Peerz Academy Safeguarding Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 Peerz Academy is fully committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding. We make the safety of our tutees and tutors a priority at Peerz Academy.

1.2 The Peerz Academy Online Platform is designed to provide a safe and secure online learning environment. Peerz Academy has a number of safeguarding features and is defined by clear policies and procedures for all users of the Peerz service.

2. Legislative Policies

2.1 The policies and procedures policies aim to ensure that all persons using Peerz Academy services can do so safely within child safeguarding standards and the laws of the United Kingdom. It is important to note that our policies should be read in conjunction of Peerz Academy terms and conditions and procedures.

3. Aim of the policy

3.1 The aim of this policy is to safeguard all students and other persons using the PAOP system whilst they are within a tutorial session.

3.2 This policy document contains the responsibilities of all persons using Peerz Academy, including students, tutors, parents (responsible adults), teachers and university administrators.

3.3 It is important that all persons using or working on behalf of Peerz Academy are aware of this policy and have familiarised themselves with the detailed safeguarding procedures.

3.4 This policy should be read and understood before engaging in any activity arranged through Peerz Academy and the responsibilities and procedures therein adhered to. Contravention of the policy document could lead to suspension and/or barring from the services (please refer to our terms and conditions).

4. General Information

Registration of Tutors

4.1 The Peerz Academy platform has been designed to allow successful students to be verified by schools (6th form), colleges and universities. If tutors are directly verified by Peerz Academy they are required to provide an active and current educational email address.

4.2 The tutor’s e-mail address is their user name and all communications to the tutors will go via the email address.

4.3 Peerz Academy conducts a video interview with all tutors who are not verified through schools (6th form), colleges or universities, as part of the selection process and will request photo identification documents (such as a student card, passport or driving licence). Peerz Academy will only transfer payment to tutors holding a personal bank account in the United Kingdom.

4.4 Peerz Academy requires all university peer tutors to have a valid DBS certificate or basic disclosure form. If a 6th form tutor is verified by a school, they are able to tutor within the school community without a DBS certificate. However, these tutors will not be visible on tutor searches outside of the school setting.

5. Privacy

5.1 The contents of all email communications between tutors, parents, schools and students will go via the site in order to preserve anonymity of the student to the tutor.

5.2 The tutor will not be aware of the email address of the student or parent/responsible adult and will not be able to communicate with them directly. The tutor will not be able to initiate first email contact with parents or students.

5.3 All email communication between tutor and student will be copied to the parent/responsible adult (or school/school representative where appropriate).

5.4 All personal details about the student and parents, including contact address and phone number, will remain private and confidential and will not be available to the tutor.

5.5 All data held by Peerz Academy is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (also see our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

6. Recording of sessions

6.1 All tutorials will be recorded and downloadable by the tutee at the end of each tuition session*. The lesson recordings are stored by Peerz Academy and can be requested if inappropriate behaviour is reported*. The recordings remain the property of Peerz Academy.

6.2 Peerz Academy may review any sessions where a report has been made by any person using Peerz Academy for the purpose of investigating the report.

6.3 Any instances of the use of the report now safeguarding button will be investigated by Peerz Academy (please refer to procedures and terms and conditions).

6.4 Peerz Academy will allow access to UK law enforcement of any recording where it is reported a criminal offence may have occurred in relation to a specific session (please refer to terms and conditions).

Roles and Responsibilities of persons using Peerz Academy

7. The Tutor

7.1 The tutor shall:

  • Ensure that their environment does not display any inappropriate images or documentation capable of being viewed by the student or parent/responsible adult when conducting a session.
  • Treat students fairly and without prejudice or discrimination; students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s wellbeing.
  • Always ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory.
  • Ensure any contact with the student is appropriate to their role as a peer tutor and confined to the relevant tutorial session.
  • Not make any improper suggestions to a student.
  • Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/responsible adult.
  • Value and take students’ contributions seriously.
  • Report any dispute with a student or parent/responsible adult to Peerz Academy, in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within a tutorial session by the student or third party, in accordance with Peerz Academy terms and conditions and our safeguarding procedures.
  • Ensure that if no parent/responsible adult is present during a tutorial session that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they can terminate the session.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult, teacher or university administrator.

8. The Student

8.1 Students can register with the service but cannot start using the service until a sponsor/parent/guardian/carer over the age of 18 has formally registered and agreed to be the formal sponsor and to hold legal relationship with the site. This requires a parental email for notifications.

8.2 The student shall:

  • Treat the tutor with respect and fairness, and not subject them to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Not make any improper suggestions to the tutor.
  • Have no inappropriate communication with the tutor outside the tutorial session.
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to a parent/responsible adult in accordance with our safeguarding procedures.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor within a session in accordance with our safeguarding procedures.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult, teacher or university administrator.

9. Parent/Responsible adult

9.1 The parent/responsible adult shall:

  • Ensure that they check a tutors profile when a lesson is booked and that they are aware when the tuition will take place.
  • Ensure the student is fully aware of the Peerz Academy Safeguarding Policy.
  • Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the session ensuring it is safe and appropriate.
  • If they consider it appropriate, be present or available during a tutor session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible and ensure the student and tutor are behaving in an appropriate manner.
  • Ensure that tutors will be treated with respect and fairness by the student and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either the tutor or student.
  • Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the tutor outside the tutorial session.
  • Report any unsolicited communications between the tutor and student if appropriate.
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to Peerz Academy in accordance with out procedures set out in this document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor in accordance with our procedures as set out in this document.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult, teacher or university administrator.

10. School and teachers/school representative (if session is within school hours and on school premises)

10.1 For the purpose of this policy document a ‘responsible adult’ includes teachers and school representatives.

10.2 The school and teachers or school representative shall:

  • Be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
  • Be responsible for the physical environment of the student during the session, ensuring that it is safe and appropriate.
  • Be responsible for behaviour of the student during the session, ensuring that tutors will be treated with respect and fairness and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
  • Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either the tutor or student.
  • Be present or available for the student during the session to address any issues.
  • Report any dispute with a tutor to Peerz Academy in accordance with the procedures set out in this document.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor within a session in accordance with the procedures set out in this document.
  • Be aware that the sessions are recorded and they are available for review by a student or parent/responsible adult, teacher or university administrator.

10.3 If the tutorial session has been arranged by the school but takes place outside school hours and away from school premises, it is the responsibility of the school to make the appropriate parent/responsible adult aware of the Safeguarding Policy and that both parties agree their safeguarding responsibilities.

11. Director/Management of Peerz Services

11.1 The Director/Management of Peerz Academy shall:

  • Ensure that schools, colleges and universities are trained on the registration and verification of peer tutors and that they are aware of the safeguarding procedures.
  • Conduct a video interview with tutors before they are permitted to join Peerz Academy community (if tutors are not verified by schools (6th form, colleges or universities).
  • Ensure that any dispute between persons using the Peerz Academy services is handled efficiently and fairly without discrimination in accordance with the procedures as set out in this document.
  • Deal with reports of possible illegal activity promptly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the student and/or tutor in accordance with the procedures as set out in this document.
  • If any incident is reported to the police relating to a specific session, make the recording available for the police to use as evidence in any proceedings if appropriate.
  • If appropriate, employ the services of an independent Child Protection consultant to review a report concerning the welfare of a student ensuring an appropriate course of action is taken.
  • Regularly review the policy and procedures to ensure they are relevant and adequate to safeguard all persons using the Peerz Academy services.

12. Compliance

12.1 All persons using the Peerz Academy services have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the Safeguarding Policy.

12.2 Any tutor reported for a breach of the Safeguarding Policy will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The reporter may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

12.3 The final decision on action taken for minor breaches of the Safeguarding Policy will be the responsibility of Peerz Academy.

12.4 Any person reported for illegal activity whilst using the Peerz Academy services will be reported to police and will be barred from the service.

12.5 Any person reported for causing harm to a student or subjecting the student to sexual abuse will be reported to police and barred from the service.

13. Review

3.1 The Safeguarding Policy and procedures will be reviewed by Peerz Academy on a regular basis to ensure it is adequate and relevant to safeguarding standards.

*Excluding any unforeseen malfunction of the recording equipment, in which case a recording of a session may not be available.