To see our Complaints Procedure please click here.
The school is also happy to provide parents, upon request, copies of other teaching and non-teaching policies, including the following;
Admissions, Behaviour and Sanctions, EAL, Curriculum, Anti-Bullying, Health & Safety, Educational Visits, Details of formal examination results.
Policy on the Safeguarding and Welfare of Children
This school will safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are pupils at the school, incompliance with DCSF guidance, “Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment In Education.” In situations where child abuse is suspected, our paramount responsibility is to the child.
It is also written in line with the Child Protection Procedures of the Children and Family Services of the London Borough of Harrow and the local Safeguarding Children Board, with whom contact is maintained.
This policy is operated in accordance with the following legislation. The Children Act 1989 (Section 87), amended by the Care Standards Act 2000, states that, “Where a school or college provides accommodation for any child, it shall be the duty of the relevant person to safeguard and protect the child’s welfare.” The Education Act 2002 (Section 157) extended this to apply to all independent schools. The Children Act 2004 makes clear that inter-agency cooperation is a legal requirement and that everyone who comes into contact with children and their families in their everyday work have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Quainton Hall School is therefore committed to the principle that all children remain safe and free from harm and is guided in its procedures outlined in ‘What To Do If You’re Worried that A Child Is Being Abused’. (HM Government. 2006a)
As a registered setting(in our nursery) the school will inform OFSTED of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking aster children at the premises, or elsewhere or any other abuse which is alleged to have taken place on the premises and of the action taken in respect of these allegations. This will take place within 14 days.
The designated Child Protection Officer is the Headmaster, Mr Edwin Brown who can be contacted by telephone on 020 8427 1304 or by email at email@example.com and in his absence, the Second Master, Mr Graham Brignall and/or Mrs Tracie Doe (Head of Early Years). They have status and authority to take responsibility for child protection matters. The designated Governor who oversees the process is Mr Andrew Lee.
The nominated designated persons are required to undertake training and updating in child protection matters and inter-agency working, every two years.
All other staff involved in working with young people are required to undertake appropriate training every three years.
Review of Policy.
It is the responsibility of the School to review this policy annually with the whole staff and this review needs to be placed before the Board of Governors for approval. Training needs are assessed regularly, in addition to the 2 and 3 year training cycles for all staff. Any deficiencies or weaknesses in the School’s child protection procedures, including staff training, will be remedied without delay and recorded.
Governors are required to undergo basic Child Protection Training and the designated Child Protection Governor should be trained to Level 3 standard.
The Needs of Children
The school will ensure
(a) protection for each child against suffering significant harm and
(b) the satisfactory development and growth of each child in 5 categories:
Protection of Children
The school will take
(a) appropriate actions to address concerns about welfare
(b) reasonable measures to minimise risks of harm, namely:
- risk of accident or injury to children in our care
- risk of children being abused, bullied, lost or taken by someone
- risk of children becoming significantly distressed or upset
- risk of children suffering any form of harm that a reasonable person would consider significant rather than negligible
The school recognises that, to feel safe, children need to have
- self-awareness, leading to an understanding of themselves
- awareness of school values
- understanding of what makes them feel safe
- knowledge of how to take action in any unsafe situation
- confidence in the adults entrusted with their care
- knowledge of when presence from others threatens personal safety
This can be caused by trusted adults, family members, strangers and other children and takes the form of:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional abuse
all of which can lead to bullying, including inappropriate use of technology (cyberbullying)
The school tries to prevent abuse by
- dealing with the risks
- dealing with bullying (see separate Policy on the Prevention of Bullying)
- allowing access for all pupils to all members of staff at all times
- having a clear complaints procedure (see Staff Handbook)
- being aware of risky times and places
- reporting allegations and suspicions
- having regulated use of mobile phones and the Internet
- having a structured programme of PSHE
All staff are made aware of the signs of abuse and to look for children who exhibit
- sudden changes in behaviour
- extreme mood swings
- depression and withdrawal
- unwillingness to be involved
- unwillingness to communicate
via appropriate compulsory INSET training.
Response to Disclosures and Allegations
The school has an agreed procedure for all staff to adopt; failure to do so might result in disciplinary action being taken against that member of staff. A copy of the procedure can be found in the Staff Handbook.
Guidance to Staff
All staff are made aware of what is expected of them (see Staff Handbook). In addition to this they are made aware of situations about which extreme care is required:
- sensitive areas such as toilets, showers and changing rooms
- the need to “supervise” rather than “watch”
- when alone with a child
- appropriate physical contact
- showing favouritism or currying favour
- the need to be consistent
- the need for unambiguous behaviour towards children
- the need to understand confidentiality
- respect for children’s privacy
- what information to be shared with colleagues
If in doubt, members of staff are asked to seek advice from the Head or Second Master.
The School follows Safer Recruitment Guidelines for the appointment of all staff.
All staff appointments are confirmed only after completion of all statutory checks and in line with all statutory requirements.
The Headmaster has completed a Safer Recruitment Training Course.
Allegations against a Member of Staff or Volunteer
Page 6 lists the procedure adopted in the case of an allegation being made against an employee or volunteer.
Quainton Hall School will ensure that wherever staff from another organisation or agency are working with pupils in the school, that the appropriate checks and assurances have been received from the competent authorities within the organisation/s and that the appropriate Child Protection checks and procedures apply to these staff.
TheCPOand his deputy have received relevant training and this is updated every two years. All other staff who have contact with children receive training in Child Protection every three years.
All new staff undergo a staff induction programme, managed by a mentor and this includes awareness of child protection issues. They will also, as appropriate be placed onto the cycle of training and training renewal. All staff, temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the signs of abuse and know to whom they should report any concerns or suspicions. In doing so, they should seek advice and support as necessary from any of the three named designated persons for Child Protection. Information is contained in the school’s safeguarding policy, the staff handbook and via training.
Child Protection and Allegations of Child Abuse.
Child abuse can fall within the following categories:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
PHYSICAL ABUSE. This is the physical injury to a child where there is definite knowledge, or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. This could include bites, fractures, non-accidental cuts and bruises, burns, puncture marks, attempted drowning, smothering and the features of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.
SEXUAL ABUSE. This is the involvement of dependent (legally under 18), developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not fully understand and to which they are unable to give informed consent. Prime elements in any definition of sexual abuse are betrayal of trust and responsibility, the abuse of power for the purpose of sexual gratification of the abuser and the inability of the child to consent. Possible indicators are distressed behaviour, aversion to certain places, people or physical contact, excessive or inappropriate interest in sexual matters, self harm. Any physical signs need to be referred to medical practitioner for examination.
NEGLECT. This is the persistent or severe neglect of a child which results in serious detriment to the child’s physical and emotional health. There may be exposure to danger by repeated failure to address the physical and developmental needs of the child. The failure of a child to thrive may result from neglect but will always need medical diagnosis. Possible indicators are child dirty, malnourished, uncared for, known or found to be unsupervised, repeatedly ill and/or absent from school.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE. This relates to persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment of a child which has a severe and adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of the child. Diagnosis can involve medical, psychological, psychiatric, social and emotional assessment. Indicators are child withdrawn, fearful, signs of disturbed, unusual or exaggerated behaviour, low self esteem, self harm. All abuse can be viewed as involving emotional abuse.
Any member of staff suspecting that a child has been abused must immediately inform the Headmaster, or, in his absence, the Second Master or Head of Early Years, via a completed Child Protection Referral Form, which can be obtained from the Proforma Document Store in the staffroom.
There should be no prior consultation with anyone.
When a child makes a complaint, it is important to
- Listen carefully to the child. Accept what you are told and remain objective.
- Refrain from questioning, except to clarify meaning. No suggestions or leading questions must be put to the child.
- Explain to the child that you cannot promise confidentiality and will need to inform the Headmaster about the allegations/concerns so that he/she can contact people whose job it is to keep children safe. Reassure the child that they have done the right thing and acknowledge the child’s courage in deciding to disclose the information.
- Record carefully what has been said by the child, what you have said or observed. Do this as soon as possible after the meeting. Keep pictures drawn by the child and draw a diagram of any physical injuries observed.
Remember – Receive information – Reassure – React – Explain and record.
The Headmaster, Second Master or Head of Early Years should contact Harrow Childrens’ Social Care Team to seek further advice prior to making a referral.
Office hours – 020 8863 5544. Out of Office hours – 0208424 0999.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
The matter of how/when to inform the parents of the investigation will be responsibility of Children’s Social Care.
Allegations Against A Member of Staff.
If an allegation of child abuse concerns a member of staff, the referral should go directly to the Headmaster, who will deal with the matter in the manner prescribed in the employee’s contract of employment
This procedure follows the guidance in “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” published by the DfES, effective from 1st January 2007.
ny allegation should be reported immediately to the Headmaster, unless the allegation is against the Headmaster, in which case it should be referred to the Chair of Governors.
- The Headmaster will report the allegation to the Harrow Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on the same day if the member of staff or volunteer has A) behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child. B) possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child; or C) behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates (s)he is unsuitable to work with children.
- The LADO will discuss the matter with the Headmaster and obtain full details of the allegation and circumstances in which it was made. This discussion will also establish whether there is evidence or information supporting the veracity of the allegation. The Headmaster will not investigate the allegation at this stage.
- If the allegation is found to have substance and there is cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, the LADO will refer to Children’s Social Care, who will implement a strategy discussion to be convened at once; this discussion will include the LADO and the Headmaster.
- If there is no cause to suspect significant harm is an issue, but a criminal offence might have been committed, the LADO will inform the Police immediately and convene a similar discussion to decide whether a Police investigation is required; this discussion will include the school and any other agencies involved with the child.
- If the initial consideration decides the allegation does not involve a possible criminal offence, the school will deal with it. In such cases, if the nature of the allegation does not require formal disciplinary action, the Headmaster will institute an appropriate action within three working days. If a disciplinary hearing is required and can be held without further investigation, the hearing will be held within 15 working days.
- Where further investigation is required to inform consideration of disciplinary action, the Headmaster will discuss with the LADO who will undertake the investigation. The investigating officer should aim to provide a report to the school within 10 working days.
- On receipt of the report of the disciplinary investigation, the Headmaster and Chair of Governors will consult the LADO and decide whether a disciplinary hearing is required within 2 working days. If a hearing is needed it will be held within 15 working days.
- If Children’s Social care has undertaken enquiries to determine whether the child is in need of protection, the Headmaster and Chair of Governors will take account of any relevant information obtained in the course of such inquiries when considering disciplinary action.
- The LADO should liaise with the school to monitor progress of the case and provide advice or support when required or requested.
- If a criminal investigation is required, the Police will aim to complete their enquiries as quickly, fairly and thoroughly as possible and will keep the progress of the case under review. They should set, at the outset, a target date for reviewing progress of the case and consulting the CPS about whether to proceed with the investigation, charge the individual with an offence, or close the case. If possible, that review should take place no later than 4 weeks after the initial action meeting. Should it be decided to continue with the investigation, dates for subsequent review should be set at that point.
- If the Police (and/or CPS) decide not to charge the individual with an offence, or decide to administer a caution, or the person is acquitted by a Court, the Police should aim to pass all information they have which may be relevant to a disciplinary case to the school within 3 working days of the decision. In such circumstances the school and the LADO will proceed as described in sections 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 above. If Children’s Social Care has undertaken enquiries to determine whether the child is in need of protection, or any information obtained in the course of those enquiries which is relevant to a disciplinary case will also be passed on to the school.
- If the person is convicted of an offence, the Police will inform the employer immediately, so that appropriate action can be taken.
- If, on conclusion of the case, the school ceases to use the person’s services, or the person ceases to provide his or her services, the school will consult the LADO about whether a referral to DCSF is required. If a referral is appropriate, the report will be made within one month.
Updated April 2012.
Next Review September 2012.
• QUAINTON HALL SCHOOL AND NURSERY.
Quainton Hall has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils. However, if parents do have a complaint, they can expect it to be dealt with by the School in accordance with the following Procedure. Quainton Hall School makes its complaints procedure available to all parents of pupils and of prospective pupils on the school’s website and in the school office during the school day and Quainton Hall School will ensure that parents of pupils or prospective pupils who request it are made aware that this document is published or available and the form in which it is published or available.
Stage 1 - Informal Resolution
It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally. However, parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. The school is here for your child and you can be assured that your child will not be penalised for a complaint that you or your child raises in good faith.
If parents have a complaint they should normally contact their child’s Form Teacher/key worker in the first instance. All complaints will be handled seriously and sensitively. In many cases, the matter will be resolved straightaway by this means to the parents’ satisfaction. lf the Form Teacher/key worker cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for them to consult the Head of Early Years/Head of Lower School/ Second Master.
Complaints made directly to the Headmaster will usually be referred to the relevant Form Teacher initially unless the Headmaster deems it appropriate for him to deal with the matter personally.
The Form Teacher/key worker will make a written record of all concerns and complaints and the date on which they were received and will also notify the Headmaster or, in his absence, the Second Master, that a complaint has been received. Should the matter not be resolved within five working days or in the event that the Form Teacher/key worker and the parent fail to reach a satisfactory resolution then parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this Procedure.
Stage 2 - Formal Resolution
If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis, then the parents should put their complaint in writing to the Headmaster. The Headmaster will normally discuss the complaint with appropriate colleagues and then decide, after considering the complaint in the light of that discussion and any other information he may have, the appropriate course of action to take.
The Headmaster will normally meet the parents concerned, within five working days of receiving the complaint in accordance with Stage 2, to discuss the matter. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage.
It may be necessary for the Headmaster to carry out further investigations.
The Headmaster will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.
Once the Headmaster is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents will be informed of this decision in writing, within 28 working days of receiving the written complaint. The Headmaster will also give reasons for his decision.
If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this Procedure.
Stage 3 - Panel Hearing
If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution), they will be referred to Mr Brian Ward Lilley, who has been appointed by the Governors to call hearings of the Complaints’ Panel. (Communications to Mr Ward Lilley need to be marked Private & Confidential and addressed to him, c/o Quainton Hall School. Any such communications will be forwarded to him unopened at the earliest possible opportunity.)
The matter will then be referred to the Complaints’ Panel for consideration. The Panel will consist of at least three persons not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, one of whom shall be independent of the management and running of the school. Each of the Panel members shall be appointed by the Board of Governors. Mr Ward Lilley, on behalf of the Panel, will then acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as practicable and normally within 14 working days.
If the Panel deems it necessary, it may require that further particulars of the complaint or any related matter be supplied in advance of the hearing. Copies of such particulars shall be supplied to all parties not later than two working days prior to the hearing.
The parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person. This may be a relative, teacher or friend. Legal representation will not normally be appropriate.
If possible, the Panel will resolve the parents’ complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.
Where further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should be carried out. After due consideration of all facts they consider relevant, the Panel will reach a decision and may make recommendations, which it shall complete within seven working days of the Hearing. The Panel will write to the parents informing them of its decision and the reasons for it. The decision of the Panel will be final.
Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Correspondence, statements and records will be kept confidential except in so far as is required of the school by paragraph 6(2)(j) of the Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations 2003; where disclosure is required in the course of the school’s inspection; or where any other legal obligation prevails.
Following the resolution of a complaint, the school will keep a written record of all complaints and whether they are resolved at the preliminary stage or proceed to a panel hearing. At the school’s discretion, additional records may be kept which may contain the following information;
- Date when issue was raised
- Name of parent
- Name of pupil
- Description of the issue
- Record of the investigations
- Witness statements (if appropriate)
- Name of member(s) of staff handling the issue at each stage
- Copies of all correspondence on the issue – including emails and records of telephone conversations.
In compliance with Independent Schools’ Inspectorate Regulatory Requirements (Jan. 2010), as we have provision for the Early Years Foundation Stage which is registered with OFSTED, complainants will be notified of the outcome of any investigation within 28 days of having received the complaint. Records of complaints received will be kept for a minimum of three years.
Upon request by ISI and/or OFSTED, to provide a written record of all complaints made during any specified period and the action that was taken as a result of each complaint.
If parents of pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage wish to contact OFSTED and/or ISI to make a complaint, they may do so via the following contact details;
Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI)
9-12 Long Lane, London.
Tel: 020 7600 0100
Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)
National Business Unit
Royal Exchange Buildings
St Ann’s Square
Manchester M2 7LA.
Tel: 0300 123 3153
January 2010. Review September 2013.