Anfield is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection Policy which can be viewed here:
- Scope and definitions
- Core safeguarding principles
- Reporting concerns
- DPCP arrangements
- Working with other agencies
- Monitoring attendance
- Peer-on-peer abuse
- Concerns about a staff member
- Support for Children
- Safeguarding all Children
- Online Safety
- Mental Health
- Staff recruitment, training and induction
- Monitoring Arrangements
- Links with other policies
- This addendum applies during the period of school closure due to COVID-19, and it sets out any changes to our normal Child Protection Policy. Unless covered here, our normal Child Protection Policy continues to apply.The definition of ‘vulnerable children’ in this document includes those who:
- Have a social worker, including children with a child protection plan, those assessed as being in need, and looked-after children
- Have an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP)
Core safeguarding principles
Although we are operating in a different way to normal, we are still following these important safeguarding principles:
- The best interests of children must come first
- If anyone has a safeguarding concern about any child, they should continue to act on it immediately and also inform the Designated Personnel for Child Protection (DPCP)
- Children should continue to be protected when they are online
All staff must continue to act on any concerns they have about a child immediately. It is still vitally important to do this via the standard reporting procedures.
A DPCP will usually be on-site during the normal school day. If, for whatever reason, the DPCP can’t be in school, they can be contacted remotely via the School Administration Office.
- Know who the most vulnerable children in our school are
- Can identify the most vulnerable children in school
- Update and manage access to child protection files, where necessary
- Liaise with children’s social workers where they need access to children in need, and/or to carry out statutory assessments
Working with other agencies
We will continue to work with children’s social care and will amend this addendum where necessary, to reflect any updated guidance.
As the children will not be attending school during this period of school closure, we will not be completing our usual attendance registers or following our usual procedures to follow up on non-attendance. However, we will be monitoring attendance at online learning sessions, and if a child we expect to be attending does not attend, or stops attending, we will:
- Follow up on their absence with their parents or carers, by telephone, email or online communication tools
- Notify their social worker, where they have one
Parents and carers have been contacted by the School Administration Office to make sure we have up-to-date emergency contact details, and additional contact details where possible.
We will continue to follow the principles set out in our Child Protection Policy when managing reports and supporting victims of peer-on-peer abuse. Staff should continue to act on any concerns they have immediately.
Concerns about a staff member
We will continue to follow the principles set out in our Child Protection Policy and staff should act on any concerns they have, immediately. We will continue to refer adults who have harmed, or pose a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult, to the relevant Hong Kong Authority. We will refer any potential cases of teacher misconduct to the relevant Authority for the duration of the COVID-19 period.
Support for children who are not ‘vulnerable’ but where we have concerns
We will continue to closely monitor the attendance of any children who don’t meet the definition of ‘vulnerable’, but whom we have safeguarding concerns about, and also keep in regular contact with parents/carers.
Safeguarding all children
Staff members are aware that this difficult time potentially puts all children at greater risk. They will continue to be alert to any signs of abuse, or effects on students’ mental health that are also safeguarding concerns, and act on concerns immediately. In particular, children are likely to be spending more time online (see section 11 below).
Where staff members are interacting with children online, they will continue to follow our existing code of conduct and guidance around acceptable use of technology, staff/student relationships and communication, including the use of social media. We adopt safeguarding practices in our approach to remote learning – for example, considering the appropriateness of pre-recorded videos to share, making video calls or phoning students.Staff will continue to be alert to signs that a child may be at risk of harm online, and act on any concerns immediately, following reporting procedures as set out in our Child Protection Policy. Our children know how to report any concerns they have. Our parents and carers:
- Are aware of the potential risks to children online and the importance of staying safe online
- Know what our school is asking children to do online, including what sites they will be using and who they will be interacting with from our school
- Know who to contact if they have any concerns about keeping their children safe online
Where possible, we will continue to offer our current support for student mental health for all students. We will also signpost all pupils, parents and staff to other resources to support good mental health at this time, where necessary.When setting expectations for when students are learning remotely, teachers will bear in mind the potential impact of the current situation on both children’s and adults’ mental health.
Staff recruitment, training and induction
Recruiting new staff
We continue to recognise the importance of, and follow, robust safer recruitment procedures, so that adults who work in our school are safe to work with children.In urgent cases, when validating proof of identity documents to apply for a DBS check/HK Police check, we will initially accept verification of scanned documents via online video link, rather than being in physical possession of the original documents. New staff must present the original documents before they first attend work at our school.13.2 Safeguarding induction and training
We will make sure staff are aware of any changes to our procedures and local arrangements. New staff will continue to receive a Safeguarding Induction, access to our Children Protection Policy and to this addendum.
We will review these arrangements in the light of any updated guidance from the HK Government/EDB.
Links with other policies
This addendum links to the following policies and procedures:
- Child Protection Policy
- Internet, E-Safety and Social Networking Policies
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety Policy