Our Pre-school follows the procedures as laid out in the Government publications ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ as well as the Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board (BFSB) procedures, all of which are available on-line and are regularly updated.
All staff at Pre-school are committed to the protection and safeguarding of children through training and ongoing mentoring. They have a good understanding of the types of abuse (physical, emotional, neglect and sexual) and the signs to look out for. If they have any concerns about a child then they will bring it to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Pre-school Manager. The concern will be written on a safeguarding concern form and the Pre-school Manager will decide on the action to be taken. The action may involve talking to the child’s parents, doing further observations or making a referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). The decision made and the reason for this will be recorded on the concern form.
The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead is to build trusting supportive relationships between staff and volunteers in the group and they will, in the event of concerns about a child, do everything possible to support and work with the child’s family. The Designated Safeguarding Lead is also the point of contact for any Looked after Children (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. Through training and discussion, staff are aware of the potential risks that children might face and use this knowledge to teach children about staying safe. Some of these risks include: getting lost, danger from traffic, bullying from other children, stranger danger, grooming/abuse, exploitation and online dangers.
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 2017 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.
The Pre-school staff recognise that children can be exposed to the internet at a young age and understand the importance of teaching children to stay safe online. We use age appropriate language, books and resources to do this. The children use tablets with the staff at Pre-school for the purpose of research, stories and music. Children always use the tablets with a member of staff, they are never left unattended or use them on their own in the setting. The Pre-school Managers monitor the use of tablets within the setting. The Pre-school provides parents with information about online safety for their children and encourages them to practice this at home.
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 aware it is their responsibility to let others know if it is necessary to be with a group of children on their own for a short period of time. Staff understand the importance of being vigilant and aware of where children and colleagues are at all times.
Staff (including students on placement) and volunteers, are not permitted to carry or use personal mobile phones, cameras or other technological devices, that take photographs or videos, during the Pre-school day. Personal mobile phones are kept in the office during Pre-school hours. Staff take their lunch break in an area away from the children attending lunch club. They can use their mobile phones on their lunch break and access them in the office. They are not permitted to take their phones into any other area of the Pre-school during Pre-school hours.
We have Pre-school cameras, technological devices and a Pre-school mobile phone which staff use to take photographs for the children’s notes and for any other purposes which parents have given written permission for. The Pre-school Managers monitor the use of cameras, videos and other technological devices within the setting. 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 are deleted from the cameras at the end of each week. The photographs are printed at Pre-school, to be put into the children's learning journeys.
Should an allegation be made against a member of staff or volunteer then senior staff and / or the Pre-School committee will follow the written procedures in the Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board (BFSB) procedures manual. This will involve making a written record of the information including time, date and place of incident if known. Staff and committee will not investigate the allegation until the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) has been contacted and will not offer explanations or make assumptions. The LADO will be notified within one working day of any allegation and will advise us on our next steps. Ofsted will be notified and also the police if we consider that anyone is at risk. 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.
Staff are made aware of the boundaries of appropriate behaviour and conduct at Pre-school. They are also made aware that it is their duty to raise concerns, with the Pre-school Manager or Designated safeguarding Lead, about inappropriate attitudes or actions of other adults and staff in the setting.
Parents need to inform a member of staff of any accidents that have happened to their child outside the Pre-school environment. They will be asked to record and sign the details in the accident book or on an online form as an existing injury. This will cover any repercussions, which could occur following an accident. If a member of staff notices an existing injury during the Pre-school day that has not been reported, we will call to speak to the child’s parent to get more information and will record it in the accident book as an existing injury.
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 Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This is not a case of Pre-school staff being judgemental; this is a statutory requirement under the Pan Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board and Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Children Board’s 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 staff and committee members complete statutory safeguarding training and we organise in-house safeguarding training at each full staff meeting and committee meeting. Volunteers and students are given a copy of the safeguarding cue card and instructed on what to do if they have concerns.
All adults employed in the Pre-school 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. All staff are asked to complete a declaration at each supervision meeting affirming they are not disqualified and do not live with anyone who is. We will use this information to determine if this staff member is suitable to work with children in our provision.
We have a named person responsible for ensuring a safe workforce through recruitment procedures and has completed training in safe recruitment procedures. Decisions of suitability use evidence from:
Enhanced DBS disclosures
full employment history
All staff are instructed to declare all convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children.
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.
Last reviewed: July 2022 - currently under review