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Safeguarding and Prevent 

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
Physical abuse
Sexual abuse
Emotional/ psychological abuse

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: 

Domestic abuse
Historic sexual abuse
Alcohol or substance misuse

Prevent is also a safeguarding concern, there are different types of Prevent risks to be aware of:

Signs of abuse or neglect
Signs of radicalisation

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.

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