Academic Action Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults at Risk Policy

Safeguarding Policy Overview

In our Safeguarding Policy, we outline our commitment to safeguarding children, young people, and adults at risk across the UK. We also describe our responsibilities and our procedures for implementing effective safeguarding practices.

Policy Purpose

This policy articulates AcademicAction's dedication to the safeguarding of children, young people, andvulnerable adults across the UK. It specifies the duties of Academic Action andthe methods for their effective implementation.

All employees, volunteers, andrepresentatives of Academic Action, including contractors and those onsecondment, must adhere to this policy. Safeguarding is a fundamentalresponsibility for everyone connected to our operations, ensuring that allindividuals are secure from harm.

Our safeguarding policy championswelfare, champions inclusivity, and maintains transparency, embedding a cultureof 'Safeguarding First.' Our procedures are founded on the robust framework ofUK legal standards and statutory guidance, which must be consistently followed.For details on the legislations and guidelines that inform our approach tosafeguarding, see the attached appendix.

Definition of Terms Used in This Policy

Academic Action refers to allbeneficiaries between the ages of twelve and thirty who engage with itsinitiatives as "Young People." This term encompasses both childrenand adults within the scope of our work.

Within this policy, a child isdefined as any individual under the age of eighteen years, aligning with theChildren Act 1989 and 2004.

An adult at risk is defined as aperson over the age of eighteen who requires care and support, and is unable toprotect themselves from abuse or neglect.

Safeguarding First

Academic Action is committed tofostering a 'Safeguarding First' culture. This ethos ensures that our primaryconcern is the protection and welfare of the children, young people, and adultsat risk we interact with, making Academic Action a secure environment forlearning and growth. It is everyone's duty to prioritize this and to activelysupport and uphold these standards in all our dealings.

A 'Safeguarding First' culturealso involves proactive responses to any concerns to ensure that allindividuals are safeguarded from all forms of abuse and harm. We engagedirectly with those we support, respecting their wishes and listening to theirviews, treating everyone with respect and recognising them as individuals.

 Our Safeguarding Commitment

Academic Action upholds that allindividuals it interacts with have the right to protection from harm, abuse,and exploitation. Our commitment to safeguarding children, young people, andadults at risk participating in our programmes is foundational and adheres tothese principles:

  • ·Safeguarding is a shared responsibility. Weacknowledge our obligation to protect those at risk and recognize theimportance of partnerships with other organizations in achieving this.
  • The safety and welfare of children, youngpeople, and adults at risk are paramount in all our activities.
  •  All safeguarding concerns and allegations ofabuse must be taken seriously, reported, and addressed appropriately, includingadherence to statutory safeguarding procedures and, when necessary, referral tostatutory agencies.

Putting Our Commitment intoPractice

Academic Action has implementedseveral measures to safeguard children, young people, and adults at riskparticipating in our programmes and activities. These measures include:

  • Recruitment and Selection Processes: Werigorously assess the suitability of colleagues, volunteers, and deliverypartners to ensure they can work safely with children, young people, and adultsat risk.
  • Employment Checks: All relevant colleagues andvolunteers must have current employment checks, such as DBS checks, appropriateto their role during their tenure with Academic Action.
  • Mandatory Safeguarding Induction: Every memberof our team and all volunteers undergo an essential safeguarding induction.
  • Safeguarding Training: We require all colleaguesand volunteers involved with Academic Action to complete mandatory safeguardingtraining. Those with additional safeguarding responsibilities receive morecomprehensive training.
  • Reporting Mechanism: We provide a clear,accessible reporting system that enables colleagues, volunteers, children,young people, and adults at risk to report safeguarding concerns or allegationsin line with legislation and statutory guidance.
  • Behavioural Guidance: All colleagues,volunteers, and representatives of Academic Action receive guidance on theexpected behaviour for any programme or activity involving children, youngpeople, and adults at risk, whether online or face-to-face.

This Safeguarding Policy issupported by the following organisational policies, procedures, and guidance:

  • Start Safe Code of Behaviour for Academic ActionColleagues and Volunteers.
  •  Code of Conduct
  • Safer Working - Disclosures and Handling Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Working with Young People Policy

Specific Roles within theSafeguarding Directorate

The Director of Safeguarding atAcademic Action is entrusted with setting the strategic direction forsafeguarding across the organisation. This role carries leadershipresponsibility for all safeguarding arrangements.

In addition to the organisationalroles, Academic Action’s Safeguarding Advisory Panel is composed ofindependent, external representatives with expertise in safeguarding. TheAdvisory Panel provides insight, challenge, and developmental support to AcademicAction regarding safeguarding.


Your Responsibilities

All colleagues, volunteers, andrepresentatives of Academic Action must support the organisation’s commitmentto creating safe and inclusive environments. This includes:

  • Supporting and Following Procedures: Adhering tothe procedures and processes in place to safeguard children, young people, andadults at risk from abuse, harm, and exploitation.
  • Completing Training: Completing mandatory androle-specific safeguarding training relevant to your position.
  • Acting in Best Interests: Always acting in thebest interests of children, young people, and adults at risk to ensure theirsafeguarding.
  • Reporting Concerns: Reporting any concernsinvolving a child, young person, or adult at risk, or the behaviour of anAcademic Action member or volunteer towards them, to the Safeguarding Team.
  • Consistent Behaviour: Ensuring your behaviouraligns with the Start Safe Code of Behaviour in any online or face-to-faceprogramme or activity with children, young people, and adults at risk.
  • Seeking Guidance: Seeking advice from theSafeguarding Team if unsure about what action to take, including sharinginformation about children, young people, and adults at risk to safeguard them.
  • Communicating Principles: Colleagues andvolunteers working directly with children, young people, and adults at riskmust communicate the main principles of this policy, including how to raiseconcerns.

Working with InternationalSchools and Universities

Academic Action’s safeguarding commitmentextends to all settings where our programmes, activities, and events takeplace, including our partnerships with a range of international schools anduniversities. In these partnerships, we ensure that:

  • Contractual Agreements: Agreements clearlyoutline safeguarding responsibilities and arrangements, including mechanismsfor reporting specific safeguarding concerns, incidents, and allegations backto Academic Action.
  • Due Diligence: There is a process of duediligence to assess the suitability of international schools and universitiesto provide effective safeguarding for children, young people, and adults atrisk. This includes evaluating their safer recruitment procedures, engagementwith Academic Action’s Start Safe Safeguarding Training, and processes forreporting and escalating safeguarding concerns and allegations.
  • Communication and Cooperation: Academic Actionactively communicates and cooperates with international schools anduniversities on our approach to protecting and promoting the safety andwellbeing of children, young people, and adults at risk.        

What to do if you are worriedabout a child or young person

Academic Action recognises thatwe work with individuals who may be involved in or at risk of various issues.:

The list is not exhaustive butdoes aim to give recognition to some of the common risks facing young people.

At the heart of this Policy isthe recognition that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. All colleaguestherefore have an individual responsibility to read, understand and adhere tothe requirements of the Policy and Start Safe – Our Code of Behaviour forworking with children and young people.

If you suspect, see, hear, orwitness a concern or incident, you MUST follow the Academic Action safeguardingreporting process as outlined below.

The following steps outline whatto do if you have concerns:

1.       Recognisethe Concern:

a.       If you are told that a child, young person,or adult at risk is being abused or is at risk of harm.

b.       Ifyou recognise signs and symptoms of abuse or are concerned for their welfare.

2.       ImmediateDanger:

a.       YES: If the child, young person, or adult atrisk (or someone else) is in immediate danger, call 999 and contact emergencyservices.

b.       NOor Unsure: Share information with the Safeguarding Team within one day. Contactthem at 020 7543 1212 or email

3.       FollowUp:

a.       Academic Action will share information withother agencies and make a referral to statutory agencies when there is asignificant risk of harm, a potential crime has been committed, or when it isin the interests of safeguarding.

b.       Iffeedback on any referral has not been received from statutory agencies withinfive working days, contact will be made by Academic Action to confirm thestatus of the referral.

4.       BehaviourConcerns:

a.       If there are concerns about the behaviour ofcolleagues or volunteers, information will be shared with the Local AuthorityDesignated Officer.

b.       Inother circumstances, the Safeguarding Team may share information with or referto statutory agencies.

c.       Concerns may also be reported to the CharityCommission in line with their safeguarding guidelines.



Whistleblowing and Escalation

Academic Action's Whistleblowing Policy outlines theorganisational management of suspected wrongdoing, including concerns about thebehaviour of a colleague or volunteer towards a child, young person, or adultat risk. It also details how to escalate a concern where the matter is serious,if your line manager has not addressed your concern, or if you prefer not toraise it with them for any reason.

Information Sharing

Effective information sharing is crucial for safeguardingchildren, young people, and adults at risk. Academic Action may shareinformation internally or externally with statutory and non-statutoryorganisations for safeguarding purposes.

Colleagues and volunteers must always share informationwith the Safeguarding Team regarding safeguarding concerns related to children,young people, and adults at risk interacting with Academic Action.Confidentiality should not hinder sharing information for safeguardingpurposes.

We apply the following principles to our informationsharing in relation to safeguarding, based on the Seven Golden Rules forInformation Sharing:

  1. LegalCompliance: The sharing of personal information for safeguarding purposes isconducted in accordance with our Data Protection Policy and our legalobligations. The GDPR and associated legislation enable appropriate informationsharing.
  2. Opennessand Honesty: Where possible and appropriate, we are transparent withindividuals and seek their consent regarding how and why their information maybe shared.
  3. SeekingAdvice: We seek advice on information sharing and can offer this internallythrough our Safeguarding Team and Data Protection Contacts.
  4. Consentand Judgement: We seek consent to share information where possible, recognisingthat there may be instances where a lack of consent will be overridden byAcademic Action staff based on the judgement of the case and safeguardingreasons.
  5. Safetyand Wellbeing: Information-sharing decisions are based on considerations of thesafety and wellbeing of the person involved and others who may be affected bytheir actions.
  6. Principlesof Sharing: Information shared is necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate,timely, and secure. It is shared only with those who need to know it, isaccurate and up-to-date, and is shared promptly and securely.
  7. RecordKeeping: We maintain records of decisions and the reasons behind them, whetherthe decision is to share information or not. We document what information hasbeen shared, with whom, and for what purpose.


Appendix 1

Key legislation, regulatory frameworks and statutoryguidance that inform our work.

Safeguarding Adults

England (and Wales, where applicable)

Care Act 2014 (+ S42 Safeguarding of the Care Act)

Data Protection Act 2018

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (The majority of the provisionsin the act apply to England and Wales, or England, only. The provisions in theact relate to devolved matters in Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Equality Act 2010

Health and Social Care Act 2012

Human Rights Act 1998

Mental Capacity Act 2005 (including Deprivation ofLiberty Safeguards [DoLS])

Mental Health Act 1983 (revision 2007)

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Sexual Offences Act 2003.


Care Standards Act 2000

Deprivation of Liberty Guidance (under Mental CapacityAct 2005)

Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and SexualViolence (Wales) 2015 Act

Working Together to Safeguard People.


Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016(came into force 2023)

Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

National Assistance Act 1948

NHS and Community Care Act 1990

OSCR | Safeguarding Guidance: Keeping VulnerableBeneficiaries Safe

Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011

Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Public Bodies (Joint working) (Scotland) Act 2014

Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013

Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.

Northern Ireland

Adult Safeguarding Policy for Northern Ireland ‘AdultSafeguarding: Prevention and Protection in Partnership

Cooperating to Safeguard Children and Young People inNorthern Ireland 2017

Health and Social Care Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NorthernIreland) Order 2003

Safeguarding Board Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

Safeguarding resources | The Charity Commission forNorthern Ireland

The Family Homes and Domestic Violence (Northern Ireland)Order 1998

The Human Trafficking & Exploitation (CriminalJustice & Support for

The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

The Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

The Public Interest Disclosure (Northern Ireland) Order1998.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland)Order 2007

The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008

Victims) Act (NI) 2015.

Safeguarding Children

England (and Wales, where applicable)

Adoption and Children Act 2002

Care Standards Act 2000

Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000

Children Act 1989

Children Act 2004

Children and families Act 2014

Children and Social Care National Framework 2023

Children and Social Work Act 2017

Children and Young Persons Act 2008

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 204, 2012

Education Act 2002

Equality Act 2010

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023

Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation 2016

Mental Health Act 1983, 2007

Online Safety Bill 2023

Revised Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2021

Safeguarding and Protecting People for Charities andTrustees, The Charity Commission

Serious Crime Act 2015

Sexual Offences Act 2003

Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2023


All Wales Practice Guides on Safeguarding Children (WalesSafeguarding Procedures Project Board, 2021)

Children Act 1989 (As of April 2016, Part 3 of the Act(which refers to support for children and families provided by localauthorities) has been replaced by Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being(Wales) Act 2014.)

Children Act 2004

Children’s rights in Wales (2019)

Children's Commissioner for Wales Guidance 2001

Online Safety Bill 2023

Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

Working Together to Safeguard People (statutory guidancein relation to Part 7 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014)


Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act2019

Children (Scotland) Act 2020

Children and Young People Act 2014

Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act2003

Domestic Abuse Act 2018

Family Law Act 2006

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) (ScottishGovernment, 2022)

Keeping The Promise Implementation Plan 2022

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2023

Online Safety Bill 2023

Protecting Children and Young People: Child ProtectionCommittee and Chief Officer Responsibilities (Scottish Government, 2019)

The Promise Action Plan 2021

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child(Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill 2021

Northern Ireland

Children and Young Peoples Strategy 2020-2030 (Departmentof Education 2021)

Children’s Services Co-operation Act (Northern Ireland)2015

Co-operating to Safeguard Children and Young People inNorthern Ireland, 2017

Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967

Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (NorthernIreland) 2021

Family Homes and Domestic Violence (Northern Ireland)Order 1998

Family Law Act 2001

Online Safety Bill 2023

Regional core child protection policies and proceduresfor Northern Ireland (Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland, 2018)

Safeguarding Board Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

The Commissioner for Children and Young People (NorthernIreland) Order 2003

Criminal Records Checks

England and Wales

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975 (Exceptions)

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Disclosureand Barring Service (under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012)


Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020Age of CriminalResponsibility Act (Scotland 2019)

Management of Offenders Act (Scotland 2019)

The Police Act and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups(Scotland) Act 2007 Remedial (No.2) Order 2015

Northern Ireland

Access N.I.

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Amendments No.2)Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

The Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1979            

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