Safeguarding Policy

This policy applies to all staff, including full time staff, other part-time staff, agency staff, volunteers, advisors and students or anyone working on behalf of MyPocketSkill.

The purpose of this policy is:

  • To protect children and young people who receive MyPocketSkill services. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
  • To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.

MyPocketSkill believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Relevant government guidance on safeguarding children

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • Adopting child protection practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures, including a set of Community Guidelines and advice for staying safe when using our services
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.

We will ensure appropriate privacy controls are in place by:

  • All communication between users (young people, parent/carers, households, businesses and other parties) will be conducted via the MyPocketSkill platform (i.e. there will be no exchange of personal contact information such as phone number or email address).
  • For all young people registering on the website of school age, an additional linked profile with the email address of a parent/carer will be added so that they are included in all relevant communication and messaging
  • All personal user data stored on MyPocketSkill will be in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and our own Privacy Policy.

We will ensure appropriate practice in delivering services online by:

  • Providing guidance on appropriate conduct to all parties involved. Specifically this includes:
    • Guidance on appropriate clothing for all participants
    • Guidance on appropriate conduct on the MyPocketSkill platform as per our Community Guidelines
    • Restricting backgrounds (user features to blur backgrounds where possible and having no personal items on display)
    • Minimising potential distractions and disturbances
    • Using a headset or headphones to cancel out background noise
    • Keep a register of video calls, with transcription service
    • Ensuring that there is a suitable environment for an online session (e.g. discouraging for example young people to make video calls from their bedroom).
    • Encouraging the presence of parents and carers (e.g. at the start and end of the session) to ensure that they are well-informed
    • Being always conscious of confidentiality/privacy issues when working online.
  • Providing appropriate training and guidance to users of our platform who are conducting an online session, including:
    • Access to safeguarding training (e.g. through our tutoring training modules)
    • Familiarity with reporting systems (e.g. how to report a child protection concern or other individual pupil’s needs)
    • Knowledge of our information security processes and expectations
  • Managing the onboarding and verification and communication of our users, including:
    • Verifying identities / displaying the status of background checks for users
    • Arranging for onboarding / interviewing of new platform users (supply-side)
    • Publishing reviews / ratings for users
    • Managing and moderating user profiles, listings and messages. This may include the recording and storage of messages and online sessions in accordance with our data storage & retention policy.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

This policy (Version 2.4) was last reviewed on: 21st November 2023.

This policy will next be reviewed no later than: 21st November 2024.

Written by: The Founders of MyPocketSkill, originally based on the model kindly provided by NSPCC.