Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment & Anti-Bullying Policies

Safeguarding Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • provide protection for the children and young people who attend equine assisted learning sessions or receive services at Horserenity CIC

  • provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.

Scope

This policy applies to all those connected with Horserenity CIC including senior managers, facilitators, assessors, verifiers, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers. For the purposes of this document the term ‘staff’ will mean anyone in any of these capacities working at Horserenity CIC.

Horserenity is committed to maintaining procedures and practices which safeguard and promote the well being of all its learners, by identifying and applying best practice within equine assisted learning and ensuring that the Safeguarding Policy complies with legislative requirements and government recommendations.

Designated Safeguarding Officers

The overall Designated Safeguarding Officer for Horserenity is: Sarah Vivian 07734 058783

Deputy Safeguarding Officer is: Daimon Adams

The Designated Safeguarding Officer is the first point of contact for concerns raised at the centre. If the centre’s Designated Safeguarding Officer is not available, then contact should be made with the deputy.

Definitions

In terms of this policy the following definitions apply.

Learner – means learners of Horserenity CIC who attend sessions.

Child – any learner below the age of 16.

Young Person - people aged 16 + .

Vulnerable Adult – may be a person who is unable to take care of himself or herself, or unable to protect himself or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation. It may be a person who has learning disabilities, suffers from mental illness, has physical _1 of _10 disability, is a substance mis-user, is homeless, is in an abusive relationship, becomes ill or otherwise vulnerable.

Safeguarding Policy Statement

Horserenity CIC recognises that it has a duty to safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults who attend equine assisted learning sessions and prevent any possible abuse and ensure the safety and security of all members of staff.

As part of our safeguarding practices, HorserenityCIC will:

  • Provide a safe environment for both learners and staff

  • Establish and maintain procedures and practices which minimise risks to learners and staff

  • Ensure that all learners are welcomed, respected and understand the arrangements to keep them safe

  • Ensure that learner complaints about safety are tackled effectively

  • Ensure that all learners and staff members are aware of their own responsibilities in respect of behaviour and working practices including internet safety

  • Ensure that all learners and staff members understand abuse, discrimination and bullying and know what to do it if occurs.

  • Provide information and educate learners about how to stay safe

  • Maintain recruitment and contracting practices which check the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and vulnerable learners

  • Provide training to maintain the awareness of all staff so that they recognise and react responsibly to apparent and potential instances of abuse or neglect of learners

  • Communicate and maintain procedures for identifying and reporting cases (or suspected cases) of abuse or potential for harm to learners

  • Review policy and procedures in relation to safeguarding and prepare an annual report

  • Liaise with external agencies to establish, maintain and coordinate procedures and arrangements for ensuring the safety of EAQ’s learners, keeping the welfare of the learner at the centre of any action taken.

Horserenity CIC is committed to working closely with all external agencies involved in safeguarding, with particular reference to Social Services and the Police.

Relevant Legislation

Horserenity CIC will operate in all safeguarding matters with reference and regard to current, relevant legislation including;

Working together to Safeguard Children DCSF 2018

Data Protection Act 2018

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2012

Education Act 2002 (section 175)

Children Act 2004 (2007) section 11

Disclosure and Barring Service Guidance (DBS)

Safeguarding Children & Safer Recruitment in Education DCSF 2010

Working together to Safeguard Children DCSF 2018

Care Quality Commission

Mental Health Act

Single Equality Act 2010

Every Child Matters

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

 

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Guidelines

It is the responsibility of everyone at Horserenity CIC to ensure the safety and well being of learners and to understand the procedure for handling concerns about the welfare of an individual learner as appropriate.

All facilitators and centre staff should be aware of the contents of both this Policy and accompanying procedures.

Horserenity CIC will:

  • operate a Safer Recruitment policy and ensure that all staff are trained in relation to the protection of children and adults at risk

  • operate a fair and transparent Admissions policy with clear procedures for identifying and working with applicants who potentially may pose a risk to others (i.e disclosed criminal convictions) or be considered vulnerable by the nature of any specific needs or individual circumstances

  • operate an effective Health and Safety policy which ensures, through monitoring and reporting, a safe learning and working environment

  • welcome learners at induction with clear messages about how to keep themselves safe whilst a learner at the centre

  • continue to promote messages about keeping safe and how to access support, throughout a learner’s journey

  • provide opportunities where learners can discuss concerns

  • offer opportunities which further develop the learners understanding of how to keep themselves safe in specific situations; in particular in the case of bullying, abuse and internet safety take all safeguarding concerns voiced by staff and learners seriously by encouraging referrals to be made to the safeguarding team and ensuring that appropriate and effective action is taken to see that learners are kept safe both in and wherever possible

  • ensure that there are consistent processes for recording and monitoring safeguarding concerns

  • take a holistic multi-agency partnership approach when considering a learners support and protection needs.

Definitions of abuse/neglect/harm

Horserenity CIC recognises the following definitions with regard to abuse, neglect and harm.

Physical Abuse – May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to someone they are looking after.

Emotional Abuse – Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child or vulnerable adult which could cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the person’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to the individual that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or only valued for what they can do for the abuser. Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children or vulnerable adults, causing the individual to frequently feel frightened, or the exploitation or corruption of children or vulnerable adults will also constitute emotional abuse. 

Sexual Abuse – means involving, forcing or enticing a child, young person or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities whether or not the individual is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact including penetration or non-penetrative acts. For example, it may also include involving the child, young person or vulnerable adult in looking at or being involved in the

production of pornographic material, watching sexual activities or encouraging the child or vulnerable adult to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.  Neglect – Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s or vulnerable adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, their basic emotional needs.

Psychological Abuse - This includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Financial or Material Abuse - This includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property, enduring power of attorney, or inheritance or financial transactions, or the inappropriate use, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and Acts of Omission - This includes ignoring or withholding medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition, clothing and heating 

Discriminatory Abuse - This includes racist, sexist, or other forms that are based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, or similar treatment.

Self Neglect - This is not a direct form of abuse but staff need to be aware of it in the general context of risk assessment/ risk management and to be aware that staff may owe a duty of care to a vulnerable individual who places him/herself at risk in this way.

Forced Marriage - The difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage is important to understand. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and many countries for a very long time. A clear distinction must be made between a forced and an arranged marriage.  In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in choosing the marriage partner but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the young people. In forced marriage, one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage or consent is extracted under duress. Duress includes both physical and emotional pressure. Forced marriage is illegal and there are clear Government guidelines on what to do if this is suspected.

Signs and Symptoms of possible child sexual exploitation (NSPCC guidance)

The following list of indicators is not exhaustive or definitive but it does highlight common signs which can assist professionals in identifying children or young people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.

Signs include:

  • underage sexual activity

  • inappropriate sexual or sexualised behaviour

  • sexually risky behaviour, 'swapping' sex

  • repeat sexually transmitted infections

  • in girls, repeat pregnancy, abortions, miscarriage

  • receiving unexplained gifts or gifts from unknown sources

  • having multiple mobile phones and worrying about losing contact via mobile

  • having unaffordable new things (clothes, mobile) or expensive habits

(alcohol, drugs)

  • changes in the way they dress

  • going to hotels or other unusual locations to meet friends

  • seen at known places of concern

  • moving around the country, appearing in new towns or cities, not knowing

where they are

  • getting in/out of different cars driven by unknown adults

  • having older boyfriends or girlfriends

  • contact with known perpetrators

  • involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or

situations

  • hanging out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other

vulnerable peers

  • associating with other young people involved in sexual exploitation

  • recruiting other young people to exploitative situations

  • truancy, exclusion, disengagement with school, opting out of education

altogether

  • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality (chaotic, aggressive,

sexual)

  • mood swings, volatile behaviour, emotional distress

  • self-harming, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, overdosing, eating disorders

  • drug or alcohol misuse

  • getting involved in crime

  • police involvement, police records

  • involved in gangs, gang fights, gang membership

  • injuries from physical assault, physical restraint, sexual assault.

These signs have been drawn from a range of research (Barnardo’s, 2011; CEOP, 2011; Berelowitz et al, 2012) and from our experience working with sexually exploited children and young people through the NSPCC's Protect and Respect service.  It is not the case that a set number of signs mean definitively that a child or young person is a victim of sexual exploitation. The more signs, however, the greater the risk of sexual exploitation.

The Prevent Agenda

Horserenity CIC understands its responsibilities in relation to the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, known as the Prevent duty.

We will

• Assess risk of pupils being radicalised and drawn into terrorism

• Know what to do to support those assessed as being at risk by referring any concerns to the MASH or for immediate response call the Anti Terror hotline on 0800 789321

• Work in partnership with other agencies

• Engage with parents/the family as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation. Assist and advise families who raise concerns and signpost to support. Discuss any concerns with parents unless this is thought to put the child at risk.

• Include Prevent in staff training to raise awareness

• Supervise access to IT to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet onsite

• British values should be promoted in the curriculum and on the web site

• Publicise the Educate against hate website to staff and parents (via the school web site) http://educateagainsthate.com/

Safeguarding learners

Learners will be advised about procedures in relation to safeguarding as part of their induction  and in the booking forms.  Learners will be advised about health and safety procedures to ensure that they know how to stay safe within the equine assisted learning environment Learners will be advised about keeping themselves safe on-line.

Safeguarding staff

Horserenity CIC will ensure that staff are trained to understand their responsibilities regarding the welfare and protection of all learners.

All staff will be trained appropriately with regards to safeguarding, child and vulnerable adult protection and renew this training at least every three years.

All new staff will be made aware of the Safeguarding Policy. This will be done through:

  • Facilitator Training Course for new facilitators

  • Induction procedure for non-facilitator staff

  • Centre Handbook

  • Specific training events.

Safeguarding Training and Continuing Professional Development

EAQ Director, Tricia Day, developed the specialist unit ‘Safeguarding in Equine Assisted Learning’ which has been accredited by OCNLR and is one of the six mandatory units in the nationally-regulated Level 4 Certificate in Facilitating Equine Assisted Learning.

All staff are expected to hold this unit or to have completed it within 12 months of their appointment.

Training will be updated at least every three years using online e-learning and face to face courses.

Supervision is an on-going requirement for facilitators and provides an opportunity for support and guidance on safeguarding matters.

EAQ Code of Conduct

The EAQ Code of Conduct expressly prohibits sexual relations between staff and learners, no matter what the age of the learner. Any breach of this will be treated as gross misconduct and reported to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

In the context of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, sexual relationships between a learner and any facilitator / centre owner who has the responsibility of care for a learner attending sessions at which they work are illegal if the student is under 18 years of age. Any such relationship between a student who is under 18 and any member of staff who provides supervision, care, teaching, learning support or instruction to learners or is otherwise in sole charge of learners will constitute gross misconduct by that member of staff which can result in dismissal. This may also be the case if a member of staff fails to disclose a relationship which has started either prior to their employment with EAQ or prior to the learner’s enrolment.

Where a member of staff ceases to work for EAQ and there are grounds for believing they may be unsuitable to work with children or may have committed misconduct, such cases will be reported to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Safer Recruitment

Horserenity CIC has a separate ‘Safer Recruitment Policy’ which includes: EAQ will ensure that all those wishing to work as facilitators or volunteers at centres or for those who have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. undergo an Enhanced DBS check before their appointment is confirmed. All job offers are made subject to satisfactory DBS checks, references and review of employment history.

 

EAQ also:

  • Requires documentary evidence of academic/vocational qualifications and the person's right to work in the UK

  • Reviews any gaps in employment history

  • Takes up references for all newly appointed staff.

Staff Responsibility for Safeguarding

The EAQ Managing Director has Responsibility for Safeguarding within the umbrella organisation.

Responsibilities include:

  • Promoting positive safeguarding procedures and practice

  • Raising awareness of safeguarding issues among their staff and learners

  • Providing advice and support to other staff on issues relating to safeguarding and child and vulnerable adult protection

  • Keep all staff and volunteers informed of good practice and developments

Individual Centre Owners have responsibility within their own centres including the above and:

  • Ensuring that parents of children, young people and vulnerable adults within the centres can view the Safeguarding Policy

  • Ensuring that all staff receive basic training in child and vulnerable adult protection and are aware of EAQ child and vulnerable adult protection procedures.

  • Maintaining a proper record of any child protection referral, complaint or concern (even where that concern does not lead to a referral)

  • Maintaining robust records of safeguarding incidents

  • Ensuring that they have a robust system for monitoring vulnerable students

  • Overseeing the referral of cases of suspected abuse on to Social Services and the Police

  • Liaising with the Local Authority, the relevant LSCB and other appropriate agencies.

Centre Owners will:

  • report any child or vulnerable adult concerns as and when they arise.

  • know how to make an appropriate referral

  • be available to provide advice and support to other staff on concerns relating to

child and vulnerable adult protection

  • be available to listen to the concerns of children, young people and vulnerable adults

  • make referrals, attend case conferences and review meetings as appropriate.

  • undertake training in child and vulnerable adult protection issues

  • ensure that all staff are aware of the local Safeguarding Boards for children and adults and how to report concerns to the Board.

Suspicions of abuse

If staff are suspicious that a learner is suffering abuse or at risk of significant harm, or staff have concern for the wellbeing of a learner but there is no disclosure by that learner, they should make their concerns known as soon as possible to the Centre Owner. If staff are uncertain about whether the information divulged constitutes abuse and require clarification, they should discuss the case with the Centre Owner.

The Centre Owner will listen carefully to the details of the disclosure as described by the member of staff, may ask questions and will make detailed notes of the conversation. They will assess whether the report constitutes a case for referral, and may seek to discuss concerns with a Social Worker before referring the case to a Social Worker or the Police. The Centre Owner will be the contact for any further liaison between these external agencies.

Where there is a clear case for concern about a learners wellbeing but the concern does not warrant a referral to outside agencies, the Centre Owner will work with the facilitators and other staff to help identify strategies for supporting the learner

Investigation

Staff should not undertake their own investigation; should not re-question the learner or young person or request more details and should not ask leading questions.

Confidentiality

Staff cannot make promises of confidentiality where abuse is disclosed.  Learners must be made aware at the outset of their course of the limitations on confidentiality. Staff will inform learners of their obligation under the safeguarding and child and vulnerable adult protection procedures to report allegations or suspicions of abuse to others.

As a general principle all staff accept that safeguarding the learner always outweighs any right of confidentiality or data protection.

Record Keeping

  • Staff should make accurate notes at the time of any allegation or suspicion. These should not be revisited, revised or put into neat copy for others. Original rough notes carry more ‘weight’ if a case comes to court.

  • Safeguarding concerns will be recorded and stored securely. Records will include actions taken and outcomes.

  • Handwritten notes should be kept secure and stored by Centres for 10 years.

Dealing with malicious or unfounded allegations

  • Staff are duty bound to take a learner’s concerns seriously and comply with set procedures.

Reporting and dealing with an allegation made against a member of staff

EAQ procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns apply to all staff, whether facilitating, assessing, verifying, administrative, management or support, as well as to volunteers, contractors and agency workers. The word ‘staff’ is used for ease of description.

Because of the nature of equine assisted learning and the facilitator’s contact with children and young people, staff may have allegations of child or vulnerable adult abuse made against them. The allegation may relate to a staff member who has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a child or vulnerable adult

  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or vulnerable adult

  • Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates that they may pose a risk of harm to children.

Horserenity CIC recognises that an allegation of child or vulnerable adult abuse made against a member of staff may be made for a variety of reasons and that the allegation may or may not be true. It is imperative that those dealing with an allegation maintain an open mind and that investigation is thorough and not subject to delay. This can be difficult as many facilitators work from their own home. The Children Act 2004 states that the welfare of the child is the paramount concern. It is also recognised that hasty or ill-informed decisions in connection with a member of staff can irreparably damage an individual’s reputation, confidence and career. Therefore, those dealing with such allegations within the organisation will do so with sensitivity and will act in a careful, measured way.

Receiving an allegation by a child, young person or vulnerable adult

A member of staff who receives an allegation about another member of staff from a child, young person or vulnerable adult should follow the guidelines about care and support of
the discloser but adopt the following procedure for reporting:

 

  • The allegation should be reported immediately to the Centre Owner; unless the Centre Owner is the person against whom the allegation is made, in which case the report should be made to the Deputy Safeguarding Officer.

  • The staff member who received the allegation should not discuss the allegation or referral with any other staff member unless requested to as part of an investigation.

  • The Centre Owner (or EAQ if relevant) will, within one working day of the allegation being made, inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and seek advice with regards to investigation and recommended action.

If, as a result of an investigation Horserenity CIC removes a staff member or volunteer from their post (or would have done had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, then a referral will be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Associated Policies

The Safeguarding Policy needs to be read in conjunction with other policies and procedures including:

  • Child Protection Policy

  • Confidentiality Policy

  • Data Protection Policy

  • Equality and Diversity

  • Escalation Policy

  • Health and Safety Policy

  • Internet Safety Policy

  • Risk Assessment Procedure

  • Acceptable Use Policy

  • Code of Conduct

  • Complaints procedure

  • Safer Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy

  • Admissions Policy

  • Teaching and Learning Policy

  • Public Disclosure Policy

Contacts

Dorset Safeguarding Children’s Board https://www.dorsetlscb.co.uk

Bournemouth and Poole Local Safeguarding Children’s Board

Documents and Procedures for Dorset

http://pandorsetscb.proceduresonline.com/chapters/document_lib.html?zoom_highlight=record+keeping

Bournemouth MASH 01202 458101 or MASH@bournemouth.gov.uk

Poole MASH: 01202 735046 or childreferrals@poole.gov.uk

Director’s Signature: Sarah Vivian

Adopted on: 20th March 2011

Last reviewed on: 17th Feb 2020

Next Review date: 17th Feb 2021

Safer recruitment policy

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aims of the Safer Recruitment policy are to help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse pupils or are otherwise unsuited to working with them by having appropriate procedures for appointing staff.  

The aims of Horserenity CIC’s recruitment policy are as follows:

  • to ensure that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability for the position;

  • to ensure that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently;

  • to ensure that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age;

  • to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance including the statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE), Keeping Children Safe in Education - September 2018 (KCSIE),  the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2015 (the Prevent Duty Guidance) and any guidance or code of practice published by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS); and

  • to ensure that we meet our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.

Employees involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the provisions of this policy.

We have a principle of open competition in its approach to recruitment and will seek to recruit the best applicant for the job.  The recruitment and selection process should ensure the identification of the person best suited to the job at the school based on the applicant’s abilities, qualification, experience and merit as measured against the job description and person specification.

The recruitment and selection of staff will be conducted in a professional, timely and responsive manner and in compliance with current employment legislation, and relevant safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance (including KCSIE 2016 and Prevent Duty Guidance).

If a member of staff involved in the recruitment process has a close personal or familial relationship with an applicant they must declare it as soon as they are aware of the individual’s application and avoid any involvement in the recruitment and selection decision-making process.

 

Horserenity aims to operate this procedure consistently and thoroughly while obtaining, collating, analysing and evaluating information from and about applicants applying for job vacancies at Horserenity.

 

 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

It is the responsibility of the Directors to:

  • ensure the Horserenity has effective policies and procedures in place for recruitment of all staff and volunteers in accordance with DfE and EAQ guidance and legal requirements

  • monitor our compliance with them.

It is the responsibility of the Directors that are involved in recruitment to:

  • ensure that the we operate safe recruitment procedures and makes sure all appropriate checks are carried out on all staff and volunteers who work at the Horserenity.

  • monitor contractors’ and agencies’ compliance with this document

  • promote welfare of children and young people at every stage of the procedure.

The Directors have delegated responsibility to the Sarah Vivian to lead in all appointments.  

 

Definition of Regulated Activity and Frequency

Any position undertaken at, or on behalf of the Horserenity will amount to "regulated activity" if it is carried out:

  • frequently, meaning once a week or more; or

  • overnight, meaning between 2.00 am and 6.00 am; or

  • satisfies the "period condition", meaning four times or more in a 30 day period; and

  • provides the opportunity for contact with children.

Roles which are carried out on an unpaid / voluntary basis will only amount to regulated activity if, in addition to the above, they are carried out on an unsupervised basis.

Horserenity is not permitted to check the Children's Barred List unless an individual will be engaging in "regulated activity".  We are required to carry out an enhanced DBS check for all staff, freelancers and volunteers who will be engaging in regulated activity.  However, we can also carry out an enhanced DBS check on a person who would be carrying out regulated activity but for the fact that they do not carry out their duties frequently enough i.e. roles which would amount to regulated activity if carried out more frequently.

 

RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURE

 

Application Forms
Horserenity uses its own application form and all applicants for employment will be required to complete an application form containing questions about their academic and full employment history and their suitability for the role (in addition all applicants are required to account for any gaps or discrepancies in employment history).  Incomplete application forms will not be shortlisted.

The application form will include the applicant’s declaration regarding convictions and working with children, and will make it clear that the post is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  CVs will not be accepted.

It is unlawful for Horserenity to employ anyone who is barred from working with children.  It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to apply for a position with us.  All applicants will be made aware that providing false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected, and referral to the police and/or the DBS. 
 

Job Descriptions and Person Specifications
A job description is a key document in the recruitment process, and must be finalised prior to taking any other steps in the recruitment process.  It will clearly and accurately set out the duties and responsibilities of the job role.

The person specification is of equal importance and informs the selection decision.  It details the skills, experience, abilities and expertise that are required to do the job.   The person specification will include a specific reference to suitability to work with children in a boarding environment.

References
References for shortlisted applicants will be sent for immediately after shortlisting.  The only exception is where an applicant has indicated on their application form that they do not wish their current employer to be contacted at that stage.  In such cases, this reference will be taken up immediately after interview. 

All offers of employment will be subject to the receipt of a minimum of two references which are considered satisfactory by the Directors.  One of the references must be from the applicant's current or most recent employer.  If the current / most recent employment does / did not involve work with children, then the second reference should be from the employer with whom the applicant most recently worked with children.  The referee should not be a relative.  References will always be sought and obtained directly from the referee and their purpose is to provide objective and factual information to support appointment decisions.  

All referees will be asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the job for which they have applied and whether they have any reason to believe that the applicant is unsuitable to work with children.  Referees will also be asked to confirm that the applicant has not been radicalised so that they do not support terrorism or any form of "extremism".

Please note that no questions will be asked about health or medical fitness prior to any offer of employment being made.

Any discrepancies or anomalies will be followed up.  Direct contact by phone will be undertaken with each referee to verify the reference.  

Horserenity does not accept open references, testimonials or references from relatives.

Interviews
There will be a face-to-face interview wherever possible, and a minimum of two interviewers will see the applicants for the vacant position.  The interview process will explore the applicant’s ability to carry out the job description and meet the person specification.  It will enable us to explore any anomalies or gaps have been identified in order to satisfy themselves that the chosen applicant can meet the safeguarding criteria (in line with Safer Recruitment Training).

Any information in regard to past disciplinary action or allegations, cautions or convictions will be discussed and considered in the circumstance of the individual case during the interview process, if it has not been disclosed on the application form.  

At least one member of any interviewing panel will have undertaken Safer Recruitment Training or refresher training as applicable.

All applicants who are invited to an interview will be required to bring evidence of their identity, address and qualifications.  Original document will only be accepted and photocopies will be taken.  Unsuccessful applicant documents will be destroyed six months after the recruitment programme.

 

OFFER OF APPOINTMENT AND NEW EMPLOYEE PROCESS
 

In accordance with the recommendations set out in KCSIE and the requirements of the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, Horserenity carries out a number of pre-employment checks in respect of all prospective employees.

If it is decided to make an offer of employment following the formal interview, any such offer will be conditional on the following:

  • the agreement of a mutually acceptable start date and the signing of a contract incorporating the our standard terms and conditions of employment;

  • verification of the applicant's identity (where that has not previously been verified);

  • the receipt of two references (one of which must be from the applicant's most recent employer) which we consider to be satisfactory;

  • for positions which involve "facilitation":
         i.    Horserenity being satisfied that the applicant is not, and has never been, the subject of a sanction, restriction or prohibition which renders the applicant unsuitable to work at the School; and
         ii.    Horserenity being satisfied that the applicant is not, and has never been, the subject of any proceedings before a professional conduct panel or equivalent body in the UK or any other country for any reason which prevents the applicant working at Horserenity or renders the applicant unsuitable to work on site;

  • where the position amounts to "regulated activity" the receipt of an enhanced disclosure from the DBS which the Directors consider to be satisfactory;

  • where the position amounts to "regulated activity" confirmation that the applicant is not named on the Children's Barred List*;

  • confirmation that the applicant is not subject to a direction under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 which prohibits, disqualifies or restricts them from providing education at an alternative provision, facilitation, or working in a position which involves regular contact with children;;

  • verification of the applicant's medical fitness for the role;

  • verification of the applicant's right to work in the UK;

  • any further checks which are necessary as a result of the applicant having lived or worked outside of the UK; and

  • verification of professional qualifications which the Directors deem a requirement for the post, or which the applicant otherwise cites in support of their application (where they have not been previously verified).

Horserenity is required to carry out an enhanced DBS check for all staff, supply staff and governors who will be engaging in regulated activity.  However, we can also carry out an enhanced DBS check on a person who would be carrying out regulated activity but for the fact that they do not carry out their duties frequently enough i.e. roles which would amount to regulated activity if carried out more frequently.

Whether a position amounts to "regulated activity" must therefore be considered by Horesrenity CIC in order to decide which checks are appropriate.  It is however likely that in nearly all cases we will be able to carry out an enhanced DBS check and a Children's Barred List check.

A personal file checklist will be used to track and audit paperwork obtained in accordance with Safer Recruitment Training.  The checklist will be retained on personal files.  

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply to positions which involve working with, or having access to pupils.  Therefore, any convictions and cautions that would normally be considered ‘SPENT’ must be declared when applying for any position at Horserenity.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Certificate (formerly known as CRB Disclosure)
Horserenity applies for an enhanced disclosure from the DBS and a check of the Children's Barred List (now known as an Enhanced Check for Regulated Activity) in respect of all positions on site which amount to "regulated activity" as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (as amended).  The purpose of carrying out an Enhanced Check for Regulated Activity is to identify whether an applicant is barred from working with children by inclusion on the Children's Barred List and to obtain other relevant suitability information.  

It is the our policy that the DBS disclosure must be obtained before the commencement of employment of any new employee.

It is Horserenity CIC’s policy to re-check employee’s DBS Certificates every three years and in addition any employee that takes leave for more than three months (ie: maternity leave, career break etc) must be re-checked before they return back to work.

DBS checks will still be requested for applicants with recent periods of overseas residence and those with little or no previous UK residence.  

Portability of DBS Certificates Checks
Staff may wish to join the DBS Update Service if they are likely to require another check in the future.  Applicants may sign up to the Service if their check was issued after 17 June 2013, for a fee of £13 per annum, which is payable by the applicant.    

DBS Certificate
The DBS no longer issue Disclosure Certificates to employers, therefore employees/applicants should bring their Certificate to Sarah Vivian (for employees within 7 days of issue or applicants before they commence work or any project involving regulated activity).  

Dealing with convictions
The School operates a formal procedure if a DBS Certificate is returned with details of convictions.  Consideration will be given to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and also: 

  • the nature, seriousness and relevance of the offence; 

  • how long ago the offence occurred;  

  • one-off or history of offences; 

  • changes in circumstances, 

  • decriminalisation and remorse.  

A formal meeting will take place face-to-face to establish the facts with the Sarah Vivian.   A decision will be made following this meeting. In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a disclosure check, the Sarah Vivian will evaluate all of the risk factors above before a position is offered or confirmed.

If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a disclosure, they may do so by contacting the DBS.  In cases where the applicant would otherwise be offered a position were it not for the disputed information, the Directors may, where practicable and at its discretion, defer a final decision about the appointment until the applicant has had a reasonable opportunity to challenge the disclosure information.

Secretary of State Prohibition Orders (Teaching & Management roles)
In all cases where an applicant is to undertake a teaching role of any kind, a Prohibition Order check will be made using the Employer Access Online Service. It is anticipated that this will be performed at offer stage. A person who is prohibited from contact with children must not be appointed to work as a facilitator in such a setting.

 

Proof of identity, Right to Work in the UK & Verification of Qualifications and/or professional status  
All applicants invited to attend an interview at Horserenity will be required to bring their identification documentation such as passport, birth certificate, driving licence etc. with them as proof of identity/eligibility to work in UK in accordance with those set out in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and DBS identity checking guidelines. Horserenity does not discriminate on the grounds of age.

Where an applicant claims to have changed their name by deed poll or any other means (e.g. marriage, adoption, statutory declaration) they will be required to provide documentary evidence of the change.

In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have actually obtained any academic or vocational qualification legally required for the position and claimed in their application form.

Overseas checks
Horserenity, in accordance with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will, if applicable, sponsor new foreign nationals (see Certificate of Sponsorship section).  

In addition, applicants who have lived/travelled abroad for more than 3 months will need to obtain a criminal records check from the relevant country The applicant will not be permitted to commence work until the overseas information has been received and is considered satisfactory by the Directors.

 

Reviewed February 2020

Next review February 2021

Anti-Bullying Policy

Horserenity CIC is completely opposed to bullying. It is contrary to the values and principles we work and live by. All learners no matter what their age or ability have a right to a safe, secure and caring environment. They also have a responsibility to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the protection and maintenance of such an environment.

We believe that:

  • everyone has a right to learn free from intimidation and fear 


  • reported incidents will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. 


  • Definition of Bullying

Bullying is an act of aggression, causing embarrassment, pain or discomfort to someone. It can take a number of forms; physical, verbal, making gestures, extortion and exclusion. It is an abuse of power. It can be planned and organised, or it may unintentional. It may be perpetrated by individuals or by groups and can happen to any learner at any age. 


  • Forms of Bullying 
• Physical violence such as hitting, pushing or spitting at another learner
• Interfering with another learner’s property, by stealing, hiding or damaging it
• Using offensive names when addressing another learner
• Teasing or spreading rumours about another learner or his/her family
• Belittling another learner’s abilities and achievements
• Writing offensive notes or graffiti about another learner
• Excluding another learner from a group activity
• Ridiculing another learner’s appearance, way of speaking or personal mannerisms • Misusing technology (internet or mobiles) to hurt or humiliate another person. 
This policy needs to be read in conjunction with:
 
• Safeguarding
• Child Protection
• Behaviour Policy
• Internet and Online Safety Policy. 


  • Responsibilities
Staff have a responsibility to:
• Foster in our learners self-esteem, self-respect and respect for others 


  • Demonstrate by example the high standards of personal and social behaviour we 
 
expect of our learners 


  • Discuss bullying when appropriate so that every learner learns about the damage it 
 
causes to both the child who is bullied and to the bully and the importance of 
 
telling a member of staff about bullying when it happens 


  • Be alert to signs of distress and other possible indications of bullying 


  • Listen to children who have been bullied, take what they say seriously and act to 
 
support and protect them 


  • Report suspected cases of bullying to the Centre’s Child Protection Officer 


  • Follow up any complaint by a parent about bullying, and report back promptly 
 
and fully on the action which has been taken. 


  • Deal with observed instances of bullying promptly and effectively, in accordance 
 
with agreed procedures. 


Learners have a responsibility to:

  • Refrain from becoming involved in any kind of bullying, even at the risk of 
 incurring temporary unpopularity 


  • Intervene to protect the learner who is being bullied, unless it is unsafe to do so 


  • Report to a member of staff any witnessed or suspected instances of bullying, to 
 
dispel any climate of secrecy and help to prevent further instances. 
Anyone who becomes the target of bullies should: 
Not suffer in silence, but have the courage to speak out, to put an end to their own suffering and that of other potential targets. 


  • Parents / Carers have a responsibility to: 


  • Watch for signs of distress or unusual behaviour in their children, which might 
 be evidence of bullying. 


  • Advise their children to report any bullying and explain the implications of 
 allowing the bullying to continue unchecked, for themselves and for other learners. 


  • Advise their children not to retaliate violently to any forms of bullying. 


  • Be sympathetic and supportive towards their children, reassuring them 
 
that appropriate action will be taken; 


  • Keep a written record of any reported instances of bullying 


  • Inform the centre of any suspected bullying, even if their children are not involved 


  • Co-operate with the centre, if their children are accused of bullying, try to ascertain the truth 
and point out the implications of bullying, both for the children who are bullied and for the bullies themselves. 
 


  • Prevention 
The close supervision of learners which is necessary within an equine assisted learning environment means that bullying is unlikely to occur during sessions. 


  • Disclosure 
Learners often disclose incidents of bullying during their sessions. When this happens, the member of staff should:
• support and respond to the needs of the learner
• decide on what action is required 
• record the disclosure in the learner notes
• contact parents / carers / school of all learners concerned • feedback to all concerned
• contact relevant professionals as necessary.


  • 
Continuous Professional Development 
Staff will be encouraged to take part in continuing professional development to ensure that they understand how to recognise and deal with bullying. 


  • Monitoring and Review 
reviewed annually – next review Feb 2021. 


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