Safeguarding policy

Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Purpose

  3. Definitions

  4. We believe that:

  5. We recognise that:

  6. We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  7. Code of Conduct - Mentors

  8. Contact details

1. Introduction

 

We, The Oxbridge Launchpad Ltd (“the company”, “the organisation”, “we”, “our”), are committed to upholding strong safeguarding standards amongst all of our operations and amongst all those who work on our behalf. Our organisation takes seriously its responsibilities in promoting the welfare of all children that interact with The Oxbridge Launchpad.


 

2. Purpose

 

The purpose of this policy statement is: 

  • to ensure compliance with the current legislation and statutory guidance surrounding child safeguarding;

  • to protect children and young people who receive The Oxbridge Launchpad’s services, including our mentoring scheme;

  • to outline procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse and ensure that they are followed;

  • to provide our team, as well as children and young people and their families, with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

 

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of The Oxbridge Launchpad, including but not limited to the Management Team, volunteer mentors and article authors.


 

3. Definitions

 

A ‘child’ is defined as any individual under the age 18 (as defined in ‘The Children Act 1989’).

The ‘Management Team’ is defined as the operations team for the organisation, including the co-founders.

‘The Oxbridge Launchpad team’ is defined as all those working on behalf of the organisation, including the Management Team, volunteer mentors and article authors.

 

4. We believe that:

 

  • children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind. 

  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.


 

5. We recognise that:

 

  • the welfare of children is paramount in all the work we do and in all the decisions we take;

  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse;

  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues;

  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers, and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.


 

6. We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

 

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them;

  • appointing a nominated child protection lead (“DSL”, “Designated Safeguarding Lead”) for children and young people, with the responsibility of i) ensuring the effectiveness of safeguarding measures in all operations of the organisation, ii) handling all complaints and concerns in a discrete, confidential and sensitive manner and iii) annually reviewing our safeguarding policies and procedures;

  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for the Management Team and volunteer mentors;

  • providing effective management for all those who work on behalf of the organisation through support, training and quality assurance measures so that all members of the organisation’s team are aware of and follow our policies, procedures and behaviour codes confidently and competently;

  • recruiting and selecting for our team safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made, for all volunteer mentors;

  • ensuring that all volunteer mentors have read, understood and agreed to the ‘Safeguarding Policy’ and ‘Mentor Code of Conduct’, before providing mentoring services;

  • recording, storing and using information professionally and securely following our ‘Data Protection Policy’, in line with data protection legislation and guidance;

  • building a safeguarding culture where children, young people and their families, treat each other with respect and are comfortable sharing concerns;

  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practise with children and young people so that they have concerns they know where to go for help;

  • using our safeguarding and child protection procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately;

  • ensuring that we have a robust reporting structure with effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place while using our procedures to manage any allegations against our team appropriately;

  • any concerns on behalf of a child, young person or a member of our team should be submitted via email to the DSL immediately.

7. Code of Conduct - Mentors

 

All mentors are working with children and thus have a safeguarding responsibility, mentors should always act and carry out operations on behalf of the organisation in line with our ‘Safeguarding Policy’ and ‘Privacy Policy’

 

All mentors must have read, understood and agreed to this ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Safeguarding Policy’ before commencing mentoring services.

Mentors must:

  • Treat all young people with respect;

  • Always behave professionally and in line with the values of the organisation, this includes friendliness, inclusiveness and honesty;

  • Use professional behaviour and appropriate language in all mentoring sessions with mentees;

  • Correspond with mentees via email only, with the DSL copied into all email correspondence;

  • Discuss only university mentoring during mentoring meetings unless there is a concern for the welfare or safety of the mentee - note the appropriate procedures;

  • Record all meetings with mentees;

  • Keep all recordings for minimum 28 days;

  • Provide meeting recordings upon request from the DSL or a member of the Management Team, for safeguarding purposes.

 

Mentors must not:

  • Correspond with mentees via other social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram); 

  • Connect with mentees on any social media platform unless approved by the DSL, even in the event of the mentee turning 18 years old;

  • Exchange phone numbers with mentees;

  • Engage in discussion with mentees on potentially sensitive issues;

  • Act in such a way to bring disrepute to the organisation.

 

Procedures

  • In the event that a volunteer mentor is abused by a mentee, the mentor should:

    • end the meeting with the mentee when possible;

    • stop correspondence with the mentee immediately and indefinitely;

    • notify the DSL via email at the earliest possible time.

  • In the event that a mentor is concerned about the welfare of a mentee, the mentor should:

    • ensure the risk of harm to the mentee is not immediate;

    • notify the DSL as soon as possible;

    • the DSL should contact the relevant services as soon as possible (eg. police, local safeguarding authorities).

8. Contact Details

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Name: Vikram Mitra

Email: hello@theoxbridgelaunchpad.com

 

NSPCC Helpline

Phone: 0808 800 5000

 

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

 

This policy was last reviewed on 12th August 2020.