PROMOTING A SAFER CHURCH
Our church community will work with children, parents and carers, and each other to ensure that the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults who are vulnerable, is given the utmost priority and that we will commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of the children, young people and adults who are vulnerable, in our care.
We are a collection of individuals from all walks of life who provide a welcome to all who wish to become involved in Christian worship.
The policy of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) for the Parish of St Michael’s Aston Tirrold and All Saints’ Aston Upthorpe is in line with the Oxford Diocese Safeguarding Policy, the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board.
1. Our named Safeguarding Officers for the Parish are Amanda le Conte and Claire Picken. The role of the Safeguarding Officers is to have general oversight of safeguarding issues in all Church activities, events and services.
2. The Safeguarding Officers are responsible for preparing an annual report on Safeguarding for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church PCC and ensuring that training and recruitment of volunteers is in line with our Safeguarding Policy.
3. It is the responsibility of all church members to do their best to prevent abuse of any kind, to children, young people, and adults who are vulnerable and report any legitimate concerns, however seemingly minor, to one of the named Safeguarding Officers in the first instance.
4. The telephone number for the Oxford Diocesan Safeguarding Team is: 01865 208290. The Diocesan Safeguarding Team are independent people to whom children or adults can talk to about worries and concerns about safeguarding children, young people or adults who are vulnerable within the diocese. They can also offer advice on safeguarding policies and procedures. Where necessary they can be asked to become involved in dealing with any specific complaints.
5. The PCC is responsible for the appointment of leaders, ensuring that each person within the church community who works with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable, receives a copy of St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church Safeguarding Policy and fully understands and accepts this Policy.
6. The PCC will seek to implement this policy, when working with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable and to create a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ to which all members of the church are committed.
7. All people who work on a regular basis with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable in church activities will be expected to provide an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service for that work, prior to working unsupervised with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable.
8. The PCC will display a copy of this Policy on the Church Notice-board so that all are aware of its existence.
9. All groups which are responsible for children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable, will ensure that there are always two volunteers present, of which one is the leader of the group.
10. Where children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable are being transported, there must be parental consent in the case of children or young people, and the driver must be in receipt of appropriate insurance and an enhanced DBS disclosure. Where parents make mutual arrangements with friends to transport their children to church activities, then no church checks are necessary.
11. When photographs of children or young people are taken on church activities, parental consent must be obtained prior to this taking place. Parental consent should include information about how, and where, photographs will be used and stored. (This is in line with the Privacy Notice for the Church, under the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018). Photographs may not be shared on social media without the knowledge and permission of parents.
This procedure should be followed for the appointment of all new volunteers and employees who will be working with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable.
The applicant must complete an application form, giving two referees. Normally, one of these should be their current or most recent employer. Where possible, one referee should have known the applicant in a position where they have worked with children, young people or adults who are vulnerable. The applicant must complete and sign a confidential declaration form. All such application forms are kept in confidential store by the Benefice Administrator.
The PCC should ensure that any new volunteer has been given a copy of the Safeguarding Policy for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church and is fully committed to following the Safeguarding Policy.
The applicant must go through an appropriate interview process and the Safeguarding Policy for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church will be discussed with them during the interview. Successful candidates will be required to provide either an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service for the relevant position or approval by the Disclosure and Barring Service that the candidate’s existing enhanced check is transferable to this position.
This appointment should be confirmed in writing and will be made conditional on DBS approval being received.
If a Disclosure is received which is ‘blemished’ or ‘positive’, the Safeguarding Officers for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church will seek advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding team who may either apply the ‘Disregard Policy’ or carried out a risk assessment on the suitability of continued employment of the applicant.
Training and Supervision
The PCC is committed to supporting, resourcing and training those who work with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable, so that this Policy is fully implemented.
All people who work with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable will update their enhanced DBS disclosure every three years in line with accepted good practice. A reminder will be sent to each worker by the Benefice Administrator who will verify the application for enhanced disclosure and submit to the DBS. All checks and forms are now completed online and the Benefice Administrator will have the online reference number for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church.
All people who work with children, young people and adults who are vulnerable, will have the opportunity to received training in safeguarding. The Safeguarding Officers for St Michael’s Church and All Saints Church will liaise with all volunteers on attending training courses. These may be offered by the Safeguarding Training Team locally, attending a course run by Oxfordshire Children’s Safeguarding Board, the Oxford Diocese Safeguarding Team or other appropriate training provider. This should be co-ordinated by the Benefice Administrator, and a training record completed for all those who attend the training.
Procedure to be followed in the case of suspicion and disclosure of abuse.
Allegations or concerns about abuse can be made by any child, any young person, any adult who is vulnerable or any other person in the church or local community.
The person receiving the disclosure or observing signs of abuse should act swiftly and inform the Safeguarding Officer within 24 hours of the disclosure being made using the parish email address:-
If the person receiving the disclosure is so concerned about the safety of the individual, they should phone the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board 0345 050 7666 immediately and then inform the Safeguarding Officer.
The person receiving the disclosure should make a note of the actual words being said. Never attempt to investigate the situation themselves, avoid leading questions or making judgements but confirm that the information given will be passed on for advice.
Such allegations or concerns will be dealt with following the guidelines set out in the ‘Safeguarding Handbook’ of the Diocese. A copy of this is available online at www.oxford.anglican.org/mission-ministry/safeguarding or with the Parish Safeguarding Officers.
This policy will be reviewed one year from the date of acceptance by the PCC
The Parish of St Michaels and All Saints Churches appoints Amanda le Conte and Claire Picken as the Parish Safeguarding Officers.
Date appointed by the PCC:- 21 February, 2018
Signed (Parish Priest):- J St. John Nicolle
Signed (Church Warden):- Tim Lake
Signed (Church Warden):- Christopher Hawker
Signed (Secretary to the PCC):- Biddy Hawker