Safeguarding Pupils Process
We suggest that all schools undertake the following process before school closure. Consider rag rating all vulnerable pupils:
- Red (High Priority) – Child Protection or equivalent – visit CP children twice a week and see them through the window if self-isolating on the door step if not. In the event of illness, we will need to nominate someone else to complete visits. Visits will only be conducted in pairs. Report any families that are not seen to social care. Share contact dates and times with social workers and siblings’ school when children have been seen. Update My Concern with notes of the visit and any concerns/requests from parents. If we are unable to complete the visits and parents are uncontactable by phone, police/social care to be contacted to conduct safe and well check.
- Amber – Child in Need or equivalent – As above, but families will be visited once per week.
- Blue – any families getting support from Early Help or TFST – Fortnightly check in with named worker for these children.
- Yellow – hardship / financial difficulties / ongoing monitoring – Any children on the yellow list to be supported via phone call. All phone calls must be made from a school number or with caller ID disabled when using a mobile phone. If new concerns arise whilst the school is closed, discussion will take place via the DSLs and if necessary home visits will be introduced/increased. Additionally contact will be made with Social Care and a MARF will be completed.
Priority actions to be completed:
- Lead DSL relay DSL names contact details, phone numbers to Sam Danyluk Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org (these will be added to the encompass database).
- Letter to CP families about closure and the level of support they will receive.
- Ring Social Care and check that any cases have not been closed and note the contact details of social workers or family support workers.
- Complete LA Risk Assessment for these children as well as those with an EHCP and submit to named contact.
Notification letter to parents of children on a CP Plan
Info from Children’s Social Care 02/04/2020 – Interim Arrangements
This briefing note is based on current circumstances and arrangements, you will appreciate that this will inevitably be subject to change over the coming weeks.
Partnership working is vital during this current time and multi-agency safeguarding arrangements will continue as usual, however agencies are to be mindful that this will be undertaken in a different way to avoid face to face contact wherever possible.
Children’s Social Work services are working with Education colleagues to enable us to share school-level lists of vulnerable children (subject to a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan) with schools. Colleagues from the Education Directorate will be in contact with schools to provide this information and to ensure appropriate educational provision or supervision is in place for these children. Risk assessments for children identified as a significant concern will be requested by social care.
Children and Families Direct MASH
Children and Families Direct (CFD) MASH remains our single point of access to early intervention and safeguarding services. The normal pathways for making referrals remain unchanged, if you have safeguarding concerns and believe that a child is at risk please call 0115 8764800. For all other referrals and requests for service please complete a Multi-Agency Request Form. The form is available to download here or can be accessed through SIMS:
Once completed the form should be sent through to: email@example.com
Children and Families Direct are open from 8.30am until 4.50pm. We recognise how useful the consultation line, 07711189544 is for DSL’s and Head Teacher’s, this currently remains unaffected and we would urge you to use this service if you are unsure about the support available to families or if you are unsure if a referral is required.
For urgent safeguarding concerns outside of office hours the Emergency Duty Team can be contacted on 01158764800.
Initial Child Protection Conferences / Reviews and Child in Care Reviews
All reviews for Child Protection and Children in Care are now taking place via video link (Microsoft Teams) and complemented where necessary with telephone calls and written reports received by email. I have asked that Chairs always make the meeting accessible to parents so that at a minimum they should be listening on a phone line. The same virtual protocols are also in place for Child Criminal Exploitation/Child Sexual Exploitation and complex strategy meetings. These are not routinely attended by families, but we do try to include young people and parents in CSE strategy meetings where it is safe to do so.
The Chair of the meeting will be responsible for the production of a Child Protection Plan/ Child in Care plan that will be reviewed in line with statutory timescales.
The process will be overseen by a Child Protection Chairperson, drawing together and recording the views of the social worker, parents and, where possible, relevant professionals, who will be asked to agree a plan. The record of the discussion and interim plan will be recorded on the child’s file.
Core Groups and Child in Need Meetings
Following the current advice around social distancing, and the avoidance of gathering where possible, core group and child in need meetings will take place either virtually or as part of a series of individual discussions. These should still take place within statutory timeframes at this time and be clearly recorded on the child’s record. Where there is a child protection plan in place, you should always be invited to a core group meeting at not less than 6 weekly intervals. If this is not happening please escalate this as a concern. Families do attend core groups and will be invited by phone to listen and contribute if they cannot join on the same social media. Children open to Targeted Services are still receiving support from their allocated workers. Whilst visits are being made to those children we may be most worried about they are mainly being contacted virtually by their worker.
Fieldwork and Children in Care Team Managers and Team Areas/Contacts
Please see the attached list:
Flowchart for Vulnerable Children
LA Risk Assessment for Vulnerable Pupils and those with an EHCP
Vulnerable children travelling to school letter
Letter for permissible travel for key worker
Free School Meals
Temporary FSM extension:
While schools are partially open or shut due to COVID-19 lockdown, the government is giving Free School Meals (FSM) to children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRFP). It covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence
There has been an increase both locally and nationally of reported domestic abuse incidents and calls to support services relating to domestic violence and abuse since the lockdown period began. The next day notification system is still operating and schools will continue to receive email notification of any incidents reported to the police where a child is present as usual. Schools should use this information to inform ongoing safe and well checks or to consider whether any sessions in school might be appropriate if the children are not currently attending.
If a parent/survivor needs to access support services, counselling or requires respite we would expect schools would support this in providing places where needed given the vulnerability of the children whether they have a social work assigned or not.
Please see Equation’s page with advice for professionals with regards to domestic abuse and sexual violence during this period:
Here is a document that details services available with regards to domestic abuse and sexual violence:
Action for Young Carers
Action for Young Carers have been in touch about the support they continue to offer to young carers – through phone calls and WhatsApp, as well as a hardship fund to support families who might be struggling and volunteers who are prepared to shop, walk dogs or just make a call. Whilst young carers are at home, their caring roles may significantly increase. The attached referral form has details on where to send any referral and the team have asked us to let you know their waiting list has significantly reduced so they may be able to offer an assessment in a week or two.
Links to online Safeguarding training
Online safeguarding training covering all areas including
- Child protection in schools,
- Keeping Children safe online
- Safer recruitment,
- Introduction to Child Protection,
- Child Protection for School governors,
- Managing sexualised Behaviour,
- Safeguarding children with SEND,
Free online Safeguarding modules on:
- Prevent Update training – https://www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk/edu/screen2.html
- CSE training – https://safeguardingchildren.vc-tms.co.uk/selfregistration.aspx?version=9679
- FGM training – https://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/
Exemplar addendum to Safeguarding Policy
Safeguarding advice for remote teaching and learning during the Coronavirus outbreak
Andrew Hall advises:
These are extraordinary times and so advice for more ordinary times may not fit. On the other hand it is perhaps the most important time to keep hold of the ‘rules’. In a crisis, there are always people who will use the difficulties for their own advantage.
The product used for interaction and the format is important. Live streaming video and audio is a concern, so an asynchronous method would be better. For example, creating a video and using school email address to ask questions or discuss points afterwards. Live video can be mitigated a little by ensuring that a recording is saved in the cloud and is accessible by the DSL, Head of Department, etc. This would give a recording to review if necessary.
Choice of remote learning product is also important. For example, in the one I use, Demio, you can upload a video, play it out and use the chat box as it plays. The chat is downloadable and could be reviewed. The product used should be a corporate product and not a teacher’s personal account.
Live Webcams in teaching and learning – safeguarding issues to consider
- No 1:1s, groups only (The biggest risk on remote learning with 1:1s is around grooming, so the risk assessment must mitigate against this risk.)
- 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 where possible be against a neutral background.
- The live class should be recorded and backed up elsewhere, 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
- Schools should risk assess the use of live learning using webcams
- Data Controllers need to reassure themselves that any teaching/learning software and/or platforms are suitable and raise no privacy issues; or use cases against the providers terms and conditions (for example, no business use of consumer products)
Also have a look at some of these other resources:
Coronavirus, What You Need to Know – Professionals & Parents
Safeguarding Guidance (LGfL)
Safe Remote Learning (SWGfL)
This is a really useful source of advice for lesson livestreaming:
Guidance around using social media and WhatsApp
Attached is some guidance around using social media and WhatsApp to communicate with parents, carers and young people during this time: