Choice Teachers

Safeguarding Policy

Our Policy

Choice Teachers recognise that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and that the best interests of the child are paramount, as set out in legislation. EVERYONE who comes into contact with  children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all staff and agency workers will make sure that their approach is child
centred. This means that they will consider at all times what is in the best interest of the child.

We are committed to keeping children safe and protecting their welfare from all forms of abuse including physical, emotional and sexual harm.

The purpose of the policy is to provide protection for children and young people who receive Choice Teachers services and to provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing or be at risk of harm.

We ensure that all Choice Teachers staff being placed into educational establishments are vetted fully in accordance with our Vetting Policy to provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment for children who come into contact with Choice Teachers personnel.

At registration all agency workers will be instructed to read the statutory guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education” published by the Department of Education. They are also required to given evidence of safeguarding training within the last 3 years.

If they unable to provide this they can access safeguarding training through Choice Teachers via the following link

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual
    orientation or identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies it is essential in promoting young people’s welfare

Choice Teachers will seek to safeguard children and young people by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • Adopting child protection guidelines through procedure’s and a code of conduct for staff and
    agency workers
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and agency workers
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know and involving outside organisations appropriately
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training

If we are advised that a teacher/worker registered with our agency has behaved in an unacceptable way we would liaise with the school to establish the circumstances. The school can decide to cease using the teacher on the basis of unacceptable behaviour but it must be determined if that behaviour amounts to a safeguarding concern or low level concern.

Low Level Concern (LLC)

The behaviour of a teacher / worker during an assignment may not reach the level of a safeguarding concern but is still not acceptable. A low level concern is any concern that an adult has acted in a way that is inconsistent with code of conduct but doesn’t meet the threshold of harm or is not considered serious enough for the school to refer to the local authority. The school may wish to continue to use the worker but would like the matter to be addressed. This may be done in the form of a discussion with the worker by the school or a representative of Choice Teachers. If the school would like Choice Teachers to speak to the worker the consultant will liaise with the safeguarding officer to determine who is the most appropriate person to do this. It may be more appropriate for the consultant to have the discussion. If this is the case, the consultant must report to safeguarding officer the date of the discussion and briefly what was said so that it can be recorded as an LLC.

Examples of Low Level Concern:

  • Poor Attitude
  • Use of inappropriate sexual, intimidating or offensive language
  • Not following school procedures

Safeguarding Concern

If the conduct amounts to a potential safeguarding concern the teacher/worker will not be offered any further assignments through the agency until the situation has been resolved to our satisfaction. The safeguarding officer, Mrs Leonie Sourbutts will liaise with the school at the earliest opportunity and, in consultation with the school, make a decision as to whether the workers assignment is to continue whilst the investigation is proceeding. If the school decide to terminate the engagement of the worker the safeguarding officer will to contact the worker to establish their version of events.

As part of making enquiries the agency will hold an investigatory meeting and/or investigatory discussions with the worker. The agency should inform the school of further information they obtain.

If the complaint has escalated to LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) Choice Teachers will provide all necessary information for investigation purposes.

Allegations Against Agency Workers.

All agency workers should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child. It is always advisable for work or talking with individual children to be conducted in view of other adults.

All agency workers should be aware of the school’s own Behaviour Management policy.

Whilst we hope it is a rare occurrence we understand a pupil may make an allegation against an agency worker. If such an allegation is made, or information is received which suggests that a person may be unsuitable to work with children, further information is needed to understand what has happened.

Mrs Léonie Sourbutts, as Designated Safeguarding Officer, is responsible for dealing with these matters and will therefore ensure the following steps are taken:

  • Log the incident on the system under the “incidents” tab in the main menu / complete an incident report (appendix 1)
  • Speak to the appropriate member of staff at the client school where the allegation was made and establish what action has been taken (e.g internal investigation by the school and/ or referral to LADO) unless already done so by one of the consultants.
  • Discuss with the school the appropriate course of action e.g it may be necessary to remove the teacher from the assignment immediately.
  • Ask the school to send over a statement detailing the allegation.
  • Speak to the Agency Worker to establish what happened and, if appropriate, advise them that no further assignments will be offered until the allegation is investigated.
  • Ask the Agency Worker to send over a statement responding to the allegation within 24 hours of being informed of the allegation.
  • Where appropriate liaise with the Local Authority Designated Officer.
  • Attend any strategy meetings
  • Advise the agency worker of the outcome

In circumstances where a referral has been made to LADO, information will be sent to the agency worker advising them of the process of investigating allegations.

Choice Teachers understands that if an allegation is made it will be a difficult time for the agency worker so they will regularly be updated on progress.

Should Mrs Sourbutts be absent for any reason and a safeguarding matter is raised, Natalie Pasquill, as Deputy Safeguarding Officer, will be responsible for following procedure.

Teacher Misconduct

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, is responsible for investigating allegations of serious misconduct against teachers and headteachers in schools in England. If appropriate, TRA can prohibit a teacher from teaching in schools, relevant youth accommodation, sixth form colleges and children’s homes in England.

A referral is appropriate if the alleged misconduct is so serious that it warrants a decision on whether the teacher should be prevented from teaching. Cases of less serious misconduct, and all cases of incompetence, should be dealt with locally by the educational establishment where the teacher was working and/or Choice Teachers.

Choice Teachers have a statutory duty to consider referral of cases involving serious professional  misconduct to TRA. Where Choice Teachers has dismissed a teacher for misconduct, or would have dismissed them had they not resigned first, we must consider whether to refer the case to TRA. If Choice Teachers decide to make a referral, the concerns will be set out fully, explaining the reasons for making a complaint, and enclosing all previous correspondence and relevant documentation.

Choice Teachers will use the Teacher misconduct referral form (provided at the end of this policy) for
employers and include the following information:

  • details of all relevant conduct by the teacher
  • all relevant evidence regarding such conduct
  • all relevant evidence submitted by the teacher

Examples of the types of information that may be relevant are:

  • letter or notice terminating a teacher’s employment
  • statement of reasons for dismissal
  • employer’s records relating to the dismissal or any contemplated dismissal, including those on the teacher’s conduct up to that point, such as notes and minutes of meetings; interview notes; and evidence supplied to or obtained by the employer
  • employer’s letters, warnings or notices issued to the teacher and the teacher’s replies or representations relating to them
  • any other statements, representations and evidence submitted by the teacher to the employer
  • letter of resignation

The TRA will decide on the level of seriousness of the case and whether there is enough evidence to investigate further. The TRA will then confirm whether a referral will lead to an investigation and a hearing, as set out in their disciplinary procedures. The TRA can put an interim prohibition order in place to prevent a teacher from teaching until their case has been fully investigated.