Policies

ABSENCE AND LATENESS

ELC’ has a policy of closely monitoring students absence and keeping it to an absolute minimum.

Teachers take registers for every class of all students. An additional record of attendance of Non – EU students under ‘ELC’ visas is kept in the reception. ‘ELC’ is a small school with only one main entrance, in view of the reception office, so absences are readily noticed and recorded. If you are going to be absent or sick or going on vacation you must email Mrs. Olena in the office in advance or before 9.30 am on the same day to be given a ‘time credit’ for classes missed for those who have paid in advance.

Non – EU students under ‘ELC’ visas:

If you are absent 3 days in a row we shall email you requesting reasons why to be sent in
writing to us.
If we don’t hear from you in writing by email after 5 days we shall email you again.
If we don’t hear from you in writing after 10 days you will leave us no other option as such to consider termination of your studies without providing you with a Certificate.

Failure to respond will result in ‘ELC’ reporting you to the relevant UKVI Authorities and next of kin.

Lateness:

For students who are more than 15+ minutes late, entry to class is at the teacher’s discretion – you may have to wait until the next break to enter class. Continual offenders may be excluded from class and risk being reported to sponsors and parents. The use of this sanction is entirely at the discretion of teachers and the principal.

PUNCTUALITY:

BE ON TIME FOR CLASS – IT IS A SIGN OF ‘RESPECT’ FOR YOUR TEACHER, RESPECT FOR YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES AND SELF-RESPECT AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

Behavior

Statement of Intent:
This policy forms an integral part of the school’s Pastoral / Welfare Care Policy.
All staff, parents and students must be informed of the policy. It is on the ‘ELC’ website and it is available as a hard copy in the school reception, on request.
At ‘ELC’ it is our aim that each student should reach his / her potential in all aspects of school life and that students and staff are able to work in a comfortable, unthreatening atmosphere. For this to be achieved the school promotes a positive and safe working environment where all may develop and flourish, free from threat or fear.

To this end we must:

  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of their race, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity
  • Provide and example of good conduct that you wish others to follow
  • Ensure whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with young people, or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others
  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy
  • Be aware that physical contact with a young person may be misinterpreted
  • Recognise that special caution is required in moments when you are discussing sensitive issues with young people
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/ suspicions of abuse
  • Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of others

‘ELC’ will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour and will respond to any form of bullying or harassment.

The aims and objectives of this policy are to:

  • Sustain a caring and secure school environment within our school which eradicates wherever possible instances in which bullying occurs in any form
  • Provide support should an incident of bullying occur
  • Ensure that all pupils and staff are aware of this policy and their role in implementing it.

Bullying behaviour can be described as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure. It may include:

  • Verbal – teasing, spreading rumours, making comments that are racist, sexist or homophobic, mocking religious or cultural differences
  • Emotional – excluding, blanking, unfriendly looks, gestures, hidings belongings.
  • Cyber bullying – using texts, postings on social media websites, MSN messaging, forwarding on private emails without consent

This is a particularly powerful and invasive form of bullying which is being used by young people, usually out of school, but effects are ongoing and can affect school life.

  • Physical – pushing, kicking, hitting or any other use of violence
  • Sexual – making unwanted physical contact or comments of sexual nature
  • Encouraging other people to engage in bullying behaviour
  • Knowing that bullying behaviour is happening and not reporting it to an adult.

Harassment occurs when a person is continually troubled and annoyed by someone else. It may be related to age, sex, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any personal characteristic of the person.

We seek to prevent bullying by:

  • Being vigilant at all times and in all areas of the school, sensitive to any unhappiness or change in students
  • Reminding students frequently about the expected standards of behaviour
  • Building self confidence in students by valuing and rewarding their work.
  • Teachers providing positive role models to students
  • Ensuring clear communication between staff regarding the behaviour of students

Dealing with concerns / our obligations
At ‘ELC’ we are committed to providing a secure, caring and supportive learning environment. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable.
If a member of staff or student has told you about concerns they have about a young person or about someone in the school.

  • Take it seriously
  • Make a written record of the observations or information received
  • Evidence is then be gathered to establish the accuracy of events
  • Once the facts have been established, the parents of the bullied student and the bully will be contacted and recorded in the student files.
  • The parents of all parties are entitled to see copies of all reports, on request.
  • Sign and date record
  • The victim or informer should be reassured that all reasonable steps will be taken to protect them from any retaliation that may be feared or unnecessary stress after disclosure of alleged bullying has made
  • Staff members should never give absolute guarantees of confidentiality to students wishing to tell them something serious; they should guarantee they will only pass on information to the minimum number of people who must be told in order to ensure that the proper action is taken
  • Any students who has been found to be bullying will be given a verbal warning. Any further offence may result in exclusion from the school.

Useful contacts:
Reading Borough Council Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Telephone: +44 (0) 1189 373 641 (includes out of hours)

If a child is in immediate danger call the police on 999.

Complaints and Grievances

Students:

If you are dissatisfied with your course or host family speak to your teacher in the first instance. The teacher will try to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

If you prefer not to talk to your teacher see Mrs Olena in the reception. Most difficulties can be solved at this level.

If you are still not satisfied speak to Mr. Mc Burney, the Principal and he will try to resolve the difficulty.
‘ELC’ reserves the right to discontinue a course if there are not enough students for the class. Alternative arrangements will be made and / or a refund given as stated on the ‘ELC’ website.

In the event that the complaint cannot be resolved by ‘ELC’ internally then the complainant may invoke the ABLS complaints mechanism i.e. contact ABLS in writing by signed letter in English including your full postal address (not email) and recording whether action has already been taken with ‘ELC’ and state whether the complainant is happy for the complaint to be copied to ‘ELC’.

ABLS address: Accreditation Body for Language Services Ltd. PO BOX 316. Great Yarmouth. NR30 9EP

Copies of Complaints

The school is to keep a written record of all complaints and the date on which they were received, noting at what stage in the process they were resolved.

All aspects of this policy and the procedure will be reviewed regularly.

A copy of this policy is made available to parents and prospective parents via the school website and from the school office during the school day.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

‘ELC’ DOES NOT TOLERATE ANY FORM OF DISCRIMINATION ON THE GROUNDS OF GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, RACE, RELIGION, BELIEF NOR DISABILITY.
‘ELC’ BELIEVES IN “FAIR PLAY” FOR ALL STAFF AND STUDENTS.
ALL STAFF WORKING WITH ‘ELC’ AND STUDENTS ARE MADE AWARE OF THE POLICY ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND ARE EXPECTED TO ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH IT.

COMPLAINTS:
‘ELC’ WILL GIVE A FULL HEARING TO ANY STUDENT OR MEMBER OF STAFF WHO BELIEVES THAT HE/SHE HAS BEEN TREATED IN A WAY WHICH IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY. RELEVANT DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES WILL BE TAKEN WHERE APPROPRIATE.

MONITORING:
‘ELC’ WILL REVIEW AND MONITOR ON A REGULAR BASIS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY IN ITS ACCORDANCE TO BE ‘FAIR’ IN ALL ASPECTS OF ITS OPERATIONS.

FURTHERMORE ‘ELC’ TAKES INTO ACCOUNT CURRENT LEGISLATION IN RELATION TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND THIS IS REFLECTED IN THE POLICY STATEMENT. THE POLICY IS REVIEWED ON AN ANNUAL BASIS TO ENSURE THAT IT CONTINUES TO BE IN LINE WITH CURRENT LEGISLATION.

FIRST AID POLICY

‘ELC’ has a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for all students and staff.
The school’s policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our staff and students, and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for that purpose. We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities. This policy reviewed annually or as circumstances change.

‘ELC’ has 2 First Aid trained teaching staff who are on hand to provide basic first aid if an accident or incident occurs.

The following members of staff have attended an approved course for Emergency First Aid at work within the last 3 years and hold a valid certificate:

First Aiders : Ms. Lynne Highfield and Mr. S Mc Burney

‘ELC’ will provide first aid in the case of an emergency and has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of all staff members and students.
’ELC’ First aiders should not administer any medication.

‘ELC’ has First Aid kit boxes on each floor of the premises which are adequately stocked with the correct medical contents and checked yearly.

There is a notice board in small lobby with the two First aiders displayed on the ground floor.

Accident procedure:

In the event of an accident the First Aider is to take charge of the first aid and emergency treatment appropriate to the training they have received.

On their assessment of the injured person they are to administer appropriate first aid and judgement as to whether an ambulance is to be called for.

In an emergency the injured person must be accompanied to the Hospital Casualty Department or an ambulance should be called by dialling 999,
whichever is more appropriate.

In less serious situations students should be advised to their homestay family’s GP.
In more serious cases the principal or the accommodation officer is responsible for contacting the family of the staff or student.

All accidents must be logged in the accident logbook which is kept in the school reception.
The Principal is required to report any major injury or condition which has occurred during the course of work to the Health and Safety Executive Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR).

HEALTH AND SAFETY

‘ELC’ will do its best to ensure the well- being and safety of all members of staff and students on the premises at The Meeting House. 2, Church Street. Reading. RG1 2SB

We shall regularly monitor our performance and revise our Health and Safety Management System as necessary to ensure we achieve our objective of continuous improvement.

STATEMENT OF GENERAL POLICYRESPONSIBILITY OF: ACTION / ARRANGEMENTS
To prevent accidents and cases of work – related ill health
and provide adequate control of health and safety risks arising from work activities
Mr. S McBurney
Mrs. O Nikiforova
Regular risk assessments of the premises completed and reviewed yearly.
Regular Fire risks assessment to take place as legally required.
Carry out regular review risk assessments to identify hazards and existing control measures
Fire drills to be carried out regularly (every 6 months). Records to be kept in the log book
To engage and consult with the staff on day -to - day health and safety conditions and provide advice and supervision on occupational health.Mr. S Mc Burney
Mrs. O Nikiforova
All Staff to be made aware of Fire Evacuation Procedure during their introduction and induction to the work place. Staff are consulted on health and safety matters as they arise usually at a staff meeting.
To implement emergency procedures - evacuation in case of fire or other significant incidents.Mr. S Mc BurneyEscape routes well signed and kept clear at all times.
Introduction to Fire route escape is given to all students on the first morning at ‘ELC’.
To maintain safe and healthy working conditions, provide and maintain equipment Mrs. O NikiforovaToilets, washing facilities and drinking water provided.
Maintain our premises and work equipment to a standard that ensures that risks are effectively managed and controlled.

Health and safety poster is displayed:Ground floor
First aid box:Kitchenette /Children’s room(Teacher Lynne’s room ground floor
Accident book is located:In the reception, ground floor
Subject to review, monitoring and revision by:Mrs. O Nikiforova every 12 months

Junior welfare policy (16/17 year old students)

This is to inform you that as you are under 18 years of age there are laws restricting your activities in the United Kingdom and that there are certain rules to be observed and adhered to.
‘ELC’ primarily caters for students over 18 years old. Whilst we welcome students over 16 it should be understood that we do not provide 24 hour supervision and therefore it is very important that parents consider whether students under 18 are sufficiently and emotionally mature enough to act responsibly during their stay at ‘ELC’.
Supervision: We do not provide 24-hour supervision for students aged 16-17. However, all students at ‘ELC’ receive a high level of support from our staff throughout their experience and homestay and all staff are made aware of any students aged 16-17. Outside of class times your child will not be supervised by ‘ELC’ staff. Your child will not be supervised during their free time e.g. during lunch time, travelling between the school and host family and in the evenings within the curfew time 22.00 /10 pm.
Young adults are unsupervised during school break times and between the end of classes at 15:00 and 18:00 when they must return to their homestay families for dinner. Students must inform both ‘ELC’ and their Homestay of intended activities and destinations out of the norm, during the period between school and their return home at 18:00. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of students at all times.
All young adults are subject to a night curfew time; this is a time by which they must be at home and after which they are not allowed to leave the house.

Curfew time for young adults aged 16-17 years old 22:00 / 10:00 pm

Homestay hosts are asked to ensure that the students come home at the agreed time each evening. They also ensure there is a responsible adult in the house when the student returns after school and overnight.
The school will issue every young adult with an ‘ELC’ student card with emergency telephone numbers to contact out of school time.
Young Adults must go home for dinner and must eat with their homestay host. They may leave the house after dinner and tell the homestay host where they are going, but must be at home before 22:00 every evening. They must have a mobile phone and the ‘ELC’ student card with them at all times.
All parents of young adults are sent a Code of Conduct shown in the ‘ELC’Student Handbook and a consent letter together with an ‘ELC’ Contract of Care to sign and return by email prior to the student’s arrival. This is to make sure that all parents and / or UK relatives are informed in advance and agree to the ‘ELC’conditions.

Parents are made aware that adult classes at ‘ELC’ are comprised of students of mixed nationalities and ages, including students under 18 years. However, please be aware that ‘ELC’ English courses are designed for students aged 18 +. All students aged 16-17 will be mixing with students aged 18 or older in their classes.
Parents are informed that there are lower levels of supervision for under 18 year old students (16/17 years old) studying on adult courses when there may be periods where they are not supervised, and by their Homestay hosts, outside schools hours (subject to the curfew requirements).

Young adults (16/17 years old) on courses must attend classes commencing at 9.30 am. If a young person is more than 30 minutes late for class then the secretary will contact them and the homestay by phone, text SMS and email to find out where they are to ensure their welfare. 100% attendance is expected.

‘ELC’ will take appropriate action, such as contacting their parents and / or giving them a verbal warning if they do not follow the rules.

A record of all significant welfare issues is kept in the office. ‘ELC’ follows a strict policy for dealing with bullying and abusive behaviour. If there are any cases for concern the Designated Safeguarding Person decides on the actions to be taken and external agencies are contacted if deemed appropriate.

Prevent & Channel Duty Policy & Procedures

prevention of people being radicalised or drawn into terrorism

Prevent is part of the Government counter-terrorism strategy. It’s designed to tackle the problem of terrorism at its roots, preventing people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. 
Prevent operates in the ‘pre-criminal space’. It is about supporting individuals who are at risk of radicalisation away from becoming terrorists, or supporting terrorism. It is not about any particular ideology – it covers all forms of extremism.

What is the Prevent duty?
From 1 July 2015, the Government commands that all schools must have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
The Government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including: Democracy, the Rule of law, Individual liberty and Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”
Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism.
Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST (Pursue – Protect – Prepare -Prevent) the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The school promotes a multicultural environment where respect for, and tolerance of, other people’s beliefs is required at all times.
All Schools are subject to the Prevent duty and are expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:

  • assessing the risk of students and staff being drawn into terrorism.
  • demonstrate that they are protecting students and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies.
  • ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • make sure that staff have training via online provided by the ‘Education and Training Foundation’ that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism
  • expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet

All homestay providers are supplied with a Prevent Policy information document for each student booking with a request to confirm and sign a return letter that they are aware of the policy.

Prevent is about:
NOTICING – vulnerability to radicalisation, changes in behaviour, ideology, and other signs of extremist exploitation.
CHECKING – your concerns out with your Prevent lead, and / or Designated safeguarding lead to offer support and help determine a proportionate response.
SHARING – your concerns, where appropriate, with partner agencies and as far as possible being open and honest with the student to share your concerns.
Support for the individual may be provided via the Channel process.

Channel is a multi-agency partnership that evaluates referrals of individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism, working alongside safeguarding partnerships and crime reduction panels.” (Prevent Strategy, Home Office, 2011)

Channel is part of the Prevent strategy.  The process is a multi-agency approach focusing on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.  Channel is about ensuring that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who would want them to embrace terrorism and before they become involved in criminal terrorist activity

Thames Valley Prevent Duty Contacts
The Police Channel Co-ordinator for the Reading area is Shaun Greenough
Email: Shaun.Greenough@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
Mobile: 07900 709 126
The Reading Channel Panel meets on a monthly basis to consider any referrals.

  • 999 if emergency or 101
  • Prevent related concerns preventreferrals@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
  • Children: MASH 0118 937 3641 (01344 786 543 out-of-hours emergencies only)
  • Adults: Social and Healthcare Team 0118 937 3747 (01344 786 543 out-of-hours emergencies only)

‘ELC’ Staff & Homestay Providers Responsibilities

The Designated Safeguarding Lead Lynne Highfield at ‘ELC’ holds overall responsibility for ensuring that the Prevent strategy is implemented across the school and any concerns are shared with the relevant organisations in order to minimise the risk of students becoming involved with terrorism.
The operational Prevent lead Mr. S Mc Burney will work with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that staff, students and Homestay providers are aware of the Prevent agenda, that appropriate training is in place and who to contact with concerns.

  • Homestay providers – How and when to react to concerns.
  • Any concern or incident, however small, should be reported in the first instance to the Prevent Lead Mr. S Mc Burney, preferably by email elc@elclondonstreet.co.uk
  • But in severe cases by phone to 079 44 115 915
  • Any report will be dealt with sensitively and carefully, with confidentiality assured for the reporting person
  • The Prevent Lead will confer with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and may refer the concern to one or more of the following authorities after careful consideration.

LADO: 0118 93 73555 – (Local Authority Designated Officer) Ms. Lorraine Campion
MASH: mash@reading.gov.uk 0118 93 73641 (Multi – Agency Safeguarding Hub)
LSCB email: LSCB_GenMail@reading.gov.uk (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board) Ms. Esther Blake

PRIVACY

ELC’ needs to collect and use certain types of information about people with whom we deal with in order to operate and deliver services. This includes information of current members of staff, students, homestay providers and others with whom we communicate.
‘ELC’ acts as a data controller for student information. This means that we determine the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be processed.

The categories of student information that we collect, hold and share include:

  • Personal information (name, email addresses, photograph for student cards, phone numbers, address and passport information)
  • Characteristics (language, nationality, country of birth)
  • Attendance information
  • Emergency contact information (names, phone numbers, email addresses)

Why we collect and use this information:

  • to support student learning
  • to adhere to safeguarding policies and procedures
  • to monitor and report on student progress
  • to provide appropriate pastoral care
  • to assess the quality of our services
  • to provide services to students
  • to comply with the law regarding data sharing for marketing purposes within EFL industry (personal data is never used for marketing purposes)

This information will be dealt with properly however it is collected, recorded and used, be it on paper or, electronically.
There are safeguards to ensure this is in line with Data Protection Act May 2018, including shredding / secure destruction of confidential materials and ensuring information is kept secure / locked away when not in use.

Who we share student information with:

  • Inspectorate organisations including ABLS
  • UK Visas and Immigration upon request
  • Host families
  • ‘ELC’ drivers who provide student airport transfer services.
  • Photos of students taken at school are shared on the school website, social media sites.

‘ELC’ never shares student information for marketing purposes with a third party under any circumstances.
‘ELC’ does not share information about our students with anyone, without consent, unless the law and our policies allow us to do so. We ensure that personal information is treated fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law. All staff are required to adhere to the following principles of the Data Protection Act May 2018 which states:

  1. Personal information is kept safe and secure and steps are taken to prevent it being misused.
  2. Inaccurate information about people isn’t held or used.
  3. People have control over the use of their personal data.
  4. People have the confidence to know that their personal information is being used and stored.
  5. People have the right to check the information that is held about them.
  6. Data Minimisation (The personal you collect must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in order to fulfil the intended purpose)
  7. The information you process must, at all times, be accurate and up to date
  8. Under the GDPR, it’s essential that personal information is retained for no longer than required by law for original purpose and securely deleted or destroyed.
  9. ‘ELC’ as a Data controller must keep records in writing, either as a hard copy or electronic copy, and documentation must be available to the ICO on request.
  10. ‘ELC’ and staff must explicitly tell people why they need their information and how it will be used.
  11. Taking photos and recording videos doesn’t need to be restricted or prevented because of data protection law. Instead, you simply need to obtain consent from the individuals before using images of them.
  12. The data information must not be transferred to a country outside the European Economic Area unless the country ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

‘ELC’ will:

  • Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information
  • Meet its legal obligation to specify the purposes for which information is used and by whom
  • Collect & process appropriate information, only to extent that it is needed to fulfil operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements, not to disclose information on individuals to third parties without the prior agreement of those individuals
  • Ensure that personal information is accurate and kept up to date
  • Retain information for as long as is necessary for legal or operational reasons
  • Destroy personal data when no longer required
  • Respect the rights of the individual in relation to access of their personal details
  • Take appropriate security measures to safeguard personal information
  • Ensure that personal information is not transferred outside the European Economic area without appropriate safeguards

Your Rights under GDPR 

  • You have a number of rights in relation to your personal information.
  • You have the right to: 
  • be informed about what information we hold about you; 
  • access your personal information that we hold about you; 
  • rectify inaccuracies in personal information that we hold about you; 
  • have your personal data removed from our systems; 
  • restrict the processing of your personal data; 
  • object to us processing your personal data by us; 
  • obtain a copy of or have us transfer all of your personal data to a third party. 

‘ELC’ is committed to protecting the privacy of all who connect with us, and therefore operates under all applicable laws to protect personal and sensitive information.
If you want to exercise your rights or make a complaint about how ‘ELC’ has handled your personal data, you can contact our School Principal, Mr. S McBurney.

The Meeting House
2, Church street
Reading RG1 2SB
Email: elc@elclondonstreet.co.uk

If you are not satisfied with our response within 28 days, by law or believe ‘ELC’ is processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can report a concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office .
NB: This policy may be amended and updated from time to time if there are changes to the law.

Quality Assurance Measurement and Procedures

‘ELC’ has a good reputation. However, we must not be complacent. We address areas that need to be improved.

The staff has monthly meetings to discuss the monthly Student Progress Tests which form the basis for discussion and relevant issues are reviewed. The QA provides a record of achievements and issues which may still need addressing.

We regard providing a quality and fair service to our users as essential to the future of ‘ELC’. Not only do we want to maintain a good and fair quality of service, but we want to find ways to improve the service we provide.

To monitor and maintain our quality we:

  • Issue End of Course and homestay questionnaire feedback form to all students who are leaving the school. This covers all aspects of their stay including accommodation as well as the teaching ability of staff and ask for students’ suggestions on how we can improve the service we offer.
  • Results from these questionnaires are summarised and fed back to staff at their regular meetings and analysed by the Principal, who suggests improvements to our service.
  • Inform students via the Student Handbook about who to contact on any issue they might have, whether it is academic or homesickness.
  • Ask students how they heard of ‘ELC’ (publicity, website, personal recommendation etc.)
  • Study exam results and the level of passes/fails.
  • Analyse current and future student numbers as well as the nationality mix.
  • Seek staff feedback.

To improve our service we:

  • Study in detail the ABLS Accreditation and Inspection report and discuss how we can improve on any areas highlighted. This includes putting training plans in place where necessary.
  • Ask staff for ideas in meetings and as part of their annual appraisal.
  • Provide training for administration and teaching staff as required.
School Child Protection Procedures

We have a strong commitment to ensuring that students and young people are protected from harm whilst visiting our school by considering:

We take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment by:

  • Performing regular risk assessment of the building
  • Maintaining all services and a good standard of cleanliness at all times
  • Operating a fire detection system and testing evacuation procedures regularly
  • Ensuring the presence of a member of staff with First Aid training at all times

We take all reasonable steps to ensure our staff are well selected and trained by:

  • Following safer recruitment procedures for all roles
  • Providing regular and appropriate safeguarding training for all staff
  • Giving clear guidelines on appropriate behaviour
  • Encouraging an open and trusting environment where concerns can be aired in confidence
  • Ensuring that all staff have read and agree to uphold our policies, procedures and principles

We take all reasonable steps to ensure our students are informed, instructed and aware by:

  • Giving clear guidelines on acceptable behaviour in advance of arrival
  • Providing young people with clear safety advice on arrival
  • Issuing young people with a school student card that includes emergency contact details
  • Monitoring attendance and investigating a missing young person immediately

We take all reasonable steps to meet our legal safeguarding responsibilities by:

  • Requiring our staff to report any incident, allegation, evidence, or suspicion of abuse
  • Referring any such incident to statutory authorities as required by law
  • Implementing this policy, and all supporting documents, reviewing everything regularly

Supporting documents

  • Staff Handbook
  • Code of conduct for all teacher and supporting staff
  • School Risk Assessments
  • Student Handbook
  • Code of conduct for all students
  • Contract of Care

‘ELC’ is committed to providing a safe environment for any person, regardless of their age who chooses homestay accommodation organised by the school.
The only type of accommodation currently organised for young people is homestay; adults have the option of finding their own accommodation privately. We also accept young people who are living locally with their family, or family friends.
Whenever a young person is accepted at school, the ‘ELC’ Contract of Care is sent to their parents or legal guardians. This document clearly explains the level of care for their child.

We endeavour to ensure that young people are protected from harm whilst staying with homestay providers by considering:

  • Following safe recruitment procedures for all homestays
  • inspecting all potential homestays in advance and revisiting all active hosts regularly
  • establishing and maintaining an open and positive dialogue with all hosts
  • giving hosts clear guidelines on appropriate behaviour and reporting requirements

We take reasonable steps to ensure our students are informed, instructed and aware:

  • giving students clear guidelines on acceptable behaviour in advance of arrival
  • informing students of their host in advance
  • encouraging students and their parents to contact the host advance
  • insisting on mobile phone numbers for every student on arrival

We take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and comfortable home environment by:

  • allowing students and their parents to give us information about type of host desired
  • using all information at our disposal to match a student with a suitable host
  • avoiding a situation where a young person is placed in the same homestay as an adult student unless requested
  • obtaining regular feedback from students with regard to their home environment
  • reacting swiftly to deal with any uncertainty or discomfort

We take all reasonable steps to ensure our students understand their travel arrangements to ‘ELC’ by:

  • sending students and their parents journey details in advance of arrival
  • asking homestay families to provide all students with a guide to help them from the bus stop to the school on their first day
  • helping students to understand what they should do if things go wrong
  • ensuring that all our drivers are DBS checked and professionally qualified
  • making each booking far enough in advance to avoid potential problems
SAFEGUARDING POLICY AND CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

Keeping children safe in Education (KCSIE) Working together to Safeguard children (WTTSC)

Introduction

All young people have the right to be protected from harm and their interest and safety are our prime concern. The intention of this policy is to ensure that appropriate action is taken immediately if there is any cause for concern. The Education Act 2002 and the Education [Independent School Standards] regulations 2003 gives proprietors of Independent schools a statutory duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of young people. The school follows the recommended procedures contained in the Government statutory guidelines ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ September 2016 and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children July 2018’. This policy applies to all staff, including temporary staff.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead [DSL] is responsible for referring cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies according to the procedures established by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

This Safeguarding policy and Child Protection Procedure is available to parents and staff on the school website and hard copies can also be obtained from the school office. This policy is intended to be used in conjunction with and overarching all school policies and procedures.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead dealing, in the first instance, with all issues is Lynne Highfield.

Lynne’s responsibilities:

  • to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection
  • to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters
  • to refer cases of suspect abuse to the local authority
  • to refer cases to the Channel Programme after discussion with the Strategic Prevent Lead (Mr. S Mc Burney)
  • to ensure all new staff receive induction on Child Protection Procedures
  • to ensure the school child protection policies are known, understood and used appropriately
  • link with local LSCB to make sure staff are aware of training opportunities and the latest local policies on safeguarding
  • to take time to read and digest safeguarding developments at regular intervals
  • liaise with Strategic Prevent Lead (Mr. S Mc Burney) to support the school with regards to the requirements of the Prevent duty and is able to provide advice and support to staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalization

Olena Nikiforova is the Child Protection Officer, Student Welfare and Accommodation Officer.

Olena’s responsibilities:

  • to ensure that the Annual Review of the policy and procedures is carried out
  • to ensure that all staff have undertaken Safeguarding Awareness / Introduction training
  • (Level 1) with following refresher training in 2 years period.
  • to ensure that all staff have DBS check regularly updated (every 3 years)
  • to ensure all home stay providers are aware of Safeguarding & Child Protection Procedures
  • to ensure that clear, detailed written records of welfare concerns about students are kept secure and confidential

Recognition of child/ young people abuse

Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child / young person. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child / young person by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults o another child or children /young people.

Categories of abuse:

Physical abuse: A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child / young person.

Emotional abuse: The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the Internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Neglect: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s / young person’s basic emotional needs.

Child / young person abuse can take place in all strata of society, in families, in institutions, between children / young people and in some situations on an organized basis.

Teachers and other school staff may be in the best position to recognize that a child / young person is at risk and must be prepared to take appropriate actions

General Principles

  • The policy and procedures form an integral part of the school’s pastoral policy and promotion of students’ welfare and is in accordance with the Berkshire Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • Abuse–which includes bullying and cyber bullying –can be adult to student or student to student. High student self-esteem, confidence and good lines of communication within the community help the prevention of abuse.
  • The DSL preserves a distinction between children / young people who have suffered or are at risk of suffering serious harm and those who are in need of additional support from one or more agencies.
  • It is important to maintain links with the LSCB.
  • The Skills for Life curriculum provides a context within which abuse issues can be explored, including opportunities for helping children/ young people to understand the skills they need to protect themselves.
  • All members of staff must be aware of the school’s procedures and the named Designated Safeguarding Lead, and should they not be available, the contingency plans. In the absence of the DSL, a teacher should contact Olena Nikiforova in the office or the most senior teacher available.
  • Staff behavior at all times must appropriately follow safe practice with regard to working with young people. Any member of staff who has a query regarding this should contact the designated person immediately.

Dealing with Child Protection concerns

  1. Any member of staff who is told of any incident (received a disclosure or has a strong suspicion of physical or sexual abuse occurring in the school (by an adult or another student), at home or outside the school, must report the information the same day to a designated member of staff. (This also applies if the member of staff knows of or suspects the same.) In the case of serious harm or abuse within school by a member of staff, the LADO will be consulted within 24 hours. In cases of serious harm, the Police should be informed from the outset. These discussions can be held informally and without naming the individual.
  2. If the alleged abuse has occurred outside school, the Access and Assessment team at Children’s Social Care are consulted for advice and a referral to our local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub may follow. (See chart for summary of procedures to follow).
  3. School staff (including the designated staff member) should NOT investigate the reports of abuse themselves. Alleged victims, perpetrators, those reporting abuse and any others involved, should not be interviewed beyond the point at which it is clear that there is an allegation of abuse.
  4. Staff members should NEVER give absolute guarantees of confidentiality to students wishing to tell them something serious. They should guarantee that they will only pass on information to the minimum number of people who must be told in order to ensure that the proper action is taken NOTHING must be discussed inside or outside school.
  5. Staff members must reassure a student making a disclosure that it will be taken seriously and that they will take whatever steps they can to protect the informing student from any retaliation or unnecessary stress that might be feared after such a disclosure of alleged abuse has been made.
  6. Any staff to whom an allegation of abuse is made should remember:
    • take appropriate steps to protect any student involved from risk of immediate harm;
    • not interview or investigate further;
    • inform the DSL (if appropriate) of the allegation;
    • consult with Children’s Social Care and follow their advice about contacting parents, doctor, police, alleged perpetrator or witnesses direct;
    • if it is the advice of the Access and Assessment team at Children’s Social Care, make a referral within 24 hours of a disclosure of suspicion of abuse
    • agree any steps to be taken in relation to: informing a student’s parents; medical treatment/examination; immediate protection for all involved; informing others at school; informing the placing authority;
    • inform the pupil who made the initial allegation of the next steps (when agreed);
    • inform the DSL (if appropriate) of action taken.
  7. In accordance with KCSIE (September 2016) any member of staff may make a referral to Children’s Social Care.
  8. The School recognises its duty to report to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) within one month of leaving the school any person (whether contracted or student) whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children. The DBS address for referrals is PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA (telephone 01325 953 795). A referral will also be made to the National College for Teaching and Leadership where a teacher has been dismissed (or would have been dismissed had he/she not resigned) and a prohibition order might be appropriate. The reasons for such an order are: ‘unacceptable professional conduct’, ‘conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute’ or ‘conviction, at any time, for a relevant offence’.
  9. The DSL keeps Child Protection records securely, separate from main student’s files in a locked location.
  10. The School recognises its responsibility to pass on the records of student with whom there are Child Protection issues when the student moves from one school to another educational establishment and this is the responsibility of the DSL.

Subsequent Action: (agreed with Children’s Social Care/ Police as appropriate)

  1. Ensure longer term protection and support of each student who has made allegations of abuse, or is alleged to have suffered from abuse, taking her/ his wishes fully into account. Seek advice from the relevant statutory bodies before making any formal child protection referral.
  2. Take any necessary steps to protect and support a student who is alleged to have abused another.
  3. Ensure that any student being interviewed by the police has available a supportive member of staff, preferably of her/ his own choice to accompany her/him as necessary.
  4. The school should consider taking, and as necessary should take, Disciplinary action against any member of the school, where it believes students are at risk of abuse from that person, even in cases where there is to be no criminal prosecution.
  5. A detailed record must be made of all proceedings and this must be updated by the designated member of staff. These records are to be confidential and must be kept in a secure place.

Should the school cease to employ or use any member of staff or student because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with young people, we will report this to the Disclosure and Barring Service within one month of that person leaving the school, giving information about the circumstances surrounding that case.

Useful Contacts:

LADO:  0118 93 73555 – (Local Authority Designated Officer) Ms. Lorraine Campion
MASH: mash@reading.gov.uk 0118 93 73641 (Multi – Agency Safeguarding Hub)
LSCB email: LSCB_GenMail@reading.gov.uk (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board) Ms. Esther Blake
Reading Borough Council
2nd Floor North, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU

'ELC' IT & SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

Computer, email and internet acceptable use policy
‘Schools must ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Schools should ensure that suitable filtering is in place. It is also important that schools teach students about online safety more generally’ – Reading Borough Council 2018.
‘ELC’ is committed to enabling our students to use the Internet in a safe and responsible way, without putting at risk their personal security, their current or future career prospects, or the reputation of ‘ELC’.

Objectives of this Policy
The policy aims to:

  • encourage the responsible use of social media by ‘ELC’ students
  • outline the responsibilities of individuals for the use of social media
  • highlight the potential risks of using social media for personal use
  • promote effective and innovative use of social media as an integral part of their activity while at ‘ELC’
  • provide clear guidelines on how breaches of this policy will be addressed
  • to protect the reputation of ‘ELC’ its staff, and students

What is social media?
Social Media refers to online channels of communication that allow users to interact in the public domain by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interest. It includes, but is not limited to, social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, wikis and blogs.
What is cyberbullying?
Bullying is defined, as unfair treatment, excessive criticism, or persistent nit-picking, intimidating, aggressive or undermining behaviour, which makes the recipient(s), feel upset, humiliated, threatened or vulnerable and undermines their self-confidence and integrity. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. If abuse does occur, all students must be able to tell someone and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell staff. Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm or harass other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. Harassment is unwanted conduct based on the grounds of religious belief, political opinion, sex (including gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status), race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Differences of attitude, background or culture and the misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another; nevertheless, this does not make it acceptable. It is the purpose or effect of the behaviour rather than the motive that must be considered.

Why is it important to highlight to our students the risks relating to social media?
While most of our students will already be experienced users of social media, they are potentially more vulnerable to abuse or bullying in that they are temporarily living and studying in another culture. It is ‘ELC’ responsibility to help them in the responsible use of social media, and to help them avoid risks. It is also our responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of abusive behaviour and bullying of any kind, including those relating to social media.

Implementation
Students are given advice on:

  • Acting responsibly online
  • What to share/not to share online
  • Thinking carefully before posting anything online
  • Not sharing personal information with strangers
  • Avoiding unsafe websites

Procedure for complaints and allegations
‘ELC’ students are given information in Student handbook about who can help them if they are confused, worried or upset by anything they have experienced online. They are directed to bring any worries they have to the member of staff with whom they feel most comfortable. Complaints about social media misuse or cyberbullying by an ‘ELC’ student should be directed to the Director of studies – Lynne Highfield.
Complaints and allegations will be logged and referred to the Principal, Mr. S McBurney. Complaints or allegations concerning the misuse of social media by ‘ELC’ students will be dealt with using the procedures set out in the Student Disciplinary procedure. Where a complaint involves threatening or potentially criminal online social media behaviour, ‘ELC’ will escalate to the local authorities.

This policy should be read in conjunction with: Behaviour Policy

NB: ‘ELC’ operates in a building which is used by various organisations in the Reading community e.g. Charities, NHS, Reading Borough Council and Refugees. Wi-fi Internet communications in the building, including user name and passwords are on public display for all visitors to use and therefore cannot be filtered by ‘ELC’


adrien

I improved my English day after day. Thanks to ‘ELC’. Reading is a very nice town, great, lively and quiet. I chose ‘ELC’ as my best friend advised me. I would recommend ‘ELC’ as it is interesting to meet people from different countries and there read more...

Adrien, France 5th March 2015

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