Safeguarding

Keeping others safe

Stepping Stones is committed to safeguarding our students, staff and visitors.

Safeguarding means:

  • Promotion of health and development
  • Ensuring safety and care
  • Ensuring the best life chances
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Prevention of bullying and harassment

The term ‘Safeguarding’ embraces both child and vulnerable adult protection and preventative approaches to keep our students, staff and visitors safe. Safeguarding encompasses students’ health and safety, welfare and well-being. We have developed a Safeguarding Policy and Procedure that aims to meet this commitment.

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones team by;

Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

If you have any Safeguarding concerns when our office is closed and our Safeguarding advisor is unavailable, then you should contact the relevant businesses as shown below:

For Child Safeguarding: For Adult Safeguarding:
  • Call Staffordshire County Council: 0345 604 2719 or email: VAStaffordshire@staffordshire.gov.uk
  • Call Stoke-on-Trent Council: 0800 561 0015 or email: adult.protection@stoke.gov.uk
Further Contact Numbers:
  • Staffordshire Police: Non Emergency – 111, Emergency – 999
  • Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111
  • Action or Elder Abuse: 0808 808 8141
  • Care Quality Commission: 03000 616 161
  • Out of hours – Emergency Duty Service: 0345 604 2886

These organisations will be able to help you and take any necessary action. Please contact the Stepping Stones during opening hours in order for our Safeguarding Officer to follow this up on your behalf and offer the appropriate support.



Terminology Explained


Child abuse is categorised as ‘a form of maltreatment of a child or young person under the age of 18 years’. It can be present when someone is inflicting harm or if a person is failing to act to prevent harm. Child abuse may be of a sexual, physical or emotional nature. It may also be caused by the neglect of a child or young person’s basic physical or psychological needs.

The warning signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect can vary from child to child. If you suspect a child is being subjected to any form of abuse you can email our Safeguarding team at enquiries@stepstones-uk.com

Alternatively you can contact one of the below agencies for help and advice:

  • Crimestoppers UK: 0800 555 111
  • Police: 101 or 999 in an Emergency
  • Child Line: 0800 1111
  • Safe and Sound: 01332 362120
  • 24 hour free anonymous helpline: text or call 116 000

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any Safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

Child Sexual Exploitation is defined as ‘a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity’.

Sexual Exploitation can happen to girls or boys and it is never the young person’s fault. An abuser can be a stranger, a friend or family member, or another young person such as a boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you, or someone you know, are being sexually abused or exploited you can contact one of the below agencies for help and advice:

  • Police: 101 or 999 in an Emergency.
  • Child Line 0800 1111
  • Safe and Sound: 01332 362120

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. It is defined as ‘the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna’. Despite some claims, there is no medical benefit to having the procedure and it can often cause severe damage to the girl’s mental and physical health.

For advice, support or to report FGM call the free 24 hour anonymous helpline on 0800 028 3550 For more information on how to spot the signs of FGM or protect those who may be at risk please visit www.nspcc.org.uk/fgm

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse from friends and family members is used. It is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic or child abuse, and a serious abuse of human rights.

Threats can be physical, emotional and psychological. Financial abuse is also sometimes used, by taking away a person’s wages or financial independence they are left with very few options.

If you are worried about the above you can contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151 between 9-5 pm Monday to Friday. Outside of working hours you can contact the Global Response Centre on 0207 008 1500. For more information and guidance about Forced Marriage visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

The internet is a great way to learn something new, talk to friends and share things with others. However it’s also important to stay safe online and make sure you don’t share things that could put you in danger.

Computers and mobile phones make it easier to access the internet but they can also put people at risk of cyber bullying and online grooming. For more information on what you can do to stay safe online visit: http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/OnlineSafety/Pages/OnlineSafety.aspx

If you have felt threatened or at risk whilst online you can call ChildLine’s free and confidential number 0800 11 11. Adults can contact the National Bullying Helpline on: 0845 22 55787 or 07734 701221.

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

What can parents/carers do to help children keep safe online? Follow the Golden Rules:

  • Discuss together as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what information should be kept private (such as personal information, photos in school uniform etc) and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Ensure your children know the risks of accepting friends’ requests from strangers online and make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline. Make sure your child uses strong passwords to protect their online accounts. It is important they know they need to keep their passwords safe and not share them with anyone or use the same password for several accounts.
  • Consider locating your child’s computers and laptops in a family area but be aware that children access the internet on mobile phones, games consoles and tablets so use can’t always be supervised.
  • Be especially aware of settings rules relating to your child’s use of webcams and any applications or devices which allow voice or video chat. Childnet have useful information for young people about using webcams safely www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/hot-topics/video-chat-and-webcams
Online Safety
  • Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact from unknown people. Research different parental control software and tools available for your home and select the tools which are most suitable to you, your child and the technology in your home. Visit: www.internetmatters.org and www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide for safety information and advice about parental controls on consoles and devices and how to report concerns.
  • Make sure you read any parental guidance and safety recommendations (including age requirements – most popular social networking sites and apps are only for users aged 13+) for any apps or websites before allowing your child to use them – visit: www.net-aware.org.uk
  • Always remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
Listen
  • Take an active interest in your child’s life online and talk openly with them about the things they do. Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together with your child can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online.
  • To start a conversation with your child you could tell them that you understand that some young people share images and videos online and that you’re interested to know what they think about it and how they think they can keep themselves safe.
Dialogue – keep talking
  • Ensure that your child knows that once a picture, video or comment is sent or posted online, then it can be very difficult to remove as other people can forward it and share it with others, without them even knowing.
  • www.childnet.com and www.thinkuknow.co.uk has some really useful tips and ideas for parents/carers about starting conversations about online safety.
  • Always ensure your child knows how to report and block people online who may send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply to cyberbullying and to keep any evidence.
  • Make sure your child knows it’s important that they tell an adult they trust if anything happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by:
Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378

As part of the Prevent duty recently introduced by the Government, Stepping Stones recognises that is has to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and protect children and young adults from the risk of radicalisation.

Radicalisation is defined as ‘a grooming process or exploitation phase of recruitment to a particular cause or ideology’, and as a training provider, we are committed to protecting our students from this. We have a referral system in place for the Channel programme which aims to provide support to individuals at risk of being drawn into violent extremism. It works as a collaboration between local authorities, the police, Stepping Stones and the local community.

Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Policy

We are also active in encouraging British Values within the provider. These include democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. If you are worried about radicalisation or extremism either for yourself or others, you can talk to someone on 020 7340 7264.

If you study with us or your child studies with us and you have any safeguarding concerns you can contact the Stepping Stones Safeguarding team by: Email: enquiries@stepstones-uk.com
Phone: 01782 478378