Safeguarding

Safeguarding

Safeguarding at West Park School

West Park School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of our pupils, and we expect everyone who works in our school to share this commitment.

There are four categories of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. Domestic violence is also a child protection issue and is classed as abuse. All of our staff are trained to identify signs of any of the above and staff and volunteers have a duty to report concerns about a child. In the first instance, they would report to the school safeguarding team, who may then take the decision to report the case to social care.

In such cases, unless we think it is not prudent to do so, we will inform parents. West Park School will work closely with parents, social care and any other relevant agencies to ensure that a child’s needs are being met and that they are safe in their environment.

If you think your child may have been abused you can contact Derby City Children’s Social Care directly on 01332 641172 / 786968 (out of hours) or Derbyshire First Contact Team on 01629 533190. Alternatively, you can contact the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and the safeguarding team. If you think your child has been hurt, arrange to visit your doctor or go to A&E.


Safeguarding information out of hours and during the school holidays


To pass on safeguarding information out of hours and during the school holidays, please email safeguarding@westpark.derby.sch.uk or phone 01332 662337.

In urgent cases please take the following action:

  • • If a young person is in immediate risk of harm or there is an imminent threat of harm to others, please call 999.
  • • For any other concerns relating to the safety or wellbeing of a young person please contact Derby City Council Social Care on 01332 641172.
  • • Derby City Council Social Care have an out of hours telephone number which operates from 5pm until 9am on weekdays and on weekends and Bank Holidays, their number is 01332 786968.
  • • If the child is from the Derbyshire area, please contact the Derbyshire First Contact team on: 01629 533190

KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE IN EDUCATION (2019)
KEY CHANGES - A BRIEF OUTLINE

Upskirting, Serious Crime, Honour Based Violence and Online Safety

UPSKIRTING:

Upskirting is: ‘taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.’ (DfE 2019) Upskirting is now an offence.

SERIOUS CRIME:

All staff should be aware of the indicators which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with, serious crime. These may include:
Increased absence from school
A change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups
A significant decline in performance
Signs of self-harm or a significant change in well being
Sign of an assault or unexplained injuries
Unexplained gifts or new possessions
‘All staff should be aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to measure these. Advice for schools and colleges is provided in the Home Office’s ‘Preventing Youth Violence and Gang Involvement’ and its ‘Criminal Exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults: County Lines’ guidance.’
(DfE 2019)

HONOUR BASED VIOLENCE:

Female genital mutilation and forced marriage have been added into the header title to make it clearer what honour based violence includes.

‘Abuse committed in the context of preserving ‘honour’ often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take.’ (DfE 2019)

ONLINE SAFETY:

A new link to government guidance ‘Teaching Online Safety in School’ (DfE 2019) has been added which outlines how school can ensure pupils understand how to stay safe online. Please refer to the school’s E-safety Policy.

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)

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.

Contacts:

The Safeguarding Team

safeguarding@westpark.derby.sch.uk
01332 662337

Deborah Sheffield
Safeguarding Lead

deborah.sheffield@westpark.derby.sch.uk

Amanda Greenwood
Deputy Safeguarding Lead

amanda.greenwood@westpark.derby.sch.uk

Dave Sanderson
Deputy Head and Head of Pastoral

dave.sanderson@westpark.derby.sch.uk