Junior School Missing Child Policy

This policy applies to all pupils in the Junior School, including the EYFS.

Rationale

The welfare of our girls is paramount. This policy exists in order to establish the procedure in the unlikely event of a girl going missing on the school premises. The safety procedure on outings is outlined in the Educational Visits handbook and taken into consideration by staff when planning and writing risk assessments for individual outings. Through our Supervision Policy and Procedure, Trip Risk Assessment and duty of care the school aims to minimise the risk of children going missing:

Procedure

Girls are registered at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions. Any girls arriving after registration has closed must sign in at the office.

Morning drop-off and Afternoon collection

Infant children (other than those in Breakfast Club – see Supervision Policy) are supervised in the playground from 8.15am. Parents can leave the children in the duty staffs’ care or choose to wait with them in the playground. A bell in rung at 8.30am indicating the start of the school day, and KS1 children line up in their form groups, and proceed into school. Reception parents who have waited with their children, tend to walk the pupil to classroom where they are greeted by the teacher or assistant.

In the Junior School, all children line up in the playground at the start of the day – with a bell being rung at 8.30am and having been supervised by the members of staff on duty from 8.15am. Gates are closed at this time and supervision is vigilant. Girls enter the building in class groups.

On both sites, alterations might be made in the case of bad weather so that the children and adults are kept dry.

At the end of the day, Infant girls are only returned to an adult known to be collecting them – if this is someone other than the parent written confirmation of the individual collecting must be received by the school. This takes place in the lower playground, with Tea-Time Club and Afterschool Club participants going to the School Hall for registration. Girls in Year 3 upwards exit the building, if being collected, and go to their parents. A member of staff is on duty in the playground and will collect any pupils not collected by 3.45pm. Again if someone other than the parent is collecting the child, the parents must notify the school. If not, then the teacher on duty and/or JLT member on duty will ring the parent to have verbal confirmation. Girls entering TTC or Afterschool Club will go to the main hall for registration and collection by the club leader. Names of any girls not present but on the lists are sent to the school offices where the school secretaries contact parents.

All participants in Afterschool Clubs will be delivered to parents collecting them at the front of the Junior School and in the lower playground of the Infant School. Parents collect girls in TTC – on either site – ring a bell and are escorted into the room where they sign their children out on the register.

Break time

Girls are lined up at the end of break times before coming back indoors; giving the opportunity for a head count. Registration is taken in the morning and after lunch.

During the school day

Girls who leave either school site during the day must be signed out in the Office by the adult who is responsible for them -parent/carer, and signed back in should they return before the end of the school day. Girls in the Junior school who have Music lessons in the Senior School are collected by the teachers from the School Office, unless other arrangements have been made. The School Secretary will escort children across the road and see them through the Senior School gate.

Procedure if a child is missing

Every care is taken to ensure our children are accounted for at all times. Our procedures are designed to ensure that a missing child is found and returned to effective supervision as soon as possible. However, in the unlikely event that it is suspected that a child has gone missing the following procedure will be followed:

  • Take a register in order to ensure that all the other children are present
  • Inform the Head of Infant and Junior School or designate
  • Ask all of the adults and children calmly if they can tell us when they last remember seeing the child
  • Occupy all of the other children in their classroom(s) – at no time should other children be left unattended.
  • At the same time, arrange for one or more adults to search everywhere within the school, both inside and out, carefully checking all spaces, cupboards, washrooms where a child might hide
  • Check the doors, gates for signs of entry/exit

If the child is still missing, the following steps would be taken:

  • Head of Infant and Junior School to inform Headmistress and then ring the child’s parents and explain what has happened, and what steps have been set in motion. Ask them to come to the school at once
  • Head of Infant and Junior School to notify the Police
  • Head of Infant and Junior School would arrange for staff to search the rest of the school premises and grounds
  • If the child’s home is within walking distance, a member of staff would set out on foot to attempt to catch up with him/her
  • The Child Protection Officer would inform the Local Children Safeguarding Board
  • The school would cooperate fully with any Police investigation and any safeguarding investigation by Social Care
  • Inform the Chairman of Governors
  • The Insurers would be informed
  • If the child is injured, when found, a report would be made under RIDDOR to the HSE

A full record of all activities taken up to the stage at which the child was found would be made for the incident report. If appropriate, procedures would be adjusted.

ACTIONS TO BE FOLLOWED BY STAFF IF A CHILD GOES MISSING ON AN OUTING

  • An immediate head count would be carried out in order to ensure that all the other children were present
  • An adult would search the immediate vicinity
  • The remaining children would be taken back to school
  • Inform the Head of Infant and Junior School by mobile phone
  • Head of Infant and Junior School to ring the child’s parents and explain what has happened, and what steps have been set in motion. Ask them to come to the venue/ the school at once
  • Contact the venue Manager and arrange a search
  • Contact the Police
  • The Child Protection Officer would inform the Local Children Safeguarding Board
  • The school would cooperate fully with any Police investigation and any safeguarding investigation by Social Care
  • Inform the Chairman of Governors
  • The Insurers would be informed
  • If the child is injured, when found, a report would be made under RIDDOR to the HSE

Again, a full record of all activities taken up to the stage at which the child was found would be made for the incident report. If appropriate, procedures would be adjusted.

ACTIONS TO BE FOLLOWED BY STAFF ONCE THE CHILD IS FOUND

  • Talk to, take care of and, if necessary, comfort the child
  • Speak to the other children to ensure they understand why they should not leave the premises/separate from a group on an outing
  • Head of Infant and Junior School will speak to the parents to discuss events and give an account of the incident
  • Head of Infant and Junior School will promise a full investigation (if appropriate involving Social Services/ Local Children Safeguarding Board)
  • Media queries should be referred to the Headmistress
  • The investigation should involve all concerned providing written statements
  • The report should be detailed covering: time, place, numbers of staff and children, when the child was last seen, what appeared to have happened, [the purpose of the outing – if this occurs during a out of school visit], the length of time that the child was missing and how she appeared to have gone missing, lessons for the future.
Responsibility:Updated:Review:
CHD09/1809/19