This policy applies to all members of the ABC Languages community (including staff, students, volunteers, visitors, partners) who work both inside and outside of ABC Languages premises, and sets out how the school discharges its responsibilities relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students at the school.
This policy will contribute to the safeguarding of pupils/students at ABC Languages by:
ABC Languages recognises its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and seeks to take every reasonable step to safeguard them by adopting child protection guidelines and following procedures for the vetting and training of people who work directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
ABC Languages accepts in loco parentis responsibility of children, as oulined by the school’s Supervision Ratios Policy. ABC Languages recognises that it has a special duty of care towards children and young people under the age of 18, and vulnerable adults and as such, adheres to the following guidelines:
Roles and Responsibilities
All staff should be made aware of their responsibility to maintain confidentially and be aware of their duties to report and record any safeguarding or child protection concerns they may have in accordance with schools safeguarding and child protection procedures.
All staff need to be aware of the systems within ABC Languages which support safeguarding and child protection – this forms part of the induction process but also on-going training which is regularly updated.
In addition, all staff should:
Homestay hosts should:
The Child Protection Officer should:
The School Directors should:
Abuse and Neglect
ABC Languages provides guidelines for recognising potential abuse in line with the current laws and policy regulations surrounding child safety and safeguarding, noting that signs of abuse can be extremely difficult to identify
and that there is no definitive list. A person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm,
or by failing to act to prevent harm.
Abuse may be physical, emotional, or sexual. Neglect is also classified as abuse. Indicators of abuse may include the following:
ABC Languages recognises its responsibility to ensure that all staff recruited into positions where they may come into contact with children or vulnerable adults, has been suitably vetted. When recruiting new staff, ABC Languages will ensure the following:
Delayed Suitability Checks
In the case of delayed suitability checks, staff will be unable to engage in regulated activities unsupervised.
In addition, a seperate Barred List check will be performed immediately.
ABC Languages recognises that students under the age of 18 may come into contact with other adults who are undertaking regulated activity according to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, including accommodation and transport providers. It is our policy to obtain declarations regarding a host’s suitability to work with children, with copies of DBS checks kept on file. Contractors working with ABC Languages on any junior programmes are required to provide a declaration stating that any staff members coming into contact with students under the age of 18 have the appropriate DBS checks in place. We also hold a copy of each contractor’s liability insurance on file.
ABC Languages supports the active involvement of staff in organising trips/ outings/ activities for students, viewing this as an enriching part of their learning experience. The following information is provided to assist staff in the planning and conduct of such activities and to ensure that such activities meet the necessary requirements of health, safety and welfare for all involved.
The organisation, conduct and supervision of games, cultural activities, field trips and educational tours must be of a high standard. The school has an “in loco parentis” responsibility for the students for the duration of the outing. The following considerations must be kepy in mind:-
Parents must be informed of the details of the itinerary and proposed activities, and any requirements – clothing, finance, delivery and collection of student – particular to the Tour. Parents must also be informed of the behaviour expected of students. Students must be informed at the registration stage that final approval to travel rests with the School Management and that the School Management having consulted with the Activity Leader may, at any stage, revoke permission for a student to travel on the Tour. The Activity Leader and teachers travelling on the activity must assess the suitability of pupils applying to travel on the activity. Where there is uncertainty as to the behaviour/co-operation of a student, that student shall not be permitted to travel. It is the task of the Activity Leader to ascertain particular student requirements including food, health, special needs.
Safety is the single governing factor in considering, planning and conducting outings. Proper analysis of risk and the avoidance of any unnecessary risks is therefore essential.
ABC Languages IT Policy applies to all students, teaching and support staff, as well external contractors who use, have access to or maintain school and school related Internet, computer systems and mobile technologies internally and externally.
ABC Languages makes reasonable use of relevant legislation and guidelines to affect positive behaviour regarding ICT and Internet usage both on and off the school site. This will include imposing sanctions for inappropriate behaviour – as defined as regulation of student behaviour under the Education and Inspections Act 2006. ‘In Loco Parentis’ provision under the Children Act 1989 also allows the school to report and act on instances of cyber bullying, abuse, harassment (including sexual harassment), malicious communication and grossly offensive material; including reporting to the police, social media websites, and hosting providers on behalf of Students.
The IT policy covers the use of:
The school has a designated Online Safety Officer, who also acts as the the CPO and reports to the School Directors, and coordinates Online Safety provision across the school. The Online Safety Officer responsibilities include:
Teaching and teaching support staff need to ensure:
Students are requested to:
Permitted and prohibited uses of computer systems - Staff
Staff may use the Company’s World Wide Web access for business use subject to the rules in this Policy. Staff may also use the Company’s World Wide Web access for personal use provided that such use is kept to a reasonable level, does not interfere with your job and does not otherwise breach this policy. However, staff must not under any circumstances use any chat lines or bulletin boards on the Internet.
Where permitted by local law, the Company reserves the right to monitor personal use against compliance with this code and the law generally.
Monitoring - Staff
ABC Languages gives staff notice that, wherever permitted by local law, it reserves the right to monitor and inspect staffs Internet usage and any E-mails sent using the Company’s E-mail system including personal messages at any time. Such monitoring is intended to ensure that this Policy is being adhered to and is effective and that the Company and its employees are acting lawfully.
All “connections” to the Internet from the Company are monitored and recorded in log files. Such monitoring of Internet usage is solely to ensure that this policy is being adhered to and that the Company and its employees are acting lawfully. These files record information of which site has been accessed and by whom. They are liable to be checked on a regular basis.
Offensive Material – Staff & Students
Staff and/or students must not under any circumstances use the Company’s E-mail system or Internet access to access, download, send, receive or view any materials that;
a) Go against the policies of the governments Prevent scheme
b) Could cause offence to any person, for example by reason of:
Harrasment and Bullying
Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct (including failures to act) by an individual (or group of) student/teacher(s) directed towards a fellow student/teacher (or group of students/teachers) which creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile or offensive. It is most typically associated with sex, race, ethnic background or disability.
It is not the intention of the perpetrator that is of primary consideration in deciding whether harassment has occurred, it is the fact that the conduct is regarded by the recipient as unwelcome and offensive which can constitute harassment. Harassment can be cumulative from a pattern of behaviour or from an isolated incident.
In the event that harassment does occur, the Company will deal with complaints in a serious, timely, sensitive and confidential manner and will adopt appropriate measures to ensure that it does not re-occur. Students, teachers or employees found guilty of harassment may be subject to disciplinary measures. In serious cases this could lead to expulsion or dismissal.
The Company insists that all students, employees, and all others with whom students or employees may come into contact by reason of their enrolment/employment, are treated with dignity and respect.
Forms of Harassment
The following are types of behaviour which are unacceptable and may constitute harassment:
All students, teachers and employees are encouraged to report incidents which they believe may constitute harassment to the Operations Manager or to a Director. The Company will take steps to deal seriously with any victimisation or retaliation as a result of making a complaint. The Company considers it to be a disciplinary offence to victimise or retaliate against another student/teacher/employee for bringing a complaint of harassment in good faith. However, any complaint which is found to have been made maliciously (rather than through honest mistake) may result in disciplinary action being taken against the person who made the complaint.
It is the Company's view that those who make a complaint ought, if the complaint is made honestly, to have nothing to fear in making it; those against whom it is made ought to have nothing to fear if there has been no harassment.
In any case of alleged harassment, the relevant Director will assist and support line management (or other appropriate management) in conducting any investigation. The Director should ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly, confidentially, sensitively and in as timely a fashion as possible.
The Directors will monitor the progress of implementing the conclusions arising from the investigation. If a claim is made against a student or employee maliciously, the person making the complaint may be subject to disciplinary action.
If a student/teacher/employee requires independent help in dealing with circumstances of alleged or actual harassment, the Directors may arrange for a confidential counsellor to be involved. There are also a wide range of registered charities and support groups who may be able to help.
In all cases, attempts will be made to undertake and conclude the investigation within as short a period from the initial complaint being received as is commensurate with a thorough investigation. If the complainant or alleged harasser is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation or way in which the investigations were conducted, an appeal should be made in accordance with the Company's grievance or disciplinary procedure as appropriate.
The Directors in association with the investigating manager will keep a record of all meetings and interviews conducted throughout the investigation. These will be used to help in deciding what action should be taken.
In developing this section of the policy, ABC Languages aims to:
Students are active participants in their learning experiences and must take responsibility for achieving their potential through continued attendance and participation.
Monitoring attendance can provide an indication of student commitment, motivation and any difficulties which need to be addressed; it is an essential element of helping students to learn.
Regular attendance and academic achievement are closely linked. Students who regularly attend classes are more likely to enjoy a rewarding experience in which core skills and abilities are developed.
Attendance is a key component in student retention, progression and achievement.
In accordance with its commitment to helping students to fulfil their individual potential, ABC Languages expects all students to attend all scheduled learning sessions.
The only exception to the above should be in circumstances where ill health or other legitimate reasons prevent students attending these sessions. Students are responsible for informing ABC Languages of these circumstances.
Responsibility for implementation of this policy and its procedures lies with the class tutors, the administrative and managerial team and the directors. Students are responsible for their attendance, absence reporting and punctuality.
ABC Languages has an obligation to comply with the requirements of UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) whereby attendance of visa nationals must be tracked and non-attendance reported in accordance with their guidelines.
This procedure is designed to provide all students and staff with clear and explicit guidance regarding the practices adopted to ensure the systematic, consistent and fair implementation of ABC Languages’ Attendance and Absence Policy.
This procedure relates only to issues concerning attendance and absence, and is separate from the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
Attendance – General
Students are required to maintain a minimum of 85% attendance. It is compulsory that all students register on arrival at ABC each day. Attendance is tracked daily and individual student profiles updated on a weekly basis. Students who do not achieve attendance of 85% or higher will NOT receive their end of course attendance certificate and may be asked to leave the course. In the case of visa students, UKVI will be informed.
If the student has failed to attend and notify ABC Languages of the reason for their non-attendance for more than 1 day the Student Welfare Officer will try to telephone the student or their homestay if appropriate. If it is not possible to make contact, the student will be sent a letter/email asking him/her to explain the absence and to indicate when s/he will return to ABC Languages. If no satisfactory answer is received by the end of the first week’s absence, a second letter/email will be sent stating ABC Languages’ intention to report the student to the UKVI, including if considered appropriate contact with the responsible next of kin or emergency contact person. If the student still makes no contact or does not re-appear after a total absence of 10 days (from the first day of absence) they are to be exited, the UKVI informed, and copies of the letter to the UKVI are to be forwarded to the student at all contact addresses.
2. Non-attendance due to ill health, personal or that of a close friend or relative
If the student is unable to attend due to ill health they must contact ABC Languages immediately and remain in contact on a regular basis until they return to their studies. If you are sick for more than two days, we will visit you and may arrange an escorted appointment with the school doctor.
3. Holidays and time off during registered course dates
Students are expected to meet the minimum attendance rate throughout their course. Any other activities are expected to be arranged around the agreed course times. However, in the event that they cannot (e.g. family wedding or funeral) then ABC Languages is to be notified prior to the student attending. If there is no prior notice see part 1 above.
Students are expected to arrive at school in time for lessons to begin. Arriving late interrupts the class and affects the quality of learning for all students. Students who do not arrive at the scheduled lesson start time will be asked to wait until break-time before being allowed to join the class.
Ill Junior Students
ABC Languages encourages its staff, host families, students and the group leaders of the students to notify ABC Languages at the earliest opportunity if a student becomes unwell. ABC Languages operates an emergency phone line which is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At the beginning of each class, a register is taken by the class teacher. If the student has not arrived after 10 minutes of the lesson start time, the class teacher will report the students’ absence to the main office. All absences are followed up.
On being notified that a student is unwell, ABC Languages staff make an assessment as to how to deal with the situation. The following actions may take place.
If the student is travelling as part of a group, then the group leaders are expected to travel with the student to the pharmacy, doctors’ surgery, dentist or Hospital. In the event that a group leader is not available, then a member of ABC Languages staff will attend travel with the student.
In the event that medical attention is not required, and the student remains at their accommodation, group leaders, are encouraged to visit the student. If the group leader is unable to visit the student, then a member of ABC Languages staff will visit the student. In addition, the host family, if available, is expected to supervise the student.
The Prevent strategic objective is to stop people from becoming or supporting terrorists or radicalisation and challenge all forms of terrorism, including the influence from far right extremist groups. The Prevent duty is to protect people from all streams of extremist activity and not solely aimed at one specific group.
The Prevent strategy has 3 key objectives and will specifically:
Prevent is part of safeguarding learners and all EFL providers have a duty to safeguard their learners from all aspects of abuse, exploitation and radicalisation. The Prevent Duty is intended to safeguard providers, learners & staff from being exposed to exploitation or radicalisation and to support the discussion and understanding of complex and controversial issues.
ABC Languages will provide all staff with the support they need to implement the Prevent Duty. This will include the arranging training for staff & management, developing teaching & support materials, sharing good practice from the sector and ensuring communication is frequent and open.
Staff responsibilities under the Prevent Duty – Management
All other staff under the Prevent Duty
Prevent & British Values
In order to comply with the Prevent Duty, ABC Languages exemplifies British Values in their management, teaching practice & general behaviours. British Values are defined as:
The protected characteristics in the Equality Act are:
Learners will also be required to understand how to keep themselves protected from risks associated with radicalisation, extremism, forms of abuse, grooming, bullying & staying safe online.
Academic management and teachers must have an open culture which allows freedom of speech and
exploration of issues that affect learners locally, nationally & internationally.
Emergency Action Plan - Terrorism
ABC Languages has the responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. Our policy is to provide and maintain a safe learning and working environment, and provide information, training and supervision as needed for that purpose.
Terrorism and the threat of Terrorist Attacks are on the increase in many parts of the UK. The Company endeavours through this document to provide the school with a proactive set of procedures to minimise the effect of a terror attack on ABC Languages.
The policy will be kept up to date, particularly as the organisation changes in size and nature. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed regularly, usually annually, but always in the case of increased terrorist activity.
The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements which we will make to implement the policy are set out below.
Section B - Statement of Responsibilities
Overall responsibility for the safety of both staff and students rests with the Directors
Ben Whittaker, Michael Wood or their designate is responsible for this policy being carried out at ABC Languages’ year-round premises.
By law, all employees have the responsibility to co-operate with supervisors and managers to achieve a safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
Whenever an employee, manager or student notices a potential threat to theirs or others safety, they must immediately inform Ben Whittaker, Michael Wood or their designate.
It is the responsibility of our students to co-operate with staff and the management of the school to achieve a safe learning and working environment.
It is the responsibility of The Cambridge Union Society (CUS) to reasonably assist in the safety of all ABC Languages staff and students on site.
Consultation between management and employees is provided by regular meetings between Ben Whittaker, Lesley Whittaker (Directors), the operations team and academic team representative.
Section C – Potential Threats
The UK government in conjunction with MI5 have a system for measuring terrorist threats:
Potential threats of terror can come in various forms:
Minimalising and dealing with threats is further outlined below.
Section D - Prevention
ABC Languages operates within The Cambridge Union Society (CUS). Overall responsibility for site security lies with The Cambridge Union Society. Regular meetings are held between ABC Languages and The Cambridge Union Society to discuss security arrangements. This includes but is not limited to the presence of high profile visitors, everyday security and changes in times of heightened risk.
Additional measures will be put in place and training given in accordance with changes to threat levels and following advice from consultant specialists.
Emergency Action Plan – Fire
Please see seperate Health & Safety Policy.
Safeguarding policy for the provision of online courses.
ABC Cambridge has a selection of online course options referred to as ABC LIVE. ABC LIVE courses are provided for students aged from 5+ and come in five main course types:
Course access - Students
In order to access Moodle, a username and password is required. Credentials are provided to the student or their guardian once the booking is confirmed as part of their booking confirmation. Access to the Moodle learning platform is only provided externally to students taking a course with ABC Cambridge.
Within Moodle, classes have their own independent access rights. Only students assigned to a class can enter the learning space for that class, preventing people without the correct credentials from entering a class.
Within Moodle, there are two common areas; the student library and student common room. Access to these areas is only granted to students attending adult classes, minors do not have access to these areas.
Course access - Staff
Internally, access to Moodle and its classrooms is only given to the following members of staff:
Safeguarding requirements - Staff
Whilst teaching online, all staff adhere to the following safeguarding rules:
Safeguarding requirements – Students
Whilst attending classes, all students are required to adhere to the following guidance: