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:
Contacting the DSL:
Child Protection Referral Process onsite:
Child Protection Process off-site:
Vulnerable families with a social worker:
Vulnerable families without a social worker:
Appendix 1 – MASH Update
From: Desmond, Joanne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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 email@example.com and I will respond as soon as I can.
Please everyone take care.
Kevin Quantrill I Early Help Service Manager I Thurrock Children’s Services|
Children's Services | email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Following the Central Government announcement that all pupils with the exception of Vulnerable Children (those with a social worker eg CIN, CP, CLA); 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.
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 email@example.com and copy to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 Murphy l Corporate Director of Children’s Services I Children’s Services
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL