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Protecting children by following agreed procedures, ensuring staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to child protection concerns, raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep themselves safe.

The Senior Leadership Team and DSLs will ensure all staff members are aware of the systems within their school or college which support safeguarding and these should be explained to them as part of their induction. Induction must include an introduction to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and their deputies, and staff must be made aware of the behaviour policy and the school’s safeguarding response to children who go missing. Ensure all staff understand the risks posed by adults or learners who use technology, including the internet, to bully, groom, radicalise or abuse children. They have well-developed strategies in place to keep children safe and to support them to develop their own understanding of these risks and in learning how to keep themselves and others safe.

The DSL will ensure a record of referral is retained and there is evidence that any agreed action following the referral has been taken promptly to protect the child from further harm. Parents must be made aware of concerns and their consent sought in accordance with local procedures, unless doing so would increase the risk of or actual harm to a child. If in doubt, contact CAAS for consultation and advice.

The DSL will ensure there is a written plan in place that has clear and agreed procedures to protect a child. For children who are the subject of a child in need plan, child protection plan or who are in the care of the local authority, the plan will identify the help that the child should receive and the actions to be taken. All staff should have an awareness of issues around safeguarding children in the care of the local authority

as the most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. Governing boards and proprietors should ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge necessary to keep children in the care of the local authority safe.

The DSL will ensure children who go missing from the setting they attend receive well-coordinated responses that reduce the harm or risk of harm to them, that associated risks are well understood and their impact is minimised, and that staff are aware of, and implement in full, local procedures for children who are missing from home and/or from education.

The DSL and Senior Leadership Team will ensure local procedures for notifying the local authority and parents are available, understood and followed. That comprehensive records are held and shared between the relevant agencies to help and protect children. In relation to early years settings, providers are aware of and implement the requirements of the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ when children go missing while in the care of the provider. (Refer to Appendix 3 for further information).

The DSL and senior leadership team will ensure appropriate action is taken when children stop attending the setting. For schools, this includes informing the local authority when a pupil is going to be deleted from the register outside standard transition points.

The DSL and senior leadership team will ensure all staff and carers have a copy of and understand the written procedures for managing allegations of harm to a child

What to do if you have concerns about a child

If you are concerned about a child in West Berkshire, it is important that you talk to someone about this. Don’t ignore your concerns or delay taking action.

If there is immediate risk of harm to a child:

  • call the Police on 999.

If you have concerns that a child is at significant risk

  • you should contact West Berkshire Contact Advice Assessment Service (CAAS) within working hours on 01635 503090 for a member of staff to deal with your concern, alternatively email child@westberks.gov.uk
  • the Children’s Services Out of Hours Emergency Duty Service are available when the West Berkshire Council offices are closed if there is an emergency safeguarding concern. This includes evenings, 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays. Please contact them by telephone 01344 786543

Useful Links

Our Child Protection Policy can be viewed in the Policies section.

Click here for West Berkshire LSCP Procedures

Click here for Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership


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