Student Experience

Safeguarding Policy

Tech Educators Safeguarding Policy V1.9.2023

Intro:

Tech Educators recognises that it has a statutory duty to report disclosures of allegations of abuse/radicalisation. It also has a moral duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of its learners who are adults at risk. This includes helping to protect them from circumstances in which they are abused.

Tech Educators is safeguarding against abuse by:

  1. Establishing a safe learning environment in which all learners can learn and develop.
    • Any non-confidential student concerns will be added to the weekly standup agenda, which will be minuted
  2. Practising safe staff recruitment procedures for recruiting all staff (paid or unpaid):
    • Always taking up two written references
    • Insisting that any appointment, where staff have direct and / or unsupervised access to children and young people, will only be confirmed subject to a satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check at the appropriate level.
    • At interview having sound procedures and recording to ensure we are satisfied, and can evidence, that the applicant is appropriate and suitable
  3. Helping to equip learners with information and awareness to keep themselves safe.
    • Notifying them of the DLS and ways to contact them, and also Kate Yarbo as Mental Health First Aider as a safe confidential place to discuss concerns/gain help
  4. Maintaining clear procedures to identify and report suspected cases of abuse.
  5. Ensuring all staff are aware of these procedures and trained in their use.
  6. Providing appropriate support to learners who have been abused
  7. Monitor other indicators such as attendance, and complete the communication tab- to capture concerns and support given.
  8. Link areas notified on application form with appropriate intervention/oversight. We ensure students have an opportunity to disclose any personal circumstances that may affect their well-being on the course so we can implement the right support and staff are made aware.

Please refer to Appendix 4 definitions of Adult abuse.

Tech Educators recognises its duty under the Prevent agenda and understands the positive contribution it can make towards protecting its learners from radicalisation  and / or violent extremism.

Tech Educators will safeguard against radicalisation by:

  1. Empowering its learners to create communities that are resilient to extremism
  2. Protecting the wellbeing of learners who may be vulnerable to being drawn into violent extremism or crime
  3. Continuing to promote the development of spaces for free debate where shared values can be reinforced
  4. Promoting values of openness and tolerance which are characteristic of British values
  5. Maintaining a comprehensive Prevent Risk Assessment process

Please see Appendix 5 for definitions of British values, Radicalisation and Extremism.

Tech Educators recognises that it has a duty to report suspicions or disclosures about radicalisation or involvement in extremism. These concerns will be reported internally using the Safeguarding operating procedures but also be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

See Appendix 3 – External Safeguarding and Prevent contacts

Tech Educators recognises that it has a duty to report any concerns around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). These concerns will be reported using the Safeguarding operating procedure.

Communication of the Operating Procedure:

Details of the Operating Procedure will be made available to:

*All staff and volunteers by means of induction and training or when the operating procedure and process has been reviewed and amended. Staff will sign to record they have read and understood the Operating Procedure.

All staff will as a minimum be expected to undertake Safeguarding and Prevent training and update their training in line with this operating procedure.

Students and other Partners will be made aware of the Operating Procedure by means of a summary published on the internet and elsewhere as appropriate.

Context and general principles:

Tech Educators has a statutory duty under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote the welfare of its learners.

With regard to Prevent Section 21 of the Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015,  (the Act) places a duty on certain bodies, including Schools, Colleges, Further  Education providers and Local Authorities, to have ‘due regard to the need to  prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.

Adults at risk are people aged 18 and over who are affected by mental ill health, have a learning difficulty, disability, a physical disability, or impairment.

Tech Educators is clear that it is not the responsibility of any member of staff to investigate any suspected cases of abuse. All cases must be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Prevent

To safeguard individuals from radicalisation, Tech Educators works to the Prevent element of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, and where appropriate seeks external support for learners through referrals to the Channel Programme via the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

This programme aims to work with the individual to address their specific vulnerabilities, prevent them becoming further radicalised and possibly entering the criminal justice system because of their actions. It is recognised that radicalisation can occur to an individual from any sector of society and is not particular to any racial, ethnic, or social group.

It is further recognised that in many instances the process of radicalisation is essentially one of grooming by others. The Prevent agenda includes influence on individuals by groups on the far right.

People with responsibility for safeguarding:

The Adult Learning Safeguarding Team comprises:

  1. Designated Safeguarding Lead /- Student Success Executive
  2. Safeguarding Governor - CEO

The Designated Safeguarding Lead has the responsibility of ensuring that the Safeguarding adults at risk operating procedure is adopted by the Senior Leadership Team fully implemented.  The DSL and dDeputy DSL will meet quarterly to review appropriate action has been taken, all appropriate action has been taken and all files are up to date.

All Tech Educators staff have a responsibility to report their concerns to the DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD if they suspect that abuse is taking place. This can be reported by telephone, face to face or by completing the Record of Concern form (Appendix 2).

Learners are made aware of who the Designated Safeguarding Lead is, how they will support  them and what their responsibilities to safeguarding within Adult Learning are,  through the website, informational displays,  and class induction by their instructor.

Safeguarding procedure for staff – handling disclosures:

If an adult/learner tells a member of staff that abuse is taking place they should be acknowledged, taken seriously, and listened to.

As soon as it becomes clear that the adult/learner is talking about a situation of abuse, they should be gently stopped and informed that if they continue, all staff members have a legal obligation to pass information on to the Safeguarding Team and other appropriate organisations. Staff cannot promise confidentiality to a learner.

The guiding principle is wherever possible staff should seek the consent of the adult to make a safeguarding referral. People who have mental capacity to make decisions for themselves should be consulted before a referral is made and their consent sought. If the person does not have capacity and has been harmed or is likely to be, then staff must make a safeguarding referral.

If the alleged abuser has contacts with other adults at risk of harm, a referral must be made so that these adults can be safeguarded. If the alleged abuser is a formal or informal carer for another person, then a referral must be made in the public interest, as other adults may be at risk of harm from them. In these circumstances, a referral should be made regardless of whether the person has given consent.

In an emergency call 999.

Where a staff member has concerns about a child, but these concerns are not  related to immediate or significant harm, the staff member should contact the  Safeguarding Team for advice using the central Safeguarding number: 0344 800 8005.

It is important not to ask too many questions as staff must not under any circumstances investigate any accusations. As soon as possible, staff should write down the factual details of what has been said using the Record of Concern form.

There should be only one copy of this that must be given to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, or CEO in their absence. No other paper or electronic copies should be kept.

Staff must contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead, but certainly the same day, to explain the situation and pass on the written notes.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will outline the action that they will take so that this can be explained to the learner. It may be appropriate for the Designated Safeguarding Lead to meet the learner.

Staff must not take any further action themselves. This includes contacting outside agencies. As far as possible, the wishes and views of the learner will be considered.

If a member of staff has suspicions that a learner is suffering abuse they must discuss these concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and not take any independent action.

All contact with outside agencies regarding safeguarding issues of abuse must be conducted by the Designated Safeguarding Lead another named member of the Safeguarding Team.

Tech Educators will liaise with the police and support them with enquiries in relation to the safeguarding and well-being of learners.

Conduct of professional relationships between staff and learners:

All Tech Educators employees are required to observe Tech Educators’  expectations of conduct  as outlined in the Employment Handbook at all times and are required to give due care to  promoting and preserving the integrity of professional relationships between staff  and learners.

Allegations of abuse against a member of staff:

Any such allegations will be handled in accordance with Appendix 6 - Procedure for dealing with allegations against a member of staff

Allegations of abuse made against a person who works with adults at risk

The CEO must contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day of receiving an allegation or concern. The manager should not investigate the allegation at this stage. NCC LADO Team can be contacted on 01603 223473.

The LADO will discuss the case with the manager and will oversee the case to its conclusion.

With regards to staff disciplinary and grievance procedures, we will take no steps until we have fully discussed and agreed a way forward with Adult Services and or the Police. Any investigation will override the need to implement any such procedures.

Contact the MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) for any allegations or concerns about staff or volunteers working with adults at risk.

Sex offenders

If any member of staff or learner has concerns that a sex offender may be accessing any Adult Learning site, this information must be passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputies or CEO immediately. The Safeguarding Team will contact outside agencies to verify any accusation and decide with the Designated Safeguarding Lead on the action to be taken.

Bullying and harassment

Tech Educators is committed to ensuring that learners receive education and training free from threat, oppression, or abuse. Bullying and harassment are unacceptable and inconsistent with Tech Educators objectives.

All staff will set a good example to learners and promote mutual co-operation and respect within Tech Educators community and make plain Tech Educators’s attitude  towards bullying and harassment.

Any incidents of bullying will be reported member of staff line manager who may seek advice from the Designated Safeguarding Lead or leadership team. Staff will act, without delay and positively, when bullying or harassment of any kind are reported or observed.

Victims of bullying or harassment, including that occurring outside Tech Educators, will be supported by the DSL, or referred to outside agencies with their consent, as appropriate.

Tech Educators will identify potentially isolated locations and key times, and act to monitor them, to prevent bullying or harassment taking place.

Staff will be made aware of the issues of bullying and harassment and where to obtain procedural advice.

Forced marriage

Forced marriage is different from, and should not be confused with, an arranged marriage. To force a person to marry someone against their will is an abuse and a criminal offence.

The government have established a Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) to offer support and guidance to agencies.

If you suspect that one of your learners is being placed in a potential forced marriage situation, please refer to the DSL immediately.

Training

We have a mandatory induction and training programme.

Every member of staff must complete the statutory training, as directed, when they join the service. In particular, staff will not be allowed to work with learners and learner information until they have completed the training.

All staff will be required to undertake approved Safeguarding and Prevent training regardless of their roles. Evidence of completion of training must be emailed the HR Administrator for placing on BrightHR

Data protection and record keeping

Appropriate confidential records will be kept for all stages of alleged or suspected abuse.  No records of situations of alleged or suspected abuse must be kept in curriculum areas, all e-mail communications must be deleted.

Any information about individuals will be kept confidential.

Any data that is retained, will comply with Tech Educators Data Protection procedure.

Audit

The Designated Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Governor will undertake at least an annual review of this operating procedure.

Information sharing and confidentiality

Information received in relation to safeguarding is often confidential and Tech Educators complies with the relevant parts of:

  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Common Law of Confidentiality
  • The Data Protection Act 2018 (incorporating GDPR)
  • The Care Act 2014

Tech Educators acts appropriately regarding confidentiality whilst still complying with  our duties of cooperation and integrated working between ourselves and appropriate  external agencies, including Social Services and the Police while acting in the best  welfare interests of our clients and service users.

Confidential information will not be shared without prior consent except in specific circumstances where Tech Educators legal duties prevent this. Information will be used only by the DSL connection with their duties.

At times this may include disclosure to other relevant professionals such as social services and the Police.

This information will only be shared, on a “need to know” basis, after confirming the  identity and or authority of the person concerned, except in circumstances where the disclosure is  necessary for compliance with a legal or statutory obligation.

‘Safeguarding Update’ will be a standing agenda item at each Senior Leadership Team meeting presented by the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will give quarterly anonymised safeguarding reports to Senior Leaders to keep them informed of the volume of referrals and any emerging themes or patterns.

Appendix 1 - Handling Disclosures (Summary)

You may become aware of suspected or likely abuse /radicalisation by:

  1. Your own observations and concerns
  2. Being told by another person that they have concerns about an adult
  3. The child or vulnerable adult tells you
  4. The abuser tells you

Also remember that you may not always be working directly with the adult but become concerned because of difficulties experienced e.g.

  1. Domestic Violence incidents
  2. Mental Health issues
  3. Substance and Alcohol Abuse Incidents

Remember:

  1. Do not delay referral
  2. Do not investigate
  3. Seek advice from the Safeguarding Team, or in an emergency call 999
  4. Make a careful written record of anything you observe or are told

Appendix 2 - Tech Educators, Record of Concern

Referral Form for concerns and allegations

Use this form to record concerns or allegations about adults at risk.

CALL to discuss your concern or allegation with your Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Lead.

To be completed as soon as possible by the person reporting the concern or allegation and sent immediately to your Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Lead.

  1. Record all the information you have received or observed. Attach an additional sheet if necessary.
  2. Do not write your notes in the presence of anyone related to the concern. Either: hand write then post / scan and email; or type notes and then email. Any notes handwritten should also be passed on. The form may be used in Police / criminal investigations. Once the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Lead for your service has confirmed receipt of documents please delete your copies. Send any handwritten or printed notes to them – do not put them in the confidential waste. Any emails sent should be flagged as ‘Confidential’. Do not put names in the subject heading of emails and only use initials, not full names in the email itself.
  3. Do not discuss details of a concern or allegation with ANYONE apart from your line manager, your senior managers or your Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Lead.
  4. DO TALK to your Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Lead as soon as possible so that your concern or allegation can be referred to the next stage, if appropriate.
  5. If you cannot contact your Designated Safeguarding Lead or the CEO, do not delay:
  6. If your concern relates to a child at risk, call the Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS) on 0344 800 8021 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm). Out of hours call the Norfolk County Council Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020.
  7. If your concern relates to an adult at risk, call the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0344 800 8020, hold until an operator answers, say you want to make a safeguarding referral and give them the information. Follow their advice. Then pass this completed form to your Designated Service Lead so that the referral can be recorded and followed up in writing.

Always call 999 in an emergency – DO NOT DELAY

Tech Educators – Record of Concern Form

Who is the concern about?

  • Name:
  • Date of birth:
  • DD/MM/YYYY
  • Address:
  • Contact Number:

What happened?

Record details of anyone else who may be a witness or have relevant information about the incident:

What is the concern?

Record details of concerns and any supporting evidence you or others have observed. Include where and when the incident occurred. Use exact words where possible, record any questions you asked, and who reported the concerns or allegations

Are you aware of any previous concerns which may relate to this incident?

Y/N

Witnesses

Record details of anyone else who may be a witness or have relevant information about the incident

Who have you told?

Record who has been notified about the concern with the time and date:

Name

Time and Date

Designated Safeguarding Lead or a Deputy Lead

DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM

Or:

For adults at risk: the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0344 800 8020

DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM

In an emergency: The Police on 999

DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM

Record of Concern Completed by:

  • Name:
  • Job Title:
  • Contact Number:
  • Email:
  • Date:
  • DD/MM/YYYY

Appendix 3 - External Safeguarding and Prevent Contacts

Use the contacts below if you are not able to get hold of your Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputies and you need to report a concern or allegation.

Contacts:

In an emergency do not delay - always call the Police Emergency Number: 999

When you are concerned that a child, young person, or adult is at risk of harm or radicalisation if action is not taken as soon as possible:

For concerns about a child

  • Children’s Advice and Duty Service (CADS): 0344 800 8021 (Monday - Friday 8am 8pm)
  • NCC Customer Service Centre: 0344 800 8020 (Out of hours)

For concerns about an adult at risk

  • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): 0344 800 8020 (24 hours) • Norfolk Police - Safeguarding Support Team direct dial: 01603 276332 Secure email address for sending electronic referral documents to (always mark emails ‘Confidential’ to make them secure):
  • Referrals relating to children: [email protected]
  • Referrals relating to adults: [email protected] • Norfolk Police Switchboard: 101 [email protected]

Other useful contacts

If you have a concern about the behaviour of a member of staff and/or volunteer towards a child or adult at risk, report it immediately to your Designated Safeguarding Lead.

If this is not possible, submit an online referral/consultation form to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). You can find this form on the Norfolk Local Safeguarding Board website

Appendix 4 - Recognition of adult abuse

The priority should always be to ensure the safety and protection of adults. To this end it is the responsibility of all staff to act on any suspicion or evidence of abuse or neglect and to pass on their concerns to a responsible person/agency. The Care Act 2015 updates the scope of adult safeguarding which applies as follows:

  • Whenever a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there):
  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  • As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

In effect this means that regardless of whether they are providing any services, councils must follow up any concerns about either actual or suspected adult abuse.

The 10 types of abuse defined by the Care Act 2015

These now include abuse under the following headings:

  1. Discriminatory
  2. Psychological or emotional
  3. Financial or material
  4. Organisational
  5. Neglect and acts of omission
  6. Physical
  7. Sexual
  8. Domestic
  9. Modern slavery
  10. Neglect

There are many different types of abuse and they all result in behaviour towards a person that deliberately or intentionally causes harm.

Appendix 5 - Definition of British Values, Radicalisation and Extremism

British Values

The Prevent strategy 2011 sets out British values as:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.

Radicalisation

Radicalisation is the process by which individuals come to support terrorism or violent extremism.

Extremism

Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to sow division between communities based on race, faith, or denomination; justify discrimination towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society.

Extremism is defined in the Counter Extremism Strategy 2015 as the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018, Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix 6 - Procedure for dealing with allegations against a member of staff

Enquiries and investigations

Safeguarding enquiries by Social Services or the Police are not to be confused with internal disciplinary enquiries by Tech Educators. Tech Educators may be able to use the outcome of external agency enquiries as part of its own procedures.

Tech Educators will hold in abeyance its own enquiries while the formal police or Social Services investigations proceed.

The Police may act independently of Tech Educators particularly where the allegation is unconnected to the member of staff’s professional life. The Police may wish to interview other members of staff to enable them to gather the evidence.

Any internal enquiries will conform to Tech Educators Staff Disciplinary Procedure.

Suspension of staff

The HR staff disciplinary process will be implemented.

The disciplinary investigation

The disciplinary investigation will be conducted in accordance with the existing staff disciplinary procedures. If the outcome of the investigation results in formal disciplinary action being taken, this too will be conducted in accordance with Tech Educators disciplinary procedure.

Where a member of staff has been suspended and no disciplinary action is to be taken, the suspension should be lifted immediately, and arrangements made for the member of staff to return to work.

Tech Educators will provide access to counselling (other than in the case of dismissal). Tech Educators would also consider the appropriateness of additional support, guidance and reassurance and help, where necessary, to rebuild the member of staff’s confidence. If required, Tech Educators would provide sympathetic consideration to other employment options.

Records

For safeguarding matters relating to staff members only, it is important that documents relating to an investigation are retained by the HR, in a secure place, together with a written record of the outcome. If disciplinary action is taken, details will be retained on the member of staff’s personnel file, in accordance with Tech Educators disciplinary procedures.

If a member of staff is dismissed or resigns or otherwise ceases to provide his or her services before the disciplinary process is completed, they should be informed that Tech Educators may make a referral to the DBS for consideration of inclusion on the barred list (formally list 99).

There is a legal duty to refer the dismissal / removal of a member of staff for safeguarding reasons to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). If an accused person resigns or ceases to provide services, this should not prevent an allegation being pursued. A settlement/ compromise agreement must not prevent referral to DBS.

Details of allegations found to be have been malicious should be removed from personnel records. However, for all allegations, detailed records should be confidentially stored (until retirement or a period of 10 years) and provided to the accused.

Cases in which an allegation was found to be false, unsubstantiated, or malicious should not be included in employer references.

Appendix 7 - Reporting Prevent Concerns

  • Prevent issue identified
  • Prevent issues reported to the DSL. In the event of an emergency always call 999.
  • DSL completes a written report
  • DSL seeks advice from the Prevent Coordinator via Police
  • DSL formally refers to Channel via Vulnerable to Radicalisation (VTR) form sent to Norfolk Mash at: [email protected]