Care of Under 18’s

Care of Under 18’s

The Essential English Centre is committed to a practice which protects children from harm. A child is any person under the age of 18. Staff and homestay providers at The Essential English Centre accept and recognise our responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which may cause children, young people and vulnerable adults harm and to put procedures in place to protect them when they are studying at our school.

Some key information is available on this page and our policy is available here: Safeguarding Policy

Supervision of 16 + 17 years olds>

Supervision during school hours, lessons, and scheduled activities

16 and 17 year olds on adult courses

  • All under 18 students have black lanyards (over 18s have purple lanyards) so that they can be easily identified to staff. 
  • Under 18 students are highlighted on registers for teachers’ awareness.
  • An attendance check is done promptly every morning by the Director of Studies. Any under 18 absences are reported to the Student Services Officer (SSO), who will contact any absent students by 9.30am. If the student does not answer their phone, the SSO will call the host or parent/guardian. If they do not respond, the SSO will contact the emergency contact, if different to parent/guardian details. In the event that the SSO cannot reach any of these contacts, they will inform the DSL. The DSL will then decide on the next course of action, which may include travelling to the address of the student to check on their welfare. If the DSL travels to the student’s address, and the student cannot be located, and if the parent, guardian, homestay host or emergency contact can still not be reached, the police will be called.
  • Where relevant, attendance checks are also done for afternoon classes, and the same escalation process is applied as for morning checks. 
  • Fire safety procedures are explained on the first day of school. Homestay hosts are requested to make student aware of fire escape routes.
  • Any activities or excursions as organised by The EEC have a thorough risk assessment for each trip. The accompanying staff member(s) has a list of all students attending, with under 18 students clearly identified and the school emergency phone number. In rare occurrences of having more than 10 under 18 students on an organised activity, a specific staff member will be allocated. The ratio of staff supervision: number of under 18 students is 1:10. 
  • For excursions that are sub-contracted at weekends, the company in question (Smile Adventures) has a safeguarding policy in place that is known to The EEC, and DBS-checked (enhanced) guides. So that we know the student has arrived for the trip, we ask the student and host to communicate with each other to confirm they have arrived. If the host does not have confirmation of arrival, they must call the school emergency phone. Should a student not return to the coach when ready to depart in the evening, Smile Adventures will call the student in the first instance. If they cannot contact them, they will call the EEC emergency phone, and will begin a physical search. Once the EEC has been notified, the situation will be escalated as necessary. If we cannot make contact with the student, the emergency contact will be notified along with the local police. 
  • All on-site staff have a minimum Level 1 Safeguarding training and receive training in industry-specific issues that may arise.

Unsupervised time outside of school hours, lessons, and scheduled activities

16 and 17 year olds on adult courses

  • During first day induction, students are made aware of: laws on smoking, drinking and illegal drugs; curfew time (10pm); personal safety awareness; to always have a charged mobile phone; to tell their host where they are and with whom they are spending time when not with homestay; to tell their host if they will not be home for dinner and why. If their host is expecting them for dinner and they do not return home, the host will call the student to check on their whereabouts – if they cannot contact them, the school will be notified, even if it is before curfew time. They will be made aware of the escalation process if we cannot locate them and they have not returned home after curfew time. Students sign a learner agreement outlining these rules which makes them aware that repeated rule violations may lead to removal from the course and arrangements made for them to return home.
  • A check is done on the first day for all students that they understand their bus or public transport route and how to get to and from their homestay 
  • On their first day, all students receive a card to place in their wallet with homestay phone number, address and email address, along with the school office number, emergency phone number, and emergency services. 
  • Where under 18s have booked lessons only, the parent, guardian or homestay with whom the under 18 is staying must come to school with valid photo ID, and sign an agreement stating that they have responsibility for that student outside of supervised school times. We must have the address at which the student will be staying, and written parental confirmation that they agree for their child to stay with the nominated person at that address. The DSL will be made aware of any such cases, and where they may be suspicion, this will be followed up by further checks. We reserve the right to cancel or refuse any bookings in which we are not confident of the safety of the student outside of supervised times.
  • The Director of Studies who also has a welfare role, will do regular verbal welfare checks on under 18 students, normally in an informal style to keep the student at ease.
  • The Accommodation Officer may call homestay hosts to check that their students are keeping to the curfew time.
  • If the school has been contacted by a host that their student has not returned home, the school will: a) try to contact the student b) if not successful, the school will contact the emergency contact of the student c) if not successful, the police will be notified.
  • Airport transfers must be booked via the school, or we must be satisfied that a responsible guardian will collect them. For students arriving in airports other than Manchester, these will be assessed on a case by case basis in terms of suitability and safety precautions necessary.

Supervision under 16's>

The Essential English Centre accepts private groups of students who are aged 12 years +
We do not accept individual juniors travelling on their own to the UK.

A note for parents
When choosing to send your child on a language course trip to The Essential English Centre, you must make sure you feel completely satisfied that the designated group leader is a responsible and safe adult and you feel happy for them to look after your child whilst they are abroad.  The Essential English Centre will request a police check directly from the group leader, or confirmation from the Educational Tour Operator that a police check has been carried out. If you have any concerns about the designated group leader, we encourage you to contact us directly.  Only by working together can we ensure the best protection for your child.

Under 16s on group leader-accompanied group courses

  • All under 18 students have black lanyards (over 18s have purple lanyards) so that they can be easily identified to staff.
  • Group leaders to identify a meeting point for their students every morning to take them to school. Group leader(s) will work with the Director of Studies and SSO to identify any absences within the first 15 minutes of the class start time. Group leaders are responsible for contacting their students to know their whereabouts, however the SSO will assist where necessary in contacting students. If students cannot be contacted using the routes above for 16/17 year olds, the situation will be escalated immediately, by the group leader travelling to the student’s address by the quickest means of transport. Escalation routes may involve contacting the local police. 
  • Class start times for under 16s are staggered by either 15 or 30 minutes, and classrooms furthest away from adult classrooms will be used. 
  • Under 16 groups are always supervised during break times by group leaders and EEC staff, and should not leave school premises without the permission of their group leader(s). 
  • Under 16 groups cannot normally book lesson-only trips with The EEC. Where excursions will form part of the trip, these must be organised through the school. An experienced, DBS-checked EEC staff member or members will accompany all trips, at a ratio of 1 leader to 10 students. Only in certain circumstances can group leaders undertake trips without our staff. In this circumstance, a risk assessment must be drawn up and agreed between EEC staff and the group leaders. In certain circumstances, the EEC will consider groups who wish to have lessons only. These are considered on a case-by-case basis and are appropriately risk assessed. Factors considered are: duration of programme, experience and ratio of group leaders:students, and familiarity of group leaders with the area. In such cases, all trips are to be agreed with the EEC group coordinator, and risk assessments agreed with all parties in advance.
  • Where there are a range of ages in one group, 16+ students will normally enter into our scheduled adult lessons. Under 16s will form closed groups. If the group requests closed lessons only, efforts will be made to divide the students into 16+ and under 16. Where the group is small and requests to study together, a risk assessment will be drawn up to ensure the safeguarding of all students in the group, and parental consent will be requested from all parents, stating that they agree to all students studying together.

Unsupervised time outside of school hours, lessons, and scheduled activities

  • During first day induction, students are made aware of: laws on smoking, drinking and illegal drugs; curfew time (9pm); personal safety awareness; to always have a charged mobile phone; to tell their host where they are and with whom they are spending time when not with homestay; to tell their host if they will not be home for dinner and why. If their host is expecting them for dinner and they do not return home, the host will call the student to check on their whereabouts – if they cannot contact them, the school will be notified, even if it is before curfew time. They will be made aware of the escalation process if we cannot locate them and they have not returned home after curfew time. Students sign a learner agreement outlining these rules which makes them aware that repeated rule violations may lead to removal from the course and arrangements made for them to return home. 
  • A check is done on the first day for all students that they understand their bus or public transport route and how to get to and from their homestay
  • On their first day, all students receive a card to place in their wallet with homestay phone number, address and email address, along with the school office number, emergency phone number, and emergency services.
  • All under 16s must return home for dinner to the host every night. The only exceptions to this are for agreed organised evening meals with group leader(s), which hosts will be made aware of in advance. If their host is expecting them for dinner and they do not return home, the host will call the group leader to check on their whereabouts – if the group leader is not aware of the student’s whereabouts, the host is instructed to notify the school, even if it is before curfew time.
  • Particular care taken in choosing the host and location. They will be taken to the bus stop on the first day, and group leaders meet students at designated point each morning. Students must tell their group leader when they have returned home each day.
  • If the school has been contacted by a host that their student has not returned home by curfew time, the school will a) try to contact the group leader b) emergency contact and if no contact can be made, the police will be notified. 

Homestay Accommodation>

All students under the age of 18 must stay in Homestay accommodation. Student residence accommodtion is only available to students who are 18+

Homestay Accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds

  • Allocations are are an individual room basis only, unless otherwise requested by the parents/guardians of the student.
  • Alongside normal recruitment procedures, Under 18 hosts are specifically selected for their suitability in character to hosting younger students 
  • Recruitment procedures including DBS checking is followed in accordance with our process (section 8 of this policy)
  • Under 18 students will not normally be placed with students of the opposite sex
  • 16 and 17 year old may on occasion be placed with over 18s. This is only done on a risk assessed basis, and factors including the following are considered: – The experience of the host – The other adults in the house – The layout of the bedrooms – Bathroom arrangements – Whether the host has children of their own in the home – Are the students culturally similar – Is there a big difference in age between the students

    Under 16s on group leader-accompanied courses

    Along with the above procedures for 16 and 17 years olds:

  •  Under 16s will not be placed in homestays with over 18s
  • Youngest members of the group will be placed near in location to the group leader(s)
  • Where possible, students will be grouped close to each other so travel to and from school can be done together
  • Homestay hosts will provide full-board, unless specifically requested by group organisers. In this case, parental consent for a non-full board basis will be requested.

Medical Care>

First Aid, medication, accidents and emergencies

Any information about allergies, chronic health conditions or medicine regularly used by the student must be passed on to the school before arrival.
The Essential English Centre has First Aid trained staff, onsite, every day. 

Staff leading trips are not always trained in First Aid, however, a risk assessment is completed for every trip with specific attention paid to how easily the emergency services can arrive to a location, the health and safety provision available at the trip destination and all any trip with no/little provision meeting a’low risk’ category.

No member of staff who is not First Aid trained should administer first aid or medication to an under 18 student without first consulting the named First Aiders. Homestay hosts should consult the school before administering medicines of any kind to under 18s. For accidents and medical emergencies involving under 18s, school staff will follow UK health guidelines and UK medical professional advice including but not limited to: calling the NHS Helpline, taking the student to a walk-in centre, taking the student to the doctor, or taking the student to the nearest hospital. School staff will also immediately contact the student’s family or group leader.

Enrolment>

Before booking a course for your child, it is important that you understand exactly what you can expect form us, and also, what we expect from you as the parent or guardian.

Students aged under 18 will be expected to comply with the terms and conditions of the course they are registered on, just as The Essential English Centre expects older students to comply. 

You will be asked to:

  • Complete and sign a parent contract
  • Provide 24 hour emergency contact details
  • Ensure your child has a mobile phone that works in the UK
  • Communicate details about the course and accommodation to your child before booking and before arrival

You may be asked to sign other authorisation documents during enrolment.

Transfers>

It is compulsory for all students under the age of 18 to book an incoming transfer with The Essential English Centre, alternatively, evidence that a transfer has been arranged with an over 18 family member, guardian or group leader must be provided before arrival.

  The return transfer service is optional, and if not booked with The Essential English Centre, we will speak with the student before departure to ensure suitable transfer arrangements have been made.

Welfare>

The Essential English Centre has a designated welfare officer who offers pastoral support during all language programmes.  The designated person will be made known to student during induction.

Students will also be greeted each morning, supervised during the arranged class times and staff will be available during office hours 9:00-5:00 to offer general support. 

The 24 hour emergency mobile is in operation outside of these times for assistance during any emergency situation. Students will be given this number on the first day during induction and parents are given this number during the enrolment process.

 

Details of welfare provision

  • All arranged activities are risk assessed 
  • Some activities are supervised by a member of staff, however, not all activities are led by a member of staff, some are suggestions given to students. For example, visiting an art gallery
  • 24 hour emergency contact number
  • Welfare staff on-site
  • All key members of staff trained in Safeguarding

Insurance>

It is compulsory for all students under the age of 18 and travelling to The Essential English Centre to study, to have comprehensive travel and medical insurance.  Insurance can be purchased via The Essential English Centre, alternatively, proof of insurance must be confirmed prior to the student’s arrival.

Some medical treatment is free for students from EU countries or those countries with a reciprocal medical agreement with Britain. In order to benefit from this arrangement a European Health Insurance Card should be obtained from the local authority in your country.  Dental treatment is not free in the UK.

In the event of serious illness or accident, the child will be taken to the doctor or local hospital by a member of staff and advised treatment will be followed.  In the case of minor health problems, the advice of the local pharmacist or the National Health helpline will be followed. Any information about allergies, chronic health conditions or medicine regularly used by the student must be passed on to the school before arrival.