Rationale: The importance of child protection:
The school recognises its duty and responsibilities to protect and safeguard the interests of all children. It recognises that effective child protection work requires sound procedures, good inter-agency co-operation and a workforce that is competent and confident in responding to child protection situations.
The School employs a Discipline Co-Ordinator to monitor student behaviour and a Child Psychologist.
This policy document provides the basis for good practice within the school for child protection work. The procedures provide a framework to ensure that all practices in the area of child protection is consistent and that the school takes every reasonable measure to ensure every child is healthy and safe.
The school is committed to the following principles:
- A child’s welfare is paramount. Each child has a right to be protected from harm and exploitation and to have their welfare safeguarded.
- Each child is unique. Action taken by child welfare organisations should be child-centred, taking account of a child’s cultural, ethnic and religious background, their gender, their sexual orientation, their individual ability and any special needs.
- Children, parents and other carers should be made aware of their responsibilities and their rights, together with advice about the power of professionals to intervene in their family circumstances.
- Each child has a right to be consulted about actions taken by others on his/her behalf. The concerns of children and their families should be listened to and due consideration given to their understanding, wishes and feelings.
- Individual family members must be involved in decisions affecting them. They must be treated with courtesy and respect and with due regard given to working with them in a spirit of partnership in safeguarding children’s welfare.
- Open-mindedness and honesty must guide each stage of assessment and of operational practice. The strengths of individual family members, as well as their needs, should be given due consideration.
- Personal information is usually confidential. It should only be shared with the permission of the individual concerned, or unless the disclosure of confidential personal information is necessary in order to protect a child. In all circumstances, information must be confined to those people directly involved in the professional network of each individual child and on a strict “need to know” basis.
- Professionals should be aware of the effects of outside intervention upon children, upon family life and the impact and implications of what they say and do.
- Explanations by professionals to children, their families and other carers should be plainly stated and jargon-free. Unavoidable technical and professional terminology should be explained in simple terms.
- Sound professional practice is based upon positive inter-agency collaboration, evidence-based research and effective supervision and evaluation.
- Early intervention in providing support services is an important principle of practice in inter-agency arrangements for safeguarding the welfare of children.
When recruiting new members of staff the following checks take place;
- Employment history through CVs
- Police checks are undertaken with original copies viewed
- References are taken up and obtained and qualifications are verified
Newly appointed staff will have initial training in child protection as part of their induction programme.
Wherever possible all adults who come into prolonged contact with children will receive Child protection training
- Understanding broad definitions of child abuse and neglect
- Dealing appropriately with disclosures
- Having an awareness of how a child’s race, culture, gender and ability inform an assessment of their needs
- Knowing how to make a referral
- Acting appropriately on suspicion/ knowledge that a child may be suffering harm
- Understanding the Child Protection system and professional roles within it
- Understanding how discrimination can impact on children and families
- Understanding both victim and offender behaviour
Dealing with allegations of abuse
Any allegations or suspicions of abuse must be referred immediately to the School Director who will initiate a case. A written record of concerns should be made using the schools internal recording forms.
The decision to refer a case to a Ministry of Education (Egypt) social worker is to be made by the School Director, in consultation with at least one member of the Board.
(Reviewed Oct 2018)