Our Policies

Child Protection Policy

Introduction

Start-Rite School is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for children. Our Child Protection Policy lays out our guidelines to:

Protect children from abuse.
Create an environment where children can thrive.
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers and contract staff working in the school. It is in line with the rights of a child according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Chapter IV and the Child Rights Act 2003.

Start-Rite School Child Protection Policy Statement

Start-Rite School is committed to protecting children from harm and promoting their wellbeing. All staff are expected to share this commitment and actively promote the wellbeing of pupils.

All staff should be conversant with this Child Protection Policy and should know the procedures for identifying and responding to any concerns about individual children.
All staff and volunteers should be aware of the designated Child Protection Officer in the school, Mrs. Loretta Akpoke with Mrs. Christy Ekanem as Deputy.
We will minimise risk to the children while on the school premises and on school trips in accordance with the school’s Health & Safety Policy.
Absences from school of more than one day will be investigated and recorded in the School Absence Book.
We will regularly update our database with accurate, up-to-date information about pupils by sending update forms to parents for them to update the following details:
Name and address of parents/guardians.
Emergency contact details.
Medical information.
Details of people permitted to collect child from school.
Name and contact details of child’s doctor/hospital.
Information given will remain confidential and only be shared with staff who need who need it in order to support the child.

Staff will expect good behaviour from pupils and will deal with misbehaviour in line with the school’s Disciplinary Measures. No physical response to misconduct will be tolerated unless the pupil’s behaviour is cause an immediate and serious threat to the wellbeing of others. In such cases a written report will be submitted to the Child Protection Officer, and the pupil’s parents informed.
Bullying will not be tolerated in the school and any reports of bullying and/or intolerance will be taken very seriously.
Children will be kept safe online in accordance with the school’s Internet Use Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.
All staff will receive Child Protection training during their induction and every 3 years thereafter.
Start-Rite School will carry out checks during the recruitment procedure to ensure that all adults working in the school are safe to do so.
If a child raises a concern all members of staff should know how to:
Listen to what the child is saying without interrupting or asking leading questions (questions that suggest an answer).
Respect the child’s right to privacy but not promise confidentiality.
Reassure the child that he/she has done the right thing in telling.
Explain to the child that in order to keep him/her safe from harm the information shared must be passed on.
Report what has been said to the Child Protection Officer.
Make a written record, as soon as possible and preserve any evidence (eg. scribbled notes, text messages). The record should be signed, dated and kept securely by the Child Protection Officer.
If a concern is raised the Child Protection Officer should:
Assess any urgent medical needs of the child.
Assess whether the child has suffered or is at risk of significant harm.
Make a decision whether the matter should be discussed with the child’s parents and whether a child protection referral is required.
Keep a full written record of all the information received and detail reasons for any decisions made or any actions taken.

Types of Abuse

Abuse is the maltreatment of a child. Abuse can be carried out by an adult or adults or by a child or children. Staff should be alert for any physical, emotional or behavioural signs of abuse. There are four types of abuse as detailed below:

Physical Abuse

Hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing bodily harm, can include the deliberate fabrication or induction of illness in a child.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child which can adversely affect the child’s emotional development, including making a child feel worthless, unlovedor unvalued. Not allowing a child to express their views. It may also include age or developmentally inappropriate expectations or causing children to frequently feel frightened. It is often an indicator of other types of abuse but can also occur alone.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is forcing a child to take part in sexual activities whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This involves contact and non-contact activities, including exposing children to pornographic materials.

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or psychological needs likely resulting in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It includes failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing and failing to keep children safe from physical and emotional harm. It also includes unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs

Signs of Abuse

The following may be signs of abuse (but do not always mean a child is being abused):

Unexplained injuries, fabricated or induced illness, fear of returning home, aggression/bullying, running away, significant change in behaviour without explanation, deterioration in work or attitude, unexplained absences from school, self-harm, compulsive stealing, social isolation, eating disorders, depression/withdrawal, low self-esteem, poor social skills, inappropriate sexualised conduct, constant tiredness, being constantly hungry, untreated medical problems, poor personal hygiene.

Allegations against Staff

Allegations against staff/volunteers/contractors should go straight to the Head of School. If the allegation involves the Head of School the allegation should go to the Chief Executive Officer. The school may contact the local authority to assist in the investigation.

All staff should be aware of their duty to raise genuine concerns about any actions of their colleagues that are harmful to children.

All Staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable that work with children or meetings with parents are conducted in view of other adults.

If an allegation is shown to be deliberately invented or malicious the Head of School will consider disciplinary action against the pupil who made it, or whether the Police should be asked to consider taking action against the person responsible if he/she was not a pupil.

Allegations against Pupils

If an allegation of abuse is made against a pupil, the pupil may be suspended from school during the investigations in accordance with the school’s Disciplinary Measures.

Monitoring and Review

The Child Protection Officer will monitor the implementation of this policy. The School Management will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and review it annually.

Complaints Policy

Policy Statement

We promise to listen carefully and respond quickly to any concerns that parents may have. We encourage communication and collaboration between all members of the school community. All complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially.

Procedure

Informal Complaint

If parents have a concern they should normally contact their child’s class teacher through the communication book or in person at pick-up time. They can also raise concerns during the Parent Teacher Conferences.
Parents can also raise concerns with the school Relationship Manager in person, by phone on 08106334006 or 08182643930 or by email at info@startriteschools.com.ng
Concerns made directly to the Head of School will usually be referred to the relevant Class Teacher unless they require the Head of School’s personal intervention.
Any member of staff who becomes aware of a concern/complaint from other sources should immediately pass the concern on to the Head of School who will pass it on to the relevant Class Teacher.
In most cases the matter can be resolved immediately at this stage. The class teacher and the Relationship Manager will keep a record of all concerns and the date on which they were received. If the matter is not resolved within 5 working days, or if the class teacher cannot resolve the issue, the parent is advised to make a Formal Complaint.

Formal Complaint

Formal complaints must be made in writing and addressed to the Head of School. If the complaint is about the Head of School, the complaint should be made directly to the CEO.
The Head of School will keep a written record of all complaints, related meetings and investigations.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The School Management will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and review it annually.

Age Policy

Early Years

Birth Date Falls Between Class Age
September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2016 Play Group 1 – 2 Years
September 1, 2014 – August 31, 2015 Pre-Nursery 2 – 3 Years
September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014 Nursery 3 – 4 Years
September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013 Reception 4 – 5 Years

Primary Years

Birth Date Falls Between Class Age
September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012 Year 1 5 – 6 Years
September 1, 2010 – August 31, 2011 Year 2 6 – 7 Years
September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010 Year 3 7 – 8 Years
September 1, 2008 – August 31, 2009 Year 4 8 – 9 Years
September 1, 2007 – August 31, 2008 Year 5 9 – 10 Years
September 1, 2006 – August 31, 2007 Year 6 10 – 11 Years

International Policy

Start-Rite Schools was founded with a vision to equip children with necessary life skills and develop in them, a sense of service to themselves and others. To this end, we implement an integrated curriculum, a hybrid of the Common Core Standards, English National Curriculum, and Nigerian Curriculum in a values-based environment. This ensures that learning is connected across disciplines and to real life experiences. It also informs the need to adopt international best practices in instructional delivery as we explore the possibility of international collaborations for exchange of ideas, resources and information. In carrying out the International School Activities, the following global themes are used as framework for embedding international dimension to teaching and learning at Start-Rite Schools:

Identity and Belonging
Sustainable Living
Fairness and Equality
Conflict and Peace
Rights and Responsibilities

While we keep ourselves abreast with latest trends in instructional content and delivery and organise activities that will motivate the children and keep them internationally minded, these themes guide the sustenance of the international dimension to education at Start-Rite Schools.

Rationale

At Start-Rite Schools, we are mindful of the need to groom children to be internationally minded, confident, have a sense of service, understand and appreciate one another, respect their identity and embrace diversity. Activities are organised to get children involved in contributing to a sustainable environment as well as peaceful and democratic societies. These are geared towards motivating our pupils and raising them to be active global citizens who are interested in taking necessary steps to make the world a better place. Bearing this in mind, we are poised to provide the best of international educational experience for children with teachers engaging in Connecting Classroom Programmes as well as relevant training and re-training to facilitate learning in a child-centred environment.

Start-Rite School_International Policy

Aims/Objectives

These are to:

get teachers and children conscious about taking care of the environment through reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing activities;
engage children in relevant fun activities that inspire, motivate and promote good behaviour;
equip children with knowledge that facilitates understanding of their world, and encourage the inward growth of a sense of service, compassion, love and kindness, so they can contribute meaningfully to enhancing livelihoods and solving problems;
help children understand their rights and responsibilities as productive citizens of the society and world at large;
foster a school-wide understanding of the need to appreciate local and international cultures and have respect for diversity;
grow our network of international friends and partners;
encourage a more productive use of ICT facilities in the school by pupils and teachers in terms of research and connecting classrooms;
equip the children with leadership, social and emotional skills;
compare and contrast healthy lifestyles around the world and adopt best practices; and
sustain the British Council International School Award and attain the Full Award.

Strategies

Start-Rite School will:

retain (and establish new) partnerships in the course of taking part in International Activities;
enrol and employ more international students and teachers/administrators respectively;
explore the possibility of gaining membership to relevant International Organisations e.g. Eco-Schools;
explore the possibility of introducing another international language programme;
continue to organise school events including cultural concerts that will attract international visitors and reflect international dimensions showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria in reference to other countries of the world;
commemorate international days such as the Earth Day, World Recycling Day, Wildlife Day, World Book Day, World Read Aloud Day, United Nations Day etc;
explore the possibility of learning basic greetings of international languages of partner schools even though we currently offer one international language i.e. French;
complete the process of, and attain the Cambridge Accreditation;
adopt a model (with improvements where necessary) for educational trip to to meet our objective. In the course of our ISA journey we visited Ireland, learnt and had discussions on cultural information of both our countries (Nigeria/Ireland). We also completed a podcast project which contains cultural information exchange between Start-Rite and International House Dublin students from Brazil, Chile, Germany, South Korea and Switzerland. More recently some of our pupils represented Start-Rite Schools in Kenya;
expose children to entrepreneurial trainings as a foundation for developing economically productive citizens;
explore the possibility of engaging in teacher exchange programmes;
schedule relevant training and re-training sessions to raise standards in leading and embedding international dimension;
set up living value assemblies to reflect international ethos during class presentations.

Evaluation

As we make progress with embedding the international dimension to teaching and learning, we will continually revise our international policy and curriculum to accommodate and reflect latest trends in global education.