Visas and Policies

Our Educational Policy


At the Devon School of English, we believe that language is best acquired when it is used meaningfully in situations that you can relate to and enjoy. Our courses aim to respond to your interests, needs and professional or academic contexts and are based on the belief that fluency comes from confidence and pleasure in the language and language learning.

Emphasis is on the practical use of modern English - including its vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Lessons help you improve and adapt your learning habits along with the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

We believe that your English learning extends beyond the classroom into your time outside of the school which is why we take great care to ensure that the social programme and your stay with local families form an important part of our curriculum and perform a significant role in your language learning.

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Educational Policy (information for teachers)

Although our classes generally adhere to a Communicative Approach to learning, teachers have the freedom to adapt the delivery of lessons to suit learners' needs and preferences. In a Communicative Approach, the meaningful exchange and use of English is the primary route to learning, and this is why spoken and written production are the key expressions of a learner's level.

A distinction is made between learning and acquisition of language. For learners, acquisition is the goal and we believe that language and communicative skills are best acquired through use and practice. Acquisition leads to procedural knowledge - that is knowing how to do something. In contrast, declarative knowledge, a knowledge of what something is (for example knowing the name of a tense and aspect), is, in itself, of secondary import but may serve as a step to procedural knowledge. So, for example, the conscious application of rule-governed compositon by learners is a stage in learning and not an end. This point is emphasised to tutors and learners who may equate familiarity with language items or structures as acquisition. So whilst attention is paid to form and grammar, it is the practical use of language which is emphasised in lessons.

The ways to achieve and promote acquisition are reinforced in staff and learner literature (teacher induction, counselling, online information, material in the school, etc) and training (obseravtions and workshops). A strong emphasis is placed on promoting learner autonomy and developing learner habits that will endure. Teachers and students are encouraged to reflect on their own practice and approaches to learning.

If you have any questions about these policies or approaches to language learning, please contact Anthony -anthony@devonschool.co.uk

Our Language Policy

The English We Teach

In most cases, Devon School lessons refer to British English: British English phonology, British English grammar & lexis and British English spelling. However, we also understand that learners sometimes require an appreciation of alternative terms from North American English or from an international English in which non-native speakers use English as a common language.

We feel the model of British English used in the school is descriptive, natural and dynamic. Where necessary, your teachers will make you aware of the register and effect of non-neutral words and phrases, for example whether they are formal or casual and when and where they can usually be used.

If you have any questions about this policy and the view of language expressed in it, please contact Anthony - anthony@devonschool.co.uk

Level & Progress Assessment

Assessing your level

Before you arrive at the Devon School, you should take our placement test online: http://devonschool.co.uk/entry/form.php - the test has 100 questions and you have up to 60 minutes to complete it. On your first morning at the school, you will have a short interview and/or have your spoken production monitored closely in class. This will help us to place you in the correct class for your level.

All students have different strengths and weaknesses. For your classroom level, your ability to use English is the most important factor in selecting your level. For more information about particular levels (see the descriptions below or on page 16 in your Welcome Pack).

Assessing your progress

Your progress is monitored by your class teachers. Teachers make assessments based on your all-round classroom performance and relate this to the level descriptions (see descriptions below or page 16 in your Welcome Pack). In addition, your teachers will set weekly tests to see how much language you are retaining. Your teacher will talk to you about your progress and advise you on ways to improve. When a teacher feels you would benefit from a move to a higher class, they will inform the Director of Studies. Longer stay students are encouraged to take progress tests when they have been at a level for 5 weeks. Remember that you can always discuss your progress with Anthony and arrange a counselling meeting at any time.

Helping you to learn

At all levels, you will study and practise the structure of English and work on widening your vocabulary as well as developing your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Pronunciation practice will help you with both your speaking and listening and will be an integral part of your lessons. Your teacher will help you to find the best ways to study and help you become a more independent learner. These new habits will help you to progress and stay motivated long after you leave the school.

The amount of time it takes students to progress to the next level varies from student to student. Students with the following skills and habits usually make the quickest progress:

  • Students who like using English.
  • Students with good study habits.
  • Students with good communicative skills.
  • Students who are good at finding patterns.
  • Students who are good at reading intentions.

For more information about ways to practise and learn, look at pages 18-20 in your Welcome Pack.

Here is some information about our student levels:

False Beginner

You know a few words and phrases and can answer some simple questions about yourself.

You know the letters of the English alphabet and can read and write slowly at a basic level.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Introduce yourself and give basic information about your home country, your job, your family, your likes and dislikes and your daily routine. Use and understand English in some simple everyday situations for example, ordering food in a café, asking for things in a shop. Read basic instructions and information. Write simple messages. Reading vocabulary: about 400 words.

Elementary (Basic User of English)
A1


You can communicate in some simple everyday situations but your pronunciation may cause problems and it is difficult for you to keep talking. You can understand native speakers if they speak simply and clearly. You can read simple texts but need to use a dictionary when you do. You can write simple sentences.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Talk about yourself, about your family, your job, your hobbies, your plans etc. Ask other people for information. Talk about your recent news and past experiences. Give simple descriptions of people and places. Say what you can and can’t do. Write simple paragraphs, e-mails, postcards, diary entries, etc. Read graded readers and articles for pleasure with less reliance on your dictionary. Reading vocabulary: about 800 words.

Pre-intermediate (Basic User of English)
A2

You can make yourself understood in everyday situations and talk about simple ideas. You can usually understand key information in announcements and clear native speaker speech. You can read simple texts and pick out key information in written notices and instructions. In your writing, you can link simple sentences together and make more complex sentences.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Talk about experiences and recent events using the present perfect and past simple. Talk about future plans and predictions. Use first and second conditional sentences. Use English to make suggestions, ask for permission and make polite requests. Write simple formal and informal letters or e-mails and short stories. Understand the main points in short newspaper and magazine articles. Reading vocabulary: about 1200 words.

Intermediate (Independent User of English)
B1

You can cope independently in familiar situations. You can often guess what people mean by understanding key words in an unfamiliar phrase. You can write notes and messages and fill out basic forms and applications. You can understand and follow clearly written instructions.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Express opinions and argue points related to topics such as the environment, education, work. Express permission and obligation. Ask for and give advice and recommendations. Talk about probability. Combine past tenses to make a narrative. Use the passive voice. Read a range of authentic English, for example, websites, short news and magazine articles. Reading vocabulary: about 1,700 words.

Upper-intermediate (Independent User of English)
B2

You can use language independently and effectively in all familiar situations. You still hesitate and have some difficulties keeping a conversation going, but this does not cause problems with basic communication. When someone speaks to you at normal speed, you can understand all the main points, but you might miss some of the details. You know quite a lot of vocabulary, but need practice using it. In your writing, you can express what you mean if it is not too complicated. You read texts of average difficulty with confidence, but you still use a dictionary quite often.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Make deductions about the past using must have/can’t have etc. Express regrets. Know whether to use the gerund or infinitive after verbs such as ‘enjoy, stop’ etc. Use and understand a number of phrasal verbs. Write a letter of application and short reports. Understand the general meaning of authentic readings and listenings (for example, newspaper articles and some TV programmes). Reading vocabulary: about 2,300 words.

Advanced (Proficient User of English)
C1

You can communicate confidently in a wide range of situations, but you are less fluent and correct at a higher, more demanding level. However, you now have a wide range of language and effective communication is easily restored. You have no problems listening to moderate level English spoken at normal speed, although at a higher level you may lose some of the detail and subtlety and sometimes have to ask the speaker to clarify what they have said. Your reading speed is good, and although higher level texts can still cause problems, you can follow the general ideas easily. With a piece of high level writing you show a good control of grammar, spelling, punctuation and structure and generally express your ideas clearly.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Use and understand more colloquial and idiomatic language. Cope with rapid connected speech and produce key native-like features of English phonology. Reading and listening skills will be further developed through the use of a wide range of different authentic texts. You should have a reading vocabulary of at least 3,400 words.

Proficiency (Proficient User of English)
C2

You have an excellent command of English and although your speech is occasionally influenced by your mother tongue, this does not affect communication in any way. You are confident in a wide range of listening situations and you rarely need anything repeated or rephrased. You are able to read a wide variety of texts, understanding almost all of the detail and subtlety. Your written work shows a wide use of language. You express yourself clearly, organise and link ideas effectively and adjust the style to suit the task.

At the end of this level you should be able to:

Use and understand a wide range of natural English spoken at normal speed in a variety of registers. Use a wide range of authentic reading and listening material reflecting the diverse nature of contemporary English. Write coherently and cohesively about a range of subjects in varied registers and genres.

Your teachers will monitor your progress carefully and will make recommendations when they believe you should you move up to higher level classes. If you have any questions about the level of your class and your progress, please speak to Anthony.

Level Descriptions

Our Attendance Policy

Our policy on student attendance has been designed to ensure the best possible progress and classroom conditions for learners and learning. It is important that students participate fully in their course and make the best use of their time at the school.

Being on time for lessons is important both as an act of respect for your teacher and fellow students and to ensure you do not miss important stages of the lesson.

Our full policy on attendance and absence can be read below:

1. As part of the induction process, students are asked to inform the School if they are unable to attend and to give a reason. CAS students will be advised individually of the attendance requirements and sanctions for non-compliance.

2. The DoS or another member of staff check every classroom to check all the students have arrived for class by 09.05, 11.05 and 13.35. Students who are more than 5 minutes late for lessons are not allowed to enter the lesson until the next break.

2.1. The names of missing students are sent to key staff in every department. Accommodation and Welfare call the host family of the absent student to check if they are ill or need assistance. Students under the age of 18 must be accounted for and located as soon as possible.

3. Absences are recorded by the teacher on the class register for each session, 09.00–10.30, 11.00–12.30 and 13.30–15.30 and 15.45–17.45 if applicable.

4. Every Friday, registers are checked and attendance is recorded and where necessary reported to sponsors. Chris Hawthorne or in his absence, Anthony Dolphin, collect registers and enter any CAS student absences into the Class system Student Attendance/Absence module.A Class system attendance report is run every week, checked and filed electronically. This report offers a percentage attendance figure for every student for each session and overall for the week.

5. If any student’s attendance is shown to be below 80% for the period of the report, a further report will be generated for the whole period of the student’s stay to date. If the percentage is still below 80%, the reasons will be reviewed and if no valid or acceptable reasons exist, e.g. sickness or family/employment problems, the following process will be initiated: A meeting will be held with the student to warn him/her that their attendance has fallen to an unacceptable level. A first warning letter (copy attached) will be read and explained to the student and a second meeting arranged for 2 weeks later to review the situation. Note: 80% attendance represents 1 full day per week for a 23 hour course and 1 morning per week for a 15 hour course. 10 consecutive absences, whether measured as 1 session or 1 day, would be picked up by the 80% rule.

5.1. If the student’s attendance has improved by the second meeting, he/she will be congratulated and told that their attendance will continue to be monitored and the improvement must be maintained. If the situation has not improved by the second meeting, a second warning letter will be read and explained to the student and their embassy/agent/family will be notified.

5.2. The third and final stage is to report the student to the relevant authority (formerly UKBA, sponsor, embassy, parent/guardian) and the following options will be considered: you may not receive a certificate or report for the period of below 80% attendance; you may not be able to obtain an academic reference from the school; you may be excluded from the school and your course may be cancelled without refund.

If you have any questions about our policy on attendance and absence, please speak to Chris Hawthorne (Director) or Paul Hawthorne (Managing Director).


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You will see notices in the school that summarise our policy:

Attendance and Lateness policy for students

Here at the Devon School of English we believe that attending all your classes and being on time is very important for your own and other students’ studies.

Attendance:

We expect you to attend 100% of all your classes, including morning and afternoon lessons.

Lateness:

We expect you to arrive at School before your class starts. If you are 15 or more minutes late, your teacher may ask you to wait until after the next break before joining the class. This will be recorded in the class register and will be treated as an absence for recording purposes.

What happens if your attendance is poor:

An attendance report is run every week. If your attendance falls below 80%

  • You will be called to a meeting with a Director of Studies and a Director of the School to discuss your attendance.
  • A second meeting will be arranged for 2 weeks later to review the situation.
  • If your attendance has not improved, a warning letter will be issued and your family, agent or sponsor will be informed.
  • No certificate or report will be given for the period of below 80% attendance and ultimately your course may be cancelled without refund.

If your absence is down to family, religious or health issues, these will of course be taken into account.

During activities and excursions, registers are kept by all of the activity leaders and regular counts are conducted. When students have free time on excursions, there are hourly muster point registers. All students are given a student card with a 24-hour emergency telephone number on it. The students are reminded of this number at the beginning of each trip. Students can call this number if they are lost or need help. Students are given town maps for all excursions. Staff to student ratios all meet British Council guidelines and will vary according to the activity. If a student is missing, this is reported to Martin Bladon (activities) or Paul Hawthorne (Principal) and efforts to trace them co-ordinated centrally. The school has contact numbers for all of its students. These are checked on arrival when students complete our In Case Of Emergency Form along with contact numbers for parents, guardians and next of kin in the student's home country.

Our Safeguarding Policy (shorter version)

DEVON SCHOOL SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

Our Safeguarding Commitment

 

At the Devon School of English, we all know that we have a statutory duty to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children”. The safety of our under-18 students will always be our top priority.

While a student is with us at the Devon School of English, we will do everything possible to make sure that their stay is a safe and happy one; one which takes place in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.

What you can read in this policy applies to any child of whatever gender, race, sexual orientation or religion. There will be no discrimination.

 

In this document you will find the following sections:

 

1.  Safeguarding at the Devon School – an overview

  • Child protection
  • Bullying
  • Safeguarding at the Devon School is also staying safe in the UK

5.  Other policies related to safeguarding

 

1.  Safeguarding at the Devon School – an overview

 

Key Personnel

The people with ultimate responsibility for Safeguarding in the school are the three Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs).

  

   Bret Hawthorne (Academic Director), contact: bret@devonschool.co.uk

   and

               Paul Hawthorne (Principal), contact: paul@devonschool.co.uk

              

The DSL’s will ensure that all staff receive training in safeguarding and will ensure that safeguarding is at the heart of the school ethos. They are the persons responsible for Child Protection issues in the school (see section 2 below)

The names and photos of these staff members are prominently displayed on posters around the school.

Nina Kneil is the Student Welfare Officer for our junior students (18 years and under). Students can talk to Nina about any issues or areas of concern but we also make sure all students know they can talk to any member of staff who will always be available, approachable and always use discretion.

 

Staff safeguarding responsibilities In UK Law, there is a “duty of care” to safeguard children well.  This means adults that work with children must provide a high level of “Duty of Care” – it is an integral part of their job. And this UK law applies to everyone who lives in the UK and for everyone who is visiting the UK including foreign group leaders.

All staff at the school are trained to be aware and vigilant on safeguarding matters, and know who to report any concerns to.  Adults working with under-18s are explained the importance of their role in the safeguarding process at interview and again at induction; they all complete a Level 1 Safeguarding certificate and read the booklet Keeping Children Safe in Education.

They are reminded to look out for safeguarding issues as part of regular meetings.

Some members of staff have also received Safeguarding level 2 Training. These Designated Safeguarding People are aware of their pro-active role in the school.There are enough DSPs to cover all premises used by the school at all times, and they are specialised in different areas (see safeguarding personnel poster). The photos of these members of staff are also displayed on the safeguarding posters.

 

Our students

ADD The Devon School of English provides English language courses for a wide range of students from the ages of 13 years to over 70. Of these, a significant number are children (= under 18). We also organise homestay accommodation for these students (or other accommodation upon request). If requested, we also organise transfers to the school within the UK.

Safeguarding mostly applies to children, but some adults, too, are in a vulnerable position when they come to the UK. They are away from home in a strange culture and environment and there is also the problem of the language. A lot of what we do is designed to help these vulnerable adults, too.

 

Safeguarding our students – what sort of things does it involve?

Safeguarding and staying safe in the UK include many different things. Some examples are:

  • Setting curfews so students come home at a reasonable time
  • Knowing about students’ medical conditions so we can react effectively in the case of an emergency.

·         Warning students about the dangers of crossing the road (we drive on the left)

·         Not sending students on an outdoor activity if heavy rain is forecast:

Thinking about possible problems or risks, in advance, is very important

For this reason we do risk assessments. Risk assessments are documents which anticipate what safety problems could occur and how to avoid them. They cover all sorts of situations, for example:

  • Class activities in the school gardens
  • Going on an excursion to Exeter

·         Walking home from school to the homestay

Risks you would see on a risk assessment could include:

  • Slipping on a wet path
  • Crossing the road

·         Falling in a stream

Risk assessments are read and signed by all staff involved in the activity in question and by all Foreign group leaders who are also involved.

 

 

2.  Child protection

 

Though these situations are fortunately not common in EFL schools, in can happen that we may learn of cases where there is a possibility that a child is in danger. This might be, for example, because we have become aware of a situation back in their own country, or have information about adults that they have come into contact with in the UK.

 

There are some key words which you will need to remember in this section.

A concern is a worry about a child. A disclosure is when a child comes to talk to you about a problem. An allegation is when someone says an adult (sometimes another child) is not behaving appropriately with a child. A referral means when a decision is made, because of the seriousness of the situation, to contact the Local Children’s Services in the person of the LADO (Local Area Designated Officer).

When we talk about staff here, we mean all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent.

 

 

There are 4 areas of abuse, 4 types of situations that can place a child in danger. They are : Physical, Sexual, Emotional or Neglect.

These 4 areas and the possible signs associated with them form the basis of the level 1 Safeguarding certificate that all our adult staff have completed and they constitute the main content of the booklet: Keeping Children Safe in Education that all adult staff will have read. All concerns regarding children and allegations regarding adults will be dealt with as soon as possible in a sensitive and caring way.

 

 

Concerns and Disclosures

All staff members working with children are recruited with safeguarding responsibilities in mind and are provided with guidance and training in good practice and child protection procedures.

All Devon School staff - Directors, Teachers, Accommodation and Welfare staff, Activity and Transport staff - are trained to be vigilant and attentive when looking for signs that a student may be unwell or unhappy – in lessons, during breaks, on trips and in the homestay.

Staff know that they must report all concerns, however small – the School would rather they report things which turn out to be small rather than miss a worrying situation.

However, if staff  think the matter may be very serious and may involve Child Protection, they must report the matter immediately to one of the Safeguarding Leads. You must never not do anything in these situations

All suspected cases of abuse are taken very seriously and we will investigate all situations quickly and in an appropriate manner.  All staff know that these cases must be dealt with quickly and sensitively.

If there is a report or suspicion of abuse, a trained Welfare Officer will talk to the student and record the findings on a pre-designated form.

Outside school opening hours you can contact the school emergency number: 07885 221647. A trained safeguarding person will answer your call.

Sometimes an under-18 student may decide to tell you their problem directly (“make a disclosure” ). If an under-18 wishes to talk about a problem they have, it is important that the adult follows exactly the procedure below

  

  • Reassure the student that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
  • Listen to the student, showing that you are taking them seriously
  • Remain calm and do not over-react, or seem shocked. The child might stop talking otherwise
  • Keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear accurate understanding of what has happened. Avoid leading questions
  • Do not judge or make accusations
  • Inform the student that you have to tell other people about what they have told you in order to help
  • Record ALL information in their own words on our Disclosure Form
  • Report fully to a member of the Safeguarding staff who will be able to take over and pass on all concerns to the relevant authorities.

  

Allegations

If an Allegation is made against an adult then these are treated in strictest confidence (the allegation may or may not be true) and must be reported directly to one or other of the DSL's as there is a strict protocol to be followed and the relevant local authorities must be contacted immediately.

Similarly if a child is accused of something, these Allegations will be  treated in strictest confidence (the allegation may or may not be true) and must be reported directly to one or other of the DSL's as there is a strict protocol to be followed and the relevant local authorities might need to be contacted.

VERY IMPORTANT If, for any reason, at any point, you are not happy or comfortable about how the School is dealing with a concern or an allegation related to an Under -18 year-old, or if you wish to report your concern directly to the local authority, you should make your own referral and call the local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01803 208100 or out of hours on 0300 456 487. Alternatively, you could call the Police: 101 (non-urgent), 999 (urgent) or you could contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

 

You might also think that some adults working with under 18s are breaking the code of conduct. In this case you must report this to designated staff – this is a legal requirement. The law in these cases protects you: your identity will be protected and you will not suffer because you have reported somebody. The details of this type of situation are available to read in our Whistleblowing policy

 

3.   Bullying

It is also possible to consider bullying a 5th form of abuse. Bullying, and online bullying, can have very serious consequences as you unfortunately see in the newspapers from time to time. If someone hits you, threatens you or says nasty things to you, this is bullying. Bullying is also laughing repeatedly at someone who answers a question wrong in class; making fun of someone’s clothes; a group of friends isolating another friend from their group.

Report anything you think is Bullying to a member of staff as soon as possible.

Respect for each other is the most important part of our school. We must respect people’s beliefs, respect people’s countries, respect people’s differences.

We have a zero-tolerance policy against bullying of any kind – physical, verbal, indirect or electronic (cyber bullying). We have a clear anti-bullying policy (displayed in the school) and procedures for dealing with abuse.

If you have any problems or concerns, please speak to a member of staff. If you prefer, you can speak to your Group Leader so they can inform a school Director. Remember it is very important that you report problems as soon as you possible so they can be dealt with quickly.

 

 

 

Safeguarding at the Devon School in practice

 

 

 

  • What we do to safeguard our students travelling to and from Paignton

 

Arrivals and Departures

Every under-18 student is met upon their arrival to Paignton by a responsible adult as set out by the British Council and is escorted to their departure in the same way.

 

Airport transfers

Full information prior to arrival is sent to individuals and groups informing them of the procedures in the airport as well as all emergency numbers. Designated staff will organise transfers each week, having individual meetings with unaccompanied students about their departure. Unaccompanied status is notified to reception on enrolment and they will pass this information on to the transfer department. Unaccompanied minors will then be assigned to a member of staff who will be responsible for the student checking in or meeting for their arrival. This name is then passed back to their family / agent to inform the airline. If a student under 18 wishes to travel independently we will always wait for written confirmation from either the family or agent to confirm this. At this point we will look at the safest way of transferring them.

 

b. Information and Education for students

 

Before students arrive

Our enrolment form and parental consent form ask students to tell us of any medical condition, allergy or dietary requirement or special requests so we can find the correct homestay and also if necessary inform the relevant staff members, cooks and teachers.

An In Case of Emergency form is sent out to the student and their family and they must return this to the school before they travel.

Pre-arrival information gives students of all ages the option of assistance in booking their transfer and help in getting to Paignton.

We also direct new students to our website where they can read the school's policies in full and have access to the Welcome Pack.

The Welcome Pack provides important information regarding the student's welfare and safety while studying here in the UK .There are also emergency contact numbers and useful information about homestays and the local area

 

Information for students on arrival

On the student's first morning they will have a 30-45 minute induction which will cover the most important information contained in the Welcome Pack – e.g. fire safety, lessons times and punctuality, school rules and curfews. The students receive a folder with their copy of this information pack. They also are given a student card with their homestay’s and school contact numbers on. They also get a coloured rubber wristband to wear which has the school’s emergency contact number on.

Staff from the Accommodation and Welfare department are personally introduced at this point and students are encouraged to speak with these staff members should the have any welfare problems. The students are briefed in their Induction about the importance of staying safe and looking out for each other e.g with regard to bullying, E-safety etc. They are told who to speak to if they have a concern. They are told, for example, about the dangers of crossing the road, places to avoid when it is dark and the dangers of swimming in the sea.

Juniors also receive a police talk – the officer explains about staying safe in Paignton and the UK and the rules about smoking, drugs and alcohol in the UK.  They are told to be careful of their valuables, such as mobile phones. They are told the emergency number for ambulance, fire and coastgaurd and also given the Police non-urgent number – 101.

On the first day, the students also have an orientation walk around Paignton and local facilities are pointed out.

 

During their stay

We monitor each student throughout their stay:  for example, by talking to them, keeping an eye on them, analysing their feedback questionnaires and communicating with their homestay host and school staff. There is a safeguarding section on the agenda in every staff meeting. During the student's stay a member of the welfare team visits both buildings every AM break and at lunch time to be present for any concerns they may have. In addition, an organised meeting takes place once a week for the under 18s enrolled on an adult course.

All this helps us to check  that the students are ok and happy with all aspects all of their stay and that they are getting on with their peers and adapting to life in Paignton.

 

 

Safeguarding awareness in the lessons

Every two weeks, teachers do safeguarding awareness sessions with students. These encourage students to think for themselves about staying safe in the UK. Students produce posters, power-point presentations and videos to get the message across to their school-mates. Areas of risk that past students have identified have  included road safety, UK laws regarding alcohol and smoking, E Safety, bullying, stranger danger, local areas to avoid,mobile phones advice, seagull danger, emergency service contact numbers etc.

The work is displayed around the school and used in inductions, Welcome Packs, and online on the school website and Facebook.

 

 

 c. How we know where students are at all times

 

It is, of course, important that we know where students are at all times of the day. There are different ways we do this.

 

Absence and lateness checking

The names of all under-18 Students not in their AM or PM class 5 minutes after the start of lessons are reported to the Front Office who follow up the absence immediately.

The same happens for the start of activities or departures on excursions. If a student is missing the Activity Manager reports the name and works with the the Foreign group leaders and Reception staff to locate the student.

Homestay hosts have curfew times for their students and call the Emergency Number if the students fail to come home at the correct time

 

Under 18 students on Adult courses

It is possible for 16 and 17-year-old students to attend adult classes. The level of supervision in these situations is less for these students compared with students of the same age attending a Junior course.

For this reason, teachers are reminded of under-18 students in their class by the highlighting of their name on the register. Welfare staff have a list of under-18s on adult courses and the students are asked and advised about their movements after lessons have finished and before they return to their homestay.

 

Curfews for students in  homestays

 

It is very important that under 18s know what time they must be home by in the evening (and also important that the homestay hosts have this information, too). Here are the curfews (coming home times) that we have set .

 

13 -15 years

10:00pm

16 -17 years

 

10:30pm

 

13 – 15 year olds

13 – 15 year olds will be supervised on programmed activities, and should always try to travel with at least one other person aged 13 or over.  

 

16 -17 year olds

Must be home by 10.30, however are expected to use their own means to travel to and from host families and or activities.

 

Homestay hosts keep a note of their student’s mobile number so that you can call them at any time.

 

All students are advised of their curfew times on their first day at school.  If the student does not arrive home by the curfew time, the homesaty hosts try to contact the student directly.  If the student is over 30 minutes late, and cannot be contacted, the hosts are instructed to call the emergency phone

 

If a student is persistently late, the homestay informs the school l so we can address this, and remind them that we may tell their parents.  This often helps improve punctuality.

 

Students who are ill

In the case of unaccompanied junior students being absent due to illness, a member of our accommodation and welfare staff visits the student at their home and ensures any medical appointment or consultation is made.

 

Injuries and First aid

 

4.  Other policies related to safeguarding

 

The above  is a brief outline of what safeguarding means at the Devon School and how it works in practice.

There are many other very important things that we do which are directly connected with safeguarding  and you can read about them in our separate policies on our website. Thes policies are:

 

Code of Conduct (Guidance for safer working practice)

This tells you how staff should behave when around students – the do’s and the don’ts. There are guidelines about communication with students; what it is appropriate to wear and what isn’t, etc.

Safer Recruitment Policy

We are very careful about how we recruit our staff (teachers, activity leaders, admin staff) and how we find new homestays. You can read about all the checks that we make and references that we ask for in this policy

Prevent Policy

This talks about what we do to help prevent extremism and radicalisation and tells you what we consider to be Core British Values

Online Safety Policy (E-safety policy)

This policy outlines how we try to keep students safe in school. This is important as children use electronic equipment on a daily basis to access the internet and share content and images via social media sites such as Facebook, What’s App, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc

Anti-Bullying Policy

This policy deals with how we view and approach bullying in our school.

 

Our Safeguarding Policy (Full version)

DEVON SCHOOL SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

Our Safeguarding Commitment

 

At the Devon School of English, we all know that we have a statutory duty to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children”. The safety of our under-18 students will always be our top priority.

While a student is with us at the Devon School of English, we will do everything possible to make sure that their stay is a safe and happy one; one which takes place in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.

What you can read in this policy applies to any child of whatever gender, race, sexual orientation or religion. There will be no discrimination.

 

In this document you will find the following sections:

 

1.  Safeguarding at the Devon School – an overview

  • Child protection
  • Bullying
  • Safeguarding at the Devon School is also staying safe in the UK

5.  Appendix- Recognising signs of abuse

 

1.  Safeguarding at the Devon School – an overview

 

Key Personnel

The people with ultimate responsibility for Safeguarding in the school are the 2 Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs).

 

 Bret Hawthorne (Academic Director), contact: bret@devonschool.co.uk

and

              Paul Hawthorne (Principal), contact: paul@devonschool.co.uk

              

The DSL’s will ensure that all staff  (staff = all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent, including homestays taking under 18s and group leaders) receive training in safeguarding and will ensure that safeguarding is at the heart of the school ethos. They are the persons responsible for Child Protection issues in the school (see section 2 below)

The names and photos of these 2 staff members are prominently displayed on posters around the school.

There are  Student Welfare Officers for our junior students (18 years and under). Students can talk to them about any issues or areas of concern but we also make sure all students know they can talk to any member of staff who will always be available, approachable and always use discretion.  

 

Staff safeguarding responsibilities In UK Law, there is a “duty of care” to safeguard children well.  This means adults that work with children must provide a high level of “Duty of Care” – it is an integral part of their job. And this UK law applies to everyone who lives in the UK and for everyone who is visiting the UK including foreign group leaders.

All staff at the school are trained to be aware and vigilant on safeguarding matters, and know who to report any concerns to.  Adults working with under-18s are explained the importance of their role in the safeguarding process at interview and again at induction; they all complete a Level 1 Safeguarding certificate and read the booklet Keeping Children Safe in Education.

They are reminded to look out for safeguarding issues as part of regular meetings.

Some members of staff have also received Safeguarding level 2 Training. These Designated Safeguarding People are aware of their pro-active role in the school.There are enough DSPs to cover all premises used by the school at all times, and they are specialised in different areas (see safeguarding personnel poster). The photos of these members of staff are also displayed on the safeguarding posters.

 

Staff training

All staff do Safeguarding Basic Awareness and Prevent online training with a focus on ELT organisations before they start employment. They receive further reinforcement of the importance of their safeguarding role in the School during their induction.  Safeguarding training continues in the school with awareness sessions in the form of quizzes and as an item on the agenda of staff meetings. Certain permanent members of staff are also selected for level 2 training to become Designated Safeguarding Persons. The two DSLs have level three training and attend refresher courses every 2 years

 

Our students The Devon School of English provides English language courses for a wide range of students from the ages of 13 years to over 70. Of these, a significant number are children (= under 18). We also organise homestay accommodation for these students (or other accommodation upon request). If requested, we also organise transfers to the school within the UK.

Safeguarding mostly applies to children, but some adults, too, are in a vulnerable position when they come to the UK. They are away from home in a strange culture and environment and there is also the problem of the language. A lot of what we do is designed to help these vulnerable adults, too.

 

Safeguarding our students – what sort of things does it involve?

Safeguarding and staying safe in the UK include many different things. Some examples are:

  • Setting curfews so students come home at a reasonable time
  • Knowing about students’ medical conditions so we can react effectively in the case of an emergency.

·         Warning students about the dangers of crossing the road (we drive on the left)

·         Not sending students on an outdoor activity if heavy rain is forecast:

Thinking about possible problems or risks, in advance, is very important

 

For this reason we do risk assessments. Risk assessments are documents which anticipate what safety problems could occur and how to avoid them. They cover all sorts of situations, for example:

  • Class activities in the school gardens
  • Going on an excursion to Exeter

·         Walking home from school to the homestay

Risks you would see on a risk assessment could include:

  • Slipping on a wet path
  • Crossing the road

·         Falling in a stream

Risk assessments are read and signed by all staff involved in the activity in question and by all Foreign group leaders who are also involved.

 

Risk assessments are produced using Cititrainer online by Paul Hawthorne, and are anually reviewed. Annually, Cititrainer send a representative to meet with Paul Hawthorne to update all aspects of health and safety at the school. Building and fire risk assessments are available to view in the Health & Safety management system folder in the Directors office.

Supervision ratios are decided on according to the Risk Assessment for the specific activity. Generally we follow the guidelines of the DfEE 1998 publication: Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits and then guidelines from English UK, that is, for the 11+ age-group, 1 adult:15 students. This might be lowered to 1:20 if the risk involved is low or raised to 1:10 or 1: 5 if the risk is higher. There will always be enough supervisors on hand to deal with an emergency.

Fire safety

Each building has dedicated fire wardens which is signed on the notice boards. Each week the fire bells are checked in each building for routine checks as well as allowing the student to hear and familiarise themselves with the sound of the bell. Full fire drills are done quarterly. Fire extinguishers are annually serviced and selected staff members have been trained on the use of the extinguishers.

First aid & medical

First aid boxes are at key points in the school buildings and designated first aiders are displayed on signs around the school. Staff  have First aid in the work place training, as well as emergency first aid. A first aider will always be present on the activity shift and in each building during lesson times.

 

 

 

2.  Child protection

 

Though these situations are fortunately not common in EFL schools, in can happen that we may learn of cases where there is a possibility that a child is in danger. This might be, for example, because we have become aware of a situation back in their own country, or have information about adults that they have come into contact with in the UK.

 

There are some key words which you will need to remember in this section.

A concern is a worry about a child. A disclosure is when a child comes to talk to you about a problem. An allegation is when someone says an adult (sometimes another child) is not behaving appropriately with a child. A referral means when a decision is made, because of the seriousness of the situation, to contact the Local Children’s Services in the person of the LADO (Local Area Designated Officer).

When we talk about staff here, we mean all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent.

 

 

There are 4 areas of abuse, 4 types of situations that can place a child in danger. They are : Physical, Sexual, Emotional or Neglect.

These 4 areas and the possible signs associated with them form the basis of the level 1 Safeguarding certificate that all our adult staff have completed and they constitute the main content of the booklet: Keeping Children Safe in Education that all adult staff will have read. All concerns regarding children and allegations regarding adults will be dealt with as soon as possible in a sensitive and caring way. See Appendix for information on recognising signs of Child Abuse

 

 

Concerns and Disclosures

All staff members working with children are recruited with safeguarding responsibilities in mind and are provided with guidance and training in good practice and child protection procedures.

All Devon School staff - Directors, Teachers, Accommodation and Welfare staff, Activity and Transport staff - are trained to be vigilant and attentive when looking for signs that a student may be unwell or unhappy – in lessons, during breaks, on trips and in the homestay.

Staff know that they must report all concerns, however small – the School would rather they report things which turn out to be small rather than miss a worrying situation.

However, if staff  think the matter may be very serious and may involve Child Protection, they must report the matter immediately to one of the Safeguarding Leads. You must never not do anything in these situations

All suspected cases of abuse are taken very seriously and we will investigate all situations quickly and in an appropriate manner.  All staff know that these cases must be dealt with quickly and sensitively.

If there is a report or suspicion of abuse, a trained Welfare Officer will talk to the student and record the findings on a pre-designated form.

Outside school opening hours you can contact the school emergency number: 07885 221647. A trained safeguarding person will answer your call.

Sometimes an under-18 student may decide to tell you their problem directly (“make a disclosure” ). If an under-18 wishes to talk about a problem they have, it is important that the adult follows exactly the procedure below

  

  • Reassure the student that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
  • Listen to the student, showing that you are taking them seriously
  • Remain calm and do not over-react, or seem shocked. The child might stop talking otherwise
  • Keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear accurate understanding of what has happened. Avoid leading questions
  • Do not judge or make accusations
  • Inform the student that you have to tell other people about what they have told you in order to help
  • Record ALL information in their own words on our Disclosure Form
  • Report fully to a member of the Safeguarding staff who will be able to take over and pass on all concerns to the relevant authorities.

  

Allegations

If an Allegation is made against an adult then these are treated in strictest confidence (the allegation may or may not be true) and must be reported directly to one or other of the DSL's as there is a strict protocol to be followed and the relevant local authorities must be contacted immediately.

Similarly if a child is accused of something, these Allegations will be  treated in strictest confidence (the allegation may or may not be true) and must be reported directly to one or other of the DSL's as there is a strict protocol to be followed and the relevant local authorities might need to be contacted.

VERY IMPORTANT If, for any reason, at any point, you are not happy or comfortable about how the School is dealing with a concern or an allegation related to an Under -18 year-old, or if you wish to report your concern directly to the local authority, you should make your own referral and call the local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01803 208100 or out of hours on 0300 456 487. Alternatively, you could call the Police: 101 (non-urgent), 999 (urgent) or you could contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

 

You might also think that some adults working with under 18s are breaking the code of conduct. In this case you must report this to designated staff – this is a legal requirement. The law in these cases protects you: your identity will be protected and you will not suffer because you have reported somebody. The details of this type of situation are available to read in our Whistleblowing policy

 

3.   Bullying

It is also possible to consider bullying a 5th form of abuse. Bullying, and online bullying, can have very serious consequences as you unfortunately see in the newspapers from time to time. If someone hits you, threatens you or says nasty things to you, this is bullying. Bullying is also laughing repeatedly at someone who answers a question wrong in class; making fun of someone’s clothes; a group of friends isolating another friend from their group.

Report anything you think is Bullying to a member of staff as soon as possible.

Respect for each other is the most important part of our school. We must respect people’s beliefs, respect people’s countries, respect people’s differences.

We have a zero-tolerance policy against bullying of any kind – physical, verbal, indirect or electronic (cyber bullying). We have a clear anti-bullying policy (displayed in the school) and procedures for dealing with abuse.

If you have any problems or concerns, please speak to a member of staff. If you prefer, you can speak to your Group Leader so they can inform a school Director. Remember it is very important that you report problems as soon as you possible so they can be dealt with quickly.

 

 

 

4.  Safeguarding at the Devon School in practice

 

 

  • What we do to safeguard our students travelling to and from Paignton

 

Arrivals and Departures

Every under-18 student is met upon their arrival to Paignton by a responsible adult as set out by the British Council and is escorted to their departure in the same way.

 

Airport transfers

Full information prior to arrival is sent to individuals and groups informing them of the procedures in the airport as well as all emergency numbers. Designated staff will organise transfers each week, having individual meetings with unaccompanied students about their departure. Unaccompanied status is notified to reception on enrolment and they will pass this information on to the transfer department. Unaccompanied minors will then be assigned to a member of staff who will be responsible for the student checking in or meeting for their arrival. This name is then passed back to their family / agent to inform the airline. If a student under 18 wishes to travel independently we will always wait for written confirmation from either the family or agent to confirm this. At this point we will look at the safest way of transferring them.

 

b. Information and Education for students

 

Before students arrive

Our enrolment form and parental consent form ask students to tell us of any medical condition, allergy or dietary requirement or special requests so we can find the correct homestay and also if necessary inform the relevant staff members, cooks and teachers.

An In Case of Emergency form is sent out to the student and their family and they must return this to the school before they travel.

Pre-arrival information gives students of all ages the option of assistance in booking their transfer and help in getting to Paignton.

We also direct new students to our website where they can read the school's policies in full and have access to the Welcome Pack.

The Welcome Pack provides important information regarding the student's welfare and safety while studying here in the UK .There are also emergency contact numbers and useful information about homestays and the local area

 

Information for students on arrival

On the student's first morning they will have a 30-45 minute induction which will cover the most important information contained in the Welcome Pack – e.g. fire safety, lessons times and punctuality, school rules and curfews. The students receive a folder with their copy of this information pack. They also are given a student card with their homestay’s and school contact numbers on. They also get a coloured rubber wristband to wear which has the school’s emergency contact number on.

Staff from the Accommodation and Welfare department are personally introduced at this point and students are encouraged to speak with these staff members should the have any welfare problems. The students are briefed in their Induction about the importance of staying safe and looking out for each other e.g with regard to bullying, E-safety etc. They are told who to speak to if they have a concern. They are told, for example, about the dangers of crossing the road, places to avoid when it is dark and the dangers of swimming in the sea.

Juniors also receive a police talk – the officer explains about staying safe in Paignton and the UK and the rules about smoking, drugs and alcohol in the UK.  They are told to be careful of their valuables, such as mobile phones. They are told the emergency number for ambulance, fire and coastgaurd and also given the Police non-urgent number – 101.

On the first day, the students also have an orientation walk around Paignton and local facilities are pointed out.

 

During their stay

We monitor each student throughout their stay:  for example, by talking to them, keeping an eye on them, analysing their feedback questionnaires and communicating with their homestay host and school staff. There is a safeguarding section on the agenda in every staff meeting. During the student's stay a member of the welfare team visits both buildings every AM break and at lunch time to be present for any concerns they may have. In addition, an organised meeting takes place once a week for the under 18s enrolled on an adult course.

All this helps us to check  that the students are ok and happy with all aspects all of their stay and that they are getting on with their peers and adapting to life in Paignton.

 

Daily Safeguarding Traffic-Light System 

As safeguarding issues arise a report is raised for that individual student and filed in either a Red, Amber or Green category. The reports are re-addressed throughout the student's stay and actioned as appropriate. The DSL signs off each report before being filed in the incident folder. Meetings - daily departmental meetings, weekly inter-departmental meetings, group leader and student meetings are all an opportunity for communication of any concerns and welfare issues.

Safeguarding awareness in the lessons

Every two weeks, teachers do safeguarding awareness sessions with students in Junior classes. These encourage students to think for themselves about staying safe in the UK. Students produce posters, power-point presentations and videos to get the message across to their school-mates. Areas of risk that past students have identified have  included road safety, UK laws regarding alcohol and smoking, E Safety, bullying, stranger danger, local areas to avoid,mobile phones advice, seagull danger, emergency service contact numbers etc.

The work is displayed around the school and used in inductions, Welcome Packs, and online on the school website and Facebook.

 

 

 c. How we know where students are at all times

 

It is, of course, important that we know where students are at all times of the day. There are different ways we do this.

 

Absence and lateness checking

The names of all under-18 Students not in their AM or PM class 5 minutes after the start of lessons are reported to the Front Office who follow up the absence immediately.

The same happens for the start of activities or departures on excursions. If a student is missing the Activity Manager reports the name and works with the the Foreign group leaders and Reception staff to locate the student.

Homestay hosts have curfew times for their students and call the Emergency Number if the students fail to come home at the correct time

 

Under 18 students on Adult courses

It is possible for 16 and 17-year-old students to attend adult classes. The level of supervision in these situations is less for these students compared with students of the same age attending a Junior course.

For this reason, teachers are reminded of under-18 students in their class by the highlighting of their name on the register. Welfare staff have a list of under-18s on adult courses and the students are asked and advised about their movements after lessons have finished and before they return to their homestay.

 

Curfews for students in  homestays

 

It is very important that under 18s know what time they must be home by in the evening (and also important that the homestay hosts have this information, too). Here are the curfews (coming home times) that we have set .

 

13 -15 years

10:00pm

16 -17 years

 

10:30pm

 

13 – 15 year olds

13 – 15 year olds will be supervised on programmed activities, and should always try to travel with at least one other person aged 13 or over.  

 

16 -17 year olds

Must be home by 10.30, however are expected to use their own means to travel to and from host families and or activities.

 

Homestay hosts keep a note of their student’s mobile number so that you can call them at any time.

 

All students are advised of their curfew times on their first day at school.  If the student does not arrive home by the curfew time, the homesaty hosts try to contact the student directly.  If the student is over 30 minutes late, and cannot be contacted, the hosts are instructed to call the emergency phone

 

If a student is persistently late, the homestay informs the school l so we can address this, and remind them that we may tell their parents.  This often helps improve punctuality.

 

Students who are ill

In the case of unaccompanied junior students being absent due to illness, a member of our accommodation and welfare staff visits the student at their home and ensures any medical appointment or consultation is made.

 

 

  • 5.Appendix  - Recognising signs of child abuse

 The 4  Categories of Abuse are

· Physical Abuse

· Emotional Abuse

· Sexual Abuse (including child sexual exploitation)

· Neglect

 

Signs of Abuse in Children: The following non-specific signs may indicate something is wrong:

· Significant change in behaviour

· Extreme anger or sadness

· Aggressive and attention-seeking behaviour

· Suspicious bruises with unsatisfactory explanations

· Lack of self-esteem

· Self-injury

· Depression

· Age inappropriate sexual behaviour

.

Recognising Physical Abuse

The following are often regarded as indicators of concern:

  • An explanation which is inconsistent with an injury
  • Physical marks which cannot be explained
  • Bruising on usual parts of the body – or symettrical (possibly indicating grip marks\\\0
  • wearing long sleeved clothes to hide marks
  • Unusual burns and scalds e.g. Circular burns from cigarettes
  • Multiple scars of different sizes or ages, or on different parts of the body

Recognising Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse may be difficult to recognise, as the signs are usually behavioural rather than physical. The manifestations of emotional abuse might also indicate the presence of other kinds of abuse. The following may be indicators of emotional abuse:

· Aggressive behaviour towards others

· Low self-esteem and lack of confidence

· Withdrawn or seen as a “loner” – difficulty relating to others

Recognising Signs of Sexual Abuse

Boys and girls of all ages may be sexually abused and are frequently scared to say anything due to guilt and/or fear. This is particularly difficult for a child to talk about and full account should be taken of the cultural sensitivities of any individual.

Recognition can be difficult, unless the child discloses and is believed. There may be no physical signs and indications are likely to be emotional/behavioural. These could be:

· Inappropriate sexualised conduct

· Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age

· Self-harm (including eating disorder), self mutilation and suicide attempts

· An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes e.g. for sports events (but this may be related to cultural norms or physical difficulties)

Recognising Neglect

Evidence of neglect is built up over a period of time and can cover different aspects of parenting. Indicators include:

· Failure by parents to meet the basic essential needs e.g. adequate food, clothes, warmth, hygiene and medical care

· Child thrives away from home environment

Bullying/Abusive behaviour

What is bullying?

 “Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated* over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally” – that is the definition provided by the Department of Education

Bullying is abusive and anti-social behaviour and it affects everyone.

The type of school we are

The Devon School of English is a cosmopolitan school where we embrace people’s differences. At the Devon School, we firmly believe that the most important basis for a harmonious and enjoyable working or studying relationship is respect for each other. That means respect for people’s beliefs; respect for the way they choose to live their lives; respect for people’s countries, their culture and their traditions.

Respect is very important in making our school a pleasant place to be

 

 

The consequences of bullying and our commitment

 

Bullying, and online bullying, can have very serious consequences.No one should underestimate the impact that bullying can have on a person’s life. It can cause high levels of distress, affecting people’s well-being, behaviour, academic and social development.

 

At the Devon School of English we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for everybody so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere free from oppression and abuse. Everybody has the right to go about their daily lives without the fear of being threatened, assaulted or harassed.

 

Zero Tolerance

 

All types of bullying are unacceptable at our school and will not be tolerated – that is what zero-tolerance means.

 

 

 

* Isolated or one-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, inculding a one-off offensive or hurtful text message, or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying - however, in the context of this policy, placing a one-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and /or repeated by other people will be considered as bullying behaviour.

What forms can bullying take?

 

Bullying comes in many forms.

If someone hits you, threatens you or says nasty things to you - that is bullying.

Bullying is also laughing repeatedly at someone who answers a question wrongly in class or sending unpleasant or nasty text messages to someone.

Bullying is making fun of someone’s clothes.

A group of friends isolating another friend from their group – that is bullying

 

Basically, there are 4 types of bullying::

· Indirect: being unfriendly (by saying bad things to, or about them), spreading rumours, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding bags or books), not respecting different cultures, religions or beliefs

 · Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, slapping or any form of violence

· Verbal: name-calling, teasing, threats, sarcasm

· Electronic or Cyber: All areas of internet misuse, such as nasty and/or threatening emails, misuse of blogs, gaming websites, internet chat rooms and instant messaging; Mobile threats by text messaging & calls; Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera and video facilities. The growing prominence and dangers of cyber-bullying and the subsequent need for heightened e-safety measures and support is recognized – please refer to our E-Safety and Social Media Policy for further information

Plus any other type of abuse, which could be Racial, Homophobic, or bullying regarding

disability, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, appearance or circumstance

What we do about alleged incidents of bullying

We have a zero-tolerance policy against any of the above forms of bullying. This means that anyone who is aware of any type of bullying that is taking place must tell a member of staff immediately. Report anything you think might be bullying.

 

 

 

Procedure for dealing with alleged abuse and bullying

If any of our students or staff report an incident of alleged abuse or bullying, the following procedure would apply which is the same as would happen when a student/person discloses any type of abuse

  • Make sure the student/person knows they did the right thing in telling us about their situation but that the information cannot be kept secret. Let the student/personknow that the discussion will be treated confidentially and will be taken seriously but the school will need to talk to other people involved in the allegation to stop the problem. Two members of staff will be  present.
  • Note down the exact words about where the alleged incident happened and who was involved.
  • Inform the Academic Director of the incident and confirm which members of staff will be dealing with the incident.
  • Group leaders will be informed if the student is part of a group, possibly also homestay hosts if necessary
  • If necessary parents will be informed, depending on the seriousness of the situation
  • If necessary, the Police will be consulted
  • Support and check with the student for the rest of their stay that everything is now OK

 

What if a student’s abusive behaviour is deemed unnacceptable?

  • It is the school’s decision if a student’s behaviour is unacceptable or not. Any students who harass or bully another person or people will be given a verbal warning for unacceptable behaviour. Where it is deemed appropriate to approach someone about their behaviour, this should (where appropriate) be done informally, privately and at time when all parties involved are composed. The aims of the verbal warning process are:
  • · to ascertain the reason for the behaviour,  to prevent further incidents or reduce the risk of them reoccurring.
  • · to ensure that the person breaking the policy is aware of the consequences of further unacceptable behaviour.
  • A meeting should be arranged and conducted in a fair and objective manner. A formal record should be made and maintained.
  • Where, despite an initial verbal warning, an individual has repeated their unacceptable behaviour, a final written warning is given. The final written warning should:
  • · Explain the reasons why further sanctions are being considered (Including relevant information, dates and times of incidents).

 

What we do in general about bullying

  • Discuss, monitor and review our anti-bullying policy on a regular basis.
  • Support our staff and hosts to identify and tackle bullying appropriately.
  • Educate and inform students about bullying
  • Ensure students know that any concerns about bullying will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that all students feel safe to learn; and that all students abide by our anti-bullying policy.
  • Report back to parents and hosts regarding their concerns about bullying, and to deal promptly with complaints.
  • Learn from anti-bullying good practice elsewhere and use the support of relevant organisations where appropriate.

 

Educating and informing students

Students receive education and information about bullying in their Welcome Pack. This information is explained to them explicitly in their Induction and they are made aware of the School’s policy towards bullying and their attention is drawn to our Anti-Bullying Posters displayed prominently around the school

All pupils should feel able to tell and when bullying behaviour is brought to our attention, prompt and effective action will be taken.  All reports of bullying will be taken seriously. Students are told that they can talk to any member of staff at any time. If they prefer, they can speak to their Group Leader so they can inform a school Director. Everyone must remember that it is very important that to report problems as soon as possible so they can be dealt with quickly.

 

 

Code of Conduct (Guidance for safer working practice)

Definiton: In this document, staff means all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent, including group leaders, agents and homestay hosts.

Why do we have a Code of conduct?

It is in everyone's interests to create a climate of trust between Under 18s and adults. A safe school culture forms the basis for everything the school does. For this reason, it is very important that we behave correctly and that our behaviour and actions can never be misinterpreted or taken in the wrong way.

Responsibilities

All staff have a responsibility to keep students safe and to protect them from abuse (sexual, physical and emotional), neglect and safeguarding concerns. Students have a right to be safe and to be treated with respect and dignity. It follows that trusted adults are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and well-being. Failure to do so may be regarded as professional misconduct.

A position of trust

Working with Under 18s as member of staff, you are in a very important position with regard to the students you see on a daily basis. The students can be easily influenced or upset and will look to you as a role-model in many cases. The relationship between a person working with children is one in which the adult has a position of power or influence. It is vital for adults to understand this power: that the relationship cannot be one between equals and the responsibility they must exercise as a consequence. For this reason, it is essential that at all times your behaviour around them, language towards them, and ideas you present to them, are all above reproach. This can never be emphasised enough. You must, of course, be positive and give praise where it is due and you must be friendly - but you are not their friends.

We need to protect not only the Under 18s but also the adults working with them. For this reason there are clear guidelines that must be adhered to and professional boundaries that must not be crossed. All staff should avoid behaviour which could be misinterpreted by others and report and record any such incident.

Where a person aged 18 or over is in a position of trust with a child under 18, it is against UK law to engage in sexual activity with or in the presence of that child, or to cause or incite that child to engage or watch sexual activity.

Smoking, drugs and alcohol

Very strict guidelines regarding alcohol, drugs and smoking are set out in our handbooks. Make sure you have read and completely understood these, as breaking these rules will lead rapidly to disciplinary procedures. There must be no drinking of alcohol while on duty, or smoking in front of students.

With students, approach these subjects from an educative point of view, highlighting why these rules exist, and the health and safety issues involved. Do not make light of them or joke about them.

Confidentiality

Staff may have access to confidential information about students and their families which must be kept confidential at all times and only shared when legally permissible to do so and in the interest of the child.

Staff should never use confidential or personal information about a student and his/her family for their own, or others’ advantage (including that of partners, friends, relatives or other organisations). Information must never be used to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass the child. Confidential information should never be used casually in conversation or shared with any person, other than on a need-to-know basis. In circumstances where the student’s identity does not need to be disclosed, this information should be used anonymously.

There are some circumstances in which a member of staff may be expected to share information about a student, for example where abuse is alleged or suspected. In such cases, individuals have a responsibility to pass information on without delay, but only to those with designated safeguarding responsibilities.

Dress and appearance

Remember students will look to you as a role model. Staff must gain students’ respect and the way you dress will count a lot towards this. Dress smartly and appropriately at all times. This may be different to the way you would dress in your personal life.

Those who dress or appear in a manner which could be viewed as offensive or inappropriate will leave themselves open to criticism or allegation. For example, if you are in a residential situation, be very careful about how you are dressed at night time - dressing gowns or underwear would not be acceptable.

Use of language

Staff must ensure that they use appropriate language at all times. Staff must:

· avoid words or expressions that have any unnecessary sexual content or innuendo;

· not use language that could be considered racist, sexist or homophobic;

 · not use language that promotes extreme political ideas or that promotes any form of radicalisation;

· avoid any words or actions that are over-familiar;

 · not swear, blaspheme or use any sort of offensive language in front of pupils; and

· understand that the use of sarcasm or derogatory words should be avoided when disciplining pupils and unprofessional comments about anyone must also be avoided;

 · take care if engaging in banter with pupils and/or colleagues, however well intended.

Gifts, favouritism and exclusion

Staff need to take care that they do not accept any gift that might be construed as a bribe by others, or lead the giver to expect preferential treatment.

Any reward given to a pupil should be in accordance with agreed practice, consistent with the school’s behaviour policy, and not based on favouritism

Be professional with all students and staff

 

There is also an opposite to favouritism. If a student or member of staff is behaving badly or you think has a poor attitude, you must at all times behave in a professional manner towards them (there could be an underlying problem that you do not know about causing this behaviour).

Report your concerns confidentially to management. Do not harbour personal dislikes, or discuss these students or staff negatively with other staff or students in private or in public places: e.g. the classroom, the staff room, or in breaks, or on activities. Never use sarcasm, denigrate, or demean students or staff directly in their presence, or with other staff or students.

Infatuations and “crushes”

All staff need to recognise that it is not uncommon for students to be strongly attracted to a member of staff and/or develop a “crush” or infatuation. They should make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour cannot be brought into question and does not appear to encourage this. Staff should inform management if they feel that a crush is happening. Staff should also be aware that such infatuations may carry a risk of their words or actions being misinterpreted.

Communication with children (including the use of technology)

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the digital world. E-safety risks are posed more by behaviours and values than the technology itself.

Staff should not seek to make contact with students outside of the purposes of their work, give out their personal details or respond to students, and must follow, at all times, the school’s Acceptable Use policy.

This means their should be no inappropriate/non-work related  communication with Under 18 students by computer, tablet, phone, texts, e mail, or social media such as What’s App, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc.

Physical contact

Physical contact between adults and Under-18s is not usually acceptable except in specific cases, for example, to stop a child falling and injuring themselves.  Otherwise, there should be no contact. 

 

Behaviour management

Staff should not use any form of degrading or humiliating treatment to punish a student. The use of sarcasm, demeaning or insensitive comments towards students is totally unacceptable.

Where students display difficult or challenging behaviour, adults should follow the school’s behaviour and discpline rules using strategies appropriate to the situation.

Sexual behaviour

Any sexual behaviour by a member of staff with or towards a student is unacceptable. It is an offence for a member of staff in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with a student Under 18 years of age – this could be a matter for criminal and/or disciplinary procedures

One-to-one situations

You must not put yourself in a one-on one situation with an Under 18 - for example, alone in a classroom or a car.

Whenever possible, if you have a private lesson with an Under 18, select a classroom near to where other people are working, keep the door open and let people know that your lesson is going on in the room.

Wherever practicable and possible, it is advisable that transport is undertaken in other than private vehicles and with at least one adult additional to the driver acting as an escort, or the child should be seated in the back.

Photography, video and other images

Many lessons or activities can involve recording images. Under no circumstances should staff be expected or allowed to use their personal equipment to take images of students.

Making and using images of students will require the age appropriate consent of the individual concerned and their parents/guardians. Images should not be displayed on websites, in publications or in a public place without consent. The definition of a public place includes areas where visitors to the setting have access.

Staff posting images of themselves at work on social media must not include any students in the images.

Exposure to inappropriate images

Staff should take extreme care to ensure that children are not exposed, through any medium, to inappropriate or indecent images

Under no circumstances should any adult use school equipment to access pornography. Personal equipment containing pornography should never be brought into the workplace. This will raise serious concerns about the suitability of the adult to continue working with children.

Personal living accommodation

It is not appropriate or acceptable for staff to use their private living space for any activity or learning, tutorials, pastoral care or counselling. Managers should ensure that appropriate locations for such activities are found elsewhere on site.

Under no circumstances should staff ask students to assist them with jobs or tasks at or in their private accommodation.

Curriculum

Staff should not include any subject matter in the curriculum which could be construed, or misinterpreted, as sexually or politically inappropriate. The curriculum can sometimes lead to unplanned discussion about subject matter of a sexual or political nature. Responding to students’ questions in these cases requires extremely careful judgement and staff should take guidance in these situations from the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is the means by which staff can voice their concerns about safeguarding or possible breaches by adults of the code of conduct, made in good faith, without fear of repercussion.

Staff have an individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of the management and/or relevant external agencies. Failure to do so may result in charges of serious neglect on their part where the welfare of children may be at risk.

Sharing concerns

In the event of an allegation being made, by any person, or incident being witnessed, the relevant information should be immediately recorded and confidentially reported to the Centre Manager or Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Transparency

Finally, remember to behave at all times in such a way that it is easy for others to see what your actions are in order to avoid any misinterpretation of motives.  Transparency quite simply implies openness, communication, and accountability.

 

Safer Recruitment

Our commitment

The School is committed to a safe-as-possible recruitment policy which applies not only to Devon School Staff, but also to Homestay Hosts, Group Leaders and Outside Agencies.

Prospective adults coming into contact with Under 18s are informed of the School's commitment to Safeguarding as well as the School's ethos that adults working with Under 18s are expected to share in the School's commitment in this field and actively engage in looking after Under 18s safely.

Teaching, activity and administration staff

Before Interview

Application forms from prospective applicants are checked for any discrepancies or gaps in chronology.

Applicants are informed of the absolute importance we place on safeguarding, and how the safeguarding role is a key part of their job description.

The Interview

The interview contains questions to gauge their attitude to working with Under 18s and their understanding of safeguarding and, for example, what safeguarding issues they anticipate they might come across in the job.

Two members of staff will discuss the interview performance and decide if the application should be carried further. 

Checks, documents and references

A clear Enhanced DBS check is required in order to start work. Passports and ID documents are checked for right to work in the UK.

As regards DBS checks, from May 2018, new recruits will either be on the update service, have a DBS from another organisation with the same job position which is less than three months old, or we will run a new DBS check. In the case of a DBS check which is not clear, the DSL will evaluate if the offence, by its nature, severity, date and sanction imposed,   constitutes a risk to the applicant working with children.

In exceptional circumstances, while the school awaits the return of a DBS application, a new staff member may be allowed to work in a limited capacity.  * See addendum at the end of this document for details of procedures adopted in these situations.

References are sought from 2 referees using our pro-forma Reference Request form. One of these referees must be from the applicant’s last employment post. From May 2018, on receipt of the completed Reference Request form, the referees are telephoned to guarantee the authenticity of the document. The Reference Request form includes questions as to whether the applicant has ever been subject to any disciplinary action and also re the applicant’s suitability for working with Under 18s

Copies of all of the originals of their relevant qualifications - degree, teaching certificates are taken.

Evidence of all documentation obtained is entered on a single central record of employment which is held by the School and reviewed periodically by the DSLs.

In some cases - for example, foreign group leaders or work applicants who have been resident for long periods abroad or when foreign nationals are employed - a DBS check is not possible. In these cases, police checks from the relevant countries will be sought. We also accept if a headteacher confirms in writing that he/she has seen the clear police checks in their country for the teachers/leaders that are accompanying a group.

Safeguarding training

All recruited staff will complete online level one safeguarding Level 1 training online at  https://galleryteachers.com/service/safeguarding-basic-awareness-course/

This online training has been written has been written by a much-respected EFL Safeguarding trainer: Nigel Heritage and is specific in many places to the EFL industry. The level one safeguarding expires after 12 months, so must be repeated each year.

The basic principles of safeguarding will be further reinforced during the Induction process

Homestay hosts

When recruiting homestay hosts we only select homes within our advertised 20 minutes walking distance (30 at peak). The hosts we select agree to treat the student as a member of the household, eating together for breakfast and evening meals, they must agree to accept no more than four students at any one time and to not place more than 2 per bedroom (3 upon special arrangement).

We recruit hosts that can provide a bedroom with ample space, natural lighting, clothes- hanging facilities and storage space. There must be a suitable desk within the house for study, privacy from the opposite gender and sufficient washing facilities. A weekly linen service is to be agreed to with provision of fresh towels and bedding.

Each homestay completes an application form which is followed up by a visit from the accommodation officer in order to check that all of the above facilities are in place.

Oral safeguarding training is provided during this initial visit by a member of staff and hosts are instructed to complete the online Safeguarding Level 1 certificate (see above)

Homestay host ID is checked.

2 references are requested on pro-forma Reference Request forms and from May 2018 will be followed up by phone calls to check authenticity.

A clear enhanced DBS check which also checks the other adults living at the address is processed for homestays wishing to host under 18s. For new homestay hosts these will either be on the update service or a new check will be run. Homestay hosts already with the school will renew their DBS every 3 years.

A declaration form is signed in compliance with the Homestay Host manual and hosts agree to have a Torbay Council Children’s Services check completed on every member of the household.

A GasSafe certificate valid for the current year must be shown and the house must have working smoke alarms on each floor

Working guidelines for staff members awaiting the result of a DBS application.

Staff need a satisfactory DBS check before starting work at The Devon School of English (DSE).  In exceptional circumstances, while the school awaits the return of a DBS application, a new staff member may be allowed to work in a limited capacity.  

Existing staff are requested to welcome their new colleague and help the new person settle. 

Everyone should understand that because of the exceptional circumstances, certain procedures need to be followed and that it would be negligent of DSE not to have such procedures. 

 

All staff, including the new staff member will be made aware of the following procedures:

 

Inside the School buildings/campus, the new staff member must:

have a thorough induction from a member of the Safeguarding Team focussing on safeguarding and staff code of conduct and explaining limitations

* agree to limitations set out here by signing this document

* sign in and out at reception and wear a visitors lanyard / badge

* not have access to school door codes/swipe cards; existing staff must not share these

* be limited in using ‘public’ areas of school/campus, and, if necessary, be accompanied / monitored  i.e. from reception to teachers room and during Breaks

* teach in a classroom adjacent to the DoS office (or as appropriate), with a class with no under 18s (if 16+ course) and a minimum of 8 students,

* classroom to be set up with: whiteboard closest to door, classroom door to be left open and a DBS-checked person (e.g. DoS/ADoS) will check  every 30-45 minutes during classes

 

* At Break, DoS/ADoS/member of safeguarding team available to accompany the new staff member around public areas of school if required. 

* Interaction with U18 students is fine whilst the new staff member is accompanied.  Unaccompanied interaction with U18 students is not allowed.

* New staff member to use the toilet located in the staff areas. 

* Where appropriate, after classes are finished each day, the new teacher will briefly meet member of the safeguarding team to discuss any issues, to set the time for departing the building/campus and for safeguarding team to decide whether additional monitoring is needed.   

 

Access to school data:

* no access to password protected areas (staff not to leave their screens unattended when using password protected areas), access available only to e.g. academic materials in shared area; no access to other data

* Internet access has protective firewalls

 

 

Activities involvement

* only with another adult present

* only with students aged 18 or older (if applicable) OR

* only with groups of at least x number of students

* only taking appropriate activities, e.g. not swimming

 

Accommodation arrangements (for residential courses)

* new staff member must not enter accommodation areas of U18 students under any circumstances.

* new staff member accommodated in separate sleeping area (for staff only) / off campus

 

Any other procedures required on the campus will be put into effect to ensure safety of our U18 students.

 

Please note that the above protocol only applies to staff members who can be supervised by other DBS staff.  Homestays can never be used until DSE have seen their returned DBS – this is because homestays cannot be supervised.

 

 

E-Safety

 

E-Safety is essentially safeguarding Under 18s in the digital world. It is about learning to understand and use technologies in a positive way, and about supporting students by encouraging critical thinking skills to develop safe online behaviour (both in and out of the school).

Safe e-behaviour involves knowing how to keep any personal information and data secure and to minimize the risks of handling any sensitive or inappropriate information

E-Safety encompasses not only internet technologies, but also other means of electronic communication, such as mobile phones, games consoles and wireless gadgets. It includes websites, e mail, text messages, What’s App and instant messaging, Facebook and other social media, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, podcasts, downloads and virtual learning platforms.

This document is a statement of the aims, principles, strategies and procedures for E-Safety throughout the school.

The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The Internet also enhances the school's management information and business administration systems. However, in common with other media such as magazines, books and videos, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for students. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. 

This policy is by its nature linked at many points to our Safeguarding policy, our Anti-Bullying policy and our Code of Conduct (Guide to acceptable behaviour working with Under 18s)

All staff will be informed of this E-safety Policy, and its importance explained.

 

E-Safety, Safeguarding, Anti-Bullying and the curriculum

There will be safeguarding lessons in the curriculum where teachers will discuss as part of the session the matter of e-safety. These will cover points such as the following:

  • Students must not Students will be advised never to give out personal details of any kind which may identify them or their location or to place personal photos online and should not reveal personal details such as address or telephone number, or arrange to meet anyone without specific permission.
  • Students will be taught to question information before accepting it as true, for example, students will be made aware that the writer of an E-mail or the author of a Web page or of an Instagram account or a Facebook page may not be the person they say they are.
  • Cyberbullying  - ‘Cyberbullying can be defined as the use of Information Technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else.’ It is not a specific criminal offence but there are laws that apply to associated behaviour, such as the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Malicious Communications Act 1988. It is important that students keep any evidence of cyberbullying and that they realise that the police will be able to trace the originator of any messages. Many young people and adults find using the internet and mobile phones a positive and creative part of their everyday life. Unfortunately, technologies can also be used negatively. Cyberbullying (along with all forms of bullying) will not be tolerated in the school. Procedures for dealing with, and the possible consequences of, (cyber)bullying are explained in the Student Welcome pack, Staff Handbook and Anti-Bullying policy. Consequently:
  • Mobile phones must not be used to send abusive or inappropriate text messages and students must immediately tell a member of staff if they receive an offensive e-mail, text or photo
  • E-safety rules will be posted around the school and discussed with pupils in lessons. Students will also produce their own e-safety and safeguarding posters during safeguarding session in lessons
  • There are filters in place on the school server to block any inappropriate (violent, radical, pornographic etc)  material when using school computers or when using the school’s wi-fi service

 

Photographs of students

  • Photographs of students can only be taken if the school has parental consent
  • Photographs can also only be published with parental permission, which will also indicate where photos, if permitted, can be used.
  • Photographs of students must only be taken using school equipment - personal cameras and mobile phones must not be used. All images must be stored in the staff area on the network not on classroom computers or teachers laptops.
  • Website photographs that include students will be selected carefully.
  • Students' full names will not be used anywhere on the Website or Social network sites, particularly in association with photographs.
  • Students' work can only be published with the permission of the pupil and parents.

 

ICT management and data protection

The Principal in conjunction with the ICT manager will assure that:

·    Virus protection will be installed and updated regularly.

·    Personal data will be recorded, processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998.

·    Students will be encouraged to tell a teacher immediately if they encounter any material that makes them feel uncomfortable.

·     Students will be informed that Internet use will be monitored and access will be withdrawn if the facility is abused.

·     Staff should be aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential.

·     Staff should also be aware that if using social networking sites their profiles should be private and that the school should not be discussed. It is also not acceptable to have Under 18 students (or past students who are under 18) as online contacts

Whistleblowing

 

Introduction

All of us at one time or another has concerns about what is happening at work. Usually these concerns are easily resolved. However, when they are about unlawful conduct, financial malpractice and similar wrongdoings, it can be difficult to know what to do. The Devon School of English has introduced this policy to enable employees to raise concerns about malpractice/wrongdoing at an early stage and in the correct way. The Whistleblowing Policy is to be used for reporting concerns where the employee holds a reasonable belief that the concern is within the public interest or where the organisation, and/or members of it, may be at risk.

Aims of the Policy

This policy aims to:-

 

 · Inform employees on how to appropriately take issues of concern forward, using the correct policies and procedures

· Provide a clear procedure for employees to raise concerns and receive feedback on any action taken;

· Ensure that confidentiality of the disclosure is maintained as far as possible;

· Reassure employees that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for ‘Whistleblowing’ in good faith and in accordance with this procedure.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees of The Devon School of English. Contractors, partner agencies, agency workers, apprentices/trainees and volunteers who wish to raise whistleblowing concerns can also do so through this policy

What is Whistleblowing?

Someone “blows the whistle” when they tell their employer, regulator, customers, the police or media about a dangerous or illegal activity they are aware of through work. The disclosure must be made in the public interest, i.e. a public interest disclosure is a disclosure by a worker concerning a wrongdoing on the part of his or her employer. Whistleblowing legislation is in place to protect workers from dismissal or victimisation at work in the event that they disclose some sort of wrongdoing to the employer or another appropriate body.The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and the Employment Rights Act 1996 clearly define what types of disclosure qualify the person making them for protection against dismissal and detrimental treatment by their employer. These are known as 'protected' disclosures.

A qualifying disclosure can be where any of the following is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed:

· a criminal offence;

· a miscarriage of justice;

· an act creating risk to health and safety;

· an act causing damage to the environment;

· a breach of any other legal obligation;

· a disclosure will also be protected if the information disclosed is of a nature that shows that any of the above is likely to be deliberately concealed. The law also protects the individual from detrimental treatment by work colleagues for raising a concern.

The Devon School of English is ‘vicariously’ liable for any wrongdoing of this nature unless it can prove that it took all reasonable steps to protect the individual who raised the concern from detrimental treatment by their co-worker.

What is the difference between making a complaint and blowing the whistle?

When someone blows the whistle they are raising a concern about danger or illegality that affects others (for example customers, members of the public, or their employer). The person blowing the whistle is usually not directly, personally affected by the danger or illegality. Consequently, the whistleblower rarely has a personal interest in the outcome of any investigation into their concern – they are simply trying to alert others. For this reason, the whistleblower should not be expected to prove the malpractice, but to give clear, factual information about the concern. He or she is a messenger raising a concern so that others can address it. This is very different from a complaint or grievance. When someone complains or raises a grievance, they are saying that they have been personally treated poorly. This poor treatment could involve a breach of their individual employment rights or unacceptable behaviour and the complainant is seeking redress or justice for themselves. The person making the complaint therefore has a vested interest in the outcome of the complaint and for this reason, is expected to prove their case.

Safeguarding Whistleblowers

In accordance with the law, the management of The Devon School of English undertakes that no employee who reports a concern in the public interest under this procedure will be subjected to any detriment as a result.

Confidentiality

The Devon School of English School will do its utmost to protect an individual's identity when they raise a concern and do not want their name to be disclosed. It must be acknowledged by the employee raising the concern though that the investigation process itself may well reveal the source of the information and depending on the outcome, a formal witness statement by the individual may be required as evidence within a Court.

Anonymous Allegations

This policy is designed to encourage staff to put their names to allegations. Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful and more difficult to investigate, but they will be considered at the discretion of Management of the School. In exercising this discretion, the factors to be taken into account would include:-

· The seriousness of the issue(s) raised;

· The credibility of the concern; and

· The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.

Untrue Allegations

If an employee makes an allegation, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against them. If, however, there is reasonable evidence that an allegation has been made maliciously, or with the primary intent of personal gain, action will be taken in line with the School’s Disciplinary procedure which is available from the school management and in the Staff handbook and contracts.

Procedure

The following procedure is to enable employees to raise a concern directly with the School and for it to be addressed directly. Employees have the right to report a whistle blowing concern outside of the School. This should be done by contacting the relevant external organisation and following their published procedure. A list of external contacts is given at the end of this policy.

Raising a Concern

Employees who have a whistle blowing concern should address their concern in writing to their immediate line manager or the Principal. If the concern relates to their line manager/Principal, or if the individual does not feel at ease raising the concern through this route, they may contact an external organisation.

Employees who are members of a recognised trade union may also wish to approach their representative. The concern should be put in writing, giving clear details of the concern, using the form which can be found at the end of this policy.

The form can be emailed to the Principal: paul@devonschool.co.uk.

How the Complaint will be Dealt With

DSE Management will take overall responsibility for action in regard to the complaint, including formal written response to the matter. Within ten working days of a concern being received, the Management will write to the employee:-

· Acknowledging that the concern has been received;

  • Indicating how the matter will be dealt with; Telling the employee whether any initial enquiries have been made;
  • The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (Torbay Council) Tel: 01803 208563 (specifically for safeguarding issues)
  • Devon and Cornwall Police Tel: 101 www.devon-cornwall.police.uk or:
  • Public Concern at Work Tel: 020 7404 6609 www.pcaw.org.uk/
  • ACAS Tel: 0300 123 1100 www.acas.org
  • NSPCC Tel: 0800 028 0285, e-mail: help@nspcc.org.uk https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-...

· Telling the employee whether further investigations will take place and if not, the reason for this; and

· Give some indication of timescales.

 

Following the initial investigation, should the appointed Investigating Officer consider that the complaint falls outside of the scope of this policy the employee will be advised of alternative courses of action to take, for example, to raise the complaint under one of the School’s other policies. If after initial investigation it becomes clear that the matter uncovers criminal activity or welfare/safeguarding concerns, these will be reported directly to the Police and/or other relevant external organisations for further action.

The employee will be advised of this course of action and the School shall take no further action in respect of the complaint unless requested by the Police or external organisation the complaint has been referred to.

How the School will respond

Following its initial investigation the action recommended by the Management will be dependent on the nature of the concern raised and may:

· Be resolved by agreed action without the need for further investigation

· Be further investigated

· Be referred to the Police

 

Should an investigation be necessary, the Management will appoint an appropriate investigation team from within the School. The investigation will be dealt with as expediently as possible with an estimated timescale for completion to be provided to the employee at the start by the investigation team. Where the employee is called to an investigation meeting, they may be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or work colleague and such representative or colleague will be required to formally agree to any matters arising at that meeting being kept confidential. Following the outcome of the investigation process, the investigating team will inform the Management and/or the Principal of the outcome and an appropriate course of action will be agreed. The investigating team will put the formal response in writing to the individual at the earliest opportunity. The employee is not entitled to be able to determine the outcome of the investigation process or to insist that disciplinary action must be taken or a prosecution instigated. There is no further recourse under this policy, however, should the employee wish to pursue the matter further, they have the right to report their concerns to an external organisation or one of those listed at the end of this policy.

Raising a Complaint outside of the School

If an employee wishes to take the matter outside the School, they need to ensure that they do not disclose confidential information or that disclosure would be privileged. This can be checked with the Local Government Ombudsman who will also advise on ways to proceed. (Local Government Ombudsman Local Government Ombudsman Advice line:- 0300 061 0614) www.lgo.org.uk The Government has produced a document “Blowing the Whistle to a Prescribed Person – List of Prescribed people and Bodies”. It lists the appropriate organisations to handle whistleblowing complaints and should be referred to for up-to-date advice and guidance about who to contact:- https://www.gov.uk/government/... -15-43-blowing-the-whistle-to-a-prescribed-person-list-of-prescribed.pdf

Other contacts

Prescribed People and Bodies

  • www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/183340/11-641- blowing-the-whistle-to-a-prescribed-person.pdf

Equality Statement

This policy applies equally to all School employees regardless of their age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership. Care will be taken to ensure that no traditionally excluded groups are adversely impacted in implementing this policy. Monitoring will take place to ensure compliance and fairness.

 

 

 

 

Reporting Form

This form is to be used for report a concern under The Devon School of English’s Whistleblowing policy and procedure. The information given in this form will be treated in the strictest confidence.

 

 

Our Health & Safety Policy

We are totally committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all our students and staff at all times. The company is committed to ensuring that it complies with all relevant Health and Safety legislation. Where it is reasonably practicable to do so, the company will strive to go beyond the requirements of legislation.

The company is committed to ongoing monitoring and review processes, so that continual improvement in the management of Health and Safety can be achieved. If you have any concerns about health and safety in the school, please report it to Paul Hawthorne or another member of staff.

Our general intentions are:-

  • To prevent accidents and cases of work-related ill health;
  • To maintain safe and healthy working and learning conditions; and
  • To review and revise this policy at regular intervals.

First aid boxes are kept in both school buildings (see maps in your welcome pack) and in the school minibuses.

The appointed first aiders in the Devon School are: Tony Parkes, Martin Bladon, Beth Goodyer, Anthony Dolphin, Ruth Maragh and Sabrina Hendry.

All accidents & work related ill-health are recorded in an accident book which is kept at: the Vicarage Reception. Matters pertaining to Health & Safety in the school are discussed each week in all staff meetings and the findings actioned and minuted.

Responsibility for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to the enforcing authority is held by the Managing Director, Paul Hawthorne.

Our Anti-Bullying/Abusive Behaviour Policy

Bullying/Abusive behaviour Policy

What is bullying?

 “Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated* over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally” – that is the definition provided by the Department of Education

Bullying is abusive and anti-social behaviour and it affects everyone.

The type of school we are

The Devon School of English is a cosmopolitan school where we embrace people’s differences. At the Devon School, we firmly believe that the most important basis for a harmonious and enjoyable working or studying relationship is respect for each other. That means respect for people’s beliefs; respect for the way they choose to live their lives; respect for people’s countries, their culture and their traditions.

Respect is very important in making our school a pleasant place to be

 

 

The consequences of bullying and our commitment

 

Bullying, and online bullying, can have very serious consequences.No one should underestimate the impact that bullying can have on a person’s life. It can cause high levels of distress, affecting people’s well-being, behaviour, academic and social development.

 

At the Devon School of English we are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for everybody so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere free from oppression and abuse. Everybody has the right to go about their daily lives without the fear of being threatened, assaulted or harassed.

 

Zero Tolerance

 

All types of bullying are unacceptable at our school and will not be tolerated – that is what zero-tolerance means.

 

 

 

* Isolated or one-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, inculding a one-off offensive or hurtful text message, or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying - however, in the context of this policy, placing a one-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and /or repeated by other people will be considered as bullying behaviour.

What forms can bullying take?

 

Bullying comes in many forms.

If someone hits you, threatens you or says nasty things to you - that is bullying.

Bullying is also laughing repeatedly at someone who answers a question wrongly in class or sending unpleasant or nasty text messages to someone.

Bullying is making fun of someone’s clothes.

A group of friends isolating another friend from their group – that is bullying

 

Basically, there are 4 types of bullying::

· Indirect: being unfriendly (by saying bad things to, or about them), spreading rumours, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding bags or books), not respecting different cultures, religions or beliefs

 · Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching, slapping or any form of violence

· Verbal: name-calling, teasing, threats, sarcasm

· Electronic or Cyber: All areas of internet misuse, such as nasty and/or threatening emails, misuse of blogs, gaming websites, internet chat rooms and instant messaging; Mobile threats by text messaging & calls; Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera and video facilities. The growing prominence and dangers of cyber-bullying and the subsequent need for heightened e-safety measures and support is recognized – please refer to our E-Safety and Social Media Policy for further information

Plus any other type of abuse, which could be Racial, Homophobic, or bullying regarding

disability, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, appearance or circumstance

What we do about alleged incidents of bullying

We have a zero-tolerance policy against any of the above forms of bullying. This means that anyone who is aware of any type of bullying that is taking place must tell a member of staff immediately. Report anything you think might be bullying.

 

 

 

Procedure for dealing with alleged abuse and bullying

If any of our students or staff report an incident of alleged abuse or bullying, the following procedure would apply which is the same as would happen when a student/person discloses any type of abuse

  • Make sure the student/person knows they did the right thing in telling us about their situation but that the information cannot be kept secret. Let the student/personknow that the discussion will be treated confidentially and will be taken seriously but the school will need to talk to other people involved in the allegation to stop the problem. Two members of staff will be  present.
  • Note down the exact words about where the alleged incident happened and who was involved.
  • Inform the Academic Director of the incident and confirm which members of staff will be dealing with the incident.
  • Group leaders will be informed if the student is part of a group, possibly also homestay hosts if necessary
  • If necessary parents will be informed, depending on the seriousness of the situation
  • If necessary, the Police will be consulted
  • Support and check with the student for the rest of their stay that everything is now OK

 

What if a student’s abusive behaviour is deemed unnacceptable?

  • It is the school’s decision if a student’s behaviour is unacceptable or not. Any students who harass or bully another person or people will be given a verbal warning for unacceptable behaviour. Where it is deemed appropriate to approach someone about their behaviour, this should (where appropriate) be done informally, privately and at time when all parties involved are composed. The aims of the verbal warning process are:
  • · to ascertain the reason for the behaviour,  to prevent further incidents or reduce the risk of them reoccurring.
  • · to ensure that the person breaking the policy is aware of the consequences of further unacceptable behaviour.
  • A meeting should be arranged and conducted in a fair and objective manner. A formal record should be made and maintained.
  • Where, despite an initial verbal warning, an individual has repeated their unacceptable behaviour, a final written warning is given. The final written warning should:
  • · Explain the reasons why further sanctions are being considered (Including relevant information, dates and times of incidents).

 

What we do in general about bullying

  • Discuss, monitor and review our anti-bullying policy on a regular basis.
  • Support our staff and hosts to identify and tackle bullying appropriately.
  • Educate and inform students about bullying
  • Ensure students know that any concerns about bullying will be dealt with sensitively and effectively; that all students feel safe to learn; and that all students abide by our anti-bullying policy.
  • Report back to parents and hosts regarding their concerns about bullying, and to deal promptly with complaints.
  • Learn from anti-bullying good practice elsewhere and use the support of relevant organisations where appropriate.

 

Educating and informing students

Students receive education and information about bullying in their Welcome Pack. This information is explained to them explicitly in their Induction and they are made aware of the School’s policy towards bullying and their attention is drawn to our Anti-Bullying Posters displayed prominently around the school

All pupils should feel able to tell and when bullying behaviour is brought to our attention, prompt and effective action will be taken.  All reports of bullying will be taken seriously. Students are told that they can talk to any member of staff at any time. If they prefer, they can speak to their Group Leader so they can inform a school Director. Everyone must remember that it is very important that to report problems as soon as possible so they can be dealt with quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Complaints Policy

If you have a problem with any part of your stay, the first step is always to discuss the problem with the right person in the school and they will be happy to help you.

  • If you have any problems with your lessons, please speak to your teacher.
  • If you are unhappy with your teacher for any reason, you can talk to Chris Hawthorne, head of the Teenager Homestay Programme in his office in The Old Vicarage.
  • If you have any problems with your accommodation or your homestay family, please speak to Jess or Helen in Reception at the Old Vicarage.
  • If you have any problems with the activities, please speak to Tony Parkes in the office in The Vicarage.

If you prefer, or the above are not available, you can speak to one of the Directors (Paul, Bret or Chris) in the Directors’ Office in The Vicarage. If you want, a friend or classmate can come with you for support or to help you with your English.

If you have spoken to the right person and you are still unhappy, you are welcome to use our formal complaints procedure. The process is as follows:

1) Ask for a complaints form & envelope from the Reception desk in The Vicarage.

2) Please complete the form as well as you can, and return this to Reception. The form will be given to Paul Hawthorne, the Managing Director of the School, or another Director appointed by him if he is not in the school at that time.

3) The Director will consider your complaint, and contact you as soon as possible to arrange a convenient time for you to talk about your complaint in private to him. Whenever practical, this meeting will be arranged and conducted on the same day as the complaint and always within 48 hours of the complaint.

4) After your meeting, your complaint will be investigated and then discussed with the other School Directors & Principal, and a decision will be made about what action will be taken within 24 hours.

5) A further meeting will be arranged with you in private. In this meeting the decision of the Directors will be presented and explained to you. If you are still unhappy, the way to register the complaint with ENGLISH UK will also be explained. All complaints and decisions are recorded and filed and a written record of formal complaint decsions will be issued to those bringing a formal complaint. If you decide to pursue the complaint with English UK, the school's written description and decision will be available for use in this process.

_____________________________________________________________________________

English UK is the world's leading language teaching association and your guarantee of high quality and good service. Students can appeal to English UK if they are dissatisfied with the way a centre deals with a complaint. See www.englishuk.com/complaints

Our Cancellation & Refunds Policy

Tuition and Enrolment / Booking fees, once paid, are not refundable in part or wholly. Students who are obliged to leave the School for personal reasons may arrange to transfer the balance of their fees (after deduction for tuition already received) to another or similar course starting at a later date, subject to the discretion of the Principal. Any unused accommodation amounts will be refunded.


Cancellation before arrival must be made in writing, either by acknowledged email, fax or express registered letter.
The deposit is not returnable. The balance of the fees will be returned only if written cancellation is received four weeks before the beginning of the course.

If a visa application is rejected and we receive written evidence at least 14 days before arrival we will refund the fees paid in full less an administrative fee of £150.  Where we receive the evidence the refund will be paid to you to the originating bank account within 4 weeks of receiving your signed authorisation to refund.  If evidence of a refusal is received less than 14 days prior to course start date we reserve the right to deduct the first 2 weeks of tuition fees and accommodation fees in addition to the £150 administration fee.

Our Discipline & Exclusion Policy

Student behaviour judged by the Directors to be detrimental or harmful to other students, staff or the reputation of the School, will result in the following procedure described below being put into place.

Examples of such behaviour include bullying and intimidation, disruption of classes, acts of verbal or physical aggression, homophobic acts, committing criminal offences or actions resulting in a police caution, racist offences, and illegal involvement with drugs or alcohol.

The procedure is as follows:

1) In the first instance, any misconduct will result in a warning from your teacher or Director of Studies.

2) A second act of misconduct in a warning and interview with the Principal or a Director, and the issuing of a written warning.

3) In the event of any further occurrences, the student will receive a final letter of notice and will be excluded from the School with immediate effect without refund of unused course fees.

In the case of a student under the 18, the parents or guardian will be entirely liable for all costs relating to the early curtailment of the course.

Parents or guardians will be informed by the Principal or a Director automatically at stage 1) above, or at stage 2) at the discretion of the Principal or Director, or accompanying group leader if applicable.

The Principal or Director reserves the right to apply stage 3) immediately according to the severity of the offence.

Our Equal Opportunities Policy

Wheelchair access: Unfortunately, because of the layout and stairs in the school buildings, there is no wheelchair access to the Devon School of English.

Problems with Hearing & Vision: Students with minor hearing loss and mild vision impairment can usually be accommodated but our courses are not suitable for the totally blind or very deaf. If you are unsure about your own suitability for our courses, please contact us and we will advise you as best we can.

Dyslexia: Please let us know if you are dyslexic prior to your arrival. We can then advise your class teachers and make any necessary adjustments to the course materials and provision.

Other Issues: The Devon School is a small, family-run school and we would like to think that we have friendly and supportive staff who can help students with a range of conditions. If you have any condition that may affect your experience in the school or require some extra assistance, please include it in the enrolment form or send an email to english@devonschool.co.uk. We will be happy to advise you on the suitability of our courses and discuss any extra provision you may require. We will assess all requirements on a case by case basis.

Visas

The Devon School of English is happy to welcome students from all over the world. Some students will need to apply for visas to be able to study in the UK.

If you are a European Union citizen (EU) or from the European Economic Area you do not need a visa to study in the UK or Ireland. The EEA and EU Members include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. While Switzerland is not in the EEA, Swiss nationals have the same rights as EEA nationals when entering the UK.

If you are not from one of these countries, we are not permitted to advise you about what visa to apply for so you should contact the British embassies for the very latest information on studying in the UK. Established agents in your area may also be able to give you practical advice.

Visa applications can take a long time, so please make sure you allow time for the process in your region.

Our Code of Conduct (Guidance to Safer Working Practice)

Code of Conduct (Guidance for safer working practice)

Definiton: In this document, staff means all those working for or on behalf of the school, full or part-time, temporary or permanent, including group leaders, agents and homestay hosts.

Why do we have a Code of conduct?

It is in everyone's interests to create a climate of trust between Under 18s and adults. A safe school culture forms the basis for everything the school does. For this reason, it is very important that we behave correctly and that our behaviour and actions can never be misinterpreted or taken in the wrong way.

Responsibilities

All staff have a responsibility to keep students safe and to protect them from abuse (sexual, physical and emotional), neglect and safeguarding concerns. Students have a right to be safe and to be treated with respect and dignity. It follows that trusted adults are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and well-being. Failure to do so may be regarded as professional misconduct.

A position of trust

Working with Under 18s as member of staff, you are in a very important position with regard to the students you see on a daily basis. The students can be easily influenced or upset and will look to you as a role-model in many cases. The relationship between a person working with children is one in which the adult has a position of power or influence. It is vital for adults to understand this power: that the relationship cannot be one between equals and the responsibility they must exercise as a consequence. For this reason, it is essential that at all times your behaviour around them, language towards them, and ideas you present to them, are all above reproach. This can never be emphasised enough. You must, of course, be positive and give praise where it is due and you must be friendly - but you are not their friends.

We need to protect not only the Under 18s but also the adults working with them. For this reason there are clear guidelines that must be adhered to and professional boundaries that must not be crossed. All staff should avoid behaviour which could be misinterpreted by others and report and record any such incident.

Where a person aged 18 or over is in a position of trust with a child under 18, it is against UK law to engage in sexual activity with or in the presence of that child, or to cause or incite that child to engage or watch sexual activity.

Smoking, drugs and alcohol

Very strict guidelines regarding alcohol, drugs and smoking are set out in our handbooks. Make sure you have read and completely understood these, as breaking these rules will lead rapidly to disciplinary procedures. There must be no drinking of alcohol while on duty, or smoking in front of students.

With students, approach these subjects from an educative point of view, highlighting why these rules exist, and the health and safety issues involved. Do not make light of them or joke about them.

Confidentiality

Staff may have access to confidential information about students and their families which must be kept confidential at all times and only shared when legally permissible to do so and in the interest of the child.

Staff should never use confidential or personal information about a student and his/her family for their own, or others’ advantage (including that of partners, friends, relatives or other organisations). Information must never be used to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass the child. Confidential information should never be used casually in conversation or shared with any person, other than on a need-to-know basis. In circumstances where the student’s identity does not need to be disclosed, this information should be used anonymously.

There are some circumstances in which a member of staff may be expected to share information about a student, for example where abuse is alleged or suspected. In such cases, individuals have a responsibility to pass information on without delay, but only to those with designated safeguarding responsibilities.

Dress and appearance

Remember students will look to you as a role model. Staff must gain students’ respect and the way you dress will count a lot towards this. Dress smartly and appropriately at all times. This may be different to the way you would dress in your personal life.

Those who dress or appear in a manner which could be viewed as offensive or inappropriate will leave themselves open to criticism or allegation. For example, if you are in a residential situation, be very careful about how you are dressed at night time - dressing gowns or underwear would not be acceptable.

Use of language

Staff must ensure that they use appropriate language at all times. Staff must:

· avoid words or expressions that have any unnecessary sexual content or innuendo;

· not use language that could be considered racist, sexist or homophobic;

 · not use language that promotes extreme political ideas or that promotes any form of radicalisation;

· avoid any words or actions that are over-familiar;

 · not swear, blaspheme or use any sort of offensive language in front of pupils; and

· understand that the use of sarcasm or derogatory words should be avoided when disciplining pupils and unprofessional comments about anyone must also be avoided;

 · take care if engaging in banter with pupils and/or colleagues, however well intended.

Gifts, favouritism and exclusion

Staff need to take care that they do not accept any gift that might be construed as a bribe by others, or lead the giver to expect preferential treatment.

Any reward given to a pupil should be in accordance with agreed practice, consistent with the school’s behaviour policy, and not based on favouritism

Be professional with all students and staff

 

There is also an opposite to favouritism. If a student or member of staff is behaving badly or you think has a poor attitude, you must at all times behave in a professional manner towards them (there could be an underlying problem that you do not know about causing this behaviour).

Report your concerns confidentially to management. Do not harbour personal dislikes, or discuss these students or staff negatively with other staff or students in private or in public places: e.g. the classroom, the staff room, or in breaks, or on activities. Never use sarcasm, denigrate, or demean students or staff directly in their presence, or with other staff or students.

Infatuations and “crushes”

All staff need to recognise that it is not uncommon for students to be strongly attracted to a member of staff and/or develop a “crush” or infatuation. They should make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour cannot be brought into question and does not appear to encourage this. Staff should inform management if they feel that a crush is happening. Staff should also be aware that such infatuations may carry a risk of their words or actions being misinterpreted.

Communication with children (including the use of technology)

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the digital world. E-safety risks are posed more by behaviours and values than the technology itself.

Staff should not seek to make contact with students outside of the purposes of their work, give out their personal details or respond to students, and must follow, at all times, the school’s Acceptable Use policy.

This means their should be no inappropriate/non-work related  communication with Under 18 students by computer, tablet, phone, texts, e mail, or social media such as What’s App, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc.

Physical contact

Physical contact between adults and Under-18s is not usually acceptable except in specific cases, for example, to stop a child falling and injuring themselves.  Otherwise, there should be no contact. 

 

Behaviour management

Staff should not use any form of degrading or humiliating treatment to punish a student. The use of sarcasm, demeaning or insensitive comments towards students is totally unacceptable.

Where students display difficult or challenging behaviour, adults should follow the school’s behaviour and discpline rules using strategies appropriate to the situation.

Sexual behaviour

Any sexual behaviour by a member of staff with or towards a student is unacceptable. It is an offence for a member of staff in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with a student Under 18 years of age – this could be a matter for criminal and/or disciplinary procedures

One-to-one situations

You must not put yourself in a one-on one situation with an Under 18 - for example, alone in a classroom or a car.

Whenever possible, if you have a private lesson with an Under 18, select a classroom near to where other people are working, keep the door open and let people know that your lesson is going on in the room.

Wherever practicable and possible, it is advisable that transport is undertaken in other than private vehicles and with at least one adult additional to the driver acting as an escort, or the child should be seated in the back.

Photography, video and other images

Many lessons or activities can involve recording images. Under no circumstances should staff be expected or allowed to use their personal equipment to take images of students.

Making and using images of students will require the age appropriate consent of the individual concerned and their parents/guardians. Images should not be displayed on websites, in publications or in a public place without consent. The definition of a public place includes areas where visitors to the setting have access.

Staff posting images of themselves at work on social media must not include any students in the images.

Exposure to inappropriate images

Staff should take extreme care to ensure that children are not exposed, through any medium, to inappropriate or indecent images

Under no circumstances should any adult use school equipment to access pornography. Personal equipment containing pornography should never be brought into the workplace. This will raise serious concerns about the suitability of the adult to continue working with children.

Personal living accommodation

It is not appropriate or acceptable for staff to use their private living space for any activity or learning, tutorials, pastoral care or counselling. Managers should ensure that appropriate locations for such activities are found elsewhere on site.

Under no circumstances should staff ask students to assist them with jobs or tasks at or in their private accommodation.

Curriculum

Staff should not include any subject matter in the curriculum which could be construed, or misinterpreted, as sexually or politically inappropriate. The curriculum can sometimes lead to unplanned discussion about subject matter of a sexual or political nature. Responding to students’ questions in these cases requires extremely careful judgement and staff should take guidance in these situations from the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is the means by which staff can voice their concerns about safeguarding or possible breaches by adults of the code of conduct, made in good faith, without fear of repercussion.

Staff have an individual responsibility to bring matters of concern to the attention of the management and/or relevant external agencies. Failure to do so may result in charges of serious neglect on their part where the welfare of children may be at risk.

Sharing concerns

In the event of an allegation being made, by any person, or incident being witnessed, the relevant information should be immediately recorded and confidentially reported to the Centre Manager or Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Transparency

Finally, remember to behave at all times in such a way that it is easy for others to see what your actions are in order to avoid any misinterpretation of motives.  Transparency quite simply implies openness, communication, and accountability.

Our Safer Recruitment Policy

Safer Recruitment Policy

Our commitment

The School is committed to a safe-as-possible recruitment policy which applies not only to Devon School Staff, but also to Homestay Hosts, Group Leaders and Outside Agencies.

Prospective adults coming into contact with Under 18s are informed of the School's commitment to Safeguarding as well as the School's ethos that adults working with Under 18s are expected to share in the School's commitment in this field and actively engage in looking after Under 18s safely.

Teaching, activity and administration staff

Before Interview

Application forms from prospective applicants are checked for any discrepancies or gaps in chronology.

Applicants are informed of the absolute importance we place on safeguarding, and how the safeguarding role is a key part of their job description.

The Interview

The interview contains questions to gauge their attitude to working with Under 18s and their understanding of safeguarding and, for example, what safeguarding issues they anticipate they might come across in the job.

Two members of staff will discuss the interview performance and decide if the application should be carried further. 

Checks, documents and references

A clear Enhanced DBS check is required in order to start work. Passports and ID documents are checked for right to work in the UK.

As regards DBS checks, from May 2018, new recruits will either be on the update service, have a DBS from another organisation with the same job position which is less than three months old, or we will run a new DBS check. In the case of a DBS check which is not clear, the DSL will evaluate if the offence, by its nature, severity, date and sanction imposed,   constitutes a risk to the applicant working with children.

In exceptional circumstances, while the school awaits the return of a DBS application, a new staff member may be allowed to work in a limited capacity.  * See addendum at the end of this document for details of procedures adopted in these situations.

References are sought from 2 referees using our pro-forma Reference Request form. One of these referees must be from the applicant’s last employment post. From May 2018, on receipt of the completed Reference Request form, the referees are telephoned to guarantee the authenticity of the document. The Reference Request form includes questions as to whether the applicant has ever been subject to any disciplinary action and also re the applicant’s suitability for working with Under 18s

Copies of all of the originals of their relevant qualifications - degree, teaching certificates are taken.

Evidence of all documentation obtained is entered on a single central record of employment which is held by the School and reviewed periodically by the DSLs.

In some cases - for example, foreign group leaders or work applicants who have been resident for long periods abroad or when foreign nationals are employed - a DBS check is not possible. In these cases, police checks from the relevant countries will be sought. We also accept if a headteacher confirms in writing that he/she has seen the clear police checks in their country for the teachers/leaders that are accompanying a group.

Safeguarding training

All recruited staff will complete online level one safeguarding Level 1 training online at  https://galleryteachers.com/service/safeguarding-basic-awareness-course/

This online training has been written has been written by a much-respected EFL Safeguarding trainer: Nigel Heritage and is specific in many places to the EFL industry. The level one safeguarding expires after 12 months, so must be repeated each year.

The basic principles of safeguarding will be further reinforced during the Induction process

Homestay hosts

When recruiting homestay hosts we only select homes within our advertised 20 minutes walking distance (30 at peak). The hosts we select agree to treat the student as a member of the household, eating together for breakfast and evening meals, they must agree to accept no more than four students at any one time and to not place more than 2 per bedroom (3 upon special arrangement).

We recruit hosts that can provide a bedroom with ample space, natural lighting, clothes- hanging facilities and storage space. There must be a suitable desk within the house for study, privacy from the opposite gender and sufficient washing facilities. A weekly linen service is to be agreed to with provision of fresh towels and bedding.

Each homestay completes an application form which is followed up by a visit from the accommodation officer in order to check that all of the above facilities are in place.

Oral safeguarding training is provided during this initial visit by a member of staff and hosts are instructed to complete the online Safeguarding Level 1 certificate (see above)

Homestay host ID is checked.

2 references are requested on pro-forma Reference Request forms and from May 2018 will be followed up by phone calls to check authenticity.

A clear enhanced DBS check which also checks the other adults living at the address is processed for homestays wishing to host under 18s. For new homestay hosts these will either be on the update service or a new check will be run. Homestay hosts already with the school will renew their DBS every 3 years.

A declaration form is signed in compliance with the Homestay Host manual and hosts agree to have a Torbay Council Children’s Services check completed on every member of the household.

A GasSafe certificate valid for the current year must be shown and the house must have working smoke alarms on each floor

Working guidelines for staff members awaiting the result of a DBS application.

Staff need a satisfactory DBS check before starting work at The Devon School of English (DSE).  In exceptional circumstances, while the school awaits the return of a DBS application, a new staff member may be allowed to work in a limited capacity.  

Existing staff are requested to welcome their new colleague and help the new person settle. 

Everyone should understand that because of the exceptional circumstances, certain procedures need to be followed and that it would be negligent of DSE not to have such procedures. 

 

All staff, including the new staff member will be made aware of the following procedures:

 

Inside the School buildings/campus, the new staff member must:

have a thorough induction from a member of the Safeguarding Team focussing on safeguarding and staff code of conduct and explaining limitations

* agree to limitations set out here by signing this document

* sign in and out at reception and wear a visitors lanyard / badge

* not have access to school door codes/swipe cards; existing staff must not share these

* be limited in using ‘public’ areas of school/campus, and, if necessary, be accompanied / monitored  i.e. from reception to teachers room and during Breaks

* teach in a classroom adjacent to the DoS office (or as appropriate), with a class with no under 18s (if 16+ course) and a minimum of 8 students,

* classroom to be set up with: whiteboard closest to door, classroom door to be left open and a DBS-checked person (e.g. DoS/ADoS) will check  every 30-45 minutes during classes

 

* At Break, DoS/ADoS/member of safeguarding team available to accompany the new staff member around public areas of school if required. 

* Interaction with U18 students is fine whilst the new staff member is accompanied.  Unaccompanied interaction with U18 students is not allowed.

* New staff member to use the toilet located in the staff areas. 

* Where appropriate, after classes are finished each day, the new teacher will briefly meet member of the safeguarding team to discuss any issues, to set the time for departing the building/campus and for safeguarding team to decide whether additional monitoring is needed.   

 

Access to school data:

* no access to password protected areas (staff not to leave their screens unattended when using password protected areas), access available only to e.g. academic materials in shared area; no access to other data

* Internet access has protective firewalls

 

 

Activities involvement

* only with another adult present

* only with students aged 18 or older (if applicable) OR

* only with groups of at least x number of students

* only taking appropriate activities, e.g. not swimming

 

Accommodation arrangements (for residential courses)

* new staff member must not enter accommodation areas of U18 students under any circumstances.

* new staff member accommodated in separate sleeping area (for staff only) / off campus

 

Any other procedures required on the campus will be put into effect to ensure safety of our U18 students.

 

Please note that the above protocol only applies to staff members who can be supervised by other DBS staff.  Homestays can never be used until DSE have seen their returned DBS – this is because homestays cannot be supervised.

Our E-Safety Policy

Devon School of English

E-Safety Policy

 

E-Safety is essentially safeguarding Under 18s in the digital world. It is about learning to understand and use technologies in a positive way, and about supporting students by encouraging critical thinking skills to develop safe online behaviour (both in and out of the school).

Safe e-behaviour involves knowing how to keep any personal information and data secure and to minimize the risks of handling any sensitive or inappropriate information

E-Safety encompasses not only internet technologies, but also other means of electronic communication, such as mobile phones, games consoles and wireless gadgets. It includes websites, e mail, text messages, What’s App and instant messaging, Facebook and other social media, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, podcasts, downloads and virtual learning platforms.

This document is a statement of the aims, principles, strategies and procedures for E-Safety throughout the school.

The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The Internet also enhances the school's management information and business administration systems. However, in common with other media such as magazines, books and videos, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for students. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material.  

This policy is by its nature linked at many points to our Safeguarding policy, our Anti-Bullying policy and our Code of Conduct (Guide to acceptable behaviour working with Under 18s)

All staff will be informed of this E-safety Policy, and its importance explained.

 

E-Safety, Safeguarding, Anti-Bullying and the curriculum

There will be safeguarding lessons in the curriculum where teachers will discuss as part of the session the matter of e-safety. These will cover points such as the following:

  • Students must not Students will be advised never to give out personal details of any kind which may identify them or their location or to place personal photos online and should not reveal personal details such as address or telephone number, or arrange to meet anyone without specific permission.
  • Students will be taught to question information before accepting it as true, for example, students will be made aware that the writer of an E-mail or the author of a Web page or of an Instagram account or a Facebook page may not be the person they say they are.
  • Cyberbullying  - ‘Cyberbullying can be defined as the use of Information Technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else.’ It is not a specific criminal offence but there are laws that apply to associated behaviour, such as the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Malicious Communications Act 1988. It is important that students keep any evidence of cyberbullying and that they realise that the police will be able to trace the originator of any messages. Many young people and adults find using the internet and mobile phones a positive and creative part of their everyday life. Unfortunately, technologies can also be used negatively. Cyberbullying (along with all forms of bullying) will not be tolerated in the school. Procedures for dealing with, and the possible consequences of, (cyber)bullying are explained in the Student Welcome pack, Staff Handbook and Anti-Bullying policy. Consequently:
  • Mobile phones must not be used to send abusive or inappropriate text messages and students must immediately tell a member of staff if they receive an offensive e-mail, text or photo
  • E-safety rules will be posted around the school and discussed with pupils in lessons. Students will also produce their own e-safety and safeguarding posters during safeguarding session in lessons
  • There are filters in place on the school server to block any inappropriate (violent, radical, pornographic etc)  material when using school computers or when using the school’s wi-fi service

 

Photographs of students

  • Photographs of students can only be taken if the school has parental consent
  • Photographs can also only be published with parental permission, which will also indicate where photos, if permitted, can be used.
  • Photographs of students must only be taken using school equipment - personal cameras and mobile phones must not be used. All images must be stored in the staff area on the network not on classroom computers or teachers laptops.
  • Website photographs that include students will be selected carefully.
  • Students' full names will not be used anywhere on the Website or Social network sites, particularly in association with photographs.
  • Students' work can only be published with the permission of the pupil and parents.

 

ICT management and data protection

The Principal in conjunction with the ICT manager will assure that:

·    Virus protection will be installed and updated regularly.

·    Personal data will be recorded, processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998.

·    Students will be encouraged to tell a teacher immediately if they encounter any material that makes them feel uncomfortable.

·     Students will be informed that Internet use will be monitored and access will be withdrawn if the facility is abused.

·     Staff should be aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential.

·     Staff should also be aware that if using social networking sites their profiles should be private and that the school should not be discussed. It is also not acceptable to have Under 18 students (or past students who are under 18) as online contacts 

Our Whistleblowing Policy

The Devon School of English

Whistleblowing Policy

 

Introduction

All of us at one time or another has concerns about what is happening at work. Usually these concerns are easily resolved. However, when they are about unlawful conduct, financial malpractice and similar wrongdoings, it can be difficult to know what to do. The Devon School of English has introduced this policy to enable employees to raise concerns about malpractice/wrongdoing at an early stage and in the correct way. The Whistleblowing Policy is to be used for reporting concerns where the employee holds a reasonable belief that the concern is within the public interest or where the organisation, and/or members of it, may be at risk.

Aims of the Policy

This policy aims to:-

 

 · Inform employees on how to appropriately take issues of concern forward, using the correct policies and procedures

· Provide a clear procedure for employees to raise concerns and receive feedback on any action taken;

· Ensure that confidentiality of the disclosure is maintained as far as possible;

· Reassure employees that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for ‘Whistleblowing’ in good faith and in accordance with this procedure.

Scope

This policy applies to all employees of The Devon School of English. Contractors, partner agencies, agency workers, apprentices/trainees and volunteers who wish to raise whistleblowing concerns can also do so through this policy

What is Whistleblowing?

Someone “blows the whistle” when they tell their employer, regulator, customers, the police or media about a dangerous or illegal activity they are aware of through work. The disclosure must be made in the public interest, i.e. a public interest disclosure is a disclosure by a worker concerning a wrongdoing on the part of his or her employer. Whistleblowing legislation is in place to protect workers from dismissal or victimisation at work in the event that they disclose some sort of wrongdoing to the employer or another appropriate body.The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and the Employment Rights Act 1996 clearly define what types of disclosure qualify the person making them for protection against dismissal and detrimental treatment by their employer. These are known as 'protected' disclosures.

A qualifying disclosure can be where any of the following is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed:

· a criminal offence;

· a miscarriage of justice;

· an act creating risk to health and safety;

· an act causing damage to the environment;

· a breach of any other legal obligation;

· a disclosure will also be protected if the information disclosed is of a nature that shows that any of the above is likely to be deliberately concealed. The law also protects the individual from detrimental treatment by work colleagues for raising a concern.

The Devon School of English is ‘vicariously’ liable for any wrongdoing of this nature unless it can prove that it took all reasonable steps to protect the individual who raised the concern from detrimental treatment by their co-worker.

What is the difference between making a complaint and blowing the whistle?

When someone blows the whistle they are raising a concern about danger or illegality that affects others (for example customers, members of the public, or their employer). The person blowing the whistle is usually not directly, personally affected by the danger or illegality. Consequently, the whistleblower rarely has a personal interest in the outcome of any investigation into their concern – they are simply trying to alert others. For this reason, the whistleblower should not be expected to prove the malpractice, but to give clear, factual information about the concern. He or she is a messenger raising a concern so that others can address it. This is very different from a complaint or grievance. When someone complains or raises a grievance, they are saying that they have been personally treated poorly. This poor treatment could involve a breach of their individual employment rights or unacceptable behaviour and the complainant is seeking redress or justice for themselves. The person making the complaint therefore has a vested interest in the outcome of the complaint and for this reason, is expected to prove their case.

Safeguarding Whistleblowers

In accordance with the law, the management of The Devon School of English undertakes that no employee who reports a concern in the public interest under this procedure will be subjected to any detriment as a result.

Confidentiality

The Devon School of English School will do its utmost to protect an individual's identity when they raise a concern and do not want their name to be disclosed. It must be acknowledged by the employee raising the concern though that the investigation process itself may well reveal the source of the information and depending on the outcome, a formal witness statement by the individual may be required as evidence within a Court.

Anonymous Allegations

This policy is designed to encourage staff to put their names to allegations. Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful and more difficult to investigate, but they will be considered at the discretion of Management of the School. In exercising this discretion, the factors to be taken into account would include:-

· The seriousness of the issue(s) raised;

· The credibility of the concern; and

· The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.

Untrue Allegations

If an employee makes an allegation, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against them. If, however, there is reasonable evidence that an allegation has been made maliciously, or with the primary intent of personal gain, action will be taken in line with the School’s Disciplinary procedure which is available from the school management and in the Staff handbook and contracts.

Procedure

The following procedure is to enable employees to raise a concern directly with the School and for it to be addressed directly. Employees have the right to report a whistle blowing concern outside of the School. This should be done by contacting the relevant external organisation and following their published procedure. A list of external contacts is given at the end of this policy.

Raising a Concern

Employees who have a whistle blowing concern should address their concern in writing to their immediate line manager or the Principal. If the concern relates to their line manager/Principal, or if the individual does not feel at ease raising the concern through this route, they may contact an external organisation.

Employees who are members of a recognised trade union may also wish to approach their representative. The concern should be put in writing, giving clear details of the concern, using the form which can be found at the end of this policy.

The form can be emailed to the Principal: paul@devonschool.co.uk.

How the Complaint will be Dealt With

DSE Management will take overall responsibility for action in regard to the complaint, including formal written response to the matter. Within ten working days of a concern being received, the Management will write to the employee:-

· Acknowledging that the concern has been received;

  • Indicating how the matter will be dealt with; Telling the employee whether any initial enquiries have been made;
  • The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) (Torbay Council) Tel: 01803 208563 (specifically for safeguarding issues)
  • Devon and Cornwall Police Tel: 101 www.devon-cornwall.police.uk or:
  • Public Concern at Work Tel: 020 7404 6609 www.pcaw.org.uk/
  • ACAS Tel: 0300 123 1100 www.acas.org
  • NSPCC Tel: 0800 028 0285, e-mail: help@nspcc.org.uk https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-...

· Telling the employee whether further investigations will take place and if not, the reason for this; and

· Give some indication of timescales.

 

Following the initial investigation, should the appointed Investigating Officer consider that the complaint falls outside of the scope of this policy the employee will be advised of alternative courses of action to take, for example, to raise the complaint under one of the School’s other policies. If after initial investigation it becomes clear that the matter uncovers criminal activity or welfare/safeguarding concerns, these will be reported directly to the Police and/or other relevant external organisations for further action.

The employee will be advised of this course of action and the School shall take no further action in respect of the complaint unless requested by the Police or external organisation the complaint has been referred to.

How the School will respond

Following its initial investigation the action recommended by the Management will be dependent on the nature of the concern raised and may:

· Be resolved by agreed action without the need for further investigation

· Be further investigated

· Be referred to the Police

 

Should an investigation be necessary, the Management will appoint an appropriate investigation team from within the School. The investigation will be dealt with as expediently as possible with an estimated timescale for completion to be provided to the employee at the start by the investigation team. Where the employee is called to an investigation meeting, they may be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or work colleague and such representative or colleague will be required to formally agree to any matters arising at that meeting being kept confidential. Following the outcome of the investigation process, the investigating team will inform the Management and/or the Principal of the outcome and an appropriate course of action will be agreed. The investigating team will put the formal response in writing to the individual at the earliest opportunity. The employee is not entitled to be able to determine the outcome of the investigation process or to insist that disciplinary action must be taken or a prosecution instigated. There is no further recourse under this policy, however, should the employee wish to pursue the matter further, they have the right to report their concerns to an external organisation or one of those listed at the end of this policy.

Raising a Complaint outside of the School

If an employee wishes to take the matter outside the School, they need to ensure that they do not disclose confidential information or that disclosure would be privileged. This can be checked with the Local Government Ombudsman who will also advise on ways to proceed. (Local Government Ombudsman Local Government Ombudsman Advice line:- 0300 061 0614) www.lgo.org.uk The Government has produced a document “Blowing the Whistle to a Prescribed Person – List of Prescribed people and Bodies”. It lists the appropriate organisations to handle whistleblowing complaints and should be referred to for up-to-date advice and guidance about who to contact:- https://www.gov.uk/government/... -15-43-blowing-the-whistle-to-a-prescribed-person-list-of-prescribed.pdf

Other contacts

Prescribed People and Bodies

  • www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/183340/11-641- blowing-the-whistle-to-a-prescribed-person.pdf

Equality Statement

This policy applies equally to all School employees regardless of their age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership. Care will be taken to ensure that no traditionally excluded groups are adversely impacted in implementing this policy. Monitoring will take place to ensure compliance and fairness.

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting Form

This form is to be used for report a concern under The Devon School of English’s Whistleblowing policy and procedure. The information given in this form will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

Our PREVENT policy

Devon School of English understands its responsibilities under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 to prevent people of all ages being radicalised or drawn into terrorism and seeks to meet its obligations in the ways shown below, after setting the context.

Context

Devon School of English accepts students aged 12-85 all year round from around the world.

In its busiest weeks it may have 350 students, 75 staff and work with 200 homestay providers.

The Devon School has always promoted a multi-cultural environment where respect for and tolerance of others beliefs is required

The Devon School is located in Paignton in Devon with a predominantly Caucasian local population.

 

Strong Leadership

Responsibility for ensuring Prevent Duty is met lies with Paul Hawthorne, Principal

Responsibility for the Prevent risk assessment / action plan (see point 4 below) and policy lies with Paul Hawthorne, Principal.

Their duties are to ensure delivery of an effective risk assessment/ action plan and policy as outlined here.  

 

Risk Assessment of current situation and Action Plan for future

A risk assessment / action plan has been produced showing what is already being done and what still needs to be done; it will be reviewed and updated at least annually.

Working with local partners

We make and maintain contact with the local police/ local authority Prevent coordinator to understand their role and the support available.


Our CCTV policy - we use CCTV in Paignton for your safety & security

Please download our policy on CCTV here

Cctv Policy Schools Devon School