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Safeguarding

The aims of the Dyscalculia Network are:

  • Raise awareness of dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.
  • Advise and campaign for better provisions for children and adults with dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.
  • Provide UK’s only exclusive dyscalculia specialist assessor and tutor directory.
  • Empower children and adults with dyscalculia and maths difficulties to achieve their full potential.
  • Provide training to educational establishments, workplaces, and community organisations in how best to accommodate those with dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties.

The purpose of this policy statement is:

  • to protect children and young people who receive Dyscalculia Network’s services from harm. This includes the children of adults who use our services.
  • to provide staff and volunteers who work with children and young people, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
  • This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Dyscalculia Network, including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and students.

This policy has been drawn up based on legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England/Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales. A summary of the key legislation and guidance is available from https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-protection-system

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance, and other related documents.

We believe that:

  • children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take.
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers, and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • extra safeguards may be needed to keep children who are additionally vulnerable safe from abuse.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them.
  • appointing a nominated child protection lead for children and young people, and a deputy, for safeguarding.
  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures, and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training, and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers who work directly with children and young poeple know about and follow our policies and procedures, confidently and competently.
  • recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made as necessary.
  • recording and storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance [more information about this is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office: ico.org.uk/fororganisations
  • we would share information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions, if required.
  • making sure that children, young people, and their families know where to go for help if they have a concern.
  • using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families, and carers appropriately.
  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately.
  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment
  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place.
  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff, and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.
  • building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, children, young people, and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

Definitions of Abuse:

It is important to be aware that many of the forms of abuse can take place either online or in person.

  • Physical Abuse: physical injury to a child where there is knowledge, or a reasonable suspicion, that their injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented.
  • Neglect: the persistent or severe neglect of a child that results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development (both physical and mental).
  • Emotional Abuse: the persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment of a child which has severe adverse effects on the behaviour and emotional development of that child. This may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying).
  • Sexual Abuse: the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children and adolescents in sexual activities they do not truly comprehend, to which they are unable to give informed consent. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse.
  • Grooming: When someone builds an emotional connection with a child or a young person to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation.
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE): Where an individual or group uses an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. In some cases, this is in exchange for something the victim wants and may benefit the perpetrator or facilitator (e.g., financially or through increased status).
  • Self-Abuse: Any means by which a child or young person seeks to harm themselves. This can take lots of physical forms, including cutting, bruising, scratching, hair-pulling, poisoning, overdosing, and eating disorders.
  • Peer on peer abuse: Abuse of a child by another child. Examples of this include bullying, physical abuse, sexual violence or harassment, up-skirting (taking a picture under another person’s clothing without consent), sexting and initiation/ hazing violence and rituals.
  • Mental Health Concerns: All staff should also be aware that mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. If staff have a mental health concern about a child that is also a safeguarding concern, immediate action should be taken, by following this child protection policy and speaking to the designated safeguarding lead.

Procedures:

In all cases related to child protection and safeguarding, the main procedure is to treat the allegation seriously, in strict confidence and immediately contact The Dyscalculia Network Designated Safeguarding Officer; Catherine Eadle, and/or the child’s allocated school child protection and safeguarding lead/s.

In the event of The Dyscalculia Network Designated Safeguarding Officer being contacted the following protocol will be followed:

  1. The information will immediately be passed on to the child’s school protection and safeguarding lead/s.
  2. If a school is involved, they should follow the school’s procedure for contacting the local Police Child Protection Unit or the Social Services Department of the relevant Local Authority (the Authorities). The Dyscalculia Network shall support the school with any action that the school deems appropriate and shall undertake reasonable endeavours to provide the school with any assistance or documents.
  3. The Dyscalculia Network shall not, under any circumstances, undertake any independent investigation or questioning (as this may jeopardise any enquiry) unless or until The Dyscalculia Network is given authorisation by the school or the Authorities. Following authorisation, The Dyscalculia Network may independently follow up on the allegation.
  4. All allegations or suspicions shall be referred to the school no matter how insignificant they seem to be or when they occur. Any information about suspicious behaviour or circumstances will be passed to the local Police Child Protection Unit or the local Social Services within 24 hours or as soon as shall be reasonably practicable.

How to report:

  • When a safeguarding concern occurs, any adult will not promise confidentiality. They will listen carefully to the child and try to remember the key words or phrases used. They will aim to provide an environment that is supportive and respectful. They will not ask leading questions or start to investigate the issue.
  • Once a safeguarding concern has occurred, they will pass on the information to the Designated Safeguarding Officer as soon as is practically possible.
  • The Designated Safeguarding Officer will read and/or listen to the safeguarding concern, depending on the format it has been provided in.
  • The safeguarding report form will be completed.
  • If relevant, the safeguarding report form will be given to the safeguarding lead for the school as soon as practically possible.

If a young person discloses abuse:

Employees and volunteers of The Dyscalculia Network shall

  • Allow the young person to speak without interruption, encouraging them to tell you only what they feel comfortable telling you, and be accepting and be non-judgemental about what is said. They must not ask investigative or leading questions of any kind.
  • Advise the young person that they will offer support, but that they MUST pass what they are told and are not able to keep anything they tell you confidential.
  • If they refuse to tell you anything unless you promise to keep it a secret, inform them that you want to help and that there is one person you must tell. If they then refuse to tell you anymore, please respect their decision and report this incident.
  • Ensure that the young person is not immediately at risk of any further abuse.
  • Immediately after a disclosure, contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • Report the facts as you know them/ or understand them, including the pupil’s name and the account given to you by the young person using the words that they used as well as including any other information your feel is relevant.
  • Provide this detailed information to the Designated Safeguarding Officer as soon as you are able.
  • The Dyscalculia Network shall retain a copy of all such notifications in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

If an adult suspect’s abuse, but it has not been disclosed by the young person:

Employees and volunteers of The Dyscalculia Network shall

  • Not discuss your suspicions with the young person in question or conduct any form of investigative work.
  • Report the facts as you know them/ or understand them, including the child or young person’s name and the account given to you by the young person using the words that they used as well as including any other information your feel is relevant.
  • Provide this detailed information to the Designated Safeguarding Officer at The Dyscalculia Network as soon as you are able.
  • The Dyscalculia Network shall retain a copy of all such notifications in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

If you receive an allegation about any adult (including the person hearing the allegation):

Employees of The Dyscalculia Network shall

  • Immediately after receiving an allegation or disclosure, contact the Designated Safeguarding Children Officer at The Dyscalculia Network
  • Report the facts as you know them/ or understand them, including the names of relevant adults and/or young people and the account given to you using the words that they used as well as including any other information you feel is relevant.
  • Provide this detailed information to the Designated Safeguarding Children Officer at The Dyscalculia Network as soon as you are able.
  • The Dyscalculia Network shall retain a copy of all such notifications in accordance with GDPR guidelines.
  • Any allegations against The Dyscalculia Network staff will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. If the allegation is against the Designated Safeguarding Lead, then the adult should contact the area safeguarding officer.

When dealing with the personal data of young people (including names, grades, and school):

Employees and volunteers of The Dyscalculia Network shall

  • Handle all information with sensitivity and confidentiality and in accordance with GDPR guidelines and our Privacy Notice.
  • The information should be kept securely and not be made available to others without the authority of The Dyscalculia Network

Recruitment and Training

The Dyscalculia Network maintains a high standard in recruiting staff.

  • All Dyscalculia Network employees will be subject to an DBS check if they will be working directly with children and young people.
  • The Dyscalculia Network employees and volunteers who will be working directly with children and young people and will receive training on the contents of this policy as part of their induction.
  • All adults employed by The Dyscalculia Network who work directly with children and young people must complete regular NSPCC Safeguarding training, and confirm they have received this safeguarding training, and they are understanding their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
  • The Dyscalculia Network will work closely with any partner school to ensure we understand and comply with any specific safeguarding requirements that they may have. We will ask them to share any relevant information or policies could include (but are not limited to) behaviour policy, staff code of conduct, tackling extremism and radicalisation, health and safety, complaints, whistleblowing, equality, and diversity.

The child’s wish

  • Where there is a safeguarding concern, The Dyscalculia Network encourages governing bodies, proprietors and school or college leaders to take the child’s wishes, feelings, and point of view into account when determining what action to take and what services to provide.

Record Keeping

  • All The Dyscalculia Network safeguarding processes, incidents and documentation will be kept securely.
  • All records will be kept for the duration required by government guidelines.

Contact details:

Nominated child protection lead.

Name: Catherine Eadle is the Designated Safeguarding Officer
Phone/email: 0791 502 8663 / [email protected]

Deputy child protection lead(s)

Name: Robert Jennings
Phone/email: 0777 591 4744 / [email protected]

Catherine will act as the main point of contact in the event of any allegation or disclosure. She will act as the main point of contact between The Dyscalculia Network and any partner schools. If Catherine Eadle is unavailable or the allegation involves her the Deputy Safeguarding officer, Robert Jennings, should be contacted.

It is the Designated Safeguarding Officer’s responsibility to collect all relevant information and make decisions on how to proceed (this will/may include contacting the designated safeguarding lead at the relevant partner school/s). You have a duty of care to pass on all relevant information regarding any allegations of abuse or identified signs and indicators of possible abuse.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

This policy was last reviewed on: 23/02/24

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