Bridge Education Ltd Safeguarding policy

 

Designated Safeguarding Officer: Sharon Bridge

Designated Safeguarding Officer Contact details: 01772 311220, sharon@bridgeeducation.org.uk

This policy will be reviewed every 12 months.

Renewal date: 21.09.2020

 

Core safeguarding principles

 

Bridge Education acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice requirements. All children and vulnerable adults, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.

 

This policy applies to all internal staff at Bridge Education as well temporary workers, candidates and contractors. Bridge Education is fully compliant with Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2018. Bridge Education is committed to ensuring their work is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. All candidates placed by Bridge Education are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure they are alert to possible child abuse and neglect, and to familiarise themselves with arrangements for safeguarding children in the schools where they are placed.

 

Safeguarding Aims and Objectives

 

This policy is designed to meet the above principles by ensuring that:

 

  • Those who are known to be unsuitable do not gain access to children or vulnerable adults.

 

  • Those who become unsuitable are detected at the earliest stage and prevented from continuing to work with children and vulnerable adults.

 

  • Those who intend to do harm are prevented at every possible stage from entering the workforce.

 

  • It is as simple as possible for an individual to report that they are being harmed or feel at risk of being harmed.

 

  • Clear procedures will be implemented where child protection issues arise.

 

  • Effective management is provided for staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors through support and training.

 

  • All necessary checks are made on staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors.

 

 

  • Bridge Education stays up to date with developments on safeguarding best practice, reporting and auditing our safeguarding activities annually and reviewing and updating our policies and practices every 12 months.

 

  • Those who are identified as being at risk of abuse are afforded every practicable protection by Bridge Education and our subcontractors/partners.

 

  • Bridge Education will report any concerns regarding any individual, or any potential safeguarding situation that it becomes aware of as soon as practicable to the appropriate authority.

 

  • Those we discover are being abused are afforded the relevant protection and assistance by the relevant bodies as soon as practicably possible.

 

  • At an individual and collective level employees are involved in ensuring Safeguarding is embedded across our services to ensure a whole organisation approach so that individuals are adequately covered by this policy

 

Recruitment and Selection Process

 

Bridge Education are also committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults through a careful recruitment and selection process, a whistle blowing policy and guidance on appropriate behaviour. Bridge Education’s rigorous procedures ensure that any candidate found to have a history of unacceptable conduct or practice, will not be placed.

 

As part of our safeguarding policy Bridge Education will:

 

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults.
  • ensure all candidates undergo a full compliance process.
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and vulnerable adults.
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern.
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored.
  • prevent the engagement of unsuitable individuals.
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

 

 

 

 

 

This policy will be widely promoted and is mandatory for everyone involved in Bridge Education. Failure to comply with this policy and the company’s safeguarding procedures will be addressed without delay and may result in disciplinary action.

 

Legislation

 

The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:

 

  • Working together to safeguard Children 2015
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002:
  • The Children act 2004
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018)
  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (2015)
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (inc. the ‘Prevent Duty’)
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Human Rights Act 1998

 

Definitions

 

‘Safeguarding’ – is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and/or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

 

‘Abuse’ – Keeping children safe in education September 2018 defines abuse and neglect and gives four clear categories of abuse as:

 

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

 

‘Child’ – is used to define anyone under the age of 18 (Children Act, 1989).

 

‘Young people’ are children who are 16 to 17 years old.

 

‘Age of consent’ (the legal age to have sex) in the UK is 16 years old*.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Vulnerable adult’ is a person who has attained the age of 18 and for a range of reasons may be, either temporarily or permanently and in different situations, potentially vulnerable.

This may include a person who:

 

  • Is elderly and frail
  • Has a mental illness including dementia
  • Has a physical or sensory disability
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a severe physical illness
  • Is a substance misuser
  • Is homeless

 

Bridge Education conducts the following safeguarding checks and has sight of all original documents before supplying a candidate into an education establishment.

 

 

  • Face to face interview
  • Current CV and completed application form
  • Proof of identify – photographic
  • 2 years written professional references from most recent employer(s)
  • ISA Barred list check (on all surnames)
  • Enhanced DBS disclosure and subscription to the Update Service for ongoing checks
  • 2 x Proof of address using DBS list of acceptable documents
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)
  • Proof of National Insurance number
  • Entitlement to work in the UK
  • Full 10-year employment history with no gaps
  • Original qualifications e.g. PGCE, Degree with QTS, relevant Teaching Assistant qualification
  • Verification of QTS on the Teacher Regulation Agency list
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Declaration – signed
  • Signed medical fitness to work declaration
  • Visa requirements (where applicable)
  • Overseas police check (where applicable)

 

All candidates are required to hold an Enhanced DBS certificate. If the certificate has been processed via a third party, it must be registered on the DBS Update Service. In this case an online check will be done every 6 months. If the DBS is a Bridge Education DBS and is not registered on the Update Service, the Candidate will need to complete a new DBS if they have a gap in their employment of 12 weeks or longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responsibilities

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors placed on assignment are responsible for supporting safe behaviour and have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related

 

 

 

policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect all staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors to promote good practice by being an excellent role model;

contributing to discussions about safeguarding; and to positively involving people in developing safe practices. All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors should:

 

  • Read, understand, accept and act in accordance with this policy.

 

  • Be vigilant and follow professional codes of conduct to maintain professional boundaries.

 

  • Report any concerns or disclosures related to the protection and safety of children and vulnerable adults.

 

  • Undertake mandatory child protection and vulnerable adult training and awareness sessions where provided.

 

  • Help educate learners, including children, young people and adults in matters of keeping safe, and acting as a good role model.

 

If a Candidate has a concern about the children they are working with, they should refer to the School Policy and Procedure, and consult the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the School.

 

In addition, the Candidate should always inform their Consultant at Bridge Education in writing with any concerns they may have.

 

Should the Candidate decide they are unhappy with the outcome, they should again contact Bridge Education with any details.

 

They can also contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

Telephone lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 10pm and 9am – 6pm at the weekend

 

Bridge Education is also contactable out of hours anytime on 01772 311220

 

 

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors working through Bridge Education are expected to keep children safe by contributing to:

 

  • Providing a safe learning environment.

 

  • Identifying children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and taking the appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe at home and in the education setting.

 

  • Making a note and reporting to the designated member of staff any major incident, or signals which give cause for suspicion or concern. It is the candidate’s responsibility to adhere to the specific guidelines set out in each Clients own safeguarding policy.

 

  • Under no circumstance should a candidate intervene on his or her own.

 

 

 

Reporting and barring referrals

 

The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at Bridge Education:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERRAL POLICY – OUR DUTY TO REFER

 

Bridge Education understand that if there is an allegation made against one of our Candidates, that is in any way connected to the risk of harm, or actual harm to a child,  a referral should be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). If a safeguarding issue also involves misconduct by a teacher, a referral should be made to both the DBS and Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA). The TRA and the DBS will consider the misconduct and safeguarding aspects of the case respectively and in parallel.

As a personnel supplier of people working in regulated activity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Bridge Education have a legal duty to refer to DBS where conditions are met. This applies even when a referral has also been made to a local authority safeguarding team or professional regulator.

“A personnel supplier may be an employment agency, employment business or an educational institution and are described as:

  • an employment agency that makes arrangements to either find a work-seeker employment with a hirer or to supply him to a hirer to employ
  • an employment business that engages a work-seeker and supplies him to a hirer to work under a hirer’s control
  • an educational institution if it makes arrangements to supply a student following a course at the institution to a regulated activity provider such as a school.”

 

It is our legal duty to refer if the following two conditions have been met:

 

Condition 1:

  • we withdraw permission for a person to engage in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults. Or we move the person to another area of work that isn’t regulated activity.

 

Condition 2: We think the person has carried out 1 of the following:

  • engaged in relevant conduct in relation to children and/or adults. An action or inaction has harmed a child or vulnerable adult or put them at risk or harm or;
  • satisfied the harm test in relation to children and / or vulnerable adults. e.g. there has been no relevant conduct but a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable still exists, or
  • been cautioned or convicted of a relevant (automatic barring either with or without the right to make representations ) offence.

 

 

Relevant conduct in relation to children:

A child is a person under 18 years of age.

Relevant conduct is:

  • endangers a child or is likely to endanger a child
  • if repeated against or in relation to a child would endanger the child or be likely to endanger the child
  • involves sexual material relating to children (including possession of such material)
  • involves sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images)
  • is of a sexual nature involving a child

A person’s conduct endangers a child if they:

  • harm a child
  • cause a child to be harmed
  • put a child at risk of harm
  • attempt to harm a child
  • incite another to harm a child

 

Where there is evidence that anyone has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child or vulnerable adult, there is a legal duty on Bridge Education to report that person to the Disclosure and Barring Service using their guidance available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-barring-referrals-to-the-dbs.

At Bridge Education we understand that the legal duty to provide prescribed information may apply whether we have made a referral to the DBS or not. As part of the process to decide if an individual should be placed on a barred list, any information in our referral may be used by the DBS and could be disclosed to the referred person or other parties. We have a copy of the DBS referral form available on our company shared drive.

Anyone who is concerned about a child’s or vulnerable adult’s welfare or who believe that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of abuse should pass any information to the DBS or other appropriate authority as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours after the initial concern.

 

 

LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)

 

In accordance with Working Together (2015), where an organisation has received an allegation that a volunteer or member of staff who works with children has:

 

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children

 

 

 

 

A referral should be sent to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day, giving as much detail as possible.

 

Bridge Education will not make any compromise/settlement agreement in the case of a person deemed unsuitable to work with children. Any such agreement which contained a condition of not referring the case to the DBS would constitute a criminal offence.

 

 

Anyone who is concerned about a child’s or vulnerable adult’s welfare or who believe that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of abuse should pass any information to the DBS or other appropriate authority as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours after the initial concern.

 

 

 

 

Whistle Blowing

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors should bring matters of concern to the attention of Bridge Education and concerns can be reported directly to the LADO. Once you have shared your concerns you should submit them in writing giving names, date and places where appropriate. No action will be taken against you if the concern proves to be unfounded but was raised in good faith. All staff, workers, candidates and contractors should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues. Include concern raised and not acted upon by the safeguarding leads. Allegations that are made frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain will lead to termination.

 

Once a disclosure against anyone has been made, Bridge Education will consider whether the allegation should be reported to the LADO. Only after notifying and consulting with the LADO (or, in the most serious cases, the police) will Bridge Education undertake an investigation.

 

Summary:

Bridge Education will make clients and candidates aware of the Safeguarding Policy through the following means:

  • to Clients when issuing our Company Terms of Business
  • to Candidates at their registration interview
  • any amendments to the policy will be issued annually via email to both Clients and Candidates accordingly.

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other recruitment firms in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by Bridge Education.