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 VDL Safeguarding Guidelines 

Overview:

The updated Safeguarding Guidelines have been developed to further ensure and promote online safety for the VIPS learning community.

Key Points:

  • staysafe@virginiaschool.ae is the designated email address to be used by parents and students to report any safeguarding or well-being concern.
  • The previously developed VDL Roles & Responsibilities and VDL Student Behavior policies serve as additional components of VDL safeguarding efforts 
  • Safeguarding guidelines are subject to change in order to meet the needs of our learning community – especially in light of the rapidly changing DL landscape.

Pastoral Care:

Designated members of VIPS Pastoral Teams have been identified to follow up on safeguarding concerns.

KG Pastoral Team

Raghda Abdelaal

Supervisor

raghda.ali@virginiaschool.ae

Elementary Pastoral Team

Mohamed Ibrahim

Head of PE

mohamed.ibrahim@virginiaschool.ae

Adel Abdelrazek

SENCO

adel.abdelrazek@virginiaschool.ae

Nesma Abdulrahman

Supervisor

nesma.a@virginiaschool.ae

Secondary Pastoral Team

Abdelhafidh Barakani

Ass’t Head of Secondary-Pastoral

mohamed.ibrahim@virginiaschool.ae

Noura Elmay 

Social Worker

noura.elmay@virginiaschool.ae  

Communication:

  • Students are encouraged to report any safeguarding concerns directly to their parents or teacher
  • Parents and guarding are encouraged to report any safeguarding concerns directly to their child’s teacher
  • Teachers are encouraged to report any safeguarding concerns directly to their line manager
  • The VIPS learning community can also report any safeguarding concern directly to the following email: staysafe@virginiaschool.ae

Students:

  • Remember, ‘Stranger Danger’ – You should never communicate with a stranger. If a stranger tries to communicate with you, report this immediately. 
  • Any online worries or concerns must be immediately forwarded to your parents or teacher.  You Should also use the email staysafe@virginiaschool.ae to report any online concerns.
  • You should never give out any of your personal information including passwords.
  • You should always use kind, courteous, and respectful language when communicating online
  • You should not post or write anything which would be deemed negative to the school’s reputation, or deemed inappropriate or illegal by UAE law.
  • You should only be using the suggested platforms as guided by the school for completing work, communicating with teachers, and participating in live sessions
  • You should not record, share or comment on public forums (social media) about individual teachers, the school or your peers (not personal messaging services, etc…).
  • You should only communicate with teachers using the school platforms and school email. 
  • When participating in live streaming classes you should be dressed appropriately and ensure that you are in an open/shared space in your home. 
  • When your camera is turned on, it is important that your background is ‘neutral’ and does not include any personal or identifiable items.
  • Only VIPS teachers will share videos, teaching and learning materials, and activities with you
  • If students are communicating inappropriately in any online forum (live, email, discussion thread, etc..) the conversation will be terminated immediately and reported.  Your parents will also be informed

Parents:

  • Please ensure that you and your child(ren) have reviewed and understand the ‘Student Guidelines’.
  • Any concern which you feel is a well-being or safeguarding concern should be immediately forwarded to your child’s teacher for further investigation.  You can also use the email address staysafe@virginiaschool.ae to report any online concerns.
  • Please ensure that face-to-face communication is only between teachers and students.  Any parent to teacher communication should be in the usual manner, via email unless discussed beforehand.
  • If the communication is live and there are wellbeing or safeguarding concerns the conversation/video must be immediately terminated and reported directly to the child’s teacher who will inform the relevant pastoral leads.
  • Your child must be on time for live lessons, tutorials, or activities.  
  • Your child should not be taking part in any live teaching and learning sessions with just themselves and the teacher.  An adult from home or another VIPS staff member should be present for any session being conducted with just one student.
  • Parents and children must not record any online interactions.

* Should parents encounter any point of contention, they are encouraged and expected to address their point of contention directly with the staff member involved (in keeping with our Parent Engagement Policy – Partnerships and Voice ). Should the issue remain unresolved, parents are encouraged to follow-up with a member of the school’s senior leadership team (SLT), or submit an official complaint via email (complaints@virginiaschool.ae) as per Policy 21 of the Private Schools Policy and Guidance Manual. All written complaints will be acknowledged within 24hrs of receipt and the School Complaints Committee shall review and respond to all complaints within ten working days.

Teachers:

  • All set work is shared on the VDL platform and is appropriate to the age/ability and is culturally sensitive (in line with Policy 30: Professional Code of Ethics of ADEK’s Private Schools Policy and Guidance Manual).
  • Do not send any form of communication to students or parents from your personal accounts
  • Any well-being or safeguarding concern must be immediately forwarded to Pastoral Teams or staysafe@virginiaschool.ae.
  • Students who are not engaging with distance learning must be reported as per the agreed communication channels.
  • Do not communicate with students and parents via social media or messaging services
  • Do not use platforms other than the ones authorized by the school. 
  • Professional dress is required when creating video tutorials or hosting live classes.
  • The environment of which the video is being recorded or streamed must be appropriate ensuring nothing is personally identifiable or culturally inappropriate.  It should look like a professional space..
  • Never conduct any form of live communication with only one student (unless a parent or another staff member is also present).
  • Teachers are expected to record and archive all live sessions.
  • If students are communicating inappropriately via any online forum the conversation must be immediately terminated and reported to the pastoral team (staysafe@virginiaschool.ae).
  • If students are dressed inappropriately during a video stream or in a picture that they’ve posted onto platforms, such should be reported to the pastoral team.

*Should a staff member encounter any point of contention, they are encouraged to address their point of contention directly with their line manager (and, if deemed appropriate, Head of Section). Should the issue remain unresolved, the staff member is encouraged to follow-up with a member of the school’s senior leadership team (SLT), or submit an official complaint via email (complaints@virginiaschool.ae) as per Policy 21 of the Private Schools Policy and Guidance Manual. All written complaints will be acknowledged within 24hrs of receipt and the School Complaints Committee shall review and respond to all complaints within ten working days.