Christ Church Safeguarding Policy
To provide a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults within college premises and in activities undertaken with the approval of the college. For these purposes, a child is a person under 18, and a vulnerable adult is a person who is receiving any form of health care whose ability to protect him or herself from neglect abuse or violence is significantly impaired on account of disability, illness or otherwise.
Safeguarding Codes of Practice
The College takes note of the University’s Code of Practice on the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults and will observe it in as far as it applies to the College’s students, staff, and visitors. See: Safeguarding Code of Practice.
Note that there are separate safeguarding policies for the Cathedral Choir and Christ Church Cathedral School. These can be found at: www.cccs.org.uk/about/school-policies-reports.
These policies will be reviewed on a regular basis.
The College will take all reasonable steps to ensure that its premises are safe for children and vulnerable adults whose presence can be reasonably anticipated.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
The College will discharge its obligations under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Sexual Offences Act 2003
Members of staff are reminded that, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, activities of a sexual nature between a child and someone who is in a “position of trust” constitute an offence, even though the child is capable of giving consent (that is, is 16 or over). A person is in a position of trust if they are “regularly involved in caring for, training or supervising” another person in an education institution (SOA 2003, s. 22(3)(a)). This could be taken to apply to a tutor or other personal advisor.
Duty of Care
The College will discharge its duty of care to ensure that it will not permit any activity which puts any child or vulnerable adult at risk of abuse, understanding that abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or neglect. In the furtherance of this duty it will take proper care that
(a) persons who undertake any welfare role with regard to students or members of staff on behalf of the college have been demonstrated to have appropriate qualities to perform such a role;
(b) members of staff who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults do not do so in circumstances in which there is risk of abuse.
(c) any allegations or evidence of harm to a child or vulnerable adult will be taken seriously and investigated
The College will respect the privacy confidentiality of any child or vulnerable adult in as far as this is consistent with its obligation to discharge its duty of care and statutory obligations.
Responsible College Officers and Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
In the absence of the Dean, the Censor Theologiae (who is acting as Head of House) has ultimate responsibility for safeguarding at Christ Church. Her deputy in regard to safeguarding is the Junior Censor.
Concerns related to safeguarding in the College (including any current students, prospective students or visitors under the age of 18, as well as vulnerable adults) should be reported to the College’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, who is Professor Jenny Yee.
Concerns related to safeguarding in the Cathedral should be reported to the Cathedral Chapter Safeguarding Officer.
Welfare and the wellbeing of students and staff are managed by the Welfare Coordinator, Reverend Clare Hayns.
In Summer 2021, Christ Church commissioned an independent review of its safeguarding arrangements. This review, which is ongoing, encompasses the safeguarding framework of the College, the Cathedral, and the Cathedral School.
The Review is being carried out by INEQE Safeguarding Group and led by Jim Gamble QPM. Mr Gamble has led a number of reviews including the recent review of the Child Q case, as well as INEQE Safeguarding Group’s reviews of Oxfam GB, The Prince’s Trust, Dulwich College (following the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ exposé), and a range of other charities, education and faith-based institutions and an NHS Trust.
As specified in the Terms of Reference, the Review will examine our governance structures, policies, and practices in relation to our current safeguarding framework. The Terms of Reference can be found below.
The recommendations of the Review will allow us both to consider our practices and procedures in light of the most recent guidance and expectations of regulators and to ensure we are following best practice in all situations.
We believe this in-depth Review will help us further develop and improve our approach in this critical area, and demonstrates Christ Church's ongoing commitment to safeguarding.
Terms of Reference – Christ Church Safeguarding Review
1. The Review will assess the sufficiency of Christ Church’s safeguarding arrangements by focusing on the following key areas:
- Leadership, Governance, & Key Roles
- Requirements related to its charitable status
- The role of the Church of England and the Oxford Diocese in respect of safeguarding governance and assurance at Christ Church
- The role of the University of Oxford and Office for Students in relation to Christ Church’s student beneficiaries
- Induction and Training (learning and improvement framework)
- Safeguarding Policy
- Other Related Policies, Procedures and Guidance
- Safer Recruitment and Support
- Culture, Ethics, Behaviour and Equality
2. A dip sample of safeguarding incident management.
The Review will evaluate the management of a sample (selected by the Review team) of safeguarding incidents (including non-recent incidents) to:
- Assess the integrity and sufficiency of reporting pathways, internal investigation, and disciplinary processes.
- Assess the adequacy of the referral of safeguarding cases to statutory agencies, regulatory or other appropriate bodies.
NOTE: Any safeguarding incidents will be reviewed against the policy and practice in force at the time of such incidents.
October 2017; updated May 2022