Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

KSMC recognises that the welfare of our adult learners is paramount and we take our responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare, and those with whom they engage in the classroom, seriously. All learners have the right to be safeguarded from harm, bullying or exploitation whatever their: race, religion, first language or ethnicity; gender or sexuality (within the law); age; health or disability; political or immigration status. KSMC is committed to improving and promoting best practice throughout the organisation. It aims to ensure that the well-being of all learners, and those they work with, is safeguarded and that they are protected from harm. This in turn will promote opportunities for them to thrive and benefit from their learning experiences.

This policy also recognises that KSMC has a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in the settings that the adult learners visit on placements or are employed in. It provides guidance for learners should they have concerns about any settings they are present in either as a volunteer or employee, and also if any setting should have a concern about an adult learner on placement.

Responsibilities

Directors, all staff, assessors, tutors and internal quality assurers working for KSMC, whether employed or freelance, understand the importance of working in partnership with the learners, their employers and other agencies in order to promote learner safety. The purpose of this policy is to:
● afford protection for the learners within KSMC
● enable staff and volunteers to safeguard and promote the welfare of learners
● promote a culture which makes this Centre a safe place to learn
● help to protect the children in settings accessed by adult learners studying with KSMC

This policy applies to the Directors, all staff/freelancers, or anyone working on behalf of KSMC who has direct contact with children or vulnerable adults. KSMC has ultimate responsibility for safeguarding and will ensure that the arrangements for protecting learners, and those they come into contact with, are effective, robust and reviewed on a regular basis. The designated Safeguarding Officer is John Clarkson who can be contacted on 01892 870740 or 07 53535 7250

We will endeavour to safeguard our learners by:
● valuing them, listening to and respecting them
● involving them in decisions which affect them
● making sure all staff are aware of, and committed to, the safeguarding policy
● sharing information about concerns with /employers/placements/agencies who need to know, involving the learner and employer where appropriate
● recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made (e.g DBS)
● providing effective management through support and training where appropriate
● encouraging the development of self-confidence in recognising and reporting concerns, through the initial induction, ongoing tutorial support and the separate safeguarding course which is mandated
● dealing appropriately with allegations/concerns about staff or adult learners, in accordance with our complaints procedure.
● having a dedicated Safeguarding Officer with relevant training and expertise.

In accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) and the Data Protection Act 1998, KSMC observes its safeguarding duties and is committed:
● if it dismisses any member of staff or a volunteer because they have harmed a child or venerable adult or there is risk of harm, tol notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
● if any person who is barred by the ISA from working with children or venerable adults and approaches us for employment, to notify the ISA.
● to not knowingly employing those people barred from work with groups.

Sharing Information

All adult learners are provided with a copy of this policy in their student handbook, and are expected to read it carefully. The policy is reviewed annually.

Information about a disclosure of a suspicion of abuse cannot be kept fully confidential, but sharing will be restricted to a need-to-know basis and gossiping or gratuitous sharing is strictly forbidden under the KSMC professional behaviour policy. These policies are distributed to all staff on appointment and in the even of revision.

Safer Recruitment

KSMC carries out reference checks on all employed and contracted staff from last employers. Enhanced DBS checks are also obtained for all staff and the outcomes held on file, with an annual review required. In accordance with Safeguarding guidelines KSMC will aim to renew these checks every 3 – 4 years where staff have direct delivery in working with young people. All staff are recruited in accordance with the KSMC Safer Recruitment Policy and within the DBS/ Safeguarding guidelines.

Recruitment of adult learners is also subject to checks. Before interview, prospective adult learners sign a declaration that there is no bar to their working with children and all are interviewed personally by the Principal to assess their readiness for the course and their values and motivations in applying.

Reporting Procedure

If a learner / member of staff has a safeguarding concern or if they have witnessed or someone they know, is being subjected to harm, abuse or bullying in any way, they need to tell initially their tutor or main assessor. If they feel unable to do this then reports should be made directly to the Safeguarding Officer.
KSMC staff and Safeguarding Officer will:
● listen carefully, being particularly careful not to ask leading questions
● reassure them that they have done  nothing wrong in reporting or discussing the issue
● tell them that what they are telling us is confidential but that we may have to  pass information on, telling them to whom we may have to  pass information and why
● make a detailed record of date, time, place and  what was said
● pass the information to the KSMC Safeguarding Officer to follow up making referrals as necessary or required to Police and /or Social Services.

Outcomes

The Safeguarding Officer will refer information to or seek advice from other relevant organisations as appropriate e.g. Social Services, Police or Surrey Local Safeguarding Board, Surrey Early Years Safeguarding Advisor, Ofsted, CQC etc. There is an expectation that concerns if involving a learner under the age of 18 years should be shared with parents/carers unless by doing so the learner might be placed at greater risk of harm. In the event of the concerns not being appropriate for referral at that stage then the learner will be monitored through an appropriate member of staff in liaison with the Safeguarding Officer. Staff will receive support as required and work with outside agencies as needed within each individual case.

All concerns will be recorded and detailed accounts of meetings and referrals kept securely at KSMC offices.

Procedure before commencing a work experience placement

Adult learners will be given a brief induction into their responsibilities with respect to safeguarding, which will include (but not be restricted to):
● the legal framework for safeguarding in the UK
● names of contacts (Centre, setting and local authority) and reporting procedures
● features of a safe environment designed to protect children from harm
● identifying adult behaviours which are inappropriate (including sexual, emotional and physical behaviours)
● the risks of babysitting for children in their placement
● the dangers of using social networking sites in a professional context (which is specifically prescribed by KSMC)
● the requirements and limits of confidentiality
● the importance of obtaining and observing the setting’s policy and induction to procedures

Before attending the induction seminar, adult learners are expect to have registered with the Disclosure & Barring Service update service and to provide up to date details of their clearance. Work experience will not be approved without such clearance. Any learner who is undertaking work experience in a setting where there is a family member employed or in charge, or where the learner is already known to setting staff, will be given additional scrutiny to ensure that any concerns are not ignored.

Learner’s Concerns within Work Settings.

All learners are required to undertake a separate and certificated Child Protection course during their work experience placement. This course will be appraised and the ongoing suitability of learners on placement monitored by a requisite minimum number visits and tutorials (at least monthly). The visits to settings will also be used to maintain effective links with setting personnel, especially the placement mentor.

If a learner registered with KSMC has an issue that they have witnessed within their workplace setting that concerns the welfare of children or vulnerable adults, and they feel unable to report these concerns following setting procedures they should follow KSMC reporting procedures as above. In no case should suspicions or evidence be ignored.

KSMC is committed to good practice and high standards and wants to be supportive of all employees and learners. Any investigation into allegations of potential malpractice will not influence or be influenced by any other procedures. All concerns will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal the identity of the discloser if they so wish. At the appropriate time, however, they are advised that they may need to become available as a witness if the matter becomes criminal.

Where appropriate, the matters raised may:
● be investigated by management, internal audit, or through the disciplinary process
● be referred to the police / social services or settings’ management / owners
● be referred to external audit in the form of n independent inquiry such as Ofsted / CQC / Ofqual.

In order to protect individuals and those accused of misdeeds or possible malpractice, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. The overriding principle which KSMC will have in mind is the public interest. Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific procedures (for example, child protection or discrimination issues) will normally be referred for consideration under those procedures.

Allegations made against staff or adult learners at KSMC

If an allegation is made against a member of staff, director or any adult learner, it should be reported immediately to Marianne Clarkson, Principal. Any resulting investigation should be carried out by a member of staff who has no involvement with the incident or by an outside agency (Social services / Police / Ofsted) should the allegation be made about a Director. The results of the investigation, should it be deemed that the allegation is potentially substantive, will be made available to the relevant authorities.

Should the allegation prove to be malicious, then the individual responsible will be dismissed from their course or employment without further notice. Learner’s fees will be payable in any case in accordance with the published schedule.

All information regarding the allegation is confidential and is not given to any other KSMC staff.

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