1.2 Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable
At Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup, we will work with children, parents and the community to
ensure the rights and safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults to give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school
Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
All staff remain alert to any signs that during the current COVID-19 outbreak a child in their
care is suffering from or likely to be suffering from harm. This includes signs of neglect that may be caused by extraordinary circumstances due to measures to curbs the spread of the
We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the
Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
Key commitment 1
We are committed to building a 'culture of safety' in which children, young people and
vulnerable adults are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.
- Our designated person (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child, young person or adult protection issues is, and is
Mrs Rachel Dashi or Mrs Gemma Partridge
- When the setting is open but the designated person is not on site, a suitable trained deputy is available at all times
for staff to discuss safeguarding concerns.
- Our designated officer (a member of the management team) who oversees this work is:
- The designated person, the suitably trained deputy and the designated officer ensure they have relevant links with
statutory and voluntary organisations with regard to safeguarding.
- The designated person (and the person who deputises for them understands LSCB safeguarding procedures, attends relevant
LSCB training at least every 3 Years and refreshes their knowledge of safeguarding at least annually).
- We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware
of them too.
- All staff understand that safeguarding is their responsibility.
- All staff has up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues, are alert to the signs and symptoms of abuse, and
understands their professional duty to ensure safeguarding concerns are reported to the local authority children’s social work team or the NSPCC.
- All staff is confident to ask questions in relation to any safeguarding concerns and know not to just take things at
face value but can be respectfully sceptical.
- All staff understand the principles of early help (as defined in working together to safeguard children, 2018) and are
able to identify those children and families who may be in need of early help and enable them to access it.
- All staff understands the thresholds of significant harm and understand how to access services for families, including
those families who are below the threshold for significant harm, according to arrangements published in the LSCB or safeguarding partners in areas where the safeguarding partners have replaced the
- All staff understand their responsibilities under the general data protection regulation and the data protection act
2018, and understand relevant safeguarding legislation, statutory requirements and local safeguarding partner requirements and ensure that any information they may share about parents and their
children with other agencies is shared appropriately and lawfully.
- We will support families to receive appropriate early help by sharing information with other agencies in accordance
with statutory requirements and legislation.
- We will share information lawfully with safeguarding partners and other agencies where there are safeguarding
- We will be transparent about how we lawfully process data.
- All staff understand how to escalate their concerns in the event that they feel either the local authority and or their
own organisation has not acted adequately to safeguard and know how to follow local safeguarding procedures to resolve professional disputes between staff and organisations.
- All staff understands what the organisation expects of them in terms of their required behaviour and conduct, and
follow policies and procedures on positive behaviour, online safety (including use of cameras and mobile phones), whistle blowing and dignity at work.
- Children have a key person to build a relationship with, and are supported to articulate any worries, concerns or
complaints that they may have in an age appropriate way.
- All staff understands our policy on promoting positive behaviour and follow it in relation to children showing
aggression towards other children.
- Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided to meet the needs of children.
- Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974.
- Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for staff and volunteers
prior to their post being confirmed, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge
- Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone living or working on the
- Volunteers must:
- Be aged 17 or over;
- Be considered competent and responsible;
- Receive a robust induction and regular supervisory meetings.
- Be familiar with all the setting policies and procedures;
- Be fully checked for suitability if they are to have unsupervised access to the children at any
- Information is recorded about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been
- the criminal records disclosure reference;
- certificate of good conduct or equivalent where a UK DBS check is not appropriate;
- the date the disclosure was obtained; and
- details of who obtained it.
- All staff and volunteers are informed that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or
reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us).
- From 31 August 2018, staff and volunteers in childcare settings that are not based on domestic premises are NOT
required to notify their line manager if anyone in their household (including family members, lodgers, partners etc.) has any relevant convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands or warnings or
has been barred from, or had registration refused or cancelled in relation to any childcare provision or have had orders made in relation to care of their children. For childminders and childcare
provided from domestic settings they will be required to notify if anyone in their household has any relevant convictions, court orders or reprimands or had registration refused or cancelled in
relation to childcare provision or have had certain orders made in relation to the care of their children in accordance with the childcare disqualification and childcare regulation 2018, and
Disqualification under the Childcare Act guidance effective from 31 August 2018.
- Staff receive regular supervision, which includes discussion of any safeguarding issues, and their performance and
learning needs are reviewed regularly.
- In addition to induction and supervision, staff are provided with clear expectations in relation to their behaviour
(outlined in the employee handbook.)
- We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in
circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.
- Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting.
- Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person
has unsupervised access to the children.
- Steps are taken to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their
development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child. Staff do not use personal cameras or filming
equipment to record images.
- Personal mobile phones are not used where children are present.
- Any personal information is held securely and in line with data protection requirements and guidance from the
- The designated person in the setting has responsibility for ensuring that there is an adequate online safety policy in
- We keep a written record of all complaints and concerns including details of how they were responded
- We ensure that robust risk assessments are completed, that they are seen and signed by all relevant staff and that they
are regularly reviewed and updated, in line with our health and safety policy.
- The designated officer will support the designated person to undertake their role adequately and offer advice,
guidance, supervision and support.
- The designated person will inform the designated officer at the first opportunity of every significant safeguarding
concern; however this should not delay any referrals being made to the children’s social care or where appropriate, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Ofsted or RIDDOR.
Key commitment 2
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents, allegations or
concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' (HMG 2015) and ‘No
Secrets’ (DOH 2015)
Responding to suspicions of abuse
- We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as
- We ensure that all staff has an understanding of the additional vulnerabilities that arise from inequalities of race,
gender, disability, language, religion, sexual orientation or culture and that these receive full consideration in relation to child, young person or vulnerable adult protection.
- When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated
- significant changes in their behaviour;
- deterioration in their general well-being;
- their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect
- changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;
- unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and
- any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.
- We understand how to identify children who may be in need of early help, how to access services for
- We understand that we should refer a child who meets S17 Children Act 1989 child in need definition to the local
authority children’s social work services.
- We are aware of the “hidden harm” agenda concerning parents with drug and alcohol problems and consider other factors
affecting parental capacity and risk, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, radicalisation, mental or physical illness and parent’s learning disability.
- We are aware that children’s vulnerability is potentially increased when they are privately fostered and when we know
that the child is being cared for under a private fostering arrangement, we inform our local authority children’s social care team.
- We are prepared to take action if we have concerns about the welfare of a child who fails to arrive at session when
expected. The designated person will take immediate action to contact the child’s parent to seek an explanation for the child’s absence and be assured that the child is safe and well. If no contact
is made with the child’s parents and the designated person has reason to believe that the child is at risk of significant harm, the relevant professionals are contacted immediately and LSCB
procedures are followed. If the child has current involvement with social care the social worker is notified on the day of the unexplained absent.
- We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability, that may affect, or may have affected, child and
young people using our provision, such as, abuse of disabled children; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children, such as
through internet abuse; and Female Genital Mutilation and radicalisation or extremism.
- In relation to radicalisation and extremism, we follow the prevent Duty guidance for England and Wales published by the
Home Office and LSCB procedures on responding to radicalisation.
- We are aware of the mandatory duty that applies to teachers, and health workers to report cases of female Genital
Mutilation to the police. We are also aware that early practitioners should follow local authority published safeguarding procedures to respond to FGM and other safeguarding issues, which involves
contacting the police if a crime of FGM has been or may be about to be committed.
- We make sure that all play opportunities are available for all children regardless of gender, age or
- We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or
organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of
any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.
- If we become concerned that a child may be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking we will refer to the
National referral Mechanism, as soon as possible and refer and/or seek advice to the local authority children’s social work service and/or police.
- We will be alert to the threats children may face from outside their families, such as that posed by organised crime
group such as county lines and child sexual exploitation, online use and from within peer groups and the wider community.
- Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the
procedures below for reporting child protection and child in need concerns and follow the LSCB procedures, or when they come into force replacing the LSCB, we will follow the local procedures as
published by the local safeguarding partners.
- Where such indicators are apparent, the child's key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and
discusses what to do with the member of staff who is acting as the 'designated person'. The information is stored on the child's personal file.
- In the event that a staff member or volunteer is unhappy with the decision made of the designated person in relation to
whether to make a safeguarding referral they must follow escalation procedures.
- We refer concerns about children’s welfare to the local authority children’s social care department and co-operate
fully in any subsequent investigation. NB In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, (or the local safeguarding partners when their
published safeguarding arrangements take over from the LSCB).
- We respond to any disclosures sensitively and appropriately and take care not to influence the outcome either through
the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children (although we may check out/clarify details of what we think they have told us with them).
- We take account of the need to protect young people aged 16-19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include
students or school children on work placement, young employees or young parents. Where abuse or neglect is suspected we follow the procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns. The
views of the young person will always be taken into account in an age appropriate way, but the setting may override the young person’s refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is
necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only where not
sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
- All staff are also aware that adults can also be vulnerable and know how to refer adults who are in need of community
- All staff know that they can contact the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline if they feel that an organisation and local
authority have not taken appropriate action to safeguard a child and this has not been addressed satisfactorily through organisational escalation and professional challenge
- We have a whistle blowing policy in place.
- Staff/Volunteers know they can contact the organisation Public Concern at Work for advice relating to whistleblowing
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
- Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or a member of staff
observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or
neglect; that member of staff:
- listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
- does not question the child;
- makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes: the date and time
of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any
other person present at the time.
- These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's personal file, which is kept securely and
- The member of staff acting as the 'designated person' is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity, and always
within 1 working day.
- Where the Local Safeguarding Children Board or local safeguarding partners safeguard procedures stipulates the process
for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Making a referral to the local authority children's social care
- The Pre-school Learning Alliance's publication Safeguarding Children contains procedures to help in making a referral
to the local children's social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and to assist with making a referral.
- We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by our Local Safeguarding
Children Board, which we follow where local procedures differ from those of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
- If we feel that a referral made has not been dealt with properly or that concerns are not being addressed or responded to, we will follow the LSCB
- We will ensure that staff are aware of how to escalate concerns.
- We will follow local procedures published by the LSCB or safeguarding partners to resolve professional disputes.
- Parents are normally the first point of contact. Concerns are normally discussed with parents to gain their view of
events, unless it is felt that this may put the child or other person at risk, or may interfere with the course of a police investigation, or may unduly delay the referral, or unless it is otherwise
unreasonable to seek consent. Advice will be sought from social care, or in some circumstances police, where necessary.
- Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in their child’s file and that we also make a note of any
discussion we have with them regarding a concern.
- If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will
be made, except where the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Partners does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed at risk.
- This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser or where sexual abuse may have
- If there is a possibility that advising a parent beforehand may place a child at greater risk (or interfere with a
police response) the designated person should consider seeking advice from children’s social care, about whether or not to advise parents beforehand, and should record and follow the advice
Liaison with other agencies and multi-agency working
- We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Board/Local Safeguarding Partners guidelines.
- The current version of 'What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused' available for parents and staff and all
staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.
- We have procedures for contacting the local authority regarding child protection issues and concerns about children’s
welfare, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and children's social care to work well
- We notify Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of
children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on our premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made
as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.
- Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also
Allegations against staff and persons in positions of trust
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the
setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- We ensure that all staff volunteers and anyone else working in the setting knows how to raise concerns that they may
have about the conduct or behaviour of other people including staff/colleagues.
- We differentiate between allegations, and concerns about the quality of care of practice and complaints and have a
separate process for responding to complaints.
- We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff, volunteer or any other person living or
working on the premises, which includes:
- inappropriate sexual comments;
- Excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate
sharing of images.
- We will recognise and respond to allegations that a person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child.
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child.
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to
- We respond to any concerns raised by staff and volunteers who know how to escalate their concerns if they are not
satisfied with our response.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting or
anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
- We refer any such complaint immediately to a senior manager within the organisation and the Local Authority Designated
Officer (LADO) as necessary to investigate and/or offer advice:
Mark Goddard 0116 3057597 or Karen Browne 0116
- We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted (unless advised by LADO that this is unnecessary due to the incident
not meeting the threshold), as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
- We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the
- Where the management team and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the member of staff
or volunteer will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff, as well as
children and families throughout the process. Where it is appropriate and practical and agreed with LADO, we will seek to offer an alternative to suspension for the duration of the investigation, if
an alternative is available that will safeguard children and not place the affected staff or volunteer at risk.
Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that
caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children and
vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
Key commitment 3
We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and
learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering young children, through our early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened
- Training opportunities are sought for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the
signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse (including child sexual exploitation) and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making
referrals. Training opportunities should also cover extra familial threats such as online risks, radicalisation and grooming, and how to identify and respond to families who may be in need of early
help, and organisational safeguarding procedures.
- Training is undertaken by all staff in relation to the Prevent Duty and promoting British Values in our setting.
All staff have training to give them the confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas, which can be used to legitimise
- Designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, every
two years and refresh their knowledge and skills at least annually.
- We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the
- We ensure that all staff receives updates on safeguarding via emails, newsletters, online training and/or discussion at
staff meetings at least once a year.
- The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a
one-to-one situation without being within sight and hearing of other staff or volunteers. We incorporate activities into our planning to promote fundamental British value.
- We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional
development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
- We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children's
heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
- We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
- All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is
shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board/Local safeguarding partners and in line with the GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018, and working together 2018.
Support to families
- We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers.
- We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of
concerns, information sharing, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
- We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged
- We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting's designated
role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
- We will engage with any child in need plan or early help plan as agreed.
- Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for
the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Partners.
- Children Act (1989 s47)
- Protection of Children Act (1999)
- The Children Act (2004 s11)
- Children and Social work Act 2017
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
- Childcare Act 2006
- Child Safeguarding Practice Review and Relevant Agency (England) Regulations 2018.
- Prevent Duty (2015)
- Sexual Offences Act (2003)
- Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
- Equalities Act (2010)
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018
- Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
- Children and Families Act 2014
- Care Act 2014
- Serious Crime Act 2015
- Counter – Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
- What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (DfE 2015))
- Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
- The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People: A Guide for Practitioners (CWDC 2010)
- Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the
Children Act 2004 (HMG 2008)
- Hidden Harm – Responding to the needs of Children of Problem Drug Users (ACMD, 2003)
- Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services (DfE 2018)
- Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check
- Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales (HMG 2015)
- Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills settings, (Ofsted 2016)
- Safeguarding Children & Safeguarding through Effective Supervision(Preschool Learning Alliance
- The new Early Years Employee Handbook (Pre-School Learning Alliance 2016)
- People Management in the Early Years (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2016)
This policy was adopted by
Thorpe Acre Playgroup
(name of provider)
Date to be reviewed
Signed on behalf of the provider
Name of signatory
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner)
*A Young person is defined as 16 – 19 year olds in our setting they may be a student, worker,
volunteer or parent. A ‘Vulnerable Adult’ is defined as a person who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may
be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation (No Secrets DoH 2015)
Updated June 2020