Safeguarding Policy for under 18s

Safeguarding Policy for under 18s

It is our responsibility to treat all of our international and foreign students as ‘vulnerable’, but especially the under 18’s in our care.

Recruitment
We must ensure that students’ time here is as safeguarded as possible. All staff involved with children will be checked through the Disclosure & Barring Service and will have to sign a Children’s Act Declaration form (suitability declaration).

If hosts provide accommodation for under 18s, we request that the host is also checked by the Disclosure & Barring Service. This allows the school to check if they have a criminal record.

We also require the host to fill in a Children’s Act Declaration form (suitability declaration) to declare they are a safe person to work with children, and that there is no reason why we should not use them as a host. Section 70 of the Children Act 1970 states that it is illegal for a person to make any untrue statement in this notice or give false information which he/she knows’ to be false or misleading.

Supervision ratios
All year round we organise weekly activities for our (Adult) students. During the Junior Summer School and for closed Junior groups, we organise a full leisure programme with daily activities in the afternoons and day trips in the weekends or as requested, as part of the course package.

It is our policy here at Newcastle International School of English to adhere to the supervision ratios set down by The 1998 DFEE publication Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits.

They are as following:

Younger than 8 years old:      1:6
8-10 years old:                         1:10 – 15
11+:                                            1:15 – 20

While we will always follow these guidelines, we have always had more staff supervising on leisure activities.  This especially applies to our outdoor activities, as our international students are classed as ‘vulnerable adults’ we consider it our duty of care to ensure that ratios are exceeded in order to provide a safe environment for our students whilst they are in our care, particularly in the case of the under 16’s. These ratios also apply to junior students staying in residential accommodation.

We will always use our first aid trained staff on leisure activities in case of any medical emergency, and we find it helpful to use student welfare representative to assist on activities outside of the school as they are usually the first port of call with students who have any issues.  Students also spend a lot of time with the student welfare representative discussing and planning the leisure activities. The teachers are involved with the students as they also are able to communicate well with our students and have excellent professional rapports with them.

We have declaration forms to be signed by the parent/carer before the start of the course, to ensure we know their wishes with regards to their child leaving our school premises during break time, before and after school, and for the journey between accommodation provider and the school.

Unless specifically stated by the parent/carer, the students are not allowed to leave the school during break time without supervision. During the break time the students are supervised at all times, and there are staff members on each floor in the school building who also take responsibility and make sure the students don’t leave the premises on their own.

If the parent/carer agrees that the student can make their own way between school and the home stay address, we either place students as close to the school as possible or with a host with good public transport connection who is able to walk the student to and from their stop. All hosts providing home stay for under 18s are instructed to accompany the student at least during their first journey to and from the school, so that they can get familiar with the route.
If the parent/carer does not agree to this, we can arrange transport for the student.
This can be collection/drop off by coach for groups, or taxis for individuals.
Drivers for both of these options will always have been DBS checked too.

Students under the age of 16 will not be taught alongside students who are over 18. Likewise with afternoon and evening activities we will not permit the under 16’s to mix with the over 18’s.

There will be occasions where in – house school activities will involve all age ranges but they will always be supervised and we have the benefit of a CCTV system which covers the communal areas.

It is our responsibility to ensure that any unaccompanied juniors are met at the destination airport and received in an appropriate manner. We use a member of staff who is DBS checked to collect the junior student(s) and they will be delivered to either the school or the home stay host.
For group arrivals, we use a coach driver who has also been DBS checked.

Home stay host’s responsibilities
We require that the host is able to bring the student into school on the first day, and show the student how to use the public transport. If possible, we ask them to walk the student to and from their stop. We request that the host is at home when the student returns from school.

Outside of school hours we require that the host takes full responsibility for the supervision of the student (s) in their care.

We would like to make it known to home stay hosts that at no time are the students allowed to venture out on their own unaccompanied. We require that the host accompanies the students in any activities that are reasonable and they wish to pursue.

We understand that the junior student may want to meet with friends or even spend some time alone and this may result in a disagreement, we would ask you to refer to our ‘unhappy in home stay procedure’ and in this scenario the school will do all that it can to assist you in meeting the supervision needs of the junior student.

We require the host to contact the school if there is to be a change in circumstances; we need to ensure that the home stay accommodation is a safe environment for the age and type of student. We need to know about changes such as if there is a possibility of the host taking on a student or a non-student occupant who is over the age of 18, and we also need notifying if they are considering taking on another student from another school who has the same language as one of our students already housed there, as this can be conflicting with the student’s best interest.

Home stay families should arrange a curfew time with student under 18 years old to ensure that they are appropriately supervised.  The school advises that the latest this should be set for is 7pm.  If the school has arranged an evening activity that will run past the curfew time, the school will notify the home stay family in advance.

Medical Information/Emergencies
We require the parent/carer to complete our medical consent form with the medical details of their child. It is important for the school to know if a child has any behavioural or emotional problems. This will not affect how they are treated here at the school; it is beneficial for both the child and ourselves to have this information so that we can best accommodate them.
We have trained first aiders available every day, so if a student was to suffer a minor injury, they can be treated on site.

We require emergency contact details from the parent/carer, so that we can contact them in case of an emergency. Our Managing Director (Joanna Chung) is in charge of our emergency phone, which can be contacted 24/7 by students, home stay providers or carers. They can also contact the school reception during office hours (Monday to Friday).

Absence
We have a ‘no show’ procedure within our policy for absent students but we need to be more targeted and focused in our duty of care to under 18’s.

Firstly if a student under the age of 18 is absent without leave we would record their absence in the daily register.

It would be the responsibility of the Director of Studies (Magda Lesniak) to make contact with the student, by means of

  • Making a phone call to the students personal number – (we may try this a number of times)
  • Contacting the student by email in case they have no calling credit.
  • Making a phone call to the emergency contact number on the students application form.
  • Calling to the home stay property to make sure the student is ok (accommodation officer or manager)

If we have not made contact with the student in a 24 hour period we will contact the police to register the student as missing.

That is our duty of care to under 18’s to ensure that we are doing all that we can to protect them whilst they are in our care.

We require that whilst they are in the care of their home stay providers that they still have some level of control, the home stay provider has ground rules for each individual student and of course they will be adapted for under 18’s i.e. curfew’s etc…

Although students are responsible for their behaviour and safety, whilst they are unaccompanied we will have done all that is possible to advise the student on life in the U.K and on how to behave and where to frequent.

Welfare
We require all students to agree to the terms and conditions of their stay at our school and also to sign our Equal Opportunities Policy and Health and Safety Policy statement which states that they will not mistreat any other student or teacher.

At any time, students can discuss matters of concern with the Welfare Officer (Lucia Tkacikova) or the Welfare Manager (Joanna Chung). The Welfare Officer will also make it her duty to check the student’s well being on a daily basis, not only when the student approaches her.

DSL
Joanna Chung is our Designated Safeguarding Lead. If anyone has a cause for concern about the safety of a child, they need to inform the DSL and complete a cause for concern-form (available in the office of the DSL).

The managing director (Joanna Chung) is responsible for ensuring that the Safeguarding Policy is adhered to.

Last reviewed on 14/12/2015

Next review date: 14/12/2016