Oxford Education Centre Safeguarding Children Policy
In the event of any allegation being made against any worker, paid or Voluntary, Oxford Education Centre will follow the following procedures.
In accordance with this guidance, where an allegation is made against anyone who works with children at Oxford Education Centre, that s/he
- Has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child.
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or in relation to a child
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is
- unsuitable to work with children
- concerns arise about the person’s behaviour with regard to his/her own children
- concerns arise about the behaviour in the private or community life of a partner, member of the family or other household member
The following procedure will be implemented:
Responding to allegation or complaint
The person who receives information regarding the allegation will not question the child or investigate the matter any further. They will:
- Treat the matter seriously, avoid asking leading questions, communicate with the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s understanding and communication style
- Make a written record of the information, where possible in the child’s own words stating when the alleged incident took place, who was present and what was said to have happened.
- The record must be signed and dated
The person receiving the information will report the matter immediately to Sally Stokes or Alyson Smith
The person to whom the matter is reported will become the Senior Designated Manager, until the allegation is resolved
The Senior Designated Manager will inform the Management Committee of the allegation.
Initial action by Senior Designated Manager
The Senior Designated Manager will not investigate the matter by interviewing the accused, the child making the allegation or any of the potential witnesses.
- Obtain written details of the allegation, signed and dated by the person receiving the allegation or complaint
- Countersign and date the written details
- Record any other information about times, dates and location of any incident and the names of any potential witnesses
If the allegation meets any of the criteria outlined above, the Senior Designated Manager will report it to the Oxfordshire safeguarding board MASH team within one working day. Referral to the MASH team will not be delayed in order to gather any further information
If a concern or an allegation requiring immediate attention is received outside normal office hours, the Senior Designated Manager should consult straight away with the Oxfordshire safeguarding board (Duty Social Worker) or local police and also ensure that the MASH team is informed the next working day.
Contact details for the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Board are 01865 815843. Fax: 0845 605 4165. County Hall 3rd floor. New Road Oxford OX1 1ND.
Contact details for the police are 0300123 2040
The Senior Designated Manager and the Oxford Education Centre will co-operate with all relevant authorities involved and will share all relevant information about the person who is the subject of the allegation and the alleged victim to any assist in any further investigation.
Informing accused person/Suspension
Oxford Education Centre will inform the accused person of the allegation as soon as possible after prior consultation with the Oxfordshire safeguarding board. OEC will consider carefully whether the circumstances of the case warrant an immediate suspension of the person involved from contact with children, until the allegation is resolved.
Supporting those involved
Parents or carers of any child involved will be told about allegations as soon as possible, after discussion with the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Board as to the most appropriate way this should be done and by whom. In cases where a child has been injured whilst in OEC’s care, the parents will be informed immediately.
OEC will keep any staff member who is the subject of an allegation informed of the progress of the case and will arrange appropriate support/advise the accuse to see support from their trade union or other relevant professional association.
Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity.
OEC will keep details of any allegations made and how the allegation was followed up and resolved. These records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age, or 10 years if that is longer, including for people who leave our organisation. A copy will be given to the person. The purpose of the record will be to enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference and to provide clarification for future DBD disclosures.
If after initial consideration between the Senior Designated Manager ( Sally Stokes) and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Board it is clear that police or social care investigations are not necessary; the centre will be guided by the OSB as to most appropriate action. The nature and circumstances of the allegation and evidence will determine the next course of action.
If the nature of the allegation does not require formal disciplinary action, appropriate action will be instituted within 3 working days.
If a disciplinary hearing is required and can be held without any further investigation, the hearing will be held within 15 working days and subsequent procedures, as outlined in the Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures will be followed.
If, on conclusion of the case, it is decided that the person can return to work, the Management Committee will consider how best to facilitate the return and provide relevant support to the staff member and consider how to best manage the person’s contact with the child who made the allegation.
The parents/carers of the child will be kept fully informed of any decisions/action taken by OEC.
Resignations and ‘Compromise Agreement’
If an employee resigns or ceases to work for OEC, any allegation must still be followed up in accordance with these procedures. ‘Compromise agreements’ in which a person agrees to resign and the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action will not be used in these situations.
Staff references for future employment
Any staff references will state where an allegation has been made against the employee and will clearly state if the allegation was found to be false or unproven.
Referral to DfES List 99 or Protection of Children Act
If an allegation is substantiated and the employee is dismissed or resigns, the
Senior Designated Manager will discuss with the OSB whether and how a referral should be made to the Protection of Children Act (POCA) List or the DfES list 99.
At the conclusion of any case, whether the allegation is substantiated or not,
Oxford Education Centre will review its procedures and practice to help prevent similar events in the future.
Oxford Education Centre Complaints Procedure
Statement of intent
Our setting believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.
We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved. At Oxford Education we encourage all parents/carers to approach any member of staff in the first instance if they have a concern or complaint.
In the event that these initial approaches fail to resolve a complaint this policy lays out the
procedures that should be followed to allay any concerns about a particular issue.
If you do not understand any part of this policy please do not hesitate to contact Alyson Smith Your complaint will then be investigated fully, ensuring all relevant facts are taken into consideration.
Oxford Education Centre is committed to responding to all parent/carer complaints within a 24-hour period and to notify complainants of the outcome within 28 days. Additionally a record of all complaints will be maintained and appropriate information shared with parents on request.
To achieve this, we operate the following complaints procedure. All settings are required to keep a ‘summary log’ of all complaints that reach stage 2 or beyond. This is to be made available to parents as well as to Ofsted inspectors.
Making a complaint
- Any parent who has a concern about an aspect of the setting’s provision talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the setting Manager.
- Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.
- If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the manager.
- For parents who are not comfortable with making written complaints, there is a template form for recording complaints; the form may be completed with the person in charge and signed by the parent.
- The setting stores written complaints from parents. However, if the complaint involves a detailed investigation, the Manager may wish to store all information relating to the investigation in a separate file designated for this complaint.
- When the investigation into the complaint is completed, the Manager meets with the parent to discuss the outcome.
- When the complaint is resolved at this stage, the summative points are logged in the Complaints Summary Record.
- If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she requests a meeting with the Manager. The parent should have a friend or partner present if required and the Manager should have the support an appropriate person
- An agreed written record of the discussion is made as well as any decision or action to take as a result. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.
- This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded. When the complaint is resolved at this stage, the summative points are logged in the Complaints Summary Record.
- If at the Stage 3 meeting the parent and setting cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help to settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
- Staff or volunteers within Oxford Education Centre are appropriate persons to be invited to act as mediators.
- The mediator keeps all discussion confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the setting personnel (Manager) and the parent, if this is decided to be helpful. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he gives.
- When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent and the Manager and Oxford Education Centre is held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator’s advice is used to reach this conclusion. The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.
- A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.
- Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of the setting’s registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the National Standards for Day Care are adhered to.
- The address and telephone number of our Ofsted regional centre are:
The Royal Exchange Buildings
St Ann’s Square
Manchester M2 7LA
|Telephone: 08456 404040
|OFSTED Registration Number: EY389603
- These details are displayed on our setting’s notice board.
- If a child appears to be at risk, our setting follows the procedures of the Area Safeguarding Children Committee in our local authority.
- In these cases, both the parent and setting are informed and the setting leader works with Ofsted or the Area Safeguarding Children Committee to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.
- A record of complaints against our setting and/or the children and/or the adults working in our setting is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.
- The outcome of all complaints is recorded in the Complaints Summary Record, which is available for parents and Ofsted inspectors on request.