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1. A partnership between Kings and host

This handbook is designed to guide you on what you can expect when hosting an overseas student and what is expected of you as a homestay. As a Kings homestay you are providing a very important service to our students. As well as representing Kings, you will have a very large part to play in ensuring your student has an enjoyable time in the UK, in a safe and supportive environment.

Providing a home away from home for an international student is one of the most rewarding things you can do. There are huge cultural benefits for both hosts and students alike, and strong personal bonds are created which last well beyond the hosting period.

Kings have been arranging the hosting of international students since 1957. Every year, we welcome thousands of students from over 70 countries and we are proud that tens of thousands of them have enjoyed a richly rewarding experience in the UK. Students are aged from 14 years upwards and stay for varying lengths of time depending on their course. We offer a variety of Academic and English courses preparing students for entry to British Universities.

Here is a brief summary of the different types of students that Kings provides courses for:

  • Academic – A student studying a university preparation course, they can be with us from 3 months to 3 years.
  • EFL (English as a Foreign Language) - A student studying a general English course, they can be with us from 2 weeks upwards.
  • Short Term - A student studying for a minimum of two weeks up to three months.
  • Long Term - A student studying for a minimum of three months onwards.

We are accredited by both British Council and Ofsted and as such have a duty to follow their guidelines in order to maintain the highest standards of care for the students.

What you can expect from Kings

  • To feel an active part of the Kings community
  • A full support service so you can fulfil your role
  • Kings staff available 24/7 to assist with any issues (contact details are printed on page 2 of this handbook)
  • A friendly and professional accommodation team
  • Regular newsletters and correspondence from Kings
  • The opportunity to provide feedback on your hosting experience with Kings
  • Swift resolutions to any issues you may have when hosting

Your information

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of EU-wide legislation which determines how people’s personal data is processed and kept safe, and the legal rights individuals have in relation to their own data

Please read our GDPR guide for hosts and our Host Privacy Notice for full details outlining what data we hold on you and what we do with it, along with your rights

These documents also explain how the student data we share with you is kept in line with data protection law

Keeping us in the picture

Please keep us updated on the following:

  • Your availability to host (i.e., upcoming holidays)
  • Time that you as the main host or whole household will be away
  • Whether you are planning to take students from other schools
  • Any change in domestic circumstance, such as marital status, new pets etc.
  • Any changes in homestay members (i.e., lodgers or long term family visitor)
  • Any change in rooms used for students (i.e., rooms not previously inspected)
  • Any queries, problems or concerns with a student in your care

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2. Contacts

Kings Bournemouth

Kings Brighton

Kings London

Kings Oxford

  • Address: Temple Road, Oxford OX4 2UJ, UK
  • Accommodation office telephone:
  • Accommodation office email:
  • Key contacts

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3. What an international student needs from you

Homestay students and their families choose homestay for the home from home experience and the opportunity to practise their English. Please use the following as a guide to ensure your student is sensitively integrated into your family.

  • As soon as your student arrives, it’s important to give them a friendly welcome
  • Please try to make sure that all members of the household are introduced to the student
  • Explain your house rules and daily routines (including rules about friends and visitors)
  • Provide them with help regarding local travel, especially their journey to and from school
  • Share family leisure time with them when possible
  • Provide them with advice on local places of interest and facilities

We have produced a Homestay Information Sheet for you to share with your student and a New Student Homestay Checklist for you to complete to ensure that they have important information. Please make sure you go through this with them on arrival and that they store this information in a suitable place.

You will be sent a Homestay Student Welcome Letter to place in their room for their arrival. This has important information for them about staying in homestay accommodation and some questions they can ask you to help get to know each other.

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4. Things to be aware of

Cultural misunderstandings

For many students this may be their first time away from home. Their backgrounds will vary and they will have very different ideas about home-life. Differences in culture can give rise to misunderstandings for homestay providers as well as their students. Social skills such as using “please” and “thank you” may seem like common politeness but different cultures express social skills in very different ways. In many cultures requests are expressed much more directly than British people are accustomed to. Similarly, a student may have difficulty coping if their English is very elementary; they may also interpret certain British traits (such as a reluctance to speak to strangers) as unfriendliness. These feelings of alienation can be caused by relatively ‘minor’ things such as unfamiliar food; differences in routine; differences in travel arrangements and unfamiliar official procedures. They can be exacerbated by the deeper cultural differences in family life or language. The best way to deal with these issues is to anticipate them, and where necessary to address them in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. Over time, misunderstandings will fade away.

Homesickness

Students may well be suffering from feelings of mild alienation or even culture shock. Providing a friendly and secure ‘base’ is a vital part of helping them overcome these feelings. Culture shock is similar to the feelings we have when we are adapting to a new job or other environment, only more so. Your students may be initially excited and positive about their new culture. But as the reality of deeper cultural differences sinks in, this excitement can wear off. Students may then start to miss friends, family and places as they begin to have doubts about themselves and their new environment. Culture shock may manifest itself in a wide range of behaviour, including confusion, withdrawal, tiredness and anxiety. Providing a comfortable and welcoming home will go a long way to overcoming such culture shock. The vast majority of students settle into their new life until the final phase occurs, which is often a feeling of sadness and loss as they approach the end of their time in the UK. If you have a homesick student, alert the college and ask us for support. Also ask your student to talk to you about home and get them to show you photographs of their family.

Practicing English

Conversation is a very important part of the student’s learning process. Spending time each day in conversation with your student is a valuable way of helping them improve their English and learn about the British way of life. It will be very valuable if you show an interest in their country, family, progress at college and even help out with their homework. It’s essential that as a host you help and encourage them to communicate in English. Patience and understanding will be appreciated, as students are often at low levels of English when they first arrive. When talking with your student, try to speak slowly, simply and clearly. Most students like watching some television. It provides entertainment and improves their English. The student may expect to be able to watch television with you.

Religious practices and beliefs

For many of our students, their religion is not merely a code of conduct, it dictates their way of life. Of course, students’ beliefs should be respected and received with an open mind. Religion can also provide security for some in an unfamiliar environment. The college provides a prayer room and can help students to contact local community groups if they wish to practise their religion.

Personal relationships

International students may find attitudes to men, women and relationships very different from what they are used to at home. Some may not be accustomed to public displays of affection between couples or even a friendly hug or kiss. Others may regard British people as unusually reserved and lacking in warmth. Men from some cultures may have problems accepting authority from females as it is highly unusual in their own country. Women may feel uncomfortable complaining about something as they are afraid that it may be taken as an insult. The key to overcoming all of this is, as before, to maintain an open mind, a mutually respectful stance and a determination to communicate. If you can bring this to your role as a host, you should have no problems.

Gifts

Some students may give you a small gift, which it is fine to accept. It’s not uncommon for hosts to give their student a small gift or card on their birthday but this is not a requirement.

Multiple occupancy

Mandatory licensing of a house as being ‘in multiple occupancy’ may apply if the property is two or more storeys and occupied by four or more persons. Further details can be found on the government website https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/houses-in-multiple-occupation.

Mail & luggage

Hosts may not hold or destroy a student’s mail. It should be forwarded or returned to the Post Office marked “No longer at this address”. If any student leaves mail or luggage, please inform Kings immediately.

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5. Homestay facilities and services

Other students

  • Please inform us if you have any students from another school
  • There should not be 2 students of the same mother tongue in the same homestay
  • There should be no more than 4 students accommodated in a homestay and no more than 3 if under a private fostering arrangement
  • If hosting a student U18, male and female students are no placed in the same homestay, where possible
  • If hosting a student U18 there should not be students over the age of 18 in the same homestay

N.B If bookings differ from the above criteria, we will have received student/parental/guardian consent and you will be informed at the time of booking.

The student bedroom

  • Most students will book a single room but on occasions a student may prefer to share a twin room. You will be informed of this at the time of booking. There should not be more than 2 students placed in the same room.
  • Your student should be provided with their own furnished room, including a bed, dressing table, chair, mirror, bin and facilities for hanging clothes. A pin-board will also be useful to display timetables etc.
  • A desk in their room or access to a suitable place to study and do their homework
  • Good lighting, ventilation and adequate heating (the cost of this is included in the payment we make to you)
  • Bed linen should be provided and an extra blanket if adjusting to the UK weather
  • If you have more than one bedroom available for students, please allocate the larger one for long-stay students
  • We also offer Homestay Extra, which includes a private bathroom. Full details can be found here

Facilities

  • If your student is over 16 they should be provided with a key for the homestay
  • You must provide your student with access to the living room and other common areas
  • It is against the terms of the booking to lock the common areas of the house
  • Internet access (the cost of this is included in the payment we make to you) – your student will need this for their studies and to keep in contact with friends and family
  • Please discuss any rules or restrictions regarding phone calls with your student
  • Kings cannot be held responsible for charges for calls or internet usage made by students

Laundry

  • Their bed linen and towels should be washed and changed once a week
  • One washing machine load of clothes per week for each student (the cost for weekly laundry is included in the payment you receive from us and provision for additional laundry should be agreed between you and your student)
  • It is helpful if you give your student a laundry bag/basket
  • Let your student know which day you will collect their laundry
  • Ironing facilities should be explained and made available to the student

Please be aware of cultural differences and sensitivities. It may help to give them a pillowcase to put their underwear in before it goes in the washing machine

Bathroom

  • Your student should have free access to the bathroom to have a daily bath or shower
  • You may find it useful to work out a rota for the bathroom
  • Ask your student to leave the bathroom clean and tidy after use and make sure that the student understands how to use all facilities

Cleaning & Hygiene

  • Be aware of cultural differences. For example, some students may be shocked to find that pets have access to the house
  • Please make sure that female students are told about arrangements for the disposal of sanitary products; often they are too shy or lack the vocabulary to ask
  • If there is anything in the personal hygiene regime of your student which seems unusual, it is best to try to deal with it in an open and mutually respectful way
  • If there is evidence that your student is not attending to their personal hygiene properly, this should be brought to the attention of the Accommodation Office
  • You should clean your student’s room once a week. Try to have a regular time for this, preferably when the student is at school
  • Some students may not be accustomed to tidying their own clothes or making their own beds. You may have to explain that they must now do these jobs for themselves so that you can clean the room

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6. Catering requirements and meal times

  • Your student will have booked meals on a half board package unless you are informed otherwise by the accommodation office
  • Half board includes daily breakfast and dinner (the cost of this is included in the payment you receive from us)
  • Your student should be provided with fresh, balanced meals (frozen/microwave meals/tinned food should not be served on a regular basis)
  • The student is responsible for providing their own lunch and snacks although many hosts do offer their student a light snacks such as fruit and biscuits
  • Please provide your student with space in the kitchen to store their own snacks
  • Sharing mealtimes with your student is very important as it will help build a strong relationship and allow them to practise their English
  • Your student will be told by Kings to inform you in advance if they won’t be returning home on time for dinner. Please reinforce this if required
  • If you have a microwave, you may be happy for your student to heat up their meal when they get in
  • If booking half board or full board your student should not be allowed to use cooking facilities, unless agreed by yourself
  • You are not expected to provide any special diets unless previously agreed
  • It is advisable to double check if your student has special dietary needs when they arrive or if there is any food they like/dislike
  • An extra supplement may be paid for certain dietary requirements, this will be discussed with you at the time of booking
  • Please be flexible about meal arrangements when your student first arrives. They may arrive late or be tired/jetlagged
  • If your student has booked full board they will require lunch at weekends, this will be confirmed with you in advance
  • Some Kings centres offer a self-catering package for students, where they have full access to cooking facilities and you do not provide their meals. This will be discussed with you at the time of booking

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7. Medical and Welfare

Emergency contact number

Kings has a 24 hour emergency contact number, for use by the student, or by you, in the event of a genuine emergency only. If a medical emergency arises, contact the emergency services or your doctor before you contact Kings as they will be of greater assistance in the first instance.

Medical insurance

It is a condition of enrolment on a course at Kings that all students have adequate accident and medical insurance. Kings recommends our own student insurance policy which will cover them for accident or illness while in the UK.

Action in the event of non-emergency illness or accident

If your student has a non-emergency illness or accident, please notify the Kings during office hours. You can also call your own doctor or NHS 111 if you feel necessary.

Emergency services

If your student has any involvement with the police or other emergency services, you must advise Kings as soon as possible so that all relevant responsibility will pass to the us.

Registering with a doctor

Any student staying in the UK for longer than six months should register with a doctor on arrival. Kings will assist the host or student with this process. If you register your student with your own doctor please let the Kings know.

Medical treatment

If your student has any medical treatment, please inform Kings. Your student may need to pay for medical treatment and the cost of this should normally be covered by their medical insurance. Direct them to Kings for advice on medical insurance and general advice regarding medical needs. Please be aware that we may need your assistance if your student needs to attend hospital or medical appointments.

Medication

If medicine is prescribed to your student, make sure dosage instructions are understood and the medicine is kept in a safe place. Kings may complete an Individual Healthcare Plan or Administration of Medicines Review with your student and relevant information will be shared with you. If you would like to complete training on administering medication, please discuss this with the accommodation office.

Dental treatment

If you student needs a dentist, it is usual to send them to the dentist used by your household. You should tell the student that they will be expected to pay for treatment, and that they should establish the cost and extent of treatment in advance.

General welfare

It’s important to keep an eye on your student to make sure that their work and health are not suffering in any way. Make sure your student always tells you if they are going away for a night or a weekend. If you are worried about your student, you should contact Kings. We will have regular welfare contact with your student and will inform you of any relevant information.

Use of cars and bicycles

If your student has a car or bicycle, it would be very helpful to explain to them that they should be acquainted with the British Highway Code, as well as the penalties for driving offences. For cars, of course they must also have a full driving licence and insurance. Bike riders will need to comply with relevant safety laws. Children under 16 will need to have their parents’ written permission to use a bicycle.

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8. Safety in the home

  • Please explain to your student details of any special safety rules you have in your household (i.e. intruder alarm)
  • If you have small children, make sure that the student is aware of the need to keep medication, cleaning fluids and breakables out of their reach
  • Use of electrical equipment and any room heaters should be explained carefully
  • Ask if the student has any electrical equipment and check it for differences in voltage
  • You should explain to you student what to do in case of a fire or emergency in the home
  • Smoke detectors should be fitted in all homestays and tested regularly
  • All homestays should have a carbon monoxide alarm
  • A fire safety risk assessment should be completed and updated regularly (further information on this can be found in the homestay compliance section of this document)
  • All hosts must provide an annual landlord gas safety certificate (further information on this can be found in the homestay compliance section of this document)
  • If you have CCTV fitted in the homestay this should view appropriate areas only and the accommodation office will assess this as part of your home visit
  • Please inform Kings immediately if you suspect your student may be in possession of illegal substances, weapons or alcohol. Please be aware that Kings may organise to conduct a room search

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9. Money matters

Payments

  • You must never accept any payment directly from the student – all money matters must go through Kings
  • Kings will make payments to you by BACS transfer on a fortnightly basis
  • You will receive your first payment during the second week of the student’s stay and every two weeks thereafter if applicable
  • Payments will be for a maximum of two weeks at a time
  • Payments will be deposited in your bank or building society account and you will receive a remittance advice by email
  • Please report any discrepancies to Kings as soon as possible
  • Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any charges that may be incurred as a result of unforeseen delays to payment which are outside of our control
  • If your student wants to retain their room during an absence of 7 days or more and leave their belongings so that the room cannot be re-let, please contact the college and a retainer fee may be arranged

Tax implications

  • The income you receive from hosting a student is classed as taxable by the Inland Revenue
  • At present the tax free threshold for paying tax under the “Rent a Room” scheme is £7,500 per annum, this is halved if you share the income with a partner or someone else
  • Anything above this would need to be declared in your tax return
  • If you think a student staying with you could exceed this amount, please refer to your accountant or local Tax office for advice
  • Hosts are not liable for Capital Gains Tax so long as meals are provided and the student shares other rooms in the house with the hosts, e.g. the living room etc.

Student money

  • Your student is responsible for their own spending money and for providing their own personal items including toiletries, travel expenses, entertainment etc.
  • We advise against lending money to your student as this can lead to misunderstandings
  • Students who are staying for several months should open an account with a UK bank
  • Students are strongly advised not to keep large sums of money in their rooms or on their person. It would be helpful if you could reinforce this message with them

Insurance

  • Please note that Kings cannot accept liability or responsibility for damage to your property caused by your student
  • You should ensure you have household insurance that covers any accidental damage by your student and it may also be worth insuring valuables, in case of breakage
  • Fair wear and tear should not be charged to student but they may be expected to pay for any damage they may have caused through carelessness
  • In cases of dispute Kings will be willing to arbitrate and should be contacted at an early stage, before the student leaves
  • It is imperative that you inform your household contents policy insurers that you have a paying guest/student in your home
  • If your insurance policy does not cover paying guests in your home, you may be jeopardising your cover for damage caused by a third party
  • For further information you can contact the Association of British Insurers on 020 7600 3333 or via their website (www.abi.org.uk)

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10. Booking, arrival and cancellation policies

Reservations

  • Accommodation bookings will normally be offered to you by email or phone
  • We will give you details of the student’s age, sex, nationality, duration of stay, any special requirements and medical information if known
  • Known preferences of both the student and the host will be taken into consideration
  • Once you have accepted the booking you will receive a confirmation letter via email

Arrival procedures

  • Please ensure that there is an adult member of the homestay available to welcome the student when they arrive
  • Accommodation is usually reserved from Sunday to Sunday and your student will almost always arrive at the weekend
  • We will endeavour to establish the specific arrival time of the student and inform you
  • Please be aware that Kings does not make flight arrangements for the students and the majority of our students are recruited via educational agents, we therefore do not generally have direct contact with the student before they arrive
  • All students who have not booked an airport transfer with Kings via their agent are instructed to contact their host directly to advise on their estimated time of arrival
  • It is not your responsibility to pick the student up from the airport unless you have specifically arranged with them in advance
  • Occasionally students arrive at inconvenient times due to flight times or delays in their travel arrangements, we would ask you to be accommodating in such situations which are beyond the control of either Kings or the student

Non-arrivals

  • Very occasionally the student may simply not arrive, this may be due to visa issues
  • If your student does not arrive on the due date given to you, please contact the Kings emergency number immediately

Extensions and curtailments

  • If your student wants to extend their stay with you, or to cut it short, please contact us before agreeing any terms with the student
  • There may be other issues, for example academic or emotional, of which we will need to be aware
  • Your student may need to extend their stay with you due to external exam dates, Kings will confirm this with you during their stay

Cancellation by the student

On rare occasions the student will cancel their booking with us, and in turn their accommodation with you. If this does happen, we will make every effort to find a replacement student for you. However, please note that in such circumstances Kings cannot accept any liability for any financial impact this will have.

Cancellation by the host

We understand that occasionally circumstances change and that there may be reasons why you have to cancel your booking. Please bear in mind that we require at least 7 days’ notice of cancellation unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is because it may take time to ensure that amendments to accommodation details are passed from Kings, via the educational agent to the student.

Requesting change of accommodation

Over the years, we have gained lots of experience in placing the right student with the right host. Because of this, the vast majority of hosting arrangements are happy and successful. Just occasionally, though, there may be some reason why the host and student are incompatible. There may be many different reasons for this which are totally out of your control. As such, if a student does ask for a transfer, please don’t take it personally. It may well be in your interest to arrange a swift move should a transfer be necessary. Normally 7 days’ notice will be provided unless there are exceptional circumstances.

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11. College practical information

First day

  • Students should attend the college on the first school day after arrival
  • They should be at the school by 08:45 on their first day
  • Please make sure that they bring their passport on their first day
  • Check that the your student knows their journey to and from Kings

Timetables

  • Students will be provided with a timetable of their lessons during their first week
  • If you would like a copy of your student’s timetable please contact the accommodation office

Absence

  • Students are expected to attend college every day, only absence due to illness or exceptional circumstances can be excused
  • Your student is responsible for getting themselves up and ready for college, although you might decide to give them a wake-up call if they need it
  • If the student is unwell or likely to be late they are expected to contact Kings first thing, if they are too unwell to telephone themselves please do so on their behalf
  • Classes are checked every morning and we call every student we haven’t heard from
  • If we are unable to contact them on their mobile, we may give the host a quick call too
  • Poor attendance may lead to disciplinary action being taken

Enrichment

  • Kings offers a varied programme of activities which students can partake in outside of their lesson time
  • Activities are run by trained Kings staff
  • Students are encouraged to join enrichment activities to make friends and aid their personal development
  • Weekend trips are also offered by an external company and students can get full details from our Student Services team

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12. Hosting U18s

  • U18s have a curfew of 22:30 every day
  • U16s have a curfew of 21:30 every day
  • There should normally be an adult present when an U18 student is at home
  • If your student is left unattended for a short period they should be contacted by phone to check-in periodically and have the number for Kings and host with them at all times
  • You must not leave a student U18 alone in the homestay overnight
  • U16s should not be provided with their own house key
  • Both Kings and yourself must know where the student is at all times
  • If your student does not return home for a contact point such as end of school day, dinner or curfew time, and you cannot contact them, please report to Kings, unless agreed in advance
  • Any absence from college will be followed up by a telephone call to the host
  • Hosts should notify Kings immediately if they know that their student will not attend college
  • Overnight stays away from the homestay are not allowed without consent from their parent/guardian and Kings
  • Contact between U18s and visitors to the home, such as contractors or friends, should not be unsupervised
  • We advise that hosts do not have physical contact with their student
  • Please ensure appropriate parental controls are set on any devices which access the internet
  • A student aged under 16 (or under 18 with a disability) staying in homestay accommodation for 28 days or more is deemed to be privately fostering and Social Services will be notified
  • Further information on private fostering can be found here
  • You must read Kings Care Provided for U18s if you are accommodating students U18

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13. Homestay compliance

It is very important that you keep your homestay compliance up to date and Kings will advise you on what is needed and when. If your homestay compliance is not up to date it will affect us placing students with you. Compliance regulations are in place to keep students and hosts safe and protected, are part of the Kings Education Safeguarding Policy and follow stringent criteria set by Ofsted and British Council.

All hosts

  • Completed homestay questionnaire and declaration:
    This will have been completed and received by the school prior to your initial homestay visit
  • Signed homestay agreement
    This will have been completed and received by the school prior to your initial homestay visit
  • Homestay handbook checklist
    Once you have read and understood all the information in this booklet you will need to complete and sign the checklist, found at the end of the document
  • Visits
    A homestay visit will be completed every year if you host U18s and every 2 years if you host over 18s
  • References
    All hosts must have 2 written references
  • Landlord gas safety certificate
    You must provide an annual Landlord Gas Safety Certificate. Please find further information here
  • Fire safety
    Fire Safety Risk Assessments will be completed at each homestay visit. Please also read the Fire Safety in the home information sheet
  • Prevent training
    You will need to complete training related to the Prevent Duty and your local homestay co-ordinator will advise on this.
  • First aid
    You should be aware of general information about basic First Aid. Please read the Kings First Aid Information sheet
  • Children Act 2004 declaration
    You will need to complete and sign a CHILDREN’S ACT DECLARATION
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education
    All staff working in schools and hosts are expected to read at least part 1 of KCSIE. Please find the information here. The accommodation office will update you when there are changes to this document.

U18 hosts

You will need to ensure you have all of the points above up to date as well as the following:

  • DBS
    We will need to conduct DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks on anyone living or regularly staying at the property who are aged 16+. Further information can be found here.
  • DBS update service
    Once you have received your DBS certificate you should sign up to the DBS update service. This costs £13 per year. Further information can be found here.
  • E-Safety
    You must complete annual training on E-Safety every 2 years. Please also read the Kings Online Safety Information sheet
  • Safeguarding
    You must complete annual safeguarding training. Please also read the Kings Safeguarding Policy
  • Safer Caring
    Hosts are expected to have a good understanding of safe caring. Please read the following Kings Safer Caring Information Sheet

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14. Safeguarding and child protection

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Aims

Kings aims to ensure that all staff and hosts are aware of their statutory responsibilities with respect to safeguarding. Staff and hosts will be trained in recognising and reporting safeguarding issues.

Who is responsible?

EVERYONE – Anyone who comes into contact with our students has a role to play in safeguarding. Hosts are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help and prevent concerns from escalating.

All hosts should be aware of:

Kings child protection and safeguarding policy:

The role and identity of the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and their deputy:

  • Each Kings centre has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (Deputy DSL) who take responsibility for child protection and wider safeguarding
  • They have received training to provide advice and support to other staff and hosts on child welfare and child protection matters
  • They refer suspected cases, as appropriate, to the relevant body and support staff and hosts who make such referrals directly
  • They keep the Principal informed of any issues and liaise with local authority case managers and designated officers for child protection concerns as appropriate

Safeguarding response and our policy with regards to children who go missing from education or our accommodation

  • If a child going missing from education, particularly repeatedly, this can be a warning sign of a range of safeguarding issues.
  • Kings will follow their procedures for unauthorised absence and for dealing with children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect and to help prevent the risks of going missing in future.
  • Kings will make an immediate referral to the local authority children’s social care team, and the police, if the child is suffering or likely to suffer from harm, or in immediate danger.
  • Hosts should contact Kings if their student does not return home for a point of contact, such as end of school day, dinner or curfew time, and cannot be contacted, unless agreed in advance.
  • What to do if you identify a safeguarding issue or a child tells you they are being abused or neglected:
  • If a child is suffering or likely to suffer harm, or in immediate danger make a referral to children’s social care and/or the police immediately. Anyone can make a referral and you can find contact details on the contact page of this handbook. Tell the DSL as soon as possible if you make a referral directly.
    • If you have any concerns it is important to report them to Kings as soon as possible
    • Reporting your concerns is not making an accusation, rather it is a request for an investigation and assessment to determine if help is needed
    • If a disclosure is made to you by a student:
      • Remain calm
      • Take what the student says seriously
      • Reassure the student that they were right to tell you
      • Keep questions to a minimum
      • Let the student talk
      • Do not promise confidentiality
      • Do not investigate
      • Do not ask leading questions
      • Do ask the student to repeat the disclosure
    • Make a note of the information given by the student, these should include:
      • The student's name, age and date of birth
      • Date and time of the disclosure
      • Use the student's words to report what the student told you
      • Description of any visible bruising or injuries
      • Any changes in behaviour
      • Details of any witnesses
      • Any contact with parents
      • Date and sign your report
    • Inform the student that you need to pass on the information
    • Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and give them your report
    • If you do not feel able to inform the DSL, DDSL, Principal or member of the Board of Directors, contact the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) directly
    • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will decide, in coordination with the Principal, a suitable course of action which may include:
      • Contact Social Services or other external agencies
      • If the matter is to be investigated, you will be informed if further information is needed from you and of your further involvement with the case

    How to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality while liaising with relevant professionals

    • Timely information sharing is essential to effective safeguarding
    • Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare, and protect the safety, of children
    • The Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe
    • If staff or hosts need to share ‘special category personal data’, the DPA 2018 contains ‘safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ as a processing condition that allows practitioners to share information without consent if it is not possible to gain consent, it cannot be reasonably expected that a practitioner gains consent, or if to gain consent would place a child at risk
    • Staff and hosts should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about a report of abuse, as this may not be in the child’s best interests
    • If staff are in any doubt about sharing information, they should speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy)

    The signs of different types of abuse and neglect, as well as specific safeguarding issues, such as child sexual exploitation

    • Physical Abuse: A non accidental physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming a child, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the child
    • Neglect: The failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child’s basic needs. Neglect may be physical, medical, educational or emotional
    • Sexual abuse: The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct. This includes activities by a parent or caregiver such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
    • Emotional abuse: A pattern of behaviour that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance.
    • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): All procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse with long-lasting harmful consequences. Suspicion that FGM has been carried out – Should be reported to the police by law.
    • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE): Exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people receive something (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, gifts, money or in some cases simply affection) as a result of engaging in sexual activities. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from the seemingly ‘consensual’ relationship where sex is exchanged for affection or gifts, to serious organised crime by gangs and groups. What marks out exploitation is an imbalance of power in the relationship. The perpetrator always holds some kind of power over the victim which increases as the exploitative relationship develops. Sexual exploitation involves varying degrees of coercion, intimidation or enticement, including unwanted pressure from peers to have sex, sexual bullying including cyberbullying 4 and grooming. However, it also important to recognise that some young people who are being sexually exploited do not exhibit any external signs of this abuse.

    Signs of abuse

    The NSPCC lists the following as common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include:

    • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality
    • becoming withdrawn
    • seeming anxious
    • becoming uncharacteristically aggressive
    • lacks social skills and has few friends, if any
    • poor bond or relationship with a parent
    • knowledge of adult issues inappropriate for their age
    • running away or going missing
    • always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body.

    These signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being abused, there could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour

    Further information on the types and signs of abuse will be covered in the safeguarding training you receive annually.

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