Blue Stamp Travel acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and national guidance requirements.
In considering safeguarding practice Blue Stamp Travel draws from the expertise a number of sources, not exclusively, these include:
- Outdoor Education Advisors Panel
- Disclosure and Barring Service
- Health and Safety Executive
- Keeping Children Safe in Education – Department for Education
The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that, regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children:
- have a positive and enjoyable experience on our school trips in a safe and child centred environment
- are protected from abuse whilst participating in our trips
Blue Stamp Travel acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. As part of our safeguarding policy Blue Stamp Travel will:
- promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people
- ensure that our diversity and equal opportunity policy is applied consistently and fairly
- ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate training to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people
- ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
- ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
- prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals
- ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.
- ensure accurate record keeping of routine matters and in the event of a child protection concern being raised. These records would be shared with the Local Authority Designated Officer if they were requested in the interest of safeguarding children and young people.
- encourage a culture where whistle-blowing, if necessary, is acceptable and encouraged in the event that child protection procedures are compromised.
The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in Blue Stamp Travel. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from the organisation.
As part of our commitment to delivering our Safeguarding Policy we take the following steps. This is not an exhaustive list:
- The directors of Blue Stamp Travel have current Safeguarding training and experience of working extensively in safeguarding teams in education. (See the ABTA training certificate for the directors here.)
- The directors of Blue Stamp Travel hold Enhanced Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) clearance.
- Group Leaders travelling with Mixed School and Group Tailor Made trips have a current DBS (or international equivalent for non-UK nationals staff – where these are not available or reliable then we seek two credible references in line with ABTA recommendations.)
- Host family hosts and all residents over the age of 18 have international equivalents of DBS clearance (Extrait de casier judiciaire in France and Certificado de Antecedentes Penales).
- In Host Family accommodation where students are placed in pairs/threes, all students will be of the same gender.
- In Host Families where students are accommodated with a student from another agency, we require that this student must be of the same gender and under 18 where our own student is under 18.
- Dietary requirements are requested in advance of travelling and provided to Host Families, hotels / hostels or restaurants as necessary. Group Leaders, on trips where they are travelling, are also provided with this information.
- Medical and allergy information are requested in advance of travel and provided to the Host Family, Language School and/or work placement as necessary. Group Leaders, on trips where they are travelling, are also provided with this information.
- Data is secured in accordance with our GDPR policy.
In placements where students travelling with Blue Stamp Travel are working with children, the responsibility to safeguard said children lies with the placement employer. It is possible that they may seek DBS clearance from our students. In such instances we work with our employers accordingly.
The policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every three years, or in the following circumstances:
- changes in legislation and/or government guidance
- as required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and/or appropriate National Governing Bodies.
- as a result of any other significant change or event.
Raising a Concern or Complaint
It is our sincere belief that our policies and procedures are designed and carried out with the priority of safeguarding children and young people who travel with us.
In the first instance concerns should be raised with one of the following responsible adults where appropriate to the trip on which you are travelling:
- Blue Stamp Group Leader (for Mixed School Group Work Experience Abroad trips)
- Student’s School Teacher (when a teacher is on a trip with a closed school group)
- Blue Stamp Travel head office (for individual students travelling without a teacher or Group Leader)
- Blue Stamp Travel 24/7 emergency contact (number issued to all students in MyAccount)
- Language School reception staff
In the unlikely event that you should have cause for concern or would like to raise a complaint please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with all cases where you believe a child or young person may be in immediate risk or danger you should contact the emergency services or your local authority and ask to speak to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for Child Protection. We would encourage this and work with any Designated Officer that contacted us in the interest of child protection.
This policy is reviewed annually and is next due for review in November 2023.