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Admissions Policy

We are a community preschool offering part time care and education for children aged from two to the time of their transition to full time school.

Admissions Criteria

The preschool is open to all children. We operate a waiting list and children are placed on it in date of birth order. A note is made of the date of receipt of the application. Each case is considered individually with priority given to applications for children:-

  • Living in Saint Leonard’s Primary school (SLPS) catchment area
  • Who have had their third birthday
  • With additional/social/medical needs
  • With siblings already attending the preschool
  • With siblings attending SLPS 

Families enquiring/joining the preschool are made aware of our Inclusion/Equal Opportunities Policy.

We are registered for up to 20 children in each of our sessions. 

Children are welcome to make some settling visits prior to starting. On these occasions, a parent or carer must remain with the child at all times until their planned admission date. 

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Behaviour management policy

We believe that children and adults flourish best in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and where children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else. We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.

In order to achieve this:

  • All adults will try to provide a positive model for children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy and to offer strategies for resolving any conflict.
  • Rules governing the conduct of the group and the behaviour of the children will be discussed and agreed within the pre-school and explained to all newcomers, both children and adults.
  • All adults in the pre-school will ensure that the rules are applied consistently, so that children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up an understanding of desirable behaviour.
  • Adults in pre-school will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
  • We will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.
  • Any discriminatory language, behaviour or remarks by children, parents or any other adults are unacceptable in the pre-school. Our response will aim to demonstrate support for the victim(s), to help those responsible to understand and overcome their prejudices and to make it clear that such behaviour/remarks will not be tolerated.

Rules on behaviour

At our pre-school we expect all our children to:

  • Treat others with care and courtesy
  • Use the equipment safely and sensibility
  • Move sensibility between activities
  • Avoid play with weapons. Parents will be asked to take weapons home if they are brought in. Children will be discouraged from making weapons at pre-school.

These rules are expressed to the children as:

  • At pre-school we have kind hands
  • At pre-school we share
  • At pre-school we use equipment carefully
  • At pre-school we walk

These rules are discussed and displayed so that the children can become familiar with them.

It is the responsibility of the pre-school leader to speak with parents/carers on any matter regarding behaviour, not for any other adults in the group.

When children behave in unacceptable ways:

  • They will be given one-to-one adult support in seeing what was wrong and how to cope appropriately. Where appropriate this might be accomplished by a period of “time-out” with an adult.
  • Children will never be sent out of the room by themselves.
  • If any other child or children have been hurt or upset they will have an adult to comfort and offer support to them and an apology will be sought for them from the child/children concerned.
  • Corporal, humiliating or frightening punishment will never be used at pre-school. All adults will be expected to adhere to this policy with regard to all children – including their own – while at pre-school.
  • Physical restraint, such as holding, will be used only to prevent personal injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property. Any significant event of this sort will be recorded and the parent informed the same day.
  • In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes will be made clear immediately, but by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
  • In any case of misbehaviour, it will always be made clear to the child or children in question that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome.
  • Adults will not shout, or raise their voice in a threatening way.
  • Adults in the pre-school will make themselves aware of and respect a range of cultural expectations regarding interactions between people.
  • Any behavioural problems will be handled in a developmentally appropriate fashion, respecting individual children’s level of understanding and maturity.
  • Recurring problems will be tackled by the whole pre-school, using objective observation records to establish an understanding of the cause.
  • Adults will be aware that some kinds of behaviour may arise from a child’s special needs.

If a child’s behaviour is inappropriate these are the steps that will be taken:

a)      The child will be spoken to gently and firmly and an explanation given as to why the behaviour must be discontinued.
b)     The child will be spoken to more firmly and the explanation repeated.
c)      The child will be redirected towards another activity(if possible)
d)     If the behaviour persists, the child will be taken away from the situation or group with a member of staff, who will talk to the child about why they have been taken away from the group. This will only happen with the knowledge and agreement of the pre-school leader. The child is usually returned to the group within a short time. The child’s parents/carers will be informed.
e)      If the same problem persists over a number of sessions, parents/carers will be involved and their help sought in solving the problem. Many ways of attempting to diffuse the situation will be tried.
f)       A letter will be sent to the parents/carers signed by the pre-school leader and the chair of the management committee, warning of the possibility that the child may have to be removed from our pre-school.
g)     In extreme circumstances, the child’s parents/carers will be asked to remove them from the pre-school. This will only happen as a last resort in situations that affect the safety of all at our pre-school.

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Catchment area

Download a map of our catchment area.

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Complaints

Our preschool believes children and parents/carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We wish to work with parents and the community and we welcome suggestions on how to improve the group at any time.

At all times in a complaints issue the group’s confidentiality policy will be followed.

Any parent or carer who has any concerns about any aspect of the provision can follow any of the following procedure: 

  1. Parents can discuss any concerns or worries with the preschool leader or deputy. If they are still concerned after talking to them they can move to Step 2.
  2. Parents can raise the issue in writing, by e-mail, by phone or in person – contact numbers shown below.
  3. The complaint will be logged, without a name attached, in the provision’s Complaints Log which must be made available to Ofsted when they inspect the provision.
  4. The chairperson/ some of the committee will be notified.
  5. An Early Years and Childcare Advisor or other person of the parent’s choice can be involved as a mediator at this stage.
  6. The time scale for this process from inception to conclusion will be 4-6 working weeks.
  7. Parents can contact Ofsted directly at any time if they wish to on any matter of concern – contact details below.

Contact names and details

Preschool address – Palace Gate Centre, 3 Palace Gate, Exeter, EX1 1JA. Telephone: 07773656751 Email: preschoolstlens@gmail.com

Playleader – Anne Dickinson, c.a.dickinson1456@gmail.com

Ofsted – Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD. Telephone: 0300 123 1231 Email: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

Chairperson – Andrea Prescott, leave a message at Preschool

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Confidentiality policy

The setting is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Staff are expected to follow guidelines issued by the ICO, at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guidance-index/ Therefore staff are expected to keep all information about children and families confidential. This will be explained to them at interview and during their induction. Staff are expected to follow HM Government: Seven Golden Rules for Information Sharing

All adults must respect individuals’ and families’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. 

Parent/carers permission is obtained first before any information about their child is recorded and only information which directly helps in the care of the child will be asked for or held in line with GDPR regulations. 

Normally parents should give informed consent before information is shared, but in some instances, such as if this may place a child at risk, or a serious offence may have been committed, parental consent should not be sought before information is shared

Confidentiality will always be a priority when staff make verbal or written observations of children at sessions in which other adults are present; or take or use photographs in records or displays. Children’s achievements are recorded on Tapestry online system as well as being linked to the settings curriculum and other Guidance such as Development Matters. They are available for staff, children or parents/carers to look at or add to. 

Each parent/carer is asked for their permission to take digital photographs (using the preschool digital equipment ONLY never private phone/camera) of their child to use in their record of achievement or in displays around the setting. Parents are free to decline this permission for either one of these.

Parents/ carers will receive an explanation about observations and the way photographs may be used and also about information sharing between Early Years providers from a senior staff member and any concerns or preferences may be expressed and will then be observed by all staff . Each child’s records are shared only with preschool staff and the child’s parents/carers and when the child leaves preschool the record will be handed to the parents/carer. At the end of a child’s time at preschool a Transition Document based on the child’s record of achievement will be prepared and agreed with parents, their views added and this will then be passed on to the child’s next setting.

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E-safety policy

Online Safety

It is important that children and young people receive consistent messages about the safe use of technology and are able to recognise and manage the risks posed in both the real and the virtual world. 

Terms such as ‘e-safety’, ‘online’, ‘communication technologies’ and ‘digital technologies’ refer to fixed and mobile technologies that adults and children may encounter, now and in the future, which allow them access to content and communications that could raise issues or pose risks. The issues are:

  • Content – being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • Contact – being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • Conduct – personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm

I.C.T Equipment 

  • The setting manager ensures that all computers have up-to-date virus protection installed.
  • Tablets are only used for the purposes of observation, assessment and planning and to take photographs for individual children’s learning journeys.
  • Tablets remain on the premises and are stored securely at all times when not in use.
  • Staff follow the additional guidance provided with the system

Internet access

  • Children never have unsupervised access to the internet. 
  • The setting manager ensures that risk assessments in relation to e-safety are completed.
  • Only reputable sites with a focus on early learning are used (e.g. CBeebies).
  • Video sharing sites such as YouTube are not accessed due to the risk of inappropriate content.
  • Children are taught the following stay safe principles in an age appropriate way:
    • only go online with a grown up
    • be kind online and keep information about me safely
    • only press buttons on the internet to things I understand
    • tell a grown up if something makes me unhappy on the internet
  • Staff support children’s resilience in relation to issues they may face online, and address issues such as staying safe, appropriate friendships, asking for help if unsure, not keeping secrets as part of social and emotional development in age-appropriate ways.
  • All computers for use by children are sited in an area clearly visible to staff.
  • Staff report any suspicious or offensive material, including material which may incite racism, bullying or discrimination to the Internet Watch Foundation at www.iwf.org.uk.

The setting manager ensures staff have access to age-appropriate resources to enable them to assist children to use the internet safely. 

Personal mobile phones – staff and visitors (includes internet enabled devices) 

  • Personal mobile phones and internet enabled devices are not used by staff during working hours. This does not include breaks where personal mobiles may be used off the premises or in a safe place e,g, staff room. The setting manager completes a risk assessment for where they can be used safely.
  • Personal mobile phones are stored in staff lockers
  • In an emergency, personal mobile phones may be used in the privacy of the cloakroom area when no children are present and with DSO’s permission.
  • Staff ensure that contact details of the setting are known to family and people who may need to contact them in an emergency.
  • Staff do not take their mobile phones on outings.
  • Members of staff do not use personal equipment to take photographs of children.
  • Parents and visitors do not use their mobile phones on the premises. If they are staying in the setting for a period they will be shown where to store their mobile phone, bags etc (in the large secure storage cupboard in the main room). There is an exception if a visitor’s company/organisation operates a policy that requires contact with their office periodically throughout the day. Visitors are advised of a private space where they can use their mobile.

Cameras and videos

  • Members of staff do not bring their own cameras or video recorders to the setting.
  • Photographs/recordings of children are only taken for valid reasons, e.g. to record learning and development, or for displays, and are only taken on equipment belonging to the setting.
  • Camera and video use is monitored by the setting manager.
  • Where parents request permission to photograph or record their own children at special events, general permission is first gained from all parents for their children to be included. Parents are told they do not have a right to photograph or upload photos of anyone else’s children.
  • Photographs/recordings of children are only made if relevant permissions are in place.
  • If photographs are used for publicity, parental consent is gained and safeguarding risks minimised, e.g. children may be identified if photographed in a sweatshirt with the name of their setting on it.

Cyber Bullying

If staff become aware that a child is the victim of cyber-bullying at home or elsewhere, they discuss this with the parents and refer them to help, such as: NSPCC Tel: 0808 800 5000 www.nspcc.org.uk or ChildLine Tel: 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk 

Use of social media 

Staff are expected to:

  • understand how to manage their security settings to ensure that their information is only available to people they choose to share information with
  • ensure the organisation is not negatively affected by their actions and do not name the setting
  • are aware that comments or photographs online may be accessible to anyone and should use their judgement before posting
  • are aware that images, such as those on Snapshot may still be accessed by others and a permanent record of them made, for example, by taking a screen shot of the image with a mobile phone
  • observe confidentiality and refrain from discussing any issues relating to work
  • not share information they would not want children, parents or colleagues to view
  • set privacy settings to personal social networking and restrict those who are able to access 
  • not accept service users/children/parents as friends, as it is a breach of professional conduct
  • report any concerns or breaches to the designated person in their setting
  • not engage in personal communication, including on social networking sites, with children and parents with whom they act in a professional capacity. There may be occasions when the practitioner and family are friendly prior to the child coming to the setting. In this case information is shared with the manager and a risk assessment and agreement in relation to boundaries are agreed

Use/distribution of inappropriate images

  • Staff are aware that it is an offence to distribute indecent images and that it is an offence to groom children online. In the event of a concern that a colleague is behaving inappropriately, staff advise the designated person who follow procedure 06.2 Allegations against staff, volunteers or agency staff.

Grant funding policy

All parents are entitled to their grant funding for their child at pre-school, but when claiming it they sign a parental declaration which commits them to ensuring that their child attends the number of sessions for which they have claimed, and explains the possible penalties of non-attendance.

The receipt and use of grant funding is externally checked and audited.  Any discrepancies in attendance and claims have to be refunded by pre-school to the local authority.

The pre-school reserves the right, in circumstances in which insufficient attendance has been achieved and pre-school has been invoiced for the difference, to ask parents to refund part or all of that sum.

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Health and safety policy

Designated Health and Safety Officer is: Anne Holding

Aim

Our provision is a suitable, clean and safe place for children to be cared for, where they can grow and learn. We meet all statutory requirements for health and safety and fulfil the criteria for meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

Objectives 

  • We recognise that we have a corporate responsibility and duty of care towards those who work in and receive a service from our provision. Individual staff and service users also have responsibility for ensuring their own safety as well as that of others. Adherence to policies and procedures and risk assessment is the key means through which this is achieved.
  • Insurance is in place (including public liability) and an up-to-date certificate is always displayed.
  • Risk assessment is carried out to ensure the safety of children, staff, parents, and visitors. Legislation requires all those individuals in the given workplace to be responsible for the health and safety of premises, equipment and working practices. 
  • Smoking is not allowed on the premises, both indoors and outdoors. If children use any public space that has been used for smoking, members of staff ensure that there is adequate ventilation to clear the atmosphere. Staff do not smoke in their work clothes and are requested not to smoke within at least one hour of working with children. The use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed on the premises.
  • Staff must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. If staff are taking medication that they believe may impair them, they seek further medical advice and only work directly with children if that advice is that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children. The setting manager must be informed.
  • Alcohol must not be bought onto the premises for consumption. 
    • A risk assessment is carried out for each area and the procedure is modified according to needs identified for the specific environment.
  • Risk assessments are monitored and reviewed by those responsible for health and safety.
Legal references
  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)
  • Electricity at Work Regulations (1989)
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) (Amended 2002)
  • Medicines Act (1968)
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2004
  • Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • Childcare Act 2006

Further guidance

  • Dynamic Risk Management in the Early Years (Alliance 2017)
  • Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk/risk
  • Food Standards Agency www.food.gov.uk 
  • Ministry or Housing, Communities & Local Government www.communities.gov.uk

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Special Educational Needs policy (adopted)

This Special Needs Policy takes account of the Education Act 1996, the Special Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014, the policy of Devon County Council and the aims of the preschool.

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. As an early years provider in the private, voluntary and independent sector we must have regard to the 2014 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0-25 . https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25 

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  • Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority.
  • Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.

We follow the fundamental principles of the SEND Code of Practice and these are:

  • A child with SEND should have their needs met.
  • The SEND children will normally be met in mainstream schools or early education settings.
  • The view of the child, if possible, should be sought and taken into account.
  • Parents have a vital role in supporting the child’s education.
  • Children with SEND should be offered full access to a broad-balanced and relevant education, including an appropriate curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Arrangements must be in place to support children with SEND; including a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEND.
  • Being aware of and alert to emerging difficulties and responding early.

Special educational provision means:

(a) For children of two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.

(b) A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.

English as an Additional Language

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Admissions Policy

This Preschool has an Admissions Policy which endeavours to provide appropriate access and support for pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.

Access for the Disabled

The preschool is equipped with wide doorways, disabled toileting facilities and can provide access to ramped access (via ERADE). The needs of the pupils will be taken into account when considering full access to the foundation stage curriculum.

Identification, Assessment and Provision

The Government’s Early Learning Goals set out what most children will have achieved by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (the end of the school reception year). Children will progress at different rates during the EYFS and some children will need differentiated learning opportunities and regular monitoring within our setting to help them make progress. In addition the ‘Early Years Outcomes’ is an aid to enable practitioners to understand the outcomes they should be working towards.

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) – Lindsey Weeks

The EYFS framework requires early years providers to have arrangements in place for meeting children’s SEN, and this is the responsibility of our SENCo Lindsey Weeks.

The SENCo will have responsibility for:

  • Liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs.
  • Taking the lead in further assessments and planning support.
  • Advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting.
  • Ensuring that appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place and that these are reviewed regularly.
  • Ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with SEN is collected, recorded and updated at Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus and for those with a Statement.

Graduated Response

If a child in our setting is not making the expected progress, it may be necessary to use alternative approaches to learning. We operate a graduated response system where staff initially:

  • Bring an issue to the attention of the SENCo
  • Observe, monitor and share their findings with staff and parents.
  • Are allocated time to devise planned intervention and monitor.
  • Adapt working practices and the environment to suit the needs of the child.
  • Produce individual educational plans with achievable targets for the child.
  • Attend regular staff training to provide effective intervention.

This graduated response recognises that there is a continuum of special educational need and, where necessary and with parental permission, draws support from a range of specialist expertise to support the child. In our setting the different support mechanisms may include:

  • An initial visit from the health visitor.
  • Referrals to outside agencies including speech therapists, paediatricians, educational psychologists etc.
  • Support from the Early Years Team/LA support services for advice or equipment.

Initial Concerns

Staff may initially have concerns about a child that they share internally and in particular with the SENCo. At this stage staff should observe the child regularly to gather evidence for possible future discussions with parents or outside agencies.

Discussions with parents

If staff feel that there is still cause for concern after their initial observations, parents will be invited in to discuss these concerns with a staff member. Parents will be invited to contribute their knowledge and understanding of their child and raise any concerns they may have and to contribute to targets resulting in individualised planning known as ‘Targeted Support’

SEN Support

When a child in the setting is identified as having special educational needs we initially devise our own interventions to be used in addition to our usual curriculum (SEND Support). The triggers for SEND Support could be that the child:

  • Makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are particularly targeted to improve the child’s identified area of weakness.
  • Continues working at levels significantly lower than those expected for children of a similar age in certain areas.
  • Presents persistent social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the setting.
  • Has sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of personal aids and equipment.
  • Has communication and/or interaction difficulties, and requires specific individual interventions in order to access.

Targeted Plan A Targeted Plan contains planning for the child which is additional to, or different from, the standard provision and includes:

  • Short-term strategies set for the child.
  • Teaching strategies.
  • The provision to put in place.
  • When/how the plan is to be reviewed.
  • The outcome of the action taken.

The Targeted Plan will be reviewed half termly with parents and, if appropriate, the child and outside agencies. Where it is deemed not applicable for the child to attend their views and needs should be taken into consideration.

Requests for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

For a very few children the help given by the early education setting through SEN Support will not be sufficiently effective to enable the child to progress satisfactorily. It will then be necessary for the setting, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether a statutory multi-disciplinary assessment may be appropriate. Where a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment is made to the LA, the child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern and the setting will have evidence gathered throughout the stages listed above.

Annual Review

As a result of an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment the LA will decide whether a child needs provision through an Education, Health and Care Plan. The Education, Health and Care Plan will outline the provision necessary, the name of the setting where the provision is to be made and how the needs will be met; this may be through additional support or equipment and may have a cost implication to the LA. All EHCPs are reviewed at least yearly and all those involved are invited to consider whether any amendments need to be made.

Record Keeping

We keep individual records; these are based predominantly on observations. We use regular observations, consultations with parents, staff and other professionals to inform planning in order to meet the needs of individuals. Information gathered may be shared with other professionals with parental permission; a summary of achievement and relevant attachments are sent on to the next school. The records we keep are always available to the child’s parents on request.

The Local Offer

We are aware of the Local Offer and will signpost parents the information about provision they can expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in the area with SEN or disability.

Confidentiality

We will respect parents’ rights to confidentiality when supporting children with Special Needs; we will always discuss any possible referrals to other services with parents to seek their agreement before we make such referrals. All meetings with parents other than the normal parent staff contact will take place in private.

Parents will be involved in setting all targets for their child. Targeted Support will be reviewed regularly and parents will be invited to contribute.

All our staff will need to be aware of the Targeted Support targets agreed for a child as they are likely to be involved in supporting that child. However all of the staff are also aware that their knowledge of these targets is privileged information which should not be shared with anyone without the permission of either the settings SENCO or Manager who would discuss any need to share information with the child’s parent or carer.

Transfer Summary

If a child moves to another nursery or a reception setting we complete a Transition Document that outlines the child’s achievements at our setting. This has a section which relates to Special Educational Needs and asks for the parents and child’s comments.

Last reviewed: September 2015

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Lost child policy

As a pre-school the welfare of the children in our care is of paramount importance and we put it as a priority in all we do and plan. We aim to have in place policies and procedures for risk assessment, registration, staffing, visitors, outings and health and safety so to reduce the risk of a child ever being lost to the lowest possible level.

If we ever find that a child is missing then the following will occur:

  • Inform the Playleader/Deputy.
  • The leader/deputy will gather all staff and children together and mark those children present against the register.
  • The leader/deputy and a staff member will instigate an area search i.e. of the venue itself and the immediate area outside the area, whilst other staff look after the remaining children in as safe an area as possible with safety/ratios in mind.
  • Should the child not be located, then the playleader will contact the police and the parents/carers of the child.
  • A report should be written up as soon as possible after the event and a copy sent to Ofsted with an action plan. The incident will be recorded in the Incident Book.

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Policy on parental involvement

Parents are the first educators of their children. The aim of this group is to support parents in their essential role. We will:

  • Involve parents in shared record keeping about their child, both formally and informally, ensuring parents have access to all written records on their own children.
  • Ensure that parents are given information on a regular basis about their child’s progress and have an opportunity to discuss this with staff.
  • Ensure that all parents have opportunities to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities to the group.
  • Ensure that all new parents are aware and can contribute to the groups’ systems and policies.
  • Encourage parents on an individual basis to play an active part in the management of the group.
  • Ensure that all parents are fully informed about meetings, conferences, workshops and training.
  • Consult with families about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.
  • Hold meetings in venues which are accessible and appropriate for all.
  • Welcome the contributions of parents, whatever form these may take.
  • Make known to all parents the system for registering queries, complaints or suggestions.
  • Provide opportunities for parents to learn about the pre-school curriculum and about young children’s development in pre-school and at home.

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Safeguarding policy

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

During the COVID Pandemic we have continued to follow our setting safeguarding policies and procedures, and any additional considerations during this time specifically related to COVID have been identified in Annexe 1. 

Purpose and Aims

The purpose of St Leonards Preschool safeguarding and child protection policy is to provide a secure framework for the workforce in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of those children/young people who attend our setting. The policy aims to ensure that:

  • All our children are safe and protected from harm.
  • Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable children to feel safe and adopt safe practices;
  • Staff, children, trustees, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours’ and the settings legal responsibilities in relation to the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our children.

Ethos 

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Safeguarding in St Leonards Preschool is considered everyone’s responsibility and our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. St Leonards Preschool recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all children registered or who use our setting have trusted key worker with whom they feel safe and that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We recognise that this especially important for children who are unable to communicate e.g. babies and very young children that they have strong attachment to their care givers.  We will work to ensure children’s safety by working in partnership with other agencies i.e. Early Help, MASH, Police and Social care as well as seeking to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues to develop and provide activities and opportunities that will help to equip our children with the skills they need. This will include materials and learning experiences that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours. 

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989; and in line with the following: 

Responsibilities and expectations

The management committee takes seriously its responsibility under section 11 of the Children Act and duties under “working together” to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements exist within our setting to identify and support those children who are suffering harm or are likely to suffer significant harm. We recognise that all staff and management have a full and active part to play in protecting our children from harm, and that the child’s welfare is our paramount concern.

The trustees should also ensure the following:- 

    • that the safeguarding and child protection policy is made available to parents and carers.
    • that all staff and volunteers are properly checked to make sure they are safe to work with the children who attend our setting.
    • that the setting has procedures for handling allegations of abuse made against members of staff (including the Playleader/Manager) or volunteers. 
    • the safe and appropriate use of cameras, mobile phones, technology and online equipment within the setting. 
    • the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which places a duty on early years and childcare providers “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (The Prevent Duty) is implemented, taking into account the Local authorities  ‘Prevent’   policies, protocols  and procedures and ensuring the  Fundamental British Values are implemented as stated in the EYFS. 
  • a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is appointed who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our setting. 
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Anne Dickinson. If they are not available, then contact
  • The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead Anne Holding. 
  • (This/these person/s can also be contacted with any safeguarding concerns). 
  • Identify the Named Member of the Trustees/Committee for Safeguarding 
  • Safeguarding Committee Named Persons are Katie Pearson and Eva Wooding
  • Our procedures will be annually reviewed and updated. 

The responsibilities for the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) are:- 

  • to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in the setting are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency.
  • To ensure all adults are alert to circumstances when a child and family may need access to early help  
  • All adults, (including volunteers) new to our setting will be made aware of this policy and the procedures for child protection, the name and contact details of the DSL and have these explained, as part of their induction into the setting. 
  • Be responsible for arranging the settings safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with the children and young people. The DSL must ensure that the  safeguarding training takes place at least every three years for all with regular updates during this period; which they can deliver in-house provided they are linked in to the support and quality assurance process offered by the Local Authority and the Devon Children and Families Partnership.  
  • to attend or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all  child protection case conferences, reviews,  core groups, or meetings where it concerns a child in our care and to contribute to multi-agency strategy discussions to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
  • for ensuring the acceptable, safe use and storage of all camera technology, images, and mobile phones through the implementation, monitoring and reviewing of the appropriate policies and procedures. This includes the on-line Safety Policy which includes Camera & Image Policy, Mobile Phone Policy, Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Implementing the Fundamental British Vales. 
  • To ensure allegations regarding adults in the setting are effectively responded to and referred to the appropriate agency. 

All Child Protection concerns need to be acted on immediately. If you are concerned that a child may be at risk or is actually suffering abuse, you must tell the DSL.

All Adults, including the DSL, have a duty to refer all known or suspected cases of abuse to the relevant agency including MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub), Children and Young Peoples Service (CYPS) – Social Care, or the Police. Where a disclosure is made to a visiting staff member from a different agency, e.g. Early Years Consultants, Health Visitors, it is the responsibility of that agency staff to formally report the referral to the Setting’s DSL in the first instance and to follow their organisations procedures. Any records made should be kept securely on the Child’s Protection file.

Recognising concerns, signs and indicators of abuse 

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. For our setting it includes such things as child safety, bullying, racist abuse and harassment, visits, intimate care and internet safety etc. However, it must be acknowledged that technology itself will not present the greatest risk, but the behaviours of individuals using such equipment will. The witnessing of abuse can have a damaging effect on those who are party to it, as well as the child/adult subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself, will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the child.

The table below outlines the four main categories of abuse as defined by the Department of Health ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 2010. Adults should be aware that that the possible indicators are not definitive list although children’s poor behaviour maybe a sign that they are suffering harm or that they have been traumatised by abuse, some children may present these behaviours for reasons other than abuse. However, it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.

Neglect The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairments 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: 

provide food, clothing and shelter; 

protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; 

ensure adequate supervision; 

ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

Possible indicators of Neglect Obvious signs of lack of care including: 

Problems with personal hygiene, constant hunger, inadequate clothing, emaciation, lateness or non-attendance at the setting, poor relationship with peers, untreated medical problems, compulsive stealing and scavenging, rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking, running away, low self-esteem. Etc.

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. 

Possible Indicators Physical signs that do not tally with the given account of occurrence conflicting or unrealistic explanations of cause repeated injuries delay in reporting or seeking medical advice. 

Sexual Abuse 

Forcing or enticing a child 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, penetrative or non-penetrative acts and also includes involving children in watching pornographic material or watching sexual acts.

Possible indicators of Sexual Abuse   Sudden changes in behaviour, displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate, tendency to cling or need constant reassurance, 

Tendency to cry easily, regression to younger behaviour – e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby, unexplained gifts or money, depression and withdrawal, wetting/soiling day or night, fear of undressing for PE etc.

Emotional Abuse 

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.

Possible Indicators of Emotional Abuse Rejection, isolation, child being blamed for actions of adults, child being used as carer for younger siblings, affection and basic emotional care giving/warmth, persistently absent or withheld.

Children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities 

All children have the right to be safe, yet research shows that disabled children are three times more likely to be abused. A number of factors have been identified as to reasons why these children are more at risk (see bullet points) and as a setting we are aware of these and endeavour to protect all our children.

  • a general reluctance of people to believe that disabled children are abused
  • limited opportunities to seek help from someone else
  • a skills gap between disability and child protection workers
  • inadequate teaching about personal safety skills e.g. NSPCC pants campaign 
  • issues relating to the child’s specific disability or special educational need, e.g. difficulties in communicating or an inability to understand what is happening 

Prevent 

The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 

The Act places a Prevent duty on settings to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. 

Settings subject to the Prevent Duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas 

  • Assessing the risk of children being drawn into terrorism 
  • Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies. 
  • Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Devon Children and Families Partnership.  
  • Make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children and families at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism 
  • Expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in the setting 

What to do if you are concerned 

If a child makes a disclosure or allegation of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, it is important that you:

  • Stay calm and listen carefully. 
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you. 
  • Do not investigate or ask leading questions. Ask 
  • Let them know that you will need to tell someone else. 
  • Do not promise to keep what they have told you a secret. 
  • Inform your Safeguarding Designated Officer as soon as possible. 
  • Make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which you must sign, date and record your position using the setting safeguarding record log forms.

If you are concerned that a member of staff or adult in a position of trust poses a danger to a child or young person or that they might be abusing a child or young person you should report your concerns to the DSL. Where those concerns relate to the DSL however, this should be reported to the Chair of Trustees using the settings ‘Whistle blowing’ policy.

Whistleblowing 

We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues via our whistleblowing and complaints policies and appropriate advice will be sought from the LADO or Safeguarding Team where necessary.

Managing Allegations 

We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working or may come into contact with children and young people whilst in our setting. Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. This could include inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff or other persons working with the children such as inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one to one attention beyond the requirements their role and responsibilities, inappropriate sharing or images. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults. Allegations are made for a variety of reasons:

  • Abuse has actually taken place. 
  • Something has happened to the child that reminds them of a past event – the child is unable to recognize that the situation and people are different; Children can misinterpret your language or your actions. 
  • Some children recognise that allegations can be powerful and if they are angry with you about something, they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out.
  • An allegation can be a way of seeking attention. 

If an allegation is made against an adult in a position of trust whether they be members of staff or volunteers this should be brought to the immediate attention of the DSL who will advise the Chair of Trustees. In the case of the allegation being made against the DSL this will be brought to the immediate attention of the Chair of Trustees. The DSL/Chair of Trustees will need to discuss with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) the nature of the allegations made against the adult, in order for the appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made.  Chair of Trustees will need to:

  • Refer to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) immediately and follow up in writing within 48 hours. Consider safeguarding arrangements of the child or young person to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser. 
  • Contact the parents or carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO. 
  • Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation. 
  • Advise Ofsted of allegation within 14 days of the allegation
  • Ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation if this is deemed necessary. 
  • Act on any decision made in any strategy meeting. 
  • Advise the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff has been removed, dismissed or would have been removed had they a result of the allegations being founded. 

A copy of What to do if you are worried a Child is being Abused booklet is kept with this policy.  This sets out the guidelines on dealing with incidents, disclosures and the procedures that must be followed.

Confidentiality 

  • We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential. 
  • The DSL will disclose personal information about a child or young person to other members of staff on a need to know basis only. 
  • However, all staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. 
  • All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well-being or that of another. 
  • We will always undertake to share our concerns with parents and guardians and their consent is sought in accordance with Early help and MASH procedures unless doing so would increase the risk of harm to the child. If in doubt regarding sharing information with parents and guardians, we will consult with the MASH consultation team. 

Training

All members of staff and volunteers will have access to safeguarding training at least every three years in line with Devon Children and Families partnership (formerly Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board DCFP). 

We will also, as part of our induction, issue information in relation to our Safeguarding policy and any policy related to safeguarding and promoting our children/young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff and volunteers. There will also regular safeguarding updates at staff meetings, supervisions, in staff bulletins. 

Our DSL’s will undertake further safeguarding training, Group 3 DCFP Multi-agency Safeguarding course or Group 3 Refresher Courses. This will be undertaken at least every three years which updates their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. This will support both the DSL and deputy DSL to be able to better undertake their role and support the setting in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieving better outcomes for the children in our setting. This includes taking part in multi-agency training in addition to safeguarding training.

Our Turstees will have access to safeguarding training and our Named Trustee for Safeguarding will also undertake additional awareness training at least every three years. They will also be advised to undertake additional training to support their employers’ role in Handling Allegations against adults who work with children and young people, including our staff and volunteers.

Our safeguarding arrangements are reported on an annual basis to our Trustees and our Safeguarding policy is reviewed annually, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.

We will include our Safeguarding Policy in our settings prospectus/website and will post copies of our policy throughout the setting. We are also able to arrange for our policy to be made available to parents whose first language is not English, on request.

Mobile Phones and Cameras

St Leonards Preschool has policies and procedures in place with regard to the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting and on visits etc. Need to include the settings procedures with regards to mobile phones and cameras for all staff, volunteers and visitors. The ‘Online Safety – A Toolkit for Early Years Settings’ is a useful guide to assist the setting with developing appropriate policies and procedures.

Related Setting Policies

‘safeguarding covers more than the contribution made to child protection in relation to individual children.  It also encompasses issues such as child health and safety, bullying and a range of other issues, for example, arrangements for meeting the medical needs of children, providing first aid, setting security, drugs and substance misuse, etc.  

This policy will cross reference to related setting policies and other protocol:

Behaviour Adopted

(Including guidance on positive handling) 

Confidentiality Adopted:

Attendance  Adopted:  

E-Safety Policy  Adopted:  

Health and Safety Adopted:  

Equality and Diversity Adopted:  

Code of Conduct Adopted:

Whistle Blowing Adopted:

Managing Allegations Adopted:

Physical Restraint Adopted:

Safe Recruitment Adopted:

Information Sharing Adopted: 

Approved (Chair of Trustee)  

Adopted on                                          Review Date  

St Leonards Preschool  Safeguarding Policy

The above list is not exhaustive and as new policy, guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding we will review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate and in line with the Devon Children Families Partnership and Local Authority.

Useful Contacts

Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0345 155 1071 

email: mashsecure@devon.gov.uk

MASH Consultation Line 0345 155 1071 (ask for Consultation Line)

Early Help co-ordination centre 0345 155 1071 (ask for Early Help)

Early Help information 

Out of hours for CYPS (Social Care): 

5pm -9am and at weekends and public holidays, please contact:

Emergency Duty Service 0845 6000 388 (low-rate call)

Police Central Referral Unit: 0845 605 116

EYCS Consultation Service

If you have concerns about a child but are unsure whether to make a MASH enquiry. The numbers are: 

Nikki Phillips – Locality Manager for Exeter and East Devon                   01392 383000 

Melissa Filby – Locality Manager for Northern and Mid Devon                 01392 383000

Susan Bolt  – Locality Manager for South West Devon                             01392 383000

DCFP

DCFP Office: 01392 383000

Child Protection Chairs and Local Authority Designated Officers for managing allegations against staff:

Allegations against staff LADO Referral Co-ordinator 01392 384964

Training and Resources on managing allegations

Devon’s Domestic Abuse Helpline 0345 155 1074

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub – MASH

MASH contributes to improved outcomes for safeguarding children because it has the ability to swiftly collate and share information held by the various agencies and to provide a multi-agency risk assessment of each case for ‘actual or likely harm’.

  • Manages contacts and enquiries received from any source (usually CYPS and Police VIST vulnerable incident screening tool)
  • Develops a document recording the concern information and all other agencies information available within agreed timescales and a social worker manager makes an informed decision using all of the available information.
  • Develops concern information into a social care referral if services are required under section 17 or section 47 of The Children Act 1989
  • Liaises with the Early Help for children and young people who need services but do not meet The Children Act 1989 threshold
  • Provides consultation line to agency enquirers about thresholds, appropriate action to be undertaken and services.

There is no mandatory requirement to change your safeguarding policy due to COVID-19 and you should continue to follow your normal Safeguarding policy.  However, with on-going restrictions you might want to consider adding a COVID -19 annexe to your current safeguarding policy, below is a draft for you to adapt to meet your needs. 

Annexe 1 Safeguarding Policy COVID-19 

The St Leonards Preschool Safeguard policy remain in place and should be followed as usual. 

This annexe has been added to the Safeguarding Policy as an interim measure to cover any changes or additional requirements to the existing St Leonards Preschool safeguarding policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff and volunteers will be made aware of the St Leonards Preschool safeguarding policy and kept up to date if it is revised. The St Leonards Preschool Safeguard policy is available publicly.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

We will endeavour to have a trained DSL Anne Dickinson or deputy Anne Holding available on site. However, it is recognised that in exceptional circumstances this may not always be possible due to COVID restrictions such as self-isolating, and where this is the case the following options will be available: 

    • The trained DSL (or deputy) from the St Leonards Preschool will be available to be contacted via phone or online video – for example working from home
    • A senior member of staff will take responsibility for safeguarding on the site
  • Contact your Early Years and Childcare Adviser Nikki Phillipson 01392  383000.

Arrangements will be made known to all staff to ensure that there are clear reporting routes for any concerns relating to a child.

DSLs (and deputies) will continue to do what they reasonably can to keep up to date with safeguarding developments, via safeguarding partners, newsletters and professional advice groups.

Vulnerable Children 

 Vulnerable children attendance is expected, where it is appropriate for them St Leonards Preschool will support with other partners the relevant families and children to return to (pre-school.

We will continue to follow up with any parent or carer whose child has been expected to attend and doesn’t. For those children with a social worker we will continue to notify the social worker where the child does not attend, or if the child is required to self-isolate for 14 days or needs to stay at home for 10 days due to COVID symptoms. 

Staff Training and Staff Induction 

All existing staff will have had safeguarding training it will be the DSL responsibility to ensure that staff team are kept up to date with any changes during the COVID -19 period and if necessary support staff to do e-learning or virtual training during this time. 

For the period COVID measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained and make every effort to refresh their training via on-line training, however, if they miss their refresher training, they will continue to be classed as a trained. 

New Staff will be provided with a safeguarding induction and an up to date safeguarding policy.

Visitors and Peripatetic Staff 

Please consider if your setting will allow visitors or peripatetic staff- if so, who e.g. nursery plus, speech and language etc) 

Visitors or Peripatetic staff will comply with (insert provider name) arrangements for managing and minimising risk, including taking care to maintain distance from other staff and children. We expect peripatetic staff/visitors consider how to minimise the number of visits where possible between different early years settings.

Safer Recruitment 

St Leonards Preschool will continue to follow all the normal safer recruitment policies and procedures. 

Online Safety 

Where staff continue to interact with children that are self-isolating or not attending online, they will continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any concerns will be dealt with as per the safeguarding policy.

Annexe 2 Current Safeguarding Issues 

(This section highlights optional extras that Settings may consider adopting to accompany their Safeguarding policy)

The following Safeguarding issues are all considered to be child Protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are linked to guidance and local procedures which can be found on the South West Child Protection Procedures  

E-Safety Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimize the risks to our children and young people St Leonards Preschool will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our E-Safety policy. We will ensure that staff are aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the setting and are aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites.

Our E-safety policy will clearly state that mobile phone, camera or electronic communications with a child or family at our setting is not acceptable other than for approved setting business. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying, we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency. 

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people, (or a third person or persons) receive something, (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affections, gifts, money) as a result of them performing and/or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidations are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child’s or young person’s limited availability of choice, resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. 

Good practice – Individuals Recognise the symptoms and distinguish them from other forms of abuse 

  • Treat the child/young person as a victim of abuse 
  • Understand the perspective / behaviour of the child/young person and be patient with them 
  • Help the child/young person to recognise that they are being exploited 
  • Collate as much information as possible 
  • Share information with other agencies and seek advice / refer to Social Care 

Good practice – Organisations 

  • Ensure robust safeguarding policies and procedures are in place which cover CSE 
  • Promote and engage in effective multi-agency working to prevent abuse 
  • Work to help victims move out of exploitation 
  • Cooperate to enable successful investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators 

Peer on Peer Abuse 

Children can abuse other children, and this is referred to as ‘peer on peer abuse’ this can take many forms including those listed in the table above as well as bullying, sexual violence and harassment etc. Staff will raise concerns when there are issues of peer on peer abuse and DSL’s will consider what support might be needed for both the victim and perpetrators

Forced marriages (FM) FM is now a specific offence under s121 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 that came into force on 16 June 2014. 

A FM is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, and where duress is a factor Forced marriage is when someone faces physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). This is very different to an arranged marriage where both parties give consent.

FM is illegal in England and Wales. This includes: 

  • taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place) 
  • marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)

Under-age Marriage In England, a young person cannot legally marry until they are 16 years old (without the consent of their parents or carers) nor have sexual relationships.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore should be dealt with as part of existing child safeguarding/protection structures, policies and procedures. 

FGM is illegal in the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. 

Other than in the excepted circumstances, it is an offence for any person (regardless of their nationality or residence status) to: 

  • perform FGM in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 1 of the Act); 
  • assist a girl to carry out FGM on herself in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (section 2 of the Act); and 
  • Assist (from England, Wales or Northern Ireland) a non-UK person to carry out FGM outside the UK on a UK national or permanent UK resident (section 3 of the Act). 

Ritualistic Abuse Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in the criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the child.

Sexually Active under Eighteen years old It is acknowledged by those working with young people that most young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision of protection or additional services. 

Safer Recruitment and Selection It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked. We will ensure that we have a member on every recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. That all of our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the Key Safeguarding Employment Standards.

Honour Based Violence Honour based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from setting, infections resulting from female genital mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in setting activities, unreasonable restrictions at home. Where it is suspected that a child/young person is at risk form Honour based violence we will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.

Trafficked Children Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation includes children being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/ sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where we are made aware of a child is suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.

Domestic Abuse The Government defines domestic abuse as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”

Staff need to understand what is required of them if children are members of the household where domestic abuse is known or suspected to be taking place. Our policy includes action to be taken regarding referrals to the Police and Children and Young People’s Services and any action to be taken where a member of staff is the alleged perpetrator or victim of domestic abuse. At (insert name of setting) we will follow our safeguarding policy and report any suspected concerns regarding Domestic Abuse to the relevant agency.

Private Fostering Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.

A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation by someone other than:

  • A parent. 
  • A person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility. 
  • A close relative. 
  • A Local Authority. 

for more than 28 days and where the care is intended to continue. It is a statutory duty for us to inform the Local Authority via MASH where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.

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Settling in policy

We want children to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents, to recognise other adults as a source of authority, help and friendship and to be able to share with their parents, afterwards, the new learning experiences enjoyed in the preschool. We also want parents to feel welcome and involved from the beginning.

In order to accomplish this, we aim to create a partnership with parents in the following ways:

  • By encouraging parents to come to the preschool Drop-in sessions with their children during the months/weeks before an admission is planned and to offer information and the chance to ask questions/ raise concerns before admission.

  • By creating opportunities for the exchange of information, using among other resources a Parent’s Information Pack on entry and a shared approach to the completion of the personal details/ initial child profile form.

  • By ensuring plentiful opportunities for parents to inform staff about their child’s current achievements and interests.

  • By introducing flexible admissions procedures, if appropriate, to meet the needs of individual families and children.

  • By making it clear to families from the outset that they will be welcome and supported in preschool for as long as it takes to settle their child there.

  • By reassuring parents whose children seem to be taking a long time settling into preschool.

  • By introducing new families into the group on a staggered basis, when possible with the regulations of the Early Years Grant.

  • By encouraging parents, where appropriate, to separate from their children for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences.

Children cannot play or learn successfully if they are anxious or unhappy. Our settling procedures aim to help parents and children to feel comfortable in the preschool and to ensure that children can benefit from what the group has to offer and feel confident that their parents will return at the end of the session

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Uncollected child procedure

  1. All parents will be informed of the mobile phone number of the pre-school when their child begins pre-school and at regular intervals afterwards in newsletters. They will be encouraged to use it to inform the staff if any difficulty arises which will prevent them from collecting their child on time.
  2. A member of staff, if possible the child’s key worker, will sit with a child to comfort and reassure them if no one is there to collect them at the end of a session.
  3. The session leader will try to contact the person whom we know to be collecting the child from this session.
  4. If they can be contacted the member of staff will ascertain the situation and two members of staff will stay on the premises with the child until they are collected.
  5. If there is an answering machine a message will be left explaining that the child is with two members of staff and asking them to contact us as soon as possible. Other contact numbers will be tried in order to find out any other information as to the situation which has arisen.
  6. Two members of staff will stay with the child at all times on the pre-school premises until a suitable person is available to collect the child.
  7. If that person is not the person staff expected to collect the child then if at all possible the parent’s written permission will be required. If the person coming to collect the child is not known to staff and does not have the parents written permission then a member of staff will accompany them to the child’s home or parent and remain until the situation is clarified.
  8. The situation will be recorded and signed by the two members of staff in the incident book.
  9. If a difficulty remains after a reasonable period of time or the staff have any other reason for concern then the Social Services Helpdesk number is:

Monday to Thursday: 9.00am – 5.00pm / Friday: 9.00am – 4.00pm 01392 384444
Outside of those hours (24 hrs): 0845 6000388 (emergencies only)

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Whistleblowing

St Leonard’s Preschool Whistle Blowing Policy and Procedure

Statement

St Leonard’s Preschool is committed to the highest possible standards of honesty, accountability and openness. In line with that commitment we encourage parents, employees and others with any serious concerns about any aspect of the settings

operations to come forward and voice those concerns. Obviously in certain cases we may have to proceed on a confidential basis. Any employee of the setting can follow this policy without any fears of reprisals. This Whistle Blowing Policy is in place to encourage and enable employees to raise serious concerns within the setting other than overlooking a problem or blowing the whistle outside. St Leonard’s Preschool staff have an individual responsibility and right to raise matters of concern regarding poor or insufficient practice at work. The staffs’ priority is well-being and safety of all children attending the setting. This takes priority over any loyalty towards work colleagues.

This policy is intended to :

  • Enable and encourage individuals to raise genuine and legitimate concerns.
  • To support staff to take an active role in the elimination of poor or insufficient practices.
  • Investigate any concerns raised appropriately and confidentially.
  • Ensure protection to those making the complaint against any form of retaliation or victimisation.

We have other policy and procedures in place to cover grievance and complaints. This Whistle Blowing Policy is intended to complement those. This policy will cover any concerns that fall outside the scope of the other policies.

The Chairperson and committee will act promptly and investigate thoroughly, all concerns raised in accordance with this policy, and appropriate action will be taken.

Confidentiality

The Management Committee will respect and protect a person’s identity when a concern is raised, however in certain circumstances identities will have to be revealed to the person complained against and the complainant may be asked to provide written evidence in support of the complaint. If a person’s identity is to be disclosed, he or she will be informed before the disclosure and given the reasons why this was necessary. Once a concern has been raised the Management committee will expect the complainant not to discuss the complaint. The complainant should not talk about it with any person, inside or outside the setting.

Anonymous complaints

If a complaint is made anonymously, these cases are a lot harder to investigate and hold less power. It is easier for us if people state their name and put any concerns in writing.

Procedures

Firstly and any concerns should be brought to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Officer/playleader Anne Dickinson . However, this may not always be appropriate. If this is the case concerns should be expressed to the Chairperson of the management committee, *Andrea Prescott or the committee Safeguarding champions * Katie Pearson/Eva Wooding

Concerns are better raised in writing. If you can include any background and history that would be names, dates, times and places wherever possible. State the reason for your concerns. Express your concerns early as it is easier to take action. If you do not wish to put your concerns in writing, the person to whom you are making the complaint will make a written record of the interview and you will be asked to sign to confirm accuracy of the notes. You will be required to demonstrate that there is sufficient grounds for your concerns. Although you will not be expected to prove the truth about your allegations.

Untrue Allegations

If an allegation is made in good faith but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against the complainant. However if an allegation is proved to be malicious and/or completely unfounded, action may be taken against the person responsible.

You must not under any circumstances :

  • Investigate the matter yourself.
  • Tell those you suspect to be involved.
  • Accuse or approach individuals.
  • Tell anyone other than the designated persons.

Within one week of the receipt of your concern, you will receive a written

acknowledgement of your concern, also a copy of the statement you had written.

The Chairperson / committee will investigate your concerns and within 2 weeks you will be informed of what action is being taken. You will be kept up to date on the progress of the investigation. Finally you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. If you are not happy with the outcome of the investigation you may elevate your concerns directly to :

Ofsted

  • Ofsted’s whistle blowing dedicated hotline (0300 1233155) was launched in

April 2009. It is staffed from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

  • Whistle blowing disclosures can also be submitted to Ofsted by email to the

Ofsted whistle blowing team (whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk) or by post to:

  • WBHL, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1-2WD.

Or Contact our Early Years Advisor

Alexa Gill on 01392 383000

Or the LADO  (01392) 384964 

This Whistle Blowing Policy was adopted at a meeting of St Leonard’s Preschool held on

Date:

Signed on behalf of the St Leonard’s Preschool Management Committee:

……………………………………………………..

Name: ……………………………………………

Role: ……………………………………………

To be reviewed on (date):

*contact details on the appendix sheet

Committee Safeguarding Champions

Katie Pearson

Email : katie.pearson269@gmail.com

Eva Wooding

Email:   evawooding@gmail.com

Chair of management Committee

Andrea Prescott

Tel 017969027115

Email : alprescott@icloud.com

Designated Safeguarding Officer – Anne Dickinson,108, Topsham Road, EX2 4RW

Mobile : 07803522862

Email : c.a.dickinson1456@gmail.co.uk

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