Child Protection refers to situations when a child is suffering abuse or at risk of abuse.
In "Keeping Children Safe in Education", abuse is defined as "a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children."
Southfields Academy recognises that any student might be at risk of harm or abuse; there are no social, geographical, cultural or faith boundaries. However, it is noted that children that have special educational needs and / or disabilities are at greater risk of abuse.
There are 4 categories of abuse. These are:
More information about what these categories mean can be found here on our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What training and advice are staff given about child protection matters?
Staff are expected to read Keeping Children Safe in Education - Part 1, The Academy Safeguarding / Child Protection Policy and attend in house full Child Protection training each year, and training organised by the Local Authority Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub every 3 years.
They also get regularly updated by the Designated Safeguarding Lead during INSET sessions. Staff who frequently deal with Safeguarding or have a key role in the pastoral care of our students have additional training to support them. Advice for staff on dealing with disclosures is summarised on this page of our website.
What happens if a school is made aware of a potential Child Protection matter?
Staff cannot keep concerns about students confidential.
They are required to use "My Concerns" and log any and all disclosures made to them. They must also refer all concerns they have to our DSLs. Posters in every classroom and office explain who students and staff can speak to if they have any concerns or made aware of any Safeguarding or Child Protection matter.
If a student makes a disclosure of a concerning incident or incidents, or if staff become otherwise aware of issues which could ultimately lead to a student being at risk of significant harm, they have a duty of care to pass this onto the appropriate authorities; not to do so is against the law.
The Academy does not make judgements about such incidents and is not authorised to investigate to validate or otherwise the disclosure. In taking action, the Academy must put the child's welfare first.
Who does the Academy pass on the concerns to?
Referrals are made to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at Wandsworth Borough Council or of the local authority in which the child lives. When making a referral, the Academy takes advice whether parents / carers should be informed that this action has been taken. The Academy must follow this advice.
What happens next?
MASH will make an initial assessment of whether the referral meets the threshold to be passed on to the Wandsworth Safeguarding Children Partnership for further assessment.
WSCP will make a judgement whether there should be a single agency assessment or if the police also need to be involved.
What happens once the assessments have been completed?
Parents / carers may be offered access to services to support the family and young person through Early Help, further details of the local Early Help offer can be found here www.thrivewandsworth.gov.uk. If concerns remain about a child / young person, however, he/she may be made the subject of a Child in Need Plan or professionals may be called together with parents / carers to attend a Child Protection Conference where a decision will be made whether the child be made the subject of a Child Protection Plan.
More information about the Wandsworth Safeguarding Partnership procedures can be found here. Other local authorities may vary.
In addition, the Department for Education has compiled some useful advice and information about Child Protection, together with how to report any concerns, which can be found on https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse
Information about specific aspects of Child Protection can be found by using the menu to the right-hand side of this page.