Protection of Children and Young People on Work Experience and Other Short-Term Placements

The purpose of this statement is to provide guidance to all University staff regarding child protection during work experience and other short-term placements within the University.

Background

It is recognised that the University has a responsibility for the social as well as physical welfare of children and young people for the duration of their work experience. The University's profile within the local community and its commitment to widening participation means that increasing numbers of University staff will participate in "voluntary" activities involving children and young people. Under the provisions of the Protection of Children Act (1999), the University is required to undertake criminal checks (via the Criminal Records Bureau) on employees appointed to posts with a requirement to work with children and young people. The Government advises that organisations undertaking "voluntary" activities involving children should provide comparable levels of safety as those afforded by the Act. Work placements and visits by young people are considered to expose participants to minimal risk and in order ensure that placements continue to be encouraged, the principles of best practice as set out below will be adopted.

Main Principles

In order to ensure the full protection of both the staff supervisor and the work experience students, children (under 16) and young people (aged 16 to 18) should be provided with placements in safe and secure open-plan/shared work areas only. Isolated one-to-one placements are not permitted at any time. Similarly, these principles should be applied during other short-term contact with the University (eg visit days, theatre visits).

Heads of Department should ensure that all staff are made aware of the above guidelines in advance of a work experience placement being offered or visit days taking place. University activities, which will involve children and young people, should be considered and adjusted in line with these principles. Further advice can be obtained from the Department of Human Resources - Business Support.