Safeguarding Policy

Foreword by Kevin Gray, Founder and Lead Tutor
At Access Tuition we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people: we expect all our staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The welfare of young people is our highest priority, and this means safeguarding and child protection are at the forefront when making decisions and underpin all relevant aspects of process and policy development. We listen to the concerns of young people and have a ‘culture of vigilance’ to ensure that they are protected and feel safe.

Purpose and principles
The purpose of this document is to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the arrangements that Access Tuition, have in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its pupils/students. It provides guidance to help staff who may have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child and sets out the Company’s position in relation to the safeguarding process.

This policy:
i. has been written in line with the Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance – Keeping children safe in education, September 2021, and any other relevant UK legislation and government guidance.
ii. applies at all times when Access Tuition is providing services or activities directly under the management of the company staff.
iii. is publicly available on the companies’ website.

1-All staff working in this Company (including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placement)
are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Designated Safeguarding Lead who is a member of the Company’s leadership team. This person has the appropriate status and authority within the Company to carry out the duties of the post.

2-The Designated Safeguarding Lead is also the first point of contact for external agencies that are carrying out Child Protection investigations and safeguarding enquiries.

3-When an individual concern/incident is brought to the notice of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, they will be responsible for deciding whether or not this should be reported to other agencies as a safeguarding issue, or whether a single agency response would be more appropriate and proportionate.

4-If the Company identifies emerging needs or if emerging needs are identified by other professionals, and/or the family themselves and the Company is best placed to provide a single agency response to the presenting need(s), we will do so.

5-Arrangements are in place to ensure that at least one person who is a trained designated safeguarding lead is available when children are taking part in Company led activity, this includes before and after school clubs and other extra-curricular activities, both during and out of term time.

6-If a child is in immediate danger, contact will be made with the police via 999.

7-If a child is identified as a Child in Need or a child at risk of or being subjected to significant harm, a referral will be made to the relevant authorities for that child.

8-Whilst any professional can make a referral to children’s social care, at Access Tuition we expect all staff where practically possible to always discuss their concerns with the designated safeguarding lead first to ensure all information is coordinated and held in one central point. If staff need to make a referral as a matter of urgency they are expected to feedback to the designated safeguarding lead as soon as practically possible thereafter.

9-Where there is a safeguarding concern the Company ensures the child’s wishes and feelings are considered when determining what action to take and what services to provide. Systems are in place, and are well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously, and
knowing they can safely express their views and give feedback.

Creating a Safeguarding Culture

1-It is important to us at the Company that all children feel safe and supported in our setting.

2-Safeguarding is our priority across all aspects of our work and our policy underpins the rigorous practice that takes place in the Company to best protect our students, and staff.

3-Staff are also made aware of other key safeguarding topics that, these are: Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Bullying & Cyberbullying, Child Sexual Exploitation, Children with SEN and/or disabilities, Criminal Exploitation, ‘County Lines’, Contextual Domestic Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation, Gangs & Youth Violence, Mental Health, Peer on Peer Abuse, Preventing Radicalisation & Extremism, Relationship Abuse, Image sharing, “sexting”, Serious Violence, So-called ‘honour’ -based abuse, Trafficking.

4-All staff recognise that children can abuse their peers (including online). Incidents of peer-on-peer abuse may need to be dealt with in various ways. Incidents of bullying will be dealt with via Access Tuition’s Peer on Peer abuse policy and/or behaviour policy. Incidents which take place outside of lessons may need to be addressed in lessons however Access Tuition are clear that where professional advice needs to be sought from external partners, it will be. The Company’s Designated Safeguarding Lead will consult children’s social care on matters relating to the safety and welfare of a child and will consult the police in respect of matters relating to a possible crime.

5-In respect of sexual violence and sexual harassment between children, Access Tuition takes a proactive approach to prevent such incidents from taking place. We incorporate healthy relationships, people who help us, British values etc. into our lesson time in an age-appropriate way for the year groups present, and with consideration that a more personalised or contextualised approach for more vulnerable children, victims of abuse and some SEND children.

6-When incidents of sexual violence and sexual harassment occur Access Tuition’s response is ultimately decided on a case-by-case basis, with the designated safeguarding lead (or a
deputy) taking the lead role, using their professional judgement, and being supported by other agencies, such as children’s social care and the police as required to put a proportionate and supportive package of care in place for those affected.

7-Access Tuition adopts the UK Council for Child Internet Safety guidance ‘Sexting in Schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people’ in respect of our response to sexting. This guidance clearly sets out how to handle incidents, should they occur and what preventative steps can be taken to educate young people.

8-All staff are expected to refer to HM Government guidance ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Advise for practitioners for further help in identifying signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect.

9-Robust systems have been established in Access Tuition for dealing with safeguarding concerns. All allegations of abuse and neglect, whether suspected or known will be treated seriously and in confidentially. Colleagues are asked to work on the basis that ‘it could happen here’ and report any concerns however minor they might appear in isolation. All colleagues have also been made aware of external means of reporting concerns and the NSPCC whistleblower hotline is displayed in no student areas around the Company. Students and colleagues also have access to the confide reporting system. All information is handled in accordance with the Company’s Information sharing/Management Policy, which is written in line with HM Government guidance – ‘Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers, July 2018’, and the 7 principles of information sharing within that document.

10-Throughout the Company, safeguarding is taught as part of our curriculum. We appreciate that whilst adults in the Company are working hard to keep children safe, children also play a large part in keeping themselves and their peers safe from abuse and neglect.

11-The Company takes an active stance on meeting the duties placed upon them by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (The Prevent Duty), and we have created a culture which embraces the fundamental ‘British values’. To ensure compliance with the Prevent Duty, the Company:
-i Ensure staff can identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified
-ii Build resilience and capacity in the students by promoting the fundamental British values and enabling them to voice and challenge views in a safe space
-iii The Company understands that children with needs and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges, and staff constantly challenge their own thought process in scenarios like this. This is to ensure that additional difficulties aren’t straight away related to the special educational need or disability, and that staff are considering the risk of abuse or neglect just as much.

12-All staff should know what to do if a child tells them that they are being abused, exploited, or neglected including peer on peer abuse. Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality. This means only involving those who need to be involved, such as the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) and children’s social care. Staff should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a report of any form of abuse, as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.

13-All staff should be able to reassure victims that they are being taken seriously and that they will be supported and kept safe. A victim should never be given the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting abuse, sexual violence, or sexual harassment. Nor should a victim ever be made to feel ashamed for making a report.

14-All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer-on-peer abuse). And that it can happen both inside and outside of Company or college and online. It is important that all staff recognise the indicators and signs of peer-on-peer abuse and know how to identify it and respond to reports.

15-All training events are offered out to all volunteers working in Access Tuition, to ensure they too can understand the processes and practices as they apply in the Company.

16-As and when required, other external agencies may be consulted to assist with staff learning and development.

Safer Recruitment

1-Access Tuition ensures that stringent recruitment and vetting procedures are in place for staff and other adults, and that nobody commences work unless all necessary checks are complete to a satisfactory level. The same rigour is applied when appointing volunteers. Checks undertaken include:
Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Check Barred List Check (if working regulated activity before DBS certificate is available), Two professional references establish confirmation of physical and mental fitness for the role, Identity confirmation, Confirmation of right to work in the UK, Qualification check, Confirmation of professional registration, Staff suitability declaration (if appropriate) Prohibition from teaching check (only if employed as a teacher)

2-Access Tuition will take responsibility for ensuring that all relevant checks are carried out and documented on the Company’s single central record. Supporting evidence for recruitment checks are included in the staff member’s personnel file.

3-References will always be sought before confirming a person’s appointment, these will be written and about previous employment, this will check that information is not contradictory or incomplete. At least one reference will be from the candidate’s current employer. When a candidate is not currently employed, verification of their most recent period of employment and reasons for leaving should be obtained from the organisation where they were employed.

Managing allegations against professionals who work with children

1-All concerns and/or allegations against those working in or on behalf of Access Tuition in a paid or unpaid capacity, this includes, members of staff, supply teachers, volunteers and contractors are dealt with in line with the Company’s Managing Allegations Policy.

2-An allegation is any information which indicates an adult who works with children and young people under 18 (paid or voluntary staff) may have:
i. Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
ii. Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
iii. Behaved towards a child or children in such a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
iv. Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

3-This applies to any child the member of staff has contact with in their personal or professional life.

4-Allegations regarding members of staff at Access Tuition must be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The designated safeguarding lead will talk through your concerns even though you may feel uncomfortable doing this in relation to a colleague. In addition if you feel you may be at risk of an allegation then self-report the issue as you may find yourself in a difficult situation.

5-The Managing Allegation policy sets out the procedures in place to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns or would have been had they not resigned. Or where a teacher’s employer, including an agency, dismisses or ceases to use the services of a teacher because of serious misconduct, or might have dismissed them or ceased to use their services had they not left first, they must consider whether to refer the case to the Secretary of State (via the Teaching Regulation Agency).

6-There is a legal requirement for Access Tuition to make a referral to the DBS where they remove an individual from regulated activity (or would have removed an individual had they not left), and they believe the individual has:
i. engaged in relevant conduct in relation to children and/or adults,
ii. satisfied the harm test in relation to children and/or vulnerable adults; or
iii. been cautioned or convicted of a relevant (automatic barring either with or without the right to make representations) offence. The DBS will consider whether to bar the person.

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