01904 554277 york.learning@york.gov.uk


Safeguarding & Prevent Policy & Staff Guidelines

York Learning
Author: Angela Whitehall
Date of Publication: September 2009
Revision April 2019
First date of review April 2020


York Learning is committed to a zero tolerance approach of abuse, neglect, exploitation or radicalisation within our organisation.

In providing learning and skills provision for the people of York, York Learning has a statutory duty to safeguard and protect the well-being of the children, young people and vulnerable adults they work with.

The guidelines set out below should be followed if there is reason to expect that any abuse, potential abuse, neglect, exploitation or radicalisation is taking, or has taken place. In addition to this staff should be aware of the behaviour expected of them and this is set out in the Behaviours guidance in Annex 4.


The Children Act 1989 defines a ‘child’ as a person under the age of 18

A vulnerable adult is defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act as a person who is aged 18 years or over and who is:

  • Living in certain situations
  • Detained in institutions or because of other laws
  • Receiving specific services

Detailed definition taken from the Vetting & Barring Scheme review February 2011

  • is living in residential accommodation, such as a care home or a residential special school
  • is living in sheltered housing
  • is receiving domiciliary care in their own home
  • is receiving any form of healthcare
  • is detained in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution, secure training centre or attendance centre, or under the powers of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • is under the supervision of the probation services
  • is receiving a specified welfare service, namely the provision of support, assistance or advice by any person, the purpose of which is to develop an individual’s capacity to live independently in accommodation or support their capacity to do so
  • is receiving a service or participating in an activity for people who have particular needs because of their age or who have any form of disability
  • is an expectant or nursing mother living in residential care
  • is receiving direct payments from a local authority or health and social care trust in lieu of social care services,
  • requires assistance in the conduct of their own affairs

What is safeguarding?

Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on all agencies to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

This duty is part of a comprehensive programme of change which began with the publication of Every Child Matters: Change for Children (September 2003) focusing on improving the following outcomes for children and young people:

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and Achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well being.

Inter-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children are coordinated and monitored through the City of York Safeguarding Children Board.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Enabling children to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

(City of York Safeguarding Children Board: http://saferchildrenyork.org.uk )

Safeguarding Adults work means ‘all work which enables an adult to retain independence, well-being and choice and to be able to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect’. It is about preventing abuse and neglect as well as promoting good practice for responding to concerns on a multi-agency basis.

(City of York Council Safeguarding Adults Board: http://safeguardingadultsyork.org.uk)

Inter-agency arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults are coordinated and monitored through the Safeguarding Adults Board for York.

Types of abuse

The Department of Health identifies six categories of abuse:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Psychological/emotional
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  • Financial or material
  • Discriminatory

*Only the first four are used in relation to child protection.  See annex 2 for further details of types of abuse and some possible indicators.

How does this apply to me?

Some staff work directly with children and young people, for example:

  • Early years – childcare staff supporting Family Learning programmes.
  • 16-18 – staff delivering Foundation learning, Apprenticeships and other courses.

Even if you don’t work directly with children, you will be in contact with adults who are the parents of children.  You need to know what to do if, for example, you observe or overhear something that leads you to suspect that a child at home is being abused or neglected.

Increasingly, our services are being used by vulnerable adults and most staff are likely to come into contact at some point with someone who fits one or more of the definitions of ‘vulnerable’, some on a regular basis.  You need to know what to do if, for example, a vulnerable person makes an allegation of abuse against someone who is helping to look after them.


Working with a range of people who are potentially vulnerable, we have the opportunity and a duty to know what we are looking for, spot the early signs, and share any concerns about anyone we suspect is being radicalised or susceptible to extremism. In addition, our student body might be a key source of information, at an early stage, about concerning behaviour which contravenes ‘British Values’ and which may lead to a threat to themselves or others. It is important to report concerns before the point of crisis.

British Values are defined as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.

Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values and calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

Prevent forms part of our safeguarding / area of concern policy and procedure and reporting system we use to highlight behaviour that causes concern to tutors, other staff or learners, and where we think there is a threat to the individual or to other students.  See also the York Learning Prevent policy.

The procedures

Allegations of abuse and reporting suspicion of abuse – what to do

All members of staff need to think of themselves as ‘alerters’ whose role in relation to safeguarding and Prevent is to:

  • report and record any allegation or concern about potential abuse, neglect, extremism or radicalisation on the same day
  • address any immediate protection issues as soon as they arise.

What do we mean by alerting?

It is telling someone about your concerns or suspicions.  Everyone who works with children, young people and vulnerable adults has a duty to share their concerns, even if the person concerned asks them not to.  You should always inform children, young people and vulnerable adults of this duty.

Allegations of abuse – what you should do

Any allegation by a child, young person or vulnerable adult that he/she has been abused or coerced in to doing something against their will should be taken very seriously even if they later deny it or claim to have made up their original allegation.  Children, young people and vulnerable adults who have been abused or are being radicalised have often been threatened about the consequences of reporting it.  They are often frightened and may want to take back what they have said.

When you become aware of abuse, neglect, extremism or radicalisation, you should make sure that emergency assistance (if required) is summoned and that your concerns are reported to the appropriate York Learning designated person for safeguarding immediately.  The designated person will advise on the course of action to be taken and may decide to refer the incident to the appropriate safeguarding body.

The designated persons for Safeguarding are:

Safeguarding Leads and second designated person for all groups:
Angela Padfield (01904 555987 or 07919090047) & Colette Gray (01904 555849 or 07812 986555)

Vulnerable Adults & Children
Jill Murphy on 01904 554236 or 07798 660109

Young people
Sarah Robson and Alison Thorne on 01904 551056

You can also email safeguarding and Prevent concerns which don’t involve a threat of immediate harm to the safeguarding team at safeatyorklearning@york.gov.uk

If you have serious concerns that the child, young person or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk of significant harm and our designated person is not available, you should ring one of the following numbers:

Children/young people

The Children’s Social Services Referral and Assessment Team (Children’s Front Door)

  • Mon-Fri 8.30 – 4.30: Tel 01904 551900
  • Email: childrensfrontdoor@york.gov.uk
  • Emergency duty team (evenings and weekends): 01609 780780

Vulnerable adults

Adults Social Services Initial Assessment & Safeguarding Team:

  • Telephone: 01904 555111
    Email: socialsupport@york.gov.uk
  • For emergencies outside these hours call the emergency duty team on 01609 780780


Reporting and preventing radicalisation, terrorist and extremist behaviour. If you are unsure or suspicious about somebody’s activities or behaviour, however insignificant it may seem at the time, please report your concerns to your designated lead.  If you feel this cannot wait please contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.


In all cases, dial 999 if there is an immediate threat to life.


For any Safeguarding incidents where there is not an immediate threat to life but which may involve a crime, contact should be made with the Police by dialling 101It should be made clear that the report is about a Safeguarding issue and an incident number should be requested.

Good practice for alerters

  • Any information given directly by the child/young person or vulnerable adult should be listened to and recorded carefully, using the person’s own words, on the Safeguarding Record Form (annex 3).
  • Listen carefully and sensitively. Do not ask leading questions, e.g. suggesting names of who may have perpetrated abuse if the person does not disclose it, as this may prejudice subsequent enquiries.  Simply clarify the bare facts of the incident or grounds for suspicion.
  • If a child/young person or vulnerable adult makes an allegation to you asking that you keep it confidential, you should inform the person that you will respect their right to confidentiality as far as you are able to, but, that you are not able to keep the matter secret.
  • Do not take any actions which might alert the alleged perpetrator.

Reporting Suspicion of Abuse – what you should do

If you suspect abuse, neglect or radicalisation such as, for instance, seeing a child, young person or vulnerable adult with an injury, it may be appropriate to make general enquires.  In many situations doubts and suspicions grow gradually, with an accurate picture only developing over a period of time.  It is therefore important to be vigilant when suspicions are aroused (see annex 2).  If you have concerns but are not sure whether a referral should be made, it is important that you discuss your concerns with  one of the service’s designated persons (see p.6).  However, if no designated persons are available, do not delay registering your concerns; instead, you should contact Adults or Children’s Social Services or the Anti-Terrorist hotline direct (see p.6 for contact details).

Additional Measures to Ensure Child Safety within our Settings

  • An annual Risk Assessment inspection will be conducted in all venues in which children are being cared for by Sessional Childcare Staff.
  • Staff will wear name badges and uniform as appropriate.
  • Staff are responsible for ensuring that visitors have legitimate reasons for visiting.
  • Visitors will be asked to sign in and out of children’s groups and will be accompanied by, a member of staff, at all times.
  • Any person who has not been subject to an Enhanced DBS check and/or other clearance required under the terms of the Children Act (1989) and by OFSTED will never be left alone with the children.

Safe Recruitment of Staff

All roles working unsupervised with children, young people or vulnerable adults will require an application from, role description and person specification.
Application Forms will include the following information

  • Name and previous names
  • Current address
  • Date of Birth
  • Previous addresses in the last 5 years
  • Relevant education / training/qualifications
  • Details of present and previous employers or education/voluntary associations if not previously employed
  • Previous employment details, positions held, dates, reasons for leaving. Explanations will be sought where there are unexplained gaps in an applicant’s employment history, or where an applicant has moved rapidly from one job to another.
  • Experience relating to the person specification
  • Details of 2 referees (not relatives) both of which should be recent and at least one should be a current or recent employer, teacher or professional colleague etc. References will be sought before an appointment is made.
  • Details of any criminal conviction or caution
  • Details of time not covered by education or work

(See also CYC recruitment policies.)

All staff working directly with children, young people or vulnerable adults, whether paid or voluntary, will be subject to DBS checks and other clearance required under the terms of the Children Act (1989) and by OFSTED.  Applicants will be advised that positions are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

No person will be accepted for work, paid or otherwise, if: –

  • they have been convicted of a relevant offence
  • been the subject of an order which disqualifies them from registration under regulations made under schedule 9A of the Children Act 1989
  • been the subject of an order mentioned in Disqualification of Caring for Children Regulations 1991

Staff Training

All staff working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults, whether paid or voluntary, will have appropriate, recognised qualifications/training and/or experience.

All staff working with children, young people and vulnerable adults will receive information about safeguarding and Prevent prior to starting work.

All staff working with children, young people and vulnerable adults are expected to have completed an appropriate safeguarding basic awareness training course, including awareness of Prevent, prior to commencing employment.  Staff are also expected to complete a refresher / update course at least once every three years.

Allegations of Abuse made against Staff

Allegations may be made against staff working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults in a paid or voluntary capacity concerning ill treatment or abuse.

Any concerns or information regarding a member of staff should be reported to the designated person without delay.

The designated person will inform, and seek advice from, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The designated person should make no attempt to undertake enquiries or seek to determine the validity of the allegation at this stage.  S/he may, however, need to take immediate safety measures such as the removal of the member of staff from the premises and any evidence should be secured and preserved e.g. mobile telephone, computer – subject to advice from the police or LADO

Prior to contacting the LADO the designated person should gather the following information including:

  • names, addresses, dates of birth of the vulnerable person/child and staff member concerned
  • details of any potential witnesses;
  • details of the staff member’s previous employment record including any previous allegations/concerns;
  • account of the person receiving or witnessing the allegation;
  • information regarding any other paid or voluntary work the staff member undertakes with children or vulnerable adults;
  • if the staff member has their own children, any other information which may be of relevance;
  • any action(s) already taken;
  • information about the legal status of the child concerned

A full record of the concern/ allegation must be made which is timed, dated, and signed.

The designated person must consult with the LADO within one working day of an allegation being made.

The procedures outlined in the City of York Safeguarding Children Board: Allegations Against Professionals guidance will then be followed.

Allegations against staff can be very distressing and stressful – the York Learning nominated representative to provide support for staff whilst an allegation is being investigated is Colette Gray.

Additional relevant documents: 

Prevent Policy
Sessional Childcare Media Policy