Safeguarding is EVERYONE’s responsibility
Actions to take when a concern is disclosed
Step 1 – Suspected safeguarding concern is disclosed and/or you suspect that a learner is going to disclose or discuss actual or potential abuse, either towards themselves or another child/young person/learner/vulnerable adult. Explain your responsibility to report and establish ground rules concerning confidentiality. Promises of confidentiality cannot be given as any safeguarding concerns must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer. If they are in imminent danger call 999 and/or the safeguarding team at relevant local authority for urgent queries.
Step 2 – Write a detailed report with as much factual information as possible on a ‘Safeguarding Alert Form’. Download BCE’s Safeguarding Alert Form here.
Step 3 – Forward completed Safeguarding Alert Form to firstname.lastname@example.org within 24 hours or as requested by Designated Safeguarding Lead/PREVENT Officer. You will receive confirmation of safe receipt.
Step 4 – The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer will complete an investigation.
Step 5 – Once the investigation is complete you will receive a copy of the updated safeguarding alert form. Please note: due to the sensitive nature of safeguarding some parts of the form may be blanked out to protect individuals involved.
A full record of any suspicion, allegation or incident of abuse must be made within 24 hours of the allegation and any relevant information detailed on the safeguarding alert form and sent to email@example.com
Ensure the learner is fully aware of what could happen, so they can:
- Choose whether they want to speak now or have time to think about it.
- Be as informed as possible regarding the implications of passing on this information.
The main principles of this policy are to:
IDENTIFY: Understand the process for identifying potential/suspected/actual abuse
HELP: Take timely action and work in partnership with the individual and other agencies
MANAGE: Know how to respond following BCE procedures and statutory requirements
This policy must be made available to all Learners/Apprentices/Employers on our e-learning platform (aptem) and in their respective Handbooks. All staff must read this policy as part of the induction process.
All staff must be committed to and adhere to this policy. Commitment can be gained via annual training, involvement in the policy review and sharing with peers during induction, standardisations, meetings and annual training.
- Definition of safeguarding (IDENTIFY)
- Broader aspects of care and education (IDENTIFY)
- What can we do? (HELP)
- Safeguarding Alert Form (HELP)
- The role of the Single Point of Contact/Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer (HELP)
- The physical environment (MANAGE)
- Do you feel safe? (MANAGE)
- Safer recruitment (MANAGE)
- Training (MANAGE)
- Monitoring IT usage
- General (MANAGE)
- Further guidance/reading
1. Definition of safeguarding
In relation to children and young people, safeguarding and promoting their welfare is defined in ‘Working together to safeguard children’ as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable children to have the best outcomes
There is a different legislative and policy base for responding to adults safeguarding needs. The Care Act 2014 provides a legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the health and care system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect. However, most of the principles and procedures that apply are the same as those for safeguarding children and young people.
Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children and learners from:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying
- Racist, disability and homophobic or trans-phobic abuse
- Gender-based violence/ violence against women and girls
- Peer on peer abuse
- Radicalisation and/or extremist behavior
- Child sexual exploitation in trafficking
- Child criminal exploitation and county lines (county lines – vulnerable children who are exploited by organised criminals to sell drugs)
- The impact of technology on sexual behaviour, for example ‘sexting’ and accessing pornography
- Teenage relationship abuse
- Substance misuse
- Issues that may be specific to local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence
- Domestic abuse
- Female genital mutilation
- Forced marriage
- Fabricated or induced illness
- Poor parenting
- Sexual harassment
- So-called honor based violence
- Other issue is not listed here but that pose a risk to children, learners and vulnerable adults.
2. Broader aspects of care and education
Safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care and education, including:
- Children’s and learner’s health and safety and well-being, including their mental health
- Meeting the needs of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
- Meeting the needs of children and learners with medical conditions
- Providing first aid
- Emotional well-being
- Online safety and associated issues
- Appropriate arrangements to ensure children’s and learners security, taking into account the local context
3. What can we do?
Children and learners must be protected and helped to keep themselves safe from bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Any discriminatory behaviours must be challenged with help and support given to the children or learners about how to treat others with respect. When a child or learner has special educational needs and/or disabilities staff must be aware of the additional barriers that exist.
Where a child and/or learner is currently receiving services or support from children/adult social care services and/or is subject to a multiagency plan, or where a child/learner has been referred to services an action plan must be in place. Written plans must be clear, and document agreed procedures to protect a child or vulnerable adult. This must detail the role, actions and participation undertaken by ourselves and external agencies with the aim of improving the child/learner situation. Plans and help in place should aim to reduce the risk of harm or actual harm and evidence that the impact of these risks is being minimised. These risks must be regularly reviewed and document the regular and effective liaison with other agencies where appropriate.
All learners must understand the risks posed by adults or learners who use technology, including the internet, to bully, groom, radicalise or abuse children or learners. Tutors and assessors must oversee the safe use of technology when children and learners are in their care and act immediately if they’re concerned about bullying or well-being. Tutors and assessors must keep learners safe and support them in learning how to recognise when they are at risk and how to get help when they need yet. In the health and social care sector tutors, assessors and learners must consider the safe use of mobile phones and cameras in their setting. More information and guidance on E-safety can be found in our E-safety policy.
BCE have a safeguarding team who meet monthly to create resources for both staff and Learners/Apprentices on a variety of topics that relate to national awareness campaigns, local, regional and national identified trends and needs. These resources are shared via the delivery team meeting for Assessors to share in their workshops with Learners/Apprentices. Examples of topics covered include FGM, domestic abuse and sexual harassment.
BCE have a concern log to document any concerns that an Assessor, Employer or Learner/Apprentice may disclose. This is NOT for a safeguarding concern (please see below) this is to document low level concerns to create a picture and identify strategies of support to prevent it becoming a safeguarding concern.
4. Safeguarding Alert Form
All boxes on the safeguarding alert form must be filled in. When writing about the incident please give as much detail as possible and keep it factual. Remember to include the names of any other people involved.
All staff must understand when and how to complete the safeguarding alert form where there are issues concerning criminal or sexual exploitation, radicalisation and/or extremism. Or demonstrate that they have sought additional advice and support from the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Children and learners must be supported, protected and informed appropriately about the action the adult is taking to share their concerns. Parents and guardians must be made aware of concerns and their consent sought in accordance with local procedures, unless doing so would increase the risk of harm to a child.
Written records must be kept. All records should be made in an appropriate and timely way and held securely. These are shared appropriately and where necessary with consent. Any child protection and/or safeguarding concerns are shared immediately with the relevant local authority by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer. Where the concern is about suspected harm or risk of harm to a child the referral should be made to the children’s social care department of the local authority for the area the child lives. A record of the referral should be kept.
5. The role of the Single Point of Contact/Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer
On receipt of a safeguarding alert form the SPOC/DSL/CPO will confirm receipt within 24 hours. If a more urgent response is required call the Police or the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer, whichever is most appropriate. The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Child Protection Officer will investigate the concern. All investigations and actions must be documented on the safeguarding alert form. Investigations should be completed within 5 working days or an audit trail on the safeguarding alert form documenting the next stages, reason for extension and revised time scale. Once the investigation is complete the Alerter will receive a copy of the updated safeguarding alert form. Please note: due to the sensitive nature of safeguarding some parts of the form may be blanked out to protect individuals involved.
In the absence of or if concerns are raised regarding the SPOC/DSL/CPO then the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, with responsibilities for pastoral care, will conduct the investigations. The Deputy Safeguarding Lead is Claire Mould she can be contacted via the BCE office on 01275 876733.
The SPOC/DSL/CPO and the Deputy must be members of the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network Safeguarding peer to peer group as long as it is running and proving beneficial. This group will form a support network and can advise on safeguarding concerns, providing complete confidentiality is retained.
6. The physical environment
The physical environment where learning takes place must be risk assessed to ensure it is a safe and secure environment. The premises must provide a safe learning environment with secure access. Any external speakers must have adhered to external speaker policy prior to their session. External speakers must never be left unattended with the learners. Please see external speaker policy for more information. If sessions are conducted remotely, consideration must be given to the safety of the environment and monitoring for indicators of concern to take place. To monitor IT usage, BCE have a robust security system with its E-portfolios, delivers training to all learners on E-safety and promotes safe practice within the workplace- monitoring IT through an external security system: Rakata.
7. Do you feel safe?
All learners must feel safe. In order to feel safe learners must feel able to voice their opinion and be encouraged to make compliments, comments and complaints. It is important that we build relationships so that learners feel confident and trust us to be able to disclose concerns about potential or actual abuse. All staff must take the concerns of learners seriously at all times. Children and learners must be supported, protected and informed appropriately about the action the staff member is taking to share their concerns. Where applicable parents and guardians are must be made aware of concerns and their consent sought in accordance with local procedures, unless doing so would increase the risk of harm to the child. Staff should not only consider safeguarding during contact time but also anticipate and manage risks that children and/or learners face in the wider community. All concerns and any action taken in response should be clearly recorded.
All learners and apprentices will receive safeguarding training embedded into their delivery programme- highlighting the importance of raising any concerns, E-safety, sexual harassment and signs of abuse and neglect. Learners and apprentices are provided with key contact information for the DSL and safeguarding reporting line during their induction and this is revisited throughout their programmes. If concerns are raised in the workplace, the assessor is informed and safeguarding reporting procedure is followed. Delivery staff provide learners and apprentices regular updates and training, including sources of support in relation to safeguarding topics and regulations. This is provided through delivery, update communications and E-portfolio resource sharing.
There is also alerts on Aptem for the Learners/Apprentices. If a call comes in to the office the staff member who answers must establish the reason the person does not feel safe and whether they are in imminent danger. If they are in imminent danger the staff member should encourage them to call 999. If they are not in imminent danger the staff member must ask if they would like to speak to the Safeguarding Officer. If the Safeguarding Officer is out of the office at the time or has taken control of the conversation, the conversation must be logged on a safeguarding alert form. The Safeguarding Officer will initiate an investigation of this incident in line with the BCE safeguarding procedure or sign post to relevant support agencies, whichever is most appropriate to the situation.
They will immediately take the necessary action to ensure the safety of the person in question and anyone else who might be at risk If a complaint or allegation is made against a BCE member of the senior management team or a member of staff, the BCE Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer, Alison Webber will appoint an investigating officer who will deal with the complaint in accordance with BCE disciplinary procedure and contracts of employment.
8. Safer recruitment
BCE is committed to the principles of safeguarding and this applies to all personnel procedures.
The Directors expect all staff to know procedures and implement them as part of their day to day work. At induction all new staff must read all BCE’s policies and sign to confirm that they are read and understood.
All staff working at BCE are required:
- To show proof of identification;
- To complete an enhanced DBS check* – this includes volunteers;
- Each person working at BCE will have a named direct line manager who is fully conversant with the standards of behaviour, expectations, and procedures of the company.
*BCE will update DBS checks every 3 years. DBS check information must be uploaded to Breathe HR and a reminder set for the renewal. The HR Officer will be responsible for ensuring the renewal is completed. The DSL will be ultimately responsible and will maintain oversight of the DBS renewals and annual updates through a single register. For staff who have lived overseas the following guidance in this link must be followed: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants
Recruitment procedures will include:
- Short listing;
- Interview using fair processes;
- Employment history;
- Evidence of qualifications where relevant;
- Enhanced DBS checks.
As part of the interview process the interview panel will need to: –
- Implement the interview process with fair techniques and safeguarding procedures.
- Test candidates’ suitability against the post requirements.
- Satisfy themselves that there are no unexplained employment gaps.
- Assess the credibility of references.
All staff and volunteers who work with children and learners are carefully selected and vetted according to statutory requirements. Please see our safer recruitment policy. All staff will receive safeguarding children and vulnerable adults training annually as well as regular supervision and support.
The DSL or Deputy DSL will chair a monthly safeguarding meeting to create resources for staff and learners on emerging themes and safeguarding topics for Safeguarding Officers to disseminate within the delivery team meeting to staff so they can disseminate to their Learners/Apprentices.
The Safeguarding Officer will complete appropriate designated lead training at a minimum of every two years as well as refreshing their knowledge annually.
Tutors, assessors, IQA’s and all learner facing staff must know and understand the indicators that may suggest that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is suffering, or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or harm. This can include learners with attendance and punctuality issues, changes in behaviour and attitudes or who go missing from education.
10. Monitoring IT Usage
The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Internet use is embedded in the curriculum and is a necessary tool for both learners and staff.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in the learning environment and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote learner achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put learners at risk within and outside the learning environment. Some of the dangers they may face include: –
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content;
- Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information;
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet;
- The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge;
- Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers;
- Access to unsuitable video / internet games;
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet;
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement;
- Illegal downloading of music or video files;
- The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
Many of these risks reflect situations in the off-line world and it is essential that this and our E-Safety Policy is used in conjunction with other policies (e.g. Code of Conduct, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy).
The policy applies to all members of the BCE community (including staff, learners, volunteers, parents/carers, visitors) who have access to and are users of BCE ICT systems, both in and out of BCE buildings
Learners will be taught about effective use of the internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation. Learners must not reveal personal details of themselves or others in e-mail communications.
Employers employing apprentices will be given a copy of our E-safety Policy which they must adhere to unless BCE review their own policy as satisfactory.
N.B. Learners/Apprentices at BCE will solely have access for exams and will be supervised during this time by the invigilator.
This policy should not be read in isolation, but cross-referenced with all relevant BCE employment and learner policies, particularly the PREVENT, Equality and Diversity Policy, Health & Safety Policy and the E-Safety Policy.
In accordance with the Counter-Terrorism and Security 2015, there is a statutory duty on colleges/training providers to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This is known as the Prevent duty. BCE has a separate policy for prevention of radicalisation and extremism.
All staff must read and understand this policy, the whistleblowing policy and know how to make a complaint. This policy must be reviewed annually at a minimum and should be read in conjunction with the safeguarding risk assessments.
12. Further guidance/reading
Plymouth Multi-Agency Hub on 01752 668000 (or 01752 346984 out of hours)
Cornwall Safeguarding board 0300 1234 131 (out of hours number 01208 251300)
South Gloucestershire Council Children and Young People’s Information Service – 01454 868008 (office hours) 01454 615165 (out of hours’ emergency duty team)
Bristol Safeguarding Children’s Board 0117 903 6444.
North Somerset Council Children and Young Peoples Service: 01275 888 808
Police Public Protection Unit – 0117 9455 969.
Reading Borough Council Children and Young People – 0118 937 3641. Reading Borough Council Safeguarding Adults – 0118 937 3747 (01344 786 543 out of hours)
For more information and guidance please follow the links below;
Working together to safeguard children: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729914/Working_Together_to_Safeguard_Children-2018.pdf
Working together: transitional guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/722306/Working_Together-transitional_guidance.pdf
Work-based learners and the prevent statutory duty: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/744673/Work_Based_Learners_Guidance.pdf
Inspecting and safeguarding in early years, education and skill settings: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/747625/Inspecting_safeguarding_guidance_111018.pdf
Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018): https://consult.education.gov.uk/safeguarding-in-schools-team/keeping-children-safe-in-education/supporting_documents/Keeping%20Children%20Safe%20in%20Education%20Proposed%20Revisions.pdf
Care Act 2014: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/contents
Children who run away or go missing from home or care (January 2014): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/307867/Statutory_Guidance_-_Missing_from_care__3_.pdf
The Prevent Duty (The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act June 2015): https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111133309/pdfs/ukdsiod_9780111133309_en.pdf
Social Media for Online Radicalisation (July 2015): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-use-of-social-media-for-online-radicalisation
PREVENT for FE and Training Providers: http://preventforfeandtraining.org.uk
Get safe online: https://www.getsafeonline.org/
Making Safeguarding Personal: