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Safeguarding Policy


We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all colleagues, students and visitors who access our services and facilities. We adopt the highest possible standards and in collaboration with local safeguarding boards, we take all reasonable steps in relation to the welfare and safety of children and vulnerable adults.

Local safeguarding boards are multi-agency groups which have established protection practices in accordance with the law and statutory regulation. In Newcastle we have a number of organisations that work together including:

  • the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB)
  • the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP)

They help to safeguard and promote the welfare of adults, children, young people and their families.

The University supports the work of these boards via this policy, and this includes the provision of a university Designated Safeguarding Officer to be the lead and coordinating person with regard to child and vulnerable adult safeguarding action.

At Newcastle University, the:

  • Designated Safeguarding Officer is the Director of Student Health and Wellbeing (contact via email)
  • the Assistant Designated Officer is the Head of Student Health and Wellbeing Services (contact via email)

We have a legal responsibility to take appropriate action in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. All colleagues are in a position of trust, in particular those colleagues who teach, support, and guide or in any way interact with students, as such we all need to be aware of our responsibilities and act in accordance with our:

This policy aims to provide guidance in relation to our responsibilities and to provide support to colleagues by ensuring that appropriate training and processes are in place.


This policy applies to all UK colleagues and students and is informed by the key principles and definitions within:

  • the Care Act 2014
  • the Children Act 1989


The Children Act 1989 defines a child as “a person under the age of 18”.

The Care Act 2014 defines a vulnerable adult as “any person aged 18 years or over; who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.”

We take all reasonable steps to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of all children and vulnerable adults accessing our services and facilities in-person or on-line, including but not limited to:

  • Children and vulnerable adults engaged in Newcastle University activities
  • Vulnerable adults who are registered students
  • Participants in research projects
  • Members of the public accessing campus spaces
  • Prospective students engaged in Newcastle University activities, including open days, visit days and summer schools
  • Participants in Sport
  • Students at risk of homelessness 
  • Current students (including those on placement in the UK or overseas)
  • Members of the public accessing services provided by students as part of their programme
  • Children resident in university accommodation
  • Colleagues in the course of their duties
  • Colleagues and students going into schools, colleges and other community settings as part of recruitment or degree programme activity
  • Work experience/employment opportunities to young people under 18 and vulnerable adults

In instances when children of colleagues, students or visitors are present on the University campus, they remain the responsibility of their parent/carer and we will do all we can to support parents and carers to meet this responsibility via our guidance:

Procedures to prevent harm

The University seeks to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

  • Recruiting colleagues and volunteers safely, including taking up references and ensuring that, where appropriate, colleagues and volunteers undertake Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) disclosures at the correct level, before commencing work or activity with us. Line Managers are supported by People Services Partners to identify which colleagues require a DBS check and how frequently these should be repeated. Colleagues and volunteers are responsible for informing their line manager if there is any change to their circumstances, which may affect their DBS check
  • Having in place specific procedures around managing applications from and monitoring the wellbeing of students who are under 18 on the first day of the month in which their programme commences, sharing information with appropriate colleagues
  • Ensuring students accepted onto undergraduate and postgraduate degrees obtain a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure, when their course requires it
  • Producing safeguarding advice for colleagues and volunteers visiting schools, or involved in on campus activities, as part of teaching, research, volunteering or widening participation projects including outreach, student recruitment, volunteering and widening participation programmes
  • Ensuring that the Degree Apprenticeship provision are covered by appropriate safeguarding procedures in order to comply with Ofsted requirements
  • Ensure downstream partners have clear and sufficient safeguarding policies and procedures. Work in collaboration to support their development and in the event that partner’s safeguarding policies and procedures is found to be insufficient, this policy and associated procedures will take precedence
  • Helping colleagues recognise their responsibilities via appropriate local authority training and ensuring they are aware of the procedure they should follow if they suspect a child or vulnerable adult is experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, harm

We are mindful of our duty of care and legal obligations, specifically those we owe under the:

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (section 26)

These provide the specific responsibilities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Reporting a concern

It is important that if become aware of a safeguarding concern that you:

  • Remain calm
  • Listen carefully to what is being said
  • Explain that the information disclosed to you will only be shared with those who need to know, never promise total confidentiality
  • Act immediately, follow the flow chart below and do not attempt to address the situation yourself
  • Make a written record, including factual details about the disclosure; time, date,what was said, the names of the parties involved and store this securely
  • Complete the safeguarding record Appendix 1

In an emergency contact the police and the University Security Team.

Appendix 1 provides a reporting form, which should be used to record and report concerns.

Risk assessments

When working with children or vulnerable adults, there may be additional health and safety risks. Such risk assessments should be undertaken pro-actively prior to any work commencing and should consider the following issues.

  • Guidance provided in the University Health and Safety Risk Assessment procedures to ensure a careful examination of what, in your area of work, could result in risk or harm to people so that you can assess whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm
  • Identify the nature, length, frequency, intensity and time of any contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults
  • Identify any situation where a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check might be required

A copy of the risk assessment and guidance on the use of risk assessments can be found on SharePoint (University login required).


The Designated Officer(s) and all colleagues likely to be in regular contact with under 18s and vulnerable adults, must complete role appropriate local Safeguarding Boards training. This must be repeated every two years to ensure knowledge is current and effective.

Students whose research or degree programmes involve them working with under 18s and vulnerable adults must also complete role appropriate safeguarding awareness training.

Associated documents

Other references