School and College of Further Education staff, together with a number of support agencies, have an important role in ensuring the Bailiwick of Guernsey Curriculum is followed. This includes providing an effective Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education curriculum and effective pastoral care systems, which enable pupils to become confident individuals, successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens. These should safeguard and promote their well-being and equip children and young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding to help keep themselves and others safe.
Identify children and young people who may be at risk from serious harm
Education professionals and school staff are well placed to observe physical and psychological changes in a child which might indicate abuse. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) are the adults outside the home likely to have the greatest level of day-to-day contact with children and they are able to contribute a great deal to the assessment of vulnerable children. Education staff should always share information about any concerns about a child with the relevant agency in accordance with the Child Protection Interagency Guidelines.
In this role school staff need to be aware of signs and symptoms of abuse. They should observe carefully the behaviour and demeanour of children and young people and, when approached, take time to listen. Any concern or suspicions the teacher might have, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time, should be recorded and passed to the designated School Child Protection Officer (SCPO) or Headteacher. This information is held in a confidential file held by the SCPO or Headteacher. Where a specific concern is noted as a child protection issue the SCPO will take the appropriate action in accordance with the Child Protection Interagency Guidelines.
To enable schools and the College of Further Education to fulfil this role, each school and the College of Further Education must have a designated member of staff (SCPO) responsible for co-ordinating action on child protection issues. This role may be undertaken by the Headteacher or Principal, or may be a named senior member of staff. This person must be appropriately trained. The SCPO has a particular responsibility for ensuring effective links with all appropriate agencies at a local level. SCPOs seeking advice or experiencing difficulties should contact the lead officer for Child Protection within the Education Service.
The Education Service provides opportunities for staff working in education settings to equip them to respond appropriately to concern that a child may have been abused or be at risk of significant harm. Details are listed within the Education Development Centre Training Diary, issued termly.
Level 1 - Child Protection Basic Awareness training, is a half hour e-learning package to be taken by all States employees.
Level 2 - Safeguarding Children training is provided for all school staff working directly with children and young people. This is provided for staff groups in school or as part of a multi-agency group.
Further opportunities are available for staff with specific responsibilities to attend Level 3 and 4 Interagency Safeguarding Children training.
Independent Schools and Colleges
The independent schools and colleges should ensure that child protection policies and procedures, which reflect the Islands' Child Protection Guidelines, are in place. Staff should be supported and enabled to respond appropriately to children and young people who have been harmed or may be at risk of harm.
Training and development opportunities should be accessed to ensure that staff are appraised of their responsibilities in promoting the well-being of children and young people. Each school or college must ensure that all schools have a designated Child Protection Officer with a particular responsibility for ensuring effective links with all appropriate agencies.
Education Department Contacts:
Lead Officer for Child Protection, Head of Inclusion and Services for Children and Schools - Nick Hynes.
Children's Officer - Melissa Guille.
Principal Educational Psychologist and Manager of School Attendance Service - Gillian Gamble.
Inclusion and Lead Officer for Looked After Children - David Stumpf.
Lead Officer for Child Protection - Education
Their role is to:
- Represent the Education Service on the interagency Islands Safeguarding Children Partnership (ISCP)
- Co-ordinate policy and action on safeguarding children in schools and education services
- Ensure that all educational establishments are fully aware of the guidance on child protection
- Ensure that all educational establishments have a trained Child Protection Officer
- Ensure Education Service staff have access to safeguarding training appropriate to their role and responsibility
- Be a point of contact for other agencies, particularly Children and Family Community Services, the Multi-Agency Support Hub (MASH) and the Police
- Ensure access to education information during periods of school closure
- Manage the Education Service's contribution to Serious Case Reviews
- Worried about a child?
- Case Conference
- After the Initial Case Conference
- Supplementary Guidance