ESTA EDUCATION POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING INCORPORATING CHILD PROTECTION
We recognise the expertise our members build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns and we therefore invite staff to contribute to and shape this policy and associated safeguarding arrangements.
The policy is provided to all ESTA members, in addition to the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, DfE (2016).
- PURPOSE & AIMS
The purpose of ESTA’s safeguarding policy is to ensure every member of our association understands how to keep safe and how to keep children safe and protected from harm. This means we work to:
- Enable members to understand how to protect children and young people from maltreatment;
- Prevent impairment of our children’s and young people’s health or development;
- Ensure that children and young people are taught in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
This policy will give clear direction to our membership about expected behaviour and our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children we engage with as part of our teaching and professional commitments.
ESTA fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children from harm and supporting and promoting the welfare of all children who are part of our association or who we teach. The elements of our policy are prevention, protection and support.
ETSTA also advises that all its members must seek out, understand and be able to apply the Child protection procedures for each of its working contexts.
- OUR ETHOS
The child’s welfare is of paramount importance. ESTA and our members will establish and maintain an ethos where pupils feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe. Children will be able to talk freely to their instrumental teacher if they are worried or concerned about something.
We recognise that instrumental teachers play a particularly important role as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. When concerned about the welfare of a child, everyone must always act in the best interests of the child.
All ESTA members and learners, through training, know the general procedures required in how to recognise indicators of concern, how to respond to a disclosure from a child and how to record and report this information. They understand never to make promises to any child and never to keep secrets.
Wherever necessary we support our members and learners to work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies in line with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)
Our Designated Safe-Guarding Lead (DSL) is the Course Leader.
It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that they carry out the requirements of this policy and, at all times, work in a way that will safeguard and promote the welfare of all of their pupils. This includes the responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
The DSL will provide advice and support on child welfare and child protection matters. Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the DSL.
The DSL will represent ESTA at child protection conferences and take part in strategy discussions and other national organisations as appropriate. The DSL will maintain written records of any reported incidents, ensuring that they are kept confidential and stored securely.
ESTA CME Course
All learners will have the opportunity to receive safeguarding training during the course. The training will also include information about whistle-blowing in respect of concerns about another adult’s behaviour and suitability to work with children. Mentors and the course leaders will also receive on-line safety training as this is part of the overarching safeguarding approach of our school.
All learners will be informed of the procedures surrounding child protection.
- PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING CONCERNS
When concerned about the welfare of a child, learners should always act in the interests of the child and have a responsibility to take action as outline in this policy. Learners must follow the procedures of their working contexts.
For the duration of the course, learners are encouraged to report any concerns that they have and not see these as insignificant. Concerns accumulate over a period of time and are evidenced by building up a picture of harm over time; this is particularly true in cases of emotional abuse and neglect. In these circumstances, it is crucial that learners record pass on concerns in accordance with this policy to the DSL. A reliance on memory without accurate and contemporaneous records of concern could lead to a failure to protect.
It is not the responsibility of ESTA or the learner to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. We all have a duty to recognise concerns and pass the information on in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy.
All concerns about a child or young person should be reported without delay and recorded in writing using the agreed template (see Appendix 1). This must be sent to the DSL where the learner is working and a copy to ESTA DSL.
Any learner who does not feel that concerns about a child have been responded to appropriately and in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy should raise their concerns with the head of the organisation they are working in e.g. the head teacher or with ESTA DSL
We advise learners to recognise that children are also vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by their peers or siblings. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Abuse perpetrated by children can be just as harmful as that perpetrated by an adult, so it is important to remember the impact on the victim of the abuse as well as to focus on the support for the child or young person exhibiting the harmful behaviour.
We advise learners to recognise that children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges.
These additional barriers can include:
- assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
- children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying- without outwardly showing any signs; and
- communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.
We advise learners to recognise that if they identify concerns about children becoming victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other forms of so-called ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) they should inform the DSL of where they are working who will activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multiagency liaison with police and children’s social care.
ESTA recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society. We advise that:
- Through training, we have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism is, why we need to be vigilant and how to respond when concerns arise.
- There are systems in place for keeping pupils safe from extremist material when accessing the internet using effective filtering and usage policies.
The DSL can provide you with the necessary forms should you need to document any concerns.