We want your experience on all your placements to be a positive one. We have put together the following advice to help keep you and your pupils safe in school.
In the classroom:
- Always familiarise yourself with the school behavioural policy and stick to it.
- Under normal circumstances never be on your own with a pupil.
- If you cannot avoid the above, have the classroom door open and seek the attention of others (teachers or students).
- If you find yourself in a one-to-one situation within a classroom, do not place yourself between the student and the door.
- Never block an exit.
- Under normal circumstances there should not be any physical contact with students (eg a hand on the shoulder could be misconstrued by some pupils).
- When dealing with pupil behaviour, always deal with the behaviour as the issue, never the pupil.
- If you send a student out of the class, never speak to them alone in the corridor. Deal with the situation by standing where others can witness the actions you have taken. Speaking quietly and calmly is also advisable, this will maintain student/teacher confidentiality.
- If an incident does occur when you are in school, you should first write notes of the event for your reference to help you remember what happened. Report the incident to the school, then to us.
- Social/personal contact with pupils outside school – never give out personal details or request them – eg telephone numbers, email addresses. Do not contact or respond to pupils via social networks. Report any attempts to contact to the school/agency immediately.
The best way to protect yourself on social networks is to assume that all information you post is public and act accordingly in relation to your job and associated status. As a minimum, in order to protect yourself, it is best to ensure that you are in control of who can see your account details and content. Also be careful if you comment on a friend’s page/post - their profile settings may be different to yours and make your comment public.
- If you are required to use the internet during your time at a school, ensure you know and follow the school internet policy.
- Do not take photographs (via any method including phone cameras) of pupils, pupils’ work, events or any part of a school’s premises.
- Harassment/verbal misconduct includes any action(s) and practice(s) by an individual or group which are directed at others and which may comprise of remarks or actions associated with a person’s gender, race, disability, sexuality, class, age, HIV/Aids status, personality or other aspect of them. Humiliation and belittlement towards a pupil with comments or actions are also included under harassment/verbal misconduct.
If a student discloses information that indicates that they or another child are at risk of significant harm and in need of protection, you have a duty of care to report this to the Nominated Person for Child Protection or the Head teacher. This must be done as soon as possible.
If a child makes a disclosure to you:
- Listen to the child.
- Report concerns to the Nominated Person for Child Protection ASAP.
- Record the disclosure including:
- what was said, where possible word for word
- date and time of incident and disclosure details
- author’s name
- Do not over question or take a statement from the student.
Every Child Matters
The Every Child Matters document outlines the government’s principles for the reform and improvement of child care. The full paper can be found on the government website.
As a Vision for Education member of staff working in schools, we believe you can make a real difference in the following areas:
- Be healthy and promote a healthy lifestyle, be educated against the use of illegal drugs.
- Keep pupils safe from neglect, violence, and sexual exploitation, from bullying, discrimination and anti-social behaviour.
- Pupils should be given the opportunity to enjoy school, achieve stretching educational standards in primary and secondary school, and develop both personally and socially.
- Students should be encouraged to develop positive relationships, choosing not to bully, developing self-confidence and enterprising behaviour.
Most of all we want you to enjoy your experience and we will be there to support you whenever you need us. If you have any concerns or queries regarding your placement, just contact your local consultant, who will be able to offer you the advice you need.