E-portal Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 Shout Out UK (SOUK) is committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding and the personal safety and wellbeing of each student, teacher and journalist is paramount. The Safeguarding Policy and procedures will be actively enforced by SOUK and SOUK reserves the right to take any other such action that it deems necessary to safeguard the users of the site.

1.2 Our E-portal was developed with the aim of ensuring that lessons take place in a safe environment. This is reflected in a number of key built-in features and a defined set of policies and procedures for the students, parents/guardians, journalists and teachers who use this service.

2. Legislative Framework/Related Policies

2.1 These policies and procedures aim to ensure that all persons using the SOUK services can do so safely within child safeguarding standards and UK law.

2.2 These policies should be read in conjunction with the SOUK Terms and Conditions and the procedures.

3. Aims

3.1 The aim of this policy is to safeguard all students and other persons using the SOUK Education Portal system whilst they are within an online lesson session.

3.2 This policy document contains the responsibilities of all persons using SOUK, including teachers, facilitators, students, parents (responsible adults) and journalists.

3.3 It is important that all persons using or working on behalf of SOUK are aware of this policy and have familiarised themselves with the detailed safeguarding procedures.

3.4 This policy should be read and understood before engaging in any activity arranged through SOUK and the responsibilities and procedures herein adhered to.

3.5 Contravention of the policy or procedures could lead to suspension and/or barring from the services.

4. General Information

Registration of Teachers

4.1 The SOUK E-portal system has been designed so that it will only accept sign up and registration from schools and teachers with school emails.

4.2 The teacher’s email address is their username and all communications to the students will go via this email address.

Registration of Facilitators/Journalists

4.3 The SOUK E-portal has been designed so that access is granted by an education team for the facilitator or journalist assigned to a school.

4.4 The facilitator or journalist will have limited functions and access to only the specified areas of the E-portal.

Registration of Students

4.5 The SOUK E-portal system has been designed so that the students sign up through a unique code created for the teacher and school. This code will only be sent via the teacher to students from the school they work in.

Registration of Parents/Guardians

4.6 The SOUK E-portal system has been designed so that the parents will sign up to the E-portal using a verified email address. Parent access will be given a 6-person limit on the number of children able to use the SOUK E-portal through their parent’s account.

4.7 The parent’s email address is always their username.

4.8 Children of parents will be regarded as students on SOUK E- portal. They will gain registration using a unique code which will be found on their parent’s profile. This code will have a limited number of uses.

5. Privacy

5.1 All personal details about teachers, facilitators, journalists, students and parents, including contact address and phone number, will remain private and confidential.

5.2 All data held by the SOUK E-portal is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and any other applicable data protection laws (see also Privacy Policy).

6. Guidelines for recording of online sessions

6.1 Teachers should have no one-to-one virtual communication with minors.

6.2 Communicating via a social network application or website is never permitted. There should be no private direct messaging, chatting, or personal emails between a minor and a program staff member.

6.3 Parents/guardians must be given access information to all virtual meetings and programs.

6.4 All lessons should be recorded and available for play back to the parents and students. These recordings remain the property of SOUK.

6.5 SOUK may review any sessions where a report has been made by any person using SOUK for the purpose of investigating the report.

6.6 SOUK will allow access to UK law enforcement of any recording where it is reported a criminal offence may have occurred in relation to a specific session (also see Shout Out UK Terms and Conditions).

Roles and Responsibilities of persons using the SOUK E-PORTAL

7. The teacher/facilitator

The teacher/facilitator shall:

  • Ensure that their environment does not display any inappropriate images or documentation capable of being viewed by the student or parent/responsible adult when conducting a session.
  • Treat students fairly and without prejudice or discrimination; students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s wellbeing.
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
  • Ensure any contact with the student is appropriate to their role as a teacher and confined to the relevant lesson session.
  • Not make any inappropriate suggestions, comments or engage in any other inappropriate conduct with students before, during or after a session.
  • Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/responsible adult.
  • Value and take students’ contributions seriously and with respect.
  • Promptly report any dispute with a student or parent/responsible adult to Shout Out UK, in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within a lesson session by the student or third party, in accordance with procedures set out in Safeguarding procedures.
  • Ensure that if no parent/responsible adult is present during a lesson session that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they should terminate the session.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult for a period up to 28 days.

8. The student

8.1 Students can register with the service but cannot start using the service until a sponsor/parent/guardian/carer over the age of 18 has formally registered and agreed to be the formal sponsor and to hold the legal relationship with the site.

8.2 The student shall:

  • Treat the teacher and or journalist with respect and fairness, and not subject them to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that appropriate clothing is worn during sessions.
  • Not make any inappropriate suggestions to the teacher and/or journalist.
  • Have no inappropriate communication with the teacher or journalist outside the lesson session (also see Section 9 below).
  • Report any dispute with a teacher to a parent/responsible adult in accordance with Section 3 of Safeguarding procedures.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a teacher or journalist within a session in accordance with the Section 3 of Safeguarding procedures.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review for a period up to 28 days (also see Recording of Sessions, Section 6).

9. Parent/Responsible adult

The parent/responsible adult shall:

  • Ensure the student is fully aware of the SOUK Safeguarding Policy.
  • Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the session ensuring it is safe and appropriate.
  • If they consider it appropriate, be present or available during a teaching session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible and ensure the student and teacher and or journalist are behaving in an appropriate manner.
  • Ensure that teachers and journalists will be treated with respect and fairness by the student and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no inappropriate suggestions are made by either the teacher, journalist or student.
  • Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the teacher or journalist outside the lesson session.
  • Report any unsolicited communications between the teacher/facilitator or journalist and student if appropriate.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a teacher/facilitator or journalist in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
  • Be aware all lessons will be recorded and made available for playback for up to 28 days (also see Recording of Sessions, Section 6)

10. Journalist/Facilitator

The journalist/facilitator shall:

  • Ensure that their environment does not display any inappropriate images or documentation capable of being viewed by the student or parent/responsible adult when conducting a session.
  • Ensure that appropriate clothing is worn during sessions.
  • Treat students fairly and without prejudice or discrimination; students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s wellbeing.
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
    Ensure any contact with the student is appropriate to their role as a teacher and confined to the relevant lesson session.
  • Not make any inappropriate suggestions to a student.
  • Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/responsible adult.
  • Value and take students’ contributions seriously and with respect.
  • Report any dispute with a student or parent/responsible adult to Shout Out UK, in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within a lesson session by the student or third party, in accordance with procedures set out in Safeguarding procedures.
  • Ensure that if no parent/responsible adult is present during a lesson session that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they should leave the session.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult for a period up to 28 days.

11. School and teachers/school representative (if session is delivered by an external facilitator within school hours)

The school and teachers or school representative shall:

  • Be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Be responsible for the behaviour of the student during the session, ensuring that the teacher will be treated with respect and fairness and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no inappropriate suggestions are made by either the facilitator or student.
  • Be present or available for the student during the session to address any issues.
  • Report any dispute with a facilitator to SOUK in accordance with procedures.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a facilitator within a session in accordance with procedures.
  • Be aware that all lessons will be recorded and made available for play back to the teachers and students for up to 28 days (also see Recording of Sessions, Section 6).
  • If the lesson session has been arranged by the school but takes place outside school hours and away from school premises, it is the responsibility of the school to make the parent/responsible adult aware of the Safeguarding Policy and their safeguarding responsibilities.

12. CEO/Management of Shout Out UK (SOUK) E-portal

The Director/Management of SOUK shall:

  • Conduct a video interview with facilitators and journalists before they are permitted to join the SOUK E-portal.
  • Ensure that any dispute between persons using the SOUK services is handled efficiently, fairly, without discrimination and in accordance with the procedures document.
  • Deal with reports of possible illegal activity promptly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the student and/or facilitator and/or journalist in accordance with the procedures.
  • If any incident is reported to the police relating to a specific session, make the recording available for the police to use as evidence in any proceedings if appropriate.
  • If appropriate, employ the services of an independent Child Protection consultant to review a report concerning the welfare of a student ensuring an appropriate course of action is taken.
  • Regularly review the policy and procedures to ensure they are relevant and adequate to safeguard all persons using the SOUK E-portal

13. Compliance

13.1 All persons using the SOUK E-portal have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the Safeguarding Policy.

13.2 Any user reported for a breach of the Safeguarding Policy will be suspended from the site until the incident has been fully investigated by the appropriate authority. The reporter may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

13.3 The final decision on action taken for minor breaches of the Safeguarding Policy will be the responsibility of SOUK.

13.4 Any person reported for illegal activity whilst using the SOUK services will be reported to police and may be barred from the service.

13.5 Any person reported for causing harm to a student or subjecting and/or exposing the student to any type of abuse, illegal behaviours or activity will be reported to police and barred from the service.

14. Review

The Safeguarding Policy and procedures will be reviewed by SOUK on a regular basis to ensure they are adequate and relevant to safeguarding standards.

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