What is Safeguarding?:
Safeguarding is a term used in the United Kingdom to denote measures to protect the well-being — especially children, young people — to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.
How do we define abuse?:
A. Physical Abuse which includes any physical action which can result in injury (including emotional injury) to a Student;
B. Emotional Abuse is any action or series of actions (generally understood as ill-treatment) which cause or is likely to cause severe and persistent effects on the Student’s emotional development;
C. Sexual Abuse includes any sexual activity involving:
- an adult (regardless of role who is not a Student) and a Student (regardless of age)
- an adult (regardless of role) or a Student and a child who is not a Student
- non-consensual contact or interaction between a Student and another Student
Actions will be Abusive even if the Student/child appears to consent if that consent is not valid because of the age of the victim or the effect of alcohol or drugs.
D. Abuse by Neglect is the persistent failure to meet the Student’s basic physical and/ or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the Student’s physical or cognitive development.
Abuse and Students over the age of consent. It is made clear that actions by staff members or other UWC Movement adult non-Students, which would be considered abusive to a Student under the age of consent (within any jurisdiction) are, for the purposes of UWC, to be considered Abusive even if the Student is over the age of consent and maintains that consent was freely given. The reason for this is the position of trust and the unequal balance of power of staff members and others within the UWC Movement and Students.
What we need to be in compliance with UWC Safeguarding Common Standards:
A. The Safeguarding Documentation
Have in place a set of policies and procedures no less rigorous than the Common Standards.
a. all documentation kept under review regularly and compliant with the laws of the country or state
B. The Safeguarding Culture
Ensure policies and procedures are applied in practice and understood and followed by all involved, including governing bodies, teachers, administrative staff, host families, volunteers and students
C. The Preventative Action
This will make the occurrence of any Abuse within that Entity less likely. This must include:
a. Appointment of a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and deputy DSL,, who shall be the individuals who have overall responsibility and ensure that all Students are aware of who to contact
b. Appointment of a Nominated Individual within the governance of the Entity who shall have oversight into the area of safeguarding
c. Applying safe recruitment practices including appropriate checks on all those who work with students
d. Ensuring that, to the extent reasonable, those who have regular unsupervised contact with Students are trained to ensure they understand the nature and risks of Abuse;
e. Have a clear code of behaviour in place to minimise the opportunities for all in contact with Students to perpetrate Abuse or to be subject to accusations of Abuse perpetration.
f. Making commitment to safeguarding known publicly;
g. Taking all reasonable and practical steps to ensure that any building or premises is organised in a manner that provides appropriate and reasonable security
h. Ensuring that all are informed of what to do if they have concerns about Abuse or possible Abuse;
i. Including in any education of Students measures that help them understand the nature of Abuse.
j. Applying appropriate routines for visitors and any others who work with the UWC
D. The Identification of Abuse or Potential Abuse
a. The training of staff so that:
i. they understand the nature of Abuse and the indicators of possible Abuse
ii. they know how to respond to a Student who informs them of Abuse or of suspected or potential Abuse;
iii. they understand that all matters of Abuse or potential Abuse must be brought to the attention of the DSL and that DSL should be consulted even if they are unsure as to whether a matter has to be reported.
b. The inclusion of training in learning for all Students who have connections with the UWC in circumstances where it is possible that they might be subject to Abuse, so that they are:
i. aware of the nature of abuse, whether it comes from adults or other Students; and
ii. aware of who they should talk to in the event of their feeling uncomfortable as a result of any actions or inactions taken by someone involved with the UWC.
E. Action in Connection with Abuse and Suspected or Potential Abuse
This must include each UWC providing that there will be:
a. prompt action to address any risk, even if unproven at that stage, on the basis of the precautionary principle, to keep the Student potentially concerned or any other Students, other children or young people safe.
b. action in accordance with the legal and other Common Standards of the country or territory where the Entity is established;
c. action to remove any person who, after due investigation, is identified as a perpetrator of Abuse from a position where they can harm any Student.
d. action in the event that the perpetrator or alleged or potential perpetrator is a Student to ensure that they do not constitute a further risk to other Students
e. notification of the International Office in respect of any severe safeguarding incident. In the case of expulsion of a Student, the relevant National Committee shall also be notified. Such reports will enable the UWC
f. UWC International and the Board Special Representative on Safeguarding will inform the UWC International Board as well as schools and colleges regarding patterns of abuse or particular risks.