3.4 Explain how practitioners can take steps to protect themselves within their everyday practice within the work setting and on off site visits. A element of a practitioner’s role in protecting themselves would be to read policies and procedures that are put in place to safeguard them and children or young people in their care. In a school setting a professional can protect themselves by.
• Avoid situations where they are left alone with a child or young person. • Two members of staff must be present if a child needs to be undressed in the event of an accident. • If a child is collected late by a parent/carer then two staff members must stay until the child is collected. • Avoid meetings with students in an isolated or private area of a school.
It would be unrealistic to recommend that a member of staff should touch pupils only in emergencies as very few people would agree with that, especially when young children can become so distressed in certain situations and a hug or close contact is needed by the child. Physical prompts, guides and support are necessary in a range of settings appropriate to the age of the child and the circumstances at that time. Schools should provide a clear guidance about when and how touch should be used in order to protect both staff and children.
In the case of educational visits, professionals should always carry out a full risk assessment of that visit, under the Health and Safety at work regulations Act 1999 it requires employers to assess the risks of activities, introduce measures to control these risks and inform employees of these measures. Before a trip can be arranged employers must follow the necessary policies and procedures as follows:
• Age, competence, fitness and the standard behaviour of the pupils. • Any special educational or medical needs of the children. • Adult to student ratio.
• The competence and qualifications of the accompanying adults. • Modes of transport and location of visit.
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