Safeguarding Policy

Top Dog Tutoring regards safeguarding of high importance. Any staff working for or in partnership with Top Dog Tutoring is responsible for the safeguarding of children. It is the professional duty of Top Dog Tutoring to take steps that are reasonable to protect children who may be in harmful or vulnerable positions. This includes providing safe physical and online environments for children to learn and develop; identifying welfare concerns and indicators of possible abuse; and preventing anti-social behaviour. This policy will be reviewed annually.


A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989). For the purpose of this policy document:

  • The term ‘child’ will be used to describe all children and young people under the age of 18 years old participating as a member at Top Dog Tutoring.
  • The term ‘staff’ will be used to describe teachers and other staff who work for Top Dog Tutoring, including those working on a voluntary or temporary basis.
  • The term ‘parent / guardian’ will be used to describe the adult who is responsible for the child(ren) receiving services and products from Top Dog Tutoring.

Children’s rights

All children have needs and rights:

  • Need: physical care and attention
  • Need: intellectual stimulus
  • Need: emotional love and security
  • Need: social interactions and relationships
  • Right: to have their needs met and satisfied
  • Right: to be protected from neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Right: to be protected from discrimination
  • Right: to be treated as an individual

How Top Dog Tutoring responds to children’s concerns and expressions of need

Top Dog Tutoring recognises that children communicate in a variety of different ways and no one child is the same. In the majority of cases, children do not express their concerns verbally, but rather in a physical fashion, behavioural change or writing, amongst other ways. Children whose needs are not met, or children who are in trouble deserve and need someone who will listen, not make judgements, not make false promises about keeping secrets when that is not possible, and someone who will not reject their statements as untrue.

Staff recruitment and conduct

Staff that work with children at Top Dog Tutoring are subject to background checks which comprise of enquiry into teaching employment history and an Enhanced DBS check every five years. During the employment process at interview stage, prospective staff must also demonstrate quality understanding of our safeguarding procedures as a requirement of pending employment. Interviewees who fail to complete this step to a satisfactory standard will not be employed by Top Dog Tutoring.

Staff conduct

All staff should demonstrate the correct behaviour in order to protect both the children and themselves from allegations of misconduct. The following procedures are to be followed when online or in a face-to-face environment to ensure the safety of both parties:

  • Treat all children equally with respect and dignity, and without discrimination.
  • Conduct yourself in a suitable manner that sets a good example to peers and children alike.
  • Provide enthusiastic, constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Check any content before sharing it with pupils via online platforms such as Zoom.
  • Restrict access to Zoom to authorised personnel and Users only.
  • Record live lessons for monitoring and safety purposes only; do not attempt to view or share this recording without explicit reason to do so such as in the case of extracting evidence for a safeguarding enquiry.
  • Always work in an open environment: avoid private (1:1) or unobserved communication with children online or in face-to-face situations.
  • Avoid physical contact with children at all times.
  • Maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children at all times.
  • Never threaten to, or use, physical force against a child, including as punishment
  • Keep a written record of any accidents, incidents or situations of concern.
  • Always refer safeguarding problems or concerns to the safeguarding lead member of staff.
  • Stop and remove any unknown party who enters an online lesson in Zoom.
  • Stop and question any unknown adult who enters a physical location who attempts to engage with the children.
  • Ensure backgrounds (where appropriate in online lessons) are neutral and suitable.
  • When communicating online, only use pre-approved platforms agreed by parents / guardians to use (e.g. WhatsApp with parents / guardians, and Zoom Chat with children).
  • Do not allow pupils to communicate online with other Users by restricting settings on Zoom Chat.
  • Ensure pupil and adult display names are appropriate when viewed online.

Devices used to access Top Dog Tutoring services should be subject to checks and restrictions by the parent / guardian in order to minimise risks to the child. This is ultimately the responsibility of the parent / guardian. Top Dog Tutoring will not accept responsibility for intentional or accidental use of devices used to access the available services / products available via which results in a safeguarding incident.

The following practices should never be sanctioned:

  • Engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  • Engaging in any form of inappropriate touching, including pinching or slapping.
  • Children’s inappropriate use of language and/or behaviour. This should always be challenged.
  • Making sexually suggestive comments to a child.
  • Reducing a child to tears as a form of control.
  • Allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
  • Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.

Use of photography / media

Users will be given the opportunity to consent to the use of images of children, either collected using authorised company devices or provided by the parent / guardian. Users will be made aware of the use of the media, for example: on social media or in print, and the purpose, for example: promotion or publicity. This process will also indicate the intended audience, for example: general public or participating families. Top Dog Tutoring will never disclose the full name of the child or other personal information without additional consent from the parent / guardian.

Parents / guardians are not permitted to take pictures of videos unless it is of their own children without other children or staff members in the background.


Child abuse is a term used to describe a range of ways in which people harm children. Staff members at Top Dog Tutoring should be aware of the definitions, signs and symptoms of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

There are several ways in which abuse can become apparent:

  • A child discloses abuse.
  • Someone else discloses that a child has told him/her or that he/she strongly believes a child has been or is being abused.
  • A child may show signs of physical injury for which there appears to be no satisfactory explanation.
  • A child’s behaviour may indicate that it is likely he/she is being abused.
  • A member of staff’s behaviour or in the way in which he/she relates to a child causes concern.

Responsibility to disclose

Staff made aware of suspicions, allegations or actual abuse, are responsible to take the appropriate action according to this procedure.

  • The primary responsibility of the person who first suspects or who is told of abuse is to report it to the lead member of staff, and to ensure that their concern is taken seriously.
  • Staff members should not make decisions on whether a suspicion or allegation is true or not.
  • Staff should never try to deal with a suspicion, allegation or actual incident of abuse by themselves.
  • The safeguarding lead will take responsibility for dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse, and liaising with appropriate authorities.

Once a safeguarding concern has been shared with the safeguarding lead, the safeguarding lead will consult with the relevant statutory agencies within 24 hours, but preferably as soon as possible, or immediately if the child is in immediate danger. For example, in Kent, the Kent Safeguarding Children Board (KSCB) [found at:] will be contacted within the time frame provided above if the child resides in the county of Kent.

When reporting a concern, the following information may be required:

  • Staff name, address, telephone number, position/role within the setting.
  • As many details about the child as possible, e.g. name, date of birth, address, provided telephone number, school.
  • What the reasons are for making a referral, e.g. suspicion, allegations, disclosure – what has been said, giving details of times and dates and the child’s emotional state, or what the child has said in response to the suspicions/concerns, making a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion and hearsay.
  • What action has been taken so far.
  • Where possible, a referral to Children’s Social Care should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours. Ensure you obtain the name of the services worker, and a case number to be recorded on the Incident Report.

The relevant statutory agency will then give instructions as to what to do next and take responsibility for further action related to the case.

In most cases, the person who made the report will not be contacted again unless further information is required. If additional information is acquired after the initial reporting, contact should be made again to submit the additional information. Staff should follow up on the case if they have not heard back within 7 days from the initial report.

Staff should also keep a local copy of the report which is to be submitted to the safeguarding lead for official safekeeping.

Emergency safeguarding contact numbers

Designated safeguarding lead at Top Dog Tutoring: Hayden Stevens (07462157104) or Dylan Price (07808170477)

Emergency services: 999
Local police: 101
KSCB: 03000 41 91 91
Childline: 0800 11 11
NSPCC contact point: 0808 800500
Radicalisation concern helpline: 020 7340 7264
Anti terrorist helpline: 0800 789 321