Safeguarding and Child Protection Closure for SCL Group (SCL Education and Training and SCL Kids)

Posted by SCL Education Group on 27.11.20

From 20th March 2020 parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools and colleges to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the CoVID-19 response - who absolutely need to attend.

Schools and all childcare providers were asked to provide care for a limited number of children- those defined as vulnerable or have an EHCP.

This amendment to policy applies to the SCL Group comprising of both SCL Education and Training and SCL Kids. There are some points which apply to ‘group’ or the separate functions of the business; this is outlined throughout by referring to: SCL Group, SCL Kids, or SCL Education and Training.

This addendum of the SCL Group’s Safeguarding, and Child Protection policy contains details of our individual safeguarding arrangements for the following areas:

  1. Vulnerable children 
  2. Attendance monitoring 
  3. Designated Safeguarding Lead 
  4. Reporting a concern 
  5. Safeguarding Training and Induction 
  6. Safer recruitment and movement of staff 
  7. Online safety during remote learning 
  8. Supporting children who remain in their place of education

 

  1. Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care plans (EHCP).

Those who have a social worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan and those who are looked after by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Those with an EHCP will be risk-assessed in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHCPs can safely remain at home. SCL Group will follow the direction of the Local Authority and/or any affiliated school to determine whether we are able to provide the necessary requirements of the individual. We will share this assessment with all parties to support next steps.

Eligibility for free school meals in and of itself should not be the determining factor in assessing vulnerability. For those who are in receipt of a bursary payment, this will continue to be paid to cover food. Bursary for any travel arrangements will cease. Full bursary including travel will be reinstated one week prior to return to the usual place of education.

Senior leaders, particularly the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy responsible for SCL Group SEND provision, know who our most vulnerable children are. They will combine to ensure that the most vulnerable have a package of support enabling a continuation of learning, and safeguarding plan in place.

SCL Group will continue to work with and support children’s social, and key workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with and supporting children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head (VSH) for looked-after and previously looked-after children. The lead person for this will be: Kate Lou- Quality Director.

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. In circumstances where the facility which provides the usual education setting is unavailable due to enforced government closure, SCL Group will share this with all key stakeholders. Vulnerable children who attend SCL Kids care clubs will continue to do so in collaboration and upon advice from the host school and/or the local authority.

Where parents have concerns regarding the risk of their child contracting CoVID-19, SCL staff or the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England. SCL Kids will adapt any activities to meet Public Health England’s requirements regarding social distancing and practising good hygiene. SCL Group will ensure all staff are trained against these requirements and will be expected to practice such measures at all times.

SCL Group will support our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed. SCL will apply professional judgement and ensure that a decision made on face-to-face learning is made with safety as the key driver; particularly where delivery venues are facilities which are not SCL owned.

 

  1. Attendance monitoring

Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-to-day attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance during the CoVID-19 pandemic.

SCL Education and Training have adapted their own attendance monitoring and reporting system which staff and senior leaders have implemented.

Prolonged absence from any SCL Education and Training programme will be monitored and recorded. Regular contact between SCL staff, learners and parents/carers will be actioned. Any concerns which relate to the safety or welfare or a learner who has not attended the online platform will be reported to the local authority or the police on direction of the Head of Safeguarding.

Information relating to any vulnerable child who does not attend an SCL Kids club as planned based on information provided by the school or social worker, will be reported to the key contact at the school and/or social worker dependent on pre-planned communication arrangements between all key parties.

 

  1. Designated Safeguarding Team

The optimal scenario is to have a trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or deputy available on site. Where this is not the case a trained DSL or deputy, will be available to be contacted via phone or online video - for example when working from home.

Where a trained DSL or deputy is not on site, in addition to the above, a senior leader will assume responsibility for co-ordinating safeguarding on site. This might include updating and managing access to SCL Group’s online safeguarding management system, MyConcern! and liaising with the offsite DSL or deputy. As set out by the SCL Kids senior team, any communication between a child’s social or key worker, should be agreed in advance. Social Workers may require access to a child/children in need and/or to carry out statutory assessments at the school during hours of operation. These visits will be pre-booked, therefore on-site visitor guidance must be stringently followed.

It is important that all delivery staff have access to a trained DSL or deputy. On each day, staff on site will be made aware of who that person is and how they can contact them.

The DSL or deputy for SEND will continue to engage with social workers, and attend all multi-agency meetings, which can be done remotely.

All delivery staff have access to the devices required to contact the emergency services should they need to act in response to an immediate onsite safeguarding concern.

 

  1. Reporting a concern

Where staff have a concern about a child or young adult, they should continue to follow the process outlined in SCL Group Safeguarding Policy; this includes making a report via MyConcern!, which can be done remotely.

In the unlikely event that a member of staff cannot access MyConcern! from home, they should email the Head of Safeguarding. This will ensure that the concern is received and recorded correctly. Staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay.

Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children, they should contact the Head of Safeguarding immediately, who will follow internal processes to address the concern. If there is a requirement to make a notification to the headteacher whilst away from school, this should be done verbally where possible by the Head of Safeguarding or a deputy and followed up with an email and copies of any necessary paperwork.

 

  1. Safeguarding Training and induction

DSL training is very unlikely to take place whilst there remains a threat of the CoVID-19 virus.

For the period the CoVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL even if they miss their refresher training.

All existing staff of the SCL Group have had the relevant certified safeguarding training. Where new staff are recruited, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding training during their induction.  Existing and new staff employed by the SCL Group are all subject to the following before deployed to any site:

  • an enhanced DBS, children’s barred list check, and ‘Right to Work’ in the UK
  • there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children
  • there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual

 

  1. Safer recruitment and movement of staff

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, SCL Group will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019) (KCSIE). 

In response to CoVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact.

The SCL Group will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS, anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found at paragraph 163 of KCSIE.

The SCL Group will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per paragraph 166 of KCSIE and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral’. 

During the CoVID-19 period, all referrals should be made by emailing:

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Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current National emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff will be in any of the settings where our children or learners attend, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, the SCL Group will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in paragraphs 148 to 156 in KCSIE. Online safety in schools and colleges.

The SCL Group will continue to promote a safe environment, including online. Where children and young adults are using computers in any setting or school used by the for any of the services provided by the SCL Group, supervision will be in place. Permission will be sought from the hosting school to ensure any resources which children are permitted to use, have an adequate filtering system thus ensuring the children have adequate online protection. 

 

  1. Children and young adult online safety during remote learning

It is important that all staff who interact with children and young adults, including online, continue to be vigilant for the signs they may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the Safeguarding Policy and where appropriate concerns should be raised with the Head of Safeguarding directly or via the MyConcern! portal.  

Online teaching should follow the same principles as set out in SCL Education and Training code of conduct. 

The SCL Group will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.

Below are some things to consider when delivering virtual lessons, particularly where there is a use of the facility to activate a webcam:

Consider the following where 1:1 delivery is required (where possible group delivery is the preferred method):

  • Seeking parental permission
  • Recording the session
  • Deactivating camera on devices if face to face delivery is not an essential requirement

 

  • Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household
  • Staff should terminate delivery immediately and notify their line manager if they feel uncomfortable by any online conversation or interaction. This must be reported immediately to the Head of Safeguarding
  • Where possible, computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred
  • The live class should be recorded so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed
  • Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day.
  • Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background
  • Staff must only use platforms provided by the SCL Group to communicate with children and young adults
  • There must be a method of recording the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held and readily available for the Senior Leadership Team to view

The SCL Group is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its children and young people. The Head of Safeguarding will work closely with the Senior Leadership Team to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan to all key internal and external stakeholders. This plan must be reviewed regularly and where concerns arise, the Head of Safeguarding will consider any referrals as appropriate. 

The SCL Group will share any safeguarding messages and/or publications on its website and social media pages. 

SCL Group name recognises that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. SCL Education and Training delivery staff need to be aware of this in setting expectations of learners’ work where they are at home. 

SCL Kids will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them.

 

  1. Supporting children who remain in their place of education

SCL Kids is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children in its care and will continue to create a safe environment for all children to attend and flourish. The Head of Operations will ensure that appropriate staff are on site, and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate to maximise safety. 

SCL Kids will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of CoVID-19.

Where SCL Kids has concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as our Designated Safeguarding Lead or first aiders – will discuss them immediately with the Senior Leadership Team leading the Business Continuity plan for CoVID-19.

 

Key contacts:

SCL Group Head of Safeguarding: Kim Collins (Designated Safeguarding Lead)

Contact number: 07917 193180
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SCL Group Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Joanne Collier

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SCL Kids Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Jack Fisher

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SCL Professional Designated Safeguarding Lead: Holly Broady

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SCL Group Safeguarding Board Nominee: Carole Carson (Chair of Board)

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