Missing Child Policy
Policy Last Updated on: February 2022
Policy Last Updated by: Matt Pattison
Next Review Date: February 2023
The welfare of all of our children attending Elite holiday clubs at St. Neot’s school is our paramount responsibility. Every adult who works at the school has been trained to appreciate that he or she has a key responsibility for helping to keep all of the children safe at all times. Our staffing ratios are generous and are deliberately designed to ensure that every child is supervised the whole time that he or she is in our care.
The following actions are in place to ensure as great a safety level as can be reasonably be managed.
- All children are to be signed in and out by Elite member of staff
- Another register will be taken at 9.30am. This register will stay with the camp leader throughout the day. The register will also be taken after lunch. Children arriving after 9.30am will still need to be signed in.
- Anybody with a Dentist / Doctor / Orthodontist / hospital appointment etc during the day will need to be signed out and then signed back in upon returning if they are to return.
- If a fire practice happens a register of all attendees is taken and absences not accounted for immediately followed up
- If anyone other than the parents/regular carer collects the child the school must be informed.
- Any child not collected by 6.15pm, their parent/carer will be contacted. If there is no answer, the duty member of staff will begin to call the emergency numbers for the child. During this time, the child will be safely looked after.
- If there is no response from the parents’ or carers’ contact numbers or the emergency numbers within three hours of the premises closing, the duty member of staff will contact the Designated Safeguarding Leads who will make a decision as to how to proceed. If necessary Childrens Services may be contacted who can make emergency arrangements for the child, arrange for a visit to be made to the child’s house and check with the Police.
Actions to be followed if a Child Goes Missing
If there is any doubt about a child’s safety then the Emergency Response Procedure should be triggered. Otherwise all staff should be on alert status trying to ascertain the child’s whereabouts as quickly as possible and should follow the following steps:
- All registration books should be checked
- Pupil movements should be checked
- All other children need be a accounted for – a register would be taken by the camp leader.
- All staff and children will be asked calmly if they can remember seeing the child and where that was
- At the same time, a search will be arranged and coordinated by the camp leader actively searching everywhere within the school both inside and out, carefully checking all spaces, cupboards, washrooms or where a child might hide
- All exit points (doors, gates etc) will be checked for signs of entry/exit
- If the child lives nearby a member of staff will be assigned to walk that journey home and search for any signs of the child
- During these active searches staff must remain in contact with the member of staff co-ordinating the search who should remain in the school building– it is important that all parties involved are aware of any developments If the child is still not found within an hour or there is concern about the safety and well-being of the missing child then the Emergency Response Procedure should be followed and the following steps should be undertaken:
- The camp leader must ring the child’s parents and explain what has happened, and what steps have been set in motion. They must be asked to come to the school at once
- The Police will be notified
- The search will continue with the Camp leader either co-ordinating or liaising with other staff members who has been co-ordinating the search.
- The Designated Safeguarding Lead will inform Hampshire Children’s Services
- Elite would cooperate fully with any Police investigation and any safeguarding investigation by Children’s Services ● Ofsted must be informed if applicable
- The Insurers would be informed
- If the child is injured then medical advice should be sought.
Actions to be Taken Once the Child is Found
- Once found the child should be talked to and cared for. If necessary seek medical advice.
- If the search has escalated as per the procedures above the child should stay with a member of staff until a parent arrives
- Speak to the other children to ensure they understand why they should not leave the premises/separate from a group on an outing
- The Camp leader will speak to the parents to discuss events and give an account of the incident
- The Camp leader will promise a full investigation (if appropriate involving Police, Children Services/ Local Children Safeguarding Board)
- Media queries should be referred to Matt Pattison
- The investigation should involve all concerned providing written statements
- The parents/staff/ pupils may need counselling after such a traumatic incident
- Relevant staff should be kept informed of any developments.
A full written record of all activities taken should be kept during the search and a formal report produced once the child has been found. The report should be detailed and should include the time, place, numbers of staff and children, when the child was last seen, what appeared to have happened, the purpose of the outing, the length of time that the child was missing and how s/he appeared to have gone missing. This may include multiple statements from staff, a log of who was called and when, statements from children and any other relevant information. A statement from the missing child should also be obtained but this may need to be taken at a later date depending on the circumstances. In some cases it may be necessary from an external agencies such as the Police to take this statement and feedback to Elite holiday clubs. If the child has been injured a report would be documented and RIDDOR if appropriate