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    Safeguarding policy

Geek School Ltd

 
POLICY AND PROCEDURES ON SAFEGUARDING/CHILD PROTECTION
Named individual with specific child protection responsibilities in 2013:
Designated Officer for Child Protection: Joycellyn Akuffo, Company Director
Children’s Social Care – Lewisham Council Emergency Duty Team: 020 8314 6000
In case of emergency please contact Joycellyn Akuffo on 07957397602, email: joycellyn@geekschool.co.uk or write to:
Geek School
105 Roundtable Road
BR1 5LF
Telephone: 020 8698 2826
Keeping children and vulnerable people safe is everybody’s business
Every school or organisation that has a wish to ensure that all its pupils/clients are well cared for and safe, and it is recognised that the safety and wellbeing of every child is an integral part of his or her learning and social integration in a school or ministry. A child that is secure emotionally, mentally and physically is likely to find his or her years at school or ministry both rewarding and challenging.
Introduction
Geek School Ltd fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children and support them.  The aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote our children’s welfare, safety and health by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive climate.  The children’s welfare is of paramount importance.
This policy is consistent with: 
  • the legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, as described in section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and the DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and Families) guidance ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment’ (January 2007);
  • the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board (LCSB) Procedures, which contain the inter-agency processes, protocols and expectations for safeguarding children.
There are four main elements to our Child Protection Policy:
  • Prevention (e.g. positive organisation atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to children;
  • Protection (by following agreed procedures, ensuring teachers are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns;
  • Support (to children and teachers and to children who may have been abused)
  • Working with parents (to ensure appropriate communications and actions are undertaken).
This policy applies to all teachers/ministers, leaders, pastoral assistants and first timers to the church.  We recognise that child protection is the responsibility of all teachers and leaders within our organisation (Geek School).  We will ensure that all parents and other working partners are aware of our child protection policy by mentioning it in our organisation (Geek School) news letters and quarterly reports, and by raising awareness at initial meetings with parents of new members as well as at regular parent-teacher meetings.
Geek School Commitment
The organisation (Geek School) adopts an open and accepting attitude towards children as part of its responsibility for pastoral care.  Tutors and other staff believe that children and parents will feel free to talk about any concerns and will see this ministry as a safe place.  Children’s worries and fears will be taken seriously and children are encouraged to seek help from teachers.
Our organisation (Geek School) will therefore:
  • Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are listened to;
  • Ensure that children know that there are adults in the ministry whom they can approach if they are worried or are in difficulty;
  • Include in the curriculum activities and opportunities for Personal Health and Safety Awareness, Leadership/Citizenship which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse, and which will help children develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life.
  • Ensure every effort is made to establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues/members from other safeguarding agencies;
  • Operate safe recruitment procedures and make sure that all appropriate checks are carried out on new teachers and volunteers who will work with children, including references and Criminal Record Bureau.
Roles and Responsibilities
All adults working in the children’s ministry have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  This includes a responsibility to be alert to possible abuse and to record and report concerns to staff identified with child protection responsibilities within the ministry.
There are, however, key people within the ministry who have specific responsibilities.  The names of those carrying these responsibilities for the current year are listed at the start of this document.  They will be referred here as the Governing Body.
The Governing Body will ensure the following:
  • The organisation (Geek School) has a safeguarding/child protection policy and procedures in place, and the policy is made available to parents on request.
  • The organisation (Geek School) operates safe recruitment practices, including appropriate use of references and checks on new teachers/minister and volunteers.
  • There are procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers.
  • There is a senior member of the organisation (Geek School) leadership team who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with child protection (the “Designated Senior Person for Child Protection”).
  • The Designated Senior Person for Child Protection undertakes training, in addition to basic child protection training, in inter-agency working that is provided by, or to standards agreed by, the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB), and has refresher training at two-yearly intervals.
  • The Director, and all other tutors/staff who work with children, undertake appropriate training which is kept up-to-date by refresher training at three-yearly intervals; and that new teachers/ministers, who work with children are made aware of the ministry’s arrangements for child protection and their responsibilities. (Through the induction process).
  • Any deficiencies or weaknesses brought to the attention of the Governing Body are rectified.
  • Policies and procedures are reviewed annually, and information is provided to the the Director on how the Governing Body discharges its duties regarding safeguarding and child protection.
  • The policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are fully implemented, and followed by all teachers/ministers;
  • All teachers/ministers feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively and effectively in a timely manner.
Other Relevant Policies
The Governing Body’s legal responsibility for safeguarding the welfare of children goes beyond pure child protection.  The duty is now to ensure that safeguarding permeates all activity and functions.  This policy therefore complements and supports a range of other policies, for instance:
  • Behaviour management
  • Anti-bullying
  • First aid
  • Health and safety
  • Site security
  • Equal opportunities
  • ICT and access to the internet 
  • Vulnerable children – supporting children at risk
Our ministry recognises that children who are abused or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and view the world in a positive way.  For such children ministry may be one of the few stable, secure and predictable components of their lives.  Other children may be vulnerable because, for instance, they have a disability, are in foster care, or are experiencing some form of neglect.  We will seek to provide such children with the necessary support to build their self-esteem and confidence.
Complaints or Concerns Expressed by Children
Geek School recognises that listening to children/young people is an important and essential part of safeguarding them against abuse and neglect.  To this end any expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet in relation to an individual child/young person will be listened to and acted upon in order to safeguard his/her welfare. We will also seek to ensure that the individual child/young person who makes a complaint is informed not only about the action the ministry will take but also the length of time that will be required to resolve the complaint. The ministry will also endeavour to keep the child/young person regularly informed as to the progress of his/her complaint.
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