St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy


Safeguarding Team

Record of training Date Completed

Whole School Safeguarding Training

Due every 3 years

September 9th & 17th 2013

Refresher Training Due September 2016

Senior Designated Person Level 2

Due every 2 years

Mrs Margaret Stewart

September 17th 2015

Refresher Training Due: September 2017

Senior Designated Person Level 2
Deputising Person

Due every 2 years

Mr Paul McColgan.

February 2015

Refresher Training Due: February 2017

Safer Recruitment Training

Name & Date of training

Due every 5 years

Mr A. Boyle (May 2015)

Mrs A. McMullan (February 2015)

Mr J. Metcalfe ( Oct 2014)

Mr J. Ward (Oct 2014)

Mrs L. Brown (May 2015)

Mrs M. Stewart (February 2015)

Safeguarding Team Level 2

Name and date of training

Due every 2 years

Mr John Wilson (March 2015)

Mrs Lorraine Brown (March 2015)

Miss Isla O’Donnell (March 2015)

Nominated Governors for Safeguarding are:

Mrs Anna Torpey and Ms Rachel Maher.

This policy was ratified by the Governing on: July 2015

Review date: July 2016

Making referrals

Where a child is registered at school, consultation must take place with the school’s designated person for Child Protection who will be the most appropriate person to initiate any referral. A written record of your concerns should be made using the schools internal recording system. This should then be given to the Designated Child Protection teacher who may decide to make a referral to Central Advice and Duty Team based within Social Care.

For referral to CADT telephone 0151 606 2008. (9am- 5pm) or EDT 677 6557 (after 5pm) (see appendix 2) to speak to the Duty Social Worker. The telephone referral will need to be followed up with written confirmation on the Multi-agency referral form. (see Chapter 6 for the link)


St Mary’s Catholic College recognises its legal duty under s175 Education Act 2002 and the 1989 Children Act and takes seriously its responsibilities to protect and safeguard the interests of all children. The school recognises that effective child protection work requires sound procedures, good inter-agency co-operation and a workforce that is competent and confident in responding to child protection situations.

This procedure document provides the basis for good practice within the school for Child Protection work. It should be read in conjunction with the Wirral Local Safeguarding Board Child Protection Policies and Procedures. These are in keeping with relevant national procedures and reflect what the Board considers to be safe and professional practice in this context. Child Protection has to be considered within professionals’ wider “safeguarding” responsibilities that include a duty to co-operate under the Children Act 2004, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015, Guidance for Safer Working Practice for those working with Children and Young People in Education Settings 2015.. Within the context of Help Children Achieve More, this takes account of the need for children “being healthy and staying safe”.

These procedures aim to provide a framework which ensures that all practice in the area of child protection is consistent with stated values and procedures that underpin all work with children and young people.

This document also seeks to make the professional responsibilities clear to all staff to ensure that statutory and other duties are met in accordance with Wirral Safeguarding Children Board requirements and procedures.

All procedures can be found on the WSCB website :

Underpinning values

Where there is a safeguarding issue, St Mary’s Catholic College will work in accordance with the principles outlined in the Wirral Safeguarding Children Board multi-agency procedures:

St Mary’s Catholic College will foster an ongoing culture of vigilance to maintain a safer environment for all pupils by:

Establishing a safe Environment

St Mary’s Catholic College will:

St Mary’s Catholic College will endeavour to support pupils through:

Further information on a Child Missing from Education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. School and college staff should follow the school’s or college’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

Schools should put in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. It is essential that all staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, FGM and forced marriage.

The law requires all schools to have an admission register and, with the exception of schools where all pupils are boarders, an attendance register. All pupils must be placed on both registers.

All schools must inform their local authority of any pupil who is going to be deleted from the admission register where they:

The local authority must be notified when a school is to delete a pupil from its register under the above circumstances. This should be done as soon as the grounds for deletion are met, but no later than deleting the pupil’s name from the register. It is essential that schools comply with this duty, so that local authorities can, as part of their duty to identify children of compulsory school age who are missing education, follow up with any child who might be in danger of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of abuse or neglect.

All schools must 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 (or in default of such agreement, at intervals determined by the Secretary of State).

Further information on Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

Links to key CSE documents including the screening tool, referral form and practice guidance are provided in Chapter 6.

Further information on Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.
Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM.


There is a range of potential indicators that a girl may be at risk of FGM. Warning signs that FGM may be about to take place, or may have already taken place, can be found on pages 16-17 of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines , and Chapter 9 of those Guidelines (pp42-44) focuses on the role of schools and colleges.

Section 5C of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 75 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) gives the Government powers to issue statutory guidance on FGM to relevant persons. Once the government issues any statutory multi-agency guidance this will apply to schools and colleges.


If staff have a concern they should activate local safeguarding procedures, using existing national and local protocols for multi-agency liaison with police and children’s social care. When mandatory reporting commences in October 2015 these procedures will remain when dealing with concerns regarding the potential for FGM to take place. Where a teacher discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18, there will be a statutory duty upon that individual to report it to the police.

Mandatory Reporting Duty

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) will place a statutory duty upon teachers, along with social workers and healthcare professionals, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. Those failing to report such cases will face disciplinary sanctions. It will be rare for teachers to see visual evidence, and they should not be examining pupils, but the same definition of what is meant by “to discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out” is used for all professionals to whom this mandatory reporting duty applies.

The Mandatory reporting duty will commence in October 2015. Once introduced, teachers must report to the police cases where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has a good reason not to, they should still consider and discuss any such case with the school’s designated safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate.

Further information on Preventing Radicalisation

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people.

As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.


From 1 July 2015 specified authorities, including all schools as defined in the summary of this guidance, are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (“the CTSA 2015”), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to statutory guidance issued under section 29 of the CTSA 2015 (“the Prevent guidance”). Paragraphs 57-76 of the Prevent guidance are concerned specifically with schools (but also cover childcare). It is anticipated that the duty will come into force for sixth form colleges and FE colleges early in the autumn. The need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It applies to a wide range of public-facing bodies.

The statutory Prevent guidance summarises the requirements on schools in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies.


School staff should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme.15 Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages.

Section 36 of the CTSA 2015 places a duty on local authorities to ensure Channel panels are in place. The panel must be chaired by the local authority and include the police for the relevant local authority area. Following a referral the panel will assess the extent to which identified individuals are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, and, where considered appropriate and necessary consent is obtained, arrange for support to be provided to those individuals. Section 38 of the CTSA 2015 requires partners of Channel panels to co-operate with the panel in the carrying out of its functions and with the police in providing information about a referred individual. Schools and colleges which are required to have regard to Keeping Children Safe in Education are listed in the CTSA 2015 as partners required to cooperate with local Channel panels.

This policy will be reviewed annually by the nominated Governor for Child Protection and the Senior Designated Person for Child Protection.

Chapter 2 Types of Abuse

Physical abuse:

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:

Is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as over protection 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, 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, though it may occur alone.


Is 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 as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

Sexual abuse:

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non penetrative acts.

They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

There are three thresholds for and types of referral that need to be considered:

Is this a child with additional needs where their health, development or achievement may be adversely affected? Wirral Children and Young People’s Framework says practitioners should complete a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) when:

If this is a child with additional needs discuss the issues with the CAF trained practitioner in your school, the child and parents. You will need to obtain parental consent for a CAF to be completed.

Is this child in need? S.17 of the Children Act 1989 says:

Is this a child protection matter? S.47 of the Children Act 1989 says:

If this is a child in need, discuss the issues with the designated child protection teacher and parents. Obtain their consent for referral to First Response (see below) or any other agency.

If this is a child protection matter, this should be discussed with the designated teacher and will need to be referred to CADT by the school as soon as possible.

It is the ‘significant harm’ threshold that justifies statutory intervention into family life. A professional making a child protection referral under S.47 must therefore provide information which clearly outlines that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

It is not possible to rely on one absolute criterion when judging what constitutes significant harm. Consideration of the severity of ill-treatment may include the extent of the harm suffered, the context within which it occurred and its duration.

Significant harm may also arise from a combination of significant events which are both acute and long standing and which may impair the child’s physical, psychological and social development.

In order to both understand and establish significant harm, it is necessary to consider the family context, together with the child’s development within their wider social and cultural environment. It is also necessary to consider any special needs, e.g. medical condition, communication difficulties or disability that may affect the child’s development and care within the family. The nature of harm, in terms of ill-treatment or failure to provide adequate care also needs consideration alongside the impact on the child’s health and development and the adequacy of care provided.

All staff will have training on all the above issues on induction to school and every 3 years via a Wirral Safeguarding Children Board approved level 1 basic ‘Safeguarding Children’ course.

Chapter 3 Talking to and listening to children

Disclosures and Record Keeping

If a child chooses to disclose, you SHOULD:

You should NEVER:

For children with communication difficulties or who use alternative/augmented communication systems, you may need to take extra care to ensure that signs of abuse and neglect are identified and interpreted correctly, but concerns should be reported in exactly the same manner as for other children.

Record keeping

Well kept records are essential in situations where it is suspected or believed that a child may be at risk from harm.

Records should:


Confidentiality is an issue that needs to be understood by all those working with children, particularly in the context of child protection. This is a complex area and involves consideration of a number of pieces of legislation.

You can never guarantee confidentiality to a child as some kinds of information may need to be shared with others. A suggested form of words that may help when talking to children is as follows:

“There are some secrets I can’t keep; but I promise that if someone is hurting or frightening you I will help keep you safe. I cannot do that on my own and will need to talk to ….. about it”

Professionals can only work together to safeguard children if there is an exchange of relevant information between them. This has been recognised in principle by the courts. However, any disclosure of personal information to others, included social service departments, must always have regard to both common and statute law.

Normally, personal information should only be disclosed to third parties (including other agencies) with the consent of the subject of that information (Data Protection Act 1998 European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8). Wherever possible consent should be obtained before sharing personal information with third parties. In some circumstances, however, consent may not be possible or desirable but the safety and welfare of the child dictate that the information should be shared.

The law requires the disclosure of confidential information necessary to safeguard a child or children. Under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 statutory agencies have a duty to co-operate. Therefore, if the Police or Social Care/Services are conducting a Section 47 investigation under the 1989 Children Act, staff must share requested information relevant to the investigation. Legal advice should be sought if in doubt from the Legal Services Department.

Attendance at Child Protection Conferences and Core Groups

The Senior Designated Person for Child Protection or their deputy will be expected to attend the initial Child Protection Conference.

If a child is made subject to a Child Protection Plan it may be more relevant for the class teacher or head of year to attend the subsequent core group meetings.

Chapter 4

Useful Contacts

Making a referral to Children’s Social Care

Chapter 5

Managing Allegations against Staff and Safe Working Guidance

You should seek to keep your personal contact with children under review and seek to minimise the risk of any situation arising in which misunderstandings can occur. The following sensible precautions can be taken when working alone with children:

Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is a criminal offence for anyone working in an education setting to have a sexual relationship with a pupil even when the pupil is over the age of consent.

Any use of physical force or restraint against pupils will be carried out and documented in accordance with the relevant physical restraint policy. If it is necessary to use physical action to prevent a child from injury to themselves or others parents will be informed.

Children will not be punished by any form of hitting, slapping, shaking or other degrading treatment.

Allegations of abuse against a professional

Children can be the victims of abuse by those who work with them in any setting. All allegations of abuse of children carried out by any staff member or volunteer must therefore be taken seriously.

If an allegation is received by the Headteacher or Chair of Governors the following must be considered – Has the member of staff:

Allegations of abuse made against staff, whether historical or contemporary, must be dealt with by the Headteacher; not the designated child protection person in cases where this role is not undertaken by the Head (if the allegation is against the Head then it must be dealt with by the Chair of Governors). The Head / Chair must contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Suzanne Cottrell - 666 4582 within 24 hours to discuss the allegation. The Headteacher must also contact Ofsted if the allegation is against member of staff in EYFS.

This initial conversation will establish the validity of any allegation and if a referral is needed to CADT. If this is the case a strategy meeting will be called that the Head / Chair should attend.

The decision of the strategy meeting could be:

The fact that a member of staff offers to resign should not prevent the allegation procedure reaching a conclusion.

Chapter 6 Links to Key Multi-agency Safeguarding Documents

1. Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) multi-agency procedures website (includes ALL key multi-agency safeguarding procedures):

2. Multi-agency Request for Services form. This referral form to be used if you require either a statutory Level 4 service or a Level 3 Team around the Family service:

3. Child Sexual Exploitation documents including the protocol, screening tool, referral form and practice guidance:

4. Local Authority Designated Officer for Allegations (LADO) referral form:

5. Multi-agency Safeguarding Training Courses from the WSCB (free to all staff members)