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The SEAX Trust takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people in its care.

The document - ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – (DFE 2016) forms the foundation of the Trust’s work with its member schools. All Trust members, Schools/Academies in the Trust and staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. All who come into contact with children and their families and carers have a role to play in safeguarding as a whole. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all professionals ensure that their approach is child-centred. This means they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

All schools in the Trust follow - Essex Guidelines for Child Protection (SET), found at Essex Safeguarding Children Board. (ESCB) Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined within the Trust as; protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

The Trust is accountable for the procedures and systems for Safeguarding within all its member schools and colleges as follows:

• All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.

• Every school and college should have a designated safeguarding lead who will provide support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and who will liaise closely with other services such as children’s social care.

• All school and college staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. In the first instance, staff should discuss early help requirements with the designated safeguarding lead. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment.

• All staff members should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction.

This should include:

1. The Child Protection Policy

2. The staff behaviour policy - the Code of Conduct

3. The role of the designated safeguarding lead. (DSL) • All staff members should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

• All staff should be aware of the early help process, and understand their role in it. This includes identifying emerging problems, liaising with the designated safeguarding lead, sharing information with other professionals to support early identification and assessment and, in some cases, acting as the lead professional in undertaking an early help assessment.

• All staff should be aware of the process for making referrals to children’s social care and for statutory assessments under the Children Act 1989 that may follow a referral, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.

• All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected. Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with relevant professionals such as the designated safeguarding lead and children’s social care. Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation, as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.

• Staff members working with children are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff members should always act in the best interests of the child.

• All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school or college’s safeguarding regime and know that such concerns will be taken seriously by the senior leadership team.

• Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff training and staff behaviour policies, should be in place for such concerns to be raised with the school or college’s senior leadership team. 

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