Child Abuse and Neglect
Teachers and other adults in school are well placed to observe any physical, emotional or behavioural
signs which indicate that a child may be suffering significant harm. The relationships between staff,
pupils, parents and the public which foster respect, confidence and trust can lead to disclosures of
abuse, and/or school staff being alerted to concerns.
(‘Working Together’ 2018 and ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2021)
A child: any person under the age of 18 years.
Harm means ill-treatment or impairment of health and development, including, for example,
impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
Development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development, Health includes physical and mental health; maltreatment includes sexual abuse and other forms of
ill-treatment which are not physical.
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. Abuse can take place wholly online, or
technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by
another child or children.
Physical abuse: 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
Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and
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 cyberbullying), 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: 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 can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is
not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other
children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue in education.
Neglect: 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
All staff follow the schools Child Protection Procedures which are consistent with ‘Working Together to
Safeguard Children 2018’ and the Calderdale Safeguarding Children Partnership guidance.
It is not the responsibility of the school staff to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of
any disclosure or allegation. All members of staff however, have a duty to recognise concerns and
maintain an open mind. Accordingly all concerns regarding the welfare of pupils will be recorded and
discussed with the Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead with responsibility for child protection (or
the deputy DSL in the absence of the senior designated person) prior to any discussion with parents
or those with parental responsibility.
Where a member of staff is recognising signs or indicators that a child may have unmet needs or
welfare concerns these will always be passed on to the Senior Designated Safeguarding Lead to
ensure that any appropriate interventions and/or referrals can be actioned. The Senior DSL will use
the Calderdale Continuum of Need to determine the threshold of concern and then will determine
whether this can be dealt with within school or whether this may require an Early Help Pathway
Assessment, Single Assessment, Referral into the Early Intervention Panels or a referral into the Multi
Agency Screening Team (MAST) if the child may be at the threshold of Child In Need or there is
concern that the child is at risk of significant harm and thus Child Protection Enquires (S47) may be
needed. These signs or indicators may be of one of the main four types of abuse or neglect or may
relate to other specific safeguarding issues
Ling Bob J, I & N School, Albert Road, Pellon, Halifax, HX2 0QD