Safeguarding Policy

.In Summary

Your Community Schools Limited (The Community Schools) exists for the benefit of the students in our community. We are totally committed to the welfare of our students and tutors and have developed this policy document together with  the adoption of associated Safeguarding Procedures to give full meaning to our security and safeguarding commitments.

The Community Schools offer both in-person and online tutoring services which each fall within the scope of this policy.

  • The welfare of each student is paramount (The Children Act 1989)
  • Each student will receive their tutoring in a safe environment
  • All reasonable steps will be taken to protect every student from harm, discrimination or demeaning treatment.
  • Every student is entitled to have their rights, wishes and feelings respected
  • Every tutor is entitled to be treated with respect

We undertake to:

  • Take all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse seriously
    • Respond to them swiftly and appropriately
  • Retain a designated Safeguarding lead who will take responsibility for implementing our Safeguarding Policy
  • Ensure that all Tutors and parents/guardians are aware of the correct procedures for raising any concerns they may have
  • Ensure all Tutors are DBS check certified
  • Ensure all our Tutors work in partnership with parents/guardians
  • Ensure all our Tutors are kept up-to-date with training in best practice and child protection procedures
  • Ensure compliance with GDPR legislation

1. Introduction  

1.1  Your Community Schools is committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding. The personal safety and wellbeing of each student and tutor working with the Community Schools is paramount.

1.2  Our online platform has been developed with the aim of ensuring that tutorials take place in a safe environment. This is reflected in a number of key built-in features and defined by a set of policies and procedures for the students, parents/responsible adults and tutors who use our services.

Our Learning Centres are Covid Secure environments with multiple groups working such that every tutorial is witnessed by at least one other staff member.

2. Aims

2.1  This policy document contains the responsibilities of all persons using the Community Schools online platform and Learning Centres, including tutors, students, parents (responsible adults) and teachers.

2.2  The aim of this policy is to safeguard all students and other persons using the Community Schools online learning platform and Learning  Centres both whilst they are within a tutorial session and as a result of participating.

2.3  It is important that all persons using or working on behalf of the Community Schools are aware of this policy and have familiarised themselves with the detailed safeguarding procedures.

2.4  This policy should be read and understood before engaging in any activity arranged through the Community Schools and the responsibilities and  procedures therein adhered to. Contravention of the policy document could lead to suspension and/or barring from the Community Schools and its services 

3. Legislative Framework/Related Policies 

3.1  These policies and procedures aim to ensure that all persons using the Community Schools services can do so safely within child safeguarding standards and UK law.

These policies should be read in conjunction with the Community Schools Terms and Conditions and the procedures ( contained in the Welcome Packs for both Parents and Tutors)

4. General Information

Registration of Tutors 

4.1 The tutor will be identified by their real name and will have a unique online username that does not identify any of their contact details other than via the Community Schools Online Learning Platform and all communications to the tutors will go via the online platform to their confidential email address.

4.2 In order to be registered onto the Community Schools Online Learning Platform a tutor must provide proof of identity proof of residential address an enhanced DBS certificate and two professional references that will be verified. Without this they cannot either become a tutor for the Community Schools nor be registered on the Online Learning Platform.

5. Recording of Online sessions

5.1 All online tutorials will be recorded and normally [1] available for play back to the parents and students for up to 30 days. The recordings remain the property of the Community Schools.

5.2 The Community Schools regularly review tutorial recordings for quality control purposes and may review any sessions where a report has been made by any person using the Community Schools Online Learning Platform for the purpose of investigating that report.

5.3 The Community Schools will allow access to UK law enforcement of any recording where it is reported a criminal offence may have occurred in relation to a specific session (also see the Community Schools Terms and Conditions).

6.Privacy

6.1 The tutor will not be aware of the email address of the student or parent/responsible adult and will neither be allowed nor able to communicate with them directly. The Community Schools will not enable tutors to initiate contact with parents or students other than through the Community Schools Online Learning Platform.

6.2 The contents of all email communications between tutors, parents and students will go via the online tutoring platform in order to preserve anonymity of the student to the tutor.

6.3 All email communication between tutor and student will be copied to the parent/responsible adult (or school/school representative where appropriate).

6.4 All personal details about the student and parents, including contact address and phone number, will remain private and confidential and will not be available to the tutor.

6.5 All data held by the Community Schools is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (also see Privacy Policy).

Roles and Responsibilities of persons using the Community Schools Online Learning Platform

7. The Tutor

7.1 The tutor shall:

  • Ensure that their environment does not display any inappropriate images or documentation capable of being viewed by the student or parent/responsible adult when conducting a session.
  • Treat students fairly and without prejudice or discrimination; students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s wellbeing.
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
  • Ensure any contact with the student is appropriate to their role as a tutor and confined to the relevant tutorial session.
  • Not make any improper suggestions to a student.
  • Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/responsible adult.
  • Value and take students’ contributions seriously.
  • Report any dispute with a student or parent/responsible adult to the Community Schools, in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within a tutorial session by the student or third party, in accordance with procedures set out in Safeguarding procedures.
  • Ensure that if no parent/responsible adult is present during a tutorial session that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they can terminate the session.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult for a period up to 30 days (also see Recording of SessionsSection 5).

8. The Student

8.1 Students can register with the service but cannot start using the service until a sponsor/parent/guardian/carer over the age of 18 has formally registered and agreed to be the formal sponsor and to hold legal relationship with the site.

8.2 The student shall:

  • Treat the tutor with respect and fairness, and not subject them to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Not make any improper suggestions to the tutor.
  • Have no inappropriate communication with the tutor outside the tutorial session (also see Section 9 below).
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to a parent/responsible adult in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor within a session in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review for a period up to 30 days (also see Recording of SessionsSection 5).

9. Parent/Responsible adult

9.1 The parent/responsible adult shall:

  • Ensure the student is fully aware of the Community Schools Safeguarding Policy.
  • Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the session ensuring it is safe and appropriate.
  • If they consider it appropriate, be present or available during a tutor session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible and ensure the student and tutor are behaving in an appropriate manner.
  • Ensure that tutors will be treated with respect and fairness by the student and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either the tutor or student.
  • Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the tutor outside the tutorial session.
  • Report any unsolicited communications between the tutor and student if appropriate.
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to the Community Schools in accordance with the procedures set out in this document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
  • Be aware all tutorials will be recorded and made available for play back for up to 30 days (also see Recording of SessionsSection 5)

10. School and teachers/school representative (if session is within school hours and on school premises)

10.1 For the purpose of this policy document a ‘responsible adult’ includes teachers and school representatives.

10.2 The school and teachers or school representative shall:

  • Be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Be responsible for the physical environment of the student during the session, ensuring that it is safe and appropriate.
  • Be responsible for behaviour of the student during the session, ensuring that tutors will be treated with respect and fairness and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either the tutor or student.
  • Be present or available for the student during the session to address any issues.
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to the Community Schools in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor within a session in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
  • Be aware that all online tutorials will be recorded and made available for play back to the teachers and students for up to 30 days (also see Recording of SessionsSection 5).

10.3 If the tutorial session has been arranged by the school but takes place outside school hours and away from school premises, it is the responsibility of the school to make the appropriate parent/responsible adult aware of the Safeguarding Policy and that both parties agree their safeguarding responsibilities.

11. Director/Principal of the Community Schools

11.1 The Director/Principal of the Community Schools shall:

  • Conduct an interview with tutor before they are permitted to register on the Community Schools Online Learning Platform (also see Section 4 of Registration of Tutors).
  • Ensure that any dispute between persons using the Community Schools services is handled efficiently and fairly without discrimination in accordance with the procedures set out in this document.
  • Deal with reports of possible illegal activity promptly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the student and/or tutor in accordance with the procedures.
  • If any incident is reported to the police relating to a specific session, make the recording available for the police to use as evidence in any proceedings if appropriate (also see Recording of Sessions).
  • If appropriate, employ the services of an independent Child Protection consultant to review a report concerning the welfare of a student ensuring an appropriate course of action is taken.
  • Regularly review the policy and procedures to ensure they are relevant and adequate to safeguard all persons using the Community Schools services.

12. Review

12.1 The Safeguarding Policy and procedures  will be reviewed by the Community Schools on a regular basis to ensure it is adequate and relevant to safeguarding standards.

13. Compliance

13.1 All persons using the Community Schools services have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the Safeguarding Policy.

13.2 Any tutor reported for a breach of the Safeguarding Policy will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The reporter may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

13.3 The final decision on action taken for minor breaches of the Safeguarding Policy will be the responsibility of the Community Schools.

13.4 Any person reported for illegal activity whilst using the Community Schools services will be reported to police and will be barred from the service.

13.5 Any person reported for causing harm to a student or subjecting the student to sexual abuse will be reported to police and barred from the service.

[1] Excluding any unforeseen malfunction of the recording equipment, in which case a recording of a session may not be available.