Perform is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.
Perform will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur.
There is a Designated Safeguarding Leader (Lucy Quick) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leaders (Gemma Sandy, Sophie Ladds and Oliver Theobald).
This Policy sets out how Perform will meet its statutory duty under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and help them to achieve good outcomes.
- Perform’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedure is introduced to all new Teachers as part of their basic teacher training by the Principal. It forms a regular part of the termly training and the Producer training.
- All staff and contractors working at Perform know that they have a responsibility to identify any child welfare concerns and, in partnership with other organisations, will take the appropriate action to address them.
- The Perform Teacher or Producer understands that it is not their responsibility to investigate possible abuse or neglect.
- Staff have a responsibility to identify those children who are suffering from abuse or neglect and to ensure that any concerns about the welfare of a child are reported via the Area Partner to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, in the first instance via the Area Partner.
- The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputies is to take lead responsibility for the safeguarding and child protection within Perform and to be available for staff to discuss safeguarding concerns.
- Perform staff will carry out its duty to safeguard children which is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment;
- Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
- Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.
Signs of child abuse and neglect
Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:
- significant changes in a child's behaviour
- deterioration in a child’s general well-being
- unexplained bruising or marks
- comments made by a child which give cause for concern
- reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg. in the child’s
- home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital
- mutilation, or that the child may have witnessed domestic abuse
- inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.
Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.
Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:
- Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
- One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg. much
- One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg. in terms
- of disability, confidence, physical strength)
- There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.
If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed staff will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.
Extremism and radicalisation
All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child
might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:
- feeling alienated or alone
- seeking a sense of identity or individuality
- suffering from mental health issues such as depression
- desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
- associating with others who hold extremist beliefs
Signs of radicalisation
Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:
- changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
- viewing violent extremist material online
- possessing or sharing violent extremist material
If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information and refer the matter to the DSL.
Allegations against staff
If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
- The allegation will be reported to the Perform Principal and DSL Lucy Quick.
- The allegation will be recorded on an INCIDENT REPORT FORM. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
- The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted (if relevant) by the Principal/DSL.
- The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg. police) should be informed, and Perform will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
- Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
- If appropriate, Perform will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Promoting awareness among staff
Perform promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its
staff training. Perform ensures that:
- All Perform Teachers and Producers complete a Level 1 Safeguarding Training.
- The DSL and DDSLs have relevant experience and receive appropriate training in Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty.
- Safeguarding training for the relevant members of staff is refreshed every three years.
- Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff.
- All staff have a copy of this Safeguarding Policy and Procedure, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation.
- All staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation.
- Safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings and trainings.
Use of mobile phones and cameras
- Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission.
- Only photographs that have had parental permission can be shared on social media.
- Mobile phones are only used during the class for contacting parents, the Perform Area Partner, Customer Services team or Emergency Services.
If a child discloses to a member of staff that they are being abused, the member
of staff should:
- Remain calm and try not to show any shock or disbelief.
- Listen with the utmost care to what the child is saying.
- Always inform the child that this information will have to be passed on but only to people who need to know and who will help protect their safety and welfare.
- Always offer reassurance to the child or young person. Let them know that they were right to inform you, that the abuse isn't their fault, that they've done the right thing and that you are listening to them and treating the informationseriously.
- Do not rush the child into giving details of the abuse. Your role is to listen to what the child wants to tell you and not to conduct an investigation
- Always use language that the child understands and wherever possible the child's words to clarify or expand what has been said.
- Question normally without pressurising and only using open questions.
If a concern is raised
- If the Teacher or Producer raises a concern, then they must speak to the Area Partner immediately.
- The Area Partner will then contact the DSL or the DDSL, unless the disclosure implicates them in any way.
- If the situation is urgent and the child is at risk by going home with the parent/carer then the Police should be contacted immediately on 999. This would be in a situation where the Producer/Teacher felt that the child was in immediate danger.
Cause for concern but child not in immediate danger
- The DSL or DDSL will ask the Teacher or Producer to make a full written record in the provided CAUSE FOR CONCERN FORM which is then sent to the DSL or DDSL.
- The Perform Teacher/Producer has a duty to share information regarding any concerns which they may have about a child but only with the relevant people, organisations and agencies, not with family, friends or colleagues who have no right or need to know.
- Once the DSL has received the CAUSE FOR CONCERN form, they will review the information and then make a decision about the action to take.
- Decision to monitor the concern: If this is the decision made, then the Teacher/Producer should monitor the child and feedback to the DSL within an agreed timescale. The DSL will write up a confidential report and review with the Teacher/Producer.
- Speak to the parent/carer: The Producer/Teacher will speak to the parent or carer about the concern or disclosure.
- Once discussed with parents/carers, the following action can be taken:
- No action - but the DSL should write up a confidential report stating the reason why no action is being taken and store it securely.
- Decision to monitor the concern. See above.
- Discuss the case on a “no names” basis with the relevant borough/local authority’s Child Protection Co-ordinator or Child and Family Contact Team and ask their advice.
- Refer to the relevant Social Care Department in the local authority of the child’s address. If a referral is necessary the parent/carer would need to be told that the information is going to be passed on to the relevant social services.
- All referral information and decisions, phone calls, discussions and actions should also be recorded and kept with the full record. This should also include a record of any decisions made not to refer the incident, along with the reasons.