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Safeguarding Policy

Introduction

The Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children who attend the Academy and to ensure we take all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse, neglect or harm. The Academy expects all members of staff, volunteers, visitors and third parties to share its commitment to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of pupils.

The purpose of this policy is to protect children and young people who attend the Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance in regular classes, performances, workshops and any other activity linked to the Academy.

  • The Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance Safeguarding Policy and Procedure is introduced to all new teachers as part of their basic teacher training by the Principal.
  • All teachers and assistants working at the Academy know that they have a responsibility to identify any child welfare concerns and, in partnership with other organisations, will take the appropriate action to address them.
  • Teachers and assistants at the Academy understand that it is not their responsibility to investigate possible abuse or neglect.
  • Teachers and assistants have a responsibility to identify those children who are suffering from abuse or neglect and to ensure that any concerns about the welfare of a child are reported to the Designated Safeguarding Leader or the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leader.
  • The role of the Designated Safeguarding Leaders (DSL’s) is to take lead responsibility for the safeguarding and child protection within the Academy and to be available for teachers to discuss safeguarding concerns.
  • Rosy Thompson Academy of Dance teachers will carry out its duty to safeguard children which is defined as:
  1. Protecting children from maltreatment;
  2. Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  3. Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  4. Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

The Academy will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur.

ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEADS (DSLs)

The Designated Safeguarding Leads are responsible for matters relating to Child Protection and Safeguarding. Staff should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Leads if they have a concern about a child’s welfare and parents are welcome to approach the DSL’s if they have any concerns, whether they relate to their own child or any other.

Rosy Thompson is the Designated Safeguarding Leader (DSL)

Siana French is the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leader (DSL)

The Designated Safeguarding Leads for Child Protection and Safeguarding will complete training courses every three years.

Child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.

Signs of child abuse and neglect

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:

  • significant changes in a child’s behaviour
  • deterioration in a child’s general well-being
  • unexplained bruising or marks
  • comments made by a child which give cause for concern
  • reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg. in the child’s
  • home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital
  • mutilation, or that the child may have witnessed domestic abuse
  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.

Peer-on-peer abuse

Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by the Academy and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Teachers are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.

Teachers will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:

  • Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
  • One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg. much
  • older)
  • One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg. in terms
  • of disability, confidence, physical strength)
  • There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.

If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed teachers will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.

Allegations against Teachers

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a teacher:

  • The allegation will be reported to the Principal & Designated Safeguarding Leader or to the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leader.
  • The allegation will be recorded on an INCIDENT REPORT FORM. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
  • The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) by the Principal/DSL’s.
  • The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg. police) should be informed, and the Academy will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
  • Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend a teacher or assistant pending full investigation of the allegation.
  • If appropriate, the Academy will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Promoting awareness among teachers

The Academy promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of exploitation and ensures that:

  • The DSL’s has the relevant experience and receives appropriate training in Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty.
  • Safeguarding training is refreshed every three years.
  • Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new teachers and assistants.
  • Ensure all teachers have an up to date Enhanced BDS Check
  • All teachers and assistants have a copy of this Safeguarding Policy and Procedure, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
  • All staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about exploitation.
  • Safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all teacher meetings and training.

Use of mobile phones and cameras

  • Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission.
  • Only photographs that have had parental permission can be shared on social media.
  • Mobile phones are only used during the class for contacting parents, Emergency Services, occasionally to play music or to take photographs of work with permission.

Safeguarding Procedure

If a child discloses to a teacher that they are being abused, the teacher should:

  1. Remain calm and try not to show any shock or disbelief.
  2. Listen with the utmost care to what the child is saying.
  3. Always inform the child that this information will have to be passed on but only to people who need to know and who will help protect their safety and welfare.
  4. Always offer reassurance to the child or young person. Let them know that they were right to inform you, that the abuse isn’t their fault, that they’ve done the right thing and that you are listening to them and treating the information seriously.
  5. Do not rush the child into giving details of the abuse. Your role is to listen to what the child wants to tell you and not to conduct an investigation
  6. Always use language that the child understands and wherever possible the child’s words to clarify or expand what has been said.
  7. Question normally without pressurising and only using open questions.

If a concern is raised

  • If the teacher raises a concern, then they must speak to the DSL immediately.

Urgent concern

  • If the situation is urgent and the child is at risk by going home with the parent/carer then the Police should be contacted immediately on 999. This would be in a situation where the teacher felt that the child was in immediate danger.

Cause for concern but child not in immediate danger

  • The DSL will ask the teacher to make a full written record in the provided CAUSE FOR CONCERN FORM which is then sent to the DSL.
  • The teacher has a duty to share information regarding any concerns which they may have about a child but only with the relevant people, organisations and agencies, not with family, friends or colleagues who have no right or need to know.

Action Taken/Referral

  • Once the DSL has received the CAUSE FOR CONCERN form, they will review the information and then make a decision about the action to take.
  1. Decision to monitor the concern: If this is the decision made, then the teacher should monitor the child and feedback to the DSL within an agreed timescale. The DSL will write up a confidential report and review with the teacher.
  2. Speak to the parent/carer: the teacher will speak to the parent or carer about the concern or disclosure.
  • Once discussed with parents/carers, the following action can be taken:
  1. No action – but the DSL should write up a confidential report stating the reason why no action is being taken and store it securely.
  2. Decision to monitor the concern. See above.
  3. Discuss the case on a “no names” basis with the relevant borough/local authority’s Child Protection Co-ordinator or Child and Family Contact Team and ask their advice.
  4. Refer to the relevant Social Care Department in the local authority of the child’s address. If a referral is necessary the parent/carer would need to be told that the information is going to be passed on to the relevant social services.
  • All referral information and decisions, phone calls, discussions and actions should also be recorded and kept with the full record. This should also include a record of any decisions made not to refer the incident, along with the reasons.