Safeguarding Policy

Introduction
 

 

This policy is addressed to all members of staff, volunteers, and third parties associated with Invicta  Academy. It is available to parents and carers on request and is published on the Invicta  Academy website. It applies whenever staff or volunteers are working with students in the name of the organisation, which is exclusively during online teaching sessions.
 

Invicta Academy offers affordable, online lessons to children in the UK from ages 6 to 16.
 

All staff and volunteers of Invicta Academy recognise the commitment of the organisation to prioritising the safeguarding of children.

 

Our Academy has an active part to play in protecting students from harm and all staff, volunteers and third parties associated with our organisation must be aware of their responsibilities in this regard.

 

If we have suspicions that a child’s physical, sexual or emotional wellbeing is being, or is likely to be, harmed, or that they are being neglected, abused or exploited, we will follow the procedures set out by the statutory guidance for schools and colleges: ‘Keeping

Children Safe in Education’ (September 2020), and any guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Multi-Agency Partnership or equivalent local body.

 

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children’s Act 1989, the Education Act 2002 and the Children’s Act 2004 and in line with relevant government publications and statutory and other guidance. It should be read alongside ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and ‘What to do if you are Worried a Child is Being Abused - Advice for Practitioners’.

 

We have taken measures to ensure our website and video platform are secure. All content is peer-reviewed by qualified teachers.
 

Invicta Academy cannot take any responsibility for the actions or conduct of any third party who may encounter the child as a result of the provision of Invicta Academy lessons or technology. In these cases, the parent or carer must ensure appropriate supervision of the child. E.g. The installation of a broadband connection into a pupil’s home by a third-party contractor.
 

All users of the Invicta Academy website and associated services, which include all staff, volunteers, students and registered users, are required to read, understand and agree to adhere to the following codes of conduct during their participation of remote learning via Invicta Academy.

 

Definitions

 

Invicta  Academy  - Invicta Academy Community Interest Company (CIC)

Registered Users - parents/carers who sign up their children to services offered by Invicta  Academy.

Aims and Objectives

 

Invicta Academy’s overall aim for this policy is to safeguard and promote the

welfare of the children we are helping to educate.  The emphasis is on prevention through the use of robust procedures, support and guidance for staff, volunteers and students and working to ensure unsuitable people do not work with children. We will always work in the best interests of the child. In situations where abuse is suspected, our paramount responsibility is to the child.
 

Safeguarding
 

In order to ensure that children are protected whilst at accessing lessons provided by Invicta   Academy, we will ensure that our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised.
 

Invicta  Academy operates safer recruitment practices. This will include following the Department of Education (DfE) requirements in checking that applicants are registered appropriately, obtaining references and enhanced DBS checks. In particular, before appointing someone, we follow up each reference with a telephone call or personal contact during which we will discuss the applicant’s suitability to work with children.

We will check that staff and volunteers coming into contact with children have an enhanced DBS check.

Invicta Academy will maintain a single, central record covering all staff and volunteers. All staff and volunteers will receive induction training prior to their starting in work for Invicta Academy, which will give an overview of the organisation and its purpose, values, services and structure in addition to procedures for identifying and reporting abuse and procedures relating to confidentiality issues. All staff including volunteers will receive basic safeguarding information and a copy of this policy and will be required to sign to confirm they have read and understood it.

All staff and volunteers must read, sign and comply with:

 

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education ( September 2020 Part 1) including Annex A.

  • Invicta  Academy’s Zoom protocol.

  • Invicta  Academy’s safeguarding policy.

Invicta Academy will not allow images of pupils to be used on our website,

publicity, or press releases without parental consent. No attendee of the Zoom lessons provided by Invicta  Academy is permitted to capture any images or screenshots from the lessons. Lessons may be recorded by Invicta  Academy for safeguarding purposes and will be stored securely, in line with the Zoom protocol. Recorded lessons will be deleted within six months.

Invicta Academy’s staff and volunteers will ensure that all data about students and registered users is handled in accordance with the requirements of the law including any national and local guidance (GDPR). Regardless of the duty of confidentiality, if any

member of staff or volunteer has reason to believe that a child may be suffering harm, or be at risk of harm, their duty is to forward this information without delay to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Invicta Academy has a duty to ensure that professional behaviour applies to relationships between staff, volunteers and children, and that all members of staff and volunteers are clear about what constitutes appropriate behaviour and professional boundaries. Members of staff and volunteers are required to work in a professional way with children at all times.

 

Teachers/Lesson Facilitators should always save any messages they are concerned about from the Zoom classroom chat and forward these to the DSL.

 

If the Teacher/Lesson Facilitator believes that any student is in imminent danger they should try to maintain contact with the child and immediately contact the DSL as a matter of urgency.
 

Teachers should be aware of cultural and gender stereotyping.

Staff and volunteers should only contact students via the registered user's email address prior to the lesson to send out the appropriate Zoom link and password for the forthcoming lesson.
 

Staff and volunteers should not contact students directly through private telephones (including phone texting), e-mail, instant messaging, or social networking websites and they should not disclose personal details inappropriately.
 

Staff and volunteers must not meet students outside of the scheduled Zoom lesson.
 

Any member of staff or volunteer who has reasonable suspicion that a child is suffering harm must take appropriate action by reporting their concerns to the DSL.
 

Equality Statement

 

Some children have an increased risk of abuse, and additional barriers can exist for some children with respect to recognising or disclosing it. Invicta Academy is committed to anti-discriminatory practice and recognises children’s diverse circumstances. We ensure that all children have the same protection, regardless of any barriers they may face.

 

We give special consideration to children who:

 

  • Have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities

  • Are young carers

  • May experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification or sexuality

  • Have English as an additional language

  • Are known to be living in difficult situations – for example, temporary accommodation or where there are issues such as substance abuse or domestic abuse or a family member is in prison.

  • Are at risk of FGM, sexual exploitation, trafficking, involvement in gangs, forced marriage, or radicalisation, are asylum seekers

  • Are at risk due to either their own or a family member’s mental health needs

  • Are looked after or previously looked after.

 

Child Protection Procedures

 

Any member of staff with a cause for concern relating to Child Protection should

immediately raise the issue with the DSL. Allegations of child abuse must always be given the highest priority and be referred immediately to the DSL. If at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child, a referral should be made to children’s social care and the Police. Anybody can make the referral. The DSL will then decide on an appropriate course of action based on

the relevant Local Authority Safeguarding Children Multi-Agency Partnership guidelines.

 

The DSL will arrange for the following files to be secured:

 

  • Recording of the lesson.

  • The Lesson plan and slides from the teacher.

 

Allegations against staff and volunteers:

 

Teachers must protect themselves by following guidance from the Zoom protocol, especially when working with students, and staff should bear in mind that even perfectly innocent actions could sometimes be misconstrued. All our lessons are recorded and recordings and any information held will be used in all investigations.

 

If anyone makes an allegation that any member of staff may have:

 

  • Committed an offence against a child; or

  • Placed a child at risk of significant harm; or

  • Behaved in a way that calls into question their suitability to work with children, the allegation will be dealt with in accordance with national guidance and agreements. 

  • The designated member of staff will handle such allegations.

 

Teachers who hear an allegation of abuse or who have any cause for concern that has Child Protection repercussions against another member of staff should report the matter immediately to the DSL so that all internal procedures can be followed.
 

Dealing with Disclosures/Supporting Children at Risk
 

Staff and volunteers will receive induction training about what to do and how to behave if a child makes a disclosure of abuse. If a child chooses to tell a member of staff or volunteer about possible abuse, there are a number of measures that should be taken to support the child:

 

  • Stay calm and be available to listen.

  • Listen with the utmost care to what the child is saying

  • Do not promise confidentially to the pupil involved. 

  • Inform the child that you cannot keep the information confidential and that this information will now have to be passed on.

  • Reassure the child and let them know they were right to inform us.

  • Discuss normally without pressurising and without using leading questions. 

  • If at all possible, try not to question what the child is telling you – this can confuse and complicate the child’s memory of the event.

  • Don’t put words into the child’s mouth but note the main points carefully.

  • Repeating back the words used by the child indicates that you have listened carefully and have acknowledged/validated the child’s thoughts and feelings.

  • Keep a full record and timeline of events – date, time, what the child did, said, etc.

  • Ensure a copy of the Chat on Zoom is kept.

  • Immediately inform the DSL.

  • If the student report is in a private classroom message, please then copy and paste the full message into a word document.

 

Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Child Protection is Mrs Caroline Platt who can be contacted at safeguarding@invictaacademy.com or on 07838 401857. 

 

The Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead for Child Protection is Mrs Anna Firth who can be contacted at founders@invictaacademy.com or on 07807857230.

 

The DSL and Deputy DSL will carry out the role in accordance with the responsibilities outlined in Appendix B of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2019).

 

Contact Numbers 

Additional support

Central Duty: For urgent child protection issues outside of office hours, call the Integrated Front Door: 03000 411111 (out of hours number: 03000 419191)

101Childline: 
 

NSPCC: 0800 028 0285

 

Your local County Council: 
 

Childline: 0800 1111
 

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