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Allegations against teachers and other staff (including volunteers)

7.         Allegations against teachers and other staff (including volunteers)

 

Safe recruitment practices are vital whenever someone is recruited to work with children however this is not the end of the matter. Schools are safe environments for the majority of children and the majority of people who work with children have their safety and welfare at heart. Everyone in the school should be mindful that some individuals seek access to children in order to abuse them and that the nature of abuse means that children often don't disclose. It is crucial that everyone is aware of these issues, and the need to adopt ways of working and appropriate practice to help reduce allegations. It is also important that everyone is able to raise concerns about what seems to be poor or unsafe practice by colleagues. These concerns and concerns expressed by children, parents and others are listened to and taken seriously. Where appropriate, action is taken in accordance with procedures for dealing with allegations against staff. 

 

It is essential that any allegation against a teacher or other member of staff, or volunteer is dealt with quickly, in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is subject to the allegation.

 

Where an allegation is made against the Headteacher, a teacher or member of staff (including volunteers) that they have:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm to children.

 

Arboretum Primary School will always comply with the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures, chapter 2.2, Allegations against Staff, Carers and Volunteers.

 

 

If you have concerns about a colleague

Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a child are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. All concerns of poor practice or concerns about a child’s welfare brought about by the behaviour of colleagues should be reported.

 

 

Initial actions following an allegation

  • The person who has received an allegation, or witnessed an event will immediately inform the Headteacher.
  • They must also make a record which will include time, date, place of incident, persons present, what was witnessed, what was said etc. on the School Concerns Form (see Appendix 4); this should then be signed and dated .
  • If the allegation is against the Headteacher the allegations should be reported the Chair of Governors, or if he cannot be contacted within a suitable timescale, directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer; see page 9
  • The Headteacher where appropriate will take steps to secure the immediate safety of children and urgent medical needs.
  • The member of staff will not be approached at this stage unless it is necessary to address the immediate safety of children.
  • The Headteacher may need to clarify any information regarding the allegation; no person will be interviewed at this stage.

 

Some allegations will be so serious as to require immediate intervention by Children's Social Care and/or police.

 

  • The Headteacher or Chair of Governors should immediately discuss the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). This should take place within one working day; see other key safeguarding contacts list on page 9. The discussion will consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action.
  • The Headteacher will inform the Chair of Governors of any allegation.
  • Consideration will be given throughout to the support and information needs of pupils, parents and staff.
  • If consideration needs to be given to the individual's employment, advice will be sought from EPM.

 

See Statement of Procedures for dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers and Other Staff & Volunteers, the Complaints Policy and the Whistle Blowing Policy.

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