Ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable children in the event of partial school closure due to Coronavirus pandemic
Interim Addendum to Safeguarding and CP Policy (based on DfE Coronavirus (COVID19) Safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers 27th March 2020)
Guidance to be adapted by Academies (Latest update March 30th 2020)
Schools should continue to act in the best interests of the child
Staff should act immediately with regard to any safeguarding concerns
A DSL or DDSL must be available either on site or via the phone
Online safety awareness for children and parents
During these unprecedented times, staff working with children, either remotely or in school, must remain alert to any safeguarding concerns.
At Park Academy West London we have:
– ensured that all staff know how to report any concerns about a child or an adult. All staff know how to use our online safeguarding platform (My Concern) and they must use this to share any safeguarding concerns that arise during the period of the school closure. (see P7 Point 5.5 of the Safeguarding Policy and CP Policy)
– made safeguarding arrangements during the partial school opening, the DSL on duty is Suvi Mohey and can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. In the event that the DSL is not able to work due to illness, the DDSL is Gail Harris and contact details are email@example.com
– If neither of the above is available, then Mandy Lancy, Trust Safeguarding Lead, can be contacted via email if not urgent (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone if urgent 07921 393431
– The teacher with responsibility for LAC/PLAC is Jack Taylor and can be contacted on email@example.com, this person will make regular, at least weekly, contact with the child/ren’s carers and social worker to ensure the safety of the child. Contact with the VSH will be made as needed.
- We will not be allowing new volunteers into our academy at the present time.
For children who are expected in school, we will follow up any non-attendance with a phone call home. The named social worker for any child who has a CP or CiN plan will also be contacted to ensure the safety of the child.
It is essential that we are able to check in with students who are not attending site, just as we are able to check in with those who are on site, to ensure their safety.
Keeping in Contact with students
Safeguarding teams have agreed a rota of contact with students who have CP concerns. Each student has been assigned a lead adult (member of the safeguarding team / staff who have had DSL training). A reserve adult, in case of the lead adult becoming unwell and therefore not able to work, has also been identified.
Where possible, phone calls are made from a school phone, either in school or from a school mobile. If a personal mobile has to be used, then the Withold Caller ID should be used (see Appendix).
The most vulnerable students (red) are contacted at least every other day, Monday to Friday, a mix of phone and email contact is acceptable, but a phone call at least twice per week should be made.
Amber students are contacted twice per week and blue students at least once per week.
We aim for all students not on the Red/Amber/Blue list, to be contacted regularly by teachers, by email. This is in order to check in with their wellbeing, set work, etc.
All contact with students or parents must be recorded on My Concern and must be made via work email or withheld number phone
- Data Protection
Safeguarding teams need to make sure that they have access to students’ information and contact details of outside agencies, including names of social workers if they are not in schools. We have ensured that these are kept securely and that no individual could be identified by anyone outside of school. No paper based contact details should leave the school building.
- Communication between staff
Safeguarding teams must still communicate and share information with each other and their line manager. A regular phone / Google Meet briefing should be led by the DSL for the safeguarding team, at least 2x per week.
- LAC/PLAC and Pupils with a CP or CiN plan
The DSL will continue to ensure that the academy works with the relevant authorities to ensure that these children are safeguarded. This may mean attending virtual meetings, submitting reports, speaking with parents as well as the child, updating PEPs and action plans as relevant.Online SafetyWe recognise that children may be spending more time online during this time and this makes them more at risk from those who would wish them harm.In order to minimise this risk, we endeavour to regularly circulate advice to parents on how to keep their child safe online (see Appendix). We have also reminded pupils of what to do if they are concerned about something that has happened online (see Peer on Peer Abuse Page 8 Point 6.1 of the Safeguarding Policy and CP Policy)
Staff must advise the DSL and Principal of any reports of inappropriate online behaviour as soon as they receive it. The DSL and Principal will then decide on the next course of action following the policy.
We have also reminded our staff of the staff Code of Conduct which includes protocols for the acceptable use of technologies (see Page 7 Points 17 & 18), staff pupil/student relationships (see Page 3 Point 5) and communication including the use of social media (only use a work email address) (see page 4 Point 8), staff are expected to self refer to the Principal if they think they have behaved inappropriately online.
In the event that it is necessary to close the school due to not being able to staff it, children will be accommodated in a nearby school hub. It is the responsibility of the Hub host school to ensure that safeguarding arrangements are in place.
Parents will be informed of the arrangements as soon as they become necessary.
How to withhold/hide your number in Android
- Open the phone/dialler app on your Android phone.
- Open the menu by tapping the three dots at the end of the search bar.
- Select ‘Settings’.
- Click on ‘Call settings’.
- Click on ‘Additional settings’.
- One the menu has loaded, click on ‘Caller ID’.
- Now select ‘Hide number
How to withold/hide your number on I Phones
- In the Settings app, tap Phone.
- Tap Show My Caller ID and turn off the switch next to Show My Caller ID.
- The switch is off when it’s grey and positioned to the left.
To withold your number on a landline, dial 141 before the phone number.
Childline to support mental wellbeing
Samaritans to support mental wellbeing
UK Safer Internet Centre to report online concerns
UK Safer internet Centre – advcie for parents
CEOP for advice about reporting online abuse
LGFL advice and support for parents and teachers