Online Safety & Safeguarding

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Safeguarding Policy and Procedures


Contents


Page

  1. Introduction

3

  1. Scope and Purpose of the Policy

3

  1. Definitions of Abuse

4

  1. Safeguarding Governance – Roles and Responsibilities

6

  1. Dealing with a Safeguarding Concern or Disclosure

9

  1. Sharing Information

11

  1. Safeguarding Allegations Against Directors, Staff or Tutors

12

  1. What staff and tutors should do if they have concerns about poor or unsafe practice within MTW

13

  1. Recruitment, Selection and Training

13

  1. Complaints

14

  1. Quality Assurance and Review

14

  1. Underpinning Legislation and Guidance

14

Appendices

Appendix A – MTW Safeguarding Concern Template

16

Appendix B – Guide on submitting a Safeguarding Concern

17


1. Introduction


MyTutorWeb Ltd (MTW) was founded to offer life-changing tuition for all. Our site was developed with the aim of ensuring that high-quality lessons take place in a safe environment and this is reflected in a number of key built-in features.  

We are committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of personal safety, wellbeing and safeguarding of each student and tutor using MTW.

This policy and the supporting procedures seek to ensure that MTW undertakes its responsibilities regarding safeguarding children and young people. This policy establishes a framework to support all those who come into contact with MTW, protect them from abuse and maltreatment of any kind and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.

2. Scope and Purpose of the Policy


This policy applies to all aspects of MyTutorWeb Ltd (MTW) in relation to tutoring services. The policy and supporting procedures apply to all Directors, staff, tutors, and all other people who conduct work on behalf of MTW.

MTW acknowledges its duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practices reflect statutory responsibilities, government guidance and reflects best practice.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that, regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all students have a positive experience of MTW through the services, support or activities they engage in.

Safeguarding Statement:

Safeguarding is everyone’s business – MyTutorWeb is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all Directors, staff and tutors to share this commitment.

MTW will ensure that good governance and quality standards are maintained within the organisation and establish clear policies and procedures based on legislation and guidance. We will apply robust risk management processes for the identification of situations which may require the organisation to make professional judgements to protect students from harm.

Confidentiality is essential to the environment of trust with our students, but this will be balanced against the organisation’s duty to protect children and young people.  

The organisation will collectively manage risks and reduce the likelihood of abuse by:

It is the responsibility of all directors, staff and tutors to read this policy and supporting procedures and know what to do in the event of a safeguarding concern.

This policy and supporting procedures should be read alongside the following policies and procedures:

3. Definitions of Abuse


Children are considered to be abused or at risk of abuse by parents/carers when the basic needs of the child are not being met through acts of either commission or omission.  Children includes everyone under the age of 18 (KCSIE, 2020).

Knowing what to look for is vital to the early identification of abuse and neglect. All staff will be aware of indicators of abuse and neglect through their experience and training so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection. If staff are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy).  

All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked to issues such as drug taking, alcohol abuse, deliberately missing education and sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery) put children in danger.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is defined as:

(Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), DfE, September 2020)  

Abuse

Is a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults or by another child or children (KCSIE, 2020, para 22).

Types of abuse and neglect

Physical abuse

A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.

It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.

These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.

They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Neglect

The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Child Protection

Is one part of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect children who are suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm.

Significant Harm

The definition of significant harm is not prescriptive. The interpretation will depend largely on professional judgement, based on the known facts. It can include inappropriate touching, an assault, or a series of compounding events e.g. bullying. Other factors to be considered include the age and vulnerability of the child, the degree of force used, the frequency of the harm, the nature of the harm in terms of ill treatment, and the impact on the child’s health and development.

Annex A of KCSIE 2020 contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues. MTW require all staff and tutors to read the annex in conjunction with this policy and supporting procedures.

4. Safeguarding Governance – Roles and Responsibilities


MTW is committed to providing support to all those involved with the organisation. A clear structure of safeguarding accountability supports everyone to understand their individual and collective responsibilities for safeguarding children and young people.

MTW will ensure it has arrangements in place to fulfil its commitment and duty to safeguard children and young people in accordance with legislation and statutory guidance.

MTW Board of Directors

Directors play a vital role in ensuring that they are legally compliant in order to manage the organisation’s resources effectively and provide a long-term vision and protect the organisation’s reputation and values.

In order to fulfil these responsibilities, the Board of Directors may delegate some or all of these responsibilities’ individual directors or members of the leadership team.

Directors are responsible for:

MTW Leadership Team

The leadership team will ensure a commitment to safeguarding is integral in the delivery of all its services, activities and contracts. They will assist in the safer recruitment and selection of staff and tutors.

The Leadership Team will ensure that:

MTW Named Designated Safeguarding Officer and Deputies

The Named Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officers (DDSO) will be provided with the appropriate level of training to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities in supporting and guiding staff and tutors on safeguarding matters. The training should be updated every two years. They are responsible for responding to initial concerns or disclosures.

The Named Designated Safeguarding Officer and Deputies will:

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Name: Will Beaton

Phone: 0203 773 6020

Email: will@mytutor.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer

Name: Dilpreet Bhagrath

Phone: 0203 773 6025

Email: dilpreet@mytutor.co.uk

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer

Name: Georgia Cohen

Phone: 0203 773 6020

Email: georgia@mytutor.co.uk 

Designated Safeguarding Champion

Name: Frederika Ofong

Phone: 0203 773 6020

Email: frederika.ofong@mytutor.co.uk 

Designated Safeguarding Champion

Name: Mia Boddington

Phone: 0203 773 6025

Email: mia.boddington@mytutor.co.uk 

Designated Safeguarding Champion

Name: Elva Tucker

Phone: 0203 773 6020

Email: elva.tucker@mytutor.co.uk 

Further information on the role and responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputies and Champions in the context of schools can be found in the statutory guidance KCSIE, Annex B.

MTW Staff and Tutors

All MTW staff and tutors have a shared responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. They should know how to recognise, respond to, report and record any safeguarding concerns.

All staff and tutors are responsible for following the organisation’s safeguarding procedures for reporting any concerns relating to abuse or neglect or suspected abuse or neglect of any child or young person immediately.

In an emergency staff and tutors will be expected to report urgent concerns directly to the relevant statutory agency.

5. Dealing with a safeguarding concern or disclosure


The following procedures have been developed to:

We must be alert to the risks from:

Staff or tutors may have suspicions that a person is either

because of behavioural, emotional and/or physical factors; or symptoms or conversations and/or written evidence which indicate that abuse or neglect may have taken place, or an individual may disclose information that causes a concern for their safety and welfare.

When making difficult judgements around possible signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect it is crucial that all available information and presenting injuries or behaviours are seen in context. e.g. is the change in behaviour a result of a sudden illness, recent bereavement or exam anxiety?

When information is shared with you which causes concerns of possible abuse, your requirement is to accept the information being shared without influencing it, as well as providing support and reassurance to the child and managing expectations.

 

Staff and tutors should:

Staff and tutors should not:

You should submit a Safeguarding Concern Form (found here) to the safeguarding team as soon as possible, or if you believe a child is at imminent risk of harm, please call +44 20 3950 9586.

Once a disclosure has been made or a concern has been shared, the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy) will consider the information, if necessary, taking advice, and will make a decision to either:

Where a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer from harm, it is important that a referral to children’s social care (and if appropriate the police) is made immediately.

Once the decision is made to make a referral the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy) will contact the relevant Children’s Social Care Team and make a telephone referral. This must be followed up in writing within 24 hours.

Within one working day of a referral being made, a local authority social worker should acknowledge receipt to the referrer and make a decision about the next steps and the type of response that is required. This will include determining whether:

It is important to note that where tutors are delivering tuition to children and young people in a school or college, the MTW DSO/ Deputy must inform the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead/ Officer.

6. Sharing Information


Effective sharing of information between MTW, schools, colleges, local authorities and other statutory services is essential for the early identification of need, assessment and intervention in order to keep children safe.

Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people identified as being ‘at risk of abuse or neglect’.

Personal information held by MTW is subject to a legal duty of confidentiality and will not normally be disclosed without the consent of a child’s parent/carer.  However, the right to confidentiality and respect for private and family life (Article 8, Human Rights Act, 1998) is not absolute.

The only exceptions to this are where confidentiality can be overridden either by a court order or other legal authority (e.g. Prevent Duty), or in the public interest i.e. in order to safeguard a child.

Public interest justifications usually relate to disclosures to prevent significant or serious harm to third parties or to prevent or to prosecute a serious crime. e.g. suicide pacts, terrorist threats.

MTW recognises that information sharing between key organisations is essential to safeguard children and young people at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

MTW will ensure that where staff or tutors need to share special category personal data, they are aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 includes ‘safeguarding of individuals at risk’ as a condition that allows practitioners to share information without consent.

MTW will ensure that confidential information is only shared where it is lawful and ethical to do so. All staff and tutors must be clear about situations when they can share information with appropriate agencies i.e. when they believe a child is at risk of harm.

MTW staff and tutors will give due regard to relevant legislation and guidance when making decisions on sharing information including the following:

7. Safeguarding Allegations Against Directors, Staff or Tutors


MTW recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its directors, staff, or tutors. All directors, staff and tutors must comply with the relevant Code of Conduct when performing their role in order to promote safer working practices.

Allegations of abuse against directors, staff or tutors can be made by either a child or an adult and should be made immediately to the DSO.  Allegations made against the DSO should instead be made to another member of the leadership team who will inform the other team members. Another suitable senior member of staff will then be appointed to take the place of the DSO in response to the allegation.

MTW will deal appropriately and promptly with all allegations or concerns and refer all safeguarding concerns or allegations about its directors, staff or tutors immediately to the appropriate local authority designated officer (LADO).

It is a matter of policy that any director, staff member or tutor, against whom a safeguarding allegation is made, will be suspended without prejudice immediately pending investigation. This will be the case even if the allegation is not linked to their role or activity with MTW. Such instances will be rare occasions and any decision to suspend will not be taken lightly. The decision will be taken after full discussions with the Managing Director, in consultation with the HR Department.  

During any investigation of an allegation against a director, staff member or tutor suspended from the workplace, MTW recognises that it has a continuing duty of care. It will ensure a link person is nominated (not connected to the investigation) to provide support and guidance and be able to signpost those suspended to other external support networks. e.g. local trade union reps, Occupational Health, G.P., Samaritans etc.

DBS Requirement and Duty to Report

Under legal duties to make referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service, MTW will report any concerns about unsafe practice by any of its directors, staff or tutors to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

 

If at any time MTW dismisses a director, member of staff or tutor due to relevant conduct, risk of harm or receiving a caution or conviction for a relevant offence (or the person has resigned or left that post in circumstances where they may have been removed), then a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service will be made by the DSO.

8. What staff and tutors should do if they have concerns about poor or unsafe practices within MTW


Staff and tutors should feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in MTW’s safeguarding regime. Appropriate whistleblowing procedures, which are suitably reflected in staff and tutors’ induction, training and the code of conduct, are in place for such concerns to be raised with MTW’s leadership team.

Where a staff member or tutor feels unable to raise the issue with their manager or feels that their genuine concerns are not being addressed, other whistleblowing channels are open to them:

Also Refer to the Whistleblowing Policy and Code of Conduct.

9. Recruitment, Selection and Training


Recruitment and Selection

MTW is aware of its responsibility for ensuring that it carries out appropriate safer recruitment practices for all positions within the organisation. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 requires the organisation to carry out specific vetting (enhanced DBS and barred list checks) on staff or tutors if they work with children and young people.

In order to deter unsuitable individuals and inappropriate behaviour MTW will highlight the Safeguarding statement (see section 2) to tutors throughout the recruitment process.

Training

MTW believes that training and raising awareness of safeguarding issues, policies and procedures is fundamental to the development and maintenance of a safer environment, safer organisation and safer staff/ tutors. It will ensure that appropriate safeguarding training is provided to all staff and tutors to assist them in:

Safeguarding training at the appropriate level to the role and responsibilities held will be a mandatory element of all inductions for staff and tutors. Furthermore, safeguarding training will not be regarded as a 'once only' activity, but as an ongoing development of skills and knowledge of safeguarding practices.

Monitoring the working practice of staff and tutors will be undertaken not less than once per year through the appropriate supervision mechanisms such as appraisals to ensure the requirements of this policy and supporting procedures are being met.

10. Complaints


If a complaint is identified as a potential safeguarding concern then the Safeguarding Procedures will be followed.

11. Quality Assurance and Review


MTW is committed to striving for excellence in the provision of all its services. We do this by actively reviewing the safeguarding systems in place.

We use an electronic recording system to capture all relevant data that supports the evidencing and monitoring of compliance in safeguarding. This quality assurance mechanism is a crucial and integral part of the governance structure.

The leadership team will review the safeguarding policy and supporting procedures annually to ensure they continue to reflect legislation and guidance. Any amendments to the policy and supporting procedures will be submitted to the Directors for approval.

12. Underpinning Legislation and Guidance


Legislation

Guidance

This document is an update by the Safer Recruitment Consortium of a document previously published for schools by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). It was initially issued as those working with children had expressed concern about their vulnerability and requested clearer advice about what constitutes illegal behaviour and what might be considered as misconduct. Education staff asked for practical guidance about which behaviours constitute safe practice and which behaviours should be avoided. This safe working practice document is NOT statutory guidance from the Department for Education (DfE); it is for employers, local authorities and/or the Three Safeguarding Partners to decide whether to use this as the basis for their code of conduct / staff behaviour guidelines.

An addendum was published in response to Covid-19 in April 2020.


Appendix A

MTW Safeguarding Concern Form

Appendix B

Guidance on completing the Safeguarding Concern Form

It is important that this concern form is fully completed in a timely manner. The details are important. To help the Designated Safeguarding team respond and refer appropriately you should follow the guidance below.

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