The safety and security of our students and staff are of paramount importance to us.
This remains one of the safest Colleges in London and the South East. This has been recognised by Ofsted in their last two visits where they rated Safeguarding as a key strength of the College.
Having a safe environment is so important for a student so that they can devote their efforts to being successful on their courses. There are full-time safety officers whose sole task is to keep the site safe and to look out for any possible threats to our students and staff.
Staff training takes place to ensure key staff are fully aware of the latest developments in safeguarding and that they are able to deal with any situations which may arise. The College has two Safeguarding Officers.
Any student who feels unsafe or who feels there is a threat to their well-being, should speak to a member of staff straightaway. To read more about our safeguarding guidelines please read our Safeguarding policy.
This is not tolerated in the College. Cases of bullying are rare but when they do occur we deal with them immediately.
The College has installed the most advanced monitoring system on all computers used by students so that any inappropriate use can be spotted. Anything which raises concerns about a student’s well-being appears within minutes in a report sent to the Safeguarding Team. Keeping our students safe whilst using a computer is vital.
The College has a significant number of staff who are fully trained in First Aid and who are able to deal with most situations which might arise in a College. Students in need can access support from Reception or the Care Suite.
We work very closely with the local Police to ensure that we play our part in keeping our local community safe. Gangs are an issue in some areas, luckily less so here. We work closely with the Police to ensure we remain aware of any gang-related issues in the local area. We now have in excess of 2,300 students and we wish those who live and work near our site to feel secure and respected.
Building resilience in our young people and the promotion of fundamental British values is at the heart of preventing radicalisation. We do this by providing a safe place in which our students can discuss issues and we aim to give them the knowledge and confidence to challenge extremist beliefs and ideologies.
We recognise that we play a vital role in keeping young people safe from harm, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation. This includes upskilling our students to safeguard themselves and their friends and all students are aware of the mechanisms by which they can report concerns for themselves or other students.
Our prevent duty is carried out under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which legally requires us to take steps to prevent our students from being drawn into terrorism. We take this duty seriously and carry out the main actions responsibly, namely: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training, safeguarding, IT and Guest Speaker policies.
If we assess a student as at risk, we will refer to the Channel Programme, which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
College wide, staff at all levels receive regular training and British values are embedded in the culture of College life. In terms of internet safety, robust filters are in place to ensure students are challenged if/when extremist materials are sought or there are any concerns with regard to student safety.
What we do if there is a concern
If we have a concern about a particular student, we will follow the College’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the College’s Safeguarding Officer(s), and where deemed necessary, with children’s social care. The College has a designated Prevent Coordinator and Safer Schools Police Officer who we work closely with in the event of a referral.
We may also contact the local police service or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to us in confidence about concerns and help us gain access to support and advice.
The Department for Education has dedicated a non-emergency telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised here educate against hate. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident. In an emergency situation we will follow the recommended emergency procedures.
Our friendly and very professional safety staff help keep the site safe for all. They ensure intruders do not get on site and ensure that we maintain a calm & respectful atmosphere in College.