Passion for Learning
A community interest company
Passion for Learning has a duty of care to safeguard all children working with our staff and Volunteer Tutors.. All children have a right to protection and Passion for Learning will ensure the safety and protection of all the children that we work with by ensuring that staff and Volunteer Tutors adhere to the Child Protection Policy.
The welfare of the children is paramount. All children have the right to be free from abuse therefore all suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Staff and volunteers have a personal responsibility to report all concerns to the
appropriate authorities as specified in this policy.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
The aim of the Passion for Learning Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice by
providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of our Volunteer Tutors or staff.
providing Volunteer Tutors and staff with the necessary knowledge to ensure they give confident responses to specific child protection issues.
providing Volunteer Tutors with clear guidelines designed not just to ensure the child’s safety but also to protect tutors from the possibility of accusations.
Good practice for Volunteer Tutors
Our work in schools should be a positive and productive experience for both child and tutor. These guidelines are there to protect both parties and should be adhered to at all times. Our policy is in addition to, and not instead of, the policy of the school in which the Volunteer Tutor is working.
Staff and Volunteer Tutors should:
Treat all the children and young people with respect and dignity.
Always work in an open environment or in a room with the door open at all times.
Always put the welfare of each young person first in all activities.
Ensure that physical contact is always used with conscious respect for the dignity and physical well being of the young person. Physical contact should be based on a judgement of the minimum action necessary to meet the needs of the situation and the child.
Ensure that physical contact is done with the consent of the child and never enforced without knowledge and care for the child’s needs and vulnerabilities.
Refrain from doing things of a personal nature for children that they are clearly capable of doing for themselves.
Build relationships which empowers children to share in the decision-
Make sessions fun, enjoyable and fair.
Ensure that any materials or resources used in sessions are appropriate.
Involve other staff or school personnel if required to ensure the child’s welfare or best interests.
Be an excellent role model by treating the child with care and consideration and expect the same standards in return within the context of the child’s current emotional and social skills.
Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback and value the child’s efforts and achievements without judgement.
Recognise the developmental needs and capacity of the children and young people and match tasks and activities to meet individual needs.
Report any incidents, accidents, unusual moods or periods of distress to a staff member before leaving school.
Never take a child from the school premises.
Seek permission if leaving the school building to work in the school grounds.
Never take photos of the child for personal use or retention
Only take pictures within the context of a school project or activity and with the express permission of staff and parents.
Never allow photos to be taken of themselves for retention by the child
Never meet or contact the child outside of school including by text or other social media.
Take reasonable steps to protect their own personal information on social media sites and deny unlimited access.
Know the appropriate staff to alert should emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment be required
Refrain from giving children gifts without the specific permission of the school and Passion for Learning
Declare any gifts received and seek appropriate action for the retention, return or disposal of such gifts
Reporting a concern
Every member of staff and Volunteer Tutor has a personal responsibility to report any concerns immediately to the appropriate authorities. Staff and volunteers are not qualified to decide whether or not abuse has taken place.
Suspected child abuse can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation.
It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with
your judgement about the appropriate action to take.
Abuse can occur within many situations and some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. Volunteer Tutors will have regular contact with young people and could be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.
There are four main types of child abuse.
Physical abuse involves causing physical harm to a child including harm caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child that may involve
conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only
insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include overprotection and
limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in
normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-
ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional
If a child makes a disclosure
Remain calm and listen carefully and supportively but don’t interrupt
Sit near the child to put him or her at ease but don’t touch the child without permission.
If you need to respond mirror the child’s language and avoid words he or she might not understand.
Don’t press for details or prompt to encourage the child to reveal information they have not offered.
Honour the child’s method of disclosure if the child is making a disguised disclosure (for instance, claiming that the abuse happened to someone else).
Avoid asking questions.
Reassure the child, but don’t make unrealistic promises.
Let the child know what you will do now that you know about the abuse/neglect.
Reassure the child that you will not share this information with anyone other than a ‘helping person’.
When the child has gone you should
Write down exactly what the child said as accurately as possible.
Find the Child Protection Officer or, if they are not available, any member of the teaching staff and provide them with as many details as possible.
Ask them to photocopy any notes that you made for your own information and to allow you to provide Passion for Learning with the same information.
Inform staff at Passion for Learning as soon as possible.
What you should not do
Promise the child that you can keep a secret and not pass the information on to anyone. Even if the child threatens not to proceed you cannot agree to ‘keep a secret’. In practice children will usually proceed with the reassurance that you will only tell a ‘helping person’.
‘Fill in the blanks’ or surmise details that the child did not provide.
Make any judgements about the information that you have been given.
Expect to be kept informed of any action taken beyond knowing that the school and Passion for Learning will take your concerns seriously and take the appropriate professional action.
Worry alone – if you are upset and want to talk, staff at Passion for Learning will be available at all times
If you suspect abuse
It is possible that you may become concerned about a child without them having made a specific disclosure. Children may tell you things about their life and experiences that they think are perfectly normal but you may feel that there is cause for concern. A child’s behaviour may also be an indication that all is not well, particularly if their mood and demeanour is unusual for that child.
If you are concerned you should always pass the information on and the guidelines above apply. If the child tells you something about their lives then listen, record and report as above. If you pass on any serious concerns to the school then you should also inform Passion for Learning. If you want to discuss your concerns then you are welcome to call us for advice at any time. Indications of abuse and neglect often some as pieces of a jigsaw so it is best to pass on anything that doesn’t feel right. It may be nothing but it could be the missing piece that completes the picture.
If in doubt – speak out!