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Safeguarding Policy

Our University Principles make it clear that we treat everyone with respect, we will not tolerate sexual misconduct, violence or abuse and we will take all reasonable steps to keep our campus and community safe. It is also a principle that “we” means all of us, students and staff.

We recognise that we have a fundamental responsibility to provide an environment in which individuals of all ages, whether staff, student or visitor, may work, learn and develop in a safe environment. This responsibility includes an ethical and moral duty to safeguard children and Adults at Risk at any time when they are engaging with our staff, students, volunteers and contractors in University-led activities, whether on or off of our campus. This core value is at the heart of our interaction with our wider community and acknowledges that in all our interactions with children and Adults at Risk, their welfare is of paramount importance.

This policy goes beyond the University’s basic legal obligations and seeks to reflect general safeguarding guidance and good practice relating to the higher education sector.

1. The Purpose of this Policy

The purpose of this Safeguarding Policy and its associated guidance documents is to set out our responsibilities, processes and procedures and outline how we will:

  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for children and Adults at Risk who engage with our staff, students and volunteers in the course of our work and University led activities.
  • Ensure that staff and students facilitating or supporting programmes and activities working with children and Adults at Risk have defined responsibilities, as set out in the associated documents.
  • Ensure that staff and students engaging with children and Adults at Risk receive relevant safeguarding training and understand their role and responsibilities.
  • Ensure that there is a clear reporting and escalation route should staff or students become aware of a safeguarding concern.

2. Scope

This Policy applies to staff, students and volunteers engaging in University-led activity whether on the University campus or elsewhere and covers our interaction with children and Adults at Risk who are current students, prospective students or who are otherwise participating in University related activities including our core activities of teaching and research, or for example are taking part in University-led sports, holiday schemes, volunteering projects, outreach and widening participation.

The policy provides guidance on our internal procedures, but acknowledges that it may be appropriate in certain circumstances to report safeguarding concerns about children or Adults at Risk to a range of external agencies.

The University recognises that young people can be at risk of being drawn into extremist ideologies which can lead to a risk of radicalisation. In the context of University Safeguarding Policy, the risk of being drawn into extremist ideologies and radicalisation is considered to be a significant safeguarding concern which is of equal weight alongside other forms of abuse and mistreatment of children and Adults at Risk. A safeguarding concern of this nature would also fall within the scope of Prevent at Warwick.

A small number departments also need a “local” Safeguarding Policy and related local procedures to ensure that they are able to meet specific Regulatory requirements that do not apply to the University as a whole, for example Children’s Services and the Centre for Teacher Education both of which are subject to OFSTED inspection.

In the event that the University-led activity is hosted by another organisation within their own facilities, the host organisation’s Safeguarding Policy and related procedures will normally take precedence, but members of the University engaging in those programmes must also take note of, and act in accordance with the University’s Safeguarding Policy to the extent that this is possible in the particular circumstances.

3. Definitions

Child: References to “child” or “children” in this policy means anyone under the age of 18 years.

Adult at Risk: The University bases its definition of an “Adult at Risk” on that used within the Data Protection Act 2018 and defines an Adult at Risk as someone over 18 years of age who (i) has needs for care and support; and (ii) is experiencing, or is at risk of, neglect, or physical, mental or emotional harm; and (iii) as a result of those needs is unable to protect themselves against neglect or harm, or the risk of it.

Safeguarding Children: In defining our approach towards children, the University draws on the definition used by the DfE in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 (KCSE).While KCSE only applies to Schools and Colleges, we will play our part in:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment.
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development.
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Safeguarding Adults at Risk: While the University is not subject to the provisions of the Care Act 2014, the University draws broadly on this act to inform its policy on safeguarding Adults at Risk. We will play our part to:

  • Ensure that the rights of Adults at Risk are protected to enable them to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
  • Ensure that the wellbeing of the Adult at Risk is promoted and that in deciding on any action to be taken we will take into account their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs, for example when considering whether to refer concerns to statutory bodies or when seeking support from charitable organisations.

However we recognise that Adults at Risk sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances and may not fully appreciate potential risks to their safety or well-being and therefore it may not always be possible to fully defer to their wishes when seeking he best way forward.

Member of the University: Reference to a “Member of the University” includes staff, students and alumni of the University.

Staff: References to ‘staff’ include all paid University staff whether working on a permanent or temporary contract, apprentices, or engaged as “third party contract staff” working directly for the University.

Student: References to “student” includes all students registered with the University, including those based in partner organisations who are registered with the University to gain a professional qualification and third party apprentices for whom we provide training.

Volunteer: “Volunteers” are generally members of the university but may include other associated persons volunteering to lead or support University-led activities for which they are not paid including for example volunteering activity through Warwick Volunteers, Warwick in Africa or similar initiatives, supporting Widening Participation and Outreach events, etc.

Contractor: Contractors are employed by third party organisations to carry out work on behalf of the University. It is the responsibility of the contractor’s employer to ensure that all necessary employment and safeguarding suitability checks are completed and to provide assurance to the University that this has been done.

“Work with children or Adults at Risk”: Within this policy “Work with children or Adults at Risk” includes all engagement with children and Adults at Risk whether in a professional capacity in connection with the work of the University, or in the course of other University-led activities supported by members of the University whether working in a paid or unpaid capacity.

4. Safeguarding children and Adults at Risk

We have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children and Adults at Risk can live, learn and develop develop. We understand that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and Adults at Risk is everyone’s responsibility and we all have a role to play in protecting them in so far as we are reasonably able to do so within the context of a university environment and in relation to University-led activities.

(a) Responsibilities of the University Safeguarding Team

The University will appoint and maintain a University Safeguarding Team led by the Director of Wellbeing and Safeguarding. The Director of Wellbeing and Safeguarding is also the University Designated Person for Safeguarding.

The University Safeguarding Team has specific responsibility to promote good safeguarding practice and ensure that the University has a fit for purpose Safeguarding Policy and related procedures that are reviewed at least annually by a Safeguarding Policy Review Group and, if necessary, revised to meet evolving Regulatory requirements and relevant Best Practice Guidance.

The University Safeguarding Team will:

  • Ensure that the University Safeguarding Policy and accompanying procedures, advice and guidance are fit for purpose and sufficient to ensure that University meets its statutory obligations and complies generally with good practice and where reasonably possible, with safeguarding guidance issued by relevant statutory bodies concerned with such matters.
  • Ensure that Academic and Professional Service Departments are aware of their duties under the University Safeguarding Policy and receive any assistance that they may require to arrange appropriate training and guidance on developing their safeguarding-related policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that appropriate safeguarding training is available for members of the University who work with children and Adults at Risk, whether directly in the course of their work, or indirectly by being involved in the selection process of staff who do work directly with children and Adults at Risk.
  • Ensure that that processes and procedures are in place for relevant recruitment checks and that these are conducted for relevant roles including, but not limited to: DBS checks where lawfully permitted, Certificates of Good Conduct, Teacher Prohibition Orders, safeguarding aspects of Fitness to Practice procedures, and that any issues arising from these checks are resolved before engagement with children or Adults at Risk commences.
  • Ensure that routes to report or escalate safeguarding concerns are clearly “signposted”, accessible and appropriately monitored.
  • Ensure that reported safeguarding concerns are reviewed, specialist guidance sought and appropriate action taken to escalate internally and / or to the relevant external agency within statutory time frames.
  • Prepare and submit referrals as appropriate to Ofsted, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and / or Local Authority Children’s or Adults Safeguarding Board.

(b) Responsibilities of Academic and Professional Service Departments

In order to meet our safeguarding responsibility towards children and Adults at Risk under this policy, Academic and Professional Service Departments that work with children and Adults at Risk must ensure that appropriately trained staff are available and that procedures are in place to ensure that the department can comply with the University’s Safeguarding Policy.

It is recognised that the level of engagement with children and Adults at Risk varies considerably between departments. Guidance on what arrangements would be appropriate in a range of particular circumstances is provided within accompanying documents, but departments should also seek advice from the University’s Safeguarding Team.

Departments that work with children or Adults at Risk must:

  • Appoint a Department Safeguarding Contact (DSC).
  • Appoint a Department Safeguarding Lead (DSL) if the department has an extensive programme working with children and Adults at Risk. The DSL may also act as the DSC.
  • Ensure that financial provision is set aside to provide appropriately trained staff to support the department’s work with children and Adults at Risk.
  • Ensure that departmental staff, students and volunteers who work with children and Adults at Risk, are selected or recruited in line with Safer Recruitment best practice and subsequently receive appropriate safeguarding training which is updated at least annually and in accordance with the appended training schedule.
  • Ensure that procedures are in place to record the department’s work with children and Adults at Risk and to inform the University Safeguarding Team of this activity.
  • Ensure that an appropriate Safeguarding Risk Assessment is carried out and that any actions identified by the risk assessment are completed before the activity commences. For example this could include, parental (carer) consent forms, contact information, allergens and dietary constrains, IT acceptable use agreement, etc.
  • Ensure that departmental staff, students and volunteers who work with children and Adults at Risk are familiar with departmental and University safeguarding procedures to report and escalate safeguarding related concerns.

(c) Responsibilities of Individual Members of the University Community

In line with the University’s Principles we all have a duty to ensure that we treat everyone with respect, we should therefore report any concerns that we may have that children or Adults at Risk are being abused or mistreated and that children and Adults at Risk who engage with our staff, students and volunteers in the course of our work and University led activities, do so in a safe and supportive environment.

Individual members of the University Community must:

  • Ensure that children and Adults at Risk are treated with respect and supported whenever they engage in University led activity.
  • Undertake appropriate training as detailed in the accompanying documents before engaging in any University-led activity involving children or Adults at Risk.
  • Ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities to safeguard children and Adults at Risk whether they are acting as a paid member of University staff or supporting University-led activity in an unpaid capacity as a volunteer.
  • Ensure that they are aware how to report a safeguarding concern to their line manager or others in a leadership role for activities involving children or Adults at Risk. Any such concerns can be reported verbally or via the University’s online Safeguarding Concern reporting procedure.

5, Guidance

This policy provides the overall framework and statement of principles regarding the University’s approach to safeguarding children and Adults at Risk. The accompanying documents provide detailed guidance on safeguarding roles, processes and procedures. However support and specific advice relating to the implementation and duties under this policy can be provided by the University Safeguarding Team. Contact details are provided in the appended documents.

 

The Relevant policies and guidance that support the University’s commitment to safeguarding our community are as follows:

Child Protection Policy and appendices and guidance notes:

University Nursery Policies and Procedures

Health and Safety Policy and associated guidance:

Wellbeing Support Services Policies and associated guidance:

Fitness to Practise for Students (including University Regulation 34)

Dignity at Warwick Policy

Suitability of Staff working with children or adults at risk

Reporting an incident / disclosure / concern relating to the safeguarding of children or adults at risk

  • For immediate advice and support out of hours, please contact Security Services on 02476 522083, noting that if any individual child or adult is perceived to be at serious risk of immediate harm off campus, the relevant emergency service should be contacted.
  • To report a child safeguarding incident, disclosure or concern:
  • Should you have a safeguarding concern or have received a disclosure in relation to an adult at risk and are not certain from the relevant policy above about what you should do, contact the University’s Director of Wellbeing and Safeguarding as the accountable senior officer for safeguarding by emailing safeguarding@warwick.ac.uk

Legal Framework and Government Guidance:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000
  • The Education Act (2002) Section 175
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • The Children Acts of 1989 and 2004
  • The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • The Care Act 2014
  • DBS Code of Practice November 2015
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2019

Other useful information

Health and Safety Executive: Children and Young People in the Workplace

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) 

NSPCC

Disclosure and Barring Service

While the above listed policies and guidance collectively underpin the University’s provision of a safe and secure environment and support the fulfilment of the University’s statutory duties, the University is working towards further integrating the range of policies that contribute to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk.