Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy
The JACT Greek Summer School takes the safety and welfare of all the students on its course extremely seriously. The prime concern at all times is the best interests of the child. It is the responsibility of all the tutors and other staff on the course to report any concerns they have about child protection or welfare to the Course Director, as the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
The Summer School will ensure that:
- the tutors and staff are aware that they have a responsibility to report any concerns that they have about any student to the Safeguarding Lead at once (see below on ‘Reporting a concern’);
- the tutors and staff each year are briefed at the initial staff meeting, as their annual training, on their role in ensuring the safety of the children on the course;
- the tutors and staff must read this policy and the latest version of the government document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2016’, whose guidance the JACT Greek Summer School follows as a matter of best practice; all will sign a document at the initial meeting to confirm that they have read both documents and that they were present at the briefing;
- the policy is available on the website to be read by parents and students as well;
- the students and parents are aware of who the Safeguarding Lead is at the summer school, and encourage them to report any concerns to this person at once;
- any concerns are passed on by the Safeguarding Lead to the Dorset Children’s Advice and Duty Service, which can be contacted on tel: 01305 228866;
- it follows safe recruitment procedures (see appendix 1 below), in which it is stressed to potential tutors that we take child protection and safeguarding extremely seriously, that they will be required to submit a full CV, undergo a DBS check, and provide two referees who will be explicitly asked to state whether there have been any concerns to do with safeguarding about the person, whether proved or unproved;
- all staff have a DBS check at least every 10 years if they are employed continuously in a school/college teaching U18 students and every 3 years otherwise;
- visiting lecturers and other visitors who have not been DBS checked are accommodated in a building separate from students and will be accompanied when with the students
Safeguarding children is EVERYONE’s responsibility. Different types of abuse and safeguarding concern are detailed below and in Keeping Children Safe in Education – 2016. If you see or hear anything that worries you, no matter how small, please contact:
The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Chris Burnand (Course Director)
Tel: 07748968597 or, during the course, via school gatehouse 01258 452411
Email: [email protected]
The Deputy DSL, Cathy Bothwell (Course Secretary)
Tel: 07875 252244
Email: [email protected]
The Deputy Chair of the Management Committee, Emma Woolerton
Email: [email protected]
If you cannot contact any of the above, or you are dissatisfied with the way that they have dealt with your concerns, you should contact:
The Chair of the JACT Summer Schools Trust, Judith Mossman,
Email: [email protected]
or the relevant external agency, Dorset Children’s Advice & Duty Service:
Tel: 01305 228866
If the concern is about the welfare of a student over 18 years of age, contact Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board:
Tel: 01305 221016
Concerns for the safety and wellbeing of children can arise in a variety of ways and in a range of situations. For example, a child may report or show signs of abuse, someone may hint that a child is at risk or that a colleague is an abuser, or someone may witness abuse.
There are four main types of abuse, which are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. It is not always easy to recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has taken place and Greek Summer School staff are not likely to be experts at such recognition.
However, each person has a responsibility to act if they have any concerns about someone’s behaviour towards a child. It is important that the recipient of any complaint or accusation that a child has been or is being abused listens carefully without making or implying any judgment as to the truth of the complaint or accusation.
To ensure that all of the details of an allegation are captured for any future investigation, a detailed record should always be made at the time, or as soon as possible after the matter is raised. This record should preserve the actual words of the disclosure as closely as possible.
Staff must not promise complete confidentiality when a concern is raised or an accusation made. This is because the summer school owes a duty of care to its staff and students that cannot be fulfilled unless we take action on the basis of all information provided. However, at all stages, only those people who need to be made aware of an incident or concern, whether internal or external to the summer school, should be informed.
Where an individual suspects or is informed that a child has been, is being or could be harmed, it is not the responsibility of that person to decide whether abuse has taken place. Instead, the individual aware of these suspicions or allegations must contact the Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy Safeguarding Lead) immediately for guidance and assistance on the action that must be taken. The Safeguarding Lead must inform the Dorset ChAD within 24 hours of the allegation. If the Course Director is unavailable or the allegation concerns the Course Director, the Chair of the Management Committee must be contacted.
Where a complaint of abuse is reported, the Designated Person will contact the relevant external agencies (including Dorset ChAD and the police) within 24 hours. If the concern/complaint relates to events occurring before the course itself, the Designated Person will contact the student’s school and the local ChAD involved as appropriate.
If an individual cannot find the Course Director, the Course Secretary or the Chair of the Management Committee, or is dissatisfied with the action that they have taken, they should contact external agencies directly. Such situations may require external agencies to investigate the matter and determine any necessary action. In such circumstances, the Summer School will cooperate fully in any investigation, and follow their advice on whether to notify the relevant staff at the institution attended by a student and/or inform the student’s parents/guardian. In the case of children, parents will always be informed unless there is reason to believe that informing them would increase the risk of harm to the student. No internal investigation can take place until contact has been made with the appropriate external agencies.
The summer school has a legal duty to refer an individual to the DBS if they have been removed from working in regulated activity with children and/or adults because they caused harm to children/adults or posed a risk of causing harm. The duty to refer is absolute and overrides any concerns about data protection.
The Chair of the Management Committee and the Course Director/Secretary should work together to complete the DBS referral form found on the DBS’s web pages, as soon as possible after the person concerned is removed from working in regulated activity.
Any enquiries made by the media about possible allegations of abuse regarding children should be referred to the Chair of the Management Committee immediately.
As well as being in many ways more rewarding as a place to work, the environment of the Summer School is potentially more challenging than schools and/or universities since:
- there is a wider range in age and thus in the expectations of students as to how they and staff should behave,
- we have much less time to get to know students and learn how best to deal with them on an individual basis,
- there is a tendency on the part of students to feel that they have greater licence as they are away from their usual situation and may be trying to impress new acquaintances,
- some students are away from home for the first time for an extended period, and this may make them vulnerable to home-sickness and in other ways,
- there is more social contact between staff and students,
- there are greater demands on staff who find themselves effectively “on call” day and night,
- few of the staff have experience of working with students across the whole of our age range, or of working in a fully boarding environment.
Staff therefore need to be alert to ensure that they do not behave in a way that may compromise their professional position. They should be conscious of the risks involved in one-to-one situations, dealing with adolescents with whom they are not well acquainted, in an unfamiliar environment, especially overnight in boarding-houses, where the situation may be exacerbated if students have consumed alcohol. Staff should follow the advice given below in all one-to-one situations.
If staff are concerned about an incident that has occurred, they should inform the Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.
If staff find themselves in a situation which they do not feel confident about handling, they should not hesitate to ask for support/advice from another tutor and/or the Director.
Staff should be aware that they may be called upon to deal with students at any time.
Staff should maintain the same professional standards that would be expected in school or university.
Staff should not take any images of the pupils of the summer school for their own personal use. If they take such images on behalf of the summer school on their personal equipment, these images should be downloaded onto the summer school computer and deleted from their own equipment as soon as possible.
All summer school staff, including the Matron and Director’s Assistants, are expected to prioritise the welfare and safety of students. All staff are expected to abide by the Safeguarding Policy and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016. Any member of staff found to be acting in a way that is not consistent with the summer school’s safeguarding procedures will be subject to disciplinary measures and, if applicable, reported to the appropriate authorities
As a result of the relationship staff develop with students, it is possible that a student may make a disclosure to a member of staff about abuse that they have experienced outside the summer school. Please refer to the section ‘Reporting a Concern’ for detail on how to respond in this situation.
Staff should ask a colleague to accompany them (for example if checking up on a student in their bedroom) or to meet in a public space (for example a house common room or under the dome, rather than in a classroom) if they have any concerns about how a student may respond.
In one-to-one meetings with students, staff should keep the door of the room open if the door does not have a transparent panel, to avoid putting themselves in a compromising position.
If a member of staff has to enter a student’s room, for example to check their whereabouts at night, they must always knock before entering the room.
Members of staff should avoid physical contact with students, but in those situations where it is necessary (such as in costume fittings) the member of staff should always seek permission first.
The management of the Summer School encourages anyone to come forward with any concerns about the behaviour of any members of staff or any students. These should be made in the first instance to the Course Director or the Course Secretary, but if the concerns relate to either of these individuals they should be reported to the Chair of the Management Committee. Any such concerns can be made without any prejudice against the individual reporting their concern.
All new staff (tutors, matron & director’s assistants) will be subject to an enhanced DBS check for Child Workforce, since the intensive, residential nature of the course means all staff are engaging in regulated activity. An equivalent existing DBS certificate will be accepted if it is less than 1 year old or the person has been continuously employed in a school since the date of issue.
In addition to the DBS check, new tutors will be required to provide a full CV and name two professional referees, who will be explicitly asked to state whether there have been any concerns to do with safeguarding about the person, whether proved or unproved. This applies to all staff, not only House Tutors, as all staff are undertaking regulated activity.
The Chair of Management Committee has responsibility for deciding whether any information provided by the DBS check, CV or referees should result in a person not being invited to join the Summer School staff. In view of the sensitive nature of the information, this decision does not need to be discussed with the whole of the Committee, but may involve discussion with some members of the Committee as appropriate.
Since there is no opportunity to interview new tutors, particular weight is given to recommendations by existing summer school staff who are aware of the particular demands of the summer school in terms of the range of ages of students and the challenges of managing the safety of the student body.
Tutors are invited for each individual year. This means that only those who make a positive contribution to the summer school are invited in subsequent years. There is no ongoing obligation to repeat the invitation.
The Chair of the Management Committee has overall responsibility for Child Protection in the work of the JACT Greek Summer School.
During each year’s course, the Safeguarding Lead is the Director, with Cathy Bothwell, the Course Secretary as deputy Designated Person.
In any year when the Chair of the Management Committee is the Director of the course, a Deputy Chair will be appointed to take over the usual role of the Chair with regard to Safeguarding and Child Protection.
These people are responsible for ensuring that Child Protection is prioritised and that all staff and students are aware of the procedures that are in place to maintain the safety of all students during the course.
The Safeguarding Lead is primarily responsible for investigating and determining any immediate action that may be appropriate as a result of any disclosure, allegation or concern about the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult on the course. The Safeguarding Lead is also primarily responsible for contacting the appropriate authorities, though any member of staff may do so if they feel inadequate heed is being paid to their concerns. The Safeguarding Lead is also responsible for making a written record of such incidents.
The Chair of the Management Committee has overall responsibility for recruitment and removing staff from working in regulated activities and resulting referrals to DBS.
The Course Secretary, Cathy Bothwell, is responsible for keeping the written records of incidents relating to Child Protection and Safeguarding.
Accommodation is arranged so that those under 18 never share a room with those 18 or over. Students in shared rooms will be in the same academic year (unless by students’ request.)
Mature students are accommodated as far as possible in separate areas/corridors. Whenever possible, staff and mature students will have separate bathroom facilities from younger students.
Adult students are not subject to DBS checks as they are not engaged in regulated activity. Staff are responsible for ensuring as far as possible that all students behave appropriately and that any concerns about behaviour within the student body are taken seriously and dealt with in such a way that the Summer School remains a safe environment for all.
The summer school aims to provide a supportive environment for all its students. Transgender students are accommodated in single rooms, in the house that they feel is most suitable for them. Arrangements will be discussed with parents and/or schools as appropriate.
This policy will be reviewed by the Management Committee at its November meeting each year.