Keeping your child safe is paramount during any of our activities, the following policy sets out our commitment to protecting all children that interact with Aveea.
1. Missing Child Procedure
Although diligence is given at all times, there is always a possibility that children can go missing during sessions. To minimise this risk, staff will carry out periodic head counts, particularly when transporting children between locations (e.g. walking from the school to the setting), or other times when there is a higher possibility of a missing child.
- If a child cannot be located, the following steps will be taken:
- All staff/volunteers will be informed that a child is missing.
- Staff will conduct a thorough search of the premises and surrounding area.
- After 10 minutes the police will be informed. The manager will also contact the child’s parents or carers. If working on school premises, the headteacher / deputy head shall also be informed.
- Staff will continue to search for child whilst waiting for the police and parents to arrive.
- We will maintain as normal a routine as possible for the rest of the children at the Club.
- The manager will liaise with the police, the child’s parent or carer and headteacher.
The incident will be recorded in the Incident Log. A review will be conducted regarding this and any other related incidents along with relevant policies and procedures. A full investigation shall be undertaken, informing all necessary parties, resulting in the implementation of any changes as necessary.
If the police or Social Care were involved in the incident, we will also inform OFSTED.
2. Safeguarding Children Policy
Aveea is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse and harm.
Aveea will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur. Aveea’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and are correlated to Aveea’s policy.
Due to the nature of the business and the way Aveea conducts its activity, the Child Protection Officer (CPO) may differ from school to school. It is for this reason that Aveea’s direct contact for any safeguarding issues will be the Headteacher of the school. The Headteacher would contact any other parties in line with their school policy.
Forms of 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.
- Inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members 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 question them.
- Give reassurance that the staff member will take action.
- 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 incident straightaway. 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 Aveea is obliged to do so and the incident will be logged accordingly.
All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure 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 of the incident 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 Schools’ Headteacher who will decide whether they need to contact Social Care or make a referral. All referrals to Social Care will be followed up 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
- 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 (e.g. police) should be informed, and Aveea 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 Aveea will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. A full report shall also be issued to the School Headteacher.
Promoting awareness among staff. Aveea promotes awareness of child abuse issues through its staff training. Aveea ensures that:
- Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff
- All staff have a copy of this Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse or neglect
- All staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse
- Staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File (which is available at all times).
- Its procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)’ and staff are familiar with the guidance in ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’.
3. Use of mobile phones and cameras
- All photos are fully vetted by Aveea Staff before release onto our website and associated sites.
- Parents shall under no circumstance take photos of their children whilst activities are taking place, this is primarily to protect other children. Pictures of activities are available on Aveea’s website.
4. Uncollected Children Policy
Aveea endeavours to ensure that all children are collected by a parent or carer at the end of each session. If a child is not collected, they would be sent to the schools after school club. If such a facility does not exist, we will follow the procedure set out below.
Up to 15 minutes late
- When the parent or carer arrives, they will be reminded that they must call Aveea to notify us if they are delayed.
- The parent or carer will be informed that penalty fees will have to be charged (unless the delay was genuinely unavoidable).
Over 15 minutes late
- If a parent or carer is more than 15 minutes late in collecting their child, the manager will try to contact them using the contact details on file.
- If there is no response from the parent or carer, messages will be left requesting that they contact Aveea immediately. The manager will then try to contact the emergency contacts listed on the child’s registration form.
- While waiting to be collected, the child will be supervised by at least two members of staff.
- When the parent or carer arrives, they will be reminded that they must call Aveea to notify us if they are delayed, and that penalty fees will have to be charged (except in exceptional circumstances).
Over 30 minutes late
- If the manager has been unable to contact the child’s parents or carers after 30 minutes, the manager will contact the local Social Care team for advice.
- The child will remain in the care of two of Aveea’s staff, on school premises if possible, until collected by the parent or carer, or until placed in the care of the Social Care team.
- If it is not possible for the child to remain at the school, a note will be left on the door of the school informing the child’s parent or carer where the child has been taken (e.g. to the home of a staff member or into the care of a safeguarding agency) and leaving a contact number. A further message will be left on the parent or carer’s telephone explaining events.
- If the child is taken off school premises, they shall also inform the Headteacher or equivalent direct school contact.
Managing persistent lateness, the manager will record incidents of late collection and will discuss them with the child’s parents or carers. Parents and carers will be reminded that if they persistently collect their child late, they may lose their place at the Aveea Academy.
5. Visitors Policy
Due to the nature of Aveea Academy and insurance policies, there shall be no visitors during the session, this is with the exception of those with a valid reason to visit, such as OFSTED or other School Staff etc. When a visitor arrives at the session, the following procedure shall be followed:
- All visitors to Aveea Academy must sign the Visitor Log.
- The identity of the visitor will be checked, and this will be recorded on the Visitor Log.
- If staff require further reassurance of the identity of the visitor, they will phone the employing organisation of the visitor, eg OFSTED, Local Authority, Environmental Health Department, etc, for further confirmation. If this is not possible, staff will seek the advice of the Aveea Manager/Headteacher.
- The reason for visit will be recorded.
- Visitors will never be left alone or unsupervised with the children.
- If a visitor has no reason to be on the premises staff will escort them from the premises.
- If the visitor refuses to leave, staff will call the police. In such an event an Incident Record will be completed, the manager and School Headteacher shall also be immediately notified,
- When a visitor leaves the premises, we will record the time of departure on the Visitor Log.