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COVID-19 Safeguarding Update

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

Child Protection Policy Addendum – 27/3/20

 

COVID-19 School Closure Child Protection Update

Since Holy Cross Primary School closed to the majority of pupils on Friday 20th March; the following safeguarding procedures were put into place:

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • The Designated Safeguarding lead continues to be Mrs Westrop and the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Mrs Power.  Either the DSL or the Deputy DSL will be on the school site where possible.  Where this is not possible, they are both contactable by phone. 
  • In the event that both the DSL and Deputy DSL contract Coronavirus and are unwell, all staff have been advised to contact Thurrock MASH on 01375 806123 with any concerns that might arise no matter how big or small.

 

Contacting the DSL:

  • All staff have mobile contact and email addresses for the DSL and the Deputy DSL.  MASH also have these contacts should they need to inform us of any concerns.
  • All allocated social workers have the DSL’s email and mobile contacts.
  • Parents have been asked to share any concerns via email as the school office is not open, to a designated pastoral email address: pastoral@holycrossprimary.thurrock.sch.uk
  • This is on our school website, has been sent to all parents by text and reminders in the weekly newsletter.

 

Child Protection Referral Process onsite:

  • For those children who remain on site, staff are expected to follow the Holy Cross Child Protection Policy procedures and complete a blue concerns form. 
  • This will be given to the DSL onsite immediately, if the DSL is not onsite then this will be phoned through the them immediately and then emailed to them on the same format.

 

Child Protection Process off-site:

  • For those staff working at home and monitoring their pupils online learning and class email addresses, they should still follow school policy and complete a blue concerns form, which has been emailed to them. 
  • This will be phoned through to the DSL immediately and then emailed to them on the same format.

 

Vulnerable families with a social worker:

  • All vulnerable children with a social worker, the DSL has spoken with the social workers on 23/3/20 to discuss each case and whether the children should be attending school. 
  • A plan is in place for each child with a social worker. These plans will be reviewed weekly.
  • All children with social care involvement will receive a phone call on a Tuesday and where possible a face-to-face call/visit on a Friday.
  • All vulnerable families with a social worker have contact details for the DSL, should they need to make contact.
  • Any cases that are closed by social care during COVID-19, will move into the vulnerable children without a social worker category and still be monitored.

 

Vulnerable families without a social worker:

  • All vulnerable children will receive a phone call on a Monday and a Thursday. A face-to-face call or visit can be arranged where necessary.
  • All vulnerable families without a social worker have contact details for the DSL, should they need to make contact.
  • Provision for these children to attend school during the COVID-19 crisis can be arranged, if deemed necessary.
  • Free school meals are being provided as a ‘weekly food parcel’.  These are collected from the school by a parent at 11:30am every Tuesday. 
  • Weekly emails are sent to parents regarding the ‘weekly food parcel’ and delivery is an option for those families who are self-isolating due to displaying symptoms.

 

EHCP children:

  • All EHCP children will receive a phone call on a Wednesday.
  • All EHCP families have contact details for the DSL, should they need to make contact.
  • If an EHCP child has a medical condition that places them into the vulnerable category, they are not attending the Holy Cross COVID-19 closure provision.
  • If an EHCP child has a parent who is a key worker, they are expected to attend the Holy Cross COVID-10 closure provision.
  • If an EHCP child, does not have a parent who is a key worker, they are not attending the Holy Cross COVID-19 closure provision.  Appropriate work has been provided for them to meet their needs and this will be updated and revised during the weekly phone call. Provision for these children to attend school during the COVID-19 crisis can be arranged, if deemed necessary.

 

Online Safety:

  • Pupils at Holy Cross who are home learning are expected to be using Purple Mash, Times Tables Rockstars and Oxford Reading Tree Buddy, with access to White Rose Maths on Youtube.  This are the safe and valid online programmes that have been allocated to our children.
  • Staff may post other online resources and activities for children to access, but these are at parents’ discretion and parents should be supervising their child whilst they are online.
  • Purple Mash has an email and blogging section for pupils to use, however, each email or blog has to be approved by a teacher before it is posted live onto the page.  These are being monitored by the class teachers and the DSL.
  • Our website (www.holycrossprimary.thurrock.sch.uk – classes – e-safety guidance) has been updated with the most up-to-date guidance on the most recent apps and other gaming activities that children maybe using in their spare time and parents have been advised to ensure they know what games and apps are appropriate for their child.
  • All reports to the school (by staff, pupils or parents) regarding inappropriate online behaviour will be followed up with a phone call to the family or directly to MASH depending on the nature of the concern.

 

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers

 

Appendices:

Appendix 1 – MASH Update

 

From: Desmond, Joanne <jdesmond@thurrock.gov.uk>
Sent: 24 March 2020 11:53
Subject: MASH contact over COVID 19 period

 

Message sent on behalf Kevin Quantrill I Early Help Service Manager I Thurrock Children’s Services

 

Good morning

 

As you will be aware due to Covid 19 we are currently having to work under very different circumstances. I would ask that only significant concerns around children’s safety and welfare are rang through to the MASH team so we can manage the demand and ensure children are prioritised. Please continue to send CAF referrals through and if you have any queries please email kevin.quantrill@thurrock.gov.uk and I will respond as soon as I can.

 

Please everyone take care.

 

Kind regards

 

Kevin Quantrill I Early Help Service Manager I Thurrock Children’s Services|

Children's Services | email: kquantrill@thurrock.gov.uk l direct dial: 01375 652250| Ext:

Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL

 

 

Appendix 2 – Thurrock Vulnerable Children Guidance

 

From: Brittain, Elleny <EBrittain@thurrock.gov.uk> on behalf of Taylor, Malcolm <Mwtaylor@thurrock.gov.uk>
Sent: 19 March 2020 14:55
Subject: Updated advice to Schools following Government Announcement on School Closures

 

Dear Colleagues

 

Following the Central Government announcement that all pupils with the exception of Vulnerable Children (those with a social worker eg CIN, CPCLA); those who have Education Health and Care Plans; and Children of key worker parents  , I am writing to update all schools on the steps that need to be taken to ensure we are meeting the needs of these and other children. First of all I would like to thank you for your ongoing hard work and support for our children in this time of exceptional need. I would like to recognise that this is an unprecedented situation and one that has put extraordinary demands on your school. We are continuing  to work very closely with Public Health England as part of the co-ordinated response across the Council to address this crisis.

 

Clearly it is important to recognise that this request to support the most vulnerable pupils and to offer schooling to the children of key worker families is a vital part of the overall strategy which includes ensuring that essential services such as Care and Health are able to continue to meet the exceptional demands that are being placed on them at this time. Your actions to continue to enable these services to be staffed will result in saving the lives of those who are in need of hospital treatment.

 

Staffing Shortages

 

We fully recognise that over the past few days there have been very large numbers of staff absences due to illness or self-isolation. In these instances the guidance form the DfE for the rest of this week  is that all schools adopt flexible staffing arrangements and pupil groupings to ensure as many pupils continue to attend school as possible.

 

From  Monday 23rd March until further notice when the majority of pupils will not be attending school, we are asking that all schools inform the Local Authority of how many pupils who are identified as vulnerable; with an EHCP; or a key worker family are attending school. This is to be reported on a daily basis by email to ebrittain@thurrock.gov.uk and copy to school.improvement@thurrock.gov.uk by 10.00am .This information is required by the DfE and we will be reporting this daily .

 

 

School Arrangements from Monday 23rd March

 

From Monday 23rd March when schools are closed to all pupils except the pupils mentioned above, it is expected that schools put in place arrangements to continue to support all children on their roll which includes the provision of work packs, access to on-line learning, advice concerning other sources of information and home visits or phone contacts to any children where necessary.

 

 

School arrangements for pupils of Vulnerable Children, Children with Education Health and Care Plans, Children of Key Worker families

 

It is expected that today all schools  review their lists of vulnerable children and those with EHC Plans and put in place plans  as to how these children will continue to come into school from Monday. We are awaiting further details of key worker definitions, today however it would be appropriate for schools to write to all parents today to ask them if they identify as key workers and if they will be sending their children into school from Monday. This will allow appropriate planning for these pupils and will then allow for sharing of staff amongst schools where necessary to enable a service for all pupils. Where schools are experiencing very low staff numbers it may be necessary for School Leaders to make reciprocal arrangements with neighbouring schools or schools within the same trust and liaise with the Local Authority to ensure all these children have access to a local school place.  After discussion with the DfE today we are awaiting further guidance on how this may effect single central registers.

 

During this time, where there are increased stresses on families, and therefore additional risks to children’s welfare, schools are putting in place additional measures to support a range of vulnerable pupils. The Government expects that all school are to remain open and where due to staffing issues a school finds this difficult the expectation is that schools need to work together in their local area to ensure that these pupils are able to attend school.. These pupils include those who are a Child in Need ; under Child Protection procedures ; Looked After by a Local Authority; or who have an Education Health and Care Plan.

 

Where parents of vulnerable children indicate that they do not wish to send their children in to school at this time, it is expected that schools communicate their expectation that these children attend, particularly the children with a social care involvement.  However for children with particular circumstances such as underlying medical conditions or health vulnerabilities within the family it is expected that the Headteacher considers these individual circumstances and where it is agreed that these children are at greater risk attending school then these children may remain at home.  

 

Where any vulnerable child who has social work involvement does not attend school, the school must inform the social worker concerned and schools are to put in place arrangements for daily contact by phone or video with additional face to face meetings on a weekly basis to ensure these children are safe and are accessing educational activities. If in any doubt about the welfare of these or any other children you have concerns about during this time, schools should contact the social workers involved, or make a MASH enquiry for a new case as they would if the child was attending school.

 

 

Access to Free School Meals during a school closure

 

There are particular concerns for children on Free School Meals in the event of school closures.  Catering Services have been in communication with schools to ensure we support schools with a provision to those pupils eligible for FSM’s. The Catering Service will be offering a weekly food hamper to families from Monday. The plan is for schools to contact parents/carers eligible, to update them on arrangements and agree collection procedures including times. A template letter has been sent out to schools to use with parents should they wish to. Should parents working circumstances change during this time parents can apply on the Council web site for Free School Meal eligibility  Any schools that do not currently buy into Thurrock Catering Services and are unable to provide this service themselves can be supported by the Local Authority Catering Service if requested.

Further advice is available at  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools

 

I hope the above provides a useful update on the situation to date and we will continue to provide further information as the situation develops

 

With Kind Regards

 

Sheila

 

 

Sheila Murphy l Corporate Director of Children’s Services I Children’s Services

thurrock.gov.uk l t +44 (0) 1375 652973 e 64763

Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL

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