POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Mission Statement


Vzards aims to provide high quality computing lessons within a warm and welcoming environment. The individuality of each child in our club will be respected and nurtured. Aims and objectives Vzards aims to:

  • Offer an inclusive service, accessible to all children in the community
  • Ensure each child feels happy, safe and secure, allowing them to learn and develop freely in a play centred environment
  • Encourage children to take responsibility for themselves and their actions
  • Encourage children to develop positive attitudes and respect for themselves and others, in an environment free from bullying and discrimination
  • Provide a wide range of resources and equipment which can be used under safe and supervised conditions
  • Offer a programme of activities which meets the needs of each child, promoting their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development, enabling them to become confident, independent and co-operative individuals
  • Work in partnership with parents to provide high quality education
  • Review and evaluate our services to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of children in our care and those of their parents or carers
  • Keep parents and carers informed about changes in the administration of the Club and to listen and respond to their views and concerns
  • Communicate effectively with parents and carers, and to discuss experiences, progress and any difficulties that may arise
  • Employ experienced, well trained staff and offer them appropriate support
  • Comply with the Children’s Act 1989, the Childcare Act 2006, and all other relevant legislations.




Children Safeguard Policy


Vzards is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation. The Club will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. The Club’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). There is a Child Protection Officer (CPO) available at all times while the Club is in session. The CPO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, LSCB and Ofsted).

  1. Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below -
  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.
  • Signs of child abuse and neglect
  • Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:
significant changes in a child's behaviour deterioration in a child’s general well-being unexplained bruising or marks comments made by a child which give cause for concern reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation and/or inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images. If abuse is suspected or disclosed When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will: reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out listen to the child but not question them give reassurance that the staff member will take action record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below). If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the matter straightaway using the Logging a concern form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Club is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly. Peer-on-peer abuse Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on-peer abuse is taken seriously by staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people. Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse: Sexual activity (in primary school-aged children) of any kind, including sexting One of the children is significantly more dominant than the other (eg much older) One of the children is significantly more vulnerable than the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength) There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliance or secrecy. If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed We will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse. Extremism and radicalisation All childcare settings have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, eg: feeling alienated or alone seeking a sense of identity or individuality suffering from mental health issues such as depression desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause associating with others who hold extremist beliefs Signs of radicalisation Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include: changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified viewing violent extremist material online possessing or sharing violent extremist material If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form, and refer the matter to the CPO. Logging a concern All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include: date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern date and time at which the record was made name and date of birth of the child involved a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words name, signature and job title of the person making the record. The record will be given to the Club’s CPO who will decide on the appropriate course of action. For concerns about child abuse, the CPO will contact Social Care. The CPO will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly. For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the CPO will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) or Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator [delete if not applicable]. For more serious concerns the CPO will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the CPO will contact the Police using 999. Allegations against staff If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff: The allegation will be recorded on an Incident record form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it. The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Club will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours. Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation. If appropriate the Club will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service. Promoting awareness among staff The Club promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. The Club ensures that: the designated CPO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it designated person training is refreshed every two/three years [delete as applicable] safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff all staff have a copy of this Safeguarding (Child Protection) policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation all staff receive basic safeguarding training, and safeguarding is a permanent agenda item at all staff meetings all staff receive basic training in the Prevent Duty staff are familiar with the Safeguarding File which is kept [insert location] the Club’s procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)’ and staff are familiar with ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused (2015)’. Use of mobile phones and cameras Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only the club camera will be used to take photographs of children at the Club, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children nor visitors may use their mobile phones to take photographs at the Club. For more details see our Mobile Phone Policy.




Uncollected Child Policy


Vzards endeavours to ensure that all children are collected by a parent or carer at the end of each session. If a child is not collected, and the parent or carer has not notified us that they will be delayed, we will follow the procedure set out below: Up to 15 minutes late When the parent or carer arrives they will be reminded that they must call the club to notify us if they are delayed. The parent or carer will be informed that penalty fees will have to be charged (unless the delay was genuinely unavoidable). Over 15 minutes late If a parent or carer is more than 15 minutes late in collecting their child, the Club Leader will try to contact them using the contact details on file. If there is no response from the parent or carer, messages will be left requesting that they contact the Club immediately. The manager will then try to contact the emergency contacts listed on the child’s registration form. While waiting to be collected, the child will be supervised by a member of staff. When the parent or carer arrives they will be reminded that they must call the Club to notify us if they are delayed, and that penalty fees will have to be charged (except in exceptional circumstances). Over 30 minutes late If the manager has been unable to contact the child’s parents or carers after 30 minutes, the manager will contact the local Social Care team for advice. The child will remain in the care of the Club’s staff, on the Club’s premises if possible, until collected by the parent or carer, or until placed in the care of the Social Care team. If it is not possible for the child to remain at the Club’s premises, a note will be left on the door of the Club informing the child’s parent or carer where the child has been taken (eg to the home of a staff member or into the care of a safeguarding agency) and leaving a contact number. A further message will be left on the parent or carer’s telephone explaining events. Managing persistent lateness The Club leader will record incidents of late collection and will discuss them with the child’s parents or carers. Parents and carers will be reminded that if they persistently collect their child late they may lose their place at the Club.




Missing Child Policy


At Vzards, we are always alert to the possibility that children can go missing during sessions. To minimise the risk of this happening staff will carry out periodic head counts, particularly when transporting children between locations (eg walking from the school to the Club) and during holiday camps (when children are with us for a longer duration). If a child cannot be located, the following steps will be taken: All staff will be informed that the child is missing. Staff will conduct a thorough search of the premises and surrounding area. After 10 minutes the police will be informed. The manager will then contact the child’s parents or carers. Staff will continue to search for the child whilst waiting for the police and parents to arrive. We will maintain as normal a routine as possible for the rest of the children at the Club. The Club Leader will liaise with the police and the child’s parent or carer. The incident will be recorded in the Incident Log. A review will be conducted regarding this and any other related incidents along with relevant policies and procedures. We will identify and implement any changes as necessary. If the police or Social Care were involved in the incident, we will also inform Ofsted.




Complaints Policy


At Vzards, we aim to work in partnership with parents to deliver a high quality computer education service for everyone. If for any reason we fall short of this goal, we would like to be informed in order to amend our practices for the future. Records of all complaints are kept for at least three years. A summary of complaints is available for parents on request. The Club Leader is usually responsible for dealing with complaints. If the complaint is about the Club Leader, the registered person (Manager) or other senior member of staff will investigate the matter. Any complaints received about staff members will be recorded on an Incident log and a Complaints log will be completed. Any complaints made will be dealt with in the following manner: Stage one Complaints about aspects of Club activity: The Club Leader will discuss the matter informally with the parent or carer concerned and aim to reach a satisfactory resolution. Complaints about an individual staff member: If appropriate the parent will be encouraged to discuss the matter with staff concerned. If the parent feels that this is not appropriate, the matter will be discussed with the manager, who will then discuss the complaint with the staff member and try to reach a satisfactory resolution. Stage two If it is impossible to reach a satisfactory resolution to the complaint through informal discussion, the parent or carer should put their complaint in writing to the manager. The manager will: Acknowledge receipt of the letter within 7 days. Investigate the matter and notify the complainant of the outcome within 28 days. Send a full response in writing, to all relevant parties, including details of any recommended changes to be made to the Club’s practices or policies as a result of the complaint. Meet relevant parties to discuss the Club’s response to the complaint, either together or on an individual basis. If child protection issues are raised, the manager will refer the situation to the Club’s Child Protection Officer, who will then contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and follow the procedures of the Safeguarding Children Policy. If a criminal act may have been committed, the manager will contact the police.




Behaviour Management Policy


Vzards uses effective behaviour management strategies to promote the welfare and enjoyment of children attending the Club. Working in partnership with parents, we aim to manage behaviour using clear, consistent and positive strategies. The Club rules are clearly displayed at every session, and are discussed regularly. Whilst at Vzards we expect children to: Use socially acceptable behaviour Comply with the Club rules, which are compiled by the children attending the club Respect one another, accepting differences of race, gender, ability, age and religion Develop their independence by maintaining self-discipline Choose and participate in a variety of activities Ask for help if needed Enjoy their time at the Club. Encouraging positive behaviour At Vzards positive behaviour is encouraged by: Staff acting as positive role models Praising appropriate behaviour Sticker rewards Informing parents about individual achievements Offering a variety of play opportunities to meet the needs of children attending the Club. It is inevitable that as children develop and learn, there are times when they need support and guidance to understand that their behaviour is not acceptable. Staff at the Club will try to determine the cause or triggers of the inappropriate behaviour to prevent the situation from recurring. Dealing with inappropriate behaviour Challenging behaviour will be addressed in a calm, firm and positive manner. In the first instance, the child will be temporarily removed from the activity. Staff will discuss why the behaviour displayed is deemed inappropriate. Staff will give the child an opportunity to explain their behaviour, to help prevent a recurrence. Staff will encourage and facilitate mediation between children to try to resolve conflicts through discussion and negotiation. If the inappropriate behaviour appears to be as a result of boredom, staff will consult with the child to find activities that more fully engage them. Staff will consult with parents to formulate clear strategies for dealing with persistent inappropriate behaviour. We will not threaten any punishment that could adversely affect a child’s well-being (eg withdrawal of food or drink). If after consultation with parents and the implementation of behaviour management strategies, a child continues to display inappropriate behaviour, the Club may decide to exclude the child in accordance with our Suspensions and Exclusions policy. The reasons and processes involved will be clearly explained to the child. Physical intervention Physical intervention will only be used as a last resort, when staff believe that action is necessary to prevent injury to the child or others, or to prevent significant damage to equipment or property. If a member of staff has to physically restrain a child, the manager will be notified and an Incident record will be completed. The incident will be discussed with the parent or carer as soon as possible. If staff are not confident about their ability to contain a situation, they should call the manager or, in extreme cases, the police. All serious incidents will be recorded on an Incident record and kept in the child’s file. This may be used to build a pattern of behaviour, which may indicate an underlying cause. If a pattern of incidents indicates possible abuse, we will implement child protection procedures in accordance with our Safeguarding policy. Corporal punishment Corporal punishment or the threat of corporal punishment will never be used at the Club. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that no child who attends our Club receives corporal punishment from any person who cares for or is in regular contact with the child, or from any other person on our premises.




Confidentiality Policy


At Vzards, we respect the privacy of the children attending the Club / Camp and the privacy of their parents or carers. Our aim is to ensure that all those using and working at Vzards can do so with confidence. We will respect confidentiality in the following ways: Parents can ask to see the records relating to their child, but will not have access to information about any other children. Staff only discuss individual children for purposes of planning and group management. Staff are made aware of the importance of confidentiality during their induction process. Information given by parents to Club staff will not be passed on to third parties without permission unless there is a safeguarding issue (as covered in our Safeguarding Policy). Concerns or evidence relating to a child’s safety, will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within the Club, except with the designated Child Protection Officer and the manager. Issues relating to the employment of staff, whether paid or voluntary, will remain confidential to those making personnel decisions. Confidential records are stored securely in a password protected file. Students on work placements and volunteers are informed of our confidentiality policy and are required to respect it. Sharing information with outside agencies - We will only share information with outside agencies on a need-to-know basis and with consent from parents, except in cases relating to safeguarding children or criminal activity. If we decide to share information without parental consent, we will record this in the child’s file, clearly stating our reasons. We will only share relevant information that is accurate and up to date. Our primary commitment is to the safety and well-being of the children in our care. Data Protection Act We comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, regarding obtaining, storing and using personal data.





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