Tutor Handbook - Policies

Safeguarding Code of Conduct


In addition to our Code of Conduct, we have developed a set of guidelines you should follow to safeguard you and your students.


Behaviour

You should:

  • Be aware that behaviour in your personal life may have an impact on your work with children and vulnerable adults
  • Treat all students and parents with respect
  • Use appropriate language that doesn’t offend or discriminate
  • Work within our Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions and at all times
  • Disclose any criminal charges or involvement in any safeguarding investigations that occur after you joined MyTutor

Confidentiality

You should:

  • Keep all personal contact details confidential e.g. your last name, email address and phone number

  • Treat information you receive about students in a discreet and confidential manner
  • Deliver lessons in a private environment with no observers present
  • Seek advice from the MyTutor Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) - contacts below - if you are in any doubt about sharing information a student or parent has passed on, or which has been requested of you

Communication with customers

You should:

  • Keep all communication, bookings and payments on the platform

  • Check that a young learner is comfortable to continue a lesson if no parent or adult is present, and remind them that if they aren’t they can end the lesson
  • Report any safeguarding concern or complaint to MyTutor as set out in our safeguarding guidance (below) and disputes policy 
  • Report any sensitive information a student or parent offers, or any inappropriate behaviour you notice during a lesson to the MyTutor team

You shouldn’t:


  • Ask for personal contact details (e.g. full name, email address, phone number or social media details) from a student or parent, unless in the event of likely and imminent harm - see emergency procedures below
  • Pass on your own personal information to a student or parent

Social contact with customers

You should:

  • Avoid all social contact with your students or their parents

  • Inform the MyTutor Designated Safeguarding Officer of any social contact you have had with a student or parent

Infatuations

You should:

  • Report and record any incidents or indications (verbal, written or physical) that suggest a student may have developed an infatuation with you

  • Always acknowledge and maintain professional boundaries

Sexual contact

You shouldn’t:

  • Have sexual relationships with a student or parent

  • Have any form of communication with a student or parent which could be interpreted as sexually suggestive or provocative
  • Make sexual remarks to, or about, a student or parent
  • Discuss your own sexual relationships with or in the presence of a student or parent


Safeguarding guidance


As an online tutor you will work with children and young people. It’s important for you to have some basic knowledge about the signs and symptoms of abuse, as well as understanding how to raise any concerns you may have about a student with MyTutor, and our procedures for addressing these.


What is safeguarding?

This is the process of:

  • protecting children and young people (under the age of 18) from abuse or neglect

  • preventing impairment of their health and development
  • ensuring they are growing up in circumstances that offer optimum life chances and are able to enter adulthood successfully
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

You can read the Department for Education’s full statutory guidance, ‘Working together to safeguard children’ here.


Contact details for safeguarding concerns

To report a safeguarding concern, fill in this form, email us at support@mytutor.co.uk, or ring us on 0203 773 6020.

 

What to look out for – possible signs and symptoms of child abuse

It may be difficult to identify safeguarding concerns through your contact with students on the platform, as your lessons may be relatively short and infrequent, with limited opportunities to identify concerns.

Children and young people may behave strangely or appear unhappy or distressed for a number of reasons as they develop, and as their experiences and family circumstances change.

These definitions and indicators aren’t meant to act as a definitive list, but to serve as a guide to help you. It’s important to remember that many children may exhibit some of these indicators at some time, and that the presence of one or more shouldn’t be taken as proof that abuse is occurring.


Physical abuse

Physical abuse 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.

Important indicators of physical abuse are bruises or injuries that are either unexplained or inconsistent with the explanation given. A delay in seeking medical treatment when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern.

The physical signs of abuse may include:

  • Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body
  • Multiple bruises- in clusters, often on the upper arm, outside of the thigh
  • Broken bones
  • Cigarette burns
  • Human bite marks
  • Scalds, with upward splash marks
  • Multiple burns with clearly demarcated edges
  • Changes in behaviour that can also indicate physical abuse:

  • Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts
  • Flinching when approached or touched
  • Depression
  • Withdrawn behaviour
  • Fear of parents being approached for an explanation on an injury

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse may involve conveying to children 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 mocking what they say or how they communicate.

It may feature an adult imposing expectations which are inappropriate (either because of age or development) on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability. It can also include overprotecting a child, and limiting their exploration and learning, or preventing a child participating in normal social interaction.

It may involve serious bullying (discussed further below) 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 child abuse, though it may occur alone.

Emotional abuse can be difficult to measure, as there are often no outward physical signs. Children who appear well-cared for may still suffer emotional abuse.

Changes in behaviour which can indicate emotional abuse include:

  • Neurotic behaviour e.g. sulking, hair twisting, rocking
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Developmental delay in terms of emotional progress
  • Being unable to play

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. This may not necessarily involve a high degree of violence, and the child may not be aware of what is happening.

Activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration or a non-penetrative act, such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.

They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at sexual images, producing sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse.

Usually, it is the child’s behaviour that may cause you to become concerned, although physical signs can also be present.

Changes in behaviour which can indicate sexual abuse include:

  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour, such as becoming aggressive or withdrawn
  • Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people
  • Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age, or developmental level
  • Sexual drawings or language
  • Eating problems, such as overeating or anorexia
  • Self-harm, sometimes leading to suicide attempts
  • Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about
  • Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults
  • Substance or drug abuse
  • Suddenly having unexplained sources of money
  • Running away from home

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or psychological needs, which is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development.

It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, or failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger. It could also involve a parent or carer not providing adequate supervision, or ensuring access to medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

Neglect can be a difficult form of abuse to recognise, yet has some of the most lasting and damaging effects on children.

The physical signs of neglect may include:

  • Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children and young people
  • Constantly dirty
  • Loss of weight, or being constantly underweight

 

Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect may include:

  • Complaining of being tired all the time
  • Not asking for medical assistance, or failing to attend medical appointments
  • Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised
  • Having few friends

Bullying

Bullying can take a number of forms, and can occur both online and offline. A child may encounter bullying attacks which are physical - including pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching and other forms of violence or threats. Bullying can also be verbal - involving name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours and persistent teasing. Finally, emotional bullying involves tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating or excluding a child.

Persistent bullying can result in:

  • low self-esteem
  • shyness
  • depression
  • threatened or attempted suicide
  • poor academic achievement

Responding to a disclosure of abuse

If a student discloses abuse, you should follow these steps:

  1. Take the allegation seriously

  2. Listen and encourage the student to speak freely, but do not ask leading questions
  3. Establish who the alleged perpetrator is, and establish where they are
  4. Don’t indicate to the student that you consider the incident to be abuse - this will be established later through investigation
  5. Stay calm, and avoid expressing shock or embarrassment
  6. Don’t promise to keep the matter confidential
  7. Don’t discuss the allegation with the alleged perpetrator
  8. Reassure the student that you are pleased that they have felt able to tell you
  9. Ensure that the student is safe
  10. Explain what you will do next (see guidance below)
  11. Retain any notes you have made for use by other professionals or the police in a criminal investigation

Reporting a concern about a student

In a non-emergency

If you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult has been abused or neglected, or is at risk of abuse or neglect, then you should contact the MyTutor Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) (see contact details above) to report your concerns at the end of your lesson.

In an emergency

In some circumstances you may have immediate concerns about a student's safety arising from the information disclosed or observed by you during a tutorial. For example,

  • Student has left the lesson space unexpectedly and has expressed suicidal thoughts or intentions to harm themselves or another person
  • Student discloses recent physical abuse by a parent or sibling and is expecting a beating when their family member arrives home
  • Student mentions that a parent’s new partner has made indecent suggestions to them when their parent is not at home

If you think that a child is at immediate risk of abuse, you should suspend the lesson and make immediate contact with the DSO or, if necessary, the police.

If you need to contact the police directly, you may ask the student for personal details and their address, as an exception to normal MyTutor policy. If a parent or student does divulge personal identifying details to you, then you should inform the DSO.

mtw:mercury1:status:ok