Think Academy International Education Limited (“Think Academy UK”) is committed to providing online tuition to children at the highest standard in a safe environment. The purpose of this policy is to protect our students from harm and provide our staff, students and parents/guardians with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child safeguarding.
This policy applies to all employees, workers, contractors, consultants and other personnel that is associated with Think Academy UK (together, “Personnel”), as well as any third parties who enters into business relationships with Think Academy UK.
Please read this policy carefully; your compliance with this policy is mandatory. Employees who breach any part of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Contractors, consultants and all other third parties who breach this policy will be deemed to have committed a material breach of their contract with Think Academy UK which may result in termination of their engagement.
This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment. Think Academy UK will regularly review this policy and we may amend this policy from time to time.
As an online tuition service provider, we understand that there are limitations as to what we can do in terms of child safeguarding. Unlike schools, we do not have any physical presence and therefore cannot interact with children in person. Nonetheless, we firmly believe everyone must play their part to keep our children safe. At Think Academy UK, we want to make sure our safeguarding standard is in accordance with that in schools, academies and other educational establishments where possible. By adhering to government guidelines and legal requirements, we want to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, but also put parents at ease while their children are engaging with our products and services.
Child Centered Approach
Our mission is to advance education through technology and love for children around the world. We take a ‘child centered approach’ not only in respect of safeguarding, it is the very core foundation of our business. We believe that:
We seek to provide a safe education environment for our students by:
All of our tutors here at Think Academy UK come from renowned, recognised universities. Additionally, all of our tutors and tutor assistants have undergone vigorous vetting process; it is also our policy to carry out DBS checks (or the equivalent checks for non-UK domiciled Personnel) on all of our tutors and tutor assistants to ensure they are suitable to work with children.
Additionally, all Think Academy UK tutors are bound by our internal Tutors’ Code of Conduct (as well as our general Code of Conduct for our staffs), these include (but not limited to):
For each online virtue classroom, it will be monitored by the classroom tutor and tutor assistant.
All of our online lessons are recorded and monitored for safeguarding purposes. Online lessons will normally be recorded and retained for up to 3 months for review by the parents/guardians of the student or in accordance with our policies and procedures. The recordings may also be reviewed for the purpose of investigating any reports/allegations of misconduct made in any particular online lesson. These records may be accessed by UK law enforcement or other relevant child protection agencies or local authorities where a criminal offence or an abuse may have occurred. All intellectual property rights and the ownership of the recordings are properties of Think Academy UK.
What we expect from our students
As a student of Think Academy UK, we expect you to:
If a student uses or displays inappropriate language or behaviour in a lesson or towards the tutor, the tutor should politely request the student to refrain from doing so. If the language or behaviour continues, the tutor (or the tutor assistant) will explain that he or she will report the matter to Think Academy UK, who may suspend the student from attending any further lessons or from using any services provided by Think Academy UK. We reserve the right to withdraw our services, immediately and without notice, in the event that inappropriate language, actions or behaviour imposes threat towards the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students.
What we expect from the parents/guardians
Parents/guardians of our students are responsible for:
If a parent/guardian is alerted to any inappropriate behaviour/language by the tutor:
The following acts are strictly prohibited by Think Academy UK; all Personnel of Think Academy UK must not:
Here at Think Academy UK, we will only process Personal Data in accordance with our Privacy Notice. However, under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and Data Protection Act 2018, we may share information without consent if, in our judgement, there is a lawful basis to do so, such as where a child’s safety may be at risk.
All Personnel must take responsibility to be alert to circumstances in which it may be necessary in sharing the information they hold; we must not assume that someone else will pass on the information, which may be critical to keeping a child safe. Personal information can be shared lawfully if it is to keep a child or individual at risk safe from neglect or physical, emotional or mental harm, or if it is protecting their physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
If a student discloses abuse to a tutor, the tutor should reassure the child that he/she will try to help by informing the people who can help. Report should first be made to the Think Academy UK Safeguarding Officer. The tutor should not jump to conclusions or act emotionally, promise to keep it secret or make promises that the tutor cannot keep. 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.
All Personnel must record information sharing decisions, whether or not the decision is taken to share. If the decision is to share, reasons should be cited including what information has been shared and with whom. If the decision is not to share, the reasons will also be recorded and discussed with the requesting party.
All Personnel of Think Academy UK must take responsibility to be alert to signs and potential indicators of child abuse and neglect.
All safeguarding concerns (including but not limited to any allegations of child abuse or neglect by another member of staff, or any particular Personnel posing a risk of harm to children) should first be reported to the Think Academy UK’s Safeguarding Officer. Where there are concerns/allegations about the Safeguarding Officer, this should be reported to the director of Think Academy UK. In the event that concerns/allegations are related to both the Safeguarding Officer and the director, this should be reported directly to the local authority or NSPCC.
Any allegations of child abuse/neglect will be taken seriously and will be investigated and reviewed as soon as possible. During the investigation, we may:
It is in everyone’s interest to resolve cases as quickly as possible and is consistent with a fair and thorough investigation. Here at Think Academy UK, all allegations will be investigated as a priority to avoid any delay. The time taken to investigate and resolve individual cases depends on a variety of factors including the nature, seriousness and complexity of the allegation. Nevertheless, we seek to conclude our investigations and aim to resolve all cases within one month (where possible). For those cases where it is clear immediately that the allegations are unsubstantiated or malicious, we aim to resolve this within one week; for complexed and exceptional cases our investigation may take longer than a month.
Upon the conclusion of our investigation, where a child has been harmed, is at risk of harm, or is in immediate danger, we will make a referral to either:
We will generally inform parents or carers unless there are compelling reasons not to (if informing a parent or carer is going to put the child at additional risk).
In the event that we think an individual has engaged in conduct that harmed (or is likely to harm) a child or if a person otherwise poses a risk of harm to a child, we will make such referral to the DBS.
All Personnel 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
If you have any cause for concern, you should discuss your concerns with our designated Safeguarding Officer or seek advice at any time from the NSPCC helpline – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0808 800 5000.
All Personnel should be able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in Think Academy UK’s safeguarding regime, and know that such concerns will be taken seriously by Think Academy UK’s senior leadership team.
If you feel you are unable to raise an issue with Think Academy UK, or feel that your genuine concerns are not being addressed, help may be available to you via: https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing or https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/reporting-abuse/dedicated-helplines/whistleblowing-advice-line/
Other available resources:
Safeguarding Officer: Michael Li