Safeguarding Policy

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Cara Radford

Reserve: Milly Wildish

Purpose

To offer guidance and instructions to all staff, governors, volunteers, sub-contractors and contractors to ensure EDLounge Ltd commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and vulnerable adults. If any form of abuse is suspected or if a person is identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism-related activity, appropriate action will be taken.

EDLounge Ltd requires all staff to share this commitment.

SCOPE

This policy deals with the protection of children and young people and all adults at risk. Throughout this policy reference is made to 'children and young people'. This term is used to mean those under the age of 18 years and an adult at risk is deemed to be a person who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against harm or exploitation. Any person up to the age of 24 with a current Educational Health and Care Plan in place is treated as a child for the purposes of safeguarding & child protection legislation.

All references to staff or adults comprise teaching staff, other staff and volunteers working in the organisation, visitors and includes contractors to the organisation with direct contact with learners, regardless of position, role or responsibilities.

The term ‘safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk’ covers both reactive child protection and a preventative approach to keeping young children and adults safe.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined 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; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

A vulnerable learner may be identified as a person who:

•             Is a Looked After Child

•             Is a care leaver.

•             Is a young carer.

•             Has learning difficulties or disabilities.

•             Has mental health difficulties (e.g., anxiety, personality and eating disorders)

•             Has general welfare concerns.

•             Has a physical or sensory disability.

•             Has been involved in substance or alcohol misuse.

•             Has suffered from domestic violence.

•             Has social or emotional developmental needs.

•             Has a criminal conviction.

•             Has a language barrier.

EDLounge Ltd recognises that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility, and that the best interests of the child must be paramount. We believe that not only do we have a statutory duty to ensure that we safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm in our care, but also a moral duty. It adopts a child centred approach which operates in the best interests of the child. The policy and procedures focus on how we recruit and train our staff, support our learners, make referrals and deal effectively with allegations against staff. It incorporates a wide range of risks we need to safeguard against, including those related to the prevention of violent extremism.

                To achieve this, EDLounge Ltd will annually review this policy and procedure with the aim of:

•             Raising awareness of issues relating to the welfare of children, young people, adults at risk and the promotion of a safe environment for them to learn within EDLounge Ltd.

•             Aiding the identification of children, young people and adults at risk of significant harm, providing procedures for reporting concerns.

•             Ensuring that learners in need of additional support are identified through enrolment and referred to the ALS teams.

•             Establishing procedures for reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff.

•             Responding to the safe recruitment of staff.

•             All staff working with children, young people and adults at risk will receive appropriate training in order to familiarise them with EDLounge Ltd.’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedure, relevant statutory guidance, the safeguarding issues and their responsibilities therein.

•             All staff to undertake mandatory safeguarding and Prevent training (to include ‘Part One of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020) as part of their induction process and continual professional development (CPD) on an annual basis.

LEGISLATION

This policy has been written to ensure our safeguarding arrangements comply with statutory requirements and current good practice, and pays particular regard to:

•             Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2020 and going forward September 1st 2021 )

•             The Children Act 1989

•             The Children Act 2004

•             UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

•             Data Protection Act 1998

•             Sexual Offences Act 2003

•             Protection of Freedom Act 2012

•             Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 – Amended February 2017

•             Equality Act 2010PREVENT DUTY In line with the Prevent Duty Guidance for Further Education Institutions in England and Wales (2015), protecting learners from the risk of radicalisation is part of EDLounge Ltds’ wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. Learners may be identified as vulnerable to radicalisation at any time during their programme of study based on behaviour.

The Channel framework of indicators which may provide triggers leading to engagement with a group, cause or ideology associated with terrorism may include:

•             Feelings of grievance and injustice

•             Feeling under threat

•             A need for identity, meaning and belonging

•             A desire for status

•             A desire for excitement and adventure

•             A need to dominate and control others

•             Susceptibility to indoctrination

•             A desire for political or moral change

•             Opportunistic involvement

•             Family or friend’s involvement in extremism

•             Being at a transitional time of life

•             Being influenced or controlled by a group

•             Relevant mental health issues

Statutory Prevent Guidance for Further Education (2015) summarises the requirements in terms of the following key areas: external speakers and events, partnerships, risk assessment and action plan, staff and learner training, welfare and pastoral care and IT Policies.

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism or other forms of extremism. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. During the process of radicalisation, it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.

EDLounge Ltd will work with local partnerships to ensure it is responding to this duty.

All staff working in EDLounge Ltd (including visiting staff, volunteers, contractors and Learners on placement) are required to be able to identify and report instances where they believe a young person may be at risk of harm or neglect including any harm through extremism or radicalisation to the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. All learners will be given information about radicalisation and extremism, they will have a safe place to discuss the risk relating to their communities and they will know where to go to ask for help.

Under the Prevent Duty, safeguarding staff will be trained to recognise when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel Programme to support learners who may be vulnerable to such influences and where we believe a learner is being directly influenced by extremist materials or influences.

It is unacceptable to download or transmit any material which might reasonably be considered obscene, abusive, sexist, racist, defamatory, related to violent extremism or terrorism or which is intended to annoy, harass or intimidate another person. This also applies to use of social media systems accessed from company systems.

The company has systems for assessing and rating risks. Risk assessments for planned events, including off site events, external visitors and speakers to mitigate any risk and clearly set out what is required for any event to proceed.

SAFEGUARDING DEFINITIONS

EDLounge Ltd recognises the following as definitions of abuse for children, young people and adults at risk of harm, physical, emotional, neglect, sexual abuse and exploitation, emotional abuse and financial.

Physical Abuse - this may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning of suffocating. It may be done deliberately or recklessly or be the result of a deliberate failure to prevent injury occurring.

A learner going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect. Staff should follow the procedures for dealing with young people or vulnerable adults that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

Neglect - neglect is the persistent or severe failure to meet a child, young person or vulnerable adult’s physical and/or psychological needs which can result in serious impairment of the health or development of the individual.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation - sexual abuse involves a child, young person or vulnerable adult being forced or coerced into participating in or watching sexual activity. It is not necessary for the child, young person or vulnerable adult to be aware that the activity is sexual, and the apparent consent of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is irrelevant. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying and grooming.

Emotional Abuse - emotional abuse occurs where there is persistent emotional ill treatment or rejection. It causes severe and adverse effects on the child, young person and vulnerable adult’s behaviour and emotional development, resulting in low self-worth. Some level of emotional abuse is present in all forms of abuse. This would include potentially abusive or offensive cyber-bullying through electronic communications.

Financial Abuse - where financial abuse occurs, the victim does not always realise that it is abuse. It can be in the form of asking for money to be your friend, stealing your belongings, taking someone’s pension, or just the constant borrowing of money and never returning it.

Significant Harm - some children may be in need because they are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. The Children Act V section 47 (1) introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interest of the children.

Specific safeguarding issues

All staff should have awareness of the following safeguarding issues and of the legislative duty in relation to these concerns.

Honour-based violence

Honour-based violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse and should be handled and escalated as such.

FGM mandatory reporting duty

From October 2015, the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) introduced a mandatory reporting duty for all regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales. Professionals must make a report to the police, if, in the course of their duties:

•             They are informed by a girl under the age of 18 that she has undergone an act of FGM.

•             They observe physical signs that an act of FGM may have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties’ consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party (such as a matchmaker) in identifying a spouse.

Mental Health Issues

i.              Self-harming and suicidal behaviour

ii.             Self-harm, suicide threats and gestures by a young person or adult at risk must always be taken seriously and may be indicative of a serious mental or emotional disturbance. The possibility that self-harm, including a serious eating disorder has been caused or triggered by any form or abuse or chronic neglect should not be overlooked.

Abuse by peer group: bullying, racism and abuse

i.              Bullying is a common form of deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, when it is difficult for the victims to defend themselves.

ii.             It can take many forms, but the three main types are physical (e.g., hitting); verbal (e.g., threats); and emotional (e.g. isolating the individual).

iii.            It may involve physical, sexual or emotional abuse including homophobic, sexual, racial or religious harassment, or behaviour which is offensive to those with learning or physical disabilities.

iv.           Severe harm may be caused by the abusive and bullying behaviour of their peers. The damage inflicted by bullying is often underestimated and can cause considerable distress. In extreme cases it can cause significant harm, including self-harm.

v.            Initiation or hazing type violence occurs in a range of group situations such as gangs, sport teams. The initiation rites can range from relatively benign pranks to protracted patterns of behaviour that rise to the level of abuse or criminal misconduct.

Sexting

If staff are made aware of an incident involving sexting (also known as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’), they must report it to the Safeguarding Team immediately.

Staff must not:

•             View, download or share the imagery yourself, or ask a learner to share or download it. If staff have already viewed the imagery by accident, this must be reported to the Safeguarding Officer.

•             Delete the imagery or ask the learner to delete it.

•             Ask the learner(s) who are involved in the incident to disclose information regarding the imagery (this is the Safeguarding Officer’s responsibility)

•             Share information about the incident with other members of staff, the learner(s) it involves or their, or other, parents and/or carers.

•             Say or do anything to blame or shame any young people involved.

Staff should explain that they need to report the incident and reassure the learner that they will receive support and help from the Safeguarding Officer.

Specific Safeguarding issues also include the following:

•             Bullying including cyber-bullying.

•             Children missing education.

•             Child missing from home or care.

•             Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

•             Domestic violence

•             Drugs

•             Fabricated or induced illness

•             Faith abuse

•             Gangs and youth violence

•             Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)

•             Hate crimes.

•             Mental health

•             Missing children and adults

•             Private fostering

•             Preventing radicalisation

•             Relationship abuse

•             Trafficking

•             Peer-on-peer abuse

•             Stalking

In addition, given the local context, EDLounge Ltd recognises that learners will have risk factors around county lines, serious youth violence including grooming        and money laundering.

STAFF ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Designated Member of Staff with lead responsibility for safeguarding

The named responsible person for safeguarding duties for EDLounge Limited is Cara Radford 01909 568 338 or cara@edlounge.com

All staff, partners, associates and volunteers should contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead Cara Radford  for any concerns/queries they have in regard to safeguarding adults. A log of the concern will be kept.

The designated member of staff with lead responsibility has a key duty for raising awareness across all staff of issues relating to the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk studying within EDLounge Ltd.

The post holder is required to have training in safeguarding issues and inter-agency working, receive refresher training every two years and keep updated annually on safeguarding information and knowledge. The designated lead member of staff is responsible for:

•             Overseeing the referral of cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies.

•             Providing advice and support to other staff on issues relating to safeguarding.

•             Providing all staff and leaders with regular updates on safeguarding at least annually

•             Maintaining a proper record of any child protection referral, complaint or concern (even where that concern does not lead to a referral).

•             Ensuring Safeguarding Policy is updated and reviewed annually and approved by Governors.

•             Ensuring that parents of children, young people and adults at risk within EDLounge Ltd are aware of EDLounge Ltd’s Safeguarding Policy.

•             Ensuring that staff who are liaising with employers and training organisations that receive children or young people from EDLounge Ltd on long term placements have appropriate safeguards are put in place.

•             Ensuring safe recruitment practices by implementing enhanced checks on all new   and existing staff in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), obtaining references and recruitment in accordance with Department of Education guidance.

•             Providing tutorial or other curriculum, learning or pastoral support. The curriculum (both formal and informal) will be used to help children, young people and adults to develop their self-esteem and to promote their resilience.

•             Ensuring that staff receive basic training in Safeguarding and Prevent issues appropriate to their roles and are aware of EDLounge Ltd safeguarding procedures.

•             Ensuring that EDLounge Ltd consults with the LADO (Local Authority Designated                    Officer) regarding allegations against staff.

•             Ensure that Health and Safety procedures are in place for learners, including off site  learners on excursions or trips.

•             Providing regular safeguarding reports to the Board of Governors.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A STAFF MEMBER OR VOLUNTEER

If you have concerns about a member of staff or volunteer, or an allegation is made about a member of staff or volunteer posing a risk of harm to children, speak to the DSL. If the concerns/allegations are about the DSL, speak to the CEO. EDLounge Ltd will consult with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) regarding allegations against staff. This is to consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action, including whether further enquiries are necessary to enable a decision on how to proceed, and whether it is necessary to involve the police and/or children’s social care services. (The case manager may, on occasion, consider it necessary to involve the police before consulting the designated officer – for example, if the accused individual is deemed to be an immediate risk to children or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence. In such cases, the case manager will notify the designated officer as soon as practicably possible after contacting the police).

Inform the accused individual of the concerns or allegations and likely course of action as soon as possible after speaking to the designated officer (and the police or children’s social care services, where necessary). Where the police and/or children’s social care services are involved, the case manager will only share such information with the individual as has been agreed with those agencies.

Where appropriate (in the circumstances described above), carefully consider whether suspension of the individual from contact with children at the school is justified or whether alternative arrangements such as those outlined above can be put in place. Advice will be sought from the designated officer, police and/or children’s social care services, as appropriate.

If immediate suspension is considered necessary, agree and record the rationale for this with the designated officer. The record will include information about the alternatives to suspension that have been considered, and why they were rejected. Written confirmation of the suspension will be provided to the individual facing the allegation or concern within 1 working day, and the individual will be given a named contact at the school and their contact details.

If it is decided that no further action is to be taken in regard to the subject of the allegation or concern, record this decision and the justification for it and agree with the designated officer what information should be put in writing to the individual and by whom, as well as what action should follow both in respect of the individual and those who made the initial allegation.

If it is decided that further action is needed, take steps as agreed with the designated officer to initiate the appropriate action in school and/or liaise with the police and/or children’s social care services as appropriate.

Provide effective support for the individual facing the allegation or concern, including appointing a named representative to keep them informed of the progress of the case and considering what other support is appropriate.

Inform the parents or carers of the child/children involved about the allegation as soon as possible if they do not already know (following agreement with children’s social care services and/or the police, if applicable). The case manager will also inform the parents or carers of the requirement to maintain confidentiality about any allegations made against teachers (where this applies) while investigations are ongoing. Any parent or carer who wishes to have the confidentiality restrictions removed in respect of a teacher will be advised to seek legal advice.

Keep the parents or carers of the child/children involved informed of the progress of the case and the outcome, where there is not a criminal prosecution, including the outcome of any disciplinary process (in confidence).

Make a referral to the DBS where it is thought that the individual facing the allegation or concern has engaged in conduct that harmed or is likely to harm a child, or if the individual otherwise poses a risk of harm to a child.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality and trust should be maintained as far as possible, but staff must act on the basis that the safety of the learner is the overriding concern. The degree of confidentiality will be governed by the need to protect the student. The learner must be informed at the earliest possible stage of the disclosure that the information will be passed on. Discussions of the case must only be with the appropriate staff and any discussion must be private and shared on a need-to-know basis. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.

EDLounge Ltd Is committed to protecting the rights and privacy of individuals, including learners, staff and others, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018 and complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 that allows for disclosure of personal data where this is necessary to protect the vital interests of the learners.

DUTY OF CARE

Staff are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources and actively protect children and people from discrimination and avoidable harm. Staff should develop respectful, caring and professional relationships between themselves and all other users  of EDLounge Ltd. Staff behaviour should demonstrate integrity, maturity and good judgement.

SAFEGUARDING RECORDING

•             All safeguarding concerns are either identified by, or referred through to, the Designated Safeguarding Lead by members of staff, learners, (either self-referring or bringing concerns about peers), parents/carers, employers or volunteers.

•             The Safeguarding Lead will investigate all concerns and allegations, make a judgement on next steps and then refer on to the appropriate agency.

•             All cases are recorded in a secure area on the company intranet.

•             A quarterly and annual Safeguarding Report is devised for SMT with detailed analysis of safeguarding disclosures which feeds into planning for training needs and preventative work with learners.

ON-LINE SAFETY AND E-SAFETY

EDLounge Ltd will endeavour to both filter and monitor all internet usage within EDLounge Ltd in a responsible and transparent way in order to ensure and maintain the safety of staff and learners.

USE OF EXTERNAL AGENCIES AND SPEAKERS

At EDLounge Ltd we encourage the use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of our learners; however, we will positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who we engage to provide such learning opportunities or experiences for our learners.

Such vetting is to ensure that we do not unwittingly use agencies that contradict each other   with their messages or that are inconsistent with, or are in compete opposition to, our values and ethos. EDLounge Ltd will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:

•             Any messages communicated to learners are consistent with the ethos of the Company and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals.

•             Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise learners through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies.

•             Activities are matched to the needs of learners.

•             Activities are carefully evaluated by EDLounge Ltd to ensure that they are effective.

We recognise, however, that the ethos of our Company and learning is to encourage learners to understand opposing views and ideologies, appropriate to their age, understanding and abilities, and to be able to actively engage with them in informed debate, and we may use external agencies or speakers to facilitate and support this. Therefore, by delivering a broad and balanced tutorial programme, augmented by the use of external sources where appropriate, we will strive to ensure our learners recognise risk and build resilience to manage any such risk themselves where appropriate to their age and ability but also to help learners develop the critical thinking skills needed to engage in informed debate.

WHISTLE BLOWING

Whistle blowing protects all staff, contractors and learners from fear of victimisation or discrimination when raising serious concerns. It is intended to enable a safe environment to encourage discussions rather than allowing these to be overlooked or discussed externally. Anyone who raises a genuine concern will have significant legal protection under the Employment Rights Act 1996 – Part IVA, Part V and Part X and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.  The concern should be raised with the Directors who will conduct any internal investigations in line with the organisation’s procedures.

WEARING OF ID PASSES

In order to ensure that anyone accessing EDLounge Ltd is provided with a safe environment, it is a requirement that all staff, learners and visitors visibly wear ID badges on EDLounge Ltd lanyards provided in all areas of EDLounge Ltd, both inside and outside EDLounge Ltd environment.

•             No company services will be provided to any person not wearing their lanyard and ID pass.

•             All teaching staff are required to check that their learners’ ID passes are worn at the start and at the end of all teaching sessions.

•             Any learner who has forgotten or lost their ID pass must get a temporary ID from Customer Services. If any learner records three temporary ID pass requests in any one term this will be recorded on Promonitor for LDCs and tutors to take appropriate action with the learner.

LAC AND CARE LEAVERS

EDLounge Ltd will work in close collaboration with the Virtual Schools and Children’s Social Services to ensure that all Looked After Children (and previously LAC) are identified and offered appropriate support mechanisms.

The Designated Member of Staff for LAC learners is the Safeguarding Lead Cara Radford.

PARTNERSHIP AND INFORMATION SHARING

EDLounge Ltd will work in conjunction with the local authority and any other external agencies such as the Police to ensure information is passed appropriately where there are safeguarding concerns. Information sharing protocols are well established, whilst complying with data protection and GDPR requirements.

All safeguarding referral protocols will reflect the guidance laid down in Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2018, including Prevent referrals to Channel.

The Government’s information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners includes 7 ‘golden rules’ for sharing information, and is used by EDLounge Ltd to support staff who have to make decisions about sharing information. Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners Providing safeguarding Services to Children, Young People, Parents and Carers supports staff who have to make decisions about sharing information.

The Counterterrorism and Securities Act (2015) places additional responsibilities on Further Education Companies to include working with multi-agencies as part of the Channel process.

COMPLAINT’S PROCEDURE

EDLounge promotes transparency and honesty when things go wrong.  All staff and volunteers should apologise and be honest with service users and other relevant people when thing go wrong. 

If a staff, partner, associate or volunteer, or any other member of the organisation is unhappy with the decision about the safeguarding concern, refer them to please follow the complaints procedure. This can be found via www.edlounge.com or the Designated Safeguarding Lead – Cara Radford

EDLounge is committed to ensuring that staff, partners, associates and volunteers who in good faith whistle-blow in the public interest, will be protected from reprisals and victimisation. Please refer to the EDLounge Whistleblowing Policy that is found via www.edlounge.com or in the Designated Safeguarding Leads office.

REVIEW

EDLounge Ltd’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedure is reviewed annually. The review process includes analysis of monitoring data, consultation with and feedback from learners, staff and other stakeholders.

Signed    Sam Warnes              Date 13/07/2021

Sam Warnes

CEO

ADDENDUM

Keeping Children Safe in Education has been extended from early years, schools and colleges to cover 16-19 academies (and apprenticeships). It references the Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021 which amends the Education Act 2002 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to impose safeguarding duties on 16 to 19 academies and further education in essence ensuring that safeguarding responsibilities are understood and prohibiting funding being given if safeguarding requirements not complied with.

COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for the mid-term, so the special remarks around the pandemic have been removed. Instead, any guidance you have in a Covid Appendix should be included now in the main body of your document, so you are able to deal with part or whole site closures and have clear guidance in place for staff.

The emphasis on all staff reading Part 1 has been replaced by  a clear requirement that everybody in the setting understands their safeguarding responsibilities.  All staff should have a clear understanding and application of the guidance with a certificate for staff and report for the DSL.

The emphasis in the Introduction also shifts to governing bodies and proprietors being responsible for ensuring this understanding – a theme around accountability that is reflected throughout the document.

SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURES

Procedure for Staff dealing with Learners of all age groups.

There are slightly different procedures to follow for different types of learners:

•             Under 18 years old on programmes at main sites (learners 16–17 years old)

•             Under 16 years old on any school linked programmes

•             Under 16’s who are on full-time programmes that may or may not be attached to a school i.e., Home Educated.

•             Apprentices

•             Under 18 years olds in EDLounge Ltd who are not enrolled as Learners – e.g., work placements from school or visitors to open days etc.

•             Adults at risk of harm

If in doubt, contact the Safeguarding team for advice.

Learners 16-17 years old

Where a Learner aged under 18 years old divulges information or staff become concerned that the young person is at risk of abuse, the following action will be taken:

•             Staff will advise the learner that action may have to be taken as a result of the disclosure. It is not the responsibility of members of staff to investigate suspected abuse.

•             A written record of the concern will be made where possible.

•             Referral to a member of the Safeguarding Team will be made immediately and in a conversation with the Safeguarding Officer.

•             Learner’s wishes regarding action to be taken will be noted where possible. However, the learner will be made aware that this will not affect the final decision to make a referral.

•             There is no need to involve other members of staff (including line managers) as this reduces confidentiality.

•             Make learner aware of services within EDLounge Ltd which may be able to help them address the situation and offer support.

•             Where possible the Safeguarding Officer will consult the learner regarding the report and their wishes and inform them of action which has or will be taken. However, depending upon the circumstance, this may not always be possible.

•             Where action is decided upon which necessitates contacting Children’s Services or Company procedures for referral will be followed within 24 hours of Safeguarding Team receiving the referral.

•             Confidential records will be kept of all discussions relating to protection from abuse matters and will be stored electronically in a confidential manner.

•             The Safeguarding Lead will be informed immediately of any referrals received/made.

APPRENTICES

Workplace providers will receive a copy of the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure and information relating to their responsibility for safeguarding. Placement Officers/Assessors will carry out all risk assessments and include safeguarding discussion as part of workplace reviews with Learners. Apprentices will receive information relating to safe practice in the workplace and safeguarding contact details. When dealing with a disclosure, follow referral procedure for Learners aged 16 – 17 years old, or adult at risk of harm dependent upon their age.

Organisations seeking subcontracted work have to submit their policies and procedures.

NEXT STEPS

Taking into account all the information available, the lead Safeguarding   Manager and Team will decide on the next steps, which may include taking no further action. Where it is decided that further action is necessary, this may be to:

•             Seek further advice from Social Services.

•             Make a referral to Social Services (any member of staff can make a referral to social services, and this must be reported to the Safeguarding Lead

•             Report the incident to a designated Social Worker.

•             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 Lead Safeguarding Manager will keep the member(s) of staff who raised the concerns informed of the progress/ outcome of the case where possible.

RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURES

EDLounge Ltd has a responsibility to ensure safe recruitment and employment practices. All staff are checked appropriately before they start employment, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The safeguarding regulations state that:

•             a person who is barred from working with children or adults at risk will be breaking the law if they work or volunteer or try to work or volunteer with those groups.

•             an organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with those groups will also be breaking the law.

EDLounge Ltd’s recruitment and selection procedures include the following requirements:

•             The post should be clearly defined and the key selection criteria for the post should be identified.

•             Vacancies should be advertised widely, as appropriate, in order to  ensure a diversity of applicants.

•             Applicants are required to complete an application form and sign to declare the information they have provided is to be true.

•             The chair of the interview panel will ask questions in respect of areas of concern and ensure the right people are selected for employment.

•             Evidence of qualifications and Identity is obtained, including the eligibility of the candidate to work in the UK.

•             Employment/educational references are required for successful candidates.

•             The successful candidate’s application form is reviewed by Human Resources and any gaps in employment or other missing information is followed up.

•             Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosures are undertaken for all employees, which are treated sensitively and confidentially.

•             Where a DBS disclosure have not been received before a candidate is due to start employment then a Risk Assessment will be undertaken and authorised to ensure that it is appropriate for the candidate to start work.

TRAINING

EDLounge Ltd has a duty to promote safeguarding issues and measures to staff and ensure they:

•             Analyse their own practice against established good practice and assess risk to ensure their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations.

•             Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.

•             Follow the guidance for staff.

The Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding is required to attend training in safeguarding  and receives refresher training at least every two years.

•             Other designated safeguarding staff are required to have training in safeguarding and inter-agency working and receive refresher training at least every two years.

•             All staff should renew EDLounge Ltd mandatory training for safeguarding and Prevent annually.

•             All staff working directly with children, young people and adults at risk will undertake appropriate annual training on safeguarding to raise awareness of current issues and Legislation. Staff in relevant positions will be trained to understand the particular safeguarding risks for Looked After Children.

•             All staff will receive an induction which will include safeguarding, prevent and the Code of Conduct.

•             All other staff will undertake appropriate training on safeguarding.

•             Safeguarding training is mandatory for all staff. Refusal to undertake safeguarding training, will be a matter of gross misconduct, and may lead to dismissal.