1. This policy is called “THE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY OF ST. CHARLES SCHOOL SAMASPUR KHALSA NEW DELHI”. It has been approved by the governing body of the society, “Sisters of St. charles society”, which is the controlling society of the schools, and is addressed to all members of staff, volunteers, and is available to parents on request, and is to be published on the school website (stcharlessamaspur.org). it applies wherever staff or volunteers are working with students even when away from the school including for example at an activity center or on an educational visit.
2. Every student should feel safe and protected from any form of abuse which, in this policy, means any kind of neglect, non accidental physical injury, sexual exploitation or emotional ill-treatment.
3. Charles school is committed to safe guarding and promoting the welfare of young people and expects all staff and volunteers and visitors to share this commitment
The school will take all responsible measures too:
- Ensure that we practise safe recruitment policies in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with students and young people, as per the guidelines laid down in the protection of children from Sexual Offences. Act 2012 (POCSO Act) which was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
- Ensure that we carry out all necessary checks on the suitablility of the staff and volunteers in accordance with the above regulations and guidance given in Safeguarding Children and safer Recruitment in education;
- Ensure that where staff from another organization are working with our students on another site, we have received assurances that appropriate child protection checks procedures apply to those staff;
- Ensure that all visitors to the school are vetted and authorized and are accompanied at all times;
- Protect each student from any form of abuse, wheather from an adult or another student, including bulling of any kind;
- Be alert to signs of abuse both in the school and from outside; deal appopriately with every suspicion or complaint of abuse;
- Design and operate procedures which promote this policy and which, so far as possible, ensure that teachers and others who are innocent are not prejudiced by false allegations;
- Suppot students who have been abused in accordance with his / her agreed child protection plan;
- Be alert to the medical needs of students with medical conditions;
- Operate robust and sensible health & safety procedures;
- Take all practicable steps to ensure that the school premises are as secure as circumstances permit;
- Operate clear and supportive policies on drugs, alcohol and substance misuse in accordance with the school’s norms;
- Consider and develop procedures to deal with any other safeguarding issues which may be specific to individual students in our school.
4. Every complaint or suspicion of abuse from within or outside the school will be taken seriously and in all proper circumstances will be referred to an external agency such as stated by law when needed in case it cannot be dealt with the internal Child Protection Policy norms, headed by the Protection officer.
5. The school has appointed a CHILD PROTECTION COMMITTEE, headed by a senior member of staff with the necessary status (“Designated Person”), as the Protection Officer of the school, who will be responsible for matters relating to child protection and welfare.
- The main responsibilities of the Protection Officer of the school are: to be the first point of contact for parents, students, teaching and non teaching staff and external agencies in all matters of child protection;
- To co-ordinate the child protection procedures in the school;
- To maintain an on-going training programme for all school employees;
- To monitor the keeping, confidentiality and storage of records in realtion to the child protection. These records are stored in a file in the Co-Principal’s office or any other such place where confidentiality and security is safeguarded;
- To liaise with the Head of the school or the designated person appointed by the Governing Body of the society as the case may in all matters, regarding child protection issues in the school.
6. The child protection Committee ar St. Charles school is Mr. Rajesh, Mr. Ashok, Mrs Uma, Sr. Elizabeth and Sr, Clotilda who may be contacted on the school number 9717381733 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The protection officer will:
- Advise and act upon all suspicion, belief and evidence of abuse reported to her;
- Keep the Principal and /or the vice-principal, or the person designated by the governing body of the Society as the case may be, informed of all actions unless one or both of the above are the subject of a complaint. In this situation, the protection officer will consult with one of the trustees of the society who is not directly related to the Principal/Designated person by the Governing Body.
- Liaise with the accredited agency that is authorized by the State or other agencies on behalf of the School.
7. The protection officer is required to undertake appropriate training and will attend Referesher training at 2 yearly intervals.
8. Types of abuse
8.1 Abuse can be:
- Physical abuse, for example beating or punching;
- Emotional abuse, for example rejection and denial of affection;
- Sexual abuse, for example sexual assault or encouraging a child or young person to view pornographic material;
- Neglect, for example failure to provide appropriate care including warmth or medical attention
8.2 The school is also alert to the possibility of students harming themselves, for example through cutting, burning, or misuse of substances as well as forms of self-harm related to anorexia and bulimia.
9. Sign of abuse: Possible signs of abuse include (but are not limited to):
- The student says she/he has been abused or asks a question which gives rise to that inference;
- There is no reasonable or consistent explanation for a student’s injury; the injury is unusual in kind or location; there have been a number of injuries; there is a pattern to the injuries;
- The student’s behaviour stands out from the group as either being extreme model behaviour or extremely challenging behavior’ or there is a sudden change in the student’s behavior;
- The students asks to drop subjects with a particular teacher and seems relucant to discuss the reasons;
- The student’s development is delayed;
- The student loses or gains weight rapidly;
- The student appears neglected, e.g.dirty, hungry, inadequately clothed;
- The student is reluctant to go home, or has been openly rejected by his/her parents or careers;
10. Duties of Employees
Every employee of the school is under a general legal duty:
- To protect students from abuse;
- To be aware of the school’s child protection procedures and to follow them.
- To know how to access and implement the procedures, independently if necessary;
- To keep a sufficient record of any significant ,complaint, conversation or event;
- To report any matters of concern to the protection Officer
- Initial Complaint: a member of staff suspecting or hearing a complaint of abuse:
- Must listen carefully to the young person and keep an open mind. Staff should not take a decision as to wheather or not the abuse has taken place;
- Must not ask leading questions, that is, a question which suggest it’s own answer;
- Must reassure the young person but not give a guarantee of absolute confidentially. The member of staff should explain that they need to pass the information to the Protection Officer who will ensure that the correct action is taked.
- Must keep a sufficient written record of the conversation. The record should include the date, time and place of the conversation and the essence of what was said and done by whom and in whose presence. The record should be signed by the person making the record and should use names, nor initials. The record must be kept securely and handed to the protection officer.
12. Preserving evidence : All evidence, (for example, scribbled notes, and mobile phone containing text messages, clothing, computers), must be safeguarded and preserved.
13. Reporting : All suspicion or complaints of abuse must be reported to the protection officer or if the complaint involves the protection officer himself or herself, to the trustee.
14. Once the matter has come to the notice of any member of the staff of the school, he or she will report the matter to the protection officer within 24 hrs with all the details that he/she has received.
15. Action by the protection officer
- Once the matter of any offence against the child is reporte to the protection officer, her/she will immediately make contact with the victim child and hear from him or her as the matter has happened without any suggestive question.
- At all times the protection officer must ensure that the child is at ease, and will request the child if he/she wants some other person or his/her choice to be present. In no circumtences will the protection office call as a witness anyone who the child directly or indirectly indicates as undesirable.
- If the offence has taken place in the school, in normal circumstances the parents of the child could be present during the time when the child is asked to report the incident, but if the child doesn’t want his/her parents they should not be called.
- The protection officer will record everything in detail, with names, times, places, circumstances, photos, audio records so that the reporting by the child is as authentic as possible, even if the protection officer finds them irrelevant at the time.
16. Action by the protection officer
The action to be taken will take into accounts
- The states norms or any other such directions issued by an accredited agency setup for the purpose by the appropriate authorty, like the DCRPC in Delhi.
- The nature and the seriousness of the suspicion or compaint. The compaint involving a serios criminal offence will always be reffered to the protection team or the police without further investigation within the school. The protection office may also be bound, if the child requires immediate medical assistance to report the child to the hospital and inform the parents accordingly.
- The wishes of the student who has complaint, provided that the student is of sufficient understanding and maturity and properly informed must be respected. However, there may be times when the situation is so serious the decisions may need to be taken, after all appropriate consultation, that override student’s wishes.
- The wishes of the complaints parents provided they have no interest which is in conflict with the student’s best interest and that they are properly informed must also be respected. Again, it may be necessary, after all appropriate consultation, to over ride parental wishes in some circumstances. If the protection office is concerned that disclosing information to parents put a young person at risk, or it is against the student’s wishes, he or she will take further advice from the relevant professionals before making a decision to disclose.
- Duties of confidentiality, so far as applicable are
- The lawful rights and interests of the school community as a whole including its employees and its trustees.
- If there is room for doubt as to referral should be made, the protection officer may consult with the local Authority Designated Officer or other appropriate professionals on a no names basis without identifying the family. However, as soon as sufficient concern exists that a young person may be at risk of significant harm, a referral will be made without delay. If the initial referral is made by telephone, the protection Officer will confirm the referral in writing to withing 24 hrs. if no response or acknowledgement is received within 3 working days, the protection officer will contact.
17. Managements Action
- if there is sufficient reason to believe the offence has taken place and the matter is required to the police or other appropriate authority as per law the same should be done within 2 days from the time that the protection officer has reported the matter to the management.
- During the pendency of the matter by the management, the offender must be suspended and must be forbidden from meeting the victim child under any circumstances.
18. The management of the institution is duty bound to take all necessary action, including informing police, as the case may be at the earliest, so that the police or the appropriate authority take quick action as per law.
19. The management of the institutions is also duty bound to protect the complete confidentiality of the child and his/ her family by all mean possible and therefor must restrict the exercise of investigation and action to a few so that the identity of the victim is no disclosed.
20. The management of the school must ensure that these norms are strictly adhered to, and that day are modified amended as the case may be, from time to time so as to confirm with the norms of the protection of children from offences in their school as formulated by the POCSO (protection of Children from sexual offence ) legislation.
21. Management will also conduct as part of its regular extra-curricular programs workshops and sessions for junior School Students on the topic of “Good and Bad touch”and how they must be aware of the danger that exists when adults touch them and learn to make a difference between what is an appropriate and what is not an appropriate touch and when in doubt immediately report the matter to adult of her/his confidence without fear of guilt or reprimand.