Ensuring the well-being and protection of the children and young people in our care is one of the key responsibilities of all Education Resources’ personnel. In order to support and direct this work Education Resources has produced key policies on Care and Welfare and Child Protection.
It is the responsibility of Head Teachers to ensure all staff are aware of their responsibilities and to provide an update to all staff annually. Attendance at such updates is recorded to ensure full staff coverage.
Child Protection procedures are important for all children and young people, but in particular for those children and young people least able to protect themselves: children in early years establishments; children in the earlier stages of the primary school; and children with additional support needs. However it is important to note that child abuse can affect children of all ages and in all sectors of society.
Protecting children means recognising when to be concerned about their safety and understanding when and how to share these concerns, how to investigate and assess such concerns and, fundamentally, what steps are required to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. This is why our annual updates and staff familiarity with key procedures are vital aspects of our caring responsibilities.
Child protection is seen within the wider context of supporting families and meeting children’s needs through Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC). GIRFEC, with its emphasis on shared assessment based on a common language, facilitates information-sharing and stresses the importance of understanding risks and needs across all aspects of the child’s well-being. This approach:
- puts children’s needs first;
- ensures that children are listened to and understand decisions that affect them; and
- ensures that they get the appropriate co-ordinated support needed to promote their well-being, health and development.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
These principles, enshrined in legislation and practice in child protection, are derived from Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK Government and endorsed by the Scottish Government. They should underpin all code and practice in child protection. While not directly enforceable in domestic Scottish courts, it is Scottish Government policy to implement the Convention wherever possible.
The principles of the UN Convention include:
- each child has a right to be treated as an individual;
- every child who can form a view on matters affecting them has the right to express those views if they so wish, and those views should be given due weight in accordance with the child’s age and maturity;
- parents should normally be responsible for the upbringing of their children and should share that responsibility;
- each child has the right to protection from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation;
- insofar as is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the child’s welfare, public authorities should promote the upbringing of children by their families; and
- any intervention by a public authority in the life of a child must be properly justified and should be supported by services from all relevant agencies working in collaboration.
The Children’s Charter and the Framework of Standards
In addition to the Convention, the Children’s Charter was drawn up following consultation with children and young people as part of the Scottish Government’s child protection reform programme. The Charter sets out a list of demands children should feel entitled to make:
- get to know us;
- speak with us;
- listen to us;
- take us seriously;
- involve us;
- respect our privacy;
- be responsible to us;
- think about our lives as a whole;
- think carefully about how you use information about us;
- put us in touch with the right people;
- use your power to help;
- make things happen when they should; and
- help us be safe
Child Exploitation and Online Protection
Ensuring that children and young people are safe includes keeping them safe from physical dangers but also potential dangers or risks which may occur through the use of social media and/or information technology. Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) is an organisation which works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. CEOP protect children from harm online and offline, directly through the National Crime Agency led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies.
The CEOP website contains a large amount of information for parents/carers to help them to keep their children safe. Their website can be accessed through the following link.
In March 2014, our Parent Council organised an evening for parents/carers about the dangers of social media and use of information technology. The evening was led by Mr Les Obre, South Lanarkshire Council’s Child Protection and Inclusion Manager.
South Lanarkshire Council’s Child Protection website has a large range of information on child protection. It can be accessed through the link below:
South Lanarkshire Council has produced a booklet for parents, ‘Keeping Your Young Person Safe Online’ which contains important information on safety and knowing the dangers which exist. It covers 5 ‘e-SMART’ safety rules and important aspects of legislation in relation to social media and communications. It can be accessed through the link below.
Our Government Campaign was launched ion January 2016 called ‘Keeping our Children Safe’. A link to its content can be found below:
Parents may find the video below helpful and informative:
Further information on the school’s child protection procedures can be obtained from Mrs Crone, Senior Depute Head Teacher.