Switch Midlands will consider each referral on an individual basis to ensure the needs of the pupil are met. The referring organisation will ensure Switch Midlands is informed of any relevant information relating to the pupil prior to the commencement of any support.
2. Data Protection & Confidentiality
We obtain information about children, young people and their families via referral forms completed by referring organisations prior to offering any support by Switch Midlands. In addition, we are sometimes sent additional information from other professional organisations that have worked with the child/young person or the family.
Information is essential for Switch Midlands’ operational use. Whilst the majority of information provided to us is mandatory, some of it has been provided to the referring organisation on a voluntary basis before then being passed to us. Children, young people or their parents/carers may also provide additional information to us on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with GDPR, referring organisations will inform the parent/guardian or professional at the point of collection, whether they are required to provide them with certain pupil information or if they have a choice in this. It is the referring organisation’s responsibility to gain the consent of the parent/guardian to pass information to us initially; we are then responsible for holding that data in a manner which complies with GDPR.
Switch Midlands fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding children and is committed to ensuring that safeguarding is integral to all of its planning, activity and functions.
Our policies apply to all staff, whether part time or full time, permanent, commissioned or temporary and volunteers. The main elements to our safeguarding policy are:
• Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with pupils.
• Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
• Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
• Supporting puils who have been identified as in need of early help or at risk of harm in accordance with his/her agreed Child Protection, Child in Need or Early Help plan.
• Establishing a safe environment in which pupils can thrive and flourish. We recognise that because of the day-to-day contact with pupils, Switch Midlands staff are well placed to identify concerns early and to observe the outward signs of abuse.
It should be noted that all pupils referred to us remain ‘on-roll’ with a school. It is ultimately the referring organisation’s responsibility to ensure that a referral is safe and protected at all times. We follow strict safeguarding and child protection processes in order to assist referring organisations in this responsibility and reassure them that pupils they have referred to us are covered by a rigorous policy.
Where we identify any cause for concern or need for early help then we will always try to contact the referring organisation in the first instance. It is then their responsibility to follow this up. However, we take our responsibilities extremely seriously and, in some instances, we will make safeguarding referrals ourselves. This may include:
• If the pupil is in immediate danger of harm.
• If we cannot contact the referring organisation within a reasonable time period of the concern being identified.
• If the referring organisation is unsure how to act.
• If the referring organisation agrees that it is in the pupil’s best interest for us to make the referral for whatever reason.
• If we have any concern that appropriate action has not or will not be taken.
• If there is credible reason to believe that informing the referring organisation would be inappropriate in the circumstances.
4. Placements at Switch Midlands’ base
Any referring organisation must satisfy themselves that the quality and appropriateness of Switch Midlands’ services are suitable for the needs of the pupil being referred. We are a part-time, off-site educational activity provider, delivering a maximum of 15 hours per week, as such, Switch Midlands is not registered with the Department for Education.
An initial meeting between the pupil, their parent/carer, referring organisation and Switch Midlands will be arranged at least one week before a potential start date.
The pupil will be given a one-week induction period. If the pupil withdraws, does not attend or does not observe a Code of Conduct during the induction period, Switch Midlands will offer an opportunity to the referring organisation to refill or cancel the placement.
During this induction, Switch Midlands will issue a Code of Conduct (and any other relevant policies) to the pupil and their parent/carer, clearly outlining all that is expected of them. Where this Code is not adhered to and all stages of a disciplinary process are exhausted in liaison with the referring organisation, Switch Midlands has the right to withdraw the pupil and expect the referring organisation to resume responsibility for the learning.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove a pupil from Switch Midlands at short notice, in particular when behaviour becomes unsafe to others. Switch Midlands will ensure the parent/carer and referring organisation are notified at the first available opportunity to ensure the pupil is safely removed from the premises. It remains the responsibility of the referring organisation, which retains the primary duty of care for the pupil, to fully support this process.
Registration of the pupil will be taken twice daily by Switch Midlands, AM and PM.
We suggest using Code B for the registration of pupils at an off-site educational activity. This code should be used when pupils are present at an off-site educational activity that has been approved by the school.
Ultimately, schools are responsible for the safeguarding and welfare of pupils educated off-site. Therefore, by using code B schools are certifying that the education is supervised and measures have been taken to safeguard pupils.
Switch Midlands will report weekly to the referring organisation where the pupil is ‘on-roll’, to the designated Attendance Officer identified in this referral.
In the case of non-attendance contact will be made to notify the referring organisation at the earliest opportunity.
Switch Midlands will notify the referring organisation and a parent/carer in advance of any significant timetable or programme alterations.
Switch Midlands will take responsibility for monitoring progress whilst on the placement. This will be fed back at agreed review dates, and via a written report to the referring organisation at the end of the placement.
Referring organisations will agree to inform Switch Midlands immediately if the pupil is to be withdrawn or replaced on the placement.
5. Financial Arrangements
Switch Midlands agrees to work towards the identified key targets and outcomes and the referring organisation agrees to fund support for these times.
The cost of support includes all materials/resources, unless otherwise stated. For most up-to-date costs, contact email@example.com
Support will be booked on receipt of a completed referral form and Switch Midlands will then invoice the referring organisation with terms of 30-days, unless alternative arrangements are pre-agreed. Late payments of invoices are liable to incur interest charges.
If a pupil does not attend sessions, then the referring organisation is still liable for the cost of the place. However, if the pupil withdraws, repeatedly does not attend or does not observe a Code of Conduct, their place will be cancelled after liaising with the referring organisation. The referring organisation will pay up until the date the decision has been made to cancel the support or have the opportunity to refill the place.
By submitting a referral, the referring organisation accepts responsibility for the payment schedule outlined and will ensure payment is received within the specified time.
Any breach of these Terms and Conditions will, in the first instance, be resolved by Switch Midlands and the referring organisation.
Should this breach not be resolved, either partner may wish to withdraw from the agreement. This may be terminated by giving one weeks notice in writing.