Safeguarding Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults
Skegness College is committed to providing a safe, healthy and supportive environment for staff and students. The Company will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults (referred to in this policy as “vulnerable persons”) in accordance with (inter alia) The Protection of Children Act 1999, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Department for Education Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance September 2019.
This policy applies to all staff who may be working with:
- children (ie. those under 16 years)
- young people (ie. those aged 16 to 18)
- vulnerable adults (ie. those over 18 years who by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness are or may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation).
However, at Skegness College we are committed to ensuring that all students are protected from harm or abuse, bullying or harassment within our centres and out in the community so this policy may also be applied to all adult learners as well as those who may be vulnerable.
Aims & Objectives
The Company seeks to maintain the highest standard of care to meet its social, moral and legal obligations to protect and safeguard vulnerable persons during their attendance in the training centres and outside activities, but recognises that it cannot act “in loco parentis”. Ultimate responsibility will continue to rest with parents and guardians.
Implementation of the Policy
Whilst it is impossible to ensure that any vulnerable person would never come to harm, this policy, and the supporting Guidance for Employees, ensures that the risks to individuals are assessed and effectively managed.
The Senior Designated Person is the QA, H&S and Finance Co-ordinator. Each training centre has a Designated Person responsible for safeguarding issues. The Designated Person List is:
In the absence of the Designated Person, concerns should be brought to the Senior Designated Person or, if not available, the most senior member of staff present at the time.
We have a duty to ensure that students who may be susceptible to being radicalised or drawn into violent extremism are identified and to provide support to such students to divert them away from violent extremism before they commit any criminal acts.
- All staff should ensure that they have read and understand the implications of this policy and the Guidance & Handbook Employees. It will be issued to new staff on induction and will be circulated following the annual policy review.
- Students who are considered “vulnerable” must be assessed on entry to any programme to ensure their safety and wellbeing is paramount.
- All new or altered training programmes, teaching sessions, events, visits or other activities involving vulnerable persons should be risk assessed prior to commencement. Staff should immediately inform the QA, H&S and Finance Co-ordinator of any new or altered provision so that an appropriate risk assessment can be carried out.
- All training centres are subject to annual risk assessment and periodic spot checks which are circulated to all staff and, where necessary, students.
- All training centres are required to have two members of staff on site at all times when students are in attendance. Staff to learner ratios are maintained to ensure adequate supervision of students.
- Student attendance is closely monitored and small training centres enable us to easily identify cases of bullying and harassment, discrimination or where students are likely to feel vulnerable or be drawn to people or groups with extremist views which are contrary to British values.
- Employers are monitored for health and safety arrangements for all internships and work experience placements. An information pack is issued to all employers which includes a section on equality and bullying and harassment, and complaints procedures. Workplace reviews are carried out for students.
- Sub-contractors are monitored via meetings and audits to ensure they meet the requirements for health and safety of students, and to ensure that adequate safeguarding arrangements are in place.
- Student use of college ICT facilities is controlled and closely supervised to ensure they use the internet or social media safely and appropriately and are not vulnerable to radicalisation or become victims of extremist views, hate campaigns or potential criminal activity against other people or organisations.
- When it is necessary to do blended learning all students who are working from home will be monitored to ensure their well-being.
Guest Speaker Protocol
We value the opportunities external speakers offer our students to give them awareness and experience of real life work practices, social diversity and different opinions. It can be beneficial to their personal, social and academic development.
SCVT values freedom of speech but will not tolerate the use of language or opinions expressed by staff or students that offends or is considered to be intolerant and this includes external speakers and guests. This means offensive ‘street’ language, misogynistic, misanthropic, sexual or racist language, regardless of the context.
We will not tolerate any person who intentionally demeans individuals and/or groups who are identified by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or beliefs, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which might give rise to situations where people experience, or are fearful of, harassment, intimidation or violence.
Direct attacks on any religions or beliefs will not be tolerated, nor any person who advocates extreme views or incites hatred of others, or incites people to commit acts of violence or criminal damage.
When external speakers are invited to address students and staff, managers must complete the Guest Speaker Risk Assessment and ensure that speaker’s subject matter:
- is lawful
- adheres to the safety of all members of the college and its buildings and equipment
- supports equality and diversity
- supports good community relations
- safeguards the college’s reputation
- avoids extremist views or attempts to radicalise students.
Arrangements for Guest Speakers
A member of staff wishing to invite an external speaker must:
- obtain permission from their line manager or the General Manager at least 2 weeks before the speaker is due to attend
- obtain a transcript of the intended talk or a good overview of what will be included
- ensure the speaker is informed about the rules regarding use of language and context to ensure it is not offensive or intolerant
- where necessary references must be obtained as to the suitability of the guest speaker (eg. where the subject matter is likely to be controversial)
- a member of staff must always be present during the talk and must intervene if the speaker significantly deviates from their transcript or subject area, or causes offence
- Senior Managers may refuse a request for a guest speaker if they believe it is inappropriate or likely to cause offence to any students or staff.
Recruitment, Selection & Employment procedures
- The Company will take all reasonable steps when recruiting new staff to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.
- All staff receive a full induction which includes relevant policies and procedures and are issued with the Skegness College Employee Handbook.
- All staff are subject to DBS checks and will be required to complete and sign a Safeguarding Risk Assessment form for the period between commencing employment and receipt of a DBS check.
- Students receive full induction on or before their first day of learning. This covers disciplinary, grievance and complaints procedures and ensures students know how and who to report to in the event that they experience or witness bullying and harassment in the centres and/or at work.
Arrangements for Internships & Work Experience Placements
- Where the student will be working alone with the employer or a supervisor, the employer or supervisor will be subject to a DBS check, prior to commencement of the internship or work placement, funded by Skegness College.
- Where a student is on a work placement in childcare or other care setting, the student will be DBS checked prior to commencement of the placement, funded by Skegness College.
Dealing with Suspicions or Allegations of Abuse
- Concerns for the safety and well-being of vulnerable persons arise in a variety of ways and in a range of different settings. For example, a child may report or display signs of abuse; someone may hint that a student is at risk or that a colleague is an abuser; an individual may witness or hear about abuse in another organisation, a student may express extreme views or a hate campaign against other people or against British values. It is essential to act quickly and professionally in all cases of suspected abuse, harm or radicalisation.
- Any allegation by a vulnerable person against a member of staff or another student should be reported immediately to the Designated Person. The Company Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (for staff and students) will be followed in dealing with such allegations.
- In dealing with any such allegation the Company has a duty of care both to the vulnerable person concerned, and to the member of staff or student against whom the allegation is made.
The attached Risk Banding Table sets out the risk level appropriate to reports or allegations of abuse or areas for concern and makes is clear to staff when they need to report to a Designated Person.
Record-keeping and Reporting
In accordance with the Risk Banding Table reported incidents may need to be recorded. For Level 3 incidents a Safeguarding Report Form must be completed by the Designated Person and passed to the Senior Designated Person for further action, where required.
When incidents are reported regarding students under 18 years of age, contact must be made with parents/guardians and any relevant agency workers where it is necessary to ensure the student’s safety and continued care and support out of college. The only exception to this is where harm or abuse may be caused by that student’s parent/guardian.
Training, Support & Information
- The Senior Designated Person is responsible for ensuring that staff and students receive guidance and training on this policy to ensure that they deal with any complaints or allegations in the appropriate manner.
- The Designated Persons will attend any training courses or seminars relating to current or new provision or legislation to ensure policy guidelines are up to date.
- All staff will be required to undertake training in Safeguarding and their duties under Prevent. This must be done within the first 3 months of their employment and renewed every 3 years.
- Staff should also familiarise themselves with the following:
- Safeguarding – Guidance for Employees
Health and Safety Policy
Policy on Dealing with Violent, Abusive and Threatening Behaviour
Equality & Diversity Policy
Data Protection Policy
Student Grievance & Disciplinary Procedure
Staff Grievance & Disciplinary Procedure
DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education Guidance September 2019.
Review of Policies and Procedures
This policy, and any related policies and procedures, will be reviewed every 2 years or as and when legislation changes affect learning provision and support for students. The annual review will be in July each year and changes communicated to staff during staff training weeks.
Dated: 14 August 2020
Skegness College of Vocational Training
Safeguarding Code of Practice
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact.
- Avoid taking students out alone in your vehicle.
- Unless circumstances make it impossible to comply, do not take students to the toilet unless another adult is present or aware of it.
- If you find yourself in a situation where you are alone with a student wherever possible make sure that other people can clearly observe you and leave doors open.
- All staff are in a position of trust and should avoid close personal relationships with students.
- Do not give your home or mobile phone number to any student and do not ask for their home or mobile phone number (unless there is no other means of safeguarding them, for example, outbound sports activities). Contact details are held for learners at each site and these are available to staff in the event of an emergency.
- Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about students, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted.
- If a student accuses a member of staff of abuse or inappropriate behaviour, report it immediately to a Designated Person. Whilst it is important to listen without making or implying any judgement as to the truth of the accusation or complaint DO NOT ask leading questions and DO NOT attempt to investigate the matter yourself. You should inform them that the information they disclose will be passed to a Senior Manager for investigation.
- Designated Persons should deal with allegations in a sensitive and timely manner and should inform all parties of the outcome.
- The duty to report also applies to historic, not just recent, complaints or accusations of abuse/inappropriate behaviour.
- If the person making the allegation feels they need counselling or other appropriate support, the Company will take all reasonable steps to provide this either in-house or by referral to the most appropriate external agency.
- Staff or students making allegations or complaints should be reassured that they will not be breaching any confidentiality policy or data protection legislation, as compliance with the Company’s Safeguarding Policy overrides such obligations.
- Participate in any training available to you in safeguarding policy and practice.
- Remember that those who abuse can be of any age (even other children or vulnerable adults), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
- Good practice includes valuing and respecting all people as individuals and all staff should act as a model of appropriate conduct which excludes bullying, aggressive behaviour or discrimination of any kind.
MORE DETAILED GUIDANCE IS CONTAINED IN THE SAFEGUARDING GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYEES
Arrangements For Safeguarding During Covid 19 Lockdown
And For Blended Learning
During the Covid 19 lockdown March to June 2020 students and tutors were working at home and classes were run via Zoom, Google Classroom and by post, email and phone calls. Students were contacted regularly during weekdays and their input and progress was logged by tutors and checked by Managers.
In addition to tuition and support for learning all students were asked about their welfare and if they had any concerns or problems they wanted to discuss. During a time of isolation it became evident that this was equally as important as the coursework they were doing. Support phone calls were also made by Managers and administrative staff to ensure students had someone other than their tutor to talk to if they wanted help and support.
All students are regularly reminded by tutors about the risks of using social media and other online means of communication and how to keep themselves safe when using the internet. All staff are regularly reminded by managers about the risks of interacting with students one to one and all Google Classroom or Zoom sessions should be accessible or viewable by more than one member of staff. No members of staff are permitted to give their personal contact details to students.
In the event that we continue blended learning from September 2020, or there is a further lockdown, we will continue to offer students help and support at home and monitor their welfare.
All remote learning, and contact with tutors and support staff, will be logged and monitored by the General Manager and Hair & Beauty Manager.
Any serious concerns about student welfare should be referred to the Lead Safeguarding Officer.