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tta's Child protection guidance

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1. INTRODUCTION

Members of The Tutors’ Association (TTA) will ensure that their pupils are given tuition in a congenial and safe environment. Each member has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people, they are treated with the highest possible standard of care. A child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children’s Act 1989 and 2004, and the Children & Young Persons’ Act 2008).

2. POLICY STATEMENT

Members of TTA are committed to ensuring that:

a)      the welfare of the child is paramount;

b)      all children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity are able to receive the benefit of tutoring in a safe environment;

c)      all reasonable steps are taken to protect children from harm, discrimination and

d)      demeaning treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings;

e)      all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;

f)       All members who work with children should seek guidance and/or training in good practice and child protection procedures; they work in partnership with parents and children – which is essential for the protection of children.

g)      They provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment in which students can learn and which promotes the wellbeing of the children being taught.

3. TTA ROLE

TTA offers guidelines and will give advice on how to deal with a Child Protection incident or concern, but members of TTA do not act as a DCPO or LADO. Any tutor working for an agency/company who requires help and support on a Child Protection issue should in the first instance report the incident to their agency/company, which in turn should refer the case to the LADO or DCPO. A self- employed tutor who is not attached to any agency/company should always refer any Child Protection concerns directly to the LADO in their local council.

4. MONITOR AND REVIEW THE POLICY AND PROCEDURES

This policy shall be reviewed every 3 years or whenever there is a major change in the organisation or when there is relevant legislation. Each review should be dated.

5. SAFER RECRUITMENT POLICY - GUIDANCE FOR TUTORING COMPANIES

a)      Tutoring companies which act as agents or employers of tutors should adhere to a recruitment policy written in accordance with the Safer Recruitment guidelines as published by the government, to ensure that all tutors are qualified and suitable as far as can be reasonably ascertained.

b)      Appropriate checks (enhanced DBS Disclosures) must be carried out or requested on all potential tutors and office staff, and references taken up and verified by all tutoring companies/agencies, unless these organisations operate solely online as notice boards or online directories. In this case, the website must make it clear that these checks are not done and that they are the responsibility of parents/ guardians.

c)      When interviewed, tutors should be asked to account for any gaps in employment history.

d)      It is advisable for tutoring companies to have their own bespoke Child Protection Policy and should ideally appoint a Child Protection Officer who would complete a “Leading on Child Protection Course” in order to deal with disclosures/allegations. These can be completed online via www.childprotectioncompany.com

6. TTA APPLICANT VETTING

TTA registered tutors are required to have a DBS less than three years old. TTA offer a service whereby the tutor can apply for a disclosure through Capita Recruitment Vetting Service. Initially, TTA cross reference ID and proof of address documents which accompany applications. Tutors must ensure that all copies of these documents have been certified by the Post Office. TTA then submits the documents to Capita who complete the DBS application through the Disclosure & Barring Service itself. Tutors can also apply for enhanced disclosures through many other agency/companies.

7. SAFEGUARDING COMPLIANCE FOR COMPANIES 

a)      Tutors should provide Photo ID when interviewed. A photocopy should be taken and retained and stored safely.

b)      All information on tutors should be stored on a Single Central Record (SCR). This should include address and contact details, Photo ID, DBS check, and details of references sought and sight of degree certificates/other qualifications. TTA currently holds up-to-date Data Protection cover.

c)      All tutors should hold an up-to-date Enhanced DBS Disclosure. A Disclosure is only valid for three years, after which a tutor should be re-checked, unless they have bought into the DBS Up-Date scheme.

d)      Dates of issue and numbers for DBS Disclosures should also be kept on the SCR.

e)      Tutors should read TTA Child Protection Guidance document, and if working for a Tutoring company, sign up to and adhere to their policy.

f)       Online Tutoring Companies should hold a Code of Conduct which should include a clause on cyber-bullying.

g)      All office staff who come into contact with children should be DBS checked.

h)      If a parent is not able to be present, then there should always be another adult in the home when a child is being tutored, for the “protection” of the tutor as well as the child.

8. GUIDANCE FOR FREELANCE TUTORS WORKING DIRECTLY WITH PARENTS

a) Freelance tutors who find their own clients and do not operate through agencies/companies must apply for an enhanced Disclosure (DBS) through TTA or an umbrella body, unless they already have one through another organisation.

b) It is illegal for a teacher/tutor to enter into a sexual relationship with a student, even if the student is over the age of consent (i.e. over 16). Tutors, like school teachers, are operating in a similar position of trust and thus must also abide by this law.

9. ALLEGATIONS

Allegations against a tutor who may have behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child, or committed a criminal office either against or related to a child, or behaved towards a child in a way that suggests he or she is unsuitable to work with children, should be reported immediately to the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) or DCPO (Designated Child Protection Officer) in the local authority where the incident is alleged to have taken place.

Advice on how to deal with an allegation can be sought from the LA Education Welfare Service or Child Protection Unit.

10. CHILD PROTECTION INCIDENTS

A Child Protection incident usually includes some of the following scenarios but this list is not intended to be a formal and all-inclusive definition. A typical CP incident is when:

a.      a tutor receives some information about a child or young person either from the child directly or from another source, which could potentially cause serious harm to the child, either physically or psychologically.

b.      a tutor observes a situation (e.g. risk in a child’s environment which could potentially cause serious physical or psychological harm).

c.       a company/agency and/or parent receives information about a tutor either from the child directly or from another source, that could potentially cause serious harm to the child, either physically or psychologically.

11. RECORD A CHILD PROTECTION INCIDENT

All Child Protection incidents must be recorded. It is essential to:

a.      Speak individually with all parties concerned

b.      Write a record of all conversations

c.       Write up all telephone conversations with a written report to send to LADO/ Child Protection Unit (at the local authority where the incident took place) who will deal with the allegation.

All allegations should be dealt with expeditiously, thoroughly, fairly and with common sense and professional judgement. Any investigation should be carried out as quickly as possible and a decision reached as to whether the allegation is borne out or not supported. Dependent on this the outcome of the investigation could have one of three outcomes:

d.      unsubstantiated,

e.      Substantiated in part or in whole but can be dealt with by disciplinary procedures.



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