Volunteer Safeguarding Procedures

We ask all volunteers to read and follow our safeguarding policy. There is a summary here of some of the key aspects.

In case of a disclosure or allegation

If a pupil discloses to you that they are being abused, you should:

  • Listen to what is said without displaying shock or disbelief and accept what the child is saying;
  • Allow the child to talk freely;
  • Reassure the child but not make promises that it may not be possible to keep, or promise confidentiality, as a referral may have to be made;
  • Reassure the child that what has happened is not their fault and that they were right to tell someone;
  • Not ask direct questions but allow the child to tell their story;
  • Not criticise the alleged perpetrator;
  • Explain what will happen next and who has to be told;
  • Make a formal record and pass this on to the designated teacher before leaving the premises. A template is available in the safeguarding policy.
  • Records should show:
    • what the concerns were;
    • what action was taken to refer on concerns or manage risk within the school;
    • whether any follow-up action was taken;
    • how and why decisions were made.
  • Any incidents, disclosures or signs of neglect or abuse should be fully recorded with dates, times and locations. Records should also include a note of what action was taken.
  • Only relevant information should be disclosed, and only to those professionals who need to know. You should consider the purpose of the disclosure, and remind recipients that the information is confidential and only to be used for the stated purpose.
  • In the event that a child makes a disclosure of neglect or abuse, you cannot guarantee them confidentiality, but must explain why they have to pass the information on, to whom and what will happen as a result.

Definitions and indicators of abuse and neglect are available in the safeguarding policy.

Protecting yourself and the children in your care

  • crossteach expects volunteers to set a good example to pupils through their own conduct and behaviour and aims to protect them from the risk of allegations being made against them by ensuring they maintain high standards of professionalism and appropriate boundaries.
  • For avoidance of doubt, this means it is not appropriate for any volunteer to have a personal relationship with any student with whom they are working. Volunteers working with small groups or vulnerable students should exercise particular care to ensure that professional boundaries are maintained at all times, in person and on-line.
  • Pupils should always be treated with respect which means not showing favouritism, and speaking to or about pupils in a positive way and never in a suggestive or derogatory way.
  • If crossteach staff and volunteers are leading an activity at which no member of school staff is present further precautions should be taken:
    • crossteach staff must keep a register of all who are present; pupils and adults.
    • Two adults must be present unless, after a risk assessment, there is clear permission from both the school and the crossteach Director that the activity can go ahead
    • crossteach staff should make sure there is a minimum of one leader for each 15 secondary age students or 1:8 for primary age children

Protecting yourself and the children in your care on social media

Social media includes any websites or applications that enable users to create and share content or to communicate with others e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest. We ask volunteers to:

  • Not make reference to crossteach by name, or to crossteach activities, on-line unless it is to further the aims of crossteach and in line with the crossteach mission statement
  • Not represent themselves on behalf of crossteach except with prior permission from the team leader
  • Not communicate with pupils by social media and not accept, or initiate, friend requests
  • If a pupil initiates contact, volunteers should not respond but pass the record of the contact to the line manager
  • We ask that volunteers do not post anything on their own personal social media accounts that would cause embarrassment to crossteach or compromise its work
  • Under no circumstances should confidential information be released, shared or forwarded in any medium including social media
  • Volunteers should ensure that their mobile phones are not used during crossteach activities.
  • Volunteers may not share mobile phone numbers with current or previous pupils.
  • Any safeguarding concerns that arise on-line should be dealt with in the same way as if they had arisen in person
  • Not take any photographs of crossteach activities.