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Safeguarding Policy

Objectives

To provide an environment where;

  • The welfare of the learner is paramount.

  • All learners, 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.

  • Partnerships with learners, stakeholders and with other agencies are developed which promote a safe learning environment.

  • Staff, learners and stakeholders have an understanding of safeguarding which then enables them to fulfil their statutory or moral obligations.

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Safeguarding Strategy

Safeguarding seeks to keep children and adults safe from a range of potential harm and looks at preventative action, not just reaction. It is directed by various leglislation and statutory duties including Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015).

It means promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and having policies and procedures in place which define how we will seek to protect our learners.

Safeguarding includes how we will respond to:

Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection concerns

  • The response to disclosures of maltreatment (abuse, neglect, exploitation, radicalisation or victimisation) or risk of harm where the perpetrator is a member of the learners family, the wider community, another learner or a member of staff.

Welfare support needs

  • Responding to a learner (of any age) via either direct intervention, advice and guidance or sign posting where an issue exists within their day to day lives (including the workplace) which could impact upon their ability to achieve. For learners under 18 this includes providing early help.

Recruitment

  • Recruiting staff that are committed to offering learners a safe, happy and healthy environment and who share in the belief that the welfare of the learner is paramount and promote this through all that they do.


Teaching and Learning

  • Providing appropriate training and learning to staff, learners and stakeholders which raise awareness of safeguarding through a supportive environment.

Whom are we safeguarding?

The term ‘child’ means anyone who has not yet attained the age of 18 and the term ‘vulnerable adult’ means a person, aged 18 or over, who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

A number of other situations may render a person ‘vulnerable’ such as - domestic violence, addiction, mental ill health, living in a drug-misusing family, living in areas of high crime, being likely to face racism or having caring responsibilities. We extend our safeguarding approach to any such individual.

Confidentiality

We will work to the following Confidentiality Statement with our learners;

“It is important that you feel safe and confident to discuss any issues that you may have with a member of the Paragon Skills team. For this reason any information that you share will not be discussed outside of the members of staff who can directly help and support you, unless you tell us that either you or others are at risk of harm. In such cases we may have to share this information with external agencies such as social services or the Police. This will only be passed on with your knowledge.”

We will introduce this to learners at induction and refer to it throughout the learning process.

Paragon Skills takes its responsibilities to report serious crime seriously and as a result we will not afford confidentiality in the following situations;

  • Where it is identified that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm

  • Where we are told that a serious crime has been committed or is about to be committed

  • Where information regarding terrorism or drug trafficking is disclosed

  • Where we are instructed to disclose something by a court

Levels of Responsibility and training

Everyone has a responsibility to keep children and the vulnerable safe from harm and to educate them in the risks posed to them. The level of accountability for this will differ dependent on the role held and is laid out in Annex B.

Whistleblowing

Paragon Skills operates a whistleblowing procedure. This procedure should be used by any member of staff or stakeholder where it is felt that we have failed to act to prevent harm from occurring to an individual.

Training

In line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015) we are committed to providing staff with training and awareness raising activity around safeguarding. We will provide training at a level and frequency as defined within legislation. We will record all staff training on the centralised safeguarding training record and provide refresher training at three yearly intervals or as required by legislation.

We will provide learners with opportunities to explore safeguarding in a safe environment and in a way that is relevant to their learning programme with the aim of improving their knowledge, confidence and awareness of safeguarding.

Safer Recruitment

We will operate a safer recruitment process which aims to recruit safely and fairly in line with the DBS policy, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015).

Safeguarding within employer premises

We will support employers with whom we engage to recognise their own safeguarding obligations to learners aged under 18. We will do this by providing timely information advice and guidance.

Paragon Skills delivers a range of qualifications within the child and health and social care sector meaning that our staff will come to incidental contact with children and vulnerable adults within these settings. We will therefore ensure that our learners follow their own employers procedures for the management of safeguarding. Where this is not possible or appropriate the learner should be guided towards their employers whistleblowing procedures in line with statutory guidance.

Reporting procedure

We will use the 5 Rs - Recognition, Response, Reporting, Recording and Referral when approaching safeguarding matters and we require all of our staff to operate in line with this process.

Where a significant immediate risk of harm exists staff are encouraged to approach the relevant social services team or the Police directly.

All concerns about a learners welfare must be logged, by the staff member identifying them, with the DSL/DSP to enable a picture regarding any risks to be built, this is for ‘stacking up’ purposes.

The 5 Rs

Recognition

  • Recognition covers both disclosures of abuse and your personal concerns about a learners welfare

  • Disclosure of abuse is likely to be direct

  • A concern that you have may arise from either a conversation or a change in a learners behaviour

Response

  • Do not interview - just listen and clarify if necessary

  • Remain calm and listen

  • Inform the person that the concerns must be recorded and passed on so that the issue can be dealt with

  • Reassure the person that they have done the right thing in reporting their concerns and that you will do everything you possibly can to help

  • Do not make unrealistic promises around confidentiality

Reporting

  • All disclosures of abuse this must be urgently reported to the DSL/DSP

  • DO NOT DISCUSS THE DISCLOSURE WITH ANYONE ELSE

  • Report any welfare concerns verbally to the Learner Welfare Team as soon as practicably possible, but before the end of the working day to welfare@pgon.co.uk

Recording

  • Use (HSW004) to record precisely what has been alleged/happened - use the words of the learner

  • This should be scanned and emailed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Person. The original should also be sent in a sealed envelope and marked as confidential. It should not automatically be added to a learner/employer file and copies should not be made

  • Your record should use accurate quotation

  • If appropriate, include factual observations

  • Once you have reported concerns using this process it is the responsibility of the DSL/DSP to take any further decisions as to the actions which would follow. This may or may not directly involve you

Referral

  • Only a DSL/DSP/CEO can make the decision to refer a complaint or allegation having gathered and examined all relevant information

  • Only a DSL/DSP should look into a complaint, allegation or suspicion of abuse. Actions carried out by others could be construed as unjustified interference which could jeopardise an investigation and any possible subsequent court case

  • No member of Paragon staff is in a position to decide whether abuse has taken place

Risk Assessment

We recognise that it is necessary to undertake safeguarding risk assessments and that safeguarding should be considered alongside other standard assessment of risk processes.

We will undertake generic risk assessments (e.g. centre based delivery, lone working, contractors working on site, transporting learners) and ensure that these are stored centrally for access and use by all staff.

At times it will be appropriate to risk assess individual or specific groups of learners or activities. Such circumstances should be discussed with the Learner Welfare Manager, in advance of the learner/s commencing.

Social Media

There are notable benefits to using social media as communication and promotional tools as well as potential negative effects in terms of reputation and safeguarding. In order to use Social Media such as Social Networking Sites and blogs in a safe and professional way we will provide Social Media to all staff.

Owing to the Safeguarding implications surrounding the misuse of social media formats any activities undertaken outside the boundaries of the guidance will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.

Extremism and radicalisation

The Prevent Duty identifies that young people pose a risk and as a result we recognise that our learners may be at risk of radicalisation. Staff have a responsibility to recognise this potential risk and to identify learners that may be at risk of harm from radicalisation.

We have a Prevent Strategy in line with the requirements placed upon us under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015).

Our designated Prevent Officer is the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Record keeping

All records regarding a learner’s welfare will be clear, use straightforward language, be concise, accurate in fact and stored confidentially and securely in line with the Data Protection Act. Any judgements, interventions or decisions made will be carefully recorded to facilitate further professional judgements to be made should this be necessary.

The Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information for the purposes of safeguarding the individual. Any information shared will be shared in line with the Information Sharing: Practioners’ guide (HM Government, March 2015) document.

Records of safeguarding issues will be kept centrally by the DSL. These will be chronological, factual and kept in accordance with data protection regulations and only accessible by the CEO, DSL and DSP. Where relevant a reference to the record will be logged on (but not stored on) the learners file. Records will be destroyed after 3 years.

All records are kept in line with the recommendations of the Munro Review and the approach to ‘stacking up’.

In line with statutory guidance, the DSL will pass on child protection records to educational establishments to which a learner progresses.

CCTV and content filtering monitoring software

We will use CCTV and content filtering software throughout our buildings to enhance the measures taken to safeguarding learners and staff.

We will not use CCTV in toilets, showers or changing facilities.

We will use CCTV and content filtering software to monitor the behaviour of staff and learners with the view to actively safeguard individuals and respond to any identified risks.

Monitoring, evaluation and review

The DSL will review this policy annually to assess its implementation and effectiveness. This is in line with statutory requirements.

We will promoted and implement this policy throughout Paragon Skills without exception.

The following support policies/documentation are in place and should be read in conjunction with this document;

  • Post Inspection Action Plan

  • Code of professional conduct (contained within the staff handbook)

  • Our Approach to Safeguarding and Learner Welfare – a guide for staff

  • Safer recruitment activities and the associated policy

  • Equality and Diversity

  • Complaints Procedure

  • Whistleblowing

  • Health and Safety Policy

  • Form No: HSW005 Issue No: 4 Dated May 2016 Page 8 of 11

  • Risk Assessments

  • Performance Management System

  • Mini-bus usage

  • Workplace checklist/monitoring

  • Welfare review process

  • Learner voice strategy

  • Disaster recovery plan

  • Prevent strategy

  • E Safety strategy

  • Mobile Phone Policy

  • Anti-bullying

  • Drugs and alcohol

This policy will be reviewed annually or in line with legislative changes.

Annex A

Part One – Keeping Children Safe in Education