`In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)1, 1989, under the Policy a child is defined as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday. Although the national laws in countries that we work in may have different ages at which a child is considered an adult, or at which a child can give consent or is responsible, we use the definition of a child according to international law as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.`
Our principles and values when safeguarding children:
- Best interests of the child are paramount and shall be the primary consideration in our decision making.
- Respect for children’s rights, including the right to protection and the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.
- Equality of opportunity to ensure that all children can enjoy our activities safely regardless of their gender, ability, race, ethnicity, circumstances or age. Vulnerable children require particular attention in order to optimise their safety and protection and promote their access to opportunities.
- Consultation with children and their families regarding the implementation of the Policy and procedures developed to support its implementation.
- Cultural sensitivity and recognition of local context in decision making and in informing our procedures.
- Accountability and being responsible in order to meet our obligations regarding our duty of care towards children and acting where we believe that a child is at risk or has been harmed.
- Working in an honest and transparent way by informing those we work with, including children, about our Safeguarding Policy, and explaining how we work to safeguard children.
- Ensuring confidentiality to protect sensitive personal data. Information will only be shared and handled on a need to know basis - access to information must be necessary solely for the conduct of official duties.
- Working together to safeguard children both across the British Council and with other organisations. This includes law enforcement and specialist child welfare agencies where necessary.
The British Council is committed to:
- valuing, respecting, and listening to children and adults, maintaining confidentiality, and acting proportionately
- maintaining strong protection systems, procedures and minimising and managing situations where abuse could occur through planning, risk assessment and safeguarding systems
- sharing safeguarding best practice and information regarding safeguarding concerns with relevant parties and involving children and adults where appropriate
- actively investigating suspected abuse
- look after your child from when they arrive until the class is over and they have left the premises.
- only let your child go home alone if you have told us they can (if they are 11 years old or older).
- only let your child go home with the people you have told us about.
- speak to you if your child has hurt him/herself.
We’d like you to:
- Bring and collect your child on time.
- Complete the Permission to leave form to tell us who will be collecting your child (you can name three ‘designated guardians’)
- If your child is younger than 11 years old, you can name three ‘designated guardians’, who will collect them
- Let us know if your child will be absent for one or more lessons.
Rules for parents and students
As part of our Child Protection policy parents should observe the following rules in any of our locations:
- parents are not allowed to enter a classroom where there are children unless there is a teacher present and they have invited you in.
- parents are not to reprimand any children who are not their own. If you have a complaint against another child this must be reported to management.
- according to the British Council Safeguarding policy parents or guardians are obliged to collect children under 11 y.o. from the classroom.
- if your child is to be regularly collected by a driver or a third party you must state so in the ‘permission to leave the building’ form.
- if your child needs to leave classes early the British Council must be informed in writing before the class. In exceptional cases this may be approved by a phone call to our customer service team followed by a written note from parents.
- parents are forbidden from providing their children with self-defence weapons.
- do not run or make a lot of noise in the corridors.
- do leave your coats in the cloakroom.
- do not eat in the classrooms or corridors.
- do not film or take pictures of children in the classrooms.
- do speak to one of our friendly floor supervisors if you need help.
- please bring your child no earlier than 15 mins before their lesson starts. Our assistants will meet students and guide them to their classrooms. In line with Government regulations during the pandemic, parents and accompanying persons will not be permitted into the premises unless invited in for a specific appointment or are attending their own classes.
- to collect your child, if she/he is under 11 y.o., after the class, please be ready to show your passport/driver`s license/an other ID to our assistant at the front door. Our assistants will bring students from their classrooms.
Permission to leave the building
We ensure that children are adequately supervised when they are in our care and that they are returned to their primary carers after lessons if they are under 11 years old.
If you child is under 11 years-old:
- You should complete a form to tell us the names and contact details of three ‘authorised guardians’ who you give permission to collect your child from lessons.
- At the end of lessons, we will ask the ‘authorised guardian’ to come up to the front door and show the teacher (or member of our staff) some photo ID before they collect the child.
- If no ID is produced, we will phone to verify the identity of the person who is there to collect the child before we allow the child to leave our care. Please remember that we do not provide supervision or childcare services beyond class times and pick up your child on time.
If your child is 11 years old or older:
- Your child can leave the building alone.
- You may choose the procedures for children under 11 if you would not like your child to leave unsupervised.
Positive discipline policy
The majority of our young learner students are responsible, well-behaved and help us to maintain a positive learning environment in lessons.
We emphasise to our students that they are responsible for their own actions and we expect them to choose to behave well while at the British Council.
We look to positively reward good behaviour in classroom. We avoid punishment for responding to misbehaviour/poor academic performance due to the effect this has on children’s development.
At the beginning of course, we take time to set up agreed class behaviour rules and then build classroom routines which remind students of our behavioural expectations. If there are issues in terms of your child’s behaviour, an Academic Manager will approach you to resolve the issue and set up a plan of behaviour.
- Follow the teacher’s instructions.
- Listen to teachers, staff and other students.
- Let everybody contribute and take part in classroom activities.
- Respect everyone and keep everyone safe.
- teach children that everybody is welcome and important at the British Council.
- teach children about good classroom behaviour.
- take action against any form of bullying and speak to you if your child has been bullied.
- only discuss your child’s behaviour with you (not other parents).
- speak to your child if their behaviour is disruptive and explain to them why their behaviour is a problem.
- Preventing other students from studying
- Being rude or aggressive
- Disrespecting the teacher
- Damaging property
- Constantly refusing to follow instructions
In cases where a child’s behaviour is not meeting our expectations, there are a series of steps that we will take:
- The teacher talks to the student
- The teacher talks to the parent
- The teacher talks to the Senior Teacher and agrees a behaviour improvement contract signed by parents, where we monitor the behaviour for a series of ten lessons. If after any of these stages the child’s behaviour improves, then we will not need to take the matter further. If unacceptable behaviour continues, the student will be expulsed from the British Council without a refund.