This policy sets out Stage Academy’s approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. It applies to all aspects of our work and to everyone working for Stage Academy, including permanent and temporary employees and self employed contractors. This policy sets out how Stage Academy will meet its statutory duty under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and help them to achieve good outcomes.
Stage Academy uses definitions of the term ‘safeguarding’ from statutory guidance.
Safeguarding children is defined in Working together to safeguard children as:
protecting children from maltreatment
preventing impairment of children’s health or development
ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Stage Academy is committed to ensuring children in our care are protected from maltreatment, harm and radicalisation. We believe everyone has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them. We will make sure that all children and young people have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
- Stage Academy ensure all staff members are aware of their duty to protect children in accordance with Working together to safeguard children (Department for Education, 2018).
- Stage Academy’s safeguarding policy and procedure forms part of the initial and ongoing training for all staff regardless or roles and responsibilities within the company.
- Stage Academy staff know it is not their responsibility to investigate possible safeguarding concerns.
- Stage Academy is dedicated to creating an environment where children and young people are comfortable about speaking out if anything is worrying them.
- It is the role of Stage Academy staff to highlight any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Officer or their deputy (should they be indisposed).
- Stage Academy’s Designated Safeguarding Officer is Andrew Howson.
- Stage Academy’s Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer is Mark Howson.
- It is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to take the lead in ensuring that appropriate arrangements for keeping children and young people safe are in place at Stage Academy, to promote the safety and welfare of children and young people involved in Stage Academy’s activities at all times, to receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about a child who takes part in Stage Academy’s activities and to take the lead on responding to information that may constitute a child protection concern.
- Stage Academy is committed to the regular review of its Safeguarding policy and procedures to ensure they remain appropriate and effective.
Responding to a disclosure of abuse
Children and young people may disclose abuse in a variety of ways which Stage Academy staff should be aware of, including:
- directly– making specific verbal statements about what’s happened to them
- indirectly – making ambiguous verbal statements which suggest something is wrong
- behaviourally – displaying behaviour that signals something is wrong (this may or may not be deliberate)
- non-verbally – writing letters, drawing pictures or trying to communicate in other ways.
Should a child make a disclosure of abuse to a member of Stage Academy staff that staff member should:
- Give their full attention to the child or young person and keep their body language open and encouraging. Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important.
- Respect pauses and don’t interrupt the child – let them go at their own pace.
- Make it clear they are interested in what the child is telling them.
- Only ask open questions.
If the Stage Academy staff member believes there is any cause for concern whatsoever they should report the disclosure to the Designated Safeguarding Officer using the following procedure:
- If a Stage Academy staff member raises a concern they must contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.
- The staff member should use the “Safeguarding Disclosure” form to make a full written record of the disclosure as soon as possible. The “Safeguarding Disclosure” form will be stored securely until passed onto the relevant agency.
- The “Safeguarding Disclosure” form must include: the time and date of the disclosure, the time and date of full written record, a factual outline of the disclosure both verbal and physical (including body language).
- Further to this Stage Academy will keep a written record of all discussions and actions related to the disclosure, regardless of the outcome, along with the reasons for actions taken.
- Stage Academy staff have a duty to share information regarding concerns only with the relevant people. Staff should otherwise keep this information private and confidential.
Recognising Signs Of Abuse
It can be very hard for children and young people to speak out about abuse. Stage Academy staff have a duty to recognise and respond to signs of abuse which can include:
- regular flinching in response to sudden but harmless actions
- showing an inexplicable fear of particular places or people
- knowledge of ‘adult issues’ for example alcohol, drugs and/or sexual behaviour
- angry outbursts or behaving aggressively towards other children, adults, animals or toys
- becoming withdrawn or appearing anxious, clingy or depressed
- bruises on the cheeks, ears, palms, arms and feet
- bruises on the back, buttocks, tummy, hips and backs of legs
- any burns which have a clear shape of an object
- children who appear dirty or smelly and whose clothes are unwashed or inadequate for the weather conditions
- children with poor language, communication or social skills for their stage of development
Should a member of staff believe they have recognised signs of abuse in a child or young person, or indeed have any concern for a child’s wellbeing, they should report their concerns immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer. If necessary the Designated Safeguarding Officer will ask the staff member to make a written record of their concerns using the “Cause for Concern” or “Safeguarding Disclosure” form as appropriate and take action in accordance with the Stage Academy safeguarding policy and procedures.
If a child is deemed to be in immediate danger call the police on 999.
Where possible, following a discussion with the staff member who raised the concerns, the Designated Safeguarding Officer or their deputy will decide wether it is necessary to refer the concern. Should there be any doubt as to wether the concerns meet the threshold for referral to child protection services, the Designated Safeguarding Officer or their deputy may discuss the case on a “no-names” basis with the relevant local authorities child protection team.
Should it be deemed necessary to refer the concern the Designated Safeguarding Officer will contact the Social Care Department in the local authority of the child’s home address.
If a member of staff has a safeguarding concern about another member of Stage Academy staff they should contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Stage Academy Safeguarding Contacts
Designated Safeguarding Officer
(First point of contact)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer
(Should the Designated Safeguarding Officer be indisposed)