Policies

More information here

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Complaints Policy

If a learner, visitor or member of staff has a complaint about any aspect of their experience whilst undertaking an activity organised by Learn Ealing, we ask that they make the cause of the complaint known to us.

All complaints will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Policy aims:

  • To make it easy for learners to express dissatisfaction and receive a response
  • To ensure Learn Ealing staff know how to give a speedy and effective response to complaints
  • To follow up all complaints and provide a system of monitoring and review to prevent repetition of problems.

Complaints procedure

Complaints can be made:

  • In person to a member of staff
  • In writing to the relevant manager or the Learn Ealing Manager
  • Via this website (please use the contact section)
  • You are encouraged to raise issues with your tutor first or a member of the Learn Ealing team
  • On receipt of the complaint, all details will be logged
  • If the situation cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter will be referred to Ealing Council
  • The management team will review reports from provider centres and the appropriate managers as part of the monitoring for quality assurance.

Whenever possible, the complaint will be dealt with immediately. Should this not be possible, or it is something which requires an investigation, the complaint will be dealt with promptly and as a matter of priority.

An initial response will be made within four working days. Wherever possible the investigation will be completed within seven working days of the receipt of the complaint and a response given to the complainant by 10 working days. If this is not possible a written explanation of the delay will be sent.

This policy was reviewed in October 2021.

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Fees Policy

Introduction

Learn Ealing receives funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) for the delivery of accredited and non-accredited adult education provision. All courses offered by Learn Ealing are therefore subject to the GLA and ESFA funding rules.

This policy sets out the guidance for the eligibility of any fees remission.

When you apply for a course with Learn Ealing, you will be fully supported in completing your application and made completely aware of any fees you may have to pay for your course before you enrol and commit to your course of study.

Eligibility for access to funded provision

To qualify for ESFA/ GLA funding, you must be:

  • Aged 19 or older on 31st August 2021
  • Resident in London; and
  • A citizen of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, or have the Right of Abode in the UK; and
  • Have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still be eligible for access to funded provision. Please contact Learn Ealing for more information. We will need to see evidence of residency status, such as a Home Office letter or passport.

Even if you are eligible for funding, you may or may not have to pay a fee. Circumstances such as previous achievement, income, employment status, or age will be taken into account as follows.

Fees

Zero fees

You will qualify for zero fees on our courses, if you are:

  • Aged 19-23 and are studying for a first full Level 2 qualification
  • Aged 19-23 and are studying for a first full Level 3 qualification
  • On a functional skills English and/or maths course up to and including Level 2
  • Receiving one or more of the following:
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including receiving National Insurance credits only
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and in a Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG)
  • Universal Credit, earn either less than 16 times the national minimum / national living wage a week, or £338 a month (individual) or £541 a month (household) and are determined by Jobcentre Plus (JCP) as being one of the work related/preparation/focused groups
  • In employment, earning less than £20,572.50 annual gross salary. Evidence such as a wage slip within three months of the course start date or current employment contract stating gross monthly/annual wages must be provided at time of enrolment.

Co-funded and full fees

  • If you are not in any of the categories set out in the previous section and ARE eligible for funded provision, you will need to pay a co-funded fee – 50% of the full fee.
  • If you are not in any of the categories set out in the previous section and are NOT eligible to access funded provision, you will need to pay the full fee.

Payment of fees

Fee rates will be provided to everyone wishing to enrol on a course. Learner fees where applicable are collected at the time of enrolment. No learner can attend without having paid their fees.

Can I pay in instalments?

If you are enrolling on a course which is over ten weeks, you may be able to spread the cost of your course and pay your course fees by Direct Debit instalments. Please speak with a member of the Learn Ealing team for an application form. Please note terms and conditions apply for scheduled repayments.

Please note, you will be entering into an agreement with Learn Ealing to pay for your full course fees, regardless of whether you complete the course or not.

Refund policy

We want to ensure you have chosen the right course and you are enjoying your learning experience. If your circumstances change and prevent you from attending your course, we can only refund in exceptional personal or family circumstances. For example, in the event of sickness, a full or partial refund will be given on production of a valid doctor’s certificate, depending on the number of sessions attended.

Requests for a refund should be made in writing and submitted to Learn Ealing for approval. If you believe you are entitled to fee refund, please let us know.

Withdrawals for holidays, loss of interest, new time commitments and similar domestic changes are unlikely to qualify for refunds.

Transfers are subject to any necessary adjustment fees, availability or places and authorisation being given by the tutor of the new courses.

Course cancellations

We need a minimum number of learners enrolled on each course for it to be viable. If there are not enough learners enrolled on a course, we may need to:

  • Cancel the course before the first class, and give learners a full refund; or
  • Meet for the first class and give learners the opportunity to transfer to another course.

In the event of severe weather, Learn Ealing will let you know how this will affect classes.

2021/22 fees

Accredited courses

  • Fully-funded – no fee for course, administration charges where applicable
  • Co-funded – 50% of full fee plus administration charges where applicable. Fees for accredited courses aimed at ESFA/GLA priorities, e.g. Covid priorities, digitally disadvantaged, low incomes, ESOL, LLDD, first steps into learning, social inclusion, etc. range from 0 to £2.45ph
  • Full cost – 100% of full fee plus administration charges where applicable.

Administration charges – administration or additional charges may be made for resources, specialist materials, technical support, examination, certification or assessment fees. This information will be provided at enrolment.

  • English and Maths up to and including Level 2 (must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement) – fully funded* for 19-23 year-olds, 24+ unemployed and 24+ other
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learning up to and including Level 2 – co-funded+ and fully funded – unemployed for 19-23 year-olds, fully funded* for 24+ unemployed and co-funded+ 24+ other
  • Level 2 courses excluding English and maths (first full level 2 must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement) – fully-funded* (first and full) for 19-23 year-olds, fully funded* for 24+ unemployed and co-funded+ 24+ other
  • Level 3 (first full level 3 must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement) – fully funded* (first and full), loan-funded** (previously achieved Level 3 or above) and fully funded – unemployed for 19-23 year-olds and Loan-funded for 24+ unemployed and 24+ other.

This policy was reviewed in October 2021. The policy will be reviewed regularly and may be changed to reflect changes to funding as required by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and/ or Greater London Authority.

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Safeguarding policy and procedure

Policy statement

Learn Ealing fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding vulnerable adults. Safeguarding is paramount and it is the duty of all Learn Ealing staff, subcontractors and volunteers working with, or in contact with vulnerable adults, to recognise signs of abuse, protect them from abuse and be alert to the possibility of abuse.

The main aims of this policy and procedure are to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults at Learn Ealing and to outline:

  • Arrangements to minimise risks
  • Arrangements to take all appropriate actions to address concerns
  • Actively promote the concept of the safe learner.

The main objectives of this policy are:

  • Ensure safer recruitment in checking the suitability of all staff, subcontractors and volunteers
  • Raise awareness of safeguarding issues and equip vulnerable adults with the skills needed to keep them safe
  • Develop and implement procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases of abuse
  • Support learners who have been abused and work together with adult or child services in accordance with their protection plan
  • Establish a safe environment in which vulnerable adults can learn and develop.

Who this policy relates to:

Safeguarding vulnerable adults relates to anyone over the age of 18 years who may:

  • be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness
  • be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation
  • have physical or sensory impairments
  • be old and frail
  • be detained in custody or under a probation order
  • be experiencing abuse due to problems with alcohol or drugs
  • be vulnerable due to other circumstances such as being and asylum seeker or being financially vulnerable due to being neither in employment or education or training (NEET).

While it is important to recognise that certain groups of people are legally defined as vulnerable, we seek to ensure that our policies and procedures are fully inclusive and integrate “safer” practices which apply to all staff and learners. Learn Ealing aims to create a safe environment for all and ensure that no one is left out.

Definition of abuse

  • Physical abuse including hitting, slapping, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or force feeding
  • Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence
  • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment
  • Sexual abuse including direct sexual acts or indirect sexual activity to which the person did not consent, or could not consent, or was pressured into consenting
  • Psychological /emotional abuse including the following: isolation, intimidation, verbal abuse, threats or a push towards radicalisation or extremist beliefs
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation
  • Financial or material abuse which includes using a person’s money or possessions without consent
  • Neglect: such as failure to provide appropriate care e.g. food, medication, heating, cleanliness and hygiene, and denying religious or cultural needs
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding
  • Discrimination: such as sexism, racism, ageism or discrimination based on a person’s disability or sexual orientation

Signs of abuse

Concerns may be raised by:

  • Bruises, bite marks, burns/scalds, scars or fractures
  • Remarks made by a vulnerable adult or other adult, (including speech which promotes hatred against another religious or racial group)
  • Observations of the vulnerable adult or child’s behaviour or personality
  • Evidence of disturbance or explicit detail in a vulnerable adult communication or writing
  • Neglect – where lack of due care for a vulnerable adult creates significant risk to their health and well-being
  • If the vulnerable adult does not have any money on a regular basis to pay for their lunch etc
  • Changes to personality – where the vulnerable adult becomes withdrawn or aggressive; may start to wet or soil themselves.

Designated safeguarding officers

  • Cristi Gonzalez – Learn Ealing manager
  • Una Crotty-Joyce – Curriculum and quality manager- community learning
  • Ljiljana Colak – Curriculum and quality manager – accredited provision
  • Carleen Donaldson-Hall – MIS manager.

The designated officers have overall responsibility for Learn Ealing’s safeguarding. They are part of the safeguarding working group who has responsibility for the following actions:

  • Liaising with children’s’ and adult social services, and any other agencies, on individual cases of suspected or identified abuse
  • Co-ordinating action relating to all safeguarding issues
  • Ensuring all staff and volunteers are familiar with our safeguarding policy and procedure
  • Ensuring Disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks for new staff, and updated checks for current staff who have regular unsupervised contact with vulnerable adults and children are completed via the online system
  • Raising awareness of safeguarding vulnerable adults and children, including training where appropriate
  • Attending Ealing’s safeguarding board meetings for both strategic and practitioners
  • Reviewing and revising safeguarding policies
  • Ensuring that effective procedures in relation to reporting, recording and referrals are fully communicated and implemented.

Safer recruitment

Guidance set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (SVG) Act 2006 sets out that a DBS check is only a priority for those members of staff, subcontractors or volunteers undertaking regulated activities, whilst it may be sufficient for employers to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place for members of staff and volunteers undertaking controlled activities.  The changes in government policy and regulation in 2013 have stated that it is illegal to blanket DBS check all staff members and only those who have regular unsupervised contact with vulnerable adults and children.

Due to the broad definition of vulnerable adults and the general contact that teaching staff, subcontractors and volunteers supporting vulnerable working within the Learn Ealing must hold a current and valid DBS check.  Checks that subcontractors are able to work in environments with vulnerable people present must also be made and noted prior to the work-taking place.

In line with Ealing Council’s policy, staff waiting for DBS checks to be cleared can undergo training and induction and a risk assessment must be undertaken but cannot undertake any unsupervised face-to-face work with vulnerable adults or children.

The Learn Ealing manager will keep the centralised list of all staff DBS records. Should we receive notification that any members of staff has come up on the Information Safeguarding Authorities (ISA) barred list for working with vulnerable adults or children there will be an assessment as to whether that members of staff or volunteer can continue working undertaking their job role within Learn Ealing. The safeguarding working group will make this assessment as to whether the person in question will be dismissed from their post or can retain their employment within another role.

Regulated activity

Regulated activity covers anyone working closely with children or vulnerable adults, paid or unpaid, not part of a family or personal arrangement, on a frequent, intensive or overnight basis. Frequent means once a week or more (except in health or personal care services where frequent means once a month or more); intensive means four days or more in a single month.

Regulated activity can include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • teaching, training or instruction for vulnerable adults
  • providing advice, guidance or assistance wholly or mainly for vulnerable adults which relates to their physical, emotional or educational wellbeing
  • any form of treatment or therapy provided to vulnerable adults
  • driving a vehicle that is being used only for the purpose of conveying vulnerable adults and their carers.

Safeguarding children

All those who come into contact with children and families in their everyday work, including practitioners who do not have a specific role in relation to safeguarding children, have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

It is the duty of all other members of staff within Learn Ealing to be aware of our policy and procedures and report any concerns to the designated persons.

This policy has been written, in accordance with the London Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) London Child Protection Procedures 2007, to encompass the following:

  • Children within Wider Family Learning (WFL) and Family Literacy, Language and Numeracy (FLLN) provision
  • Children within Early Years settings, where learners attending courses may have work-based placements (ie. Childcare, Early Years, Teaching Assistants)
  • Children who attend Early Years courses for observation/assessment purposes
  • Children who may attend Open Days & IAG sessions with their parents/carers
  • Children who may attend EAL for courses run by other providers (Summer Plus, private training etc)
  • Children who might attend any course offered by Learn Ealing within the wider 16-18 offer or otherwise.

It is the service’s policy that children are not allowed to attend classes without their parents/carers unless they fall within the categories above, as this contravenes both health and safety and insurance regulations.

If you see a child left on their own at a centre, please report this to a Designated Person immediately

Procedure

Role and responsibility of staff and volunteers

Concerns about a vulnerable adult, child or young person must be discussed with the Designated Person or the safeguarding working group immediately. This will ensure that, if necessary, a referral can be made without delay. Early referral gives more time to help a vulnerable adult or child and family/carers etc before the situation escalates and allows time for others to protect the vulnerable adult or child.  It is always best to discuss your concerns even if they are unfounded. Do not ignore concerns. Your first priority is the welfare of the vulnerable adult or child.

Designated persons

Staff/tutors/teachers and volunteers will notify the Learn Ealing managers.

They can be contacted at LearnEaling@ealing.gov.uk or by telephone on 020 8825 5577 who will report the safeguarding incident to the Ealing referral adult contact centre: 020 8825 8000.

Once you have discussed your concerns the designated person will decide on a course of action or might discuss the matter with the safeguarding working group to decide the course of action. The Safeguarding group will inform the Learn Ealing manager of any potential allegations or incidents which will result in an investigation and referral to the police, children or adult safeguarding boards or other safeguarding agencies including the ISA.

Concerns or allegations about Learn Ealing staff or volunteers

Allegations or concerns about a member of staff or volunteer must be reported to the designated person or safeguarding working group immediately.

Our main priority is to assess the situation and allegation first to ascertain whether a referral is required to incorporate the next steps in a multi-agency approach. Once the referral has been made then depending on the outcome of any investigation that may be undertaken externally, the concerns or allegations will be normally dealt with through internal London borough of Ealing human resources disciplinary policies and procedures.

It may be advisable depending on the situation to remove the vulnerable adult or child from any activity that would mean that they have direct contact with the member of staff or volunteer but only if the decision to make a referral has been made.

Day centres, schools and early years settings

Any concerns raised whilst you are delivering courses, or assessing candidates, within day centres, schools or early years settings, must be reported immediately to the school/setting Designated Person and then to Learn Ealing’s Designated Persons.

Emergencies

If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult or child is in immediate danger, please contact emergency services on the following numbers:

  • Police 999
  • Ealing Access & Assessment Team
  • Emergency Duty Team – Ealing
  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
  • Social Services by contacting the relevant team – Community Mental Health Team, Learning Disability Team, Older People Team or Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairment Team, or directly to the Safeguarding Adults Manager
  • Ealing Domestic Violence Project Management Board.

Disclosure (by vulnerable adult, child or third party)

Staff and volunteers should not investigate concerns themselves, as this is the role of the statutory agencies.  However, if a vulnerable adult or child does talk to you (Disclosure), it is vital that you listen carefully:

  • Listen – do not ask closed or leading questions, interrogate or give opinions
  • Do not promise the vulnerable adult or child you will keep secrets but thank and congratulate them for coming forward
  • Tell the vulnerable adult or child that you will need to talk to someone else who can help
  • Remain Calm – Be sensitive and sympathetic. You may feel shocked, angry or upset by what you have been told but if the vulnerable adult or child senses this, it may prevent them from disclosing
  • Re-assure the vulnerable adult or child that they have done nothing wrong. Talk to the vulnerable adult or child in age-appropriate language
  • Record what you know – as soon as possible write down what you have been told, but not during the disclosure. Make sure you record the facts as soon as the person has left.

Appendix 2: Record of alleged abuse, investigation and report to the safeguarding working group.

When to talk to parents/carers

  • Physical Injury: Where there is obvious physical injury (bruises, black eyes, cuts/bruises) it is appropriate to discuss with the parent/carer. You should always record your observation and the explanation. However, if you feel the reason given suggests the injury was non-accidental, or a failure to protect the vulnerable adult or child from harm, the parent/carer should be informed of the need to refer to the Designated Person and/or Social Services.
  • Neglect: Where neglect or emotional abuse is suspected, you can discuss with the parent/carer sources of support. If concerns persist you must refer to Social Services via the Designated Person.
  • Sexual Abuse: You must never approach or discuss suspected sexual abuse with the parent/carer. Immediately inform the Designated person who will seek advice from Social Services.

Make written notes

As soon as possible write down your concerns but not during the disclosure.  Record the facts accurately on the forms provided and give to the Designated Person immediately as this will help to ensure accuracy.

  • If physical injuries also record
  • Disclosure – you must record what the vulnerable adult or child has said, not what you think happened. Do not question the vulnerable adult or child or asked closed questions.

Confidentiality

It is important that information given, or disclosed, remains confidential and only passed to those persons on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Children Attending Adult Classes/Left Alone (outside classrooms)

Where children do not fit into any of the categories under Policy Statement section 6, it is the right of the Learn Ealing to ask any parent/carers to leave the class.  If children are left in the Learn Ealing unsupervised the designated persons or safeguarding working group will be consulted and will then report the matter to social services.

Prevent

Learn Ealing is committed to respond to the challenge of terrorism and radicalisation and the threat we face from those who promote it.

We will make every effort to support learners who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism and radicalisation by referral to appropriate services. We understand that the factors for vulnerability and some of the behaviours that can result from those vulnerabilities can be the same as other risks experienced by vulnerable children and adults. Protecting those from extremism is no different to protecting them from other forms of harm and the procedures to refer these cases are the same.

Please contact our team for more information at LearnEaling@ealing.gov.uk or telephone 020 8825 5577.

Workshop to raise awareness of Prevent – WRAP

Extremism and the support for terrorist causes are increasingly issues that are facing safeguarding and teaching professionals in their everyday work. The events across the globe, and the way that they are interpreted are exacerbating vulnerabilities in individuals that can be exploited by radicalisers and in some cases lead to the deaths of young people and risks to their family and siblings.

The prevent strategy forms an important part of the UK Governments Counter Terrorism Strategy and works in the ‘pre-criminal’ space. Put simply, it is there to guide the support we give to individuals who are vulnerable to radicalisation.

Specialists who work in the field of safeguarding, offender management and crime prevention may not have read the Prevent strategy, but invariably find that they understand the principles that underpin it and quickly gain the confidence to discuss the issues arising out of extremism and use this knowledge in their everyday work.

The medium that is used to deliver an understanding of the Prevent strategy is called ‘WRAP’. It is a Home Office owned product.

What is WRAP?

The Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) is an interactive, facilitated workshop centred on a DVD product. It is normally delivered in around 1 hour and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions or discuss the connected issues either during or after the session.

It is aimed at frontline staff (such as police, safeguarding services, probation, education and youth justice staff) and is intended to give them:

  • An awareness and understanding of the Prevent agenda and their role within it
  • The ability to use existing expertise and professional judgement to recognise potentially vulnerable individuals who may be susceptible to messages of violence.
  • The confidence to use a common sense-based response to make referrals.

The workshop covers the normal social processes that are used to influence and manipulate vulnerable people. It includes extreme right-wing and Al Qaida/ISIS case studies, terrorist ideologies and factors which may contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to an extremist ideology.

During the workshop, there will be an opportunity to discuss how these issues present a risk in your local area.

The workshop will also give an introduction to the ways that a referral might be made when staff believe someone needs support – this includes an overview of the ‘CHANNEL’ risk assessment and case conferencing system operated locally in Ealing by Police, the Council and their partners.

Is the workshop evaluated?

Yes, you will be sent an evaluation form which needs to be copied for each of your delegates.

What needs to be in place for an event to take place?

Sometimes WRAP is delivered at Perceval House by the Prevent Team and all facilities are in place, but if we are delivering at your premises, at a school for instance, we will need access to a room which ideally should be set out in a ‘cabaret’ style. We will need access to a projector with audio and a DVD player/laptop. If not, we can plug in our laptop and play the DVD through that, plugging your audio directly into that through the standard external speaker/headphone jack. Please let your facilitator know if you need us to bring equipment.

Is it possible to speak to someone that has already hosted a workshop?

Yes, the Prevent team has the details of people that would be willing to speak to you about their workshop. Just contact us below.

Designated safeguarding representatives and managers are invited to learn more about CHANNEL in the short, simple online learning package.

The Prevent Strategy can be viewed online through the Home Office website. For more information, contact:

Nazia Matin, Strategic Prevent Manager
Email: matinn@ealing.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8825 8895

Anisa Syed
Prevent Education Officer
Email: syedan@ealing.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8825 7106

Paul Smith
Prevent Safeguarding Manager
(All issues related to CHANNEL case management)
Email: smithpa@ealing.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8825 7590

Appendix 1

New Referral Adult Contact Centre: (020) 8825 8000

Useful contact list

  • Safeguarding administrator – Paramjit Kaur kaurp@ealing.gov.uk 020 8825 5308
  • Safeguarding board manager – Phillip Watts wattsp@ealing.gov.uk 020 8825 6834
  • Safeguarding, review and quality assurance manager – Kogie Perumall perumallk@ealing.gov.uk 020 8825 8155
  • Safeguarding adults coordinator/manager, safeguarding and support 020 8825 9401/6628
  • Acton Police Station Community Safety Unit – 250 High Street, London W3 9BH 020 3026 2268. In an emergency, please contact 101
  • Recovery East – 43-47 Avenue House, Acton, London, W3 8NJ 0300 1234 244
  • Care Quality Commission – 03000 616161
  • Director on-call Commissioning Care Group (covers Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Central London, West London, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham – Pager No: 08448222888
  • Ealing emergency duty team for children and adults – 020 8825 5000
  • Safeguarding adults team – 020 8825 9401.

Appendix 2

If you want to file in a confidential record of alleged alert and referral report to safeguarding working group, please contact us on LearnEaling@ealing.gov.uk.

This policy was reviewed in September 2021.

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E-safety policy and procedure

Background

New technologies have become integral to the lives of learners, both within their learning environment and outside. The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. These technologies can promote effective learning, stimulate discussion and increase cultural and social inclusion. However, the inappropriate use of these new technologies can put learners at risk.

Some of the danger’s learners / users may face include:

  • Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content such as unsuitable videos / internet games, etc.
  • Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information
  • The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet
  • The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge
  • Cyber-bullying / Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers
  • An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet
  • Plagiarism and copyright infringement
  • Illegal downloading of music or video files.

Many of these reflect situations in the off-line world and as such this e-safety policy is used in conjunction with Ealing Council’s information security and data management policy and other Learn Ealing policies (e.g. code of conduct, health and safety and safeguarding policy).

As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those completely. It is therefore essential to build learners’ understanding and resilience to the dangers to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.

Scope of the policy

Learners have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times. This e-safety policy is designed to help to ensure safe and appropriate use of e-learning. This policy applies to all members of Learn Ealing, including staff, tutors and learners. Learn Ealing will deal with e-safety incidents in the same way as associated behaviour and bullying incidents and will inform relevant parties of incidents of inappropriate e-safety behaviour.

Learn Ealing’s e-safety policy will be reviewed annually, or more regularly in the light of any significant new developments in the use of the technologies, new threats to e-safety or incidents that have taken place. Should serious e-safety incidents take place, council services/external persons / agencies should be informed as appropriate.

Roles and responsibilities

Learn Ealing Manager

  • is responsible for the approval and adoption of the e-Safety Policy and for reviewing the effectiveness of the policy
  • should ensure that there is a system in place to carry out internal e-safety monitoring.

Managers

  • have a duty of care for ensuring the safety (including e-safety) of their teams and the learners in their respective areas
  • should be aware of the procedures to be followed in the event of a serious e-safety allegation being made against a member of staff
  • are responsible for ensuring that Learn Ealing staff and tutors receive suitable training to enable them to carry out their e-safety responsibilities and to train the learners.

Co-ordinators

  • should ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an e-safety incident taking place
  • need to monitor for e-safety issues and provide training and advice for tutors and learners
  • receive reports of e-safety incidents and create a log of incidents to inform future e-safety developments
  • should report any issues to their relevant manager and, when necessary, liaise with the Local Authority / relevant body.

Teaching and support staff

  • have an up-to-date awareness of e-safety matters and comply with Learn Ealing’s e-safety policy and practice
  • report any suspected misuse or problem to the management team
  • ensure e-safety issues are embedded in all aspects of the curriculum and other learning activities
  • make sure learners understand and follow Learn Ealing’s e-safety policy
  • ensure learners have a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations
  • monitor ICT activity in lessons and in extended learning activities, e.g. through Google classroom, etc
  • are aware of e-safety issues related to the use of mobile phones, cameras and hand-held devices and that they monitor their use and implement current policies with regard to those devices
  • in lessons where internet use is pre-planned consideration should be made of guiding learners to sites checked as suitable for their use and that processes are in place for dealing with any unsuitable material that is found in internet searches.

Designated safeguarding officers

should be trained in e-safety issues and be aware of the potential for serious vulnerable adults protection issues to arise from:

  • sharing of personal data
  • access to illegal / inappropriate materials
  • inappropriate on-line contact with adults / strangers
  • potential or actual incidents of grooming
  • cyber-bullying

Learners

  • are responsible for using the ICT systems in accordance with Learn Ealing’s e-safety policy
  • have a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations
  • need to understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials and know how to do so
  • will be expected to know and understand Learn Ealing policies on the use of mobile phones, digital cameras and hand-held devices. They should also know and understand EAL policies on the taking / use of images and on cyberbullying and sexting
  • should understand the importance of adopting good e-safety practice when using digital technologies out of class and realise that Learn Ealing ’s e-safety policy covers their actions out of class, if related to their membership with Learn Ealing.

Curriculum

E-safety should be a focus in all areas of the curriculum and staff should reinforce e-safety messages in the use of ICT across the curriculum:

  • in lessons where internet use is pre-planned, it is best practice that learners should be guided to sites checked as suitable for their use and that processes are in place for dealing with any unsuitable material that is found in internet searches
  • where learners are allowed to search the internet independently in lessons, e.g. using search engines, staff should be vigilant in monitoring the content of the websites they visit
  • learners should be taught in all lessons to be critically aware of the materials / content they access on-line and be guided to validate the accuracy of information
  • learners should be taught to acknowledge the source of information used and to respect copyright when using material accessed on the internet.

Staff training

All staff should receive e-safety current updates and understand their responsibilities, as outlined in this policy. Training will be offered as follows:

  • All new staff should receive e-safety training as part of their induction programme
  • This e-safety policy and its updates will be presented to and discussed by staff at team meetings and during staff development days.

Advisory board

The Advisory board will be kept informed through regular e-safety updates and by reviewing Learn Ealing’s e-safety policy.

Use of digital and video images – photographic, video

Staff and learners need to be aware of the risks associated with sharing images and with posting digital images on the internet. Those images may remain available on the internet forever and may cause harm or embarrassment to individuals in the short or longer term. There are many reported incidents of employers carrying out internet searches for information about potential and existing employees. Learn Ealing will inform and educate learners about these risks and will implement policies to reduce the likelihood of the potential for harm:

  • at the start of each course, learners will receive a health and safety induction which includes e-safety and by signing the learner tutor contract will agree to abide by this e-safety policy
  • when using digital images, staff should inform and educate learners about the risks associated with the taking, use, sharing, publication and distribution of images as part of e-safety induction. In particular they should recognise the risks attached to publishing their own images on the internet e.g. on social networking sites
  • staff can take digital / video images to support educational aims, but must follow policies concerning the sharing, distribution and publication of those images
  • care should be taken when taking digital / video images that learners are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or Learn Ealing into disrepute
  • learners must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission
  • photographs published on the website, or elsewhere that include learners will be selected carefully and will comply with good practice guidance on the use of such images
  • learners’ work can only be published with the learner’s permission.

Data protection

When personal data is stored on any portable computer system, memory stick, or any other removable media or device (including phones). Learn Ealing strongly recommends that staff:

  • take care to ensure the safe keeping of personal data, minimising the risk of its loss or misuse
  • use personal data only on secure password protected computers and other devices
  • ensure that they are properly “logged-off” at the end of any session or ‘remote’ session
  • transfer data using encryption and secure password protected devices where possible
  • access sensitive / personal data from home using their ‘remote’ login rather than copying data onto unprotected memory sticks or external hard drives
  • securely delete data from any device once it has been transferred or its use is complete
  • report any loss or theft of a removable / portable device containing sensitive / personal data to the IT Lead as soon as possible.

Responding to incidents of misuse

This guidance is intended for use when staff need to manage incidents that involve the use of online services. It encourages a safe and secure approach to the management of the incident. Incidents might involve illegal or inappropriate activities.

It is hoped that all members of the Learn Ealing service will be responsible users of digital technologies, who understand and comply with Learn Ealing’s policy.  However, there may be times when infringements of the policy could take place, through careless or irresponsible or, very rarely, through deliberate misuse.

In the event of suspicion, all steps in this procedure should be followed:

  • have more than one member of staff involved in this process. This is vital to protect individuals if accusations are subsequently reported
  • conduct the procedure using a designated computer which, if necessary, can be taken off site by the police should the need arise. Use the same computer for the duration of the procedure
  • it is important to ensure that the relevant staff should have appropriate internet access to conduct the procedure, but also that the sites and content visited are closely monitored and recorded (to provide further protection)
  • record the URL of any site containing the alleged misuse and describe the nature of the content causing concern. It may also be necessary to record and store screenshots of the content on the machine being used for investigation. These may be printed, signed and attached to the form (except in the case of images of child sexual abuse – see below)
  • once this has been completed and fully investigated the group will need to judge whether this concern has substance or not. If it does then appropriate action will be required and could include the following:
  • internal response or discipline procedures
  • involvement by Local Authority or national / local organisation (as relevant)
  • if content being reviewed includes images of child abuse then the monitoring should be halted and referred to the Police immediately. Other instances to report to the police would include:
  • incidents of ‘grooming’ behaviour
  • the sending of obscene materials to a child
  • adult material which potentially breaches the Obscene Publications Act
  • criminally racist material
  • promotion of terrorism or extremism
  • other criminal conduct, activity or materials
  • isolate the computer in question as best you can. Any change to its state may hinder a later police investigation.

It is important that all of the above steps are taken as they will provide an evidence trail for the service and possibly the police and demonstrate that visits to these sites were carried out for safeguarding purposes. The completed set of records should be retained by the group for evidence and reference purposes.

Actions and sanctions

It is more likely that Learn Ealing will need to deal with incidents that involve inappropriate rather than illegal misuse.  It is important that any incidents are dealt with as soon as possible in a proportionate manner. It is intended that incidents of misuse and the action/sanction selected in each case will be dealt with through normal behaviour / disciplinary procedures as follows:

Learner incidents

  • deliberately accessing or trying to access material that could be considered illegal (see list in earlier section on unsuitable / inappropriate activities)
  • unauthorised use of non-educational sites during lessons
  • unauthorised / inappropriate use of mobile phone / digital camera / another mobile device
  • unauthorised / inappropriate use of social media / messaging apps / personal email
  • unauthorised downloading or uploading of files
  • allowing others to access the service’s network by sharing username and passwords
  • attempting to access or accessing the service network, using another learner’s account
  • attempting to access or accessing the service/ council network, using the account of a member of staff
  • corrupting or destroying the data of other users
  • sending an email, text or message that is regarded as offensive, harassment or of a bullying nature
  • continued infringements of the above, following previous warnings or sanctions
  • actions which could bring Learn Ealing into disrepute or breach the integrity of the ethos of the service
  • using proxy sites or other means to subvert the council’s filtering system
  • accidentally accessing offensive or pornographic material and failing to report the incident
  • deliberately accessing or trying to access offensive or pornographic material
  • receipt or transmission of material that infringes the copyright of another person or infringes the Data Protection Act.

Actions/sanctions for learner incidents

  • refer to relevant manager
  • refer to police
  • refer to technical support staff for action re filtering / security etc
  • removal of network / internet access rights
  • warning
  • further sanction e.g. exclusion.

Staff incidents

  • deliberately accessing or trying to access material that could be considered illegal (see list in earlier section on unsuitable / inappropriate activities)
  • inappropriate personal use of the internet / social media / personal email
  • unauthorised downloading or uploading of files
  • allowing others to access the council network by sharing username and passwords or attempting to access or accessing the council network, using another person’s account
  • careless use of personal data e.g. holding or transferring data in an insecure manner
  • deliberate actions to breach data protection or network security rules
  • corrupting or destroying the data of other users or causing deliberate damage to hardware or software
  • sending an email, text or message that is regarded as offensive, harassment or of a bullying nature
  • using personal email / social networking / instant messaging / text messaging / photography to carrying out digital communications with learners
  • actions which could compromise the staff member’s professional standing
  • actions which could bring Learn Ealing into disrepute or breach the integrity of the ethos of the service
  • using proxy sites or other means to subvert the council’s filtering system
  • accidentally accessing offensive or pornographic material and failing to report the incident
  • deliberately accessing or trying to access offensive or pornographic material
  • breaching copyright or licensing regulations
  • continued infringements of the above, following previous warnings or sanctions.

Actions/sanctions for staff incidents

  • Refer to line manager
  • Refer to Learn Ealing manager
  • Refer to Local Authority HR
  • Refer to police
  • Refer to technical support staff for action re filtering etc
  • Warning
  • Suspension
  • Disciplinary action.

If you’d like to report an e-safety incident, please contact Learn Ealing.

This policy was reviewed in October 2021.