A) Policy Statement

A1) Background

Established in 1969, for many years ELC Bristol welcomed students aged 16+ to study English in Bristol.

For a 6-year period from 2010 to 2016, the school only accepted students aged 18+, however, in June 2016, the school once again opened its doors to students aged 16+. The number of students under 18 is around 6% during the academic year and between 10% and 17% during the summer courses, the greatest demand being from mid-June to mid-August. The large majority of our students are adults and the average age of students is around 23. There is no maximum age.

Students under 18 are integrated into classes with adult students and although we endeavour to keep younger students together in classes, this is not always possible and will always depend on the students’ level of English.

If ELC is arranging the accommodation for students under 18, they are always placed in homestay accommodation, unless suitable alternative arrangements have been made by the parents/guardian.

Occasionally, the social activities arranged by the school are considered not appropriate for students under 18. We keep these to a minimum and whenever possible, arrange a suitable alternative activity.

A2) Terminology

It is essential that everybody involved at ELC has a clear understanding of the policies and procedures we have in place so that we can work effectively together to keep under 18s safe. To avoid any misunderstanding, here is a brief explanation of the terminology we use.

  • Under 18s (U18s) – the British Council and ELC refer to students under 18 as under 18s rather than as ‘juniors’ or ‘children’.
  • Safeguarding – this is the umbrella term which covers health and safety, child protection and pastoral care. It means the action we take to promote the welfare of under 18s and to protect them ‘from that which is not in their best interests’. Adults who work with students under 18 have a legal “duty of care” to look after them properly.
  • Child Protection – this is a part of safeguarding and refers to the need to protect children from abuse either by an adult or by another under 18.
  • Abuse – this can be emotional, sexual, physical or neglect. It is defined as inflicting harm or failing to prevent harm.
  • DSL – Designated Safeguarding Lead – the person with overall responsibility for Safeguarding at ELC. This person has responsibility for ELC safeguarding policy, its successful implementation and for ensuring it is kept up to date with all changes.
  • CPO – Child Protection Officer – the lead person responsible specifically for child protection – usually the same person as the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead).
  • ADSL - Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead – At ELC these are the other senior members of the Safeguarding Team whose role is to assist and stand in for the DSL whenever necessary. One ADSL has responsibility for Abon House, one for Pembroke House and one for the Summer Centre. The 3 ADSLs are the schools nominated Welfare Officers.
  • DSS - Designated Safeguarding Staff - At ELC there are four DSSs. One has responsibility for assisting the Senior Safeguarding Team by documenting all safeguarding activities, for making sure the Safeguarding Team meets on a regular basis and that minutes are kept. The second DSS is responsible for ensuring that appropriate Risk Assessments are carried out and that safeguarding policies are in place for all activities outside the classroom including the social programme. The third DSS is responsible for transfers and safeguarding support at Abon House and the fourth DSS is a teacher with special responsibility for risk assessments
  • LSCB – Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
  • LADO – Local Authority Designated Officer. The designated person who we will contact regarding child protection concerns re under 18s with an adult in a position of trust, ie our staff and homestay providers.
  • First Response is the department in Bristol’s LSCB to contact with regard to child protection concerns with external parties or other ELC students.
  • Safeguarding in Education Team – they are Bristol local government’s team whose job is to assist and support local educational providers with policies and procedures.
  • Prevent – A government initiative to try and reduce the likelihood of people supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists.
  • Vulnerable Adult – The definition of a vulnerable adult is a “person aged 18 years or over who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of himself or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.” Although we are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable adults among our students, we rarely get students who fall into this ‘official’ category; however, at ELC we consider all of our students to be potentially vulnerable adults as they are all away from home and in a foreign country. We particularly look out for those who have learning difficulties, special needs or physical disabilities. Others may be vulnerable for a whole range of reasons particularly if they have a very low level of English, if they are lacking confidence, if they find it difficult to integrate and make friends or if they come from a troubled background at home Sometimes issues are flagged up by our Educational Consultants before the students arrive. However, often it is a teacher who identifies these issues once a student is here. The teacher reports this immediately to the Director of Studies who informs a member of the Safeguarding Team. The information is then disseminated to other staff members at Friday’s weekly teachers’ meeting and points are noted on the students ‘NB’ record on the database.

A3/A4/A5) Statement, Under 18s entitlement and Adult Responsibilities

Safeguarding is every adult’s responsibility at ELC Bristol – not only every member of staff and accommodation provider but everyone else involved with the school from the school bus and taxi drivers, to the sandwich man and the property maintenance staff. We must all endeavour to protect all of our students ‘from that which is not in their best interests’

Students under 18 and vulnerable adults have a legal right to be kept safe and protected, whatever their race, gender or background. While we have a legal obligation to protect and care for under 18s and vulnerable adults, at ELC we understand we have a moral ‘duty of care’ to promote the welfare of all our students no matter what their age or background.

ELC has a proactive and fully trained Safeguarding Team with 6 members of staff including 5 senior members trained to Safeguarding level 3 and one other member trained to level 2. See A8. This number ensures there are always enough members of the team working in the school at any one time to ensure cover in our school buildings and whenever there are outside activities. There is also a member of the team who can be contacted by telephone 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

To ensure there is a strong safeguarding ethos throughout the school, the DSL ensures there is regular staff training taking all relevant and the most recent legislation into account. Staff (including homestays) will receive training at least annually with regular updates as required and the DSL and other members of the safeguarding team will have refresher training every 2 years. The training also includes FGM, CSE, HBV, peer to peer abuse, Whistleblowing and the increased vulnerability of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN-D).

Safeguarding covers health and safety, pastoral care and child protection and everyone involved with the school must be familiar with procedures as set out in the school’s safeguarding policy; they must be vigilant and aware of signs of abuse; they must know how to react and who they must report concerns and allegations to if they have heard, seen or been told something. They should be aware of who the members of the Safeguarding Team are and also who to contact at the LSCB. The Academic Director and the Director of Studies have overall responsibility for ensuring the suitability of academic materials and are assisted in this by the senior teachers.

A6) Associated Policies

  • School Rules - Policy
  • Disciplinary policy for students
  • Complaints and Suggestions Procedures
  • Equality Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • First Aid Policy
  • Fire Safety Policy
  • Risk Assessment Policy
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
  • Mental Health Policy
  • Abusive behaviour, Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Prevent policy
  • Safer Recruitment policy
  • Code of Conduct

Full policy documents can be found on the school website LINK TO SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES or in the staff/teacher manuals.

A7) Policy Review

ELC’s Safeguarding policy has been drawn up by the Principal and the Vice Principal with the help of all the members of ELC’s safeguarding team and the assistance of an independent safeguarding consultant and Bristol’s Safeguarding in Education Team.

The Policy is officially reviewed every year by the DSL and ADSLs and regularly assessed as part of ELC’s annual safeguarding audit by the school’s independent safeguarding consultant. The safeguarding team meets on a termly basis during the academic year (in February, May and November and on a monthly basis during the summer courses, in June, July and August). Updates and changes are made following these meetings and the expertise and experience of staff is used to shape the policy.

A8) ELC's Safeguarding Team

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Child Protection officer (CPO)

Mark Calland (Vice-Principal)
Abon House and Summer Centre Mob: 07954 148248
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

John Duncan (Director)
Abon House and Summer Centre
Mob: 0774 7021261
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

Margaret Duncan (Director)
Abon House
Mob: 0774 7021264
Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

Andrew Edwards (Principal)
Abon House 0117 9707063

Trained to safeguarding level 3

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead (ADSL)

Lauren Hyde (Accommodation Manager)
Abon House 0117 9707065
Trained to safeguarding level 3 Responsible for Homestays and Residences

 Designated Safeguarding Staff (DSS)

Kate Jackson (Registrar)
Abon House 0117 9707062 Trained:safeguarding level 2 Responsible for safeguarding admin and support

SCELC’s Independent Safeguarding ConsultantKevin O'Donnell
LADOLocal Authority Designated OfficerNicola Laird
FRFirst Response
BSETBristol’s Safeguarding in Education TeamLesley O’Hagan
  • Mark Calland – Vice Principal, DSL & CPO – Designated Safeguarding Lead and Child Protection Officer. Overall responsibility for Safeguarding
  • John Duncan – Principal and ADSL (Abon and Summer Centre) – Senior Member of the Safeguarding team, responsible for policy and procedures and for safeguarding in the Summer Centre.
  • Margaret Duncan – Director and ADSL (Abon) – Senior Member of the Safeguarding team
  • Andrew Edwards - Principal and ADSL (Abon) - Senior Member of the Safeguarding team
  • Lauren Hyde – Accommodation Manager and ADSL (Abon House) – Senior Member of the Safeguarding team, responsible for safeguarding under 18s in accommodation
  • Kate Jackson – Registrar and DSS (Pembroke) – responsible for safeguarding administration and support
  • Kevin O'Donnell – Independent Safeguarding Consultant, responsible for overseeing ELC’s safeguarding policy and safeguarding audit.
  • Nicola Laird – LADO – the person to contact regarding child protection concerns re under 18s with an adult in a position of trust, ie our staff and homestay providers
  • First Response – LSCB’s first point of contact with regard to child protection concerns with external parties or other ELC students
  • Lesley O’Hagan – Bristol Safeguarding in Education Team (Bristol North) – offers advice to ELC on its safeguarding policies and procedures.

A9) Under 18s Involvement

We have class reps who welcome new students and get feedback and facilitate communication with all students (but particularly those students under 18s).

A10) Policy Review

ELC Bristol has a legal duty of care to all of our students.

In England the law states that people who work with children have to keep them safe. This safeguarding legislation is set out in The Children Act (1989) and (2004), and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. It also features in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which the UK is a signatory) which sets out the rights of children to be free from abuse. The Government also provides guidance in the document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 While complying with the law, ELC Bristol follows Accreditation UK’s guidelines set out in Inspection criteria requirements and additional guidance 2018 – 2021 which reflect good practice and in certain circumstances goes beyond legal requirements.

See Additional Forms and Resources at the bottom of the under 18 section of the school website.

A11) Policy Availability and Formats

  • ELC’s condensed and full safeguarding policies are available on the school website http://www.elcbristol.co.uk/school/students-under-18
  • These policies are also in the staff manuals on the school website
  • Hard copies are kept in the Principal’s and Vice Principal’s office.
  • A link to the condensed policy and the full version is also sent to prospective employees before calling them in for an interview.
  • A condensed version is sent to all Educational tour Operators and parents/guardians of under 18s with their acceptance papers.
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