Child Protection & Safeguarding
Child Protection & Safeguarding
Our aim is to build and maintain a proactive environment that protects children by either preventing child abuse before it occurs or by earliest possible detection, intervention and reporting.
This Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy is based on recommendations from the International Task Force on Child Protection (ITFCP) and national laws that exist to protect children from harm, as well as protocols agreed by the Japan Council for International Schools (JCIS.) To read the Japanese National Legislation in English please see this link from the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC.)
TYPES OF ABUSE
To increase St. Michael’s International School’s community awareness this policy focuses on four main categories of abuse:
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing intentional (or in a pattern) physical harm to a child. This can also include self-harm such as cutting and suicide attempts.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment 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 in so far as they meet the needs of another person. This may include verbal abuse. It may involve causing a child to frequently feel frightened, or in danger.
Sexual abuse includes forcing, grooming or enticing, a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health, or development. It may involve a parent, or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care, or treatment. It may also include neglect of a child’s basic emotional needs.
All St. Michael’s International School staff are required to report incidences of abuse and neglect. St. Michael’s International School staff are also required to report suspicion of abuse or neglect. All reports of abuse or neglect will be made to the Designated Safety Officer Lead (DSOL) or the Head of School within 24 hours. Follow up of suspected abuse or neglect will be in accordance with this policy. Furthermore, suspected cases of abuse or neglect may be reported to the local authorities, the local child protection agency, the respective consulate in Osaka, or to the respective child protection agency in the child’s home country.
Follow up actions may include:
- Conference with students involved
- Parent notification
- Meeting with parents
- Meeting with others involved in the case
- Consultation with medical and/or psychological professionals
- Mandatory counselling sessions
- Reporting to child protection services
- Legal action and prosecution by authorities
- Suspension or termination of employment (if a school employee)
CHILD PROTECTION TEAM
All adults working with or on behalf of children at St. Michael’s International School have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children. To ensure clarity and prudence the school based Child Protection Team have specific roles and responsibilities:
When necessary St. Michael’s International School will extend the Child Protection Team to include an external multi-disciplinary team made up of professionals from the Kansai region which may include the following:
- Legal representative
- Medical representative
- Psychiatric representative
- Child protection services representative
STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT
St. Michael’s International School holds professional expectations for all staff and provides a clear code of conduct and safeguarding procedures for all employees when interacting with students and young people. All visitors and volunteers are required to read and sign a safeguarding agreement to ensure they understand and agree to abide by school expectations.
SAFER RECRUITMENT PRACTICES
St. Michael’s International School is a safe recruiter committed to maintaining a safe and enjoyable learning environment. The school strives to maintain a safe environment for all pupils, staff and others within the school community and to ensure safe recruitment and selection of staff by attracting the best possible candidates to vacancies, deterring prospective candidates who are unsuitable from applying for vacancies, identifying and rejecting those candidates who are unsuitable to work with children and young people. As such we have implemented robust recruitment protocols which include:
- Reference checks on all short-listed candidates using a School standardised form
- Referees will be asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the job for which they are being considered.
- References for the successful candidate are followed up by a telephone conversation to confirm the reference and check that there are no undisclosed disciplinary or safeguarding issues.
- The successful candidate must provide identity verification, original copies of professional qualifications/certificates and a police background check.
St. Michael’s International School is committed to annual training for all staff on child protection and safeguarding as follows:
- All staff complete an online Child Protection Level 2 Certificate with Educare.UK.
- The Head of School and DSOL have completed the Council of International Schools (CIS) Child Protection Foundation and Deep Dive courses.
- Annual Health and Safety training for all teaching staff includes child protection/safeguarding refresher workshops.
- All new staff receive child protection training as an essential part of their induction.
REVIEW OF POLICY
This policy will be distributed to parents annually through the Learning Zone and is displayed on the school website. To ensure this policy remains current with the most recent changes in rules, regulations and laws, the School will review, revise and update this policy annually.
This policy has been endorsed by St. Michael’s International School Board of Trustees.