COVID-19 School Closure Arrangements for Safeguarding and Child Protection – Appedix E and F

Please read the addendum made to our current Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy during our School Closure:

Appendix E
COVID-19 School Closure Arrangements for Safeguarding and Child Protection

School Name: St Agnes’ CE Primary
Policy owner: Shoab Uddin
Date: 02.04.20
Date shared with staff: 02.04.20

Context

From 18th March 2020 St Agnes’ CE was closed as a safety and risk prevention measure. A significant proportion of pupils and families were reporting symptoms related to the Coronavirus.
The Government closed all schools from 20th March 2020, when all parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response – who absolutely need to attend.

Schools and all childcare providers were asked to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

 

This appendix contains summarises our individual safeguarding arrangements in response

Key contacts

Role Name Contact number 
Designated Safeguarding Lead:                 ShelleyLynton 07907620872

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads: Rachael McCutcheon 07955736372
Colleen Oven 07598514315

Headteacher:                                                  Shoab Uddin   01612246829
Chair of Governors:                                       Helen Thompson   01612246829
Safeguarding Governor:                               Lesley Gutteridge   01612246829

Others, if applicable

Deputy Safeguarding Lead:                        Katie Cronin – no safeguarding phone allocated

 

Vulnerable Children

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Those who have a social worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan and those who are looked after by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Those with an EHC plan will be risk-assessed in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.

Eligibility for free school meals in and of itself should not be the determining factor in assessing vulnerability.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at increased risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and we will explore the reasons for this directly with the parent.

Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID19, we or the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England. Parents will also be directed to our pupil wellbeing hub on our school website which will offer support for their child.

We will encourage our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed.

Circumstances may give rise to sharing care provisions as a hub with nearby local schools within the locality cluster groups. In the first instance, discussions will take place between school as to the viability of it. At present, St Chrysostoms CE Primary, Longsight Community Primary and Stanley Grove Primary with the agreement of parents and carers.
Social workers would also be informed of this.

At St Agnes
The Designated Safeguarding team know who our most vulnerable children are. These children are RAG rated and the team have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edge of receiving children’s social care support.

The team will work with the children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head for looked-after and previously looked-after children. A copy of contact numbers for all Central Social Workers has been saved to CPOMS library as a point of reference should any social worker fall ill or end up isolating.

All children are to be considered at risk of being vulnerable during these uncertain times. Such dramatic changes to our daily life will bring added pressures for all families, for this reason all class teachers will make weekly safe and well calls. All calls will be logged on CPOMS for the Safeguarding Team to monitor and action accordingly.

For our most vulnerable children (CIN/CP/LAC), safe and well calls and weekly home visits will be made, based on the RAG rated approach, by the safeguarding team.

Attendance Monitoring

Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance.

If we have any children in attendance (e.g. because they are vulnerable or their parent(s) / carers are critical workers) we will submit the daily attendance sheet to the DfE by 12 noon – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-recording-for-educational-settings

If the school has closed, we will complete the return once as requested by the DfE.

We and social workers will agree with parents/carers whether children in need should be attending school and will then follow up on any pupil that they were expecting to attend, who does not. We will also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child(ren) and the child(ren) subsequently do not attend.

To support the above, we will, when communicating with parents/carers and carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, we will notify their social worker.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The optimal scenario is to have our trained DSL available on site. Where this is not possible, they or trained deputy will be available to be contacted via phone or online video – for example when working from home.

Where a trained DSL (or deputy) is not on site, in addition to the above, a senior leader will assume responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site.

This might include updating and managing access to child protection online management system, CPOMS (or equivalent) and liaising with the offsite DSL (or deputy) and as required liaising with children’s social workers where they require access to children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school or college.

It is important that all staff and volunteers have access to a trained DSL (or deputy). On each day, the staff on site will be made aware of who that person is and how to contact them.

The DSL will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which can be done remotely. To access ICPC/RCPC held at Manchester Safeguarding and Improvement Unit, a report should be sent to qualityassurance@manchester.gov.uk whereby a reply email will be sent 24 hours before the conference containing the dial in details and reports from other partners. Please ensure the person sending the report is the person who will be calling into the conference as the SIU will not be contacting other safeguarding staff separately.

Reporting a concern

Where staff have a concern about a child, they should continue to follow the process outlined in the school Safeguarding Policy, this includes making a report via CPOMS or equivalent), which can be done remotely.

In the unlikely event that a member of staff cannot access their CPOMS (or equivalent) from home, they should email the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Headteacher and/or any other ember of Safeguarding team. This will ensure that the concern is communicated and processes followed through as a result.

Staff are aware of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay.

Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children in the school, they should report the concern to the headteacher. If there is a requirement to make a notification to the headteacher whilst away from school, this should be done verbally and followed up with an email to the headteacher.

Concerns around the Headteacher should be directed to the Chair of Governors.

The headteacher/Chair of Governors should follow the usual practice, contact the LADO and make a referral if the concern meets the threshold, as

Safeguarding Training and Induction

For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if they miss their refresher training.

All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child.

Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers are working with us, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction and all relevant information.

If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that:-

• the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check

• there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children

• there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual

 

At St Agnes
DSL training is unlikely to take place whilst there remains a threat of the COVID 19 virus.

Staff will be participating in safeguarding and health and safety training online through various providers such as Virtual College, until normal training practice resumes.

DSL and Deputies will receive updates from external safeguarding source points such as Andrew Hall, Kerry Dawson and Local Authority Providers via emails, online meetings or Zoom Briefings.

Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, we will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) (KCSIE).

In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.

If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that:-

• the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check

• there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children

• there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual

Where we are utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in paragraphs 167 to 172 of KCSIE. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity.

We will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found at paragraph 163 of KCSIE.

We will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per paragraph 166 of KCSIE and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral.

During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing Misconduct.Teacher@education.gov.uk

Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current National emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers will be in the school or college, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, we ill continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in paragraphs 148 to 156 in KCSIE.

 

Online safety in schools and colleges

We will continue to provide a safe environment, including online. This includes the use of an online filtering system.

Where students are using computers in school, appropriate supervision will be in place.

Children and online safety away from school and college

It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the Child Protection Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police.

Class teachers will ensure a weekly reference is made to online safely in their remote coverage to ensure the children are aware of their risks whilst online.

We will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.

Below are some things to consider when delivering virtual lessons, especially where webcams are involved:

• No 1:1s, groups only (except with explicit permission from parents)
• Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred.
• The live class should be recorded so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed.
• Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day.
• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
• Staff must only use platforms specified by senior managers and approved by our IT network manager / provider to communicate with pupils
• Staff should record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.

Supporting children not in school

We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our children.

Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, they should ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child.

Details of this plan must be recorded on CPOMS (or equivalent), as should a record of contact have made.

The communication plans can include; remote contact, phone contact, door-step visits. Other individualised contact methods should be considered and recorded.

We and our DSL Team will work closely with all stakeholders to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan.

This plan must be reviewed regularly (at least once a fortnight) and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.

The school will share safeguarding messages on its website and social media pages.

We recognise that school is a protective factor for children, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Our staff need to be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home.

Supporting children in school

We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students.

We will continue to be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Headteacher will ensure that appropriate staff are on site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate, to maximise safety.

We will refer to the Government and LA guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19.

We will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and recorded on CPOMS (or equivalent).

Where we have concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as our Designated Safeguarding Lead or first aiders – we will discuss them immediately with the LA.

 

Supporting children in Hub Schools

At St Agnes  

Any children attending hub schools will have the same safeguarding protocols and procedures that required of all staff when working at St Agnes School. DSL must be available at all times at the Hub Schools – if not available, another SLT must be present and report to the DSL.

A protocol sheet has been devised for all staff attending one of the Hub Schools to ensure safer practice protocol. This includes the requirement of reading the Hub Schools’ Child Protection and Safeguarding policies and Code of Conduct.

All staff leading sessions at the Hub Schools need to wear their identity lanyards at all times and ensure their DBS number is given for SCRs at least 24hrs before attending.
Any staff who have concerns regarding safeguarding issues in the Hub School must follow the NSPCC whistle blowing procedures and inform the DSL at both the Hub School and St Agnes’.

LADO procedures will be used to report any adults who display concerning behaviours.

 

Peer on Peer Abuse

We recognise that during the closure a revised process may be required for managing any report of such abuse and supporting victims.

Where we receive a report of peer on peer abuse, we will follow the principles as set out in part 5 of KCSIE and of those outlined within of the Child Protection Policy.

We will listen and work with the child, parents/carers and any multi-agency partner required to ensure the safety and security of that child.

Concerns and actions must be recorded on CPOMS (or equivalent) and appropriate referrals made.

Advice, Guidance & Support from the LA

Our headteacher shares all LA updates with relevant staff and all staff are aware of how to access support from our SSQA, the Safeguarding in Education Team, Virtual School and One Education as advised through the daily circulars.

Appendix F

Home Visit Protocol during Covid 19 Pandemic

• Home visits during the Covid 19 pandemic are not Social Services visits. If you have an urgent Safeguarding concern, please refer to DSLs
Shelley Lynton (Lead) 07907 620872, Rachael McCutcheon
07955 736372 or Colleen Oven 07598 514315
• Home visits during the Covid 19 pandemic are safe and well checks to ensure a family is ok (have not been reached by phone), to deliver work, resources or food to families in need.
• Home visits during the Covid 19 pandemic should be carried out in pairs assigned by SLT from staff who are not sick or self- isolating.
• Two metre social distancing should be rigorously observed (no car sharing) and hand hygiene before and after the visit.
• Staff should wear their school lanyard and high visibility jackets
• Always knock on the door and stand well back.
• Explain to the family that you are from St Agnes’ Primary School and that you are checking that they are ok. Do they have enough food? Is everyone well? Are they accessing home learning? Ask for a number they can be contacted on and arrange a convenient time.
• Ask to speak to the child/ren – seeing the children is essential.
• Leave any food, resources or work at a two metre distance.
• Do not enter the property.
• Always log record of visit on CPOMS.
If you have an urgent Safeguarding concern, please refer to DSL Shelley Lynton on 07907 620872, or in her absence Rachael McCutcheon
07955 736372.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Phone: 0161 2246829
Manchester, M13 0PE
50 Hamilton Road,
Translate »