Leigh Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

‘Live And Learn With Jesus’

Windermere Road, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 1UX


01942 674226

  Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy  

School details

Safeguarding, Child Protection and Early Help Policy


September 2020

Sacred Heart Leigh


If you have any concerns about a child who lives in Wigan contact 01942 828300 Monday to Sunday 24 hours.


Or you can make a referral electronically

Key Contacts


Table of identified persons with specific lead responsibilities in relation to Safeguarding and other key agencies.


Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical 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 outcomes.


Child Protection refers to the situation where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so and action is required to protect that child.



This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by


  • The Children Act 1989 (as amended).
  • The Children and Social Work Act 2017.
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

In addition to the revised documents;

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 (statutory from 03/09/2018)

Other key documents are noted, which have prompted changes to safeguarding requirements over time. This policy references these throughout where relevant:

  • GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners 2018.
  • Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between Children in Schools and Colleges (guidance document) 2018.
  • Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.
  • Childcare Act 2006 (as amended in 2018).

This policy should also be read in conjunction with Wigan Threshold of Need ‘Document Procedure and Wigan’s Resolution Policy’.  This policy should be read alongside the following policies relevant to the safety and welfare of our pupils;

  • Behaviour
  • Staff behaviour / Code of Conduct
  • Whistleblowing
  • Respect (anti-bullying)
  • Health and safety
  • Allegations against staff
  • Parental Concerns
  • Curriculum
  • PSHE
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Administration of medicines
  • Drug Education
  • Sex and Relationships Education
  • Physical intervention
  • E-Safety, including staff use of mobile phones
  • Risk Assessment
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Intimate Care
  • Resolution
  • Mental Health
  • Policy on Supporting Children in Care
  • Attendance including the safeguarding response to children who go missing

The aim of this policy is to ensure:

  • All of our pupil’s / students are safe and protected from harm
  • Safeguarding procedures are in pCLAe to help pupils and students to feel safe and learn to stay safe
  • Adults in the education setting community are aware of the expected behaviours and the legal responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and child protection.
  • All agencies are providing appropriate support to children and young people through adoption of the early help framework


This will be achieved by:

  • Supporting the child’s / young person’s development in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence.
  • Providing a high quality, safe and stimulating environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected, feel confident, and are able to enjoy, learn and grow in confidence. Have positive relationships with the adults caring for them and know how to approach adults if they are in difficulties, believing they will be effectively listened to.
  • Raising the awareness of all teaching and non-teaching staff of the need to safeguard children and young people, of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse (reference appendices 1 and 2) and preventing and intervening earlier to address support and social needs of young people through the early help framework
  • Providing a systematic means of monitoring children / young people known or thought to be at risk of harm, and ensure we, Sacred Heart Leigh, contribute to assessments of need and support packages for those pupils/students.
  • Emphasising the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff.
  • Developing a structured procedure within the education setting which will be followed by all members of the education setting community in cases of suspected abuse. Also that staff have had access to specific training and awareness raising concerning:
  • Staff Behaviour Policy (for safer working practice)
  • D/DSL training
  • KCSiE Part 1
  • Looked After Children (CLA)
  • Online safety training for
  • staff
  • Preventing Radicalisation
  • Staff training
  • Whistleblowing
  • Developing and promoting effective working relationships with other agencies, especially the Police, Health and Social Care.
  • Ensuring that all staff working within our education setting who have substantial access to children and young people have been checked as to their suitability, including verification of their identity, qualifications, and a satisfactory DBS check and a central record is kept for audit. The guidance regarding DBS checks was updated by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and further information can be found regarding What level of check if required for individuals which has been produced by the UK government
  • Curriculum – teaching about safeguarding: Our pupils access a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. We provide opportunities for pupils to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being. The PSHE and citizenship curriculum specifically includes the following objectives:
  • Developing pupil self-esteem and communication skills
  • Developing strategies for self-protection including online safety





As outlined above, the term ‘safeguarding children’ covers a range of measures including child protection procedures. It encompasses a preventative approach through the early help framework to keeping children safe that incorporates pupil health and safety; school behaviour and preventing bullying; supporting pupils with medical conditions; personal, health, social economic education; providing first aid and site security.


All staff are aware of the categories of abuse, which are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Sexual abuse


The definitions of which can be found in the glossary, and signs and symptoms of the four categories of abuse can be found in Appendix one and two.


This policy assumes that any of the categories of abuse could be disclosed within the Borough of Wigan, and gives further information relating to individual types of abuse within this document in line with advice and guidance within Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020.




All staff are:

  • Familiar with this safeguarding policy and have an opportunity to contribute to its review.
  • Alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse.
  • Able to record and report concerns as set out in this policy.
  • Able to deal with a disclosure of abuse from a pupil.
  • Involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and interagency child protection plans as required.

In addition, all staff have read and understood Part 1 of the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE 2020). All staff working directly with children have also read Annex A.


We recognise that all adults, including temporary staff, volunteers and governors, have a full and active part to play in protecting our pupils / students from harm, and that the child’s / young person’s welfare is our paramount concern.


All staff believe that our education setting should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child or young person.


We recognise that a child / young person who is neglected, abused or witnesses violence may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame themselves, and find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of worth.


We recognise that the education setting may provide the only stability in the lives of children and young people who have been abused or are at risk of harm.  Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.  When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.


We recognise that the early help framework provides opportunities to intervene early and prevent safeguarding issues developing, as well providing a framework for appropriate support to be wrapped around the child / young person and their family.



Responding to concerns / disclosures of abuse

Staff adhere to the following Dos and Don’ts when concerned about abuse or when responding to a disclosure of abuse.



  • Create a safe environment by offering the child a private and safe pCLAe if possible.
  • Stay calm and reassure the child and stress that he/she is not to blame.
  • Tell the child that you know how difficult it must have been to confide in you.
  • Listen carefully and tell the child what you are going to do next.
  • Use the ‘tell me’, ‘explain’, ‘describe’ and/or mirroring strategy.
  • Tell only the Designated or Deputy Safeguarding Lead.
  • Record in detail using the Welfare Concern Record without delay, using the child’s own words where possible.


  • Take photographs of any injuries.
  • Postpone or delay the opportunity for the pupil to talk.
  • Take notes while the pupil is speaking or ask the pupil to write an account.
  • Try to investigate the allegation yourself.
  • Promise confidentiality, eg. Say you will keep ‘the secret’.
  • Approach or inform the alleged abuser.

All staff record any concern about or disclosure by a pupil of abuse or neglect and report this to the D/DSL using the standard form. It is the responsibility of each adult in school to ensure that the D/DSL receives the record of concern without delay. In the absence of the D/DSL, staff will seek advice direct from Children’s Social Care.

In some circumstances, the D/DSL or member of staff seeks advice by ringing Children’s Social Care.

During term time, the DSL or a DDSL is always available during school hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns.

The voice of the child is central to our safeguarding practice and pupils are encouraged to express and have their views given due weight in all matters affecting them.

We are committed to work in partnership with parents and carers. In most situations, we will discuss initial concerns with them. However, the D/DSL will not share information where there are concerns that if so doing would:

  • pCLAe a child at increased risk of significant harm
  • pCLAe an adult at increased risk of serious harm
  • prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime
  • lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm to a child, or serious harm to an adult.

When we become aware that a pupil is being privately fostered, we remind the carer/parent of their legal duty to notify Wigan Children’s Social Care. We follow this up by contacting Children’s Social Care directly.



Safe Setting, Safe Staff

Our health and safety policy, set out in a separate document, reflects the consideration we give to the protection of our children and young people both physically within the education setting environment and, for example, in relation to internet use, and when away from the education setting, undertaking off site trips and visits.


School security guidance has been compiled to support the senior management of educational settings in the discharge of their responsibilities by ensuring the development and implementation of suitable procedures. In particular, maintaining the security of the premises in response to potential threats to the staff and pupils / students of the setting. Appendix Four


Sacred Heart Leigh will ensure that:


  1. The Governing body / trustees takes seriously its responsibility under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our school to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering / at risk of suffering abuse and neglect.

As key strategic decision makers and vision setters for the school, the governors will make sure that our policies and procedures are in line with national and local safeguarding requirements. Governors will work with the senior leaders to make sure the key actions set out in Safe Setting Safe Staff are in pCLAe.


  • There is a safeguarding, child protection and early help policy together with a staff behaviour (code of conduct) policy
  • The education setting operates safer recruitment procedures by ensuring that there is at least one person on every recruitment panel that has completed Safer Recruitment training.
  • The education setting has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff and volunteers and to make a referral to the DBS if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have, had they not resigned.
  • Disqualification by Association is no longer allowed within school settings, although Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006, still applies to staff themselves.
  • A senior leader has Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) responsibility
  • On appointment, the DSL undertakes interagency training and also undertakes DSL “new to role” training and an “update” course every 2 years
  • All other staff have access to safeguarding training as appropriate
  • Any weaknesses in Child Protection processes and procedures are remedied immediately
  • A member of the governing body / trustees, usually the Chair, is nominated to liaise with the LA on safeguarding issues and in the event of an allegation of abuse made against the Headteacher / Head of School
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection policies and procedures are reviewed annually and that the Safeguarding, Child Protection and Early Help (Thresholds of Needs) policy is available on the education settings website or by other means
  • The Governing body / Trustees consider how children may be taught about safeguarding. This may be part of a broad and balanced curriculum covering relevant issues through personal social health and economic education (PSHE) and / or for maintained schools through relationship and sex education (RSE).
    • Online Safety
  • That enhanced DBS checks are in pCLAe for Chairs of Governors / Trustees of independent, academies, non-maintained special schools.
  • The nominated governor (NG) for safeguarding liaises with the headteacher / principal and the D/DSL to complete an annual Section 175 safeguarding audit to return to the local authority.



  1. Keeping Children Safe in Education is statutory guidance that education settings in England must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children applying to.
  • Governing bodies of maintained schools ( including maintained nursery schools) and colleges;
  • Proprietors of independent schools (including academies, free schools and alternative provision academies) and non-maintained special schools. In the case of academies, free schools and alternative provision academies, the proprietor will be the academy trust; and
  • Management committees of pupil referral units (PRUs)


  1. The lead DSL is a member of the Senior Leadership team who has; along with the deputy designated safeguarding lead(s), undertaken the relevant training, and, upon appointment will undertake DSL new to role training followed by biannual updates.


  1. The DSL’s who are involved in recruitment and at least one member of the governing body / trustees will also complete safer recruitment training to be renewed every 3 years


  1. The name of the designated members of staff for child protection (DSL’s and DDSL’s) will be clearly visible in the school, with a statement explaining the education settings role in referring and monitoring cases of suspected abuse.


  1. All members of staff are trained in, and receive, regular updates in e-safety and reporting concerns


  1. All new members of staff will be given a copy of our safeguarding statement and safeguarding, child protection and early help (thresholds of need) policy, with the DSL’s names clearly displayed, as part of their induction.


  1. All other staff, volunteers and governors / trustees, have child protection awareness training, updated by the DSL as appropriate, to maintain their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse.


  1. Child protection and safeguarding concerns or allegations against adults working in the school are referred to the DO (previously LADO) for advice and that any member of staff found not suitable to work with children or young people will be notified to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for consideration for barring, following resignation, dismissal, or when we cease to use their service as a result of a substantiated allegation, in the case of a volunteer.


  1. All parents/carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to safeguarding and child protection procedures through publication of the education settings Safeguarding, Child protection and Early Help policy, and reference to it in the school.


  1. The Policy is available publically either on the education settings website or by other means. Parents / Carer’s are made aware of this policy and their entitlement to have a copy of it via the website / newsletter.


  1. All visitors complete a sign in / out form, wear a school ID badge and are provided with safeguarding information including the contact details of safeguarding personnel.
  1. Visitors of a professional role are asked to provide evidence of their role and employment details (usually an identity badge) upon arrival at the education setting. Supporting letter in relation to DBS checks of visitors holding professional ID badges can be found in (Appendix three)


  1. Community users organising activities for children are aware of the school’s child protection guidelines and procedures.


  1. Our lettings policy, for community use of the premises, will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working with children on school sites at any time.


  1. Our procedures will be annually (as a minimum) reviewed and updated.




All members of staff and volunteers have read, understood and signed the school’s Staff Behaviour Policy.



All members of staff and volunteers have read, signed and understood the school’s Staff Behaviour Policy.



The welfare of all our pupils is of paramount importance. All staff including volunteers are informed of our safeguarding procedures including online safety, at induction. Our induction also includes:

  • Plan of support for individuals appropriate to the role for which they have been hired
  • Confirmation of the conduct expected of staff within the school – our Staff Behaviour Policy
  • Opportunities for a new member of staff to discuss any issues or concerns about their role or responsibilities
  • Confirmation of the line management / mentor process whereby any general concerns or issues about the person’s ability or suitability will be addressed.


Safeguarding training

This training is for all staff and is updated every 3 years as a minimum to ensure staff understand their role in safeguarding. Any member of staff does not attend the whole school session will be expected to complete this statutory training requirement on their return to school. In addition, all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as necessary and at least annually. All staff also receives training in respect of online safety, and this is updated, as necessary.


Advanced training

The D/DSL has additional training which is updated every two years as a minimum. The D/DSL also attends multi-agency courses relevant to school needs. Their knowledge and skills are refreshed at least annually e.g. via e-bulletins or safeguarding networking events with other D/DSLs.


Safer Recruitment

At least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken Safer Recruitment Training.


Preventing Radicalisation

All staff undertakes Prevent training.


Staff support

Due to the demanding, often distressing nature of child protection work, we support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through the challenges of this aspect of their role with a senior leader and to seek further support as appropriate.



Governors undertake the school’s Induction programme. They may choose to complete face to face training for governors provided by Wigan Council. In addition, governors may choose to attend whole school safeguarding and child protection training.




The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection and are responsible for:


  1. Referring a child if there are any concerns about possible abuse, to the Local Authority, and acting as a focal point for staff to discuss these concerns. Referrals should be made by calling the Child In Need duty team.


  1. Keeping written records of concerns about a child even if there is no need to make an immediate referral.


  1. Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially, securely stored and are separate from pupil / students record, are transferred securely and held by the setting where the pupils / students attend until their 25th In the instance of an early help intervention, consideration will be given to the welfare of the child / young person and consult with the family for appropriate transfer of information.


  1. Ensuring that an indication of the existence of the additional file outlined above is clearly marked on the pupils records.


  1. Ensuring that all records are kept and retained in line with the “Record retention” policy, Children looked after records are retained for 99 years, and a record is kept and witnessed of the disposal of individual’s record.


  1. Making sure when a pupil / student leaves, any information regarding safeguarding (current or historic) as well as the child protection file, where applicable, is transferred to the new education setting as soon as possible. This should be transferred separately from the main pupil file, ensuring secure transit, and confirmation of receipt should be obtained. Receiving schools and colleges should ensure key staff such as designated safeguarding leads and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in colleges, are aware as required.


  1. Ensuring that they, or the staff member attending case conferences, core groups, early help meetings or other multi-agency planning meetings, contribute to assessments and provide a report which has been shared with the parents.


  1. Ensuring that any pupil or student currently with a child protection plan who is absent in the educational setting without explanation for two days is referred to their key worker’s Social Care Team.


  1. Organising child protection induction and update training every 3 years for all school staff.


  1. Providing, with the head of school, an annual report for the governing body/trustees, detailing any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by the DSL, and by all staff and governors; number and type of incidents/cases, and a number of children on the child protection register (anonymised)


Liaising with other agencies and professionals


Supporting Children and Young People

The education setting will consider the need for an Early Help assessment when it is identified that there are low level concerns or emerging needs. Detailed information on Early Help can be found in Chapter 1 of Working Together to Safeguard Children.


It is the responsibility of the education setting to initiate Early Help to identify what the family’s strengths and needs are. This will inform whether the setting can support the family or whether a referral to another agency is needed. This process provides a way of recording support and interventions that have been provided by the school to the child / young person and also supports a referral for additional support that may be needed from more targeted services where a single agency has been unable to meet that need. A team around the child meeting (TAC) can be arranged to ensure that a multi-agency action plan can be developed. It is important that the child and parents voice is captured as part of this assessment and that they take ownership of the plan. This plan should be regularly reviewed up to 4 to 6 weeks until outcomes are achieved. 


If at any point during the EH process, the risk increases and the education setting becomes concerned that the child or young person is, or is likely to suffer significant harm, then a referral will be made to children’s social care.


In all cases the educational setting will consider the statutory guidance for schools and colleges, Keeping Children Safe in Education, published by the DfE September 2020, with particular reference to Part 1: Information for all schools and colleges.


Our education setting will support all children and young people by:


  • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness through the curriculum, as well as our relationships, whilst not condoning aggression or bullying.
  • Healthy relationships
  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school.
  • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
  • Notifying Social Care as soon as there is a significant concern.
  • Providing continuing support to a child or young person, about whom there have been concerns, who leaves the school by ensuring that appropriate information is copied under confidential cover to the pupils new setting and ensuring the school medical records are forwarded as a matter of priority.


If at any point the education setting becomes concerned that a child or young person is at serious risk of harm they should respond appropriately.  If the school is concerned that a child is at immediate or imminent risk then they should contact Greater Manchester Police on either 111 or 999.  If however the school is concerned that a child is, or is likely to suffer serious harm but it is not imminent they should call Wigan Children’s Social Care Referral Team on 01942 828300.


Children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

The education setting will use the same considerations for children and young people with SEND, as detailed above. However the setting must also take into consideration that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children and young people. These can include:


  • Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s SEN or disability without further exploration (the setting must consider the child first and foremost, rather than the child’s SEND);
  • A higher risk of vulnerability due to factors such as; a learning disability, CLAk of awareness, social isolation, which may contribute to risks such as online vulnerability;
  • Being more prone to peer group isolation than other children;
  • The potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • Communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.


Children and young people with SEN and disabilities can face a number of challenges to disclosure, which must be recognised and taken into account, including; prejudice, negative responses and low expectations.


The voice of the child is central to our safeguarding practice and pupils are encouraged to express and have their views given due weight in all matters affecting them.

We are committed to work in partnership with parents and carers. In most situations, we will discuss initial concerns with them. However, the D/DSL will not share information where there are concerns that if so doing would:

  • Place a child at increased risk of significant harm
  • Place an adult at increased risk of serious harm
  • prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a serious crime
  • lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about allegations of significant harm to a child, or serious harm to an adult.


Involving Parents and Carers

In general, the DSL will discuss any child protection concerns with parents/carers before approaching other agencies and will seek their consent before making a referral to another agency. However, there may be occasions when the school will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.


Information sharing

We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential and information is handled in line with the education settings Information sharing.

The Government has issued Information Sharing for Safeguarding Practitioners Guidance that included 7 ‘Golden Rules’ of Information Sharing in safeguarding :


The Government guidance (described by the NSPCC, 2018) is:

  1. Remember that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Data Protection Act 2018 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.
  2. Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  3. Seek advice from other practitioners if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.
  4. Share with informed consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is good reason to do so, such as where safety may be at risk.
  5. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.
  6. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
  7. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose


All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information in order to safeguard children and cannot assume that someone else will pass on the information.


Sharing of information will be necessary for the purpose for which it’s being shared, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely


Key organisations who have a duty under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 to have arrangements in pCLAe to safeguard and promote the welfare of children are:


  • The local authority;
  • NHS England;
  • Clinical commissioning groups;
  • NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • The local policing body;
  • British Transport Police Authority;
  • Prisons;
  • National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies;4
  • Youth offending teams
  • Bodies within the education and /or voluntary sectors, and any individual to the extent that they are providing services in pursuance of section 74 of the Education and Skills Act 2008.


We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child or young person to Social Care with their parent’s / carers unless to do so could put the child or young person at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation.


As data controllers who process personal information we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office *NB* The Data Protection Act requires every data controller who is processing personal information to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office, unless they are exempt. To check if you are required to register check here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-fee/self-assessment/


Supporting Staff

Sacred Heart Leigh will work with partners in the safeguarding partnership to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people.


We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.


We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and to seek further support as appropriate.


Designated Safeguarding Leads should make use of support available by the Local Authority and the partnerships Safeguarding Team.


DSLs will have oversight of Early Help and Child Protection plans with appropriate structure in pCLAe to monitor progress and outcomes in partnership with Children’s Social Care and other stakeholders (check levels)

Allegations against staff

All Education setting and Early Years staff should take care not to pCLAe themselves in a vulnerable position with a child.


All staff should be expected to have awareness and knowledge of Guidance on Behaviour Issues, along with the school’s own Good Behaviour Policy and this should be part of induction for all new staff or volunteers.


Guidance about conduct and safe practice, including safe use of mobile phones by staff and volunteers, will be given at induction, alongside information on Safer Working Practices.


We understand that a pupil or student may make an allegation against a member of staff.


If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children / young people, the member of staff receiving the allegation or aware of the information, will immediately inform the Headteacher / Head of School


The Head teacher / Head of school, on all such occasions, will discuss the content of the allegation with the Designated Officer (DO).


If any member of staff has concerns that a colleague or volunteer might pose a risk to children, it is their duty to report these to the headteacher. Where the concerns or allegations are about the headteacher, these should be referred to the Chair of Governors.

The headteacher/Chair of Governors should report the concern to the Designated Officer for Allegations Sue Wharton- 01942 486034 lado@wigan.gov.uk


If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the Headteacher / Head of School, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Chair of Governors / Trustees who will consult DO, without notifying the Headteacher first.


The school will follow Wigan’s procedures for managing allegations against staff. Under no circumstances will we send a child / young person home pending such an investigation, unless this advice is given exceptionally, as a result of a consultation with the DO.


Suspension of the member of staff, excluding the Headteacher, against whom an allegation has been made, needs careful consideration, and the Headteacher will seek the advice of Human Resources / Legal in order to make that decision and informing the DO at the earliest opportunity.


In the event of an allegation against the Headteacher, the decision to suspend will be made by the Chair of Governors / Trustees with advice as outlined above.


We have a procedure for managing the suspension of a contract for a community user in the event of an allegation arising in that context.



Disagreements, Escalation and Resolution

Effective working together depends on an open approach and honest relationships between colleagues and between agencies.

Staff must be confident and able to professionally disagree and challenge decision-making as an entirely legitimate activity; a part of our professional responsibility to promote the best safeguarding practice. Staff are encouraged to press for re-consideration if they believe a decision to act / not act in response to a concern raised about a child is wrong. In such cases the WSCB Case Resolution Protocol (formerly escalation policy) is used if necessary.  If we are on the receiving end of a professional challenge, we see this as an opportunity to reflect on our decision making.



All staff can raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the education settings safeguarding regime. Our whistleblowing procedures, which are reflected in staff training and our Code of Conduct, are in pCLAe for such concerns to be raised with the head teacher.

If a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with the head teacher or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels are open to them:

  • The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline - Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 from 08:00 to 20:00, Monday to Friday, or email help@nspcc.org.uk.
  • A member of the governing body: Mrs T Turton


We recognise that children and young people cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fails to do so.


All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitudes or actions of colleagues. If it becomes necessary to consult outside the school, they should speak in the first instance, to the Area Education Officer / DO following the whistleblowing policy.


Whistleblowing regarding the Headteacher should be made to the Chair of the Governing Body (or trustees) whose contact details are readily available to staff (as pertained to setting).


It’s acknowledged that Whistleblowers have the right to remain anonymous, however identifying yourself may assist with any further investigations.


Physical Intervention and use of reasonable force

We acknowledge that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, when a child or young person is endangering him / herself or others.


The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by staff that involve a degree of physical contact to control or restrain children / young people. “Reasonable” in these circumstances means using no more force than necessary and staff should refer to the section on “use of reasonable force” within the behaviour policy.


Such events should be recorded by completing a serious incident log and signed by a witness.


Staff who are likely to need to use physical intervention or reasonable force will be appropriately trained in an accredited positive handling technique.


We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child or young person may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.


We recognise that touch is appropriate in the context or working with children and young people, and all staff are aware of the safer working practice guidance to ensure they are clear about their professional boundary.



We recognise that the education setting plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children and young people by providing them with good lines of communication with trusted adults.


If early help is appropriate, the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy) will contact the early help hub to ensure there is no current intervention and will generally lead on liaising with other agencies, setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate.


Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later.


Any such cases should be kept under constant review and consideration given to a referral to children’s social care for assessment for statutory services, if the child’s situation does not appear to be improving or is getting worse.


The education settings community will;


  • Work to establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are always listened to.
  • Include regular consultation with children and young people e.g. through safety questionnaires, participation in anti-bullying week, asking children and young people to report whether they have had happy / sad lunchtimes / playtimes / breaks
  • Ensure that all pupils and students know there is a trusted adult in the education setting whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
  • Include safeguarding across the curriculum, including PSHE, opportunities to equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know whom they should turn to for help. In particular this will include anti-bullying work, e-safety, road safety, pedestrian and cycle training. Also focused work in year 6 to prepare for transition to secondary school and more personal safety / independent travel
  • Ensure all staff are aware of school guidance for their use of mobile technology and have discussed safeguarding issues around the use of mobile technologies and their associated risks.


Domestic Abuse

We recognise the significant impact domestic abuse can have on children and young people, therefore we operate in partnership with Operation Encompass, a system which facilitates the sharing of information relating to domestic incidents where children live or frequent. Any incidents of domestic violence reported to the police will be notified to the education setting to effectively support the child(ren) / young person


Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment including Peer on Peer


Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Including Peer on Peer Abuse

  • This is a form of peer on peer abuse, which may include sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, such as indecent exposure, sexual assault, or sexually inappropriate pictures or videos (including sexting and upskirting).

Dealing with such cases are complex and the DSL will take a lead role in managing the situation on a case by case basis.  However, all staff should ensure that:

  • They never forward or copy an image from a child’s phone to their own or any other device, which could be categorised as an indecent image/ unlawful content.
  • All who experience abuse are reassured that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe.
  • Those who experience abuse should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting sexual violence or sexual harassment.
  • Nor should those who experience abuse ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.
  • In addition, support should be made available for the perpetrator of sexual abuse to understand motivations behind the abuse and challenge attitudes. It is understood that children who abuse other children may well have been abused themselves.

In addition to existing advice about managing a disclosure contained in this policy, staff will follow Searching, Screening and Confiscation Advice 2018.


The DSL will manage any incidents in line with the guidance contained in Part 5 KCSIE 2020 and Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges 2018.

Relationships Education (for all primary pupils) and Relationships and Sex Education

 which will be compulsory from September 2020. This will give schools the opportunity to discuss vital issues such as sexual violence and harassment, consent, bullying and peer on peer abuse and an opportunity for educators to challenge negative gendered attitudes not in line with the school ethos.


Schools have flexibility to decide how they discharge their duties effectively within the first year of compulsory teaching and are encouraged to take a phased approach (if needed) when introducing these subjects. The Statutory guidance: relationships education relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education. Colleges may cover relevant issues through tutorials.


Private Fostering Arrangements

Where schools and colleges become aware that a pupil (a child under the age of 16 or 18 if disabled) may be in a private fostering arrangement/ is provided with care and accommodation by someone who is not a close relative, for longer than 28 consecutive days in that person’s home, they should raise this, in the first instance, with the DSL. The school or college should notify the local authority by contacting Wigan Children’s Duty team on 01942 828300 Once notified, the local authority will check that the arrangement is suitable and safe for the child and assess the child’s circumstances.


Young Carers

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.  Our school recognises the impact that being a Young Carer can have on pupils, and the importance of identifying those young people so that appropriate support can be provided. WSP coordinates our local Young Carers Strategy and Wigan Council have produced some useful information for young carers, families and professionals.


Peer on Peer abuse

All children have a right to attend school and learn in a safe environment. All peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously. Staff recognise that while both boys and girls can abuse their peers, it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys perpetrators of such abuse. Peer on peer abuse is not tolerated, passed off as “banter” or seen as “part of growing up”. It is likely to include, but not limited to:

  • bullying (including cyber bullying)
  • gender based violence / sexual assaults
  • sexting or
  • Initiation / hazing type violence and rituals.


Consequently, peer on peer abuse is dealt with as a safeguarding concern, recorded as such and not managed through the systems set out in the school behaviour policy.

Victims, perpetrators and any other child affected by peer on peer abuse will be supported through the school’s pastoral system and the support will be regularly reviewed.

We minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse by providing:

  • A relevant curriculum, that helps children to develop their understanding of acceptable behaviours, healthy relationships and keeping themselves safe.
  • Established / publicised systems for children to raise concerns with staff, knowing they will be listened to, supported and valued, and that the issues they raise will be taken seriously.

The DSL liaises with other professionals to develop robust risk assessments and appropriate specialist targeted work for children that are identified as posing a potential risk to other children.


Our school policy on anti-bullying (respect policy) is set out in a separate document and acknowledges that to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. This includes all forms, e.g. Cyber, racist, homophobic and gender related bullying.


All staff are aware that children with SEND and / or differences / perceived differences are more susceptible to being bullied / victims of child abuse.

Our policy on racist incidents is set out separately and acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.


We keep a record of known bullying incidents, and will keep a record of racist incidents.


Preventing Radicalisation

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ wider safeguarding duties. Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. As with managing other safeguarding risks, education settings should be alert to changing in children’s and young person’s behaviour that could indicate that they are in need of protection. Staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children and young people who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral to the Channel programme.


Our school safeguarding policy will therefore be written to comply with the schools duty under Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 in accordance with the Department of  Education advice for schools specific guidance for schools  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s

Private Fostering Arrangements

Where schools and colleges become aware that a pupil (a child under the age of 16 or 18 if disabled) may be in a private fostering arrangement/ is provided with care and accommodation by someone who is not a close relative, for longer than 28 consecutive days in that person’s home, they should raise this, in the first instance, with the DSL. The school or college should notify the local authority by contacting Wigan Children’s Duty team on 01942 828300 Once notified, the local authority will check that the arrangement is suitable and safe for the child and assess the child’s circumstances.


Young Carers

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. 


Our school recognises the impact that being a Young Carer can have on pupils, and the importance of identifying those young people so that appropriate support can be provided.


Wigan Safeguarding Children Board coordinates our local Young Carers Strategy.



Where a pupil / student at our school is identified as having additional support needs due to being a young carer, or where a multi-agency approach may be required, our school uses the Early Help Framework and routes into the StartWell Service.


Supporting Staff

Sacred Heart Leigh will work with partners in the safeguarding partnership to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people.  We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.


We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and to seek further support as appropriate. DSL’s should make use of support available by the Local Authority and the partnerships Safeguarding Team. DSLs will have oversight of Early Help and Child Protection plans with appropriate structure in place to monitor progress and outcomes in partnership with Children’s Social Care and other stakeholders (check levels)


Key Safeguarding Areas

In addition to the above there are other areas of safeguarding that the school has a responsibility to address and these include:

  • Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking
  • Child criminal exploitation
  • All types of peer on peer abuse
  • Domestic violence and abuse and intimate teenage relationship abuse
  • So called Honour Based Abuse including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced marriage
  • Gangs and youth violence
  • Serious violence
  • Drugs
  • Fabricated or induced illness
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Faith abuse
  • Radicalisation
  • Private fostering
  • Online sexual abuse
  • Online safety
  • Attendance
  • Children and the court system
  • Sexual violence and harassment between children
  • Children with a family member in prison
  • Homelessness
  • Alternative provision

For further information on these key topics also see Appendix B


Monitoring and Evaluation

Our child protection policy and procedures will be monitored and updated by:


  • Governing Body visits to the education setting
  • SLT drop ins and discussions with children, young people and staff
  • Pupil / student surveys and questionnaires
  • Scrutiny of exclusion and attendance data
  • Scrutiny of GB minutes
  • Logs of bullying / racist / behaviour incidents for SLT and GB to monitor
  • Review of parental concerns and parent / carer questionnaires
  • Review of the use of intervention strategies such as nurture room and isolation room.


This policy should be read in alongside the following policies relevant to the safety and welfare of our pupils;



Staff behaviour/Code of conduct


Respect (anti – bullying)

Health and safety

Allegations against staff

Parental Concerns




Teaching and Learning

Administration of medicines

Drug Education

Sex and Relationships Education

Physical intervention

E - Safety, including staff use of mobile phones

Risk Assessment

Recruitment and Selection

Child Sexual Exploitation

Intimate Care




Corona Virus (COVID-19)

If school closed for further lockdown KCSiE (2020) remains in force throughout the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).


Our school is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our Children and Young people. Where the DSL and safeguarding team, has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, they should ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child or young person and their family. Details of this plan must be recorded as should a record of contacts made. This plan must be reviewed regularly (at least once a fortnight) and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate.


Our school also considers in these times, family circumstances can change quickly and therefore new families may arise as in need or vulnerable. We will keep communication with all families open which can include remote contact, phone contact, door-step visits which will be recorded. We will also ensure that families are aware of how they may contact our pastoral care/ safeguarding team for support. This will be via phone 01942 674226


Our school will share safeguarding and pastoral support messages on its website and social media pages. We recognise that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. We will take this into consideration when providing work and updates families and students.


As a school will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and where appropriate recorded.


Corona Virus (COVID-19) returning to school

The Department for Education has issued guidance for schools who are open during the pandemic.


DSL and DDSL’s will be provided with more time, especially in the first few weeks of term, to help them provide support to staff and children regarding any new safeguarding and welfare concerns and the handling of referrals to children’s social care and other agencies where these are appropriate, and agencies and services should prepare to work together to actively look for signs of harm.


Our school understands that guidance from the government changes frequently and will continue to revise any Corona Virus addendums through the period of COVID-19.

Appendix one

Recognising signs of child abuse

Signs of Abuse in Children:


The following non-specific signs may indicate something is wrong:

  • Significant change in behaviour
  • Extreme anger or sadness
  • Aggressive and attention-seeking behaviour
  • Suspicious bruises with unsatisfactory explanations
  • CLAk of self-esteem
  • Self-injury
  • Depression
  • Age inappropriate sexual behaviour

Child Sexual Exploitation

Risk Indicators


The factors described in this section are frequently found in cases of child abuse.  Their presence is not proof that abuse has occurred, but:

  • Must be regarded as indicators of the possibility of significant harm
  • Justifies the need for careful assessment and discussion with designated / named / lead person, manager, (or in the absence of all those individuals, an experienced colleague)
  • May require consultation with and / or referral to Children’s Services


The absence of such indicators does not mean that abuse or neglect has not occurred.


In an abusive relationship the child may:

  • Appear frightened of the parent/s
  • Act in a way that is inappropriate to her/his age and development (though full account needs to be taken of different patterns of development and different ethnic groups)


The parent or carer may:

  • Persistently avoid child health promotion services and treatment of the child’s episodic illnesses
  • Have unrealistic expectations of the child
  • Frequently complain about/to the child and may fail to provide attention or praise (high criticism/low warmth environment)
  • Be absent or misusing substances
  • Persistently refuse to allow access on home visits
  • Be involved in domestic abuse


Staff should be aware of the potential risk to children when individuals, previously known or suspected to have abused children, move into the household.

Recognising Physical Abuse


The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:


  • An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
  • Several different explanations provided for an injury
  • Unexplained delay in seeking treatment
  • The parents/carers are uninterested or undisturbed by an accident or injury
  • Parents are absent without good reason when their child is presented for treatment
  • Repeated presentation of minor injuries (which may represent a “cry for help” and if ignored could lead to a more serious injury)
  • Family use of different doctors and A&E departments
  • Reluctance to give information or mention previous injuries



Children can have accidental bruising, but the following must be considered as non-accidental unless there is evidence or an adequate explanation provided:


  • Any bruising to a pre-crawling or pre-walking baby
  • Bruising in or around the mouth, particularly in small babies which may indicate force feeding
  • Two simultaneous bruised eyes, without bruising to the forehead, (rarely accidental, though a single bruised eye can be accidental or abusive)
  • Repeated or multiple bruising on the head or on sites unlikely to be injured accidentally
  • Variation in colour possibly indicating injuries caused at different times
  • The outline of an object used e.g. belt marks, hand prints or a hair brush
  • Bruising or tears around, or behind, the earlobe/s indicating injury by pulling or twisting
  • Bruising around the face
  • Grasp marks on small children
  • Bruising on the arms, buttocks and thighs may be an indicator of sexual abuse

Bite Marks

Bite marks can leave clear impressions of the teeth.  Human bite marks are oval or crescent shaped.  Those over 3 cm in diameter are more likely to have been caused by an adult or older child.

A medical opinion should be sought where there is any doubt over the origin of the bite.


Burns and Scalds

It can be difficult to distinguish between accidental and non-accidental burns and scalds, and will always require experienced medical opinion.  Any burn with a clear outline may be suspicious e.g.:

  • Circular burns from cigarettes (but may be friction burns if along the bony protuberance of the spine)
  • Linear burns from hot metal rods or electrical fire elements
  • Burns of uniform depth over a large area
  • Scalds that have a line indicating immersion or poured liquid (a child getting into hot water is his/her own accord will struggle to get out and cause splash marks)
  • Old scars indicating previous burns/scalds which did not have appropriate treatment or adequate explanation


Scalds to the buttocks of a small child, particularly in the absence of burns to the feet, are indicative of dipping into a hot liquid or bath.


Fractures may cause pain, swelling and discolouration over a bone or joint.

Non-mobile children rarely sustain fractures.

There are grounds for concern if:


  • The history provided is vague, non-existent or inconsistent with the fracture type
  • There are associated old fractures
  • Medical attention is sought after a period of delay when the fracture has caused symptoms such as swelling, pain or loss of movement
  • There is an unexplained fracture in the first year of life



A large number of scars or scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body, may suggest abuse.

Recognising Emotional Abuse


Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical.  The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse.

The indicators of emotional abuse are often also associated with other forms of abuse.

The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:


  • Developmental delay
  • Abnormal attachment between a child and parent/carer e.g. anxious, indiscriminate or not attachment
  • Indiscriminate attachment or failure to attach
  • Aggressive behaviour towards others
  • Scapegoated within the family
  • Frozen watchfulness, particularly in pre-school children
  • Low self esteem and CLAk of confidence
  • Withdrawn or seen as a “loner” – difficulty relating to others


Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse


Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear.  This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual child/family.

Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed.  There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional/behavioural.

Some behavioural indicators associated with this form of abuse are:


  • Inappropriate sexualised conduct
  • Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age
  • Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation
  • Self-harm (including eating disorder), self mutilation and suicide attempts
  • Involvement in prostitution or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners
  • An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes e.g. for sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties)


Some physical indicators associated with this form of abuse are:


  • Pain or itching of genital area
  • Blood on underclothes
  • Pregnancy in a younger girl where the identity of the father is not disclosed
  • Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing

Sexual Abuse by Young People


The boundary between what is abusive and what is part of normal childhood or youthful experimentation can be blurred.  The determination of whether behaviour is developmental, inappropriate or abusive will hinge around the related concepts of true consent, power imbalance and exploitation.  This may include children and young people who exhibit a range of sexually problematic behaviour such as indecent exposure, obscene telephone calls, fetishism, bestiality and sexual abuse against adults, peers or children.


Developmental Sexual Activity encompasses those actions that are to be expected from children and young people as they move from infancy through to an adult understanding of their physical, emotional and behavioural relationships with each other.  Such sexual activity is essentially information gathering and experience testing.  It is characterised by mutuality and of the seeking of consent.


Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour can be inappropriate socially, in appropriate to development, or both.  In considering whether behaviour fits into this category, it is important to consider what negative effects it has on any of the parties involved and what concerns it raises about a child or young person.  It should be recognised that some actions may be motivated by information seeking, but still cause significant upset, confusion, worry, physical damage, etc.  it may also be that the behaviour is “acting out” which may derive from other sexual situations to which the child or young person has been exposed.

If an act appears to have been inappropriate, there may still be a need for some form of behaviour management or intervention.  For some children, educative inputs may be enough to address the behaviour.


Abusive sexual activity included any behaviour involving coercion, threats, aggression together with secrecy, or where one participant relies on an unequal power base.


In order to more fully determine the nature of the incident the following factors should be given consideration.  The presence of exploitation in terms of:

  • Equality – consider differentials of physical, cognitive and emotional development, power and control and authority, passive and assertive tendencies
  • Consent – agreement including all the following:
    • Understanding that is proposed based on age, maturity, development level, functioning and experience
    • Knowledge of society’s standards for what is being proposed
    • Awareness of potential consequences and alternatives
    • Assumption that agreements or disagreements will be respected equally
    • Voluntary decision
    • Mental competence
  • Coercion – the young perpetrator who abuses may use techniques like bribing, manipulation and emotional threats of secondary gains and losses that is loss of love, friendship, etc.  Some may use physical force, brutality or the threat of these regardless of victim resistance.


In evaluating sexual behaviour of children and young people, the above information should be used only as a guide.


Recognising Neglect


Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting.  Indicators include:

  • Failure by parents or carers to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care
  • A child seen to be listless, apathetic and irresponsive with no apparent medical cause
  • Failure of child to grow within normal expected pattern, with accompanying weight loss
  • Child thrives away from home environment
  • Child frequently absent from school
  • Child left with adults who are intoxicated or violent
  • Child abandoned or left alone for excessive periods


Child Sexual Exploitation


The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.


Signs include:


  • underage sexual activity
  • inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour
  • sexually risky behaviour, 'swapping' sex
  • repeat sexually transmitted infections
  • in girls, repeat pregnancy, abortions, miscarriage
  • receiving unexplained gifts or gifts from unknown sources
  • having multiple mobile phones and worrying about losing contact via mobile
  • having unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile) or expensive habits (alcohol, drugs)
  • changes in the way they dress
  • going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends
  • seen at known pCLAes of concern
  • moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing where they are
  • getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults
  • having older boyfriends or girlfriends
  • contact with known perpetrators
  • involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations
  • hanging out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers
  • associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation
  • recruiting other young people to exploitative situations
  • truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education altogether
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive, sexual)
  • mood swings, volatile behaviour, emotional distress
  • self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • getting involved in crime
  • police involvement, police records
  • involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership
  • injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault.

Criminal Exploitation / County Lines

The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of Criminal Exploitation / County Lines

  • Returning home late, staying out all night or going missing
  • Being found in areas away from home
  • Increasing drug use, or being found to have large amounts of drugs on them
  • Being secretive about who they are talking to and where they are going
  • Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work
  • Unexplained money, phone(s), clothes or jewellery
  • Increasingly disruptive or aggressive behaviour
  • Using sexual, drug-related or violent language you wouldn’t expect them to know
  • Coming home with injuries or looking particularly dishevelled
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown pCLAes.
  • Gangs and youth violence

Teachers and designated staff have a range of powers in relation to discipline to tackle problems, including violence, in the school environment. Such powers cover disciplinary actions, the power to restrain violent pupils, and the power to search pupils for prohibited items.

Serious Violence

All staff should be aware of the signs that indicate a child is at risk of, or involved with serious violence, this includes: absence from school, change of friendship group, unexplained injuries, self- harm, unexplained gifts or possessions. Staff should also be aware of relevant guidance: Preventing youth violence and gang involvement



As part of school’s duty to promote pupils’ wellbeing, we have a role to play in preventing drug misuse as part of our pastoral responsibilities (health and wellbeing/Healthy Schools) and to support the Government’s drug strategy (2017). Our school will support students by providing information, advice and support via the curriculum and give students the confidence, resilience and risk management skills to resist risky behaviours and recover. The Department of Education and Association of Chief Police Officers have provided Drug Advice for Schools to support this aim. Schools also have the power to search pupils for drugs where there is a belief this student is in possession of criminal property.


Faith abuse

The National Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief is intended to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage practical steps to be taken to prevent such abuse. Schools should promote equality and awareness around cultural and religious practices.


Honour Based Abuse

So-called ‘honour-based’ Abuse (HBA) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving “honour” often involves a wider network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. It is important to be aware of this dynamic and additional risk factors when deciding what form of safeguarding action to take. All forms of HBA (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBA, or already having suffered HBA.


If you have concerns about an individual, the following helplines will be able to support you

Honour Network (Karma Nirvana): 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)

Government Forced Marriage Unit 0207 008 0151 or 0207 008 1500 (out of hours)

In emergencies, dial 999.The Home Office have produced further information on forced marriage.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. Professionals in all agencies, individuals and groups from the wider communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of FGM, or already having suffered FGM. There are a range of potential risk indicators which may indicate that a child may be subjected to FGM or may have suffered FGM.  These are detailed in the Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation issued by the home office.

Whilst all staff should speak to the DSL/ DDSL with regard to any concerns about FGM, there is a specific legal duty on teachers. If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a child under the age of 18, the teacher must report this to the police (KCSIE 2020). This should be completed in consultation with the DSL but the responsibility of reporting lies with the staff member who identified the concern.


Why is it carried out?

Belief that:

  • FGM brings status/respect to the child – social acceptance for marriage
  • Preserves a child’s virginity
  • Part of being a woman / rite of passage
  • Upholds family honour
  • Cleanses and purifies the child
  • Gives a sense of belonging to the community
  • Fulfils a religious requirement
  • Perpetuates a custom/tradition
  • Helps the child be clean / hygienic
  • Is cosmetically desirable
  •  Mistakenly believed to make childbirth easier

Circumstances and occurrences that may point to FGM happening

  • Child talking about getting ready for a special ceremony
  • Family taking a long trip abroad
  • Child’s family being from one of the ‘at risk’ communities for FGM (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leon, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea as well as non-African communities including Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdistan, Indonesia and Pakistan)
  • Knowledge that the child’s sibling has undergone FGM
  • Child talks about going abroad to be ‘cut’ or to prepare for marriage

Signs that may indicate a child has undergone FGM:

  • Prolonged absence from school and other activities
  • Behaviour change on return from a holiday abroad, such as being withdrawn and appearing subdued
  • Bladder or menstrual problems
  • Finding it difficult to sit still and looking uncomfortable
  • Complaining about pain between the legs
  • Mentioning something somebody did to them that they are not allowed to talk about
  • Secretive behaviour, including isolating themselves from the group
  • Reluctance to take part in physical activity
  • Repeated urinal tract infection
  • Disclosure

The ‘One Chance’ rule- As with Forced Marriage there is the ‘One Chance’ rule. It is essential that settings /schools/colleges take action without delay.

Peer on Peer Abuse

Peer or Peer Abuse includes:

  • Bullying, including cyber bullying
  • Physical Abuse including intimate partner abuse
  • Sexual Violence including CSE, Sexual Harassment, Sexting and Upskirting
  • Initiation and Hazing type violence including rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation as a way of initiating a person into a group
  • Gang violence, threats or coercion


All schools are required to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. Schools should tackle prejudice and promote understanding between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.The definition that has been adopted by the government and should be used when considering prejudice related incidents ‘A prejudice related incident is any incident which is perceived to be prejudice by the victim or any other person’


Domestic violence and abuse, Gender-based violence and teenage relationship abuse

Domestic abuse (over 16 years) and teenage relationship abuse (under 16 years) involves any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who are, or have been in relationships or family members regardless of gender or sexuality and is applicable to teenagers as teenage relationship abuse or intimate partner abuse. The curriculum should enable children and adolescents to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, consent and tackle gendered stereotypes.


Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

Sexual Violence and harassment can occur between two children of any sex. They can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.


Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physical and verbal) and are never acceptable. It is important that all children involved are taken seriously and offered appropriate support. The law says anyone under the age of 13 can never legally give consent. This means that anyone who engages in any sexual activity with a child who is 12 or younger is breaking the law. Sexual activity with a child who is under 13 should always result in a child protection referral.


Sexually harmful incidents should be viewed by professionals as a safeguarding concern and both victim and perpetrator should be supported. The school should have systems in places to support both students in the school setting to feel safe and heard should an incident occur.

School staff should be alert to negative sexualised or gendered language and behaviours and should be robust in tackling these, not brushing them off as ‘part of growing up’, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘banter’.


Online Sexual Abuse

Online sexual abuse involved the use of technology to manipulate, exploit, coerce or intimidate a child to (but not limited to) engage in sexual activity, produce sexual material/content, force a child to look at or watch sexual activities, encourage a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or groom a child in preparation for sexual abuse (either online or offline). It can also involve directing others to, or coordinating, the abuse of children online. As with other forms of sexual abuse, online abuse can be misunderstood by the child and others as being consensual, occurring without the child’s immediate recognition or understanding of abusive or exploitative conduct. In addition, fear of what might happen if they do not comply can also be a significant influencing factor. No child under the age of 18 can consent to being abused or exploited. Financial gain can be a feature of online child sexual abuse, it can involve serious organised crime and it can be carried out by either adults or peers.


Online Safety

The topic of online safety is considerable and can be linked to issues such as child sexual exploitation, bullying and radicalisation. Issues can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material; e.g. Pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views;
  • Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; e.g. commercial advertising as well as adults posing as children or young adults; and
  • Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; e.g. making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.


The school will ensure it is proactive in addressing online safety through:

  • Education of pupils through the curriculum;
  • Keeping parents up to date on how to support keeping their children to keep safe online; the government has released new guidance for parents to support children’s online activity Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for parents and carers to keep children safe online
  • Reviewing online safety practices as part of a whole school approach to online safety;
  • Filtering and monitoring to protect users but not leading to unreasonable restrictions;
  • Staff training which is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach;
  • Information sharing to enable the school community to be kept up to date.

For further information see government guidance Teaching online safety in school

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

All staff should also be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Staff however, are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.


Where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or other potentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. It is key that staff are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour and education.


If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, following their child protection policy and speaking to the DSL/DDSL. Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to our children’s physical health, relationships, education and to achieving their potential. The school should promote positive self-esteem and tackling behaviours such as bullying that can impact a young person’s self-esteem. Pastoral care should be available to those with mental health concerns as well as staff being aware of pathways for young people to Early Help and CAHMS.


Fabricated or induced illness

This supplementary guidance, Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (2008), sets out a national framework within which agencies and professionals at local level – individually and jointly – draw up and agree upon their own more detailed ways of working together where illness may be being fabricated or induced in a child by a carer who has parenting responsibilities for them.



Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) should be aware of contact details and referral routes in to the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.


Alternative Provision

Where a school places a pupil with an alternative provision provider, the school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil, and should be satisfied that the provider meets the needs of the pupil. Schools should obtain written confirmation from the alternative provider that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment, i.e. those checks that the school would otherwise perform in respect of its own staff.


Children and the Court System

A child may at some point experience the court system for a number of different reasons this may include being a witness to a crime or it could be as a result of child care arrangement being made in the Family Court. Whatever the reasons it is important the child is supported through this process.


Children with a Family Member in Prison

Children and young people whereby a family member is in prison are at risk of poor outcomes including poverty, stigma, isolation and poor mental health. The National Information Centre on Children of Offenders (NICCO) provides information designed to support professionals working with offenders and their children, to help mitigate negative consequences for those children.

Additional information about key safeguarding areas can also be found in KCSiE 2020 - Annex A.

Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (2018)

Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school  (2013)

Child protection during the COVID-19 measures

Annex to Child Protection policy – version 1.0



The way schools and colleges are currently operating in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) is fundamentally different to business as usual. Most children are no longer in a school setting and staff numbers have been affected by the outbreak. 

Schools have been asked to provide care for children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

This annex to our Child Protection policy sets out details of our safeguarding arrangements for:

  1. Version control and dissemination
  2. Safeguarding priority
  3. Current school position
  4. Safeguarding partners’ advice
  5. Roles and responsibilities
  6. Vulnerable children
  7. Increased vulnerability or risk
  8. Attendance
  9. Reporting concerns about children and staff
  10. Safeguarding training and induction
  11. Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff
  12. Peer on peer abuse
  13. Online safety
  14. New children at the school
  15. Supporting children not in school


 Version control and dissemination


This is version 1.0 of this annex. It will be reviewed by our designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or a deputy DSL on a weekly basis as circumstances continue to evolve or following updated Department for Education advice or guidance. It is available on the school website here leighsacredheart.wigan.sch.uk and is made available to staff when signing in.

We will ensure that on any given day all staff and volunteers in attendance will be aware of who the DSL and deputy DSLs are and how staff and volunteers can to speak to them.


Safeguarding priority

During these challenging times the safeguarding of all children at our school – whether they are currently at home or in attendance – continues to be our priority. The following fundamental safeguarding principles remain the same:

  • the best interests of children continue to come first
  • if anyone in our school has a safeguarding concern, they will act immediately
  • a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or deputy DSL will always be available
  • no unsuitable people will be allowed to gain access to children
  • children should continue to be protected when they are online.


Current school position


 Currently we have children who have parents who are key workers and children highlighted to us by Wigan LA. The children are all working with staff on the Ground Floor Level of the building.


All staff and volunteers attending on site from outside our school will complete an induction to ensure they are aware of safeguarding risks and know how to act if they have concerns.


Safeguarding partners’ advice


We continue to work closely with our three safeguarding partners, and we will ensure this annex is consistent with their advice. This will include expectations for supporting children with education, health and care (EHC) plans, the local authority designated officer and children’s social care, reporting mechanisms, referral thresholds and children in need. The current advice can be seen on Wigan Local Authority website.


Roles and responsibilities


The roles and responsibilities for safeguarding in our school remain in line with our Child Protection Policy. 


If possible, our DSL and at least one deputy DSL will be available on site during the school day.  Where this is not possible, we will:


  • have a trained DSL or deputy DSL available by phone and/or online video; or
  • ensure we have access to a trained DSL or deputy DSL from another school or college by phone and/or online video.

Where our DSL or a deputy DSL cannot be on site, then in addition to one of the above options we will also ensure a senior leader from the school takes responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site.


Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education or health care (EHC) plans.

Those who have a social worker include children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend school, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. Where a parent does not want their child to attend school, and their child is considered vulnerable, we will discuss this with the social worker and explore the reasons for this directly with the parent.

Those with an EHC plan will be risk-assessed in consultation with the local authority and parents to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home.

We will encourage our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed.

Senior leaders in our school, especially the DSL (and deputies) know who our most vulnerable children are, and they have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edge of receiving children’s social care support.

We will continue to work with children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children.


Increased vulnerability or risk

Negative experiences and distressing life events, such as the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents. Staff will be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home. Where we are providing for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we will ensure appropriate support is in place for them.

Our staff and volunteers will be aware of the mental health of children and their parents and carers and will contact the DSL or a deputy if they have any concerns.



Where a child is expected but does not arrive at school, we will follow our attendance procedure and attempt to contact the family. If contact cannot be made, the DSL or a deputy DSL will be informed. 

The DSL or a deputy will attempt to contact the parents through various methods, such as telephone, FaceTime, Skype or by contact a relative in the first instance. If contact cannot be made or if the DSL or a deputy DSL deems it necessary, we will undertake a home visit or ask an appropriate agency to do so. A risk assessment will be carried out before any such visit is made to ensure staff the family are not put at risk.

Where a vulnerable child does not take up their place, we will notify their social worker.


Reporting concerns about children or staff

The importance of all staff and volunteers acting immediately on any safeguarding concerns remains. Staff and volunteers will continue to follow our Child Protection procedures [insert link] and advise the DSL of any concerns they have about any child, including those who are not attending school.

The varied arrangements in place as a result of the COVID-19 measures do not reduce the risks that children may face from staff or volunteers. As such, it remains extremely important that any allegations of abuse made against staff or volunteers attending our school are dealt with thoroughly and efficiently and in accordance with our Allegations Against Staff Policy [insert link].


Staff training and induction

For the duration of the COVID-19 measures, our DSL and deputy DSLSs are unlikely to receive their refresher training. In line with government guidance, our trained DSLs and deputy DSLs will be classed as trained even if they cannot receive this training.

All current school staff have received safeguarding training and have read Part One and Annex A of Keeping Children Safe in Education. When new staff are recruited or volunteers join us, they will receive a safeguarding induction in accordance with our Child Protection Policy.

If staff from another setting attend the school site then, in line with government guidance, we will not undertake any additional safeguarding checks if the setting providing those staff confirm that:

  • the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check and, that in the opinion of that setting, nothing resulted from those checks that provided any caused for concern
  • there are no safeguarding investigations into the conduct of that individual
  • the individual remains suitable to work with children.


Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children.

When recruiting new staff, we will continue to follow our Safer Recruitment policy [insert link].

In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.

For volunteers we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process set out in paragraphs 167 to 172 of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to engage in regulated activity.

It is essential from a safeguarding perspective that we are aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers are on our school site and that the appropriate checks have been carried out on those individuals. We will continue to maintain our single central record (SCR) during these measures to ensure we have this awareness [insert link].


Peer on peer abuse

We recognise that children can abuse their peers and our staff are clear about the school’s policy and procedures regarding peer on peer abuse. All peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously. We also recognise that abuse can still occur during a school closure or partial closure and between those children who do attend the school site during these measures.

Our staff will remain vigilant to the signs of peer-on-peer abuse and will follow the process set out in our Child Protection Policy, which can be accessed here [insert link].


Online safety

It is likely that children will be using the internet and engaging with social media far more during this time.  Our staff are aware of the signs of cyberbullying and other online risks and our filtering and monitoring software remains in use during this time to safeguarding and support children. 

Our staff will follow the process for online safety set out in our Child Protection Policy [insert link].

Staff who interact with children online will continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. If a staff member is concerned about a child, that staff member will follow the approach set out in this annex and report that concern to the DSL or to a deputy DSL.


New children at the school

Children may join our school from other settings. When they do, we will seek from those settings the relevant welfare and child protection information. This is relevant for all children that join us, but it will be especially important where children are vulnerable.

For vulnerable children we will ensure we understand the reasons for the vulnerability and any arrangements in place to support them. As a minimum we will seek access to that child’s EHC plan, child in need plan, child protection plan or, for looked-after children, their personal education plan and know who the child’s social worker (and, for looked-after children, who the responsible VSH is).

Ideally this will happen before a child arrives but where that is not possible it will happen as soon as reasonably practicable.

Any exchanges of information will ideally happen at DSL (or deputy) level, and likewise between special educational needs co-ordinators/named individual with oversight of SEN provision for children with EHC plans. However, it is acknowledged this may not always be possible. Where this is the case our school senior leaders will take responsibility.

The DSL will undertake a risk assessment based on the information received, considering how risks will be managed and which staff needs to know the information.


Supporting children not in school

Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive additional pastoral support in school, they will ensure that a communication plan is in place to support that child. Details of that plan will be recorded in the safeguarding file for that child. It will be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains current during these measures.