Safeguarding is about:
Safeguarding is about:
Safeguarding is about:
LAL carries out activities which bring our employees and people working on behalf of our organisation into regular unsupervised contact with children. LAL acknowledges its duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring our safeguarding practices reflect statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice.
This policy applies to all employees, other individuals associated by formal arrangement with LAL, 3rd parties, homestays and volunteers whose duties bring them into contact with children for which LAL is or could be held responsible. For the purpose of this safeguarding policy the aforementioned will be referred to as LAL Representatives and a child is defined as a person who is under 18 years of age.
This policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children have a positive and enjoyable experience at LAL in a safe and child-centred environment.
As part of our safeguarding policy LAL will:
Named Trained Safeguarding Officers
LAL’s Designated Persons for Safeguarding Children in the Organisation are:
Vicki Lyall LAL Torbay and LAL Summer Schools
Ben Cowell LAL Torbay
Bonnie Cowell LAL Language Centres
They have all been awarded the Level 3 Safeguarding Children Practice qualification.
LAL Representatives should:
It is understood that an LAL Representative may have physical contact with a child in order to prevent accident or injury to themselves or anyone else (e.g. to prevent a fall), or in the case of medical assistance being needed (e.g. to administer first aid). If a child is hurt or distressed, the LAL Representative will do his/her best to comfort or reassure the child without compromising his/her dignity or doing anything to discredit the person’s own behaviour.
LAL Representatives will use clear and simple lexis and always refrain from using foul, blasphemous and offensive terminology.
LAL Representatives should not behave in such a way that would leave any reasonable person to question their suitability to work with children, and will act as a role model.
LAL Representatives should be aware that behaviour in their personal lives may impact upon their work with children.
LAL Representatives should never bring to the child’s attention any material that could be construed as pornographic.
Other than for the purposes of safeguarding the child, LAL Representatives must not seek or agree to meet them anywhere outside of the normal workplace without the full prior knowledge and agreement of the parent, guardian or carer.
LAL Representatives should wear clothing that is appropriate to their role and is not likely to be viewed as offensive, revealing or sexually provocative. This clothing should not distract, cause embarrassment or give rise to misunderstanding. Clothing should be absent of any political or otherwise contentious slogans.
See our Dress Code for full details.
LAL Representatives are required not to in any way induce children for which LAL is or could be held responsible to undertake any actions against their wishes as a result of fear or favour. Gifts should only be given as part of an agreed reward system and should be of insignificant value.
LAL Representatives must not distribute, purchase or sell alcohol to any children for which LAL is or could be held responsible.
The Sexual offences Act 2003 states that any person in a position of trust engaged in any form of sexual activity with students under the age of 18 is breaking the law (even though the legal age of consent is 16)
LAL strictly prohibits:
All new employees within LAL that have direct, unsupervised access to children undertake role specific training as part of the induction process which outlines the key elements of their role. This references the tasks the employee is expected to undertake, a summary of the staff dress code, safeguarding, fraternisation, social media policies and Prevent Strategy as well as outlining LAL’s overall standards and expectations.
As part of the induction process all new staff are required to read and confirm in writing that they have read the Employee Handbook and associated policies.
Homestay hosts are also issued with a Homestay Manual that provides rules, help and advice for hosts.
The aim is to protect children as much as possible from inappropriate material on the internet. This includes racist, violent, sexist, pornographic or otherwise exploitative content. It also includes extremist websites and websites which directly contradict the ‘core British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Filters are in place on the school’s Wi-Fi network to block inappropriate sites. However, students may have their own 3G/4G mobile access to internet. Students are educated about the dangers of, and put boundaries on, their use of the Internet. All staff, and teachers in particular, must periodically remind students of the potential dangers of sharing personal information on the internet, uploading photographs, online harassment and the potential for scams.
Students are instructed:
Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm or harass other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.
Harassment is unwanted conduct based on the grounds of religious belief, political opinion, sex (including gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status), race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or age which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.
Differences of attitude, background or culture and the misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another; nevertheless, this does not make it acceptable. It is the purpose or effect of the behaviour rather than the motive that must be considered.
It differs from other forms of bullying in several significant ways:
Sexting is defined here as “sending or posting sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs, via mobiles or over the Internet”. Creating and sharing sexual photos and videos of under-18s is illegal.
When an incident involving sexting comes to the LAL’s attention, the incident should be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible such that an initial review meeting with appropriate staff can be held before subsequent interviews with the young people involved (if appropriate).
If a member of staff suspects that a sexualised image of a child is contained on an electronic device should not ask to view the image.
At any point in the process, if there is a concern a young person is in need or at risk of harm, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Services and / or the Police immediately.
If a child has an inappropriate image:
An immediate referral to police and/or children’s social care should be made if at this initial stage:
If outside agencies are not deemed necessary, the Designated Safeguarding lead will:
LAL recognises that rigorous online safety policies and procedures are essential to safeguarding children and young adults online.
In order to protect children and staff from adverse effects that could result from the improper use of social media, staff use of social media must comply with LAL’s Fraternisation policy. The use of Social Media can put children and/or young people at risk within and outside of the school environment. Some of the potential dangers may include:
Employees should not:
The CEO along with the Designated Safeguarding Leads are responsible for e-Safety within LAL.
Please see our Social Media policy
Children who require a private fostering arrangement will be noted by the accommodation department who will initiate the required paperwork.
The local authority private fostering forms will be sent, usually via the agent, to the parents. Once this is returned to LAL we will complete the rest and make sure that the form is received by the local authority.
In communication with the local authority the school will arrange suitable time/s during the children’s stay for the local authority to visit the school and meet with the student to discuss all aspects of their stay and to ensure that all needs are being met.
General and fire safety risk assessments checks will be carried out during Host Family visits by LAL staff or contractors.
Before LAL engages any companies to provide services for LAL students that are children, LAL will require all employees of those companies who will have unsupervised access to children for which LAL is or could be held responsible to provide LAL with full criminal records clearance details as well as evidence of adequate insurance cover.
Risk assessments will be carried out for all on site and off site activities to remove and eliminate risk where possible. This will include first aid cover and accident reporting. Staff are required to read these risk assessments and will be advised of any subsequent changes to these risk assessments.
Risk assessments and fire risk assessments for homestays will be undertaken during the initial visit and updated on all re-visits.
The children will have their behaviour monitored and controlled in order to minimise any danger that they present to themselves or others. All staff are to be aware of and comply with LAL ‘s discipline policy and procedures
All staff that answer the emergency phone outside of standard hours are fully briefed and trained to advise the caller on a wide range of ‘what if’ scenarios.
Irrespective of the type of accommodation, unless specifically by the written request of the parent/guardian of the children concerned under no circumstances will a child be placed in the same room as an adult. Children sharing a room will be of the same gender and close in age range. This applies to our Host Families and Residential Accommodation.
LAL will ensure that students under 16 lodged by them in homestay or residential accommodation will not be lodged with students of 18 years or older.
A detailed risk assessment has been conducted. It identifies risks and measures to limit these, including hygiene, social distancing measures and reduced class sizes.
In case of a positive test at the school, the health authorities will be informed, and we will follow their instructions. We will allocate space for students who test positive to quarantine.
Our young learner courses include travel insurance. If students are unable to return to their home countries due to a positive case and are obliged to quarantine in the UK, the insurance policy provides for this, covering additional accommodation and travel costs incurred.
Staff and students are to regular lateral flow tests and all staff and students told how to immediate report any symptoms or positive test results.
During first day inductions children will be introduced to all individuals whom they can contact for help and advice. This information is also provided in the LAL Young Learner Student Handbook.
Children are provided by a variety of means including verbal instruction and the student handbook easy-to-understand information regarding UK laws, personal safety, road safety, fire safety, beach and sea safety as well as being provided with instructions should they become lost.
Regular fire alarm checks and drills take place within our learning centres. As part of the student induction process, children are shown where the fire exits are located and where to meet if the fire alarm is activated.
LAL has a number of staff who are trained to provide emergency first aid.
When transporting children, the transport will be checked to ensure it is roadworthy and adequate for the purpose. Appropriate insurance will be kept up to date and adequate to cover such assignments.
Children are also issued with an LAL Student ID card on arrival which has phone numbers to call in an emergency.
Lessons have a maximum size of fifteen students, with some courses having a lower maximum number. One responsible adult will be assigned to each class.
On activities and excursions the supervision ratio is one responsible adult to maximum of twenty students. Students under 12 years old have a supervision ratio of one responsible adult to twelve students.
In residential accommodation LAL will ensure that the ratio of residential adults to students will be at least 1:20 for students aged 12-17 and 1:15 for students under 12, to include LAL staff and accompanying Group Leaders. First aid facilities and an appropriately trained member of staff will be available at all times.
A responsible adult is required to be present overnight at host homes and will be present when children under 16 are at home.
The homestay manual clearly outlines to the host the procedure to be followed in the event of emergencies. Information includes office opening hours, contact numbers, out of hours contact numbers, what the family should do if a child becomes ill, requires first aid, requires a doctor or dentist appointment and is late home or missing. This information is reiterated during homestay visits and during the homestay open event.
Staff are trained to deal with emergency situations as part of their induction. Staff are provided with our Emergency Plan which outlines what to do in emergency situations both on and off site. This includes the steps that must be taken, how children are accounted for and how details of the incident are communicated.
LAL provides parents and/or agents, group leaders, homestays, and students with 24-hour emergency contact numbers.
Children are made aware of emergency procedures in all circumstances including when in the residence, in school or on activities.
The Young Learner Student Handbook details emergency contact information and procedures.
See our Emergency Plan for more details
Host families are made aware via the ‘host home manual’ of the rules regarding activities children may undertake outside of scheduled activity times, the level of supervision required by the host family and what time they are expected home at a specific location including curfew times.
Students on Vacation English courses and Adult courses have different activities at different times, so students on these courses will not have activities together, unless this is arranged separately.
Where applicable host families will be required to bring the child to evening activities. A representative from the learning centre will then either accompany the child back to their host family or a private transport company will be used.
LAL advertises age ranges for its courses and expects to receive students within those ranges.
However, there are exceptions to this, and our Age Range policy states the considerations for accepting students outside the ranges. It is also possible for a student to be sent to a school whose age is outside the stated age range.
Where students are aged over 17 and on the same course as under 18s, provision must be made as follows:
Where students are aged under 12 on a course which has a lower limit of 12, the following provisions are made:
All under 16s are fully supervised from their point of arrival to their accommodation/learning centre and from the learning centre to the security zones and their points of departure.
At any port of arrival, under 16s will be supervised by an LAL Representative until they are handed to another LAL Representative who will escort them to their destination.
For some arrivals, the transfer will deliver under 16s directly to the host family.
On departure for all airports either the host family or an LAL Representative will take under 16s to the specified meeting point where a member of LAL Representative will be waiting for them and will escort them to the airport.
On arrival at the airport the LAL Representative will take the student to the check-in desk and assist them with checking in and dropping off bags. They will then be taken to the security point where they will be given instructions.
All children will be supplied with our pre-arrival information that contains our emergency number. They are instructed to call this number if they have any issues at the airport before they meet up with an LAL Representative for example in baggage reclaim.
On arrival, airline staff will pass the UM to an LAL Representative who will accompany the UM to their destination or hand them over to another LAL Representative for transfer to their centre.
On departure, an LAL Representative will check in the student and will accompany the student until the airline staff member has taken the student through security, immigration and into the departure lounge.
The LAL Representative must not leave the airport until the flight has left in case the flight is cancelled and the student is handed back to LAL for further supervision until a suitable replacement flight has been arranged.
Where students arrive and depart with an accompanying group leader from the agency, this person may take the place of the LAL Representative in the above cases.
LAL Representatives are trained to monitor children for evidence of abuse as detailed by the NSPCC. Child abuse falls into one or more of four categories: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent effects on the child’s emotional development, and may involve:
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in most types of ill treatment of children, though emotional abuse may occur alone.
All Employees have a legal responsibility to prevent and report instances of Child Exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation as this is illegal in the UK.
Child sexual exploitation is when people use the power they have over young people to sexually abuse them. Their power may result from a difference in age, gender, intellect, strength, money or other resources. It is vitally important the employees know how to recognise and prevent this from happening. The signs of child sexual exploitation may be hard to spot, particularly if a child is being threatened. To make sure that children are protected, it’s worth being aware of the signs that might suggest a child is being sexually exploited.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not s/he is aware of what is happening.
Activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative and non-penetrative acts.
Sexual activities may also include non-contact activities, e.g. involving a child in looking at / production of abusive images, watching sexual activities or encouraging her/him to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. It may include use of photos, pictures, cartoons, literature or sound recordings via internet, books, magazines, audio cassettes, tapes or CDs.
Signs of child sexual exploitation include the child or young person:
Neglect involves 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 and development. This could involve failing to:
If a child discloses any information to a LAL Representative suggesting that they have been abused in any way, LAL Representatives should follow the process outlined below. If this information is reported by a child to their homestay host, the host must inform LAL as soon as possible using the emergency contact numbers.
It is not for LAL Representatives to decide if the allegations are true or not. Their role is only to listen and report as accurately as possible. Staff should inform their line manager immediately, who in turn should report to the school General Manager and LAL’s Designated Person for Safeguarding Children.
The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be informed by LAL’s Designated Person for Safeguarding Children within one working day of all allegations that come to LAL’s attention and appear to meet the criteria below:
The LADO has a responsibility to consult LAL, Police and Children’s Social Care about whether the criteria above is met and if so to determine which of the three strands listed below should be used to conduct enquiries:
If there is immediate danger to the student immediate action to safeguard the child will be a taken by LAL.
The Local Authority Designated Officer for Torbay can be contacted as follows:
Tel: 01803 208411
Email: [email protected]
Anyone who works with or is seeking to work with children or will have unsupervised contact with children is required to have an enhanced DBS disclosure or equivalent. This includes, but is not limited to, permanent staff, seasonal staff, interns and homestay providers.
All LAL Representatives whether paid or unpaid will be required to read LAL’s Safeguarding policy as part of their induction process. All staff that are recruited on a seasonal basis and permanent basis that will have unsupervised contact with children will (as part of the induction process) be tested on their safeguarding knowledge. If any areas are identified as lacking staff will receive the necessary training.
In addition to this, as per our Prevent Strategy we will ensure that all staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation, and are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on.
It is the responsibility of the Operational side General Managers and HR Manager to review this policy annually and more frequently, if necessary, as per government guidance, legislation change or as a result of any other significant change or event.
I want to improve my English that’s why I’ve been staying for one month at LAL. It was a good experience because I met people from different countries, new friends and I can practice English everyday.
Cape Town is a lovely place, I really enjoy it. The teachers in LAL teach well and they are so cool. The staff in the school is also sociable. Concerning my accommodation, I like it, my room is clean and has enough space even I shared it.
It could be in Portuguese, but I preferred to challenge myself and write my testimonial in English. I had Intensive English and it was four lovely weeks in LAL School. It was really good for me to interact with teachers and other schoolmates. My host mother, Bev and her mom were the best people that I met in Cape Town. I really felt at home. I will miss our conversation. Bev was a really mother for me . I have to say thanks for that.
I enjoyed my stay, I learned many cultures, to talk to many students from different nations, besides just studying English. It’s a good experience.
The English courses and teachers were funny. All staff is very kind, smiled and prepared to help. I was satisfied and felt like at home. The food in lunch was really tasty.
I have been here for almost six months and it was the best experience of my life, because I’ve met a lot of people and from different countries. They are very friendly and lovely, not just the students but the staff and teachers as well.