TheManchester CollegeSafeguarding Scheme

April2014 – April 2016

  1. The Safeguarding Policy

The Manchester College is a safe place forlearners, staffand visitors and wewant tokeep it that way.The safety and well-being of our learners is our first priority and it is vital that everyone that uses the College feels safe and knows who tocontact in an emergency. This Scheme is written with learners, staffand our community in mind. It contains mandatory obligations together withadvice about the signs ofsafeguarding, including information and further sources ofhelp and advice. This Scheme will be monitored and reviewed annually by the Safeguarding Strategy Group.

The Manchester College operates within the legal framework that applies to the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The term “children” refers to everyone up to 18 years of age and up to 24 years of age for those with learning difficulties and disabilities. The term “vulnerable adult” refers to any person over the age of 18 who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of:

•mental health


•age or illness and who is unable to take care of themselves

•unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation

It is our intention to extend this commitment to the safeguarding and wellbeing of all our learners, young people or adults, full time, part time, on College campuses or engaged in work based learning, offender learning or other off site learning.

  1. Background - Safeguarding in Further Education Colleges

Incidents of abuse and neglect in older children are, thankfully, relatively rare, however the effectscan be profoundly distressing and affectthe learners’ability toperform totheir best academically.Everyone responds differently toabuse, fear and loss.This may become manifest in terms ofchanges toeveryday routine. Simple observations of a learner’s behaviour can make all the difference.College staffare often best placed to recognize indicators ofabuse through their close proximity tolearners. Acute observation is central toan effective safeguarding scheme,understanding difference and responding sensitively tochange may make a significant difference to the wellbeing of the learner. If, for instance, a learner is concerned about being assaulted when they go home, they may attend College earlier than their peers or leave later.

Persistent forms ofabuse and neglect are likely tohave a negative impact on academic achievement. Learners worried about experiencing abuse, domestic violence or being bullied may deliberately self – harm, sufferpanic attacks,anxiety, depression, isolation, all ofwhich may dominate their conduct, let alone their ability toconcentrate in class, perform, keep up with coursework and so on. This is true oflearners regardless oftheir gender,age, class, culture and ethnicity.

Safeguarding isn’t straightforward. Presenting issues can be difficult to spot, sometimes signs ofsufferingmight be hidden through fearand or shame can lead tolow self-esteem, increasing a learner’s feeling ofvulnerability perhaps becoming more scared, afraid thatnothing will get done. Sometimes learners do not recognize thatthey are sufferingfrom safeguarding issues. It is therefore incumbent on us to ensure that safeguarding is addressed throughout the curriculum as well as within our support services. It is essentialthat we all understand our professional responsibilities. Knowing when tointervene and when not to can be difficult. It is better to intervene than not unless you have intelligence thatsuggests that by doing so you will place the learner atfurther risk of significant harm.

There is sometimes a danger of applying a ‘rule of optimism’, whereby professionals like to think things will be OK really, or that it won’t happen again. However, it is known that when a perpetrator has abused on one occasion, it is very likely that such behaviour will be repeated – abusers rarely stop harming people without intervention or treatment.

We expect everyone to adhere to the following principles in relation to safeguarding:

  • Recognise
  • Respond
  • Report
  • Record
  • Refer
  1. What does Safeguarding mean?

The Department of Further Education’s (“DFE”) definition of “Safeguarding” can be taken to mean “actively promoting the welfare oflearners” which includes:

  • protecting them from maltreatment
  • preventing the impairment of health or development
  • ensuring thatlearners grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision ofsafe and effectivecare; and
  • takingaction toenable all learners tohave the best outcomes. (Source: WorkingTogether toSafeguard Children, 2014)
  1. Does Safeguarding matter?

Astatistical picture:

  • In 2011-12 over 600,000 children in England were referred to local authority children’s socialcare services by individuals who had concerns about their welfare.
  • 29% ofchildren and young people in England experienced bullying in 2009/10.
  • Asurvey ofpupils in England estimates that16,493 young people aged 11-15 (4.4%) are frequently absent from stateschool or home educated because ofbullying.
  • There are approximately 800,000 disabled children in the UK (6% ofall children).
  • 31% ofdisabled children had been abused compared with 9% among the non-disabled child population.
  • Nationally,around 3 children in every class aged 5 – 16 have a diagnosable mental health condition.
  • Between 1 in every 12 - 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm.
  • More than half ofall adults diagnosed with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately atthe time.
  • Nearly 80,000 children and young people nationally sufferfrom severedepression.
  • 95% ofimprisoned young offendershave a mental health disorder.
  • 195,000 young people nationally have an anxiety disorder.
  • Half of15 – 17 year olds have accessed pornography on a smart phone or tablet.
  • 4 out of10 15 – 17 year olds who watched pornographic material said it affectedtheir relationships.
  • 81% ofteenagers who experience physical and emotional abuse in relationships never get support.
  • Over half (55%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people have experienced homophobicbullying atschool.
  • 38% ofyoung people have been affectedby cyber-bullying, with abusive emails (26%) and textmessages (24%) being the mostcommon methods.
  • 28% ofchildren did not tell anyone about the abuse.

(Sources: Department For Education, BBC,NSPCC,YoungMinds,Association forYoungPeople’s Health Key data onAdolescence, 2013, Stonewall, Tender(charity forreducing abuse in teenage relationships)).

  1. Roles & Responsibilities

We all have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for learners.

We all have a responsibility to identify any learners who might need extra help or are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm and to take appropriate and timely action.

The Governing Body has a duty to comply with legislation and to ensure that the College works closely with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

The Governing Body is accountable for ensuring that the organisation has effective safeguarding procedures in place and has a nominated Governor to lead on this and that there is an appropriate staff code of conduct.

The Principal and Vice Principal for Student Support along with the Director of Student Support are responsible for leading on Safeguarding across the organisation.

It is the responsibility of the Senior Leadership Team (“SLT”) to promote the Safeguarding Scheme and to take appropriate action if they become aware of any safeguarding related issues.

It is the responsibility of the College’s designated lead safeguarding person to lead the College’s strategy and to ensure that they are fully trained in child protection every two years.

It is the responsibility of all College Managers to ensure that their Department or Service provides the best possible support to all learners in relation to safeguarding.

It is the responsibility of all academic staff to embed safeguarding into all appropriate teaching and learning opportunities.

It is the responsibility of all staff to take appropriate action if they see or become aware of anything that may put another person at risk of harm.

The Safeguarding Strategy Group chaired by the Vice Principal for Student Support will oversee the Safeguarding Scheme and report to Principalship.

Full Roles & Responsibilities – Appendix 1

The Manchester College Safeguarding & Support Structure – Appendix 2

  1. Aim

The purpose of the Scheme is to:

  • ensure that The Manchester College is a safe place to work and study
  • ensure that everyone knows how to recognize andrespond toa safeguarding incident
  • reduce anxiety forstaffwhen dealing with safeguarding, child protection and adult abuse.
  1. How?


  • embed a culture thatvalues learner safetyas paramount
  • embed and sustain an ethos ofperson centred practice
  • deliver safeguarding support within a culture ofprevention and inclusion
  • recognise the signs ofabuse and understand our professional capacity
  • promote emotional resilience by reducing risk and strengthening learner’s resilience
  • build a culture based on understanding presenting factorsand asking simple questions thatpromote a positive outcome forlearners
  • work together in partnership with learners to build trust and confidence
  • work with local partners to improve outcomes for learners
  • be open toscrutiny, challenge complacency and “over optimistic” outcomes forlearners
  • comply with key safeguarding legislation and regulations

Key Legislation and Regulations Governing the Provision of Safeguarding for the College – Appendix 3

Keeping Children Safe in Education – Appendix 4

  1. Principles and Values

This Scheme is based on the following principles and values:

  • learner’s needs come first and are paramount
  • holistic support is required to respond to the often complexproblems and issues that affect learners
  • sharing data and information with each other and our stakeholders is necessary to ensure thatthe needs oflearners are safeguarded
  • early intervention and inclusion is likely to lead to better outcomes
  • relationships based on trustbetween learners and those supporting them are likely to lead to better outcomes
  • advocacy toassist and support learners in putting forward their views is an important aspect of our user engagement strategy
  • werecognise thatdealing with learners experiencing any form ofabuse, distress or harassment can cause psychological anxiety forstaff.Understanding what todo and how todo it is key to reducing emotional anxiety.
  1. Who is the Scheme directed towards?

Governors, all staff,learners, external contractors and work-based learning employers.

All staffshould be able to:

  • deal with safeguarding issues and be able torecognise potential harm tolearners
  • promote the College’s approach tosafeguarding and protecting learners
  • understand their role in relation tothe requirement tosafeguard and promote the welfare ofchildren, young people and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm; and
  • know how tosupport and respond toa learner who has disclosed abuse or neglect.

For children who come under the care ofthe College nurseries, a different setofprocedures applies to ensure thattheir particular needs are addressed.

Staff working in Offender Learning are also subject to procedures laid down by the institutions in which they operate.

  1. What is Abuse?


Thankfully the prevalence ofabuse and cases ofmaltreatment are relatively low per capita, however, the effects on those involved are profound and significantly impair victim’s life chances. In terms of maltreatment and neglect, we know that the highest risks are for children under five closely followed by young people.

“The overall rates ofSerious Case Reviews relating tofatal cases have remained relatively stable over the past 5 years.The highest risks remain in infancy,although a second peak is seen in adolescence.” (Brandon, 2011).

Definition and Indicators of Abuse and Neglect

Abuse is a form ofmaltreatment ofa child, young person or vulnerable adult. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children, young people and vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known tothem or,more rarely, by others (e.g.via the internet).They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child, children or young person.

Abuse is defined under the following categories:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect

There are also specific issues which we expect our staff to be aware of, these include:

  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Forced marriage
  • Domestic violence
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Radicalisation
  • Self-harm
  • Bullying/cyberbullying
  • Drugs
  • Fabricated or induced illness
  • Faith abuse
  • Gangs & youth violence
  • Violence against women & girls
  • Mental health
  • Sexting
  • Teenage relationship abuse
  • Trafficking

Awareness of the indicators of abuse and neglect is covered in the mandatory training undertaken by all staff.

Definition and Indicators of Abuse – Appendix 5

  1. Managing Suspected Abuse and Disclosure

“Disclosure” thata young person is or has been abused can happen in many ways and staff need tobe alert tothe signs.

Disclosure can be direct, indirect, or via a third-party.

Anyone who suspects, observes, hears or receives a disclosure must record and report this to one of the College’s safeguarding team of designated persons.

Learners can make many attempts to reveal abuse before it is heard or acted upon. For example:

  • The learner might speak directly toa tutoror support worker about current or past abuse
  • Other learners might report concerns about their peers to staff
  • Members ofstaffmight observe changes in the learner’s behavior or appearance thatcould be an indication ofabuse or neglect
  • Learners might be overheard talking about their peers in ways thatsignal thatthey are aware ofabuse occurring
  • Abusive messages on a mobile or social networking site might be noticed

All staff are encouraged to:

  • always actwhere there are concerns
  • not promise complete confidentiality
  • not investigate, however,do listen and reassure
  • follow The Manchester College procedure for Safeguarding Learners

If the disclosure is urgent and takes place outside College hours or a Designated Person cannot be contacted, one of the emergency out of hours contacts should be contacted.

Procedure for Safeguarding Learners - Appendix 6

Procedure for Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults in Work-Based Learning – Appendix 7

Safeguarding and Health & Safety Information for Work-Based Learning Employers – Appendix 8

Responding to a Disclosure – Appendix 9

Designated Persons Contact Details – Appendix 10

Recording Referral Form (SG 1) – Appendix 11

Out of Hours Contacts – Appendix 12

For general advice and support, please see Appendix 13

  1. Consent, Confidentiality and the Sharing of Information

In all safeguarding incidents staff should secure learner’s consent to share, however, where consent is not given, staff can still share sensitive personal data if they believe it is in the best interests ofthe learner, unless todo so would place thatlearner atfurther risk. In all situations where this happens, staff must log and record their decision to share.

The Data ProtectionActis not a barrier tosharing information but provides a framework toensure thatpersonal information about living persons is shared appropriately

Confidentiality and the Sharing of Information – Appendix 14

  1. Designated Persons (“DP”)

There is a team of Designated Persons in the College, with at least two based on all main campuses. In addition there are a number of designated staff with cross College responsibilities forparticular groups oflearners, e.g.14-16 and LDD learners.

All DPs have considerable experience of dealing with safeguarding issues and have had enhanced safeguarding training. The role ofthe DPis to:

  • actas a source ofsupport, advice and expertise tostaffwithin the organisation when deciding whether and when tomake a referral torelevant statutoryagencies
  • refer cases ofsuspected abuse or allegations tothe relevant statutoryagencies (children’s social care, adult social care or the police)
  • seek advice from and share information with relevant statutoryagencies before seeking consent or informing parents ofa referral unless todo so would place a learner or someone else atincreased risk ofharm, forexample in cases ofsuspected forced marriage
  • ensure safeguarding concerns are referred toStudent Safeguarding Support Groups (“SSSG”)
  • record and report all incidents of abuse to their Senior Designated Safeguarding Officer
  • deliver themed safeguarding training toCollege staff
  1. Student Safeguarding & Support Groups (“SSSG”)

The Student Safeguarding and Support Groups ensurethe holistic needs oflearners are met and provide the mechanism through which a co-ordinated response can be delivered to learners identified as “at risk” It is our intention to extend the remit of SSSGs toensure good practice is disseminated and shared throughout the College atall levels.

SSSGswill adhere tothe Safeguarding Scheme with published guidance on eligibility criteria and needs thresholds toinform standardised practice between SSSGs.Bypublishing agreed procedures, practitioners will be better placed toensure thatno learner falls through the gaps in keeping with statutoryrecommendations from Working Together to Safeguard Children (2014).

SSSGswill formulate an improved understanding ofthe barriers faced by learners which impact negatively on retention and achievement and the impact ofsafeguarding and its determinant impact on learner behaviour and attendance.

Chairs ofthe SSSGwill be required toensure thattheir respective group complies with StatutoryRegulations governing the disclosure and sharing oflearner’s sensitive data.

From 2014, SSSGchairs will be tasked with compiling data on the presenting issues that learners bring to panel in order to help build a more accurate profile of safeguarding across the Manchester College.

Student Safeguarding and Support Groupswill:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Implement
  • Review and monitor outcomes

SSSG Procedures – Appendix 15

  1. E-Safety

Many of the risks identified in e-safety reflect situations in the off-line world and the College approach to e-safety is toincorporate it in toour overall commitment tosafeguarding.

Communication between children, young people and adults, by whatever method, should take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries. This includes the wider use of technology such as mobile phones text messaging, e-mails, digital cameras, videos, web-cams, websites and blogs.

Staff should ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny.

Staff should take particular care toavoid presenting themselves as a ‘friend’on social media networking sites (such as Facebook or MySpace, etc.).