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.
- 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. Switch Midlands’ outreach service
Switch Midlands will:
- Provide social and emotional learning support to identified pupils within the referring organisation setting.
- Arrange and confirm all timings, dates, and staff details prior to the support commencing.
- Fully recognise its responsibilities for safeguarding pupils and is committed to ensuring that safeguarding is integral to all its planning, activity, and functions.
- Ensure staff have undergone a safer recruitment process, have up to date Enhance DBS checks.
- Ensure that public liability insurance is maintained at £5,000,000 and insurance documents are available on request.
- Ensure that staff are appropriately experienced, skilled, and trained in a range of approaches, and safeguarding, to deliver high quality sessions to pupils.
- Ensure staff are appropriately matched to the needs of the referring organisation and its pupils. If after a reasonable trial period the referring organisation feel the member of Switch Staff is not meeting their needs, Switch Midlands will make every attempt to change the member of staff as soon as is practically possible.
- Provide an overview of pupil activities/progress via our Switchboard online portal.
- Give in-person feedback whenever necessary.
- Meet with parents and/or other professionals where appropriate, ideally within the agreed hours, but flexible on request.
- referring organisation are free to use the allotted time with Switch Staff to best meet the needs of their pupils. Typical use of the time will be:
a. 1.5 hrs 1:1 for an individual, with 30 minutes set-up/pack down/feedback time (total 2hrs)
b. 1.5 hrs 1:1 for a small group of pupils, with 30 minutes set-up/pack down/feedback time (total 2hrs)
c. 2 sessions of 45 minutes each (either 1:1 or group or both) with 30 minutes set-up/pack down/feedback time (total 2hrs)
- Offer regular quality assurance checks to determine the service is consistently meeting the needs of the referring organisation and its pupils.
- We operate during Wolverhampton LA’s term dates unless otherwise agreed.
Referring organisations are asked to provide:
- A fully completed referral form for each referral prior to the first session.
- A named contact and up-to-date contact details for relevant staff.
- Access to an appropriate room from which to deliver. Ideally this should be a quiet, consistent, and comfortable space. If group sessions are being delivered, then a space large enough for a group to move about in is preferable.
- All relevant and appropriate information relating to the child or young person’s learning needs, medical needs, or behaviour, including safeguarding information, and any risks/concerns that are important to know.
- Any expected outcomes/targets required for pupil/s.
6. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 at our base, 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.
- If outreach sessions are missed through reasons out of Switch Midland’s control, this will be included in the overall charge unless reasonable notice has been provided and a mutually convenient alternative date arranged.
- If outreach sessions is missed through reasons of Switch Midland’s control, a mutually convenient alternative date will be arranged at no extra cost.
- 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 through ongoing dialogue and resolution.
Should this breach not be resolved, either partner may wish to withdraw from the agreement. This may be terminated by giving one month’s notice in writing, and a pro-rata refund supplied to the referring organisation if necessary.
For downloadable copies of all our policies please visit our website HERE