Child Protection Policy

Introduction: 

This document is the Child Protection Policy for Tutors United which will be followed by all members of the organisation and followed and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the organisation. 

The welfare of the child is paramount. Whilst, parents/carers remain responsible for their children’s welfare throughout all the work undertaken by the organisation, we know that being a young person makes them vulnerable to abuse by adults. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by the organisation are transparent and safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people. 

If any parent or young person/child has any concerns about the conduct of any member of the organisation, this should be raised in the first instance with the Programme Officer, and it will be brought to the attention of management. If the concern relates to the Programme Officer, incidents should be raised with the Head of Programmes. 

This document is written in accordance with ‘Children Act’ (1989), ‘The Children Act’ (2004), Salford’s Area Child Protection Policy, and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ produced by the Department of Health in 1999 and updated in 2018. It is regularly updated in accordance with the latest government guidance. 

Designated Safeguarding Lead(s):  

Alina Monaghan-Gibson, Head of Programmes  Joel Davis, Chief Executive 
Alina.Monaghan@tutorsunited.org 

07748727250 

Joel.Davis@tutorsunited.org 

07557751241 

 

Designated trustee:  

Matt Corner, Chair 
corner.matthew@pwc.com 

 

Principles upon which the Child Protection Policy is based: 

  • The welfare of a child or young person will always be paramount. 
  • The welfare of families will be promoted. 
  • The rights wishes and feelings of children, young people and their families will be respected and listened to. 
  • Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will work in accordance with the interests of children and young people and follow the policy outlined below. 
  • Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will ensure that the same opportunities are available to everyone and that all differences between individuals will be treated with respect. 

Staff compliance with the Child Protection Policy: 

  • It is compulsory for all members of staff (both employees and freelancers) who join the organisation and work with young people directly or come into contact with a young person’s data will receive training in our Child Protection Policy before commencing their duties. 
  • Before joining the organisation, it is compulsory for all members of staff (both employees and freelancers) who will work with young people directly or come into contact with a young person’s data to undergo an enhanced DBS check, alongside two references to confirm they are safe to work and be around young people. 

You must: 

  • Treat all young people with respect. 
  • Treat all information and data (including photographs and video footage) about a young person with sensitivity. 
  • Avoid being alone with a young person or cause someone else to be alone with a young person because of your actions e.g. being late. 
  • Be sensitive to the needs of young people.
  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy. 
  • Encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and be caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour that are inappropriate. 
  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned. 
  • Be aware that any physical contact with a young person can be misinterpreted and should always be avoided. 
  • Recognise that special caution is required when discussing sensitive issues with young people. 
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse to the Designated Programme Officer. 
  • Operate within the Child Protection procedures mentioned below in the event of any disclosure/concern. 

You must not: 

  • Act in a manner that excludes the young people you are working with. 
  • Make suggestive or derogatory remarks in front of young people. 
  • Have inappropriate contact or verbal contact with young people. 
  • Show favouritism to any individual.  
  • Be under the influence of alcohol or other substances when working on activities involving young people. 
  • Take photographs of young people without permission from relevant Tutors United staff. 
  • Transfer the personal data of young people to third parties without express permission from relevant Tutors United staff, the young person or their family.  
  • Download and store the personal data of young people on a personal device unless necessary to fulfil the duties of your role. 
  • Allow your own priorities to compromise the care, happiness or well-being of young people. 
  • Jump to conclusions about others without checking the facts. 
  • Either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues. 

 Online and Offline Delivery 

For both online and offline delivery, should a child who is not on the register try to attend the lesson, it is imperative that all Tutors:  

  • DO NOT allow the child to enter the classroom under any circumstances – this includes online classrooms 
  • Inform the child that they are not able to join the class and that their parent will need to register them for the programme  
  • Send the child home and inform the relevant Programme Officer of the situation 
  • Inform the Programme Officer immediately if any additional issues arise or if further assistance is required  

For lessons being delivered online, all pupils MUST have their cameras turned on during the lesson. Sessions are recorded for safeguarding purposes and may be used to investigate any concerns. These recordings will not be shared with anyone outside the classroom and will be deleted within 30 days. If the Tutor hears or witnesses any behaviour that poses a safeguarding risk to the other pupils in the class, they are advised to mute or turn off the video of the pupil until the behaviour has been addressed. In extreme instances, the Tutor should remove the pupil from the classroom. In either situation, they should inform their Programme Officer immediately after the lesson.  

For lessons being delivered online, should only one child attend a class, it is imperative that all Tutors: 

  • Contact the parent and find out if they are comfortable with their child having the lesson alone  
  • Let their Programme Officer know that they are alone with their child 
  • If the parent is happy for the lesson to go ahead, ask that they stay in the same room as the pupil 
  • If the parent does not want the lesson to go ahead, cancel the lesson immediately 

For lessons being delivered face-to-face, should only one child turn up for a lesson, it is imperative that all Tutors: 

  • Cancel the lesson 
  • Contact the parent and inform them of the lesson cancellation 
  • Contact their Programme Officer to let them know the lesson is cancelled 
  • If a pupil does not have permission to go home alone, wait with the child until they are collected 

Should a parent fail to pick up their child and the child is not allowed to go home alone, it is imperative that all Tutors: 

  • Contact the parent and if they cannot be reached, tutors must call the emergency contact  
  • If tutors are unable to reach the parent/emergency contact and it is after 10 minutes past the hour, tutors must call their Programme Officer 
  • Tutors United will attempt to contact the parents and will update tutors with the outcome 
  • If there is no way to get through to the parent/emergency contact and the child lives nearby, tutors will be asked by their Programme Officer if they are comfortable to accompany the child home. If the tutor is comfortable with this, they will need to walk the child home and inform Tutors United once the child has been safely returned 
  • If the tutor is not comfortable with this, the final step will be to call the Police and ensure that the relevant Programme Officer has been informed that this has been done 

Should a child who is not on the register try to attend the lesson, it is imperative that all Tutors:  

  • DO NOT allow the child to enter the classroom under any circumstances – this includes online classrooms 
  • Inform the child that they are not able to join the class and that their parent will need to register them for the programme  
  • Send the child home and inform the relevant Programme Officer of the situation 
  • Inform the Programme Officer immediately if any additional issues arise or if further assistance is required  

 

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY 

1. Immediate Action to Ensure Safety 

 Immediate action may be necessary at any stage in involvement with children and families. In all cases, it is vital to take whatever action is needed to safeguard the children, i.e., 

 If emergency medical attention is required, this can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking a child to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. 

  • If a child is in immediate danger, the police should be contacted (dial 999) as they alone have the power to remove a child immediately if protection is necessary, via Police Protection Order. 

 2. Recognition of Abuse or Neglect 

 Abuse or neglect of a child is caused by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.  Children may be abused in a family or an institutional or community setting: by those known to them or more rarely by a stranger. 

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 feigns the symptoms, of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.  This situation is commonly described using terms such as fabricated illness by proxy or Munchausen Syndrome by proxy.   

Emotional Abuse 

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, possessed by evil spirits, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  It may involve 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 ill treatment of a child though it may occur alone. 

Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g., rape or buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. 

Neglect 

Neglect is 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.  It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs. 

Individuals within the organisation need to be alert to the potential abuse of children both within their families and also from other sources, including abuse by peers, community members, and members of the organisation. 

The organisation should know how to recognise and act upon indicators of abuse or potential abuse involving children.  There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a child in accordance with these procedures.   

It is good practice to be as open and honest as possible with parents/carers about any concerns. 

However, you must not discuss your concerns with parents/carers in the following circumstances: 

  • where sexual abuse is suspected 
  • where organised or multiple cases of abuse is suspected 
  • where fictitious illness by proxy (also known as Munchausen Syndrome by proxy) is suspected 
  • where contacting parents/carers would place a child, yourself or others at immediate risk. 

What to do if children talk to you about abuse or neglect 

It is recognised that a child may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect, or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present.  In these situations you must:  

  • Listen carefully to the child.  DO NOT directly question the child. 
  • Give the child time and attention. 
  • Allow the child to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a child who is freely recalling significant events. 
  • Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the child’s presentation as well as what was said.  Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence. 
  • Use the child’s own words where possible. 
  • Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared. 
  • Reassure the child that: you are glad they have told you; they have not done anything wrong; what you are going to do next. 
  • Explain that you will need to get help to keep the child safe. 
  • Do NOT ask the child to repeat his or her account of events to anyone. 

3. Consulting about your concern 

The purpose of the consultation is to discuss your concerns about a child and decide what action is necessary. Those concerns may stem from something you directly witnessed or may be based on observations or information you hold about that child. 

It is good practice to ask a child why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused or respond to a child wanting to talk to you.  This practice can help clarify vague concerns that could result in appropriate action. 

If you are concerned about a child, you must share your concerns as soon as is possible.  Initially, you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for child protection within your organisation.  In this organisation, this person is your designated Programme Officer or a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). If one of those people is implicated in your concerns or you believe their ability to make a referal is compromised, you should discuss your concerns with the other Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Designated Trustee, and he/she will contact Social Services.  

Following the initial consultation with this organisation, you may be asked to fill in a reporting form. You may also be contacted by the organisation or the local Social Services Department if further queries arise surrounding the initial concern. 

You should consult externally with your local Social Services Department in the following circumstances: 

  • when you remain unsure after internal consultation as to whether child protection concerns exist 
  • when there is disagreement as to whether child protection concerns exist 
  • when you are unable to consult promptly or at all with your designated internal contact for child protection 
  • when the concerns relate to any member of the organising committee. 

Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Social Services or the Police should progress. 

4. Making a referral 

A referral involves giving Social Services or the Police information about concerns relating to an individual or family so that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action. The organisation will make a referral if the concern meets the Local Authority Designated Officer threshold. That includes concerns that indicate an adult has: 

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may harm a child; 
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or 
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm children. 

 In certain cases, the level of concern will lead straight to a referral without external consultation being necessary.  

 Parents/carers should be informed if a referral is being made except in the circumstances outlined on page 4. 

 However, inability to inform parents for any reason should not prevent a referral being made. It would then become a joint decision with Social Services about how and when the parents should be approached and by whom.   

If your concern is about abuse or risk of abuse from someone not known to the child or child’s family, you should make a telephone referral directly to the police and consult with the parents.  

Information required 

Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available).  Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral. 

  • Your name, telephone number, position and request the same of the person to whom you are speaking. 
  • Full name and address, the telephone number of family, date of birth of child and siblings. 
  • Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs. 
  • Names, dates of birth and relationship of household members and any significant others. 
  • The names of professionals’ known to be involved with the child/family e.g., GP, Health Visitor, School.  
  • The nature of the concern; and foundation for them. 
  • An opinion on whether the child may need urgent action to make them safe. 
  • Your view of what appears to be the needs of the child and family. 
  • Whether the consent of a parent with parental responsibility has been given to the referral being made.

Action to be taken following the referral 

  • Ensure that you keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time. 
  • Put your concerns in writing to Social Services following the referral (within 48 hours). 
  • Accurately record the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision. 

5. Confidentiality 

The organisation will take every reasonable measure to ensure that any records made about a referral will be kept confidentially and in a secure place. 

Information about child protection concerns should be shared on a “need to know” basis.  However, the sharing of information is vital to child protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a child’s need for protection. 

If in doubt, consult.