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Safeguarding procedures for tutors

Tutors’ behaviour

Tutors must:

  • 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.

  • Ensure that their environment and behaviour is culturally sensitive. This includes dressing modestly and removing objects which may be distracting, such as alcohol.

  • 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 online lesson.

  • 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 RefuNet.

  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within an online lesson by the student or third party.

  • Ensure that if no parent/responsible adult is present during an online lesson 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.


Responding to abuse

UK law states that all adults who come into contact with children have a responsibility for protecting them from abuse. RefuNet tutors should be mindful of this responsibility. Teachers should follow NSPCC guidelines for recognising and responding to abuse:

Recognising abuse

The four main types of abuse are physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Possible signs of each type of abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical – signs of physical harm, such as bruises, burns and bite marks

  • Emotional – lack of confidence, lack of affection towards parents, acting in an anxious way, showing unusual levels of affection to people they have not known for long, low self-esteem, struggling to control emotions, lacking social skills

  • Sexual – using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect at that age, acting promiscuously, avoiding certain people

  • Neglect – poor hygiene and appearance, untreated health problems or injuries, poor quality housing environment

These signs alone do not prove that abuse has taken place, but they can be a cause for concern. If a tutor is worried about a child, they should report their concerns (‘Reporting abuse’, see below).


Responding to a disclosure

If a student discloses abuse to a tutor, the tutor should:

  • Stay calm

  • Tell the student they have done the right thing by reporting the abuse

  • Reassure the child that you will try to help them by informing people who can help


The tutor should not:

  • Jump to conclusions or guess who the abuser is

  • Act emotionally, seem shocked or make negative comments about the abuser

  • Promise to keep it a secret

  • Stop the student from speaking freely

  • Ask lots of questions to obtain as much information as possible

  • Show that they are suspicious that they are making it up

  • Make promises they can’t be sure of


Reporting abuse

It is not tutors’ responsibility to decide whether the child is a victim of abuse. It is also not tutors’ responsibility to stop the abuse from happening. However, it is the tutors’ responsibility to report the abuse so the appropriate action be taken.

The best person to report to is the NSPCC, who can give advice on what to do next. They can be reached on:
0808 800 5000


If you would prefer, you can contact RefuNet’s designated safeguarding officer, Bethany Holden, at:


However, the NSPCC can provide a more immediate response and should be contacted where possible.

Even if a child asks you to keep the information confidential, it is important to still report the abuse. However, it should not be shared with anyone who does not need to know.

Recording abuse

If a student discloses abuse to a tutor, the tutor should record everything they say, as soon as possible after (but not during) the disclosure. They should record the date and time of the disclosure, the child’s personal details (name, age, gender, religion, ethnicity, any disability) and the details of the concern. Where possible, the student’s own words should be use. The tutor should also record their response and who they reported the concern to. The record should be signed by the tutor.

For more information about protecting children from abuse, please visit the NSPCC website at:

The Safeguarding Policy and procedures will be reviewed by RefuNet on a regular basis to ensure they are adequate and relevant to safeguarding standards.

Contact details

Designated safeguarding officer: Bethany Holden


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