GEMS are driven by a singular purpose - to put a quality education within the reach of every student. For our students, we are a window into a vibrant tomorrow - to their future, and their endless potential. We recognize that in order to ensure all our students achieve their potential we must first ensure students feel safe, and are safe.
GEMS are fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. We recognise our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.
GEMS acknowledge our duty to act appropriately in response to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
Paid staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to develop an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
This document is the Introductory Policy Statement for GEMS Safeguarding Children Policy Framework - a comprehensive set of documents, processes, guidance, policy and procedure, adopted by all GEMS schools operating in the UAE & Qatar. The Policy Framework will be adhered to by all members of the organisation and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the component individual organisations.
To fulfil their commitment to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, all GEMS Schools must have:
- Clear priorities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, explicitly stated in strategic policy documents.
- A clear commitment by senior management to the importance of safeguarding and promoting children's welfare.
- A clear line of accountability within the organisation for work on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
- Recruitment and human resources management procedures that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of students, including arrangements for appropriate checks on new staff and volunteers.
- Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers.
- Arrangements to ensure that all staff undertake appropriate training to equip them to carry out their responsibilities effectively, and keep this updated by refresher training at regular intervals; and that all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers who work with children, are made aware of the establishment's arrangements for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and their responsibilities for that.
- Policies for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and procedures that are in accordance with guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures.
- Arrangements to work effectively with other organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, including arrangements for sharing information.
- A culture of listening to, and engaging in, dialogue with children - seeking children's views in ways that are appropriate to their age and understanding, and taking account of those views in individual decisions and in the establishment or development of services.
- Appropriate whistle-blowing procedures, and a culture that enables issues about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to be addressed.
- Senior leaders who understand the context of the guiding laws for Safeguarding and Child Protection.
Principles upon which the Safeguarding Children Policy is based:
- The welfare of a child or young person will always be paramount.
- The welfare of families will be promoted.
- The rights, wishes and feelings of children, young people and their families will be respected and listened to.
- Keeping children safe from harm requires people who work with children to share information.
- Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will work in accordance with the interests of children and follow the policy outlined in the GEMS Policy Framework.
We recognise that for these commitments to be effective, senior managers, employees and students throughout the GEMS network must play their part in the creation of a safeguarding culture.
The policy statement will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Sir Christopher Stone
Global Chief Education Officer
Date: August 2019