MORE THAN JUST ENGLISH
School Policies & Procedures
Loxdale English Centre, Brighton, is the perfect location for your studies. If you are looking for high quality, affordable English lessons then look no further.
Since it was founded in 1968, Loxdale English Centre has run high quality English courses for thousands of students. Most of our language teachers have several year’s experience in the teaching of English as a foreign language. As a further guarantee of quality, our School is accredited by the British Council for teaching English and is a member of English UK.
We welcome international adult students to Loxdale all year round and we have special programmes during January and February and the summer for young learners. Closed courses for adults and young learners are also accepted at any time out of the summer period.
In the UK, the law states that people who work with children have to keep them safe. This safeguarding legislation is set out in The Children Act 1989 and 2014. The government also provides guidance in their document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013.
Loxdale English Centre believes that:
• The welfare of the child is paramount. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989)
• Students should be listened to, valued, respected and protected
• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC 1989
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
• All staff (paid/unpaid) have a responsibility to be trained in safeguarding and to report concerns to Karen Lilley, Welfare Officer or Anna Thatcher, Principal who are the Designated Safeguarding Leads.
• All hosts have a responsibility to report concerns to Karen Lilley or Jodie Morden, Welfare Officers.
• We have a duty to operate under ‘best practice’.
We aim to create a safe environment within which children and young people can thrive and adults can work with the security of clear guidance.
Child abuse can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take. There are four areas of abuse are emotional, sexual, neglect and physical. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home and school environment.
These guidelines are divided into the following sections:
1. Safer Working Practice
2. Safer recruitment and training
3. Checklist of welfare issues
4. Handling allegations and/or suspicions
5. Recognising child abuse
SECTION 1: Safer Working Practice for staff and hosts
All staff, group leaders and hosts are encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote children’s welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. We want to ensure that the school and their host family/residential centre are places where students, staff and hosts feel safe and protected.
Safeguarding is considered regularly in relation to issues such as happiness, health, hygiene and safety. The following are examples of how to create a positive culture and climate:
In order to establish a safe environment Loxdale English Centre will ensure that our staff and the school:
• Are interviewed and vetted to ensure they are committed to safety and well-being of the children they come into contact with.
• Receive regular training regarding safety and safeguarding.
• Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).
• Treat all young people/vulnerable adults equally, and with respect and dignity and ensuring they know who to approach when they need care or help.
• Have a designated Welfare Officer who is also a Safeguarding Officer.
• Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with students
• Make lessons and activities enjoyable, age appropriate and promoting fair play and give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
• If any form of manual/physical support is required, it will be provided openly.
• If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, group leaders, teachers, coaches or social organisers work in pairs.
• At the residential centres or in homestays, adults should not enter children’s rooms without leaving the door open or invite children into their rooms.
• Are excellent role models – this includes not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol in the company of young people. Any drug use would lead to immediate dismissal.
• Listen to the needs of individual young people and vulnerable adults and do not push them against their will unless this is in conflict of our statutory duties.
• Secure parental consent in writing to act ‘in loco parentis’, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
• Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
• Request written parental consent if students wish to take part in out of hours activities e.g. going to town in small groups in their free time.
• Be aware that someone outside of a situation may misinterpret their actions, no matter how well-intentioned, particularly true across age groups and different cultural norms.
1.1 Practices to be avoided
Where ever possible try to avoid spending time alone with children away from others. Of course sometimes emergencies happen, for example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital:
It may sometimes be necessary for staff, especially residential staff to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled such as making sure they have showered/washed or dressing a wound. These tasks should only be carried out sensitively, where possible with open doors and every effort not to be alone with one student should be taken.
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
• reduce a child to tears as a form of control
• fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child
• do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they can do for themselves
• invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the Welfare Officer or Principal and record the incident:
• if you accidentally hurt a student
• if a student seems distressed in any manner
• if a student appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
• if a student misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
1.2 Adults not employed by Loxdale English Centre
Care is taken to minimise contact between our students and external adults. Students are warned, in an age appropriate way, of the dangers that strangers present.
If staff come to work smelling of alcohol or clearly under the influence, they will be sent home and it is a Gross Misconduct and subject to Disciplinary Procedure.
1.4 Coach companies and taxi drivers
Loxdale English Centre uses coach companies and taxi drivers that have had DSB checks.
1.5 Electronic and Social Networking
No staff should have any personal Social Media contact with their students aged under 18. E.g. Facebook, Instagram, gaming devices etc. This is to ensure the safety of our students and to protect our staff from allegations of improper conduct through malice or misunderstanding of a staff member’s action. See E-Safety Policy for more details.
1.6 Emergency Action Plan
Loxdale has an Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plan that all staff are aware of.
1.7 Fire Safety/Lockdown Training
There are regular fire practices. All teachers must show new students what to do in the event of a fire on their first day.
We also train staff about potential lockdown scenarios and what to do if this ever occurs.
1.8 First Aid and Medical care
Loxdale English Centre offers First Aid training to their staff so a number of our staff are trained in First Aid. Emergency medical treatment is given without charge to all under 18s visiting the UK.
Only certain staff are allowed to give children medicine. These include Anna, Karen, Jodie, Alice and Fenella. Whenever medication is given out, this is recorded centrally. Only children whose parents have given permission can be given medicine including paracetamol and cough sweets.
Should any student require a doctor’s appointment, Jodie and Jack can arrange this.
1.9 Group Leaders
Loxdale asks all agents to obtain a police certificate of good conduct for Group Leaders assigned to Loxdale. Loxdale requires a signed document to prove that the agent has conducted a background check on their Group Leader.
1.10 Online Safety
Loxdale English Centre recognises our responsibility to ensure the safety of Under 18s when they are using the internet, social media and other forms of digital media.
During our Induction Days, we make staff aware of the various dangers of the internet including:
Computer viruses: Computers can be at risk of inappropriate or illegal downloads when infected by viruses. No students are allowed to download programmes or software onto our computers
Grooming: The dangers of children being groomed online as the start of sexual abuse is widely known. Often the abuser pretends to be a person of a similar age and with similar interests.
Illegal Downloads: File-sharing with others on the internet through peer-to-peer file software.
Inappropriate content: Online sources of information can be encouraging or an enabling factor to children who abuse drugs or other dangerous substances, misuse weapons, engage in inappropriate sexual activity.
Making Threats & law breaking: This is both wrong and often, illegal. Online behaviour needs to be moderated, preventing threats, intimidation and harassment. It is also important to consider plagiarism and copyright.
Online bullying: When angry it can be difficult to express yourself both verbally and in writing. This can result in misinterpretation and the escalating of issues needs to be solved. Fighting and bullying can be in the form of texts, e-mails or through all the different forms of digital media.
Loss of privacy on the internet can happen in many ways. Disclosing names, passwords, telephone numbers or addresses can put the student or others at risk. Loxdale English Centre is committed to keeping our student data secure and in keeping with GDPR legislation.
Loxdale English Centre is committed to addressing these issues by:
• Ensuring no student can download software or programmes onto our computers
• Making sure that staff are aware of the issues which can arise from under 18s having unmonitored or unrestricted access to the internet.
• Helping students to stay safe online by giving them advice during their induction and by having lessons showing the dangers of the internet.
• Monitoring under 18s use of the internet and not allowing unrestricted access to online content by having security walls.
1.12 Risk Assessments
Loxdale English Centre evaluates the risks posed to students/staff when taking part in an activity. This evaluation forms the basis of our Risk Assessments.
All staff have a duty to read and understand the School’s Risk Assessments and to be trained in Risk Management. They also have to tell their students the risks associated of any activity or trip they join.
1.13 Use of photographic/filming equipment
The School may take photos for publicity purposes. The School has always asked for permission to use these photos from the parents. Staff should be vigilant about other adults taking photos of our students and any concerns should to be reported to the Social Manager, Welfare Officer or Principal.
1.14 Whistle-Blowing Procedure
Loxdale English Centre is committed to high standards of openness and accountability. In line with this we encourage all employees with serious concerns about any aspect of our work, to come forward and raise their concerns without fear of being disloyal or suffering harassment or victimisation as a result. We would always prefer to be made aware of any staff concerns as and when they arise so we can address them quickly and efficiently. We ask all complainants to co-operate fully in any investigation.
The full policy is shown in our Policy file.
1.15 Who’s Who for students
Around the school there are photos of our staff so students recognise them. All staff must also wear their photo security badge/lanyards at all times and, when on social activities, their Loxdale orange T-shirts so students know whom they can approach.
SECTION 2: Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
Loxdale English Centre 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.
We are committed to providing a supportive and safe working environment for our staff. Loxdale recognises that, in order to achieve this aim, we need to attract, recruit, train and retain the highest calibre of staff possible.
Pre selection checks include the following:
• Adverts have a safer recruitment statement.
• All volunteers/staff complete an application form or give a CV.
• All staff are given a job description
• Invited to interview (in person or by skype)
• Our interviews go through any gaps in the CV and talk about our child safeguarding policies.
• Applicants are asked if there is any reason as to why they shouldn’t work with children.
• We need 2 confidential references, incl. one regarding previous work with children if possible. These are taken up and, at least one, confirmed through telephone contact.
• Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo) is given.
• All relevant certificates e.g. teaching or university grades, are photocopied and kept on file.
• Consent is obtained from applicants so that we can take up a DBS check for them.
• If a criminal record comes back to show a reason why the member of staff should not work with children, the offer of work is revoked.
• All staff are given a Staff Handbook together with the School Policy File (including safeguarding ones and risk assessments) and procedures and sign to register that they have understood, read them and will promote them.
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff to:
• Understand our Safeguarding, Prevent and Emergency Policies.
• Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made.
• Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
• Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
• Work safely and effectively with children.
• Think about cultural differences amongst the students.
In addition to this, Loxdale English Centre requires:
• Relevant personnel to have first aid training (where necessary).
• All relevant personnel to undertake an online Child Safeguarding course and undergo in-house training.
SECTION 3: Checklist of welfare issues
|Signs to look out for||Possible issue||Staff input||Action to be taken|
|Students making negative remarks about their homestay||Student feeling unhappy in homestay||Staff to refer student to Accommodation & Welfare Manager||Accommodation & Welfare Manager to assess severity of case, offer assistance in communication with host and/or find alternative host for the student.|
|Students looking depressed and not participating in class/activity||Student feeling a little lonely and homesick||Staff to talk to the student and to refer him/her to Welfare Manager/Social Manager||Social Manager will ensure that the Independent Student Manager meets the student and introduces student to other fellow students.|
|Student attendance issues/lateness||Student may be depressed, very homesick or not enjoying their class||Welfare Manager/Director of Studies talks to the student about their reasons||Accommodation & Welfare Manager to speak to host about the student’s behaviour at home. DoS to speak to the student about their feelings.|
First Aid boxes
Regular checks are made by the Principal and Welfare Officers to ensure:
• there are enough kits
• the kits are regularly checked for stock
• all staff know where they may be found.
All students have 3 emergency phone numbers: for the Principal, Accommodation & Welfare Officer and the Emergency phone/Social Manager. The Emergency phone is held by James Chiesa during the summer months. Each of these staff have the list of host family/student contact details for all students and a list of arrivals and departures. In the event of a call on the emergency phone, staff will report the incident to the Principal on the Monday morning or by e-mail or phone earlier for any serious emergencies.
SECTION 4: Handling allegations and/or suspicions
Allegations by a child or young person must always be taken seriously. It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Loxdale English Centre, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. There is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities. Loxdale English Centre will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Where there is a complaint against a member of staff, there may be three types of investigation:
• a criminal investigation
• a child protection investigation
• a disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.
Reporting concerns about poor practice
If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice, the Welfare Officer and Principal as the designated Child Safeguarding Leads, will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
If the allegation is about poor practice by the Loxdale English Centre’s Child Safeguarding Leads, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the Principal or her employer, Bo Forkman, who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
Reporting concerns about suspected abuse
Please inform the Welfare Officer, Social Manager, Director of Studies or Principal as soon as possible. Please stay calm and do not panic or over-react in front of the student. It is extremely unlikely that they are in immediate danger. Don’t try to deal with it yourself or make any negative comments about the alleged abuser. Don’t gossip about it with colleagues or any other hosts – your actions could cause a criminal or legal case to collapse.
How to respond to allegations of abuse
It is the duty of anyone who works with or hosts children or vulnerable adults to report disclosure of abuse.
It is not for staff or hosts to decide whether or not a suspicion or allegation is true. All suspicions or allegations must be taken seriously and dealt with according to this procedure.
|WHAT TO DO||WHAT NOT TO DO|
|Stay calm||Don’t panic. Don’t over react. It is extremely unlikely that the participant is in immediate danger.|
|Listen, hear and believe||Don’t probe for more information. Questioning the participant may affect how the participant’s disclosure is received at a later date|
|Give time to the person to say what they want||Don’t make assumptions, don’t paraphrase and don’t offer explanations|
|Reassure & explain that they have done the right thing in telling. Explain that only those professionals who need to know will be informed||Don’t promise confidentiality or that everything will be OK (it might not)|
|Use TED: Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me||Don’t put words into their mouths|
|Act immediately in accordance with the procedure in this document||Don’t try to deal with it yourself|
|Record in writing as near as verbatim as possible what was said and as soon as possible||Don’t make negative comments about the alleged abuser|
|Report to Karen or Anna as soon as possible||Don’t gossip with colleagues about what has been said to you|
|Record your report and keep it secure||Don’t make a child repeat a story unnecessarily|
LOXDALE ENGLISH CENTRE
Locks Hill, Portslade
T: +44 (0) 1273 414 973
F: +44 (0) 1273 430 564