A Guide to Safeguarding for Tutors and Parents
One of the reasons parents come to an agency like Greenhouse Learning when looking for a tutor to support their child is the extra protections we have implemented in our working practices when it comes to child protection and safeguarding.
Our high standards for safeguarding mean we take preventative steps (for example, in our tutor recruitment processes), and also have systems in place to respond appropriately to concerns around children’s safety.
So what can go wrong?
The vast majority of tutoring agencies and private tutors deliver engaging lessons to happy schoolchildren in safe homes without issues, but we know there are bad actors out there, who have the potential to cause harm children.
From sexual abuse to online harassment and bullying – everyone, from parents, tutors and schools, needs to stay vigilant to threats children may potentially face in their daily interactions, either from adults or even from their peers.
So what does this mean for parents, schools and tutors?
We hold ourselves to the same standard as a school or college, so that means being compliant to the Department for Education’s Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance.
Our clients can have their peace of mind when trusting Greenhouse Learning with their student’s catch up education that:
- All of our tutors have been through an enhanced vetting check. This includes an Identification check, an criminal check, verification of their Right to Work in the UK, and checks on whether they are on a list of individuals prohibited from working with children or in the teaching profession.
- All of our tutors have been through safeguarding training, are able to identify various forms of child abuse, are fully aware of how to respond appropriately, and what reporting channels to use.
If you are engaging a private tutor directly, we recommend asking for at least a basic DBS criminal check, as the enhanced checks described above can only be obtained via an employer.
Greenhouse Learning – our safeguarding policies
With our vetting checks and ongoing tutor training, parents and schools can be reassured that our tutors are suitable to work with children and deliver high quality tuition.
We have a published safeguarding policy, updated yearly, which details all the steps we take in our business to protect the children we come across in our service, and how we minimise the likelihood of harm to them as much as practically possible
To recruit tutors who we consider safe to work with children, we carry in-depth, in-person interviews for all tutor candidates wishing to join our team. In addition, each candidate’s CV is analysed thoroughly for any gaps, and at least two references are sought. This gives us a personal perspective on how the tutor will act within sessions, and whether or not they will be a good fit for future students.
We also complete a full vetting of their physical and mental health to ensure that they are able to complete their full tutoring assignment.
All of these factors work together to give us an accurate overview of the tutor before they are matched to any student. Even when the tutoring gets going, we’ll continue to monitor progress to ensure that the lessons are going well, both from a quality and safeguarding perspective.
To ensure our team stays up to date with relevant safeguarding knowledge, all of our tutors are required to read and declare their acknowledgement of our policies as well as complete training courses to on basic awareness of safeguarding principles. For example, we stress that all tutoring takes place in an open room, in the presence of a responsible adult.
What about online?
Online tutoring can lead to different concerns. To alleviate these concerns, we train all of our tutors to be able to handle online sessions safely and comfortably.
For example, we encourage them to create a ‘tutor only’ email account to make sure no unwanted tabs or search histories interfere with the session.
Furthermore, we provide online whiteboard platforms, such as Lesson Space, that allow our tutors to navigate the session safely, have session recordings, and still facilitate high-quality teaching. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to sit in on the sessions.
Why is it so important?
Having these extensive, thorough policies, means that we can always guarantee that your students will be safe with the tutors we provide.
Sometimes, self-employed tutors don’t go through all of these checks, leaving some questions unanswered when they shouldn’t be. We would never want to put a young and/or vulnerable person at risk, so we are constantly keeping up to date with the latest guidelines and making sure our tutors do too.
When it comes to children, it is always better to err on the safe side!
Our Safeguarding policies & practices are a huge part of our tutoring process. We ensure that every tutor working for Greenhouse Learning is safe and competent by going through rigorous checks.
Everything that we collect is stored in our databases for future reference, and we have successfully undergone safeguarding from The National Tutoring Programme.
If you ever have any doubts about a self-employed tutor, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and we make sure that you’ll never have to worry about the safety of your student.