Safeguarding children



The children’s welfare and safety is of paramount importance at Pals and as such is promoted through all we do. The EYFS actively supports the well-being of children and we aim to create an environment which encourages children to develop a positive self image, regardless of race, language, culture, religion or home background and where we naturally explore tolerance and understanding of others. We believe this  environment promotes the childrens sense of autonomy, confidence and independence and helps prevent such things as intolerance and radicalization.


The legal framework for this work is:


·         EYFS 2014


·         Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016


·         The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act


·         The Children’s Act 2004


·         Childcare Act 2006


·         Human Rights Act 1998


·         Data Protection Act 1998


·         The Protection of Children Act 1999


·         Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (section 26)


Teresa Robinson is the designated member of staff in charge of child protection and Sophia Hyam is the designated deputy for this role.  We have a copy of the London Child Protection Procedures and comply with guidelines within that publication. The well being of the child is paramount in all that we do with the children in our pre-school, and as such we have to put the child’s interests first in any suspicion of abuse.


All staff are DBS checked and regularly go on courses both in house and within the borough which ensure that they are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of possible physical, emotional, sexual abuse, neglect or radicalization. We also ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the pre-school.   Students, volunteers or visitors are never left alone with any child. Any regular volunteer helpers will be required to undergo a DBS check.  


When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:


  • significant changes in their behaviour;
  • deterioration in their general well-being;
  • their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure);
  • changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;
  • unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and
  • any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.

We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parent’s learning disability.

We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability such as, abuse of disabled children; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children, such as through internet abuse; and Female Genital Mutilation; that may affect, or may have affected, children and young people using our provision.

We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.

Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we will take care not to influence the outcome either way through the way we speak to or question children.


We are aware that children with additional needs and /or disabilities can be particularly vulnerable. This may arise from the child’s possible difficulty in communicating their concerns. We will therefore, be aware of children’s individual needs when considering child protection issues.


If anyone has any concerns regarding suspected abuse in any way or radicalization, they should make a written note of their concerns which will be logged and speak to Teresa. If concerns are raised, Teresa will if necessary refer the matter to, or discuss it with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.  While of course all matters are treated confidentially, we have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with other professionals. If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the London Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child’s parents at the same time.


Should an allegation of abuse be made against a member of staff, then the matter should be referred immediately to Teresa, unless the allegation is made against Teresa herself.  In this instance, the matter should be referred to the deputy designated officer (Sophia).  Teresa (or Sophia) will then inform the Local Authority Designated person and Ofsted who will consider whether there is sufficient substance to warrant an investigation: either internally or externally, and decide what further action needs to be taken.


It is a statutory requirement that we keep a register of attendance and as part of this process we monitor children’s absences as prolonged or frequent absences could be an indication of something more serious.


In order to protect both children from abuse, and staff from allegations made against them, it is our policy that if a child needs changing, this procedure takes place with another staff member’s knowledge.   Should a child need assistance in the toilet, then the door will be left open, to minimize any risk, at the same time, endeavouring to respect the child’s privacy.


Mobile Phones, Photographs and Social Media

No mobile phones (apart from the work phone) are allowed in the hall. All staff and volunteers (including parent helpers) are required to leave their mobile phones in our designated locked box If in an emergency a staff member or volunteer needs to use their phone then it will not be used in the setting.

 Likewise no cameras apart from the pre-school camera are allowed on the premises. Teresa is responsible for printing any photographs taken on the setting camera

Staff should not accept service users, children and parents as friends on social media sites due to it being a breach of expected professional conduct.

In the event that staff name Pals in any social media they do so in a way that is not detrimental to the organisation or its service users.

Staff must observe confidentiality and refrain from discussing any issues relating to work whilst on social networking sites.

Staff should not share any information regarding children, parents or colleagues or any information about themselves that they would not want children, parents or colleagues to view. They should avoid personal communication, including on social networking sites, with the children and parents with whom they must act in a professional capacity. If a practitioner and family are friendly prior to the child coming into the setting, this information should be shared with the manager prior to a child attending and a risk assessment and agreement in relation to boundaries is agreed. 

Staff should report any concerns or breaches to the designated person.