Child Welfare and Safeguarding Policy
The Millennium School Ltd is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children as defined by KCSIE [Keeping Children Safe In Education].
“Protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s 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.”
The Director of Student Affairs (Miss Z. Husseyn) is the Millennium School member of staff with overall responsibility for welfare and safeguarding/child protection. She is responsible for arranging an annual review of the School’s policy for welfare and safeguarding/child protection and its implementation. Additional reviews are carried out if there is a substantiated allegation against a member of staff or a substantial referral. Reviews and all matters with regard to welfare and safeguarding are reported through her to all three Directors of the School, who all have responsibility for welfare and safeguarding.
All staff and volunteers are required to, “maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here,’ where safeguarding is concerned,” and to always act in the interests of the child.
Where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, immediate action is taken to protect that child. Action is also taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk. This includes working with a professional External Counsellor if needed.
Shoumaila Khan is the School Counsellor, fully trained and responsible for overseeing welfare and safeguarding in the School. Miss Z Husseyn covers this role when Shoumaila Khan is unavailable. Both these individuals have appropriate status, authority and training to perform this role within school.
Performance review is managed by Miss Z Husseyn who ensures that she is given sufficient time, funding and supervision to carry out her duties. Welfare and safeguarding is addressed by all three Directors of the School.
· for the welfare and safeguarding of children to be the highest priority for Senior Staff and all members of the School community
· to take immediate action as per this policy if there are any concerns with regard to the welfare and safety of any child
· to implement this policy and procedures effectively complying with the law at all times
· to review this policy, including updates and implementation, at least annually, immediately rectifying any shortcomings.
A child will usually select a person he/she feels can be trusted in order to disclose. Adolescents are more likely to make disclosures to a friend. At Millennium School, time is allocated on the curriculum to teach pupils what to do if information is disclosed to them. Each child at the Millennium School is allocated a Mentor who is usually a member of the Teaching Faculty and who is responsible, at roots level, for the welfare/safety of the child. The child also has access to his/her Homeroom Tutor, the School Counsellor (Shoumaila Khan), the Head Don (R. Nyaga) and ultimately, the Director of Student Affairs (Z. Husseyn).
It is important that when a child gives information, the adult:
· does not promise confidentiality
· does not jump to conclusions
· listens to the child without directly questioning/leading him or her
· does not stop a child freely recalling significant events
· does not ask a child to repeat a disclosure to another adult
· makes a note of the discussion, recording time, setting, and persons present as well as what is said
· refers the matter to the School Counsellor
Additional consideration needs to be given to children with communication difficulties.
Abuse by One or More Pupils Against Another including Bullying
The school will refer to the Spring Valley Police Station where there is ‘reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’. A bullying incident will be treated as a child protection concern when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer serious harm. Details of any such incident will be recorded. The School Counsellor will consider the immediate safety of all pupils concerned and the seriousness and circumstances of the allegation, including the age of the pupils concerned. Usually concerns will be discussed with the family unless such discussion may place the child at increased risk of significant harm. Advice will be sought from Mrs Nazira Mawji, a fully trained child psychologist and family counsellor whom The Millennium School has identified as an External Professional Consultant, and a referral made if advised.
It may be necessary to exclude the pupils concerned (without prejudice) when:
· a serious allegation has been made against a pupil by another pupil or member of staff which is the subject of a police investigation which may result in criminal proceedings being brought;
· the pupil’s continued presence in the school may have an adverse effect on the complainant and other potential witnesses, and on the promotion of good order and discipline at the school generally.
Collection of Pupils
Parents/Guardians of the School are to provide the School with names of authorised agents who will collect their children from School at the end of the day. Pupils will be allowed to be collected by only these agents. Parents/Guardians permitting pupils to go home using public means of transport are required to sign an Indemnity Form allowing the School to allow such pupils to leave the school unaccompanied at the end of the school day and releasing the School from any responsibility for incidents/events that may occur on or during the pupil’s commute from school to home. The School takes the time to advise pupils using public transport to travel in groups, to go straight home from school without any detours on the way and to refrain from talking to or interacting with any strangers along the way.
Non-payment of School Fees
The issue of School Fees is between the School and Parents/Guardians and the School strongly believes that students, as far as possible, should not be involved in the issue of School Fees. Therefore, in the event School Fees are not paid for any child/ward, the said child/ward will not be excluded from any classes and/or from school in order to avoid potential embarrassment to the child/ward. Instead, from School, Parents/Guardians will be informed, via email or otherwise, not to send the child/ward to school from the following day until School Fees have been submitted.
Staff Code of Conduct/Behaviour Policy
Employees are required to have a professional relationship with pupils: seeking to be friendly and caring but not ‘over familiar’.
Staff must be alert to and immediately report to the School Counsellor any apparent inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children. Examples include inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.
Employees are not permitted to have personal relationships with pupils of ANY age including those between the age of 16 and 19. An employee must seek the advice of the Director of Students Affairs and School Counsellor if a pupil or ex-pupil appears to want to develop an inappropriate relationship. A record of this discussion will be placed in the employee’s file.
Staff must not be present at work if they are not medically fit, including taking medication or substances which impair their ability to care for children. Employees must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. Employees must seek medical advice if they are taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children. This advice must be shared with the Head Don and appropriate action taken. Staff medication on the premises must be securely stored, and out of reach of children, at all times. Prescription and non-prescription drugs must not be kept in handbags that are kept in classrooms.
The purpose of ‘on site’ meetings should be made clear to the pupil and any staff directly involved with the pupil. If a member of staff is with a pupil on his or her own, a room with visual access must be used or the door kept open.
The Millennium School Staff are not permitted to socialise with pupils and/or ex-pupils outside of School hours, or to attend any functions/parties/weddings organised by pupils/ex-pupils and/or their parents/guardians.
The Millennium School Staff are not permitted to have any commercial and/or professional and/or personal relationships and/or interactions with any parent/guardian of pupils or ex-pupils of the School. This includes: doctors, lawyers, architects, businessmen etc.
The Millennium School Teachers are not permitted to give private coaching to pupils of the school outside of school hours, at the school and/or any external venue, including the pupil’s home.
The Millennium School Staff are not permitted to be ‘friends’ of pupils of the school on social networking sites. It is strictly prohibited to name or refer to pupils, parents or employees or to the school/company on such sites. Employees must not write comments or upload photographs of pupils in school. Any communication with parents through social networking media must be professional at all times. Employees are not permitted to write inappropriate personal notes, emails or letters to pupils. Parental permission is required to take photographs of pupils. Photographs must be used for school professional use only. Permission must be granted by the Head Don for use of school photographs for course work.
It is strictly forbidden for an adult to use corporal punishment or any degree of physical contact that is deliberately intended to punish a pupil, or which is primarily intended to cause pain or injury or humiliation.
Where necessary, physical intervention can be used to control or restrain pupils. For example:
· pupil attacks on staff or another pupil;
· pupils engaged in deliberate damage or vandalism;
· pupil running down a corridor or stairway in a way likely to cause injury;
· pupil absconds from class or tries to run away from school;
· pupil behaves in a way that seriously disrupts the lesson.
Before intervening physically a member of staff, wherever practicable, must tell the pupil to stop and what will happen if he or she does not. Physical intervention may involve:
· physically interposing between pupils;
· blocking a pupil’s path;
· leading a pupil by the hand or arm;
· shepherding a pupil away by placing a hand in the centre of the back
Staff must not:
· hold a pupil around the neck, by the collar or in any way that might restrict the pupil’s ability to breathe;
· slap, punch, or kick a pupil;
· twist or force limbs against a joint;
· trip up a pupil;
· hold or pull a pupil by the hair or ear;
· hold a pupil face down on the ground;
· hold a pupil in a way that might be considered indecent.
The Discipline Master of the School has been trained to handle cases where physical intervention is required and time is made on the curriculum to ensure staff members and prefects of the school are aware of all the above.
The Millennium School is committed to safe recruitment procedures that help to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children. All staff are vetted thoroughly and time is made to ensure all teachers and staff at the school are familiar with the welfare/safeguarding and child protection policy of the school.
Allegations against Staff
If an allegation is made against a member of staff the quick resolution of that allegation must be a clear priority to the benefit of all concerned. The following definitions are used when determining the outcome of allegation investigations:
· substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation;
· malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive;
· false: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation;
· unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation. The term does not imply guilt or innocence.
All allegations must be reported straight away to the School Counsellor who will then report the allegation to the Director of Student Affairs who will inform the Board of Directors to ensure that appropriate support and guidance is given. Such allegations will be considered by the three Directors of the School together and the outcome will be relayed to all parties concerned. An Appeal may be made to the Directors, in writing, within fourteen days of the announcement of the outcome. If pupils and their parents/guardians are not satisfied with the handling of the matter within school level, they are free to pursue external avenues of action, in which case the School, without prejudice, will make available all its findings and maintain an otherwise impartial stand in the matter.
Medical Treatment and First Aid
The School Counsellor, the Discipline Master, the Head Prefect and all school prefects are well trained in the administration of basic First Aid.
All classrooms and student communal areas are equipped with fully stocked First Aid kits and a special room has been designated as a First Aid Room in the School.
All pupils of the School are registered with AAR for Ambulance and initial Medical Consultation Services.
This is the Millennium School’s current Child Protection Policy, subject to regular updating and review. This Policy is provided to parents/guardians upon request and is displayed in the School’s Reception Area and the Students Communal Area.