Policy for dealing with children who haven’t been collected from School at the end of the day
Under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, Local Authorities and Schools have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. A similar duty is placed on independent schools (Section 157). This duty should include making arrangements for dealing with children not collected at the end of a school day, or at the end of a school activity which is authorised by the school, and where the Governing Body or Proprietor retains responsibility for the use of school premises.
This protocol is an example of arrangements which have been agreed by the Office of Children and Young People’s Services, the Police, and Local Authority Children’s Services. It can be personalised by the school, and modified to meet local circumstances. Parents should be made aware of the protocol, in writing, when their child starts school.
St Luke’s’ C of E Primary School recognises that it has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils, and that this duty extends to having arrangements in place for dealing with children who are not collected at the end of a school day, or at the end of an authorised activity.
The protocol will be brought to the attention of parents, in writing, when their child starts school.
On admission of their child to the school, parents should supply:
- Names and full addresses of parents/carers (and confirmation of parental responsibility);
- Home and work telephone numbers;
- Mobile phone numbers where appropriate;
- Two emergency contacts who may be called in the event of the parents/carers being unobtainable or in the case of an emergency.
This information should be updated annually or whenever circumstances change. It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that the pupil is collected by a responsible person. The school must be notified immediately it becomes apparent that the person collecting the child may be late.
St Luke’s C of E Primary School agrees to care for a pupil who has not been collected from school, until such a time as he/she has been collected by a parent/carer, or until appropriate, alternative care arrangements have been made with Social Care, and/or the Police, in order to maintain the child’s safety.
The School’s Designated Person for Child Protection will keep a record of incidents where parents/carers do not collect a child from school or are late for no explained or good reason, or where there are repeated incidents. If any concerns about the child’s safety and welfare result, these will be dealt with in accordance with the School’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
In situations where the Head Teacher considers it appropriate, a letter will be sent to the parent/carer notifying them of the arrangements put into place for their child. An example is shown in Appendix A.
If A Child Is Not Collected
- If a child is not collected by a parent/carer after the school day or approved activity, the Headteacher or Designated Person will be notified. Every effort will then be made to contact the parent/carer, or failing that, the emergency contact
- In the case of a pupil not being collected and no contact being made WITHIN 45 MINUTES OF THE USUAL COLLECTION TIME, the school will ring Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre/allocated Social Worker/out of hours team to discuss the concerns and ask advice. This will allow the Social Care Team to be aware of the possibility that they may need to make arrangements for the alternative care of the child. For information which may need to be passed on, see Appendix B.
- Social Care will give advice and make appropriate checks. However school will continue to be responsible for trying to contact the parent/carer/emergency contact and to keep Social Care updated about the situation.
- If there are any concerns about the welfare of the parent/carer, Social Care may ask the local Police to visit the home address; please note that the Police cannot themselves provide a place of safety for a child(ren).
- If attempts to contact a parent/carer are still unsuccessful, school and Social Care will jointly take responsibility for arranging for children to be transported to the Social Care team (or other appropriate venue) who will arrange a place of safety. This is considered to be a last resort and parent/carers should do their best to ensure that this is not necessary. Social Care will notify the school of the child’s placement and provide contact details as appropriate. It will be the intention to return the child to the parents/carers at the earliest opportunity.
- It should be noted that Social Care offices close at 17:20 on Monday to Thursday, and at 16:25 on Friday. Schools should contact the Emergency Duty Team after these hours.
- Plans for transporting a child will comply with local arrangements concerning insurance, staff availability out of hours and any relevant information from the school relating to the child’s special needs or behavioural difficulties. All occasions when a child or young person requires transport in an emergency situation must be recorded and reported to a senior manager and the parents
- During office hours, Cambridgeshire Direct will ensure that the relevant Social Care Team is alerted. This will be the Social Care Team whose area covers the child’s home address.
- Any call which results in action being taken by Social Care/Police should be followed up in writing within 48 hours, using the Single Agency Referral Form.
Regularly Transported Children
Where arrangements are in place for a child to be transported regularly from school in approved Education transport, the driver will wait for five minutes at the designated address and then inform the school or Education Transport (or Social Care if the others are not contactable).
If other children have to be taken home, the child will remain in the vehicle while this is done.
The driver will leave a notification at the child’s designated address with the relevant contact details that the driver there was no response at the time of drop-off. Unless directed otherwise, the driver will attempt to deliver the child home once more. In the meantime, the school or Education Transport will liaise with Social Care in the area where the child resides, in the event that the parent/carer is still unobtainable.
If an incident occurs which results in a large number of children not being collected, Social Care will be contacted at the earliest opportunity, because it may be necessary to accommodate the children at a single location until appropriate arrangements can be made.
If the nature of the incident is serious, it may be that the arrangements will form part of the Authority’s emergency plan.