Eco Schools


Child Protection Policy

Protect our children

1.     Our Policy


The purpose of this Child Protection Policy is to provide guidance to all GREEN GROWTH ASIA FOUNDATION’s (hereinafter referred to as “GGAF”) recognises that all adults, including top managements, support staff, whether full-time, part time or temporary, employed or volunteer, have a full and active part to play in protecting our children from harm, and that children’s welfare is always of paramount concern. The GGAF should provide a caring, positive safe and stimulating environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of the individual child. In considering abuse, all staff are encouraged to be alert to the fact that “it could happen here”.



2.     Introduction


This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the:



The Board of Directors takes seriously its responsibility under section 157 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within GGAF, to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, harm, and to provide support to those with additional needs.


The aims of this policy are:


 3.     Guiding Principles


The GGAF will ensure that: 

2 Set out on pages 5, 6 and 7 of this document.


This policy and the procedures set out within will be reviewed and updated annually.


Any deficiencies or weaknesses in the GGAF’s child protection arrangements will be remedied without delay.


The Board of Directors, taking into account an annual report on all child protection matters prepared for them by the DSL, will undertake an annual review of the GGAF’s policies and procedures concerning the safeguarding of its staff children’s to ensure that all responsibilities related to this aspect of the organization’s governance have been discharged.


4.     The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead


The GGAF’s DSL is responsible for:


It is accepted that once a referral relating to actual, alleged or suspected abuse or neglect of a child, or to any other concern, has been accepted, decisions about further action will be made by the police or local welfare services) and not by the GGAF without consultation with those agencies.


 5.     Recognising Abuse or Neglect


All members of staff should be alert to the possibility of signs of abuse or neglect of any of our staff children’s

— by parents, siblings, other relatives, guardians, other carers, friends, acquaintances, strangers and of course members of the GGAF community including staff and fellow staff children’s.

Abuse or neglect of a child can arise through inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm and can take many forms. The following categories, used nationally:



Abuse can occur in a variety of circumstances and across all socio-economic groups. Children may be particularly vulnerable where there is a history of family violence, bullying, drug or alcohol abuse, mental health problems, learning difficulties or unemployment. Identification of abuse is rarely straightforward because indications often comprise a complex mixture of medical symptoms, behavioural characteristics and background factors.


The following characteristics in the staff children’s can be indications of potential abuse:


It must be emphasised that the presence of one or more of these characteristics can only indicate (and not confirm with any certainty) that abuse may have taken place. Behavioural problems, for instance, are often associated with other conditions.

The conduct of parents can also be indicative. Inconsistent explanations of their child’s injuries, a lack of concern for or general detachment from their child’s problems, a refusal or reluctance to allow treatment or discuss problems, and displays of aggressive behaviour towards their child should all alert staff to the possibility of abuse or neglect.

The GGAF recognises that children can be vulnerable to abuse by their peers that falls outside the category of mistreatment that would be dealt with as an incidence of bullying. Such abuse will be taken as seriously as abuse perpetrated by an adult. Staff should be alert to the difference between consenting (appropriate) and abusive (exploitative) peer relationships. They should not readily dismiss abusive sexual behaviour between young people as ‘normal’ and should not develop high thresholds before reporting such behaviour to the DSL.


 6.     Action to be taken when abuse is suspected


A member of staff — acting on personal observation or knowledge or in response to an allegation — who has good reason to suspect that a staff children’s has been abused or neglected in any of the ways described above, or who harbours any other concern for a staff children’s well-being, has a duty to report the suspicion, allegation or concern to a senior member of staff without delay and without attempting to carry out any investigation.


The senior member of staff to whom the report is made would normally be the DSL. It is accepted, however, that the instinct of a member of staff at the GGAF may be to discuss his or her concerns first with the staff children’s DSL. Such a course of action would not be appropriate if any delay in referring the matter to an outside agency, including the police, might put the staff children’s welfare or safety at risk or jeopardise a full and proper investigation (where, for example, there might be bruising or other signs of injury that will quickly begin to fade, and examination and diagnosis by a properly qualified expert would therefore need to be arranged urgently by the investigating agencies).


A suspicion of abuse or neglect often takes the form of a concern that cannot be based on hard factual evidence. Such a concern, when discussed with the staff children’s DSL or other senior staff, may not necessarily prompt a referral, but may along with concerns raised by others help to create a bigger picture that suggests that the child is indeed at risk.


A member of staff approached by a staff children’s who “wants to tell them something” will wish to respond promptly and sympathetically but must proceed with caution;



The DSL will ensure that statements and any other relevant records that may be required as evidence are maintained and kept securely. These may be required by the welfare services or the police. (Information relating to actual, alleged or suspected child abuse is exempted from the provisions regarding the disclosure of staff children’s records.)


The DSL, having received a report from a member of staff about actual, alleged or suspected abuse or neglect of a staff children’s or other major concern for the staff children’s welfare, may in certain circumstances proceed in a way that does not have the full support of the reporting member of staff; (where, for example, the DSL is privy to sensitive and confidential information relating to the staff children’s). In such cases the reporting member of staff should discuss his or her concerns with the Senior and top management and is in any event at liberty to contact directly the relevant welfare service if they still have concern, but feel the DSL is not going to refer.


In all but inconsequential cases — such as those involving an allegation that is demonstrably false or unfounded

— the Senior and top management will be informed.


7.     Key Points


All members of staff including top management must:


8.     Supporting Children


The GGAF recognises that a child who is abused or witnesses violence may feel helpless and humiliated, may blame him/herself, and may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth. The behaviour of a child in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or being withdrawn.

We recognise that the GGAF may provide the only stability in the lives of children who have been abused or who are at risk of harm.


The GGAF will support all staff children’s by: 


9.     Confidentiality


The GGAF recognises that all matters relating to child protection are confidential.

Anyone concerned with a suspected case of abuse should treat all personal information as confidential, taking particular care when dealing with sensitive information relating to the child and the child’s family.3 It may sometimes be necessary for one member of staff to disclose personal information about a staff children’s to another member of staff, but this will only be done on a ‘need to know’ basis.


All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with staffs and other agencies in order to safeguard children. Legal and professional obligations will not generally prevent the sharing of confidential information if: 


All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets that might compromise the child’s safety or well-being. In deciding whether there is a need to share information, the staff children’s best interests must be paramount.


The GGAF will always undertake to share the intention to refer a child to the relevant welfare services with the child’s parents or guardians unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. When there is doubt on this point, the relevant welfare services should be consulted first.


 10.  Support for Staff


The GGAF recognises that staff who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.

The GGAF will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the DSL and seek further support as appropriate.


 11.  Allegations against Staff


All GGAF staff must follow the GGAF’s ‘Guidance for Staff’ at all times. They should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position regarding their work with staff children’s in both formal and informal settings. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults where possible, or to notify a senior member of staff if a one to one session is planned. Communication with staff children’s and parents, by whatever means including those that make use of modern technology, should take place within professional boundaries. Staff children’s should never for example be accepted as ‘friends’ on social networking sites, and where staff children’s are already known to a member of staff in a family or outside friendship connection, this should be made clear to the person’s senior manager. Subject matter of a personal nature should be avoided. Staff should be circumspect in their communications with staff children’s to avoid any possible misinterpretation of their motives or behaviour that could be misconstrued. All staff should be familiar with the GGAF’s guidelines published in the Common Room Handbook. Volunteers who work with staff children’s (for example, parents accompanying an off-site visit or tour) are expected to maintain standards of conduct comparable to those prescribed for employed members of staff.


3 Guidance on the sharing of information can be found in What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused p 15, and in Information Sharing – Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to vulnerable children, young people, and parents.


It is understood that a staff children’s may make an allegation against a member of staff or volunteer, or information may come to light raising a concern about a member of staff or volunteer’s suitability to work with children . If such an allegation is made, whoever receives the allegation, whether directly from the staff children’s or via a third party, will immediately inform the senior and top management.


If the Senior and top management receives an allegation indicating that a member of staff or any other adult working with children has: 


Allegations of abuse made against staff, whether historical or contemporary, should be handled by the Senior and top management and not by the DSL (if the allegation is against the senior and top management then the person receiving the allegation should immediately inform the Chair of Directors, without notifying the senior and top management first).


When an allegation of abuse is made against staff, it is referred directly to the relevant external agency (See Appendix 1) and their advice followed. This initial conversation will establish the validity of any allegation and if a formal referral is needed, then contact will be made within 24 hours with the relevant local agency. If this is the case a strategy meeting will be called that the senior and top management/Chair of Directors should attend.


The decision of the strategy meeting could be: 

The fact that a member of staff offers to resign should not prevent the allegation procedure reaching a conclusion.


It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that a report is made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) within one month of leaving the organization of any person (whether employed. contracted, a volunteer) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children.


After consultation with the relevant agencies, the parents or guardians of a child or children involved will be told about the allegation, provided the timing and content of that information has been agreed by relevant external agency in a case where welfare services and the police are to be involved. They will be kept informed about the progress of the case and told the outcome where there is not a criminal prosecution. Under no

circumstances will a child be sent home, pending any investigation, unless this advice is given exceptionally, as a result of a Strategy Meeting.4


The GGAF will also keep the member of staff or other adult who is the subject of the allegation informed of the progress of the case, following any advice about content and timing of information to be given where the police are involved, and consider what other support is appropriate for the individual. The power to suspend a member of staff is vested in the senior and top management and the Board of Directors. Suspension should not be automatic in such cases.


If the accused person resigns, or ceases to provide their services, the allegation will still be followed up in accordance with the guidance, and a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service DBS for consideration for permanent disqualification from working with children will be made. Settlement or compromise agreements which prevent a referral being made to DBS in such an instance would be likely to result in a criminal offence being committed as the organization has a legal duty to make such a referral.


Further guidance is available in Part Four of Keeping children safe in education Act 2002.


12.  Whistleblowing


All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the management of child protection, which may include the attitude or actions of staffs. If necessary they should speak in the first instance to the DSL or to the Senior and top management, to whom they must report any concern or allegation about organization practices or the behaviour of staffs that are likely to put staff children’s at risk of abuse or other serious harm. The GGAF’s whistleblowing procedure is set out in full in a separate document.5


The GGAF recognises that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. Talian Kasih 15999 (formerly Child line Malaysia) posters are on display throughout the organization. This is an organisation for both staff to raise concerns about staff children’s and also for staff children’s to gain advice should they wish to do so.


 13.  Physical Intervention


The GGAF’s policy on physical intervention by staff is set out separately.6 It acknowledges that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort to prevent staff children’s from hurting themselves or others, from damaging property, or from causing disorder, and that at all times it must entail the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.

Such events should be recorded and signed by a witness, and reported as soon as possible to the DSL so that the child’s parent can be notified the same day. It must be understood that physical intervention of a nature that causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.


4 The term Strategy Meeting covers any urgent formal strategy discussion which may take place by telephone between the senior member, the DSL, police, social care, and education managers, requiring action prior to a first meeting.

5 Policy document: Whistleblowing.

6 Policy document: Use of Reasonable Force to Control or Restrain Pupils.


14.  Bullying


The GGAF’s policy on bullying is set out in a separate document.7 It must be understood that serious bullying, or to allow or condone bullying may lead to consideration under child protection procedures. This includes homophobic and gender-related bullying and, indeed, all other relevant protected characteristics under the Child Protection guideline.

The GGAF recognises the rapid escalation of what has come to be known as ‘cyberbullying’: the use of electronic communications technologies (such as e-mail, mobile phone and text messaging, digital photography, instant messaging, personal websites, chat rooms, blogs and social networking sites) to harass, intimidate, insult, abuse, embarrass or otherwise harm or cause distress to others. As with all other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is regarded by the GGAF as totally unacceptable.


 15.  Complaints


The GGAF has in place formal complaints procedures8 for both staff children’s and parents. Complaints and concerns relating to any safeguarding issue should be addressed in the first instance to the DSL, who will attempt to resolve the matter in a way that satisfies the complainant while balancing the rights and duties of staff children’s. Staff children’s will not be penalized for making a complaint in good faith.


16.  Racist Incidents


The GGAF acknowledges that repeated racist incidents or an isolated serious incident may lead to consideration under child protection procedures.

17.  Missing Staff children’s


Where a staff children’s is inexplicably absent from morning or afternoon registration the DSL will make appropriate enquiries and if thought necessary undertake a search. If a staff children’s absence remains unexplained staff should refer to the Attendance at Organization Policy. We recognise that irregular or missing attendance may be indications that a staff children’s is suffering abuse, and will be alert to that possibility.


18.  Sexual Exploitation9

Involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. It ranges from seemingly consensual relationships to serious organised crime, but is always marked by an imbalance of power. The ‘boyfriend’ model by which exploitation may begin, is attractive to those who for any reason are vulnerable to a loving approach, and we understand that this risk exists for all young people, and urge staff to be vigilant to be able to identify and report where this may be happening.


7 Policy document: Anti-Bullying Policy


8 Policy document: Complaints


9 See Malaysian Child Act, Act: 611 (2001); for further detail

19.  Female Genital Mutilation10, Forced Marriage, Radicalisation11


The organization acknowledges that we all have a responsibility to be vigilant to the possible existence of any of these serious risks concerning our staff children’s or their families. All staff at GGAF in Malaysia have a specific safeguarding duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. It is also the duty of everyone to protect and identify those staff children’s who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and to identify behaviour which, if it gives cause for concern, should be reported to the DSL in the first instance, or to the police12.

20.  Prevention of Harm and Abuse


We recognise that the GGAF has a significant part to play in the prevention of harm to our staff children’s by teaching them to be aware of potentially harmful lifestyles and of other threats to their general well-being, and by providing good lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.


The GGAF community will therefore: 


21.  Health & Safety


The GGAF’s Health & Safety policy, together with other published procedures and policies,13 reflect the consideration given to the protection of staff children’s and concern for their welfare, both physically within the organization environment, and, for example, in relation to internet use, and when away from the GGAF undertaking organization trips and visits.


 22.  Guardians


With regard to Guardianship of Infant Act 1961 (GIA), GGAF in Malaysia will not appoint guardians for any of its staff children’s.


10 See Malaysian Child Act, Act: 611 (2001); for further detail


11 See Malaysian Child Act, Act: 611 (2001); for further detail


12 See Safeguarding Advice – Pupils who may be vulnerable to Extremism.


13 Policies relating to the use of IT at GGAF in Malaysia, which forms part of the Common Room Handbook



Key Contact Information:


Talian Kasih 15999 (Formerly Child line Malaysia)

This helpline is for abused or lonely children, as well as a helpline for reporting cases of abuse.


Department of Social Welfare Malaysia, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development 

Tingkat 21-24

Menara Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali Jalan Raja Laut

50562 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel : 603 – 2697 1090

Website :


Melaka Social Welfare Department

Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, Aras 3, Wisma Negeri, Peti Surat 56, 75450 Ayer Keroh, Melaka. Telephone (+606-232 4717) or fax (+606-231 9221).




For more information please visit


One Stop Crisis Centre (nearest facility Putrajaya)


These centres are set up in almost every hospital of Malaysia. They a team of four governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations(NGOs) and it is also all out to assist the survivors or victims of crisis under one roof to fight against any forms of violence such as domestic violence, rape, sodomy, and child abuse. Contact:

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