Confidentiality Policy

Aim:

To protect the child at all times and to give all staff involved clear, unambiguous guidance as to their legal and professional roles and to ensure good practice throughout the nursery which is understood by pupils, parents/carers and staff.

Rationale:

Footsteps Daycare Nursery seeks to put the child at the heart of the learning process and to provide a safe and secure learning environment. It seeks to implement the underlying principles of the Every Child Matters Agenda and to address the issues which may arise about confidentiality. It is committed to developing creative and positive ways for the child’s voice to be heard whilst recognising the responsibility to use hold and safeguard information received.

Sharing information unnecessarily is an erosion of trust. The nursery is mindful that it is placed in a position of trust by parents/guardians and there is a general expectation that a professional approach will be used in all matters of confidentiality.

Objectives:

– To provide consistent messages in nursery about handling information about children once it has been received.

– To foster an ethos of trust within the nursery.

– To ensure that staff, parents and pupils are aware of the nursery’s confidentiality policy and procedures.

– To reassure pupils that their best interests will be maintained.

– To encourage children to talk to their parents and carers.

– To ensure that pupils and parents/carers know that nursery staff cannot offer unconditional confidentiality.

– To ensure that there is equality of provision and access for all including rigorous monitoring of cultural, gender and special educational needs

– To ensure that if there are child protection issues then the correct procedure is followed.

– To ensure that confidentiality is a whole nursery issue and that in lessons ground rules are set for the protection of all.

– To understand that health professionals are bound by different code of conduct.

– To ensure that parents have a right of access to any records the nursery may hold on their child but not to any other child that they do not have parental responsibility for.

Guidelines:

– All information about individual children is private and should only be shared with those staff that have a need to know.

– All social services, medical and personal information about a child should be held in a safe and secure place which cannot be accessed by individuals other than the nursery staff.

– The nursery continues to actively promote a positive ethos and respect for the individual.

– The nursery has appointed a designated person for child protection who receives regular training.

– There is clear guidance for the handling of child protection incidents. And all staff have regular training on child protection issues.

– There is clear guidance for procedures if a member of staff is accused of abuse.

– Staff are aware of the need to handle all issues about different types of families in a sensitive manner.

– Any tolerance about gender, faith, race, culture or sexuality in unacceptable and should follow the nursery’s discipline policy.

– Information collected for one purpose should not be used for another.

– Parents/carers and children need to be aware that the nursery cannot guarantee total confidentiality and the nursery has a duty to report child protection issues.

– The nursery prides itself on good communication with parents and carers and staff are always available to talk to both children and parents/carers about issues that are causing concern. The nursery encourages children to talk to parents/carers about issues causing them concern and may in some cases support the children to talk to their parents. The nursery would share with parents any child protection disclosure before going on to inform the correct authorities.

– Parents/carers and children should feel reassured that in exceptional circumstances confidentiality will be broken.

– All children have a right to the same level of confidentiality irrespective of gender, race, religion, medical concerns and special educational needs. A lot of data is generated in nurseries by these categories but individual children should not be able to be identified.

– The nursery has appointed a senior member of staff as Designated Safeguarding Lead. Child protection procedures are understood by staff and training in undertaken regularly.

– Confidentiality is a whole nursery issue. Strategies are in place and all staff members are aware of them for dealing with sensitive information which may fall outside the boundaries of child protection procedures. The nursery needs to be proactive so children feel supported but information is not unnecessarily revealed in a public arena. Even when sensitive information appears to be widely known it should not be assumed by those immediately involved that it is appropriate to discuss or share this information further.

– Health professionals have their own code of practise dealing with confidentiality. Staff should be aware of children with medical needs and the class information sheet should be accessible to staff who need that information but not on general view to other parents/carers and children.

– Photographs of children should not be used without parents/carers permission especially in the press and internet. This is often a cultural issue that the nursery needs to be aware. At no time should the child’s name be used with a photograph so that they can be identified. The nursery gives clear guidance to parents about the use of cameras and videos during public nursery events.

– Information about children will be share with parents but only about their child. Parents should not have access to any other child’s books, marks and progress grades at any time especially at parents evening. However parents should be aware that information about their child will be shared with the receiving nursery when they change nursery.

– All personal information about children including social services records should be regarded as confidential. It should be clearly understood by those who have access to it, and whether those concerned have access to all, or only some of the information.

– Information regarding health reports such as speech therapy, medical reports, SEN reports, SEN minutes of meetings and social services minutes of meetings and reports will be circulated in envelopes and once read should be returned for secure filing.

– Logs of administration of medication to children should be kept secure and each child should have their own individual log.

– In all other notes, briefing sheets etc. a child should not be able to be identified.

– Addresses and telephone numbers of parents and children will not be passed on except in exceptional circumstances or to a receiving nursery.

– Directors need to be mindful that from time to time issues are discussed or brought to their attention about staff and children. All such papers should be marked as confidential and should be copied onto different coloured paper.

– These confidential papers should be destroyed Directors must observe complete confidentiality when asked to do so by the governing body, especially in relation to matters concerning individual staff, pupils or parents. Although decisions reached at Directors’ meetings are normally made public through the minutes or otherwise, the discussions on which decisions are based should be regarded as confidential Directors should exercise the highest degree of prudence when discussion of potentially contentious issues arises outside the governing body.

– With the exception from professional meetings practitioners are prohibited to discuss anything about children, staff and parents outside the nursery setting.

– Practitioners should be mindful when discussing children, practitioners and carers around the setting to avoid irrelevant people overhearing.

– All staff should be respectful of each other and should not discuss with anyone, sensitive confidentially discussions they have been involved in or have over heard with regards to other staff members. This includes talking to other staff members.

– Parents’ permission is always gained when sharing children’s information with outside professionals and agencies.