Welfare of students under the age of 18

Students under the age of 18 are now defined as ‘children’. All students should expect to feel safe both within the school environment and in their homelife. It is a moral duty and a legal requirement for us to respond to any concerns we may have about the safety of students.

As a school we should be ensuring that our students remain safe at all times. ALL staff are required to have enhanced CRB checks - even if your role does not usually involve direct contact with students.

Minimum age of ICE students integrating into mixed nationality classes is 16. Minimum age of ICE students in closed groups is 11. 11 to 16 year-olds are referred to as juniors.

We do not organise excursions for under-16 year old students. We currently provide tuition and accommodation only.

Designated staff at ICE: Vanessa Lister (or Claudia Labruzzo in her absence) & Tim Shoben outside school hours. Tim’s phone number is 7540 696 505.

Abuse - recognising the signs

There are usually considered to be four types of abuse:

Physical Abuse: unexplained or inadequately explained injuries, particularly if appearing regularly.

Sexual Abuse: difficult to observe though changes in general behaviour might be an indicator. Usually this type of abuse emerges through disclosure.

Emotional Abuse: Usually from somebody close to the student – such as a spouse or partner - this may lead to very poor self-esteem.

Neglect: Students who are inadequately fed or clothed. You may observe something that might be a symptom of abuse. If you have any concern, even if you feel unsure, always discuss this with the Designated Person at ICE.

Ultimately, these concerns would not be taken forward without a full discussion with the student in question and - almost always - with their full agreement. Alternatively, a student may disclose to you that abuse has occurred/is occurring.

If someone discloses something to you that may be a Child Protection issue please follow these guidelines:

1. Tell the young person, very early on in the discussion that you may have to share what they are telling you with someone else. DON’T promise confidentiality, you have to discuss with a Designated Person.

2. Allow the young person to speak without interruptions, accepting what is said, but do not investigate.

3. Record and date any facts.

4. Alleviate feelings of guilt and isolation, whilst passing no judgment. i.e. reassure.

5. Advise that you will try to offer support, but that you must pass on the information.

6. Offer additional support – for instance a Counsellor.

7. 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 as soon s possible.

8. Offer your notes to the Designated Person/Police

9. Do not discuss the issue with anyone but the Designated Person/Police.

10. Follow-up with the Designated Person what actions were taken and ensure that the issue was addressed.

Additional Guidance for staff:

Also, remember to protect yourself. Record and have countersigned all records of conversations and never offer students lifts in your own vehicles. We always aim to be friendly with students but that can mean that professional and private boundaries can get blurred.

Bullying:

• Tutors should ensure that all students have an opportunity, during tutorial time, to discuss bullying: its causes, student strategies to deal with it and the ICE Policy on it that can be found in the Teachers’ Handbook & the Students’ Handbook.

• If you do become aware of a case of bullying inform the Designated Person at ICE immediately

• Ideally we will use ‘Restorative Justice’ as a way of dealing with bullying rather than Disciplinary methods. Restorative Justice dispenses with the notion of victims and perpetrators and focuses on solutions to the problem based on mutual understanding and shared perceptions. ICE staff must never ‘punish’ students.

• If Restorative Justice fails we will refer to the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy. However, it is worth pointing out that it is not possible to exclude a student permanently without clear evidence that bullying has taken place.

Accommodation for students:

• All host accommodation for young people and vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure that all host-families, landlords, landladies and all other residents staying in the home are suitable to house our students. In addition, where a student is under 16 and is staying for more than 28 days an enhanced CRB check will be completed on the host family.

• ICE will ensure that appropriate procedures and monitoring is in place for all host accommodation. This is simple as all Homestay accommodation is booked by Hosts International who have rigorous policies in place. When booking accommodation, please make sure that any under-18 year old student is highlighted to Hosts International.

• In the event of any issue, you can contact Harsha or Patricia.

• All ICE Staff must have an enhanced CRB check completed upon them if they work in our schools.

• If you are booking a group of juniors into accommodation, you must exclusively use the company Hosts International.

• When booking a group of juniors, you must ensure a ratio of 1 group leader (usually a teacher from their school) to 10 students.

• Emergency contact number must be provided to all group leaders before arrival.

• Parental consent forms must be signed by each parent of a junior and evidence of these emailed to our Groups co-ordinator.

Excursions and Activities:

• Staff will take particular care when supervising students in the less formal atmosphere of an excursion or out of school activity. Staff working with juniors always have another adult present when supervising out of school activities - unless previously agreed with a senior member of staff and subject to a risk assessment.

• Risk assessments are completed on all out of school activities.

• When working with children/juniors, consent is always gained from a group leader (who has parental consent to act as with ‘in loco parentis’ status) or direct parental consent.

• During school activities that take place off the college site or out of college hours, a more relaxed discipline or informal dress and language code may be acceptable. However, staff remain in a position of trust and need to ensure that their behaviour cannot be interpreted as seeking to establish an inappropriate relationship or friendship. Please note that any sexual relationship between an under 18 year old student and a person in a position of authority is illegal.

• Out of college activities will never involve include overnight stays,

• Health and Safety arrangements require members of staff to keep colleagues/employers aware of their whereabouts, especially when involved in an out of college activity.

Confidentiality and information sharing

The guidance document ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused states that the government expects organisations to share information about individuals who may be at risk from abuse. It is important to identify an abusive situation as early as possible so that the individual can be protected. Withholding information may lead to abuse not being dealt within a timely manner. Confidentiality must never be confused with secrecy.

Consent is not required to breach confidentiality (capacity issues must be considered) and make a safeguarding referral where:

• A serious crime has been committed

• Where the alleged perpetrator may go on to abuse others

• Other children are at risk in some way

• The child is deemed to be in serious risk

• There is a statutory requirement e.g. Children’s Act 1989, Mental Health Act 1983, Care Standards Act 2000

• The public interest overrides the interest of the individual

• When a member of staff of a statutory service, a private or voluntary service or a volunteer is the person accused of abuse, malpractice or poor professional standards. If a worker has any doubt about the legality of sharing information, they must in the first instance consult the Designated Person.

Teacher recruitment and CRB checks

• All permanent staff at ICE must be enhanced CRB checked. Temporary/cover staff are not required to be CRB checked though they must only teach students of 18 years and over.

• All permanent staff must sign a declaration to say they are suitable to work with under 18 year-olds and that a CRB check will be carried out on them.

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