The basic values and principles for all policies and practices relating to the care of children are set down in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted by the British Government in 1991.
Gairloch High School affirms its commitment to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, supporting in particular the three principal rights of children, namely:
Non-Discrimination – All the Rights in the Convention apply to all children equally irrespective of race, sex, religion, language, disability, opinion or family background.
Best Interests – When adults or organisations make decisions that affect children they must always think first about what would be best for the child.
The Child’s View – Children have the right to say what they think about anything that affects them. When courts or official bodies make decisions that affect children they must listen to what children want and feel.
The School, in endorsing the Articles of the Convention, is determined to take every measure possible to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse while in care of parents, carers, legal guardians or other person.
If the School has cause to believe that abuse has occurred or is occurring or is likely to occur, it will immediately apply the Highland Council Child Protection Procedures by referring the situation to the Social Work and (or) Police Department for Investigation. These departments provide staff 24 hours a day to investigate suspected or actual cases of child abuse.
WITHIN THE SCHOOL
Any member of school staff who suspects that a child or young person has been or might be the subject of abuse of any form must immediately inform the Headteacher in his capacity as Child Protection Coordinator. The following action will be taken:
- If, following discussion with the Headteacher any concerns remain, the Headteacher will immediately advise the Social Work and (or) the local Police. The Headteacher will advise the Area Education Manager.
- If, for any reason, it is not possible to make immediate contact with the Area Education Manager, the Headteacher will contact a member of the Directorate in Inverness.
- In some circumstances the Headteacher may wish to confer with the School Doctor or School Nurse, prior to taking any action.
No matter how sensitive the exposing of such circumstances may seem, there can arise situations where it is suspected that a young person has been the subject of abuse on the part of an employee of the Council’s service or other persons associated with school or its activities. It is the duty of all to report any suspicions or concerns by means of the above procedures.
Detailed arrangements are available in the Child Protection Policy Guidelines folder located in the Pupil Support Base.
Information to Staff on Child Abuse
Child Abuse is repeated maltreatment or neglect of a child by parent(s) or other “guardian(s)” resulting in injury or harm
It can be –
- Physical – shaking, beating, burning, failure to provide the necessities of life (e.g. adequate food)
- Emotional – failure to provide warmth, attention, supervision, normal living experiences
- Verbal – excessive shouting, belittling, teasing
- Sexual – incest, other indecent sexual activity
Child abuse can happen anywhere: in poor and affluent homes, in rural areas, suburbs and cities.
Its effects are severe:
- An abused child may never be able to love and trust other people and may always have a poor view of him or herself.
- Often abused children become teenagers/ adults who act in criminal and other violent ways.
- Parents who habitually abuse their children may very well end up killing them.