The University of Sheffield Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

A. Policy statement, scope and purpose

1. Policy statement

The University recognises that:

a. We have responsibility to safeguard the welfare of:

  • children within the University community
  • vulnerable adults within the University community
  • those children and vulnerable adults who come into contact with University activities
  • University students at risk of harm

b. the welfare of the child, vulnerable adult or student for whom we have duty of care is paramount.

c. where we have a duty of care, all individuals, regardless of age, disability, sex, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or gender identity have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.

d. working in partnership with those for whom we have a duty of care and with appropriate individuals and agencies is essential in promoting safeguarding.

2. Scope

For the purpose of this policy, TUOS has safeguarding responsibilities in relation to:

a. all current students,

b. prospective students engaged in TUOS activities,

c. vulnerable adults registered as or prospective students (as above)

d. children and vulnerable adults engaged in TUOS activities

e. children resident in University accommodation

f. staff in the course of their duties

g. external organisations/individuals where we engage [in branded activities]

3. The purpose of the policy is:

a. To reflect the current legislative context and also take account of relevant guidance and good practice relating to the education sector.

b. To provide protection for the children, young people and vulnerable adults who come into contact with TUoS.

c. To provide staff, students and volunteers with guidance on procedures that must be adopted:

  • to ensure safeguarding in relation to children and vulnerable adults.
  • in the event that they suspect a child or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.

B. Safeguarding roles and responsibilities

1. TUoS Safeguarding Policy aims to ensure that there is a clear procedure for reporting concerns and liaising with external authorities where advice and/or support is required.

2. Overall accountability:

The Executive Director of Academic Services is the designated senior University officer with overall accountability for this policy and for its regular review.

3. Safeguarding Panel:

3.1 The Safeguarding Panel provides guidance and support in matters relating to safeguarding and is responsible for the development, review, update and dissemination of over-arching policy and procedures. In this, the Panel seeks to ensure the highest level of confidentiality relating to individual cases and information is shared only as necessary to safeguard individuals and the University’s compliance with legislation, regulation, relevant guidance and the TUoS reputation.

3.2 Membership and key responsibilities:

Safeguarding Panel members are shown in bold below, followed by their specific responsibilities where applicable.

  • Deputy Director of Student Support Services (Chair)
    The Deputy Director of Student Support Services has responsibility for Prevent-related safeguarding concerns.
  • Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions
    The Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions has responsibility for matters relating to young people of pre-University age.
  • Head of Central Welfare and Guidance
    The Head of Central Welfare and Guidance has responsibility for matters relating to registered students.
  • Sport Sheffield Manager
    The Facilities and Operations Manager has responsibility for matters relating to young people in a sporting context.
  • Senior HR Representative
    Human Resources has responsibility for staff matters concerning safeguarding.
  • Students’ Union departmental safeguarding lead
  • Residence Life representative
  • Other colleagues (internal or external) by invitation

3.3 Safeguarding Panel Remit

a. To maintain the University Safeguarding Policy having due regard to changes in legislation, regulation and guidance from appropriate external agencies.

b. To develop, review, update and disseminate the University Safeguarding Policy and procedures.

c. To provide guidance and support to the University community relating to safeguarding (relating to individuals and to specific populations).

d. To consider and, where appropriate, adopt specific policies from individual services with regard to safeguarding.

e. To share information and delegate responsibilities to University and Students’ Union service areas, as appropriate, with regard to safeguarding.

f. To liaise with relevant external agencies to ensure the continuation of good relationships.

g. To ensure high levels of confidentiality while ensuring that information is shared as necessary to safeguard individuals at risk and the University’s compliance with legislation, regulation, relevant guidance and the TUoS reputation.

h. To share information about concerns with external agencies who need to know, and involving internal and external individuals appropriately.

i. To ensure appropriate linkage and updating in line with the University’s duty under prevent.

j. To promote the consideration of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as an integral part of the Panel’s work and decision making, incorporating an equality impact assessment where appropriate.

The Safeguarding Panel (co-ordinated by Student Support Services) will meet four times per annum or as necessary (or communicate remotely) to consider and review safeguarding cases as required.

4. Prevent

4.1 Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) are required to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

4.2 In accordance with our duties as a Higher Education provider, the University of Sheffield seeks to embed British Values within our institution.

4.3 At TUoS, Prevent sits within safeguarding and student support, and as such is included in this policy and is a standing item on the Safeguarding Panel agenda. Further information about the Prevent duty guidance and legislation can be found on the TUoS Prevent web pages

4.4 Responsibilities

  • The Executive Director of Academic Services is the TUoS Prevent Gold (strategic) lead with overall responsibility for Prevent at TUoS.
  • The Director of Student Support Services is the TUoS Prevent Silver (operational) lead and attends regular city-wide Prevent meetings with partner organisations.

4.5 Notice, check, share

a. Notice, check, share is promoted via the web pages and via face to face and online training as a simple three stage process to follow, should staff be worried about a student:

Notice - Are you concerned about a student? Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in behaviour; are they becoming withdrawn, or acting differently? Maybe it’s something the student has said that’s worrying you. Staff in front-line support roles will often be the first to notice if a student is experiencing difficulties.

Check - Don’t ignore your concerns – check with others who may also have noticed something. You could speak to the student directly, or talk to colleagues/academic tutors, to see if they share your concerns.

Share - If you are still worried about a student, contact Central Welfare & Guidance (x24321) to share your concerns. The team may be able to offer support and guidance to the student.

b. The flowchart ‘Prevent-related referrals to the Safeguarding Panel’ on page 11 outlines the procedures which would then be followed.

4.6 Freedom of speech/expression

Freedom of expression is a core part of a student’s experience. The University of Sheffield encourages discussion and exchanges of views on difficult and controversial issues. The University will work to widen debate and challenge, rather than narrow it, and to encourage students to have healthy, open discussions, express their opinions and think critically about issues.

4.7 External speakers and events

a. The University operates a Code of Practice relating to meetings and other activities on University Premises which applies to all staff, students and visitors and is intended to ensure compliance with its legal duties in terms of both ensuring freedom of speech and academic freedom, and also protecting student and staff welfare. The University has a duty to risk assess all external speakers prior to any event proceeding on University Premises.

b. Sheffield University Students’ Union have a separate policy and procedures in place to ensure lawful free speech is never prevented or inhibited on campus.

4.8 Channel

a. Channel provides support across the country to those who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

b. The process is a multi-agency approach with a wide range of agencies and local partners working together to provide support for individuals.

c. The outcome of a Prevent-related referral could be liaison with Channel.

5. Shared responsibility - all University staff:

  • University staff work in a way that protects children and young people when they are involved in University activities.
  • University staff work in a way that protects adults (including students) who are vulnerable to harm.
  • University staff are clear about their responsibility when they receive reports of harm or threats of harm to children, young people and vulnerable adults.

6. Students’ Union activity

All Students’ Union activity is covered by separate policy and procedures (see section T). The three Students’ Union Departmental Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) are:

  • The Head of External Engagement (student activities e.g. societies, committees and community volunteering);
  • The Head of Children’s Services (child care facilities e.g. nursery, creche etc.);
  • The Director of Social Enterprise/Designated Premises Supervisor (membership services with access restrictions based on age e.g. licensed premises).

7. Other legal and policy requirements

There are legal and policy requirements relating to our engagement with others (e.g. Health and Safety at Work Act, Equality Act) that are not outlined in this policy but must be observed.

C. Recording, retention, storage and disposal of safeguarding records

1. Recording safeguarding concerns

In relation to the welfare or safety of a child or young person (e.g. concern about a physical injury or neglect at home) or concerns about the behaviour of a student, an employee or volunteer (e.g. if they hurt a child / vulnerable adult, breach the code of conduct or do something considered to be poor practice) it is important to record all relevant details, regardless of whether or not the concerns are shared with either the police or Children’s Social Care.

The information recorded must be factual. Any interpretation or inference drawn from what was observed, said or alleged should be clearly recorded as such. Our records will include:

  • A case reference number.
  • Date the incident was logged.
  • Date and time of incident/disclosure.
  • Parties who were involved, including any witnesses to an event.
  • What was said or done and by whom.
  • Name and contact details of person reporting concern.
  • Name of safeguarding contact concern reported to.
  • Any action taken by the University.
  • Whether external agencies were informed.
  • Whether the Director of Student Support Services was informed.
  • Whether the appropriate University Executive Board lead was informed.

Each case note will be marked with a retention period on the case log.

2. Retention and storage of safeguarding records

Records will be kept of all safeguarding concerns and incidents and their outcomes. Confidentiality will be respected and any relevant information will be shared only on a need to know basis in the interests of protecting children and vulnerable adults. Records will held by the Safeguarding Panel in accordance with the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation.

3. Retention Periods

Type of record Retention

Child welfare concerns that are referred on to Sheffield Safeguarding Children's Board or the police.
For example this would include concerns about physical, sexual, emotional or neglect of a child, disclosures from a child about being abused or information from a third party which might suggest a child is being abused; concerns about a parent or another adult, or a young person who has been abused by another young person.

The referral should be acknowledged in writing by Sheffield Safeguarding Children's Board and kept on file.

Records should be kept for 6 years after the referral to the Sheffield Safeguarding Children's Board or the police unless any need to be retained longer (e.g. due to relevant legal action; requirement to comply with any other statutory requirements).

Child welfare concerns that do not necessitate a referral to Children’s Social Care or the police. In such circumstances, the University should make a record of the concern and the outcome.

For example where a child has been bullied, overly pushy parents or a very distressed child where the distress is unrelated to child abuse.

Records should be kept for 1 year after the child/adult concerned ceases to engage with the University.

If concerns have been raised about an adult’s (e.g. a student or member of staff) behaviour around children or vulnerable adults

In such circumstances records should be retained at least until the adult reaches normal state retirement age, or for 10 years if that is longer.

4. Storage and disposal action

a. Information about concerns, allegations, and referrals will be kept in separate files (electronically).

b. Folders and files will be labelled accurately.

c. Sensitive or confidential data will only be stored in secure google folders with access limited to appropriate safeguarding personnel.

d. A case log will be kept recording retention periods.

e. The Safeguarding Panel will have ‘disposal action required’ as a standing item on the agenda. The Secretary to the Safeguarding Panel will highlight any information which is due to be disposed of. This will be minuted (quoting case reference number).

f. At the end of the retention period and following a Safeguarding Panel (as above), the relevant google files and folders will be permanently deleted.

g. The date when records are permanently deleted will be recorded on the case log.

D. Procedure for raising safeguarding concerns

1. The University will take all safeguarding concerns seriously and will share reports and concerns promptly to the appropriate external agency such as South Yorkshire Police or Sheffield Safeguarding Hub. (If the child is in immediate danger, the Police should be contacted - via Security if on Campus 4444 or by calling the police directly on 999).

2. The University procedure for raising concerns reflects the statutory guidance, including that from HM Government guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children, A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children”, July 2018.

“Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe. No single practitioner can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.

“In order that organisations, agencies and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that everyone working with children and families, including those who work with parents/carers, understands the role they should play and the role of other practitioners. They should be aware of, and comply with, the published arrangements set out by the local safeguarding partners.”

3. In the first instance any concerns raised by staff, students, volunteers or members of the public should be escalated to a person in authority. This could be a line manager, course leader, personal tutor or member of staff leading a particular activity. That person in authority should then report the concerns to the appropriate TUoS Safeguarding ‘lead’ contact.

4. The appropriate contact should be decided upon depending upon the context and location of the concern. However if the appropriate contact is not immediately obvious the nearest option should be contacted, this should not be a barrier to sharing concerns.

5. The TUoS Safeguarding ‘lead’ will speak to staff and based on the information obtained, will decide whether it is a safeguarding concern.

6. If it is to be dealt with as a safeguarding concern, a report form will be completed by the Safeguarding ‘lead’; all details and actions are to be recorded on this document.

7. Safeguarding concerns should be recorded, retained and stored in line with section C of this policy. Actions and outcomes will be tracked and logged by the Safeguarding Panel on the safeguarding case log.

8. Where an incident or concerns have been reported to one of the statutory agencies, the ‘lead’ Safeguarding Panel member will share appropriate information with the statutory agency as required and in a timely manner. This may involve sending a copy of the ‘safeguarding reporting form’ and / or providing information in another preferred format.

9. A Risk Assessment Panel will be convened where there are safeguarding concerns involving a student or students which warrant an evaluation of the risks to those involved to prevent further harm from taking place.

10. Imposing Restrictions

When the University becomes aware of a safeguarding concern, the Risk Assessment Panel will consider and decide if any and what actions need to be carried out to ensure our community is safeguarded. In situations where concerns have been raised about a safeguarding risk from a member of our community, the Risk Assessment Panel will consider and decide on any precautionary measures. These could include restrictions on access or restriction on involvement of activities run by the University which engages with under 18s. Where restrictions have been agreed, the name of the subject but not the details of the case or reason for the restriction, will be shared with the relevant and necessary services, including:

  • The “gatekeepers” of under 18 activities (such as staff running outreach activities with schools, academic department staff overseeing scheduled learning, staff overseeing sporting activities)
  • Security
  • Corporate Communications
  • The academic department
  • Information Security, IT Services
  • Accommodation and Commercial Services
  • Human Resources
  • English Language Teaching Centre
  • Student Conduct and Appeals
  • Sport Sheffield
  • Student Recruitment & Widening Participation
  • Students Union (via a SU departmental safeguarding lead)

The nominated person from these teams will be responsible to ensure any restrictions are upheld. Information will be shared in a reasonable way to ensure that this requirement is fulfilled.

11. Regulations relating to the discipline of students

Safeguarding concerns that may be criminal in nature or against the Student Code of Conduct may be considered under the Regulations relating to the Discipline of Students. These regulations also include options for precautionary measures and suspension of students that may be applied to safeguard our community.

12. Sharing with the Director of Student Support Service

Where it has been deemed necessary to put in place restrictions on activities or where action is being considered under other procedures such as disciplinary action or reporting to the police, details of the cases will be shared with the Director of Student Support Services.

13. Sharing with University Executive Board

Where cases have been shared with the Director of Student Support Services, the Director will consider the necessity of informing the University Executive Board on a case by case basis.

E. Flowcharts outlining safeguarding procedures

1. Referrals to Safeguarding Panel

2. Student Prevent-related referrals to Safeguarding Panel

F. Training

1. The University is committed to ensure that staff, students and volunteers understand their safeguarding responsibilities and keep their knowledge up to date. Staff, students and volunteers whose roles and responsibilities include regular contact with children and vulnerable adults will receive training and guidance appropriate to their role.

2. The following training courses and support are available:

a. For all staff:
• ‘Supporting our Students’ online training. This is mandatory training for all staff and is renewable every 2 years. This 20 minute course provides information about the various support services that are available for students, and includes information about safeguarding and Prevent.
• Line Managers should promote the discussion of safeguarding in one-to-one and team meetings.

b. Line managers of staff who co-ordinate activities for children:
• Are required to complete Awareness of Child Abuse and Neglect (CORE) Training - recommended by the Sheffield Children’s Safeguarding Board).
• Prevent training (in-house).

c. Staff who co-ordinate activities (or supervise volunteers who co-ordinate activities for children):

3. A recommendation to undertake safeguarding training should be triggered by the Line Manager when there is a requirement for the post-holder to complete a DBS check. Co-ordination of staff supervision and relevant records in accordance with this policy is the responsibility of the relevant line manager.

4. Safeguarding training should be completed as part of the induction process and within three months of taking up post. Staff are expected to keep their knowledge up to date, renew their ‘Supporting our Students’ training every two years and attend other refresher training every three years from the date of appointment or sooner if circumstances change (e.g. role change, activity development etc.).

5. In relation to activities involving vulnerable adult members of the public, the line manager and activity co-ordinator are jointly responsible for adjusting the above principles and seeking advice on training from an appropriate agency (e.g. Adult Safeguarding Partnership).

6. Safeguarding Panel members

Safeguarding Panel members who do not fall into the above categories (2b and/or 2c) must complete CORE and Prevent as a minimum. All Panel members are expected to take responsibility for developing and maintaining their professional knowledge to be able to advise or signpost effectively. Examples include (but are not limited to) Female Genital Mutilation; The Effect of Parental Drug and Alcohol Misuse on Children; Safer Recruitment; Sexual Exploitation; Trafficking, Exploitation and Modern Slavery; Children with Disabilities and Extremism and Prevent (see online training - recommended by the Sheffield Children’s Safeguarding Board). The Panel Chair will be responsible for requiring a robust level of safeguarding knowledge across the Panel.

G. Activities involving children or adults at risk

1. All activity organisers should ensure that:

a. The activity is appropriately risk assessed.

b. The activity is designed to minimise occasions where University staff will need to work alone in an unsupervised way with children or adults at risk.

c. The activity has an individual nominated to act as the safeguarding lead officer.

d. Staff involved in delivering the activities have the appropriate training - refer to section F.

e. Participants are advised of the relevant trained member of staff, to report any concerns to during the activity.

2. Educational and outreach activities with children

a. The UK Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Team within Student Recruitment and Admissions is responsible for a range of activities aimed at raising aspirations of young people to enter higher education and working with prospective students. The majority of these activities involve working with young people under the age of 18. All outreach and widening participation activities are carried out in line within TUoS safeguarding policy and procedures.

b. The UK Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Team is also able to provide information and training, to ensure that academic departments outreach and widening participation work is carried out within TUoS safeguarding policy and procedures.

H. Students under 18

1. Admissions:

a. The University admits students of all ages who can demonstrate that they are able to benefit from the course they have chosen to study, and from the social and learning environment which the University provides.

b. A number of students who are admitted to undergraduate courses reach the age of 18 in their first year at the University.

c. Equality legislation establishes that there is no lower age limit for admission to University.

d. Academic departments, residential services and Student Support Services are informed of under 18 applicants to ensure that safeguarding issues are considered.

2. Safeguarding procedures and guidance:

a. Contact is made with parents and carers to make them aware of remit and boundaries of TUoS services in relation to students in this category.

b. Information and guidance for students, parents and carers is available on our 'students under the age of 18' webpages. 

c. The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) have a separate safeguarding policy and procedures: AMRC safeguarding policy

I. Residents under 18 (including child dependants of student residents)

1. Under 18s in residences

a. Under 18s generally come into University accommodation in three ways:-

  • As a resident
  • As a child of a resident
  • As a guest of a resident aged over 18 (eg younger sibling visiting alone, or with parents).

2. Safeguarding concerns:

a. Misconduct of the under 18

  • Refer to Under 18s policy 2020-21
  • Clause 1.10 of that policy requires us to promptly inform the guardian/ next-of-kin if the under 18 is ‘in serious breach of the Residence Contract invoking the Disciplinary Regulations.’ This would include arson, violence, misconduct leading to extensive costs, harassment, damaging the University’s reputation etc.

b. Welfare of the under 18 (eg they become ill)

  • Refer to our 'students under the age of 18' webpages. The resident must also notify their guardian/parent in UK if they miss more than half a day’s attendance due to ill health.
  • If an under 18 becomes unwell and remains in the Residences, Residence Life will offer support as with a resident over 18.
  • If a resident under 18 is known to be buying or consuming tobacco, alcohol or other age-restricted items/substances, this will be reported through ACS disciplinary channels.

c. Abuse of under 18

  • Where allegations of abuse arise, ACS will refer to the University’s Safeguarding Panel procedures.

d. Duty of care

  • Contact with parent/guardian will not normally be made by ACS. If it is considered, there will be consultation with the Safeguarding Panel.

3. Under 18 child of resident

a. Misconduct by under 18, damage to University property or other unacceptable behaviour by children will be the responsibility of the parent as per the Residence Contract.

b. ACS will ensure that parents are aware of their responsibilities in that it is unlawful to leave a child where they might be at risk and will contact authorities where there is a breach. This will be reported to the Safeguarding Panel.

c. Other safeguarding concerns will be referred to the Safeguarding Panel.

4. Under 18 guest of resident

a. Misconduct - under the terms of the Disciplinary Regulations and the Residence Contract, the resident is responsible for the behaviour of and damage caused by the under 18 (or any other guest).

b. Welfare - if the under 18 becomes unwell in University accommodation, the resident has a responsibility to seek medical assistance.

  • reference requests relating to further training/employment in future where the safeguarding issue will need to be considered
  • departmental activity involving children and vulnerable adults etc.

c. Limited information may need to be shared with HR and Students’ Union in case the safeguarding issue is or becomes relevant in relation to employment, volunteering or other activity sharing information about safeguarding good practice with staff, students and volunteers and with any external agencies or individuals as appropriate.

d. Relevant information will be shared with external agencies as required/appropriate.

J. Non-student adult residents in residences

1. Eligibility

ACS will normally provide accommodation only to partner/spouse and dependant (school age) children.

2. Declarations

a. Student residents must declare any relevant criminal convictions (as do students at TUoS) of a person sharing accommodation with them.

b. ACS will refer such cases to the Safeguarding Panel and reserves the right to refuse accommodation to an adult on safeguarding grounds.

K. Admission of student applicants declaring criminal convictions

1. The Vice President for Education makes decisions relating to admission of applicants declaring criminal convictions.

2. The Vice President for Education is advised by a panel that includes:

  • Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions
  • Director of Student Support Services
  • Assistant Director of IT Services
  • Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services (or delegate)

3. The Panel will recommend any actions or issues that need to be considered to ensure the safeguarding of the community (and the applicant). This may include reference to external agencies for further guidance.

4. Where an applicant can be made an offer and accepts it, the relevant Admissions Manager (UG or PG) will liaise with relevant staff, including those in the academic department as appropriate/necessary.

5. The Safeguarding Panel will advise relevant colleagues on a need to know/need to support basis.

L. Adults at risk

1. Students

It is possible that a current student could be/become a vulnerable adult. In this case, the responsibility for reviewing the fitness to study and safeguarding issues is delegated to Student Support Services.

2. Residents

Student Support Services will consider Fitness to Study procedures where an applicant is “in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or exploitation”. Student Support Services will advise as appropriate.

3. Visitors

Concerns around procedures and practice relating to vulnerable adult visitors will be referred to the Safeguarding Panel.

M. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

TUoS is committed to adhering to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Code of Practice and has processes in place to check the suitability of staff and students whose duties involve regular contact or supervision of children or adults who may be vulnerable.

DBS Staff - information
DBS Students - information

N. Staff

1. The University as a responsible employer ensures that it engages staff in a way that is compliant with relevant legislation.

2. All vacant positions within the University are reviewed during the recruitment process and a consideration of the risks is undertaken. Where there is the potential for regular unsupervised contact with children and vulnerable adults then a DBS check may be undertaken.

3. Offers of employment to all posts subject to a DBS check are conditional upon the individual meeting the required standard and failure to do so could result in an immediate withdrawal of the offer of employment.

4. Failure to disclose or the provision of a false statement of disclosure by a potential employee may result in disciplinary action with a potential sanction up to and including summary (instant) dismissal.

5. All DBS disclosures containing convictions are risk assessed against the job role on an individual basis by a designated senior member of Human Resources.

6. Periodically, when the role of an existing member of staff changes it may be necessary to review the job role and for the existing staff member to undertake a DBS check.

7. Staff are contractually obliged to notify the University of any post-employment criminal convictions. If the individual is found in breach of this contractual obligation then disciplinary action may be taken with a potential sanction up to and including summary (instant) dismissal.

8. If a member of staff has suspicions regarding the contact of another employee or individual engaged on University business with a child/children or a vulnerable adult, then at the earliest opportunity they should raise this with Human Resources. This is in order that any potential risk can be minimised with immediate effect and to allow an investigation into the allegations to take place.

Processing criminal records checks
Employment of ex-offenders
TUoS disciplinary procedure

O. Agency, casual and temporary staff

1. Agency workers, casual and temporary staff are obliged during their time at the University to adhere to the University’s Policy on the Recruitment and Employment of Ex-Offenders, and will be required to undergo a DBS check if it is established that the role requires a pre-employment check

2. For agency workers, the recruiting manager is responsible for identifying and communicating with the provider whether any relevant checks are required for a role. It is the agency’s responsibility to undertake and notify the recruiting manager of the outcome of the check.

P. Work placements involving children

1. Guidance is available on the HR web pages.

2. The recommended approach is to have a nominated individual in each department to undertake the role of work experience co-ordinator who will have been DBS checked to confirm that they are not disqualified from working in a regulated position. They will then be responsible for supervising the “child” for the duration of their placement.

3. Where delegating the responsibility for supervision to a single individual is not practical, the suggested good practise approach to ensure the protection of all parties is not to permit the ‘child’ on work placement to work unsupervised or on a 1:1 basis with a single member of University staff. This may limit slightly the number of roles which would be suitable to be undertaken, but should not prevent the placement being undertaken.

4. If the relevant department has specific concerns relating to a particular set of circumstances (e.g. where there may be substantial unsupervised access by a single member of staff with the “child”) this should be raised with Human Resources at the earliest opportunity in order that a risk assessment may be undertaken. This will allow for the necessary checks and balances to be put in place to minimise the risk to all parties.

Q. Whistleblowing

1. All staff/volunteers have a duty to highlight matters of concern or suspicion regarding the behaviour of others to their managers (unless it is the behaviour of the manager that is concerning, in which case, they should contact a more senior manager).

2. It is acknowledged that taking such action against any professional is very difficult, especially if there is a concern about harassment or victimisation should such allegations be made. But the safety of children and vulnerable adults is paramount and everyone has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It is important to remember that it is often the most vulnerable children who are targeted. They need vigilant staff/volunteers to act on their behalf: Don’t think what if I’m wrong; think what if I’m right.

3. Grounds for whistleblowing action:

All staff/volunteers have a responsibility to highlight concerns about behaviour or practice of others that they do not think is acceptable.
For information on reporting concerns about volunteers or staff, see HR whilstleblowing webpage.
It is vital that staff and volunteers discuss the situation with their line manager. Children and vulnerable adults should never be put at risk as a result of a failure to raise concerns about the behaviour of others.

4. Once an allegation or suspicion has been raised:

When a member of staff/volunteer has raised issues of concern with their manager or other appropriate person in the organisation, the following should occur:

  • They should be kept informed of the nature and progression of any enquiries that are subsequently conducted;
  • The line manager has a duty to protect them from victimisation or harassment;
  • No action will be taken against the member of staff/volunteer who raised the concerns if they are proven to be unfounded but were raised in good faith, though malicious allegations may be considered a disciplinary offence.

5. Self-reporting:

If a member of staff/volunteer has developed physical or psychological problems that they feel are having an effect on their professional competence, they have a duty to report this to their line manager. Advice is available from Human Resources.

6. Note the University Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure support the above and provide general guidance on whistleblowing.

R. Sporting facilities

1. Policy

a. A comprehensive Sport Sheffield Safeguarding Policy is in place covering staff recruitment and training alongside the delivery of sports services and the appropriate response to any identified concerns.

b. Sport Sheffield is subject to inspection by Ofsted.

c. Sport Sheffield staff work closely with under 18s and are subject to DBS checks.

2. Fitness to Study/Practise

Where there is a concern about a student that possibly relates to fitness to study or to practise, this will be referred to Student Support Services.

S. Research

Research projects involving children are subject to the University’s Ethics Policy Governing Research Involving Human Participants, Personal Data and Human Tissue for research. Partner agencies (e.g. NHS Trusts) also have their own ethics procedures.

T. Partnership and local arrangements

The University of Sheffield works in close partnership with key stakeholder organisations to fulfil its safeguarding responsibilities and their policies have been aligned by recognising that activities and engagement of relevant individuals, groups and activities cross over these partner organisations. Sharing of information between partners on individual cases is embedded in practice and procedures.

1. Students’ Union

The Student's Union is an independent registered charity. The following facilities are operated by the Students’ Union: Children's Services (including the Nursery and International Partners’ Creche); Social Enterprise (licensed areas) and Membership Engagement (community volunteering). The Student's Union has separate safeguarding policy and arrangements in place, which are subject to annual internal review.

2. The University of Sheffield International College

a. Study Group is the owner and provider of the University of Sheffield International College. Study Group has a separate safeguarding policy (including child protection) and associated procedures in place, which are subject to regular review.

b. The University of Sheffield International College has a Designated Safeguarding Lead who has overall responsibility for safeguarding and acts as the Local Prevent Lead.

c. TUoS provide Residence Life support for students of the International College living in St Vincent’s accommodation. Residence Life and Study Group have agreed local arrangements for escalation of incidents of a serious welfare nature, where Residence Life become aware of serious welfare concerns they refer to an identified member of USIC/Study Group staff.
Study Group safeguarding policy

3. AMRC Training Centre

The AMRC has a separate safeguarding policy (including child protection) in place, which is subject to annual review. AMRC has a Designated Safeguarding Lead and Designated Safeguarding Officers.
AMRC safeguarding policy

U. Commercial services

1. Alcohol

a. University bar staff are trained to request I.D. where necessary and all ‘Personal License Holders’ are DBS checked.

b. During private events such as weddings, 16 and 17 year olds may be allowed to consume alcohol where a meal is being served, under parent/guardian supervision.

2. Safeguarding of under 18s events

a. Conference organisers implement a system of accredited identification for all persons attending a conference where there are groups of under 18s attending. Appropriate adult to under 18s ratios must be maintained to ensure adequate supervision.

b. The safety of venues in relation to public access, other users etc. must be considered

c. TUoS Health and Safety guidance must also be considered

3. Fitness to Study/Practise

Where there is a concern about a student that possibly relates to fitness to study or to practise, this will be referred to Student Support Services.

Approved by Senate Dec 2020 (V1.0). Updated May 2021 (V2.0).