Keeping Our Children Safe
Keeping all our children safe is of paramount importance at Southam Primary School.
Southam Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Our child protection designated members of staff are:
Emma Longworth - Headteacher
Amanda Startup - Deputy Headteacher
- Key Categories of Abuse
- What is child exploitation?
- What is Prevent?
- What to do if you have a safeguarding concern
- Operation Encompass
AS DEFINED IN KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION 2019 THE KEY CATEGORIES OF ABUSE ARE;
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology. Like all forms of child sex abuse, child sexual exploitation:
- can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex;
- can still be abuse even if the sexual activity appears consensual;
- can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non contact sexual activity;
- can take place in person or via technology, or a combination of both;
- can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may, or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
- may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media);
- can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse; and is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
Indicators of Risk;
Some of the following signs may be indicators of child sexual exploitation:
- children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
- children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
- children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
- children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
- children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
- children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
- children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
- children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.
Child criminal exploitation: county lines
Criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity, drug networks or gangs who groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns.
Key to identifying potential involvement in county lines are; missing episodes, when the victim may have been trafficked for the purpose of transporting drugs
Like other forms of abuse and exploitation, county lines exploitation:
- can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years;
- can affect any vulnerable adult over the age of 18 years;
- can still be exploitation even if the activity appears consensual;
- can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and is often accompanied by violence or threats of violence;
- can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females, and young people or adults; and is typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the exploitation. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.
Who can offer additional support?
The government’s official definition of Prevent Duty is the legal obligation of schools to provide “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
- Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties - similar to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse
- Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism
- As with managing other safeguarding risks, all school staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be susceptible to being radicalised, thus protecting the individual child and the community from violent extremism.
- Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
- Extremism is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as 'Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas'.
- Extremism is defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as: 'The demonstration of unacceptable behaviour by using any means or medium to express views which:
- Encourage, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
- Seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
- Encourage other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts; or
- Foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
4. There is no such thing as a "typical extremist": those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.
5. Students may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors. It is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that school staff are able to recognise those vulnerabilities.
6. Indicators of vulnerability include:
- Identity Crisis - the student / pupil is distanced from their cultural / religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society;
- Personal Crisis - the student / pupil may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
- Personal Circumstances - migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the student / pupil's country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
- Un-met Aspirations - the student / pupil may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
- Experiences of Criminality - which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement / reintegration;
- Special Educational Need - students / pupils may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.
7. However this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for the purposes of violent extremism.
8. More critical risk factors could include:
- Being in contact with extremist recruiters;
- Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element;
- Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature;
- Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage;
- Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues;
- Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations;
- Significant changes to appearance and/or behaviour;
- Experiencing a high level of social isolation resulting in issues of identity crisis and/or personal crisis.
If you have a safeguarding concern about a child or adult, please follow the instructions below for reporting your concern;
During Schools Hours-Contact the designate safeguarding lead, Emma Longworth to share your concerns.
Contact; 01926 812520
Out of school hours; Contact Warwickshire multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) on 01926 414144 or contact 101.
It is important to share concerns you have, no matter how small you think they may be. It is always better to say something, than nothing.
We will treat all concerns shared with professionalism, confidentiality and respect.
Southam Primary School is an Operation Encompass school. This means we are taking part in a jointly run operation called Operation Encompass in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police. Many other schools in Warwickshire will also be participating in the scheme. Operation Encompass is a way of working initially developed in south-west England that is already operating successfully in a number of other Local Authority areas. Its objective is to help schools provide support to children who are affected by incidents of domestic violence and abuse. There is a great deal of research evidence that children can suffer significant physical and/or emotional harm when they are present during, witness or are directly involved in incidents of domestic violence and abuse.
The Operation Encompass process is simply that after any incident of domestic violence or abuse attended by the Police, the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead at the school attended by any child in the household will receive a confidential and secure Email on the morning of the next school day.
The Email will only inform the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead that the Police have attended an incident and will request that the school is mindful of that in their care and responses to the child throughout the school day. The school will not be informed about the specific details of the incident. The only exception would be when Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police deem the incident to be a child protection matter that requires further investigation. Information would then be shared with the school as part of Warwickshire County Council’s child protection checks and investigation, which is current practice and will not be changed by Operation Encompass.
The Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead have entered into a formal agreement with Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police to use the information shared to make sure that the right support is available for children who are present during, witness or are directly involved in an incident of domestic violence or abuse. This means that the school will also be in a position to offer parents and carers support as appropriate.
The confidential information shared securely with the school will be managed and stored with the utmost sensitivity and discretion. We want to assure all parents and carers that only the nominated Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Headteacher will see the information shared with the school. We will then use the notification discretely to ensure that teachers and other staff directly in contact with affected children support them with due kindness, care and sensitivity.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our students and we believe this is going to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.