Under the Education Act 2002 (section 175/157), schools must "make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children".
We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued.
The school will therefore be alert to signs of abuse and neglect and will follow the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures to ensure that children receive appropriate and effective support and protection.
Parents/carers are advised that the law requires all school staff to pass on information which gives rise to a concern about a child's welfare, including risk from neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Records of welfare concerns may be kept about a child. School staff will seek, in general, to discuss any concerns with parents/carers including referrals to other agencies. However, in situations where the child is suspected to be at risk of harm, the law says that schools may take advice from other agencies without informing parents/carers.
In accordance with local Information Sharing protocols, we will ensure that information is shared securely and sensitively. Information will only be shared with other services where it is deemed necessary and proportionate to ensure that children and young people are safe and receive the right service.
Schools will seek advice from Social Care when they have reasonable cause to suspect a child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Occasionally, concerns are passed on which are later shown to be unfounded. Parents/carers will appreciate that the member of staff in the school with responsibility for child protection (known as the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Designated Person) was carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the law and acting in the best interests of all children.
Under Section 3 (5) of the Children Act 1989, schools or any person who has care of a child "may....do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare". This means that on rare occasions, a school may need to "hold" a child in school whilst Social Care and the police investigate any concerns further.
At Great and Little Shelford CE (A) Primary School, we will be participating in a jointly run operation between Cambridge County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and our school, which is called ‘Operation Encompass’. ‘Encompass’ has been set up to help schools and colleges provide support to children who have been present at incidents of domestic abuse and violence. We know that children can be significantly physically or emotionally harmed when they are involved in, present at or are a witness to domestic abuse.
The school will receive a confidential, secure email from Cambridgeshire’s Education Safeguarding Team, now working across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, before 9am or as soon as possible on the morning of any domestic incident which Cambridgeshire Police have attended where a child at their school has been involved in, present at or witness to domestic abuse.
Great and Little Shelford CE (A) Primary School has Designated Safeguarding Leads who have received training from the Education Safeguarding Team to allow them to use the information that has been shared to ensure that the right support is available for children and their families who have been involved in or have witnessed such incidents.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our pupils and we believe this is going to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.
If you have any concerns or questions, then please contact the school office to request a conversation with a Designated Safeguarding Lead and we will be happy to discuss this further. Further information can be found on our school website (Operation Encompass Protocol) and is available from the school office on request.