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St Mary's ITT Safeguarding Policy

This policy outlines St Mary's checks and procedures concerning Initial Teacher Training (ITT) QTS students (referred to as trainees below) and the compliance requirements set out in Section 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education, including enhanced DBS checks which are confirmed to schools by letter.

The University's role

The University will:

  • uphold clear and established safeguarding protocols that are agreed by all partners in the partnership
  • ensure that all entrants to the PGCE, School Direct Fee, BA QTS and Work-Based ITT programmes have been subject to a DBS enhanced disclosure
  • ensure that all entrants (and existing trainees who entered the programme prior to September 2015) undergo a prohibition order check to ensure that they are not prohibited from undertaking teaching activities in schools
  • secure certificates of good conduct and other references in respect of time trainees have spent 6 months or longer outside of the UK
  • normally obtain an enhanced DBS disclosure for every trainee prior to the commencement of any placements in a school or setting; We will always endeavour to have this completed prior to commencement on programmes
  • subject entrants to the PGCE Primary, School Direct Primary, BA QTS and Work-Based (including existing trainees who entered the programme prior to September 2015) to appropriate checks with regard to the childcare disqualification requirements
  • in the event of a delay in receiving disclosures make checks against the DBS Children’s Barred List and inform head teachers in writing prior to the start of a placement, of the names of those trainees for whom an enhanced disclosure has yet to be received
  • keep Professional Co-ordinating Mentors up to date on the progress of any ongoing check if a trainee is in a school setting
  • make decisions on suitability based on the disclosure that has been sent by the DBS. Convene a standing Safeguarding Committee to consider specific anonymised cases where a conviction, caution or reprimand or any other pertinent information has been disclosed in order to determine suitability
  • the Safeguarding Committee will be convened by the University Registrar when required
  • not admit candidates to ITT who are unsuited to work with children
  • keep a central record showing that a disclosure has been obtained for every relevant trainee
  • confirm to schools/settings in writing that a non-salaried trainee’s criminal record check, including a check of the children’s barred list, has been completed and that the individual has been judged by the provider to be suitable to work with children
  • partnership offices will maintain a tracking on each PGCE, School Direct, BA QTS and Work based trainee which will provide the trainee’s name, programme, and confirmation that they have completed a satisfactory DBS check
  • ensure that no reproductions of disclosures or their content are made, including photocopies or scanned images, except for the purpose of making decisions on suitability and in accordance with the Data Protection Act
  • ensure that trainees are aware of the need to treat sensitive data and information with due confidentiality and are careful about who has access to it
  • be vigilant and alert throughout trainees’ programmes to the possibility of potential safeguarding issues taking measures as appropriate
  • inform trainees of their on-going obligation to declare anything that might deem them unsuitable to work with children, including any conviction. Where a trainee withholds such information take appropriate action, which may include recommending the termination of their training
  • where a trainee is arrested, under investigation, charged with an offence or who receives a conviction, during the course of their programme they will be referred to the Safeguarding Committee on ‘Fitness to Practise’. The Safeguarding Committee will review their case determining whether to allow the trainee to continue their programme, to recommend suspension or termination of their training. Partnership will ensure that the head teacher of the trainee’s placement schools/setting is informed in all such cases
  • in the event of a safeguarding case being upheld, the LADO will be informed
  • in the event of a trainee being removed from a programme because the trainee has harmed or poses a risk to children, or if they would have been removed had they not left, as the accredited ITT provider, the University will seek guidance from DBS and inform the DfE by contacting
  • inform trainees that they will need to be rechecked by the DBS before returning from any leave of absence of studies of 3 months or longer. Trainees are responsible for any cost of the recheck.

The school or setting's role

Schools or settings will:

  • be responsible for ensuring that DBS checks have been carried out and provide confirmation that any School Direct Salaried or Assessment Only (AO) trainees have completed a satisfactory criminal records check and a satisfactory prohibition order check
  • provide confirmation that any School Direct Salaried trainees who are covered by this legislation have been subject to appropriate checks with regard to the childcare disqualification requirements
  • recognise that satisfactory DBS checking of non-salaried trainees is the responsibility of the University, not the school or setting or local authority
  • accept trainees for placement in the school or setting for whom a DBS enhanced disclosure has been received and who have been deemed suitable to work with children
  • exercise the discretion provided to them by the Department for Education (DfE) guidance to allow trainees for whom an enhanced DBS disclosure has yet to be received to start working in a school/setting, ensuring that the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks, including a separate barred list check, have been completed
  • treat information declared on a salaried trainee’s DBS declaration with due confidentiality exercising due care about who has access to it
  • not expect to have access to completed DBS returns
  • not attempt to obtain copies of disclosures directly from trainees
  • provide trainees for whom an enhanced DBS disclosure has been obtained with the data necessary to undertake their work, including pupil data
  • ensure that trainees are aware of the need to treat sensitive data and information with due confidentiality and are careful about who has access to it
  • recognise that University tutors visiting schools/settings who do not carry out regulated activity do not require a DBS check, for example, unless they have access to children and young people without supervision from someone, including a trainee, who has been checked. The normal risk assessment that applies to all visitors is sufficient. Please do be aware that we carry out a DBS on all University subject and link tutors as part of our normal practice.

Please note: DBSs for School Direct Salaried or AO trainees are the responsibility of their employers.

Our procedures for scrutinising declarations of criminal convictions at both the admissions and post-enrolment stage evidences the above policy in ensuring trainees are suitable to work with children.