Child Protection Policy
CHILD PROTECTION STATEMENT, POLICY & PROCEDURE
Any concerns of a child protection or safeguarding nature should be immediately reported to the local office manager (LOM)
If a child is in immediate danger you should dial 999
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Principal Tutors believes it is totally unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and we recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people. Principal Tutors is committed to creating a safe environment in which children and young people can feel comfortable and secure whilst engaged in private tuition. Our staff and tutors should show respect and understanding for individual’s rights, safety and welfare at all times and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of Principal Tutors
OUR CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
The purpose of this policy
• To create a safe environment for private tuition in which children and young people can feel safe, comfortable and secure
• To provide all our staff and tutors with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection and to ensure all our staff are aware of the indicators of child abuse and how to respond to concerns or disclosures of abuse by children and young people.
We are committed to reviewing the Principal Tutors Child Protection Policy annually to ensure our policy and procedures provides the best protection and safeguards possible.
We recognise that
• the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
• all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
• working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to safeguard children and young people by:
• valuing them, listening to and respecting them
• adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct
for tutors and staff
• recruiting tutors and staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
• sharing information about child protection and good practice with children,
parents, tutors and staff
• sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and
involving parents and children appropriately
• providing effective training to the management of our local offices on our statement, policy and procedure to be followed at all times.
TYPES OF ABUSE & RISK INDICATORS
Child abuse can take four forms, any of which can cause long term damage to a child.
1. Physical abuse
2. Emotional abuse
4. Sexual abuse
Most child abuse can take one or several of these forms for example bullying and domestic violence are both forms of physical and emotional abuse. All our staff and tutors are aware of the indicators and how best to respond.
A child may be experiencing abuse if he or she is:
• frequently dirty, hungry or inadequately dressed
• left in unsafe situations or without medical attention
• constantly “put down”, insulted, sworn at or humiliated
• seems afraid of parents or carers
• severely bruised or injured
• displays sexual behaviour which doesn’t seem appropriate for their age
• growing up in a home where there is domestic violence
• living with parents or carers involved in serious drug or alcohol abuse.
Remember, this list does not cover every possible type of child abuse. You may have seen other things in the child’s behaviour or circumstances that worry you.
CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES
The LOM takes the lead responsibility for child protection, including support for other staff and tutors and information sharing with other agencies. It is the responsibility of all other members of staff and tutors to ensure that all safeguarding concerns, both minor and serious, are reported to the LOM as soon as reasonably possible. If the LOM cannot be contacted immediately and the tutor or staff member believes they have a responsibility to report a case urgently to safeguard the child or young person, then they should contact their Local Authority’s Children’s Services Department (LACSD) or the Local Authority’s Designated Officer (LADO).
A. WHAT YOU MUST DO WHEN YOU SUSPECT A CHILD TO BE AT RISK
1. You have a concern about a child / young person’s well-being based on:
• Something the child or young person has told you
• Something that you have noticed about the child or young person’s behaviour, health or appearance
• Something another professional or adult (e.g. parent or carer) said or did
It is never your decision alone how to respond to concerns – but it is always your responsibility to share concerns, no matter how small.
2. Let the child or young person know what you plan to do next if you have heard a disclosure of abuse or are talking with them about your concerns. Do not promise to keep what he/she says secret.
For example, ‘I am worried about your bruise and I need to tell somebody else who can help us think about how to keep you safe’
3. Inform Principal Tutors’ LOM immediately or if not available the LACSD or LADO.
4. Make a written record as soon as possible after the event, noting:
• Name of child or young person
• Date, time and place
• Who else was present
• What was said/ What happened/ What you noticed. Include in your record speech, behaviour, mood, drawings, games or appearance
• If the child spoke, record their words rather than your interpretation
• Analysis of what you observed and why it is a cause for concern
The LOM shares information with other relevant professionals, including the LACSD and/or the LADO, recording their reasons for sharing information and ensuring that they are aware of what action the other professional will take as a result of information shared.
It is important that all staff and tutors are aware of the following points when a disclosure is made to them by a child or young person, or about a child or young person either from another child or young person, or another adult.
• Never guarantee absolute confidentiality as child protection will always have precedence over any other issues
• Listen to the child or young person, without interruption, rather than question them directly
• Offer him / her reassurance without making promises, and accept what is said
• Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation and do not overreact no matter what you have been told.
• Advise that you will try to offer support, but explain what you have to do and whom you have to tell.
• Record the discussion accurately, as soon as possible after the event using the child’s own words.
• Contact Principal Tutors’ LOM for advice and guidance or if not available immediately the LACSD or LADO.
YOU MUST REFER – YOU MUST NOT INVESTIGATE
B. STAFF AND TUTOR CONDUCT
In order to protect children, young people, staff and tutors, we encourage staff and tutors to conduct themselves professionally at all times. The following sensible precautions, safeguards and advice should be observed whilst engaged in private tuition with children and young people:
Tuition Setting & Environment
• The Client and the Tutor will agree the tuition setting which may be at the Client’s home, the Tutor’s home or an alternative setting.
• Tutors should show evidence of their enhanced DBS check and photo ID (such as driving licence or passport) when they first visit a new student.
• Always ensure that another adult is present before entering a tuition setting. This could be a parent, carer or other adult who has responsibility for the welfare of the child. If no other adult is present, you should not enter the premises; explain to the child / young person that you cannot come in until such a person is present.
• If the tuition is at the Tutor’s home, request that the parent, carer or other adult with responsibility for the child’s welfare stays at the setting.
• Ensure that you work in a suitable environment, with the door ajar and in earshot of other adults. If you have a concern that the environment is not suitable you should report this immediately to Principal Tutors. If you have a concern that the environment poses a potential risk of harm to a child / young person, or to you, you should immediately inform the LOM.
• Always dress appropriately for tuition, taking into account the setting you are working in and with respect to the religious and cultural backgrounds of the people you may come into contact with during tuition.
• If using the internet or other technology for the purposes of tuition, always seek the permission of the parent or carer and ensure that all material is age appropriate for children and young people and relevant to the purpose of tuition.
Student / Tutor Relationship
• Never ask a child or young person personal questions about their background
• Remain open to any questions or concerns a student may have about attitudes and behaviours they may not feel comfortable with
• Act as a positive role model for every child and young person you work with.
• Remember that others may misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned
Refrain from any physical contact with students, and ensure that inappropriate subjects are not discussed or inappropriate banter exchanged
• Never promise to keep any disclosure secret – you have a duty to report disclosures or any concerns you may have to the LOM
• Never arrange to meet students outside of tuition sessions or to give them lifts to and from tuition in your car
• Refrain from giving out your personal numbers or private email addresses to children and young people.
• Never use social networking sites – or similar technological platforms – to communicate with students
• Do not give gifts to, or accept gifts from, children and young people you are working with – this could be considered as a bribe or inducement to enter into a relationship, and could give rise to allegations of improper conduct
• Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 it is a criminal offence for anyone working in an education setting to have a sexual relationship with a pupil even when the pupil is over the age of consent
Use of Force and Restraint
• The law forbids staff and tutors from using any degree of physical contact that is deliberately intended to punish a student, or that is primarily intended to cause pain or injury or humiliation.
• If it is necessary to use physical action to prevent a child from injury to themselves or others, you should immediately inform the LOM. The LOM will share this information with the relevant local authority Children’s Services department and/or the parents/carers of the child or young person.
• Any concerns or allegations that a member of staff or tutor may have acted inappropriately should be immediately referred to the LOM who will, in turn, contact the LADO.
C. SAFER RECRUITMENT
All staff and tutors are recruited in accordance with the Principal Tutors Recruitment, Vetting and Selection Policy and must abide by the Principal Tutors Data Protection and Confidentiality Policies.
All tutors and staff must complete an application form providing details of education and experience, they must be degree qualified and be interviewed by the local office.
All local office management, staff and tutors are required to have an enhanced DBS certificate, with renewal undertaken not less than every 3 years.
All our Tutors are made fully aware of the Child Protection procedures before they commence any tutoring, and are given a copy of the Principal Tutors’ Child Protection Policy and Procedure.
Allegations Against Staff Or Tutors
All allegations against staff and tutors should immediately be brought to the attention of the LOM.
In all cases, the LADO should be notified. either directly by the LOM or by the LOM confirming with the LACSD that they have made a referral to the LADO.
The tutor or member of staff may be suspended or have his or her working arrangements reviewed, pending the investigation, following advice from the LADO.