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Policies

Admissions Criteria

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

The pre-school 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 St Leonard’s Primary School (SLPS) catchment area as defined by Devon County Council Admissions Team (to check please visitwww.devon.gov.uk/schoolareamaps or for further information contact 0845 155 1019 or admissions@devon.gov.uk explaining that you wish to know whether you are in the catchment for SLPS)
  • Who have had their third birthday
  • With additional/social/medical needs
  • With siblings attending SLPS

Admissions happen throughout the year and are accepted on a case by case basis. Therefore children who will be going to school the following September will be given high priority. If you are in any doubt please contact us

We are registered for up to 24 children in each of our sessions, with four spaces reserved for use by the Academy, in line with our lease agreement.

For further information please contact the Pre-school leader, Anne Dickinson (c.a.dickinson@blueyonder.co.uk)

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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

We believe that 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:

  • Parents can discuss any concerns or worries with the pre-school leader or deputy.
  • Parents can raise the issue in writing, by e-mail, by phone or in person.
  • 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.
  • The chairperson/ some of the committee will be notified. A Pre-School Learning Alliance Development Worker or other person of the parent’s choice can be involved as a mediator at this stage.

The timescale for this process from inception to conclusion will be 4-6 working weeks.

Parents can contact Ofsted directly at any time if they wish to on any matter of concern.

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Confidentiality policy

Staff are expected to keep all information about children and families confidential. This will be explained to them at interview and during their induction. 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.

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

Children’s records of achievement are available for staff, children or parents/carers to look at or add to. Parents/carers are respectfully asked by a clearly displayed notice to only look at their own child’s record.

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.

Record keeping policy

Records are kept about children and their progress while at preschool. These take the form of observations by staff linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2012) in the areas of learning –

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication, Language

  • Physical Development

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts

Photographs or video clips may also be taken to record progress and significant achievements. These records will be explained to parents/ carers when their child starts at preschool and are available to parents/ carers at all times. Parents/ carers are encouraged to contribute to them to assist practitioners in caring and providing for the child. 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.

Reviewed 6/8/14

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E-safety policy

See also: Acceptable Use Policy

This policy serves to raise awareness of the correct procedures to ensure safe and secure use of ICT, mobile phones, cameras and online technology.  It is responsibility of the designated safeguarding officer to ensure that the policy and procedures for e safety are observed.

  • Our designated safeguarding officer is: Anne Dickinson

This policy applies to all staff, children, parents/carers,  and committee members. This includes the use of personal devices by all of the above mentioned groups, such as mobile phones/ tablets which are brought into the setting.

This policy covers use of the internet (social networking sites), emails, storage of documents including photographs, cameras and mobile phones.

The e-safety policy is reviewed each year to ensure that the policy is adequate and appropriate, in line with latest developments in technology and IT.  Our E-safety policy has been based on guidelines issued by Devon County Council for the writing of an Online Safety Policy

Procedures

Staff Responsibility

Practitioners (including volunteers)

Guidance for staff online safety may be found at http://www.devonsafeguardingchildren.org/workers-volunteers/your-online-safety/

Use of Email

  • Pre-school staff can be provided with a professional email account to use for setting related matters.  This account can be used for communication with parents and carers.  This is in preference to a personal email account.  If a personal email account is used, it must belong to the staff member and not another family member.
  • Use of a professional email address will allow emails to be monitored and protects our staff from risk of allegation, malicious emails or unprofessional communications with families.
  • Staff must not send personal communications to children who they have professional responsibility for.
  • Emails should be professional in tone and be checked carefully before sending.

Use of Social Networking Sites – Staff

Where staff use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, a professional attitude is requested and care must be taken, due to public nature of such sites and the impossibility of keeping content entirely private.

Regarding staff use of social networking:

  • Discussions regarding work should never be held on social networking sites. Staff will not bring the setting into disrepute.  Allegations of unprofessional conduct by staff on social networking sites may result in disciplinary action being taken.
  • Staff should not discuss confidential information regarding other staff members, children or families
  • For safeguarding purposes, photographs or videos of looked after children must never be shared on social networking sites.
  • Staff consider carefully any requests from setting parents/carers to befriend them on social networking sites.  It is strongly recommended that staff avoid this course of action, keeping professional and personal life separate.
  • Staff must ensure that that any content is appropriate, including photos and language used.  Be mindful of how social conduct may be seen by others and how this could affect a professional reputation.  Only post photographs that are respectable.

Use of social networking sites – Parents:

  • Parents/carers are strongly requested not to invite staff members to be friends on social networking sites.
  • Parents/carers are strongly requested not to discuss preschool business on any network site. Any issues should be discussed in person with preschool staff or a committee member.
  • Preschool requests in the strongest terms that parents and carers do not place photos taken at any preschool events on any social network site.

Use of social networking sites -Pre-School

St Leonards Preschool has a facebook page, the pages do not feature any children’s photos or use the name of any child.  The facebook page is used for information and announcements.

Use of mobile phones and cameras

Personal mobile phones

  • St Leonards allow staff to bring in mobile phones for their own personal use.  However, they must be placed on the top shelf of the open filing shelves by the main door or kept in their bags in the staff area beyond the kitchen door. If staff need to take or make an emergency call they must make it by the main door in view of the session lead or in the kitchen, with the permission of the session  lead (no children to be present in the kitchen at the time).
  • It is the responsibility of each staff member to ensure there is no inappropriate content on their device.
  • Mobile phones MAY NOT be used to take photographs anywhere within the preschool or grounds.
  • Staff may only contact parents on the preschool mobile except in exceptional circumstances  (eg setting phone not working)
  • If members of staff or volunteers take their own mobile phones on outings, for use in the case of an emergency, they must not make or receive personal calls as this will distract them.
  • Our staff and volunteers will not use their personal mobile phones for taking photographs of children on outings.
  • Parents and visitors are requested not to use their mobile phones whilst on the premises. We make an exception if a visitor’s company or organisation operates a lone working policy that requires contact with their office periodically throughout the day. Visitors will be advised of a quiet space where they can use their mobile phone, where there are no children present.

Pre-School Mobile phone

The pre-school phone is taken off premises only during a preschool trip, at which time it is in the safe keeping of Anne Dickinson, the Pre School leader.

Parental contacts are not stored in the phone.

Text messages/voicemails are checked and deleted regularly.

Cameras and videos

  • Our staff and volunteers must not bring their own cameras or video recorders into the setting.
  • Photographs and recordings of children are only taken for valid reasons, i.e. to record their learning and development, or for displays within the setting whilst children are present.
  • Photographs or recordings of children are only taken on equipment belonging to the setting.
  • Camera and video use is monitored by our play leader.

Photographs and recordings of children are only taken of children if parents provide written permission to do so (found on the individual child’s Registration Form).  Consent must be requested because an image of a child is considered to be personal data, under the Data Protection Act 1998.  Consent must be obtained as a requirement of the Act.

Use and storage of images

The Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding (SDPS) is responsible for ensuring acceptable, safe use and storage of all camera technology and images.

All images will be used in a manner respectful of the eight Data Protection Principles.

This means that images will be:

  • fairly and lawfully processed
  • processed for limited, specifically stated purposes only
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate and up to date
  • kept on file for no longer than is necessary
  • processed in line with an individual’s legal rights
  • kept securely
  • adequately protected if transferred to other countries.

Images of children who have left preschool  will not be used, unless specific consent has been obtained from the parent/carer. Generally consent to use images will lapse when a child leaves preschool.

Images will not be kept for longer than deemed necessary. The Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding is to ensure all photographs are to be permanently wiped from memory cards, computer hard and portable drives or other relevant devices once the images will no longer be of use.

“St Leonards Preschool is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children , young children and adults at all times and expects everybody working within this setting to share this commitment”

Legal framework

Data Protection Act 1998

Further guidance

South West Grid for Learning  Online Safety resources: http://www.swgfl.org.uk/products-services/Online-Safety-Services/E-Safety-Resources/E-Safety-Resources

Devon Children’s Local Safeguarding Board: http://www.devonsafeguardingchildren.org/

Child Exploitation and Online Protection at www.ceop.gov.uk

Devon County Council  www.devon.gov.uk/text/online_safety_policy-2.pdf

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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Emergency plan

The aim of this emergency plan is to describe how we will respond to an emergency to save lives and minimise the risk of injury to members of the community in the event of a potential or actual life-threatening emergency.

The objectives of the setting emergency plan are:

  • To describe the setting layout in detail
  • To identify key personnel and critical contact details
  • To identify possible hazards and identify appropriate strategies for managing the response
  • To identify possible triggers for the implementation of the plan
  • To identify training needs to identify a planned audit and review process.

Person responsible for updating this plan: Angeline Taylor

Review due: September 2018

Building owner: Exeter Academy for Deaf Education | 01392 267065

Committee member: Angeline Taylor

Supervisor: Anne Dickinson

Critical contact information (Name & 24/7 contact details): Anne Dickinson |  07803522862, Anne Holding | 01392 437442 / 07484122104

Plan Activation – The plan will be activated under the following circumstances:

  • On activation of the fire alarm
  • On being informed of a bomb threat
  • On being informed of an external threat
  • On being informed of an intruder within the setting
  • On being informed of a sudden illness in the setting
  • If on school site – on receipt of information that the head teacher considers their plan to be activated.

Number of staff employed: 13

URN number and number of registered children: 30 m/f numbers differ

Are accurate names, addresses and telephone numbers held for staff, committee, volunteers and children? Yes

Contact details last updated: Ongoing

Person responsible for updating the contact details: Anne Dickinson

How will parents be kept informed of setting closures and re-openings? 

  • Tapestry
  • Facebook
  • Parent mail
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Letter if necessary

The following addresses/ contact details of important local institutions in the neighbourhood:

  • Police station: 08452777444
  • Fire & Rescue Station: 01392 872200
  • Hospital / GP surgery: 01392 411611
  • Other: 999

Who holds copies of the emergency plan?

  • Preschool
  • Anne Dickinson
  • Anne Holding

Are contact details for outside agencies including the LA current and readily available?

  • Early years and Childcare Advisers
  • Insurance companies | 02076972585 member no. 10971
  • Regional & Inspection Support Advisor | 0800 0563666

State the location of the follow, it may be useful to attach a site plan to this plan:

  • Water cut off valve: Under the kitchen sink
  • Gas mains valve: In the garage
  • Electric meter: In the garage

What are the pre-planned arrangements for the following:

Remember that Ofsted will need to be informed of any changes to the premises that affect the space available to children of the quality of the care available to them

Evacuation routes

  • Patio door
  • Kitchen door
  • Front door

Assembly points Shaw House Car park

Disabled evacuation routes As the emergency drill procedure

Loss of premises Close and sort out alternative premises

Loss of water supply Close and find temporary water supply

Loss of electric supply Contact ERADE

Loss of gas supply Contact landlords ERADE

Deliberate act of damage Assess damage

Bomb threat or act of terrorism Vacate premises and follow police advice

Death or serious injury at setting or on an outing Close and make an investigation in line with Riddor and Ofsted regulations

Large cluster of localised human to human viral infection likely epidemic Contact HSE

Pre-school arrangements for the following severe weather events:

  • Flooding n/a
  • Heat wave Stay in shade
  • Snow Landlords responsibility supplies of salt and maintaining pathways

Arrangements for the management of young people and staff involved in visits and of site activities

Off-site visits information Full risk assessment undertaken contact details of all children to be taken at all times.

Pre-planned arrangements for safeguarding children and adults at risk during an emergency

All children
Make an assessment below of any other identified potential emergencies of specific hazards which pose a particular risk to your setting and plan how you will deal with incident arising from them

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Health and safety policy

This is the Healthy & Safety Policy Statement of St Leonard’s Pre-School. Also available to download.

Our Statement of general policy is:

  • To provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from our work activities;
  • To consult with our employees on matters affecting their health and safety;
  • To provide and maintain safe plant and equipment;
  • To ensure safe handling and use of substances;
  • To provide information, instruction and supervision

For employees;

To ensure all employees are competent to do their tasks and to give them adequate training;

To prevent accidents and cases of work-related ill health;

To maintain safe and healthy working conditions;

To review and revise this policy as necessary at regular intervals

Signed

Date

Review date

Responsibilities

Overall and final responsibility for the health and safety of the pre-school building and plant is that of

  • The Royal Academy for Deaf Education, 50 Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4NF

Overall and final responsibility for the health and safety of St Leonard’s Pre-school is that of

  • St Leonard’s Pre-school Management Committee

Day to day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practice is delegated to

  • Anne Holding

All employees and parent volunteers have to:

  • Co-operate with supervisors and managers on health and safety matters;
  • Not interfere with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety;
  • Take reasonable care of their own health and Safety;
  • Report all health and safety concerns to an appropriate person (as detailed in this policy statement)

Health and safety risks arising from our work activities

  • Risk assessments will be undertaken by: Anne Holing and committee member Angeline Taylor.
  • The findings of the risk assessments will be reported to: St Leonards Pre-School committee.
  • Action required to remove/control risks will be approved by: St Leonards Pre-School committee.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for ensuring that action required is implemented.
  • Anne Holding will check that the implemented actions have removed/reduced the risks.
  • Assessments will be reviewed every year or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest.

Consultation with employees

  • Employee representative is Anne Holding.
  • Consultation with employees is provided at staff meetings held every half term, and at committee meetings, if issues arise.

Safe Plant and Equipment

  • Anne Holding will be responsible for identifying all pre-school equipment needing maintenance.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for ensuring effective maintenance procedures are drawn up for pre-school equipment.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for ensuring that all identified maintenance is implemented for pre-school equipment
  • Any problems found with pre-school plant/equipment should be reported to Anne Dickinson.
  • Anne Dickinson will check that new plant and equipment for pre-school meets health and safety standards before it is purchased.
  • Anne Dickinson will be responsible for reporting plant, structure or equipment failings to Rachel Carter (Academy Health and Safety) where they are deemed responsible for such plant, structure or equipment.

Safe handling and use of substances

  • Anne Holding will be responsible for identifying all substances which need a COSHH assessment.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for undertaking COSHH assessments.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for ensuring that all actions identified in assessments are implemented.
  • Anne Holding will be responsible for ensuring that all relevant employees are informed about COSHH assessments.
  • Anne Dickinson will check that new substances can be used safely before they are purchased.
  • Assessments will be reviewed every term or when the work activity changes, whichever is soonest.

Information, Instruction and Supervision

  • The ‘Healthy and Safety Law poster’ is displayed on the wall in the pre-school kitchen.
  • Healthy and safety advice is available from committee member (Health and Safety) Angeline Taylor.
  • Supervision of young workers/trainees will be undertaken by Anne Dickinson and Anne Holding.

Competency for tasks and training

  • Induction training will be provided for all employees and parent volunteers by Anne Holding.
  • Job specific training will be provided by Anne Dickinson.
  • Specific training required for all relevant staff is:
  1. First Aid
  2. Manual Handling training (when necessary)
  • Training records are kept by Anne Dickinson.
  • Training will be identified, arranged and monitored by Anne Dickinson.

Accidents, First Aid and Related Ill Health

  • The first aid boxes are kept in the kitchen.
  • A spill kit is kept in the children’s toilet, next to the first aid box.
  • The appointed persons/first aiders are:

1. Anne Holding

2. Anne Dickinson

3. Lyn Clotworthy

4. Karen Lord

5. Jo Totterpell

6. Nicky Chadwick

  • All accidents and cases of work-related ill health are to be recorded in the accident book.  This is kept by Anne Dickinson and reviewed by Anne Dickinson and committee member Angeline Taylor.
  • Anne Dickinson/committee member is responsible for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority.

Monitoring

  • To check working conditions and ensure safe work practices are being followed, Anne Dickinson and Anne Holding will:

1. Perform spot checks randomly

2. Regularly check accident book

3. Investigate accidents

  • Anne Dickinson is responsible for investigating accidents.
  • Anne Dickinson is responsible for investigating work-related causes of sickness absences.
  • Anne Dickinson is responsible for acting on investigation findings to prevent a recurrence.

Emergency Procedures – Fire and Evacuation

  • Anne Holding is responsible for ensuring the fire risk assessment is undertaken and implemented.
  • Escape routes are checked by Anne Holding and Anne Dickinson – Every morning.
  • Fire Extinguishers are maintained and checked as arranged by the Academy.
  • Emergency lighting is maintained and checked as arranged by the Academy.
  • Smoke detectors are tested by Anne Holding – Every month.
  • Fire bells are tested weekly (on a Monday) by the Academy.
  • Emergency evacuation will be tested every half term for each session during the week.  In addition pre-school will take part in the emergency evacuation arranged by the Academy.

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) – Anne Dickinson

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 Anne Dickinson.

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

Purpose and Aims

The purpose of St Leonard’s Preschool  safeguarding 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, committee, 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 enable 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 Leonard’s Preschool is considered everyone’s responsibility and as such our setting aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. St Leonard’s Preschool recognizes the contribution it can make in ensuring that all children registered or who use our setting feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We will do this by working in partnership with other agencies in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2015 1and 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.

Responsibilities and expectations

St Leonard’s Preschool has a committee whose legal responsibility it is to make sure that the setting has an effective safeguarding policy and procedures in place and monitors that the setting complies with them.

The committee should also ensure the following:-

  • that the safeguarding  policy is made available to parents and carers if requested.
  • 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 on line 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 Safeguarding Children’s Board ‘Prevent’ 2  policies, protocols  and procedures and ensuring the  Fundamental British Values are implemented as stated in the EYFS.
  • a Safeguarding Designated Officer (SDO)  is appointed who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our setting. The Safeguarding Designated Officer is Anne Dickinson. If they are not available then contact the Deputy Safeguarding Designated officer is Anne Holding (This  person can also be contacted with any safeguarding concerns).
  • Identify the Named Member of the Committee for Safeguarding is Helen Diatz

The responsibilities for the Safeguarding Designated Officer (SDO) are:-

  • to ensure that all safeguarding issues raised in setting are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency.
  •  Be responsible for arranging the whole settings safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers who work with the  children and young people. The SDO must ensure that the whole settings safeguarding training takes place at least every three years; 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 Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
  • 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 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 polices and procedures. This includes the on-line Safety Policy which includes Camera & Image Policy, Mobile Phone Policy, Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Interrupting and implementing the Fundamental British Vales.

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 Safeguarding Designated Officer.

All Adults, including the SDO, 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 Designated Person in the first instance. 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 affect on those who are party to it, as well as the child subjected to the actual abuse, and in itself will have a significant impact on the health and emotional well-being of the child. Abuse can take place in any family, institution or community setting, by telephone or on the internet. Abuse can often be difficult to recognise as children may behave differently or seem unhappy for many reasons, as they move through the stages of childhood or their family circumstances change. However, it is important to know the indicators of abuse and to be alert to the need to consult further.

Physical Abuse

This can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, punching, kicking, scalding, burning, drowning and suffocating. It can also result when a parent or carer deliberately causes the ill health of a child in order to seek attention through fabricated or induced illness. This was previously known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse is where a child’s need for love, security, recognition and praise is not met. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of someone else such as in Domestic Violence or Domestic Abuse. A parent, carer or authority figure is considered emotionally abusive when they are consistently hostile, rejecting, threatening or undermining toward a child or other family member. It can also occur when children are prevented from having social contact with others or if inappropriate expectations are placed upon them. Symptoms that indicate emotional abuse include:

  • Excessively clingy or attention seeking.
  • Very low self-esteem or excessive self-criticism.
  • Withdrawn behaviour or fearfulness.
  • Lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers; too eager to please.
  • Eating disorders or self-harm

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This may include physical contact both penetrative and non-penetrative, or viewing pornographic material including through the use of the internet. Indicators of sexual abuse include: allegations or disclosures, genital soreness, injuries or disclosure, sexually transmitted diseases, inappropriate sexualized behaviour including words, play or drawing.

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of abuse of which involves children (male and female, of different ethnic origins and of different ages) receiving something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) in exchange for sexual activity. It can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs which can significantly harm their health and development. Neglect can include inadequate supervision (being left alone for long periods of time), lack of stimulation, social contact or education, lack of appropriate food, shelter, appropriate clothing for conditions and medical attention and treatment when necessary.

What to do if you are concerned

If a child makes an 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.
  • 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 Safeguarding Designated Officer. Where those concerns relate to the Safeguarding Designated Officer however, this should be reported to the Chair of Committee using the settings ‘Whistle blowing’ policy.

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 SDO who will advise the Chair of Committee In the case of the allegation being made against the SDO this will be brought to the immediate attention of the Chair of Committee. The SDO/ Chair of Committee 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 Committee 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 3where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations being founded.

A copy of “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused, Advice for Practitioners 3” booklet is kept with this policy.  This sets out the guidelines on dealing with incidents, disclosures and the procedures that must be followed.

Training

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

Our Safeguarding Designated Officer will undertake further safeguarding training, Group 3 DSCB Multi-agency Safeguarding course or Group 3 Refresher Courses, in addition to the whole setting training. 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 SDO 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 Committee will have access to safeguarding training and our Named Committee member 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 a annual basis to our Committee 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 Leonard’s 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 of 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.

There may also be other safeguarding issues that are specific to the local area or population’

Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education DfES 2007

This policy will cross reference to related setting policies and other protocol: (Suggested list of policies please amend as appropriate to the setting)

Behaviour                                                        Adopted

(Including guidance on positive-handling)

Confidentiality                                                 Adopted:

Attendance                                                      Adopted:

E-Safety Policy                                              Adopted:

  • Camera & Image Policy                                 Adopted:
  • Mobile Phone Policy                                      Adopted:
  • Acceptable Use Policy                                   Adopted:

Health and Safety                                           Adopted:

Equality and Diverisity                                    Adopted:

Whistle Blowing                                               Adopted:

Safe Recruitment                                           Adopted:

Information Sharing                                        Adopted:

Legislation relating to this policy:

  • Children Act 1989, 2004
  • Education Act 1996, 2002 (Section 175)
  • School Standards and Framework act 1998
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015
  • Every Child Matters 2003
  • Statutory Framework  for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015
  • The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015

Manuals kept in setting:

  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Approved Chair of Committee , March 2017

 

For further information regarding any child protection procedure, please consult

www.swcpp.org.uk

Useful Contacts:

Devon Safeguarding Childrens Board www.devonsafeguardingchildren.org

South West Child Protection Procedures www.swcpp.org.uk

Devon Early Years and Childcare Service www.devon.gov.uk/eycs

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency www.ceop.org.uk

NSPCC Safe (Safe Activities for Everyone) Network www.safenetwork.org.uk

 

CYPS area contact numbers:

(9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am – 4pm Friday)

 

Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0345 155 1071

email: mashsecure@devon.gcsx.gov.uk

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

 

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

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 Social Care referral.  The numbers are:

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

Melissa Filby – Locality Manager for Northern Devon                              01392 383000

Susan Bolt  – Locality Manager for South West Devon                             01392 383000

DSCB

Head of Safeguarding:  01392 386091

DSCB Office:  Christina Ashforth                      01392 383000

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

Allegations against staff Referral Co-ordinator  01392 384964

Devon’s Domestic Abuse Helpline 0345 155 1074

 Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub – MASH

  • Manages contacts and referrals received from any source (usually CYPS and Police 121A reports)
  • Develops a document recording the concern information and all other available information in the Hubs within agreed timescales and an Early Years and Families manager makes an informed decision using all of the available information.
  • Develops concern information into an Early Years and Families referral if  services are required under section 17 or section 47 of The Children Act 1989
  • Liaises with the Early Response Service for children and young people who need services but do not meet The Children Act 1989 threshold
  • Provides consultation to agency referrers about thresholds, appropriate action to be undertaken and services.

The Hub 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’.

A copy of the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) Factsheet for Parentsavailable for you to look at OR please go to http://www.devon.gov.uk/mashparentsfactsheet. pdf for a copy of the MASH Factsheet for Parents”

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 Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority.

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 at www.swcpp.org.uk  (Direct links to the policies listed below are included where available).

Some members of our communities hold beliefs that may be common within particular cultures but which are against the law of England. St Leonard’s Preschool does not condone practices that are illegal and which are harmful to children. Examples of particular practices are:

Child Exploitation and 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 Leonard’s 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 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.

Forced Marriage

St Leonard’s Preschool does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent.

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.

Genital mutilation/female circumcision

This is against the law,  yet for some communities it is considered a religious act and cultural requirement. It is illegal for someone to arrange for a child to go abroad with the intention of having her circumcised. If any of the above areas of concern is brought to the attention of St Leonard’s Preschool we will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.

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.

Safeguarding Disabled Children

Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children.

Disabled children do however require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks and ‘created vulnerability’ as a result of negative attitudes about disabled children and unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/ or communication impairment (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009)  St Leonard’s Preschool will ensure that our disabled children are listen too and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse of a child.

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. At St Leonard’s Preschool 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 St Leonard’s Preschool 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 St Leonard’s Preschool is 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 St Leonard’s Preschool 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 at St Leonard’s Preschool 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 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, Emma Williamson or the committee Safeguarding champion Becka Walker.

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

Pat Harratt on 01392 385538

Or the LADO  (01392) 384964
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