Child Protection Policy
At BICC we truly believe that your children are our children too. Other than being educators, we are leaders, listeners, painters, cleaners, referees, medics, gamers, art projects, story tellers and whatever else the children decide we will be on any given day. Our teachers and staff are determined to bring out the best in your children but more than this they will endeavour to protect them fiercely.
Although there is no manual on how to educate and raise children, we must ensure that we have procedures and guidelines in place to guarantee that everyone is aware of our basic principles and rules when it comes to ‘our’ children. This Child Protection Policy will outline our aims and commitment towards providing a safe and secure environment for our children, staff and visitors. BICC’s aim is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children by protecting them from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. It is our intention to work closely with parents in order to maintain an open channel of communication; in turn this will ensure that both parties develop a good sense of approachability.
We are determined to have a strong team of staff. Our high calibre teachers and other staff members are not only well educated and experienced but they are also passionate, conscientious and dedicated. Our team represent our school ethos and existence. It is for this reason; we have conducted relevant background checks and all employees have undergone multiple and rigorous interviews prior to being employed.
Safeguarding children involves more than protecting children from abuse, and the School recognises its responsibilities to respond to all concerns about children, whether of a safeguarding nature or not. The pastoral team at BICC will be informed of any concerns that are not judged to indicate that a child is ‘at risk’ or ‘in need’, to ensure that the needs of the child can be met.
Compliance With British Law
As a leading British School in Egypt, we have implemented safeguards in compliance with British law. BICC’s Child Protection Policy draws upon duties conferred by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, The Children and Families Act 2014, S175 of the 2002 Education Act, the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the guidance contained in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2015), the DfE’s statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2015), Ofsted Guidance and the procedures produced by the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and the Southwark Safeguarding Children Board (SSCB). The school is also guided by the standards for Independent Schools as set out in The Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2014 (ISSRs) and by the Boarding Schools National Minimum Standards, Standard 11 (updated 2015). The policy is applicable to all on and off-site activities undertaken by pupils whilst they are the responsibility of the School.
Our Procedures and Commitment
Each and every member of the BICC team carries a responsibility towards safeguarding our students, furthermore to provide and maintain a comfortable and safe atmosphere which will encourage and enhance learning. All adults employed at BICC (including visiting staff, volunteers) will work to ensure they are aware of the system in place to support safeguarding.
If any members of BICC staff are concerned or made aware of an allegation of abuse, neglect or maltreatment, he/she has a duty to follow up on the case in reference with appropriate guidelines. The guidelines include the following;
- To listen to the child and provide reassurance.
- To accurately record the child’s statement.
- To take the child seriously and remain calm and attentive.
- Not to probe, ask leading questions or to ‘put words in the child’s mouth’.
- Acknowledge the issue but limit questions to the minimum necessary for clarification.
- No guarantees of confidentiality should be given; rather the informant should be told that the matter will be referred in confidence to the appropriate people to ensure proper action is taken.
- Staff must also take steps to protect the informing pupil or adult from any retaliation or unnecessary stress resulting from a disclosure.
- Members of staff should remember that pupils may perpetrate abuse as well as adults. A bullying incident should be treated as a safeguarding concern where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm (see the Anti-Bullying Policy).
- If a pupil is thought to be at immediate risk because of violence, intoxication, substance abuse, mental illness or threats to remove the child from school during the school day, for example, urgent Police intervention must be requested.
- Where a child sustains a physical injury or is distressed as a result of reported chastisement, or alleges that they have been chastised by the use of an implement or substance, this will immediately be reported for investigation.
- If a pupil discloses that they have witnessed domestic abuse or it is suspected that they may be living in a household which is affected by family violence, this will be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as a safeguarding issue.
- The member of staff should complete a Concern Record Sheet and inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately who will be responsible for deciding whether or not the issue should be explored in further detail.
- Where there is any doubt as to the seriousness of this concern, or disagreement between the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the member of staff reporting the concern, advice will be sought from the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads and the Headmaster.
- Any staff member can make a referral in exceptional circumstances, such as in emergency or a genuine concern that appropriate action has not been taken.
- Allegations of abuse against a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the Headmaster immediately.
Responsibility Towards Safeguard Our Students
All staff members are made aware of this policy and receive training which includes signs to look out for and appropriate record keeping. The BICC team will receive training and retraining throughout the academic year. We acknowledge that children who are affected by abuse or neglect may demonstrate their needs and distress through their words, actions, behaviour, demeanour, school work or other children. The team will demonstrate responsibility towards safeguarding our children by implementing the following rules and regulations.
Staff code of conduct:
- All staff (paid/voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct in respect of their contact with pupils and their families.
- Individuals and organisations that are contracted by the school to work with or provide services to pupils will be expected to adhere to this policy and their compliance will be monitored.
- Children will be treated with respect and dignity and no punishment, detention, restraint, sanctions, or rewards are allowed outside those detailed in the school’s Behaviour Management Policy.
- Pupils will only be released to the care of those with Parental Responsibility or someone acting with their consent. This will be exercised with extreme diligence, particularly in Key Stage 1 and the Foundation/Early Years department.
- Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation.
- Where incidents occur which might otherwise be misconstrued, or in the exceptional circumstances where it becomes necessary to physically restrain a pupil for their own protection or others’ safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to the Head of Section, Headmaster and Parents.
- Except in cases of emergency or minor cuts / scrapes in the playground, first aid will only be administered by qualified First Aiders. If it necessary for the child to remove clothing for any first aid treatment there will, wherever possible, be another adult present.
- If a child needs help with toileting or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be close by.
- All first aid treatment and non-routine changing or personal care will be recorded and shared with parents/carers at the earliest opportunity.
- For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with pupils. Other than in formal teaching situations, musical instrument tuition for example, the door to the room in which the 1:1 coaching, counselling or meeting is taking place should be left open. Where this is not practicable because of the need for confidentiality, another member of staff should be close by and a record kept of the circumstances of the meeting.
- Staff will only use the School’s digital technology resources and systems for professional purposes or for uses deemed ‘reasonable’ by the Headmaster and Governing Body. Staff will only use the approved school email, school Learning Platform or other school approved communication systems with pupils or parents/carers and will not disclose their personal telephone numbers and email addresses to pupils.
- Staff should be aware of the School’s whistle-blowing procedures and share immediately any disclosure or concern that relates to a member of staff with the Headmaster, or with the Designated Safeguarding Lead if the Headmaster is not available.
- BICC has a strong commitment to an anti-bullying policy and will consider all coercive acts and inappropriate child on child behaviour and sexual activity within a Child Protection context.
- BICC recognises the need to be alert to the risks posed by strangers or others (including the parents/carers of other pupils) who may wish to harm children either in school or whilst travelling to and from school, and will take all reasonable steps to lessen such risks.
- Pupils are reminded in assemblies and in PSHE lessons to whom they are able to talk. That may be the Head of Year, Head of Section, their Class Teacher, the School Physician, the Headmaster or Deputy Head. They are encouraged to find a person they trust and to speak about issues worrying them.
Definitions of Abuse and Neglect
Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Here at BICC we ensure the accurate reporting and recording of any and all incidents that might occur. Child protection notes will be kept on file and will only be available to relevant staff members in order to ensure confidentiality is maintained. Child protection records are not always open to pupils or parents. All CP records are kept securely by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and separately from academic records.
If a pupil is withdrawn from BICC for any reason, all efforts will be made to identify any new home address and the school to which they are being admitted, so that their educational records can be sent without delay to the child’s new school.