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Incident At School Club


marley
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Hi all

 

Well i am chair of committee of out of school club. Just been called by a parent. His son (yr 6) is upset as one other lad at club was encouraging other older children to touch the younger children in "inappropriate ways".

 

Have reassured parent that this will be investigated thoroughly, asked if he can get me a written report who, where etc etc. Have quized one staff (still trying to get in touch with deputy who was leading session) about the session, without revealing anything.

 

Once i get this report I know i have to get the main child and parent in to get his side of story etc but how far do i go? Do i get those that may have been affected ie older and younger children in with parents also?

 

I am also assuming I should tell the head teacher about this allegation as it could be going on in the playground?

Full written incident form, confidentiality etc...anyone else give me advice?

 

Thanks

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Hi Marley,

 

I see that lots of people have read this but haven't left any replies ... I am guessing that this is because its such a difficult situation and no one is sure of what to say.

I don't know exactly what to say either, except that I can understand why you are so worried.

If it were me I would certainly want to talk to the headteacher first thing in the morning - for me this would make them aware of the situation and it would give you a sounding board of another professional to talk to face to face. I would also phone my LEA team to talk through the allegation and make a measured decision of what steps to take next. Holding sole responsibility is very hard and I would want to talk things through with someone else.

Make sure you make notes of everything and don't be drawn into conversations with people about this when they dont really need to be involved.

In the immediate term I would also make sure that the younger children are chaperoned in the toilets (or wherever they were alleged to be) in case there are worries.

I'll keep thinking

 

pw x

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I'm not in a committee run setting any more so not 'in the loop' but I would have thought this would be dealt with by the Child Protection Co-ordinator. Was there a reason the parent came to you rather than staff? Are they making an official complaint or more like flagging it up to you? Hopefully the setting has a policy/procedure for this type of incident and you need to be very careful that you follow it to the letter in case it gets further.

I am manager of a club and if a parent had reported this to me I think it would depend which children were implicated as to how I dealt with it if you see what I mean. If it was children that IMO were probably experimenting rather than acting out things they may have experienced or seen I would have a discussion about the rules at club (which we do anyway) and bring into it what is and isn't appropriate that way. If however I was concerned it was more serious it would be logged as a child protection concern and monitored very carefully. I would also speak to the head as we are part of the school.

I hope it turns out to simply be exploring and nothing more for you - what a horrible situation to be in :o

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really difficult situation...record everything (and try to make sure you have someone to support you and listen to the conversations you have ...i never deal with anything on my own any longer!) you can ring social care up anonymously and have an off the record conversation with them. (dont mention names in less asked to do so) They are brilliant and will talk you through your information and what you should do next.Obviously if you are not the registered person then you need to speak to the person in charge. Ofsted will need to be informed when you have all the info gathered.

Good luck :o

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Thanks guys!

 

Lots of what you say is what I am thinking. Have spoken to my own pre-school supervisor for advice too. She recommends seeing head asap and also talking to social care for further advice should I need it.

 

The reason why the parent came to me...they know me, they know I am chair on the committee, the staff team although have received LEA training on designated person etc are very young and inexperienced and I feel they thought that it wouldnt be handled properley. I do not know the child concerned that this allegation is made aginst however i do know the upset child. This is why i feel that i need to speak to the head who is excellent. School clubs no longer get support from the LEA so i will be looking at him to guide me. I will of course ensure that the manager is involved in every way so that she gains the experience that she needs. Mind you I am learning too!

I have emailed the head to see if he can either see me first thing in the morning or call me over the weekend. Ideally need to read the written statement tomorrow too.

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If your designated person is young and not the person people go to then surely that should be changed. Stuff turns up all the time and its a learning curve for all of us.

 

I would also consider consulting you schools child protection officer for advise.

 

Do you have to notify Ofsted as we do in Early Years?

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Rotten situation Marley,

 

I have struggled in recent years as my own boys, and therefore the minded children, get older. I have had incidents (ongoing really) where I worry about behaviour being of a sexual nature - craze of giving boys 'wedgies' for example, and hitting each other in the nether region. I start having 'child protection' thoughts and make observations while stopping the behaviour...but I have always come to the conclusion that it wasn't 'sexual abuse' but rather straightforward bullying. Rest assured I've dealt with that in the appropriate manner and things improve until the next time.

 

I'm not saying that's what your situation is but just adding another perspective.

 

Very best of luck sorting it. Nasty, but I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job.

 

Honey

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Well had an early meeting with the Head who gave me lots of advice including investigate thouroughly but before the weekend! I was supposed to be at pre-school all day! Had word with my boss and she gave me the afternoon off.

 

So the manager of club and I spoke to all the older boys concerned (had a written statement from the boy making allegation). Its turned out that older boy was encouraging a younger boy to tickle the older boys and then tried to get the younger boy to tickle others around the genitals.

 

Had all the boys in individually and 2 couldnt tell me anything that they had felt uncomfortable or unhappy about that had happened last night at club (one of these was reported as being very angry. Had said that if there was anything that they did feel uncomfortable about to talk to staff, a teacher or parent). So it came down to the allegation boy and the one that had encouraged the tickling. Spoke to the boy who made the allegation to reassure that he had done the right thing etc What a dilemma.

 

Spoke to head and he said really there was not much more I could as i couldnt get collaboration. Actions are Head will talk generally to children at assembly, Mnager at club will talk about types of games, personal safety/space, children to see staff etc with all children at club and I will have staff meeting to discuss safeguarding, supervision of children.

I have also spoken verbally and will do written letter to parents of boy who made allegation. Mum was happy with the way that we had dealt with things and said her son was fine.

 

All typed up dated etc .

 

Good experience for me (could do without though!). Very hard trying to talk to children of 10 years. Was very concious of the questions I asked ie who, where, what, how...and to ensure there was no leading questions.

 

Head did say if this had happened 6 months down the road it would have been down to him to sort out as club is in the early stages of being taken over by the school. Manager was very uneasy about it all

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So has anyone sought any advice from Social Care? And what has been said to the boy the allegation was made about? What do his parents have to say about the matter?

 

I would be a bit wary at leaving it here without input from Social Care. I'm a bit worried about the Head's approach that since you couldn't get corroboration, it is difficult to take the matter further.

 

I hope you're ok after going through this whole process, marley. As you say, you'll have learned a lot but it is a nasty experience to go through.

 

Maz xx

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Thanks Maz.

 

I think the parent of the boy who made the allegation was more concerned that staff didnt know what was going on more than anything else. So I am calling staff meeting tom to discuss child supervision etc. The boy that the allegation was made against will be closely monitored by the deputy and manager and should anything like this happen again then it will be taken futher. We have recorded a record of concern as well as incident form.

 

Its very difficult to know exactly what happened. I have spoken to the boy who had the allegation made against him and he just said there was a tickling game going on. I am taking the point of view of honeypancakes in that its boys messing about and it just got out of hand. However as I said things will be monitored.

 

To be honest I dont have much confidence in our duty care team. We reported something from pre-school...went to answer machine and it was 4 days later until they got back to us even with supervisor calling every day. We have also phoned them about concerns about a family we have at pre-school (much worse than this) and they have said its not an issue for them ie mum is moving child from one setting to another, he has severe additional needs theres neglect issues. Makes me wonder what it takes to get their help and attention?

 

Anyway have contacted the head just to make sure that he doesnt think that I should take it further.

As the head said to me.....if it was an adult or staff member we know exactly what procedures to follow but when its an allegation about another child it is very difficult. Plus when you are depending on other children that were present to tell you what happened and they say they cant remember anything out of the ordinary thats not good either. How do i know that the one that made the allegation isnt making it all up?? All I think we can do is to monitor and make a record of concerns.

Edited by marley
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