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The University has a duty, both in law and as a responsible organisation, to take reasonable care of children and vulnerable adults coming onto its premises. The University aims to adopt the highest possible standards and take all reasonable steps in relation to the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults. The University encounters children and vulnerable adults in a variety of settings, including through its teaching and research activities, as well as through its outreach programmes.

Safeguarding in relation to children is defined by the Children Act 1989 and Joint Chief Inspectors Report on Arrangements to Safeguard Children (2002) as requiring:

“Agencies [and organisations] working with children and young people to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to the individual’s welfare are minimised; and

Where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all agencies [and organisations] take all appropriate actions to address those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures, working in partnership with other local agencies’.

The University is fully committed to meeting the requirements of safeguarding, as defined above, both in relation to children and vulnerable adults, in order to ensure that they are safeguarded whilst enjoying opportunities to develop their full potential.

Relevant policies and legislation

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Universities policies and procedures:

The following legislation is relevant to this policy, either because it has influenced its introduction and/or its content:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975
  • The Police Act 1997
  • Protection of Children Act 1999
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 is of particular importance as all decisions made to bar individuals from working with children or adults are now made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) under this legislation.

Policy ownership and updates

The Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy is owned by the HR Division. It will be periodically reviewed and updated by the HR Division, in consultation with the Academic Division, to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and internal change.

The HR Division will ensure that each published version of this policy is archived, along with details of when it was in operation.