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Safeguarding Policy

1.1 Introduction

Cenit College is committed to ensuring a safe and supportive environment exists for all staff, students, and visitors to the College. Creating a supportive culture and ethos for student and staff wellbeing is embedded in our college ethos. This ethos embodies principles of safeguarding. The college recognises that there are circumstances where children, young people and adults are at risk and this risk may be present when they are on the college premises or come into contact with college staff, students, contractors, or other stakeholders. This policy has thus been developed to ensure that Cenit College provides guidance of their commitment to safeguarding and it is embedded into the culture and ethos of the company. Cenit College recognises that ‘Safeguarding’ is equally applicable to both children and vulnerable adults and unless specifically indicated makes no differentiation between them.

This policy describes the responsibilities of all stakeholders for the recognition and prevention of abuse and to clarify the actions to take when abuse is suspected or identified. The aim of this policy is to ensure that we fulfil our responsibilities towards the protection, welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults. The following policies demonstrate and support a shared commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its stakeholders:

  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Code of Conduct
  • Data Protection (GDPR)
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Whistleblowing
  • Learner Behaviour in an online environment
  • Lone Working
  • Health and Safety

This policy has been approved by the Cenit College Board of Directors.

1.2 Policy Ownership

This policy will be owned by the Board of Directors.

1.3 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is:

  • Inform our employees, learners, and other stakeholders of their responsibilities in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
  • To inform our employees, learners, and other stakeholders how to raise a concern with regard to safeguarding.
  • To reassure our employees, learners, and stakeholders that we take safeguarding our learners seriously and are committed to ensuring their safety and wellbeing at all times, while they are using our services.
  • To reassure our employees, learners and stakeholders of our commitment to safeguarding and creating an ethos and culture of safeguarding within the college.

1.4 Scope

This policy applies to all employees of Cenit College and its stakeholders, irrespective of their employment status. All staff and stakeholders should be;

  • Be vigilant and aware of signs that a learner has been neglected or abused.
  • Listen to learners if they advise them of abuse.
  • Report all concerns to the safeguarding officer in accordance with the procedure outlined in this policy.

Cenit College has a legal obligation under the following:

  • Section 175 of the Education Act (2002)
  • The Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 (England)
  • The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014
  • Non- Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education as amended versions (2022)
  • All Wales Child Protection Procedures (Wales)
  • Working with all statutory partners to ensure the safeguarding of Cenit College learners.

While Cenit College is not subject to the provisions of the Care Act 2014, it does draw upon the safeguarding principles of this act with regard to Adults at Risk. This is to ensure that Cenit College, contribute to their rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect, and to promote their wellbeing, considering their views, beliefs and wishes, as appropriate in the context of the College.

1.5 Responsibilities

The Board of Directors has the following responsibilities;

  • overall responsibility for this policy and monitoring the effectiveness of the actions taken under this policy and any subsequent review required.
  • ensuring we safeguard our learners in accordance with the statutory guidance set out in Part Two of KCSIE (2022) and related guidance or legislation. This includes that:
  • the appointment of a safeguarding officer who receives the appropriate training.
  • a Safeguarding Policy and associated procedures in place that are in accordance with statutory requirements and local authority guidance and that these are published and reviewed annually or where required due to changes in policy.
  • effective training is in place for all staff, appropriate to their roles, and it complies with the statutory requirements and takes account of local authority guidance.
  • to receive and considers regular safeguarding update reports.
  • Cenit College operates ‘safer recruitment procedures’ in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • allegations or concerns against staff are appropriately dealt with.
  • ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding to keep safe our vulnerable learners.

Safeguarding Officer:  has the following responsibilities;

  • To complete the safeguarding training and any refresher courses as required.
  • To receive safeguarding incident reports and deal with them as appropriate.
  • To listen with empathy and understanding and not for an immediate judgement when any safeguarding incident is reported verbally.
  • Being aware of how to make referrals to safeguarding partners, children’s social care and adult’s social care for statutory assessments via the local authority multi-agency safeguarding units, along with the role they might be expected to play in such assessments.
  • know how to alert the police when a crime may have been committed.
  • foster strong links with Safeguarding Partners and Designated Local Authority Person
  • Inform the learner at all stages of the process.
  • A written report of all discussions and action must be recorded and all referrals and subsequent documents/files will be retained securely encrypted and password protected.
  • refer all reportable safeguarding matters to the funding partner, where we are not the funder.
  • liaise with senior management to inform them of issues, especially ongoing enquiries, and police investigations.
  • act as a source of advice, support, and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding.

All employees have a responsibility to;

  • Read this policy and understand how to implement it.
  • Providing a safe environment in which learners at risk of harm, abuse or neglect can learn in a safe environment.
  • Report any suspected case of abuse, harm, risk or neglect to the safeguarding officer or the police where this is not appropriate.
  • Doing nothing is not an option.

Learners: Learners have a responsibility to;

  • Maintaining vigilance and a pro-active approach to the safety and welfare of themselves, their peers, and others on site
  • Reporting any concerns to a member of staff or directly to the safeguarding officer
  • Abiding by the Cenit College learner code of conduct which is designed to safeguard all those on our sites or using our facilities, including the IT network.
  • Behaving in a way that does not compromise them or lead to allegations of a criminal or safeguarding nature.

1.6 Definitions

Safeguarding: “Safeguarding means protecting a citizen’s health, wellbeing, and human rights; enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It is an integral part of providing high-quality health care.  Safeguarding children, young people and adults is a collective responsibility”. (NHS England).

Adults at risk: Adults at Risk in this policy are defined by the Data Protection Act 2018 being a person over 18 years of age who;

  1. has needs for care and support; and
  2. is experiencing, or is at risk of neglect, or physical, emotional or mental harm, and
  • as a result of those needs is unable to protect themselves against neglect or harm, or the risk of it.

Children: Any person up to the age of 18.

Abuse: The violation of an individual’s human rights. It can be a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It also includes acts of neglect or an omission to act.

1.7 Policy Statement

Cenit College is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all stakeholders by taking all reasonable steps to protect them from harm and accepts its corporate responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of its learners.

In committing to safeguarding our learners, we acknowledge that it is our responsibility to ensure our employees should safeguard the welfare of all stakeholders by creating an environment that protects them from harm and reduces any potential risks of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation, or victimisation. Therefore, all employees and stakeholders will show respect and demonstrate an understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of all parties and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles, values, and cultures of our organisation. They will also be aware of and follow current legislation regarding the safeguarding of all learners.

This policy will set out the roles and responsibilities of all parties to ensure a safe working and learning environment, where everyone is protected from any kind of abuse.  We are committed to;

  • ensuring that everyone who works in Cenit College has a responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of our learners and respond to concerns, incidents, or disclosures in accordance with the process laid out in this policy document.
  • Establishing and maintaining an ethos where Learners feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to.
  • adopting robust recruitment procedures to ensure all staff are suitable for working with our learners. This will include conducting the appropriate background checks.
  • Ensure all employees are informed of our policies and procedures and understand how to implement our safeguarding practices.
  • ensuring that employees are appropriately trained in safeguarding and to understand the risks emanating from harm and abuse.
  • taking all suspicions and allegations of abuse extremely seriously and to respond to concerns with due speed and consideration.
  • ensuring that all stakeholders are protected from abuse, on all grounds of discrimination as defined by legislation.
  • developing and promoting effective working partnership with other agencies and in accordance with organisations’ procedures, where required.
  • regularly reviewing and monitoring our policies and procedures to ensure our legal, moral, and social responsibilities are met.
  • complying with and maintain knowledge of all relevant legislation, codes of practice and appropriate guidance and any amendments.
  • having designated staff who support the safeguarding of learners along with a safeguarding officer to whom concerns can be raised.
  • ensuring that personal data is protected in accordance with GDPR legislation.
  • working with any contractors or sub-contractors to ensure they implement safeguarding practices.

1.8 Procedure

The following sections describe the procedure for raising a safeguarding concern, investigation and feedback.

1.1.1 Procedure for Raising a Safeguarding Concern

If an employee or any stakeholder feels that they have a safeguarding concern they should raise a concern under this policy. To do so they should;

  1. Report their concern to the safeguarding officer using the following email address safeguarding@cenitcollege.co.uk.
  2. The person reporting a concern should make a full note of the facts that gave rise to their concern as soon as is practicable, by completing an Incident Report Form.
  3. If the person who first becomes aware of the concern feels it inappropriate to involve the safeguarding officer or disagrees with the safeguarding officers view that the matter need not be reported, they should notify the police or the local authority themselves.
  4. Concerns must be reported as soon as possible and where a person may be at immediate risk of harm or abuse, the safeguarding officer must be notified verbally straight-away, and an Incident Report Form completed as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
  5. It is the responsibility of the safeguarding officer notified of a concern to consider the seriousness of the risk or concern and if they deem it appropriate to contact the local authority, police or other appropriate statutory or voluntary agencies in accordance with the specific guidance and training they have received.
  6. The safeguarding officer will be responsible for ensuring the person is in a safe environment until the appropriate local agencies have become involved. Where appropriate the safeguarding officer will reassure the person concerned, of the process underway, and if appropriate to ascertain any relevant factual information. However, where the person is a child, the safeguarding officer should only ask questions of the child that are necessary to clarify whether the child is alleging that abuse has taken place.
  7. Incidents relating to staff or learners;
    1. If the incident or information involves an allegation against a member of staff, the safeguarding officer will notify the Director of Human Resources, Organisation and Strategy;
    2. If the incident or information involves an allegation against another learner, the safeguarding officer will notify the Training Manager;
    3. In either case, the learner or member of staff concerned will be offered the opportunity to receive appropriate advice or support.
    4. In either case it may be appropriate to suspend the staff member or student from activities that include contact with the person until enquiries are complete.
    5. Where the incident or information reported involves a safeguarding concern and the subject of concern is a student, (including an apprentice) who is over 18 and not an Adult at Risk, the Training Manager, supported by the safeguarding officer as appropriate, will oversee support for that individual through support provided by Student Support Services.
  8. All incidents will be treated with confidentiality and all reports completed will be held in a secure located which will be encrypted and password protected.
1.1.2 Statement of Best Practice

While not representing an exhaustive list, this Statement sets out general expectations of behaviour in the course of their duties in terms of what may be regarded as appropriate and what may be regarded as inappropriate by the Cenit College representatives. Representatives in this case refers to employees, learners and contractors.

Cenit College representatives should:

  • Treat everyone with fairness, equality and respect, and not show favouritism to particular children or vulnerable adults;
  • Be sensitive to children’s or vulnerable adults’ appearance, race, culture, religious belief, sexuality, gender or disability;
  • Act as a good role model and challenge any unacceptable behaviour from learners or from other college representatives;
  • Report all allegations or suspicions of abuse using the procedures outlined in this policy;
  • Be aware that physical contact with a children may be misinterpreted;
  • Consider whether contact with an individual should involve a colleague being present;
  • Retain a professional approach, including avoiding physical contact with a child (unless it is reasonably necessary to do so for health or safety reasons, or teaching and learning), and avoiding inappropriate familiarity or making sexually suggestive comments, even in jest to any children or vulnerable adults;
  • Respect an individuals’ right to privacy, and in residential accommodation, must not enter an individual’s bedroom except in the case of an emergency;
  • Avoid making inappropriate contact using social media.
  • Contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) where there are safeguarding concerns.
1.1.3 Guidelines for Employees;

The following are some guidelines for employees of Cenit College with regard to specific incidents;

Incident

Guidance

A student becomes distressed in your office, teaching session or in an online setting (normal working hours)

This is not unusual, and many colleagues will have experience of this. Sometimes all is needed is a friendly chat. If you are not sure what to do, or if the student needs a follow-up appointment, or is displaying more signs of anxiety than you can support, then follow some of the steps outlined below.

A student is deemed ‘in crisis’ and is feeling actively suicidal.

  • Emergency services – 999
  • Contact the safeguarding officer.

 

A student describes feeling homesick, low levels of anxiety, “stress”.

  •  Self-help guides (description below)
  • Refer them to our external mental health support services.

 

A student describes regular anxiety, low mood, sleeping problems, “impossible pressures”.

  • Refer them to our external mental health support services.

 

A student is anxious and clearly struggling, describes symptoms that might sound “medical” (depression, a deterioration in mental health)

  • Refer them to our external mental health support services.
  • The College cannot be available 24/7 for support.
  • You can refer to external services alongside our on-line materials

A student gives you cause for concern in their behaviour or appearance – you are worried but the student does not want to talk about it.

Concerns like these can be raised with the college Student Support Services. If you have concerns about a student or believe that they need help in accessing our services, you can email studentsupport@cenitcollege.co.uk for further guidance. These will be responded to during business hours.

A student under the age of 18 is absent without explanation or you have concerns regarding their wellbeing.

Urgent Safeguarding and Child Protection concerns should be referred immediately to the Training Manager.

A student reports an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

  • Report this to the Safeguarding Officer immediately.
  • Then work with the student to fill in the Incident report form.

A student comes to your office “out of hours” in a state of significant distress.

In an emergency you should always and immediately contact the emergency services via 999.

 

1.9 Monitoring

This policy will be reviewed annually by the board of directors.

The monitoring instruments are as follows;

  • Safeguarding Incident Reports