Safeguarding: keeping our students safe

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Student Services - 8-11-19 Lincoln Uni 283

Safeguarding is the overarching term used to describe the protection of the health, wellbeing and human rights of individuals.

The University of Lincoln is committed to ensuring students have an environment where they can work, study and live safely.  We work together, alongside our partners to provide the highest levels of safety and wellbeing.

Our responsibility for safeguarding applies to all enrolled students, and extends to apprentices, including both in and out of their workplace, students who are on placements or visits away from the Campus, and visitors.

The dedicated Safeguarding Team promote and implement the Safeguarding Policy, ensuring it is reviewed regularly and acted upon accordingly. In addition, all University staff are trained in safeguarding and have access to additional information, advice, guidance and training. The Safeguarding Team can also be contacted by any member of staff who may have questions or concerns regarding the safeguarding and wellbeing of their students.

Students, including apprentices, are made aware of the support services and can contact them to discuss any concerns or support requirements. All information, advice and guidance are confidential, however referrals to external agencies may be required where there is a safeguarding concern.

Many areas are considered to fall under the definition of safeguarding, including:

  • Abuse (emotional and physical)
  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Forced Marriage
  • Mental Health
  • Neglect and self-harm
  • Radicalisation and extremism

For a full description of the definition of safeguarding, please read the University of Lincoln Safeguarding Policy which can be found here: https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/academic-policies/

The University’s Role

  • The University has a responsibility to ensure all staff are aware of their safeguarding obligations, through training and guidance
  • The University will ensure all students have an awareness of safeguarding and how to access support services
  • Where staff are working with children or vulnerable adults, they will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring check
  • Everyone working with students will have an understanding that students may act differently depending on their environment, and therefore may feel more confident and comfortable discussing sensitive issues with different people
  • The University will work proactively to identify and support vulnerable students
  • The University will work with external partners and agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their students
  • Where a student has chosen to study with the University as part of an apprenticeship programme, the University also will ensure employers are aware of their safeguarding obligations
  • Employers and staff who are working together to deliver the apprenticeship programme will maintain open channels of communication

Full details of the University of Lincoln Safeguarding and other Academic and Student Policies, please click here: https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/academic-policies/

The Student’s role

  • All enrolled students have full access to University support services which includes the Student Wellbeing and Support Teams
  • Students are actively encouraged to access support, information, and advice throughout their time at the University
  • All students have access to the University Regulations, policies and processes which includes the standards of behaviour expected and consequences should these expectations not be met (https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/academic-policies/)
  • The University will respond to information disclosed by students and those who wish to seek support must ensure the appropriate members of staff or teams are made aware of their circumstances
  • Students can report concerns regarding other student’s behaviours or risks and can, where appropriate, be offered anonymity

Information regarding the types of support available can be found on the Student Services website.

The Employer’s role

Where a student has chosen to study with the University as part of an apprenticeship programme, the employer is expected to ensure:

  • They are familiar with relevant government legislation
  • Appropriate steps are taken to understand what safeguarding means and how it applies to their organisation and the people they employ
  • Staff working with apprentices in a position of trust are appropriate for the role and do not present any danger or threat
  • All staff who work with children or the vulnerable, they will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring check
  • There is a member of staff to coordinate safeguarding across the organisation, where possible
  • They communicate with the University where they have identified a student at risk

Prevent is about safeguarding and supporting those who are vulnerable to radicalisation and is one of the four elements of CONTEST which is the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.  It aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting acts of terrorism and extremism, both violent and non-violent.

The University has a legal duty to respond to any concerns raised that suggest a student, member of staff or visitor has been influenced by extremist ideologies and radicalised.

The Safeguarding Policy and all safeguarding processes include Prevent, and the Safeguarding Team are regularly updated on local, national, and international concerns.

The promotion of British values is an important part of the Prevent Duty. These are the norms that shape our society and are enshrined in UK law through legislation such as the Equality Act 2010. British values are described as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.  British values underpin the rules and regulations, policies and processes of the University and are represented in our One Community Values.

The University’s Role

  • To provide relevant training for all members of staff ensuring they have a clear understanding of the University’s obligations and how to manage and report risks and concerns
  • To ensure there are clear procedures in place so any concerns can be dealt with effectively and efficiently
  • To actively promote British values through the One Community Values and ethos, ensuring all programmes of study and life at University represent our Values and commitment to equality, understanding, listening, kindness and acceptance
  • Creating opportunities for students to explore British Values through the One Community Values, and how they influence society and our community, encouraging students to express their views in a non-extremist manner that encourages respectful free speech
  • To provide a contact for further information regarding the Prevent Duty
  • To ensure external speakers support the University’s commitment to equality, understanding, listening, kindness and acceptance

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/abouttheuniversity/onecommunity/

The Student’s role 

  • To understand that all students who enrol at the University are governed by the University’s Regulations which includes the Student Conduct and Disciplinary process (https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/university-regulations/)
  • To report any concerns regarding incidences of behaviour that does not uphold the One Community values
  • To report any concerns regarding information, both off and online that promotes acts of terrorism and extremism, both violent and non-violent
  • To engage in any training or information offered by the University relating to Prevent
  • To seek support should they have any concerns regarding themselves or others

Information regarding the types of support available can be found on the Student Services website.

The Employer’s Role

Where a student has chosen to study with the University as part of an apprenticeship programme, the employer is expected to ensure:

  • They demonstrate a commitment to the principles that underpin the Prevent Duty
  • Seek specialist support if concerns are raised
  • Keep the University appraised of any situations that may arise
  • Adhere to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010
  • Demonstrate a commitment to British values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

 

The University also has a commitment to ensure students know how to keep themselves safe, in order to develop a critical mindset which helps them examine and appraise information and situations both on and offline, ensuring safety, validity and authenticity.

The University provides specialist advice and support to students who experience any of the following, both on or offline, in Lincoln, at their place of work or other communities they may be part of:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Bullying, harassment and hate,
  • Mental health concerns,
  • Alcohol and substance misuse
  • Bereavement
  • Debt and financial hardship
  • All forms of abuse, both current and historic
  • Grooming

Student Services have created a webpage with all the latest advice, guidance and resources for students’ personal safety.  Students will be able to find information about external agencies that can also offer support, and apps that will help them to feel and be safe.

The University has information sharing agreements with many external partners, including the police which means students receive a seamless multi-agency service where necessary. Please visit the Student Services website for more information.

Furthermore, the University ICT department has developed a webpage highlighting ways for students to keep their information secure, offering advice, information and training on topics such as scams, creating passwords and anti-virus software.

Students and staff should all be aware of the University polices and processes, including the Safeguarding Policy and University Regulations.  There are specific policies which include:

  • Safeguarding
  • Student anti-bullying and harassment
  • Mental Health
  • Social media
  • Gender based violence
  • Personal relationships

A full list of policies can be found here.

Students can access support confidentially regarding the policies by emailing the Student Support Centre (studentsupport@lincoln.ac.uk).  A member of the team will arrange an appointment to discuss and advise accordingly.

Students and staff can also report incidents of sexual misconduct using the online confidential reporting tools which can be found on the Student Services webpage. The Student Wellbeing Team include fully trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers who can support and advise students who have experienced current and/or historic sexual misconduct, both on and offline.

Incidences of hate can be reported to the Student Support and Advice Team who work closely with external agencies to support students and can also support a student to make a formal report to the Police or the University. More information can be found on the website.

Additional information can be found on the Student Services website regarding external agencies and partners who work with the University.  Students and staff can report directly to any agency or partner which includes the Police and Social Services.

The Safeguarding Team can also be contacted directly:

The Safeguarding Team:

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Jacqueline Mayer, Deputy Academic Registrar

Deputy: Julie Spencer, Head of Student Wellbeing

Deputy (with additional responsibility for apprentices) Rebecca Courtaux, Head of Student Support

Safeguarding contact details: studentwellbeing@lincoln.ac.uk 01522 886400 (Student Wellbeing) studentsupport@lincoln.ac.uk 01522 837080 (Student Support)

All Student Services staff are trained in safeguarding and will direct queries appropriately.

Full contact details can be found in the Safeguarding Policy https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/academic-policies/ or Staff Directory https://staff.lincoln.ac.uk/

All students and scenarios are different, with some students choosing to make a clear disclosure and others indicating to those around them that something is ‘not right’.

Staff have received training and have access to the safeguarding policy, however there may be times when they require additional information in order to support a student effectively.  It is important that staff reach out to the Safeguarding Team or members of the wider Student Services Team for advice, guidance and support.

Safeguarding is proactive which means all staff should be alert to the characteristics or warning signs of abuse, and they should provide students with safe opportunities to disclose and information regarding the support and reporting processes.

https://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/academic-policies/

Warning signs of abuse:

Despite the offer and availability of support at the University, some students may choose not to share or disclose information.  This is their right and they should not be coerced into providing information.

  • Unplanned absence: missing work or lectures, or a change to their attendance pattern
  • Changes in appearance
  • Changes in behaviour or character: being louder or quieter than usual, or being aggressive or withdrawn
  • Changes in emotional health: crying, anxious or low mood
  • Increase in alcohol consumption
  • Substance use or misuse
  • Physical injuries
  • Poor self-care
  • Signs or talk of self-harm
  • Withdrawing from activities: not willing to switch their camera on during online activity, reluctance to go online
  • Change in friendship groups: spending all their time with online friends and not mixing with peers or staff
  • Comments which indicate extreme or prejudicial views

If staff are concerned, they are encouraged to seek advice and guidance from Student Services or the Safeguarding Team.

https://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/service-information/

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