Child Protection Policy  

Optimal Tutors Learning Centre - Child Protection Policy


Introduction:

Optimal Tutors Limited carries out activities which bring our tutors, employees and people working on behalf of our learning centre into regular unsupervised contact with children and/or vulnerable adults. This includes providing tutoring and educational services at our learning centre, students home and elsewhere.

Optimal Tutors Limited takes it's resonsibilities to safeguard and protect the interest of all young children and adherence to this policy very seriously. This policy is non-contractual but indicates the way in which Optimal Tutors Limited intends to deal with such matters,


Scope of this policy:

This policy applies to all tutors, employees, workers or volunteers whose duties bring them into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults.


Aims of this policy:

This policy is to create and maintain the safest possible environment for the children and vulnerable adults with whom we deal, as well as for our tutors, employees and workers, and all reasonable steps that will be taken to prevent all parties from harm.


Legal considerations:

There is a considerable body of legislation designed to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected and it is important to understand that everyone is responsible for their safety. The main acts include:

  • The protection of freedoms act 2012
  • Safeguarding vulnerable groups act 2006 (VBS)
  • Conduct of employment agencies and employment business regulations 2003
  • Protection of children act 1999/Criminal Justice and Court Services act 2000
  • Care standards act 2000
  • The police act 1997
  • The children (Protection from offenders) (Miscellaneous Amendments) regulations 1997
  • The United Nations Convention on the rights of the child
  • The rehabilitation of offenders act 1974
  • Health and Safety at work etc act 1974 (HASAWA)

Definitions:

A "child" is anyone under the age of 18

A "vulnerable adult" is a person aged 18 years or over who is:

  • In residential accommodation provided in connection with care or nursing or receving care or nursing at home
  • Receiving health care
  • In lawful custody or under the supervision of a probation officer
  • Receiving a welfare service of a prescribed description or direct payments from a social services authority
  • Receiving services, or taking part in activities, aimed at people with disabilities or special needs because of his/her age or state of health

It may be a person who is unable to take care of his/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation. He/she may be elderly or frail, have learning disabilities, suffer from mental illness, have a physical disability, be a substance misuser, be homeless or in an abusive relationship.


Criminal records:

Those who are involved in work situations where they have sustained or prolonged unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders legislation. This means that prospective employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers must declare all criminal convictions, however long ago; and these will be taken into account when deciding on their suitability for working with chidren or vulnerable adults. No-one will be permitted to undertake a role which involves regular contact with childen or vulnerable adults without a satisfactory Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)/DBS check. However, a criminal record may not prevent a person from working for Optimal Tutors Learning Centre in any other capacity: if that person is then asked to undertake tasks which will bring him/her into unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, such as work experience placements, any record must be declared to the Optimal Tutors' director who will take approriate advice where neccessary and will decide whether this task should be allocated to another member of staff.


Planning and supervision:

All activities or assignments involving chidren or vulnerable adults should be planned in advance to ensure they take into account the age range and ability of the participants. Staff, volunteers or freelancers supervising assignments involving children/vulnerable adults should be competent to do so. Supervision should take account of the age, gender, nature of the activity and any special needs of the individuas. Where appropriate, a risk assessment willbe undertaken and documented.

All workers should avoid working alone with a child or vulnerable adult wherever possible. If it is not avoidable they should plan ther work such that at least one other adult is present at any time. If possible, the worker should also move to a workstation where he/she and the child/vulnerable adult can both be seen by other colleagues or other adult and/or the door should be left open. This guidance applies also to transport in vehicles - workers must not offer to transport a child or vulnerable adult anywhere unless accompanied by a further person or as part of a formal arrangement.


Physical cotnact:

On no account should any tutor, employee, worker or volunteer have any physical contact with a child or vulnerable adult unless it is to prevent accident or injury to themselves or anyone else (e.g to prevent a fall), or in the case of medical assistance being needed (e.g to administer first aid), or to provide nursing or other general care, in which case the prior consen of the affected person should be reuested where possible. Where appropriate, consent from parents or those wth parental or caring responsibility should be obtained.

If a child/vulnerabe adults is hurt or distressed, the worker should do his/her best to comfort or reassure the affected person without compromising his/her dignity or doing anything to discredit the person's own behaviour.


Communication:

Communication with children/vulnerable adults is vital in establishing relationship built on trust. Those working with children or vulnerable adults should listen to what they are saying and respond appropriately. Children and vulnerable adults are entitled to the same respect as any tutor, employees, workers and volunteers. It should also be made clear to them what standards of behaviour and mutual respect are expected from them.

Those working with children/vulnerable adults should behave appropriately, ensure that language is moderated in their prescence and shoud refrain from adult jokes or comments which are clearly unsuitable. Workers should also note that what may be acceptable language to their friends may not be regarded as such by those of an older generation.


Behaviour and abuse:

We should all aim to promote an environment of trust and understanding. Those working with children/vulnerable adults should not tolerate unsociable behaviour but should try to ensure good working relationships. All tutors, staff, workers and volunteers at Optimal Tutors Limited have a strict duty never to subject ny child/vulnerable adult to any form of harm or abuse. This means that it is unaccetable, for example, to treat a child/vulnerable adult in any of the following ways:

  • To cause distress by shouting or calling them derogatory names
  • To slap
  • To hold them in such way that it causes pain, or to shake them
  • To physically restrain them except to protect them from harming themselves or others
  • To take part in horseplay or rough games
  • To allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind
  • To do things of a personal nature for the person that they can do for themselves (this includes changing clothing, or going to the toilet with them unless another adult is present)
  • To allow or engage in sexually suggestive behaviour within a person's sight or hearing, or make sugestive remarks to or within earshot
  • To give or show anything which could be construed as pornographic
  • To seek or agree to meet them anywhere outside of the normal workplace without the full rior knowledge and agreement of the parent, guardian or carer
  • To engage with them online in an unacceptable manner

Suspicions of abuse:

Any worker who witnesses or suspects abusive behaviour towards a child/vulnerable adult should record the detais and report it to Optimal Tutors' Director. It is NOT the individual's resonsibility to investigate his/her suspicions - this requres expertise he/she is not expected to have. Any alligations of abuse made against anyone working for Optimal Tutors Limited will be throughly invesigated and dealt with through our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches may lead to dismissal (for employees) or termination of any agreement (for tutors, workers or volunteers). The director or anyone who is appointed for such a role will appropriately record an allegation or reported incident. He/she will be reponsible for contacting the statutory child protection agency such as the local safeguarding children bard or the police if necessary.


Safety:

The safety of the people we work with is paramount and we are committed to providing a safe environment within which to work. Those working with children/vulnerable adults should ensure all appropriate risk assessments and security checks have been carried out prior to any assignment. If transporting children/vulnerable adults, the transport should be checked to ensure it is roadworthy and adequate for the purpose for which it is intended. Users should be adequately trained. Appropriate insurance should be up to date and adequate to cover such assignments.


Confidentiality:

All personal information regarding children/vulnerable adults is highly confidential and shoud only be shared with appropriate people on a need to know basis, Information will be stored in the Optimal Tutors offices at 11A, Memorial Road, Walkden, Manchester, M28 3AQ; 6, Waterloo Road Street, Oldham, OL1 1SQ ; 1, Banns Street, Stockport, SK3 OEX, and 10, Harrisson Road, Halifax, HX1 2AF with access limited to the Optimal Tutors' director or any nominated member of staff and will only be kept for as long as is needed. Anyone who is likely to have access to confidential material regarding children or vulnerable adults, or any of the bodies on behalf of whom Optimal Tutors Limited is working, may be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The requirement for confidentiality is emphasised.


Contact outside of work:

Contact should not be made with any of the children/vulnerabe adults with whom we are working for any reason unrelated to the particular work. In particular, our tutors and employees are required to maintain our reputation for integrity and responsibility in dealing with such people, and should not enter into any social or other non-work related arrangements with them.


Gifts and inducements:

On no account should anyone from Optimal Tutors Limited give a child/vulnerable adult a gift or buy refreshments etc which could be in any way consudered as a bribe or inducement to enter into a relationship with the Optimal Tutors Limited person or give rise to any false allegations of improper conduct against the individual.


Communicating this policy and concerns:

All employees, workers and volunteers at Optimal Tutors Limited will be made aware of this policy and a copy will be available via the Optimal Tutors website. Furthermore, a copy of this policy will be given to all relevant bodies with whom we work and will be made availabe to parents and carers of chidren/vulnerabe adults with whom we plan to work. Any concerns about the assignment or people involved shoud be addressed to the director of Optimal Tutors.


Breach of this policy:

Failure to follow the guidelines in this policy is considered a serious offence an will be investgated throughly and dealt with through our disciplinry procedure. Serious breaches may lead to dismissal (for employees) and terminaton of any agreement (for self-employed tutors, workers or volunteers).


Implementation, monitoring and review of this policy:

Peter Adewole has overall responsibility for implementing and monitoring this policy, which will be reviewed on a reguar basis following it's implementation (at least annually) and additionally whenever there are relevent changes in legislation or to our working practices.

Any query or comment about this policy should be addressed to Peter Adewole - peter.adewole@optimaltutors.co.uk - 0161 790 2635. In his absence, queries should be directed to Hollie Hughes - hollie.hughes@optmaltutors.co.uk.