The Aim Sky High Company is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation. Safeguarding at The Aim Sky High Company is considered everyone’s responsibility and as such the club aims to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The Aim Sky High Company recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all children attending the club feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We will do this by working in partnership with other agencies in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2013; and we will seek to establish effective working relationships with parents/carers.
The Club will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
There is a Child Protection Officer (CPO) available at all times while the Club is in session. The CPO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, LSCB and Ofsted). The Club’s designated CPO is Christina Taylor. The Deputy / on-call CPO is Sarah Moore.
The CPO has responsibility for:
- Ensuring that all safeguarding issues raised in the club are effectively responded to, recorded and referred to the appropriate agency
- Ensuring attendance at safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers, at least every three years
- Ensuring that visiting activity providers comply with the Safeguarding Policy
- Ensuring the acceptable, safe use and storage of all camera technology, images, and mobile phones through the implementation, monitoring and reviewing of the appropriate policies and procedures.
- The CPO is required to attend or ensure that a senior member of staff who has the relevant training and access to appropriate supervision, attends where appropriate, all child protection case conferences, reviews, core groups or meetings where it concerns a child at The Aim Sky High Company and to contribute to multi-agency discussions to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare.
Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.
- Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
- Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
- Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
- Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.
Signs of child abuse and neglect
Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:
- significant changes in a child’s behaviour
- deterioration in a child’s general well-being
- unexplained bruising or marks
- comments made by a child which give cause for concern
- reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation, or that the child may have witnessed domestic abuse
- inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.
If abuse is suspected or disclosed
When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:
- reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out
- listen to the child but not investigate or ask leading questions
- give reassurance that the staff member will take action
- Inform the Child Protection Officer as soon as possible
- record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below).
If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straightaway using the Logging a concern form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Club is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.
Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.
Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:
- Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
- One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older)
- One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength)
- There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy.
If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed
We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.
Extremism and radicalisation
All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg:
- feeling alienated or alone
- seeking a sense of identity or individuality
- suffering from mental health issues such as depression
- desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
- associating with others who hold extremist beliefs
Signs of radicalisation
Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:
- changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
- viewing violent extremist material online
- possessing or sharing violent extremist material
If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the CPO.
Logging a concern
All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:
- date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern
- date and time at which the record was made
- name and date of birth of the child involved
- a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words
- name, signature and job title of the person making the record.
The record will be given to the Club’s CPO who will decide on the appropriate course of action.
For concerns about child abuse, the CPO will contact Social Care. The CPO will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly.
For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the CPO will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) or Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator. For more serious concerns the CPO will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the CPO will contact the Police using 999.
Allegations against staff
We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working or may come into contact with children and young people whilst at the club. Allegations will usually be that some kind of abuse has taken place. This could include inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff or other persons working with the children such as inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one to one attention beyond the requirements their role and responsibilities, inappropriate sharing or images. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults. Allegations are made for a variety of reasons:
- Abuse has actually taken place
- Something has happened to the child that reminds them of a past event – the child is unable to recognize that the situation and people are different: children can misinterpret language or actions
- Some children recognize that allegations can be powerful and if they are angry about something they can make an allegation as a way of hitting out
- Making an allegation is a way of seeking attention.
If an allegation is made against an adult in a position of trust, whether they are members of staff, visiting activity providers or volunteers, this should be brought to the immediate attention of the CPO. In the case of the allegation being made against the CPO this will be brought to the immediate attention of the Caroline Gleaves, Christina Taylor’s external supervisor. The CPO/Caroline Gleaves will need to discuss with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) the nature of the allegations in order for the appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made. The CPO/ Caroline Gleaves will need to:
- Refer to Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) immediately and follow up in writing within 48 hours
- Consider safeguarding arrangements of the child or young person to ensure they are away from the alleged abuser
- Contact the parents/carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO
- Consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation
If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:
- The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
- The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Club will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
- Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
- If appropriate, the Club will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Promoting awareness among staff
The Club promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The Club ensures that:
- the designated CPO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it
- designated person training is refreshed every two years
- safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff
- all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation
- all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation
- all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings
- all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty
- staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept in the lockable filing cabinet in the office.
- the Club’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’ and staff are familiar with ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’.
Part of safeguarding is also to protect yourself from allegations and to ensure your actions are not misinterpreted by anyone. Do this by observing the following:
- Avoid being alone with a child
- Take a register of which children are with you for each session, noting the time of the session.
- If you take a child somewhere e.g. an empty room, do not enter with them, wait outside. If you have to enter the room, it’s vital you keep all doors open.
- Do not play-fight
- Children should not be encouraged to sit on your lap
- Challenge any child using ‘bad’ language
- Never let children touch themselves or others inappropriately in any form
- Never let a child’s allegation go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted on
- Never do personal things for children that they are capable of doing themselves. Encourage children to help each other.
- Do not build ‘special’ relationships with individual children
- You must not, before, during or after your employment make or accept any contact with a child or a friend of a child you know through your work with The Aim Sky High Company or through social networking websites.
- Any images of children taken on site must only be of those children whose parents allow photos to be taken. Staff should not take any photos off site.
- Any images taken must be appropriate.
- It is each individual staff’s personal responsibility to delete any images from cameras, phones and recording devices.
- Images must not be published elsewhere without the authorisation of a company director.
The Aim Sky High Company will not accept or condone any behaviour by Staff or other adults associated with the Club that is contrary to our Aims and Objectives, Policies and Procedures. We will actively encourage and fully support the reporting of such behaviour. We will do this by:
- Promoting an environment of mutual respect, trust and open communication.
- Promoting an environment that is free from bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- Treating everyone equally and fairly, with dignity and respect and by valuing individual differences.
- Ensuring that the quality of the work of each staff member/volunteer is effectively monitored as well as the work of the club as a whole.
- Ensure that procedures are in place for reporting unacceptable behaviours/practices.
- Provide staff with a number of ways to report including a confidential form on our website.
- Actively supporting staff/volunteers that ‘blow the whistle’ both during the investigation and after, and in line with the relevant legislation (see our whistleblowing policy for more details)
Practices never to be sanctioned
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:
- Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
- Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
- Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
- Reduce a child to tears as a form of control
- Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child
- Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they can do for themselves
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur, you should report this immediately to the appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:
- If you accidentally hurt a child
- If he/she seems distressed in any manner
- If a player appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
- If a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
Under 8’s – Children will be escorted to the toilets and staff will remain outside the door to assist if help is requested.
Over 8’s – All children will ask to use the toilet facilities. Staff will monitor numbers and ensure children return to the appropriate location.
Use of mobile phones and cameras
Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only the club camera will be used to take photographs of children at the Club, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children nor visitors may use their mobile phones to take photographs at the Club. For more details see our Mobile Phone Policy.
Out of hours contact: Emergency Duty Team 0161-912-2020 04.30pm – 08.30am
LADO (Local Authority Designated Officers):
Trafford: Anita Hopkins/
Trafford Council Multi Agency Referral and assessment team (concerns about the welfare of a child):
MARAT (Child Protection Line) 08.30am – 04.30pm 0161 912 5124
MARAT (General Advice) 08.30am – 04.30pm 0161 912 5125
LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board):
Trafford Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) 0161-912-5141
Children and young people vulnerable to violent extremism: Trafford
Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator: Kim Parkinson – 07900709270,
Police: 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency)
Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321
NSPCC: 0808 800 500
Ofsted: 0300 123 1231
This policy was adopted by: The Aim Sky High Company
To be reviewed: JUNE 2018
Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017): Safeguarding and Welfare requirements: Child Protection [3.4-3.8] and Suitable People [3.9-3.13].