You will hear the term ‘Safeguarding’ a lot at college, but what does it mean to you? It means that ALL staff at Shrewsbury Colleges Group have a very clear responsibility to keep you safe from harm and improve your life chances. We all take this responsibility very seriously and want you to settle, learn, prosper and thrive.
You have a right to be kept safe from anything that might do you harm. This is the most important right that you have. We believe that young people must be at the heart of our safeguarding work. This means we will take you seriously. You will always be asked for your views on what you want to happen next.
All college staff have been checked and trained to make sure that they are able to keep you safe. The Safeguarding Teams are identified on posters around the campuses. Fortunately, our students tell us they feel very safe at college. If you are an apprentice or studying in the workplace, make sure you know who to go to for help in the workplace and talk to your assessor about any concerns.
What should you do if you are worried about your safety?
In college, talk to a member of the Safeguarding Team, another trusted member of staff or to any college receptionist. You can also see the section on out-of-hours below. If you are under 19 and worried about anything, you can call Childline on Freephone 0800 1111. If you feel you are in immediate danger you should contact the police.
It’s important to know who is who on all campuses at all times, therefore EVERYONE is required to visibly wear their lanyard and ID badge, please be expected to be challenged by staff if you aren’t wearing your badge.
One of the areas where we are working together with local services to ensure student safety is the issue of Exploitation. The risk of this type of abuse has increased locally in recent years. Shropshire Council has provided this excellent guide which outlines what is meant by exploitation and possible signs that a young person may be being exploited.
The college Safeguarding Team are available during the working week to discuss any concerns you might have about a student. Please call 01743 342342 if you want an opportunity to talk through any aspect of a young person's safety.
We have put together an online safety guide with information for students and parents on staying safe online.
A safe college community…
If you are concerned that you, or somebody else you know, is at risk of harm, please contact a member of staff or one of the Safeguarding Team below, who are here to support you.
You can also contact the following services directly to ask for advice or to report a safeguarding concern:
- Children’s Services (if the concern is for a child under the age of 18): 0345 6789021 or Adults: 0345 6789044
- Telford & Wrekin: 01952 385385
- Protecting Vulnerable People (West Mercia Police): 0300 333 3000
- NSPCC: 0800 800 5000 and Childline: 0800 1111
- Information on services in Shropshire is available on this website: safeguardingshropshireschildren.org.uk
- If you believe there is an immediate risk of significant harm, please call the emergency services on 999
There is a process in place, which allows staff and students to make referrals should they feel a student needs support in terms of their emotional health and wellbeing. These referrals can lead to a student accessing counselling in college, support from an outside agency, as well as a range of other interventions.
During the induction period in September, students are given details of what to do if they need to report abuse - including being given names and contact details of our trained and experienced Safeguarding Team. The Reception Team holds details of the lead member of staff for each campus on safeguarding duty and any student with concerns during college hours can access help from the reception desk.
What to do out of college hours
If you have concerns for the safety of a student outside of college hours you will need to access support or advice directly.
If you believe that you or the person you are enquiring about is suffering a genuine life-threatening emergency, you should call 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department.
If you are concerned that a child (under 18) in Shropshire is in danger of harm contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0345 678 9040. A similar service operates in Telford and Wrekin on 01952 676500. Alternatively, you can seek advice or report a concern to the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
If a person over 18 is in danger due to mental health-related issues the Mental Health Crisis Team can be contacted on 0300 124 0365 (covering the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin areas).