Safeguarding and Prevent
Safeguarding the welfare of our pupils and providing a safe environment with robust systems to ensure the safety and healthy development of all our pupils within the academy and on related academy trips and other activities is our highest priority.
To ensure we achieve our objective we have the highest expectations that all staff, governors and volunteers working in or on behalf of UTC@MediaCityUK, identify children and young people who are suffering or likely to suffer abuse and take appropriate action with the aim of making sure they are kept safe both at home and in the Academy. The safeguarding policy provides a comprehensive guidance to all of our procedures and highlights key safeguarding issues, which include the Prevent strategy, cyber bullying, peer on peer abuse, FGM and Child sexual exploitation.
Please see below further guidance on key areas.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is recognised as a form of child sexual abuse and has become a great concern in society. At DAES we strive to support and educate our students about how to make positive choices and informed decisions in their relationships. It is imperative that each student understands the importance of protecting themselves from all potential forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.
At UTC@MEdiaCityUK our RSE Curriculum plays an important role in helping our students gain an understanding of acceptable and unacceptable relationships and sexual behaviour. As a school, we want our UTC@MEdiaCityUK students and families to be able to turn to us and practitioners for help and support from abuse and exploitation.
Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of communication technology like mobile phone text messages, social media apps, e-mails or websites. This can take many forms, for example:
- Sending threatening or abusive text/instant messages or e-mails, personally or anonymously.
- Making insulting comments about someone on website, social networking site (e.g. Facebook, Instagram and snapchat) or online (blog or YouTube).
- Making or sharing derogatory, inflammatory or embarrassing videos of someone via mobile phone or email such as (‘Happy Slapping’ videos or physical/verbal assaults).
Cyber bullying is a critical issue which can be harmful for the young person involved. It is important that parents and carers understand the way young people communicate with others, the potential risks and implications to online behaviour. It is vital that parents/carers and UTC@MEdiaCityUK work together to safeguard our students, to educate them on the dangers that come with being online and be aware of the repercussions that come with being involved in cyber bullying directly or on the periphery.
Sexting (sharing of nudes and semi-nudes)
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops – any device that allows you to share media and messages. Most young people today spent a lot of time on the online world and are comfortable with sharing their entire lives online. Young people can see sexting as risk-free and harmless but there are different types of risks which can be associated with sexting.
At UTC@MEdiaCityUK we believe that parent and child relationship is paramount to the safety of our students. Communication is the key and if you have any concerns about the safety of your child you should talk to someone about this.
Harmful Sexual Behaviour
Children’s sexual behaviour exists on a wide continuum, from normal and developmentally expected to inappropriate, problematic, abusive and violent. Problematic, abusive and violent sexual behaviour is developmentally inappropriate and may cause developmental damage. A useful umbrella term is “harmful sexual behaviour”. The term has been widely adopted in child protection and is used in this advice. Harmful sexual behaviour can occur online and/or offline and can also occur simultaneously between the two. Sexual behaviour between children can be considered harmful if one of the children is much older, particularly if there is more than two years’ difference or if one of the children is pre-pubescent and the other is not. However, a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them, for example, if the older child is disabled20 or smaller in stature.
Designated safeguarding leads at UTC@MEdiaCityUK (and their deputies) have a good understanding of harmful sexual behaviour and this forms part of our staff safeguarding training. We are passionate about planning preventative education, implementing preventative measures, drafting and implementing effective policies and incorporating the approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment into the whole school approach to safeguarding
Promoting British Values (Prevent Strategy)
Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
From 1st July 2015 specified authorities, including all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 in the exercise of their functions to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This means we have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism whilst protecting children from extremist and violent views.
This duty is known as the prevent duty. Indicators of extreme behaviour includes some of the following:
- Verbal comments-praising ISIS or Jihad: praising extreme figure heads (Hitler); discussing other religions in a disparaging way
- Peer actions-refusing to work with others owing to their religion/beliefs
- Personal beliefs- extreme views on foreign policy; claims they should fight for their people abroad
- Communications- the use of social media to publicise extreme views; drawing inflammatory images (swastikas)
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Protecting our young people from radicalisation has always been top of our agenda. The academy leadership team and Governing Body have robust strategies in place to protect our students and their families, and we are very happy to share these and discuss our approach with parents.
It is our responsibility to ensure that young people at UTC@MEdiaCityUK are not influenced by radicalisation but develop a deep understanding of the key positive values in British society. The guidance in our Promoting British Values policy aims to actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011.