Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy
Policy Adoption, Monitoring and Review

This policy was considered and adopted by the Governing Body in line with their overall duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children as set out in the DfE guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education”, September 2016.

Annual Review date: February 2019

  • The senior designated Safeguarding Leads are:

Glenda King (Nursery School);     Bolu Heather  (Children’s Centre)

  • In his/her absence the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads are:

Cathy Byrne (Nursery School);     Charmaine Cummings (Children’s Centre)

  • The chair of governors is: Kelly Lin Greaves

Contact details: Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre, 20 Oakden Street, Kennington, London SE11 4UG Tel: 020 7582 9711                   

  • The Governor for safeguarding children is: Catia Colaiacovo

Contact details: Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre, 20 Oakden Street, Kennington, London SE11 4UG Tel: 020 7582 9711

  • The designated lead for children looked after is: Glenda King
Local Authority Contacts
  • Lambeth Children’s services first response telephone: 020 7926 3100
  • Out of hours telephone: 0207 926 1000

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO):

  • Telephone: 0772 082 8700            
  • email:

LA safeguarding lead for primary schools, high schools and colleges is:

  • Sarwan Singh Jandu
  • Telephone: 0207 926 9643; mobile: 07976 490 051; email:

LA safeguarding lead for early years provision & primary schools is:

  • Denys Rasmussen
  • Telephone: 0207 926 2262; mobile: 07982 705 410; email:





Roles and responsibilities


Working with parents and carers


Confidentiality  & Information sharing


Referral to Lambeth children’s social care


Definition and Indicators of abuse




Teaching children about safeguarding


Physical intervention / positive handling


Changing for PE lessons


Intimate care in nursery/children’s centre


Record keeping


Inter-agency work      


Safer recruitment


Single central record


Allegation of abuse made against staff


On-line safety


Peer on per abuse




Looked after children


Children with special educational needs and disabilities


Children missing from education


Child Sexual exploitation


Domestic violence


Honour based violence


Female Genital Mutilation


Forced marriage


Extremism and radicalisation


Children staying with host families


Private fostering


Use of Cameras and Mobile Phones


Raising concerns about safeguarding practice


Appendix A: Types of abuse and their symptoms

Appendix B: Responding to a disclosure of abuse

Appendix C: Safeguarding / Child Protection Reporting Form


Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre is committed to providing an environment for pupils, where children feel safe and are kept safe and all staff contribute to the culture of vigilance which is embedded in our school and centre. All staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. This system is described in statutory guidance Working together to safeguard children.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all staff should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

  • 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 aims of this policy

There are three elements to our policy to safeguard children


Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties.

Raising awareness of all staff, of the need to safeguard children and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse.

Ensuring that all adults within our school and centre who have access to children have been rigorously checked as to their suitability using safer recruitment procedures


Through the establishment of a systematic means of monitoring children, known or thought to be at risk of harm.

Through the establishment of structured procedures within the school which will be followed by all members of the school and centre community in cases of suspected abuse.

All staff receive regular training and up-dates

Through the development of effective working relationships with all other agencies involved in safeguarding children.


Ensuring that key concepts of Child Protection are integrated within the curriculum and pupils are educated about risks associated with the new digital technologies in line with their developmental stages.

Ensuring that children are listened to and their concerns taken seriously and acted upon. Working with others to support pupils who may have been abused to access the curriculum and take part in school life.


Key documents that inform this policy are:

  • Keeping safe in education, September 2016
  • Working together to safeguard children, March 2015
  • Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage March 2014
  • What to do if you worried a child is being abused 2015

Our school procedures for safeguarding children will be in line with the Lambeth safeguarding children board child protection procedures which are based on the London child protection procedures.

  1. Roles and Responsibilities
  • The role of the Governing Body

The governing body will ensure that Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre meets its statutory duties with regard to safeguarding and protecting children in line with the provisions set out in the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016’

The governing body will challenge the school’s senior management team on the delivery of this policy and monitor its effectiveness.

Governors will review this policy every year and may amend and adopt it in accordance with any new legislation or guidance, or in the light of their quality assurance of the delivery of this policy and the overall safeguarding arrangements made.

The governing body will ensure that the following are in place:

  • Safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are in place and are consistent with Lambeth safeguarding children board procedures.
  • A staff code of conduct policy including policies covering staff/pupil relationships and communication and staff use of social media.

The governing body will ensure that a senior member of staff is appointed as the designated safeguarding lead with responsibilities for carrying out the statutory duties as set out in this policy.

The school has a designated governor responsible for advocating child protection and safeguarding issues within the school. This governor will liaise with the Headteacher and the designated safeguarding lead and report to the governing board on safeguarding matters.

  • The role of the Head Teacher

The Headteacher will ensure that policies and procedures adopted by the governing body are followed by all staff.

  • The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead

The designated safeguarding lead will be appointed from the senior leadership team and will take the lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. Annex B of the DfE Guidance; Keeping Children safe in Education 2016, describes the broad areas of responsibility and activities related to this role. Deputy safeguarding lead[s] have also been appointed to take on the responsibility in the absence of the safeguarding lead. The ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the designated safeguarding lead.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) also co-ordinates the school and centre’s representation at Child Protection conferences/core groups and the submission of written reports for such CP meetings.  The Designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure that if staff members attend a child protection meeting, they have the authority to make decisions and commit resources on behalf of the school.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will have oversight of the delivery of school recommendations within Child Protection Plans and will disseminate information to relevant staff members as appropriate.

During term time the designated safeguarding lead and/or a deputy will be available during Ethelred’s hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns. The designated safeguarding lead will ensure that there is adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities.

[If you have a children centre attached to the school particularly if it is open when the school is closed or you have an out of school facility: Ensure that the staff are aware of reporting procedures and the safeguarding leads]

  • The Role of the School and Centre Staff

Ethelred’s staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, and prevent concerns from escalating. If staff members have any concerns about a child’s welfare they should report the matter to the designated safeguarding lead using the school/centre form.  (Appendix C)

If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, the safeguarding designated lead will refer to children’s social care and/or the police immediately.

Though the responsibility to refer to children social care lies with the designated safeguarding lead, anyone can make a referral. Where referrals are not made by the designated safeguarding lead the designated safeguarding lead should be informed, as soon as possible, that a referral has been made.

  1. Working with Parents and Carers

The school and centre recognises the importance of working together in partnership with parents and carers to ensure the welfare and safety of pupils.

The school and centre will:

  • make parents aware of their statutory role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including the duty to refer pupils, where necessary.
  • Ensure that policies will be available on the website and  on request.
  • involve parents and carers in the development of school and centre policies to ensure their views are taken into account.

The school and centre will ensure a robust complaints procedure is in place to deal with issues raised by parents and carers.

  1. Confidentiality and Information Sharing

If the child is under 12, consent to share information about them must be obtained from their parents or carers. Young people aged 12 to 15 may give their own consent to information sharing if they have sufficient understanding of the issues. Young people aged 16 and over are able to give their own consent.

Parental consent to refer to Lambeth children social care can be dispensed with if seeking consent is likely to cause the child to suffer significant harm. Ethelred has a legal duty to share this information with Lambeth children’s social care.

If a child is subject to a child protection investigation, Ethelred will share any information about the child requested by Lambeth children’s social care.

  1. Referral to Lambeth Children’s Social Care

Referral to Lambeth children’s services first response team will be made using a multi-agency referral form (MARF).

Lambeth Children’s services first response telephone: 020 7926 3100

Out of hours telephone: 0207 926 1000

Email –

  1. Definitions and Indicators of Abuse

For definitions and indicators of abuse, refer to appendix A

For guidance on responding to a disclosure of abuse, refer to appendix B

  1. Training

Our Governing body   will ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training will be updated at least every three years and is in line with advice from the Lambeth Safeguarding Children Board.

The designated safeguarding lead and any deputies will undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training will be updated every two years.

All staff members will receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

Supply and other temporary staff will be given a copy of this policy and other relevant policies on arrival, and the procedures for recording and reporting Child Protection concerns specifically at Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre will be given to the temporary member of staff by Sarah Ros, (admin) or Cathy Byrne (deputy head). In the Children’s Centre this responsibility rests with the CC manager/Senior Better Start Worker or other persons given delegated responsibility.

All staff will also be issued with a copy of the 12-page summary of Part One the Government guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and will sign to indicate that they have received and read the document.

Opportunities will be provided for staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy.

  1. Teaching Children about Safeguarding

Our governing body will ensure children are taught about keeping themselves safe, including online, through teaching lessons in PSED. We will use the curriculum generally, and PSED in particular, to ensure our pupils recognise risk and build resilience to manage any such risk themselves where appropriate to their age and ability.  Pupils will be encouraged to make use of internal systems, such as speaking to keypersons to raise/make visible any issue of safety, in confidence. 

We also recognise and accept that children have a right to be heard and will additionally facilitate this by continuing to provide our Voice of the Child activities and Circle Time sessions and, where applicable, we will review and modify our policies accordingly. Additionally we will work in partnership with parents and carers and will encourage parents to comment on, and contribute to the evolution of our policies by consultation in Parent Forums and on the Governing Body.

  1. Physical Intervention / Positive Handling and Safe Working Practices

All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct in respect of their contact with pupils and their families. Children will be treated with respect and any rewards and sanctions should follow those detailed in our Behaviour Policy. Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff should avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation. As noted in our Physical Handling Policy, minimal force may be used to control or restrain children. Restraint or positive handling should only be used as a last resort. Where incidents occur that might otherwise be misconstrued or where it becomes necessary to physically restrain or use force to control a child this may be done so for the following reasons;

  1. for their own safety,
  2. the safety of others, and/or
  3. to prevent a criminal act or to maintain good order and discipline.

As per best practice advice, such incidents will be recorded and reported to the Head Teacher and will be reported to parents as appropriate. Please refer to our separate policy on physical handling / restraint and the reasonable use of force. Our Use of Reasonable Force procedures are in line with DfE Guidance on the ‘Use of Reasonable Force’. 

  1. Changing for P.E. lessons

Changing for PE, or for any other reason, can cause anxiety for some children, can influence their perception of the activity and determine whether activities are enjoyable and positive experiences or not. Being in a state of undress can also cause some children to feel vulnerable, particularly those who have experienced abuse, and cause them to misunderstand or misinterpret the actions of an adult.

  1. Intimate Care in Nursery/Children’s Centre

Where a child may require regular, intimate care e.g. nappy or incontinence pad changing, parents/carers will be asked to sign a form giving their permission. If a member of staff is providing any form of intimate care, they will do this in the designated space where they can be seen by other members of staff, taking into account the child’s right to privacy and dignity. Where possible, children will be encouraged to dress/undress themselves. Parents will be asked to provide suitable additional clothing for children to be changed into and will be given soiled/used clothes to take home for washing. In the children’s centre parents are responsible for changing their own children during drop-in sessions. Staff will provide intimate care to children in the crèche, taking care to follow agreed guidelines.

For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with pupils. Staff should ensure that when changing children they are not alone and that other staff know where they are.

  1. Record Keeping

Accurate written notes will be kept of all incidents or CP concerns relating to individual children. If a teacher or other staff have a child protection concern they should inform the Designated Senior Leads directly or their line managers who will then act on the information given. All information will be kept on the pupil’s Child Protection file.

Procedures for recording and reporting concerns about a child’s welfare

At the time of disclosure:

Situations where a child or parent discloses important information may include:

  • a child/parent talking about an incident
  • a child/parent responding to an adult asking about a mark, bruise or a child’s well-being

Your role

  • do not promise confidentiality
  • listen and do not interrupt if the child/parent/carer is recalling significant events
  • keep calm and be patient
  • ask questions to clarify what the child/parent/carer is saying –questions should be framed in an open manner and not lead the child/parent/carer in any way
  • do not be intimidated or afraid of talking to a child/parent/carer about child protection issues as this could make a big difference in their lives
  • reassure the child/parent/carer that they have done the right thing by talking to you
  • tell them what you are going to do next
  • make a note of the conversation as soon as it is reasonably practical to do so,( but within 1 hour)#


  • name of child/parent/carer
  • your name
  • date and time
  • place of discussion
  • other people present
  • what the child/parent/carer actually said
  • the facts you need to report 

Forms are kept in the school main office/Child Protection Folder in the Headteacher’s office  and the office (in the Children’s Centre). Once completed, these forms should be given to the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s).


  • All concerns must be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) in the nursery or children’s centre. Complete the Concerns and History Form (blank copies are stored in the school office/Child Protection file in the headteacher’s office.  Add any subsequent information to this form in chronological order, clearly dated and signed. This information should be kept whether a referral is made or not.
  • Remember – do not hesitate, even if you may not know all the information about the child/ family   
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will seek advice/make a referral to Social Care as necessary
  • You will receive information from the Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) about the action they have taken/will take.    

The Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) will ensure that all child protection records and safeguarding concerns are kept separately from pupil records. The records will be stored securely, by encryption and/or password protecting electronic files.  Paper records will be secured in a locked cabinet with restricted access. Information from the records may be shared with the school/centre staff on a need to know basis.

When a pupil transfers to a new school/setting, we will ensure that the child protection records are addressed to the designated safeguarding lead and sent separately from the general records to the new school and will be signed for by the receiving school.

Current timescales for the retention of Child Protection Records are D.o.B. +35 years after which they should be destroyed.

The general Pupil Record / Files are to be retained for D.o.B. +25 years after which they should be destroyed.

Retention and destroying of records is applicable to secondary schools.

  1. Inter-agency Working

Staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with outside agencies. Practitioners must:

  • openly and honestly explain what, how and why information will be shared
  • always consider a child’s safety and welfare when making decisions about sharing information
  • seek consent - if not secured, this should be respected where appropriate (unless there is sufficient need to override the lack of consent)
  • seek advice where in doubt
  • ensure information is accurate, up to date, and where necessary, shared with the appropriate people and stored safely, record the reasons for the decision - whether it is to be shared or not.
  • always explain there are times when confidentiality cannot be maintained.

 Consent to share information is not needed:

  • where there is evidence that a child is suffering, or at risk of suffering, from significant harm
  • where there is reasonable cause to believe the child may be suffering, or at risk of suffering, from significant harm
  • to prevent significant harm to children or serious harm to adults.

 Where a child has a social worker and leaves one school for another the Designated Safeguarding Lead at Ethelred will inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the receiving school of this.

All staff at the settings should be careful and ensure that information is only given to appropriate people and be mindful of issues relating to confidentiality and the status of the information they hold.

Members of staff, other than the Designated Safeguarding Lead and those involved closely, should only have enough details in order to help them to act sensitively and appropriately to the child and family.

The Governing body will ensure that the school and centre contributes to inter-agency working in line with statutory guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.

Ethelred will work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the         welfare of children and protect them from harm. This includes providing a co-ordinated offer of early help when additional needs of children are identified and contributing to inter-agency plans to provide additional support to children subject to child protection plans.

All schools and colleges should allow access for children’s social care to conduct, or to consider whether to conduct, a section 17 or a section 47 assessment.

  1. Safer Recruitment

Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre will adopt safer recruitment procedures that help deter, identify and reject people who might abuse children. We adhere to the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children safe in education, Sept. 2016, to ensure that all staff working in our school and centre have had the appropriate checks carried out.

The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 require governing bodies of maintained schools to ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training.

Staff working in the school, engaged in regulated activity, will require an enhanced DBS certificate, which includes a barred list check. We will also ensure that satisfactory references are received.

All staff employed to carry out work will require an additional check to ensure that they are not prohibited from teaching.

The Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012 apply to schools and sixth form colleges and any person that is subject to a prohibition order is prohibited from carrying out teaching work in those establishments.

Where an individual starts work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, we will ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks, including a separate barred list check, have been completed.

The school and centre will carry out a risk assessment and put in place any necessary measures to ensure that the pupils are safe whilst awaiting an outcome of the DBS check.

We will make arrangements to ensure that we do not knowingly employ any person in our Nursery School & Children’s Centre who have been disqualified from such work under the Childcare Act 2006 as set out in the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009. Only staff within our early years teams will be asked to make the relevant declarations. 

Teacher prohibition orders prevent a person from carrying out teaching work in schools. A person who is prohibited from teaching must not be appointed to work as a teacher in such a setting.

We will ensure that under no circumstances a volunteer is allowed to work with children unsupervised. For a volunteer, not involved in regulated activity, the DBS certificate will not include a barred list check. Checks carried out on volunteers, will be recorded on the single central record.

All volunteers will be suitably supervised and may be subject to an Enhanced DBS Check but without a check of the Children’s Barred list. Supervised activity does not fall under the definition of Regulated Activity.

Volunteers will work under the direct management of a staff member, who is in Regulated Activity and vetted accordingly, and all volunteers will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of our school. They will have a ‘job description’ pertaining to the volunteering role provided with appropriate induction, including the provision of school and centre policies and procedures.

For supply staff, Ethelred will gain  written confirmation that the employment agency supplying the member of supply staff has carried out the relevant checks and obtained the appropriate certificates, whether an enhanced DBS check certificate has been provided in respect of the member of supply staff, and the date that confirmation was received.

  1. Single Central Record (SCR)

Our school and centre will keep a single central record, covering the following people:

  • all staff (including supply staff, and teacher trainees on salaried routes) who work at the school and centre.

The SCR is verification that the following checks have been carried out or certificates obtained, and the date on which each check was completed/certificate obtained. The following information will be recorded for all staff including teacher trainees on salaried routes: 

  • an identity check;
  • a barred list check;
  • an enhanced DBS check/certificate;
  • a prohibition from teaching check;
  • a section 128 check (for management positions for independent schools(including free schools and academies));
  • further checks on people who have lived or worked outside the UK; this would include recording checks for those EEA teacher sanctions and restrictions;
  • a check of professional qualifications; and
  • a check to establish the person’s right to work in the United Kingdom.

We will ensure that DBS checks are renewed every three years for all staff, and this will be a condition of service. Staff may subscribe to the DBS Update Service allowing a status check to be carried out regularly.

We will ensure that all staff in Regulated Activity are checked against the DBS’ Children’s Barred List prior to their appointment as part of the vetting process. A separate DBS Children’s List check will be carried out if application for the checks has not been completed by the start date.

Our school and centre has a legal duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child or if we have a reason to believe the member of staff has committed one of a number of listed offences and as a result we have removed them from working in Regulated Activity.  Such referrals to the DBS apply to paid or unpaid staff where we are the employer and also applies where we would have removed that person from Regulated Activity had that person not resigned from our employment.
  1. Allegation of Abuse made against Teachers and other Staff

Parents have the right to make a formal complaint against the action of Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre and/or its employees and such complaints will be dealt with in line with the school’s Complaints Procedures.

Where it is alleged that a member of staff (including volunteers) in the school/centre has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children

the matter will be dealt with in line with the allegations procedures as set out in Part Four of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016.

Allegations against staff must be brought immediately to the attention of the Head Teacher, not the Designated Safeguarding Lead (unless that is the same person). The head teacher will only carry out initial enquiries (not an investigation) prior to a discussion with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Any allegation relating to the Headteacher must be brought to the attention of the Chair of Governors who will consult the LADO.

Where an allegation is made against a member of staff they should contact their union or professional association without delay.  In line with the Lambeth Local Safeguarding Children’s Board guidance, the procedures followed are detailed in the London Child Protection Procedures.  In some situations this may result in the suspension of a member of staff.  Where this occurs it must be remembered that suspension is ‘a neutral act’.  It will be considered where: there is cause to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm; the allegation warrants investigation by the police; or, the allegation is so serious that there may be grounds for dismissal.

Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered.  The school has a duty of confidentiality and this extends to reporting restrictions up to the point where the accused person is charged by the Police.  Parents will be reminded that this duty of confidentiality applies to them also, by weight of law and not only relates to them being restricted from openly discussing the matter but this restriction also relates to any social media or printed media they may use.

The procedures will ensure that all parties involved in this very difficult situation will be supported, given appropriate guidance and treated fairly.

OFSTED must be informed immediately of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether that allegation relates to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere), or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken place on the premises, and of the action taken in respect of these allegations.  It is an offence not to comply with this obligation.

All referrals relating to an allegation against an adult working with children will be made to social care via the Lambeth Children’s services first response team using the LADO referral form.

Outcomes of all investigations into allegations made against staff will be notified to schools, colleges and early years safeguarding leads (Sarwan Singh Jandu / Denys Rasmussen) on completion.

Allegations against a teacher who is no longer teaching or allegations that are historical will be referred to the police.

  1. On-line safety

The use of technology and social media has become a significant component of safeguarding children. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual grooming can all be facilitated by technology which often provides the platform that facilitates harm.

It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. As such, the governing body will ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place. The approach to online safety is to protect and educate the whole school and centre community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate.

Children will be taught to recognise risk and build resilience in order to manage risk themselves where appropriate to their age. Children will be encouraged to use the internal systems for example the keyperson, or other trusted staff, to whistle blow or raise issues of safety in confidence.

  1. Peer on Peer Abuse

Staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers.  The school and centre will take peer on peer abuse seriously and believes it should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”.

Different forms of peer on peer abuse:

  • Bullying
  • Sexual touching

It must also be remembered that children who harm others are likely to have considerable needs themselves and may have witnessed violence in the family or have been exposed to physical or sexual harm, or may have committed other offences.

  1. Bullying

Bullying is a specific form of abuse which may be prevalent in schools and is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time where it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves; this may also be seen as child on child abuse as noted above.

The extent of bullying can include emotional and / or physical harm to such a degree that it constitutes significant harm due to the extent to which it affects the health or development of the child subjected to the bullying behaviour. Bullying may also be perpetrated within digital or ICT based environments, sometimes known as Cyber-Bullying, and may include ‘Sexting’, which must be treated as seriously as any other form of bullying and dealt with accordingly. However, this type of bullying could only be perpetrated in an Early Years setting by adults and not children.

It must be noted that bullying may also constitute criminal behaviour and therefore certain instances of bullying may need to be reported to the police.

Please refer to the section in our Behavior Policy on Anti-Bullyingand to our Acceptable Use of the Internet Policy for further information.

  1. Looked after Children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. Our Governing body will ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep looked after children safe.

Our designated teacher for looked after children is:

Name: Glenda King

We will ensure that appropriate staff have the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility. They will also have information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her. The designated safeguarding lead will have details of the child’s social worker and the name of the virtual school head in the authority that looks after the child.

Virtual school heads receive pupil premium plus additional funding based on the latest published numbers of children looked after in the authority. The designated teacher for looked after children will work with the virtual school head to discuss how that funding can be best used to support the progress of looked after children in the school and meet the needs identified in the child’s personal education plan.

  1. Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. The child protection policy reflects the fact that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. This can include:

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionately impacted by things like bullying without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

Awareness of these additional barriers is reflected in the training for staff.

  1. Children missing from Education 

A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. We will follow the school procedures for unauthorised absences, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risk of children going missing in future.

It is essential that staff are alert to signs to look out for and individual triggers to be aware of, when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage.

The school will inform their local authority of any pupil who is going to be removed from the admission register where the pupil:

  • has been taken out of school by their parents and the school has received written notification from the parent they are being educated outside the school system e.g. home education;
  • has ceased to attend school and no longer lives within reasonable distance of the school at which they are registered;
  • has been certified by the school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and neither he/she nor his/her parent has indicated the intention to continue to attend the school after ceasing to be of compulsory school age;
  • is in custody for a period of more than four months due to a final court order and the proprietor does not reasonably believe they will be returning to the school at the end of that period; or,
  • has been permanently excluded.

The local authority will be notified when a pupil is removed from the register for any of the five reasons above. The school will 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 and follow up any child who might be in danger of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of abuse or neglect.

The school will inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more, at such intervals as are agreed between the school and the local authority.

  1. Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.

Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:

  • Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • Children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
  • Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
  • Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
  • Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
  • Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
  • Children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education

Staff will report any concerns to the safeguarding designated lead.

  1. Domestic Violence (DV)

The definition of Domestic Violence includes, any pattern of controlling or coercive or threatening behaviour, (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between those aged 16 or over who are or who have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The definition of harm as amended by the Adoption & Children Act 2002:

Impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another’ particularly in the home, even though they themselves have not been directly assaulted or abused

Ethelred Nursery School & Children’s Centre recognises that DV will have an impact on aspects of a child’s life. The harm suffered will vary according to the child’s resilience or otherwise to his or her particular circumstances. We recognise that even where the child is not the direct target of the DV, the harm caused to the child can be significant through emotional and physical abuse as the victim’s capacity to protect their child/ren is diminished through anxiety about their own circumstances.

At Ethelred, we will be alert to the possibility of Domestic Violence and will allow an opportunity for the abused partner (predominantly the woman but not exclusively so) to disclose the harm. We will ensure that all information is dealt with securely and sensitively and refer the matter to Lambeth children’s social care where child/ren at risk of significant harm and/or neglect are supported.

  1. Honour Based Violence

‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and will be handled and escalated as such.

  1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is considered child abuse and a grave violation of the human rights of girls and women. It comprises of procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal to subject any child to FGM in the UK and to take a child abroad to undergo FGM. 

Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers in England and Wales, to personally 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.

Any member of staff who has an FGM concern should discuss it with the designated safeguarding lead who will involve children’s social care as appropriate.

We will identify and monitor any child at Ethelred who may be at risk of FGM. Where a child has disclosed that they have undergone FGM, we will notify the police immediately as per our duty under s74 of the Serious Crime Act. When discussing FGM with the family, we will not use other family members, friends, neighbours or persons of respect or high standing within that community as  interpreters.

Typical identifiers / triggers are:

  • Family comes from a community known to practice FGM
  • Family / child may asked to be excused PE / swimming on return from abroad
  • Family / child may confide that she is going to a ‘special ceremony’ when on holiday
  • Female child is known to have a sister that has already undergone FGM
  • Family withdraws female child from particular activities
  1. Forced Marriage

Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England and Wales. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage. Threats can be physical or emotional and psychological. A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example). Nevertheless, some communities use religion and culture as a way to coerce a person into marriage.

If any member of staff receives a disclosure or is aware that a Forced Marriage is about to happen this must be disclosed to the designated safeguarding lead without delay for appropriate action to be taken. Where there is a risk that a child may be, or has been taken out of the country, the school will contact the Forced Marriage Unit as well as local authority social care.

FMU (Forced Marriage Unit) contact: 020 7008 0151 or email:

  1. Extremism and Radicalisation

Refer to our policy on ‘Preventing extremism and radicalisation’ for the full procedural framework on our safeguarding duties in protecting our pupils.

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of Ethelred’s wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people.

 As with 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. Staff should use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation.

Equally, staff may become aware of information about a child’s family that may place a child at risk of harm or a child may disclose information that suggest that they are being exposed to extremist views or practices at home or in their community.

From [1 July 2015, schools] [18 September 2015, colleges] are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 of the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.

Nursery and CC staff have undertaken Prevent awareness training to equip them to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.

{Individual schools are best placed to assess the training needs of staff in the light of their assessment of the risk to pupils at the school of being drawn into terrorism. As a minimum, however, schools should ensure that the designated safeguarding lead undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.}

  1. Children staying with host families

This relates to where the school  makes arrangements for children to have learning experiences where, for short periods, the children may be provided with care and accommodation by a host family to which they are not related. Such arrangements could amount to “private fostering” under the Children Act 1989 or the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, or both.

Where a private fostering arrangement is made by the school and the school has the power to terminate the arrangement, then it could be the regulated activity provider for the purposes of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, section 82

Where the school is the regulated activity provider, it will request a DBS enhanced check (which will include barred list information) to help determine their suitability for the arrangement. However, where the parents make the arrangements themselves, this will be a private matter between the child’s parents and the host parents and in these circumstances the school will not be the regulated activity provider.

If the school is arranging for their children to stay with families overseas, it should be aware that the DBS cannot access criminal records held overseas. Host families in other countries, therefore, cannot be checked in the same way by local authorities as schools and colleges in this country when children stay abroad.

  1. Private fostering

The definition of Private Fostering is where a child up to the age of 16 years of age (18 years if the child is disabled) is looked after full-time for more than 27 days, by someone who is not a close relative. A close relative is legally defined as:

  • a parent or step-parent (or someone who holds parental responsibility)
  • a grandparent
  • an aunt or uncle (whether related to the child by blood or through marriage)
  • a sibling (including half-siblings and step-siblings)
  • anyone who holds a court order in relation to the child (for example, a residence order)

If the person caring for the child is their great grandparent, cousin, godparent, neighbour, family friend, great aunt/uncle or someone previously unknown to the child, they are not considered a close relative.

Private Fostering is governed by The Children Act 1989 and by The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations 2005.  Standards of care for Private Fostering arrangements are set out in the National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering (2005), and further guidance can be found in the Replacement Children Act 1989 Guidance on Private Fostering (2005).

It is clear from the demographic profile of Lambeth that there are many more Private Fostering arrangements in the community than are reported to the Local Authority.  Children who are privately fostered are potentially extremely vulnerable and it is important that schools and Children’s Centres play their part in identifying all Private Fostering arrangements.

If a school/children’s centre becomes aware of such an arrangement, we must:

  • inform the carer that they - the carer - have a duty in law to inform the Local Authority about the arrangement.  The Local Authority will then need to satisfy themselves that the arrangements are safe
  • inform the Local Authority - as the carer may not be prepared to inform the Local Authority. Schools/Children’s Centres should make a referral to Social Care via the normal routes

Where Ethelred staff become aware that a child under the age of 16 (or 18 if disabled) is provided with care and accommodation by someone to whom they are not closely related in that person’s home, they should raise this in the first instance with the designated senior person for child protection. The school/centre will notify the local authority of the circumstances, and the local authority will check that the arrangement is suitable and safe for the child.

A person who is barred from regulated activity will themselves be committing an offence under the Children Act 1989 and under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 if they privately foster a child.

  1. Use of Cameras and Mobile Phones

Parents/carers rarely take photos or film but if they do, they are monitored to ensure they only include their child in the photograph. In larger group activities e.g. the Christmas performance, a text will be sent out prior to the event asking if any parent objects to their child being in a film or photograph so that we can accommodate this. Parents will be asked not to include such images on social media or this privilege will be withdrawn.

With permission, visitors are allowed to take photos in the setting but are not allowed to take photographs that include children’s faces. The member of staff responsible for the visitor will ensure that they are aware of our policy regarding this.  All staff will challenge a visitor if they have concerns that this is not being adhered to. 

Staff use work cameras for record keeping purposes and will only send photographs digitally internally.  Staff will not download any images of children on home computers. Staff will not take work cameras off-site except for use on visits or outings with children.  Images stored on cameras will be kept to a minimum in case they are lost off-site. 

On visits, and in relation to some courses, e.g. Family Learning, staff and parents/carers share mobile phone numbers to facilitate the running of the trip or course, with the agreement of  parents/carers.  Staff are aware that these numbers should only be used in relation to their work for that specific purpose.

If at any time staff are witness to visible injuries or other signs of abuse or neglect they will not, under any circumstances, take any photographic images of these - only medical staff and the Police Child Abuse Investigation Team are permitted to take photographic evidence.

  1.  Raising concerns about Safeguarding Practice.

Initially concerns will be raised with the line manager. The concern should be escalated to the head teacher if it has not been addressed to the satisfaction of the person raising the concern. Where staff feel unable to raise an issue or feel that their concern is not being addressed, follow the procedures outlined in the Whistleblowing Policy.

Appendix A – Types of abuse and their symptoms
  1. Physical 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 fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. (now known as Fabrication or Induced Illness – FII)

                                               Physical abuse indicators

Physical indicators

Behavioural indicators

  • Unexplained injuries – bruises /

abrasions / lacerations

  • The account of the accident may be vague or may vary from one telling to another.
  • Unexplained burns
  • Regular occurrence of unexplained injuries
  • Most accidental injuries occur on parts of the body where the skin passes over a bony protrusion.


  • Withdrawn or aggressive behavioural extremes
  • Uncomfortable with physical contact
  • Seems afraid to go home
  • Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably
  • Wears clothing inappropriate for the weather, in order to cover board.
  • The interaction between the child and its carer


Any bruising on a pre-crawling or pre-walking baby must also be considered as possible indicators of harm.

It is not appropriate for any member of staff to undress, photograph or body map any child in an attempt to see physical injury.  This is the role of the child protection and investigating agencies.

  1. Neglect

Neglect 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 involve a parent failing to: 

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelte
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

                                               Neglect  indicators

Physical indicators

Behavioural indicators

  • Unattended medical need
  • Underweight or obesity
  • Recurrent infection
  • Unkempt dirty appearance
  • Smelly
  • Inadequate / unwashed clothes
  • Consistent lack of supervision
  • Consistent hunger
  • Inappropriately dressed
  • Frequently late/poor attendance
  • Failure to thrive
  • Poor social relationships
  • Indiscriminate friendliness
  • Poor concentration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Regularly displays fatigue or lethargic Frequently falls asleep in class
  • Frequent unexplained absences


  1. Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development, and may involve:

  • Conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person;
  • Imposing age or developmentally inappropriate expectations on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction;
  • Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another;
  • Serious bullying, causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

                                                              Emotional abuse  indicators

Physical indicators

Behavioural indicators

  • Poor attachment relationship
  • Unresponsive / neglectful behaviour towards the child’s emotional needs
  • Persistent negative comments about the child.
  • Inappropriate or inconsistent expectations
  • Self-harm
  • Bullying – including cyberbullying


  • Low self-esteem
  • Unhappiness, anxiety
  • Withdrawn, insecure
  • Attention seeking
  • Passive or aggressive behavioural extremes
  • Feeling frightened or in danger


  1. Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women also commit acts of sexual abuse, as do other children.

                                               Sexual abuse  indicators

Physical indicators

Behavioural indicators

  • Sign of blood / discharge on the child’s underclothing.
  • Awkwardness in walking / sitting
  • Pain or itching – genital area
  • Bruising, scratching, bites on the inner thighs / external genitalia.
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Enuresis / encopresis
  • Sudden weight loss or gain


  • Sexually proactive behaviour or knowledge that is incompatible with the child’s age & understanding.
  • Drawings & or written work that is sexually explicit
  • Self-harm / Suicide attempts
  • Running away
  • Substance abuse
  • Significant devaluing of self
  • Loss of concentration
  • Sadness/depression

Eating disorders

Inappropriate or excessive masturbation


Appendix B – Responding to a disclosure of abuse
  • Always stop & listen to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse, without displaying shock & disbelief.
  • Take the child seriously. Always assume that he/she is telling the truth.
  • Do not promise confidentiality; you have a duty to refer to the designated senior person for child protection concerns.
  • Do reassure and alleviate guilt.
    • For example you could say; “you are not to blame.” “You have done the right thing to tell someone.”
  • Do not ask leading questions.
    • For example, “What did she do next?” (this assumes that she did), or “did he touch your private part”.
  • In cases where criminal proceedings occur, such questioning can cause evidence to become invalid.
  • Do not ask the child to repeat the incident for another member of staff. The child may well have to tell the story again, and to do so repeatedly will cause undue stress.
  • End by summarising what has been said and what action has been agreed.
  • Be clear about what you intend to do next.
  • Discuss your concern/disclosure with the designated child protection person at the school.
  • Record carefully what has been said and what actions have been agreed.


Appendix C – Safeguarding / Child Protection reporting form


Record details of concerns you have about a child’s welfare. 

Name of child causing concern:                 


Start date:                                                               

Date and time of incident:                           

Name of first person recording incident:

Name of keyperson:                                     

Details (continue overleaf if necessary):

Action taken (this MUST include informing the designated safeguarding lead(S)- Glenda King (nursery) Bolu Heather (children’s centre):

Further action taken by the designated safeguarding lead regarding the initial incident:

Ongoing HISTORY relating to this child/family (please date and initial entries clearly):