2.1 The University will take all safeguarding concerns including suspicions and allegations of exploitation, harm or abuse (including radicalisation) seriously and will report concerns promptly, in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Policy.
2.2 The University will ensure that processes are in place to check the suitability of staff and students whose duties and responsibilities involve regular contact or supervision of children or adults who may be at risk. The University will ensure that appropriate suitability checks are carried out in relation to staff and students including criminal record checks and other checks where appropriate. Details of these processes and checks can be found in the University’s Fitness to Practise Procedure Including Disclosure Screening for Applicants and the Recruitment and Employment of Ex-Offenders Policy.
2.3 Safeguarding referrals to the relevant statutory authority will be made on the basis of identified and considered risk.
2.4 University staff supporting students or staff with safeguarding concerns will consider what support may be offered to them both from within the University (e.g. Right Management Workplace Wellness for staff and support from Student Services for students) and externally (e.g. signposting to local GPs, mental health services or Occupational Health.
2.5 Research which involves children or adults at risk must comply with the Staffordshire University Research Ethics Procedure. DBS checks will be conducted in relation to individuals involved in such research where permitted by law. Guidance on this may be sought from the relevant Chair of the School Research Ethics Committees.
It is not possible to guarantee confidentiality when a safeguarding concern is reported because the University owes a duty of care toward its staff, students or visitors and the University may need to take action on receipt of a report of a safeguarding concern that may result in the same being reported to an external third party. However, any reports will be dealt with sensitively and only disclosed to those people who need to be made aware of an incident or concern, whether internal or external to the University.
What is a Safeguarding Concern? (See Appendix 2)
2.6 Examples of safeguarding concerns include, but are not limited to:
- A child or adult raises an allegation of abuse, harm or other inappropriate behaviour.
2.7 There are significant concerns regarding the child or adult’s mental health, wellbeing and safety.
2.8 A child or adult raises an allegation of abuse, harm or other inappropriate behaviour.
2.9 A student or staff member discloses information involving themselves or others which gives rise to possible concerns that a potential perpetrator may be harming or abusing vulnerable individuals or children involved in University activities
2.10 There are suspicions or indicators that a child or adult is being abused or harmed or is at risk of exploitation, harm or abuse (including radicalisation). The indicators of abuse or harm or risk of abuse or harm or radicalisation can be very difficult to recognise and it is not a staff member’s responsibility to decide whether a child or adult has been abused or harmed or subjected to abuse or harm, to raise concerns that they may have.
2.11 There are observable changes in a child or adult’s appearance or behaviour that may be related to exploitation, harm or abuse (including radicalisation).
2.12 A concern is raised that an individual presents a risk of abuse or harm towards a child or adult in relation to, for example, their criminal convictions, or downloading, possession or distribution of inappropriate images or extremist material.
2.13 Concerns arise that a student or member of staff is vulnerable to radicalisation and there is an identifiable risk of being drawn into terrorism.