Niños entre 5 y 11 años en curso de inglés
Niños entre 5 y 11 años en curso de inglés ©

British Council

British Council Child Protection Policy Statement

The British Council firmly believe that all children have potential and that every child matters - everywhere in the world. Children are a top priority as they have a unique honesty and willingness to exchange knowledge and ideas that can meaningfully build trust and make a sustainable difference in the future worldwide.

Child protection is everybody’s responsibility. We recognise that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with including a duty to protect them from abuse. We aim to achieve this through compliance with child protection laws in each of the countries we operate and to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989 which is the international legal framework which sets out the specific rights of children.

The British Council affirms the position that all children have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse as set out in article 19, UNCRC, 1989. A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC, 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.

The purpose of the policy:

  • To help make sure that children who engage in British Council activities are protected;
  • To provide a common understanding of child protection issues and inform staff planning and practice;
  • To provide step by step guidance to staff on what action to take if there is an allegation of or concern about actual or suspected situations of abuse.
  • This policy is mandatory for all British Council staff world wide. This includes anyone who works for the British Council, either in a paid or unpaid, full or part time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, trustees, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and anyone working on behalf of the British Council.

We will seek to protect children by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • Adopting child protection systems and procedures for staff.
  • Recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made.
  • Sharing information about child protection and good practice with staff, children and parents/carers.
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately.
  • Providing effective management for staff through supervision, support and training.
  • We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

Anti bullying policy

At the British Council Venezuela we want to provide a safe and happy environment for our students and staff. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at the British Council Venezuela. If your child is bullied or sees bullying, we encourage them to tell a teacher, someone in our customer services team or you. Any bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly and effectively. 

What is bullying?

Bullying is deliberately and repeatedly hurting others. We recognise that bullying comes in many forms. Some of these include:

  • Physical: Hitting, pushing, kicking, biting, taking other students’ things etc.
  • Verbal: Name-calling, laughing at others’ mistakes, saying nasty things to people etc.                
  • Indirect: Ignoring a classmate, whispering about someone etc.
  • Cyber: Indirect or verbal bullying using mobile phones (SMS) and internet (social networks, emails, etc.)

Why is it important to respond to bullying?

Children come here to learn and in order to do so they need to feel safe in the classroom. If they feel threatened in any way they will not learn and may not want to come to class.

What will we do if bullying is reported?

If bullying is reported, we will deal with the incident immediately. The following steps may be taken:

  1. Single minor incident: teacher deals with it by speaking to both parties and perhaps parents depending on severity (STYL to advise)
  2. First repetition of minor incident: parents of both parties contacted to discuss the incidents
  3. Second repetition of minor incident: parents of both parties meet with the Senior Teacher of Young Learners (STYL) to discuss the incidents and action to be taken.

Disciplinary steps may include a behaviour contract, suspension for one or more classes or expulsion from classes at the British Council.

The student who has been bullied will be supported by having the opportunity to talk about the experience with a staff member of their choice, reassurance and continued support from the teacher in class to help restore their confidence.

The student who has bullied a child will be helped by discussing what has happened and why he/she did it, establishing that their behaviour is wrong and unacceptable and informing parents/guardians to help change their attitude.

What will we do to prevent bullying?

  • All teachers will be made aware of our policy and trained on how to follow it.
  • Classroom visits by STYL and a member of the Customer Service Team during the first week.
  • Clear visuals outlining the main points of the policy will be permanently displayed in every classroom.
  • All students and parents will be made aware of the possible consequences of bullying, including expulsion without refund.
  • Students will understand how to report bullying and who to as part of the classroom visits.
  • We will seek ideas from parents through customer feedback forms and focus groups to keep this policy up to date and formally review it every two years.