WHISTON WORRYGOOSE JUNIOR AND INFANT SCHOOL
Part of White Woods Academy Trust
LEARNING MENTOR LONE WORKING POLICY
Approved by Governors: September 2017
Review Date: September 2019
Statement of intent
Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School recognises that there may be an increased risk to the health and safety of Learning Mentor (LM) when working alone. This policy has been established to identify risks and manage them accordingly.
The school has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of employees.
Within this policy, ‘lone working’ refers to situations where staff, in the course of their duties, work alone in the school and are physically isolated from colleagues, possibly without immediate access to assistance. Due to the possibility of buildings creating isolated areas, it is possible for a staff member to be ‘lone working’ with other staff members in the building.
Lone working procedure
- Under no circumstances should a LM compromise their personal safety. If a LM feels in danger, they should remove themselves from the situation immediately.
- A risk assessment must be undertaken of the activities the LM is engaged in. It must cover all work currently undertaken alone (or proposed to be), where the risk may be increased by the work activity itself, or by the lack of available assistance should something go wrong. The Headteacher (HT) is responsible for ensuring suitable procedures are in place for undertaking risk assessments for all situations requiring lone working. These procedures must ensure that all involved are aware of precautions and methods of work to be followed, including emergency action to be taken if necessary. Once relevant tasks are identified, the following must be considered:
- Risk of violence: All jobs involving lone working are assessed for risk of verbal threats or violence.
- Access and egress: Some lone working may require access to locations that are difficult to access or egress. Assessments will consider whether these tasks are suitable for lone working.
- Situational hazards: These include potentially dangerous animals in the home, dangerous locations and visits to locations where previous problems have occurred.
- Lone working must only be undertaken following authorisation from the Headteacher
- A log of known risks, with regard to locations and persons, must be kept, updated and reviewed regularly. It must be available to the LM prior to visits and held in a secure location
- Appointments must be managed so that colleagues of the LM are always aware of their movements and appointments. A list of appointments for the FSW is kept for the HT to view when needed. The list includes the address the FSW will be visiting, the details of the persons whom they are visiting and a known contact number, and indications of how long they expect to be at these locations. The list is held securely in the HT’s office to ensure the information remains confidential. If theHT is not available, responsibility for the list defers to the School Business Manager
- Details of vehicles used by the LM, including make, model, registration number and colour, must be held by the HT.
- Once in place, appointment arrangements should be adhered to. The LM must notify the HT of changes to their schedule.
- If a visit is deemed high risk, where there is a history of violence or the location itself is considered high risk, the visit must only be made if absolutely necessary. In these cases, the LM may request a meeting in a more suitable location or to be accompanied by another member of staff.
- During a visit, the LM will:
- Carry an ID badge and be prepared to identify themselves.
- Carry out a ‘10 second risk assessment’ when they first arrive at the house. If they feel in danger, they should have an excuse ready not to enter the house and arrange an alternative appointment.
- Be aware of any animals in the house and ask for them to be secured in a separate room. If there is a known problem with animals at the address, the occupants should be contacted and requested to remove or secure the animals before arrival.
- Ensure that they shut the door behind them and make themselves familiar with the door lock, in case an emergency exit is needed.
- Not position themselves in the corner of a room or in a situation where it is difficult to escape.
- Remain calm and focused at all times and keep their possessions close to them.
- Be aware of their body language and the body language of the client. There is potentially a risk of exacerbating the situation by sending out nervous or aggressive signals, particularly where cultural, gender or physical issues need to be considered.
- Where there is genuine concern, as a result of a lone worker failing to attend a visit or report back to their buddy, the HT will use the information held on record to try and ascertain the whereabouts of the FSW. If contact cannot be made, the HT will decide, depending on the circumstances, whether to contact the police.
- If police involvement is necessary, police will be given access to all information held.
- It is the responsibility of the individual concerned to ensure all necessary precautions and procedures are adhered to at all times.
- Any person who becomes aware of circumstances involving lone working, where the existing control measures may not be fully effective, must inform the HT as soon as possible.
- Lone workers will be fully trained in safe working practices. The School Business Manager responsible for organising all relevant training.
- The LM will undertake training in conflict resolution to enable them to negotiate difficult situations safely. Other training that will be considered forLM’s includes: cultural awareness training, diversity and racial equality training, specific equipment training, manual handling training, first aid training, and training in disengagement techniques.
Duties of a lone worker
- Lone workers are expected to follow all the procedures outlined in this policy and all relevant training. Failure to do so may be a disciplinary offence.
Child protection and safeguarding
- Physical restraint and use of force:
- Our policy on physical intervention by staff is set out in our Physical Restraint and Reasonable Force Policy and acknowledges that staff must only ever use physical intervention as a last resort, and that at all times it must be the minimal force necessary to prevent injury to another person.
- We understand that physical intervention of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
- One-to-one sessions:
- If lone working is an integral part of an employee’s role, a full and appropriate risk assessment will be conducted and agreed.
- Full and ongoing training regarding child protection, physical restraint and the use of reasonable force, and lone working procedures will be provided for all staff with regular lone working responsibilities.
- Meetings or sessions with children will never be held in remote or secluded areas.
- Colleagues will be informed beforehand when holding one-to-one sessions or discussions.
- The use of ‘engaged’ or equivalent signs is prohibited.
- Doors will be kept open when conducting one-to-one sessions. Where this is not possible, for example in a music lesson, it will be ensured that both parties can be seen through one or more windows.
- When holding one-to-one sessions, staff members will talk to the child with a desk between them, or otherwise arrange the room or environment to avoid unnecessary physical contact.
- Both parties will sit near to the door.
- If a child becomes emotional, distressed or angry, the staff member will seek assistance, it will be reported to a senior colleague and a record kept of the employee’s concerns.
- Our policy and procedures for dealing with allegations against staff can be found in our Dealing with Allegations of Abuse official document.
Monitoring and review
- The School Business Manager is responsible for monitoring this policy and procedures and amending accordingly following incidents or concerns.
- The policy will be reviewed by the School Business Manager Annually