South Hill Park Pre-school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of the children in our care. The features of our safer culture include:

*  A written professional code of conduct for all staff
*  Clear procedures for reporting concerns
*  Support in raising concerns and commitment to take action
*  Clear written policies and procedures
*  Stringent recruitment methods which are reviewed regularly
*  Induction and probationary periods for all new staff with experienced mentors
*  An ongoing culture of vigilance throughout the workforce to deter and detect potential perpetrators

This is the South Hill Park Pre-school 'Safeguarding Policy' which was reviewed in February 2018:

Our Pre-School follows the procedures as laid out in the Government booklet ‘what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ as well as the Berkshire Child Protection Procedures which are available on-line and regularly updated.

All staff at Pre-school are committed to the protection of children through training and ongoing mentoring. If they have any concerns about a child then they will bring it to the attention of the groups Child Protection Officer, Debbie Holland who will, in turn, bring it to the attention of the Pre-School Manager  and the child’s parent or carer (where appropriate), in private. The Child Protection Officer may ask Social services for advice or to initiate a referral.

The role of the Child Protection officer is to build a trusting supportive relationship between staff and volunteers in the group and she will, in the event of concerns about a child do everything possible to support and work with the child’s family.  The Child Protection Officer is also the point of contact for any Looked after Child (LAC).

We help the children to learn about staying safe by role modelling appropriate behaviour; using books and resources and arranging visits from our Community Police Support Officer.  We reinforce safety matters and talk about our feelings and safety on a daily basis.

We follow the advice for schools and childcare providers given by the department for Education and the Bracknell Forest Council Prevent Cue Card to fulfil the Prevent Duty.  We attempt to build children’s resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values. The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage.  There is no single way of identifying who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology. However, as with managing other safeguarding risks, practitioners are alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate they are in need of help or protection. Practitioners will use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately.

Our practitioners have an awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and understand that some communities are now more likely to carry out the practice on nursery-age children.  If any child in our care has symptoms or signs of FGM, or if we have good reason to suspect they are at risk of FGM having considered their family history or other relevant factors, they will be referred using standard existing safeguarding procedures, as is the procedure with all other instances of child abuse.

Wherever possible, two members of staff work together in an area.  However, if one member of staff is responsible for a child or small group of children we are confident that the layout of the Pre-School permits good supervision of all children due to the large number of windows and open-plan areas.   Staff are not permitted to carry mobile phones on them within Pre-school. We have Pre-school cameras which staff use to take photographs for the children’s notes and for any other purposes which parents have given written permission for.  No cameras are permitted in the toilets and staff must leave them in the basket outside the toilet as they enter. All photographs of children are downloaded to the Pre-school computer and printed at Pre-school. This is never done at the Key Person’s home.

Should an allegation be made against a member of staff or volunteer then a thorough investigation will be carried out by senior staff and Pre-School committee. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be notified within one working day of any allegation and will advise us on our next steps.  Ofsted and the police will be notified. We will suspend staff on full pay for the duration of the investigation if the LADO advises us to; this is not an indication of admission and that the alleged incident has taken place, but to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.

In all situations, confidentiality will be of paramount importance.

Parents need to inform the group of any accidents that may occur to their child outside the Pre-school environment. They will be required to record and sign details in the accident book. This will cover any repercussions, which could occur following an accident.  Bruising and injury in immobile infants is rare. If any of the Pre-school team observe bruising or injuries to an immobile infant who is brought into Pre-school (for example, younger siblings) then this will always be referred to Children’s Social Care. This is not a case of Pre-school staff being judgemental; this is a statutory requirement under the Berkshire Child Protection Procedures.  

The organisation has a clear understanding of the responsibility to share information and staff and volunteers understand the importance of information sharing in order to safeguard children.

All adults employed in the group are required to have an ‘enhanced’ check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  The DBS is renewed every three years or is put on the DBS update service.

Lisa Thomas is the named person responsible for ensuring a safe work force through recruitment procedures and has completed training in safe recruitment procedures.  Decisions of suitability use evidence from:

  • Enhanced DBS disclosures

  • references

  • full employment history

  • qualifications

  • interviews

  • identity checks

  • observations

All staff are instructed to declare all convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children.

The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 prohibit anyone who is disqualified from working with children or who lives in the same household as a disqualified person from working in early years settings and schools.  All staff are asked to complete a declaration as soon as possible affirming they are not disqualified and do not live with anyone who is. Where a disqualified person is identified we will work with Ofsted and follow their instructions.

The elected members of the Management Committee are also required to complete a DBS check. As trustees for the Pre-school, Committee members have an important responsibility with safeguarding and all new members are required to complete a training programme in safeguarding.