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SAFEGUARDING POLICY

This document brings together the key principles of Safeguarding, the Prevent Duty, Equality, Diversity and Health and Safety.  Rubitek is fully committed to safeguarding and accepts responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of its learners / apprentices and staff.

This policy has been created with reference to "Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021).

Rubitek acknowledges that it is the duty of its workforce to uphold fundamental British Values and to safeguard the welfare of all by creating an environment that protects individuals from harm and reduces any potential risks of being exposed to violence, extremism, exploitation, or victimisation.  

 

The company operates a culture of openness and transparency and embeds the principles of the 5 R’s: 

  • Recognise the signs and indications of abuse 

  • Respond as soon as possible 

  • Record everything you have heard, was said or any actions seen 

  • Report the concern / incident 

  • Refer to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) 

All staff and learners / apprentices must read and understand the contents of this Policy and remain aware of its contents and act accordingly. A copy of this policy is available to all staff, learners / apprentices and their employees via the Rubitek Learning Management Platform.

1.  Policy Statement

Rubitek has a statutory duty to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm.  Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as 'Protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.' 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1080047/KCSIE_2022_revised.pdf 

 

The aim of this Policy is to provide a caring, welcoming and safe environment for all staff and learners / apprentices, so that they can learn and work in a positive and secure atmosphere.  Rubitek will achieve this in the following ways: 

  • Teach learners / apprentices how to keep safe and recognise behaviour that is unacceptable 

  • Identify the expectations of staff and promote their understanding and responsibilities relating to safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance 

  • Ensure relevant and effective safeguarding practices are in place and staff are appropriately trained to carry out practices 

  • Promote awareness to staff of the need to safeguard children, vulnerable adults and all people and to raise awareness of different types of abuse 

  • Ensure that the fundamental rights and needs of learners / apprentices are observed 

  • Ensure staff and learners / apprentices are protected from abuse regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and gender 

  • Take suspicions and allegations of abuse, including risks of radicalisation, extremely seriously and to respond to concerns in a timely manner and with consideration 

  • Provide guidelines for staff in handling matters relating to actual or suspected child abuse 

  • Prevent the risk of abuse by ensuring procedures and standards are in place and ensure staff act professionally 

  • Ensure that the fundamental rights and needs of Rubitek applicants, learners / apprentices and staff are observed 

  • Deter potential, unsuitable individuals from applying to Rubitek by demonstrating attentiveness and vigilance in relation to safeguarding through the website, job advertisements and safer recruitment processes 

  • Reject anyone about whom we have doubts about suitability 

  • Work in partnership and in accordance with external organisations 

  • Have a designated safeguarding lead in place to advise on and manage any concerns and referrals 

  • Ensure sensitive personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirements of GDPR

2.  Definitions

  • Children and young adults are those under the age of 18.

  • Vulnerable adults as defined in Section 59 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Groups Act 2006 and / or those persons aged 18 and over who by reason of mental or any other disability, age or illness are, or may be, unable to look after or to protect themselves against harm or exploitation. 

  • Adults at risk of harm defined as people aged 18 years or over who may need or receive community care services by reason of mental health or other disability, age or illness and who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation. 

  • Abuse: 

    • Sexual abuse (inappropriate behaviour or relationship) including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, teasing or innuendo or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting. 

    • Physical abuse including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, restraint, or inappropriate physical sanctions. 

    • Emotional abuse including threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation. 

    • Neglect including ignoring medical, emotional, or physical care needs. 

    • Female Genital Mutilation. 

    • Exploitation including theft, fraud, sexual, forced marriage, forced labour through modern slavery and/or human trafficking. 

    • Grooming (e.g., for a sexual, criminal or radicalisation intent). 

    • Domestic violence. 

    • Bullying, including cyber bullying. 

    • Victimisation. 

    • Self-harm such as neglecting to care for personal hygiene, health or surroundings. 

  • A vulnerable person is someone:

    • Substantially dependent upon others in performing basic physical functions, or their ability to communicate with other providing services, or to communicate with others, is severely impaired. 

    • Living in in sheltered housing or residential accommodation, such as a care home or a residential special school. 

    • Receiving any form of health domiciliary care in their own home. 

    • Detained in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution, secure training centre or attendance centre or under the powers of the Immigration and Asylum Act. 

    • In contact with probation services. 

    • Receiving a welfare service. 

    • Receiving a service or participating in an activity which is specifically targeted at people with age-related needs, disabilities or prescribed physical or mental health conditions. 

    • Receiving direct payments from a local authority in lieu of social care services. 

    • In need of assistance in the conduct of their own affairs. 

  • Other risks of a safeguarding issue:

    • Poor numeracy and literacy skills, or specific learning needs. 

    • English is not a first language. 

    • Unsupportive employer. 

    • Under-represented group. 

    • Acting as a carer for another family member. 

    • Background in offending or is showing signs of being drawn in to antisocial or criminal behaviour. 

    • Has a disability or social need. 

    • Has special educational needs (whether they have a statutory Education, Health and Care Plan). 

    • Lives ‘In Care’ or has recently transitioned out of Care. 

    • Is a young carer. 

    • Is frequently missing or goes missing from care or from home. 

    • Is within a family circumstance presenting challenges. 

  • Any safeguarding concern will be referred to as a concern throughout this document. 

3.  Roles and Responsibilities

The Rubitek Senior Management Team (SMT) ensures safeguarding processes and procedures are robust and consistently applied, policies and procedures are updated, implemented, and followed, and sufficient time and training resources are allocated to all employees, partners and suppliers. 

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is responsible for the overall management of safeguarding issues and reports to the SMT on any issues that arise. The DSL deals with concerns over the welfare of learners / apprentices, signposts and offers guidance, carries out investigations where appropriate and coordinates escalation processes liaising with external bodies such as local multi-agency safeguarding partnerships where cases of suspected abuse or allegations are raised.  The DSL is not entitled to give formal legal advice but is able to obtain such advice from experts and maintains links with local multi-agency safeguarding partners, informing and advising on legislation changes and current safeguarding themes.  The DSL monitors the safeguarding@rubitek.co.uk email inbox and ensures all concerns are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.  If necessary, the DSL will refer details of the circumstances to the Independent Safeguarding Authority dealing with suspicions or allegations of abuse.  The DSL takes lead responsibility for raising awareness across all employees relating to the welfare of children and young people. 

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL): 

Kerry Linley

kerry.linley@rubitek.co.uk

Telephone 0330 133 0540

Trainers, assessors and mentors check the safety and welfare of learners / apprentices at each visit / communication. They must be aware of safeguarding indicators and if there is a suspected safeguarding concern follow organisational reporting procedures.  

REPORTING A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN 

If any person raises a concern about either their own personal welfare and wellbeing, or the personal welfare and wellbeing of another learner / apprentice, or member of staff, the person who receives the concern must listen to and record all information on Rubitek's Safeguarding Referral Form.  The following rules must be applied when completing the Form: 

  • Make no judgements or assumptions. 

  • Take any actions required to secure the immediate safety of the child or the adult at risk. 

  • Ask the learner / apprentice, or member of staff for their consent to refer the concern to the DSL. 

  • If the safety and / or wellbeing of the learner / apprentice, or member of staff is at risk and you believe the risk would increase if additional support and guidance is not sought, refer the matter to the DSL even if the learner / apprentice, or memeber of staff does not give their consent for you to do so.  The DSL will then decide the appropriate course of action. 

  • If the concern relates to a member of staff, follow the protocol outlined in the Whistleblowing Policy.

  • If a referral is made to an external organisation / agency the DSL will complete a Safeguarding Referral Form. 

  • Do not provide copies of the Form to anyone. 

  • Give the original Form to the DSL. 

Staff must be always mindful of confidentiality. No follow up information should be passed on to a person who raised a concern without the express consent of the person the concern relates to.

OBSERVING A CONCERN IN THE WORKPLACE

If any person observes a concern that takes place within the apprentice / learner employer setting, staff should take action to stop the activity immediately, inform the individual involved of the concern, and secure the safety of the person at risk.  Staff should report the concern to the workplace safeguarding representative and ask the person concerned to remove themselves from the area and report to the safeguarding representative.  

Staff must be mindful of the differences between poor practice, and a safeguarding issue and apply action(s) appropriately.  Complete the Safeguarding Referral Form. 

If any person reports unsafe practices or safeguarding concerns about the working / learning environment, staff must advise the person to follow their employer in-house reporting or whistle blowing procedures and offer support and intervention if required. 

 

REPORTING FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The FGM mandatory reporting duty is a legal duty provided for in the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015). The legislation requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the police where, in the course of their professional duties, they are either:

 

  • Informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her 

  • Observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth 

 

For the purposes of the duty, the relevant age is the girl’s age at the time of the disclosure / identification of FGM (i.e., it does not apply where a woman aged 18 or over discloses, she had FGM when she was under 18). Complying with the duty does not breach any confidentiality requirement or other restriction on disclosure which might otherwise apply.  

The duty is a personal duty which requires the individual who becomes aware of the case to make a report; the responsibility cannot be transferred. The only exception to this is if you know that another individual from the company has already made a report; there is no requirement to make a second. Reports under the duty should be made as soon as possible after a case is discovered, and best practice is for reports to be made by the close of the next working day. You should act with at least the same urgency as is required by your local safeguarding processes. A longer timeframe than the next working day may be appropriate in exceptional cases where, for example, a professional has concerns that a report to the police is likely to result in an immediate safeguarding risk to the child (or another child, e.g., a sibling) and considers that consultation with colleagues or other agencies is necessary prior to the report being made. If you think you are dealing with such a case, you are strongly advised to consult the DSL as soon as practicable, and to record and maintain accurate records.

SAFER RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION 

 

Rubitek complies with best practice in the recruitment and training of staff, in line with legislative requirements and is committed to recruiting staff who are suitable to work with children.  Its Recruitment Policy supports this document. 

Rubitek will ensure safeguarding considerations are incorporated into every stage of the recruitment process.  Applicant identities are checked at interview and all job offers are subject to appropriate reference checks.  Individual’s criminal convictions are checked on appointment, appropriate to the job role, via Enhanced DBS Disclosure and used in the interim with additional supervision and monitoring in place. Confirmation of DBS checks are confirmed soon after appointment with 3 yearly renewals in place as follows: 

  • Administrative / non-teaching staff who do not come into contact with learners / apprentices:  Standard DBS 

  • Staff who are in direct contact with learners / apprentices:  Enhanced DBS 

 

Employers are responsible for ensuring the necessary checks are in place for all learners / apprentices where this is necessary. 

INDUCTION AND TRAINING 

All staff receive mandatory safeguarding training at induction and throughout their employment.  Staff must take part in ongoing training and awareness, information, advice and guidance so that they understand their individual responsibilities and maintain their professional development.  As part of this process, Rubitek will ensure that all new staff know how to spot the signs and indicators of abuse, neglect, bullying and / or harassment within the twelve-week induction period via appropriate certificated training in safeguarding.  All staff will have access to training resources and ongoing legislative updates as well as regular safeguarding refresher training.   All staff know how to respond to an individual who discloses a safeguarding concern. 

 

RECORDS 

Rubitek will keep clear, comprehensive records of any disclosures and / or allegations of abuse.  The company will comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, which allows for disclosure of personal data where this is necessary to protect the interests of a learner / apprentice.  It is therefore important that staff record precisely what has been alleged, using the words of the complainant and use accurate quotation.  It should also, if appropriate, include factual observations about the observable physical and emotional state of the individual sharing their concerns. Information should be accessible only to those with a need to access it as part of further investigation and action. 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY  

 

All matters relating to welfare and safeguarding issues are highly confidential. Rubitek will disclose information internally or to an external organisation on a ‘need to know’ basis only.  All records and referral letters will be electronic and kept on a secure server accessible only by the DSL and those in the SMT with a safeguarding responsibility.  There must not be any record printed or stored on a hard drive or memory stick.  All communication (verbal or written) must be classified and clearly marked as Confidential.

 

SAFEGUARDING THROUGH TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT  

 

Rubitek is committed to promoting awareness of learner / apprentice safeguarding issues and does so by providing development opportunities and regular communications for staff to ensure:

 

  • they are aware of the reporting procedures and can recognise the signs and / or symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect, as well as radicalisation and extremism.   

  • any relevant history, particularly in relation to potential indicators of abuse or neglect is recorded confidentially within the learner / apprentice records and the DSL is informed 

  • they know how to work closely with employers to ensure that they have appropriate and effective safeguarding and prevent policies and procedures in place 

  • safeguarding and wellbeing features regularly in teaching sessions 

  • safeguarding and wellbeing sessions are provided to employers free of charge 

  • monthly newsletters are sent to staff, learners / apprentices and their employers 

SUPPORTING EMPLOYEES 

Rubitek recognise that staff who have become involved with a child or vulnerable person who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.  It will support staff by providing them with the opportunities to discuss their anxieties with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer, Human Resources, or a person of choice.  It will also if appropriate make a referral to an external agency to provide additional support or signpost to appropriate partner agencies. 

STAFF PROTECTING THEMSEVLES

Staff can protect themselves from allegations of abuse by avoiding personal and social contact with learners / apprentices and minimising the risk of any situation arising in which misunderstandings can occur.  Staff MUST NOT: 

  • Engage in flirting, innuendo, suggestive remarks, discriminatory comments or make suggestions 

  • Issue or threaten any form of physical punishment 

  • Engage in any sort of sexual relationship with a learner / apprentice

  • Photograph or film learners / apprentices without prior consent and never for reasons that are not relevant to the apprenticeship / learning 

  • Keep photograph(s) or film(s) of learners / apprentices on personal devices

  • Send any audio and / or visual material that has inappropriate content to or about learners / apprentices 

  • Invite, or allow a learner / apprentice to their home or another location where the purpose is one of friendship or an intimate relationship

  • Give a learner / apprentice a lift in a vehicle unless this has been authorised by the SMT

  • Do things of a personal nature for learners / apprentices that they can do for themselves 

  • Dismiss an allegation of any sort relating to welfare, or delay the reporting of an allegation, concerning a learner / apprentice 

  • Withhold any disclosure should they suspect abuse 

  • Spend excessive amounts of time alone with learners / apprentices, away from others 

  • Make unnecessary physical contact with learners / apprentices - there may be occasions where physical contact is unavoidable however contact should only take place with consent of the individual 

  • Arrange to meet a learner / apprentice outside of working hours unless it is with consent of a the SMT 

  • Give gifts and / or substances including drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigarettes to a learner / apprentice, and nor should they accept the same

STAFF MUST: 

  • Work in a room where they can be visibly seen 

  • Plan activities that involve more than one person or be within sight and hearing of others. If it is unavoidable always ensure the DSL is aware of the situation and why it is necessary 

  • Be aware of the procedures for reporting concerns or incidents and be familiar with the contact details of the DSL 

  • Treat all learners / apprentices equally and with respect 

  • Ensure allegations or disclosures by a learner / apprentice are taken seriously and reported 

  • Never befriend or chat to learners / apprentices on private social networking sites 

  • Always use professional language when writing, phoning, emailing or using social media to communicate with learners / apprentices

  • Be aware that learners / apprentices can develop infatuations (crushes) towards colleagues working with them and respond to the situation in a way that maintains the dignity of all concerned 

  • Act as a role model 

  • Set and monitor appropriate boundaries and relationships when working with learners / apprentices based on openness, honesty and respect for them 

  • Respect a right to personal privacy but never agree to keep any information relating to the harm of a learner / apprentice confidential 

  • Provide support to a learner / apprentice making a complaint or reporting a concern 

  • Report any concerns without delay and record all the facts 

ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST STAFF 

Allegations made against a member of staff must always be treated seriously and investigated thoroughly and expeditiously, in line with internal disciplinary and grievance procedures for managing allegations against employees.  

WHISTLEBLOWING

Everyone has a right and a responsibility to raise concerns about the behaviour of staff, or learners / apprentices, where such behaviour may be harmful to others in their care, and individuals will receive appropriate support when doing so. Staff, and learners / apprentices are encouraged to share any concerns they may have so that problems can be identified, dealt with and resolved quickly without prejudice to their own position. 

Further information on Whistleblowing can be found in the Whistleblowing Policy. 

4.  IT Usage 

All Staff have access to the internet. This internet usage may be checked at regular intervals in line with the IT and Software Management Policy, to understand not only how often the internet is being used but also what it is being used for.  All staff are expected to comply with all Rubitek Policies and any material found, however it is stored (e.g., on a hard drive or USB), that is deemed to be inappropriate is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in line with internal disciplinary and grievance procedures. 

Learners / apprentices who use the internet whilst on Rubitek premises are also subject to regular checks and will be made aware of this and the rules regarding inappropriate use, before using the equipment.  Staff must ensure learners / apprentices are aware of good practice in online safety. 

5.  Visitors

Visitors to Rubitek premises must sign in and out of the visitor book and wear a visitors badge which must be returned upon leaving the premises.  Visitors must be always accompanied. 

6.  Updates

This Policy is version 1.1 and was last updated on 30th May 2023.  Responsibility for updating and dissemination of this Policy rests with the Directors.

ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARDING RESOURCES 

  • The Leicestershire Police Adult and Elder Abuse web page contains details of a range of resources and partner agencies, along with details of how to contact them.

  • The Violence Intervention Projection is part of the Violence Reduction Work and delivered by Turning Point across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.  Telephone 0116 373 2140, or email LLRVIPteam@turning-point.co.uk

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