This policy will be reviewed every 12 months.

Renewal date: 21.09.2020

Bridge Education follows stringent quality guidelines and takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that all candidates supplied to its Clients maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct. However, despite our stringent quality procedures and the vulnerable position that supply staff can sometimes find themselves in, occasionally difficult or sensitive issues can arise. Both Client and Candidate feedback is essential to us in order to ensure we continually work towards improving our service.

Bridge Education has set out the following procedures which must be adopted by staff when dealing with Allegations/Misconduct as well as the responsibilities of Bridge Education with regard to Child Protection/Safeguarding issues.

Procedure

Each Bridge Education Candidate has a notes section in their electronic file. Details of any allegation or complaint against a Candidate, together with a detailed account of all actions taken in the course of any investigation are recorded here and in their physical file. Copies of statements and all correspondence are also kept, as well as a chronological sequence of events.

Following the receipt of a complaint or report of an incident, we explain that we have certain procedures for handling incidents, and that we will be happy to set these in motion if the Client wishes. If the incident is considered by either the Client or a parent serious enough to warrant further investigation, we adopt the following procedures:

All information may be shared with the DBS if information is received which suggests that a person is unsuitable to work with children in the future. This will be agreed between the school /placement and safeguarding officer 

Stage 1

The Client should contact the branch by phone, in writing or by email to explain the nature of the allegation and how it has arisen.

Stage 2

We will inform the Client that we will conduct our own investigation of the incident by interviewing the Candidate, after notifying them that we have been informed of an incident. Prior to such investigation, we request a written statement from the Client, together with any supporting statements outlining the nature of the allegations. Following such investigation, we will record the response of the Candidate and report back to the Client.

Stage 3

Following receipt of a written report from the Client, we write to the Candidate concerned and ask him/her to attend a meeting at our office.

Stage 4

We write to the Client informing them of the steps we have taken.

Stage 5

We arrange a meeting with Candidate concerned, stating that this is not to be regarded as a disciplinary procedure, merely an investigation of a formal allegation which we have received. The details of the allegation are presented at this point (copies are handed out only with prior consent from the Client) and the Candidate is invited to comment.

The Candidate’s comments are noted and read back to them and signed for confirmation that we have noted the response accurately. We inform them that we will report the comments back to the Client, that they may or may not wish to pursue matters and that we will keep them informed of further developments. 

Stage 6

Following the meeting we will then write to the Client to report on our investigation. The Client is advised that if the matter cannot be resolved and that the seriousness of the allegation warrants further action, to adopt whatever measures would normally come into force to meet legal requirements. During the course of any such proceedings a senior representative of Bridge Education will be available to attend, if requested, any meetings to share information and co-operate fully with the Client/Local Authority Designated Officer pending a final decision. All internal paperwork will also be made available. Following the outcome of any such investigation, we are guided by the Client/Authority’s decision when considering the Candidates future as a Bridge Education worker.

Post Registration

If Bridge Education receives information following the registration of a Candidate which may be relevant to his/her suitability for a post within a Client, we would first assess its severity. If it is apparent that the information is of a serious nature and could be a child protection issue, then we would notify all relevant parties immediately and implement the following procedure:

  • Managers will immediately make the Director or Designated Safeguarding Officer aware of any Candidate having serious allegations made against them.
  • Any serious acts of misconduct will be dealt with by the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • Any Candidate who presents false documentation or has a serious allegation made against them is referred to the relevant body i.e. LADO (the Local Authority Department Officer) or TRA (the Teaching Regulation Agency). If appropriate, these bodies can prohibit staff, meaning the person concerned is not allowed to teach in schools, day nurseries, relevant youth accommodation and children’s homes in England.
  • If an allegation is of a less serious nature and does not require referring to the above department, we will suspend the Candidate and require them to attend an interview with Bridge Education about the incident as previously described.

 Summary

It is Bridge Education’s utmost priority that incidents and complaints are dealt with in a fair manner. Our operating system of individual, accountable Consultants for Clients and Candidates means that a Consultant will normally deal with a complaint until its resolution. If at any time a Complainant is not satisfied with the treatment of their Complaint, then Bridge Education has a clear line management structure for the complaint to be referred to a more senior level.