At Dulwich College Suzhou, Safeguarding is at the heart of what we do to ensure our students are safe. There are many channels we take to ensure that safety is our priority at the College, especially in these challenging times we face. At the beginning of the term, we would like to reiterate about how we maintain safeguarding management at the College.
When hiring new teachers or support staff they must go through a series of verifications, including verbal and written references and an international background check. We have a team of lead trainers in the College that make sure all new staff have undergone induction safeguard training and a refresher course at the beginning of the year with all of our existing team. Every year our Safeguarding Policy is read and the Code of Conduct is signed by every team member who works or volunteers at the College.
This academic year, Dulwich College International have launched a mandatory Safeguarding site on Dulwich ConnectEd, where all staff have access to information relating to Safeguarding. The platform has the latest training materials and what you need to know when working in our College or any of our sister campuses. Some of the ’10 Things you need to know’ include: Our context, Behaving professionally, Digital communication and Empowering our students. These points are constantly being revisited in the year within our staff and planning meetings by discussing different scenarios or issues that could occur. Keeping these key points front and centre, maintains the rigour and the highest standards we need in an international setting and at times a transient nature.
Every two years the College has an external audit by the International Child Protection Advisors (ICPA). The report recommendations guide us as to what we do well and what the next steps could be to enhance our College practice. We know that Safeguarding our students must be embedded in the community. It is everybody’s responsibility, who comes into contact with our students, to consider the best interest of the child. By carrying out our annual compliance checks and internal audits every two years, ensures we are revisiting all areas of the College.
The most fundamental aspect of Safeguarding in our College is empowering our students, to speak out and stay safe. We always remind our staff to know your class and know the students in your care.
At all times, we must role model healthy student and teacher relationships and how genuine trust is built upon over time. This is vital to ensure our children feel safe to be in school and around adults. It is also important that our staff, children and volunteers know what to do when they have a concern and how to seek help when needed. For our staff and volunteers, they are shown the process, how to record their concern and who to see should the need arise. For our students, we talk to them about who they can go to when something is of concern and also teaching them it is okay to say ‘no’ whenever they feel unsafe.
It is all of our responsibility to support our students as they have the right to be safe, the right to be looked after and the right to be heard.