Online Safety & Safeguarding

Last updated: September 2020

Your online safety is our top priority.

We’re committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding.

Our child protection policies and procedures have been developed to provide a safe educational environment.

Provisions include:

  • All communications between tutors and students take place via the site. This means that personal contact details about the student and parents (including email addresses and phone numbers) remain private and confidential and are not visible to the tutor.

  • Our Marketplace Terms of Service do not allow any contact between tutors and students outside the website.

  • Recorded online sessions are made available for playback to parents, students and tutors.

  • We do not conduct Criminal Background Checks; however, parents are entitled to ask the tutor to verify this during the “free meeting” session.

  • Feedback about our tutors is reflected in our review system and we encourage parents and students to take advantage of this information when choosing a tutor.

Safeguarding Policy

These policies should be read in conjunction with the TutorOcean Marketplace Terms of Service and the Safeguarding Procedures.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

  1. TutorOcean is committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding. The personal safety and wellbeing of each student and tutor using TutorOcean is paramount.

  2. Our site was developed with the aim of ensuring that lessons take place in a safe environment. This is reflected in a number of key built-in features and defined a set of Safeguarding Policies and Safeguarding Procedures for the students, parents/responsible adults and tutors who use this service.

2.0 LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK/RELATED POLICIES

  1. These policies and Safeguarding Procedures aim to ensure that all persons using the TutorOcean services can do so safely within child safeguarding standards and laws of the region in which the user resides. 

3.0 AIMS

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

  2. This policy document contains the responsibilities of all persons using TutorOcean, including tutors, students and parents.

  3. It is important that all persons using or working on behalf of TutorOcean are aware of this policy and have familiarized themselves with the detailed Safeguarding Procedures.

  4. This policy should be read and understood before engaging in any activity arranged through TutorOcean and the responsibilities and Safeguarding Procedures therein adhered to. Contravention of the Safeguarding Policy document could lead to suspension and/or barring from the services (see Compliance section).

4.0 REGISTRATION OF TUTORS

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

  2. TutorOcean conducts optional video interviews with tutors as part of the selection process and will request photo identification documents (such as a student card).

5.0 PRIVACY

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

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

  3. 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.

6.0 RECORDING OF SESSIONS

  1. Online sessions are recorded upon agreement between the student/parent and tutor and are available for download for all parties involved. The recordings remain the property of TutorOcean.

  2. TutorOcean may review any sessions where a report has been made by any person using TutorOcean for the purpose of investigating the report.

7.0 THE TUTOR

  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 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 tutor and confined to the relevant tutoring session.

    • Not make any improper suggestions to a student.

    • Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent.

    • Value and take students’ contributions seriously.

    • Report any dispute with a student, parent, or another tutor to TutorOcean, in accordance with the Safeguarding Procedures document.

    • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within a tutoring session by the student or third party, in accordance with Safeguarding Procedures.

    • Ensure that if no parent is present during a tutoring session that the student is comfortable to continue the session; if not, they can terminate the session.

    • Be aware that once agreed, sessions are recorded and they are available for download by a tutor, student or parent (also see Recording of SessionsSection 6).

8.0 THE STUDENT

  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.

  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 lesson session (also see Section 9 below).

    • Report any dispute with a tutor to a parent in accordance with Section 3 of Safeguarding Procedures.

    • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor within a session in accordance with Section 3 of Safeguarding Procedures.

    • Be aware that once agreed, sessions are recorded and they are available for download by a tutor, student or parent (also see Recording of SessionsSection 6).

9.0 PARENT

  1. The parent shall:

    • Be responsible for the selection of the tutor and make any reasonable checks to ensure the tutor is suitable for the student.

    • Ensure the student is fully aware of the TutorOcean 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 lesson session.

    • Report any unsolicited communications between the tutor and student if appropriate.

    • Report any dispute with a tutor to TutorOcean in accordance with Safeguarding Procedures set out in this document.

    • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a tutor in accordance with Safeguarding Procedures set out in this document.

    • Be aware that once agreed, sessions are recorded and they are available for download by a tutor, student or parent (also see Recording of SessionsSection 6).

10.0 MANAGEMENT OF TUTOROCEAN SERVICES

  1. The Management of TutorOcean shall/may:

    • Conduct a video interview with tutors before they are permitted to join the TutorOcean community (also see Section 4 of Registration of Tutors).

    • Ensure that any dispute between persons using the TutorOcean services is handled efficiently and fairly without discrimination in accordance with the Safeguarding Procedures 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 Safeguarding Procedures set out in this document (see Safeguarding Procedures section).

    • 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 (also see Recording of Sessions).

    • 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 Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Procedures to ensure they are relevant and adequate to safeguard all persons using the TutorOcean services.

11.0 COMPLIANCE

  1. All persons using the TutorOcean services have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with the Safeguarding Policy.

  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.

  3. The final decision on action taken for minor breaches of the Safeguarding Policy will be the responsibility of TutorOcean.

  4. Any person reported for illegal activity whilst using the TutorOcean services will be reported to the police and will be barred from the service.

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

12.0 REVIEW

The Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Procedures will be reviewed by TutorOcean on a regular basis to ensure it is adequate and relevant to safeguarding standards.

Safeguarding Procedures

These policies should be read in conjunction with the Marketplace Terms of Service and the Safeguarding Policy.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

  1. TutorOcean is committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding. The personal safety and wellbeing of each student and tutor using TutorOcean is paramount.

  2. Our platform was built with the aim of ensuring that lessons take place in a safe environment. This is reflected in a number of key built-in features and defined a set of policies and procedures for the students, parents/responsible adults and tutors who use this service.

  3. The following sections set out the procedures that should be followed if an incident occurs.

  4. These procedures aim to ensure a prompt response to any incident and to minimize any further harm to a student or other person.

  5. There are differing severities of behaviour that could be witnessed during a tutoring session. Some behaviour would warrant only a report to MTW; other behaviour may be of a more serious nature where a direct report to the police may be necessary.

  6. Each section below sets out the recommended procedure which should be followed. It is always the responsibility of the person alerted to the incident to take some action to protect the student or other person. TutorOcean will not be responsible for any non-compliance with the recommended procedure.

  7. The procedures are not an exhaustive list; therefore if an incident occurs that is not covered in this document, you are advised to contact TutorOcean, or the police if you believe that it may be a criminal matter.

2.0 TUTORS

If a tutor sees/experiences:

2.1 Inappropriate language and behaviour

The tutor will request, in a polite manner, that the student or other persons using inappropriate language or behaviour refrains from doing so during the lesson session. If the language/behaviour continues the tutor will explain that they will terminate the session due to the language/behaviour and will report the matter to TutorOcean who will decide on any further use of the service by the student or other person involved. The tutor will have no further contact with the student unless by mutual agreement with TutorOcean. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to TutorOcean.

2.2 Inappropriate or abusive images

  1. Any display of adult pornographic images whilst in the presence of a student may constitute an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides. Any tutor witnessing the display of adult pornographic images by or towards a student should explain that the images should not be displayed during a tutoring session, terminate the session and report the matter to TutorOcean.

  2. Any display of child abuse images or indecent images of a child (for these purposes, a ‘child’ is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years) is an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides. Any tutor witnessing a display of indecent images of a child by or in the presence of a student should explain that due to the nature of the images they will terminate the session. The tutor should then inform the police. The tutor should also inform TutorOcean of the incident to ensure any recordings can be preserved and made available for any police investigation. The tutor should have no further contact with the student or any other person involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to the police and TutorOcean immediately.

  3. This action should be taken so that the correct authorities can be alerted and can deal appropriately with the incident.

  4. The display of any other images perceived to be inappropriate, either due to the age of the student or the content of the image shall be reported to TutorOcean at the discretion of the parent/responsible adult.

2.3 Disclosure of/witness to abuse towards or in the presence of a student

  1. Any physical or sexual abuse of a child is an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides. If a tutor receives information about such abuse from the student or other person present they should reassure the person that they can get assistance for them. It is the responsibility of the tutor to contact the police and report what has been witnessed.

  2. If the tutor witnesses any such abuse at first-hand they should immediately contact the police and report the incident. The tutor should also inform TutorOcean of the incident to ensure any recordings can be preserved and made available for any police investigation. The tutor should have no further contact with the student or other person involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of the session should be reported to the police and TutorOcean immediately.

2.4 Disclosure of inappropriate/sensitive information

  1. During a tutoring session, sensitive information may be offered by a student or other person present. If the information relates to any kind of abuse the tutor should refer to ‘Disclosure of/witness to abuse towards or in the presence of a student’, above. The student or other person present should be discouraged from disclosing sensitive information by the tutor. If the information continues to be shared the tutor will determine the impact of the information and decide whether to continue or terminate the session and report the incident to TutorOcean.

  2. Any information disclosed regarding the safety of a child should always be reported immediately to the police.

3.0 STUDENTS

If a student sees/experiences:

3.1 Inappropriate language

  1. The student will inform a parent/responsible adult of the tutor using inappropriate language. The parent/responsible adult should ask the tutor to refrain from using inappropriate language during the lesson session. If the language continues the parent/responsible adult should explain that they will terminate the session and will report the matter to TutorOcean, who will decide on any further use of the service by the tutor. The student and parent/responsible adult should have no further contact with the tutor unless by mutual agreement with TutorOcean. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor after the termination of the session should be reported to the TutorOcean.

  2. If a parent is not present or readily available the student should report the language as soon as possible to a parent/responsible adult who will take the decision to report the incident.

3.2 Inappropriate behaviour

  1. The student will inform a parent/responsible adult of the tutor using inappropriate behaviour. The parent/responsible adult should ask the tutor to refrain from using inappropriate behaviour during the lesson session. If the behaviour continues the parent/responsible adult will explain that they will terminate the session due to the behaviour and will report the matter to TutorOcean, who will decide on any further use of the service by the tutor. The student, parent/responsible adult should have no further contact with the tutor unless by mutual agreement with TutorOcean. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor after the termination of the session should be reported to TutorOcean.

  2. If a parent is not present or readily available the student should report the behaviour as soon as possible to a parent who will make a decision to report the incident.

  3. If the behaviour is of a sexual nature towards a student by a tutor, the student should immediately inform a parent/responsible adult and terminate the session. The parent/responsible adult should inform the police and TutorOcean immediately.

3.3 Inappropriate or abusive images

  1. Any display of adult pornographic images whilst in the presence of a student may constitute an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides.  Any student witnessing the display of adult pornographic images by a tutor should immediately terminate the session and report this to a parent who should inform the police.

  2. Any display of child abuse images or indecent images of a child (for these purposes, a ‘child’ is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years) is an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides. Any student witnessing a display of indecent images of a child should immediately terminate the session and report this to a parent, who should inform the police.

  3. The parent should also inform TutorOcean of the incident to ensure that any recordings can be preserved and made available for any police investigation. The student and parent should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor following the discontinuation of the session should be reported to the police and TutorOcean immediately.

  4. This action should be taken so that the correct authorities can be alerted and can deal appropriately with the incident.

  5. The display of any other images perceived to be inappropriate either due to the age of the student or content of the image shall be reported to TutorOcean at the discretion of the parent.

3.4 Disclosure of/witness to abuse

  1. Any physical or sexual abuse of a person is an offence under laws of the region in which the user resides. If a student receives information about such abuse from the tutor or other person present they should immediately inform a parent/responsible adult. It is the responsibility of the parent/responsible adult to contact the police and report what was witnessed.

  2. If the student witnesses any such abuse at first-hand they should immediately contact a parent who should immediately inform the police. The parent should also inform TutorOcean of the incident to ensure that any recordings can be preserved and made available for any police investigation. The student and parent should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident. Any unsolicited contact from the tutor following the termination of the session should be reported to the parent immediately.

  3. This action should be taken so the correct authorities can be alerted and can deal appropriately with the incident.

3.5 Disclosure of inappropriate/sensitive information

  1. During a tutoring session sensitive information may be offered by a tutor (If the information relates to any kind of abuse the student should refer to ‘Disclosure of/Witness to abuse’). The tutor should be discouraged from disclosing sensitive information by the student, parent/responsible adult. The parent will determine the impact of the information and decide whether to continue or terminate the session and report the incident to TutorOcean.

  2. Any information disclosed regarding the safety of a child should always be immediately reported to the police.

  3. Any tutor reported by a parent will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The parent may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

4.0 PARENTS

  1. As per the policy document, the parent has primary responsibility for the welfare and safety of the student during a tutoring session and should be present or available to deal with any concerns or incidents reported by the student.

  2. It is also the duty of the parent to ensure the wellbeing of the child if they have been affected by anything said or done by the tutor.

  3. If a parent is alerted by the student to any inappropriate behaviour/language or information by the student or they witness any inappropriate behaviour/language or information by the tutor, they should immediately speak to the tutor, state their concern and inform them they are terminating the session. The incident should then be reported to TutorOcean to take appropriate action. As there is a recording of the session available, the parent may review the session before taking further action.

  4. The parent should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident. Any unsolicited communication from the tutor should be reported to the police and TutorOcean as soon as possible.

  5. If a parent is alerted by the student to any inappropriate or abusive images or they witness any inappropriate or abusive images displayed by the tutor, they should immediately speak to the tutor, state their concern and inform them they are terminating the session. The parent/responsible adult should inform the police (if appropriate) and (in all cases) TutorOcean of the incident to ensure that any recordings can be preserved and made available to any police investigation.

  6. The parent should have no further contact with the tutor involved in the incident. Any unsolicited communication from the tutor should be reported to the police and TutorOcean as soon as possible.

  7. As there is a recording of the session available, the parent may review the session before taking further action.

  8. Any tutor reported by a parent will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The parent will be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

5.0 MANAGEMENT TUTOROCEAN SERVICES

  1. The Safeguarding Policy and Safeguarding Procedures of the TutorOcean website and services are the responsibility of the management.

  2. Any report of a contravention of the Safeguarding Policy will be reviewed by TutorOcean, who may engage independent Child Protection consultants to ensure that an appropriate course of action is taken.

  3. Any incident reported to TutorOcean shall be reviewed as soon as possible to ensure a timely resolution.

  4. If a report concerns a minor breach of the Safeguarding Policy, TutorOcean can make a decision as to appropriate action which may include barring the reported person from using the TutorOcean services (also see Safeguarding Policy Section 12.0 Compliance).

  5. If a report is received by TutorOcean which concerns the immediate safety of a student or any illegal activity during a tutoring session, they will be required to contact the police and report the incident (also see Safeguarding Policy Section 12.0 Compliance).

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