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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
"Providing innovation, excellence and expertise to schools and academies across London and the South East."
Octavo Safeguarding Policy
I am writing to confirm that like you, we in Octavo take safeguarding very seriously. We have the benefit of being providers of safeguarding (DSL) and accredited safer recruitment training which means we have access to best practice updates on an ongoing basis, and I thought you would find it helpful if I summarised our organisational processes.
We have a dedicated safeguarding lead, Anne Moore, our Chief Educational Psychologist. We ensure that safeguarding is included in the induction of all new staff, and have biennial safeguarding training updates for the whole company. As many of our staff visit schools we have worked with them to ensure they are able to recognise issues of concern that should be reported. We have a comprehensive safeguarding policy that is agreed by our Board. Were there to be a safeguarding allegation made about a member of our staff, we would take that very seriously and our policy covers such allegations.
We follow safer recruitment practices, and all our staff apply to us via an application form, undertake a selection process including an interview and we make reference to safeguarding on our job descriptions & person specifications. We seek two references, including the last employer, and undertake a number of pre employment checks including right to work checks. For those roles where qualifications are required, we check these. We also work with associates and follow the principle of safer recruitment in their engagement.
As we have a number of different roles in our company, we differentiate, according to the post, as to whether or not a DBS is taken up, and have a slightly different application form for posts that require a DBS and those that do not. We renew DBSs every three years. We also keep under review the work our staff are undertaking, and
if someone who has not been in a post requiring a DBS check moves into a role where
they are a more frequent visitor at a particular school (as defined in KCSIE 2018) then we ask them to have a DBS check. If someone who has lived overseas is successful for one of our ‘DBS roles’ we will also follow up with checks in the countries where they have lived. If we received a positive disclosure we would undertake a risk assessment before making a decision.
In May 2018, the Croydon Safeguarding Children Board undertook a safeguarding audit of our company and we received the following assurance:
“The Section 11 Audit submission was reviewed by the May 2018 Section 11 panel. Almost all elements of the audit were justifiably green and a follow up action was for the CSCB to meet with Octavo to understand how they have achieved this. The intention being to share with other partners to help inform their Section 11 audit activity.”
I hope you find this helpful, but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Claire PotterInterim CEO