golden Time (Key Stage 1):
In KS1 all children will have a period of 25 minutes, generally on a Friday called “Golden Time”. During this time children will be allowed to choose suitable activities to complete.
All children will start the week with 25 minutes of Golden Time. If children misbehave, do not complete work or break the “Golden Rules” or the class code of conduct they will lose part of their allocated Golden Time.
Each class Teacher will follow three stages within the process:
1. A non-verbal warning – look, body language etc.
2. Verbal warning – reminder to the child of the rule they are breaking
3. Removal of 5 minutes Golden Time
Once Golden Time has been removed the child will immediately be given a chance to earn their time back. Each class teacher or adult working with the child will give the child an opportunity to correct their behaviour, complete unfinished work etc.
All children will be encouraged to earn back any lost time. If by Friday they have not got 30 minutes of Golden Time, the child will sit quietly with a timer for the length of time they have lost.
The Five Golden Rules of the School are:
1. We listen to our teachers, our helpers and each other.
2. We are kind, friendly and helpful.
3. We look after our school and things that belong to others.
4. We do our best in our work and play.
5. We try to be like Jesus.
Minor breaches of discipline, are generally dealt with by the class teacher in a caring, supportive and fair manner, and with some flexibility regarding the age/individual needs of the child as far as sanctions are concerned. Each case is treated individually. Generally children are made aware that they are responsible for their own actions and that breaking rules will lead to punishments. Each class teacher will follow two initial stages within the process:
1. A non-verbal warning – look, body language etc.
2. Verbal warning – reminder to the child of the rule they are breaking.
Normal sanctions include a verbal reprimand and reminder of expected behaviour, will lead to loss of free times such as playtimes, Golden Time (KS1), moving to sit alone, sending unfinished work home, letters of apology and loss of responsibility.
However, after persistent inappropriate behaviour the class teacher may decide that the child concerned will be required to report to an allocated class teacher with suitable work to do and/or receive a formal detention during the nominated lunchtime (KS2) with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The reason for the detention is recorded in the behaviour book. If a child receives three detentions (KS2) he/she will be sent to the Headteacher to discuss their behaviour. Should such behaviour develop a regular pattern and subsequent detentions follow, his or her parents will be asked to come to school to discuss the situation with the Class Teacher and Headteacher. In KS2 the number of detentions a child receives during the year are recorded in the annual end of year report to parents.
Discipline Issues are generally dealt with by-
1. Class teacher
2. Allocated teacher
3. A member of the Senior Leadership Team
4. Head Teacher
Procedures for Dealing with Major Breaches of Discipline:
Major breaches of discipline include physical assault, deliberate damage to property, stealing, leaving the school premises without permission, verbal abuse, refusal to work and disruptive behaviour in class.
This type of behaviour is generally rare and it is the responsibility of the Headteacher or the Deputy Headteacher who will deal with it accordingly, particularly if the problem keeps recurring. The standard procedure for this sort of behaviour follows a set pattern. Failure to improve leads automatically to the next stage, each stage being recorded, in accordance with LA guidelines.
-A verbal warning by the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher as to future conduct
-Withdrawal from the classroom for an allocated period of time
-A letter to parents informing them of the behaviour/incident
-A meeting with parents to discuss the behaviour/incident
-A warning given about the next stage unless there is an improvement in the child’s behaviour
-A case conference involving parents and support agencies
-If the problem is severe or recurring then exclusion procedures may be implemented after consultation with the Chair of the Governing Body
-Permanent exclusion after consultation with the Governing Body and LEA where deemed appropriate
-Parents have the right of appeal to the Governing Body against any decision to exclude
Class teachers will normally follow up any behaviour or discipline problems involving children in their care. Pupils who still do not conform to the rules of the school will be referred to a senior teacher or Deputy Head and may be kept in during playtime. Children who are disruptive and fail to respond will be sent to the Head Teacher and a daily/weekly diary may be introduced. Unacceptable behaviour will be reported to parents and problem situations will be resolved at the earliest opportunity. Whilst reserving the right to use exclusions, every effort will be made to avoid implementing any form of suspension or permanent exclusion.
A very serious problem may result in the normal procedure being abandoned. The Headteacher and Parents will become involved immediately and the possibility of a child being taken home straight away.
At Sacred Heart Primary School the majority of children are well behaved. There are however occasions when individual children exhibit behaviour that is unacceptable. As part of the approach within our discipline policy of rewards and sanctions we use behaviour modification strategies to change individual children’s behaviour. These are used by all staff.
Each child is unique, so it is important that the cause of the behaviour is investigated and plans made to meet individual needs.
A wide range of rewards are used to reinforce positive behaviour. These can include:
- Change in classroom organisation
- Using different resources
- Using small steps devised for each child (e.g. sitting on chair for given length of time putting hand up to answer questions)
- Rewards of stars/smiley faces on work, on charts and in special books
- Golden Time (KS1)
- Use of certificates, special stickers for such things as listening, being kind, helpful etc.
- Sharing good behaviour with other children/other classes
- Celebrating children’s work in assembly
- Involving parents at an early stage to make an action plan together to improve behaviour.
The Management of Disruptive Behaviour
The Staff expect to take a primary role in the initial management of pupil behaviour within the classroom and any situation when they are in a supervisory role. In most instances a teacher’s usual control and professionalism will be enough to diffuse any problematical situation. However, where inappropriate behaviour is likely to escalate or prove damaging to people or property, staff must intervene to establish control.
Steps such as dialogue and diversion should always be taken to avoid the need for physical restraint but on occasion physical restraint may be the appropriate action to take. If this is the case then the following points should be noticed;
- Staff should have good grounds such as the risk of injury to persons or damage to property.
- Only minimum force should be applied.
- Restraint should be relaxed as soon as possible
- Where possible other staff should be present to assist or to act as a witness. To alert other staff of the situation a child will be sent immediately with a “help” card to the office.
If the person managing a given situation feels that a pupil needs to be isolated because of the risk of injury to persons or damage to property, this should not go on longer than is necessary.
Please refer to LA Guidance for School Staff on the use of Physical Interventions Including Restraints to Manage Behaviour
These incidents are ones that may give rise to disciplinary or legal action or become a matter of public interest. Incident forms, when necessary should be used recording all details and are available from the Headteacher for all staff.
Serious incidents, such as the ones listed below must be recorded in the Incident Report diary, kept in the main office.
- Any incidents involving a child or anyone involved in the school which results in personal injury or damage to property.
- Any physical confrontation between pupils and staff
- Any incident which requires physical restraint
- Violence where a pupil causes injury
- Threatening behaviour
- Loss, theft or damage to property
- Incidents of smoking, drugs or solvent abuse
- Pupils absent from the site without permission
Any incidents are dealt with in line with the school's Anti Bullying Policy. Allegations of bullying or any incidents regarded as bullying by the child, staff or parents are recorded on a Bullying Incident Record. One copy of this form is kept centrally in the head teacher's office, one copy is given to the class teacher to be put in the Class Tracking Folder which is passed on to future teachers.
Lunchtime Behaviour Book:
This is used to record significant disciplinary measures taken by a member of staff against a child. This book is not for minor incidents in day-to-day classroom management but for serious occurrences of challenging behaviour.
Challenging behaviour can take the form of:
- Verbal abuse
- Physical abuse
- Defiant refusal
At lunchtime, primarily the lunchtime midday supervisors carry out supervision. Teaching assistants are also responsible for particular children with specific educational needs but may support other children as appropriate. The senior supervisor can refer to the class teacher, member of the Senior Leadership Team, Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher if necessary. The Supervisor and staff are expected to maintain order. Usually this consists of reminding children of the standard of behaviour expected. Repeated minor problems after proper investigation may result in the child being asked to complete a task. This usually takes the heat out of the situation. The Supervisor and staff keep note of children who continually misbehave.
The Supervisor and lunchtime staff must be treated with the respect expected by all adults at Sacred Heart Primary School. Verbal or physical abuse will not be tolerated.
Persistent or serious misbehaviour at lunchtime is brought to the attention of the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher through discussion or by means of the Lunchtime Behaviour Diary. This results in loss of privileges and play times. Parents will be informed if there is no improvement and the child in extreme/critical incidents may be excluded from the premises at lunchtime, for a fixed period of time. This will be followed if necessary by permanent exclusion – exclusions must always be recorded.
Lunchtime Games/ Loan System
During the lunch period the children are able to borrow specific equipment such as balls, skipping ropes, juggling balls etc. The equipment will be centrally stored and primarily organised/monitored by the lunchtime supervisors. The equipment is distributed and returned by the children in order to develop a sense of responsibility but ultimately the lunchtime supervisors are responsible for the care and use of the equipment.
Parents and Behaviour Management
As with any aspect of a child’s development involvement of the parent is essential to success. Parents can help:
- By recognising that an effective school behaviour and discipline policy requires close partnership between parents, teachers and children.
- By discussing the school rules with their child, emphasising their support of them and assisting where possible with their enforcement
- By attending parents’ consultation evenings, parents functions and by developing informal contacts with the school
- By knowing that learning and teaching cannot take place without sound discipline
- By remembering that staff deal with behaviour problems patiently and positively
Any disciplinary procedures taken as punishment following an incident or poor behaviour should always be consistent with this policy and in accordance with the School Aims and Mission Statement of our Catholic community.
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
It is the responsibility of our Governing Body to agree and then monitor the school Behaviour and Discipline Policy. The committee of the governing body for curriculum issues does this together with the Headteacher and RE Co-ordinator. The Headteacher will report to the Governors in the termly report on issues relating to this policy as appropriate.
Aims and Expectations
It is a primary aim of our school that every member of the school community feels valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. As a Christian community, whose values are based on the Gospel, we expect mutual trust and respect for all. The school’s behaviour and anti bullying policy are therefore designed to support the way in which all members of the school can live and work together in a supportive way. It aims to promote an environment where everyone feels happy, safe and secure.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils and parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell appropriate staff and action will be taken.
This policy is in line with:
• The Education and Inspections Act 2006 with regard to behaviour and bullying, including the specific statutory power of Headteachers to regulate pupils’ conduct when they are not on the school premises and not under the charge of a member of school staff.
• The Equality Act 2010 in which a key provision is a public sector Equality Duty with which schools are required to “eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act”.
• The Children Act 1989 in which a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern where there is “reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm”.
• The Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the Communications Act 2003, the Public Order Act 1986 and the Malicious Communications Act 1988, in which some types of bullying may be identified as a criminal offence, eg “…..the sending of an electronic communication to another person with the intent to cause distress or anxiety”. In the event of this the police will be informed.
This policy has been written with regard to Department for Education advice “Preventing and Tackling Bullying” 2011
Objectives of this Policy
• All governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents will have an understanding of what bullying is.
• All governors and teaching and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
• All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
• There will be a shared definition of bullying
• The whole school community will always take bullying and allegations of bullying seriously.
• Pupils and parents will be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
• Bullying will not be tolerated.
What Is Bullying?
The definition provided by Luton young people:
• Bullying is deliberate or intentional behaviour that causes physical or emotional harm to an individual target or group
• It is repeated over time
• There is an imbalance of power between those involved
• It is difficult for the victim(s) to defend themselves
Sacred Heart also recognises that some behaviour may be a one off incident but the severity is such that it will be classified as a bullying incident.
Types of bullying
Prejudice – based (including racist, religious, homophobic and transgender) – name calling, exclusions, gestures, negative stereotyping
Appearance – based on weight, size, hair colour, or any other physical features
Income – based on a perception of low family income
Disability or Special Needs – name calling, exclusion or laughing at any difficulties experienced
Health – based on physical or mental health conditions
Ability – if someone is perceived to be especially able
Methods of bullying
Physical aggression: hitting, kicking, tripping up, spitting, taking or damaging property, use of threat or force in any way, intimidation or demands for money or goods
Verbal: name calling, insulting, teasing, “jokes”, mocking, taunting, gossiping, secrets, threats. Reference to upsetting events, e.g. bereavement, divorce, personal circumstance
Non – verbal: staring, body language, gestures
Indirect: excluding, ostracising, rumours and stories, notes, rude gestures or faces
Cyber: text messaging, emails, internet chat rooms, the misuse of camera or video facilities, including “happy slapping”
Why is it Important to respond to bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect and feel safe. In the event that bullying is identified the school response will involve all the children involved; the victim, bystanders and the child demonstrating the bullying behaviour.
Sacred Heart Primary School will respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying in line with our behaviour policy.
Possible signs and symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
• is frightened of walking to or from school
• doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
• begs to be driven to school
• changes their usual routine
• is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
• begins to truant
• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
• starts stammering
• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
• feels ill in the morning
• begins to do poorly in school work
• comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
• has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
• asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
• has dinner or other monies continually "lost"
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• comes home hungry (money / lunch has been stolen)
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• is bullying other children or siblings
• stops eating
• is frightened to say what's wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above
• is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
• is nervous or jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated
Key elements to tackle bullying
At Sacred Heart Primary we aim to minimise bullying by creating an ethos of positive behaviour where pupils treat one another and the school staff with respect because they know that this is the right way to behave.
We will also ensure:
That the whole school community recognises methods and types of bullying. Training is provided for all staff
We have effective processes for staff on responding to, managing and recording bullying incidents reported or witnessed
There are ongoing evaluation of systems and processes in place
High profile preventative work and awareness raising throughout the whole school year will take place particularly through the work of the Anti-Bullying Committee (ABC).
• Leading assemblies
• Running workshops with designated yeargroups.
• Running compliment days
• Acting as role models and buddies for children who need support
• Instigating Special Day
• Attending training and conferences to stay up to date
• Identifying children for Acts of Kindness Awards
• Managing Bully and Sorry Boxes
• Revising the child friendly Anti-Bullying Policy
Staff will be aware of potentially vulnerable pupils through liaison with SLT and the Family Workers. Transition meetings play an important part in passing information on with regard to bullying and child protection issues.
There will be support for children involved in a bullying incident so the behaviour is not repeated, for example SEAL workshops or ZAP training. Parents will be informed and involved.
Process for responding to bullying
If bullying is witnessed or reported the following procedure will be followed:
• Details of the bullying will be identified and recorded on a yellow bullying incident form by the member of staff who has witnessed the bullying or had the bullying reported to them.
• A copy of the yellow bullying incident form will be given to the class teacher to be stored confidentially in the class tracking folder. A second copy will be passed to the Headteacher who will store the form in a central folder
• Parents will be informed
• Sanctions will be applied as appropriate in line with the school behaviour policy (The school uses a number of sanctions to enforce the school rules, and to ensure a safe and positive learning environment. We employ each sanction appropriately to each individual situation. All staff work within an agreed school behaviour framework – see behaviour policy).
• The children involved will be supported to rebuild positive relationships
• Children will be monitored so that any repeat behaviour can be quickly identified
• Parents of all the children involved will receive a follow up phone call within 2 weeks following a reported incident
Under the Children’s Act 1989 a bullying incident should be addressed as a child protection concern when there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.’ The matter would be handled under procedures as laid down in the child Protection Policy. Even where safeguarding is not considered to be an issue, we may draw upon a range of external services to support the child who is experiencing the bullying, or to tackle any underlying issues which have contributed to a child engaging in bullying.
Monitoring and Review
The Headteacher will monitor the number of recorded bullying incidents. She will give particular regard to types of bullying and repeated incidents. Class teachers will be asked to do additional PSHE Education lessons or Circle Time sessions when it is noted that any potential patterns are seen to be emerging. We will request the support of our Police Community Support Officer, in the event of a serious incident or concern.
The Headteacher monitors the effectiveness of this policy on a regular basis. She also reports to the Governing Body on the effectiveness of the policy and, if necessary, makes recommendations for further improvements.
It is the responsibility of the Governing Body in partnership with the Headteacher to monitor the number of recorded incidents and to ensure they are dealt with fairly and consistently.
The Governing Body reviews this policy every two years. They Governors may, however, review the policy earlier than this, if the government introduces new regulations, or if the Governing Body receives recommendations on how the policy might be improved.
In keeping with the spirit of the school’s Mission Statement our Special Needs Policy is positively based on that ‘Jesus is at the Heart of All that we do’. At Sacred Heart Primary School we believe in achievement, ambition and progress for all children.
We aim to meet the needs of individual children through highly effective teaching and learning.
There is an emphasis on early identification of needs through supportive and preventative strategies which reduce barriers to learning. Our mission is the provision of a context, content and a process of education truly dedicated to developing the full God given potential of each pupil and to build their skills, knowledge and understanding along with their sense of self worth.
We work in a flexible way to develop effective partnerships with children and their parents/carers, the SENCO, specialist teaching staff both within the school and external professionals to ensure that the school can meet a broad range of special educational needs.
We undertake a rigorous system of monitoring children’s progress, supporting academic achievement and personal achievement by removing barriers to learning and use a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of lifelong learning and independent living skills for all children.
Aims and objectives
All class teachers are teachers of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and are responsible through first quality teaching for meeting their needs with the advice and support of the school’s SENCo, learning support staff and external professionals.
We share the Governments aspirations of achieving excellence for all our pupils and, in co-operation with the Local Authority (LA); we aim to identify particular needs as early as possible and to provide support for those pupils with Special Educational Needs.
The aims and objectives of this policy are:
• to create an environment in which all pupils feel happy,valued members of our Christian community, who are included in the life of the school;
• to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum;
• to work in partnership with parents to ensure that pupils’ special educational needs are identified and assessed and that strategies are developed to meet those needs, whilst providing a secure environment for the children’s educational ,spiritual and emotional development;
• support children with special educational needs in accordance with the Code of Practice:
• take all reasonable steps to include children with special educational needs;
• include all children in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act;
• work closely with external agencies
The school will provide a caring sensitive environment in which those children with special educational needs gain in confidence and develop according to their ability.
We have high expectations of all our children and aim to achieve these through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. Through appropriate curricular provison , we respect the fact that children:
• have different physical ,educational,emotional and behavioural needs and aspirations:
• have different learning styles and require different strategies for learning;
• acquire ,assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
• need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.
Teachers respond to children’s needs by:
• providing support for children , initially through the differentiated curriculum or, if appropriate, through an individual Education plan or through other intervention strategies;
• Planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of available senses and experiences
• planning for children’s full participation in learning and in physical and practical activities;
• helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
• helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma and stress, and to take part in learning.
Definition of SEN
For the purpose of this policy Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty that call for special educational provision to be made for them.
Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
• have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; They may require They may require additional resourcing over and above that which is normally provided by a mainstream school
• have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in school.”
These pupils will have specific targets, which aim to meet their needs. These targets will be detailed in a Personalised Learning Support Plan and the vast majority of needs will be met from within the school’s own learning support provision.
Needs will be identified at an early stage and monitored. The criteria for identifying children is based upon teacher assessment, parent’s views and advice from other professionals.
Special Educational Need Provision:
In line with the SEN Code of Practice 2014 when reviewing and managing special education provision there are four broad areas of need: Communication and interaction, Cognition and learning, Social, emotional and mental health difficulties and Sensory and/or physical needs.
A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Making high quality teaching available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.
Assessment of pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry are assessed and this builds on information from previous settings and key stages where appropriate. Progress is carefully monitored through regular assessments and this helps to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances.
This can be characterised by progress which:
• is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• widens the attainment gap.
The school will have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice when carrying out its duties toward all pupils with special educational needs and ensure that parents are notified of a decision by the school that SEN provision is being made for their child.
Partnership with parents plays a key role in enabling children and young people with SEN to achieve their potential. The school recognizes that parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents of children with special educational needs will be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their children’s education. Needs will be identified at an early stage and monitored. The criteria for identifying children will be based on teacher assessment, parents views and advice from other professionals.
Graduated Approach to SEN support
The SENco and the teacher will decide on a course of action.
The Responsibility at this stage lies with the class teacher and SENCo.
• The child’s name is added to the school’s SEN database.
• The class teacher devises interventions which are additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum
• Evidence and assessment of the child’s progress should be collected, reviewed, held by the class teacher and made available to those concerned.
• If a child’s progress is considered satisfactory for at least two review periods, it may be decided that the child no longer needs special help. However the child’s name will be retained on the SEN database until it is clear that progress does not cause concern.
• A child who is giving concern may be discussed at the LA School Consultation Meeting with the permission of the parents.(SLM Meetings)
• Additional support may take the form of withdrawal, in-class support, and provision of extra work, advice, consultation, observation or assessment.
• Records should be maintained by the staff and made available to those concerned.
• Progress should be formally reviewed with parents at least termly.
School Support 2
With the permission of parents, The Head Teacher, SENCo and class teacher will seek advice from specialists at the termly school liaison meeting;(SLMs) are held to build on good practice and provide collaborative working between a range of professionals in order o support children in our school which is effective and outcome driven
• Peronalised Learning plans are prepared in accordance with the advice received from the specialists.
• The SENCo takes the lead in any further assessment of the child, planning future interventions in discussion with colleagues, monitoring and reviewing action taken.
• Records should be maintained by the staff and made available to those concerned.
• Progress should be formally reviewed with parents at least twice a year.
• If progress is unsatisfactory, the criteria for an application for an Education Health Care Plan
• The LA is asked by the Head Teacher to consider the need for Education Health Care Plan.
Application for a Education Health Care Plan Assessment
If it is considered that a Statement might be appropriate, the SENCo and the Head Teacher, working closely with the LA and the Learning Support Services, request a formal statutory of the child’s needs. The LA considers the assessment and, if in agreement, awards a education Health Care Plan.
Education Health Care Plans
This stage is reached when the LA is satisfied that the child’s needs cannot be met within the budget of the school. A precise educational prescription for the child, based on accurate and detailed account of needs, is provided and extra resources may be allocated to the school.
For children with Statements/Education Health Care Plans of Educational Needs the SENCo will:
• Work closely with everyone involved, will oversee the drawing up of individual education plans with aims and objectives met.
• Meet at least termly with the parents and class teacher to review the progress made and the targets met.
• Prepare and distribute the documentation for annual review
• Arrange for the child’s parents and relevant professionals (written invitation followed by telephone call) to attend the annual review.
Roles and Responsibilities
The SENco is Mrs Ryan
In accordance with the Code of Practice all teachers are responsible for the teaching of children with SEN. The SENCo, in consultation with the class teacher and the relevant teaching assistants, draws up programmes of work for children who have EHC /Statements and for children who are at School Support and School Support 2 as well as for the EAL children.
Our school is committed to inclusive education. All pupils have access to the National Curriculum. SEN and EAL children are withdrawn from class as identified on their Personalised Learning Plan if required,through their targets in their books and on their assertive mentoring sheets.Support is also provided in class.
Personalised Learning Support Plans are used as a small-steps approach to enhance the provision that we make in school. By breaking down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets, we ensure that children experience success in their learning. This tool is used to engage children in positive discussions about their learning, their needs and strategies they could use to support them to access the curriculum.
We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. Wherever possible, we do not withdraw children from the classroom. There are times, though, when to maximise learning, we ask the children to work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation outside of the classroom.
Access to the Curriculum
We recognize that other children may need special needs:
Children with English as an additional language
Children for whom English is not their first language may also have special educational needs. These children are supported to ensure that they acquire the necessary language skills to enable them to fully access the curriculum. This support will be in class or sometimes through withdrawal groups. Teachers are aware of the needs of EAL children and will adapt their teaching style appropriately.As a school , we emphasise the
importance of ensuring that EAL children are given work appropriate to their ability but with modifications to take account of their less familiarity and confidence with the English Language.
Gifted and Talented Pupils
More able or”gifted” children may also have special educational needs and these needs are deemed to be of
equal importance. Provision for such children is outlined in the “ Gifted and Talented “Policy.
Role of the Governing Body:
The governing body has due regard to the Code of Practice and the Disability Discrimination Act when carrying out its duties toward all pupils with special educational needs. The governing body has identified a governor to have specific oversight of the school's provision for pupils with special educational needs. The SEN governor ensures that all governors are aware of the school's SEN provision, including the deployment of funding, equipment and personnel.
The SEN Governor is Ms Lynn Driscoll
The school welcomes the opportunity to resolve all concerns through discussion of the issues at the widest level. Should parents be concerned about any aspect of their child’s Special Educational Need they should contact the Class Teacher or the SENCo, in the first instance, and then the Head teacher. The formal complaints procedure is to put any complaint in writing to the Governing Body.
Working in Partnership with Parents
Parents have much to contribute to our support for children with special educational needs. The school works closely with parents in the support of those children, encouraging an active partnership through ongoing dialogue,joint planning and responsibility.
Parents are consulted regularly and encouraged to participate in their child’s educational development. Termly meetings are held to share the progress children have made against individual targets and any external support or intervention is discussed and agreed.Reports from outside agencies are shared with parents and outside agencies will meet with parents if requested. When a decision has been made to apply for an Education Health care needs assessment. Parents are encouraged to make written contributions and to attend annual reviews when a child has a statement or EHC plan
Confidentiality will be respected at all times. In accordance with whole school policies all staff will respect the confidentiality of all information relating to pupils and their families. All staff will implement confidentiality with regard to information and policy decisions taken by the Governing Body.
The Headteacher and Governing Body support the training and professional development of all staff concerned with SEN. This will be reflected in the School Improvement Plan.
Staff attending courses pertinent to SEN may then disseminate information formally and informally during Staff Meetings and Training Days.
Staff when appropriate will avail of opportunities to share or develop training with other schools, LEA courses and other professionals.
Monitoring and Review
It is the responsibility of our Governing Body to agree and then monitor the school Special Educational Needs Policy. The committee of the governing body for curriculum issues does this together with the Head teacher and SENCo as appropriate. The Head teacher will report to the Governors in the termly report on issues relating to this policy as appropriate.
The SENCO will ensure:-
• regular reviews of the progress of children with SEN conducted by class teachers in consultation with the SENco and/or support staff;
• manage the day to day operation of the SEN policy in consultation with the Head teacher;
• support and advise colleagues;
• act as a link with external agencies;
• act as an additional link with parents;
• manage a range of resurces,human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with special educational needs;
• Progress monitored by teachers’ reports,test results and assessment tasks;
• Improved behaviour and/or attainment levels;
• Improved performance within the classroom and an increase in the child’s confidence and self –esteem;
• Improved or continued inclusion in all aspects of school life, especially in cases of physical disability
• liaise with staff at feeder schools and high schools to ensure a smooth transition of children with special needs from one phase to the next. This could include additional transition arrangements in consultation with pupils and their parents.
The success criterion for this policy is as follows :
• the management of resources, and teaching and learning practices ensure that the needs of the pupils are met
• pupils with SEN are identified early
• best practice is used for intervention strategies
• pupils are actively involved in reviewing their targets and evaluating their progress ( assertive mentoring)
• educational professionals and parents work in partnership
• interventions are monitored and reviewed regularly for each pupil
INTRODUCTION: The Governors are required by Section 10 of the Education Act 1988 to
determine policies for making charges for school activities which are permitted under Section
109 and for remitting such charges. In adopting the LA’s guidelines, the Governors will
ensure the School’s Mission Statement is reflected through a sympathetic interpretation of
charges and voluntary contributions.
CHARGING POLICY: Section 106 of the Act confirms the principle that education
provided by any maintained school for its registered pupils should be free of charge if it takes
place during school hours.
Where education is provided outside of school hours as an “optional extra” charges may be
made as defined in Section 109 of the Act. (If an activity takes place partly during school
hours and partly outside it will be determined by Section 107 of the Act to be either wholly
inside or wholly outside school hour).
Charges will be made for optional extras and may include an appropriate element for:
• pupil’s travel cost
• pupil’s board and lodging costs
• materials, books, equipment
• non-teaching staff costs
• entrance fees to museums, theatres etc
• insurance costs
• teaching staff costs, except any element covered by his/her contract of employment
The charge levied for each optional extra will not exceed the total cost of the activity.
The cost of an optional extra will be determined on the basis of the cost to each individual
pupil participating in the activity. The amount of any charge shall be payable by the parent of
the pupil concerned although participation in any optional extra must be subject to parental
agreement. (See Educational Visit Policy).
In all instances where a school activity involves pupils in nights away from home, a charge
will be levied to meet the cost of board and lodging, except in those cases where the
remissions policy is applicable.
REMISSIONS POLICY: Section 110 of the Act requires that pupils whose parents are in
receipt of Income Support or Family Credit may not be charged for board and lodging when
visiting an LA residential establishment provided specifically to fulfil statutory duties under
the national curriculum.
VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS: The existence of the above policies does not prohibit
voluntary contributions being sought for the benefit of any school activity. In making such a
request it must be made clear that there is no obligation for parents to contribute and that
registered pupils at the school will not be treated differently according to whether or not their
parents have made any contribution.
ACTIVITIES ARRANGED BY THIRD PARTIES: None of the provisions of these
policies will apply in those instances where a third party levies a charge direct on parents in
return for services provided in accordance with the terms of Section 118(4) of the Act.
This policy is written in the light of our school mission statement:
Jesus at the Heart of All That We Do
All children have a right to a challenging and appropriate education. We believe gifted and talented children should have sufficient opportunities to use and extend any special God given abilities and talents. We wish to create a culture of achievement and believe that any special abilities or talents should be identified as early as possible, and developed during children’s time at Sacred Heart Primary School.
Our principal aims are to:
- Ensure that all staff can successfully identify gifted or talented children
- Provide an education which is appropriate to the abilities and needs of such children
- Develop the children’s thinking skills through extended and enriching learning activities
- Develop the specific skills and talents of each child
- Be concerned not only for children’s academic development, but also for their social, moral, spiritual and emotional development
- Involve and encourage parents in meeting the needs of their gifted or talented children.
Our school recognises, in accordance with DfES guidelines, that able pupils are typically advanced in comparison with the average for their year group, but not significantly so, whereas ‘gifted and talented’ pupils are those pupils who achieve, or have the ability to achieve, at a level significantly in advance of the average for their year group. The school normally expects to identify between 5 and 10 per cent of each year group as gifted or talented, although this will vary from year to year.
(See Table of Definitions, Appendix 1)
Identification and Monitoring
Gifted and talented children are identified through:
- teacher assessment
- information from previous teachers
- standardised testing
- End of Key Stage National Curriculum Tests (SATS)
- consultation with parents
- discussions with child
(Please refer to Appendix 2 for characteristics to inform judgements)
A Gifted and Talented Child Register is drawn up on the basis of this evidence.
Class teachers are responsible for monitoring children’s progress and achievements. Evaluation will inform planning for future needs. Progress will be tracked through the Tracking Folder evidence and discussed with parents. This is monitored by the Headteacher.
Class teaching that responds to the needs of gifted and talented children may involve strategies such as:
Challenge – providing activities and experiences which engage interest, and stimulate thought and action at a high level
Enrichment – adding breadth and range to a child’s attainment and progress through activities and experiences which consolidate and widen the child’s knowledge, skills and understanding
Extension – providing opportunities for children to increase the depth of their knowledge, skills and understanding
Specialist teaching – providing teaching that utilizes the particular skills and expertise of individual teachers
Differentiation – modifying the learning experiences of gifted and talented children so as to promote the opportunities for them to engage primarily in higher order thinking
(See Types of Differentiation, Appendix 3)
Out of class activities which may include:
Master classes for gifted and talented children
Extra curricular clubs
Music or sports practice and performance, or competition opportunities
Special events – e.g. field trips, residential visits
Providing out of school activities within the community
Visits by experts – e.g. dance and music groups
(Please refer to Appendix 4)
Although this policy is written to assist gifted and talented children achieve their full potential, our major concern is for the whole child and his/her spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual development. Where under-achievement of gifted and talented children is identified, the school will seek to identify the cause and take remedial steps.
Responsibility for co-ordinating and monitoring progress
The role of the co-ordinator is undertaken by the Helen Winslet. This role includes:
- Supporting staff in the identification and setting up of provision for gifted and talented children
- Collating and monitoring the register of gifted and talented children
attending courses to develop expertise and share this with other staff
- Purchasing appropriate resources
- Monitoring and assessing provision
- Encouraging and facilitating the work of other staff
Responsibility of Class Teachers
- To fulfill their role in the identification and nomination of gifted and talented children
- To deploy the agreed professional approaches to the development of gifted and talented children
- To ensure that the parents of gifted and talented children have regular opportunity to contribute to, and receive feedback about, the assessments of children’s progress
Monitoring and Review by the Governing Body:
It is the responsibility of our Governing Body to agree and then monitor the school Gifted and Talented Policy. The committee of the Governing Body for curriculum issues does this together with the Headteacher. Parents and children complete a questionnaire on an annual basis, and our governing body pays careful consideration to any concern that is raised at that time or at any time by any parent.
This Policy is due for Review in the Autumn term 2015
At Sacred Heart Primary we welcome feedback, both positive and negative, about how we are doing. Where someone has a concern or complaint we will endeavour at all times to deal with the issues responsively and reasonably and if necessary put things right as quickly as possible. We see this as integral to the implementation of our Mission Statement, Jesus at the Heart of all that we do.
STAGE 1: Dealing with concerns and complaints informally
(i) The vast majority of concerns and complaints can be resolved informally. There are many occasions where concerns are resolved straight away through the class teacher, form tutor, head of house or year, head of department, school secretary, other member of staff or Headteacher, depending on whom the parent first approached, without the need to resort to a formal complaints procedure, and this is preferable for all concerned.
(ii) Although this stage involves dealing with the issue informally it may prove helpful later, although not essential at this stage, for the person responding to make a basic record of the issue or complaint raised, which may include brief notes of conversations (face to face or over the telephone), and the responses made.
(iii) The person who raised the issue should be informed of the action to be taken to resolve the issue. It may be helpful to confirm undertakings given about future action or monitoring in writing.
(iv) If the person is dissatisfied with the response they have been given, they should be provided with a copy of the school’s complaints procedure and informed about how to take their complaint to Stage 2, by referring it to the Headteacher, usually in writing.
STAGE 2: Referral to the Headteacher
(i) The issue is referred to the Headteacher for investigation, usually by the complainant writing to the Headteacher. It is generally at this or the previous stage that it will become clear whether it is appropriate for the complaint to be dealt with under these procedures or whether there are statutory processes as outlined in the Guidance for Parents. If the latter is the case, the Headteacher will need to inform the complainant of this and the way in which the complaint will be handled.
(ii) At this stage it has become clear that the concern is a definite complaint. Any complaint received by the Headteacher under this process, whether orally or in writing, should be acknowledged and a meeting held within 5 school days with a full written response within 15 school days. Complainants should also be given the opportunity to meet with the Headteacher, accompanied by a relative or friend if they so wish, to discuss their complaint. Written records of interviews with complainants and with staff or witnesses, carried out in the course of the investigation should be kept by the Headteacher.
(iii) In the letter conveying the outcome, the complainant should be informed of the process for referral to the Chair of Governors if they wish to take their complaint further. Any such referral should be made within 10 school days after receipt of the Headteacher’s letter.
STAGE 3: Review by the Chair of Governors
(i) The complainant requests a review of their complaint by writing to the chair of governors care of the school, making it clear why they are complaining, who they have already spoken to and what they want to happen as a result of their complaint. Complaints received by the Chair should be acknowledged within 7 school days with a substantive response within 20 school days. The Chair may need to hold interviews with the Headteacher and possibly other members of staff and notes should be kept of those meetings. Chairs may also wish to take advice on particular issues from relevant officers of the Council. At this stage the LA’s governor support team should be informed that the governing body is dealing with a complaint at this level.
(ii) Again, the letter conveying the Chair’s findings should include details of the next stage of the procedure.
(iii) This stage should also serve as the first point at which complaints specifically about the Headteacher, the actions of the governing body or an individual governor should be considered (should the complaint be about the Chair, the Vice-Chair should undertake the investigation).
(iv) In acknowledging any complaint, the Chair may need to explain the powers of the governing body in the matter in question and the extent to which it may or may not be possible to achieve the outcome desired by the complainant. For example, a parent may be unhappy with their child’s class placement. Whilst the governors can look at whether the decision about the class placement was made in a fair, reasonable and consistent way, they do not have the powers to change the placement. In such instances it is important that the complainant is made aware at the outset of the scope of the investigation. However, where it is not within the remit of a governing body to change a decision, it may make a recommendation for the Headteacher to consider.
STAGE 4: Review by Governing Body Complaints Committee
(i) Complaints only rarely reach this formal level, but it is important that governing bodies are prepared to deal with them when necessary. Where the clerk to the governors receives a complaint under these procedures, he or she would arrange for a complaints committee to meet within 10 school days from receipt of the letter. (The governing body should have nominated three members to serve on the committee and reserves to ensure that sufficient governors are available to hold a meeting within the specified time period. The chair of governors should not be a member of the committee as they will have been involved at the previous stage).
(ii) The Headteacher should also be informed immediately that a complaint has been received and consulted about the proposed date of the hearing. At this stage the Council’s governor support team should be informed that a hearing was taking place.
(iii) On issuing notification of the date and time of the hearing, the clerk will need to advise the complainant and the Headteacher that any written documentation they wish the committee to consider will need to be submitted in time to be circulated to committee members 5 days prior to the hearing. The complainant should be advised that they may be accompanied by a relative or friend.
(iv) Notification of the hearing should also include details of the way in which the hearing will be conducted. (A specimen of such procedures is included in this guidance). The hearing should be minuted and the clerk should keep copies of all relevant correspondence and notes on file.
(v) The findings of the committee should be notified to the complainant and the Headteacher in writing within 5 school days of the hearing.
(vi) When considering the membership of the complaints committee, the governing body should have regard to whether it would be advisable to include governors who are employed at the school. If this were the case, it may be perceived by the complainant that those governors would be unlikely to amend or overturn a decision taken by the Headteacher. In those circumstances, the complainant might regard this as grounds to complain to the Council or the Secretary of State.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the governing body’s handling of their complaint, further recourse to other agencies is available to them outside the scope of the school’s own procedures. However, these agencies would be unable to take any action until the school’s own procedures had been completed.
To the Council
(i) If, having been given the governing body’s decision, a complainant believes that a complaint was not handled fairly according to the school’s complaints procedure, they can write to the Lifelong Learning Department’s Performance Review Manager.
(ii) The complainant should explain their complaint, and give evidence that shows that the school did not follow its complaints procedure. The department’s Performance Review Manager will acknowledge the complainant’s letter within 3 working days and inform the appropriate School Improvement Adviser that a complaint has been received. The SIA will investigate whether the school had dealt with the complaint properly according to its procedure and respond to the complainant within 10 working days.
(iii) The Council is not able to re-investigate the original complaint nor can it seek to substitute the Council’s judgement for that of the governing body if the governors have followed a proper procedure and considered the complaint reasonably. If the results of an investigation show that there had been a breach of procedure the matter will be referred back to the governing body, with a copy to the Headteacher and the complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. The governing body should then re-investigate the original complaint.
To the Secretary of State for Education
(i) Complainants have a right of appeal to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills under sections 496 or 497 of the 1996 Education Act if they believe that the Council has acted unreasonably. If the Secretary of State agrees that a complaint is justified, the DfES has the power to require the Council to take certain actions including the issuing of instructions to school governing bodies in appropriate circumstances, although in practice this would be very rarely exercised.
(ii) The Secretary of State would not take action until the school and Council procedures have been completed.
The Local Government Ombudsman
(i) If a complainant feels that there has been maladministration in the manner in which a complaint has been dealt with, they can take this to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about how something has been done but he cannot question what has been done simply because someone does not agree with it. The Ombudsman cannot investigate the internal management of schools and colleges.
(ii) The Ombudsman would not take action until the school and Council procedures have been exhausted.
A GUIDE FOR PARENTS ON THE SCHOOL BASED COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
What to do if you have a concern or complaint about a School?
At Sacred Heart Primary, we like to be told about how we are doing, whether well or badly. If you have a concern or complaint we always try to deal with it helpfully and reasonably. If we need to, we try to put things right as quickly as possible. If you have a concern or complaint you need to take it up with the school itself. The Council would not usually get involved in a complaint about a school unless the school had completed its own procedures first.
This complaints procedure is for general complaints. The school must follow other procedures for complaints or appeals about the curriculum; special educational needs provision, exclusions and admissions. Staff disciplinary action, child protection issues or criminal investigation will also need to be handled differently. We shall tell you which is the right process when you discuss your concern with us. The complaints procedure has four stages. You will be told what to do at each stage if you wish to take your complaint further.
Stage 1 of the process is informal:
If you have a concern about the school, try to talk to someone at the school, preferably the person who is most closely involved. If you get in touch with one of the governors first of all they can only give you general advice. They may need to ask you to take up your concerns with the member of staff best able to help you, or with the Headteacher.
Your concern can usually be settled quickly and without fuss by contacting the right person in the school. This could be your child’s teacher, another member of staff or the Headteacher.
If your concern cannot be sorted out in this way or you are not happy with the way it has been dealt with you should take it to stage 2:
You should complain to the Headteacher who will investigate your complaint. You would normally do this in writing. If your complaint is about the Headteacher you can complain directly to the chair of governors (see Stage 3).
The school will let you know that it has received your complaint and a meeting held within 5 school days. You will be given the results of the Headteacher’s investigation in writing within 15 school days.
If your complaint has still not been resolved to your satisfaction you may take it to stage 3:
You can complain in writing to the chair of governors care of the school. You should make it clear why you are complaining, who you have already spoken to and what you want to happen as a result of your complaint.
The chair of governors will let you know that he or she has received your complaint within 7 school days and will then investigate it. You will be told about the outcome of the chair of governors’ investigation in writing within 20 school days.
If you are still not satisfied after receiving the chair of governor’s report, you can ask to have your complaint referred to a complaints committee of the governing body at stage 4.
You can write to the clerk to the governors care of the school. You should say exactly why you are unhappy with the chair of governor’s findings and ask that a complaints committee be set up to look at the complaint.
The committee will meet within 10 school days after the clerk to the governors receives your letter. You will be told in advance about the process and what will happen at the meeting of the committee. You can attend and bring a relative or friend to support you if you want to. You will be told in writing about the committee’s findings within 5 school days from the date of the meeting.
What you can do if you are still not satisfied with the governing body’s decision
You may believe that your complaint was not handled fairly according to the school’s own complaints procedure. In this case, you can ask the Council to investigate.
You can write to the Lifelong Learning Department’s Performance Review Manager at this address.
Luton Borough Council,
Lifelong Learning Department,
3rd Floor Unity House
111 Stuart Street,
Luton LU1 5NP
You should explain your complaint and say why you think the school did not follow its complaints procedure properly. Wherever possible you should give evidence for why you think this.
The Performance Review Manager will acknowledge your letter within 3 working days and let you know the name of the Officer who will investigate the complaint. However, the Council cannot do anything until the school itself has finished considering your complaint.
The investigating officer will investigate whether the school had dealt with the complaint properly according to its own procedures but will not investigate your original complaint all over again. The Council cannot make the school come to a different judgement on your case if the governing body has considered your complaint in a reasonable way.
The investigating officer will tell you the outcome of the investigation in writing. If the conclusion is that the school did not follow its procedures properly, the matter will be referred back to the chair of the governing body. The governing body should then re-investigate the complaint.
If you believe that the Council has acted unreasonably you may appeal to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills: The Secretary of State for Education and Skills
DfE Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT
The Secretary of State could step in if a governing body or a Council had not carried out its legal duty or had acted unreasonably. The Secretary of State would not do anything until the school and the Council had finished looking into the complaint.
If you feel that there has been a fault in the way your complaint has been dealt with, you can take this to the Local Government Ombudsman:
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH
Tel: 0300 061 0614
The Ombudsman will only investigate where there has been a fault in the way the process was handled by the school or Council. He can investigate complaints about how something has been done. This could be giving the wrong information, not dealing with letters or taking too long to do something. He cannot question what has been done just because someone does not agree with the result. The Ombudsman cannot investigate how schools and colleges are run. The Ombudsman could not do anything until the school and the Council have finished looking into your complaint.
This Policy and Plan is written in the light of our school mission statement and aims:
“Jesus at the Heart of all that we do”
At Sacred Heart, we have due regard for our duties under the Equality Act 2010. The Accessibility Policy reflects our duties to: eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations”
The SEN and Disability Act 2001 extended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to cover education. Since September 2002, the Governing Body has had three key duties towards disabled pupils, under Part 4 of the DDA:
• Not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason related to their disability;
• To make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not at a substantial disadvantage;
• To plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils.
This plan sets out the proposals of the Governing Body of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required by the planning duties in the DDA:
• Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
• Improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
• Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.
It is a requirement that the school’s accessibility plan is resourced, implemented and reviewed and revised as necessary. Attached is a set of action plans showing how the school will address the priorities identified in the plan.
Vision and Values
Sacred Heart Primary School has high ambitions for its disabled pupils and expects them to participate and achieve in every aspect of school life. The school’s commitment to equal opportunities is driven by our Mission Statement and the National Curriculum Inclusion statement.
• Sets suitable learning challenges;
• Responds to pupils’ diverse needs;
• Takes all reasonable measures to overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.
Sacred Heart Primary School aims to identify and remove barriers to disabled pupils in every area of school life and makes all children feel welcome irrespective of race, colour, creed or impairment.
‘Jesus at the Heart of all that we do’
In the light of our school mission statement we believe that Religious Education is the centre around which the planning and teaching and learning in our school is focussed.
The Gospel values form the core of our aims and objectives and provide the sure foundation on which the seeds of faith can be nourished and can flourish in the hearts and minds of everyone in our school.
To work together to create a community in which the Catholic ethos of the school is fostered at all times.
To introduce the children to the teachings of Jesus.
To encourage then to seek knowledge and to love it. A knowledge that embraces both religious and human growth, for the world and all that is in it, is made by God.
To nurture and nourish the seed of our faith planted in each child, as he or she progresses along their journey of life.
To encourage each child to grow in self esteem, stay healthy and to foster a positive attitude to life.
To foster and develop in all pupils a mutual regard, understanding and respect for others.
To establish high expectations in all curriculum areas and a commitment to setting and meeting challenging and realistic targets in which all pupils in our school reach their full academic potential.
To provide a caring, secure and stimulating environment in which each child can grow in a community which daily celebrates the gospel values in practice.
To encourage children to respect the cultures and religious beliefs of others.
Definition of disability
The Disability Discrimination Act defines a disabled person as someone who has a ‘physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal-day-to-day activities’. Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments and also hidden impairments. In the DDA ‘Substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’. ‘Long term’ means has lasted or is likely to last more than 12 months.
The definition is broad and includes a wide range of impairments, including learning disabilities, dyslexia, diabetes or epilepsy where the effect of the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to –day activities is adverse, substantial and long term.
The definition can include a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD). Impairment does not of itself mean that a person is disabled. It is the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities that has to be considered.
Sacred Heart Primary School is a two form entry school with approx. 410 on roll. The percentage of school’s population with disabilities and SEN when compared with other schools nationally has been low. However the school now finds itself welcoming a growing number of children with SEN and disabilities. At the present time (Summer 2015) 54 children on the SEN register and in addition 14 pupils with care plans.
|Nature of Disability/Need||Numbers of Pupils||SEN|
|Autistic Spectrum Disorder||2||
1 EHC Plan
School Support 1
|Severe Learning Difficulties||2||
1 EHC Plan
School Support 2
Behaviour, Emotional and
School Support 2
School Support 1
Profound and Multiple
|2||2 EHC Plan|
|1||School Support 1|
|1||School Support 1|
Attendance levels for children with disabilities is in line with whole school data.
Whole School Attendance 2014/15 - 97%
Attendance for disabled/SEN pupils 2014/15 - 95%
There have been no permanent exclusions in the last three years although there have been four one day exclusions, all related to one child. Exclusions are rare due to efforts made to support children with behavioural issues through ‘Behavioural Support Plans’.
The school works closely with SEN Support Team and the preschool settings who have children transferring into the Foundation Stage in order to provide the necessary support and resources for children with special needs.
On occasions when children are admitted into the school with little or no indication that additional resources are required, advice is sought from the LA Educational Support service.
All pupils have equal access to all areas of the curriculum, after school clubs and school trips. Where a pupil has a specific barrier to accessing certain areas of the curriculum, advice and support is always sought from the appropriate outside agencies or special schools e.g. children with physical impairment may find accessing PE challenging. The school takes advice from local special schools.
School trips, after school clubs, extracurricular activities and events arranged by the ‘Friends’ association are open to all children.
In FS and KS1 the school is a ground floor building with few steps. There is good access to all areas of the school. The main entrances are all accessed via ramps. In KS2 the building has a second floor accessed by stairs; these areas are presently used by Years 4 and 5. There is good access to all areas on the ground floor. The school has recently refurbished its disabled toilet provision there are disabled toilet facilities in the KS1 and KS2 buildings. There is a clean medical room in the KS1 building.
The Learning Lodge, which is used by the Breakfast and After School Club, has an access ramp; a disabled toilet is available in the nearby KS1 building.
All pupils achieve well and make good progress including those disabled children and children with SEN.
|Level 2B+ 2015||School Results %||National Results %|
|Level 4+ 2015||School Results %||National Results %|
|Staff||Sept 2015||SLT Meetings, staff meetings|
|Governors||December 2015||Governing Body meetings, Finance and Premises Committee|
Discussions with parents
Parentmail to parents
Assertive Mentoring Meetings
|Discussions with pupils and their support workers|
|LA||November 2015||Consultation with School Improvement Advisor, Learning Support Advisors and members of the Access Team.|
|Wider Community||November 2015||SENCO Catholic Partnership Meetings|
The school has identified the following priorities for its Accessibility Plan.
To ensure new members of staff are aware of what the DDA requires of them.
To ensure that staff training is provided to ensure staff can support the needs of disabled pupils.
To continue to adapt to the needs of disabled pupils to ensure they can participate in all areas of the school curriculum.
To continue to improve the physical environment of the school to ensure disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services.
To support parents with disabilities to fully access school and services provided
To support children of parents with disabilities to fully access school and services provided.
To seek the views and aspirations of disabled pupils and their parents.
Management, Co-ordination and Implementation
This Disability Equality Scheme represents the school’s vision backed up by key actions which will be carried out within the next three years. There will be:
• Clear allocation of lead responsibility
• Clear allocation of resources
• Indication of expected outcomes
• Clear timescales
• Specified time-scale for process and review:
The governing body will monitor and review this scheme. Findings will be reported annually to all members of the school community.
There will be internal evaluation of this scheme as above, and also with the school improvement partner and OFSTED. Evaluation of this scheme will therefore be incorporated into the OFSTED SEF, as will the data giving information on the number of disabled pupils in the school, and their achievements.
There will be an annual report on this scheme demonstrating:
• Progress made
• Outcomes achieved
• Work in progress
• Amendments to the scheme.
This report will be published as follows:
• On the school’s website
• Hard copy will also be available to all school members, in the form of alternative communication where necessary.
Links with other school plans and policies:
This Scheme is to be read in conjunction with the School Accessibility Plan. Together, they are intrinsic to:
• The School Improvement Plan
• The Equal Opportunities Policy
• Anti-Bullying Policy
• SEND Policy
• Administration of Medicine
• Toileting and Intimate Care Policy
• Attendance Policy
Views of those consulted during the development of the plan
Parents , pupils school staff and governors have been consulted in order to write the plan. Comments and recommendations have been taken account wherever possible and included in the plan. Through feedback received through parent consultations and pupil progress meetings we are confident that the school adopts a curriculum to meet the needs of disabled pupils. Ongoing monitoring enables us to identify where changes might be needed and adapt accordingly. The review process takes account of the child when planning for support.
Review date: September 2016