Safeguarding Policy

Think Academy is committed to providing online tuition to students at the highest standard in a safe environment.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • to protect our students from harm.
  • to provide staff, students and their parents/guardians with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding our students.
  • This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Think Academy, including all staff, as well as students and parents/guardians.

1.Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seek to protect children in the UK. A summary of the key legislation is available from nspcc.org.uk/learning.

2.Supporting documents

This policy statement should be read alongside our organisational policies, procedures, guidance and other related documents, including our Safeguarding Procedures.

3.We believe that:

  • Children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
  • We have a responsibility to keep our students safe and to provide our tuition services in a way that protects them.

4.We recognise that:

  • the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • working in partnership with our students, their parents, carers and other relevant agencies is essential in promoting our students welfare.

5.We will seek to provide a safe education environment to our students by:

  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff

  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures

  • providing effective management for staff through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures so that all staff and volunteers know about and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently

  • recruiting and selecting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made

  • recording, storing and using information professionally and securely, in line with data protection legislation and guidance

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children and their families via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions

  • making sure that students and parents/guardians know where to go for help if they have a concern

  • using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving students, parents, families and carers appropriately

  • using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately

  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise

  • building a safeguarding culture where staff and volunteers, students and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.

6.Contact details

  • Designated safeguarding officer: ELIJAH BYASS
  • Email: siqi.zhang@tal.com

Safeguarding Procedures

These Safeguarding Procedures should be read with our Safeguarding Policy.

1.The safe recruitment of tutors:

All tutors must have undergone a vigorous vetting process and all necessary checks [including DBS checks] to ensure their suitability and qualification to become a tutor of Think Academy.

2.Student Registration

Students under the age of 18 cannot register and take part in any lesson without his/her parent or a guardian agreeing to the same.

3.Recording of Lessons

  1. Subject to unforeseen circumstances or malfunction of equipment, online lessons will normally be recorded and retained for up to 3 months for review by the parents or guardian of the student or in accordance with our policies and procedures.
  2. The recordings may also be review for the purpose of investigating any report made in relation to the sessions.
  3. We will allow access to UK law enforcement or other relevant agencies of any recording where a criminal offence or an abuse may have occurred in relation to the relevant sessions.
  4. The recordings will remain the property of Think Academy.

4.Tutors

  1. Tutors must:
    1. Ensure that their environment does not display any inappropriate images or documentation capable of being viewed by the student or parent/guardian when conducting a session.
    2. Ensure that their environment and behaviour is culturally sensitive. This includes dressing modestly and removing objects which may be distracting, such as alcohol.
    3. Treat students fairly and without prejudice or discrimination: students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s wellbeing.
    4. Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
    5. Ensure any contact with the student is appropriate to their role as a tutor and confined to the relevant online lesson.
    6. Not make any improper suggestions to a student.
    7. Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/guardian.
    8. Value and take students’ contributions seriously.
    9. Report any dispute with a student or parent/guardian to Think Academy.
    10. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within an online lesson by the student or third party.
    11. Ensure that if no parent/guardian is present during an online lesson that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they can terminate the session.
    12. Be aware that the lessons are recorded and they are available for review after the lessons.
  2. If a student uses or displays inappropriate language or behaviour in a lesson or towards the tutor, the tutor should politely request that the student refrains from doing. If the language continues the tutor will explain that s/he will report the matter to Think Academy, who may suspend the student from attending any further lessons or from using any services provided by Think Academy.

5.Students

  1. Students must:
    1. Treat the tutor with respect and fairness, and not subject them to abusive behaviour or language.
    2. Not make any improper suggestions to the tutor.
    3. Have no inappropriate communication with the tutor
    4. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor or other persons within a session or dispute with a tutor to his/her parent/guardian.
    5. Be aware that the lessons are recorded and they are available for review after the lessons.

6.Parents / Guardian

  1. The parent/guardian must:
    1. Be responsible for the selection of the course(s) and make any reasonable checks to ensure the course is suitable for the student.
    2. Be fully aware of and ensure that the student is fully aware of the Think Academy Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
    3. Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the lesson.
    4. Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the lesson and ensure it is safe and appropriate.
    5. If s/he consider it appropriate, be present or available during a tutor session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible and ensure the student is behaving in an appropriate manner.
    6. Ensure that tutors will be treated with respect and fairness and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
    7. Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either the tutor or student.
    8. Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the tutor outside the lesson session.
    9. Report any inappropriate communications between the tutor and student.
    10. Report any dispute with a tutor to Think Academy.
    11. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor.
    12. Be aware all lessons will be recorded and they are available for review after the lessons.
  2. If a parent/guardian is alerted to any inappropriate behaviour/language by the tutor:
    1. they should immediately speak to the tutor, state their concern and inform them they are terminating the session as appropriate. The incident should then be reported to Think Academy to take appropriate action. As there is a recording of the session available, the lesson may be reviewed before taking further action.
    2. The parent/guardian should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident.
    3. Any allegation of abuse should be dealt with in accordance with section 7.4 “Allegation of Abuse against a Tutor” below.
  3. Think Academy may suspend a tutor if it seems appropriate until the incident has been investigated. The parent/guardian will be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

7.Responding to abuse

  1. Identifying Possible Abuse
    1. Tutors and staff should refer to the UK government's guide for practitioners which explains how to identify signs of abuse and what actions to take: What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-to-do-if-youre-worried-a-child-is-being-abused--2
    2. If a tutor has any cause for concern, s/he should discuss their concerns with our designated safeguarding officer or seek advice at any time from the NSPCC helpline – help@nspcc.org.uk or 0808 800 5000. Next steps might involve undertaking an early help assessment or making a referral directly to children’s social care/the police.
    3. Further guidelines on recognizing and responding to abuse are available from the NSPCC and should be followed: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-abuse-and-neglect/recognising-and-responding-to-abuse.
  2. Responding to a disclosure
    1. If a student discloses abuse to a tutor, the tutor should reassure the child that the tutor will try to help by informing the people who can help, and report to the relevant authorities and to Think Academy.
    2. The tutor should not jump to conclusions or act emotionally, promise to keep it secret or make promises that the tutor cannot be sure keep.
    3. Even if a child requests the information to be kept confidential, it is important to still report the abuse. However, it should not be shared with anyone who does not need to know.
    4. UK government's guide for practitioners: What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-to-do-if-youre-worried-a-child-is-being-abused--2 should be followed.
    5. Further guidelines on recognizing and responding to abuse are available from the NSPCC and should be followed: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-abuse-and-neglect/recognising-and-responding-to-abuse.
  3. Think Academy will record, in writing, all concerns and discussions about a child’s welfare, the decisions made and the reasons for those decisions
  4. Allegation of Abuse against a Tutor
    1. Any allegation of abuse against a tutor will be taken seriously and will be reviewed as soon as possible. All lessons by the tutor will be suspended pending investigations, which include viewing recordings of the lessons, where available.
    2. If a report concerns a minor breach of the safeguarding policy, we will make a decision as to appropriate action, which may include suspending the reported tutor from all further teaching.
    3. If a report concerns the student’s safety or any illegal activity, we may contact UK police or other relevant agencies to report the incident.
    4. In all cases, all details of the incident will be recorded, in line with NSPCC guidelines.
  5. Parents/Guardians responsibilities:
    1. If a parent/guardian becomes aware that a tutor has acted in an inappropriate way, they should inform us and/or the relevant agencies as soon as possible and suspend contact with the tutor, pending investigations.

We will review our Safeguarding policy and procedures on a regular basis to ensure they are adequate and relevant to applicable safeguarding standards.

Last Review Date: 06 August 2020