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Safeguarding & Protecting Vulnerable Adults

AUGUST 2020

INTRODUCTION

  1. MGTS is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment for all children and vulnerable adults.  It accepts the responsibility to help safeguard the welfare of the learners and protect them from harm.
  2. Every individual member of staff has a responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of learners.
  3. MGTS publicises and promotes its Safeguarding Policy, procedures and good practice guidance and is committed to ensuring that concerns are taken seriously and acted upon swiftly and appropriately.
  4. MGTS recognises the roles and responsibilities of the statutory agencies in safeguarding learners and the responsibility and expertise of the relevant agencies in determining whether young people have, or may have, been abused or otherwise harmed.
  5. MGTS is committed to complying with legislation and working with statutory agencies on matters relating to safeguarding and where MGTS receives a concern it will refer the matter to the appropriate statutory agency where appropriate.
  6. MGTS is committed to directly challenging conduct that is, or may be, harmful to learners.
  7. MGTS agrees to the following principles:

PRINCIPLES

  1. As a general principle, MGTS has a statutory responsibility to:
    • Safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people
    • Work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to identify, assess and support those children who are suffering from or risk of harm
    • Implement the Prevent Duty to safeguard individuals from radicalisation
  2. The three main elements of the policy are:
    1. Prevention:
      • Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected; feel confident and know how to obtain help and support
      • Training and raising awareness of all staff of the need to safeguard children and young people and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse or radicalisation
      • Ensuring that all adults within MGTS carrying out regulated activity have been subject to the appropriate checks using safer recruitment procedures
      • In respect of safeguarding individuals from radicalisation, implementing the Prevent Duty of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, and where deemed appropriate seeks external support for learners through referrals to the Channel Programme.  This programme aims to work with the individual to address their specific vulnerabilities, prevent them becoming further radicalised and possibly entering the criminal justice system because of their actions.  It is recognised that radicalisation can occur to an individual from any section of society and is not particular to any racial, ethnic or social group.  It is further recognised that in many instances the process of radicalisation is essentially one of grooming by others.
    2. Protection:
      • Through raising awareness of learners as to how to keep themselves safe from harm, abuse or radicalisation
      • Through systematic monitoring of children and young people, known or thought to be at risk or harm or radicalisation
      • Through structured procedures within MGTS to be followed in cases of suspected abuse
      • Through effective working relationships with all other agencies involved in safeguarding children and young people
    3. Support:
      • Ensuring that key concepts of child protection are integrated within the curriculum and offered through effective information, advice and guidance within tutorials and cross-centre service delivery where appropriate
      • Enabling learners to develop critical thinking skills and discuss challenging topics in a supportive environment to help them understand and safeguard themselves from harm or extremism.  All staff and visitors exemplify British values
      • Promoting British values through the delivery of training
      • Ensuring that children and young people are listened to and their concerns taken seriously and acted upon
      • Working with others to support children and young people who may have been abused, or in care, to access the training

SAFER RECRUITMENT

  1. Preventing unsuitable people from working with children and young people is essential to keeping children safe and free from radicalisation.  Rigorous selection, criminal record checking and recruitment of those working with children and young people is a key responsibility of the CEO and management team.

DEFINITIONS

  1. The term safeguarding describes the broader preventive and precautionary approach to planning and procedures that are necessary to be in place to protect children and young people and vulnerable adults from any harm or damage
  2. ‘Child’ means a person under 18 years of age
  3. ‘Vulnerable Adult’ means an adult [a person aged 18 or over] who is/may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation
  4. Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.  This may consist of a single or repeated act and may be physical or psychological.  The following categories of abuse are used in children’s legislation and adult guidance:

    Neglect – is the persistent failure to meet a child’s or vulnerable adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter

    Physical Abuse – may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms or, or deliberately induces, illness in a child

    Emotional Abuse – may involve conveying to young people that they are worthless or unloved or inadequate.  It may involve serious bullying [including cyber-bullying] causing young people frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children or vulnerable adults.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of abuse through it may occur alone

    Sexual Abuse – involves forcing or enticing a young or vulnerable person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence.  The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration [eg rape or oral sec] or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities such as looking at, or in the production of sexual images, watching sexual activities or grooming a child or vulnerable person in preparation for abuse [including via the internet].  Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males.  Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children and young people

    Discriminatory Abuse – includes behaviour towards a learner that is racist, sexist, based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment

    Financial or Material Abuse – is stealing possessions or money from a child or vulnerable adult or bullying to force them to hand over money or possessions

    Institutional Abuse / Poor Practice – is inappropriate or disrespectful or insufficient care

STATUTORY FRAMEWORK

In order to protect young people and vulnerable adults MGTS will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Group Act 2006
  • The Children’s Act 1989 and 2004
  • Sex Offender’s Act 2002
  • Education Act 2002 Section 175
  • Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education 2007
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Local authority Children’s Safeguarding Board
  • Vetting and Barring Guidance 2010
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Children and Families Act 2014

In accordance with the Department for Education [DfE] Guidance Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, MGTS complies with the following responsibilities:

  • Staff are trained to recognise the signs of abuse and know to whom they should report concerns or suspicions
  • Procedures are in place [which staff are aware of] for handling suspected case of abuse of students, including procedures to be followed if a member of staff is accused of abuse or suspected abuse
  • A Designated Safeguarding Person [DSP] has responsibility for co-ordinating action within MGTS and for liaising with other agencies
  • Staff with designated responsibility for safeguarding receive appropriate training

RISKS AND EARLY HELP

  1. Key Risks

    Forced Marriage – forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry [eg threats, physical violence or sexual violence] or emotional and psychological pressure [eg if you are made to feel like you are bringing shame on your family]

    Child Sexual Exploitation [CSE] – is a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status

    Domestic Abuse – domestic abuse is a type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship.  It isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes any emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse

    Grooming – is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation

    Prevent – preventing people from being drawn into radicalism and extremism

    Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] – is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.  It is also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna.

QUALITY ASSURANCE

  1. This policy is to be reviewed annually by MGTS.
  2. MGTS will ensure that:
    • MGTS has procedures and policies which are consistent with Government guidance on safeguarding
    • It considers its safeguarding policy each year
    • Annual management review
    • Annual full Board review
    • Each year it is informed of how the staff have complied with the policy
    • A Safeguarding/Prevent Team will guide and monitor MGTS’ work in this area

IMPLEMENTATION

  1. Mandatory training – all MGTS deliverers must undergo MGTS mandatory safeguarding / Prevent Duty training.  This must be refreshed every three years.  Specific training for designated contacts will be provided separately and updated every two years
  2. Recognising poor practice and abuse – child abuse can and does occur in almost every environment. It is not always easy, even for professionals, to determine when abuse has occurred.  That is why MGTS staff are not being asked to decide if abuse or poor practice has taken place, just to pass on concerns.  All MGTS staff have a responsibility and duty of care to be vigilant and respond appropriately to suspicions of poor practice, abuse or bullying.  This includes the duty to have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.  This does not mean that it is your responsibility to decide if an individual is vulnerable, but it is your responsibility to report your concerns to your designated safeguarding person.

SIGNS AND INDICATORS OF ABUSE

  1. It is always difficult to identify if a learner is being abused and therefore it is important not to jump to a conclusion if a learner presents one or more of the signs or indicators set out below:
    • Unexplained bruising or injury
    • An injury for which the explanation seems to be inconsistent
    • Unexplained sudden changes in behaviour, withdrawn, very quiet, sudden outburst of temper or emotion
    • Inappropriate sexual behaviour towards another learner
    • Distrust, anger or severe reaction to an adult, particularly a family member or close friend
    • Change in eating habits, or loss of weight or appetite
    • Change in appearance, either very sexually explicit or unkempt
    • Description of an act or action which appears inappropriate or which gives concern
  2. These signs and indicators may help you to alert to possible concern.  However, if a learner presents with one or more of these indicators this does not necessarily mean that they are being abused.
  3. Remember it is not staff’s responsibility to decide if abuse has taken place, or if a situation is abusive.  However, it is your responsibility to report any concerns immediately.

PREVENT

Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.  It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent strategy:

  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Works with a wide range of sectors [including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health] where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with

The strategy covers all forms of terrorism, including far right extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.

The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of Government departments and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy.  The police also play a significant role in Prevent in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

The Home Office uses a range of measures to challenge extremism in the UK, including:

  • Where necessary, preventing apologists for terrorism and extremism from travelling to this country
  • Giving guidance to local authorities and institutions to understand the threat from extremism and the statutory powers available to them to challenge extremist speakers
  • Funding a specialist police unit which works to remove online content that breaches terrorist legislation
  • Supporting community based campaigns and activity which can effectively rebut terrorist and extremist propaganda and offer alternative views to our most vulnerable target audiences – in this context they work with a range of civil society organisations
  • Supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity through the Channel process, which involves several agencies working together to give individuals access to services such as health and education, specialist mentoring and diversionary activities

MGTS is committed to supporting vulnerable learners through its safeguarding agenda in order to prevent potential radicalisation.

Radicalisation involves individuals or groups of people being drawn into extremism and terrorism either by supporting terrorist related activity or be becoming terrorists.  This relates to all forms of terrorism such as international terrorism, significantly Al Qaeda or ISIL affiliated, far right ideology and other forms of terrorism.  It also includes learners being persuaded to leave the UK to participate as soldiers or support workers in foreign wars, eg Syria.

Associated Policies:

David Bridgens
Chief Executive
Reviewed: May 2019