Portfield Primary Academy follows the Department or Education (DfE) guidelines regarding the code of conduct and procedures for ensuring safeguarding and child protection provided in “Keeping Children Safe in Education” issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002. This document is updated each year. We are currently following recommendations from the 2022 release.
Our procedures apply to all members of our school community and are consistent with those of the local safeguarding children's board (LSCB).
Our core safeguarding principles are:
The well-being and safety of all members of our school community are paramount;
Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding children;
Policies and procedures are reviewed annually and agreed by TKAT and our Governors;
All staff are required to read and understand Section 1 from 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (see link above);
All staff receive regular child protection and safeguarding training.
Staff are trained to look out for signs of abuse:
physical abuse – e.g. bruises, lacerations, burns;
emotional abuse – e.g. excessive dependence or attention seeking;
sexual abuse – e.g. physical signs or substantial behaviour change including precocity or withdrawal;
neglect - e.g. inadequate clothing, poor hygiene, poor growth, hunger.
These are not proof in themselves that abuse has taken place and staff should never investigate suspected abuse. If concerned, staff inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) immediately.
If a child volunteers information, staff listen carefully, make notes and pass the information on to the DSL.
Staff must not:
If a child is at risk staff have an obligation to pass on information to a DSL. A child may preface their comments with, for example, “Promise you won’t tell anyone …” Staff cannot give such an assurance, but will explain that they have to tell the DSL and why. If the child refuses to carry on, that is noted and the DSL alerted.
As a school we have a statutory duty to assist Children’s Social Services acting on behalf of children in need or enquiring into allegations of child abuse. We have developed and promoted effective working relationships with West Sussex Children’s Services and the Police and have a duty to provide information during child protection enquiries. In addition, we have a pastoral responsibility in recognising that children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm.
Staff are obliged to raise any concerns regarding a child’s welfare. Any staff member can refer their concerns to Children’s Social Care. However, for a consistent approach in school, staff are expected to raise concerns with the DSL.