ARK Alpha Nursery is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
ARK Alpha Nursery's Safeguarding Children Policy is linked to the following policies and procedures:
- Emergency evacuation policy (page 13)
- Accidents policy (Page 7)
- Administering medicine and sickness policy (Page 4)
- Mobile phone policy (Page 28)
- Social networking policy (page 29)
- Health and safety (Page 8) including: Ratios/Staffing policy, Smoking policy, Sun cream policy, Outings policy, Nappy Changing/toilet procedure, Sleeping children policy, Safer recruitment policy, Outside play policy, Risk assessments.
Our safeguarding policy
All children have the basic rights to care, food, love, shelter and clothing. If a child is deemed at risk, their welfare will come before all other rights. Staff and volunteers recognise their responsibility to provide an environment that promotes the safety of the children at all times. As part of our staff training we have a standing item on our staff meeting agenda to consider safeguarding, looking at different scenarios and what we should/would do.
This safeguarding children policy is based on guidelines and legislation outlined in the following documents:
- Children’s Act 1989
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Protection of Children Act 1999
- The Children Act (Every Child Matters) 2004
- Working together to safeguard children
- What to do if you think your child is being abused
- The common assessment framework
Social services: 02392 839111
Social services out of hours: 0845 600 4555
Police (non-emergency):0845 045 45 45
Ofsted: (0300) 123 1231
ARK Alpha Day Nursery has four named Safeguarding Officers:
- Collette Thomas
- Julie Breading
- Sophie Bennett-Acres
Staff, apprentices and volunteers
- We ensure all staff and parents are made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.
- We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references disclosure and barring checks (DBS) for staff, apprentices and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- Apprentices and volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- We abide by the Protection of vulnerable group act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concerns.
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.
- We take security steps to ensure we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
Responding to concerns raised directly by the child
Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect that member of staff will:
- Listen to the child, offer reassurance and give reassurance that action will be taken
- Not question the child.
- Make a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
- The date and time of the observation or disclosure
- The exact words spoken by the child as far as possible.
- The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date, time and the names of any other person present at the time.
- This information is then passed immediately on to our safeguarding officer, who will take further action.
These records are signed and dated and kept in the safeguarding children file which is kept securely and confidentially. Staff involved will not discuss the concerns with those who do not need to know.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
- Where there are concerns that a child may be experiencing abuse, the member of staff or apprentice should go directly to the safeguarding officer and explain their concerns.
- Where a parent of another child raises concerns about a child within the setting we would follow the same procedure, see below.
- The safe guarding officer would contact the Joint Action Team (JAT) with our concerns.
- We would work in partnership with all agencies in order to protect the child and the family, this may mean the Police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
- We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
- Parents are usually contacted immediately.
- If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this.
- This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In this case investigating officers will inform the parents.
Children known to social care
- Key person will be aware that the child is known to social care
- Key person is responsible for recording patterns of attendance
- Pre existing injuries will be recorded
Allegations against staff
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
- We refer any such complaint immediately to the local authority’s social care department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted and the measures that have been taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
- We co-operate fully with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
- Where the management and the children’s social care agree it is appropriate, the head will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff as well as the children and families throughout the process.
- The setting will contact the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer), who will support the setting in any allegations against staff and will act in conjunction with Police and external agencies. (023) 9284 1220
Where a member of staff or volunteer is dismissed from the setting because of misconduct relating to a child, we will notify the Independent Barring Board administrators so that the name may be included on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Barred List.