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University regularly invites children and young people to access its facilities
and services for a wide variety of purposes. Examples include outreach
activities, school visits, residential's, hosting of work-experience placements
and Open Days. There are also a small number of undergraduates who start
studies at the beginning of an academic year who are under 18 and specific
areas of the University (such as research groups and the Nursery, etc.) who
have a very specific relationship with children and young people. This policy
also extends to students who may work with children for specific reasons such
as a research project or volunteering. Many of these activities, involving
University members of staff working with children or young people, are away
from parent/guardian and/or teacher supervision.
policy is separate to that of individual departmental policies, such as the
Nursery or the School of Education, but is intended to be an over-arching set
of procedures so that all staff across the University, who might be working
with children and/or young people as a regular part of their normal duties,
know how to respond if a child/young person discloses abuse and/or shows signs of
such. Even if you do not work with children; all staff have a responsibility
towards their safeguarding.
Brookes University recognises its responsibility for the safeguarding of
children. It is recognised also that Oxford Brookes University has a general
duty of care to provide a safe environment for all those working and studying
at the University as well as those who visit the campus.
than specific areas of the University that are expressly identified (e.g. the
Nursery) it is not intended that any staff have responsibility for providing
care or support for children.
and designating specific persons to fill bespoke roles surrounding child
safeguarding will enable this policy. Wider awareness raising for all relevant
staff will also be provided.
the purpose of this policy, the terms ‘child’, ‘children’, ‘young person’ or ‘young
people’ is to refer to a person or persons under the age of 18 (The Children
term ‘staff’ used in this policy refers to staff, students and volunteers
within the University.
policy applies to all staff and includes
any activity involving children.
University recognises that staff who work regularly with children are best
placed to notice changes in behaviour and/or physical injuries. Oxford Brookes
staff will therefore:
Effective safeguarding practice starts with having in place effective procedures. Lines of responsibility should be clear, with leadership from the senior management level. Representatives from across the university should be involved in
implementation and in contributing to a culture in which safeguarding is discussed openly. Staff with particular responsibilities will need appropriate training and all staff need to be aware of the university’s policies and procedures. For definitions of specific safeguarding roles and responsibilities see
Policy Appendix 1.
Department for Business Innovation & Skills (nee Innovation, University & Skills, 2007),
Children: Guidance for English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
The University aims to ensure the safeguarding of children attending University premises or activities, as far as is reasonably practicable, by ensuring that the following general measures are implemented:
Formerly the CRB.
Senior Designated Safeguarding Officer(SDSO)
Designated Safeguarding Officers(DSOs)
The SDSO for Oxford Brookes University will be the Director of Corporate Affairs
An up to date list of DSOs can be found on the HR website or by contacting the HR Directorate.
This information is correct as of Sept 2013 and will be reviewed and updated as necessary.
It is recognised that some members of the University will have only slight contact with children at work and consequently may not be in a position to recognise abuse. (See Procedure Appendix 1 for definitions of abuse).
The recognition of abuse is not always easy and the University acknowledges that members of staff may not be experienced in this area and will not easily know whether or not abuse is taking place. Indeed, it is not the place of University members
to make such a judgement, but it is their responsibility to act on any concerns in order to safeguard the welfare of the child.
The following procedure should be adhered to if any person has concerns about the safety of a child or if a disclosure is made, particularly if a child or another adult says something or acts in such a way that abuse is suspected.
Remember that those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background or class and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
Therefore the following advice and guidance is given:
All staff have a responsibility for action in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect. See
Procedure Appendix 1 for definitions of abuse. University staff are encouraged to discuss any concerns with a DSO in the University.
Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality. Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone else on campus other than the SDSO or DSOs. If the SDSO/DSO is absent then individuals should not delay and contact Oxford’s Children’s Social
Care Team. For contact details, see
Procedure Appendix 2
Under no circumstances should members of the University carry out their own investigation into suspicions or allegations of abuse, neither should they question children closely, as to do so may distort any investigation that may be carried out
subsequently by the Police or Social Services.
Regardless of how the initial assessment develops, the DSO responding to the issue/allegations will follow up with all relevant parties/stakeholders to ensure it was concluded
Refer any incident or suspicion to a DSO or SDSO through the ‘Incident Report form’ see
Procedure Appendix 3
All members of the University (including those members with obligations to particular codes of conduct/professional ethics that may be thought to constrain their actions) are required to report or act on any disclosures or allegations of abuse
that involve a member of the University and that have taken place on campus or on University business. This must be in line with both the Children Act (2004) and current Health and Safety legislation (so that the risks either of further abuse and of
litigation against the University, can be eliminated or removed).
The University recognises the importance of having a procedure in place for dealing with allegations against staff and volunteers who work with children. This procedure must aim to strike a balance between the need to protect children from abuse
and the need to protect staff and volunteers from false or unfounded allegations.
If a member of staff has concerns about a child’s safety or a child confides in a member of staff, in relation to another member of staff’s actions, they should:
Procedure to follow allegation:
The University acknowledges that such allegations are highly sensitive and will ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the assessment and investigation process.
If the initial assessment reveals a need for further investigations then there may be up to three strands in the consideration of an allegation:
The University may also be requested to provide information and help agree how the social services team and/or the Police will undertake their enquiries.
 As per
Working together to safeguard children
All members of the University should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour when working with children. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.
Staff should avoid:
The University recognises that children who have been abused, or witness violence, may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth. They can feel helplessness, humiliation and a sense of blame. Brookes may provide the only stability in the
lives of some children and we will endeavour to support them by:
It is recognised that staff may need support after receiving a disclosure from a child and appropriate counselling will be offered by the University.
The definitions below are brief and reproduced from the government guidance ‘What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused’
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment – a person may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children and young people may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those
known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
is 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
is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause
severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person, age or developmentally
inappropriate expectations being imposed on children, causing children frequently to feel frightened, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Children who witness domestic violence, even if it is not directed at them, can also be affected in
this category. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may
include involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Sexual abuse can also include trafficking for sexual exploitation through physical coercion
is 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 basic emotional needs.
is the persistent, intentional harming of another person within an unequal power relationship. Bullying can be verbal, written or physical. Cyber-bullying is included within this and could be actions that use information and communication
technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
Department for Education and Skills (2006),
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused