Excess Learning Child Protection Policy
This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Excess Learning. Excess Learning believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by committing to a practice which protects them.
We recognise that:
The welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the 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 their agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
The purpose of the policy:
To provide protection for the children and young people who receive Excess Learning services.
To provide tutors with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.
This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, tutors or anyone working on behalf of Excess Learning.
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 staff members and tutors.
Recruiting tutors safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff, and tutors.
Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
Providing effective management for staff and tutors through supervision and support.
Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for children and young people by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.
Tutors and DBS checks
Excess Learning ensures that all tutors have an enhanced DBS check which has been carried out within the last 12 months. In cases where the tutor doesn’t have an enhanced DBS check Excess Learning carries this out on their behalf.
Guidelines for tutors
Excess Learning recommend that tutors take steps to ensure that they do not put themselves in a position where an allegation can be made against them. Tutors must give special consideration to ensuring that they do not become involved in circumstances where an allegation can be raised. Such consideration might involve, but is in no means limited to:
Treating children with respect and dignity at all times, reflecting their age, background, culture and special needs;
Ensuring that interaction with children occurs in the company of others wherever possible to ensure that an allegation of improper behaviour does not arise;
Retaining a professional approach to children which will involve behaviour such as not divulging home telephone numbers or addresses, refraining from any social media interaction, ensuring that there is no physical contact, avoiding inappropriate familiarity, including discussing matters of a sexual nature, maintaining self-control and being sensitive to issues that can be misconstrued; and
Seeking guidance on their own interactions with children if they have any concerns about their appropriateness or the possibility of them being misconstrued to Olaoluwa Baikie, Excess Learning’s Safeguarding Officer.
Under no circumstances should a tutor ever:
Engage in rough/boisterous, physical or sexually provocative games with a child, including horseplay;
Engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
Make sexually suggestive comments to a child;
Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child;
Do things of a personal nature for children that they are able to do for themselves; or Invite or allow a child to visit or stay at their home unsupervised.
These guidelines for tutors will always apply in the context of coming into contact with children, including students under the age of 18 years. It will also apply in situations involving vulnerable adults and is also likely to constitute best practice in situations involving all students over the age of 18.
Any tutor who comes into contact with children under the age of 18 is considered to be in a position of trust, whether or not they meet the strict legal definition, and any sexual activity between a tutor or student whom the tutor has come into contact through activities carried out in the course of teaching a course will be treated as a very serious disciplinary matter. Anyone who meets the legal definition of “position of trust” under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and who engages in any sexual activity with a person under 18 is also committing a criminal offence, and such cases will be reported to the Police.
Excess Learning has a legal duty to report to the DBS any individual whom it believes ought to be placed on the list of individuals barred from working with children.
Procedure for tutors to follow if they are concerned students are being abused (taken from the NSPCC)
Listen carefully to the child. Avoid expressing your own views on the matter. A reaction of shock or disbelief could cause the child to ‘shut down’, retract or stop talking
Let them know they’ve done the right thing. Reassurance can make a big impact to the child who may have been keeping the abuse secret
Tell them it’s not their fault. Abuse is never the child’s fault and they need to know this
Say you will take them seriously. A child could keep abuse secret in fear they won’t be believed. They’ve told you because they want help and trust you’ll be the person who will listen to and support them.
Don’t talk to the alleged abuser. Confronting the alleged abuser about what the child’s told you could make the situation a lot worse for the child
Explain what you’ll do next. If age appropriate, explain to the child you’ll need to report the abuse to someone who will be able to help
Record information, using the child’s own words if possible, and ask the child whether what has been recorded accords with what they have said
Don’t delay reporting the abuse. The sooner the abuse is reported after the child discloses the better. Report as soon as possible so details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly. This should be to Olaoluwa Baikie who is Excess Learning’s Safeguarding Officer.
How to respond if there are suspicions a tutor is abusing a child
If there are genuine suspicions that a tutor is abusing a child, tutors should:
Maintain confidentiality but alert one of the Child Protection Officers in the first instance.
The Child Protection Officer should take such steps as s/he considers necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who might be at risk. The Child Protection Officer should speak to the child about any actions taken and offer support and advice about what will happen next.
The Child Protection Officer shall keep the person who reported the original concern informed of how the matter is progressing to the extent that this is appropriate.
Recording allegations and information
The member of staff who raises the initial concern must record what they have observed or what the child disclosed, and speak with a Safeguarding Officer about the case as soon as reasonably possible. The Safeguarding Officer should record any subsequent actions, decisions or conversations. The Child Protection Officer is responsible for forwarding referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service. Safeguarding Officers are responsible for storing information in a secure area and ensuring that only authorised staff have access to this.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
Children Act 1989
United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
Data Protection Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998
Sexual Offences Act 2003
Children Act 2004
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Children and Families Act 2014
Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice: 0 to 25 years
Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
We are also committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.