Peak Tuition carries out activities which bring our employees, self-employed tutors and people working on our behalf into regular unsupervised contact with children. This includes providing tutoring and educational services in the students’ home and elsewhere. Peak Tuition takes its responsibilities to safeguard and protect the interests of all young children and adherence to this policy very seriously.
This policy is non-contractual but indicates the way in which Peak Tuition intends to deal with such matters.
Scope of this policy
This policy applies to all self-employed tutors, employees, workers or volunteers whose duties bring them into contact with children.
Aims of this policy
This policy aims to create and maintain the safest possible environment for the children with whom we deal, as well as for our self-employed tutors, employees and workers, and all reasonable steps will be taken to prevent all parties from harm.
There is a considerable body of legislation designed to ensure that children are protected and it is important to understand that everyone is responsible for their safety. The main acts include:
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (VBS)
Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003
Protection of Children Act 1999/Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
Care Standards Act 2000
The Police Act 1997
The Children (Protection from Offenders) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1997
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA)
Those who are involved in work situations where they have sustained or prolonged unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation. This means that prospective employees, self-employed contractors and volunteers must declare all criminal convictions, however long ago; and these will be taken into account when deciding on their suitability for working with children or vulnerable adults. No-one will be permitted to undertake a role which involves regular contact with children or vulnerable adults without a satisfactory DBS check. Peak Tuition are able to acquire a DBS check on your behalf, at your cost, if you do not have one more recent than 24 months old.
Planning and supervision
All activities or assignments involving children should be planned in advance to ensure they take into account the age range and ability of the participants. Staff, volunteers or freelancers supervising assignments involving children should be competent to do so. Supervision should take account of the age, gender, nature of the activity and any special needs of the individuals. Where appropriate, a risk assessment will be undertaken and documented.
Families having lessons in their own home should always have an adult at home, unless otherwise agreed in advance with the tutor. Ideally, work-space should be in an open area, like a dining room table.
Office Based Lessons
Lessons taking place at our office do not have a specified waiting area for parents. Where possible – we will try to accommodate parents who would prefer to wait on-site, in a breakout area – although this cannot be guaranteed. Access to the building and floor requires an access card.
Office-based lessons will only be available for students in academic Year 3 or above.
Self-employed tutors, employees, workers or volunteers should avoid any unnecessary physical contact with children unless it is to prevent accident or injury to themselves or anyone else (eg to prevent a fall), or in the case of medical assistance being needed (eg to administer first aid), or to provide nursing or other general care, in which case the prior consent of the affected person should be requested where possible. Where appropriate, consent from parents or those with parental or caring responsibility should be obtained. Common sense can be used when it is appropriate, for example; a handshake or a congratulatory hug. This should always be in full view of parents.
If a child is hurt or distressed, the worker should do his/her best to comfort or reassure the affected person without compromising his/her dignity or doing anything to discredit the person’s own behaviour.
Communication with children is vital in establishing relationships built on trust. Those working with children should listen to what they are saying and respond appropriately. Children are entitled to the same respect as any self-employed tutors, employees, workers and volunteers. It should also be made clear to them what standards of behaviour and mutual respect are expected from them.
Those working with children should behave appropriately, ensure that language is moderated in their presence and should refrain from adult jokes or comments which are clearly unsuitable. Workers should also note that what may be acceptable language to their friends may not be regarded as such by those of an older generation.
Behaviour and Abuse
We should all aim to promote an environment of trust and understanding. Those working with children should not tolerate unsociable behaviour but should try to ensure good working relationships.
All self-employed tutors, staff, workers and volunteers at Peak Tuition have a strict duty never to subject any child to any form of harm or abuse. This means that it is unacceptable, for example, to treat a child/vulnerable adult in any of the following ways:
to cause distress by shouting or calling them derogatory names
to hold them in such a way that it causes pain, or to shake them
to physically restrain them except to protect them from harming themselves or others
to allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind
to do things of a personal nature for the person that they can do for themselves (this includes changing clothing, or going to the toilet with them unless another adult is present)
to allow or engage in sexually suggestive behaviour within a person’s sight or hearing, or make suggestive remarks to or within earshot
to give or show anything which could be construed as pornographic
to seek or agree to meet them anywhere outside of the normal workplace without the full prior knowledge and agreement of the parent, guardian or carer.
to engage with them online in an unacceptable manner.
Suspicions of abuse
Any worker who witnesses or suspects abusive behaviour towards a child/vulnerable adult should record the details and report it to Peak Tuition’s Education Director. It is NOT the individual’s responsibility to investigate his/her suspicions – this requires expertise he/she is not expected to have.
Any allegations of abuse made against anyone working for Peak Tuition will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with through our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches may lead to dismissal (for employees) or termination of any agreement (for self-employed tutors, workers or volunteers).
Peak Tuition’s Education Director will appropriately record any allegation or reported incident. He/she will be responsible for contacting the statutory child protection agency such as the Local Safeguarding Children Board or the police if necessary.
The safety of the people we work with is paramount and we are committed to providing a safe environment within which to work. Those working with children should ensure all appropriate risk assessments and security checks have been carried out prior to any assignment.
If transporting children, the transport should be checked to ensure it is roadworthy and adequate for the purpose. Any equipment used must be safe and only used for the purpose for which it is intended. Users should be adequately trained. Appropriate insurance should be up to date and adequate to cover such assignments.
Contact outside of work
Contact should not be made with any of the children with whom we are working for any reason unrelated to the particular work. In particular, our self-employed tutors and employees are required to maintain our reputation for integrity and responsibility in dealing with such people, and should not enter into any social or other non-work related arrangements with them.
Gifts and inducements
On no account should anyone from Peak Tuition give a child a gift or buy refreshments etc which could be in any way considered as a bribe or inducement to enter into a relationship with the person or give rise to any false allegations of improper conduct against the individual. Gifts that are lesson incentives or to celebrate an occasion must be made clear to parents. No gift should ever exceed the value of £10.
Communicating this policy and concerns
All employees, workers and volunteers at Peak Tuition will be made aware of this policy and a copy will be available via the Peak Tuition website.
Furthermore, a copy of this policy will be given to all relevant bodies with whom we work and will be made available to parents and carers of children/vulnerable adults with whom we plan to work.
Any concerns about the assignment or people involved should be addressed with Peak Tuition’s Education Director.
Breach of this policy
Failure to follow the guidelines in this policy is considered a serious offence and will be investigated thoroughly and dealt with through our disciplinary procedure. Serious breaches may lead to dismissal (for employees) and termination of any agreement (for self-employed tutors, workers or volunteers).