Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School

Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School
Managing allegations against staff and volunteers policy and
This policy should be read alongside the DFE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education and the Local
Safeguarding Children Partnership’s policy and procedures.
The headteacher is the designated case manager for allegations against all staff and volunteers. A
nominated governor (chair of governors) is the case manager for managing allegations against the
The Local Authority Designated Officers in Liverpool are Pauline Trubshaw and Mark Goddard. They
can be contacted on 0151 233 0840 or via email LADO@liverpool.gov.uk. Referrals should be made
by emailing the LADO referral form to LADO@liverpool.gov.uk.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to all staff and volunteers in relation to the processes
for managing allegations against adults working with children.
Our school promotes an open and transparent culture in which all concerns about adults working in or
on behalf of the school are dealt with promptly and appropriately. Creating this culture in which all
concerns are shared responsibly, in a timely way with the right person, and are recorded and dealt with
appropriately is critical to effective safeguarding practice. This culture enables the school to identify
concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour at the earliest possible stage, minimises the risk of
abuse and ensures that all adults working in or on behalf of the school are clear about professional
boundaries and act within these, in accordance with our ethos and values. This culture also empowers
individuals to share concerns with key staff about their own behaviour at the earliest possible
Key principles:
• Any concerns about an adult’s behaviour towards a child or concerns about someone’s suitability
to work with children, or behaviours that are inconsistent with the school’s code of conduct and
guidance for safer working practices for working with children must be reported without delay in
order to protect children. The school will not delay in seeking advice from the Local Authority
Designated Officer (LADO) or making a referral to Children’s Services or contacting the police. The
school should report any potential criminal actions to the police.
• The school will work in partnership with other agencies to ensure any allegation is resolved in a
imely way.
The school is aware of its statutory responsibility to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring
Service and/or the Teaching Regulation Agency when the outcome of a case requires this.
• In keeping with the DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education any reference, including an
agreed reference as part of a settlement agreement, will always include any substantiated
allegations, safeguarding concerns and a statement about someone’s suitability to work with young
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• The person should be given full opportunity to respond to the allegation and to participate in any
investigation. The DfE is clear that compromise agreements where the person resigns and leaves
with an agreed reference and the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action must not be
used in cases of refusal to co-operate or resignation before the person’s notice period expires. Such
an agreement will not prevent a thorough police investigation where that is appropriate. The school
also has to investigate the matter in order to provide information to support any referral to the
DBS or Teaching Regulation Agency.
• Consideration will be given as to how best to support all parties.
• Careful consideration will be given to alternatives to suspending the member of staff.
• The school is aware of its responsibility to maintain confidentiality and abide by the Education Act
2011 which places reporting restrictions preventing the publication of any material that might lead
to the identification of a teacher until the person is charged or reporting restrictions are lifted. The
school should make parents aware of their responsibilities in respect of confidentiality. Once the
matter is concluded, careful consideration will be given to any lessons that can be learnt in
particular induction, ongoing training, supervision, policies and procedures.
• If an adult who works with children has involvement from Children’s Social Care in respect of their
own child, or a child that they live with or have contact with, it is the responsibility of Children’s
Social Care to assess the immediate concern and inform the LADO of whether the adult poses a
risk to children. Examples of this may include:
▪ Allegations of assault, physical or emotional, on their own child or on a child they live with or
have contact with;
▪ Domestic abuse;
▪ Substance misuse; or
▪ Lives with or is in a relationship with a person who is identified as a risk to children
• Staff will be aware that behaviour by themselves, those with whom they have a relationship or
association, or others in their personal lives (in or out of school or online), may impact on their
work with children.
• Staff will be aware that they should inform the head teacher of any cautions, convictions or relevant
order accrued during their employment, and/or if they are charged with a criminal offence.
• Staff will report any behaviour or situations which they feel may give rise to a complaint or
misunderstanding in respect of their own actions both in and out of school. They will also share
situations with the designated safeguarding lead where they believe their actions may have sat
outside the agreed code of conduct for staff, or may appear to others that they have done so. The
designated safeguarding lead /Headteacher as soon as possible to enable a decision about the next
course of action
• Staff will be aware that if the behaviour of an adult working in the school is giving cause for concern,
no matter how small the concern is and even if it does not meet the harm threshold set out in this
policy, they must share their concerns with the headteacher without delay. This is in line with the
low level concern procedures set out within our child protection policy. Concerns regarding the
headteacher should be directed to the Chair of Governors.
• Staff will be aware that if their role is within the scope of the Childcare Act 2006 and they commit
a relevant offence that would appear on their DBS certificate or they become disqualified under
the Childcare Act 2006, then they must inform their head teacher.
• In line with our code of conduct and child protection policy, staff in school should ensure that they
disclose information about themselves, or others, relating to the above to the Head teacher as
soon as possible. School will create an environment and culture where staff are supported and
empowered to do this.
• If the school receives an allegation relating to an incident that happened when an individual or
organisation was using their school premises for the purpose of running activities for children (for
example community groups, sports associations, or service providers that run extra-curricular
activities), the school will follow its own policies and procedures, including informing the LADO.
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Key procedures:
• The school should follow the guidance set out in part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education and
the local safeguarding children partnership’s procedures.
• Any concerns about the behaviour of any adult working for the school towards a child should be
brought to the attention of the Head Teacher and/or Designated Safeguarding Lead without delay.
This includes supply staff and volunteers. Concerns about the headteacher should be directed to
the nominated governor (chair of governors). The school’s Whistleblowing Policy and the NSPCC
whistleblowing helpline are available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns internally.
Staff can call the NSPCC on 0800 028 0285 – the line is available from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday
to Friday or email: help@nspcc.org.uk. Safeguarding-Mate can also guide staff should they have a
concern about an adult’s behaviour.
• Initial considerations should consider if the person may have:
▪ behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child and/or;
▪ possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child and/or;
▪ behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm
to children; and/or
▪ behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with
Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023
• Equally initial consideration and ‘fact finding’ may determine the concerns do not meet the above
criteria and do not warrant a police investigation or enquiries by Children’s Services. There may be
clear evidence from the outset the allegation is false, malicious or unfounded.
• Consideration should be given to immediately protecting the child and the need to contact the
• The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is the linchpin in the process and should be
contacted without delay to discuss allegations against staff and volunteers. The LADO will hold a
strategy discussion with police and relevant agencies. The strategy discussion and subsequent
strategy meetings will consider:
▪ the case for suspension or alternatives to suspension
▪ any investigation undertaken by police
▪ any assessment being undertaken by Children’s Services
▪ the basis for when the employer can begin a disciplinary investigation
▪ managing, sharing information and confidentially issues
▪ well-being and support needed for all parties
• All referrals to the LADO should be made using the LADO referral form.
• The Case Manager should seek advice from their HR Provider and the School Improvement
Liverpool Safeguarding Team (safeguarding@si.liverpool.gov.uk)
• When an allegation arises in an Early Years setting the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
may require the allegation to be reported to Ofsted (normally within 14 days).
• The LADO will advise if the parents and member of staff can be informed of the allegation and
exactly what information can be shared.
• At the point at which the member of staff is notified of the allegation they should be given
information about the Managing Allegations Against Adults and Volunteers procedures and also a
nominated member of staff to support them. They should be advised to seek Trade Union support
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and consideration should be given to their wellbeing and continued support. They should be given
guidance about the process.
• The LADO will advise how to manage speculation, leaks and gossip and whether it would be prudent
to contact the Local Authority Press Office, and any information which might be reasonably given
to the community to reduce speculation. In line with Keeping Children Safe in Education, staff and
the child’s family will be advised about the legislation on imposing restrictions which makes clear
that the ‘publication’ of material that may lead to the identification of the teacher who is the
subject of the allegation is prohibited.
The school will only begin a disciplinary investigation when advised by the LADO and police that these
processes can begin.
• Suspension is always a neutral act and should not be an automatic response. The decision to
suspend a member of staff is the employer’s only. However, the school will need to draw upon the
advice of the LADO and Police and, in keeping with the DFE guidance, record the reasons why
suspension was chosen over other alternatives.
• The case manager (Head Teacher or nominated governor) will record all actions, discussions and
decisions taken in respect of the allegation. They will need to attend strategy meetings chaired by
the LADO. They may wish to be accompanied by their HR Provider.
• The DFE sets out the following definitions which should be used when determining the outcome of
allegation investigations:
Substantiated: there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation;
False: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation;
Unsubstantiated: there is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation. The term,
therefore, does not imply guilt or innocence.
Malicious: there is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act
to deceive;
Unfounded: Schools may wish to use the additional definition of ‘unfounded’ to reflect cases where
there is no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made. It might also indicate
that the person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or was mistaken about what they
saw. Alternatively, they may not have been aware of all the circumstances.
• The school will only include in references substantiated allegations.
• The school will retain information about substantiated, false, unfounded and unsubstantiated
allegations on personnel files.
• The record of the allegation will be retained until the member of staff’s normal retirement age or
for a period of ten years from the date of the allegation if that is longer.
• The school will consider what support the member of staff, child and family need throughout the
process. In cases of malicious allegations, the school will consider whether disciplinary action is
appropriate against the child or a referral to the police or Children’s Services is required.
• On conclusion of the case the member of staff will be given a copy of the outcome of the
investigation and, where required, supported to return to work. The school has a legal duty to refer
to the DBS in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education. The school will not enter into
compromise/settlement agreements if a member of staff faces an allegation against them and the
agreement prevents sharing concerns about someone’s suitability to work with children and/or
the member of staff refuses to cooperate with the investigation (refer to detail of DFE guidance).
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The school would also still need to conclude its investigation and when required refer to the DBS
for consideration of ‘barring from working with children’.
• The school has a responsibility to refer to the Secretary of State (Teaching Regulation Agency) any
teacher because of serious misconduct in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education.
• Consideration should also be given to how practices or procedures should be reviewed to help
prevent similar events in the future, including the decision to suspend and the length of
• In some circumstances, the school will have to consider an allegation against an individual who is
not directly employed by the organisation and where our disciplinary procedures do not fully apply
(for example supply teachers). Whilst the school is not the employer of the individual, we still have
responsibility to ensure allegations are dealt with properly and will liaise where appropriate with
relevant parties. The school will not cease to use the services of a supply teacher as a result of
safeguarding concerns, without finding out the facts and liaising with the LADO to determine a
suitable outcome.