Statement of intent
Tiddlywinks Pre-School will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.
Our aims are to carry out this policy by:
● promoting children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background;
● promoting children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence;
● promoting children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches;
● helping children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults; and ● working with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the principles of safeguarding all our children.
This policy has been formulated by using key legislation: The Children Act 1989, The Children Act 2004 and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Liaison with other bodies
● We work within the Area Safeguarding Children Committee guidelines.
● We have a copy of 'What to do if you a worried a child is being abused' for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns. We have a cope of Bromley Protocol for Dealing with Allegations against staff, Volunteers and Foster Carers who work with Children in Bromley.
● We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and social services to work well together (a copy is attached at the end of this policy).
● We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any major incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children.
● If a referral is to be made to the local authority social services department, we act within the Area Safeguarding Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child's parents at the same time.
Staffing and volunteering
● Our designated lead person who co-ordinates child protection issues is Vicki Parker-Jones with additional support from the deputy Kara Walters.
● Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
● Candidates are informed of the need to carry out 'enhanced disclosure' checks with the Disclosure & Barring Service before posts can be confirmed.
● Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
● We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Disclosure & Barring Service checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
● staff are made aware that they are expected to disclose any convictions, court orders, reprimands and warnings, which may affect their suitability to work with children.
● Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
● We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
● We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.
● We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
● We have a clear policy shared and understood by all staff and parents regarding the use of mobile phones, cameras and social network media sites.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
● We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, and sexual as well as neglect.
● When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play.
● Where such evidence is apparent, the child's key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the setting leader or manager who is acting as the 'designated person'. The information is stored in an individual child's file.
● Staff in the setting take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or by asking questions of children.
Allegations against staff
● We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteer action within the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
● We follow the guidance of the Area Safeguarding Children Committee when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child.
● We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
● We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority's social service department to investigate.
● We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by social services in conjunction with the police.
● Our policy is to suspend the member of staff for the duration of the investigation; this is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.
● Where an employee or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify Ofsted and seek necessary procedures to ensure that the employee may be included on the List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
● We have a whistle blowing policy known and understood by all staff.
● We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and so that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
• We ensure that all staff receive immediate training and information about safeguarding as part of their induction training. This includes information about children’s behaviour.
● All staff are trained to be vigilant to identify and report inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children. For example, inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.
● We introduce key elements of child protection into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be 'strong, resilient and listened to' and so that they develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.
● We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:
● offers reassurance to the child;
● listens to the child; and
● gives reassurance that she or he will take action.
The member of staff does not question the child
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures Staff make a record of:
● the child's name;
● the child's address;
● the age of the child;
● the date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
● an objective record of the observation or disclosure;
● the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible;
● the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and
● the names of any other person present at the time.
These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's individual personal file.
● Parents are normally the first point of contact.
● If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local Area Safeguarding Children Committee does not allow this.
● This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.
● All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Area Safeguarding Children Committee.
Support to families
● The setting believes in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers in the group.
● The setting makes clear to parents its role and responsibilities in relation to Child Protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local social services department.
● The setting continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
● We follow the guidance given by social services department in relation to the setting's designated role and tasks in supporting the child and the family, subsequent to any investigation.
● Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the procedure and only if appropriate under the procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Area Safeguarding Children Committee.
Having due regard - British values
Subject to duty under section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 , “To have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”
At Tiddlywinks, we ensure that the ‘fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs’ are embedded in our curriculum 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage.
• Democracy -Views, feelings, respect, questions and opportunities
• Rule of law - Right or wrong behaviour, consequences, calibrate rules
• Individual liberty - Freedom for all
• Mutual respect - Treat others how you would want to be treated
Prevention of Radicalisation
This ‘refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups’. At
Tiddlywinks we ensure that;
• Staff will not share their political views with others,
• Staff and children are restricted in their on-line use at Tiddlywinks, in accordance to our policies,
• Lack of respect to others heritage or religious backgrounds will be challenged,
• There is no stigmas against others,
• Comments and conversations that are not suitable or relevant in an early years setting will not be tolerated.
Not acceptable - Failure to challenge, gender stereotypes, intolerance of others faiths, religions etc and promoting intolerance.
Roles and responsibilities
Staff at Tiddlywinks are in an idea position to build up resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British Values,
• All staff will encourage children to be compassionate and considerate, through activities, daily routines and being good role models.
• Tiddlywinks will demonstrate British Values through management and the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and through policies and procedures relating to equality, behaviour and safeguarding with which the Prevent duty is entirely consistent.
• These values are shared, understood and applied by all staff, volunteers and where appropriate, parents.
• Staff assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, and would work in partnership with local police, children’s social care and local safeguarding. Making a referral if there are concerns that an individual may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism or extremism.
• Staff are alert to harmful behaviours by influential adults in the child’s life. Taking action when they observe behaviour of concern.
• Update any training that might be relevant to fulfil the Prevent duty.
• Any concern about a particular child, we would follow our usual safeguarding procedures and staff would speak to the designated safeguarding lead, manager or owner. The lead might discuss the matter with social care or local police or dial 101. The Department for Education has a dedicated telephone helpline 020 7340 7264 or email email@example.com.
We have a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of children and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and must promote community cohesion.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs.
The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of ‘significant harm’ as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interest of children. FGM is illegal in England under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. All staff at Tiddlywinks are aware that:
• It’s an offence of failing to protect a girl from the risk of FGM
• It’s a mandatory reporting duty which requires specified professionals to report known cases of FGM in under 18’s.
• To observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18.
If there are concerns of FGM they should be reported straight away to the local safeguarding and following our safeguarding procedures.
Roles and responsibilities
• The lead person should be aware of FGM, to have expertise and knowledge of how a case is handled, monitored and recorded properly.
• All staff at Tiddlywinks understand their role in protecting those who have undergone or are at risk of abuse.
• All staff know to whom they should refer cases to within Tiddlywinks as well as Bromley safeguarding
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Sexual exploitation affects thousands of children. Hidden from view and going unnoticed, vulnerable young girls and boys are groomed and then abused.
practitioners at Tiddlywinks are aware of what to look out for:
• Children receiving unexplained gifts
• Changes in moods, behaviour or any physical signs such as bruising.
• Being secretive
• Lack of interest
• Missing pre-school
• Exercising caution around older friends
Our preschool recognises that some children and adults may abuse their peers and any incidents of peer on peer abuse will be managed in the same way as any other child protection concern and follow the same procedures.
Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways:
• Gender-based abuse
• Prejudiced behaviour
We do not tolerate any harmful behaviour and take swift action to intervene. Abuse is abuse and it should never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. Physical abuse may include, hitting, kicking, nipping, shaking, biting. hair pulling or otherwise causing harm to another person. Sexually harmful behaviour may range from inappropriate sexual language, inappropriate role play, to sexually touching another. Prejudiced behaviour related bullying can be connected to prejudices around belonging, identity, disabilities, special education needs, ethnic, cultural, religious backgrounds, home life and sexual identity.
Roles and responsibly
• Staff dealing with the situation of peer abuse immediately
• Gathering information as soon as possible to get the true facts. ‘where, when, why, who, what was seen, did anyone intervene?’
• All staff to be calm and consistent, not prejudiced, judgemental and dismissive.
• Once the outcome of the incident has been established it is necessary to ensure future incidents do not occur again. Considering the support and intervention require.
• Understanding if the child knows what they are doing? E.g – do they understand they are hurting others, do they understand privacy, is behaviour deliberate, does the child have understanding of the impact of their behaviour on the other person?
• Has the behaviour been persistently repeated on the same individual?
• Staff will Inform parents face to face – thinking about language to be used and being sensitive.
Internet and social media use
• Tiddlywinks at Poverest has internet access which has parent controls on put in place by the school however all children using the devices are supervised and monitored at all times.
• The setting provides staff with access to a professional email account to use for all work-related communications.
• Social networking sites can be useful as an advertising tool and an effective way of engaging with hard to reach parents,
• To view any photos on the Tiddlywinks site all parents & carers need a secure password to be able to access the site.
• To maintain professional distance and to avoid unwanted contact, staff should not link their personal social networking accounts to the setting’s page.
• Staff with internet access on their phones must ensure there is no inappropriate or illegal content on their device.
• Phones are stored in the kitchen when the preschool is in session. No phones or iPads are allowed anywhere near the toilet/changing areas.
• Parents are informed about no using their phones when picking up their child and are not permitted to use their camera without permission from the leader or deputy.