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CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

PRINCIPLE

The Board of ISB will ensure that Child Protection is central to all its activities and that of the School. This policy outlined below, is in line with our accreditors best practice, and applicable local laws.
*Current procedural arrangements are outlined in the policy document below. Amendments to these arrangements in response to significant developments, leading to changes in operational procedures, at any given time are the responsibility of the Director and the Leadership Team who will respond to such situations without further recourse to the Board.

The International School of Bergen fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection. Our students’ welfare and safety are at the heart of our school’s ethos and in everything we do. In this policy, a ‘child’ means all children and young persons below the age of 18 years.

In accordance with relevant law and guidance, as set out below in the third section, this policy details our procedures for child protection. It is applicable to the whole school community. 

Child protection and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility, whether they work or volunteer in the school. Everyone has a role to play in child protection. 

All staff and volunteers will ensure that their approach and actions are child-centred. This means that they’ll consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. Due to day to day contact with students, school staff and volunteers are well placed to observe signs of harm, abuse, neglect, peer on peer sexual violence and sexual harassment, victimisation and/or exploitation. 

1. PURPOSE OF POLICY

The International School of Bergen ensures that arrangements are in place to protect and promote the welfare of students by:

  • Creating and maintaining an environment where all students feel secure and are encouraged to communicate, and are listened to.
  • Making sure that all students know which adults in the school they can approach if they have any worries. We do this by [e.g. having posters on the school site so that contact details are always at hand]
  • Teaching students to keep themselves safe from all forms of abuse including: child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, extremism, radicalisation, and peer on peer abuse including sexual violence and sexual harassment.
  • Appointing appropriate members of staff to the role of Child Protection Officer
  • Providing effective, relevant and ongoing training and development for all staff and Trustees. We do this through the ECIS online course: ECIS Level 2 Certificate in Child Protection. Other training is accessed via CIS and their ongoing training programme. ISB will always look for the latest and most effective courses for all stakeholders both locally and internationally.
  • Swiftly and effectively addressing any concerns and ensuring robust, timely referrals are made to relevant agencies. Ensuring effective links with agencies in all matters regarding child protection and child protection.
  • Reviewing and supporting students who are subject to child protection plans and contributing to the implementation of the plan. This is led by the CPO and the CP Team.
  • Keeping detailed written records of concerns about students, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately (this includes recording dates, times, people responsible, and actions), and ensuring all records are kept securely and shared appropriately.
  • Ensuring the suitability of all staff through safe recruitment practice and maintaining an accurate and up to date log of Police Background checks for all staff volunteers and ASA (After School Activities)providers. This log is currently held by the ISB Office.
  • Making sure that all school staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities with regard to child protection.
  • Ensuring that parents and carers also have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the school and its staff for child protection.
  • Maintaining awareness of those students who are persistently absent or missing from school.
  • Maintaining clear procedures in line with the latest guidance for reporting allegations against staff members.

The International School of Bergen furthermore, recognises that:

  • Some students are at increased risk of abuse.
  • Some students face additional barriers with respect to recognising or disclosing abuse.
  • The school is committed to recognising diversity and ensures anti-discriminatory practices. We ensure that all students have the same protection.

There is an increased awareness of students who:

  • Have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities.
  • May experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification, or sexuality.
  • Are at risk of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), sexual exploitation, forced marriage, or radicalisation.
  • Are refugees.
  • Have English as an additional language.
  • Are known to be living in difficult situations e.g. where there are issues at home, such as: substance abuse/misuse or domestic violence or where a family member has mental health needs.
  • Are at risk due to either their own or a family member’s mental health needs.
  • Are within the care system and are looked after or previously looked after children ie in foster care or children’s homes.

The International School of Bergen also understands the importance of contextual child protection, i.e. that incidents or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school and can occur between children outside of school.

All staff should be considering the context within which such incidents and behaviours occur. This is known as contextual child protection and simply means that assessments should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.

2. CHILD PROTECTION

  • The International School of Bergen recognises that Child Protection covers a broad range of areas and it aims to achieve the following:
  • Protecting children from maltreatment.
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health and/or development.
  • Ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  • Undertaking that role so as to enable children to have optimum life chances, so they can enter adulthood successfully.
  • As part of meeting a child’s needs:
    • Recognising the importance of information sharing between professionals and other agencies as vital in identifying and tackling all forms of child abuse, including the prevention of child sexual exploitation, trafficking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and radicalisation.
    • Ensuring any fears about sharing information will not be allowed to stand in the way of protecting the safety and welfare of any child.
    • Identifying students who may be suffering from significant harm and make child protection referrals.
    • Identifying students who need extra help and make appropriate referrals, including to early help service, to prevent concerns escalating.

The International School of Bergen also understands the importance of contextual child protection, i.e. that incidents or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the school and can occur between children outside of school.

All staff should be considering the context within which such incidents and behaviours occur. This is known as contextual child protection and simply means that assessments should consider whether wider environmental factors are present in a child’s life that are a threat to their safety and/or welfare.

3. LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE

Skolens handlingsplikt etter § 9a-3 annet ledd
Paragraf 9a-3 annet ledd regulerer skolens handlingsplikt dersom en ansatt ved skolen får kunnskap om eller mistenker at en elev utsettes for krenkende ord eller handlinger. Annet ledd lyder:

Dersom nokon som er tilsett ved skolen, får kunnskap eller mistanke om at ein elev blir utsett for krenkjande ord eller handlingar som mobbing, diskriminering, vald eller rasisme, skal vedkommande snarast undersøkje saka og varsle skoleleiinga, og dersom det er nødvendig og mogleg, sjølv gripe direkte inn.

Det er her fastsatt at alle som er ansatt ved skolen har en handlingsplikt som består av:

  • plikt til å gjøre undersøkelser
  • plikt til å varsle rektor
  • plikt til å gripe inn

§ 15-3. Opplysningsplikt til barnevernet
Tilsette i skolen skal i arbeidet sitt vere merksame på forhold som kan føre til tiltak frå barneverntenesta.

Tilsette i skolen skal utan hinder av teieplikta melde frå til barneverntenesta utan ugrunna opphald

  1. når det er grunn til å tru at eit barn blir eller vil bli mishandla, utsett for alvorlege manglar ved den daglege omsorga eller anna alvorleg omsorgssvikt,
  2. når det er grunn til å tru at eit barn har ein livstruande eller annan alvorleg sjukdom eller skade og ikkje kjem til undersøking eller behandling, eller at eit barn med nedsett funksjonsevne eller eit spesielt hjelpetrengande barn ikkje får dekt sitt særlege behov for behandling eller opplæring,
  3. når eit barn viser alvorlege åtferdsvanskar i form av alvorleg eller gjentatt kriminalitet, misbruk av rusmiddel eller ei anna form for utprega normlaus åtferd,
  4. når det er grunn til å tru at eit barn blir eller vil bli utnytta til menneskehandel.

Alle som utfører teneste eller arbeid etter denne lova, pliktar også å gi opplysningar etter pålegg i samsvar med barnevernloven § 6-4.

Local agencies:
Barnevernet
Barnevakten
Health Resources

Act relating to Kindergarten
§ 22. Duty to provide information to the child welfare service

Everyone who performs service or work in accordance with this Act must, in his work, be aware of conditions that may lead to measures from the child welfare service.

Anyone who performs service or work in accordance with this Act shall, without prejudice to the duty of confidentiality, report to the child welfare service without undue delay.

  1. When there is reason to believe that a child is or will be abused exposed to serious deficiencies in daily care or other serious neglect,
  2. When there is reason to believe that a child has a life-threatening or other serious illness or injury and does not come for examination or treatment, or that a child with a disability or a child in special need does not have his or her special needs for treatment or education covered,
  3. When there is reason to believe that a child is or will be exploited for human trafficking.

Anyone who performs service or work in accordance with this Act is also obliged to provide information by order in accordance with the Child Welfare Act § 6-4.
Amended by Act 20 April 2018 no5 (i.e. 1 July 2018 according to res. 8 June 2018 no. 839 )
(iv)
(i) (ii) opplæringsloven
(iii) “ Kommunen er ansvarlig for å utføre de oppgaver etter loven som ikke er lagt til et statlig organ” ¤2-1 Ansvarsfordeling og administrasjon (Barnevernloven)
(iv) Barnehagen Act

4. REALTED POLICIES

Child protection involves more than the contributions made simply to child protection in relation to individual young people. It also encompasses issues such as staff conduct, health and safety, bullying, online safety, arrangements for meeting medical needs, providing first aid and/or intimate care, drugs and substance misuse, positive behaviour management, and the use of physical intervention and restraint.

This document must therefore be read, used, and applied alongside the school policies and procedures referred to below:

  • Police check, qualification verification, and personal reference checks for all staff and CP form for volunteers.
  • The staff recruitment and selection processes:
    • 5.201 Employee ethics
    • 5.2020 Child Abuse reporting
    • 5.2012 Prerequisites for employment
    • 8.501 Complaints about school personnel
  • The guidelines for visitors. Policy 8.80 Visitors to the school
  • Academic Honesty Policy. 7.404
  • ICT Acceptable Use Agreement 7.403 Digital Technology acceptable use policy
  • The Behaviour and Anti-bullying policy.
  • Code of Conduct Chapter 4 ISB handbook
    • 7.401 Student Due Process rights
    • 7.50 Student Sanctions
    • 7.502 Student Suspension
    • 7.601 Student Welfare and Safety
    • 7.602 Student Health and Services
  • 5.202 Personel Health and Safety Policy
  • The Field trips policy.
  • The Whistleblowing procedure
  • The After School Activity Policy
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