Safeguarding Policy for Children
and Young People at MLA
In producing this policy, MLA recognise their moral and legal obligation to ensure all young people in their care are safeguarded against all forms of harm. All staff are required to report all concerns and allegations of risk of harm to students.
Though there is currently no specific directive relating to private language schools, MLA deem it prudent to have detailed and rigorous control measures in place to safeguard children. All staff are aware of our policy and regular training sessions are held to remind staff of the procedures to follow. The summary policy is given to all guardians on the website and in printed format.
The Children Act 1989 states the legal definition of child is ‘a person under the age of 18’.
This policy and procedures are based on the following principles:
- The welfare of young people is of primary concern
- All young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to safeguarding from
- It is everybody’s responsibility to report any concerns about abuse to the schools Designated Person, and the responsibility of the social services department and the police to conduct where appropriate a joint
- All incidents of alleged poor practice, misconduct and abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Types of Abuse
Abuse is any behaviour towards a person that deliberately or unknowingly causes harm, endangers life, or violates their rights.
There are considered to be four types of abuse:
Physical Abuse: ‘A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child’
Emotional Abuse: ‘The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone’.
Sexual Abuse: ‘Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.’
Neglect: ‘The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers);
- or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
(Taken from ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, March 2013, Department of Education, HM Government, Appendix A, Page 85-86)
Of course, these four different types of abuse often manifest themselves through different signs and symptoms, and it is important that all staff and volunteers know what they are and are able to recognise them:
Physical signs of abuse:
- Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them,
- Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls or games,
- Unexplained bruising, marks or injuries on any part of the body,
- Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips (from slapping or pinching),
- Cigarette burns,
- Bite marks,
- Broken bones,
- Injuries which have not received medical attention,
- Neglect-under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses, inadequate care,
- Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains.
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate physical abuse:
- Fear of parents being approached for an explanation,
- Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts,
- Flinching when approached or touched,
- Reluctance to get changed, for example, wearing long sleeves in hot weather,
- Withdrawn behaviour,
- Running away from home.
The physical signs of emotional abuse may include:
- A failure to thrive or grow particularly if a child puts on weight in other circumstances: g. in hospital or away from their parents’ care,
- Sudden speech disorders,
- Persistent tiredness,
- Development delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress.
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate emotional abuse include:
- Obsessions or phobias,
- Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration,
- Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults,
- Being unable to play,
- Attention seeking behaviour,
- Fear of making mistakes,
- Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour.
The physical signs of sexual abuse may include:
- Pain or itching in the genital/anal area,
- Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas,
- Sexually transmitted disease,
- Stomach pains,
- Discomfort when walking or sitting down,
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate sexual abuse include:
- Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour g. becoming withdrawn or aggressive,
- Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people,
- Having nightmares,
- Running away from home,
- Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or development al level,
- Sexual drawings or language,
- Eating problems such as over-eating or anorexia,
- Self-harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts,
- Saying they have secrets they cannot tell anyone about,
- Substance or drug abuse,
- Suddenly having unexplained sources of money,
- Not allowed to have friends (particularly in adolescence),
- Acting in a sexually explicit way with adults.
The physical signs of neglect may include:
- Constant hunger, sometimes stealing food from other children,
- Constantly dirty or smelly,
- Loss of weight or being constantly underweight,
- Inappropriate dress for the conditions.
Changes in behaviour which can also indicate neglect include:
- Complaining of being tired all the time,
- Not requesting medical assistance and/or failing to attend appointments,
- Having few friends,
- Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised.
Some of these signs may be difficult to observe. If you have any concern- even if you feel unsure- always discuss this with the Designated Person at MLA.
All MLA staff and students are required to take shared responsibility for the safeguarding and safety of young people in school. They must be aware of and abide by the Safeguarding Policy for Children and Young People at MLA. All MLA management will have Online Safeguarding Level 1 training.
A student may want to ‘test the water’ before disclosing’. She/he might do this by ‘hanging around’ a member of staff, asking trivial questions, helping to put things away etc. All must be aware that any casual conversation could be an opener to disclosure, so it is vital not to be dismissive and to take what is being said seriously.
If someone discloses that there may be a child protection issue, the following guidelines should be stuck to:
- Treat any allegation extremely seriously and act at all times towards the child as though you believe what they are saying
- Tell the young person early on that you may have to share what they are telling them with someone Be honest about your own position, who you have to tell and why.
- Tell the child that they are right to tell you
- Reassure them that they are not to blame
- Allow the young person to speak without interruptions
- Reassure the child that they are not alone and tell them what will happen
- Write down everything that is said and Record and date any facts.
- Inform the Designated Person immediately. NB If the designated person is not immediately available but you believe the student is in immediate danger, contact the police directly and inform the Designated Person ASAP.
- Follow up with the Designated Person what actions were taken and ensure that the issue was addressed.
- Make any promises you can’t keep such as promising confidentiality.
- Interrogate the young It is not your job to investigate.
- Cast doubt on what the child has told you, don’t interrupt or change the
- Say anything that makes the child feel they are responsible for the
- Condemn the alleged abuser.
- Do Make sure you tell your Designated Person/police.
- Discuss with anyone other than the Designated Person/police.
The role of the Designated Person is:
- To receive information from any staff, volunteers, children, parents or carers who have child safeguarding concerns and record
- To assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying and obtaining more information about the matter as appropriate
- To consult initially with a statutory child safeguarding agency to test out any doubts or uncertainty
- To make a formal referral to a statutory child safeguarding agency or the police
- To record statements from any member of staff who feels that a young person has indulged in inappropriate behaviour or made sexually suggestive comments or
- To be trained at child protection level 3.
Designated Person at MLA:
Daniellar Amoah, UK Academic Manager
Additional Guidance for Staff
Also, remember to protect yourself. Try to ensure that one-to-one interviews are in rooms with glass doors, record and have countersigned all records of conversations and never offer students lifts in your own vehicles. Make sure other adults visit the room occasionally. Be careful about sharing jokes, use of inappropriate language and physical contact. Do not give out your personal phone number or email address. Do not arrange to meet students outside of school hours and do not chat to pupils on social networking sites.
While a young person can consent to sexual activity once they reach the age of 16, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it would be a criminal offence for an adult in a position of trust to engage in any kind of sexual activity with a person under 18.
Staff working directly with children should not use mobile phones as it is inappropriate and distracts them from paying full attention to the children in their care. Calls, therefore, should be taken and made during break times unless there is an emergency.
- Users bringing mobile phones into school should ensure that there is no inappropriate or illegal content on the device
- Personal mobile phones should not be used to take any images of a Any photos of children taken should be for school purposes only and with agreement with the appropriate person.
- Personal cameras should not be brought into Only the designated school’s cameras should be used to take images of the children. Images taken on the school’s cameras must be deemed suitable without putting the child/children in any compromising positions that could cause embarrassment or distress. Once downloaded onto the school system images on school cameras should be deleted. Photographs should not be distributed or shown outside of school.
- Children using school cameras to take photographs should be supervised.
Photographs taken for the purpose of recording a child or group of children participating in activities or celebrating their achievements is an effective form of recording children’s progression.
Missing Person Procedure
In the unlikely event that a student can not be located, the Missing Person Procedure is immediately followed.
Staff should attempt to contact the student directly through the recorded contact number provided. Next local friends of the missing student will be contacted and their group leader. If the student still hasn’t been contacted, a thorough search of the site will ensue. If this does not prove successful, the Centre Manager will become involved. He/she will have the responsibility of assessing the situation and deciding when to contact the police.
The school accepts that it is the basic entitlement of all students to receive an education free from humiliation, oppression and abuse. The school also recognises its responsibility to create a secure and safe environment for all students in its care so that parents may send their children to school in the confident knowledge that they will be protected from all forms of bullying.
Bullying may be defined as the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone. It can involve physical or verbal attacks, name calling, malicious gossip, damaging or stealing the property of the victim or coercing the victim into acts which she/he does not wish to do. Physical assault in varying degrees of severity is distressing but verbal abuse is also painful.
Identifying and dealing with bullying
Teachers should watch for early signs of distress in students – deterioration of work, spurious illness, isolation, the desire to remain with adults. Whilst this behaviour may be symptomatic of other problems, it may be the early signs of bullying.
If a student or guardian reports a case of bullying to you:
- listen carefully and record all incidents
- offer the victim immediate support and help by putting the school’s procedures into action.
Teachers can help by intervening, even if they only suspect that someone is being bullied. For example, a bullied child might be paired with a more popular child or group of children so that they are helped to become part of the group. Gangs of bullies can be split up. Group work aimed at encouraging interdependency should be encouraged. Areas in which a victim is successful can be built on to increase self-confidence.
MLA aims to create a co-operative ethos through its pastoral structure, teaching methods and inter-personal relationships. MLA endeavours to provide adequate supervision of classrooms and other areas of the school accessible to students, at all times. In addition, the school accommodation areas are supervised at all times of the day and night.
Referral system and procedure
Isolated incidents of bullying or suspicions of bullying may be dealt with by the teacher/tutor. However, in such cases a written report of the incident/suspicion should be sent to the Course Director.
Instances of persistent or widespread bullying should be referred to the Director Of Studies.
The DOS will:
- Interview all students (victims and perpetrators) involved in the alleged bullying
- Decide on appropriate disciplinary action which might include punishment of the perpetrators, but also advice on counselling to prevent any repetition of such behaviour.
Constant monitoring of the situation will be necessary.
- Provide the victim(s) with support and
- Arrange an interview or write a letter to make the unacceptable nature of the behaviour and the consequences of any repetition, clear to the bully and his/her
- Inform the victim(s) and parents/guardians of the outcome of the investigations and of the measures
- Keep a full written record of the incident, investigations and
- Inform and involve external agencies (including the police), in cases where the perpetrators are not members of the college.
Recruitment and Induction Policy
|Statement||This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment.|
|Aims||-To ensure appropriate staff are recruited trained effectively and retained.
|Methods of Monitoring||Inductions, appraisals, meetings.|
- All posts will be advertised both within the company as well as externally.
- All job advertisements will include the following information for all potential applicants to read:
All applicants should note that:
MLA is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. Successful candidates will be required to undergo a DBS (formerly CRB) check and/or sign a Declaration of Suitability to Work with Children. Interviews are face-to-face in London.
Proof of identity and qualifications will be required at the interview. References will be followed up. A reference request will ask specifically whether there is any reason the candidate should not be employed with persons under 18. Please provide e-mail addresses and phone numbers of at least 2 referees. All gaps in CVs must be explained satisfactorily.
Please apply only if you meet the requirements and are available for a face-to- face interview in London. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
- Interviewing should be done by those with training and/or experience in this area as far as is Interviews for candidates who will be working with children are carried out face to face.
- Questions asked during the interview should be relevant to the job Interviews must include questions that probe candidate’s attitudes to safeguarding children.
- References will be taken Written references will also be verified by telephone by speaking the referee (not a colleague) and this will be noted for the employee’s file by the person who has carried out the verification by initialling and dating the written reference. Reference requests will contain the following question:
“Have there been any disciplinary procedures / allegations or concerns expressed about the candidate during his or her employment that relate to the safety and welfare of children and young people?”
- Staff will receive a full induction preferably before they Each new staff member will be issued with their own induction checklist which will include:
- ensuring the member of staff reads the pamphlet “What To Do If You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused”;
- guidance regarding not being alone with pupils and appropriate physical contact when pupils are distressed or in need of assistance (e.g. with soiled clothing);
- discussion related to the safe use of mobile phones and cameras in school;
- guidance about what to do if they witness inappropriate behaviour towards children from other members of staff
- a general list of topics all staff must be aware of (e.g. fire evacuation policy), to be completed with the employee and the Course Director.
- All staff will be required to sign a declaration stating that they have not been convicted of a crime against a minor at the appropriate level of contact we deal with students under the age of 18.
All staff will undergo an enhanced DBS check.
All the data on file is subject to the Data Protection act of 1998.
Child Protection Record of Concern
If you suspect that the students may be suffering abuse or neglect, or you have received a disclosure of abuse from a student or you have heard about an allegation of abuse, you must complete the child protection record of concern form and hand it to the Designated Person today.
|Full Name:||Date of Birth:|
|Course Start/End Date:||Student ID|
|Agent Details:||Group Leader details:|
|Preffered Language of Student:||Is there any type of language supportneeded to talk with student?|
|Does the student know the form is being completed?If yes what did he/ she say? If no, why not?|
|Why are you concerned about this student? Please provide a description of anyincidents/conversations and the dates that they occurred. You must clear what is fact and hearsay . You must not ask leading questions or try to investgate concern yourself.|
|If an allegation of abuse has been made, give any details you have about the abuser.|
|Does the student have any visible injury, or have they told you they have been injured?|
|If yes has medical advice been sought?|
|Full Name:||Name and position this record was handed to:|
|Position:||Date and time the person above received this record:|
Useful Contact Numbers
Hillingdon LADO- Paul Hewit [email protected] 10895250410
J Altenor [email protected] 07939984173
Richmond LADO- Kieran Travers [email protected] 02088917961
Michael Permaul [email protected] 02088917830