1.0 Purpose of the Policy
This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Form the Future CIC (FtF) or any of its programmes under management.
The purpose of this policy:
- to protect children and young people who receive Form the Future’s services
- to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection & Safeguarding;
Form the Future believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.
2.0 Legal framework
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Children Act 2004
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021)
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: Advice for practitioners (March 2015)
- Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children
3.0 Welfare of Children
We recognise that:
The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989. All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues. Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
- recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
- sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
- We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually
4.0 Designated Safeguarding Person
Helen Scully is the company’s designated safeguarding person from January 2023. All staff must address any concerns to her. Alison Wilson and Carole Scibor are both deputy safeguarding leads. Staff and volunteers will be made aware of the designated Safeguarding lead at the school when they deliver a Form the Future event.
5.0 Record Keeping
Form the Future will:
5.1 Keep clear, detailed, accurate, written records of concerns about children (noting the date, event and action taken),
5.2 Refer the matter to the respective school immediately, to enable them to deal with the child immediately to reduce any risk.
5.3 Ensure all paper records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in a locked location.
5.4 Keep any record of follow up communication on any safeguarding matter
6.0 Liaison with Other Agencies
In case of a Safeguarding issue, staff will inform the Safeguarding Lead of the respective school immediately, to ensure that the school can deal with the incident timely and appropriately.
We will follow up with the school after 14 days to ensure that appropriate action has been taken. Keep a record of the communication.
Co-operate as required, in line with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children,’ (July 2018), with key agencies in their enquiries regarding child protection matters including attendance and providing written reports at child protection conferences and core groups.
7.0 Events held at venues other than schools
Staff and volunteers who have been enhanced DBS checked and/or safer recruited by Form the Future C.I.C will be clearly identifiable by wearing a lanyard in a distinct colour to all the other participating adults. Young people and vulnerable adults will be made aware of the particular distinction. They will be the prime contact throughout the day for all safeguarding questions arising and will, where appropriate and necessary, accompany the young or vulnerable person to locations such as toilet facilities outside of the main venue.
Participating adults who are not classified as a safer recruited or enhanced DBS checked individual, must not be left alone with a young or vulnerable person at any time. They will not accompany the young or vulnerable person to any location outside the main venue.
Please see the company’s DBS policy for further detail on conducting DBS checks.
8.0 Third Party Policies
When Form the Future delivers its services and managed programmes within schools, all staff, including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of Form the Future CIC has to follow the school’s safeguarding and child protection policy. Form the Future ensures that everybody is informed where to find the school’s relevant and up to date policy.
9.0 Confidentiality and information sharing
9.1 The Data Protection Act 2018 does not prevent staff from sharing information with relevant agencies, where that information may help to protect a child.
Form the Future will:
9.2 Ensure staff and volunteers adhere to confidentiality protocols and that information is shared appropriately.
9.3 Ensure staff are aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children, (as set out in ‘Information sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers,’ DfE, July 2018).
9.4 Ensure staff are clear with children that they cannot promise to keep secrets.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Deputies will:
9.5 Disclose information about a pupil to other members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis. Parental consent may be required.
9.6 Aim to gain consent to share information and be mindful of situations where to do so would place a child at increased risk of harm. Information may be shared without consent if a person believes that there is good reason to do so, and that the sharing of information will enhance the safeguarding of a child in a timely manner.
9.7 Record when decisions are made to share or withhold information, who information has been shared with and why. (See ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children,’ July 2018)
9.8 Seek advice about confidentiality from outside agencies if required. (See ‘Information sharing; Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers,’ DfE, July 2018).
10.0 Preventing unsuitable people from working with children
10.1 Form the Future will operate safer recruitment practices including ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken according to Part three of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2021). This section should be read in conjunction with Form the Future’s DBS Policy.
The following members of staff have undertaken Safer Recruitment training – Anne Bailey, Megan Hedley
10.2 Any allegation of abuse made against a member of staff or volunteer will be reported straight away to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company and the Safeguarding lead of the respective school. In cases where the CEO is the subject of an allegation, it will be reported to the Chair of Trustees. Form the Future will align its procedures to the procedures set out in Part four of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2021).
10.3 Form the Future will consult with the School and where appropriate the Local Authority Named Senior Officer in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff or volunteer.
10.4 Form the Future will ensure that any disciplinary proceedings against staff or volunteers relating to child protection matters are concluded in full even when the member of staff or volunteer is no longer employed by Form the Future and that notification of any concerns is made to the relevant authorities and professional bodies and included in references where applicable.
10.5 Staff or volunteers who are the subject of an allegation have the right to have their case dealt with fairly, quickly, and consistently and to be kept informed of its progress. Suspension is not mandatory, nor is it automatic but, in some cases, staff may be suspended where this is deemed to be the best way to ensure that children are protected.
10.6 Consideration must be given to the needs of the child and a recognition that a child may make an allegation against an innocent party because they are too afraid to name the real perpetrator. It is rare for a child to make an entirely false or malicious allegation, although misunderstandings and misinterpretations of events do happen.
10.7 Form the Future will ensure that all staff, paid and unpaid, are aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationships with young people as advised within the Local Authority’s Code of Conduct: ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’ (May 2019). As part of the Induction process, all staff, paid and unpaid, will receive guidance about how to create appropriate professional boundaries with all children, especially those with a disability or who are vulnerable.
10.8 All staff have signed to confirm that they have read ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings’ (May 2019).
10.9 Form the Future will ensure that communication between pupils and adults, by whatever method, are transparent and take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries and are open to scrutiny.
11.0 OTHER RELATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
This policy links to our:
Complaints and compliments policy
Diversity and inclusion policy