Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
GOOD PRACTICE

The masjid is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The masjid emphasises that young people have the right to be safe, secure and free from threat. The masjid acknowledges that young people have the right to be treated with respect and for their concerns to be listened to and acted upon. The masjid ensures that all staff :voluntary, temporary, permanent, those with minimal contact and those with frequent contact with children all sign the self declaration form stating that they have read, understand and will comply with the child protection policy of masjid and any further developments. The masjid has procedures in place to help any young person who requests help and support on a confidential basis, in issues relating to Child Protection.

Policy Statement

Everyone employed by masjid has a responsibility in relation to child protection. In most cases this will be the referral of concerns to his/her line manager. In day-to-day contact with children at risk, staff have an opportunity to note concerns and to meet with parents and other associated adults. Increasingly, the masjid is expected to work with, support and sometimes lead different agencies to enable the most appropriate form of intervention to take place. This policy aims to outline the role that the Masjid will have, the procedures that staff should take and guidance on issues related to child protection generally. It is not exhaustive. All staff should use as a rule of thumb the needs and safety of the child as being at the centre of any decision they make.

The Aims of the Policy

The aims of this policy are:
Procedure

Key Staff Responsible

Designated Person

The designated person is Mr Lilu Miah. The designated person will:
The Head Teacher

The Head Teacher is the Deputy Child Protection Officer. The Head teacher ensures that:
The Proprietor

The designated safeguarding trustee is Mr Secretary.
The proprietor will:
Masjid Staff

Masjid staff should:
The proprietor will:
Partnerships with Parents

It is important that the Masjid has an established approach to working with parents. Parents' and children's need for privacy should be respected. However, the priority is the needs of the child and effective liaison is crucial for this.
It should be recognised that families from different backgrounds and cultures will have different approaches to child-rearing. These differences should be acknowledged and respected provided they do not place the child at risk as defined later in this policy.
Where possible Masjid staff should work with and share information with parents. Permission for liaison and information sharing with outside agencies should be sought unless it places the child at risk. In these cases it is preferable to seek advice from social care or make a child protection referral.

Guidance on Recognising Abuse

Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children are harmed by someone often in a position of power. It is not the responsibility of Masjid staff to decide whether child abuse is occurring but we are required to act on any concerns and report it to the appropriate party. The health, safety and protection of a child are paramount. Abuse might fall into the categories of: More details on how to recognise signs of abuse are included in the staff handbook and Appendix 1.

Policy on Dealing with Suspected Abuse

All staff should refer concerns to the designated teacher as soon as possible. In the meantime, they should:


Procedures for Monitoring, Recording and Reporting

Masjid policy is that brief notes should be kept at the time of the incident or immediately after with the subsequent completion of a critical incident sheet. Records may be used in legal proceedings and must be kept accurate and secure. All records should be copied to the designated person and should include factual information rather than assumption or interpretation. The child's own language should be used to quote rather than a translation. Records may be used at a later date to support a referral to an external agency.

Designated Teacher

The designated teacher will:

Inter-agency Liaison

Social Care Meetings
At times Masjid staff will be called to participate in meetings organised and chaired by social care. These might include: Prior to the meeting, class teachers and other adults working closely with the child will be asked for their comments. Following the meeting feedback will be given and staff brought up-to-date with any actions that are needed.

Confidentiality

Where children are on the child protection register and leave one Masjid for another, the designated teacher must inform the receiving Masjid and the key worker. If the child leaves the Masjid with no receiving Masjid, details should be passed to the principal education social worker (ESW). The Child Protection Officer ensures that child protection records are held securely with limited access and separate from the main Masjid pupil file. Confidential files are held by the Child Protection Officer. Masjid pupils who have a history involving Child Protection Issues or who have some confidential notes pertaining to them and who may be at risk are marked by an orange sticker in the edge of the Pupils’ files. The Child Protection Officer will ensure the transfer any child protection records if the child moves Masjids. In the event that a student moves Masjid their confidential file will be sent or passed on to the Head teacher of the receiving Masjid in an envelope marked confidential and for his/her attention by recorded delivery. Education staffs have a professional responsibility to share relevant information about the protection of children with the investigative agencies. Members of staff should not promise confidentiality but can let the child know that only those who need to know will be informed and always for the child's own sake. Time should be taken to reassure the child and confirm that information given will be treated sensitively. Reassurance should be given and the adult involved listen sympathetically and non-judgmentally. Staff should be careful in subsequent discussions and ensure that information is only given to the appropriate person. All staff should be kept aware of issues relating to confidentiality and the status of information they may hold. Members of staff, other than the designated member and those involved closely, should only have enough details in order to help them to act sensitively and appropriately to a pupil. Sensitive information regarding pastoral issues and for children on the child protection register is kept separately in a folder in the closed section of the office. Discretion should be used when talking about the personal and changing circumstances of children, eg when a child goes into care.

Supporting Children at Risk

For children at risk, Masjid may be the one stable place from which they can expect security and reassurance. It is not only about being alert to potential abuse but providing the support to help children through difficult times. Providing them with the coping skills that can help avoid situations arising and deal with the emotional difficulties afterwards if they do.

The Personal Education Plan

Children who are “looked after” will have their own personal education plan (PEP). The PEP is part of the care plan. It is a record of what needs to happen in order to enable the young person to “fulfil their potential”. It should reflect other education plans such as IEPs.

Support in Masjid

All class teachers and year group leaders are responsible, in conjunction with other Masjid staff, for the pastoral needs of the children in their care. This includes maintaining opportunity for children to share their concerns and follow the guidance in this document. Care should always be taken in regard to the discussion of sensitive issues and advice should be sought where there are concerns. Within the curriculum there will also be opportunities to discuss issues which some children might find sensitive. Care should be taken particularly in relation to discussion about families and their make-up. Assumptions about members of families and the presence of both parents should be avoided both in discussion and the presentation of materials. During health and safety and sex education lessons, staff should be alert to the fact that some children will have very different experiences and may find content at odds with their own experiences. Staff should make themselves familiar with the background of the children in their care in order to avoid distress.
Physical Contact with Pupils

Some form of physical contact with pupils by teachers is inevitable. All teachers should be aware of issues related to touching and the way in which this might be misconstrued. This relates particularly to any sensitive areas of the body. Where any uncertainty exists a senior member of staff should be consulted and one-to-one discussions with pupils might most appropriately take place in rooms which are openly visible to other members of staff. In the event of physical restraint it is important that only the minimum amount is used in order to prevent the pupil from causing injury to themselves, others or property. Following such an intervention the incident report form should be completed. The majority of staff in Masjid have had training in restraint. Where teachers or support staff do not, they should refer if possible to a member of staff who has.
General Practice of Those Working At Essex Jamme Masjid Should:
Practices for working with children:
Educational Trips away from Masjid:
Staff Orientation and Screening:
Code of conduct/behaviour:
When Child Abuse is Suspected at Masjid:
All who work with children and youth at Essex Jamme Masjid will treat any suspected abuse seriously.
When the occurrence of child abuse at the Masjid is suspected, the following procedure must be followed:
If you suspect a child is being abused:
If a child discloses to you abuse by someone else:
If you receive an allegation about any adult or about yourself:
Summary
It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against a teacher or other member of staff or volunteer in the Masjid is dealt with fairly, quickly, and consistently, in a way that provides effective protection for the child, and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation. The framework for managing cases of allegations of abuse against people who work with children is set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (April 2006) which provides an overview, and in Appendix 5 of this guidance which provides detailed procedures on how allegations should be handled. This section explains how those procedures should be applied specifically in the education sector. It is relevant for the purposes of s157 and s175 of the Education Act 2002 and in compliance with DCSF guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, Chapter 5. We have used this guidance to review and, where appropriate, modify their practice and procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against teachers and education staff. This section is about managing cases of allegations that might indicate that a person is unsuitable to continue to work with children in their present position, or in any capacity. It should be used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a teacher or member of staff (including a volunteer) has:
Supporting those involved

Parents or carers of a child or children involved should be told about the allegation as soon as possible if they do not already know of it (subject to “Initial Considerations” paragraph 2). They should also be kept informed about the progress of the case, and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome of any disciplinary process. However the deliberations of a disciplinary hearing, and the information taken into account in reaching a decision, cannot normally be disclosed, but the parents or carers of the child should be told the outcome.12 In cases where a child may have suffered significant harm, or there may be a criminal prosecution, children’s social care, or the police as appropriate, should consider what support the child or children involved may need. The Masjid should keep the person who is the subject of the allegations informed of the progress of the case and consider what other support is appropriate for the individual. If the person is suspended, the Masjid should also keep the individual informed about developments at Masjid.

Confidentiality

Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated or considered. In accordance with the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) guidance the police will not normally provide any information to the press or media that might identify an individual who is under investigation, unless and until the person is charged with a criminal offence. (In exceptional cases where the police might depart from that rule, e.g. an appeal to trace a suspect, the reasons should be documented and partner agencies consulted beforehand.) The system of self-regulation, overseen by the Press Complaints Commission, also provides safeguards against the publication of inaccurate or misleading information.

Resignations and Compromise Agreements

The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation, or ceases to provide their services, must not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with these procedures. It is important that every effort is made to reach a conclusion in all cases of allegations bearing on the safety or welfare of children, including any in which the person concerned refuses to cooperate with the process. Wherever possible, the person should be given a full opportunity to answer the allegation and make representations about it, but the process of recording the allegation and any supporting evidence, and reaching a judgement about whether it can be regarded as substantiated on the basis of all the information available, should continue even if that cannot be done or the person does not cooperate. It may be difficult to reach a conclusion in those circumstances, and it may not be possible to apply any disciplinary sanctions if a person’s period of notice expires before the process is complete, but it is important to reach and record a conclusion wherever possible. By the same token so called “compromise agreements” by which a person agrees to resign, the Masjid agrees not to pursue disciplinary action, and both parties agree a form of words to be used in any future reference, must not be used in these cases. In any event, such an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where that is appropriate. Nor can it override the statutory duty to make a referral to List 99 where circumstances require that.
Record Keeping

It is important that a clear and comprehensive summary of any allegations made, details of how the allegation was followed up and resolved, and a note of any action taken and decisions reached, is kept on a person’s confidential personnel file, and a copy provided to the person concerned. The purpose of the record is to enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference if the person has moved on. It will provide clarification in cases where a future CRB Disclosure reveals information from the police about an allegation that did not result in a criminal conviction. And it will help to prevent unnecessary reinvestigation if, as sometimes happens, an allegation re-surfaces after a period of time. The record should be retained at least until the person has reached normal retirement age or for a period of 10 years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.

Timescales

It is in everyone’s interest to resolve cases as quickly as possible consistent with a fair and thorough investigation. Every effort should be made to manage cases to avoid any unnecessary delay. Indicative target timescales are shown for different actions in the summary description of the process below. Those are not performance indicators: the time taken to investigate and resolve individual cases depends on a variety of factors including the nature, seriousness and complexity of the allegation, but they provide useful targets to aim for that are achievable in many cases. Working Together to Safeguard Children states that it is reasonable to expect that 80 per cent of cases should be resolved within one month, 90 per cent within three months, and all but the most exceptional cases should be completed within 12 months.


TOversight and Monitoring

Local authorities with responsibility for Masjids should have a named senior officer who has overall responsibility for oversight of the procedures for dealing with allegations, for resolving any interagency issues, and for liaison with the Southend-On-Sea City Safeguarding Children Board (NCSCB) on the subject. In addition, designated local authority officers should also be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The designated local authority officer(s) will provide advice and guidance to the Masjids, in addition to liaising with the police and other agencies, and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process. Police forces should also identify officers to fill similar roles: a senior officer to have strategic oversight of the arrangements and ensure compliance; and others, perhaps unit managers, who will be responsible for: liaising with the designated local authority officer(s), taking part in the strategy discussion, or initial evaluation, subsequently reviewing the progress of those cases in which there is a police investigation, and sharing information on completion of the investigation or any prosecution.


Initial Considerations

The procedures need to be applied with common sense and judgement. In rare cases allegations will be so serious as to require immediate intervention by children’s social care and/or police. Others that meet the criteria in the introduction paragraph 1 may seem much less serious and on the face of it will not warrant consideration of a police investigation, or enquiries by children’s social care. However, it is important to ensure that even allegations that appear less serious are seen to be followed up and taken seriously, and that they are examined objectively by someone independent of the Masjid. Consequently, the local authority designated officer should be informed of all allegations that come to the Masjid’s attention and appear to meet the criteria in the introduction paragraph, so that s/he can consult police and social care colleagues as appropriate. The local authority designated officer should also be informed of any allegations that are made directly to the police (which should be communicated via the police force’s designated officer) or to children’s social care. The local authority designated officer’s first step will be to discuss the allegation with the head teacher/principal to confirm details of the allegation and establish that it is not demonstrably false or unfounded. If the parents/carers of the child concerned are not already aware of the allegation, the designated officer will also discuss how and by whom they should be informed. In circumstances in which the police or social care may need to be involved, the local authority officer should consult those colleagues about how best to inform parents. However, in some circumstances the Masjid may need to advise parents of an incident involving their child straight away, for example if the child has been injured while at Masjid or in a Masjid related activity, and requires medical treatment. The head teacher/principal should inform the accused person about the allegation as soon as possible after consulting the local authority designated officer. However, where a strategy discussion is needed, or police or children’s social care may need to be involved, the head or principal should not do that until those agencies have been consulted, and have agreed what information can be disclosed to the person. If the person is a member of a union or professional association s/he should be advised to contact that organisation at the outset. If the allegation is not demonstrably false or unfounded, and there is cause to suspect a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, a strategy discussion should be convened in accordance with paragraph 5.54 of Working Together to Safeguard Children (Appendix ….). Please note that in these cases the strategy discussion should include a representative of the Masjid (unless there are good reasons not to do that), and take account of any information the Masjid can provide about the circumstances or context of the allegation and the pupil and member of staff concerned. In cases where a formal strategy discussion is not considered appropriate because the threshold of “significant harm” is not reached, but a police investigation might be needed, the local authority designated officer should nevertheless conduct a similar discussion with the police, the Masjid, and any other agencies involved with the child to evaluate the allegation and decide how it should be dealt with. (Please note that the police must be consulted about any case in which a criminal offence may have been committed.) Like a strategy discussion, that initial evaluation may not need to be a face to face meeting. It should share available information about the allegation, the child, and the person against whom the allegation has been made, consider whether a police investigation is needed and if so, agree the timing and conduct of that. In cases where a police investigation is necessary the joint evaluation should also consider whether there are matters which can be taken forward in a disciplinary process in parallel with the criminal process, or whether any disciplinary action will need to wait completion of the police enquiries and/or prosecution. If the allegation is about physical contact, the strategy discussion or initial evaluation with the police should take account of the fact that teachers and other Masjid staff are entitled to use reasonable force to control or restrain pupils in certain circumstances, including dealing with disruptive behaviour, under s550A of the Education Act 1996. DCSF guidance about that can be found at: http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/ If the complaint or allegation is such that it is clear that an investigation by police and/or enquiries by social care are not necessary, or the strategy discussion or initial evaluation decides that is the case, the local authority designated officer should discuss next steps with the head teacher/principal and the board of trustees. In those circumstances the options open to the Masjid depend on the nature and circumstances of the allegation and the evidence and information available, and will range from taking no further action to summary dismissal or a decision not to use the person’s services in future. In some such cases further enquiries will be needed to enable a decision about how to proceed. If so, the local authority designated officer should discuss with the head teacher/principal and board of trustees how and by whom the investigation will be undertaken. In straightforward cases that should normally be undertaken by a senior member of the Masjid staff. However, in other circumstances, lack of appropriate resources within a Masjid, or the nature or complexity of the allegation, will require an independent investigator. Many local authorities already provide for an independent investigation of allegations in some way, often as part of the personnel services that Masjids can buy in from the authority. It is important that local authorities ensure that Masjids have access to an affordable facility for independent investigation where that is appropriate.

Suspension

The possible risk of harm to children posed by an accused person needs to be effectively evaluated and managed – in respect of the child(ren) involved in the allegations, and any other children in the individual’s home, work or community life. In some cases that will require the Masjid to consider suspending the person until the case is resolved. Suspension should be considered in any case where there is cause to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm, or the allegation warrants investigation by the police, or is so serious that it might be grounds for dismissal. However, a person must not be suspended automatically, or without careful thought. The Masjid must consider carefully whether the circumstances of a case warrant a person being suspended from contact with children until the allegation is resolved, and may wish to seek advice from their personnel adviser. The Masjid should also consider whether the result that would be achieved by suspension could be obtained by alternative arrangements. Neither the local authority, the police, nor children’s social care, can require a Masjid to suspend a member of staff or a volunteer. The power to suspend is vested in the head teacher or principal and the board of trustees of the Masjid. However, where a strategy discussion or initial evaluation concludes that there should be enquiries by social care and/or an investigation by the police, the local authority designated officer should canvass police and social care views about whether the accused member of staff needs to be suspended from contact with children, to inform the Masjid’s consideration of suspension.

Monitoring Progress

The local authority designated officer should regularly monitor the progress of cases either via review strategy discussions or by liaising directly with the police and/or children’s social care colleagues, or the employer as appropriate. Reviews should be conducted at fortnightly or monthly intervals depending on the complexity of the case. If the strategy discussion or initial assessment decides that a police investigation is required, the police should also set a target date for reviewing the progress of the investigation and consulting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about whether to: charge the individual; continue to investigate; or close the investigation. Wherever possible that review should take place no later than four weeks after the initial evaluation. Dates for subsequent reviews, ideally at fortnightly intervals, should be set at the meeting if the investigation continues.

Information Sharing

The local authority designated officer should regularly monitor the progress of cases either via review strategy discussions or by liaising directly with the police and/or children’s social care colleagues, or the employer as appropriate. Reviews should be conducted at fortnightly or monthly intervals depending on the complexity of the case. If the strategy discussion or initial assessment decides that a police investigation is required, the police should also set a target date for reviewing the progress of the investigation and consulting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about whether to: charge the individual; continue to investigate; or close the investigation. Wherever possible that review should take place no later than four weeks after the initial evaluation. Dates for subsequent reviews, ideally at fortnightly intervals, should be set at the meeting if the investigation continues.
Action Following a Criminal Investigation or a Prosecution

The police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should inform the Masjid and local authority designated officer straightaway when a criminal investigation and any subsequent trial is complete, or if it is decided to close an investigation without charge, or not to prosecute after the person has been charged. In those circumstances the local authority designated officer should discuss with the head teacher or principal and board of trustees whether any further action, including disciplinary action, is appropriate and, if so, how to proceed. The information provided by the police and or children’s social care should inform that decision. The options will depend on the circumstances of the case and the consideration will need to take account of the result of the police investigation or the trial, as well as the different standard of proof required in disciplinary and criminal proceedings.

Action on Conclusion of a Case

If the allegation is substantiated and the person is dismissed or the Masjid ceases to use the person’s services, or the person resigns or otherwise ceases to provide his or her services, the local authority designated officer should discuss with the Masjid and its personnel adviser whether a referral to DfES for consideration of List 99 action or by the GTC is required, or advisable, and the form and content of a referral. In cases where it is decided on the conclusion of the case that a person who has been suspended can return to work, the Masjid should consider how best to facilitate that. Most people will benefit from some help and support to return to work after a very stressful experience. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, a phased return and/or the provision of a mentor to provide assistance and support in the short term may be appropriate. The Masjid should also consider how the person’s contact with the child or children who made the allegation can best be managed if they are still attending the Masjid.

Learning Lessons

At the conclusion of a case in which an allegation is substantiated the local authority designated officer should review the circumstances of the case with the head teacher and board of trustees to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the Masjid’s procedures or practice to help prevent similar events in the future.
Action in respect of False Allegations

If an allegation is determined to be false, the local authority designated officer should refer the matter to children’s social care to determine whether the child concerned is in need of services, or may have been abused by someone else. In the rare event that an allegation is shown to have been deliberately invented or malicious, the head teacher or principal should consider whether any disciplinary action is appropriate against the pupil who made it, or the police should be asked to consider whether any action might be appropriate against the person responsible if s/he was not a pupil. Appendix 2 contains a flowchart which summarises the process for dealing with allegations against teachers and other staff
Download Self Declaration Form
Download Child Abuse Report Form
Appendix 1

Recognising signs of abuse

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Possible signs of physical abuse include:
Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. This could include:
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone. Possible signs of emotional abuse include:
Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This might include:
Possible signs of sexual abuse include:
Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once the child is born neglect might include:
Possible signs of neglect include:
Domestic Violence

Prolonged and/or regular exposure to domestic violence can have a serious impact on a child's development and emotional well-being. It can impact through: