Safeguarding Policy (2019-2020)

Date agreed: December 2019.

Date of next review: July 2020.

Approved by: Elena Vlasenko (School Director)

Purpose and Scope of this Policy

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • to protect children and young people who attend Pushkin’s School;

  • to provide parents, staff and volunteers the comprehensive principles that explain our detailed approach to child protection; and

  • to emphasise the importance for everyone involved with Pushkin’s School to always prioritise the safety and well-being of every pupil. 

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Pushkin’s School, including the management team, teaching staff and volunteers.

 

Introduction

Pushkin’s School of Russian Language and Literature is a group of weekend supplementary schools that work with children aged 3-18. Pushkin’s School aims to provide high-quality education on the Russian language and culture in a safe, enjoyable and stimulating environment. Activities include specialised lessons for children of all levels of linguistic knowledge and ability, arts and crafts classes related to Russian culture, and theatrical performances which display verbal and phonetic progress.

In ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’, HM Gov defines safeguarding as:

  • protecting children 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 outcome.

All staff at Pushkin’s School take very seriously our responsibility under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of our pupils, to minimise risk and to work together to ensure that adequate arrangements are in place within our schools to identify, asses, and support children who are suffering any kind of harm. Our schools are a community and all those who are directly connected have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure for everyone.

We always welcome suggestions and comments that contribute to our safeguarding procedures.

 

Legal Framework

This policy has been drawn up based on legislation and guidance that seek to protect children in England. The legislation and guidance have been utilised from the following sources:

 
 

School Ethos

Pushkin’s School recognises the importance of providing an atmosphere and environment within the school that will help children feel safe, secure and respected. Our pupils are encouraged to speak openly, and to be confident that they will be listened to. Pushkin’s School staff will aim to support the welfare and safety of all pupils by:

  • maintaining safety and well-being as our focal concern;

  • promoting safe practice;

  • limiting class size to a maximum of 8 pupils per teacher;

  • including social and emotional aspects of learning in the curriculum;

  • ensuring that pupils are aware that they can always speak to a member of staff if they do not feel well or safe;

  • providing a positive, supportive and secure environment where children feel valued; and

  • ensuring that all appropriate steps are taken to keep the school site secure.

Staff, Contact Details and Responsibilities

It is a requirement of all staff at Pushkin’s School to understand that safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility.

The nominated Child Protection Lead is Elena Vlasenko (07881764892, elena@pushkinsschool.co.uk), the School Director. The Child Protection Lead’s primary responsibilities are:

  • to speak directly to the parent/carer of the child if there is any concern about their welfare or safety;

  • to collect and maintain detailed, accurate and confidential written records of each individual child if there are any concerns about the child’s safety or well-being;

  • to inform parents of any concerns regarding their child’s well-being at the earliest possible stage;

  • to make immediate and on-going assessments of potential risks;

  • to create a caring culture within the school, building awareness among the other staff regarding safeguarding;

  • to organise and conduct training for all school staff; and

  • to ensure that all staff members are aware of this Safeguarding Policy and its procedures, as well as recognising and communicating any concerns.

The Deputy Child Protection Leads are:

The Teaching Staff with safeguarding responsibilities are:

  • Alena Riley

  • Alisa Altynnikova

  • Marina Jones

  • Olga Pomikanova

  • Oxana Buckland

  • Saniya Taituleyeva

  • Tatiana Drissell

  • Tatiana Kochetova

All staff (including teachers, the management team and volunteers) are responsible for the safety and well-being of every child under their care. The major responsibilities of every staff member are:

  • to ensure that all pupils are safe and well, both physically and emotionally;

  • to value, listen to and respect each pupil;

  • to be aware of where each pupil is located during lessons and break times;

  • to know which children have special requirements, such as special educational needs, allergies and diet;

  • to keep the classroom environment tidy and free from hazards;

  • to report any safeguarding-related issues, bullying or conflict to the Child Protection Lead/Deputy Child Protection Leads, at the earliest possible time;

  • to understand how to identify signs of maltreatment and abuse;

  • to ensure that no unauthorised persons are on the school premises.; and

  • to sign in visitors at the school’s reception upon arrival and sign them out upon exit.

Full details on staff responsibilities can be found in the Staff Code of Conduct document, which all staff are expected to read and adhere to.

Staff, parents and carers can contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if they have a concern relating to safeguarding or child protection. It should be noted that in most cases the first step should be to contact the School Director or the School Manager, who will investigate the situation and contact the LADO if necessary. The LADO contact information for every school branch is provided below:

  • Buckinghamshire Local Authority Designated Officer (High Wycombe school branch):

    • 01296 382070

  • Hertfordshire Local Authority Designated Officer (Hemel Hempstead school branch):

    • 01992 555420

  • Berkshire Local Authority Designated Officer (Bracknell school branch):

    • 01344 352005

  • Essex Local Authority Designated Officer (Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea school branches):

    • 03330 139797

Concerns about safeguarding practices can also be raised externally using the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline:

Alternate contacts for safeguarding issues are the Education Safeguarding Advisory Service (01296 383817), the Thames Valley Police (101), and the school website (www.pushkinsrussianschool.co.uk).

 
 

Recognition of Abuse and Harmful Behaviour

All staff should be aware of the definitions, signs and symptoms of situations where children must be protected. Abuse and harmful behaviour include:

  • physical, emotional and sexual abuse;

  • neglect;

  • grooming;

  • domestic violence;

  • inappropriate staff supervision;

  • bullying and cyber-bullying;

  • acts of violence and aggression;

  • victimisation;

  • self-harm;

  • unsafe environments; and

  • exploitation.

 

Induction, Training and Safer Recruitment

As Pushkin’s School offers educational services for children, all school staff are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. All current staff have been DBS checked. Pushkin’s School will require a valid DBS check for any new staff member prior to them starting to teach. Should any future circumstances arise where the validity of the DBS check is questionable, the member of staff is required to report this information to the School Director, who will decide the most appropriate course of action. The School Director will review the situation and the possible risk to children and, if appropriate, consider banning the member of staff from future work. Pushkin’s School takes DBS checks seriously and is very strict when there is evidence of past incidents that could threaten children’s safety. 

New members of staff will also undergo other checks prior to them beginning work. Full details on these checks can be found on the school’s Safer Recruitment and Selection Policy.

All staff will undergo safeguarding training before the start of each academic year. This includes training on:

  • general school rules, procedures and responsibilities;

  • the Staff Code of Conduct;

  • safeguarding and child protection procedures;

  • incident and accident procedures;

  • special educational needs provision;

  • how to recognise and respond to signs and symptoms of concern and abuse;

  • identifying and implementing children’s specific requirements (diet, allergies, SEN provision, etc.);

  • health and safety;

  • fire safety;

  • emergency evacuation procedure;

  • safe working practice;

  • GDPR, privacy and data protection;

  • staff grievance and whistleblowing procedures; and

  • allegations against staff procedures.

New staff will receive all the above training prior to them beginning to teach at Pushkin’s School. Changes to any of the policies above will be sent to all staff as soon as the revised policy is approved by the School Director.

 

Record Keeping, Confidentiality and Information Sharing

Staff are required to record any welfare concern they have about a child on a Safeguarding Incident Form, which they must submit to the School Director or School Manager at the earliest possible time. Copies of the Safeguarding Incident Form can be obtained from the School Director and the School Manager. If a child receives any injury during school hours, the School Director or the School Manager must complete an Accident Report Form. A copy of this form will be given to the parent when they come to pick up their child.

Safeguarding and child protection information is confidential and personal. Only the Child Protection Leads have the authority to decide what information can be shared, with whom, how and when, and whether consent is needed for this process. All other staff must not discuss safeguarding and child protection information with anyone else apart from the Child Protection Leads, both within and outside the school premises. Individuals should be confident that their information will only be disclosed to others with their permission or when there is legal duty to do so (i.e. when there is a child protection concern).

Pushkin’s School follows the recent GDPR legislation, ensuring that only relevant information is kept, and is destroyed when it is no longer necessary. All electronic personal information regarding a child, parent or teacher is kept solely on an encrypted and password-protected memory stick. Physical documents containing personal information are kept in a locked filing cabinet. Access to personal information is only available to the management team (Elena Vlasenko, Olga Kisil and Anton Vlasenko). If a child or teacher stops attending Pushkin’s School, all relevant personal information will be removed in accordance with the school's Retention Schedule. Full details can be found on the school’s Pupil and Parent Privacy Notice and the GDPR and Data Protection Policy.

No photos or videos will be taken or published of any child whose parents did not provide written consent. Pushkin’s School asks for parental permission to use photographs that could include their children prior to the child’s admission to the school. The director will hold a record of this information and will ensure that this is followed by staff and parents. During our theatrical performances, parents can record their children strictly for personal use. These recordings can only be shown to family and friends and must not be shared on any public forum or social media platform, without the consent of all parents with children involved.

 

Allegations Against Staff and Safe Working Practice

We recognise that it is possible for staff and volunteers to behave in a way that might cause harm to children and we take seriously any allegation received. Such allegations should be referred immediately to the School Director who will decide the most appropriate course of action in respect of the child and staff member. All staff need to be aware that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. The full procedure can be found in our Allegations Against Staff Policy.

Children may make allegations against staff in situations where they feel vulnerable or where they perceive there to be a possible risk to their welfare. As such, all staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position regarding child protection or potential allegations. For example, staff working with children should do so in the view of other colleagues. Physical intervention should only be used when the child is endangering themselves or others, and such events should be recorded and signed by a witness.

 

Complaints

Pushkin’s School has various complaint procedures available to parents, pupils and staff who wish to report concerns. In most cases, parents should use the Complaints Procedure, and staff should use the Staff Grievance Procedure. The school also has a Whistleblowing Procedure, which staff may use to report suspected wrongdoing. All reported concerns will be taken seriously and considered within the relevant and appropriate process. Anything that constitutes an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer will be dealt with under our Allegations Against Staff Policy.

 

CONTACT US

Elena Vlasenko - School Director

Tel: 07881764892

E-mail: elena@PushkinsSchool.co.uk

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