Statement
COVID-19

View our COVID-19 document here.

Keeping Children Safe in Education

View our Keeping Children Safe in Education Policy here.

  • Children's mental health is added to the guidance, ensuring that staff should consider when this might become a safeguarding concern.
  • The responsibility to manage allegations about supply teachers is made clear, so they still ensure allegations are dealt with appropriately when they are not the employer. Schools cannot simply cease to use this teacher. Processes should be developed to manage this akin to the disciplinary procedure and the school.
  • Where a head teacher is also the sole proprietor of an independent school it is now mandatory to report to the LADO.
  • Relationships & Sex Education and Health - The need for the DSL to be aware of defined curriculum content, timetabling for delivery and clear communication/awareness with teachers on the potential impact. Also sharing information which leads to additional support or teacher awareness for pupils with a 'particular protected characteristic. (which means that they are at greater risk)'.
  • Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and asks that settings have in place clear systems and processes to identify these needs, and to consider when they become a safeguarding concern.
  • The potential for children to be exploited when missing education is emphasised. Staff need to be aware of your unauthorised absence and children missing from education procedures.
  • Child criminal exploitation is defined and included, together with some of the indicators. Child sexual exploitation is very much seen through the lens of child criminal exploitation.
  • Honour-based violence is now termed Honour-based abuse.
  • A definition of terrorism has been added, a sentence amended to clarify radicalisation and a link made to the Channel guidance.
  • Peer on peer abuse is amended to Peer on peer / child on child abuse, recognising that sometimes this abuse is not between peers.
  • The Voyeurism (Offences) Act came into force on 12 April 2019 and so has now been referenced in the definition of 'upskirting'.
  • The transfer of child protection files rules applies to in-year transfers.
Country Lines

The UK Government definitions of county lines and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) are:

"County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas [within the UK], using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move [and store] the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons. Child Criminal Exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology."

These crimes are often (but not always) drug related. Criminals: drug dealers, traffickers of people for illegal work and sex work etc. use children to deliver drugs or commit crimes, crossing them over the county border to do this.

The government states that those at more serious risk of CCE/ CRE are those who:

  • Have prior experience of neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse.
  • Lack of a safe/stable home environment, now or in the past (domestic violence or parental substance misuse, mental health issues or criminality, for example).
  • Social isolation or social difficulties.
  • Economic vulnerability.
  • Homelessness or insecure accommodation status.
  • Connections with other people involved in gangs.
  • Having a physical or learning disability.
  • Having mental health or substance misuse issues.
  • Being in care (particularly those in residential care and those with interrupted care histories).

Children are victims- even though they may seem happy to perform these errands and to receive goods and money for doing so, it is considered that, as minors, they are not able to make those decisions rationally themselves. They are victims of the criminals.

You should inform us via the usual channels if you are concerned that a child may at risk of or be involved. (CCE - Child Criminal Exploitation, CRE - Child at Risk of exploitation)

FGM

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

According to the World Health Organisation, female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls' and women's bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child.

In the UK, the Home Office has identified girls from the Somali, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Kurdish and Indonesian communities at most risk of FGM (HM Government, 2016)

Girls are also at risk if FGM has been carried out on their mother, sister or a member of their extended family (HM Government, 2016).

FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. In 2003 it also became a criminal offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to take their child abroad to have female genital mutilation. Anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Signs FGM might have taken place

  • Having difficulty walking, standing or sitting.
  • Spending longer in the bathroom or toilet.
  • Appearing anxious or depresses.
  • Acting differently after an absence from school.
  • Reluctance to go to the GP or have routine medical examinations.
  • Asking for help: though they may not be explicit about the problem because they are scared or embarrassed.

When a report must be made

The FGM mandatory reporting duty is a legal duty provided for in the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015). The legislation requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the police where, in the course of their professional duties, they:

  • are informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her.
  • observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl's physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.

Please discuss any concerns with the school safeguarding team, but remember that there is a mandatory duty to report FGM.

Honour Based Violence

The CPS defines 'honour based' crime as:

“An incident or crime involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse) which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family and/ or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family and/or community's code of behaviour.”

Some behaviours that may be classed 'immoral' by the perpetrators include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • running away, coming home late.
  • ideological differences between parents and children.
  • refusing an arranged marriage.
  • relationships outside marriage.
  • relationships outside the approved group.
  • 'inappropriate' make up or dress.
  • loss of virginity.
  • pregnancy.
  • homosexuality.
  • reporting/fleeing domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, forced marriage.
  • girls who 'allow themselves to be raped'.
  • causing gossip.

Unlike domestic abuse where there is typically one perpetrator abusing another, in cases of HBA and forced marriage the perpetrators can be one or many, including FAMILY MEMBERS, MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY or 'HITMEN'.

Crimes that may be committed as part of 'honour based' abuse or violence can be, but are not limited to:

  • false imprisonment or kidnap.
  • Domestic servitude.
  • ABH or GBH.
  • threats to kill.
  • harassment and stalking.
  • sexual assault.
  • rape.
  • female genital mutilation.
  • forced to commit suicide.
  • murder.

There are, on average, 12 honour based murders a year.

What help and support is there?
As with many forms of domestic abuse, victims of such abuse may think they are powerless to leave a situation - sometimes for financial reasons, sometimes because of the emotional abuse they have been subject to, or because of fear of violence.

Whatever the situation there is always a person to talk to and there are many charities and groups specifically set up to help those who may be suffering, or at risk of suffering, 'honour based' abuse or violence or forced marriage.

Derby is home to the Karma Nirvana, an independent charity, which has a huge range of resources to help those who may be victims or those who may be worried that a loved one, colleague or neighbour may be at risk of abuse.

They can be accessed by visiting www.karmanirvana.org.uk and there is a dedicated help line 0800 5999 247. If you are in immediate danger then call 999.

You can also read more about 'honour based' violence and find links to other support services here: www.core-derbyshire.com/types-crime/honour-based-violence

Peer on Peer Abuse

Peer-on-peer abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • physical and sexual abuse.
  • sexual harassment and violence.
  • emotional harm.
  • on and offline bullying.
  • teenage relationship abuse.

It can even include grooming children for sexual and criminal exploitation.

It's hard to say just how widespread a problem it is. But we know that there's extensive evidence of peer-on-peer abuse in the context of both sexual and criminal exploitation. In autumn last year, the NSPCC announced a 29% increase in children seeking help from Childline due to peer-on-peer sexual abuse. The issue has, understandably, been scrutinised in the media recently.

What should schools and other providers be doing about it?
As with many forms of domestic abuse, victims of such abuse may think they are powerless to leave a situation - sometimes for financial reasons, sometimes because of the emotional abuse they have been subject to, or because of fear of violence.

Unfortunately, peer-on-peer abuse can and does happen in a whole range of settings that children attend. However, it often goes unseen. It might take place online, for example, or away from the school or setting. Therefore, training for professionals to help them recognise the signs, and know what to do, is essential.

For schools and colleges, there's detailed Department for Education advice on what to do if a child is sexually harassed or experiences sexual violence. This expands on the principles set out in the statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019)

Ofsted say: 'We expect all staff at a provider to be familiar with this guidance and to apply it. Staff should understand child protection policies and use them: there's no point to a policy that is not put into action. It should be clear that peer-on-peer abuse will never be accepted or dismissed as 'children being children'. We expect all staff in a school to know what to do if they come across, or are worried about, peer-on-peer abuse. They should know who to speak to and what action to take to make sure children are safe.'

Please contact the school safeguarding team if you have any concerns that a child is being abused by their peers.

Safeguarding Policy

View our Safeguarding Policy here.

Derbyshire Safeguarding

View our Child Protection Policy here.

Teams Lesson Expectations

Pupil Guidelines when using Microsoft Teams:

  • Please be reminded that school rules still apply and West Park School's behaviour expectations are still in place when you are taking part in an online Teams lesson.
  • Your camera and microphone will be switched off by your teacher during the session.
  • Your lesson will be recorded for safeguarding reasons.
  • Your teacher will go through how to use chat and how to 'raise your hand' during the lesson.
  • You will probably need pen and paper to write things down during the lesson.
  • Your lesson will last about 25-30 minutes.
  • If you have any problems or worries, contact your teacher or a member of the pastoral team as soon as you can.

Please contact info@westpark.derby.sch.uk or safeguarding@westpark.derby.sch.uk if you have any queries.