Friday, 23 July 2010

The Child Protection Policy - 8

Next in the policy is "Physical Abuse"
11. Physical Abuse

This can include, for example, non-accidental cuts, bruises, wounds, burns, fractures, bites, deliberate poisoning, attempted drowning, attempted smothering and fabricated or induced illness.

Possible signs of Physical Abuse
  • Unexplained injury or refusal to explain or discuss them
  • Cigarette burns
  • Long bruises (possibly made by a belt)
  • Teeth marks
  • Fingertip/nail/slap marks or bruises
  • History of bruises/injuries with inconsistent explanations
  • Bilateral black eyes
  • Self destructive comments, possibly repeated, or tendencies
  • Aggression towards others
  • Untreated injuries
  • Fear of medical treatment
  • Unexplained or unaccounted for patterns of absence (to avoid exposure of injury)
Let's start with the definition. It isn't in fact all that bad. It misses a couple of categories, but it does catch the main ones. This is the equivalent definition from the London Child Protection Procedures.
Physical abuse 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 fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child; see section 5.12. Fabricated or induced illness.
They missed shaking and throwing, but the gist is there. Physical abuse is fairly easy to define, so I would expect this to be pretty good.

Let's now go on to the signs of physical abuse. The first thing that springs out at me is this “possibly made by a belt”.

This is attempting a diagnosis of the cause of a physical injury which no teacher (including the designated teacher) is competent to make. The wording of the items on this list should not explicitly or implicitly encourage the making of such diagnoses. In the event of an indication of physical abuse, the responsibility should be to pass the concern on, not attempt to diagnose it directly.

Again, the London Child Protection Procedures has a rather more detailed set of indicators, under various subheadings (indicators for concern, bruising, bite marks, burns and scalds, fractures, scars). Not all of them are relevant to school-age children, some of the indicators refer to pre-crawling babies. But it would be better to simply to take the London Child Protection Procedures wording whole both for the definition (section 4.2.1) and the indicators (sections 4.3.6 to 4.3.15) deleting any indicators that are only applicable to children younger than those who attend the school. There is really no need to go in for wheel re-invention here. Use the wording that has been assembled by the experts. It can be copied and pasted from the individual chapters which are available as Word documents on the London SCB website.

Of course, the wording of the policy ought to be supplemented by the Ealing SCB Level C training undertaken by the designated teacher and his/her deputies, so that they are able accurately to recognise signs for concern which should be passed on.

56 comments:

  1. Mr West is quite right in surmising that no teacher is in any way competent to diagnose whether or not the traumatised skin of a child has been subjected to the belt. It's clearly a case for the local Fire Brigade! Quite right, Mr West, well observed!

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  2. PLEASE DON'T LET'S LEAVE THINGS TO CHANCE.

    Why can't we be sensible about this? The best and most comprehensive solution is, surely, to hand? All cases of potential abuse, mental or psychical, should be passed on the one competent authority in all such matters; to Mr West, himself. Please, let's have done with this protracted debate and do the sensible thing!

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  3. Excellent solution, 10;29, why has no one thought of it before?
    But, please don't leave physical abuse out of the equation. Mr West's expertise is surely not limited in the way you seem to suggest?

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  4. Unexplained or unaccounted for patterns of absence (to avoid exposure of injury)

    So, something is described as unexplained and given an explanation in the same breath. Yes, this is a very well-thought-out document. Not.

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  5. Some first-class thinking, for a change. But,for anyone harbouring doubts about the above suggestion, may I add that whenever Mr West might not be able to assist in person, he will, I'm sure, be able to point immediately to a relevant word document or web statement analysing the situation to a 'T'. So our minds can be completely at rest, here.

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  6. Ecce Homo!

    You see, the man is tireless! He's up and at it yet again!

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  7. 10:41

    Tut, Tut, Mr West. Perhaps, a mild dose of tautology but no more.

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  8. Re 11.00

    Perhaps, Mr West is being even more silly and suggesting that 'absence' is, invariably, self-explanatory?

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  9. I think, both 11.00 and 11.06 are not quite right. Mr West's point, hardly a model of clarity, is that 'absence' is here said to leave the child 'open to injury'. This is deemed to 'explain' or 'account' for the absence. I'm afraid one cannot do better than quote Mr West to Mr West: 'Yes, this is a very well-thought-out 'point'. Not.'

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  10. DfE
    ISI
    CSAS
    Mr West

    'Other concerned sources'(according the Director of Safeguarding @ the DfE)

    The Charity Commission (damning report).


    Investigations into the unsatisfactory Safeguarding arrangements at St Benedict's continue, not least because of the denial epidemic at the school.

    To understand the toxic culture of the place just read the postings of the "supporters" on this site.

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  11. Apologia to the 'supporters'

    A well respected friend, has accused me (in bothering with this blog) of simply pandering to Mr West's needs. That might be true, up to a point. But, apart from the fact that taking Mr West to task is enormous fun, it also alerts anyone, who might just be tempted to take him seriously, that his blog's 'a dog's dinner'. All one can do for the blog's 'supporters' is to remind them of the old saying> 'There's none so blind as those who will not see'.

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  12. 11:33 It is much simpler. The document is not well-thought-out, and it would be better to make use of text and structure from the London Child Protection Procedures by the London Safeguarding Children Board. That document was written by experts, it is clear and well written (at least in comparison to the St. Benedict's procedures), and ought to have been used as source material.

    Now, there are two possible reasons why the London SCB document wasn't used. One is incompetence on the part of the Trustees - they didn't know the document was there, they didn't know what good safeguarding practice consists of.

    The other possible reason would be that the Trustees don't want to adopt good practice, they want to have a document that is aimed more at protecting the monks than the children.

    How might we be able to distinguish between these two possibilities? The most obvious is to see what has been changed since the the Abbot promised the "independent review", and so see the extent to which the London SCB document has been adopted. And the answer to that is that so far, almost nothing has changed. The May 2010 revision makes minor editorial changes to the September 2009 version in a few places, it makes one major change whose effect is to permit the school to make no report to the authorities even in the case of allegations of serious criminal offences, and adds an appendix on physical contact with pupils.

    Of course, it might be that the trustees are busy working at a further revision which will be in place prior to the start of the Autumn term. But there's no sign of that at present.

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  13. Taking West 'to task' might be 'fun', 11.52. But, sadly, the fun is lost on Mr West and his 'supporters'. Obviously, they are quite devoid of any humour or self-irony.

    It is not that the issues to which this blog are directed are insignificant but that the blog, itself, lacks significance. Neither the arguments of Mr West's supporters nor those of his detractors carry any weight at all.

    As has been pointed out many times: this blog does not command respect and is not taken seriously.

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  14. On the contrary, it is clear that you take it very seriously, otherwise you wouldn't be expending all this effort in trying to tell people that you don't take it seriously. If you really thought it didn't need to be taken seriously, then you would simply ignore it and rely on the good sense of others to do the same.

    But you don't do that. I'm very happy for you to carry on taking it seriously.

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  15. Mr West, you're right - up to a point. But, this blog has a kind of fascination in its own right, irrespective of how seriously it's taken in the real world. I'm, in fact, merely pointing out that whatever is posted here, ridicule of you or attempts, on your part, to smear others, has no resonance beyond this blog. To accept that and have some fun is fine. To imagine otherwise is self-deception.

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  16. Virtuous/Virtual Reality Rules, Okay!

    Nicely put, 12:31. So, let's all - 'detractors' and 'supporters' - just carry on having fun! We need each other and to hell with 'the real world'!

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  17. Yes, indeed, 12:31! we all - Mr West, his supporters, his detractors, and one or two others who, as J. M. Barrie would say 'haven't yet made up their minds' - need spaces like this to fill our weary hours. They may be largely vacuous but so what.

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  18. Oh, lackaday and Oy, vay!

    Lunch and mother nature are both calling....must, therefore, swiftly away, to another part of the forest.

    See you again soon, well maybe not till tomorrow, actually! Now, come on, Mr West, don't take on like that, tomorrow will soon be here!

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  19. West continues to be blind to the difference between a paper document and the operational reality, which demonstrates both his ignorance and unsuitability to criticise on child protection matters.

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  20. 23:11 is spot on - as Mr W has been told before - but he thinks that if he says black is white, he is correct! Just like he thinks that when he says tha Fr Gregory is under arrest, he is under arrest. What a silly blogger he is.

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  21. Please, 23:11, subtlety is not called for on this blog! Do not try to confuse or intimidate with statements like the above.

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  22. Quite right 8:57. I for one have no idea what 23:11's on about. Mr West is in the right and that, for me at least, is an end to the matter! I trust Mr West completely! If for instance he told me that using the right toilet paper in the right way would remove the need for the wretched stuff, I'd have complete confidence in his argument!

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  23. HEAR, HEAR, 9;04! - UP WITH MR WEST AND DOWN WITH all SORDID THINGS, BEGINNING WITH TOILETS AND TOILET PAPER!

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  24. Great to see such resounding support for Mr West! But, the issue here is much deeper than the commentators above seem to realise. For their strategy to have any effect, it will first be necessary to stop eating. This, as Mr West will doubtless demonstrate, is quite possible provided one undergoes several years of rigorous ascetic training, preferably in India. But, take heart, for in the end there'll be no more of that bullshit from 'Abbeywistas' and their like.

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  25. Lovely! This blog is finally shaping up and getting the kind of support it so well deserves!

    - Mary

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  26. It is clear that the safeguarding policy at St Benedict’s is unworkable.

    Not only is it unworkable it appears designed to confuse and it fails to protect children. As a result safeguarding is compromised no matter that the school may have engaged staff. I am familiar with St Benedict’s policy and will be interested in what Mr West says about certain elements which have yet to receive his assessment. Huge inconsistencies have already been revealed and as you will see the document only gets worse. Set the policy against the unenforceable statutory guidance that exists, and the alleged statutory framework that doesn’t exist, and the safeguarding policy at St Benedict’s has less value that a sheet of bronco.

    Of course it is not only West who is exercised about these matters. There are also the interested parties of which the Department of Education informed Mr West in writing. The school has continuing engagement with

    Department for Education
    &
    Independent Schools Inspectorate


    which has removed its last report for St Benedict’s from its website for reasons of Safeguarding concerns which Jeanette Pugh the Director of Safeguarding DfE outlined in her letter to Mr West.

    But 23.11 (who is the same person as all the other Abbey supporters despite his nonsense) seems to have conveniently forgotten that the educational establishment remains concerned about the safeguarding environment in which children are being educated at St Benedict’s, s/he says:

    ”West continues to be blind to the difference between a paper document and the operational reality, which demonstrates both his ignorance and unsuitability to criticise on child protection matters.

    Clearly 23.11 thinks this applies to anyone who criticises St Benedict’s and so the DfE and the ISI must be included. The extraordinary thing about this policy is that everyone has remained silent and/or in ignorance of its ineffectiveness for so long.

    Independent schools have little motivation to make safeguarding policies effective despite it being quite possible. For independent schools it is a potential conflict of interest to have an effective child protection policy. Independent schools usually pay lip service to such arrangements, with conditions included in the policy which allow the school every reason not to report allegations to the LADO or children’s services of the Local Authority which could lead to a police investigation of crimes. Few are as obviously abysmal as the St Benedict’s efforts. All schools however do have to make to make a referral to the Independent Safeguarding Authority under the regulations featured in the SVGA 2006. However this referral does not adversely impact the reputation of the school for very surprising reasons. It also does not assist an abused child. I will explain all at a later date.

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  27. Thank you, very much, for your anonymous contribution @ 11.52, Mr West. But, how about another fully blown blog statement? I'm sure you can achieve a round 20 by the end of the month.

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  28. Oh, come off it! You're asking too much of this courageous man. He's already put out 16 statements this month! Admittedly they're all saying more or less the same thing, but even repetition demands time and energy! So, give him a break!!

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  29. No, 12:04, Mr West works to a strict formulae and sticks religiously to it. It's a bit like painting by numbers, so nowhere near as taxing as you might think! He can, I'm sure, easily achieve that magic 20!

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  30. Do be serious, 12:10! What on earth's 'magical' about the number 20? Please, don't introduce superstitious nonsense into this blog. We want Westian facts! Yes, they're the thing! As someone has already pointed out, this is not 'the real world', so don't spoil things!

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  31. Stupid, stupid 12:17! 20 isn't magical in itself! It's simply that everything Mr West writes is 'spell-binding' and we can't get enough of it! You very silly-Billy!

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  32. 8:37 I see that your reading comprehension is as poor as ever. I said (truthfully) that Fr Gregory "has been arrested", not that he "is under arrest".

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  33. Okay, Mr West. In reality, you and 8:37 would both seem to be wrong, given that Fr Gregory was not arrested at all. He was not, it transpires, even questioned by the police who found, after an investigation by Social Services, that - and this has been spelt out to you before - Fr Gregory had no case to answer.

    However, on closer reading, I find that it is you, Mr West, who has poor reading skills, at least when it comes to comprehension. What 8:37 wrote was: 'Just like he (West) thinks that when he says says that Fr Gregory is under arrest, he is under arrest.' This is the use of the HISTORICAL PRESENT, Mr West, and is referring, therefore, to previous statements by you.

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  34. Except for the small matter that I didn't use historical present, as anybody can see who cares to look at the original blog article.

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  35. No, I don't suppose you did, Mr West. More than likely you used the simple present tense. Which is what the above contributor was accusing you of doing!

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  36. Well, having taken a look at your 'original blog article' I see what you actually wrote, Mr West, was: 'Father Gregory Chillman has been arrested in connection with complaints of sexual abuse at St. Benedict's School.'

    In other words, you used the Present Perfect Tense which, of course,indicates that Fr Gregory was, as you wrote, still under arrest. So,what case are you trying to make for yourself?

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  37. Just to let you know, Mr West. Were you trying to say that the alleged arrest of Fr Gregory happened, but was now over and done with you would most naturally have resorted to the Simple Past Tense.

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  38. I'm sure that you are as aware as I am that "has been arrested" makes no no implication as to the duration of the arrest. But you wouldn't want to admit that, would you.

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  39. No Mr West because you are wrong. Statemnts in the Present Perfect Tense describe states or actions beginning in the past, time not specified, and which continue write up to the present! Get hold of a decent Grammar, Mr West.

    Whatever the tense, however, you know perfectly well that your blog statement was nothing more than an allegation. In other words, it was without any substance.

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  40. PurSUING the Truth.

    Right, which is, of course, why Mr West can easily find himself standing in a court room.

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  41. Poor old West. Grammar clearly isn't one of his 'thousand-and-one' strong points! But, neither is veracity it seems, which is far more serious.

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  42. Oh, dearie me! Mr West chooses not to comment it seems. I wonder why?

    - Mary

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  43. Mary, he's busy, clarying the air for Julian! See the exciting new article - No 17, I think; though I may well have lost count.

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  44. The Abbeyvista's as usual being drawn on issues which are irrelevant.

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  45. Mr West, don't please preach about irrelevance!

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  46. I've just found this interesting site and the debate is really interesting. Could someone clarify the matter to me. Was one of the monks, Father David arrested for sexual assault on a pupil and sent to prison? It appears to me that he must have been found innocent and that the stain on the abbey and the monks must be removed ASAP. As a loyal and good catholic I just don't believe any of the allegations were ever made or that any assaults took place.Ealing Abbey and St. Benedicts is under sustained verbal attack and its good to see it followers showing support. We all need to appreciate what a good catholic education entailed!

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  47. Oh dear, Mr West, you really can't bring it off! The above entry's so unconvincing,it's just not true. I see what it is you're trying to imitate, but what you've done is just too poor for words! Sorry, old thing! But, I really can't advise you trying again.

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  48. Why would I comment anonymously on my own blog? I have nothing to hide. On the other hand, traffic analysis does rather suggest that one of the abbeyvistas is replying to his own comments congratulating himself as to how clever he is.

    It must be the St Benedict's Way. Or perhaps we would instead say that he is acting according to the Rule of St Benedict.

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  49. What a shattering comment, Mr West! But while, as we see, you may be weak on things like grammar, do you really expect anyone to believe you're asking the above question in all seriousness? Blog analysis, Mr West, is, I assure you, a democratic tool.

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  50. A Little N.B.

    I can't help noting that, in Mr West's comment @ 16:22, he uses the phrase 'St Benedict's Way'; a phrase commonly used by his 'supposed' supporters! Has Mr West, inadvertently, 'let the cat out of the bag', vis-à-vis his own multiple blogging?

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  51. 15:29

    There are too many smart, cynical people on this blog. I understand very well your concerns. It isn't, however, all that easy to say in a couple of words what this bog is all about. Perhaps, the shortest explanation would be to say that in essence its all about DAVID and JONATHAN! I do hope that is helpful, 15:29 ?

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  52. Ah! Saturday night - our revelries are about to begin - and we must all say a fond farewell at least for now.

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  53. Since Father Gregory has not taken legal action, I can only assume that he was indeed arrested as Mr West claims.

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  54. Wait and see, 16:11! Your assumption may,I'm afraid, soon show itself to have been quite worthless.

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  55. If you recall, in April of this year the Times published several articles about child sexual abuse at St Benedict's School.

    The Catholic Herald claimed that as a result Archbishop Nichols was "considering legal action against the Times newspaper."

    http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000795.shtml

    In the event the Archbishop seems to have backed down. I wait with interest to see if Father Gregory will be any different.

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  56. Yes 22.07 - Catholic church leaders are all puff, noise and plumage, but they dare not get near a court because the risk of defeat is too great.

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