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Schools and Early Years

If you have concerns about a child's wellbeing and suspect abuse, maltreatment or neglect, please contact Haringey's Children's Services immediately: 020 8489 4470 and follow up your call by filling in the Mash referral form (Word, 54KB).

If you are calling between 5pm and 9am weekdays or at the weekend, call the Emergency Out-of-Hours Duty Team on: 020 8489 0000.

Role of Designated Child Protection Officer

The designated child protection officer (DCPO) takes the lead responsibility for child protection, including support for other staff and information sharing with other agencies, developing policies and staff training. Most settings have one DCPO although it is good practice for settings to have a Deputy DCPO; some secondary schools have a DCPO per year group. Often, but not always, the DCPO is the named person who responds to allegations made against members of staff.

The DCPO should be a senior member of staff with the authority and seniority to carry out the functions of the role.

DCPO Responsibilities

  • Refer suspected abuse and neglect to Children & Young People's social care services
  • Ensure that the Single Central Record is maintained and that staff have had Enhanced Disclosures & Barring Service (DBS) checks, as required
  • Report allegations made against members of staff to the Local Authority Designated Officer or LADO (and Ofsted, if Early Years / Play Providers / Childminders), and ensure that any staff are reported to the Disclosures & Barring Service (DBS) as required
  • Develop and update the Child Protection and Safeguarding Strategy, ensuring that staff and children/families/parents are aware of them, with annual review by board of governors / trustees / steering group
  • Provide support and advice to all members of staff within the setting regarding child protection concerns
  • Promote safeguarding policies and procedures with children, young people and their families
  • Ensure that families are kept informed of allegations, safeguarding and child protection referrals, in line with the advice from Children's Social Care as concerns that specific case
  • Keep the Headteacher informed about any issues that arise
  • Ensure that appropriate cover is provided for the role when absent from the setting
  • Ensure that a child's child protection file is copied for the new educational establishment when a child moves educational settings, and that this file is transferred securely and separately from the main pupil file
  • Ensure that all staff receive appropriate Child Protection and Safeguarding Training, and maintain training records
  • Cooperate with any requests for information from the local authority, such as Child Protection training returns and self-evaluative forms for safeguarding and child protection, in compliance with Section 11, Children Act 2004

Updating Haringey LSCB

Please keep Haringey LSCB updated regarding your current DCPO and Deputy DCPO and their contact details.

Please use this DCPO Notification Form (Word, 155Kb) and return it to to inform us of any changes in this post.

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Safeguarding Strategy

Safeguarding is a wide remit and together, the many policies that support safeguarding, form a Safeguarding Strategy.

Statutory Safeguarding Policies include:

  • Child Protection policy & procedures (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014)
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (Statutory framework for EYFS 2014)
  • Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014)
  • Data protection (Data Protection Act 1998, with consideration of the 8 DP principles in Schedule 1)
  • School behaviour (Education & Inspection Act 2006, s89; Independent School Standards Regulations (schedule 1 part 3 paragraph 9)
  • Sex education (Education Act 1996, s404; DFE Statutory Guidance on sex and relationship education)
  • Health & Safety, including Risk Assessments and Health & Safety Manual (Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, s2(3), 3 & 4; Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999: SI 1999)
  • Special Educational Needs (Children & Families Act 2014, s69; The SEN & Disability Regulations 2014)
  • Supporting pupils with medical conditions (Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions 2014; Children & Families Act 2014, s100)

Statutory Documents that support Safeguarding:

  • Central record of recruitment and vetting checks (School Standards & Framework Act 1998, s88C; Schools Admissions (England) Regulations 2012)
  • Accessibility Plan (Equality Act 2010, s10(3); Disability Discrimination (England) Regulations 2005)
  • Behaviour principles written statement (Education & Inspection Act 2006, s88)
  • Complaints procedure statement (Education Act 2002, s29; Education Regulations (Independent Schools Standards) 2010; Education Regulations (Non-maintained Special Schools) 2011)
  • Freedom of Information (Freedom of Information Act 2000, s19)
  • Home School agreement document (School Standards & Framework Act 1998; s100, 111)
  • Register of pupils' admission to school (Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2010; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013)
  • Register of pupils' attendance (Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2010; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013)
  • Register of business interests of headteachers and governors (Academies financial handbook; School Finance (England) Regulations 2012, Schedule 5, paragraph 15)
  • Staff discipline, conduct and grievance (School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009)

Recommended Policies include:

This list is not exhaustive.

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Child Protection and Safeguarding Training

The DCPO must ensure that all staff have induction training in child protection and are able to recognise and report concerns when they arise.

The DCPO is responsible for maintaining records of ongoing staff training in child protection, ensuring that all members of staff are trained at least every three years.

All staff basic awareness training should include:

  1. Recognition of abuse indicators
  2. Awareness of when referrals should be made
  3. Recording and information sharing skills

DCPOs themselves should undergo refresher training within a two-year period. DCPO training should develop the following skills:

  1. Appropriate and timely referral-making
  2. Understanding of information sharing and multi-agency working in safeguarding and child protection
  3. Ability to keep detailed and secure written records of concerns
  4. Ability to participate in and contribute to child protection case conferences and core groups
  5. Understanding of the key complex child protection and safeguarding issues that affect the children and young people in the setting

The DCPO may deliver in-setting basic awareness training in child protection.

For LSCB multi-agency training, see the LSCB Training page.

All Haringey schools, early years and education settings are asked to complete a Schools Training Return for Haringey LSCB at the end of each financial year in compliance with Section 11, Children Act 2004.

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School Attendance and Safeguarding

School attendance represents a protective factor for children. Low school attendance and lateness both factor highly in cases where children are being abused and neglected.

Improving attendance is a core way in which schools and local authorities can promote children's wellbeing. It also ensures better outcomes for children.

The Register of Pupils' Attendance is a statutory requirement (Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2010; Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013).

For more information on attendance, see the GOV.UK website (external link) page.

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School Exclusions and Safeguarding

Short-term and permanent exclusions are part of a school's disciplinary measures. Children who are exhibiting difficult and challenging behaviour often have problems in their home life. These are factors that should be considered in the decision-making process surrounding exclusions as it is more difficult to safeguard children and young people who are excluded from school, and children and young people who face exclusions have poorer outcomes.

For more information on exclusions, see the GOV.UK website (external link) page.

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Children in Care (Looked After Children)

Children in the care of the local authority are some of the most vulnerable children and young people in schools.

Things must have gone badly wrong at home for children to be taken into care, and the majority of children who remain in care are there because they have suffered abuse or neglect. This means that these children are likely to have experienced significant levels of trauma. Leaving home and the family, and going into care can also be a very frightening and disruptive experience for a child or young person.

The Haringey Virtual School (HVS)

Haringey Virtual School (external link) is a multi-disciplinary education team that monitors and tracks the attainment of children in the care of Haringey and of children in the care of other authorities, being educated in Haringey. The HVS offers advice to those supporting Haringey Child and provides training. It also delivers a programme of activities outside of school hours, to raise educational attainment levels for Haringey children in care.

Contact the Haringey Virtual School (external link) on 020 8489 3767.

Haringey Virtual School is not a funding body for alternative provisions.

The Designated Teacher contacts the Hackney Virtual School (external link):

  • To provide current attainment levels of children in care each term
  • If you have any concerns about attendance or punctuality
  • If you have any concerns about behaviour
  • If you would like to discuss Early Help
  • If you are considering initiating formal assessment of a child’s special educational needs
  • At times of transition for the child, especially if there are concerns about vulnerability and resilience
  • If you are experiencing difficulty setting a Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)
  • If you do not know the name of the Social Worker of children in the care of Haringey
  • If you would like information on Designated Teacher for children in care training
  • If there is a change of person, or contact details of the DT in your school

The child or young person's allocated Social Worker contacts the Haringey Virtual School (external link):

  • If you have any concerns about school attendance or punctuality
  • If a child / young person is not making rapid progress
  • If a child / young person has on-going and unresolved difficulties forming friendships, or is being bullied
  • If there are concerns about behaviour
  • If you are experiencing difficulties setting a Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)
  • If you do not know the name of the Designated Teacher for children in care
  • If there are on-going and unresolved concerns (which you have raised with the school) about the child / young person’s ability to manage their timetable / equipment / social relationships with adults and/or children at school

Designated Teachers for Children in Care

The designated teacher should have lead responsibility for helping school staff understand the things which affect how looked after children learn and achieve. See the guidance on the GOV.UK website (external link).

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

You can ask Haringey to carry out an assessment if you think a child needs an EHC plan.

A request can be made by:

  • a parent
  • anyone at your child’s school
  • a doctor
  • a health visitor
  • a nursery worker

A local authority has 6 weeks to decide whether or not to carry out an EHC assessment.

If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for:

  • any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder
  • doctors’ assessments of your child
  • a letter from you about your child’s needs

You’ll usually find out within 16 weeks whether or not an EHC plan is going to be made for your child.

  1. Your local authority will create a draft EHC plan and send you a copy.
  2. You have 15 days to comment, including if you want to ask that your child goes to a specialist needs school or specialist college.
  3. Your local authority has 20 weeks from the date of the assessment to give you the final EHC plan.

You can challenge your local authority about:

  • their decision to not carry out an assessment
  • their decision to not create an EHC plan
  • the special educational support in the EHC plan
  • the school named in the EHC plan

If you can’t resolve the problem with your local authority, you can appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal.

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Early Help

If a child or young person has additional needs, they may require additional support to stop things escalating and becoming more serious.

For more information, contact the Early Help team directly on 020 8489 5814 or email; Referrals for early help support should be sent to:

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Making a Child Protection Referral

In schools and early years settings, the Child Protection Referral is usually made by the Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO), even if the concern is picked up by another member of staff. The DCPO may have further relevant information about the child or family that is unknown to others.

Any concerns within education settings must be reported immediately to the DCPO or, in their absence, the deputy DCPO. The DCPO must ensure that their position is covered when they are off-site.

In the unlikely event that the DCPO, deputy DCPO, and senior members of staff are all unavailable, a member of staff may need to make the child protection referral directly by calling Haringey Council Children Services.

All referrals should be made by telephone in the first instance and followed up within 48 hours in writing using the Mash referral form (Word, 54KB).

  • Single Point of Access team: 020 8489 4470
    If you are calling out of office hours (between 5pm and 9am weekdays or at the weekend), call the Emergency Out-of-Hours Duty Team on: 020 8489 0000

Get tips for making a good referral to social care.


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Allegations Made Against Staff

Schools usually nominate the DCPO in the Allegations Policy to respond to allegations made against staff. The procedures are similar but not the same as responding to a straight-forward child protection concern.

A comprehensive guide to Safer Recruitment and the management of allegations is available in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2014 ).

For more information, see the Allegations and the Safer Recruitment pages.

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Strategy Meetings, Child Protection Conferences & Core Groups

The DCPO may be requested to attend various meetings designed to protect the child or young person and to promote the child or young person's wellbeing. These include:

  • Strategy Meeting
  • Child Protection Conference
  • Core Group

Schools Reports to Conference

DCPOs must prioritise attendance at these meetings, and should be prepared for the meetings they attend, bringing any relevant information with them.

DCPOs should use this format to record their comments and views and submit it to Conference at least two days prior to the conference date: Schools Report to Conference (Word, 448KB).

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Ofsted Inspections

Safeguarding has been a limiting judgement for schools since September 2009. Ofsted inspectors will evaluate the impact of the school's safeguarding arrangements, including:

  • Outcomes for pupils
  • How well safeguarding is prioritised
  • Whether child welfare concerns are identified and responded to appropriately by the school
  • The extent to which the school discharges its responsibility to work together with key agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

For more information, see the Ofsted Briefing for Section 5 Inspectors on Safeguarding Children (PDF, 120KB)

All Haringey schools, early years and education settings are asked to complete a Child Protection and Safeguarding Self-evaluative Form (SEF) for Haringey LSCB at the end of each financial year in compliance with Section 11, Children Act 2004. This SEF enables settings to identify blindspots in their provision that might need development and helps prepare settings for Ofsted inspections.

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Talking with Children and Dealing with Disclosures of Abuse

Children do not often make direct disclosures to professionals that they are being abused or neglected, so if a child chooses to confide in you, it is important that you make the experience as safe as possible for them and reassure them that they have done the right thing. Often, children and young people will say something that causes concerns but not enough to warrant a child protection referral. In these cases, you may have to continue speaking to the child / young person and seek further information. Always use open questions to probe further - using words like 'Why', 'What', 'How', 'Who', 'When', 'Where'.

Give the child the space to be heard and reassure them that they have done the right thing. Never promise to keep anything the child has told you a secret as you cannot do this.

Helpful responses if a child confides in you:

  • Remain calm
  • Take what the child / young person says seriously
  • Listen carefully without interrupting or prompting
  • Reassure the child / young person that they are not to blame
  • Validate the child / young person's feelings (eg, 'I imagine that would make you feel really sad')
  • If necessary to clarify what you have heard, ask the child / young person open questions (beginning, 'Why', 'What', 'How', 'Who', 'When', 'Where', etc)
  • Let the child / young person know what you are going to do to help (eg, 'I need to speak to someone else who can help me keep you safe')
  • Afterwards, immediately report what you have been told to the DCPO
  • Afterwards, record what was said and who was present, using the child’s words

What to avoid if a child confides in you:

  • Avoid showing your shock or disgust
  • Avoid making assumptions
  • Avoid criticising the abuser - this could make the child feel unsafe
  • Do not make promises you cannot keep (eg, 'Everything's going to be fine')
  • Never agree to keep information secret
  • Never delay emergency action to protect a child
  • Never express disbelief in what the child is saying
  • Do not try to investigate and avoid intrusive and leading questioning

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Haringey Contacts and Support Services

Children's Social Care

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