Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

Introduction

This document should be read in light of our Terms and Conditions.

EasyA strongly believes that children and young people should always be supported and protected from any kind of harm. We have, therefore, designed our teaching services to ensure our students’ welfare is promoted, and that they are kept safe.

The purpose of this policy is to safeguard all EasyA students while using the EasyA app. It applies to all our work and everyone working at EasyA, including permanent and temporary employees, and independent contractors, providing an overarching framework to guide our approach to child protection. All such persons are required to familiarise themselves with this policy and apply it in their work. Our Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) is Phil Kwok.

This policy has been written on the basis of legislation aiming to protect children in England.

Our values


EasyA’s safeguarding approach is built around the belief that children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind, and that we have a responsibility to promote their welfare, keeping them safe and working in a way that protects them. We therefore recognise that in all our work we must act with children’s safety as our paramount concern. We also understand that some children may be more vulnerable than others, and that working with parents, carers and other agencies is crucial to promoting children’s welfare.

Tutors


Unlike other tutoring solutions, EasyA is designed so that tutors can never sign themselves up to teach on our platform simply be registering. Our registration process is designed as a gatekeeper, rather than a floodgate, so that tutors may only teach on our platform after we have manually allowed them to do so. We don’t rely on any automation here.

Once tutors apply to work with us, we conduct extensive tests to ascertain their proficiency in teaching and experience. Please see our Tutors page for more on this process. After these tests have been passed, we then interview our tutors individually either by video call or in person and require photo identification documentation. When working with schools, all tutors are subject to DBS checks.

We recognise, however, that safeguarding is a continuous process and cannot be completed at any point. For this reason, we have also designed our systems to protect children continuously. For example, tutors are unable to schedule sessions with specific students, and vice versa. Furthermore, tutors cannot message students after a session has ended. This addresses the power imbalance present in many teaching institutions; students are always in control. In addition, tutors never see students’ full names, and are never able to see students’ personal contact details. All tutors ever see is the student’s first name, cartoon avatar, and maths question, and all tutoring happens inside the app. No communication between tutors and students occurs outside the app, and any sharing of personal information is strictly forbidden. Finally, tutors never meet students in person.

All tutors keep the safety and welfare of students a priority at all times. Tutors are always required to act professionally and fairly, ensuring all language and behaviour is appropriate to their role as a tutor. If a tutor has any concerns about the welfare of a student, this must be reported to the DSO and as appropriate referred to the relevant local authority. Any display of inappropriate images by students or tutors may be a criminal offence, and in this event the tutor must end the session immediately and report the occurrence to the DSO and as necessary to the police. The same applies to inappropriate language and behaviour.

Parents

Transparency also plays an important role in safeguarding. Whereas traditional lessons are almost always held behind closed doors, we make sure the door is always open to parents to check in on sessions. Through our parent portal, parents are able to see sessions live, right as they happen, so they can monitor every exchange between tutor and student. If parents miss a live session, that’s also not a problem; all student sessions are saved so that parents can go back and review them later.

This adds an extra layer of protection beyond what the traditional educational system offers; rather than forcing parents to take a reactive approach, we allow parents to be proactive by showing them everything that is happening - in real time. If a parent sees anything suspicious, they can report the session, giving details of what went wrong. Our internal team is then notified and can investigate the issue, removing and banning tutors as necessary.

Us


We are strongly committed to safeguarding students on our platform. Therefore, in addition to the system-wide protections we have built into EasyA, we are also proactive in our approach.

We record all tutoring sessions between tutors and students, not only reviewing them for suspicious activity, but also for quality. This transparency means that no interaction between students and tutors ever happens behind closed doors. In addition, safeguarding is also about protecting children’s mental wellbeing, so we strive to ensure tutors are always positive, making EasyA a safe space. In the most serious cases, where a student or parent has reported a tutor, we make detailed investigation of the circumstances leading to the report, and as necessary will ban the reported tutor. We have a zero tolerance approach towards tutors who fall below the required standard. If appropriate, we will hire an independent child protection consultant to review reports and ensure suitable measures are taken. Illegal activity will be reported to the police for investigation, along with session transcripts. Any tutors falling below our high standards will be banned permanently from tutoring with EasyA.

We have also designed a process of continuous one-way ratings, allowing students to give feedback on how their sessions went. Importantly, tutors never see direct feedback from students, and this information is always processed before being disseminated to tutors. Nonetheless, this represents a very valuable feedback loop whereby students are able to communicate about what they liked or disliked about a session. The optional written feedback allows students to explain in detail where the tutor did well, or what requires improvement. In this way, we are able continuously to improve and serve students better.

These steps help us keep children safe and also promote their welfare in everything we do.

Amendments


We review this Safeguarding Policy regularly in light of relevant safeguarding procedures.

Last updated: May 2020.