HWGTA Safeguarding Policy
The Association will use its best endeavours to safeguard learners deemed to be ‘children’ through the implementation of this policy. Children are learners under 19 years of age and school pupils taking part in vocational training with the Association.
The Association will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable that any placement used is aware of, and complies with the requirements of this Safeguarding policy.
Placement providers for learners under 19 will be reviewed on an individual basis to assess and minimise risk.
Staff and placement providers will receive guidance and where appropriate training on child protection issues.
As a training provider we have a legal responsibility to safeguard all learners in our care. In order to do this we will ensure that all employees are registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and that an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is obtained before any appointment is made. Those already in employment at H/WGTA have had enhanced DBS checks undertaken and will be registered with ISA as soon as this facility becomes available.
Part of our commitment to Safeguarding is ensuring that everyone is aware of the organisation’s policies, procedures and systems. Every allegation that is made must be taken seriously and the correct action and steps must be taken.
As a Training Provider we have certain obligations that we must carry out to ensure the safest working environment we can for both learners and employees. We must make sure that:
- There is a comprehensive and effective safeguarding policy in place
- There is a designated person who deals with safeguarding
- There are effective measures to ensure safer recruitment for staff.
Staff at H/WGTA will all go through formal safeguarding training and procedures will be in place to ensure that the dissemination of safeguarding information is effective and efficient.
Learners and employers will receive an information booklet on safeguarding, whenever a new start occurs.
The Designated Person
A Designated Person is a member of staff who will take responsibility for safeguarding in the company. The Workforce Development Manager, Dave Hider has overall responsibility for safeguarding and a member of the Board, Debbie Gittoes also holds Safeguarding accountability.
The other Designated People at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association, who make up the Safeguarding team, are Stuart Griffiths, Jo Hopcutt, Scarlet Hopcutt and Grahame Davies.
They will deal with and be responsible for all safeguarding procedures and will act on any concerns that are raised. If the designated person decides to further investigate any allegation that is raised, they will appoint a member of staff to conduct the process.
The Designated Person’s responsibilities will include;
- Taking responsibility for promoting positive safeguarding procedures and practices within the organisation.
- Receiving information from, and offer advice to staff, learners and employers.
- Maintaining secure records in relation to safeguarding issues and allegations.
- Assessing information promptly and taking appropriate action.
- Being familiar with national and local safeguarding legislation.
- Knowing who to contact and establish links with their local Safeguarding Board and the relevant people within children and adult services or police.
If there is a problem regarding the Designated Person, the Chief Executive or any one of the current management team can be approached.
The Employers Obligations
Each employer also has a responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of learners in their employment. We accept that learners will take part in one to one contact when in company and it would be impractical to expect the employer to DBS check every employee that may come into contact with the learners, but we will require an assurance that the employer is committed to safeguarding and has all the relevant
information required to enable them to identify the signs and know how to act. If an employer has any concerns they can report it to any member of H/WGTA staff (e.g. field/reviewing officer) or directly to a Designated Person. If H/WGTA has a concern, they will raise the issue with the company representative and agree a course of action.
H/WGTA can refuse to work with and withdraw the services provided to any employer who breaches their commitment to safeguarding. They will also inform the relevant external agencies of any concerns.
The Learners’ Obligations
Whilst there are not any obligations by law, H/WGTA will expect all learners to be vigilant and aware of the signs of potential abuse and report anything they feel is suspicious. We will expect all learners to report issues related to themselves and also related to their fellow learners.
As part of training most Apprentices will attend a five day personal development residential course. The safeguarding procedures in place for this are:
- Risk assessment is carried out by the outdoor centres used on their activities and environment and checked annually before the residential weeks commence, by the member of HWGTA staff who has been appointed as a lead on the residential week
- Sleeping arrangements in the centres for learners are divided by gender
- HWGTA members sleep separately to learners, but in close enough proximity to monitor safety. HWGTA Staff will be located near to same gender learners for monitoring purposes.
- Sleeping arrangements when whole group is together in an outdoor environment is divided by gender. There will always be at least one member of HWGTA staff plus one or more members of activity centre staff present when learners are sleeping in an outdoor environment.
- Where a learner is deemed as having potential or actual safeguarding issues, a risk assessment will be carried out prior to attending and appropriate support measures put in place
- HWGTA will ensure that where we have female learners present on residential week we have female members of staff also present
- HWGTA will ensure that where we have male learners present on residential week we have male members of staff also present
- Learners will be issued with and expected to sign a code of conduct relating to safeguarding issues and expected conduct. Alcohol is prohibited for all apprentices when attending residential, regardless of age
- HWGTA staff will work with centre staff to ensure a safe environment including regular reviews on weather and environmental conditions
Communication between staff and Apprentices using personal social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is strictly prohibited. Staff may only use official company social networking accounts to communicate one way with Apprentices, ie to send out or publish information rather to engage in any “chat” or conversation.
HWGTA staff may use text messaging and email to contact Apprentices for matters relating to their Apprenticeship only.
Physical training occurs within the first year engineering programme, predominantly through road running with additional time spent in a gymnasium environment. In order to protect the safeguarding of participant learners:
- Risk assessment of individual participant abilities
- Risk assessment of running routes
- Risk assessment of gymnasium or other environments used for PT
- Separate changing facilities for staff and learners
Learner Risk Assessment
All learners aged below 19 will have an individual safeguarding risk assessment carried out on them to determine any safeguarding issues and a subsequent appropriate action plan put in place to address any issues
This policy will be reviewed annually to ensure the Association is compliant with legislation and best practice expectations.