BISK Child protection policy
The British International School of Kurdistan is committed to child protection and the safeguarding and wellbeing of BISK students. BISK maintains an ethos of transparency to ensure students feel safe and secure. BISK expects all stakeholders to share this commitment and responsibility to protect children. BISK shall have a proactive plan for training all stakeholders and making the BISK community aware of various aspects of child protection. In response to suspected harm or abuse, the school shall take all reasonable, responsible and legal steps to protect the child and act as his/her advocate. BISK’s procedures for protecting and ensuring the safety of children shall be documented and followed consistently as per the safeguarding and child protection handbook. This policy is linked with BISK anti-bullying, online safety, and health and safety guidelines. BISK safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures also apply to after school programs and off-campus school activities.
Recognizing Child Abuse and neglect:
Child abuse is any action by another person, adult or child, that causes significant harm to a child or creates a substantial risk of harm, be it physical, emotional, or sexual. Neglect is a failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, lack of love, care or attention and can be as damaging to a child as abuse.
An abused child will often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than being a one-off event. The signs of child abuse aren’t always obvious, and a child might not tell anyone what is happening to them. Sometimes children don’t understand that what is happening is abuse.
Background check and education
All staff and volunteers must produce a certificate of good conduct and/or police clearance and are subject to background character checks during the hiring process. All staff are trained annually on child protection guidelines and reporting procedures. Child protection and procedures are also included in parent teas. Part of the curricular program includes developmentally appropriate lessons related to child protection for students. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are informed, updated on BISK Child Protection Policy and guidelines.
All staff employed or volunteering at BISK must report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect whenever the individual has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered, or is at significant risk of suffering abuse or neglect. Reporting and follow-up of all suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect will proceed in accordance with administrative procedures.
Upon receipt of a suspected abuse or neglect case a series of detailed sequential steps occur. Once the BISK staff member has reported, their duty of care regarding this is then in the hands of the division leadership and the particular counsellor. A crisis management team is formed to follow up on the investigation reporting to the head of school and leading to closure.