This toolkit provides a brief overview of issues relating to Safeguarding and Prevent. More detailed online training is provided on both topics via the HR Learning Development Portal and is mandatory that all staff complete the online training when they start in their role and as a refresher every three years. The training will provide further detailed information about how to identify and respond to issues. Some staff may also be required to attend advanced face to face training as part of their roles.
The Children Act 2004 states that the welfare of children under the age of 18 is paramount and is everyone’s responsibility.
Although universities predominantly provide higher education to individuals over the age of 18, there is still a responsibility for safeguarding to be aware of.
Staff have a responsibility to report any safeguarding concerns for the welfare of:
- students under 18
- children of students or staff
- younger siblings or other children who may be known to a student or staff member
- children, young people, or adults at risk that students may be in contact with while on placement
- adults at risk (previously known as vulnerable adults)
- staff or students at risk of radicalisation (see the section on Prevent)
Please watch this short video which explains why safeguarding children is important.
Prevent is about safeguarding and supporting individuals who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.
The Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015 imposes a duty on “specified authorities” to have a due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and this includes universities.
Higher Education institutions are organisations that play a key role in challenging extremist views and ideologies. Younger people are disproportionately arrested in the UK for terrorist-related offences and travelling to join terrorist organisations.
There is a possibility that a student may arrive at university already committed to terrorism, or may be radicalised due to activity taking place on or off campus during their studies.
Universities therefore play a very important role in the Prevent agenda.
Watch this short video, which explains more about what Prevent is.
According to the Children’s Society abuse is defined as:
A deliberate act of ill-treatment that can harm or is likely to harm a child or young person’s safety, well-being and development. Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional.Children’s Society abuse definition
This involves any form of physical violence that may cause injuries. This can include but is not limited to hitting, punching, kicking, grabbing, biting, pinching, pushing.
Child sexual abuse involves a child being forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This may involve physical contact or non-contact activities and can also involve online abuse. Contact abuse includes but is not limited to sexual touching or any part of the body with or without clothing, forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity, making a child touch someone intimately, rape, or penetration.
Emotional or psychological abuse involves ongoing maltreatment of a child that can have a severe and persistent negative effect on the child’s emotional health and development. It includes but is not limited to exposing the child to aggression, cruelty or abuse between others, ignoring a child, not showing affection, not responding to a child’s emotional needs, isolating, and manipulating the child.
Neglect is also acknowledged as a form of abuse. According to the Children’s Society neglect is defined as:
Failing to provide or secure for a child or young person the basic needs of physical safety and wellbeingChildren’s Society neglect definition
Neglect is not meeting a child’s basic physical and psychological needs. It can cause serious long-lasting effects on a child’s life, serious harm or even death. Neglect may involve but is not limited to, physical neglect such as not providing food, clothing, shelter, and not ensuring adequate safety, educational neglect such as not making sure a child receives an education, emotional neglect, such as not meeting a child’s needs for nurture or stimulation, and medical neglect, such as not providing appropriate health care.
It is important to be aware of the potential circumstances where children could be at risk of harm or neglect, this may include but is not limited to:
Children can often witness domestic abuse and suffer psychological and emotional harm as a result. However, in many instances’ children can often be direct victims of domestic abuse, suffering physical abuse directly.
A student may disclose that they have experienced sexual abuse historically. It may be the case that this has not ever been reported and the alleged perpetrator still has contact with other children or young people under 18 such as younger siblings of the student who may potentially be at risk.
Children living in an environment where there is alcohol and/or substance misuse, may be at risk of physical or emotional abuse and neglect.
Prevent is also a safeguarding concern, there are different types of Prevent risks to be aware of:
Radicalisation is the process by which a person begins to support and adopt extreme ideologies, which can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm.
As a member of staff at Edge Hill you may not come into direct contact with children under 18 years old or adults at risk, however you may have students on placements in settings where they are working with children and young people, or students with younger siblings or children of their own and it so it is important to be aware of the common signs of abuse to look out for:
- Injuries including bruises, fractures, lacerations, burns, or scalds.
- Changes to appearance.
- Often hungry/ losing weight.
- Unexplained changes in behaviour or personality.
- Seeming anxious.
- Becoming uncharacteristically aggressive.
- Running away or going missing.
- Always wearing clothes that cover their body.
These signs do not necessarily mean that the person is being abused or is at risk but should prompt some further action.
As a member of staff at Edge Hill there is a duty to report concerns that staff or students may be at risk of radicalisation. It is important to know the signs to look out for of radicalisation, which includes:
- Withdrawing from family/friends or a change to their circle of friends.
- Hostility towards others.
- Talking as if from a script.
- Being unwilling to discuss their views.
- Increased levels of anger.
- Being secretive, particularly around what they are doing/ viewing online.
- Using extremist terms to exclude people or incite violence.
- Expressing the values of extremist or terrorist organisations (including political or religious based grievances).
- Supporting violence and terrorism towards other cultures, nationalities or religions.
- Writing or creating artwork that promotes extremist values.
- Talking about being a martyr.
- Possession of extremist literature or other material, or trying to access extremist websites.
- Possession of any material about weapons, explosives or military training.
These signs do not necessarily mean that the person is being radicalised or is at risk but should prompt some further action.
For guidance on how to discuss or report your concerns, please see the ‘what you should do’ section.
- It is important that when you are supporting students that you clearly communicate the limitations of confidentiality to them and make it clear that you have a duty to report any concerns about risks to children or adults at risk to a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
- If you are made aware of any potential or known risk to children under 18 it is the responsibility of all staff to report these concerns to a Designated Safeguarding Officer who will liaise with the Senior Designated Safeguarding Officer to determine if relevant investigating agencies need to be informed.
- It is best practice to inform the student that you will have to report your concerns and inform them of what will happen next.
- In the first instance, speak to a Designated Safeguarding Officer or head of department to discuss your concerns.
- If you have a concern about the potential radicalisation of a student, or member of staff, this should also be reported to a Designated Safeguarding Officer.
For a list of all the Designated Safeguarding Officers please see the Key Contacts section at the bottom of the University safeguarding webpage.
Reporting a concern out of hours
If a safeguarding issue occurs out of hours (for example when the Designated Safeguarding Officers will not be in work) then you need to consider whether anyone is currently at immediate risk of harm. If you believe anyone to be at immediate risk of harm you should:
- call 999 for the police or ambulance as appropriate and report it immediately
- contact Campus Support on 01695 584227 and make a report to them
Campus Support will decide whether it is necessary to contact other senior staff at the University or whether this can wait until the next working day. If you do not believe anyone is at serious risk of harm then the report should be made to your Designated Safeguarding Officer the next working day. However it is advisable to keep notes at the time so that these are up to date and available if needed.
Prevent duty guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance
Link to NSPCC https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/
Protect UK https://www.protectuk.police.uk/
Ann Craft Trust resources https://www.anncrafttrust.org/resources/
University safeguarding webpages www.edgehill.ac.uk/safeguarding/
The Prevent Duty – https://edgehill.learnupon.com/catalog/courses/2714676
Safeguarding Essentials – https://edgehill.learnupon.com/catalog/courses/2754751