1 About This Policy
Teen Tips is a resource selected by schools to support their curriculum and provide a useful reference to school staff, parents and school pupils. Teen Tips provides online resources and also runs workshops and talks for parents, school staff and pupils. All schools who have chosen to work with Teen Tips will have made the choice withing their own safeguarding procedures and policies but, given that we invite student representatives from schools to request us to provide advice on specific topic areas, we have devised this policy which outlines our own safeguarding practices and procedures which are all undertaken in line with relevant legislation.
2 Relevant Legislation
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE, September
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
Prevent Duty Guidance (2015)
3. Safeguarding and Child Protection
Teen Tips staff are fully committed to the safeguarding, welfare and protection of children (by children we mean those below 18 years of age) and believe that all children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs. Teen Tips is a resource for schools which they choose to use within their own safeguarding structures but the nature of the issues which may fall under the scope of Teen Tips means that we may sometimes be approached for advice relating to the health, welfare, sexual health or mental health of minors. This policy outlines what steps we will take should these approaches raise safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding concerns include, but are not restricted to, issues of physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, violence and exploitation.
Child protection refers to any activity undertaken to protect children who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering, significant harm. The latter term being defined by The Children Act of 1989 as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. This gives Local Authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should act to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. In order to support this, should employees of Teen Tips become concerned about the risk of harm to or neglect of a minor, they will report it immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead of the child’s school who should then act in accordance with the instruction given in Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2020). If there is any concern that the issue may not be tackled appropriately by the school then Teen Tips will contact the NSPCC using this link Whistleblowing Advice Line | NSPCC.
4 Prevention of Harm
Teen Tips endeavours to ensure it takes all reasonable measures to prevent harm to children’s welfare, including:
4.1 Safeguarding Officer
Appointing a safeguarding officer to advise employees of Teen Tips when issues of child protection and safeguarding are raised and to refer concerns to the relevant authorities or safeguarding leads in schools. He/she will advise on any content referred to by Teen Tips and ensure that all persons representing Teen Tips are made aware of the safeguarding processes as part of their induction to the company. The Safeguarding Officer is required to undertake Level 3 training, updated every two years, in Child Protection.
4.2 Colleague training
The Safeguarding Officer will maintain and provide an ongoing safeguarding training programme for all Teen Tips employees likely to come into contact with minors.
4.3 Safer Recruitment
Ensuring safer recruitment practice within Teen Tips
4.4 Maintaining Teen Tips Culture
Maintaining an open and supportive attitude towards children so that they feel listened to and respected
4.5 Monitoring Resources
Devising and monitoring age-appropriate resources which will equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from abuse and which will help them develop realistic attitudes to the responsibilities of adult life.
5 Safeguarding and Our Activities
Teen Tips undertakes all activities complying with relevant legislation and in good faith. We exercise our commitment to safeguarding during interactions in the following ways:
5.1 Face to face interaction
When members of the Teen Tips team are involved in delivering face to face presentations to staff members of a school or parents of school pupils the content will be delivered to an adult audience who are at liberty to question if they choose to do so. The content of presentations to school pupils will be age-appropriate for the audience in line with preparatory conversations with the school’s pastoral team prior to the presentation and in line with UK National Curriculum guidelines for PSHE and with recommendations from the PSHE Association.
When presentations are made to pupils, the physical setting of interactions will be considered to ensure the presenter(s) do(es) not leave themselves(s) open to any undue suspicion or accusation. Where presentations are made to audiences which include school pupils, Teen Tips requests that a member of the school’s staff be present throughout.
- any one-to-one interaction with pupils will follow good safeguarding practice, in accordance with training. Teen Tips representatives are aware that working in one-to-one situations with pupils can leave them vulnerable to allegations or complaints.
- Representatives of Teen Tips will show respect and courtesy for pupils, parents and school staff at all times without any prejudice against the protected characteristics of creed, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or race.
5.2 Online content
The Online content of the Teen Tips hub is available for reference to subscribers and schools’ pastoral teams are advised that we believe the content is appropriate for Y9 pupils and above. The attention of users of the site is drawn to the fact that Teen Tips cannot control links that are made available to site users once recommended content has been accessed. A useful YouTube site, for example, may lead to other, automatically generated You Tube links which may not always be appropriate viewing or factually accurate. We therefore ask users of the site to take responsibility for their viewing beyond anything we recommend.
When webinars are held or online presentations are made to audiences including school pupils, Teen Tips asks that a representative of the school staff be present throughout.
5.3 Email contact
Teen Tips supports young people by being ready to offer advice on issues which are troubling them. Students are invited to submit to Teen Tips any suggested topic areas they would like to see treated in the Q and A section of the Hub. The response to these will then be posted in the Hub in the anonymous bank of questions and answers. The following guidelines are followed by Teen Tips when dealing with emails:
- Teen Tips will not reply directly to any email submitted by a minor for safeguarding reasons.
- Any email to Teen Tips which causes concerns about child welfare and safeguarding will be referred back to the designated safeguarding lead of the child’s school. Should the concerns involve that person, the head teacher of the school will be contacted or any other authorities deemed appropriate.
- Any email to Teen Tips which raises concern about radicalisation and or extremism will also be referred to the designated safeguarding lead at the student’s school.
- All suggested topic areas will be followed up, making reference where necessary to statutory guidance but also tackling the issue raised. Adolescents talking about having a sexual relationship at 15, for example will be reminded that the age of consent is 16 but will be advised to contact the appropriate people for the help sought in the enquiry.
- Responses to questions raised will be age-appropriate
- f)All enquiries sent in to Teen Tips will be treated with respect but adolescents using the site must be aware that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed where any concerns are raised about which Teen Tips have about the safety or welfare of children.
Any person whose services are no longer used by Teen Tips because they are considered unsuitable to work with children will be reported to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Possible signs alerting us to a safeguarding issue may include:
- Any disclosures, comments or behaviours by children which give cause for concern
- Comments about changes in behaviour
- Comments by children of behaviour towards them
- Reference to eating disorders
- References to some sexual behaviour
- Comments about feeling emotional isolation
- Children displaying knowledge of or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age
- Children who use sexual language inappropriate to their age
- Children referring to physical sexual health problems
- Comments by children which lead us to have concern about neglect
- Children who indicate they are living in dangerous conditions; around drugs, alcohol or violence
- References to extremist views or activities linked with extremism and hate
All safeguarding concerns will be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the school of any pupil about whom we have cause for concern. We then expect that the school will follow its own Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures.
By ensuring appropriate actions are taken to refer concerns about the welfare of a child or children to the appropriate responsible person or body. This may include:
Sharing information about concerns with agencies that need to know and involving children and their parents/carers appropriately
Safeguarding children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. We affirm that we are not responsible for online content students may see beyond any links we provide to them.
Teen Tips will report complaints that raise Child Protection issues either to the school or, if deemed necessary, to other relevant authorities.
7 Useful Contacts
NSPCC ‘What you can do to report abuse’ helpline: 0800 028 028
NSPCC Whistleblowing advice line: 0800 028 0285
Safer Recruitment Agencies:
Disclosure and Barring Service: 01325 953795