1. Introduction

1.1 This Policy applies to all Aldridge Foundation staff, trustees, consultants and anyone acting on behalf of the Foundation.

1.2      This policy sets out how the Aldridge Foundation implements safeguarding for children and young people with whom it comes into contact within the course of their work.

2.       Policy Statement

2.1      The Aldridge Foundation recognises that working in partnership with young people and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

2.2      The Aldridge Foundation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all young people who take part in Aldridge Foundation programmes and to promoting a protective culture at every level of the organisation.

2.3      The Aldridge Foundation recognises that it has a duty to ensure that it carries out all its functions regarding the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.  (Children Act, 2004, Section 11).

2.4      The Aldridge Foundation recognises this duty in relation to all young people regardless of age, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religious belief, social class, sex, sexual orientation or disability, have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse.

2.5      The Aldridge Foundation recognises some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.

2.6      This policy will be provided to all trustees, employees, consultants and will be published on the Charity’s website so that it is freely available to others involved or associated with the Aldridge Foundation, including schools, children and young people, and their parents/carers.

3.       Legislative and Policy Context

3.1      This Policy is underpinned by the following legislation:

The Children Act, 1989; The Children Act, 2004; The Protection of Children Act, 1999; The Data Protection Act, 1984 and 1998; The Human Rights Act, 1998.

3.2      This Policy is underpinned by the following guidance:

Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2019; Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020, published on 17 June 2020 and effective from 1 September 2020.

4.       Procedures

4.1      The Aldridge Foundation expects that all employees, trustees, consultants and others associated with the Aldridge Foundation will adhere to the Safeguarding Procedures.

4.2      The Aldridge Foundation has a designated lead for safeguarding young people and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding. All staff will be made aware that concerns should be reported to the named person.  All staff will be made aware of whom to report concerns to in the absence of the named person. 

4.3      The Aldridge Foundation will take seriously any allegation made by a young person. If any employee, trustee, consultant or other associated with the Aldridge Foundation has a concern relating to the safeguarding of young people, they should raise it with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) as soon as possible and must not investigate concerns themselves. If the concerns relate to the designated safeguarding lead, they should be raised with the lead trustee/board member.

4.4      A written notification will be given to the named person using the reporting proforma provided at the end of this policy and reported to the designated lead.

4.5      Every school that the Aldridge Foundation works with will also have their own safeguarding policies and designated safeguarding lead.

4.6      The Aldridge Foundation will seek to keep young people safe by valuing, listening to and respecting them.

4.7      All Aldridge Foundation staff will be subject to a DBS and two references as part of the recruitment process. DBS certificates will be renewed every three years.

4.8      All staff receive the policy as part of their induction within the first week of joining the organisation. No staff member will have contact with young people or children until after their induction and once a DBS check has been completed.

4.9      The designated safeguarding lead receives detailed safeguarding training and specific training on their role as DSL and will undertake training to refresh their knowledge at least every two years, or sooner if there are significant changes to legislation or best practice guidance.

4.10    The DSL will ensure all staff are aware of and understand any significant changes to legislation and guidance when published and will organise training as required.

4.11    All executive staff who may come in to contact with students are stepped through the policy as and when there are updates.

4.12    The CEO and all Foundation staff are always accompanied by appropriately safeguarding trained school staff at all times

4.13    This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees annually and when there is a significant change in legislation or best practice.

5.       Digital Platforms

5.1      In the course of celebrating students’ achievements and of promoting the Aldridge Foundation via our online channels, including social media platforms or our website, we may share images of students that take part in any of the Aldridge Foundation programmes. These images may appear in our printed publications, website and social media platforms. Before each programme we ensure we obtain consent from the students and teachers to use photography and/or quotes across our platforms.   

5.2      Unless specific consent is given, the Aldridge Foundation will only publish partial names of young people featuring in photograph, case studies and other content across our social media platforms.  

5.3      Our social media platforms are public and therefore accessible to the young people we support. Aldridge Foundation staff are accepted to interact with the young people they support through the organisations accounts only and never to use their personal accounts to do so.  

5. 4     Public comments and private messages submitted on the Foundation’s social media platforms are monitored daily. Any inappropriate comments will be deleted and the user reported and blocked immediately.

5. 5     Where the Foundation uses a delivery platforms (e.g. Zoom) we will ensure that the platform is compliant with GDPR regulations and that the necessary level of controls, security and encryption are in place.

5. 6     All of the social media platforms we use are licensed for young people aged 13, excluding zoom and LinkedIn, which are licenced for young people aged 16. Although we support young people below this age, we do not encourage them to use or follow us on Zoom and LinkedIn. These platforms are predominantly to promote the work of the Aldridge Foundation.

5.7      We are aware that many of the young people we support will use a variety of social media platforms and we believe that we have a duty of care to help protect them online. In partnership with a leading cyber security firm, we have created a guide for young people which makes them aware of possible dangers, helps them to manage their online presence and be safe and responsible online. This guide is shared with schools that we support and available on the student resource page on our website.

6.       Scope of This Policy

6.1      This policy applies to all staff who come into contact with young people in whatever capacity, including employees, trustees, consultants and others associated with the Aldridge Foundation.

6.2      The Children Act, 1989 defines a child as “a person under the age of eighteen”.  This policy therefore applies to all young persons under 18.  However, the principles of this policy should also be considered for those young people above the age of 18 years who take part in Aldridge Foundation’s programmes.

Download full policy and appendices here