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Child Protection Policy

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989) The scope of this policy also covers vulnerable adults The following information applies to all students under the age of 18 years. Please remember that students aged 16+ study in General Classes and, therefore, the following information is applicable to them Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth recognises that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • All staff working for Southbourne School of English have a responsibility to report concerns to the Principal or in the case of residential centres, to the Centre Manager

Child Protection Policy Statement

Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth and its staff have a duty of care to safeguard all children studying at Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth and its residential centres from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth will ensure the safety and protection of all children studying at the school/residential centres through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth.

Good practice guidelines

All staff should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate Good practice means:

  • Always working in an open environment avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication
  • Treating all young people/vulnerable adults equally with respect and dignity
  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with students (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust and empowering children to share in decision making
  • Making learning motivating and promoting fairness
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly
  • Involving group leaders wherever possible, for example, encouraging them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms
  • Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and vulnerable adults
  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given

Practices to avoid:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time alone with a child/children away from others
  • Making one child in a class or group a ‘favourite’

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

  • Engage in rough physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • Share a room with a child
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • Show obscene images to children
  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control
  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves
  • Seek to establish social contact with minors (see Social Contact with Minors Policy)

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the Principal or Accommodation and Welfare Officer who will record the incident.

  • If you accidentally hurt a child
  • If he/she seems distressed in any manner
  • If a child appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
  • If a child misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done

Use of photographic/filming equipment

Inappropriate pictures of children must never be taken and unsanctioned photos or film of children must not be taken or uploaded to the internet. Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth assures all staff that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports his/her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child. While a complaint is investigated, the member of staff will be removed from contact with children.

Bullying

What is bullying? Bullying includes: name calling; taunting; mocking; making offensive comments; kicking; hitting; pushing; taking belongings; inappropriate text messaging and emailing; sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet; producing offensive graffiti; excluding people from groups; and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours i.e. gossiping. Although sometimes occurring between two individuals in isolation, it quite often takes place in the presence of others. People doing nasty or unkind things to you on purpose, more than once, which it is difficult to stop. (Anti-bullying Alliance) If bullying is suspected:

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously
  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else
  • Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when)
  • Report any concerns to the Principal or in the case of residential centres, to the Centre Manager

There are two designated Child Protection Officers at Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth: Kathryn Newman, Principal and Rebekah Bisset, Accommodation and Welfare Officer

Declaration

Southbourne School of English, Bournemouth will oversee the implementation of the Child Protection Policy and take all necessary steps to ensure it is adhered to.

 

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