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St Albans School of Languages
35 Market Place
St Albans
Tel: 01727 838980

Safeguarding Policy - St Albans School of Languages

St Albans School of Languages has a duty of care to “Safeguard and promote the welfare of children”.
This means:

• Protecting children from maltreatment;
• Preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
• Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
• Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, DCSF 2013
We are committed to practices which safeguard children from harm. Staff in this organisation accept and recognise their responsibilities in respect of the issues which cause children harm and we are committed to raising awareness of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at all times. Children are defined as anyone under the age of 18.
This will be achieved by:
• Adopting child protection guidelines though procedures and a staff code of conduct
• Following carefully the procedures for safer recruitment and selection of staff
• Having staff DBS checked or sign declarations of suitability to work with children and vulnerable adults, and to read and adhere to this policy
• Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training in issues relating to child protection
• Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of any child or vulnerable adult in contact with St Albans School of Languages
• To ensure that no member of staff physically, emotionally or sexually abuses any child or vulnerable adult who comes into contact with St Albans School of Languages
• Taking all reasonable steps to prevent any staff member, person working for us or member of the public from putting any child in a situation where there is unreasonable risk to their health and safety
• Taking all reasonable steps to prevent any staff member, person working for us or member of the public from physically, emotionally or sexually abusing any child or vulnerable adult
• Reporting to the designated safeguarding person or lead any evidence or reasonable suspicion that a child or vulnerable adult in contact with St Albans School of Languages been physically, emotionally or sexually abused
• Sharing information about good practice and child protection with children, parents and carers and staff
• Sharing information about concerns with the relevant agencies and involving parents and children where appropriate
• Implementing this policy in conjunction with the Student Handbook and Staff Handbook
• Appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): Ria Knol
• We are also committed to reviewing our policy at regular intervals (annually)

The aim of this policy is to promote good practice by:
• Providing children with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of St Albans School of Languages
• Allowing all current staff to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues

Promoting Good Practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and other environments. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them.
All suspicious practice shall be reported following the guidelines in this policy.
All Staff must adhere to the Code of Conduct outlined in the Staff Handbook.

Incidents that must be Reported / Recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to Ian Salkey, and record the incident.
• If you accidentally hurt young person
• If he/she seems distressed in any manner
• If a child or young person appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
• If a child or young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done

If a young person has an accident which does not require hospital treatment:
• Management should be notified and monitor the individual
• The child’s parent should be notified of the incident at an appropriate time
• The accident/incident should be completed
• A member of St Albans School of Languages staff (Ian Salkey) should be informed immediately

Responding to a young person making an allegation of abuse
• Stay calm.
• Listen carefully to what is said.
• Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep any secrets.
• Allow the child to continue at their own pace.
• Ask questions for clarification only and always avoid asking leading questions (questions that suggest a particular answer). Do not make assumptions or offer explanations.
• Remember that an allegation of child abuse may lead to a criminal investigation, so do not attempt to personally investigate any allegations of abuse.
• Even allegations that appear less serious must be taken seriously and followed up according to procedure.
• Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
• Tell them what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.
• Do not ask the child to make a written statement.
• Record in writing everything that was said as soon as possible using the child’s own words (you can use the form in the Safeguarding folder in the office)
• Note date, time, and names of persons to whom the information was given.
• Ensure that the record is signed and dated by these persons.
• Report immediately to Ian Salkey or Ria Knol.
• Do not confront any person against whom an allegation has been made.

Advice for Personal Communications with Students
Please be aware of the potential dangers of personal contact (i.e. contact beyond what is reasonably expected in performing your duties) with students, and the following advice from child protection/teaching agencies:
If students do try to make contact with you on your personal email or phone, discourage this and inform your line manager.
Exercise extreme caution in connection with internet sites / messaging systems and avoid inappropriate communication with all individuals under 18, or others with whom you may be in a position of trust.
Take care to avoid becoming personally involved in a student's personal affairs.
Remember that your personal profiles can be viewed by anyone, and people working with children should be especially careful about their personal web presence. The legal responsibilities of people working with minors extend past the end of any contract they have with St Albans School of Languages.

Risks to Students and Staff
Students may be able to find information about your personal life that may be inappropriate for minors, and may damage your working relationship with your students.
By allowing students access to friendship groups you may be inadvertently introducing them to a wider circle of adults, over which you have no control, and may facilitate inappropriate contacts.
Sexual predators and bullies are known to use information available on web pages and social networking sites to gain information about children, such as their interests, tastes and location. Staff who post information about students (e.g. photos of their summer holiday, names etc) on a personal web page may make them vulnerable to inappropriate attention.

Our Policy and Standards of Behaviour for Staff
1. It is paramount for all members of staff to distance themselves from any potentially inappropriate situation.
2. Students are clients of St Albans School of Languages. Staff should not attempt to instigate private contact with students of any age during or after the course.
3. Staff must not give their personal email/postal addresses or telephone number to students, or ask for theirs, during or after the course.
4. Staff must not add any students to any social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), nor allow themselves to be added to any student’s social networking site.
5. Staff must use common sense and professional judgement to avoid circumstances which could be perceived to be of an inappropriate nature.
6. Staff must not, by any means or in any circumstances, make, view or access illegal or inappropriate images of children.
7. Staff must not distribute (by any means) images or information about students of any age. This includes the use of student images or details on blogs, social networking sites, messaging systems or any internet sites.

Code of Conduct for All Adults
This code of conduct must be followed by all St Albans School of Languages employees, clients, contractors and third party suppliers over the age of 18.

Do’s and Don’ts for Working with Children
* Remember the child comes first
* Behave professionally
* Treat everyone with respect and communicate at their level
* Listen to children
* Be aware of policies and procedures
* Report any suspicion within St Albans School of Languages’ guidelines
* Be aware, approachable and understanding

Do not:
* Touch inappropriately
* Use inappropriate language
* Harm or frighten a child
* Be alone with a child unless absolutely unavoidable
* Threaten, shout or be aggressive
* Mistreat, demean, ignore or make fun of a child
* Force a child to do something they do not want to do
* Let a child expose him/herself to danger
* Take photos of children without their consent or the consent of St Albans School of Languages.

Additionally, all students must remain under the supervision of St Albans School of Languages’ staff or nominated persons who have undergone a similar screening process that can be sufficiently evidenced.

Rules and follow-up procedure for under 18s
Students on St Albans School of Languages courses are expected to attend all lessons unless otherwise specified by their parents or guardians.

Students should be entered into the class register on arrival every morning

Any student on St Albans School of Languages courses who wishes to be excused from any lesson needs to provide written permission in advance from their parent or guardian. Written notes handed in by students will be verified by phone.

Attendance registers will be taken at every lesson and any absences will be followed up and investigated.
If a student does not arrive at school for a scheduled lesson St Albans School of Languages will make every effort to contact the student and/or their parent or guardian or host family to ascertain the reason.

Students who wish to travel unaccompanied on public transport to and from school need to have written permission from their parent or guardian.

Reviewed January 2017.



©Ria Knol - 2017