UniFest Safeguarding Arrangements — Aimhigher West Midlands
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0121 415 8176

Aimhigher and its partner universities will work together to deliver a high quality Summer School programme for young people. The safety and well being of the learners taking part is a key priority for us.

UniFest is planned and delivered by universities, and the opportunity to take part is made available to learners and their parents/carers with the support of schools who agree to the learners taking part.

Partner schools, academies, colleges and the parents/carers of learners need to be sure that all relevant safeguarding arrangements are in place.

To support this, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, Aimhigher has undertaken an extensive mapping of the 6 delivery universities’ Safeguarding, Health and Safety and Risk Assessment policies and procedures against OfSTED guidance.

This has demonstrated that all have the key requirements in place e.g:

  • Young people will be supervised at all times by staff and undergraduates subject to DBS checks
  • All events are generically risk assessed, and many component activities are subject to specific risk assessments
  • Residential arrangements and any adventurous activities are subject to particular control measures, with 24 hour staffing and highly supervised social, sporting or outward bound type activities
  • Aimhigher universities providing residential UniFest events host information evenings to allow applicants and their parents/carers to ask questions about all aspects of safeguarding and to meet the staff who will be responsible for the young people during their stay.

In summary, measures that meet legislative requirements are in place, and have been extensively tested, as Aimhigher and other university summer schools in the West Midlands region have operated without incident for many years.

Supervision on Residential Events

To benefit from UniFest, young people need a degree of independence and autonomy, similar to that for work experience placements. This is especially important if their event is a residential one. The safeguarding arrangements for residential UniFest events have been developed over many years, and offer a degree of protection that makes remote, rather than direct, supervision appropriate. School and college staff do not need to accompany learners on residential UniFest events.

Risk Assessment

The key safeguarding policies and documents for all of our delivery Universities can be viewed by clicking on the Safeguarding Arrangements tab. These include examples of some of the risk assessment documentation used. Completed risk assessments can be made available on request to participating schools/academies/colleges, local authorities and parents/carers. Therefore it is not necessary for schools, academies or colleges to undertake their own risk assessments, site visits etc.

Behaviour and Critical Incident Management

UniFest universities work hard to create a healthy learning environment in which the likelihood of unwanted, disruptive and challenging behaviour is reduced, and responses to challenging behaviour are ethically sound, based on good practice, communicated effectively and encourage confidence in all service users. All participants and their parents are made aware of their duties and responsibilities and a Model Code of Conduct for UniFest, covering expectations around behaviour and detailing how any issues will be handled, is used across the programme. A copy can be downloaded here:

In addition UniFest universities have developed good practice in the management of and response to disruptive or challenging behaviour. A copy of the guidance issued to universities can be downloaded here:

Worst case scenario planning is also an important element of safeguarding, and we have also produced model Critical incident management information and guidance for all delivery universities. This provides them with specific guidance and information to augment their institutional procedures around disaster management with the information they need to reflect the scope of UniFest. This extends to a communications flow chart, and a full contacts list including the 24 hour contact details of Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards in the geographical catchment for UniFest. A copy can be downloaded here:

Conclusion

We hope that our work to draw together evidence of the Safeguarding arrangements in place for UniFest will reassure the parents/carers of all young people attending, and staff in the many schools, academies and colleges that have supported young people in applying for a place. However, if you have a specific query please contact us on 0121 415 8176 or email aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

For detailed Safeguarding Policies and Procedures for Higher Education Institutions involved with this project, please click here.