Safeguarding policy

  1. Who is this policy for?

    1.1 This Safeguarding policy is in specific relation to PA Media Academy, a business within PA Media,that has direct responsibility for implementing safeguarding practices for apprentices it is training.
    1.2 The purpose of this policy is to outline a clear framework for protecting and safeguarding children, young people (referred to as Under 18) and adults at risk so that all staff and those working on behalf of PA Media Academy are aware of their roles and responsibilities in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. It also outlines the responsibility of PA Media Academy to ensure employers understand their safeguarding responsibilities and promotion of a safe space for all.
    1.3 Anyone over 18 may become vulnerable adult at risk at certain times in their lives and this may result in a safeguarding issue, eg, homelessness.
    1.4 This policy may also be used as a general framework of good practice in relation to those trainees and apprentices who are not deemed either Under 18 or adults at risk. It embeds the principle of the Do No Harm principle, which is to avoid exposing people to additional risks through our actions/interventions.  
    1.5 This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, learners, customers, service users, supply chain, contractors, or any other persons who may work on, visit or receive training on PA Media Training premises or atwork placements.
    1.6 We expect everyone to have read, understood and adhere to this policy and its related procedures.

2. PA Media Academy’s approach to safeguarding

2.1 PA Media Academy is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all trainees,apprentices, employees and individual visitors who access its facilities and services. This is essential, not only for the well-being of those we are training, but also to maintain the goodreputation and continued success of our organisation and partners.

2.2 The PA Media Academy Apprenticeship Governance Board is accountable for the execution of this policy throughout the organisation and supports the Designated Safeguarding Leads to attend trainingwhere necessary to promote effective roll out, support and ensure compliance. This includes the expectation that online safety forms the central theme in our approach to safeguarding.

2.3 There are two lead Designated Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) at PA Media Academy. This ensures a commitment to swift and effective Safeguarding practice. All members of the board have safeguarding training, including one member who is DSO trained, to provide appropriate scrutiny and guidance.

2.4 DSOs are responsible for following the related safeguarding procedures and ensuring relevant staff have sufficient training and support in line with DSO job description.

2.5 All trainees and apprentices are informed of PA Media Academy’s Safeguarding Policy, including Prevent (this also applies to their apprentice employers) to promote learners to keep themselves safeand know what to do if they have a safeguarding issue.

2.6 The Safeguarding policy is promoted on our main website and in the apprentice and trainee resources portal

2.7 We have an effective Safeguarding curriculum where principles are embedded in our delivery. Our commitment to Safeguarding is also detailed within the apprentice and trainee handbook, employer information pack, during surveys/questionnaires with apprentices and employers and embedded in our delivery plan alongside Prevent, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity policies.

2.8 We are confident that apprentices/trainees, staff and all stakeholders are aware of how to report a Safeguarding concern because the policy is widely promoted throughout the organisation and all staff/employers receive appropriate training.

3. Staff induction, training and development

3.1 Our commitment to ensuring our trainees and apprentices are safe, commences with our robust Safer Recruitment Practice, ensuring our staff undergo an enhanced DBS check and that we seek references.

3.2 Our staff induction and commitment to ensuring all staff read and agree policy and procedures (as well as mandatory refresher training in both Safeguarding and Prevent) ensures Safeguarding is at the forefront ofour company ethos.

3.3 Annual observations of teaching and learning, progress reviews and work scrutiny also quality assures staff, learner and employer awareness of Safeguarding/Prevent.

3.4 All PA Media Academy employees are required to undertake certified children and adult safeguardingand prevent training relevant to their role. Staff either undertake online courses at (part of the Education and Training Foundation) and the Home Office and/or undertake regular staff trainingled by the one of the lead DSOs.

3.5 DSOs undergo further appropriate DSO training, currently through Solvendis Ltd with a refresherevery two years.

3.6 Safeguarding training will be repeated as required and whenever changing legislation andresponsibilities require it. All staff attend mandatory annual refresher training, which is also offered toemployers.

3.7 Monthly apprenticeship meetings include reviewing of any safeguarding concerns and to ensure all staff reflect on the quality of their practice, receive appropriate support and attend the required training.

3.8 Monitoring reports on safeguarding concerns are completed by the lead DSO. (An anonymised  incident log  is presented  to the PA Media Apprenticeship Governance Board on a quarterly basis).

4. What is Safeguarding? 

4.1 Safeguarding Under 18s

  • HM Government ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2023) inter-agency guide defines safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare as:
  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provisions of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

    4.2. A child is defined as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday. Children are therefore seen aschildren and young people – referred to as Under 18s in this document

    4.3 Principles of Safeguarding Under 18s
  • The ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ guide also highlights effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:
  • Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility – each professional and organisation should play their full part
  • A child-centred approach – services should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views ofUnder 18s

4.4 Safeguarding Adults At Risk

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. The Care Act 2014 places specific safeguarding duties to an adult who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect and;
  • As a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of abuse or experiencing abuse or neglect
  • An adult with care and support needs may be:
  • An older person
  • A person with physical disabilities, a learning difficulty or a sensory impairment
  • Someone with mental health needs, including dementia or a personality disorder
  • A person with a long-term health condition
  • Someone who misuses substances or alcohol to the extent that it affects their ability to manage day to day living.

5. Definitions

5.1 Abuse may be defined as “any act, or failure to act, which results in a breach of a vulnerable person’s human rights, civil liberties, physical and mental integrity, dignity or general wellbeing whether intended or through negligence, including sexual relationships or financial transaction to which the person does not or cannot validly consent, or which are deliberately exploitative. Abuse may take many forms” (Council of Europe 2005).

5.2 There are six main forms of abuse, although there are variations within these. A person may abuse or neglect an under-18 or adult at risk by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Under-18’s or adults at risk may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known tothem or, more rarely, by a stranger.

  • a. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to an under-18 or adult at risk, including by fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately causing, ill health to an under-18 or adult at risk.
  • b. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of an under-18 or adult at risk such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the under-18 or adult at risk’s emotional development. It may involve conveying that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. This may cause fright and lead toexploitation or corruption.
  • c. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing an under-18 or adult at risk to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the under-18 or adult at risk is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non- penetrative acts. They may include involving an under-18 or adult at risk in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • d. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet an under-18 or adult at risk’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of health or development, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of, or unresponsiveness tobasic emotional needs.
  • e. Bullying is the deliberate, hurtful behaviour, direct or indirect, usually repeated over a period of time where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. Bullying can be verbal, written or physical. Harassment and bullying is not always open, direct and simple to identify. It can be covert and very subtle. Perpetrators may not always be awarethat their action(s) have been perceived to be  offensive.
  • f. Radicalisation. Indicators that a person is being drawn into violent extremism or crime mayinclude:
    • The use of inappropriate languagePossession of violent and /or extremist literatureBehavioural changesExpression of extremist viewsAdvocating violent action
    • Association with known extremists
  • 6. How do we safeguard trainees?
  • 6.1 PA Media Academy believes that all individuals have an equal right to protection from abuse, regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, ability, language, background or sexual identity and consider the welfare ofthe individual as paramount.
  • 6.2 The organisation will take every reasonable step to ensure that Under 18s and Adults at Risk areprotected by promoting an active safeguarding culture. We will prevent abuse by:
  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • Providing a safe environment for Under 18s and Adults at Risk to learn in and ensuring apprentices areaware of keeping themselves safe and what to do if they need to report a safeguarding concern
  • Identifying individuals who are suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, and report concerns swiftly to relevant agencies
  • Working in partnership with other relevant agencies to support multi-agency safeguarding work
  • Responding effectively to any circumstances giving grounds for concern, or where formal complaints or expressions of anxiety are relayed.
  • Providing content warnings wherever reasonable and appropriate to give advance warning of discussion of sensitive topics
  • Providing safeguarding training to all staff to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and are knowledgeable of the types and signs of abuse
  • Recruiting all staff safely by ensuring that all the necessary checks are made
  • Regularly monitoring and evaluating how our policies, procedures and practices are working to safeguard children and adults
  • 6.3 All staff are in a position of trust; in particular those who teach, support, guide or in any way interact with trainees/apprentices. PA Media Academy’s responsibilities also extend to safeguarding under- 18’s or adults at risk who come into contact with its employees and trainees outside of our premises as part of work that may be conducted during trainee/apprenticeship training.
  • 6.4 Thorough risk assessments must be undertaken to ensure that when young people (15-18 year olds) are attending PA Media Academy premises they are safe, supported and their presence is managed to  minimise the risk of vulnerability.
  • 6.5 Risk assessments have been extended to take into account risks posed by remote learning, includingisolation, online harm and difficulties with disclosure.
  • 6.6 Prevent Duty
    • 6.7 Prevent is a key part of the government’s Counter Terrorist Strategy. It is our duty to have regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Preventing radicalisation remains part of our commitment to keeping children, young people and adults safe. We see no difference between safeguarding children, young people and adults from radicalisation than from other forms of harm. (Moredetail is provided in our Prevent policy)
    • 6.8 We will ensure this through our vision, values and rule; we will uphold British Values of;
  • Democracy
  • The Rule of Law
  • Individual Liberty and Respect
  • Tolerance of Different Faiths, Beliefs and Lifestyles.
    • 6.9 We will also ensure that:
  • Staff understand the issues of radicalisation, can recognise the signs of vulnerability orradicalisation and know how to refer their concerns
  • PA Media Academy and its staff respond to preventing radicalisation on a day to day basis
  • All staff conduct is consistent with preventing radicalisation
  • We work with partners, including local authority and police and make referrals where appropriate to agencies regarding concerns about radicalisation
  • Teaching and coaching staff address the issues involved in radicalisation.

  • 7. What to do in the event of a disclosure
    • 7.1 Safeguarding issues are regarded as everyone’s responsibility and employees are reminded that it is the welfare of the under-18 or adult at risk that is of a primary concern, and it is their duty to report any concerns to the DSO.
    • 7.2 If employees, in the course of their work at PA  Media Academy, have an under-18 or adult at riskprotection issue brought to their notice, observe an incident of abuse, or have cause for concern, they musttreat this as a priority over other work and address the issue immediately.
    • 7.3 If employees wish to seek guidance with regard to a specific incident or area of concern,confidential advice should be sought from the DSO.
  • 7.4 Recognising abuse

Recognition of abuse is not always easy and PA Media Academy acknowledges that its employees andapprentices may not be experienced in this area and indeed, that it is not the place of employees to make such a judgement. It is however the responsibility of all members of staff to act on concerns in order tosafeguard under-18’s or adults at risk.

The following may indicate that an under-18 or adult at risk is being, or has been,abused:

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries, particularly if the injury is unlikely to have occurredaccidentally.
  • An injury where the explanation from the under-18 or adult at risk appears contradictory.
  • The under-18 or adult at risk describes an abusive act or situation.
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour.
  • The under-18 or adult at risk appears distrustful of adults.
  • The under-18 or adult at risk behaves in an inappropriate way or sexually explicitway.
  • The under-18 or adult at risk is withdrawn.
  • The under-18 or adult at risk becomes increasingly dirty or shabbily dressed.
  • Persistent absence and lateness

7.5 Procedure for dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse

  1. No member of PA Media Academy should take responsibility to decide whether or notabuse has taken place. However, there is a requirement to act on any concerns.
  2. If you are working with a learner, including an apprentice who discloses something that you feel is a safeguarding issue, immediately tell them that you have a ‘duty of care’ to pass on the information to the DSO to ensure the safety of themselves or others. You cannot tell them that they can speak to you in confidence. This should come as no surprise to the learner/ apprentice as this has been outlined in the learner handbook and fully covered in induction as to the process for Safeguarding and Prevent Policy and Procedure.
  3. The problem should be reported IMMEDIATELY to the DSO who will take the appropriate action, and the Incident Report form completed as soon as possible so there is an accurate and timely record ofthe disclosure.
  4. If the concerns relate to the DSO, then the matter should be referred to the second DSO, whowill in turn refer the matter to the Managing Director of PA Media Academy, who may then refer the matter to the Head of HR and PA Executives.
  5. It is important to maintain confidentiality. Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than the above-mentioned employees. If none of the above mentioned are available the person withthe concerns must not delay, and should contact the Head of HR.
  6. If immediate risk is identified then there will be instances where 999 is called if risk cannot be minimised.

8. What to do if my apprentice/trainee discloses information to me

8.1 If an under-18 or adult at risk says something or acts in such a way that abuse issuspected, the person receiving the information should:

  • Not give assurances of confidentiality which cannot be kept but should reassure the under-18 or adult at risk that the information will only be passed on to those people who need to know.React in a calm but concerned manner. Tell the under-18 or adult at risk that s/he is right to share what has happened; and that s/he is notresponsible for what has happened.Take what the under-18 or adult at risk says seriously.Keep questions to an absolute minimum only to clarify what the under-18 or adult at risk is saying, not to interrogate.Not interrupt the under-18 or adult at risk when they are recalling significant events.

  • Contact the DSO so a full written record of what is said and done can be made, but this should not result in a delay in acting on any disclosure.

The written record should include:

  1. The under-18 or adult at risk’s disclosure. This may be used later in a criminal trial and it is vital that what the under-18 or adult at risk discloses is recorded as accurately as possible. Therefore, the record must be drafted in the under-18 or adult at risk’s words and should not include the assumptions or opinions of others.
  2. The nature of the allegation or concern.
  3. A description of any visible physical injury (clothing should not be removed to inspect the under-18 or adult at risk).A description of the situation, what the discloser was wearing, where the disclosure took place, what time, who else was present, what prompted the disclosure (e.g. if aparticular topic was being discussed).
  4. The under-18 or adult at risk’s account of what has occurred.
  5. Any dates, times or places or any other potentially useful information, particularly including phone numbers or addresses to which the Institution has access.
  6. If a tutor (persons employed or engaged to carry out teaching work at schools and other institutions in England) in the course of their work in the profession, discovers that an act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18 the tutor must report this to the police. This is mandatory.

    8.2 The DSO has the responsibility to act on behalf of PA Media Academy in dealing withallegations or suspicion of abuse or neglect. This will include collating details of the allegation or suspicion and referring the matter to the appropriate statutory authorities.
    8.3 It is the task of the Local Authority Designated Officer (Under 18s) and Adult Social Care, and/or the police, to investigate suspected abuse. Under no circumstances should a member of the company carry out their own investigation into suspicions or allegations of abuse. Neither should they question the under-18 or adult at risk closely, as to do so may interfere with any investigation that may be undertaken subsequently by the police or local authority.

9. Why is safeguarding necessary for apprentices?

9.1 PA Media Academy has a statutory safeguarding role to prevent abuse of apprentices on a government funded training scheme, who are Under 18 or are classified as Adults At Risk

9.2 This policy is provided to apprentices as part of their induction programme. The progress review process, carried out at scheduled weeks with the employer and apprentice, includes confidentialsafeguarding checks which are recorded.

10. What are the responsibilities of the employer?

10.1 PA Media Academy ensures that, where an apprentice who is Under 18 or an adult at risk, the          employer understands their responsibilities for safeguarding.

10.2 Employers have primary duty of care for apprentices. PA Media Academy will undertake a health and safety risk assessment of all employers to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities.  Theseinclude:

  • Assessing any risks to apprentices before an apprenticeship begins, including protecting  them from harm in any setting where they may be most at risk. Eg, 1:1 situations with an adult for longperiodsProviding appropriate induction, training and supervision of apprenticesLooking after the welfare of apprentices including having suitable supporting procedures,including named contacts in case of an emergency

  • PA Media Academy will ensure that all employers are aware of their Safeguardingresponsibilities, the policy and procedures of PA Media Academy and what to do, who to reportto in the event of a disclosure or concern.

11. For apprentices and trainees. Keeping yourself safe, and seeking support/guidance

11.1 Being safe is important – if you don’t feel safe it can make you feel unhappy and stop you doing things you enjoy.

11.2 What to do if you think you are being abused or neglected, or suspect someone else might be:

  • Talk about your concerns with your development coach/trainer/programme leader who will support you and make a referral to the DSO. A coach/tutor cannot guarantee anonymity but your concerns will remain confidential within the safeguarding teamTalk to the police or ask someone you trust to speak to the police

  • If you have safeguarding concerns during out of office hours (evenings and weekends) there are dedicated organisations who can assist, for example, the Samaritans, NSPCC and Childline. A list of organisations and contact numbers can be found on the Ann Craft Trust website.

12. Safer recruitment

12.1 PA Media Academy uses safer recruitment practices to ensure those recruited are the bestcandidates for the role and are suitable to work in a trainer provider setting with Under18s andAdults at Risk.

12.2 PA Media Academy has systems in place to prevent unsuitable people from working with Under 18s and Adults at Risk. These systems apply to all new staff and require the following checks prior to appointment.

  • Completion of a detailed application form (rather than accepting CVs)A minimum of two references, one of which should be from a previous employerDBS enhanced checkDocumentary evidence of qualifications

  • Satisfactory completion of the probationary period

13. Disclosure and barring service

  • 13.1 We are committed to ensuring our approach to safeguarding is not only ‘Effective’ (Ofsted) but promotes outstanding policy and procedures. This includes all employees being subject to a mandatory enhanced DBS check. 

    14. Disclosure and barring service
  • 14.1 Apprentices and trainees at PA Media Academy are subject to PA Media’s Internet and Email Rules and Guidelines in order to keep them safe online. This includes user histories that are recorded  and monitored for safeguarding purposes. Learners are made aware of this during their induction whichis reviewed regularly throughout the learning journey.
  • 14.2 Apprentices and trainees should not send abusive, obscene, discriminatory, racist, harassing, derogatory or defamatory messages. If such messages are received, they should not be forwardedand should be reported to a manager/trainer
  • 14.3 Apprentices and trainees should not access from PA’s system any web page or any files(whether documents, images or other) downloaded from the web which, on the widest meaning of those terms, could be regarded as illegal, offensive, in bad taste or immoral.
  • 14.4 PA Media’s systems provide the capability to monitor telephone, e-mail, voicemail, web and other communications traffic. Use of our systems including the telephone and computer systems, andany personal use of them, is continually monitored.
  • 14.5 14.6 Misuse or abuse of PA communication systems or inappropriate use of the internet in breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedure (in the case of staff). Misuse of the internet can, in certain circumstances, constitute a criminal offence. In particular, misuse of the e-mail system or inappropriate use of the internet by viewing, accessing, transmitting or downloading any of the following material, or using any of the following facilities, will amount to gross misconduct (in thecase of staff) and course removal (for trainees/appentices).
    a. pornographic material (that is, writings, pictures, films, video clips of a sexually explicit orarousing nature); or
    b. offensive, obscene, or criminal material or material which is liable to damage the reputationof PA; or
    c. a false and defamatory statement about any person or organisation; or
    d. material which is discriminatory, offensive, derogatory or may damage the reputation of others; or
    e. any other statement which is likely to create any liability (whether criminal or civil, and whether for you or PA; or
    f. material in breach of copyright; or
    g. online gambling; or
    h. chain letters
    i. irresponsible use of social networking sites
    f. failure to follow the Company’s Social Media Usage Policy
  • 14.6 Principles of professional, safe IT and social media use are also embedded in curriculum planning across all delivery.

15. Data Protection

15.1. All safeguarding concerns, decisions and actions will be recorded promptly and savedsecurely (in line with our GDPR policy). This includes retaining a copy of a referral and evidence ofprompt completion of any agreed actions to protect a child or adult.

15.2 Information shared with local authority safeguarding teams will be sent securely and passwordprotected for electronic correspondence.

15.3 Consideration must be given about what information to share and the impact of disclosing information on the individual or any third party. Any information shared must be proportionate to the need and level of risk. It must also be accurate, relevant, and adequate to the purpose of sharing theinformation.

15.4 From the outset of identifying safeguarding concerns we will be open and transparent with theindividual about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared.

15.5 All information should be shared in a timely manner to reduce the risk of harm. All disclosures will be reported immediately to the DSO, the Incident Report form completed within 24 hours but action may be necessary in cases of emergency prior to completion of the report form and may include dialling 999.

16. Whistleblowing and complaints

16.1 Where an allegation is made against a staff member, either employed or associate, the matterimmediately is referred to PA Media Academy’s Apprenticeship Training Manager and Managing Director of Training. If  there is a risk arising to operational delivery, then key partners should then be informed. The Apprenticeship Training Manager and Managing Director of Training then decide whether the incident is a potential safeguarding matter or should be dealt with under PA Media’s Complaints Policy and disciplinary procedures.

16.2 If the allegation is of a safeguarding nature and constitutes:

A concern which may mean the employee is not suitable to practice with children and vulnerable adults

A concern which has led to the possible harm to a learner

    A safeguarding concern which may be criminal in its nature or intent

    16.3 If any of the above is identified, then this should be reported as per Safeguarding procedure tothe lead DSO in order that Safeguarding protocol can be followed. The Managing Director of Training may make a decision to suspend a member of staff, pending an investigation.

       Abuse and/or safeguarding concerns may include:

    17. ’Honour Based Abuse’ (inc FGM and forced marriage)

    So-called ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) encompasses incidents or crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage,and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed in the context of preserving ‘honour’ often involves a wider 131 network of family or community pressure and can include multiple perpetrators. 

    17.1 Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for procedures which include the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. This practice is not required by any major religion and medical evidence indicates that female genital mutilation causes harm to those who are subjected to it. Girls may be circumcised or genitally mutilated illegally by doctors or traditional health workers in the UK or Ireland or sent abroad for the operation. Female circumcision, excision or infibulation (FGM) is illegal in both Ireland and UK.

    17.2 Forced marriage. A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of one orboth parties and where violence, threats or any other form of coercion is used to cause a person to enter intoa marriage.

    18. Grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation

    18.1 Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) because of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur using technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.

    18.2 In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion andintimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability (National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People(NWG) 2008).

    18.3 Sexual exploitation results in children and young people suffering harm and may be supported to recover whilst others may suffer serious life-long impairments which may, on occasion, lead to their death, for example through suicide or murder.

      19.  Contextual safeguarding (inc Child Criminal Exploitation)

      19.1 Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’sexperiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their neighbourhoods, schools and online can feature violence and abuse. Parents and carers have little influence over these contexts, and young people’s experiences of extra-familialabuse can undermine parent-child relationships.

      19.2 As well as threats to the welfare of children from within their families, children may be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside their families. These extra-familial threats might arise at school and other educational establishments, from within peer groups, or more widely from within the widercommunity and/or online.

      19.3 These threats can take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiplethreats, including: exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups such as county lines;cybercrime; trafficking, online abuse; sexual exploitation and the influences of extremism leading toradicalisation. Extremist groups make use of the internet to radicalise and recruit and to promoteextremist materials. Any potential harmful effects to individuals identified as vulnerable to extremistideologies or being drawn into terrorism should also be considered.

      20. Cyberbullying and sexting

      20.1 Cyberbullying is facilitated through electronic technology which includes devices andequipment such as mobile phones, computers and tablets. Communication tools are also utilised suchas social media sites, chat and websites. Examples of cyber bullying are rumours sent via e-mail orposted on social networking sites and embarrassing pictures, videos, and fake profiles.

      20.2 Children, young people and adults who are being bullied in this way have difficulty removing themselves from this behaviour as cyber bullying can take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can reach a person when he or she is alone. Messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult or in some cases, impossible to trace the source. It is also extremely difficult to delete inappropriate or harassing messages, texts or picturesonce they have been posted or sent.

      20.3 Sexting describes the use of technology to generate images or videos made by childrenunder age of 18 years of other children; images that are of a sexual nature and are indecent. TheNSPCC has described sexting as “when someone shares sexual, naked or semi –naked images or videos of themselves or others or sends explicit messages”. Young people under the age of 18 years who send these images of themselves or others are often unaware of the legal implications of sending images, videos and messages or the risks they are exposing themselves to. Creating or sharing explicit images of a child is a criminal offence, even if the person doing it is a child.

      21. Child on child (peer on peer) abuse

      Children and young people can abuse their peers. Alertness to the risk of peer on peer abuse (for example, county lines) is  paramount to preventing, identifying and responding to it. Staff must never dismiss abusive behaviours as a normal part of growing up, or “banter”, and develop high thresholds before acting. A significant proportion of sex offences are committed by teenagers, and, on occasions, committed by younger people.Peer on peer abuse must be taken as seriously as abuse by adults.

      22. Modern Slavery/trafficking

      22.1 PA Media Academy is committed to ensuring protection from Modern Slavery. This includesexploitation in the sex industry, forced labour, domestic servitude in the home and forced criminalactivity. These types of crimes are often called human trafficking. It can be perpetrated against men,women, and children, and include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK and Ireland, being forced to work illegally against their will in many different sectors, including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars and agriculture. Threats, use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, abuse of power or position of vulnerability are just some of the ways perpetrators will force their victims to concede. Further details can be found in our Modern Slavery Statement.

      23. Domestic Abuse

      23.1 The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises the impact of domestic abuse on children as victims in their own right if they see, hear, or experience the effects of abuse. It can have a long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. Young people can also experience domestic abuse within their own intimate relationships.

      24. Mate Crime

      24.1 Mate Crime is a form of hate crime and can become a very serious form of abuse. It is defined as the exploitation, abuse or theft from any person at risk from those they consider to be their friends. People with disabilities, particularly those with learning disabilities are often targets of this type of crime. Mate crimes are likely to happen in private, often in the victim’s own home. They can also happen via social media, where victims are financially or sexually exploited after being befriended online.

      25. Mental health

      25.1 Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child or adult has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation. Where children have suffered abuse and neglect, or otherpotentially traumatic adverse childhood experiences, this can have a lasting impact throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. It is key that staff are aware of how these children’s experiences, can impact on their mental health, behaviour, and education.

      26. Barriers to Recognising Abuse of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needsand Disabilities

      26.1 Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are more vulnerableto abuse than non-disabled children. Some of our apprentices/trainees may have life-longdevelopmental difficulties, complex learning needs and autism. Due to the complexity of needs staffmust be alert of the additional barriers that exist in relation to disabled children when recognising thesigns, symptoms and indicators of all aspects of abuse.

      26.2 Additional barriers that may exist which staff might not be consciously aware of include:

      • Over identifying with the child’s / young person’s parents / carers and being reluctant to accept that abuse or neglect is taken place
      • Assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to a child’s disability without further explorations
      • Not being able to understand the child / young person’s method of communication
      • Lack of knowledge about the child’s / young person, e.g. not knowing their usual behaviour

      27. Related policies

      Whistleblowing policy

      Anti-harassment and Bullying policy


      Complaints policy and procedure Health andSafety

      Recruitment Policy

      Internet and E-mail rules and guidelines


      28. Governing Legislation and further information/guidance

      28.1 The principle pieces of legislation and inter-agency frameworks governing this policy and procedures are below. Further guidance and advice can also be obtained from the City of London Corporation’s Local Authority Designated Officer (Under 18s) , Adult Social Services team (Adults at Risk) and Preventcoordinator. Contact details in Appendix 1

      • The Care Act 2014
      • The Equality Act 2010
      • Mental Capacity Act 2005
      • The Children’s Act 1989 & 2004
      • The Education and Skills Act 2008
      • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
      • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 update
      • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015
      • Safeguarding Disabled Children: Practice Guide 2009
      • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023
      • Prevent Duty Guidance 2015Data Protection Act 2018
      • GDPR
      • Domestic Abuse Act 2021
      • Public Sector Equality Duty
      • Everyone’s Invited
      • Ofsted Sexual Abuse Review

      PA Media Academy Designated Safeguarding Officers

      Rosalind McKenzie – Apprenticeship Training Manager, PA Media Academy (lead DSO)

      Sean Howe – Diploma Leader, PA Media Academy (deputy DSO)

      Prevent Contacts

      City of London Corporation and Police

      Prevent Coordinator, Tanveer Dhillon

      Prevent Engagement officer, 020 7601 2442 (8am – 4pm)

      DfE regional Prevent lead 07880 469588

      Safeguarding Contacts and Guidance

      City of London Corporation

      Local Authority Designated Officer (Children), 07795 090649

      Adult Social Care Team

      020 7332 1224 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm)

      020 8356 2300 (out-of-hours)

      Department for Education

      Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 guidance

      Working together to safeguard children 2023


      Inspecting Safeguarding in early years, education and skills setting

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