Richer Adventures Safe Guarding (Child Protection Policy)

OVERVIEW

Richer Adventures takes seriously all complaints that might arise against members of its staff. Procedures are in place for children, parents and staff to share any concerns that they may have been brought about by the actions of any member of staff or volunteer. Any such complaints will be brought immediately to the attention of the Directors or one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads if the Directors are not available and nothing should be said to the colleague involved. These procedures are used in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a tutor or any other member of staff (including volunteers) during a Richer Adventures’ session, workshop or excursion for children under 18 years of age has:

Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed 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 he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children.
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) should be informed of all allegations that come to Richer Adventures’ attention and appear to meet the criteria. Contact can also be made with the (Local Safeguarding Children Board) LSCB who will liaise with the LADO. Many cases may well either not meet the criteria set out above, or may do so without warranting consideration of either a police investigation or enquiries by local authority children’s social care services. In these cases, local arrangements will be followed to resolve cases without delay.

Some rare allegations will be so serious they will require immediate intervention by children’s social care services and/or police. In such cases, referral to the LADO will lead to a Strategy Meeting or Discussion being held in accordance with the Department for Education (DfE) guidance and London Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) procedures. This process will agree upon the appropriate course of action and the time-scale for investigations.

Richer Adventures has a legal duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) office anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child and anyone who has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in any of its regular activities. The DBS will consider whether to ban the person. Referrals will be made as soon as possible after the resignation or removal of the individual.

For the avoidance of doubt, any member of staff employed by Richer Adventures either in a voluntary or paid capacity must undergo a DBS check.

The full procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse made against tutors and/or other staff can be found in Part four of the DfE guidance “Keeping children safe in education”.

The Directors are:

Mr Andrew Burton (074 8423 2532)

Mr Rafael Hernandez (074 8423 2532)

Ms Sian Chalkley (074 8423 2532)

Richer Adventures is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for children, staff and visitors and promoting a climate where children and adults will feel confident about sharing any concerns that they may have about their own safety or the well being of others.

The Richer Adventures’ Child Protection (CP) policy draws upon duties conferred by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, S175/157 of the 2002 Education Act, the Education & Inspections Act 2006 and the guidance contained in “Working Together to Safeguard Children”, the DfE’s statutory guidance “Keeping children safe in education”, Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) Guidance and procedures produced by the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) The policy is applicable to all on and off-site activities undertaken by children whilst they are the responsibility of Richer Education.

POLICY AIMS

The purpose of this policy is to:
Identify the names of responsible persons in Richer Adventures and explain the purpose of their role
Describe what should be done if anyone in Richer Adventures has a concern about the safety and welfare of a child or teenager who attends Richer Adventures
Identify the particular attention that should be paid to those children who fall into a category that might be deemed ‘vulnerable’
Set out expectations in respect of training
Ensure that those responsible for recruitment are aware of how to apply safeguarding principles in employing staff
Set out expectations of how to ensure children are safeguarded when there is potential to come into contact with non-Richer Adventures staff, e.g. volunteers and contractors
Outline how complaints against staff will be handled
Set out expectations regarding record keeping
Clarify how children will be kept safe through the everyday life of Richer Adventures
Outline how the implementation of this policy will be monitored
This policy is consistent with all other policies adopted by the Directors and should, in particular, be read in conjunction with the following policies relevant to the safety and welfare of children:

The Anti-Bullying Policy
Whistleblowing Policy
Responsibilities and Immediate Action
Safeguarding children in Richer Adventures is the responsibility of the whole Richer Adventures staff. All adults working in Richer Adventures (including visiting staff, volunteers and students on placement) are required to report instances of actual or suspected child abuse or neglect to the Designated Safeguarding Lead who is a member of Richer Adventures’s leadership team.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is: Rafael Hernandez

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) are: Sian Chalkley and Andrew Burton

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is also the first point of contact for external agencies that are pursuing Child Protection investigations and co-ordinates Richer Adventures’ representation at CP conferences and Core Group meetings (including the submission of written reports for conferences). When an individual concern/incident is brought to the notice of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, they will be responsible for deciding upon whether or not this should be reported as a safeguarding issue. Where there is any doubt as to the seriousness of this concern, or disagreement between the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the member of staff reporting the concern, advice will be sought from the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, the LA’s Strategic Lead Officer for safeguarding in education services or the Early Help Service (EHS) Duty Manager.

Referrals should be made to Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) via a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form and copied to the LA’s Safeguarding Coordinator via the following email address: socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk . Prior to any written CAF being sent as a referral to social care, there should be a verbal consultation with the LSCB social worker or manager, by calling the duty desk on 020 7361 3013, to ensure that making a referral is an appropriate action.

The parent/carer will normally be contacted to obtain their consent before a referral is made. However, if the concern involves, for example, alleged or suspected child sexual abuse, honour-based violence, fabricated or induced illness or the Designated Safeguarding Lead has reason to believe that informing the parent at this stage might compromise the safety of the child or a staff member, nothing should be said to the parent/carer ahead of the referral, but a rationale for the decision to progress without consent should be provided with the referral.

In circumstances where a child has an unexplained or suspicious injury that requires urgent medical attention, the Child Protection referral process should not delay the administration of first aid or emergency medical assistance. If a child is thought to be at immediate risk because of parental violence, intoxication, substance abuse, mental illness or threats to remove the child during session/workshop, for example, urgent Police intervention will be requested.

Where a child sustains a physical injury or is distressed as a result of reported chastisement, or alleges that they have been chastised by the use of an implement or substance, this will immediately be reported for investigation.

All parents applying for places at Richer Adventures will be informed of our safeguarding responsibilities and the existence of this policy. In situations where children sustain injury or are otherwise affected by an accident or incident whilst they are the responsibility of Richer Adventures, parents will be notified of this as soon as possible.

Richer Adventures recognises the need to be alert to the risks posed by strangers or others (including the parents or carers of other children) who may wish to harm children at a Richer Adventures designated premises, during excursions or children travelling to and from Richer Adventures sessions, workshops and/or courses and will take all reasonable steps to lessen such risks.

VULNERABLE PUPILS

Particular vigilance will be exercised in respect of children who are subject to Child Protection Plan and any incidents or concerns involving these children will be reported immediately to the allocated Social Worker (and confirmed in writing; copied to the LA’s Safeguarding Coordinator). If the child in question is a Looked-After child (LAC), this will also be brought to the notice of the Designated Person with responsibility for children in public care.

If a child discloses that they have witnessed domestic abuse or it is suspected that they may be living in a household that is affected by family violence, this will be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as a safeguarding issue.

We will always ascertain the views and feelings of all children. Richer Adventures acknowledges the additional need for support and protection of children who are vulnerable by virtue of disability, homelessness, refugee/asylum seeker status, the effects of substance abuse within the family, those who are young carers, mid-year admissions, children who are excluded from mainstream education and children where English is an additional language, particularly for very young children, using the translation service if necessary.

We acknowledge that children who are affected by abuse or neglect may demonstrate their needs and distress through their words, actions, behaviour, demeanour, work or other children. Richer Adventures has a strong commitment to an anti-bullying policy and will consider all coercive acts and inappropriate child-on-child behaviour and sexual activity within a Child Protection context.

Where it comes to our notice that a child under the age of 13 is, or may be, sexually active, whether or not they are a child enrolled at Richer Adventures, this will result in an immediate referral to Children’s Services. In the case of a young person between the ages of 13 and 16, an individual risk assessment will be conducted in accordance with the London Child Protection Procedures. This will determine how and when information will be shared with parents and the investigating agencies.

The law requires that Children’s Services are notified of private fostering arrangements. Any privately fostered children, i.e. children under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) who are cared for 28 days or more by someone who is not their parent or a close relative, that come to our attention will be referred to Children’s Services. Close relatives are defined as step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts (whether of full blood, half blood or by marriage).

TRAINING

Whole Richer Adventures in-service training on safeguarding issues will be organised on at least a yearly basis and the next CP training session for all staff will take place on or around February 2020. All newly recruited staff (teaching and non-teaching) and Directors of the company will be appraised by this policy and will be required to attend relevant LA or Safeguarding Board training. In addition, all new staff and temporary staff will be required to attend an induction session with the Designated Safeguarding Lead or their deputy on their first day in Richer Adventures. The Designated Safeguarding Lead (and their Deputies) will attend the LA’s dedicated induction course and then refresher training at least every two years. Designated staff will be encouraged to attend appropriate network meetings and to participate in the multi-agency training programme organised by the LSCB.

RECRUITMENT

Richer Adventures is committed to the process of creating a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopts recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children. Safe recruitment processes are followed and all staff recruited to Richer Adventures will be subject to appropriate identity, qualification and health checks. References will be verified and appropriate criminal record checks DBS checks; barred list checks and prohibition checks will be undertaken. The level of DBS check required, and whether a prohibition check is required, will depend on the role and duties of an applicant to work in Richer Adventures, as outlined in Part three of the DfE guidance “Keeping children safe in education”.

Relevant members of Richer Adventures who are involved in recruitment will undertake the safer recruitment training. Richer Adventures will ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training in line with staffing regulations.

Staff joining Richer Adventures on a permanent or temporary basis will be given a copy of this policy. Additionally, the Staff Handbook confirms Child Protection procedures.

VOLUNTEERS

Any parent or other person/organisation engaged by Richer Adventures to work in a voluntary capacity with children will be subjected to all reasonable vetting procedures and Criminal Records Checks. There is no legal requirement to obtain DBS certificate for volunteers who are not in regulated activity and who are supervised regularly and on ongoing day to day basis by a person who is in regulated activity, but an enhanced DBS check without a barred list check may be requested following a risk assessment. Volunteers will be subject to the same code of conduct as paid employees of Richer Adventures.

Voluntary sector groups that operate within this Richer Adventures or provide off-site services for our children or use Richer Adventures facilities will be expected to adhere to this policy or operate a policy, which is compliant with the procedures adopted by the LSCB.

STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT

All staff (paid and voluntary) are expected to adhere to a code of conduct in respect of their contact with children and their families. Children will be treated with respect and dignity and no punishment, detention, restraint, sanctions or rewards are allowed outside of those detailed in Richer Adventures’ Behaviour Management Policy. Whilst it would be unrealistic and undesirable to preclude all physical contact between adults and children, staff are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation. Where incidents occur which might otherwise be misconstrued, or in the exceptional circumstances where it becomes necessary to physically restrain a child for their own protection or others’ safety, this will be appropriately recorded and reported to the Directors and parents. Any physical restraint used will comply with DfE and LA guidance.

Except in cases of emergency, qualified First Aiders will only administer first aid. If it is necessary for the child to remove clothing for first aid treatment, there will, wherever possible, be another adult present. If a child needs help with toileting, nappy changing or washing after soiling themselves, another adult should be present or within earshot. All first aid treatment and non-routine changing or personal care will be recorded and shared with parents/carers at the earliest opportunity.

Children requiring regular medication or therapies for long-term medical conditions will be made the subject of a Medical Plan that has been agreed with the parents and the health authority.

For their own safety and protection, staff should exercise caution in situations where they are alone with children. Other than in formal teaching situations; private tuition, for example, the door to the room in which the 1:1 coaching, counselling or meeting is taking place should be left open. Where this is not practicable because of the need for confidentiality, another member of staff will be asked to maintain a presence nearby and a record will be kept of the circumstances of the meeting. All rooms that are used for the teaching or counselling of children will have clear and unobstructed glass panels in the doors.

Richer Adventures staff should also be alert to the possible risks that might arise from social contact with children outside Richer Adventures. Home visits to children or private tuition of children should only take place with the knowledge and approval of the Directors. Visits/telephone calls by children to the homes of staff members should only occur in exceptional circumstances and with the prior knowledge and approval of the Directors. Any unplanned contact of this nature or suspected infatuations or ‘crushes’ will be reported to the Directors of Richer Adventures. Staff supervising off-site activities or Richer Adventures excursions will be provided with a Richer Adventures mobile telephone as a point of contact for parents and carers.

Staff will only use Richer Adventures’ digital technology resources and systems for Professional purposes or for uses deemed ‘reasonable’ by the Directors. Staff will only use the approved Richer Adventures email or other Richer Adventures approved communication systems with children or parents/carers, and only communicate with them on appropriate Richer Adventures business and will not disclose their personal telephone numbers and email addresses to children or parents/carers. Staff will not use personal cameras (digital or otherwise) or camera phones for taking and transferring images of children or staff without permission and will not store images at home.

Staff should be aware of Richer Adventures’ whistleblowing procedures and share immediately any disclosure or concern that relates to a member of staff with the Directors or one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads if the Directors are not available and nothing should be said to the colleague involved. It should be shared with the Management Board if it relates to the Directors.

CONTRACTORS

Contractors who are engaged by or on behalf of Richer Adventures to undertake works will be made aware of this policy and the reasons for this. Long-term contractors who work regularly with Richer Adventures during term time and school holidays will be asked to provide their consent for DBS checks to be undertaken. These checks will be undertaken when individual risk assessments by the Directors deem this to be appropriate. All contractors and sub-contractors will be issued with copies of Richer Adventures’ code of conduct for staff.

Individuals and organisations that are contracted by Richer Adventures to work with or provide services to children will be expected to adhere to this policy and their compliance will be monitored. Any such contractors will be subject to the appropriate level of DBS check, if any such check is required (for example because the contractor is carrying out teaching or providing some type of care for or supervision of children regularly). Contractors for whom an appropriate DBS check has not been undertaken will be supervised if they will have contact with children. We will always check the identity of contractors and their staff on arrival at Richer Adventures.

COMPLAINTS/ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST STAFF RECORDS

Brief and accurate written notes will be kept of all incidents and child protection or child in need concerns relating to individual children. This information may be shared directly with other agencies as appropriate. All contact with parents and external agencies will be logged and these will be kept as CP records. Richer Adventures will take into account the views and wishes of the child who is the subject of the concern but staff will be alert to the dangers of colluding with dangerous “secrets”.

Child protection records are not open to children or parents. All CP records are kept securely by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and separately from educational records. The Designated Safeguarding Lead and Directors of Richer Adventures may only access them.

The content of Child Protection Conference or Review reports prepared by Richer Adventures will follow the headings recommended by Children’s Services and will, wherever possible, be shared with the parents/carer in advance of the meeting.

Richer Adventures will require documentary proof as to the identity of children presented for enrolment. If there is any doubt as to the identity or age of a child, advice will be sought from the local authority and other statutory agencies, as appropriate. We will maintain accurate and up to date records of those with Parental Responsibility and emergency contacts. Pupils will only be released to the care of those with Parental Responsibility or someone acting with their written consent.

SAFETY with Richer Adventures

No internal doors to classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture theatres and laboratories will be locked whilst children are present in these areas.

All external venues or destinations visited will have been previously visited by a member of Richer Adventures staff and a full risk assessment completed before taking part in any excursions or activities.

Weekly registration and dismissal will be controlled by doors that are secured physically or by constant staff supervision or video surveillance. Authorised visitors to Richer Adventures will be logged into and out of the premises, through the Richer Adventures registration and dismissal system, and will be asked to wear their identity badges or be issued with Richer Adventures ‘Visitor’ badges and Richer Adventures lanyards. Unidentified visitors will be challenged by staff or reported to the Directors or Richer Adventures office. Carelessness in closing any controlled entrance will be challenged.

The presence of intruders and suspicious strangers seen loitering near Richer Adventures’ workshops, classes, courses and/or sessions or approaching children inappropriately during excursions, will be reported to the Police and the LA with a view to alerting other local Richer Educations through appropriate systems.

During excursions, registers will be taken at regular intervals and staff will be encouraged to keep the interaction of Richer Adventures’ children with the general public to a minimum. Clear protocols will be set out regarding any incidents or accidents while on excursions in the risk assessment for each destination.

While travelling to and from destinations, Richer Adventures staff will keep the directors of Richer Adventures informed of scheduled departure times as well as any unscheduled delays allowing parents, carers and guardians to be appropriately notified.

All drivers contracted and vehicles used by Richer Adventures will be subject to appropriate checks regarding licensing and safety requirements and hold valid MOT certification and insurance.

Parents, carers or relatives are not permitted to take still or video photographic images of children in Richer Adventures or on Richer Adventures-organised activities. No exceptions will be made.

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS

It is our policy to work in partnership with parents or carers to secure the best outcomes for our children. We will therefore communicate as clearly as possible about the aims of this Richer Adventures.

We will use clear statements in our brochures and correspondence.
We will involve parents and children in the review of this policy and in the development of Codes of Conduct and Equalities and Behaviour Management policies.
We will be alert to the needs of parents/carers who do not have English as their first language and will utilise the translation services as necessary.
We will keep parents informed as and when appropriate.

MONITORING

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis and we be kept up to date in line with model procedures from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Secure and Confidential Records are kept of all incidents that fall within the scope of the policy. The deputy designated person provides a written report for all case conferences following local authority guidelines.
Annual audits of safeguarding procedures are arranged with the local authority to ensure that all procedures are up to date and correct.

COMPLAINTS

All complaints arising from the operation of this policy will be considered under Richer Adventures’ complaint procedure, with reference to the LA’s Strategic Lead Officer for safeguarding in education services as necessary.