Safeguarding is defined as
Protecting learners from maltreatment;
Preventing impairment of learners’ health or development;
Ensuring that learners are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
Taking action to enable all learners to have the best life chances.
Choice Training is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its learners. We believe that:
All learners have the right to be protected from harm;
Learners need to be safe and to feel safe at Choice Training
Learners need support which matches their individual needs, including those who may have experienced abuse;
All learners must be encouraged to respect each other’s values and support each other;
All learners have the right to be supported to meet their emotional, and social needs as well as their educational needs – a happy healthy sociable child will achieve better educationally;
All staff and visitors have an important role to play in safeguarding learners and protecting them from abuse.
Choice Training will fulfil their local and national responsibilities as laid out in the following documents:-
Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory guidance for schools and Centres (DfE September 2023)
This policy will contribute to safeguarding our learners and promoting their welfare by:
Clarifying standards of behaviour for staff and learners;
Contributing to the establishment of a safe, resilient and robust ethos in the Centre, built on mutual respect, and shared values
Introducing appropriate work within the curriculum;
Alerting staff to the signs and indicators that all might not be well;
Developing staff awareness of the causes of abuse;
Developing staff awareness of the risks and vulnerabilities learners face;
Addressing concerns at the earliest possible stage; and
Reducing the potential risks learners face of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation, or victimisation
This policy will contribute to supporting our learners by:
Identifying and protecting the most vulnerable
Identifying individual needs where possible; and
Designing plans to meet those needs.
This policy will contribute to the protection of our learners by:
Including appropriate work within the curriculum;
Implementing child protection policies and procedures; and
Working in partnership with learners, parents and agencies.
All staff including supply will:
Be familiar with this safeguarding policy;
Be subject to Safer Recruitment processes and checks, whether they are new staff, supply staff, contractors, volunteers etc.
Where appropriate, be involved in the implementation of individual education programmes, integrated support plans, child in need plans and inter-agency child protection plans;
Be alert to signs and indicators of possible abuse
Record concerns and give the record to the Designated Safeguarding Lead(DSL) Robert Tye
Deal with a disclosure of abuse from a child in line with the guidance - you must inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately, and provide a written account as soon as possible;
Receive level one training at least once every three years. In addition all staff members receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email and staff meetings), as required, (but at least annually), to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard learners effectively
Do not disclose to a parent any information held on a child if this would put the child at risk of significant harm
All Visitors will:
Be subject to ID checks. This includes contractors, volunteers, and child support workers.
Be made aware of the Safeguarding information when they sign in
Contractors will be issued with a code of conduct which includes safeguarding contact information.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Robert Tye. He has lead responsibility and management oversight and accountability for child protection and will be responsible for coordinating all child protection activity.
When the Centre has concerns about a child, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide what steps should be taken and should advise the other Directors
Child protection information will be dealt with in a confidential manner. Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the Designated Safeguarding Lead feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to deal with an individual child and/or family. A written record will be made of what information has been shared with whom, and when.
Child protection records will be stored securely in a central place separate from academic records. Individual files will be kept for each child. Files will be kept for at least the period during which the child is attending Choice Training, and beyond that in line with current data legislation and guidance.
Parents will be aware of information held on their learners and kept up to date regarding any concerns or developments. General communications with parents will be in line with any home school policies and give due regard to which adults have parental responsibility.
When a Designated Safeguarding Lead resigns their post or no longer has child protection responsibility, there should be a full face to face handover/exchange of information with the new post holder.
In exceptional circumstances when a face to face handover is unfeasible, the MD will ensure that the new post holder is fully conversant with all procedures and case files.
A Safer Culture
Safer Recruitment and Selection
The Centre pays full regard to ‘Keeping Learners Safe in Education’ (DfE 2014). Safer recruitment practice includes scrutinising applicants, verifying identity and qualifications, obtaining professional and character references, checking previous employment history and ensuring that a candidate has the health and physical capacity for the job. It also includes undertaking interviews and undertaking appropriate checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). ‘Prohibition from teaching’ checks are also completed for all teaching staff and for EEA teachers, checks are carried out for any teacher sanction or restriction using the NCTL Teacher Services’ system. Both checks are recorded on the Single Central Record.
All recruitment materials will include reference to the school’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of learners.
We recognise the stressful and traumatic nature of child protection work. We will support staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and to seek further support as appropriate.
A Safer Environment
Supervision: Student reception area
Student reception is to be permanently supervised by a member of staff between the hours of 8.30am and 5.00p.m each day. Doors remain open during this time for student access.
Intruders on site
In the event of a suspected intruder on the premises, staff are to politely ask the person to leave the premises and are then to report this to a member of the leadership Team. If students witness a suspected intruder, they are to be encouraged to inform a member of staff immediately. All members of staff that are legitimately on the premises, including ALL visitors and trainee teachers, should be wearing a lanyard/card clearly displaying their name and all students will be in complete school uniform and/or school PE kit. In the event that an intruder does not follow initial instructions to leave the premises, a member of the Senior Leadership Team should be informed immediately. In some cases, Police may then be contacted and where appropriate the Principal may instigate a ‘Lockdown procedure’.
Where an intruder on the premises represents an immediate concern to the welfare of staff and/or students, Choice Training will instigate a Lockdown Procedure. In these cases, the alarm will ring 3 consecutive times. In these cases, staff are to ensure that all students remain in classrooms/under their supervision and are to lock classroom/office doors. The ‘all clear’ will be sounded by the alarm ringing again 3 consecutive times.
Our Role in the Prevention of Abuse
We will provide opportunities for learners to develop skills, concepts, attitudes and knowledge that promote their safety and well-being.
Relevant issues will be addressed through the Citizenship curriculum, for example self-esteem, emotional literacy, assertiveness, power, sex and relationship education, e-safety and bullying.
Other Areas of Work
Our safeguarding policy cannot be separated from the general ethos of the Centre, which should ensure that learners are treated with respect and dignity, taught to treat each other with respect, feel safe, have a voice, and are listened to.
Safeguarding Learners who are Vulnerable to Extremism
Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard learners and families from violent extremism. There have been occasions nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable learners to hold extreme views including justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.
Choice Training values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both learners and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.
The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make learners vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. The Choice Training is clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.
Choice Training seeks to protect learners against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, Far Right, Neo Nazi, White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will assess the level of risk within the Centre and put actions in place to reduce that risk. Risk assessment may include consideration of the Centre’s RE curriculum, assemblies, SEND policy, behaviour policy, the use of Centre premises by external agencies and other issues specific to the Centre’s profile, community and philosophy.
Our Centre, like all others, is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism: this will normally be the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The SPOC for Choice Training is Robert Tye.
When any member of staff has concerns that a child may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the SPOC and to the Designated Safeguarding Lead if this is not the same person.
Safeguarding Learners who are Vulnerable to Exploitation, Honour-based Violence (inc. Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation) Trafficking or Peer on Peer Abuse
The safeguarding policy provides the basic platform to ensure learners are given the support to respect themselves and others, stand up for themselves and protect each other.
The Centre keeps itself up to date on the latest advice and guidance provided to assist in addressing specific vulnerabilities and forms of exploitation.
The staff are supported to recognise warning signs and symptoms in relation to specific issues and include these such issues in an age appropriate way in their curriculum.
The Centre works with and engages our families and communities to talk about such issues.
Key staff are supported to talk to families about sensitive concerns in relation to their learners and to find ways to address them together wherever possible.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead knows where to seek and get advice as necessary.
The Centre brings in experts and uses specialist material to support the work we do.
What we do when we are Concerned
Where risk factors are present but there is no evidence of a particular risk then our DSL /SPOC advises us on preventative work that can be done within Centre to engage the child into mainstream activities and social groups. The DSL may well be the person who talks to and has conversations with the child’s family, sharing the Centre’s concern about the child’s vulnerability and how the family and Centre can work together to reduce the risk.
In this situation, depending on the level of concern and what we agree with the parent and the child (as far as possible) –
The DSL/SPOC can decide to notify the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) of the decision so that a strategic overview can be maintained and any themes or common factors can be recognised; and
The DSL may call for an Early Help Assessment to be carried out.
All staff should be prepared to identify learners who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges. In the first instance staff should discuss early help requirements with the designated safeguarding lead. Staff may be required to support other agencies and professionals in an early help assessment.
If early help is appropriate the designated safeguarding lead should support the staff member in liaising with other agencies and setting up an inter-agency assessment as appropriate. Early help referrals will be made by members of the Pastoral team and the DSL only, supported by other relevant staff such as teachers, Learning Support Assistants, Form Tutors as appropriate.
If early help and or other support is appropriate the case will be kept under constant review. If the child’s situation doesn’t appear to be improving, consideration will be given to a referral to learners’s social care (MASH).
MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)
If the concerns about the child are significant and meet the additional needs/complex need criteria, they will be referred by the DSL only to the MASH. This includes concerns about a child who is affected by the behaviour of a parent or other adult in their household.
If a teacher, in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation appears to have been carried out, the teacher must report this to the police.
Where a staff member feels unable to raise an issue with the DSL or Principal, or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, external whistleblowing channels are open to them:
The NSPCC whistleblowing helpline is available for staff who do not feel able to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday to Friday and Email: email@example.com
In general, we will discuss any child protection concerns with parents / carers before approaching other agencies, and will seek their consent to making a referral to another agency. Appropriate staff will approach parents / carers after consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. However there may be occasions when the centrel will contact another agency before informing parents/carers because it considers that contacting them may increase the risk of significant harm to the child.
Parents / carers will be informed about our safeguarding policy through our website: www.choicetrainingltd.co.uk
We work in partnership with other agencies in the best interests of our learners.
We will co-operate with any child protection enquiries conducted by Children’s Social Care: Choice Training will ensure representation at appropriate inter-agency meetings such as integrated support plan meetings, initial and review child protection conferences, and core group meetings.
We will provide reports as required for these meetings. If Choice training is unable to attend, a written report will be sent. The report will, wherever possible, be shared with parents / carers at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Where a child is subject to an inter-agency child protection plan or a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) meeting, the school will contribute to the preparation, implementation and review of the plan as appropriate.
Looked After Children
Where a child is looked after, staff are provided with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to keep the child safe.
Staff are provided with the information they need in relation to a child’s looked after legal status (whether they are looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order) and contact arrangements with birth parents or those with parental responsibility (through SIMS). Where appropriate, staff are also provided with information about the child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her.
Our Role in Supporting Children
We will offer appropriate support to individual children who have experienced abuse or who have abused others.
An individual support plan will be devised, implemented and reviewed regularly for these children. This plan will detail areas of support, who will be involved, and the child’s wishes and feelings. A written outline of the individual support plan will be kept in the child’s child protection record.
Children who abuse others will be responded to in a way that meets their needs as well as protecting others within the College community through a multi-agency risk assessment. We will ensure that the needs of children who abuse others will be considered separately from the needs of their victims.
It is recognised that children may abuse each other. Any kind of abuse is considered abuse and no peer on peer abuse will be tolerated or considered as “banter” or “part of growing up”. Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways such as bullying, gender based violence and/or sexting and will not be tolerated by Choice Training
Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video. This includes sending ‘nude photos’, ‘rude photos’ or ‘nude selfies’.
Students are made aware through the curriculum that sexting is illegal for anyone under the age of 18, regardless of whether they were given permission, someone else sent it to them first, they have never met the other person before, they too are under 18 or it is a selfie.
Students are also educated on other associated issues with sexting such as losing control over personal images, being blackmailed as a result of these images, the negative effects on their self-confidence and self-worth and the legal ramifications of forwarding such images to friends etc.
Any form of sexting will not be tolerated by Choice Training. Parents / carers will be informed as well as other appropriate agencies.
In all cases of abuse, Choice Training will work in partnership with parents / carers and other agencies as appropriate.
Children with Additional Needs
Choice Training recognises that while all children have a right to be safe, some children may be more vulnerable to abuse, for example new arrivals to the country whose first language is not English or those living with domestic violence or drug/alcohol abusing parents.
If a child is subject to a child protection plan or where there is an existing child protection file, Choice Training will take this into consideration before making the decision to exclude, either permanently or fixed term.
Responding to an Allegation about a Member of Staff
This procedure should be used in any case in which it is alleged that a member of staff, Director, visiting professional or volunteer has:
Behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
Behaved in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.
Keeping Children Safe In Education
In line with the new KCSIE changes from September 2023 we have implemented the following:
All of Choice Training’s IT equipment is Filtered through our outsourced IT support in line with Cyber Essentials
WE are Cyber essentials certificated annually.
All staff have CPD in safeguarding
All It equipment and Wi-Fi is monitored by IT Engine
All harmful and inappropriate content is blocked.
Any attempts to look at harmful content are flagged by IT Engine and monitored
Any Child absences are reported to welfare Manager, Simone Frankel, who investigates. Employer is informed by attendance alert also.
Learner is given work via Your Choice Online learning
All new recruits are DBS Enhanced checked.
Personal references are carried out.
All new potential recruits are informed that we will carry out the above checks
All Recruits have a personal file which contains; proof of address, national insurance number, copy of DBS, P60 and passport/driving licence
Our Welfare officer has had Forced Marriage training, and gives talks to all classes about it
Next Review: 09/11/24