Every adult in Scotland has a role in ensuring all our children and young people are safe and protected from harm at all times and in all situations.
The HT is responsible for the school’s actions in response to Child Protection concerns.
If there are any Child Protection concerns, the HT or the Child Protection Co-ordinator will follow North Lanarkshire Child Protection Procedures and Guidelines.
Our Child Protection Co-ordinator is Mrs Patricia Ashworth, HT.
In Ladywell we recognise that Child Protection is a very sensitive area in which many emotions are raised, but we feel it is necessary to keep you informed of the procedures we must follow should any Child Protection incident arise. In North Lanarkshire it is mandatory for each school to have a named Child Protection co-ordinator whose role is to attend courses, report back and provide training and advice for staff. Ultimately, however, the Head Teacher has overall responsibility for ensuring all Child Protection issues are dealt with through the proper channels.
In Education our role is to provide a safe environment for all children where effective learning can take place, but the provision of pastoral care is of great importance. We have a duty to ‘be alert to the need to act in the best interests of children and in co-operation with other key agencies in order to protect children from harm and abuse’. This means that as teachers we have a contractual and professional duty to report any suspicions we may have regarding the possible abuse of any child. We have no choice in the matter and we do not require proof. Our job is not to question the child but to pass on our suspicions to the Head Teacher who will contact either the Social Work Department or the Police. Equally, should a child disclose any concerns to us, again we must proceed within the guidelines laid down for us and report our information. Naturally any Child Protection issue is confidential and only those who need to know are informed.
Education has an important role to play in promoting the welfare of children and we try to do this through creating a positive, caring environment where children are encouraged to discuss concerns, build positive relationships based on trust and become aware of their rights and responsibilities. Much of the above work is done through our Health and Well Being Curriculum.
At this point we would like to reassure you that we know only too well that children regularly come to school with cuts and bruises or appear upset, anxious or worried, so please be assured that we do know this is part and parcel of being a child and we will not be on the phone to Social Work at the first sign of a bruise or tears.
Please remember that we are here primarily to teach your children but if we are uneasy about any aspects of, or changes in a child’s behaviour, appearance etc. then we must report our concerns. We do not have a choice and we ask for your understanding in this matter. We hope we have clarified our situation regarding Child Protection, but if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the school.