In Antrim Grammar School we aim to maintain our strong pastoral ethos by committing ourselves to care for all the pupils under our roof, to communicate openly and co-operate with parents and so foster a relationship based on trust and common sense.
Our Child Protection and Pastoral Support policy has Safeguarding children at its core. The policy:
Provides a rationale for dealing with Safeguarding and Child Protection issues
Outlines the various signs and symptoms of Child Abuse
Sets out the procedures following any disclosure
Provides staff with a code of conduct
It is our Responsibility to:
Ensure all pupils are protected from the risks of potential abuse
Manage all safeguarding concerns reported to us in School
Communicate clear Safeguarding information to parents
Support pupils who have been involved in any Child Protection issue
Work closely with all external agencies as appropriate
The full Child Protection and Pastoral Support policy is available on our website
Children may be abused by a parent or other relative, a sibling, another child, themselves, a carer (i.e. a person who has actual custody of a child, such as a foster parent or staff member in a residential home), an acquaintance or a stranger, who may be an adult or a young person. The abuse may be actual or virtual (e.g. the misuse of technology). The abuse may be the result of a deliberate act or a failure on the part of the parent or the carer to act or to provide proper care, or both. The abuse may take a number of forms, including:
The actual or likely persistent or significant neglect of a child, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or persistent failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development.
The actual or likely deliberate physical injury to a child, or wilful or neglectful failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a child.
The actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child, including the making or transmission of illegal images. The involvement of children and adolescents in sexual activities which they do not truly understand, to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate the social taboos of family roles.
The actual or likely persistent or significant emotional ill treatment or rejection resulting in severe adverse effects on the emotional, physical and/or behavioural development of a child. All abuse involves some emotional ill treatment. This is where it is the main or only form of abuse.
If a pupil makes a disclosure to a member of staff about possible abuse; or if a member of staff has concerns about a pupil, the member of staff will take action as follows:
¨ Accept the pupil’s version of events and not ask leading questions, record details immediately and explain the need to refer, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
¨ Staff should report the matter to the Designated Teacher Child Protection, Mr L Aitcheson, Vice Principal. This will be reported to Mrs Lendrum, Principal and be recorded by both parties.
¨ Where necessary, this will be discussed with the Safeguarding team.
¨ Advice may be sought from the duty Social Worker at SPOE referrals.
¨ In many cases, a referral to Social Services via a UNOCINI will be made in order to have the matter investigated further by relevant agencies.
¨ Mr Brown will co-ordinate support in School and maintain confidential records.
¨ All staff in Antrim Grammar School have completed the Legal Island Safeguarding online module and annual refresher course.
¨ Safeguarding messages are communicated in Assemblies, LLW classes and at Pastoral Year Assemblies.
¨ Pupils who have a concern may approach anyone on School staff or use the ‘Speak-Up’ cards and letter box in the pupil foyer or outside the Main office.
¨ Pupils have access to other support services, especially the School Counselling Service.
¨ Senior staff have regular update Child Protection training provided by the EA.
¨ Awareness raising of mental health issues and online protection are a school priority.
Designated Teacher Child Protection
Mr L Aitcheson
Pastoral Vice Principal
Deputy Designated Teacher
Mrs S Hanna
Mrs J Lendrum
Dr I Erskine
Chair of Governors
Mr R McCune MBE