TMS Learning and Skills Support Ltd

Subtitle

Safeguarding Policy


POLICY STATEMENT

TMS Learning and Skills (TMS Skills) is committed to the safeguarding and well-being of all of our learners and fully recognises its responsibilities for protecting vulnerable groups. Our policy applies to all staff, learners, contractors and visitors working on behalf of or in conjunction with TMS Skills. The main elements to our policy are as follows:

  • Raising awareness of safeguarding throughout the organisation.
  • Raising awareness of safeguarding to all of our learners and ensuring that the learners who are most vulnerable are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to keep them safe.
  • Developing and implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse
  • Establishing safe environments in which vulnerable groups can learn and develop.

We recognise that because of the day to day contact with learners, our staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. TMS Skills will therefore:

  • Establish and maintain an environment where learners feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
  • Ensure learners know that there are designated staff within TMS Skills whom they can approach if they are concerned or worried.
  • Include opportunities within our ongoing assessment process and classroom delivery for learners to develop the skills they need to recognise and stay safe from abuse.

We recognise and adhere to the statutory requirements within key safeguarding legislation. Along with this policy staff should also read:

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018

MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION AND ARRANGEMENTS
To support our commitment to the safeguarding and well-being of all of our learners and with regard to the above legislation we will;
  • Ensure that we have a Designated Person for Safeguarding who has received appropriate training and support for this role.
  • Ensure that all staff and learners are aware of our Designated Persons for Safeguarding. This will be communicated via our staff and learner induction process.
  • Ensure that all staff are aware and understand their responsibilities in relation to Safeguarding and in being alert to the signs and indicators of abuse and for referring any concerns directly to the Designated Person for Safeguarding.
  • Ensure that effective Safeguarding procedures are developed, implemented and monitored to ensure their effectiveness. These procedures are based on the 5R’s approach of Recognition, Response, Record, Report, Refer.
  • Ensure that we develop effective links with relevant external agencies, local safeguarding boards and co-operate with any requirements with any safeguarding referral matters.
  • Ensure that we keep written records of safeguarding concerns, even when there is no need to refer the matter to the relevant agencies.
  • Ensure all records are stored securely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Act

TMS Skills recognises its responsibility with regard to the safeguarding of young and vulnerable learners from abuse and from inappropriate and inadequate care, and is committed to responding in all cases where there is concern.

Due to the nature of our work TMS Skills may be in the frontline of work with some children, young learners, vulnerable learners and vulnerable adults. This may mean that we are the first to know that a child, young or vulnerable learner or adult is being or has been abused or that we are concerned about a persons well-being. Everyone has an equal responsibility to ensure that the individual needs and welfare of the person are put first and to safeguard any person with whom we may come into contact. This responsibility not only rests with the Directors, Senior Management and Designated Persons for Safeguarding but also with every individual member of staff employed or volunteering within our organisation whilst at work, at an employers premises or at home.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

The Safeguarding policy describes the support and protection procedures for all learners under the age of 18, or vulnerable learners over this age, who may be “at risk” of abuse.

The Definition of Safeguarding

Safeguarding is a proactive process of protecting and ensuring the safety and well-being of young and vulnerable learners. Safeguarding may involve instances in which a young or vulnerable learner is suffering or likely to suffer from harm.

Safeguarding also involves adopting safer recruitment practices to assist in identifying persons who are unsuitable to work with young or vulnerable learners.

DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE

Children can be potentially abused within the family, community, and in organisation by employees (including those employed to promote their welfare and protect them from abuse), volunteers, visitors and fellow students, the following are broad categories of abuse.

Abuse is any behaviour towards a person that deliberately or unknowingly causes harm, endangers life or violates their rights. Abuse may be:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Psychological - repeatedly being made to feel unhappy, humiliated, afraid or devalued by others
  • Financial or material – stealing or denying access to money or possessions
  • Neglect
  • Discriminatory - abuse motivated by discriminatory attitudes towards race, religion, gender, disability, cultural background or any of the other 9 protected characteristics
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Radicalisation and promotion of terrorism (Prevent Strategy)
ADVICE TO STAFF ON WHEN TO TAKE ACTION AND HOW

Once you suspect or know of any abuse of any child or vulnerable adult, you should immediately inform the designated person for Safeguarding, which is Tessa Green in person or by telephone. Even if you have only heard rumours of abuse, or you have a suspicion but do not have firm evidence, you should still contact the designated person for Safeguarding to discuss your concerns. You should also contact the designated person for Safeguarding if you know or suspect that a member of staff or student has a previous history of abuse of children and/or vulnerable adults.

If, following your initial contact with the designated person for Safeguarding, it is decided that the matter should be taken further; a written report must be prepared. A written report is essential to prevent any misrepresentation of your findings, and should be sent to the designated person for Safeguarding within 24 hours of the suspicion arising. The report should be factual and should not include opinions or personal interpretations of the facts presented. The report should contain as much detail as possible, including any apparent physical signs of abuse or other circumstances which have led to your suspicions, or the account given to you of abuse by the child or vulnerable adult concerned, as accurately as you are able to record it. The report should be signed, dated and a copy stored in a secure place. If you are unsure about what to write, you can get advice from designated person for Safeguarding.

If a child or vulnerable adult comes to you with a report of apparent abuse, you should listen carefully to the child or vulnerable adult, using the following guidelines. When listening to a child or vulnerable adult, staff must;

  • allow the child or vulnerable adult to speak without interruption;
  • never trivialise or exaggerate the issue;
  • never make suggestions;
  • never coach or lead the child or vulnerable adult in any way;
  • reassure the child or vulnerable adult, let them know you are glad they have spoken up and that they are right to do so;
  • always ask enough questions to clarify your understanding, do no probe or interrogate – no matter how well you know the child or vulnerable adult – spare themselves having to repeat themselves over and over;
  • be honest – let the child or vulnerable adult know that you cannot keep this a secret; you will need to tell someone;
  • try to remain calm – remember this is not an easy things for them to do;
  • do not show your emotions – if you show anger, disgust or disbelief, they may stop talking. This may be because they feel they are upsetting you or they may feel your negative feelings are directed towards them;
  • let the child or vulnerable adult know you are taking the matter very seriously; and
  • make the child or vulnerable adult feel secure and safe without causing them any further anxiety.

The designated person for Safeguarding will be responsible for recording essential information about each case and for collecting reports and notes as appropriate.

Any detailed information about a case will be confined to the designated person for Safeguarding. Where a referral to an external agency is to be made, the designated person for Safeguarding will advise the Manager(s) and staff reporting the allegations and will be kept informed of the progress of the case on a ‘need to know’ basis.

NEXT STEPS

Taking into account all the information available, the Designated Person for Safeguarding will decide on the next steps, which may include taking no further action. Where the Designated Person for Safeguarding decides that further action is necessary, this may be to;

  • Make a referral to the appropriate agency, as signposted
  • Report the incident to a designated Social Worker as signposted
  • Report the matter to the police if a crime is suspected if a referral is made, this must be confirmed in writing to the appropriate agency within 24 hours.

The Designated Person for Safeguarding may consider that those involved may require counselling. Where it is felt there is a need for counselling, (which could be for the child/ren, other students, staff, parents or carers involved) the Designated Person for Safeguarding will make the necessary arrangements.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality and trust should be maintained as far as possible, but staff must act on the basis that the safety of the child and vulnerable adults is the overriding concern. The degree of confidentiality will be governed by the need to protect the child or vulnerable adult. The child or vulnerable adult should be informed at the earliest possible stage of the disclosure that the information will be passed on. All conversation regarding a child or vulnerable adult should always be held in private, TMS Skills complies with the requirements of the General Data Protection Act, which allows for disclosure of personal data where this is necessary to protect the vital interests of a child and vulnerable adult.

Whatever happens, you should always be open and honest with the child or vulnerable adult if you intend to take the case further.

Staff must not discuss the case with anyone other than those involved in the case. If staff have any concerns about the progress of the case or have any other concerns these must be discussed with the Designated Person for Safeguarding.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF

The primary concern of the organisation is to ensure the safety of the child and vulnerable adult. It is essential in all cases of suspected abuse by a member of staff that action is taken quickly and professionally whatever the validity. There are occasions where a child or vulnerable adult will accuse a member of staff of physically or sexually abusing them. In some cases this may be false or unfounded. However in some cases the allegations may be true. Any instance of a child or vulnerable adult being abused by a member of staff is particularly serious. On the other hand for an innocent person to be accused of such an act is a serious ordeal which can result in long-term damage to their health and career. In the event that any member of staff suspects any other member of staff of abusing a student, it is their responsibility to bring these concerns to the Designated Person for Safeguarding.

On being notified of any such matter the Designated Person for Safeguarding shall;

  • Take such steps as s/he considers necessary to ensure the safety of the child or vulnerable adult in question and any other child or vulnerable adult who might be at risk
  • Report the matter to the local social services department
  • Ensure that a report of the matter is completed by the person who reported the original concern.
TMS SKILLS STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT

TMS Skills recognises that it is not practical to provide definitive instructions that would apply to all situations at all times whereby staff come into contact with children and vulnerable adults and to guarantee the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults and staff.

However, below are the standards of behaviour required of staff in order to fulfil their roles and duty of care. This code should assist in the safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and members of staff.

These guidelines also apply to volunteers who work in an unpaid capacity in company premises.

Staff must:

Implement the Safeguarding Policy at all times, including acting to promote children and vulnerable adults welfare, prevent abuse discovered or suspected.

Staff must never:

  • Engage in rough, physical games including horseplay with children and vulnerable adults/students
  • Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind. The main principles of touch are:
  • Touch should always be in response to the child or vulnerable adult’s need
  • Touch should always be appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child or vulnerable adult
  • Touch should always be with a child or vulnerable adult’s permission
  • Do things of a personal nature for children or vulnerable adult they can do for themselves or that their parent can do for them
  • Physically restrain a child or vulnerable adult unless the restraint is to prevent physical injury of the child and vulnerable adult/other children/visitors or staff/yourself.

In all circumstances physical restraint must be appropriate and reasonable; otherwise the action can be defined as assault.

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to or within earshot of a child or vulnerable adult.
  • Have children or vulnerable adults on their own in a vehicle. Where circumstances require the transportation of children or vulnerable adults in their vehicle, another member of staff/volunteer must travel in the vehicle. It is also essential that there is adequate insurance for the vehicle to cover transporting children or vulnerable adults as part of the business of your work. In extreme emergencies (for medical purposes) where it is required to transport and child or vulnerable adult on their own, it is essential to take another leader and the parent is notified immediately.
  • Take a child or vulnerable adult to the toilet unless another adult is present or has been made aware (this may include a parent, group leader).
  • Spend time alone with a child or vulnerable adult on his/her own, outside of the normal tutorial/classroom situation. If you find you are in a situation where you are alone with a child or vulnerable adult, make sure that you can be clearly observed by others.
  • Engage in a personal relationship with a child or vulnerable adult/student or a vulnerable adult who becomes student, beyond that appropriate for a normal teacher/student relationship.
  • Communicate with learners through social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Give learners their personal mobile telephone number or use their personal mobile to communicate with learners. This includes the sending and receiving of texts from a personal mobile.
IMPLICATIONS FOR STAFF

Staff who breach any of the above may be subject to the disciplinary procedure. If an allegation against a member of staff has occurred then an investigation will be carried out.

TMS Skills reserves the right to suspend any member of staff under the Safeguarding Policy to safeguard young people and vulnerable adults whilst an internal and/or external investigation takes place. The organisation can implement its own internal investigation during any stage of this process. This may result in disciplinary action being taken on a member of staff.

Suspension of staff under the Safeguarding Policy procedure.

Should the organisation implement the Safeguarding Policy procedure and decide to suspend the employee; the following procedure will be undertaken:

  • The employee concerned will be required to attend a meeting. The employee will have the opportunity to be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative.
  • During the meeting, the employee will be provided with written confirmation of the suspension, and the opportunity to ask any questions with regards to the contents of the letter.
  • If the suspension is subject to external investigation, the organisation’s management representatives will be unable to discuss the details of any allegations made under the Child protection Act (1999).


PREVENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

TMS Learning and Skills Support Ltd (TMS Skills) is committed to the welfare and safeguarding of all our learners. This Prevent Policy is to create and maintain a safe, healthy and supportive learning and working environment for our learners, staff and visitors alike. We recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for learners. We further recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views we are failing to protect our learners from potential harm. As such the Prevent agenda, will be addressed as a safeguarding concern.

DEFINITIONS

Prevent is one of 4 strands of the Government’s counter terrorism strategy – CONTEST. The UK currently faces a range of terrorist threats. Terrorist groups who pose a threat to the UK seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause. Therefore, early intervention is at the heart of Prevent which aims to divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

Prevent happens before any criminal activity takes place by recognising, supporting and protecting people who might be susceptible to radicalisation.

The national Prevent Duty confers mandatory duties and responsibilities on a range of public organisations, including Independent Training Providers, and seeks to:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views.
  • Provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and violent extremism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support.
  • Work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation which needs to be addressed, including education, criminal justice, faith, the internet and health.

MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION AND ARRANGEMENTS

To support our commitment to the PREVENT agenda we will;

  • Ensure that the Designated Person for Safeguarding has received appropriate training for this role.
  • Provide a curriculum that promotes British Values, knowledge, skills and understanding, to build the resilience of learners by undermining extremist ideology and supporting the learner voice.

All staff at TMS Skills Ltd have a responsibility to:

  • Create and support an ethos that upholds British Values, to create an environment of respect, equality and diversity and inclusion.
  • Attend Prevent training in order to have the skills to recognise those who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, involved in violent or non-violent extremism, and to know the appropriate action to take if they have concerns.
  • Report any concerns around extremism or radicalisation via the safeguarding reporting channels.
  • Support the development of staff and learner understanding of the issues around extremism and radicalisation through activities such as training, awareness campaigns and tutorials.
  • Participate in engagement with local communities, schools and external organisations as appropriate.
ADVICE TO STAFF ON WHEN TO TAKE ACTION AND HOW

Once you suspect or know someone is at risk of radicalisation, you should immediately inform the Designated Person for Safeguarding which is Tessa Green. Even if you have only heard rumours or you have suspicions but do not have firm evidence. You might have encountered/noticed the following (this is not exhaustive):

  • Disclosures by learners, of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where students have not actively sought these out.
  • Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images. Learners accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites.
  • Learners voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives. Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence.
  • Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our Equality and Diversity Policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture.

If, following your initial contact with the Designated Person for Safeguarding, it is decided that the matter should be taken further; a written report must be prepared. A written report is essential to prevent any misrepresentation of your findings, and should be sent to the Designated Person for Safeguarding within 24 hours of the suspicion arising. The report should be factual and should not include opinions or personal interpretations of the facts presented. The report should contain as much detail as possible.

NEXT STEPS

Taking into account all the information available, the Designated Person for Safeguarding will decide on the next steps, which may include taking no further action. Where the Designated Person for Safeguarding decides that further action is necessary, this will be to;

  • Make a referral to the Local Authority PREVENT Co-ordinator 

Staff must not discuss the case with anyone other than those involved in the case. If staff have any concerns about the progress of the case or have any other concerns these must be discussed with the Designated Person for Safeguarding.