Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Background

City Lit is committed to Safeguarding, protecting and promoting the welfare of all its students and staff, and ensuring the college is a safe environment for everyone.  

Although City Lit is an adult college, a small number of under 19’s enrol in approved curriculum areas each year. These students are given additional consideration for Safeguarding and wellbeing. City Lit also offers provision for adult learners who have learning difficulties, disabilities and complex needs who may not be able to care for themselves or protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation. We also have a small number of young adults aged 19-24 with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), who may be considered more vulnerable than other young adults. 

City Lit recognises that learners within safeguarded groups face the risk of abuse. It is the duty of every member of staff to prevent abuse and take effective action when abuse is suspected or disclosed. The college also recognises that Safeguarding incidents could happen anywhere, at any time and be perpetrated by a range of individuals including staff, other learners and people external to the college including family and friends. 

1. Purpose  
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to promote the safety and welfare of students and staff by protecting them from and preventing abuse and neglect. It provides guidance to staff on what to do if abuse, neglect or other causes for concern are observed or disclosed.

For the purposes of this policy we define, Safeguarding children and adults at risk as  
protecting them from:

  • significant harm
  • exploitation
  • abuse

2. Introduction

2.1 What is safeguarding?  
Safeguarding children and adults at risk is the action we take to promote their welfare and to protect them from harm. Everyone who comes into contact with children, their families or adults at risk has a role to play to ensure they are safe. City Lit fully recognises its responsibility to promote safe practice and to reasonably protect and safeguard the welfare of everyone working and studying here. All students at City Lit are 19 years or older except in clearly defined curriculum areas:

  • Speech Therapy
  • Lipreading
  • English, Maths, Digital Skills and BSL for Deaf people
  • Students with an Education Health Care Plan assessed by the Access, Inclusion & Support Team

However, we acknowledge a general duty of care to all our students.

We believe that learning takes place most effectively within a culture where all individuals trust the college to keep them safe from harm while they are here and, where appropriate, give information, advice and support to keep themselves safe from harm at other times.

We take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to individual’s welfare are minimised; and where there are concerns about individual’s welfare, we take proportionate and appropriate actions to address these. Safety is embedded within good practice, and by empowering students to protect themselves, make their views known, and be listened to. All students should feel safe, secure and able to raise any concerns at any time.

We work to agreed local policies and procedures in partnership with other relevant local agencies.

We fulfil our statutory duty to safeguard children and adults at risk by:

  • providing a safe learning environment in which all students can progress
  • informing students how to keep themselves safe from harm and the procedures to  
    follow if they believe that they, or another student, is at risk
  • following Safer Staff Recruitment procedures for staff and volunteers
  • ensuring staff and volunteers are aware of the procedures to follow if they  
    think a student is at risk
  • taking appropriate action if we suspect a child or adult at risk is at risk 

The college will report all allegations of abuse to the London Boroughs of Camden or Westminster, or other relevant borough Local Authority Designated Officers based on a student’s registered address. Allegations of suspected radicalisation and extremism, may be referred to the CHANNEL service. If the report involves an allegation of a criminal act, a report will be made to the Police, and the college will fully co-operate with any investigations they carry out. The college will act on all reports of alleged abuse regardless of whether they are recent, reported to have taken place in the past, have taken place on college premises or within the community.  

 

2.2 Who are we safeguarding?  
We have a legal duty to safeguard all children and adults at risk. 

City Lit recognises a broader scope of people who may be more susceptible to harm, abuse and exploitation. This definition does not affect how safeguarding incidents are managed, however, it informs managers and staff that, in certain situations, some students may require more support and assistance than others. 

Vulnerability is difficult to judge. Staff should always assume that any adult student they  
deal with might be vulnerable or disadvantaged and treat them accordingly.  
 
3. Aims of the policy 
Safeguarding encompasses a range of activities aimed at protecting individuals’ right to live in safety and free from abuse and neglect. The policy aims to:

  • Prevent abuse, radicalisation and extremism by providing teaching and learning support, which establishes a safe environment where students can learn in confidence, independence and feel they will be listened to.
  • Raise awareness of all staff for the need to safeguard children and adults at risk, and their responsibilities to identify and report possible cases of abuse, radicalisation and extremism
  • Provide a framework for the continuous development of internal procedures to be followed by members of the college community in cases of suspected abuse
  • Emphasise the need for good levels of communication and information sharing between all members of staff
  • Provide a means of monitoring students known or thought to be at risk
  • Promote understanding and build relationships with other agencies in order to develop multi-agency working and information sharing
  • Ensure that learners know that there are Safeguarding Officers whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty
  • Provide appropriate support to staff through appropriate supervision and training
  • Assess risk in relation to all college activities, focussing on prevention,  
    minimising risk and putting appropriate safeguards in place  

4. Prevent duty 
City Lit:

  • Understands its responsibilities under the Prevent Duty and recognises that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences are safeguarding concerns.
  • Will respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and extremism, and the threat it poses from those who promote such views.
  • Provide practical help, where appropriate, to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and extremism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support.
  • Will maintain relationships and contact with external agencies to ensure that current levels of risk are known to the college and are responded to accordingly.
  • Will regularly review and update relevant risk assessments and action plans to ensure that current local, national and international risks are managed appropriately.
  • Support staff to detect and prevent radicalisation and provide access to appropriate training and information

 
5. Safeguarding structure and responsibilities  
Key staff who have designated safeguarding responsibilities:

  • The Vice Principal (Curriculum and Quality) is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), who has overall responsibility and accountability.
  • The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) is the Head of Quality and Tutor Development
  • Supporting the Lead and Deputy Lead are a team of Safeguarding Officers who are able to respond to safeguarding concerns as they occur. They ensure that these are recorded and reported through to the Lead and Deputy. (see Appendix 1 in printable pdf version of the policy)
  • The Safeguarding Strategic Review Group oversee all aspects of Safeguarding for the college to fully comply with legislation and be clear about our duty of care to students and staff. (see Appendix 1 in printable pdf version of the policy)
  • Under the guidance of the DSL and DDSL, the Director of Funding & Technology Support, is the nominated manager for e-safety.
  • In those areas where staff and students work with children as part of their roles  
    (Family Learning), a manager has responsibility for leading specific  
    Safeguarding requirements in their area of work.
  • In the Centre for Learning Disabilities Education the Head of Centre leads on specific Safeguarding requirements in this area of work.
  • The HR team are responsible for managing the DBS checking service with new and current staff and volunteers.  

The Board will:

  • Ensure the college has a Safeguarding policy and procedures in place that comply with legislation and are available to staff and students
  • Take action in the event of allegations of abuse being made against the Principal
  • Ensure the Quality Committee provide appropriate oversight and scrutiny for Safeguarding at the college

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead will:

  • Inform the Principal immediately of any serious Safeguarding alerts which require a Safeguarding report or referral to be made to external agencies, or to the Police for suspected criminal acts
  • Provide the Quality Committee with an annual Safeguarding report and ensure they are kept informed of incidents as well as the work of the Safeguarding team
  • Ensure appropriately trained Safeguarding staff are in place
  • Organise the delivery of appropriate training and support for staff across the college
  • Organise the development and distribution of guidance materials for staff  
    and students
  • Ensure that all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice  
    regarding Safeguarding, and that concerns are addressed sensitively and  
    effectively
  • Promptly refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to relevant investigating agencies
  • Ensure students are aware of Safeguarding procedures and where to find information in the Help Centre
  • Ensure all staff have access to and understand the college’s Safeguarding policy and procedure
  • Maintain contact with Local Authority Safeguarding Boards and FE/HE Prevent Co-ordinators
  • Be responsible for creating and managing both the strategic and operational risk register for Safeguarding
  • Act as the main point of contact for Safeguarding
  • Draw Safeguarding together across all areas of City Lit’s work and identify priorities
  • Ensure ownership of Safeguarding across the college
  • Monitor the progress of action plans
  • Undertake appropriate training for their role 

 

Safeguarding Officers will:

  • Recognise how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral
  • Keep detailed, accurate and secure written records of alerts and/ or concerns
  • Undertake investigations as directed by the DSL/DDSL
  • Undertake training as necessary
  • Act as a point of contact for Safeguarding and support queries from staff in their department/service area

 

It is the responsibility of all City Lit staff to:

  • Promote the welfare of students
  • Know who the DSL, DDSL and Safeguarding Officers are to raise concerns with
  • Be vigilant and able to spot signs of harm, abuse and exploitation
  • Raise/report any concerns or suspicions immediately to a Safeguarding Officer, the  
    DSL or DDSL
  • Share information about vulnerable individuals within the college
  • Undertake training as necessary 

All staff and volunteers should feel able to raise concerns about anything they consider may be poor or unsafe practice. If any member of staff has any concerns about the actions taken by a Safeguarding Officer, s/he may contact another Officer to discuss the situation; they may also raise concerns through our Whistleblowing procedure.

 
6. Procedures to be invoked when harm/abuse is suspected or reported (See Appendix 3 in printable pdf version of the policy) 

If anyone comes across signs of harm and/or abuse of children or adults at risk they should:

  • Report any concerns to a Safeguarding Officer in the first instance. You can also report concerns to the Duty Manager and/or your line manager who will liaise with the Safeguarding Team.
  • This will invoke the appropriate procedures and may involve the local Safeguarding Board and/or the police or another relevant specialist service.
  • Where staff members are unsure and need guidance about Safeguarding issues, they are encouraged to seek support from a Safeguarding Officer, manager or the Designated Safeguarding Lead/Deputy. 
  • If anyone considers that a child or adult at risk is in immediate danger or at risk of  
    harm s/he should:

Contact the DSL, DDSL, a Safeguarding Officer or the Duty Manager immediately. They will decide on the most appropriate course of action, which may include making a referral to the most appropriate agency or emergency service.  
 
7. Allegations about members of the workforce  
Where an allegation of abuse or inappropriate behaviour is made against a member of staff, a thorough investigation will be undertaken. Statutory and other relevant guidance will be used to support any investigation. 

Where any incident relates to actions as an employee of City Lit, in addition to actions set out above, Human Resources will advise and support the line manager of, and the employee against whom allegations have been made. 

Where an allegation of abuse or inappropriate behaviour is made against a student, in addition to actions set out above, the Vice Principal and Executive Director: People will advise on the disciplinary procedure.

The DSL/ DDSL, in collaboration with senior colleagues, will decide any action to be taken. It is the duty of staff to inform only, not to investigate.

 
8. Control measures

Students  
We take a risk management approach to Safeguarding, in organising learning and teaching, and delivery of services to students and the public. Where necessary curriculum and service areas carry out specific risk assessments, and make reasonable, proportionate adaptations to their activities. 

Where adaptations are reasonable and proportionate, we may put in place ‘control measures’ in order to safeguard the wellbeing of children and adults at risk. Children aged 16-18 are only admitted to designated programmes following approval by the DSL/DDSL and a risk assessment by the relevant Head of  Programme/Centre.  

Children aged under 16 are not admitted to normal classes, unless the class is specifically for children and parents/guardians. This is primarily in local authority Family Learning provision.  

 

Other groups  
Where children of students, staff members or visitors are present in any college site, they remain the responsibility of their parent/guardian and must be accompanied at all times whilst on the premises.  

Safeguarding the wellbeing of any children visiting City Lit without their parent/guardian is the responsibility of the organiser of the activities in which the child is participating. 

 
Staff and volunteer controls  
For newly appointed staff:

  • Verification of the appointed person’s identity, preferably from current photographic ID and proof of address.
  • Obtaining an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check (with barred list information if appropriate) for staff identified in appendix 2 in printable pdf version of the policy.
  • Verification of the appointed person’s right to work in the United Kingdom
  • Verification of relevant qualifications where necessary.
  • Other checks may be considered if the person has recently lived outside of the  
    United Kingdom.

 
DBS checks:

  • DBS checks will be obtained as detailed in appendix 2 in printable pdf version of the policy and held on a Single Central Record.
  • DBS checks will normally be obtained prior to the commencement of any work where a DBS check is required.
  • Where a DBS check has not yet been received, a department may allow supervised access or accept a portability check following a risk assessment.
  • City Lit will adhere to all relevant regulations and codes of practice as issued by the DBS.
  • All information regarding the detail of any DBS certificates will be processed by Human Resources and will not be passed to third parties. The date and number of DBS checks may be passed to partner organisations to enable City Lit to fulfil its contract and may be issued as part of a portability check by another organisation.
  • Human Resources will confirm to the relevant programme / service manager whether a satisfactory DBS check has been obtained. This information will be recorded securely. If items appear on the DBS check that give cause for concern, Human Resources will discuss these with the relevant line manager. Human Resources will then discuss with the applicant if any conditions are to be applied or the offer withdrawn.

 
9. Training

  • The DSL and DDSL will undertake Safeguarding update/refresher training annually and regularly update their knowledge and skills in a range of ways including attending briefings, reading Safeguarding newsletters and subscribing to email bulletins.
  • City Lit will ensure that the DSL and DDSL undertake training in multi-agency working and specific Safeguarding areas as appropriate.
  • All staff will receive Safeguarding training and updates as required and appropriate. This will include reminders on the college referral processes.
  • Records of Safeguarding training will be kept for staff.

 
10. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is an issue that needs to be fully understood by all those working with Safeguarding duties. A member of staff must never guarantee confidentiality to anyone with a Safeguarding concern or promise to keep a secret.  
In accordance with statutory requirements, Safeguarding concerns must be reported to the DSL or DDSL and may require further referral to, and subsequent investigation, by statutory agencies Information on individual cases may be shared by the DSL and DDSL with other relevant staff members on a ‘need to know’ basis only and where it is in the person’s best interests to do so. 

 

11. Records and Information Sharing  
Where there are concerns about the safety of a child or adult at risk, the sharing of information in a timely and effective manner between organisations can reduce the risk of harm. Whilst Data Protection legislation (including the General Data Protection Regulation, 2018) places duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully, it is not a barrier to sharing information where the failure to do so would place a child or adult at risk, at risk of harm.

Similarly, human rights concerns, such as respecting the right to a private and family life should not prevent sharing where there are real safeguarding concerns. Fears about sharing information should not stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children or adults at risk who are at risk of abuse or neglect. 

Well-kept records are essential to good protection practice. City Lit is clear about the need to record any concern held about a person within the college, the status of such records and when these records need to be shared with other agencies. 

A disclosure of abuse, or concerns about signs or indicators of abuse will be recorded by a member of the Safeguarding team or Senior manager. Safeguarding concern forms are available from the DSL or DDSL so that staff can note what was said or seen (if appropriate, using a body map to record), giving the date, time and location. All records will be dated and signed and will include any action taken at the time. This is then presented to the DSL or DDSL who will decide on the next steps. 

 

12. Multi agency working  
It is the responsibility of the DSL and DDSL to ensure, wherever appropriate, that the college is represented at any Safeguarding conference affecting one of our students.

 
13. Whistleblowing  
Whistleblowing is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’ and occurs when a worker (or member of the wider college community) raises a concern about danger or illegality that affects others.  

City Lit expects the highest standards of conduct and practice related to Safeguarding from every member of staff, governor and visitor to the college.  

Staff are made aware of the duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of staff in line with college’s Whistleblowing policy. 

Approved by the Governing Body May 2022

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