Child Protection (Safeguarding) Policy



Trinity Rings new



Adopted by:  Trinity Catholic College & Sixth Form

Approved by Governors::     November 2016

Next Review Due:  November  2017

“An inclusive learning community living out Gospel values”


Table of Contents

Policy statement and principles 

  • Child protection statement 
    •      Policy principles
    •      Policy aims

Safeguarding legislation and guidance

Roles and responsibilities

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 
  • The deputy designated safeguarding lead(s)

Good practice guidelines and staff code of conduct

Abuse of position of trust

Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Children missing education

Whistle blowing if you have concerns about a colleague 

Allegations against staff 

Staff training 

Safer recruitment

  • Volunteers 
  • Contractors

Site security

  • Transition 

Extended school and off‐site arrangements 

Staff/pupil online relationships 

Child protection procedures 

  • Recognising abuse
  •  Bullying
  • Taking action
  • If you are concerned about a student’s welfare
  • If a student discloses to you
  • Notifying parents

Confidentiality and sharing information 

Enquiry to MCS

Reporting directly to child protection agencies

Children with sexually harmful behaviour

Sexual exploitation of children 

Honour‐Based Violence 

Radicalisation and Extremism


Internet safety 

Private fostering arrangements 

Related safeguarding portfolio policies 

Special Circumstances

  • Looked after children
  • Work Experience 
  • Children staying with host families 

Middlesbrough Children Safeguarding Board (MCSB)

Appendix One 

  • Categories of abuse
    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Neglect
    • Domestic Abuse
  • Indicators of abuse


Appendix Two

Reviewed by: Trinity Catholic College


Policy statement and principles

 This policy is one of a series in the school’s integrated safeguarding portfolio and must be read in conjunction with the portfolio for fuller guidance and expectations, for example code of conduct, managing allegations, whistleblowing, social media use, behaviour and e-Safety Policy.

Our core safeguarding principles are:

  • the school’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children is of paramount importance
  • safer children make more successful learners
  • policies will be reviewed at least annually unless an incident or new legislation or guidance suggests the need for an interim review.


Child protection statement

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

The procedures contained in this policy apply to all staff, governors and directors and are consistent with those of the Middlesbrough Safeguarding Children Board (MSCB).


Policy principles

  • Welfare of the child is paramount
  • All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection
  • All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm
  • Students and staff involved in child protection issues will receive appropriate support


Policy aims

  • To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable them to meet their child protection responsibilities
  • To ensure consistent good practice
  • To demonstrate the school’s commitment with regard to child protection to students, parents and other partners.


Key terminology

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing the impairment of health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and undertaking that role so as to enable those children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Child protection refers to the processes undertaken to protect children who have been identified as suffering, or being at risk of suffering significant harm.

Child abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.

Staff refers to all those working for or on behalf of the school, full time or part time, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Child refers to all young people who have not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Parent refers to birth parents and other adults who are in a parenting role, for example step‐parents, foster carers and adoptive parents.


Safeguarding legislation and guidance

The following safeguarding legislation and guidance has been considered when drafting this policy:

  • Section 157 of the Education Act 2002
  • The Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2003
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • The Teacher Standards 2012
  • Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2015
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015


Roles and responsibilities



The Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • has the status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post, including committing resources and supporting and directing other staff
  • is appropriately trained, with regular updates
  • acts as a source of support and expertise to the school community
  • has a working knowledge of MSCB procedures
  • makes staff aware of MSCB training courses and the latest policies on safeguarding
  • keeps detailed written records of all concerns, ensuring that such records are stored securely and flagged, but kept separate from, the student’s general file
  • refers cases of suspected abuse to MCS (First Contact Team) or police as appropriate (V Fenton lead)
  • ensures that when a student leaves the school, their child protection file is passed to the new school (separately from the main pupil file and ensuring secure transit) and confirmation of receipt is obtained
  • attends and/or contributes to child protection conferences
  • co‐ordinates the school’s contribution to child protection plans
  • develops effective links with relevant statutory and voluntary agencies including the MSCB
  • ensures that the child protection policy and procedures are reviewed and updated annually, liaises with the nominated governor and Headteacher (where the role is not carried out by the Headteacher) as appropriate
  • makes the child protection policy available publicly, on the school’s website or by other means
  • refers cases to the Channel programme where there is a radicalisation concern (Mr S Carey lead)
  • ensures that all staff receive regular safeguarding training and updates
  • ensures that all staff regularly read part one of the KCSiE document September 2016 edition
  • makes the child protection policy available to parents
  • refers cases where a person is dismissed or left due to risk/harm to a child to the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • refers cases to the Police where a crime has been committed.


The deputy designated person(s):

Is/are trained to the same level as the DSL and, in the absence of the DSL, carries out those functions necessary to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of students. In the event of the long term absence of the DSL, the deputy will assume all of the functions above.


Good practice guidelines and staff code of conduct

Good practice includes:

  • treating all pupils with respect
  • setting a good example by conducting ourselves appropriately
  • involving students in decisions that affect them
  • encouraging positive, respectful and safe behaviour among students
  • being a good listener
  • being alert to changes in students behaviour and to signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • recognising that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • reading and understanding the school’s child protection policy, staff behaviour policy and guidance documents on wider safeguarding issues
  • being aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some students lead to an increased risk of abuse
  • referring all concerns about a student’s safety and welfare to the DSL, or, if necessary directly to police or MCS


Abuse of position of trust

All school staff are aware that inappropriate behaviour towards students is unacceptable and that their conduct towards students must be beyond reproach.

In addition, staff should understand that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence for a person over the age of 18 to have a sexual relationship with a person under the age of 18, where that person is in a position of trust, even if the relationship is consensual. This means that any sexual activity between a member of the school staff and a student under 18 may be a criminal offence.

The school’s Code of Conduct sets out our expectations of staff and is signed by all staff members.


Children who may be particularly vulnerable

Some children may have an increased risk of abuse. Many factors can contribute to an increase in risk, including prejudice and discrimination, isolation, social exclusion, communication issues and reluctance on the part of some adults to accept that abuse can occur. To ensure that all of our students receive equal protection, we will give special consideration to children who are:

  • disabled or have special educational needs
  • young carers
  • affected by parental substance misuse, domestic violence or parental mental health needs
  • asylum seekers
  • living away from home
  • vulnerable to being bullied, or engaging in bullying
  • living in temporary accommodation
  • live transient lifestyles
  • living in chaotic and unsupportive home situations
  • vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexuality
  • at risk of sexual exploitation
  • do not have English as a first language
  • at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • at risk of forced marriage
  • at risk of being drawn into extremism
  • have an imprisoned parent
  • VEMT referrals

This list provides examples of additionally vulnerable groups and is not exhaustive. Special consideration includes the provision of safeguarding information and resources in community languages and accessible formats for children with communication needs.


Children Missing Education

Attendance, absence and exclusions are closely monitored. A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The DSL will monitor unauthorised absence and take appropriate action including notifying the local authority, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions and/or are missing for periods during the school day. Staff must be alert to signs of children at risk of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage (Lead Mr A Manders).


Whistle blowing if you have concerns about a colleague

Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague towards a student are undoubtedly placed in a very difficult situation. They may worry that they have misunderstood the situation and they will wonder whether a report could jeopardise their colleague’s career. All staff must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount. The school’s whistleblowing code enables staff to raise concerns or allegations, initially in confidence and for a sensitive enquiry to take place.

All concerns of poor practice or possible child abuse by colleagues should be reported to the Headteacher (Mr P Coady).

Staff may also report their concerns directly to children’s social care or the police if they believe direct reporting is necessary to secure action.


Allegations against staff

When an allegation is made against a member of staff, our set procedures must be followed. The full procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016).

Allegations concerning staff who no longer work at the school, or historical allegations will be reported to the police.


Staff training

It is important that all staff receive training to enable them to recognise the possible signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation and to know what to do if they have a concern.

New staff and governors will receive a briefing during their induction, which includes the school’s child protection policy and staff behaviour policy, reporting and recording arrangements, and details for the DSL. All staff, including the DSL, Headteacher and governors will receive training that is regularly updated. All staff will also receive safeguarding and child protection updates via email, e‐bulletins, website access and staff meetings throughout the year.


Safer recruitment

Our school complies with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2016) and the MSCB by carrying out the required checks and verifying the applicant’s identity, qualifications and work history.

At least one member of each recruitment panel will have attended safer recruitment training.

The school obtains written confirmation from supply agencies or third party organisations that agency staff or other individuals who may work in the school have been appropriately checked.

Trainee teachers will be checked either by the school or by the training provider, from whom written confirmation will be obtained.

The school maintains a single central record of recruitment checks undertaken (Lead Mrs D Jukes).



Volunteers, including governors will undergo checks commensurate with their work in the school, their contact with pupils and the supervision provided to them. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been appropriately checked be left unsupervised.



The school checks the identity of all contractors working on site and requests DBS with barred list checks where required by statutory guidance. Contractors who have not undergone checks will not be allowed to work unsupervised during the school day.


Site security

Visitors to the school, including contractors, are asked to sign in and are given a badge, which confirms they have permission to be on site. Parents who are simply delivering or collecting their children do not need to sign in. All visitors are expected to observe the school’s safeguarding and health and safety regulations. The Headteacher will exercise professional judgement in determining whether any visitor should be escorted or supervised whilst on site.  



Where children leave the establishment the school will ensure that their child protection file is copied for the new establishment as soon as possible but transferred separately from the main pupil file in line with the ‘Broad Areas of Responsibility Proposed for the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016’.


Extended school and off‐site arrangements

All extended and off site activities are subject to a risk assessment to satisfy health and safety and safeguarding requirements.  Where extended school activities are provided by and managed by the school, our own child protection policy and procedures apply. If other organisations provide services or activities on our site on behalf of our school we will check that they have appropriate procedures in place, including safer recruitment procedures (Lead A Manders).

When our students attend off‐site activities, including day and residential visits and work related activities, we will check that effective child protection arrangements are in place.


Staff/student online relationships

The school provides advice to staff regarding their personal online activity and has strict rules regarding online contact and electronic communication with students. Staff found to be in breach of these rules may be subject to disciplinary action or child protection investigation.

Staff at Trinity Catholic College should not become involved in personal or social relationships with any students outside school, including social networking sites and personal email.


Child protection procedures

Recognising abuse

To ensure that our students are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone.

Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children and young people.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2016) refers to four categories of abuse. These are set out at Appendix one along with indicators of abuse. Appendix one also includes the definition of domestic violence (Operation Encompass initiative).



While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause anxiety and distress. All incidences of bullying, including cyber‐bullying and prejudice‐based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our tackling‐bullying procedures.  


Taking action

Any child, in any family in any school could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”. Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:

  • in an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, if necessary call 999
  • report your concern as soon as possible to the DSL, definitely by the end of the day
  • do not start your own investigation
  • share information on a need‐to‐know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • complete a record of concern (Cause for Concern sheet – issued in Staff Pack September).
  • seek support for yourself if you are distressed.


If you are concerned about a student’s welfare

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a student may be at risk. The student’s behaviour may have changed, their artwork could be bizarre, they may write stories or poetry that reveal confusion or distress, or physical signs may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff will try to give the student the opportunity to talk and ask if they are OK or if they can help in any way.

Staff should inform the Pastoral Lead and use the MIS BROMCOM form to record these early concerns. If the student does reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below. Following an initial conversation with the student, if the member of staff has concerns, they should discuss their concerns with the DSL.


If a student discloses to you

It takes a lot of courage for a child to disclose that they are being abused. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive.

If a student talks to a member of staff about any risks to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will, at the appropriate time, let the student know that in order to help them they must pass the information on to the DSL. The point at which they tell the student this is a matter for professional judgement. During their conversations with the student staff will:

  • allow them to speak freely
  • remain calm and not overreact
  • give reassuring nods or words of comfort – ‘I’m so sorry this has happened’, ‘I want to help’, ‘This isn’t your fault’, ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’
  • not be afraid of silences
  • under no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings, or what does the student’s mother think about it
  • at an appropriate time, tell the student that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on and explain to whom and why
  • not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort
  • avoid admonishing the child for not disclosing earlier. Saying things such as ‘I do wish you had told me about this when it started’ may be interpreted by the child to mean that they have done something wrong
  • tell the student what will happen next
  • report verbally to the DSL even if the child has promised to do it themselves
  • complete the record of concern form and hand it to the DSL as soon as possible
  • seek support if they feel distressed.


Notifying parents

The school will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a student with their parents. This must be handled sensitively and the DSL will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure.

Our focus is the safety and wellbeing of the student. Therefore, if the school believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from MCS and/or the police before parents are contacted.


Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff will understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the student and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the DSL, Headteacher or chair of local governors (depending on who is the subject of the concern). That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need‐to‐know’ basis.

However, following a number of cases where senior leaders in school had failed to act upon concerns raised by staff, Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) emphasises that any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.

Child protection information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.  Information sharing is guided by the following principles.  The information is:

  • necessary and proportionate
  • relevant
  • adequate
  • accurate
  • timely
  • secure

Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.

Record of concern forms will be passed to the DSL and stored in a locked cupboard. Any electronic information will be password protected and only made available to relevant individuals.

Child protection information will be stored separately from the student’s school file and the school file will be ‘tagged’ to indicate that separate information is held (tagged as CIN).

The DSL will normally obtain consent from the student and/or parents to share sensitive information within the school or with outside agencies. Where there is good reason to do so, the DSL may share information without consent, and will record the reason for not obtaining consent.
Child protection records are normally exempt from the disclosure provisions of the Data Protection Act, which means that children and parents do not have an automatic right to see them. If any member of staff receives a request from a student or parent to see child protection records, they will refer the request to the Headteacher.

The Data Protection Act does not prevent school staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.


Enquiry to MCS

The DSL will make an enquiry to MCS if it is believed that a student is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The student (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that an enquiry is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.


Reporting directly to child protection agencies

Staff should follow the reporting procedures outlined in this policy. However, they may also share information directly with children’s social care, police or the NSPCC if:

  • the situation is an emergency and the designated safeguarding lead, their deputy, the Headteacher and the chair of local governors are all unavailable
  • they are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the student’s safety
  • for any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child.


Children with sexually harmful behaviour

Children may be harmed by other children or young people. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the school’s anti‐bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a student’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than antibullying procedures.

Young people who display such behaviour may be victims of abuse themselves and the child protection procedures will be followed for both victim and perpetrator. Staff who become concerned about a student’s sexual behaviour, including any known online sexual behaviour, should speak to the DSL as soon as possible.


Sexual exploitation of children

Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long‐lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking.

The school includes the risks of sexual exploitation in the PSHE and SRE curriculum. A common feature of sexual exploitation is that the child often doesn’t recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and doesn’t see themselves as a victim.  The child may initially resent what they perceive as interference by staff, but staff must act on their concerns, as they would for any other type of abuse.

All staff are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation and all concerns are reported immediately to the DSL.


Honour‐Based Violence

‘Honour‐based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing.  All forms of HBV are abuse.

FGM is the collective name given to a range of procedures involving the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non‐medical reasons. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is a criminal offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The practice can cause intense pain and distress and long‐term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth.

FGM is carried out on girls of any age, from young babies to older teenagers and adult women, so school staff are trained to be aware of risk indicators. Many such procedures are carried out abroad and staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by female pupil about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period.

A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse.  In England and Wales the practice is a criminal offence under the Anti‐Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

A forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, which is common in several cultures, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.

Children may be married at a very young age, and well below the age of consent in England. School staff receive training and should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns raised by a student about being taken abroad and not be allowed to return to England.


Radicalisation and Extremism

The government defines extremism as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Some children are at risk of being radicalised: adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. Islamic extremism is the most widely publicised form and schools should also remain alert to the risk of radicalisation into white supremacy extremism.

School staff receive training to help to identify signs of extremism. Opportunities are provided in the curriculum to enable students to discuss issues of religion, ethnicity and culture and the school follows the DfE advice Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMCS (spiritual, moral, social and cultural education) in Schools (2014). See Prevent Strategy documentation.



Sexting is the sending and receiving of:

  • naked pictures or ‘nudes’
  • ‘underwear shots’
  • sexual or ‘dirty pictures’
  • rude text messages or videos.

The above can be sent to or from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or stranger met online. The College will liaise with the Police and MCS when concerns are raised around sexting. The College will provide education for all students around online safety and the law.


Internet safety

All staff will understand the risks posed by the internet and social media platforms. The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with others
  • Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes harm

The College has appropriate filters in place to protect children, whilst not ‘over blocking’ their access to valuable online resources and materials. The College will monitor daily online activity through our ‘passive’ recording system. Staff will be alerted immediately of any inappropriate use of IT equipment, including the use of search engines to access extremist material.

The College has appropriate reporting systems in place for parents and students to use to report.


Private fostering arrangements

A private fostering arrangement occurs when someone other than a parent or a close relative cares for a child for a period of 28 days or more, with the agreement of the child’s parents. It applies to children under the age of 16, or aged under 18 if the child is disabled. By law, a parent, private foster carer or other persons involved in making a private fostering arrangement must notify children’s services as soon as possible.  

Where a member of staff becomes aware that a student may be in a private fostering arrangement they will raise this with the DSL and the school should notify the local authority of the circumstances.


Related safeguarding portfolio policies

This policy should be read alongside our other safeguarding policies, which are set out in Appendix Two.


Special Circumstances

 Looked after children

The most common reason for children becoming looked after is as a result of abuse or neglect. The school ensures that staff have the necessary skills and understanding to keep looked after children safe. Appropriate staff have information about a child’s looked after legal status and care arrangements, including the level of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after the child. The designated teacher for looked after children and the DSL have details of the child’s social worker and the name and contact details of the local authority’s virtual head for children in care (Lead Mr L Allen).


 Work Experience

The academy has detailed procedures to safeguard students undertaking work experience, including arrangements for checking people who provide placements and supervise students on work experience which are in accordance with the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016).


 Children staying with host families

The school may make arrangements for students to stay with a host family during a foreign exchange trip or sports tour.  Some overseas students may reside with host families during school terms and we will work with the local authority to check that such arrangements are safe and suitable.  In such circumstances the school follows the guidance in Annex E of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) to ensure that hosting arrangements are as safe as possible.


Middlesbrough Children Safeguarding Board (MCSB)

For Early Help, Consultation and Enquiries please contact:

Telephone: 01642 726004


Post: Emergency Duty Team – Out of Hours

Telephone: 08702 402994 (Duty Team)

Police – non-emergency – 101

And Cleveland Police  – non-emergency – 01642 326326


LADO Contacts – Lyn Griffiths

Telephone: 01642 726004

Early Help Team

Early Help Adviser:

Middlesbrough – Kelly Reynolds

Telephone: 01642 728081



Appendix One Categories of abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child (this used to be called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, but is now more usually referred to as fabricated or induced illness).


Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill‐treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.


Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non‐penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non‐contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.



Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:  

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care‐givers); or
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.


Domestic abuse

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic abuse is an additional category added by the Operation Encompass. Trinity is fully supportive of the Middlesbrough initiative ‘Operation Encompass’ – identifying and supporting students who have witnessed or been a victim of domestic abuse.


Indicators of abuse

Physical signs define some types of abuse, for example, bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The identification of physical signs is complicated, as children may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite difficult for anyone without medical training to categorise injuries into accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For these reasons it is vital that staff are also aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated safeguarding lead.

It is the responsibility of staff to report their concerns. It is not their responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused. 

A child who is being abused, neglected or exploited may:

  • have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries
  • show signs of pain or discomfort
  • keep arms and legs covered, even in warm weather
  • be concerned about changing for PE or swimming
  • look unkempt and uncared for
  • change their eating habits
  • have difficulty in making or sustaining friendships
  • appear fearful
  • be reckless with regard to their own or other’s safety
  • self‐harm
  • frequently miss school, arrive late or leave the school for part of the day
  • show signs of not wanting to go home
  • display a change in behaviour – from quiet to aggressive, or happy‐go‐lucky to withdrawn
  • challenge authority
  • become disinterested in their school work
  • be constantly tired or preoccupied
  • be wary of physical contact
  • be involved in, or particularly knowledgeable about drugs or alcohol
  • display sexual knowledge or behaviour beyond that normally expected for their age
  • acquire gifts such as money or a mobile phone from new ‘friends’.

Individual indicators will rarely, in isolation, provide conclusive evidence of abuse. They should be viewed as part of a jigsaw, and each small piece of information will help the DSL to decide how to proceed.


Appendix Two

Related Safeguarding policies

  • Staff code of conduct
  • Behaviour policy
  • Complaints procedure
  • Bullying policy
  • Safer working practice (H&S policy)
  • Whistleblowing
  • SEND
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Grievance and disciplinary
  • Social Media Participation (e-Safety)
  • Prevent strategy document ‐ Preventing radicalisation
  • CSE strategy document