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SCHOOL SAFEGUARDING AND CHILD PROTECTION

School Safeguarding and Exclusion Lead:  Liam Foote

Contact:  liam.foote@barnet.gov.uk 020 8359 4997

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone's responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. School staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children to prevent concerns from escalating. All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.  

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2021)​

DfE guidance: Keeping children Safe in Education can be found here.

DfE guidance: What to do if you’re worried about a child is being abused can be found here.

Safer Recruitment Consortium: Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings can be found here.

Children and Family - Continuum of Help and Support

The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership's document on the Continuum of Help and Support gives guidance on referral thresholds to Family Services and advice on escalating a concern.

Thresholds and resolution policy: Barnet has a jointly agreed threshold document published online. This is supported by a Continuum of Help and Support document which explains in more detail the principles and legislative framework behind the thresholds, as well as providing sample criteria for the different levels of need.

Multi-agency training is provided annually about thresholds and the continuum of need and MASH data is monitored and audited to evaluate the appropriateness of referrals, with additional training provided as needed.

The resolution policy is also available on the BSCP website, detailing three levels of escalation for professional disagreements.

MASH (the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)

Contact: mash@barnet.gov.uk or call 020 8359 4066

If in doubt about the services available or the level of need, you can contact the MASH support line between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 020 8359 to seek advice.

After 5pm and at weekends the Out of Hours social work service provided by LB Harrow operates by phone on 020 8359 2000.

If a child is at immediate risk contact the police on 999.

What to consider in making a referral for the child

  • Have I discussed what I am worried about with the child, young person or parent/carer?

  • Do I need to obtain consent from the parent/carer or young person to make a referral?

  • Would discussing my concerns with the parent/carer place the child or young person at risk?

  • What evidence do I have of risk of harm?

  • What has the child said?

  • What has their parent/carer (or sibling, where appropriate) said?

  • What risk, danger or harm is known to you?

  • How old is the child and do they have other additional vulnerabilities to consider?

  • When did I become aware of the information that is causing concern?

  • How long has the problem been known?

  • Do I know if anyone is currently working with the child, young person or family?

  • Who else have I spoken to about my concerns?

  • What was the first, worst and last incident that caused you concern?

  • What’s working well, what are the sources of strengths for this child and family?

  • What have I or others tried to do to help?

  • Do I need to put immediate safety actions into place for the child?

  • What do I want to see happen for the child, young person and family?

Don’t forget: Consent must be obtained to undertake multi-agency checks unless there is an identified risk to the child, or it is in the public interest not to do.

Early Help

Early Intervention is about taking action as soon as possible to tackle problems for children and families before they become more difficult to reverse (Early Intervention Foundation).  We should aim to identify children, young people and families that may be at risk of future difficulties and provide them with timely and effective support.

Early Help can involve a range of professionals from a wide range of agencies including health, schools, housing, youth work, child & adolescent mental health, substance misuse and domestic violence professionals who can work together to assess and intervene in a family’s difficulties.

If there are child protection concerns - always refer to the Barnet Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) without delay.

Learn how to access Early help support here.

 

Early Help Hubs

Learn which Early Help Hub your school is allocated to by viewing the document here. 

 

East Central based at Newstead Children’s Centre

Service Manager – Michaela Carlowe (michaela.carlowe@barnet.gov.uk )

Team Managers – Sally Bye, (sally.bye@barnet.gov.uk) Sarah O’Donavan (sarah.o’donovan@barnet.gov.uk)

 

West based at Barnet and South Gate College – Colindale

Service Manager - Andrea Mullings (Andrea.mullings@barnet.gov.uk)

Team Managers – Mark Vargeson, (mark.vargeson@barnet.gov.uk) Marisa Manco – Cox, (marisa.manco-cox@barnet.gov.uk

 

South based at Parkfield Children’s Centre

Service Manager – Faith Robertson (faith.robertson@barnet.gov.uk)

Team Managers - Marianna Nicolaou (Marianna.nicolaou@barnet.gov.uk) Shantha.Shanmuganathan (shanta.shanmuganathan@barnet.gov.uk)

Concerned about adult behaviour towards a child?

If you need to make a referral or discuss an allegation made against an adult working with children, you should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer LADO@barnet.gov.uk 

 

Schoolsafe - Community Safety Incidents

Schoolsafe is a statutory service provided to schools in Barnet. To receive information and updates, all schools must ensure that nick.burr@barnet.gov.uk has the Designated Safeguarding Lead email and phone contact.

All staff need to be alert to community safety incidents taking place in the vicinity of the school that may raise concerns regarding child abduction, e.g., people loitering nearby or unknown adults conversing with pupils. Schools have followed the ‘schoolsafe’ procedure and this has proved to be effective over the four years since its implementation. Please continue to report any incidents though schoolsafe@barnet.gov.uk stating the police CAD number (we cannot process without the CAD number which is issued by the police).

 

What happens when you contact ‘schoolsafe’?

1. The school Police Sergeant for Safer Schools is contacted to confirm the details of the referral, using the CAD number.

2. Agreement from the police is sought on the level of response needed (general message to all school, specific to a geographical area, for schools and parents or just schools or no response required).

3. A draft message is sent to the Barnet Communication Team to check wording and to ensure the message will not give rise to unnecessary distress or misinformation being spread.

4. The message is sent to schools.

 

Schoolsafe often send generic messages requesting that schools remind pupils of the ‘staying safe rules’ when travelling without supervision or playing outside, as there have been more incidents then usual of pupils being approached by strangers.  Please continue to provide practical advice and lessons to ensure pupils can keep themselves safe outdoors.

Operation Encompass - Domestic Abuse

Operation Encompass is a statutory service. Learn more by visiting their website at https://www.operationencompass.org/ 

Operation Encompass is a National initiative whereby police swiftly inform school Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL’s) and their deputies of pupils who have been present during a domestic incident. Locally, police officers within the Barnet, Brent and Harrow Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) teams are responsible for making these disclosures to DSL’s. The disclosures are made using a secure email through ‘Box’ each weekday by 09:00 hours - or as soon as practicable (resource and demand permitting). Following feedback from local Safeguarding Children’s Partnerships in respect of holiday clubs etc, we now make disclosures all year round and not just in term time.

To join Operation Encompass, schools must sign an information sharing agreement, the school’s website should highlight that it is part of Operation Encompass, and the school must have a secure email account. 

For more information and to sign up, please contact NWMailbox.MASHBarnet@met.police.uk

Whole school and DSL support

There is a range of statutory and traded support on offer. 

Audit tools (statutory)

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection

  • Peer-on-Peer Abuse

  • Buildings

Contact Jane Morris at jane.morris@barnet.gov.uk to request these.

Model policies (statutory):

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection

  • Peer-on-Peer Abuse

Contact Jane Morris at jane.morris@barnet.gov.uk to request these.

Safeguarding whole school reviews (traded) (contact jane.morris@barnet.uk  or BPSI)

Training

Contact Jane Morris at jane.morris@barnet.gov.uk or visit BPSI to learn more.

Some of the trainings provided by Barnet Children’s Safeguarding Partnership are offered on a free basis, but not all.

Designated Safeguarding Lead Briefings (statutory)

Briefings for DSLs and headteachers are help twice a term.  Please ensure you are on the mailing list to receive an invitation.  Please send your contact information to nick.burr@barnet.gov.uk to ensure you are on the mailing list.

 

Safeguarding Newsletters (statutory)

Safeguarding Newsletters are sent to schools at the beginning of every school term.  The Autumn Term edition always covers changes or revisions to Keeping Children Safe in Education that are communicated by the DfE in July to come into force in the September.  Every edition has an ‘Office Corner’ section giving advice to office staff on Safer Recruitment.

Newsletter are sent to DSLs every term.  Please send your contact information to nick.burr@barnet.gov.uk to ensure you are on the mailing list.

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