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Child Protection Policy 

Issue Date : Sept 2023

Reviewed By: Full Governing Board

Review Date: Sept 2024

Author (of this model policy): Child Protection School Liaison Service, Quality Assurance Improvement and Practice, Children’s Services, Hertfordshire County Council
Issue Date September 2023
Reference CSF0034 version 9
Review Date (CPSLO Service) Upon receipt of the DfE publishing Keeping Children Safe in Education 2024 – model policy being available for schools to adapt from end of the July 2024, date TBC

Roots Federation’s Child Protection Policy is in line with the quality and standards expected from Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) and will be monitored by The Governing Body. This policy will also be reviewed annually or when new legislation requires changes, whichever is the soonest. This policy is approved by the The Governing Body.

Safeguarding Statement
A whole-school, child-centred approach is fundamental to all aspects of everyday life at Roots Federation. In practice this means keeping the child at the centre of decision making in our partnership working with children and their families. As stated in Children Acts 1989 and 2004, the welfare of children is paramount and that they are best looked after within their families, with their parents playing a full part in their lives, unless compulsory intervention in family life is necessary.
We hope that parents and carers appreciate our statutory duty to offer early help support and, depending on the gravity of the situation, protect children in need and who have suffered or otherwise likely to suffer significant harm. The core objective of early help support is to prevent any child from being harmed or placed at risk of harm and therefore halt any escalation where possible.
At Roots Federation we strive to create a culture which enables children to express their wishes, feelings, and talk about anything that is of importance to them. We believe that every child deserves to receive an education within an environment that feels safe to learn and develop. We want our pupils, staff, parents and carers to have confidence and trust in our goals and know that collaborative working is fundamental to create and maintain a child-centred approach to safeguarding.
This policy outlines the commitment to our legal duties to safeguard children, the responsibilities for all of our staff and the specific roles and responsibilities for our key Designated Safeguarding Leads and Governance.

Important safeguarding Contacts


Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) -Gemma Williamson - Hayley Yendell -07512308908

Heath Lane
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)-Vicki Wright - Carolyn

Muriel Green
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)-Chloe Reade, - Sue Wells, - Priscilla Amadis, - Suzie Pilgrim -

Oxhey Nursery School
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) -Wendy Hewitt, - Zahra Boyd -

Designated Teacher for Children Looked After (DT for CLA) -Gemma Williamson - Hayley Yendell -07512308908

Mental Health Lead-Gemma Williamson - Hayley Yendell -07512308908

Prevent Lead-Gemma Williamson - Hayley Yendell -07512308908

Chair of Governors - Patrick Aikman

Vice Chair of Governors-James

Link Safeguarding Governor -Matthew Brown

Non School Contacts

Hertfordshire County Council Children’s Social Care- Customer Service Centre -Children’s Services includes SOOHS (Out of Hours Service-Children’s Services) – 0300 123 4043

NSPCC Helpline - - 0808 800 5000

Police -emergency 999 - non-emergency 101

Channel Helpline - 02073407264

Legislation and Guidance

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (2023) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), and the Governance Handbook. We comply with this guidance and the arrangements agreed and published by our 3 local safeguarding partners (see section 4 definitions).
This policy is also based on the following legislation:
Maintained schools and pupil referral units insert:
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, places a duty on schools and local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils
The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009, which set out what must be recorded on the single central record and the requirement for at least 1 person conducting an interview to be trained in safer recruitment techniques.
All schools add:
The Children Act 1989 (and 2004 amendment), which provides a framework for the care and protection of children
Section 5B(11) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which places a statutory duty on teachers to report to the police where they discover that female genital mutilation (FGM) appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18
Statutory guidance on FGM, which sets out responsibilities with regards to safeguarding and supporting girls affected by FGM
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which outlines when people with criminal convictions can work with children
Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which defines what ‘regulated activity’ is in relation to children
Statutory guidance on the Prevent duty, which explains schools’ duties under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 with respect to protecting people from the risk of radicalisation and extremism
The Human Rights Act 1998, which explains that being subjected to harassment, violence and/or abuse, including that of a sexual nature, may breach any or all of the rights which apply to individuals under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
The Equality Act 2010, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against people regarding particular protected characteristics (including disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and race). This means our governors and headteacher should carefully consider how they are supporting their pupils with regard to these characteristics. The Act allows our school to take positive action to deal with particular disadvantages affecting pupils (where we can show it’s proportionate). This includes making reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils. For example, it could include taking positive action to support girls where there’s evidence that they’re being disproportionately subjected to sexual violence or harassment
The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which explains that we must have due regard to eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The PSED helps us to focus on key issues of concern and how to improve pupil outcomes. Some pupils may be more at risk of harm from issues such as sexual violence; homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying; or racial discrimination
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused is guidance from the Department for Education and is designed for anyone who works with children and families. This is additional guidance that details signs of abuse and neglect to look out for and what action to take if professionals are concerned. The first point of reference for those working and volunteering in education settings should still be Keeping Children Safe in Education (2023) and the setting’s own Safeguarding and Child Protection policies and procedures.
The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership HSCP sets out for all agencies our Child Safeguarding Arrangements for Hertfordshire to work together to identify and respond to the needs of children, young people and families see HSCP Procedures Manual and also Continuum of Need for children and young people 2023 ( They have a strategic function
rather than operational direct work with children. Their vision and values are committed to delivering multi-agency child safeguarding arrangements of the highest quality and advocate how all partners practice should continuously evolve to reflect the changing needs and circumstances of our community. This is in line with statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
The three local safeguarding partners jointly leading the Partnership are:
Hertfordshire County Council: represented by the Director of Children’s Services.
Hertfordshire Constabulary: represented by the Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing.
Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board: represented by the Director of Nursing & Quality Hertfordshire & West Essex Integrated Care Board.
Escalation of Concerns and Professional Disagreements about Decisions, including Convening an ICPC 4.5.3 Escalation of Concerns and Professional Disagreements about Decisions, including Convening an ICPC (
All schools with pupils aged under 8 add:
The Childcare (Disqualification) and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (referred to in this policy as the “2018 Childcare Disqualification Regulations”) and Childcare Act 2006, which set out who is disqualified from working with children.
All Early Years providers add:
This policy also meets requirements relating to safeguarding and welfare in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
Definitions: Safeguarding and Child Protection Safeguarding as defined by The Children Act 1989, means
to prevent harm to a child’s health and/or development
to protect children from abuse and maltreatment
to ensure children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
to take action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes. All our staff at Roots Federation are expected to be familiar with the wide range of policies and procedures we have to keep our children safe and promote their wellbeing at all times.
Child/ren: The legal definition of a child in the UK includes everyone under the age of 18.
Early Help: Families First is the term used in Hertfordshire for services that work together to support families who need extra help. These are also known as early help services. Early Help is part of all agencies’ ‘preventative’ safeguarding responsibilities, taking action as soon as possible to tackle
difficulties for children and families before they escalate into something that is more difficult to overcome. Hertfordshire’s Early Help offer comprises:
Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership’s threshold document known as the Continuum of Need that supports those working with Hertfordshire's children, young people and families. It is a tool to help identify a ‘Level of Need’ and the service responses that can be expected. A tool to enable all partners to work together transparently as colleagues. It places the child, young person and family at the centre to find solutions early to prevent difficulties escalating.
The Continuum of Need model represents a spectrum of needs, visualised through a windscreen. This illustrates how we respond to the needs of children and their families across the four levels of need: Universal, Additional, Intensive and Specialist (Child Protection or Child in Need)
The purpose is that services work collaboratively and openly with families for interventions and referrals in most instances.
Early Help is Hertfordshire’s local offer and relies on children and families sharing concerns identified and the willingness to engage; this means that full consent from children and families is required.
Families First Assessment (FFA) is Hertfordshire’s Early Help assessment tool and is used to identify needs and organise the right services to support a family. With consent, DSLs, along with other professionals, are able to initiate and lead on these. Further information can be found on the Families First Portal.
Child in Need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled. Children in Need may be assessed under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 by a social worker. Agencies have a duty to cooperate with Children’s Services, and parental consent is required.
Child Protection under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, places a duty on the Local Authority to make enquiries and decide whether to take any action to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. Such enquiries, supported by other organisations and agencies, as appropriate, should be initiated where there are concerns about all forms of abuse and neglect. This includes female genital mutilation (FGM) and other honour-based violence, and extra-familial threats including radicalisation and sexual or criminal exploitation. There may be a need for immediate protection whilst an assessment or enquiries are carried out. Parental consent is not required if this would place the child at further risk of harm.
Significant Harm is the threshold for a Child Protection response. If Children’s Services suspect a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, then they must by law carry out child protection enquiries. Harm is defined in the Children Act 1989 as the ill-treatment of a child or the
impairment of their health or development. This can include harm caused by seeing someone else being mistreated, for example by witnessing domestic abuse. The phrase ‘significant harm’ was introduced by the Children Act 1989. The Act does not define ‘significant’. The question of whether or not harm is ‘significant’ relates to its impact on a child’s health or development.
Children Looked After: A child is ‘looked after’ (in care) if they are in the care of the Local Authority for more than 24 hours. Children can be in care by agreement with parents or by order of a court. The placement providing the care can be a connected person to child or LA approved foster carer.
Abuse is all forms of maltreatment of a child and may involve inflicting harm or failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children maybe abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children.
Neglect is a form of abuse and is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Appendix 1 defines neglect in more detail.
The three safeguarding partners locally known as Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HSCP) comprises of:
Hertfordshire County Council: represented by the Director of Children’s Services.
Hertfordshire Constabulary: represented by the Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing.
Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board: represented by the Director of Nursing & Quality Hertfordshire & West Essex Integrated Care Board.
Safeguarding Partners are identified in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 (and defined in the Children Act 2004, as amended by chapter 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017). These three partners have the strategic responsibility for setting out safeguarding procedures and arrangements for all organisations and agencies who have functions relating to children, and who are required to work together to safeguard and promote their welfare. These organisations and agencies are named in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
Victim is a widely understood and recognised term, but we understand that not everyone who has been subjected to abuse considers themselves a victim or would want to be described that way. When managing an incident, we will be prepared to use any term that the child involved feels most comfortable with.
Alleged perpetrator(s) and perpetrator(s) are widely used and recognised terms. However, we will think carefully about what terminology we use (especially in front of children) as, in some cases, abusive behaviour can be harmful to the perpetrator too. We will decide what is appropriate and which terms to use on a case-by-case basis.
The Gateway receives contacts from partner agencies and members of the public for support from Early Help and Children’s Social Care. Contacts are received via the Customer Service Centre. It provides a single response to all new contacts that require an initial multi-agency approach. Where
there are current safeguarding concerns that require an immediate response, contacts bypass the Gateway and are transferred directly to the relevant social care team within Children’s Services.
Equality Statement, Children with Protected Characteristics
Some children are at greater risk of harm, both online and offline, and additional barriers can exist for some children with respect to recognising or disclosing it. At Roots Federation we are committed to anti-discriminatory practice and ensuring that all children are provided with the same protection regardless of any additional needs, barriers or protected characteristics they may have. As stated in the Equality Act, 2010, we recognise the protected characteristics that may be applicable to our pupils:
Gender reassignment
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and maternity
Religion or belief
Sexual orientation.
All staff and volunteers understand the importance of recognising that a child may benefit from Early Help intervention, and it is integral to our whole school approach to look and listen out particularly for children:
Who have a special educational need and/or disabilities (SEND) or health conditions
Are a young carer
Who could experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender
identification or sexuality
Have English as an additional language
Are known to be living in difficult situations – for example, temporary accommodation or where there are issues such as substance abuse or domestic violence
Are at risk of FGM, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, or radicalisation
Are asylum seekers
Are at risk due to either their own or a family member’s mental health needs
Are looked after or previously looked after (see Section 11)
Are missing or absent from education for prolonged periods and/or repeat occasions
Whose parent/ carer has expressed an intention to remove them from school to be provided with elective home education (EHE).
Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
We know who our pupils are with special educational needs, disabilities, or additional health needs and recognise that they may face additional barriers, that can include:

Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse, such as behaviour, mood and injury, relate to the child’s impairment without further exploration
Assumptions that children with SEND can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying - without outwardly showing any signs
Communication barriers and difficulties
Reluctance to challenge carers (professionals may over empathise with carers because of the perceived stress of caring for a disabled child)
Disabled children often rely on a wide network of carers to meet their basic needs and therefore the potential risk of exposure to abusive behaviour can be increased
A disabled child’s understanding of abuse
Lack of choice/ participation
Children Looked After (CLA)
The most common reason for a child to become looked after is as a result of abuse and/or neglect. We therefore ensure that the appropriate arrangements are in place to support these children and keep them safe from further harm. This includes:
Appointment of a Designated Teacher (DT) for CLA (see Important Contacts in Part 2)
Appropriate staff made aware of a child’s looked after status
Ensure that necessary staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding of the child’s needs
Ensure the child’s record contains a clear understanding of their legal status and care arrangements, including the levels of authority delegated to their carer and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility
Keep contact details of the child’s social worker, carer(s) and name and contact details of the virtual school head for DT to liaise with.
Children with a Social Worker (CWASW)
Since 2021 the role of virtual school heads has included a non-statutory responsibility for the strategic oversight of the educational attendance, attainment, and progress of children with a social worker. In offering advice and information to workforces that have relationships with children with social workers, virtual school heads identify and engage with all key professionals in Hertfordshire and beyond, helping them to understand the role they have in improving outcomes for CWASW e.g. DSL and deputies, social workers, headteachers, governors, special educational needs co-ordinators,
mental health leads, other Local Authority partners, including Designated Social Care Officers for SEND.
Roots Federation ensure that our Designated Teacher has the appropriate training, so they are able to take the leadership of this crucial area of our safeguarding arrangements which includes:
Working closely with virtual school heads to ensure that funding is best used to support the child’s educational achievement and development needs that are identified in their personal education plans.
Collaborating with the virtual school heads to also promote the educational achievement of previously looked after children.
Roles and Responsibilities of All Staff and Leadership/ Management
Safeguarding and child protection is everyone’s responsibility. This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and governors at Roots Federation and is consistent with national duties outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 and local expectations expected within Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual. Our Child Protection (CP) policy and procedures also apply to extended school and off-site activities.
Roots Federation plays a crucial role in preventative education. This is in the context of a whole-school approach to preparing pupils for life in modern Britain, and a culture of zero tolerance of sexism, misogyny/ misandry, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and sexual violence/ harassment. This will be underpinned by our:
Behaviour Policy
Pastoral support system
Planned programme of relationships, sex and health education (RSHE), which is inclusive and delivered regularly, tackling issues such as:
Healthy and respectful relationships
Boundaries and consent
Stereotyping, prejudice, and equality
Body confidence and self-esteem
How to recognise an abusive relationship (including coercive and controlling behaviour)
The concepts of, and laws relating to, sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape, domestic abuse, so-called honour-based violence such as forced marriage and FGM and how to access support
What constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence and why they’re always unacceptable.
Role and Responsibility of all staff, volunteers, supply staff and contractors
All staff at Roots Federation who directly work with children are required to read at least Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE).
Translated versions of Part One Keeping Children Safe in Education can be found at Keeping Children Safe in Education Part 1 Translations | LGFL. This is accessible for all staff, volunteers, parents and carers whose first language may not be English, should they wish to use this.
Staff who work directly with children are also expected to read Annex B of KCSiE (this sets out specific safeguarding issues that by the virtue of a child’s circumstances suggest they could be at greater risk of abuse and neglect), but you may expect all of your staff, including those who don’t work directly with children, to read it too.
All staff will be required to:
Read Part One and Annex B of the Department for Education’s statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and review this guidance at least annually.
Sign a declaration at the beginning of each academic year to say that they have reviewed the above guidance and understand their role.
Reinforce the importance of online safety when communicating with parents and carers. This includes making parents and carers aware of what we ask children to do online (e.g. sites they need to visit or who they’ll be interacting with online)
Provide a safe space for pupils who are LGBTQ+ to speak out and share their concerns.
All staff will be aware of:
Our school’s safeguarding arrangements and systems are explained to staff as part of their induction and thereafter reviewed with staff at least annually. All new staff/ volunteers are given copies of our school’s CP policy and Part One KCSiE (or Annex A, if non-teaching staff) essentially these are the key guidance provided:
Child Protection Policy
Staff Behaviour Policy/ code of conduct
The role and identity of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and deputies
The Behaviour Policy
Online safety policy
Safeguarding response to children who are absent from education, particularly on repeat occasions and/or prolonged periods
KCSiE advises school staff who work directly with children should read Annex B, this contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues. Staff should follow this Child Protection Policy and speak to the DSL (or a deputy)
It is crucial that all staff look out for children who may benefit from Early Help along with children in Specific Circumstances (Annex B KCSiE 2023), the Early Help assessment process ‘Families First Assessment’ and their role in it, including identifying emerging problems, liaising with the DSL, and sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment
The process for making referrals to the Local Authority Children’s Social Care and for statutory assessments that may follow a referral, including the role they might be expected to play
What to do if they identify a safeguarding issue or a child tells them they are being abused or neglected, including specific issues such as FGM, and how to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality while liaising with relevant professionals
The signs of different types of abuse and neglect, as well as specific safeguarding issues, such as child-on-child abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE), child criminal exploitation (CCE), indicators of being at risk from or involved with serious violent crime, FGM, radicalisation and serious violence (including that linked to county lines) See Annex B Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023
The importance of reassuring victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe
The fact that children can be at risk of harm inside and outside of their home, at school and online (this is referred to as extra familial harm or contextual safeguarding)
The fact that children who are (or who are perceived to be) lesbian, gay, bi or trans (LGBTQ+) can be targeted by other children
What to look for to identify children who need help or protection.
Role and Responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The DSL is a member of the senior leadership team.
The DSL takes lead responsibility for our school’s child protection and wider safeguarding arrangements. This includes online safety and understanding our filtering and monitoring processes on school devices and school networks to keep pupils safe online.
During term time, the DSL will be available during school hours for staff to discuss any safeguarding concerns. At Muriel Green a DSL will be available during the holiday periods as the setting remains open.
In the event that non-urgent matters arise out of school hours, our DSL can be contacted, if necessary via email or the Lead DSL mobile number.
When the DSL is absent, please contact school’s Deputy DSL(s) on details above.
If the school’s DSL and deputies are not available or cannot be reached of a certain school, another school DSL maybe contacted.
The DSL will be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to:
Provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters
Take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings and/or support other staff to do so
Contribute to the assessment of children
Refer suspected cases, as appropriate, to the relevant body (Local Authority Children’s Social Care, Channel Programme, Disclosure and Barring Service, and/or Police), and support staff who make such referrals directly
Have a good understanding of harmful sexual behaviour
Have a good understanding of the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place at our school.
The DSL will also:
Keep the Headteacher informed of any issues
Liaise with Local Authority case managers and designated officers for child protection concerns as appropriate
Discuss the local response to sexual violence and sexual harassment with Police and Local Authority Children’s Social Care colleagues to prepare the school’s policies
Be confident that they know what local specialist support is available to support all children involved (including victims and alleged perpetrators) in sexual violence and sexual harassment, and be confident as to how to access this support
Be aware that children must have an ‘appropriate adult’ to support and help them in the case of a Police investigation or search
The full responsibilities of the DSL and deputy(s) are set out in their job description. See KCSiE, Annex C
Role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body
Our Governing body have a strategic role within our leadership and management team and must ensure that all staff comply with legislation and local guidance at all times.
The Governing Body will:
Facilitate a whole-school approach to safeguarding, ensuring that safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront of, and underpin, all relevant aspects of process and policy development
Evaluate and approve this policy at each review, ensuring it complies with the law, and hold the Headteacher to account for its implementation
Be aware of its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 (including the Public Sector Equality Duty), and our school’s local multi-agency safeguarding arrangements
Appoint a link governor to monitor the effectiveness of this policy in conjunction with the full governing body. This is always a different person from the DSL
Ensure all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training, including online safety, and that such training is regularly updated and is in line with advice from the safeguarding partners
Ensure that all governors/ trustees:
All governors will read Keeping Children Safe in Education in its entirety, and review compliance of this task at least annually.
Sign a declaration at the beginning of each academic year to say that they have reviewed the above guidance (bottom of this policy)
Ensure that the school has appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place and review their effectiveness. This includes:
Making sure that the leadership team and staff are aware of the provisions in place, and that they understand their expectations, roles and responsibilities around filtering and monitoring as part of safeguarding training
Reviewing the DfE’s filtering and monitoring standards, and discussing with IT staff and service providers what needs to be done to support the school in meeting these standards.
The Governing Body will make sure:
The DSL has the appropriate status and authority to carry out their job, including additional time, funding, training, resources and support
Online safety is a running and interrelated theme within the whole-school approach to safeguarding and related policies
The DSL has lead authority for safeguarding, including online safety and understanding the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place
The school has procedures to manage any safeguarding concerns (no matter how small) or allegations that do not meet the harm threshold (low-level concerns) about staff members (including supply staff, volunteers and contractors). Section 11 of this policy covers this procedure
That this policy reflects those children with SEND, or certain medical or physical health conditions, can face additional barriers to any abuse or neglect being recognised
Where another body is providing services or activities (regardless of whether or not the children who attend these services/ activities are children on the school roll):
Seek assurance that the other body has appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies/ procedures in place, and inspect them if needed
Make sure there are arrangements for the body to liaise with the school about safeguarding arrangements, where appropriate
Make sure that safeguarding requirements are a condition of using the school premises, and that any agreement to use the premises would be terminated if the other body fails to comply.
See Keeping Children safe during community activities, after-school club and tuition: Non statutory guidance for providers running out of school settings
The Chair of Governors will act as the ‘case manager’ in the event that an allegation of abuse is made against the headteacher, where appropriate (see Section 11 managing concerns and allegations).
Section 14 (Training) of this policy has information on how governors are supported to fulfil their role, also see Part two KCSiE 2023.
Role and Responsibilities of the Headteacher/ Principal
The Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this policy, including:
Ensuring that staff (including temporary staff) and volunteers:
Are informed of our systems which support safeguarding, including this policy, as part of their induction
Understand and follow the procedures included in this policy, particularly those concerning referrals of cases of suspected abuse and neglect
Communicating this policy to parents/ carers when their child joins the school and via the school website
Ensuring that the DSL has appropriate time, funding, training and resources, and that there is always adequate cover if the DSL is absent
Acting as the ‘case manager’ in the event of an allegation of abuse made against another member of staff or volunteer, where appropriate
Making decisions regarding all low-level concerns, though they may wish to collaborate with the DSL on this
Ensuring the relevant staffing ratios are met, where applicable
Making sure each child in the Early Years Foundation Stage is assigned a key person
Overseeing the safe use of technology, mobile phones and cameras in Early Years setting
Role and Responsibilities of Virtual School Heads
Virtual School Heads:
Virtual School Heads have a non-statutory responsibility for the strategic oversight of the educational attendance, attainment, and progress of pupils with a social worker
They should also identify and engage with key professionals, e.g. DSLs, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs), social workers, mental health leads and others.
Confidentiality and Sharing Information
The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 does not prevent or limit the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Roots Federation recognises that timely information sharing is essential for effective safeguarding. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare, and protect the safety, of children. Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a safeguarding disclosure, as this may not be in the child’s best interests.
The following principles apply to Roots Federation confidentiality agreement:
Timely information sharing is essential to effective safeguarding.
The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 does not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.
If staff need to share ‘special category personal data’, the DPA 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information without consent if: it is not possible to gain consent; it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent; or if to gain consent would place a child at risk.
Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a report of abuse, as this may not be in the child’s best interests.
If a victim asks the school not to tell anyone about the sexual violence or sexual harassment:
Even if a victim doesn’t consent to sharing information, staff may still lawfully share it if there is another legal basis under the Data Protection Act that applies.The DSL will have to balance the victim’s wishes against their duty to protect the victim and other children.

The DSL should consider the following points:
Parents or carers should normally be informed (unless this would put the victim at greater risk).
The basic safeguarding principle is: if a child is at risk of harm, is in immediate danger, or has been harmed, a referral should be made to Local Authority Children’s Social Care where the child resides.
Rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault are crimes. Where a report of rape, assault by penetration or sexual assault is made, this should be referred to the Police. While the age of criminal responsibility is 10, if the alleged perpetrator is under 10, the starting principle of referring to the Police remains.
Regarding anonymity, all staff will:
Be aware of anonymity, witness support and the criminal process in general where an allegation of sexual violence or sexual harassment is progressing through the criminal justice system.
Do all they reasonably can to protect the anonymity of any children involved in any report of sexual violence or sexual harassment, for example, carefully considering which staff should know about the report, and any support for children involved.
Consider the potential impact of social media in facilitating the spreading of rumours and exposing victims’ identities.
The government’s information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners includes 7 ‘golden rules’ for sharing information, and will support staff who have to make decisions about sharing information.
Confidentiality is also addressed in this policy with respect to record keeping in section 12, and allegations of abuse against staff in section 11.
If staff are in any doubt about sharing information, they should speak to the DSL (or deputy).
Recognise and Respond to Abuse and Neglect
In this section, any reference to the DSL will mean both lead and all deputy safeguarding leads.
Recognising Abuse and Neglect
All our staff are aware of the indicators of abuse and neglect outlined below. They understand that children can be at risk of harm inside and outside of our school, inside and outside of their homes, wholly online or via the use of technology offline. They are also aware that harm to a child can be caused by an adult or adults or by another child or children. We encourage our staff to be professionally curious and mindful of what to look out for as this is vital for the early identification of abuse and neglect so that we are able to identify children who may be in need of help or protection at the earliest opportunity.

Physical Abuse:

Definition: A form of abuse which may involve:

Burning or scalding
Suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.

Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child (Fabricated induced illness FII)


Commonly on the head but also on the ear, neck or soft areas (abdomen, back and buttocks)
Defensive wounds commonly on the forearm, upper arm, back of the leg, hands or feet
Clusters of bruises on the upper arm, outside of the thigh or on the body
Bruises with dots of blood under the skin
A bruised scalp and swollen eyes from hair being pulled violently
Bruises in the shape of a hand or object
Bruises on non-mobile babies.

Burns or scalds:
Can be from hot liquids, hot objects, flames, chemicals, or electricity
These may be on the hands, back, shoulders or buttocks. Scalds in particular may be on lower limbs, both arms and/or both legs
A clear edge to the burn or scald

Sometimes in the shape of an implement – for example, a circular cigarette burn
Multiple burns or scalds.


Bite marks:
Usually oval or circular in shape
Visible wounds, indentations or bruising from individual teeth.
Fractures or broken bones:
Fractures to the ribs or the leg bones in babies
Multiple fractures or breaks at different stages of healing
Risks and vulnerability factors
Physical abuse can happen in any family, but babies and children who have a disability are at a higher risk of suffering physical abuse (Jones et al, 2012).

Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve:
Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person
Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction
A child seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another
Serious bullying (including cyberbullying)
Causing a child to feel frightened or in danger
Exploitation or corruption of children.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone. It can be difficult to recognise emotional abuse and children may not always realise they are experiencing it. However, there may be indicators in the way a child behaves and reacts to certain situations.


Lack confidence
Struggle to control strong emotions
Struggle to make or maintain relationships
Display behaviour that is inappropriate to their stage of development (for example not being able to play, developing language late or using language you may not expect of a child their age.
Older children may:
Struggle to control strong emotions or have extreme outbursts
Seem isolated from their parents
Lack social skills or have few, if any, friends
Use language, act in a way or know about things that you wouldn't expect them to know for their age

Risk and vulnerability factors
Children from any background can be at risk of emotional abuse. But some are more vulnerable than others.

Sexual Abuse

Definition: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve:
Physical contact - including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside of clothing
Non-contact activities - such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse
Online abuse - sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males, women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Child-on-child abuse - the sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education and all staff should be aware of it and of their school policy and procedures for dealing with it.


Not all children will realise they are being sexually abused, particularly if they have been groomed, but there may be physical, behavioural and emotional signs that indicate a child has experienced sexual abuse.
Physical indicators include:
Pain or soreness in the genital or anal area
Sexually transmitted infections (Lindon and Webb, 2016)
Girls who are being sexually abused may become pregnant at a young age.
Emotional and behavioural indicators include:
Being afraid of and/or avoiding a particular person (including a family member or friend)

Having nightmares or bed-wetting
Being withdrawn
Alluding to ‘secrets’
Running away from home
Developing eating problems
Displaying sexualised behaviour or having sexual knowledge that is inappropriate for their stage of development

Misusing drugs or alcohol.


Definition: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy, for example, as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
Provide adequate food
Clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.


Neglect can be difficult to spot. Having one of the signs doesn't necessarily mean a child is being neglected. But if you notice multiple signs that last for a while, they might show there is a serious problem. Children and young people who are neglected might have:
Poor appearance and hygiene, being smelly or dirty (unkempt)
Being hungry or not given money for food
Having unwashed clothes, the wrong clothing, such as no warm clothes in winter
Health and development problems, regular illness or infections
Body issues, such as poor muscle tone or prominent joints
Medical or dental issues
Missed medical appointments, such as for vaccinations
Not given the correct medicines
Poor language or social skills.

Children and young people can be influenced by a whole range of environments and people outside of their family. For example, in school or college, in the local community, in their peer groups or online. Children and young people may encounter risk in any of these environments. Sometimes the
different contexts are inter-related and can mean that children and young people may encounter multiple risks. Some of these risks, along with other further specific forms of abuse are discussed in more detail in Annex B of KCSiE 2023. These include:
Child abduction
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
County Lines
Children and the Court system
Children missing from education
Children with family members in prison
Domestic abuse
Mental health
Modern Slavery and the National Referral Mechanism
Preventing radicalization
The Prevent Duty
Sexual violence and Sexual harassment between children in schools
Serious Violence
FGM and the mandatory reporting duty for teachers
Forced marriage
Responding to Abuse and Neglect
All staff, volunteers, and governors must follow the procedures set out below in the event of a safeguarding concern that meets threshold for referral to Children’s Social Care. For early help intervention (non-CP) see the continuum of need and the Families First Portal
If a child is suffering or likely to suffer harm, or in immediate danger
DSLs will make referrals in the following way:
1) If the child is at immediate risk of significant harm or likelihood of significant harm they will call Children’s Services 0300 123 4043 and / or police 999 and then complete the request for support form specifying their child protection concerns
2) Alternatively, if not an immediate risk but the child is considered to be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm they will complete the request for support form, specifying their child protection concerns.. Anyone can make a referral to Police and/or Children’s Services therefore, we expect all staff and volunteers in our school community to act immediately and not delay if they consider a child to be in immediate danger using the pathways below.
For non-DSLs to make a referral to Children’s Social Care:
Call 0300 123 4043 followed by a request for support form. The staff member must inform the DSL as soon as possible.
To contact the Police:
Call Police on 999 if urgent, if not urgent call 101.
If a child resides in a neighbouring Local Authority (out of Hertfordshire County) the GOV.UK webpage for reporting child abuse to your local council: Report child abuse to a local council - GOV.UK ( is accessible to assist staff.
Concerns about a child (not considered to be suffering harm, at risk of suffering harm or in immediate danger)
As per KCSiE (2023), staff “should be mindful that early information sharing is vital for the effective identification, assessment and allocation of appropriate service provision” (support). Where staff have a concern for a child which does not indicate that they are suffering or likely to suffer immediate harm or in immediate danger they should follow the setting’s internal processes for submitting a Record of Concern. The step-by-step process of doing so is as follows:
Log the record of concern on CPOMS
Alert DSL of site and Headteachers
This will include all concerns for Safeguarding, child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment, Prevent, Mental Health, Online filtering and monitoring as well as any other relevant specific safeguarding issues.
Upon receipt of the Record of Concern, the DSL (or deputy DSL) should consult Hertfordshire’s Continuum of Need or, if needed, seek further consultation to consider an appropriate level of response to take. The DSL (or deputy) should acknowledge the concern and feedback wherever appropriate. Staff
must not assume that action has been taken unless they have received feedback from the DSL (or deputy DSL) who responded.
If a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff or volunteer
All staff are aware they should be prepared, when possible, as children can disclose spontaneously.
We consider the term ‘the child’s voice’ to represent not only what children say directly, but rather the many ways that children communicate with us, including both verbal and non-verbal communication. The child’s lived experience means seeing and understanding their experiences from their point of view, our staff understand that it is very important to always record exactly what a child has said rather than interpret this from an adult/ their own perspective. Roots Federation is situated within Hertfordshire County which has a rich and diverse population, we cannot and do not assume that all children and their families will have English as their first language nor may a child with SEND have speech or language ability to convey verbally any difficulties they may experience without aids and methods to facilitate their voice. Therefore, our staff give careful consideration to knowing that a child may:
Not feel ready or know how to tell someone that they are being abused, exploited or neglected
Not recognise their experiences as harmful
Feel embarrassed, humiliated, or threatened. This could be due to their vulnerability, disability, sexual orientation and/or language barriers.
All staff at Roots Federation must ensure that no child is ever made to feel that they are ‘any trouble’ if they need time and space to share their worries with staff.
Roots Federation culture of safeguarding endorses the following principles of meaningful engagement with children to include:
Be patient – a child may be finding it hard to find the words to express themselves. Let them tell their story in their own words Do not interrogate – you may ‘taint’ evidence by asking leading questions or suggesting what may have happened. Maintain your professional curiosity, ask open-ended prompts.

Reassure the child they are not in trouble and that they have done the right thing in telling you
Do not tell the child they should have told you sooner
Reassure the child that it is not their fault – victims can often be blamed by their abusers.
Do not promise confidentiality – if the child asks you to keep it a secret, explain who you need to tell to keep them safe, if appropriate
Explain to the child that you will have to share the information and explain what may happen next.
Stay Calm
Try not to panic, be aware of your own reactions and feelings, avoid showing shock, anger, or disgust
Do not insult the alleged abuser, however frustrated you may privately feel, children can be very protective of people they care about, even if that person is abusing them.
Write up your conversation as soon as possible in the child’s own words. Stick to the facts, and do not put your own judgement on it
Sign and date the write-up and pass it on to the DSL. Specify any specific recording arrangements for your school such as CPOMS or My Concern Alternatively, if appropriate, make a referral to Children’s Social Care and/or the Police directly (see section 8). Prioritise this above all other work. Inform the DSL of your actions as soon as possible.
Do not disclose any information to anyone aside from those within your DSL team, unless you are told to do so by a relevant agency involved in the safeguarding process.
Reporting systems for children
Roots Federation is committed to ensuring that all children feel safe and comfortable to share and report any concerns and/or allegations about their life at home, in the community, online or regarding a member of staff or other children in the school. As outlined above, all our staff are clear on the importance of listening and supporting children when making disclosures, and the need to reassure them.
Where there is a safeguarding concern, we will take the child’s wishes and feelings into account when assessing information, considering necessary actions and any subsequent implementation of advice or support.
To achieve this, we have:
Clear systems in place for children to report abuse, knowing they will be listened to and supported. Strong relationships are made with the keyworkers and children are encouraged to talk to adults within their room. The older children are taught about their ‘network hand’. This allows them to identify five key adults to help talk to.
Accessible reporting systems which are well promoted and understood by the children so they can easily report concerns via this pathway should they wish
A clear culture and ethos in our school that promotes taking concerns seriously, and offers children opportunities to safely express their views and any worries they may have.
Concerns that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has taken place or a child is at risk of FGM
Keeping Children Safe in Education (2023) explains that FGM includes ‘all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs.’
FGM is illegal in the UK and is considered as a form of child abuse that has significantly harmful and long-lasting consequences. It can also be referred to as ‘female genital cutting’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘initiation’.

Any teacher who either:
is informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her;
or observes physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 (and they have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth)
must immediately report this to the Police, personally on 999. This is a mandatory, statutory duty and teachers will face disciplinary sanctions for failing to meet it. In addition, staff should also discuss the concerns with the DSL to report to Children’s Services, as appropriate.
The duty for teachers above does not apply in cases where a pupil is at risk of FGM or FGM is suspected but is not known to have been carried out. In these circumstances, the teacher must report to the DSL and follow local safeguarding procedures to be taken.
Any other member of staff who discovers that FGM has been carried out on a child under 18 must report this to the DSL immediately to ensure local safeguarding procedures are followed.
If a member of staff who is not a teacher, suspects a child is at risk or suspects that FGM has been carried out, they should report to the DSL and follow local safeguarding procedures.
Please see 5.1.17 of the HSCP Procedures Manual for further information about
Concerns about extremism
The Prevent duty is concerned with all forms of terrorism and extremism. It also includes some forms of nonviolent extremism (far right and extreme far right groups, religious extremist groups, environmental and animal rights extremism, unclear ideology).
Unless your concerns indicate that the child is at immediate risk of harm or danger, report your concerns to the DSL. In rare circumstances where the DSL may not be available, staff should speak with a member of the senior leadership team and/or seek advice from Children’s Services, if appropriate. Staff must inform the DSL of their actions as soon as possible.
Where there is a concern, the DSL will consider the level of risk and decide which agency to make a referral to. This can include seeking advice from Hertfordshire County Council’s Prevent Programme Manager, a referral to Children’s Services 0300 123 4043 or Channel, the government’s programme for identifying and supporting individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
The DfE also has a dedicated telephone helpline, 020 7340 7264, which all staff and governors can call to raise concerns about extremism for a pupil. In non-emergency situations DSLs can also email In an emergency, call 999 or the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
Concerns about mental health
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. Poor or deteriorating mental health can also be a safeguarding concern in its own right. Our staff know to be alert to behavioural signs that suggest a child may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.
If a staff member has a concern about a child’s mental health which they consider to also be a safeguarding concern, they must consider if the child is at risk of immediate harm; and if so, should follow steps in in section 8.
If you have a mental health concern about a child that is not also a safeguarding concern, speak to the DSL and Mental Health Lead to agree a course of action.
The Single Point of Access (SPA) Mental Health phoneline is available 24/7 on 0800 6444 101 and can be used when there is an urgent or ‘crisis’ concern as well as for moderate and non-urgent concerns. Further information and resources can be found on The Grid.
Concerns about child-on-child abuse
At Roots Federation , we know that children can abuse other children. No abuse at Roots Federation will ever be tolerated or passed off as “banter”, “just having a laugh” or “part of growing up”. We are committed to upholding a culture that prevents unacceptable behaviours and an unsafe environment for pupils. All child-on-child abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.
In most circumstances, incidences of pupils hurting other pupils will be dealt with under our School’s Behaviour Policy, but this Child Protection Policy will apply to any allegations that raise safeguarding concerns where the alleged behaviour:
Is serious, and potentially a criminal offence
Could put pupils in the school at risk
Is violent
Involves pupils being forced to use drugs or alcohol
Involves sexual exploitation, sexual abuse or sexual harassment, such as indecent exposure, sexual assault, upskirting or sexually inappropriate pictures or videos (including the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes).
If a pupil makes an allegation of abuse against another pupil:
Staff must record the allegation and report to the DSL. Staff should not investigate the matter
The DSL will assess and if consider the relevant next steps which may include, making a referral to Children’s Services as well as the Police if the allegation involves a potential criminal offence or the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), if appropriate
The DSL will consider whether a risk assessment or a safety and support plan would be beneficial for all children involved (including the victim(s), the child(ren) against whom the allegation has been made and any others affected, with a named person they can talk to if needed. This should include consideration of all aspects and areas of the school environment and beyond for example off-site activities and school transport
The DSL will be committed to engaging the child and their parents/ carers to gain their views and contributions and liaise with other agencies to assess any identified risks, unmet needs and relevant measures or support required.
If the incident is a criminal offence and there are delays in the criminal process, the DSL will work closely with the Police (and other agencies as required) while protecting children and/or taking any disciplinary measures against the alleged perpetrator.
Please see Appendix 3 of this policy and Part Five of Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2023.
Creating a supportive environment in school and minimising the risk of child-on-child abuse
We recognise the importance of taking proactive action to minimise the risk of child-on-child abuse, and of creating a supportive environment where victims feel confident in reporting incidents.
To achieve this, we expect all staff to:
Challenge any form of derogatory or sexualised language or inappropriate behaviour between peers, including requesting or sending sexual images
Be vigilant to issues that particularly affect different genders, for example, sexualised or aggressive touching or grabbing towards female pupils, and initiation or hazing type violence with respect to boys
Ensure our curriculum helps to educate pupils about appropriate behaviour and consent
Ensure pupils are able to easily and confidently report abuse using our reporting systems
Ensure staff reassure victims that they are being taken seriously
Be alert to reports of sexual violence and/or harassment that may point to environmental or systemic problems that could be addressed by updating policies, processes and the curriculum, or could reflect wider issues in the local area that should be shared with safeguarding partners
Support children who have witnessed sexual violence, especially rape or assault by penetration. We will do all we can to make sure the victim, alleged perpetrator(s) and any witnesses are not bullied or harassed
Consider intra-familial harms and any necessary support for siblings following a report of sexual violence and/or harassment.
Ensure staff are trained to understand:
How to recognise the indicators and signs of child-on-child abuse, and know how to identify it and respond to reports
That even if there are no reports of child-on-child abuse in school, it does not mean it is not happening – staff should maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”
That if they have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately rather than wait to be told, and that victims may not always make a direct report. For example:
Children can show signs or act in ways they hope adults will notice and react to
A child’s friend may report this directly to a staff member or make comments (if they do, staff should be professionally curious)
A member of staff may overhear a conversation
A child’s behaviour might indicate that something is wrong
That certain children may face additional barriers to telling someone because of their vulnerability, disability, gender, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation. That a pupil harming a peer could be a sign that the child is being abused themselves, and that this would fall under the scope of this policy. The important role they have to play in preventing child-on-child abuse and responding where they believe a child may be at risk from it. That they should speak to the DSL
if they have any concerns. That social media is likely to play a role in the fall-out from any incident or alleged incident, including the potential contact between the victim, alleged perpetrator(s) and friends from either side.
The DSL will take the lead role in managing any proposed risk by the alleged perpetrator(s) and will provide support at the same time, it is not our intention to villainise children, but it is everyone’s responsibility to uphold the Behaviour Policy and standards within the school to maintain a safe environment. Such assessments or plans will be robust but sensitive to the individual needs of the children to ensure any identified risk is managed as effectively as possible whilst also supporting them to continue accessing a satisfactory level of education.
Risk management strategies can be put in place while other investigations are going on, e.g. by the Police. Although another agency such as the Police or Children’s Services is or has investigated an incident, it is our duty here at Roots Federation to ensure we identify and implement our own assessment and management of the concerns, informed by the needs of our school and the children we care for and the advice and outcomes of those agency’s actions. This is to ensure that all children and staff are supported and always protected. We will consider these matters on a case-by-case basis, considering whether:
Taking action would prejudice an investigation and/or subsequent prosecution – we will liaise with the Police and/or Children’s Services to determine this
There are circumstances that make it unreasonable or inappropriate for us to reach our own view about what happened while an independent investigation is ongoing.
Online Safety and Filtering
We recognise the importance of safeguarding children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material, and we understand that technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and wellbeing issues.
To address this, our school aims to:
Have robust processes (including filtering and monitoring systems) in place to ensure the online safety of pupils, staff, volunteers and governors
Protect and educate the whole school community in its safe and responsible use of technology, including mobile and smart technology (which we refer to as ‘mobile phones’)
Set clear guidelines for the use of mobile phones for the whole school community
Establish clear mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any incidents or concerns, where appropriate.
Our approach to online safety is based on addressing the following 4 categories of risk as identified in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023:
Content – being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, such as pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, antisemitism, radicalisation and extremism
Contact – being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users, such as pressure from another child(ren), commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes
Conduct – personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes harm, such as making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography), sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
Commerce – risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scams.
To meet our aims and address the risks above, we will educate pupils about online safety as part of our curriculum. For example:
The safe use of social media, the internet and technology
Keeping personal information private
How to recognise unacceptable behaviour online
How to report any incidents of cyber-bullying, ensuring pupils are encouraged to do so, including where they’re a witness rather than a victim
We will also:
Train staff, as part of their induction, on safe internet use and online safeguarding issues including cyber-bullying, the risks of online radicalisation, and the expectations, roles and responsibilities around filtering and monitoring. All staff members will receive refresher training as required at least once each academic year
Educate parents/ carers about online safety via our website, communications sent directly to them and during parents’ evenings. We will also share clear procedures with them so they know how to raise concerns about online safety
Make sure staff are aware of any restrictions placed on them with regards to the use of their mobile phone and cameras, for example that:
Staff are allowed to bring their personal phones to school for their own use, but will limit such use to non-contact time when pupils are not present
Staff will not take pictures or recordings of pupils on their personal phones or cameras.
Make all pupils, parents/ carers, staff, volunteers and governors aware that they are expected to sign an agreement regarding the acceptable use of the internet in school, use of the school’s ICT systems and use of their mobile and smart technology
Make sure all staff, pupils and parents/ carers are aware that staff have the power to search pupils’ phones, as set out in the DfE’s guidance on searching, screening and confiscation
Put in place robust filtering and monitoring systems to limit children’s exposure to the 4 key categories of risk (described above) from the school’s IT systems. (If you don’t have a separate online safety policy document that covers your filtering and monitoring procedures in detail, include them here. See our model online safety policy for a guide of what to cover).
Carry out an annual review of our approach to online safety, supported by an annual risk assessment that considers and reflects the risks faced by our school community
Provide regular safeguarding and children protection updates including online safety to all staff, at least annually, in order to continue to provide them with the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard effectively
Review the child protection and safeguarding policy, including online safety, annually and ensure the procedures and implementation are updated and reviewed regularly.
This section summarises our approach to online safety and mobile phone use. For full details about our school’s policies in these areas, please refer to our online safety policy and mobile phone policies which can be found on our website (insert own hyperlink) As mentioned above, if you do not have these separate policy documents, include your policies here and remove this paragraph.
Working with Parents and Carers
At Roots Federation where appropriate, we will discuss concerns about a child with their parents or carers. We know parents and carers know their child best and we will always value that often, when concerns emerge, these can easily be resolved with the support of school and parents/ carers working together. To retain confidentiality within the school community other staff will only talk to parents or carers about any such concerns following consultation with the DSL.
Although we will always want to be open and transparent with our parents and carers, there may be circumstances where the safety of a child overrides their liberty and rights for this to happen immediately as consent may not be appropriate/ required. For a small number of children, seeking parental consent would not be appropriate if:

The child would be placed at increased risk of significant harm through the action of gaining this consent
There would be an impact on a criminal investigation
A delay in making the referral would impact on the immediate safety of the child.
If we believe that notifying the parents or carers would increase the risk to the child, we will discuss this with the Local Authority Children’s Social Care team to seek advice when it would be the right time to share information, so that we do not interrupt planned inquiries by Children’s Services or the Police.
In the case of allegations of abuse made against other children, we will normally notify the parents or carers of all the children involved. We will think carefully about what information we provide about other children involved, and when. We will work with the Police and/or Local Authority Children’s Social Care to make sure our approach to information sharing is consistent.
The DSL will, along with other agencies if there is third party involvement (this will be decided on a case-by-case basis):
Meet with the victim’s parents or carers, with the victim, to discuss what is being put in place to safeguard them, and understand their wishes in terms of what support they may need and how the report will be progressed
Meet with the alleged perpetrator’s parents or carers to discuss support for them, and what is being put in place that will impact them, e.g. moving them out of classes with the victim, and the reason(s) for any decision(s).
Managing Allegations About Staff, School’s Safeguarding Policies & Practice
Concerns that DO meet the harm threshold and require a referral to the Local Authority Designated
Officer (LADO)
Roots Federation are required to comply with the procedures set out in Hertfordshire Safeguarding Partnership procedures manual section 5.1.5. 5.1.5 Managing Allegations Against Adults Who Work With Children and Young People ( when there are concerns or allegations about staff.
The procedures apply whenever there are suspicions or allegations that a person who works with children in a paid or unpaid capacity (including but not limited to permanent, temporary or agency staff member, contract worker, consultant, volunteer) has in any activity connected with their role:
• Behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child; (Harm Threshold)
• Possibly committed a criminal offence against / related to a child; (Criminal Threshold)
• Behaved toward a child in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm; (Suitability Threshold) *
• Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children. (Transferable Risk Threshold)*
• It is discovered that an individual known to have been involved previously in child abuse, is or has been working with children.
* These categories can include behaviour that may have happened outside of an organisation that might make an individual unsuitable to work with children.
All staff and volunteers at Roots Federation know that if they have concerns about a colleague/ member of staff, (including a supply teacher, volunteer or contractor), or an allegation is made about a member of staff (including a supply teacher, volunteer or contractor) posing a risk of harm to children, they should report it urgently as below. This includes individuals or organisations who have used school premises for running an activity for children, whether or not those children attend our setting.

Allegation against: Member of staff (including volunteers, supply staff and contractors)

Report to: Headteacher/Principal NB if supply teacher, HT would also report this to their main employer.

Allegation against: Headteacher/Principal

Report to: Chair of governors, chair of the management committee or proprietor of an independent school

Allegation against: Manager who is the sole proprietor. Or if you think your concerns have not been taken seriously

Report to: Directly to LADO service vis

Upon receipt of the information, the Headteacher/Chair of Governors will review whether the allegation/concern meets the LADO threshold giving consideration to our staff code of conduct, managing allegations policy and 5.1.5 HSCP procedures. If necessary, they will compete a LADO referral within one working day.
If after reviewing the guidance and procedures, the Headteacher/Chair of Governors considers that the matter does not meet the LADO threshold they may consider that it can be dealt with in line with the school’s complaints or Low Level Concerns policy.
Concerns that DO NOT meet the harm threshold - Low-Level Concerns (LLC)
As outlined in Part Four of Keeping Children Safe in Education the term ‘low-level’ concern is any concern, no matter how small, that an adult working in or on behalf of the school may have acted in a way that:
Is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, including inappropriate conduct outside of work, and
Does not meet the LADO threshold or is otherwise not considered serious enough to consider a LADO referral.
Examples of such behaviour could include, but are not limited to:
Being overly friendly with children
Having favourites
Taking photographs of children on their mobile phone
Engaging with a child on a one-to-one basis in a secluded area or behind a closed door
Humiliating pupils.
At Roots Federation we have clear codes of conduct and processes in place to deal with any concerns or allegations which do not meet the LADO threshold. Such concerns may arise from suspicion, complaint, safeguarding concerns or allegation from another member of staff, disclosure made by a child, parent or another outside of the school or pre-employment vetting checks.
Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition
As a provider Roots Federation have a legal duty of care to try to ensure our environment is safe for children who visit in addition to those who already attend our setting..
We may receive an allegation or concern relating to an incident that happened when an individual or organisation were using our school premises for the purposes of running activities for children (for example community groups, sports associations, or service providers that run extra-curricular activities). As with any safeguarding allegation, Roots Federation will follow our safeguarding policies and procedures, including informing the LADO where appropriate.
The governing body will ensure any organisation that hires the school premises is compliant with guidance set out in Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition: non-statutory guidance for providers running out-of-school settings


GOV.UK ( They will therefore seek assurance that the provider concerned has the appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures in place (including inspecting these as needed) and will ensure that there are arrangements in place for the provider to liaise with the school on these matters where appropriate. This applies regardless of whether or not the children who attend any of these activities are children on the school roll or not.
Other complaints
If any of our stakeholders are not satisfied with any aspects of how we manage and operate within our policy and procedures and also how we exercise our duty of care for children, please follow our school Complaints Procedures that you can find on our school website at: (insert link to complaints procedures)
If your school handles safeguarding-related complaints of other types here – for example, those related to pupils or premises insert in this section or remove this paragraph.
At Roots Federation we strive to create a culture of openness, trust and transparency to encourage all staff to confidentially share any concerns they have about poor or unsafe practice, concerns or allegations against staff or the school’s safeguarding practice and arrangements so they can be addressed appropriately.
If you have a separate whistleblowing policy that covers concerns regarding the way the school safeguards pupils, including poor or unsafe practice, or potential failures, refer to it here.
Alternatively, explain your procedures for raising concerns about the school’s safeguarding practice here. You should consider:
What areas of malpractice or wrongdoing are covered by the procedures
The options available for reporting a concern, including who to approach within the school and externally
How the school will respond to such concerns
What protection is available to staff who report another member of staff.
Whistleblowing directly to Children’s Social Care on 0300 123 4043 and/or the Police 999 or to the NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline 0800 028 0285
Record Keeping
Roots Federation will hold records confidentially, safely, securely and in line with our records retention schedule.
All safeguarding concerns, discussions, decisions made and the reasons for those decisions, must be recorded in writing. If you are in any doubt about whether to record something, discuss it with the DSL.
Records will include:
A clear and comprehensive summary of the concern
Details of how the concern was followed up and resolved
A note of any action taken, decisions reached, and the outcome.
Concerns and referrals will be kept in a separate child protection file for each child (either paper recorded or electronically).
Any non-confidential records will be readily accessible and available. Confidential information and records will be held securely and only available to those who have a right or professional need to know/ access them.
Safeguarding records relating to an individual child will be retained for the student until they reach their 25th birthday or 31st birthday if there is an EHCP in place (Information Records Management Society 2022). IRMS Schools Toolkit - Information and Records Management Society
Safeguarding records which contain information about allegations of sexual abuse were being retained for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). This has now concluded and the Home Office sent a letter to schools advising that files no longer needed to be kept indefinitely. However, the recommendations from the inquiry have stated:
Recommendation 17: Access to records The UK government should direct the Information Commissioner’s Office to introduce a code of practice on keeping and accessing records which relate to child sexual abuse. The code should require records about child sexual abuse and allegations of child sexual abuse to be kept for 75 years, with appropriate review periods.
The school will follow the recommendation 17.
Receiving in and transferring pupil records to other education provision
If a child for whom the school has, or has had, safeguarding concerns moves to another school, the DSL will ensure that their safeguarding information file is forwarded as soon as possible, securely, and separately from the main pupil file.
To allow the new school/ college to have support in place when the child arrives, this should be within:
5 days for an in-year transfer, or
the first 5 days of the start of a new term.
In addition, if the concerns are significant or complex, and/or social services are involved, the DSL will speak to the DSL of the receiving school and provide information to enable them to have time to make any necessary preparations to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the child.
Retention, archiving and destruction of records
For records that are not transferred to another school, for example the child leaves the country or is going to be home educated, we have:
A clear retention policy
Secure and appropriate system to archive with restricted access
We have a written assurance from our providers of our electronic recording systems that all records are maintained securely which includes any archived records.
Storage, retention, and destruction of our child protection files is also made clear in our data management policy.
Safeguarding Training and Development
To fulfil our aim of continuous improvement in order to safeguard our pupils, we ensure that learning and development starts at induction. All staff, supply contractors, leadership and management, and governing body/ trustee board, undertake the minimum safeguarding training. We want reassurance for our children and families that all staff are aware of systems within our school, and have the skills and knowledge to follow our schools procedures.
Child Protection Policy - which should amongst other things include the policy and procedures to deal with child-on-child abuse
Behaviour Policy - which should include measures to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying
Staff Behaviour Policy (sometimes called a code of conduct) - which should amongst other things include low-level concerns, allegations against staff and whistleblowing
Safeguarding response to children who are absent from education, particularly on repeat occasions and/or prolonged periods and
Role of the designated safeguarding lead (including the identity of the designated safeguarding lead and any deputies)
Copies of/ given links to Part One KCSiE (What school and college staff should know and do) or Annex A, (condensed version for volunteers and non-teaching staff if appropriate).
Safeguarding children training for all staff and senior leadership
This training will be regularly updated and will:
Be integrated, aligned and considered as part of the whole-school safeguarding approach and wider staff training, and curriculum planning
Be in line with the quality and standards expected from our 3 safeguarding partners (Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership)
Include online safety, including an understanding of the expectations, roles and responsibilities for staff around filtering and monitoring
Have regard to the Teachers’ Standards (and TA regulations) and code of conduct to support the expectation that all teachers and those that work with children in regulated activity can confidently:
o Manage our pupils’ behaviour effectively to ensure a positive and safe environment
o Have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, especially pupils with protected characters and those that are on any type of plan to support their needs.
In addition, all staff will have training that raises awareness of children susceptible to extra familial harm such as radicalisation which our school adopts the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy, and Prevent duty to enable us to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.
Our school’s current safeguarding training schedule is as follows:
All staff, including DSL/ deputy(s) and whole school staff must attend safeguarding children training every 3 years
Our school’s DSL will also provide an annual update to all staff, which includes online safety
Throughout a given academic year, our school’s DSL provides for all staff relevant updates as changes occur to keep abreast of our whole school approach and thus supporting staff to fulfil their role as set out in Part One of KCSiE (for example, through emails, e-bulletins and staff meetings).
Contractors who are provided through a private finance initiative (PFI) or similar contract will also receive safeguarding training, and if not undertaken at our school we will ensure through their employer that they have the skills and knowledge to blend in with our school’s policies and procedures.
We value our school’s volunteer’s cohort; they play a very important part in our school to work alongside staff to support and protect our pupils. We anticipate that all volunteers share our whole school approach and are willing to receive appropriate training and support from our staff.
DSL and Deputy(s)
The DSL and (deputy/deputies) will undertake child protection and safeguarding training at least every 2 years
In addition, they will update their knowledge and skills at regular intervals and at least annually (for example, through e-bulletins, meeting other DSLs, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments)
They will also undertake Prevent awareness
It is desired that our DSL and (deputy/deputies) when capacity permits, undertakes multi-agency training, this provides opportunities to develop further their knowledge and skills to work with a wide range of safeguarding themes that our children and families can be affected by locally. The three safeguarding partners, HSCP provides a local offer of such training on their website. HSAB and HSCP training and resources | Hertfordshire County Council
All governors receive training about safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) at induction, which is regularly updated. This is to make sure that they:
Have the knowledge and information needed to perform their functions and understand their responsibilities, such as providing strategic challenge
Can be assured that safeguarding policies and procedures are effective and support the school to deliver a robust whole-school approach to safeguarding
As the Chair of Governors may be required to act as the ‘case manager’ in the event that an allegation of abuse is made against the Headteacher, they receive training in Managing Concerns and Allegations for this purpose.
Headteachers, Principals and Proprietors
As Headteachers, Principals and Proprietors are ultimately responsible for safeguarding children from adults who work or volunteer with children and are either unsuitable or pose a risk to children, therefore it is highly recommended that Managing Concerns and Allegations training is undertaken in order to maintain an ongoing vigilance of safe practice and culture within the school.
Safe Recruitment – interview panels
At least 1 person conducting any interview for any post at the school will have undertaken safer recruitment training. This will cover, as a minimum, the contents of Keeping Children Safe in Education, and will be in line with local safeguarding procedures.
More information can be found in our Safer Recruitment Policy.
Quality Assurance, Improvement and Practice
Roots Federation endeavours at all times to provide an education and learning where children feel safe and are kept safe by all staff. One way we review and monitor our practice is through auditing: it is important that we are aware of the level of our school’s compliance to key guidance such as KSCiE. We want to be open, transparent and reassure all our stakeholders, including regulators, what we are proud of and what we need to strengthen to meet our own ambitions for standards. It is therefore standard practice that we factor in on-going auditing schedule objectivity and scrutiny by our Governing Body/ Board and all Senior Leadership, children, students and their parents and carers.
We also commission other scrutineers to help us seek reassurance of our practice e.g. Herts for Learning Education, School Effective Advisors and the Local Authority Child Protection School Liaison Service who act as the interface between education and Hertfordshire Social Care and provide support and advice when required.
This policy will be reviewed annually by (name/job title of individual). At every review, it will be approved by our full Governing Board/ Board of Trustees.
Additional Associated Safeguarding Policies and Procedures
See below additional associated safeguarding polices for Roots Federation
Staff code of conduct
Children’s behaviour policy
Health and safety
Privacy notices
Staff disciplinary procedures, which will be used if staff breach this code of conduct. It also sets out examples of what we will deem as misconduct and gross misconduct.
Staff grievance procedures
Gifts and hospitality
Online safety
Email and home/ school communications
Teachers’ standards
Appendix 1: Declaration for all staff
Declaration for whole school staff to verify they have read and understood the school’s Child Protection Policy and other key guidance
School/ College name: Roots Federation
Academic Year: September 2023 / 2024

Return declaration to: School Office Manager by: Date 08/09/2023
Please agree a time and date with your school’s DSL/ DDSL, to read the following Child Protection Policy and associated parts of statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education DfE 2023. Please thereafter verify that you have understand your role and responsibilities in relation to these.

Children occupy all types of places and spaces when socialising, either directly with other or online. Some of these contextual environments away from their home can present additional risks of harm and exploitation that could impact on their welfare and wellbeing. Preventative safeguarding is about having arrangements in place so that whole school staff are made aware of these and know the signs that a child is suspectable or already being impacted on. The aim of your school safeguarding arrangements is to identify those children so that early help support for the child and, where applicable, their family can be offered early help support.
All staff play an important part in your whole school approach to report any concern to your school’s DSL or deputies without delay.

Safeguarding Issues, Child-on-child abuse


Abuse in intimate personal relationships between children

Physical abuse

Sexual violence

Consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos


Safeguarding descriptor, links for further learning

Including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying.
Cyber Aware - NCSC.GOV.UK
Helping Children Deal with Bullying & Cyberbullying | NSPCC
cyberbullying_teachers.pdf (
5.1.13 Bullying (
Cyberbullying Guidance | Childnet

Such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse).
No_place_for_bullying.doc (
Appendix 3: Safeguarding Issues and Specific Forms of Abuse
How to talk to your children about bullying | UNICEF
5.1.7 Children Who Abuse Others (
safe_extended_bully.pdf ( 

Initiation/ hazing type violence and rituals

Such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault; (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence) sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party.

Harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) or peer-on-peer sexual abuse | NSPCC Learning
5.3.10 Online Safety (
harmful-sexual-behaviour-pathway-2021.docx (
brooks traffic light tool - Search (
harmful-sexual-behaviour-strategy-2021-23.docx (
Review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges - GOV.UK (
Overview | Harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people

Specific Forms of Abuse in Annex B of KCSiE, 2023

Child Abduction and community safety incidents

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

County Lines

Children and the Court System

Children who are absent from education

Also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery.
Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people - GOV.UK (
Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: how to respond to an incident (overview)

This typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm.
Upskirting: know your rights - GOV.UK (

This could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element.
Who, what, why: Why is hazing so common? - BBC News

Please note: CSE, CCE, domestic violence, mental FGM, forced marriage, serious violence are set out below.

Safeguarding descriptor and links for further learning

Child abduction is the unauthorised removal or retention of a minor from a parent or anyone with legal responsibility for the child. Child abduction can be committed by parents or other family members; by people known
but not related to the victim (such as neighbours, friends and acquaintances); and by strangers.
Other community safety incidents in the vicinity of a school can raise concerns also, for example, people loitering nearby or unknown adults engaging children in conversation.
Home - Action Against Abduction
5.3.6 Safeguarding Children from Abroad (including Children who are Victims of Trafficking and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children)

Both CSE and CCE are forms of abuse that occur where:
• An individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into taking part in sexual or criminal activity, in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or
• Through violence or the threat of violence.
CSE and CCE can affect children, both male and female and can include children who have been moved (commonly referred to as trafficking) for the purpose of exploitation.

CCE can include children being forced or manipulated into:
• transporting drugs or money through county lines
• working in cannabis factories, shoplifting, or pickpocketing
• committing vehicle crime
• threatening/ committing serious violence to others
• become trapped by exploitation, as perpetrators can threaten victims (and their families) with violence or entrap and coerce them into debt
• coerced into carrying weapons such as knives/ carry a knife for self-protection
• children involved in CCE often commit crimes themselves, their vulnerability as victims is not always recognised by adults and professionals, (particularly older children), and not treated as victims despite the harm they have experienced
• the experience of girls can be very different to that of boys and the indicators may not be the same, especially as they are at higher risk of CSE- girls are at risk of CCE too.
Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines - GOV.UK (
Child exploitation disruption toolkit - GOV.UK (
Child sexual and criminal exploitation - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (
Criminal exploitation and gangs | NSPCC

CSE is a form of child sexual abuse and may involve:
• physical contact, assault by penetration (rape or oral sex) or nonpenetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside clothing
• non-contact activities like involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including via the internet
• can occur over time or be a one-off and may happen without the child’s immediate knowledge for example through others sharing videos or images of them on social media
• includes 16- and 17-year-olds who can legally consent to have sex. Some children may not realise they are being exploited as they believe they are in a genuine romantic relationship.

County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”
• This activity can happen locally as well as across the UK - no specified distance of travel is required
• Children are exploited to move, store and sell drugs and money. Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims
• Children can be targeted and recruited into county lines in a number of locations including any type of schools (including special schools), further and higher educational institutions, pupil referral units, children’s homes and care homes
• Children are also increasingly being targeted and recruited online using social media.
See CCE resources above
Criminal Exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: County Lines

• Children are sometimes required to give evidence in criminal courts, either for crimes committed against them or for crimes they have witnessed
• Making child arrangements via the family courts following separation can be stressful and entrench conflict in families. This can be stressful for children
• The Ministry of Justice has launched an online child arrangements information tool with clear and concise information may be unusual for parents and carers.

All staff should be aware that children being absent from school or college, particularly repeatedly and/or for prolonged periods, and children missing
education can act as a vital warning sign of a range of safeguarding possibilities. This may include:
• abuse and neglect such as sexual abuse or exploitation and can also be a sign of child criminal exploitation including involvement in county lines
• it may indicate mental health problems, risk of substance abuse,
• risk of travelling to conflict zones
• risk of female genital mutilation, so-called ‘honour’ based abuse or risk of forced marriage.
Early intervention is essential to identify the existence of any underlying safeguarding risk and to help prevent the risks of a child going missing in future. It is important that staff are aware of their school’s or college’s unauthorised absence procedures and children missing education procedures.


Children missing from home (NB this is not in Annex B but to illustrate the separate processes):

Use school’s CP procedures to escalate to Children’s Services/ Police
Operation Encompass for MISSING CYP is Hertfordshire’s system for sharing information quickly with schools to safeguard children following the success of supporting children who have witnessed Domestic Abuse


Children with family members in prison: Approximately 200,000 children in England and Wales have a parent sent to prison each year. These children 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.


Cybercrime: Cybercrime is criminal activity committed using computers and/or the internet. It is broadly categorised as either:
‘cyber-enabled’ (crimes that can happen off-line but are enabled at scale and at speed on-line) or
‘cyber dependent’ (crimes that can be committed only by using a computer).
Cyber-dependent crimes include:
unauthorised access to computers (illegal ‘hacking’), for example accessing a school’s computer network to look for test paper answers or change grades awarded
Denial of Service’ (Dos or DDoS) attacks or ‘booting’. These are attempts to make a computer, network, or website unavailable by overwhelming it with internet traffic from multiple sources, and,
making, supplying or obtaining malware (malicious software) such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, botnets and Remote Access
Trojans with the intent to commit further offence, including those above.
Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges - Guidance - GOV.UK (
Cyber Choices - National Crime Agency
When to Call the Police: Guidance for Schools and Colleges - National Police Chiefs’ Council (February 2020) - Youth Justice Resource Hub


Domestic Abuse (DA): DA encompass a wide range of behaviours and may be a single incident or a pattern of incidents
• Abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional
• Children can be victims of DA abuse e.g. see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse at home and/or suffer domestic abuse in their own intimate relationships (teenage relationship abuse)
• DA can have a detrimental and long-term impact on their health, well-being, development, and ability to learn.
Domestic abuse: recognise the signs - GOV.UK (
Helplines briefing: The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people from the voices of parents and carers (
5.1.9 Domestic Abuse (


Homelessness: Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. The DSL (and deputies) should be aware of contact details and referral routes into the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/ progress concerns at the earliest opportunity.
Indicators that a family may be at risk of homelessness include:
• household debt
• rent arrears
• domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour
• the family being asked to leave a property.
This is also a safeguarding issue and DSL should seek advice from Children’s Social Care where a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm.
Homelessness - Citizens Advice
Stats and facts | Centrepoint
Professional Resources - Shelter England

Mental Health: 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, attendance, and progress at school.
Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering exploitation.
Only appropriately trained professionals should attempt to make a diagnosis of a MH problem.
Education staff are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviors that suggest they may be experiencing a MH problem or be at risk of developing one.
Mental Health First Aid Kit | Childline
Introducing the Sandbox: New online mental health digital advice and guidance service for 10-25s - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning.

Modern Slavery and the National Referral Mechanism@ Modern slavery encompasses human trafficking and slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Exploitation can take many forms, including:
• sexual exploitation
• forced labour, slavery and servitude
• forced criminality
• the removal of organs.
Further information on the signs that someone may be a victim of modern slavery, the support available to victims and how to refer them to the NRM is available in Statutory Guidance
Modern slavery: how to identify and support victims - GOV.UK (
Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (
5.3.6 Safeguarding Children from Abroad (including Children who are Victims of Trafficking and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children) (

The Prevent duty/ Preventing Radicalisation and Channe:

Children may be susceptible to extremist ideology and radicalisation.
• Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces
• Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups
• Terrorism is an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/ people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system.
Channel is a voluntary, confidential support programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being susceptible to being drawn into terrorism.
The Prevent duty should be seen as part of schools and colleges wider safeguarding obligations.
Prevent duty guidance - GOV.UK (
Prevent in Education - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (
5.3.9 Prevent Guidance (
Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) guidance - GOV.UK (

Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment between children in schools and colleges: Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex. It can also occur:
• Online
• through a group of children sexually assaulting
• sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, in all likelihood, adversely affect their educational attainment and will be exacerbated if the alleged perpetrator(s) attends the same school or college. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and face to face (both physically and verbally) and are never acceptable.
Keeping children safe in education 2023 (
[Title] (
brooks traffic light tool - Search (

Serious Violence: Indicators, which may signal children are at risk from, or are involved with, serious violent crime:
increased absence from school
change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups
significant decline in performance
signs of self-harm
significant change in wellbeing
signs of assault or unexplained injuries
unexplained gifts or new possessions.
Anything which could also indicate they have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs and may be at risk of criminal exploitation.
Advice to schools and colleges on gangs and youth violence - GOV.UK (
Hertfordshire Serious Violence Strategy & Delivery Plan

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) So-called ‘honour’ based abuse (includes both Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage):FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences.
Whilst all staff should speak to the DSL (or a deputy) any concerns about FGM, there is a specific legal duty on teachers they must report this to the Police.
Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation - GOV.UK (
Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief – National FGM Centre
Female genital mutilation, honour based violence and forced marriage - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (

Forced Marriage: Forcing a person into a marriage is a crime in England. A forced marriage is:
• one entered into without the full and free consent of one or both parties
• and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter into a marriage
• threats can be physical or emotional and psychological.
A lack of full and free consent can be where a person does not consent or where they cannot consent (if they have learning disabilities, for example).
Nevertheless, some perpetrators use perceived cultural practices to coerce a person into marriage. Schools and colleges can play an important role in safeguarding children from forced marriage.
Apply for a forced marriage protection order: Overview - GOV.UK (
Multi-agency practice guidelines: Handling cases of Forced Marriage (
Forced marriage | Childline

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