Preschool Committee

 

 

Chairperson: Ian Prior

 

 

Treasurer: Maggie Waters

 

 

Committee Members:

Rev. Paul Taylor

Maureen Rackham

Liz Greene

Barry Jones

 

 

Parent Governor: Dominika Bury-Glowacka

 

 

St Matthew's Policies & Procedures

This is just a portion of our policies – please ask if you wish to read them all.

 

Safeguarding Policy

 

Our preschool wants to work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.

We wish to:

  • Create an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.

  • Create an environment in our preschool which encourages children to develop a positive self image, regardless of race, language, religion, culture or home background.

  • Help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults.

  • Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.

  • Enable children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

  • Work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children.

Liaison with other bodies:

  • We work within the West Sussex Safeguarding guidelines.

  • We have access to Child Safeguarding Guidelines www.westsussexscb.org.uk

  • We phone the West Sussex number for MASH on 0330 222 7799 if there are any concerns over a child’s welfare or 999 for emergencies. Email MASH@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk

  • We notify the LADO Lindsey Tunbridge-Adams 0330 222 3339 or email

Lindsey.Tunbridge-Adams@westsussex.gov.uk

  • To contact MASH out of hours we phone 0330 222 6664

  • We notify the Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which affect the well-being of children.

  • If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the West Sussex Child Safeguarding guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child’s parents at the same time.

Staffing and volunteering

  • Our named persons who coordinate child protection issues are Liz Greene, Sandra Hydes and Nicola Lambsden.

  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.

  • All applicants for work within the group will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide two references.

  • All references will be followed up. In the case of applicants with unexplained gaps in their employment history, or who have moved rapidly from one job to another, explanations will be sought.

  • Applicants for posts within the preschool are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.

  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the preschool or has access to the children.

  • All practitioners are required to complete and return the Disqualification Declaration Form.

  • All appointments whether paid or unpaid will be subject to a probationary period of 6 months and will not be confirmed unless the group is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.

  • Volunteers/students do not have unsupervised access to the children and are not allowed entry to the children’s toilets.

  • We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.

  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the preschool. All visitors must sign the Visitors Book and are not allowed to use mobile phones on the premises.

  • Any person visiting the preschool in an official capacity, not previously known to staff, are required to provide proof of identity.

  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the preschool so that no unauthorized person has unsupervised access to the children.

Disciplinary Action:

Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the preschool or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Department of Health administrators so that the name may be included on the List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Training:

  1. All practitioners are required to attend Child Protection training every 3 years. We ensure that all practitioners know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the preschool.

 

Good practice:

  • Practitioners will not be left alone for long periods of time with individual children or with small groups. An adult who needs to take a child aside e.g. to change soiled/wet clothing will leave the door open.

  • Adults who have not been registered as ‘fit persons’ will not take children unaccompanied to the toilet.

  • The layout of the setting will enable constant supervision at all times.

 

Curriculum:

  1. We introduce key elements of child safeguarding into our curriculum, so that children can develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.

  2. We create within the preschool a culture of value and respect for the individual.

  3. We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stages of our children.

Complaints:

  1. We ensure that all parents know how to complain about practitioners or volunteers within the preschool, which may include an allegation of abuse. Details are displayed on our notice board, along with our registration number and Ofsted’s phone number.

  2. We follow the ‘Allegations of Child Abuse made against a member of staff’ policy.

  3. We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms — physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.

  4. When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour, deterioration in their general well-being, or changes in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur or where children’s play gives cause for concern, the preschool will investigate. We will gather information from other practitioners and through observations.

  5. We allow investigations to be carried out with sensitivity. Practitioners in the preschool take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or by asking questions of children.

  6. Where a child shows signs and symptoms of ‘failure to thrive’ or neglect, or unexplained bruising, or marks we make appropriate referrals.

  7. We record comments children make which give cause for concern.

Disclosures:

Where a child makes a disclosure to a practitioner, that member of staff:

  • Offers reassurance to the child.

  • Listens to the child and

  • Gives reassurance that she or he will take action.

  • The practitioner does not question the child.

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures.

Practitioners make a record using the Safeguarding Concern form:

  • The child’s name.

  • The child’s address.

  • The age of the child.

  • The date and time of the observation or the disclosure.

  • An objective record of the observation or disclosure.

  • The exact words spoken by the child.

  • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time.

  • The names of any other person present at the time.

  • Informs the preschool leader and Child Protection Officers ASAP.

These records are signed and dated and kept in a separate confidential file.

 

Informing Parents:

Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local LADO does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

Confidentiality:

All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the LADO.

Support to families:

  • The preschool takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group.

  • The preschool continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation.

  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child only if appropriate under the guidance of the LADO.

  • With the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount, we do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.

Safeguarding – Prevent

This Policy is intended to serve as a guidance for Practitioners to recognise the signs of those who are at risk and also to inform parents of our legal requirement to put this policy into operation.

The prevent of duty care policy is part of our wider safeguarding duties in keeping children safe from harm, and this policy reinforces our existing duties by spreading understanding of the prevention of radicalisation

Staff Responsibilities:

  • All practitioners must be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.

  • There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology, but staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, including even very young children, which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection.

  • These behaviours can be evident during circle time, Role play activities and quiet times.

  • People from any walks of life can be drawn into radicalisation and not necessarily from a particular religion or ethnicity.

  • Terrorism is not promoted by any religion.

  • The Prevent duty does not require childcare providers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we are required to take action when observing behaviour of concern.

  • There are certain terminology used by Muslim families such as, Inshallah, alhumdillah, marshallah, allah ho akbar. These phrases are not an indication of any form of radicalisation. (This is worth mentioning as it is one of the concerns from the Muslim community).

  • People dress codes like hijabs, nikabs, abayas and jilbabs are not indicative factors that they are at risk of being radicalised.

Key Person Policy

 

The preschool operates a key person approach; your child will be allocated a member of staff who will keep a record of observations and assessments in their Learning Journal. These observations and assessments help us to plan for your child’s individual next steps. If you wish to talk to your child’s key person or see their Learning Journal please speak to them to arrange a convenient time.

 

There will be opportunities throughout the year to meet and discuss your child’s progress.

 

  • An important part of the key person approach is the development of relationships between children, staff and parents. We aim to offer good, healthy relationships between all staff and all children which helps enable children to settle in well. This means that if your child’s key person works part time at the preschool or is off work for any reason, your child is not going to feel unsettled when they are not here but will be happy to approach any member of staff.

 

We have to send your child’s Learning Journal to the next early years setting or school so their new teacher or key person can see their interests and stage of development. We have good contacts with local Primary/Infant Schools and we aim to ensure a smooth transition for your child from St Matthew’s to school.