As a College we are committed to promoting the welfare, safety and personal development of our students. Consequently, we realise the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest safeguarding advice and guidance issued by the government (Keeping Children Safe in Education, July 2015; Working Together to Safeguard Children, March 2015; Prevent Duty Guidance, July 2015; and Female Genital Mutilation Risk and Safeguarding, March 2015)
Our Safeguarding Briefing Statement is sent to all staff and clearly sets out our approach to dealing with safeguarding issues. We also have posters up around the College to remind staff and students of our designated safeguarding team.
There are a number of recent local authority policy developments in the areas of, specifically:
- Radicalisation, Extremism and the ‘Prevent Duty’.
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
- Child Sexual Exploitation.
The College ensures that all staff (including temporary, supply, volunteers renew their safeguarding training annually. This means that their knowledge is fresh and up-to-date in what can be a complex and fast moving area of education. The training makes explicit reference to: the types and signs of abuse (now including Radicalisation, FGM and CSE); how to manage a safeguarding disclosure; their statutory responsibility to refer any concerns.
If concerns are raised about the welfare or safety of a child, the designated safeguarding person must give careful consideration as to whether a referral needs to be made to children’s social care. If this course of action is taken the College will usually inform parents, unless there are compelling reasons for not doing so.
Once a referral has been made the College works closely with a range of relevant agencies in order to bring about the best outcome for the child.
RADICALISATION, EXTREMISM AND THE PREVENT DUTY
As a College we have a statutory duty to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (Prevent Duty Guidance, July 2015). The risk of radicalisation and extremism in Rutland is deemed to be low. However, given the demographics of the local area the greatest threat is posed by Far Right Extremism / Neo-Nazism.
In our day-to-day contact with students we should look out for the following:
- Graffiti symbols – Nazi Swastikas and the numbers 14 (the fourteen words “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”); 18 (Adolf Hitler); 88 (Heil Hitler); and 28 (Blood & Honour).
- Accessing extremist material online – website and social media
- Reading extremist books (e.g. The Anarchist Cookbook or My Struggle) or listening to extremist music (e.g. Screwdriver).
- Changes in behaviour or friendship groups.
- Voicing racist opinions or using racist/hate language.
- Inciting violence, crime or anti-social behaviour.
- Condoning or supporting violence or harm towards others.
Further information can be found by downloading the leaflet here.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)
Around 65,000 girls in the UK are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation. These girls can be of any age, even babies, and are predominately from East and West Africa. Girls from Somalia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea and Mali are at a particularly high risk.
FMG, which usually takes place during the summer or “cutting season”, is a form of abuse with no religious justification.
If a member of staff has been informed that FMG has taken place or observed FMG – there is a mandatory personal duty which requires the individual professional to make the report. The recommended route for doing this is to call 101.
However, if a member of staff suspects that FMG has been carried out, or are concerned about the risk, they should follow the Federation’s Safeguarding procedures outlines above and in the Safeguarding Policy.
You can download a leaflet to read more about this by clicking here.
NSPCC Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Helpline
The NSPCC has set up a FGM helpline, which is free, anonymous and 24/7. If you’re worried a child is at risk of, or has had, FGM, call the FGM helpline on: 0800 028 3550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
CSE is a form of sexual abuse where victims are manipulated or forced into taking part in sexual acts. This can either be part of a consensual relationship or in return for attention, gifts, money, alcohol, drugs or any other bribe.
The warning signs for CSE include:
- Mood swings / being emotionally upset.
- Poor attendance or a pattern of non-attendance.
- Change in physical appearance / appear dishevelled.
- Misusing alcohol or drugs.
- Chatting online to people they have never met.
- Hanging around with older people.
- Unexplained gifts.
- Showing inappropriate sexualised behaviour.
- Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) / seeking emergency contraception.
If a child starts to exhibit, or is exhibiting, any of the behaviours highlighted above please follow the College’s safeguarding procedures. If you feel the child is in immediate danger contact the police.
‘Sexting’ is an increasingly common activity among children and young people, where they share inappropriate or explicit images online or through mobile phones. It can also refer to written messages.
As a parent, it is important to understand the risks so that you can talk to your child about how to stay safe and what to do if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable.
SelfieCop can protect them from ‘Sexting’ – Click for more information.