If you work or volunteer for the University of Strathclyde, or you undertake any duty acting on the University’s behalf, then this guidance and procedures are important to you.
As a representative of the University, you have a significant position of responsibility and an essential role to support the wellbeing and safety of children and young people who participate in activity organised by the University of Strathclyde. We refer to this as ‘safeguarding’.
This policy and guidance outline our collective commitment to the care and protection of all children and young people who use, or are beneficiaries of our services, participate in activities organised by the university or are involved in research, outreach or development programmes across our physical, digital and global campus.
Our commitment to equality, diversity and fair treatment for all underpins this guidance. All children regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnic origin, care or socio-economic status have a right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
We refer to a child as any person who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. This is in accordance with the United Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. Although the term ‘young person’ may be used to describe a child aged 16-17, if they are under the age of 18, they are defined as a child, and they have a right to participate in a safe and stimulating environment.
Adhering to this guidance keeps us all safe. It sets out our safeguarding principles, the procedure to follow if you have a concern, and signposts where to go for advice when you need it.
This Policy and supporting guidance support you to:
- be vigilant to signs of harm or abuse;
- know what to do if you are concerned for the wellbeing of a child;
- be fully aware of practices you should never undertake when working with children; and
- know what to do in the event of an emergency.
This information is essential to you because:
- There may be a time when a child or young person discloses abuse, harm or threat to any member of the University community, at any time. It could be you.
- A child or young person may approach you to discuss issues or circumstances in their life that impact upon their wellbeing. They may see you as a person they hope can help, or who can signpost them to a service within the university.
- You, or any member of the University community, may have a concern about the wellbeing of a child, young person, or a pregnant woman at risk of harm.
- You may observe misconduct by a person in a position of trust, or harmful actions of a child or young person against another that you must report.
The procedures relating to this Policy ensure that:
- Anyone can report a child protection or safeguarding concern. All concerns or allegations will be taken seriously and responded to quickly and sensitively.
- Children and young people will be listened to, and treated with dignity and respect.
- We actively promote safe practice and challenge poor or unsafe practice across all University activity
- All concerns and incidents are reported, properly recorded and managed
- Specific Data Protection rules that apply to children are upheld
- All representatives are made aware of their duty to comply with the policy, hold themselves to account and play an active role ensuring a safe environment for all.