Welfare policy for students under 18
The Children Act 1989 defines a ‘child’ as a person under the age of 18. The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 regard a ‘child’ as a person who is not over the minimum school leaving age and a ‘young person’ as a person who has not attained the age of 18.
Bell Educational Services Limited (Bell) will endeavour to meet, and where practicable exceed, its ‘Duty of Care’ to all students. Where the student is under 18, the duty of care is likely to extend to taking the care that a reasonably prudent or careful parent would take of his or her children in the circumstances. Bell understands that under 18s from overseas may not have the same knowledge or experience of the UK as home students so may be more vulnerable to harm than home students of the same age. All children and young people have the right to protection from abuse, freedom from injury and a safe and healthy environment while under the care of Bell.
Bell is committed to providing, as far as is reasonably practicable, an environment that is safe from harm for those under the age of 18. We will:
- Incorporate good practice guidelines from accreditation bodies and government into existing procedures;
- Ensure parents are provided with all necessary information to enable them to make an informed choice and understand the provisions made for their children on Bell courses.
- Have effective systems in place to ensure that our facilities, processes and activities take account of the students health, safety and welfare requirements;
- Have controls in place to ensure the health and safety of students on all off-site activities;
- Ensure that there are clear rules appropriate to the ages of the students for what they may do outside scheduled activities;
- Follow safer recruitment procedures to check the suitability of staff working with students under 18;
- Have clear Codes of Conduct in place for students, staff and other adults who may come in contact with under 18s;
- Have Contract agreements with host facilities, subcontractors and other service providers to ensure that they conform to Bell’s standards for health, safety and welfare provision for under 18s;
- Check that all accommodation is suitable and safe for young international students to be placed there;
- Provide appropriate staff training, guidance and procedures to meet the academic and pastoral needs of young international students;
- Provide information, guidance and support for students under the age of 18 in such circumstances where a responsible adult is required;
- Ensure suitable supervision, management and control systems to avoid the risk of physical, mental or sexual abuse;
- Have clear procedures in place for recognising, responding to and reporting concerns about child abuse;
- Share information with external safeguarding agencies as required by Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 in the event of a safeguarding concern;
- Encourage staff to share in confidence with a designated person any concerns they may have about another member of staff’s behaviour;
- Monitor regularly and review all operations to confirm adherence to Bell’s and legislative requirements.
Where appropriate, breaches of this Policy and/or allegations of misconduct concerning children / young persons will result in Bell invoking its Disciplinary Procedure in respect of staff or students.
Bell undertakes to review this policy on a regular basis, and in the light of new knowledge, changing legislation and changing operational procedures.
Last updated: May 2019
Under 18s at adult centres
At Bell, all students will be treated as adults, including those that are under 18 years old. Students under 18 will regularly mix with older students – in the classroom, in residential accommodation and during social activities and excursions.
All students will receive first-class tuition in the classroom and outstanding support from Bell staff throughout their experience.
As students under 18 years of age are not yet considered adults by UK law, Bell strives to provide an even greater level of care to these students.
Student use of social media policy
Bell is committed to enabling our students to use the Internet in a safe and responsible way, taking advantage of the opportunities for discussion, information-sharing and enhanced learning they offer, without putting at risk their personal security, their current or future career prospects, or the reputation of Bell.
Objectives of this Policy
The policy aims to:
- encourage the responsible use of social media by Bell students
- outline the responsibilities of individuals for the use of social media
- highlight the potential risks of using social media for personal use
- promote effective and innovative use of social media as an integral part of their activity while at Bell
- provide clear guidelines on how breaches of this policy will be addressed
- to protect the reputation of Bell, its staff, and students
What is social media?
Social Media refers to online channels of communication that allow users to interact in the public domain by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interest. It includes, but is not limited to, social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, wikis and blogs.
What is cyberbullying?
Bullying is defined, as unfair treatment, excessive criticism, or persistent nit-picking, intimidating, aggressive or undermining behaviour, which makes the recipient(s), feel upset, humiliated, threatened or vulnerable and undermines their self-confidence and integrity. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. If abuse does occur, all students must be able to tell someone and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell staff.
Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm or harass other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. Harassment is unwanted conduct based on the grounds of religious belief, political opinion, sex (including gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status), race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age which has the purpose or effect of violating that person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person. Differences of attitude, background or culture and the misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another; nevertheless, this does not make it acceptable. It is the purpose or effect of the behaviour rather than the motive that must be considered.
Why is it important to highlight to our students the risks relating to social media?
While most of our students will already be experienced users of social media, they are potentially more vulnerable to abuse or bullying in that they are temporarily living and studying in another culture. It is Bell’s responsibility to help them in the responsible use of social media, and to help them avoid risks. It is also our responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of abusive behaviour and bullying of any kind, including those relating to social media.
At their induction, students are given advice on:
- Acting responsibly online
- What to share/not to share online
- Thinking carefully before posting anything online
- Not sharing personal information with strangers
- Avoiding unsafe websites
- Not posting inappropriate content
Bell ensures that there are posters in classrooms and computer rooms to remind students to act responsibly online.
Procedure for complaints and allegations
As part of their induction to Bell, students are given information about who can help them if they are confused, worried or upset by anything they have experienced online. They are directed to the Student Services Manager/Coordinator, but also encouraged to bring any worries they have to the member of staff with whom they feel most comfortable.
Complaints about social media misuse or cyberbullying by a Bell student should be directed to the Student Service Manager/Coordinator in the first instance. Complaints and allegations will be logged and referred to the Director of Education.
Complaints or allegations concerning the misuse of social media by Bell students will be dealt with using the procedures set out in the Student Disciplinary procedure. Where a complaint involves threatening or potentially criminal online social media behaviour, Bell will escalate to the local authorities.
Last updated: May 2019
Bell Educational Services Ltd (“Bell”) welcomes students from all backgrounds and will not permit discrimination by students or staff on the grounds of religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or ability. In addition, even greater sensitivity will be shown to students who are arriving in the UK from territories currently in the midst of internal or international conflict.
We are committed to promoting access to English learning for students with disabilities in an environment that supports our goal of teaching and learning excellence. Our aim is to support students with physical disabilities, specific learning difficulties, special psychological needs, sensory impairments and medical conditions that impact day-to-day activities, and give them the opportunity to take part in Bell’s academic and social programmes as far as is within our control.
Our commitment to inclusivity of all students irrespective of their level of physical or psychological ability extends to the manner in which Bell discharges its responsibilities in complying with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and Equality Act 2010.
In our aim to ensure that, as far as possible, learning or physical disabilities do not prevent or disadvantage students making an application to study at Bell and students are able to achieve their learning goals, we will:
- Assess each applicant’s suitability for their chosen course based primarily on their academic achievements and potential;
- Assess each applicant’s special needs prior to arrival to enable any adjustments to be made with regard to support offered to disabled students, including the provision of specialist equipment, adaptive technology and ergonomic furniture where possible;
- Offer regular training and relevant information for staff across the business to ensure that they are well prepared, as far as is reasonably possible, for the arrival of students with physical disabilities, specific learning difficulties, special psychological needs, sensory impairments and medical conditions that impact day-to-day activities;
- Work closely with Bell homestays and residential providers, including training and information sharing, to provide a wider range of accommodation to students with disabilities or special needs;
- Work towards an accessible curriculum by providing course notes and other information in alternative formats, early provision of slides/notes, study skills tutoring, and IT training where applicable;
- Ensure that any ongoing support remains relevant and effective and students with progressive conditions, or who become less able during their studies, are given the opportunity to continue with their chosen course for as long as possible;
- Provide adapted examination arrangements for eligible students, such as extra time and IT equipment;
- Provide disability awareness to other students to encourage an inclusive environment within our schools;
- Seek feedback from students to aid further development of good practice in providing support for students with disabilities;
- Ensure that health and safety arrangements take account of individual needs.
Bell will create an accessibility plan and aim to make all reasonable adjustments to improve physical access. Where a student’s needs simply can not be accommodated for their chosen course, Bell will ensure that the student is kept fully informed of the reasons and where possible assisted in finding alternative suitable courses.
Health and safety policy
Bell Educational Services Ltd (“Bell”) is committed to creating a safe and secure working and learning environment to support our goal of teaching and learning excellence. Our aim is not only to comply with best practice in health and safety legislation but also to create a positive environment and culture that promotes being healthy, safe and secure. Effective management of health and safety is integral to achieving this aim.
The Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 places a statutory duty on specified authorities, including ELT providers such as Bell Educational Services Limited (Bell), to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’.
Bell operates as a year-round English language provider and accepts students from all around the world from seven years of age through adulthood. In the peak months of June to August, Bell may have in excess of 2000 enrolled students, 200 staff and 200 homestay providers. All centres promote a multi-cultural environment where respect for and tolerance of others regardless of nationality, gender, age, ability or belief is required.
Bell understands the risk of extremism: namely that students, staff and other adults (group leaders, homestays etc.) may arrive at the centre already holding extremist views. Or that whilst attending the centre, they may be influenced by a range of factors such as global events, peer pressure, media, extremist materials (in print or online) and social networks.
Due to the nature of the ELT industry, each centre has a multicultural make-up which is in constant flux. Bell promotes the core British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and respect and tolerance. Bell will endeavour to meet its duty to identify, challenge and safeguard any vulnerable person/s at risk of being radicalised or drawn into terrorism in a proportionate and risk-based way. We will:
- Ensure delivery of an effective risk assessment/ action plan, incorporating good practice guidelines from accreditation bodies and government into existing procedures;
- Inform all staff and homestay providers about the Prevent Duty and their responsibilities to implement the policy;
- Establish clear procedures for recognising, responding to and reporting concerns;
- Ensure that any guest speakers, subcontractors and other service providers conform to Bell’s standards for health, safety and welfare;
- Promote the British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and respectful tolerance of different faiths or beliefs throughout each centre in all programmes;
- Have strong filters on IT systems blocking online material which targets the vulnerable and promotes radicalisation or extremism;
- Align safeguarding procedures with those of the Prevent Duty and have a nominated Prevent Lead;
- Establish contact with the Prevent coordinator local to each centre and draw upon the support of the local community;
- Ensure a safe and supportive international environment at each centre as promoted by our welfare policy and staff code of conduct ;
- Regularly monitor and review all operations to assure adherence to Bell’s and legislative requirements.
Bell undertakes to review this policy on a regular basis, and in the light of new knowledge, changes in legislation and/or operational procedures.