Safeguarding Children Policy Statement and Child Protection Procedures

Introduction

National Day Nurseries Association is a national charity, which aims to enhance the development and education of children in their early years, through the provision of support services to childcare providers and local authorities (LAs). NDNA is dedicated to the support and promotion of high-quality care and education for the benefit of children, families and communities and committed to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

NDNA works with childcare providers and other agencies to develop quality childcare services, which in turn will promote and safeguard children.
This policy and procedure sits within NDNA’s wider organisational policies and procedures, which govern the way in which we work with employees, trustees, associates/consultants, volunteers, partners and customers.

Trustees, associates/consultants, volunteers and partners shall be known as stakeholders for the purpose of this policy

NDNA is committed to ensuring that all staff and stakeholders have the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their duties and have a sufficient understanding of how this policy and procedure supports them in promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children. This will be done through the recruitment, induction and introduction process and by offering training and support to all staff and stakeholders. It will be monitored, internally, through staff reviews and appraisals to ensure knowledge and awareness is in place. This policy links to NDNA’s training, induction and recruitment policies and procedures.

Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP).

Purpose


This policy makes it clear that within NDNA, we all have a responsibility to safeguard children and young people, and to protect them from harm. These procedures aim to raise awareness of how to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Fulfilling Our Responsibilities – application of the policy


  • As part of our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children this document is underpinned by other organisational policies listed on the front cover of this policy with additional procedures that are listed below for stakeholders:

  • Code of Conduct for Trustees and Board Directors
  • NDNA Code of Conduct for Members
  • Terms and Conditions of Membership
  • Articles of Association
  • Associate/Consultant Agreement
  • Volunteer Agreement
  • And where relevant NDNA policies:
    • Data Protection/GDPR
    • Anti-harassment and Bullying
    • ICT Acceptable Use and Information Security Policies

All of these policies are reviewed regularly to ensure they are in line with current guidance and good practice. The safeguarding/child protection policy will be evaluated and reviewed annually and be subject to Board approval to ensure it remains in line with statutory guidance and relevant to the work of the organisation.

Staffing

Recruitment and Selection

Through the implementation of our recruitment and selection policy, we endeavor to prevent unsuitable people from taking posts by completing a number of checks. These include taking up references prior to employment, establishing the identity of applicants’ criminal records disclosure, and conducting enhanced DBS disclosures/Disclosure Scotland checks (where they fall under a requirement). We use specific criteria and processes during the recruitment and selection process that assist us in determining an individual’s suitability for the role.

Staff and apprentices/students/learners (on and off NDNA premises) under the age of 18
The UNCRC defines a child as everyone under the age of 18. NDNA has a responsibility to ensure all staff and learners under the age of 18 are protected, as per this policy.

Induction and Probationary Period for NDNA staff

As part of the induction process, and by the end of the probationary period, all new workers will receive basic training on the organisation’s safeguarding policy and child protection procedures so they have the necessary knowledge and skills to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Within the first week of their induction, all staff will receive a copy of this policy and procedures. It is the line manager’s responsibility to ensure that the new staff member understands it and is able to follow it. For staff not based at head office, it is the responsibility of the individual, and their line manager, within the first week of employment of NDNA, to ensure they also have the relevant knowledge of the Local Safeguarding Partners/Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) (England and Wales)/Child Protection Committee (Scotland) procedures within the area(s) they work in, as appropriate to their role. If contracts require staff to work locally, they should familiarise themselves with local arrangements and policies.

Induction for Stakeholders

As part of the introduction period, all new stakeholders will receive basic training on the organisation’s safeguarding policy and child protection procedures so they have the necessary knowledge and skills to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Stakeholder’s will receive a copy of this policy and will be required to sign up to it as part of their agreement to work with NDNA.

It is the stakeholder’s responsibility to ensure they also have the relevant knowledge of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)/Safeguarding Partners (England and Wales)/Child Protection Committee (Scotland) procedures within the area(s) they work in. If contracts require stakeholders to work locally, they should familiarise themselves with local arrangements and policies.

Training

Basic training on NDNA’s safeguarding policy and child protection procedures will be delivered to all staff on the commencement of their employment. All staff are required to undertake refresher training every two years to remain up to date with current legislation.

The dedicated safeguarding lead within NDNA will be required to retain their knowledge of child protection and undertake specialist training to ensure they are up to date with current and looming policy and legislation. This training will be cascaded to NDNA staff supporting members with safeguarding concerns.

NDNA’s Early Years Specialist staff, responsible for supporting staff, members and stakeholders with safeguarding concerns, will be required to attend four meetings per year with the DSP to up-date their knowledge.

It is the responsibility of NDNA to ensure that stakeholders work within this framework. If any child protection concerns are highlighted, these concerns must be raised following the steps outlined in this policy.

All stakeholders will be required to provide evidence that they have undertaken basic child protection training, and also evidence that they fully understand the NDNA policy and reporting procedure. Any stakeholders that are working in nurseries or working with NDNA safeguarding specialist materials will be required to have undertaken an advanced version of the child protection training.

All training materials will have the NDNA Head Office contact details on in order for staff and stakeholders to contact the NDNA if any concerns arise during working for or with NDNA, or if they have any concerns whilst on nursery premises.

Placement Providers

On occasions, NDNA deliver work placement programmes under funded contacts. In instances when employers working with NDNA take on learners from these programmes, they will be required to sign up to and adhere to this policy. It is the responsibility of NDNA to ensure that placement providers are familiar with and sign up to the NDNA Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy and agree to work within this framework. If there are any child protection concerns with the conduct of learners, these concerns must be raised following the steps outlined in this policy.

Learners on Placements or in Employment

It is the responsibility of NDNA to ensure that learners on placement or in employment are familiar with and sign up to the NDNA Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy and agree to work within this framework. The learners will receive basic child protection training prior to their entrance into the placement/employment setting which will cover this policy. If there are any child protection concerns relating to the placement (either for the children within their care of for learners falling under this policy), these concerns must be raised following the steps outlined in this policy.

If the learner/student is under the age of 18, it is important to remember they are still classed as a child and need to be safeguarded in the same way as any other child. We will conduct risk assessments (in their place of work) based on their age and needs to ensure their safety is maintained at NDNA/work placement and ensure their safety and wellbeing is supported throughout their employment/training by their manager.

If situations arise during employment/placement which highlights those under the age of 18 are at risk from abuse or neglect, we will act in the same manner as if this was a child in a setting. We will contact the appropriate bodies to ensure this individual is safeguarded.

If a student on placement raises a concern about the practice in the setting or about a staff member then this should be reported to the project support worker. The project support worker will follow the reporting guidelines set out in this policy.

If a student reports safeguarding concerns the project support worker will remove the student from the placement with immediate effect and follow project guidelines for sourcing a new placement.

Safeguarding Definitions

Definitions

For the purposes of this procedure, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children shall mean:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing the 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.

(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018’ National Guidance for Child Protection 2014’).

Child protection refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm and is an integral part of safeguarding children and promoting their overall welfare.

Definition of Significant Harm

The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as ‘the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children’. It gives local authorities (LAs) a duty to make enquires to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
Whilst there are no absolute criteria to rely on when judging what constitutes significant harm, consideration should be given to:

  • The severity of the ill-treatment, including the degree of harm
  • The extent and frequency of abuse and/or neglect
  • The impact this is likely to have or is having to the child/children involved

This may be a single traumatic event, e.g. a violent assault, suffocation or poisoning or it can be a combination of events, both acute and long-standing, that impairs the physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development of the child.

This may also be smaller instances that could be as serious. This may be children not being cared for in an appropriate manner e.g. (list is not exhaustive; however, these are items that may start to highlight concerns)

  • A child placed in danger due to unsatisfactory supervision
  • A child left all day in a dirty nappy
  • Insufficient fluids given resulting in a child being dehydrated
  • A child being treated badly, e.g. shouted at violently, pulled by their arm deliberately
  • Physical punishment in an early years setting or parental punishment that leaves a mark
  • Talking to a child in a downgrading manner (e.g. telling them they are stupid, worthless, etc.)
  • Children in unsuitable clothes for the weather (e.g. too many thick clothes for hot weather, too few and thin for the winter)
  • Not signing children in and out of buildings, logging visitors.

These may be an indicator that more is happening to this child or children so these also represent safeguarding concerns and you should use the same procedures mentioned later in the policy. If in any doubt, refer to the safeguarding designated lead for their decision making. Do not sit on this until it gets worse! If you have a concern but you are not sure if the concerns fall under safeguarding/child protection, you should immediately discuss this with the SDP.

Definition of Abuse and Neglect, and Possible Signs and Indicators

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution, or community setting by those known to them, or a stranger(s), (an adult or adults or another child or children).

Safety of a child is anything that keeps them safe from harm, e.g. supervision, safe rooms and equipment, safe adults caring for them (e.g. DBS/Disclosure Scotland checked).

Wellbeing includes ensuring the child has a clean nappy, enough to eat and drink, emotional care (cuddles, caring adults who take time to listen to children and respond), warmth and appropriate clothing, sun care (lotion and hats), etc. The lists are not definitive.

The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help indicate that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.

Indicators of child abuse

  • Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
  • Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
  • Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
  • Repeated injuries
  • Unaddressed illnesses or injuries
  • Significant changes to behaviour patterns

Softer signs of abuse as defined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Wetting and soiling
  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Withdrawing communication
  • Habitual body rocking
  • Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking
  • Over-friendliness towards strangers
  • Excessive clinginess
  • Persistently seeking attention

We are aware that peer on peer abuse does take place, so we include children in our policies when we talk about potential abusers. This may take the form of bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. We will report this in the same way as we do for adults abusing children, and will take advice from the appropriate bodies on this area.

Physical abuse

Action needs to be taken if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. These symptoms may include bruising or injuries in an area that is not usual for a child, e.g. fleshy parts of the arms and legs, back, wrists, ankles and face.

Many children will have cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries. These should also be logged and discussed with the nursery manager or room leader.

Children and babies may be abused physically through shaking or throwing. Other injuries may include burns or scalds. These are not usual childhood injuries and should always be logged and discussed with the nursery manager.

Female genital mutilation

This type of physical abuse is practiced as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved. This procedure may be carried out shortly after birth and during childhood as well as adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy and varies widely according to the community.
Symptoms may include bleeding, painful areas, acute urinary retention, urinary infection, wound infection, septicemia, incontinence, vaginal and pelvic infections with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physiological concerns. If you have concerns about a child relating to this area, you should contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. There is a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, we will ensure this is followed in our setting.

Breast Ironing

Breast ironing, also known as "breast flattening", is a process where young girls' breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage. Although this is unlikely to happen to children in the nursery due to their age, we will ensure any signs of this in young adults or older children are followed up using the usual safeguarding referral process.

Fabricated Illness

This is also a type of physical abuse. This is where a child is presented with an illness that is fabricated by the adult carer. The carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation. The signs may include a carer exaggerating a real illness or symptoms, complete fabrication of symptoms or inducing physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation, inappropriate diet. This may also be presented through false allegations of abuse or encouraging the child to appear disabled or ill to obtain unnecessary treatment or specialist support.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects in 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. It may include little or no contact or love given to the child from the abuser; this could also include a child being left with no stimulation or adult support for a sustained amount of time.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Signs and indicators may include:

  • Physical, mental and emotional development lags
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Overreaction to mistakes
  • Extreme fear of any new situation
  • Neurotic behaviour (rocking, hair twisting, self-mutilation)
  • Extremes of passivity or aggression

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include noncontact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

 Signs and indicators may include:

  • Being overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way inappropriate to the child's age
  • Medical problems such as chronic itching, pain in the genitals, venereal diseases
  • Other extreme reactions, such as depression, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, running away, overdoses, anorexia
  • Personality changes such as becoming insecure or clingy
  • Regressing to younger behaviour patterns such as thumb sucking or bringing out discarded cuddly toys
  • Sudden loss of appetite or compulsive eating
  • Being isolated or withdrawn
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well, such as not wanting to be alone with a carer
  • Becoming worried about clothing being removed
  • Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures or acting out actions inappropriate for their age
  • Using sexually explicit language.

We will be aware of the possibility of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and the signs and symptoms this may manifest as. If we have concerns we will follow the same procedures as for other concerns and we will record and refer as appropriate. As this mainly happens with older children we will have heightened awareness for members with out of school facilities.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 defines CSE as “…a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”

We will be aware of the possibility of CSE and the signs and symptoms this may manifest as. If we have concerns, we will follow the same procedures as for other concerns and we will record and refer as appropriate.

Signs and indicators may include:

  • Sudden changes in their appearance and wearing more revealing clothes
  • Becoming involved in drugs or alcohol, particularly if you suspect they are being supplied by older men or women
  • Becoming emotionally volatile (mood swings are common in all young people, but more severe changes could indicate that something is wrong)
  • Using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect them to know
  • Engaging less with their usual friends
  • Appearing controlled by their phone
  • Switching to a new screen when you come near the computer
  • Nightmares or sleeping problems
  • Running away, staying out overnight, missing school
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Talk of a new, older friend, boyfriend or girlfriend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Losing contact with family and friends or becoming secretive
  • Physical signs such as unexplained soreness or bruises around private areas.

County Lines

The National Crime Agency (NCA) describe county lines as ‘a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs. These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as 'deal lines', to take orders from drug users. Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are the most common drugs being supplied and ordered. In most instances, the users or customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment’. People involved in county lines are often subjected to physical, mental or sexual abuse.

Signs and indicators to be aware of include:

  • Changes in the way young people you might know dress
  • Unexplained, sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g. clothes, jewellery, cars etc.)
  • Missing from home or schools and/or significant decline in performance
  • New friends or relationships with those who don't share any mutual friendships with the victim or anyone else
  • May be carrying a weapon
  • Receiving more texts or calls than usual
  • Sudden influx of cash, clothes or mobile phones
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults
  • Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are
  • Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school
  • An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks.

Cuckooing 

Cuckooing is a form of county lines crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to criminally exploit them by using their home as a base for drug dealing, often in multi-occupancy or social housing properties.

Signs and indicators to be aware of include:

  • An increase in people entering or leaving a home or an increase in cars or bikes outside a home
  • A neighbour who hasn't been seen for an extended period
  • Windows covered or curtains closed for a long period
  • New faces appearing at the house or flat
  • New and regularly changing residents (e.g. different accents compared to local accent
  • Change in resident's mood and/or demeanour (e.g. secretive/ withdrawn/ aggressive/ emotional)
  • Substance misuse and/or drug paraphernalia
  • Increase in anti-social behaviour

Adult sexual exploitation

As part of our safeguarding procedures we will also ensure that staff and students are safeguarded from sexual exploitation.

Neglect

  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment 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 adequate food, clothing (e.g. shoes may be too small on a persistent basis) or shelter (including exclusion from the home or abandonment)
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

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

 Signs and indicators may include:

  • Constant hunger
  • Poor personal hygiene/nappies remaining unchanged for a significant period of time
  • Constant tiredness
  • Poor state of clothing or clothing such as shoes being too small/big and hurting the child when wearing them
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Compulsive scavenging
  • Destructive tendencies.

 There are also other dangers such as online grooming, cyber bullying, sexting, child sexual exploitation, forced marriages and honour based violence. These are rare within an early years setting but the SDP and other staff responsible for supporting members should be aware of these types of abuse and the procedures for reporting these.

Online Safety

NDNA is aware of the growth of internet and mobile device use and the advantages this can bring. However, it is also aware of the dangers and strives to support staff and stakeholders in working with children and families to use technology safely.

To ensure staff and stakeholders understand their responsibilities the induction/ introduction process to the organisation includes a thorough understanding of the policies listed on page 4.
In addition staff and stakeholders have access to online safety training which can be found at https://moodle.ndna.org.uk

Whilst regulation and technical solutions are very important, their use must be balanced by educating children to take a responsible approach. The education of children in online safety is therefore an essential part of safeguarding provision. Children need the help and support of the nursery to recognise and avoid online safety risks and build their resilience. We ensure staff and stakeholders working in settings are vigilant of any potential breaches with regards to safeguarding of children.

Online safety should be a focus when working externally and staff and stakeholders should reinforce e-safety messages when working with children.

Should staff or stakeholders have a concern they should report this through the DSP at NDNA and to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) London: National Crime Agency (NCA). For further information visit https://www.ceop.police.uk

Should staff or stakeholders receive emails with inappropriate content this will also be reported to the DSP who will report this to the internet watch foundation (IWF www.iwf.org.uk)

Prevent Duty – Risk of Radicalisation in Early Years

Early Years providers now have a duty to also safeguard at risk or vulnerable children under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

Even very young children may be vulnerable to radicalisation by others, whether in the family or outside, and display concerning behaviour. If a setting has concerns about a child in their care and contacts NDNA for advice, the call should be dealt with by the receiver in the same manner as any other safeguarding concern.

The DSP, or appropriate cover, will offer advice based on the seriousness of the concern and who this relates to; this may include supporting the setting to refer this to Channel or their local dedicated authority for further investigation or support.

For further information visit the government website.

For further details on concepts and definitions please see sources of information at the end of this document.

Whistleblowing

If staff, stakeholders, members and practitioners have any information relating to the safety of a child, whether this is a staff member, family, friend, neighbour etc. it is your duty as a human being to ensure this child is safe and well cared for. You may discuss this with the DSP at any time in the usual manner via a phone call.

If you feel a member of staff has not acted in an appropriate manner, or may be breaking the law, it is your duty to act on this, using the NDNA Whistleblowing procedures. If it relates to safeguarding, you MUST inform the DSP and HR in the same way as if the complaint had been received from an external source.

It is not your duty to judge and decide if this is true, you must refer this to the relevant authorities to make this judgement based on their expertise and thorough investigation of the facts.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality should not override the right of children to be protected from harm.

However, we will make every effort to ensure confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when an allegation has been made and is being investigated. The aim of this policy is to not only protect children, but also the staff and volunteers who have responsibility for them, or regular contact with them.

If you are in any doubt about whether you can disclose sensitive information to a third party please call the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113
They will advise you about the particulars relating to each individual case and provide you with the official line on what information you can share and what you can’t.

Data Storage

NDNA will follow the NDNA GDPR/Data Protection policy with regards to any information received from any individual. If the information relates to child protection, we store this in a secure manner. It is stored for 25 years in line with Government guidelines. All information will be stored securely together in one place and any investigating body will have access to all information stored in order to support the investigation. Only persons involved in the investigation should handle this information. Details relating to safeguarding will not be stored on NDNA’s IMiS system, but a reference will be made on the IMiS to the records/correspondence which will be stored in an area of the K drive and only authorised personnel will be able to access the files.

Backups of data are stored both offline and offsite. There is no auto-archiving of data in place and, should this be implemented, specific areas will be identified as not being subject to archiving.

 Persons having access to the restricted area on the shared drive are:

  • NDNA Designated Safeguarding Lead, Claire Hellen
  • NDNA Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person Lead, Fiona Bland
  • NDNA National Membership Manager, Halie Headley
  • NDNA Senior Management Team.

The IMiS reference will include who, within NDNA, to contact for details. If the nursery is involved in a child protection case, there will be a note placed on IMiS informing staff to contact the DSP or SMT member before contacting this nursery.

Part 2. Reporting Procedures

NDNA Designated Safeguarding Persons (DSP)

The DSP at NDNA has overall responsibility for the Safeguarding Children and Child Protection policy and procedures. It is their role to ensure that the policy and procedures are implemented to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. They are responsible for coordinating safeguarding and child protection training for staff across the organisation.

The Designated Safeguarding Person is Claire Nellen

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person is Fiona Bland

In the unlikely event of the DSP or Deputy DSP absence and to ensure immediate action can be taken, the following process should be used:

  1. Designated Safeguarding Person
    Claire Nellen
    Early Years Quality Manager
    01484 407070
  2. Deputy Designated Safeguarding Person
    Fiona Bland
    Early Years Advisor
    07837 485015
  3. Halie Ann Hadley
    National Membership Manager
    01484 407065
  4. A Member of SMT

The Role of the Designated Safeguarding Person.

  • The role of the DSP is to:

  • Monitor and update the Safeguarding Children and Child Protection policy and procedure in line with new legislation to ensure it is working well. This will be done by making sure that everyone understands the correct procedure to follow via individual annual review through NDNA on line HR portal
  • Ensuring updates and new legislation are reflected in NDNA services as soon as they emerge
  • Act as a source of support, advice and expertise for all staff, stakeholders, members, children and parents who have child protection concerns.
  • Ensure detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns and referrals
  • Review and reporting of all safeguarding written reports
  • Assess the information provided promptly, carefully and refer as appropriate to external agencies
  • Provide signposting to other organisations
  • Consult with statutory child protection agencies and regulatory bodies where required
  • Make a formal referral to statutory child protection agencies or the police
  • Annul reporting to the board of trustees on reportable incidents
  • Provide further support for members and NDNA staff following safeguarding/child protection cases
  • Ensure SMT and the Chief Executive are kept informed of any involvement in child protection cases.

It is also the role of the DSP to:

  • Keep up-to-date on good practice and national requirements for safeguarding and child protection
  • Provide information on safeguarding and child protection within NDNA
  • Advise NDNA of any safeguarding and child protection training needs, and implement where necessary
  • Retain up-to-date knowledge of the role of the local safeguarding arrangements/LSCB and the existence of local child protection procedures.

It is not the DSP’s role to decide whether or not a child has been abused or to investigate an allegation/disclosure. It is the responsibility of the DSP to ensure effective implementation of this policy. Investigation must be done by the appropriate authorities, usually the police and social services.

Support for NDNA Staff during Safeguarding Incidents

The DSP will support all staff throughout any of the processes listed above and will organise appropriate counselling should this be required.
If any member of staff or stakeholder has any concerns about the content of this policy and its procedures, they should speak to the SDP as soon as possible. If any member of staff wishes to talk confidentially about any safeguarding concern or any other issue relating to child protection or personal circumstance, it is important to do this as soon as this arises in order to receive the appropriate support mechanisms from NDNA.

Child Protection Procedures (For all staff and stakeholders)

All concerns that are reported to NDNA staff or stakeholders will be followed through, regardless of the nature of the concern and to whom the allegation relates. If you have any concerns during contact with members/stakeholders that relates to the safety of a child or young person up to the age of 18 (regardless of whether you feel this is malicious or not) you must follow the procedures laid out in this policy.

NDNA will always act on behalf of the child and will do everything possible to ensure the safety and welfare of any child, so will take all allegations of potential abuse seriously. This procedure should be followed if: for any reason you believe that a child is subject to welfare issues, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.

Keeping children safe is our highest priority and if, for whatever reason, you do not feel able to report concerns to the DSP or deputy DSP you should call the Local Authority Children’s social care team or the NSPCC and report any concerns anonymously or you can call the police if you believe a child is in imminent danger.

NDNA Safeguarding Reporting Procedure

The reporting procedure is for all staff and stakeholders working with external nurseries. This must be followed when any concerns are reported.

1. Staff or stakeholder receive information that reports/causes a safeguarding concer

2. Contact DSP immediately – this must be a verbal telephone call to ensure the concern is dealt with as quickly as possible

If the DSP is unavailable, then contact the next person on the Designated Safeguarding Persons contact list above until you are able to verbal speak to someone immediately you receive a call or have a concern.

Follow up your call with an email to the person you have reported to and if this is not the DSP copy them in to the email. The email must contain the contact details, outline of concern and any confidentiality issues to be aware of.

3. The DSP (or person dealing with the safeguarding report) will follow NDNA policy guidelines for contacting the reporting party to discuss the issues raised.

  • NDNA to contact the member setting and speak to DSP preferably and explain the concern that has been raised and agree with DSP/manager the actions that they will be taking
  • NDNA to ask the DSP/Member to come back to NDNA and explain the steps they have taken to resolve the concerns (including if applicable reporting to the appropriate regulatory bodies) within 24 hours
  • NDNA DSP to make a judgement call and if satisfied with the response from the member that reasonable actions have been taken, then there is no need to refer – full information must be recorded on the NDNA report
  • If the member does not come back to NDNA DSP or if the NDNA DSP still have concerns following the conversation, then this would be referred to the appropriate regulatory body.

If they are not NDNA members, the concern will be referred to the appropriate regulatory body as NDNA does not have the right to contact them

Dealing with reports from a parent/staff/stakeholder that reports a safeguarding issue

  • Advise them to speak with the manager/DSP in the nursery and raise concern
  • If parent is concerned they should refer to LSB
  • Tell parent we will be contacting the setting if they are a member
  • Follow the steps above

4. DSP will complete the NDNA written report form describing actions taken. If stakeholders are involved the DSP will request a report be completed within 5 days of the concern being raised. All reports will be stored securely to maintain confidentiality.

5.  If appropriate, the DSP will contact the regulatory body, Ofsted, CIW, Care Inspectorate, Children’s Social Care. A confirmation email will be requested by the NDNA DSP and attached alongside the NDNA DSP’s report.

6. If the concern is an allegation against a member of nursery staff this will always be reported, the LADO (England and Wales) or Care Inspectorate and the Child Protection Team (Scotland) will be informed.

A confirmation email will be requested by NDNA and attached alongside the DSP’s report.

If they were a member the DSP would contact the DSL/manager to inform them of any allegations made and advise them to initiate their own safeguarding procedure and advise we will be speaking to the appropriate regulatory body.

7. A member of SMT will review the written reports and actions taken/needed against the NDNA Safeguarding procedure to ensure the process has been applied in line with the policy.

If a concern is raised anonymously and we have no contact details we must assume the concern is valid and follow our procedures as above, contacting the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) (see below for details) to ensure data we share is appropriate to be shared without permission from the author. We will not make a judgement on whether this correspondence is malicious, all will be treated the same. A child may be in danger.

Allegation against a Member of NDNA Staff or Stakeholder

If an allegation is made against a member of staff or NDNA stakeholder, regardless of whether the allegation relates to work they are contracted to do for NDNA, we will follow the procedure below.

1. NDNA receive information that reports/causes a safeguarding concern involving an NDNA staff member or stakeholder
2. Contact DSP immediately – this must be a verbal telephone call to ensure the concern is dealt with as quickly as possible.

If the DSP is unavailable, then contact the next person on the Designated Safeguarding Persons contact list above until you are able to verbally speak to someone immediately after you receive a call or have a concern.

If the allegation refers to the DSP then you should report to a member of HR or SMT.

Follow up your call with an email to the person you have reported to and if this is not the DSP copy them in to the email. The email must contain the contact details, outline of concern and any confidentiality issues to be aware of.

3. The DSP (or deputy) will contact one of the following to discuss the reported concerns:

  • HR department
  • SMT

The DSP/HR/SMT will follow the staff/stakeholder allegation procedure as laid out in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Government document (2010) appendix 5.

NDNA will cooperate with the appropriate regulatory bodies during any investigation.

4. Once an allegation has been made against a member of staff/stakeholder the following action will be taken:

  • NDNA staff will be suspended whilst the allegation is investigated in line with the procedures set out within this policy and in the NDNA disciplinary policy and working within the guidance of ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Government document (2010) appendix 5.
  • NDNA Associates will be suspended in accordance with NDNA Associate Agreement and will follow procedures laid out in this policy and working within the guidance of ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Government document (2010) appendix 5.
  • If an allegation was made regarding an NDNA Trustees/Board Members, they will be asked to step down temporarily from the board pending the outcome as per NDNA Criteria and Eligibility for the Appointment of Trustees and Board Directors guidance. NDNA would follow this guidance and would work within the guidance of ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ Government document (2010) appendix 5.

If the member of staff/stakeholder resigns during the investigation NDNA will inform the Disclosure and Barring Service (England and Wales) or Disclosure Scotland and if necessary the appropriate regulatory body and may contact the Police, if appropriate.

DSP/HR will complete a written report describing the actions taken. If other stakeholders are involved the DSP will request a report be completed within 5 days of the concern being raised.  All reports will be stored securely to maintain confidentiality.

A member of SMT will review the written reports and actions taken/needed against the NDNA Safeguarding procedure to ensure the process has been applied in line with the policy.

5. If appropriate, the DSP will contact the regulatory body, Ofsted, CIW, Care Inspectorate, Children’s Social Care. A confirmation email will be requested by the NDNA DSP and attached alongside the NDNA DSP’s report.

Contact numbers for regulatory bodies:

  • England – Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
  • Scotland - Care Inspectorate: 0345 600 9527
  • Wales – CIW: 0300 7900 126

Contact details for Information Commissioners Office (ICO)

Online contact submission form
Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Legislation and Guidance

NDNA adheres to all current legislation and staff will work in the best interests of the child to ensure their welfare and safety. Listed below are current legislative acts and guidance relating to safeguarding.

  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • The Childcare Act 2006
  • Care Standards Act 2002 (Scotland)
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • The Children Act 1989 (England and Wales)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
  • The Police Act 1997
  • The Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Freedom of Information Act 2012
  • Working together to safeguard children, HM Government, 2018
  • Working together under the children act, Welsh Assembly Government, 2006
  • Caring for Young Children and the Vulnerable
  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000

The sources of information used in producing this policy and procedures are:

  • Statutory guidance in making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004
  • Working together to safeguard children - HM Government (2018) and previous versions 2015, 2013 and 2010 for the appendix relating to staff allegations
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
  • NSPCC – www.nspcc.org.uk
  • Kidscape www.kidscape.org.uk

We maintain records to ensure all staff and stakeholders have received the training they need. On reading this document if you need clarity of any points please speak to your line manager/NDNA contact.24

Appendix

Appendix 1. Responding to and Recording Disclosures

The NDNA has a wide breadth of roles in early years settings and local communities and staff working on the frontline may receive a safeguarding disclosure. To support frontline staff please see the guidance below for responding to and reporting disclosures of abuse. Responding to a child’s disclosure of abuse when out in the community (what to do and say).
  • Stay calm and listen carefully. Try not to look shocked
  • Find an appropriate opportunity to say that the information will need to be shared and do not promise to keep the information shared a secret
  • Allow the child to continue at their own pace
  • Only ask questions for clarification and avoid asking any questions that may suggest a particular answer
  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you and tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared. Reassure them that this is not their fault
  • Record this in writing using the child’s own words as soon as possible after the disclosure
  • Ensure that this includes the date and time, any names mentioned and to whom the information was given
  • Sign and date this before securely storing this record and referring this to the nursery manager and the DSP.

Recording a case of disclosure or suspicions of abuse when out in the community.

If you note a concern or one is disclosed to you, NDNA staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure (with support from the nursery manager) and include (wherever possible):

  • Child's name and address
  • Age of the child and date of birth
  • Setting name and address
  • Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
  • Exact words spoken by the child/parent/staff member and details of the concern using factual information
  • Exact observation of a child’s/adult’s actions
  • Exact injury or wound seen, including position and size
  • Name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time (including your details if a member of staff then relays the information to you).

This should then be discussed with the nursery manager and reported to the NDNA DSP or Deputy DSP. NDNA expects all members of staff and stakeholders, to co-operate with the Children’s Social Care/Child Protection team and Ofsted/CIW/Care Inspectorate, Police in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.