The Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy
Revised: 1st September 2021 by Praema Stelling
Next revision date: 1st September 2022
The Tutor Train believes that all young people have the right to learn in a safe and caring environment. This includes the right to protection from all types of abuse (see appendix A). Those of us in a position of trust have to do everything possible to foster these rights. To do this, certain protections need to be in place to protect children, as well as those who work with them.
The Tutor Train takes seriously its responsibility towards safeguarding all young people who engage with us, with the focus being on their safety and welfare.
Who does the Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy apply to?
The Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy applies to everybody who is providing tuition on behalf of the Tutor Train. The Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy is available to all tutors and are required to familiarise themselves with it.
The Tutor Train acknowledges it has a responsibility for the safety of young people receiving tuition. It also recognises that good safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with our tuition as they can help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.
The purpose of the Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy is to establish an environment in which the children with we come into direct or indirect contact are protected from abuse, are safe and are treated with dignity and to create an atmosphere in which all involved feel able to discuss openly any concerns they may have or any circumstances which may constitute abuse. The Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy seeks to achieve this by setting out a series of behavioural guidelines and a management structure to implement the policy.
The Tutor Train is committed to providing a safe environment for children.
- The child/ young person’s welfare is paramount.
- All young people whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.
- All suspicions and allegations of inappropriate behaviour will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- As defined in the Children Act 1989, anyone under the age of 18 years should be considered as a child for the purposes of this document. The Tutor Train is committed to practices which promote the welfare of children and protects children from harm. All staff who have supervised or unsupervised access to or contact with children are required to:
- recognise and accept their responsibilities;
- develop awareness of the issues which can cause children harm; and
- report concerns following the procedures below.
The Tutor Train will endeavour to safeguard children by:
- Adopting safeguarding and child protection procedures and the Guidance on Conduct and Behaviour for all who work on behalf of the organisation;
- Reporting concerns to the appropriate authorities.
- Adhere to safer recruiting procedures when tutors.
- Providing effective management for tutors through support and training.
- The Tutor Train is committed to reviewing its Safeguarding Policy annually or when significant changes in legislation occur.
Professional Conduct and behaviour:
- At all times, tutors will act honestly in all professional dealings with clients, potential clients and tutors.
- Tutors will not, knowingly or recklessly, disseminate any false or misleading information.
- The Tutor Train and tutors will respect the confidentiality of all information which comes into our possession unless it is unlawful to do so.
- Someone over the age of 18 must be present during all online and face-to-face lessons for the protection of the tutor as well as the child.
- A tutor is prohibited from making contact or meeting up with a child outside of the lesson. All communication is solely through an organised group chat which includes the tutor, the client and the organisation mediator. If a tutee adds a tutor on social media, this must be rejected and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Praema Stelling)must be informed.
Professional conduct and behaviour – Online tuition (Zoom)
In addition to the improved safeguarding measures embedded within zoom:
- We don’t use a personal meeting ID
- We don’t allow attendees to join before host
- We set up a ‘waiting room’
- We don’t publicise our meeting’s link on social media
- We have someone whose job it is to ‘manage the room’
- Praema Stelling is Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for the Tutor Train and will take action following any expression of concern and the lines of responsibility in respect of child protection are clear.
- Information relating to any allegation or disclosure will be clearly recorded as soon as possible and passed onto the DSL (appendix A for guidance)
- The DSL will either refer this immediately to the authorities or, after taking appropriate advice, decide not to refer the concerns to the authorities but keep a full record of the concerns.
- The Children Act 2004 states that “everybody has a duty to co-operate to improve the well-being of children”. This means that considerations of confidentiality which might apply to other situations should not be allowed to override the right of children to be protected from harm. However, every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when an allegation has been made and is being investigated, see Information Sharing and appendix C.
- The Tutor Train Safeguarding Policy will be referred to or included in recruitment and training. The policy is openly and widely available to tutors and clients.
- All tutors will be required to have a face-to-face or video interview.
- All information on tutors will be stored on a Single Central Record (SCR). This should include address and contact details, Photo ID, DBS check, and details of references sought and sight of degree certificates/other qualifications.
- All tutors will have a prohibition check to ensure they hold no sanctions against them teaching.
- We will ensure that all tutors are qualified to teach and gain a copy of their teacher reference number. Documentary evidence of qualifications is required.
- An enhanced DBS must be held by all tutors and a copy is help on record.
- Any Tutor Train tutor who has lived abroad in the past 5 years will also require overseas police check for any countries they have lived in.
- A professional and character reference are taken up and verified.
- When interviewed, tutors are asked to account for any gaps in employment history.
Appendix A – Definitions of Abuse
Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.
A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn’t have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs. It’s dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones.
Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Children who are emotionally abused suffer emotional maltreatment or neglect. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can cause children serious harm.
Child sexual exploitation:
Child sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.
Female genital mutilation (FGM):
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Bullying and cyberbullying Bullying can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.
Child trafficking is a type of abuse where children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold.
Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know – for example a family member, friend or professional.
Harmful sexual behaviour: Children and young people who develop harmful sexual behaviour harm themselves and others.
Appendix B – Responding Appropriately to a Child Making an Allegation of Abuse
- Stay calm.
- Listen carefully to what is said.
- Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets.
- Tell the child that the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it.
- Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer.
- 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.
- Record in writing what was said, using the child’s own words as soon as possible – note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated.
- It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies, following a referral from the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the organisation.
- Report to the Tutor Trains Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as is practically possible.