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IRSC July 2005 July 2005 Its only common sense? Its only common sense?

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Presentation on theme: "IRSC July 2005 July 2005 Its only common sense? Its only common sense?"— Presentation transcript:


2 IRSC July 2005 July 2005 Its only common sense? Its only common sense?

3 IRSC July 2005 EDUCATION ACT 2002 Section 175 (2) The governing body of a maintained school shall make arrangements for ensuring that their functions relating to the conduct of the school are exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children who are pupils at the school. (4) [The governing body]…. shall have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State

4 SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN Safe processes Safe environment Safe students Safe staff Safe information Secure ethos

5 IRSC July 2005 National audit of allegations against Education staff 2003 – 2004 2162 allegations 15% sexual 66% physical/inappropriate handling 15% inappropriate behaviour Gender of staff: 66% male 34% female Malicious/wholly invented allegations extremely rare Majority of cases are handled by or referred back to LEA/school Source: DfES Consultation Proposals for dealing with allegations against teachers and other staff Nov.2004

6 IRSC July 2005 Education Convictions 2003 52 convictions for child sexual abuse 63 convictions for child pornography 16 convictions for physical assault Source: DfES Childrens Safeguarding Operations Unit (List 99)

7 IRSC July 2005 Why do allegations arise? Poor culture within an organisation Accident Naivety, or poor practice on the part of the individual, who is unaware of the problem Unintentional or misinformed action Failure to follow procedures Deliberate intention to abuse False allegation Care and Control Incident Malicious Intent

8 IRSC July 2005 Staff comments I didnt know! Is it illegal? Isnt it part of my job to take an interest? How was my behaviour unprofessional? What constitutes misconduct? Is it OK to ……..

9 Im really stressed and worried that Ill loose it with a pupil. What can I do? Can I remove a disruptive pupil from my classroom? Im worried about the behaviour of a colleague. What can I do? Can I have a relationship with a VI Former? Surely its not safe to teach pupils 1:1? A pupil has got a crush on me. What should I do? Can I buy Easter eggs for my class? Can I apply sun cream to pupils/change childrens nappies? Can I give a distressed child a hug? Can I take a video of the school residential trip? A pupil has told me something very confidential, do I need to tell anyone?

10 IRSC July 2005 What we learnt Staff are often unclear about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour Many staff are nervous about becoming the subject of allegations and certain practices e.g. touching children, one to one, intimate care, physical intervention Staff subject to allegations often express surprise and disbelief that their behaviour has given rise to suspicion or concern and could be considered abusive, harmful, criminal or misconduct Some staff are not aware of the law and modus operandi of sex offenders

11 IRSC July 2005 Professional Perpetrators Research findings Almost 1/2 had a reputation amongst children for inappropriate behaviour Grooming techniques: –76% used emotionally coercive techniques –22% used emotionally coercive techniques and physical force –1(of 41) exclusively used physical force –77.5% arranged meetings outside of workplace to facilitate sexual abuse of child –85% took children away overnight (generally educational or recreational and with other staff present) –67.5% said that they took children away overnight to facilitate sexual abuse Sullivan and Beech 2004 –80% of offences take place in home of victim or perpetrator Gubin 1998

12 IRSC July 2005 Guidance isnt necessary Staff are bound by professional codes anyway It is not possible to legislate for every type of behaviour An explicit code would be too long and boring to read Role of management is to supervise professional behaviour People use common sense to govern actions said some people..

13 IRSC July 2005 Guidance is necessary! Assists staff to work safely and professionally Reduces the burden of assumption Promotes transparency and minimises grey areas Makes clear implications of not working to code. Makes clear to everyone what behaviour is expected and what is not acceptable Clarifies responsibilities of both employer and employees said the majority

14 IRSC July 2005 Duty of Care Employers have duty of care towards staff, requiring provision of a safe working environment and guidance re safe working practice Staff have a duty to take care of themselves and anyone who may be affected by their actions Staff have a duty to keep children safe and protect them from harm -partly exercised through respectful, caring, professional relationships Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

15 IRSC July 2005 Employer responsibilities Culture of openness and support –Appropriate arrangements are made where concerns / vulnerability brought to their attention –Staff not put in positions which could render them particularly vulnerable –Support needs/safeguards of staff are addressed –Staff aware of expectations, policies and procedures and receive training/guidance

16 IRSC July 2005 Staff Responsibilities take responsibility for own actions and behaviour act and be seen to act in the childs best interest avoid conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions take advice from appropriate persons discuss any misunderstandings with senior management identify and report areas of risk/ vulnerability remove self from situations where they may be a significant risk report concerns regarding self report concerns regarding colleagues (Whistleblowing policy)

17 IRSC July 2005 Employment Appeal Tribunal teaching staff must clearly understand the options and strategies open to them and must know what is acceptable and what is not www.employment Employment Appeal Tribunal reference EAT/626/01 Meredith v Bournemouth Borough Council

18 IRSC July 2005 What is guidance for safe practice? A description of appropriate and non-appropriate behaviours for adults working with children and young people

19 IRSC July 2005 Understand Child Abuse Develop and maintain an open and aware culture Identify and manage risks and dangers in curriculum, school and activities Develop a Child Protection Policy Adopt best practice in Recruitment and Selection of Staff Screen all staff and volunteers Support and advise all staff and volunteers Ensure there are effective procedures for taking protective action and responding to allegations Clear Codes of Conduct Know your legal responsibilities Empower children and staff to participate in school decision-making Provide information, education and training to all Building Safer Schools for Staff and Pupils Guidance for Safe Practice LR 2003

20 IRSC July 2005 IRSC Working Group Gathered information about what was available Used network to look at cases Identified key areas of concern Wrote draft document Consulted widely: LEAs, staff, national consultative group (includes teacher unions and employer associations) Revised document Final document agreed by all, including ministers Issued to all LEAs Feb 2005 Re-issue Feb 2006

21 IRSC July 2005

22 Welfare of the child paramount (Children Act 1989) Staff are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions Staff should work, and, be seen to work in an open and transparent way Staff should discuss and/or take advice promptly from their line manager or another senior member of staff over any incident, which may give rise to concern Records should be made of any such incident and of decisions made/further actions agreed

23 Staff should work to the same professional standards regardless of gender or sexuality. All staff should know the name of their designated person for child protection, be familiar with local child protection arrangements and understand their responsibilities to safeguard and protect children and young people Staff should be aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them.

24 IRSC July 2005 IRSC Guidance for Safe Practice - List of Contents Overview Underpinning principles Introduction Status of Document Duty of Care Exercise of Professional Judgement Power and Positions of Trust Confidentiality Propriety and Behaviour Dress and Appearance Gifts Infatuations Social Contact Physical Contact Physical Education and other Activities that require Physical Contact Showers and Changing Pupils in Distress Behaviour Management Care, Control and Physical Intervention Sexual Contact with Young People One to One situations Overnight Supervision and Examinations Transporting Children Education Visits and after School Clubs First Aid and Administration of Medicine Intimate Care Curriculum Photography, Video, Creative Art Internet Use Whistleblowing Sharing Concerns and Recording Incidents

25 IRSC July 2005 How might guidance be used? for staff to monitor their own behaviour as a management tool to advise staff of what behaviours are expected of them to review the outcome of an incident in school as a framework to assess risk

26 IRSC July 2005 Checklist for individuals * Are my actions fair, reasonable, warranted, proportionate, measured, safe and applied equitably? From whom should I seek agreement? What should I record? Who must I tell? What would be the expected professional behaviour in these circumstances? What about my position of trust, am I a role model in this situation? Do I understand which actions could lead to criminal and/or disciplinary action? * where guidance is unclear or non-existent

27 IRSC July 2005 Discussing the Need for this Document with Staff and Colleagues

28 IRSC July 2005 subject knowledge work-related skills compliance with conditions of service good character Interviewing staff

29 IRSC July 2005 an understanding of relevant legal position an understanding of professional boundaries an ability to make appropriate professional judgements ? continued/

30 make appropriate professional judgements keep conduct within professional boundaries





35 PROFESSIONAL LIFE PERSONAL LIFE Training Peer Review Press and media Disciplinary action Supervision and Management Media Role models Experience Peers School Family Internet Learning from example Guidance for Safe PracticeWritten advice

36 IRSC July 2005

37 Reasons for whistle blowing Each individual has a responsibility for raising concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour To prevent the problem escalating To protect / reduce risks to others To prevent becoming implicated yourself

38 IRSC July 2005 What stops people Starting a chain of events which spirals Disrupting the work / project Getting it wrong Repercussions / damaging their career Not being believed or heard Culture of the organisation Personal Relationships Staff loyalties

39 IRSC July 2005 How? Voice your concerns, suspicions or uneasiness as soon as you feel you can Try to pinpoint what practice is concerning you and why Approach someone you trust and who you believe will respond Make sure you get a satisfactory response ~ Dont let matters rest

40 IRSC July 2005 Management responsibilities To have clear mechanisms by which concerns can be raised To make explicit these mechanisms via a written policy which is discussed with, and understood by, all staff To promote a non-hierarchical culture To be approachable To be supportive and protective

41 IRSC July 2005 Always Absolutely without fail - challenge poor practice or performance. If you ignore or collude with poor practice it makes it harder to sound the alarm when things go wrong »Sounding the Alarm – Barnardos 1999

42 IRSC July 2005 Exercise 1 Safe Practice Quiz

43 IRSC July 2005 Consider each of the following: What is appropriate? What are the risks? Touching pupils One to one situations Physical Intervention Exercise 2

44 IRSC July 2005 Appropriate Touch Can be essential to meeting the needs of vulnerable and upset children and are integral to some education roles Innocent actions can be misconstrued Some children find being touched uncomfortable or distressing Children should never be touched in a manner, or on parts of the body which may be considered indecent, intimate or sexual Extreme caution required re horse-play, fun-fights, tickling etc. Children should be encouraged to act independently wherever possible

45 IRSC July 2005 Appropriate Touch First aid Toileting / intimate care Where pupil distressed - that which would be acceptable from a caring parent Assistance / instruction in e.g. P.E. / Music Gestures to encourage /support e.g.hand on arm That which any reasonable observer would consider acceptable in the circumstances e.g.spontaneous celebratory embrace

46 IRSC July 2005 Consider: Appropriate Touch Individual needs Degree and Frequency Presence of others Age Gender Culture Privacy/Common decency Childs view/agreement Parents view/agreement Special needs Previous abuse/trauma

47 IRSC July 2005 One to one situations These situations are integral to some staff roles Be visible and audible e.g. open door, window Avoid secluded areas/cubby holes Where possible notify another about the meeting beforehand, or soon after if there are concerns If in doubt about a meeting ~ agree colleague will be nearby Do not meet children off school premises/out of school/invite to your home

48 IRSC July 2005 Physical intervention When? –authorised (unless an emergency) –after using defusing and calming techniques –after evaluating risk –as a last resort To prevent a pupil from: –committing a criminal offence –injuring themselves or others –causing damage to property –engaging in behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline

49 IRSC July 2005 Physical intervention How? –in a calm and measured way – by using only reasonable force –not alone, where situation necessitates assistance –in a manner that could not reasonably be expected to cause injury

50 IRSC July 2005 Implementation Consider if /how you wish to adopt the guidance in your LEA/School

51 from time to time all staff should reappraise their teaching styles, relationships with pupils to ensure they give no grounds for any doubts in the minds of colleagues, pupils or parents…. for the vast majority of staff [a] code of conduct will serve only to confirm what has always been their practice… NEOST GUIDANCE

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