Safeguarding & Online Safety

Safeguarding Process Chart


How to report an incident

1

Any concern* regarding the safety of a child, either from a customer, a tutor, a student**, or internal staff must be reported immediately via your MyConcern account. Please do not disclose any information with anyone regarding your report.

2

If you are a parent and/or do not have a MyConcern account, please email [email protected].

3

You may be contacted about your report.

Out of hours contact

If you are concerned about a child being at immediate risk and your concern is out of office hours, you can contact the NSPCC 0808 800 5000 and report your concern following the above procedure as soon as possible.

How to manage a safeguarding concern

A student has disclosed potential abuse/ or you have witnessed signs of harm. Is the child in an emergency***?

Report to the NSPCC and via your MyConcern account.

Report immediately via your MyConcern account.

If you do not have a MyConcern account, please email [email protected].

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

The Designated Safeguarding Officer will process this information and refer to other agencies as necessary. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will update you, as much as confidentiality allows, on the steps that have been taken as a result of your report.

What to do

Do not panic or react emotionally.

Do not make any promises about maintaining confidentiality and make it clear that anything you hear that may be of concern* you have the duty and responsibility to report it.

Do not start video or audio recording if the student is disclosing information to you.

Do try to ease the concerns of the students by letting them know they are doing the right thing and that they are being very brave, and you will take their concern seriously.

Do report immediately so that your report is accurate to what has just occurred.

Keep calm and follow the procedure so that we can have the best possible outcome.

*by ‘concern’ we mean abuse, neglect, extremism, grooming, criminal activity e.g. drugs or alcohol etc
** by ‘student’ we mean anyone under the age of 18
*** by ‘emergency’ we mean a student is being harmed or a crime is being committed

GoStudent Policies


Policy Statement

GoStudent is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students. The safety of each and every one of our users is at the heart of GoStudent’s core values. We aim to be the no. 1 global school and, in doing so, we must ensure that our platform provides students with a secure space to learn in, and that our tutors feel safe in their working environment. Strict safeguarding policies and procedures are in place to ensure that in the event of any safeguarding issues, an appropriate, swift and clear response is made, mitigating any risk or any harm to the individual/s involved. Any individual who is made aware of, or experiences, a safeguarding incident has the obligation to report it to GoStudent and, if necessary, to contact the police, taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the individual directly affected. This includes students, tutors and employees.

GoStudent believes that all students have a right to be safe regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. We recognise that some students have additional needs which means that may be more vulnerable to abuse and may experience additional barriers through communication difficulties or discrimination.

Scope

This policy applies to all those who are using the GoStudent platform. All the employees of GoStudent who work on a full-time and part-time basis are referred to as ‘staff’, tutors, customers and students. The term ‘student’ refers to all those under the age of 18.

Legislation and Guidance

Children Act 1989

Children Act 2004

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021)

Safeguarding Principles

GoStudent is committed to safeguarding students by:

  • Ensuring we have robust policy and procedures for safeguarding children
  • Using safe recruitment processes to recruit suitable staff
  • Having a designated safeguarding officer
  • Making sure all staff are aware of and understand our procedures
  • Ensuring all staff know how to respond to a concern about a student
  • Listening to and respecting our students
  • Building a culture where staff and students are aware of expectations of behaviour

Contact Details

Designated Safeguarding Officer at GoStudent Aoife McGranaghan - [email protected] NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 and ChildLine 0800 1111

Safeguarding Procedures

Recognising concerns

Concerns about a child can take different forms: something that is observed, heard or reported directly. Children can also be abused online and may experience more than one type of abuse. For more information refer to https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/child-abuse-and-neglect

It is the responsibility of any party involved to report an incident in order to protect the welfare of children and young people.

The process at GoStudent is simple: every incident that is reported will be investigated and the appropriate measures taken. It is therefore important that all staff and students know how to report a concern.

Our process is as follows:

- Report the incident by emailing [email protected] directly. Be as detailed as possible. - The Designated Safeguarding Officer will speak to the individuals involved, in order to gain further information on the matter and will take appropriate action, seeking advice from others as necessary, including Children’s Social Care or the Police.

OUT OF HOURS

If you are concerned about a child being at immediate risk outside of office hours you can contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. You should then report your concern to the Designated Safeguarding Officer following the above procedure on the next working day. For more information please contact [email protected]

  1. The safety and wellbeing of our customers, students and staff is paramount at GoStudent. We have a Zero Tolerance Policy and will not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour. We align strongly with local authorities in each market and will take appropriate measures when a safety incident is reported.
  2. Strict safeguarding policies and procedures are in place to ensure that in the event of any safeguarding issues, an appropriate, swift and clear response is made, mitigating any risk or any harm to the individual/s involved. Any concerns that go beyond GoStudent’s remit will be reported to the UK police or local authorities.
  3. There are multiple types of online risks. GoStudent concerns itself with any incident that involves a physical, psychological or verbal safety incident that is deemed inappropriate. GoStudent cannot provide an exhaustive list of possible cases that can occur, therefore our process is simple: every incident that is reported will be investigated and the appropriate measures taken, if necessary reporting to the UK police or local authorities.
  4. If the tutor/student/customer has experienced something that does not sound or look right then this is to be reported to the Safety Officer by emailing [email protected] Examples that fall under safeguarding concerns are: neglect (physical, emotional, nutritional), abuse, child mental health, self-harm.
  5. The safeguarding procedure sets out what actions need to take place if you have concerns about the safety of a child whilst using the tutoring service at GoStudent.
  6. Any concern relating the safety of a child, either from a customer, tutor, or student, or internal staff MUST be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer on [email protected] Do not disclose information about your concern to anyone other than the DSO.
  7. In the event of an emergency, for example where a student needs medical attention, is at immediate risk or a crime is being committed, contact the emergency services first and then inform the DSO as soon as possible.
  8. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will speak to the individuals involved, in order to gain further information on the matter and will take appropriate action. This could include contacting the Police or Children’s Social Care for advice.
  9. GoStudent will not accept any non-compliance with the recommended procedure that has been set out.

The Behaviour of the Tutor


Students/Customer that are using the GoStudent tutoring Platform

All tutors at GoStudent are recruited through a rigorous process. All tutors need to be legally allowed and suitable to work with minors, have an enhanced DBS check or an international equivalent that is valid (under 12 months), all tutors need to pass a knowledge test in the subjects they will teach and then be invited to a group interview. During the group interview all candidates need to have their cameras on throughout.

Tutors are required to attend training and must adhere to our Tutor Code of Conduct. If a student at GoStudent is concerned about the behaviour of a tutor they should follow the procedure set out below:

If a student at GoStudent sees/experiences/hears:

Inappropriate Behaviour

The student will inform a parent/responsible adult of the tutor using inappropriate behaviour. The parent/responsible adult should inform the Customer Support number to report the tutor. In more serious cases, such as a possible criminal offence/abuse, the parent/responsible adult make a report via via MyConcern. If the behaviour continues the parent/responsible adult will explain that they will terminate the session due to the behaviour and will report the matter via their MyConcern account. GoStudent will decide on any further use of the service by the tutor. The student, parent/responsible adult should have no further contact with the tutor. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor after termination of the session should be reported to GoStudent. If a parent/responsible adult is not present or readily available the student should report the behaviour as soon as possible to a parent/responsible adult who will take a decision to report the incident. The reporting should be factual and any evidence such as screenshots attached to the email. If the behaviour is of a sexual nature towards a student by a tutor, the student should immediately inform a parent/responsible adult and terminate the session. The parent/responsible adult should inform GoStudent who will then in turn remove the tutor from the platform and report the tutor to the police.

Misuse/inappropriate use of Language

The student will inform a parent/responsible adult of the tutor using inappropriate language. The parent/responsible adult should inform the Customer Support number to report the tutor. In more serious cases, wherein the student has been affected by the inappropriate language, the parent/responsible adult should report this to the designated Safety Officer with a list of factual statements and examples. Any extra evidence such as screenshots should be attached. . If a parent/responsible adult is not present or readily available the student should report the language as soon as possible to a parent/responsible adult who will take the decision to report the incident.

Inappropriate content

Any display of inappropriate images whilst in the presence of a student may constitute an offence under UK law. Any student witnessing the display of inappropriate images by a tutor should immediately terminate the session and report this to a parent/responsible adult who should inform GoStudent immediately.

The student, parent/responsible adult should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor following the discontinuation of the session should be reported to GoStudent immediately. This action should be taken so that the correct authorities can be alerted and can deal appropriately with the incident.The display of any other images perceived to be inappropriate either due to age of the student or content of the image shall be reported to GoStudent at the discretion of the parent/responsible adult. Disclosure of sensitive information During a session sensitive information may be presented by a tutor. The tutor should be discouraged from disclosing sensitive information by the student, parent/responsible adult. The parent/responsible adult will decide whether to continue or terminate the session and then immediately report the incident via MyConcern. Any information disclosed regarding the safety of a child should always be immediately reported to the UK police. Any tutor reported by a parent/responsible adult will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The parent/responsible adult may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

Our Tutor Code of Conduct can be found here

Parents/Guardians/Responsible Adult for the Student Studying at GoStudent

The parent/responsible adult has primary responsibility for the welfare and safety of the student (under the age of 18) during a session and should be readily available to deal with any concerns or incidents reported by the student. It is also the duty of the parent/responsible adult to ensure the wellbeing of the child if they have been affected by anything said or done by the tutor and to take responsibility to report anything to GoStudent.

If a parent/responsible adult is alerted by the student to any inappropriate behaviour/language or information by the student or they witness any inappropriate behaviour/language or information by the tutor, they should immediately speak to the tutor, state their concern and inform them they are terminating the session and then immediately contact GoStudent. The parent/responsible adult should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident.

GoStudent Tutors Safeguarding Policy


Tutors should be aware of the student code of conduct. Please see here If a tutor at GoStudent sees/experiences:

Behaviour

The tutor will request, in a polite manner, that the student or other persons involved in the inappropriate behaviour refrain from the behaviour during the session. If the behaviour continues the tutor will explain that they will terminate the session due to the behaviour and will report the matter to GoStudent who will decide on any further use of the service by the student or other person involved. The tutor should have no further contact with the student unless by mutual agreement with GoStudent. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to GoStudent.

Misuse/inappropriate use of Language

The tutor will request, in a polite manner, that the student or other persons using inappropriate language refrains from doing so during the lesson session. If the inappropriate language continues the tutor will explain that they will terminate the session due to the language and will report the matter to GoStudent who will decide on any further use of the service by the student or other person involved. The tutor will have no further contact with the student unless by mutual agreement with GoStudent. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to GoStudent

Inappropriate content

Any display of adult pornographic images whilst in the presence of a student may constitute an offence under UK law. Any tutor witnessing the display of pornographic images by or towards a student should explain that the images should not be displayed during any session, followed by terminating the session and reporting the matter to GoStudent. Any display of child abuse images or indecent images of a child (for these purposes, a ‘child’ is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years) is an offence under UK law. Any tutor witnessing a display of indecent images of a child by or in the presence of a student should explain that due to the nature of the images they will terminate the session. The tutor should inform GoStudent of the incident to ensure any recordings can be preserved and made available for any police investigation. The tutor should have no further contact with the student or any other person involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to the police and GoStudent immediately.This action should be taken so that the correct authorities can be alerted and can deal appropriately with the incident.The display of any other images perceived to be inappropriate, either due to the age of the student or the content of the image shall be reported toGoStudent at the discretion of the parent/responsible adult.

Disclosure or witness of abuse towards or in the presence of a student

If a tutor receives information, or sees something which indicates a child is at risk of harm, they should take these concerns seriously. If the tutor witnesses any such abuse first-hand and believe that the student is at immediate risk they should immediately contact the police and report the incident. The tutor should also inform GoStudent of the incident as soon as possible at [email protected] Tutors must not make any promises to the student that they will not report this. The tutor should not react negatively or emotionally to a disclosure, and should be encouraging. The tutor should have no further contact with the student or other person involved in the incident until they have spoken to the Designated Safeguarding Officer at GoStudent unless the tutor feels that a lack of immediate contact with the student could be to the detriment of the student’s well-being and health . Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to GoStudent immediately. Tutors can contact [email protected] for support after an incident that has affected them.

How to respond to a child

  • show you care, help them open up: Give your full attention to the child or young person and keep your body language open and encouraging. Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important. Phrases such as ‘you’ve shown such courage today’ help.
  • take your time, slow down: Respect pauses and don’t interrupt the child – let them go at their own pace. Recognise and respond to their body language. And remember that it may take several conversations for them to share what’s happened to them.
  • show you understand, reflect back: Make it clear you’re interested in what the child is telling you. Reflect back what they’ve said to check your understanding – and use their language to show it’s their experience.

If a child tells you they are experiencing abuse, it’s important to reassure them that they’ve done the right thing in telling you. Make sure they know that abuse is never their fault.

Never talk to the alleged perpetrator about the child’s disclosure. This could make things a lot worse for the child.

It’s important to keep accurate and detailed notes on any concerns you have about a child. You will need to share these with the Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible.

Include:

  • the student’s details (name, age)
  • what the student said or did that gave you cause for concern (if the child made a verbal disclosure, write down their exact words)
  • any information the student has given you about the alleged abuser.

The Safeguarding Officer will then decide what action is to be taken and may consult with others to determine what to do next. This includes consulting with children’s social care in the child’s home area, the police or NSPCC.

Disclosure of sensitive information

During a session sensitive information may be offered by a student or other person present. If the information relates to any kind of abuse the tutor should refer to ‘Disclosure or witness to abuse towards or in the presence of a student’, above. Do not make any promises and make it clear that anything you hear that may be of concern you have the duty and responsibility to report it. Any information disclosed regarding the safety of a child should always be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Information sharing

The welfare of our students is paramount. GoStudent will share information with statutory agencies if they have concerns that a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm. We will always seek the consent of parents to share information unless to do so would place the child at greater risk of harm. If we do not have consent to share information we will make a decision to share without consent if this is in the best interests of the child. This is not affected by the Data Protection Act (2018) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The decision to share information without consent will be taken on a case by case basis. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will record our decision-making rationale, actions and outcomes, including the steps taken to obtain consent, the reasons given for not giving consent (if known) and the rationale for sharing information without consent.

GoStudent Customer Support and Sales Reps Safeguarding Policy


All staff have a responsibility to follow the 5 R's (Recognise, Respond, Report, Record & Refer), and must immediately report any concerns about students welfare to a Designated Safeguarding Officer.

Behaviour

E.g. Shouting, threatening legal action.. Parents talk about bullying and mental health, personal financial problems

Child protection

Process of protecting individual children identified as having suffered, or at risk of, significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect.

Abuse & Neglect

These are forms of maltreatment of a child.

Domestic Violence & Abuse

Any violence or abuse between current or former partners in an intimate relationship, wherever and whenever violence occurs. The violence or abuse may include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.

Appendix & Codes of Conduct


Glossary

Inappropriate Behaviour
  • Contact outside GoStudent channels
  • Eating during the session
  • Aggressiveness (being rude, bullying)
  • Internet slacking (multitasking)
Misuse/inappropriate use of Language
  • Swearing
  • Inappropriate innuendos
  • Sarcastic
  • Racial, stereotypical or culturally insensitive words
  • Use code words or symbolic language to represent something inappropriate
Inappropriate content
  • Nudity
  • Violence
Disclosure of sensitive information
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions or religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Physical or mental health or condition
  • Sexual life
  • Criminal convictions or the alleged commission of an offence, any proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings
  • Child/Children: A person/people under the age of 18

    Student Code of Conduct

    DOWNLOAD PDF (44 KB)

    Tutor Code of Conduct

    DOWNLOAD PDF (44 KB)