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safeguarding policy

An award winning supply teacher agency.

Designated Safeguarding Officers Contact details:

Aimee Green- AimeeGreen@valleyeducation.co.uk
Michelle Jones- MichelleJones@valleyeducation.co.uk

Date: 11 April 2018 - This policy will be reviewed every 12 months - Review Date: 11 April 2019

 

Core safeguarding principles

VES acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice requirements. All children and vulnerable adults, 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.

This policy applies to all internal staff at VES as well temporary workers, candidates and contractors.  VES is fully compliant with Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2016. VES is committed to ensuring their work is consistent with safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. All candidates placed by VES are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure they are alert to possible child abuse and neglect, and to familiarise themselves with arrangements for safeguarding children in the schools where they are placed.

 

Safeguarding Aims and Objectives

 

This policy is designed to meet the above principles by ensuring that:

 

  • Those who are known to be unsuitable do not gain access to children or vulnerable adults.

 

  • Those who become unsuitable are detected at the earliest stage and prevented from continuing to work with children and vulnerable adults.

 

  • Those who intend to do harm are prevented at every possible stage from entering the workforce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • It is as simple as possible for an individual to report that they are being harmed or feel at risk of being harmed.

 

  • Clear procedures will be implemented where child protection issues arise.

 

  • Effective management is provided for staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors through support and training.

 

  • All necessary checks are made on staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors.

 

  • VES stays up to date with developments on safeguarding best practice, reporting and auditing our safeguarding activities annually and reviewing and updating our policies and practices every 12 months.

 

  • Those who are identified as being at risk of abuse are afforded every practicable protection by VES and our subcontractors/partners.

 

  • VES will report any concerns regarding any individual, or any potential safeguarding situation that it becomes aware of as soon as practicable to the appropriate authority.

 

  • Those we discover are being abused are afforded the relevant protection and assistance by the relevant bodies as soon as practicably possible.

 

At an individual and collective level, employees are involved in ensuring Safeguarding is embedded across our services to ensure a whole organisation approach so that individuals are adequately covered by this policy

 

Recruitment and Selection Process

 

VES are also committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults through a careful recruitment and selection process, a whistle blowing policy and guidance on appropriate behaviour.VES’s rigorous procedures ensure that any candidate found to have a history of unacceptable conduct or practice, will not be placed.

 

As part of our safeguarding policy VES will:

 

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults.
  • ensure all candidates undergo a full compliance process.

 

 

  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and vulnerable adults.
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern.
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored.
  • prevent the engagement of unsuitable individuals.
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

This policy will be widely promoted and is mandatory for everyone involved inVES. Failure to comply with this policy and the company’s safeguarding procedures will be addressed without delay and may result in disciplinary action.

 

Legislation

 

The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:

 

  • Working together to safeguard Children 2015
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002:
  • The Children act 2004
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)
  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (2015)
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (including the 'Prevent Duty')
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Human Rights Act 1998

 

 

Definitions

 

‘Safeguarding’- is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and/or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

 

 

 

 

‘Abuse’- Keeping children safe in education September 2016 defines abuse and neglect and gives four clear categories of abuse as:

 

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

 

‘Child’– is used to define anyone under the age of 18 (Children Act, 1989).

 

‘Young people’are children who are 16 to 17 years old.

 

‘Age of consent’(the legal age to have sex) in the UK is 16 years old*.

 

‘Vulnerable adult’is a person who has attained the age of 18 and for a range of reasons may be, either temporarily or permanently and in different situations, potentially vulnerable.

This may include a person who:

 

  • Is elderly and frail
  • Has a mental illness including dementia
  • Has a physical or sensory disability
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a severe physical illness
  • Is a substance misuser
  • Is homeless

 

VES conducts the following safeguarding checks and has sight of all original documents before supplying a candidate into an education establishment.

 

  • Face to face interview
  • 2 x Proof of identify (1 photographic)
  • Written professional references (covering a 24-month period)
  • Enhanced DBS disclosure
  • 2 x Proof of address using DBS list of acceptable documents
  • Proof of National Insurance number
  • Entitlement to work in the UK
  • Full 10-year employment history with no gaps
  • Original qualification certificates
  • Overseas police check (where applicable)

 

 

 

All candidates are required to apply for an Enhanced DBS certificate through VES or provide confirmation that they have subscribed to the update service. An online check will be carried out by the VES compliance team on a quarterly basis.

 

Responsibilities

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors placed on assignment are responsible for supporting safe behaviour and have responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect allstaff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors to promote good practice by being an excellent role model; contributing to discussions about safeguarding; and to positively involving people in developing safe practices. All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors should:

 

 

  • Read, understand, accept and act in accordance with this policy.

 

  • Be vigilant and follow professional codes of conduct to maintain professional boundaries.

 

  • Report any concerns or disclosures related to the protection and safety of children and vulnerable adults.

 

  • Undertake mandatory child protection and vulnerable adult training and awareness sessions where provided.

 

  • Help educate learners, including children, young people and adults in matters of keeping safe, and acting as a good role model.

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors working through VES are expected to keep children safe by contributing to:

 

  • Providing a safe learning environment.

 

  • Identifying children who are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and taking the appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe at home and in the education setting.

 

  • Making a note and reporting to the designated member of staff any major incident, or signals which give cause for suspicion or concern. It is the candidate’s responsibility to adhere to the specific guidelines set out in each Clients own safeguarding policy.

 

  • Under no circumstance should a candidate intervene on his or her own.

 

 

Reporting and barring referrals

 

The process outlined below details the stages involved in raising and reporting safeguarding concerns at VES

 

Procedure:

 

Every VES staff member has access to the Safeguarding Incident form and if a call is taken, must record the details of any allegation or complaint against a candidate.  This is then escalated to the Designated Safeguarding Office (DSO) who will retain a detailed account of all actions taken during any investigation. Copies of statements and all correspondence are kept in a confidential file.

 

Stage 1

 

If VES is informed that the school has decided to undertake further investigation, the following procedure should be followed;

 

  • School should be informed that the candidate should leave the premises with immediate effect (if they have not already done so) and that they will then be put on hold pending investigation?
  • Does the school require a replacement candidate?
  • Inform the school that VES will conduct our own investigation of the incident by interviewing the candidate. NB the candidate should be asked for their version of events, prior to discussing any information that has been provided by the school)
  • The allegation should be recorded /documented immediately using the Child Safeguarding Incident Reporting Form and then forwarded to the DSO.

Queries from the LEA, checking on a candidate to see if they are registered can be handled by any VES staff member. Should a safeguarding department (LEA) call, they should be asked to confirm the information they need in an e-mail to the VES DSO, who will then provide all required information.

 

Stage 2

  • The DSO will ask the candidate to attend a meeting so that a full statement can be provided. The meeting will be attended by two representatives from VES – the DSO and another staff member, who will be present in the capacity of minute taker
  • The candidate should be made aware that this is not to be regarded as a disciplinary procedure, merely an investigation of a formal allegation that has been received

 

 

  • A full statement should be provided by the candidate. They should be informed that this will be send to them for confirmation of accuracy and verification, following the meeting
  • The DSO will inform the candidate that they are currently on hold on the VES system and will not be permitted to work while investigation is pending. They should also not carry out work for another agency, if this is applicable

 

Stage 3

  • The DSO will await information from the school with regards to next steps. If a decision is made not to escalate, this may well result in the school stating that they are not willing to accept the candidate for further bookings and recommend specific training. This information will be communicated to the candidate by the DSO and actions followed before the candidate can be made active
  • If the school feel that the matter cannot be resolved, and that the seriousness of the allegation warrants further action, it will be escalated to the LEA and a professional strategy meeting will be required.
  • During the proceedings, the DSO will be available to attend any meetings to share information and cooperate fully with the LEA, pending a final decision. All internal paperwork will also be made available.
  • Following the outcome of any such investigation, VES are guided by the decision of the LEA and this may involve providing extra training or advice to the candidate or recommendations that the Education Workforce Council (EWC) are contacted to manage the case going forward. Candidates will remain on hold in VES systems under the conclusion of the case and decision regarding future work.

 

Candidate Suitability (Post-Registration)

 

If VES receives information following registration of a candidate which may be relevant to his/her suitability for a post within a school, the following procedures will apply.  

 

For clarification, unsuitability will depend on the circumstances but may be a safeguarding issue, a relevant criminal conviction that should have been disclosed, qualifications found to be false or a medical condition that means that the candidate may be ask risk or placing others at risk.

  • If there are reasonable grounds to believe the candidate is unsuitable, VES will remove the candidate from the placement straight away and inform the client. A replacement will be offered.
  • If information is received by VES that indicatesthat the candidate may be unsuitable, but it does not provide reasonable grounds, VES will strive to establish the facts. Account Managers should endeavour to make further enquiries as to the suitability and keep the Client updated with any relevant information received.
  • If the enquiries lead VES to have reasonable grounds to believe that the candidate is unsuitable for the position they will contact the candidate and inform them that they need to leave the placement with immediate effect and inform the Client. A replacement will be offered.

 

  • Allocate will be updated to document any information and the candidate will be placed on hold, pending investigation, which means that they will not be able to be used by VES.
  • Should this be a misconduct or safeguarding issue, the DSO at VES should be informed in the first instance and standard procedures will be followed.
  • The DSO will make referrals with any relevant bodies that need to be informed EWC, DBS and LEA, if necessary.
  • VES will not use any candidate while an investigation is ongoing. Once closed, VES will review all information and follow any advice provided by the relevant body. Candidates will be informed of the outcome and decision will be made by VES about continuing contract for services.

 

LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)

 

In accordance with Working Together (2015), where an organisation has received an allegation that a volunteer or member of staff who works with children 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 they may pose a risk of harm to children

 

A referral should be sent to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day, giving as much detail as possible, if not already contacted by a representative from the LEA.

 

Education Workforce Council (EWC)

 

Allegations of serious misconduct against a teacher may be referred to the Education Workforce Council (EWC) by any of the authorities listed below;

 

  • A teacher’s employer, including an employment or supply agency, has a legal duty to consider whether to refer a case to the EWC when they have dismissed a teacher for misconduct, or would have dismissed them had they not resigned first

A referral is appropriate if the alleged misconduct is so serious that it warrants a decision on whether the candidate should be prevented from teaching again. Cases of less serious misconduct, and all cases of incompetence, should be dealt with locally by employers. If an allegation is deemed to be such that the candidate should be prevented from working until their case has been fully investigated, the EWC can impose an interim prohibition order until the case is concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duty to make a referral to the DBS

 

Where there is evidence that anyone has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child or vulnerable adult, there is a legal duty on VES to report that person to the Disclosure and Barring Service using their guidance. Available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-barring-referrals-to-the-dbs. The DBS has statutory authority to bar a person from working in regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults in the UK.

 

 

Referral to the DBS will also be made if the person resigns prior to an investigation being carried out or reaching its conclusion. If the accused person resigns, or ceases to provide their services, this should not prevent an allegation being followed up in accordance with this guidance.

 

The VES will not make any compromise/settlement agreement in the case of a person deemed unsuitable to work with children. Any such agreement which contained a condition of not referring the case to the DBS would constitute a criminal offence.

 

Anyone who is concerned about a child’s or vulnerable adult’s welfare or who believe that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of abuse should pass any information to the DBS or other appropriate authority as soon as possible and no longer than 24 hours after the initial concern.

 

Whistle Blowing

 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors should bring matters of concern to the attention of VES and concerns can be reported directly to the LADO. Once you have shared your concerns you should submit them in writing giving names, date and places where appropriate. No action will be taken against you if the concern proves to be unfounded but was raised in good faith. All staff, workers, candidates and contractors should be aware of their duty to raise concerns, where they exist, about the attitude or actions of colleagues. Include concern raised and not acted upon by the safeguarding leads. Allegations that are made frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain will lead to termination.

 

Once a disclosure against anyone has been made, VES will consider whether the allegation should be reported to the LADO. Only after notifying and consulting with the LADO (or, in the most serious cases, the police) will the VES undertake an investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

VES will make clients and candidates aware of the Safeguarding Policy through the following means;

VES website (www.valleyeducation.co.uk)

Individual Candidate login to Allocate (VES bespoke CRM system) 

All staff, temporary workers, candidates and contractors must be aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other recruitment firms to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need to know basis only, as judged by VES.

 

 

 

If at any time, a candidate or client is not satisfied with the management of their complaint, the VES complaints policy should be followed. A copy is available to all candidates and clients on the VES website www.valleyeducation.co.uk

 

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