In this Section

    Current safeguarding issues

    The following Safeguarding issues are all considered to be child protection issues and should be referred immediately to the most relevant agency. The issues featured below are issues that we may all face in Milton Keynes. The information and guidance has come from training information provided by the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board: www.mkscb.org

    Forced Marriage

    Milton Keynes does not support the idea of forcing someone to marry without their consent. Forced Marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if you are made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family.

    Forced marriage in England and Wales is illegal. This includes:

    • Taking someone abroad to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
    • Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they are pressured or not)
    • Children as young as two have been known to be forced into marriage.
    Under-age Marriage

    In England, a young person cannot legally marry until they are 16 years old (without the consent of their parents or carers) nor have sexual relationships.

    Sexually Active under Eighteen years old

    It is acknowledged by those working with young people that most young people under the age of 18 will have an interest in sex and sexual relationships. The Protocol for Sexually Active Young People under 18 years old has been designed to assist those working with children and young people to identify where these relationships may be abusive, and the children and young people may need the provision of protection or additional services.

    Ritualistic Abuse

    Some faiths believe that spirits and demons can possess people (including children). What should never be considered is the use of any physical or psychological violence to get rid of the possessing spirit. This is abusive and will result in the criminal conviction of those using this form of abuse even if the intention is to help the child.

    Genital Mutilation / Female Circumcision

    This is against the law yet for some communities it is considered a religious act and cultural requirement. It is illegal for someone to arrange for a child to go abroad with the intention of having her circumcised. If any of the above areas of concern is brought to our attention, we will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.

    Children Missing Education

    Basic to safeguarding children is to ensure their attendance at school.

    OFSTED

    Children are best protected by regularly attending school where they will be safe from harm and where there are professionals to monitor their well-being. At Oakgrove School, we will encourage the full attendance of all of our children at school. Where we have concerns that a child is missing education because of suspected abuse, we will liaise with the appropriate agency to effectively manage the risks and to prevent abuse from taking place.

    All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.

    A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. School staff should follow the school’s or college’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

    Schools should put in place appropriate safeguarding policies, procedures and responses for children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions. It is essential that all staff are alert to signs to look out for and the individual triggers to be aware of when considering the risks of potential safeguarding concerns such as travelling to conflict zones, FGM and forced marriage.

    Safeguarding Disabled Children

    Disabled children have exactly the same human rights to be safe from abuse and neglect, to be protected from harm and achieve the Every Child Matters outcomes as non-disabled children.

    Disabled children do however require additional action. This is because they experience greater risks and ‘created vulnerability’ as a result of negative attitudes about disabled children and unequal access to services and resources, and because they may have additional needs relating to physical, sensory, cognitive and/ or communication impairment (Safeguarding Children, DCSF, July 2009). Oakgrove School  will ensure that our disabled students are listened to and responded to appropriately where they have concerns regarding abuse. In order to do this we will ensure that our staff and volunteers receive the relevant training to raise awareness and have access to specialist staff in the event they have concerns regarding abuse of a child.

    Safer Recruitment & Selection

    It is a requirement for all agencies to ensure that all staff recruited to work with children and young people are properly selected and checked. At Oakgrove School, we will ensure that we have a member on each recruitment panel who has received the appropriate recruitment and selection training. That all of our staff are appropriately qualified and have the relevant employment history and checks to ensure they are safe to work with children in compliance with the Key Safeguarding Employment Standards.

    Honour Based Violence

    Honour based violence’ is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community’. It is important to be alert to signs of distress and indications such as self-harm, absence from the Academy and truancy, infections resulting from female genital mutilation, isolation from peers, being monitored by family, not participating in school activities and unreasonable restrictions at home. Where it is suspected that a child/young person is at risk form Honour based violence, Oakgrove School will report those concerns to the appropriate agency in order to prevent this form of abuse taking place.

    Trafficked Children

    Child trafficking involves moving children across or within national or international borders for the purposes of exploitation. Exploitation includes children being used for sex work, domestic work, restaurant/ sweatshop, drug dealing, shoplifting and benefit fraud. Where Oakgrove School is made aware of a child who is suspected of or actually being trafficked/exploited, we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.

    Domestic Abuse

    The Government defines domestic abuse as Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”.

    Staff need to understand what is required of them if children are members of the household where domestic abuse is known or suspected to be taking place. Our policy includes action to be taken regarding referrals to the Police and Children and Children’s Services and any action to be taken where a member of staff is the alleged perpetrator or victim of domestic abuse. At Oakgrove School, we will follow our safeguarding policy and report any suspected concerns regarding Domestic Abuse to the relevant agency.

    Private Fostering

    Private fostering is an arrangement made between the parent and the private foster carer, who then becomes responsible for caring for the child in such a way as to safeguard and promote his/her welfare.

    A privately fostered child means a child under the age of 16 (18 if a disabled child) who is cared for and provided with accommodation for more than 28 days and where the care is intended to continue, by someone other than:

    • a parent
    • a person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility
    • a close relative
    • a Local Authority

    It is a statutory duty for us at Oakgrove School to inform the Local Authority where we are made aware of a child or young person who may be subject to private fostering arrangements.

    Child sexual exploitation

    Child Sexual Exploitation Child Exploitation (CSE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities.

    ONLINE Safety

    Children and young people can be exploited and suffer bullying through their use of modern technology such as the internet, mobile phones and social networking sites. In order to minimize the risks to our children and young people, Oakgrove School will ensure that we have in place appropriate measures such as security filtering, and an acceptable use policy linked to our Online Safety policy. We will ensure that the staff are aware of how not to compromise their position of trust in or outside of the School and are aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites.

    Our Online Safety policy will clearly state that mobile phone or electronic communications with a student at our School is not acceptable other than for approved school business e.g. for direct contact during the external exam season. Where it is suspected that a child is at risk from internet abuse or cyber bullying we will report our concerns to the appropriate agency.

    The above list of current safeguarding issues is not exhaustive and as new policy guidance and legislation develops within the remit of Safeguarding we will review and update our policies and procedures as appropriate and in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Local Authority.