St-Eds operates a rolling admission policy. Referrals are therefore taken on an occupancy basis. Where the requested course or study day is full an alternative will be offered where possible. If no alternative can be offered or the alternative is not compatible the referral will be kept ‘on hold’ until a place becomes available or the referrer withdraws their request for a place.
First point of contact with the Society will be a referral form sent to the Engagement & Schools Liaison Manager, along with a risk assessment and Individual Learning Plan, if appropriate. This must be received and in place not less than a week before the admission.
The Engagement Manager and the Welfare Support Team will assess the risks associated with the referral. The only basis upon which a referral will be rejected is if the Society feels it cannot safeguard the welfare of the young people using the service or the young person being referred. All reasonable measures to safeguard all parties will be considered before this decision is reached. If this is the only option, then the referrer will be informed in writing of the reasons for the rejection.
Admission is dependent upon the referrer completing the referral form in full, together with any additional relevant paperwork and signing of the Service Level Agreement. Failure to complete in full will result in the form being returned.
There are no minimum academic entry requirements for admission to St-Eds.
Post-16 Admission to Study Programmes and Bursaries:
Stages of admission:
Students come to St-Eds Training Centre/s for an interview.
Students must complete or have completed an application form
There is a two-week REACH programme which must be completed by all students.
On completion of this programme the learners are officially entered into St-Eds/EFA (Education Funding Agency) pipeline irrespective of the Programme source.
There follows a six-week probationary period based on attendance, attitude and motivation where an assessment will be made.
There are no minimum academic entry requirements for admission to St-Eds but students cannot be considered if they have a qualification of a Level 3 or higher.
St-Eds will offer places on Construction, Road Vehicle Maintenance, Catering and other disciplines depending on the number of places available. The cohorts will vary in total according to availability. Admission is usually dependent upon occupancy and the successful completion of the REACH and probationary period.
Bursary payments are available for students whose parents/guardians earn less than £30.000 per annum. £7.50 per day for each day attending training plus travel expenses will be paid. However, lateness or non-attendance will result in payments being reduced accordingly.
In addition, from time to time Bursary placements may be available for those NOT eligible for funding. Application forms are available from Admin in the main office. These will need to be completed thoroughly, returned to the office where they will be passed to a member of our Trustee Board for consideration. You will be notified in writing if your application has been successful and invited for an interview, equally the same will apply you will be notified in writing if you have not been successful and the reasons why. There will be no bursary payment or travel expenses available if choosing this route of training.
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
1.1 The purpose of the St-Eds Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is to ensure every child at our organisation is safe and protected from harm. This means we will always work to:
- Protect our children and young people from maltreatment
- Prevent impairment of our children’s and young people’s health or development
- Ensure that our children and young people grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Undertake that role so as to enable our children/young people to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
1.2 This policy will give clear direction to staff, volunteers, visitors and parents about the expected behaviour and our legal responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children at our organisation.
2.1 Our organisation fully recognises the contribution it can make to protect children from harm and supporting and promoting the welfare of all children. The elements of our policy are prevention, protection and support.
2.2 Our policy applies to all children, volunteers, visitors and staff.
- OUR ETHOS
3.1 Our organisation will establish and maintain an ethos where our children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, are listened to and are safe. Children will be able to talk freely to any member of staff or regular visitor to our organisation if they are worried or concerned about something.
3.2 All staff, volunteers and regular visitors will, either through training or induction, know how to recognise a disclosure from a child and will know how to manage this. We will not make promises to any child and we will not keep secrets. Every child will know what their chosen adult will have to do with whatever they have been told.
3.3 We will provide activities and opportunities that will equip our children with the skills they need to stay safe.
- Our on-site Welfare Support Manager/Qualified Social Worker is available to assess and work in partnership with all agencies when dealing with any safeguarding issue or identified concern.
3.4 At all times we will work in partnership and endeavour to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and colleagues from other agencies.
- STEPS TO SAFER RECRUITMENT POLICY
All adults who come into contact with our children have a duty of care t safeguard and promote their welfare. There is a legal duty placed upon us to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of our children and young people are competent, confident and safe to do so.
4.1 Defining the Role: We will consider the tasks and skills necessary for the job or voluntary position and what kind of person is most suited to the job.
4.2 Selection Criteria: We will decide how the person should behave with children and what attitudes we want to see. We will develop a list of essential and desirable qualifications, skills and experience and select people against this.
4.3 Recruitment Publicity: We will circulate all vacancies widely, for example, by putting them on notice boards in shops or the local library. We will ensure any advert contains a commitment to safer recruitment and safeguarding children.
4.4 Written Application Form: We will insist on a written application form. This should include personal details such as name, past names, past and current work/volunteering experience. It should also include explanation of all gaps in employment. Application should also provide current and recent addresses for the past 5 years.
4.5 Written Declaration: We will ask for a statement in writing that they have no past or current convictions, cautions or bind-overs and no pending court cases.
4.6 Identification: We will ask for photographic documentation to confirm identity, such as passport or driving licence and a utility bill that contains their address.
4.7 Qualifications: We will ask to see original documents.
4.8 Interview: We will interview face to face, preferably with at least two representatives from the group or organisation. We will discuss with the applicant information contained in their form and to explore their attitudes towards working with children. This also provides an opportunity to discuss our child protection policy and to ensure that the applicant has the ability and commitment to meet the standards required.
We will talk about the application including:
- Areas in which you want to know more details
- Gaps in employment history
- Vague statements or unfamiliar qualifications
- Frequent changes of employment
- What their motives are for wanting to work with children
4.9 References: Two written references must be obtained, where possible, to include current or most recent employer.
4.10 DBS Checks: We will always gain enhances DBS disclosures as appropriate to the role. When the results of the DBS check and all recruitment checks have been completed and we are satisfied the applicant is suitable for the role, we will allow the staff member/volunteer to have contact with the students.
5.1 When a new staff, volunteers or regular visitors join our organisation they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of our organisation’s safeguarding policy and told who our Designated Child Protection Officer for Safeguarding is. They will also be shown the recording format (as recommended in the Safer Pack by Norfolk Safeguarding Children’s Board), given information on how to complete it and who to pass it to.
5.2 Every new member of staff or volunteer will have an induction period that will include essential safeguarding information. This programme will include basic safeguarding training through the Safer Programme relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, how to record and issues of confidentiality. The induction will also remind staff and volunteers of their responsibility to safeguard all children and the remit of the role of the Designated Child Protection Officer.
5.3. All regular visitors and volunteers to our organisation will be told where our policy is kept, they will be given a set of safeguarding procedures, they will be told who our Designated Child Protection Officer and alternate staff members are and what the recording and reporting system is.
5.4 All parents and carers will be asked to sign a distribution list confirming they have seen and read our safeguarding policy. Parents and carers will be informed of our legal duty to assist our colleagues in other agencies with child protection enquiries and what happens should we have cause to make a referral to Children’s Services.
5.5 Parents will sign a consent form at the start of their child’s involvement with the organisation, which includes any vital health or otherwise notable information. It also requests permission for photographs to be taken for promotional purposes only.
6.1 Every member of staff will undertake appropriate safeguarding training through the Safer Programme every three years.
6.2 We actively encourage all of our staff to keep up to date with the most recent local and national safeguarding advice and guidance. This can be accessed on www.nscb.norfolk.gov.uk.
6.3 The Designated Officer should be used as a first point of contact for concerns and queries regarding any safeguarding concern in our organisation.
7. SAFE STAFF
7.1 All adults who come into contact with our children have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. There is a legal duty placed upon us to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of our children are competent, confident and safe to do so.
7.2 Our aim is to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well being and very best outcomes for our children. We do recognise that sometimes the behaviour of adults may lead to an allegation of abuse being made.
7.3 Allegations sometimes arise from a differing understanding of the same event, but when they occur they are distressing and difficult for all concerned. We also recognise that many allegations are genuine and there are some adults who deliberately seek to harm or abuse children.
7.4 We will take all possible steps to safeguard our children and to ensure that the adults in our organisation are safe to work with our children. We will always ensure that the Norfolk Safeguarding Children’s Board protocol 8.3 Allegations Against Persons who Work with Children is adhered to.
7.5 All adults who come into contact with children will be made aware of the steps that will be taken if an allegation is made. We will seek appropriate advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). The LADO can be contacted on 01603 223473.
7.6 Staff will not investigate these matters. We will seek and work with the advice that is provided. Should an allegation be made against the Designated Child Protection Officer or Deputy, this will be reported by the staff member or volunteer raising the concern who will liaise with the LADO.
7.7 There are sensible steps that every adult should take in their daily professional conduct with children. This can be found in the Safer Programme Safer Working Practice – this guidance is on the NSCB website and also in this pack.
8. RECORDS AND MONITORING
From 1 July 2015 all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers (referred to in this advice as ‘childcare providers’) are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
In order for St-Eds to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part of schools’ and childcare providers’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.
It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. Here at St Eds we endeavour to provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
The Prevent duty is entirely consistent with the St Eds safeguarding policy and existing responsibilities and should not be burdensome. Ofsted’s revised common inspection framework for education, skills and early years, which comes into effect from 1 September 2015, makes specific reference to the need to have safeguarding arrangements to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism
8.1 If we are concerned about the welfare or safety of any child all adults in our organisation we will record their concern on the agreed report form and give this to the Designated Child Protection Officer/ On-site Social Worker.
8.2 Any information recorded will be kept in a separate named file, in a secure cabinet and not with the child’s file. These files will be the responsibility of the Designated Child Protection Officer and information will only be shared within the organisation on a need to know basis for the protection of the child.
8.3 Any safeguarding information will be kept in the file and will be added to. Copies of referrals will be stored in the file.
8.4 Reports of a concern to the Designated Child Protection Officer must be made in writing and signed and dated by the person with the concern.
8.5 Concerns should be discussed with the parent or carer and where possible, their permission should be sought before making a referral to Social services unless this places the child at increased risk of harm. All cases of alleged sexual abuse must be referred directly to Social Services or the Police.
8.6 When making the referral, confirm it in writing. At the end of any discussion you should be clear about who is taking what action or that no further action is required
Record details of any decision and/or action. You should not discuss your suspicions or allegations with anyone other than the people named in the box at the beginning of this policy.
Any sharing of confidential information with any other person in relation to safeguarding children may only be undertaken with the expressed permission of the parent, except where it is considered necessary to the welfare and protection of the child/young person.
No member of staff or group member should ever promise to keep confidential to a child where there are safety concerns. This can result in colluding with the secrecy, which often surrounds abuse.
If an allegation is made against a tutor, in the first instance this should be reported to the Workshop Manager. If an allegation is made against the Workshop Manager or Admin staff, then this would be reported to the CEO.
- Where there are suspicions that a young person may be/have been abused, the Workshop Manager/CEO should ensure that he/she has gathered and ascertained the basic facts and ensure the person is aware of the actions they are about to taken.
- Social Services should be contacted or one of the other statutory agencies listed on the header page.
- Where the abuse is identified as an issue at the initial request stage, this will require an urgent response to determine the level and degree of risk, the procedures will identify time scales and procedures.
- In cases of suspected/alleged abuse investigation must always be carried out promptly.
- Outcomes will need to be shared with those involved in supporting the young person in order that the support package can be adjusted accordingly.
Following an assessment of the risk of the young person concerned it will be necessary to determine how best to meet their needs.
The seriousness and complexity of the case will determine whether or not it is appropriate to bring together those concerned in order to provide an opportunity to exchange information, evaluate risk and plan together. This should include the young person, support worker (where applicable) and if appropriate.
It is vitally important that we respect the wishes of the young person in dealing with the suspected/alleged abuse.
9. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
9.1 Our Designated Child Protection Officer will liaise with Children’s Services and other agencies where necessary, and make referrals to Children’s Services.
9.2 Any concern for a child’s safety or welfare will be recorded in writing and given to the Designated Child Protection Officer who will be responsible for ensuring that all staff members and volunteers are aware of our policy and the procedure they need to follow.
9.3 The Designated Child Protection Officer will ensure that all staff, volunteers and regular visitors have received appropriate child protection information during induction and if necessary have been trained by the Safer Programme.
9.4 The Designated Child Protection Officer will ensure that our safeguarding policy is in place and is reviewed annually. The content of our policy has been written following consultation with the Safer Programme.
9.5 At all times the Designated Child Protection Officer will ensure that safer recruitment practices are followed.
9.6 Safer procedures ensure our recruitment practices are safe and compliant with statutory requirements.
9.7 We require evidence of any qualifications staff or volunteers hold. We do not accept testimonials and insist on taking up references prior to interview. We will question the contents of application forms if we unclear about them, we will undertake enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service checks and use any other means of ensuring we are recruiting and selecting the most suitable people to work with our children. We will use the recruitment and selection process to deter and reject unsuitable candidates.
9.8 Our organisation undertakes to remedy without delay any weakness in regard to our safeguarding arrangements that are brought to their attention.
10. WHAT IS ABUSE AND NEGLECT?
10.1 Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It 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 not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber-bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet).
Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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 occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or
- protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
- ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
- ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Signs Of Abuse:
There is a wide and varied range of indicators of possible abuse, including obvious ones such as direct observations or reports, admission, expressions of fear that abuse might happen, reports of concern from others. While there are no unmistakable signs of abuse the following are examples of material, psychological and physical changes that suggest cause for alertness and possible concerns:
- a) Evidence of unreported injuries or injuries suggesting a possible non accidental cause
- b) Explanations that are incompatible with injuries presented or where conflicting explanations are given
- c) A history of persistent illness, infection or injury
- d) The inappropriate use of medication
- e) Possessions or money going missing; insufficient funds
- f) Property being sold without the owner’s consent or understanding
- g) Uncharacteristically withdrawn behaviour, without apparent reason
- h) A person found alone and at risk without adequate explanation
- i) A time lapse between injury or illness and seeking medical or other care
- j) Abrupt or frequent changes of doctor
- k) Unexplained weight loss or uncharacteristic comfort eating
- l) Uncharacteristically untidy appearance; personal items missing
- m) Repeated difficulty in getting to see someone or in speaking to a person alone
- n) Avoidance, including regularly missed appointments, refusal of help etc
- o) Evidence of alcohol or other substance or other signs of stress
- p) History of previous abuse or violence in the family
- q) Unexplained pain, itching, infection or injury in the genital, anal or abdominal areas or torn, stained or bloody underclothing
Always seek advice if you have any concerns
Procedures for Handling Disclosures
A child or young person may decide to disclose information that may indicate they are suffering from abuse or neglect. A child or young person chooses to speak to an adult because they feel that they will listen and that they can trust them. The adult needs to listen to what the child has to say, and be very careful not to ‘lead’ the child or young person or influence in any way in what they say.
It is important that the adult remembers to:
- Stay Calm
- Listen and be supportive
- Not ask any leading questions, interrogate the child or young person, or put ideas in the child or young person’s head, or jump to conclusions.
- Not stop or interrupt a child who is recalling significant events
- Never promise the child confidentiality – it must be explained that information will need to be passed on to help keep them safe
- Avoid criticising the alleged perpetrator
- Tell the child what must be done next (the safeguarding process must be followed)
- Record what was said immediately as close to what was said as possible. Also record what was happening immediately before the child or young person disclosed. Be sure to sign and date the record in ink
- Contact the designated person immediately
- Seek support
We are clear that the Local Authority and Police must lead any investigation in to any allegation regarding safeguarding.
Child protection and safeguarding referrals should be made to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and followed up in writing, preferably on an NSCB1 within 24 hours.
Telephone 0344 8008020. Ask for the MASH.
Referral forms sent to :
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 01603 762445
- Post: The MASH Team Manager, Floor 5 Vantage House, Fisher’s Lane, Norwich NR2 1ET
For specialist Police advise you can contact the Duty Detective Sergeant within the MASH.
Email: MASHSupervisors@norfolk.pnn.police.uk Call: Direct Dial 01603 27(6151)
If we are unsure whether to make a referral we can request a professional consultation via the MASH on 0344 8008020. This can be anonymous on the part of the child or family to establish the level of concern and any action advised from the MASH.
- OTHER RELEVANT GUIDANCE AND LEGISLATION
11.1 To underpin the values and ethos of our organisation and our intent to ensure our children/young people are appropriately safeguarded the following policies are also included under our safeguarding umbrella;
- Safer Working Practice
- Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety
- Whistle Blowing
- First aid
- Off-Site Activities
- Exclusion/Sent Home Policy
Working Together 2015
What to do if You’re Worried a Child is Being Abused? 2015
Children Act 2004
Children Act 1989
Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families
- The NAMED DESIGNATED CHILD PROTECTION OFFICER is required to review this policy annually
12.1 For year 2015/16 the following designated staff are in post;
DESIGNATED OFFICER – Lorraine Bliss ‘ 01603 622035/07850 031255
DEPUTY DESIGNATED OFFICER – Tara Bliss-Appleton ‘ 01603 622035/07714246857
- POLICY REVIEW
13.1 This policy will be reviewed on 5th January 2017.
NORFOLK USEFUL CONTACTS
Children’s Services 24 hours 0344 800 8014
Norfolk Police 101
In an emergency please call 999
Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO) Team: 01603 223473
Always someone available during normal working hours.
Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) Policies & Procedures www.lscb.norfolk.gov.uk
Yellow/Red Card Warning System:
Following a verbal warning for breaking the rules, a yellow card will be issued to the student.
If a student receives three yellow cards during the course of a term, this will lead automatically to the exclusion process; outstanding yellow cards will not be carried over to the subsequent term.
In the event that a student commits a serious breach of the rules which places themselves or others at risk of serious harm or injury, then a red card will be issued which will immediately trigger the exclusion process.
If the student is allowed to return to St-Eds following an exclusion, then a further yellow card will trigger the exclusion process.
St Eds Exclusion Policy For all students under 18
The decision to exclude a student will be taken in the following circumstances:
- In response to a serious breach of the Centre’s Behaviour Policy;
- If allowing the student to remain in Centre would seriously harm the education or welfare of the student or others in the Centre.
Exclusion is an extreme sanction and is only administered by the CEO (or, in the absence of the CEO, the Deputy CEO who is acting in that role). Exclusion, whether fixed term or permanent may be used for any of the following, all of which constitute examples of unacceptable conduct, and are infringements of the Centre’s Behaviour Policy:
• Verbal abuse to Staff and others
• Verbal abuse to students
• Physical abuse to/attack on Staff
• Physical abuse to/attack on students
• Indecent behaviour
• Damage to property
• Misuse of illegal drugs
• Misuse of other substances
• Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff
• Sexual abuse or assault
• Supplying an illegal drug
• Carrying an offensive weapon
• Unacceptable behaviour which has previously been reported and for which normal sanctions and other interventions have not been successful in modifying the student’s behaviour.
This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other situations where the Centre Manager or SMT makes the judgment that exclusion is an appropriate sanction.
This policy is an appendix of a Student Behaviour Policy and deals with the policy and practice which informs the Society’s use of exclusion. It is underpinned by the shared commitment of all members of the Centre community to achieve two important aims:
• The first is to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community, and to maintain an appropriate educational environment in which all can learn and succeed
• The second is to realise the aim of reducing the need to use exclusion as a sanction.
3. Exclusion Procedure
Most exclusion is of a fixed term nature and is of short duration (usually between one and three days).
The Trustees have established arrangements to review promptly all permanent exclusions from the centre and all fixed term exclusions that would lead to a student being excluded for over 15 days in an academic term or missing a public examination.
The Trustees and SMT have established arrangements to review fixed term exclusions which would lead to a student being excluded for over five days and made arrangements for working in partnership with the welfare Support and Exclusions Team.
Following exclusion (permanent or temporary) parents or guardians are contacted immediately where possible. A letter will be sent by post giving details of the exclusion and if appropriate the date the exclusion ends. Parents have a right to make representations to the CEO and or Trustees as directed in the letter should they feel the decision is unfair or unreasonable in the circumstances.
A return to centre meeting will be held following the expiry of the fixed term exclusion and this will involve a member of the Senior Management Team, or Welfare Support Manager and or other staff where appropriate.
It is Society practice to have a readmission meeting with the parents and, where it is deemed necessary, a Pastoral Support Plan will be drawn up. This needs to be agreed with the school, student and parents. Internal isolation with the Student Support Team is sometimes used to reintegrate a student who has served an external exclusion.
Whenever a fixed term exclusion is considered there will always be the opportunity to take the form of an “internal” exclusion, with the student being internally excluded and placed with the Student Support Team. However, in some circumstances, either because of the severity of the incident or because of practical or logistical constraints, such an exclusion will result in the student being required to remain at home.
During the course of a fixed term exclusion where the student is to be at home, parents are advised that the student is not allowed on the school premises, and that daytime supervision is their responsibility, as parents/guardians.
4. Permanent Exclusion
The decision to exclude a student permanently is a serious one. There are two main types of situation in which permanent exclusion may be considered:
• The first is a final, formal step in a concerted process for dealing with disciplinary offences following the use of a wide range of other strategies, which have been used without success. It is an acknowledgement that all available strategies have been exhausted and is used as a last resort. This would include persistent and defiant misbehaviour including bullying (which would include racist or homophobic bullying) or repeated possession and or use of an illegal drug on Centre premises.
• The second is where there are exceptional circumstances and it is not appropriate to implement other strategies and where it could be appropriate to permanently exclude a student for a first or ‘one off’ offence. These might include:
• Serious actual or threatened violence against another student or a member of staff
• Sexual abuse or assault
• Supplying an illegal drug
• Carrying an offensive weapon*
The Society will consider police involvement for any of the above offences. These instances are not exhaustive but indicate the severity of such offences and the fact that such behaviour seriously affects the discipline and wellbeing of the Centre.
*Offensive weapons are defined in the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 as “any article made or adapted for causing injury to the person; or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him.
5. General factors the Society considers before deciding to exclude
Exclusion will not be imposed instantly unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of others in the Centre or the student concerned. Before deciding whether to exclude a student either permanently or for a fixed period the Society will:
• Ensure appropriate investigations have been carried out
• Consider all the evidence available to support the allegations taking into account the
Behaviour Policy and Single Equality Scheme.
• Allow the student to give her/his version of events.
• Check whether the incident may have been provoked for example by bullying or by racial or sexual harassment.
• Ensure that where witness or staff statements, that they are signed, dated and collated together.
If the Society is satisfied that on the balance of probabilities the student did what he or she is alleged to have done, exclusion will be the outcome.
6. Exercise of discretion
In reaching a decision, the Society will always look at each case on its own merits.
Therefore, a tariff system, fixing a standard penalty for a particular action, is both unfair and inappropriate.
In considering whether permanent exclusion is the most appropriate sanction, the Society will consider:
• the gravity of the incident, or series of incidents, and whether it constitutes a serious breach of the Society’s Behaviour Policy
• the effect that the student remaining in the Centre would have on the education and welfare of other students and staff
Nonetheless, in the case of a student found in possession of an offensive weapon, whether there is an intention to use it or not, it is the Centre’s usual policy in this particularly serious matter to issue a permanent exclusion.
In line with its statutory duty, these same two tests of appropriateness will form the basis of the deliberations of the Trustee body, if and when it meets to consider the Centre’s decision to exclude. This Committee will require the CEO to explain the reasons for the decision and will look at appropriate evidence, such as the student’s record, witness statements and the strategies used by the Centre to support the student prior to exclusion
7. Lunchtime Exclusion
Students whose behaviour at lunchtime is disruptive may be internally excluded and monitored by Staff in Student Support.
8. Behaviour Outside the Centre
Students’ behaviour outside the centre on Centre “business” for example, trips and journeys, away or a work experience placement, is subject to the Centre’s Behaviour Policy. Poor behaviour in these circumstances will be dealt with as if it had taken place in the Centre.
For behaviour, outside but not on Centre business this policy will still have effect if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the student body as a whole. If students’ behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the Centre or on a journey to and from the Centre is poor and meets the criteria for exclusion then the Society may decide to exclude.
9. Drug Related Exclusions
In making a decision on whether or not to exclude for a drug-related offence the Society will have regard its published policy on drugs and will also seek advice from the LA’s Drugs Education Advisor. The decision will depend on the precise circumstances of the case and the evidence available.
In some cases, fixed term exclusion will be more appropriate than permanent exclusion.
The Society will make a judgment set against the criteria in the Centre’s Drugs Policy.