We are fortunate to work in Dubai and the UAE, where there are substantial laws related to safeguarding and child protection, for example Federal Law number 3 (2016), otherwise known as ‘Wadeema’s Law’. Under this law, every child has the right to be safeguarded against any form of abuse, amongst other things. At The English College (EC), we also look to other legislation, such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child, and Keeping Children Safe in Education, UK (2021) in order to educate our staff and develop our practices and procedures related to the safeguarding of our children. Our number one priority is that our students are safe, happy and well and it is the responsibility of every member of our school community to ensure this happens.
We work very closely with several agencies in Dubai who give us advice, guidance and support should any safeguarding concerns arise. Some of these agencies include the Community Development Authority (CDA), the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI). All schools in Dubai have a duty of care to report any suspected cases of abuse to these authorities and we at EC take this responsibility very seriously.
Emily Hopkinson is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and works with a team of deputy DSLs across Primary and Secondary to ensure that any potential safeguarding concerns are dealt with sensitively and robustly. All of our staff, academic and support, receive termly face-to-face safeguarding training and all of our teaching staff also undertake 6 online safeguarding training modules each year. This ensures that all members of our school community are able to safeguard our students and recognise any potential signs of abuse or neglect.
Student education is also important. Our students receive regular training and information sessions so that they know how to report any concerns they may have, can recognise any potential signs of abuse or neglect within their community and know how to keep themselves safe online. We have a school counsellor who is also available to work with any students who would like some additional 1-on-1 support.
Digital Safeguarding is something that we take very seriously at EC and hold regular student and parent information events to educate our school community about safe practices online. We are fortunate in Dubai to have some clear and robust laws surrounding E Crimes and we work hard to educate our community so that all of their online activity, including social media, remains within the guidelines of such laws.
Recruiting the right staff is a key priority for EC and as such, we follow Safer Recruitment practices. This means that all staff involved with recruitment, including our leaders and our HR team, are all Safer Recruitment trained. They know what to look for at the application and interview stages of recruitment and will always request the current and previous Headteachers as referees. Criminal records checks will always be completed to ensure that all of the staff in our school community are able to work with children. This means that we are adhering to our commitment of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in all that we do.