Please see the full policy as a PDF document, including all appendices, by clicking the link here: Briarwood Safeguarding Policy September 2020:
PART 1: Policy
Safeguarding is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment;
- preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development;
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes;
Child Protection is defined in the Children Act 1989 (s.47) as when a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm. Under statutory guidance and legislation action must be taken to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
- Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s Everyone who comes into contact with children, their families and carers, has a role to play.
- In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.
- We take an ‘it can happen here’ approach where safeguarding is concerned.
- Everyone who comes into contact with children has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
Briarwood is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by:
- The provision of a safe environment in which children and young people can learn;
- Acting on concerns about a child’s welfare immediately;
- Fulfilling our legal responsibilities to identify children who may be in need of early help or who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
All action taken by Briarwood School will be in accordance with:
- Current legislation (these are summarised within Working Together to Safeguard Children: statutory framework)
- Statutory, national and local guidance – this includes:
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), which sets out the multiagency working arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and protect them from harm; in addition it sets out the statutory roles and responsibilities of schools.
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) is statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education which all schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Local Guidance from the Local Safeguarding Partnership: around particular safeguarding topics are available on the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership Website.
- Government guidance issued in relation to COVID19. The full collection is available on the government website. Briarwood School have created an addendum to this document to reflect changes made during lockdown or in the event of a further lockdown. These are accessible in Appendix F
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:
- Recruitment and Selection
- Code of Conduct for Staff
- Anti-Bullying / Peer on Peer Abuse
- Information Security
- Policy on Supporting Children in Care
- Attendance (including the safeguarding response to children who go missing from education)
- Health and Safety
- Intimate Care
- Policy and procedures for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions and first aid
1.3 Equalities Statement
With regards to safeguarding we will consider our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and our general and specific duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty. General duties include:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations across all protected characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Details of our specific duties are published under Briarwood’s equality statement and measurable objectives. These are available on our website.
Staff are aware of the additional barriers to recognising abuse and neglect in children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
1.4 Overall Aims
This policy will contribute to the safeguarding of children at Briarwood School by:
- Clarifying safeguarding expectations for members of the education setting’s community, staff, governing body, children and their families;
- Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust safeguarding culture in the setting built on shared values; that learners are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other and staff with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.
- Supporting contextual safeguarding practice recognising that the setting’s site can be a location where harm can occur.
- Setting expectations for developing knowledge and skills within the setting’s community (staff, children, parents/carers) to the signs and indicators of safeguarding issues and how to respond to them.
- Early identification of need for vulnerable learners and provision of proportionate interventions to promote their welfare and safety.
- Working in partnership with children, parents and other agencies in the Local Safeguarding Partnership.
- Ensuring all policies which address issues of power and potential harm, for example anti-bullying, equalities, use of reasonable force, positive behaviour, will be linked to ensure a whole school approach.
Briarwood School is named as a relevant agency in the Local Safeguarding Partnership. This policy sets out its statutory duty to co-operate, follow and comply with published arrangements as set out by the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership.
1.5 Professional expectations, roles, and responsibilities
Role of all staff
- All staff will read and understand Part 1 of statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020). Those working directly with children will also read Annex A.
- In addition to this all staff will be aware of the systems in place which support safeguarding including; reading this Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy; the Behaviour Policy; the Staff Behaviour Policy (code of conduct); safeguarding response to children who go missing from education; and the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
- Know who and how to contact the DSL and any deputies, the Chair of Governors, and the Governor responsible for safeguarding.
- All staff will be able to identify vulnerable learners and take action to keep them safe. Information or concerns about learners will be shared with the DSL where it is includes those:
- who need a social worker and may be experiencing abuse or neglect
- requiring mental health support,
- may benefit from early help
- where there is a radicalisation concern
- where a crime may have been committed
- Be clear as to the setting’s policy and procedures with regard to peer on peer abuse, children missing education and those requiring mental health support.
- Be involved, where appropriate, in the implementation of individual
plans to further safeguard and achieve best outcomes for learners.
- Record concerns appropriately and in a timely manner by using the setting’s safeguarding systems.
- Are aware of the need to raise to the senior leadership team any concerns they have about safeguarding practices within the school.
Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Duties are further outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (Annex B)
Details of our DSL and Deputy DSL are available on the Briarwood School website, our newsletters or the notice board in reception.
- The DSL is a senior member of staff who undertakes lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection within the school.
- Activities include the management of work undertaken by any Deputy DSLs.
- Manages early identification of vulnerability of learners and their families from staff through cause for concerns or notifications. This will ensure detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals.
- Manages referrals to local safeguarding partners where learners with additional needs have been identified. These can include those –
- who need a social worker and maybe experiencing abuse or neglect
- requiring mental health support,
- who may benefit from early help
- where there is a radicalisation concern
- where a crime may have been committed
The DSL will also:
- Work with others – acting as a point of contact for outside agencies with regard to safeguarding.
- Support and advise other staff in making referrals to other agencies
- When required, liaise with the case manager and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in relation to child protection cases which concern a staff member.
- Coordinate safeguarding training for all those in section 5, in line with section 6 of this document.
- Raise awareness and understanding to the school community around policies and practice in relation to safeguarding.
- Help promote educational outcomes by sharing information about vulnerable learners with relevant staff. This includes ensuring that staff:
- know who these children are,
- understand their academic progress and attainment and maintain a culture of high aspirations for this cohort;
- are supported to identify the challenges that children in this group might face
- make reasonable adjustments so that they act to best support these children.
- Ensure a prompt and successful transfer of the Safeguarding/Child Protection File when a learner moves on to a new setting.
- Ensure appropriate safeguarding cover and availability during term time/ any out of hours/out of term activities managed by the school.
Role of the Governing Body –
Duties are further outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education Part 2.
There is a senior board level lead who takes responsibility for the setting’s safeguarding responsibility.
- Ensure that safeguarding and child protection practice, process and policy (including online safety) is effective and is compliant with legislation, statutory guidance and local safeguarding arrangements.
- The appointed Safeguarding Governor will liaise with the Head Teacher/Principal and the DSL to produce an annual report for governors and complete the S. 175 (annual safeguarding) audit for the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership;
- Ensure that the school remedies any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to its attention without delay;
- Ensure that this document is updated annually (or when there are significant updates)
- Ensure that the DSL is an appropriate senior member of setting’s senior leadership team and ensure that they have adequate time and resourcing to carry out their roles.
- Ensure that the training and learning for the school community is robust and effective.
- Ensure that learners are taught about safeguarding including online safety.
- Prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children by ensuring that statutory checks are made on staff who work with children.
- Ensure that there are procedures in place to manage safeguarding concerns or allegations against staff.
- Ensure that systems are in place for children to express their views and give feedback.
- Ensure that the setting has systems in place to prevent, identify and respond to peer on peer harm and mental health concerns.
- Appoint a designated teacher to promote the educational achievement for children in care and other care arrangements.
Head teachers and principals should ensure that the above policies and procedures, adopted by governing bodies and proprietors, are accessible, understood and followed by all staff.
1.6 Safeguarding training for staff
- Governing bodies and proprietors will ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction.
- Will receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training, which is regularly updated.
- All staff must complete FGM awareness training and will understand their legal duty under the Mandatory Reporting Duty.
- All staff must complete PREVENT awareness training. This is to ensure that they are able to comply with the legal expectations under the PREVENT duty.
- In addition, all staff should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively (KCSIE, 2020).
- Staff training includes clear reference to internal whistleblowing policy and guidance for escalating concerns.
Training for DSLs and deputies:
- Will undergo formal training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training will be updated every two years.
- Deputies will be trained to the same level as the DSL.
- The DSL and any deputies will liaise with the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership to ensure that their knowledge and skills are updated via e-bulletins, attend DSL network meetings and take time to read and digest safeguarding bulletins.
Other training considerations:
- The governing body will ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training, in line School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009.
- The Designated Teacher for Children in Care will undergo appropriate training to fulfil their role to promote the educational achievement of registered pupils who are in care.
- The mental health lead has access to appropriate training.
- Training around safeguarding topics in Annex A (including online safety) will be integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.
- Appropriate colleagues have received appropriate training in relation to use of reasonable force and positive handling.
1.7 Safeguarding in the curriculum
Briarwood School is dedicated to ensuring that learners are taught about safeguarding, including online safety. This is part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
- Working within statutory guidance in respect to Relationship, Sex and Health Education;
- Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, to explore key areas such as self-esteem, emotional literacy, assertiveness, power, building resilience to radicalisation, e-safety and bullying.
- Appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to ensure that ‘over- blocking’ does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what learners can be taught with regard to online teaching and safeguarding.
- The curriculum will be shaped to respond to safeguarding incident patterns in the setting identified by the DSL and safeguarding team (e.g., to respond to an increase in bullying incidents).
- Providing engagement opportunities with parents and carers to consult on key aspects of the curriculum.
- Learners have the opportunity to inform the curriculum via discussions with the school council and student body.
1.8 Safer recruitment and safer working practice
The school pays full regard to the safer recruitment practices detailed in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2020)
- This includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and academic or vocational qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job.
- It also includes undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), the barred list checks and prohibition checks (and overseas checks if appropriate), dependent on the role and duties performed, including regulated and non-regulated activity.
- References are always obtained, scrutinised and concerns resolved satisfactorily before appointment is confirmed.
- All recruitment materials will include reference to Briarwood’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of learners.
Use of reasonable force
- ‘Reasonable force’ refers to the physical contact to restrain and control children using no more force than is needed’. The use of reasonable force is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and will be determined by individual circumstances and the vulnerability of any child with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) will be taken into account.
- The use of reasonable force will be minimised through positive and proactive behaviour support and de-escalation and will follow government guidance (Use of Reasonable Force in Schools 2013; Reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention, 2019).
- There is robust recording of any incident where positive handling or restraint has been used. Further review of the incident is carried out to reflect on how the incident could be avoided. This will involve the child and their family.
- Staff are aware of the following whistleblowing channels for situations where they feel unable to raise an issue with the senior leadership team or feel that their genuine concerns are not being addressed:
- General guidance can be found at: Advice on whistleblowing https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing.
- The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available here for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: email@example.com.
- The above channels are clearly accessible to all staff (in the staff handbook, code of conduct, staff notice boards).
1.9 Key safeguarding areas
In addition to the above, there are specific areas of safeguarding that the setting has a responsibility to address – these include:
- Children in the court system
- Child Exploitation – both Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation
- Domestic Abuse –
- So-called Honour based Abuse including:
- Female Genital Mutilation –
- and Forced Marriage,
- Online Safety
- Mental health
- Peer on Peer Abuse:
- Bullying and Cyberbullying,
- Physical Abuse,
- Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment,
- Up skirting.
- Initiation and Hazing Type violence.
- Serious Youth Violence –
- Substance Misuse
- Preventing Radicalisation
- Private Fostering
- Young Carers
Additional information about key safeguarding areas can also be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) – Annex A and Annex C (2020); or the NSPCC website – Types of Abuse.
PART 2: Procedures
2.1 Reporting concerns
All staff are clear about recording and reporting concerns to the DSL and DSL deputies in a timely way. In the case a child is in immediate danger in staff should phone the police.
All staff are aware of and follow the procedures to respond to a concern about a child detailed in Appendix B. This includes responses to peer on peer harm and children who present with a mental health need.
2.2 Information Sharing
Briarwood School is committed to have due regard to relevant data protection principles which allow for sharing (and withholding) personal information as provided for in the Data protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations. This includes how to store and share information for safeguarding purposes, including information which is sensitive and personal and should be treated as ‘special category personal data’.
Staff at the setting are aware that:
- That ‘Safeguarding’ and ‘individuals at risk’ is a processing condition that allows practitioners to share special category personal data.
- Practitioners will seek consent to share data where possible in line with Information Sharing for Safeguarding Practitioners 2018.
There may be times when it is necessary to share information without consent such as:
- To gain consent would place the child at risk,
- It cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent,
- or, if by sharing information it will enhance the safeguarding of a child in a timely manner but it is not possible to gain consent.
There are also times when Briarwood School will not provide pupil’s personal data where the serious harm test under legislation is met, (by sharing the information the child may be at further risk). When in doubt Briarwood School will seek legal advice.
The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.
2.3 Identifying and monitoring the needs of vulnerable learners.
The DSL and DSL deputies will regularly review and monitor those students who have been identified as vulnerable. This can include reviewing attendance data, behaviour data, attainment data and safeguarding records.
This is to ensure that:
- Proportionate and early interventions can be taken to promote the safety and welfare of the child and prevent escalation of harm.
- Information about vulnerable learners is shared with teachers and school and college leadership staff to promote educational outcomes.
- Reasonable adjustments are made in relation to school based interventions – for example responding to behaviour.
2.4 Multi-agency working
Briarwood School is a relevant agency in the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership and will work together with appropriate agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children including identifying and responding to their needs. This is in compliance with statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
Occasions that warrant a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989:
- If the child is in need under s.17 of the Children Act 1989 (including when a child is a young carer and or subject to a private fostering arrangement);
- or if the child is in need of protection under s.47 of the Children Act 1989 where they are experiencing significant harm, or likely to experience significant harm.
Referrals in these cases should be made by the DSL (or Deputy DSLs) to Children’s Social Care in the local authority in which that child resides. The list of safeguarding contact and other key agencies are listed in Appendix B.
Where the child already has a social worker, the request for service should go immediately to the social worker involved or, in their absence, to their team manager. If the child is a child in care, notification should also be made to the Hope Virtual School.
We will co-operate with any statutory safeguarding assessments conducted by children’s social care: the setting will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as integrated support plan meetings initial and review child protection conferences and core group meetings.
- Where a child and/or their family is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan or a multiagency risk assessment conference (MARAC) meeting, the setting will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.
- In situations where a child in care may be put on to part time timetable, the school will consult with the Hope Virtual School and complete the pro-forma found at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/schools-learning-early-years/resources-professionals/attendance-and-exclusions
- If a crime has been suspected or committed that involved the bringing of an offensive weapon on to the school site, the setting will liaise with the Local Authority Violence Reduction Unit (Safer Options) who will consider a proportionate response.
- If there is a risk of harm, the police should be called via 999. For other concerns of criminality the non-statutory guidance ‘When to Call the Police’ from the NCPCC can be helpful or contact the local PCSO/School Police Beat Officer/School Officer.
- In the rare event that a child death occurs or a child is seriously harmed, Briarwood School will notify the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership as soon as is reasonably possible.
2.5 Exclusions and commissioning of Alternative Provisions
When the school is considering excluding a child, (either fixed term or permanently), where additional vulnerability is identified it is important that the child’s welfare is taken into consideration.
- An assessment of risk should be undertaken with multi-agency partners with a view to mitigate any identified risk of harm.
- If the child is subject to a child protection plan or where there is an existing child protection file, we will call a multiagency risk-assessment meeting prior to making the decision to exclude.
- In the event of a one-off serious incident resulting in an immediate decision to exclude, the risk assessment must be completed prior to convening a meeting of the governing body.
In the event where Briarwood School commissions an Alternative Provision they will follow the Bristol City Council Alternative Learning Provision Hub and follow local guidance Commissioning Alternative Learning Provision – Advice for schools, Commissioners, and Alternative Providers (2019) to ensure clear agreement of roles and responsibilities to maintain safeguarding arrangements for learners who are not taught on site.
2.6 Children Missing from Education
(To be read in conjunction with the Attendance Policy)
A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.
Staff should follow the setting’s procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. These should be reported to the DSL and reviewed in line with 2.3 Identifying and monitoring the needs of vulnerable learners
Briarwood School will inform the local authority:
- of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly,
- or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority.
The school should follow the guidance detailed in Children Missing Education (2016) and Bristol City Council Education Welfare Service – Children Missing Education
2.7 Respond to incidents of peer on peer harm.
(There is flow diagram in Appendix B that illustrates this section)
All staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Issues of learners hurting other learners have traditionally been dealt with under processes outlined in settings’ behaviour policies. It is important that peer on peer harm should be considered as a safeguarding issue.
This can include (but is not limited to): abuse within intimate partner relationships; bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
- Incidents are taken seriously. These will never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’, just having a laugh’ or ‘part of growing up’.
- Banter and teasing can and should be acknowledged and recognised as bullying behaviour and may require proportionate intervention.
- It is understood that peer on peer harm may reflect equality issues in terms of those who may be targeted are more likely to have protected characteristics.
It is important that incidents of harm are treated under safeguarding policy and process and records will be kept on the child’s safeguarding/child protection file.
Briarwood is committed to undertaking the following:
- Early identification of vulnerability to peer on peer harm by reviewing attendance, behaviour, attainment and safeguarding records at least on a termly basis.
- Securing the immediate safety of learners involved in an incident and sourcing support for other young people affected.
- If a disclosure is made – staff will listen carefully to the child, being non-judgmental, being clear about boundaries and how the report will be progressed, not asking leading questions and only prompting the child where necessary with open questions – where, when, what, etc;
- Those who experience abuse will never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting, nor will those who experience abuse ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
- The child’s wishes are taken into consideration in any intervention and any action is taken to ensure safety of the target and other members of the wider peer cohort.
- The need to not promise confidentiality should be considered as it is very likely that information will need to be shared with others.
- When an incident of sexual violence and sexual harassment occurs, reference to Part 5 of Keeping Children Safe In Education 2020 and guidance Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2018 should be made in relation to taking protective action. These incidents must be reported immediately to the DSL/ Deputy DSL who will undertake further assessment of what action should be taken proportionate to the factors that have been identified. The Brook – Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Assessment Tool should be utilised to inform assessment of risk and what actions to subsequently take. This may include seeking specialist advice and guidance from Be Safe.
- DSLs/Deputies will consider whether a case can be managed internally, through early help, or should involve other agencies as required in line with the section 4 – Multi-Agency Working section.
- When the children involved require a statutory assessments either under s.17 or s. 47 of the Children Act 1989 a referral to social care should be undertaken.
- Where the report includes an online element, being aware of searching, screening and confiscation advice (for schools) and UKCCIS sexting advice (for schools and colleges). The key consideration is for staff not to view or forward illegal images of a child. The highlighted advice provides more details on what to do when viewing an image is unavoidable.
- If the incident constitutes towards a criminal offence, the setting will liaise with the police. If this this may also involve the Lighthouse team (Safeguarding Unit) of Avon and Somerset Police.
- Risk assessments will be developed for individual children who have been involved in an incident. This should be reviewed every 3 months or every time there is an occurrence of an incident. These should involve the child and parents/carers.
- DSL and Deputy DSL(s) will liaise with staff to ensure reasonable adjustments are made and develop ways to support achieving positive educational outcomes.
Contextual safeguarding approach to peer on peer harm:
Briarwood School will minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse by taking a contextual approach to safeguarding by increasing safety in the contexts of which harm can occur – this can include the school environment itself, peer groups and the neighbourhood.
Following any incidents of peer on peer harm, the DSL/Deputies will review and consider whether any practice or environmental changes can be made in relation to any lessons learned. This can include making changes to staffing and supervision, making changes to the physical environment and considering the utilisation and delivery of safeguarding topics on the curriculum.
2.8 Responding to allegations of abuse made against professionals.
Staff must report any concerns or allegations about a professional’s behaviour (including supply staff and volunteers) that indicate that they may pose a risk of harm if they continue to work in regular or close contact with children in their present position, or in any capacity with children in a setting.
Examples of this include where they may have:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
- behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.
Immediate action must be taken – do not speak to the individual it concerns.
- Allegations or concerns about colleagues (including supply staff) and visitors must be reported directly to the Head Teacher/Principal.
- If the concern relates to Head Teacher/Principal it should be reported to the Chair of Governors, who will liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and they will decide on any action required,
- In the event that allegations are regarding a member of supply staff, the school will take the lead and progress enquiries with the LADO, whilst continuing to engage and work with the employment agency.
Briarwood will follow guidance in KCSIE 2020 – Part four: Allegations of abuse made against teachers and other staff.
- Allegations regarding foster carers or anyone in a position of trust working or volunteering with children should be referred to the LADO on the day that the allegation is reported. The allocated social worker should also be informed on the day. The school should not undertake any investigation unless the LADO advises this.
2.9 Mental health and wellbeing.
(A flow diagram is available in Appendix B to illustrate this section)
Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their learners. Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Briarwood School will commit to undertake the following.
- Early identification of vulnerability to mental health problems by reviewing attendance, behaviour, attainment and safeguarding records at least on a termly basis.
- Staff will follow a safeguarding process in terms of reporting concerns outlined in Appendix B so the DSL and deputy DSLs can assess whether there are any other vulnerabilities can be identified.
- Staff will ensure the immediate health and safety of a learner who is displaying acute mental health distress. This may require support from emergency services via 999 if the leaner is at risk of immediate harm.
- DSLs/Deputies will consider whether a case can be managed internally, through early help, or should involve other agencies as required in line with section 4 – Multi-Agency Working.
- The setting will communicate and work with parents to ensure that interventions are in the best interests of the child.
- DSLs will liaise with staff to ensure reasonable adjustments are made and develop ways to support achieving positive educational outcomes.
- Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem – DSLs and the senior leadership team should be able to access specialist advice through targeted services or through their locality Primary Mental Health Specialists from Child and Family Consultation Services.
Contextual safeguarding approach to mental health
Briarwood School will ensure that preventative measures in terms of providing safeguarding on the curriculum will provide opportunities for learners to identify when they may need help, and also to develop resilience.
The setting will take a ‘whole school approach’ to:
- deliver high quality teaching around mental health and wellbeing
- having a culture that promotes mental health and wellbeing
- having an environment that promotes mental health and wellbeing
- making sure pupils and staff are aware of and able to access a range of mental health services
- supporting staff wellbeing
- being committed to pupil and parent participation