Skip to main content

Rushmere Academy Policies

This is where you will find most answers. If there should still be any questions left, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Attendance Policy

Rushmere believes that the regular and punctual attendance of learners is essential for the intellectual development, general well-being and their on-going social needs.  Thus we have developed a policy based on the understanding that learners at Rushmere are of a vulnerable nature and it is important to establish where a young person is when they are absent or late and establish if there is an underlying cause of prolonged or regular absence.


  • Keep attendance and time keeping records for all learners.
  • Record late arrivals.
  • Encourage learners to attend on the agreed days and at the correct times.
  • Contact parents/carer when a learner has failed to arrive at school and on contact has been made by home school or home.
  • Report absences to ‘home schools’ by email on the same day as absences or as soon as practicable, giving reasons if known.
  • If a learner leaves site prematurely without permission this will be treated as an unauthorised absence. When learners leave site for an agreed reason this will only be authorised if parents/carer has contacted staff with a valid reason.  In some circumstances the learners may be taken home by Rushmere staff.
  • Actions resulting from a period of absence will be considered based on the needs of the learner and circumstances prevailing at the time.
  • Prolonged absence will be reported to the home school/EIPT. Where no valid reason is given for this by parents/carer this may result in MASH referral.
  • If a learner is not seen at Rushmere or by home school/SASS for 10 days this needs to be reported and a home visit conducted by home school/SASS or Rushmere.
  • When a learner returns after a period of absence,
  • they will be interviewed to determine the cause of absence if this has not already been established.
  • When a young person’s attendance goes below 60% a formal letter will be sent home and attendance will be monitored for 4 weeks for improvement.
  • If no improvement is made a meeting with home school, young person and parents will take place and targets should be set by the home school. A parent contract may be used.  If attendance continues to be below 60% we make seek support from SASS/home school. 
  • The home school may follow their own attendance procedure for penalty notices and use Rushmere attendance figures.
  • When time keeping is a problem Rushmere will establish boundaries regarding time keeping minimising the effects of the rest of the learners.
  • Rushmere can refuse entry to any learner that is persistently late.
  • If attendance does not improve Rushmere/home school may remove the provision.
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding learners is a priority at Rushmere particularly because of the vulnerable nature of the client group. The action we take to promote the welfare of our clients and protect them from harm – is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and vulnerable adults at Rushmere has a role to play.

The Rushmere Academy is committed to

  • Safeguarding the welfare of all young people by protecting them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
  • Taking into account in all its considerations and activities the interests and well-being of young people.
  • Respecting the rights, wishes and feelings of the young people with whom it is working;
  • Taking all reasonable practicable steps to protect them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
  • Promoting the welfare of young people and their protection within a relationship of trust.
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead  (Michelle Harvey) will monitor and make referrals to MASH as felt necessary.
  • Staff will follow any guidelines laid out the in the new Sept 2023 edition of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023
  • Understand that being absent from home school or Rushmere may be a sign of a range of safeguarding concerns, including sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or child criminal exploitation
  • Pre recruitment checks will be carried out on social media of ALL staff employed – applicant must be explicitly told that online searches
  • Appropriate filtering and monitoring on Rushmere devices is applied and is part of our online policy

Child Abuse

Child abuse is any action by another person – adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional.

An abused and/or exploited child has suffered, or is suffering, from physical injury, sexual abuse/exploitation, emotional abuse/exploitation or neglect or is at risk of harm.

There are five main elements to the Child Protection Policy:

▪ Prevention (e.g. positive, supportive atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to pupils, safer recruitment procedures) in order to develop a culture of vigilance;

 ▪ Safeguarding (by following agreed procedures, ensuring all staff are trained and supported to respond appropriately and sensitively to Child Protection concerns);

▪ Working closely with Local Authority Safeguarding Partners and external agencies

▪ Provide support (to pupils and staff and to children who may have additional needs and who have experienced abuse or neglect);

 ▪ Working with parents (to ensure appropriate communications and actions are undertaken).

This policy applies to all staff,  visitors or volunteers at Rushmere.

We recognise that child protection is the responsibility of all staff. We ensure that all parents and other working partners are aware of our child protection policy by making it available.

What to do if you are worried about a child:

Responding to disclosures or information may be received from pupils, parent/carers or other members of the public. It is recognised that those who disclose such information may do so with difficulty, having chosen carefully to whom they will speak. Accordingly, all staff will handle disclosures with sensitivity and follow local Child Protection Procedures. Such information cannot remain confidential and staff will immediately communicate what they have been told to the Rushmere DSL.

All concerns regarding any pupils must be reported to the DSL (or one of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads) via the ‘Safeguarding Concern Report’ form prior to any action being taken or any discussion with parent/carers.  This for must be formed to the home school immediately.

Parental consent is not required for referral to statutory agencies. Make a contemporaneous record of the conversation as soon as possible after the discussion, sign, date (day, moth and year) and indicate the time of the discussion.

Staff will:

▪ listen to and take seriously any disclosure or information that a child may be at risk of harm and ensure that the child knows staff cannot keep secrets

▪ not investigate

▪ try to ensure that the child disclosing does not have to speak to another member of Rushmere staff

▪ clarify the information

▪ try to keep questions to a minimum and of an ‘open’ nature e.g. ‘Tell me’ ‘Explain’ and ‘Describe’ (TED) rather than ‘Did x hit you?’

▪ try not to show signs of shock, horror or surprise

▪ not express feelings or judgements regarding any person alleged to have harmed the child

▪ explain sensitively to the child that the senior designated person will have to be informed

▪ reassure and support the child / young person and let them know they have done nothing wrong or explain that only those who ‘need to know’ will be told

▪ explain what will happen next and that the child will be involved as appropriate

▪ seek informed consent for a referral where it will not place the child at further risk to do so 

Staff will immediately report to the DSL:

▪ any suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play

▪ any explanation for an injury given which appears inconsistent or suspicious

▪ any behaviours which give rise to suspicions that a child may have suffered harm (e.g. worrying drawings or play – this applies more to younger children but secondary teachers should be observant of similar indications from an older child

▪ any concerns that a child may be suffering from inadequate care, ill treatment, or emotional maltreatment

▪ any concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect or any significant changes in a child’s presentation, including non-attendance or any hint or disclosure of abuse from any person

▪ any concerns regarding person(s) who may pose a risk to children (e.g. living in a household with children present). In the event that the DSL is implicated in the disclosure, staff should report it immediately to the deputy DSL.

All reporting should be done by completing a ‘concern’ form.

Action by the DSL, deputy DSLs or other senior person in their absence

Following any information raising concern, the DSL will consider:

▪ any urgent medical needs of the child discussing the matter with other agencies involved with the family and gathering all information from other members of staff consulting with other appropriate agencies e.g. EIPT,  Social Care

▪ the child‘s wishes, where appropriate

▪ the need to seek informed consent if it is safe to do so

▪ wherever possible, to talk to parent/carers the exceptions being when

  • it may place a child at risk of significant harm,
  • it might impede any police investigation and/or place the member of staff or others at risk.
  • The parent carer might pose a risk to the child o urgent medical treatment is required
  • a criminal offence is suspected

 (It is important that the potential impact upon outcomes for children is borne in mind when judgements are made about when it is or is not appropriate to share concerns with parent/carers)

The DSL will pass all information regarding disclosures to the home school immediately.

Then decide:

▪ if there is any concern a child might be at risk of significant harm a referral must be made to children’s social care the same working day

▪ whether to make a child protection referral to the Local Authority, because a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm and whether this should be undertaken immediately.

 ▪ that reasons for NOT notifying parent/carers before making a referral or concerns about doing so will be discussed with the safeguarding partners and recorded.

▪ All referrals will be followed up by using the relevant documentation within 1 working day.

▪ The DSL in discussion with other professionals may decide:

  • not to make a referral at this stage
  • that further monitoring is necessary
  • that an assessment of need is required (e.g. Common Assessment Framework) and/or make a referral for other services.

▪ Children and young people are supported most effectively when services are planned and delivered in a co-ordinated way to offer integrated support across the continuum of needs and services.

▪ All information and actions taken, including the reasons for any decisions made, will be fully documented.

Assessments should consider the wider environmental factors affecting the child’s life that may pose a threat to their safety and/or welfare. The DSL provides as much contextual information as possible as part of the referral process.


This is the ill-treatment or impairment of health or development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. Development means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development; Health includes physical and mental health; Ill-treatment includes sexual abuse and other forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.

Most definitions below are taken from the NSCPP website and full and further information can be found at The list also includes other types of abuse that pose a risk to children and young people at Rushmere.

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse. Abusive behaviour can occur in any relationship. It can continue even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers. Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.

Sexual Abuse, a child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn’t have to be physical contact and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won’t understand that what’s happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it’s wrong.

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse. A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care. A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm. They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents. A child who’s neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death.

Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse. Children can be at risk of online abuse from people they know, as well as from strangers. Online abuse may be part of abuse that is taking place in the real world (for example bullying or grooming). Or it may be that the abuse only happens online (for example persuading children to take part in sexual activity online). Children can feel like there is no escape from online abuse – abusers can contact them at any time of the day or night, the abuse can come into safe places like their bedrooms, and images and videos can be stored and shared with other people.

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts. It isn’t accidental – children who are physically abused suffer violence such as being hit, kicked, poisoned, burned, slapped or having objects thrown at them. Sometimes parents or carers will make up or cause the symptoms of illness in their child, perhaps giving them medicine they don’t need and making the child unwell – this is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII). There’s no excuse for physically abusing a child. It causes serious, and often long-lasting, harm – and in severe cases, death.

Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them. Children who are emotionally abused are usually suffering another type of abuse or neglect at the same time – but this isn’t always the case.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. Children in exploitative situations and relationships receive something such as gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them. Children or young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol. They may also be groomed and exploited online. Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive something (eg food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them completing a task on behalf of another individual or group of  individuals; this is often of a criminal nature. Child criminal exploitation often occurs without the child’s immediate recognition, with the child believing that they are in control of the situation. In all cases, those exploiting the child or young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/ or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/ economic and/or emotional vulnerability.’ Criminal exploitation often happens within the context of ‘county lines’ activity defined in the following way: ‘Gangs typically recruit and exploit children and vulnerable young people to courier drugs and cash. Typically, users ask for drugs via a mobile phone line used by the gang. Couriers travel between the gang’s urban base and the county or coastal locations on a regular basis to collect cash and deliver drugs. Gangs recruit children and young people through deception, intimidation, violence, debt bondage and/or grooming. Gangs also use local property as a base for their activities, and this often involves taking over the home of a vulnerable adult who is unable to challenge them.’

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as female circumcision or cutting. Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It’s dangerous and a criminal offence. There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn’t enhance fertility and it doesn’t make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.

Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone. It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally. Bullying that happens online, using social networks, games and mobile phones, is often called cyberbullying. A child can feel like there’s no escape because it can happen wherever they are, at any time of day or night.

Child trafficking and modern slavery are child abuse. Children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold.

Children are trafficked for:

▪ child sexual exploitation ▪ benefit fraud

▪ forced marriage

▪ domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking

▪ forced labour in factories or agriculture

▪ criminal activity such as pickpocketing, begging, transporting drugs, working on cannabis farms, selling pirated DVDs and bag theft.

Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know – for example a family member, friend or professional. Groomers may be male or female. They could be any age. Many children and young people don’t understand that they have been groomed or that what has happened is abuse.

Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied or abused (including sexual abuse) by their peers who are the same or similar in age. All those directly involved in peer on peer abuse are under the age of 18. More specifically, it can include bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals. Girls and young women are more at risk from peer abuse, but it can also affect boys and young men, pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, LGBTQ children and those from different communities. The perpetrator is not always older than the victim, for example, when the older child is disabled.

Harmful sexual behaviour should be considered in a child protection context. It exists on a wide continuum from normal and developmentally expected to in appropriate, problematic, abusive and violent. In coming to terms with the scale of the behaviour, staff should consider the children’s ages and stages of development and any power imbalance between them. Pupils with SEND and children who are LGBTQ (or they are perceived to be by their peers) are more vulnerable to harmful sexual behaviour. Girls are more likely to be subject to harmful sexual behaviour than boys and boys are more likely to perpetrate harmful sexual behaviour.

Sexual harassment and sexual violence: Consent is referred to as the freedom and capacity to choose. A child under the age of 13 can never consent to any sexual activity; 16 is the age of consent. Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature including sexual comments, sexual jokes, physical behaviour such as deliberate touching and on-line sexual harassment including non-consensual sharing of sexual images. Sexual violence refers to sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Examples include rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault. Staff at Rushmere should be clear that intentionally touching another person in a sexual way and without their consent can be considered sexual harassment but in more extreme cases, it should be considered as sexual assault.

‘Up skirting’ refers to the action of placing equipment such as a camera or mobile phone beneath a person’s clothing to take a voyeuristic photograph without their permission. It is not only confined to victims wearing skirts or dresses and equally applies when men or women are wearing kilts, cassocks, shorts or trousers. It is often performed in crowded public places, for example on public transport or at music festivals, which can make it difficult to notice offenders. Rushmere have a legal duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Academies should implement a preventative approach to eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation including through learning.

This should cover aspects such as:

  • Healthy and respectful relationships
  • Consent
  • Gender roles, equality and stereotyping
  • Body confidence and self esteem
  • Addressing cultures of sexual harassment

Reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment are likely to be complex involving the DSL with the support of children’s social care and the police as required.

Rushmere will also provide specialist support and interventions.

  • Reassure the victim that they will be kept safe and that their concerns will be taken seriously.
  • Reports may be made by a friend of behalf of the victim and this child will also need support.
  • Ensure the victim is able to talk to someone they trust. They may have disclosed the information themselves and this person should always pass on this concern to the DSL immediately and through the usual academy procedures.
  • Never promise confidentiality
  • Prompt the child with open questions
  • Listen to the child and when they have finished talking to you, write up a brief summary
  • Only record the facts as they are presented
  • Where the report includes an online element, staff must not view or forward illegal images of the child.
  • Parents or carers would usually be informed unless this places the child at greater risk
  • If a child is at risk of harm or in immediate danger, a referral should be made to children’s social care
  • Criminal offences such as rape and assault by penetration, should be reported to the police.
  • Rushmere must do all they can to secure the anonymity of all those involved in an alleged incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment.
  • The DSL must complete an immediate risk assessment following on from any disclosure and keep it under review
  • The DSL should remain in contact with children’s social care and the police

Radicalisation This is when a child is exposed to extremist views and is at risk of being drawn into terrorism. In accordance with the Prevent Duty, Rushmere seek to protect children from the risks of radicalisation and to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. Rushmere must fulfil four features in creating a coordinated strategy as follows:

  • Assess the risks of children being draw in into terrorism. This means being able to demonstrate a general understanding of the risks affecting children in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them.
  • Working in partnership and especially with the local authority safeguarding partners who are responsible for co-ordinating what is done by local agencies
  • for purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children in the local area.
  • Training staff so they are equipped to identify children at risk of terrorism and to challenge extremist views.
  • Keeping children safe from terrorist and extremist material when they access the internet by ensuring that suitable filtering is in place.


Dealing with an allegation made by a child- staff member:

Ensure the immediate safety of the child/ren

  • Listen and record in writing what the child is saying
  • Use the TED technique- TELL, EXPLAIN, DESCRIBE. Do not asking leading questions, e.g. instead of asking, ‘did he punch you?’ ask ‘what happened?’
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead must be informed immediately
  • Staff are not to discuss anything spoken about while in the presence of the children or amongst themselves.
  • The staff members involved will then be called upon as and when needed.
  • While an investigation is pending or commencing the staff member may be put on non-contact duties within the setting depending on the severity of the situation.

First steps to dealing with an allegation made by an adult- staff member:

  • Ensuring the immediate safety of all child/ren
  • Record in writing everything that you need to make the allegation
  • Approach a safeguarding officer and discuss with them the next step.
  • Everything is to be kept confidential and staff must not discuss the situation with any other staff member/ parent.
  • The Staff members involved will then be called upon as and when is necessary.
  • While an investigation is pending the staff member may be put on non-contact duties within the setting depending on the severity of the investigation.

Information on responding to allegations relating to organisations or individuals using the premises will be held in line with the guidelines in the Sept 2023 update on KCSIE

Designated Safeguarding Lead:  Michelle Harvey – Designated Safeguarding Lead


Ruhsmere must inform the ‘home school’ of any disclosures and referrals made.  The home school is responsible for the safeguarding and child protection of the young person and should follow their own procedures when information is passed on from Rushmere.

Complaints Policy


This document sets out our complaints policy and procedure and is aimed at Rushmere, learners and all interested parties who encounter a direct or indirect service from Rushmere.

We are confident of providing a high quality service and would be extremely disappointed if this is not the case.

Therefore, it is important should you feel you have encountered a level of service that is below both yours and our expectations, that you raise any concerns you may have with us immediately so that we may address them and learn lessons.


This policy covers complaints learners, members of the public or centres may wish to make in relation to the qualifications and associated services offered by Rushmere.

It is not to be used to cover appeals in relation to decisions made by Rushmere and the assessment of qualifications. These areas are covered by the individual policies relating to specific areas. Should a complaint be submitted which is in fact an enquiry or an appeal, we will respond to the relevant party that the issue is being considered, where appropriate, in accordance with the approach outlined in the appropriate policy.

If you are unhappy about the way an examination or assessment was delivered and conducted and you suspect malpractice or maladministration may have occurred, you should send your concern to Rushmere in accordance with the arrangements in our Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.


We will review the policy and its associated procedures annually as part of our quality assurance arrangements and revise it as and when necessary in response to customer, learner or regulatory feedback (e.g. to align with any appeals and complaints process established by Ofqual) and any trends that may emerge in the subject matter of complaints received.

If you would like to feed back any views please contact us via the details provided at below.


All of our staff have been trained to help our customers and they all like to help, so you should first try to sort out any problem within 10 working days of the event by speaking to a member of Rushmere staff.

If they cannot help or you wish to speak to someone else, you can ask to speak to the Centre Manager – Michelle Harvey


If you are not satisfied with the help provided by the Centre Manager, please send a written complaint, within 6 weeks of the event you are complaining about, and address it to The Rushmere Academy at the contact details outlined at the end of this policy.



We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days, informing you who will be investigating your complaint.

We aim to investigate the complaint within 4 weeks. If your complaint is more complex, or involves people who are not available at the time, we may extend this to 8 weeks. We may contact you within this period to seek further information or clarification (in some instances we may recommend a meeting). At the end of the investigation we will write/email you to inform you of our.


When you contact us please give us your full name, contact details, including a daytime telephone number, along with:

  • a full description of your complaint (including the subject matter and dates and times if known),
  • any names of the people you have dealt with so far, and
  • copies of any papers or letters to do with the complaint.


Where Ofqual notify us about failures that have been discovered in the assessment process or other activities of another awarding organisation, these will be reviewed in the same manner as other external complaints in accordance with the procedures below to ascertain if the same issue could affect qualifications delivered by Rushmere.


Sometimes a complainant will wish to remain anonymous. Although, it is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to us, if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences, you can request that we do not divulge your identity. If it helps to reassure you on this point, we can confirm that we are not obliged (as recommended by Ofqual) to disclose information as to do so would be a breach of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

While we are prepared to investigate issues which are reported to us anonymously and/or by whistleblowers[1] we shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the complaint/allegation relates.


If any part of your complaint is upheld we will respond to the complainant accordingly and give due consideration as to how we can improve our service and arrangements. For example, by reviewing our procedures to assess the impact on our qualification development, delivery or awarding arrangements and assessment process (if relevant), or by arranging for staff training. In extreme circumstances, internal disciplinary procedures may be exercised where the performance or behaviour of our staff is deemed inappropriate.

In situations where a complaint has been successful, or where an investigation following notification from Ofqual indicates a failure in our processes, we will give due consideration to the outcome and will take appropriate actions such as:

  • identify any other learner(s) who has been affected by that failure,
  • correct, or where it cannot be corrected, mitigate as far as possible the effect of the failure, and
  • ensure that the failure does not recur in the future.


If you disagree with the decision, the first point of call is the Quality Department.

If you are still unhappy with the decision taken in reviewing the complaint, you can, where relevant, take the matter through our appeals arrangements which are outlined in our Appeals Policy.

If you have any queries about the contents of the policy, please contact our Regulatory Department at:


The Rushmere Academy

Rushmere House, 20 Francis Street. Northampton. NN1 2NZ

Tel: 01604 635586


Disability Statement




A person has a disability if:

  • They have a physical or mental impairment
  • The impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities

For the purposes of the Act, these words have the following meanings:

  • ‘Substantial’ means more than minor or trivial
  • Long-term’ means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)
  • ‘Normal day-to-day activities’ include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping

People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also protected by the Act.


Rushmere welcomes people with disabilities and will comply with the requirements of the Equality Act. We will make all reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of individual students, parents/carers, staff and other people from the wider community.

Rushmere is committed to inclusion and supporting learning for each individual. We aim to provide appropriate support, resources and facilities to meet individual needs and to encourage all students to achieve.

Rushmere recognises that under the Data Protection Act all students are entitled to complete confidentiality when they disclose a disability. However Rushmere would wish for appropriate disclosure so that it can implement any provision for the student to support them and their needs



Education providers must also make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that disabled students aren’t discriminated against.

Making reasonable adjustments could include:

  • Changes to practices or procedures
  • Changes to physical features
  • Changes to how learners are assessed
  • Providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment)

We are not expected to change their premises. They are expected to make long-term plans for improving access to their buildings through their planning duties.


Rushmere will strive to meet the needs of all individual students, staff, parents and carers and other site users by ensuring they have access to appropriate facilities, support and learning resources including staff.

Rushmere will achieve equality of opportunity by ensuring the following:

  • Provision for learners with learning and behaviour difficulties and disabilities will be an integral part of the equal opportunities policy.

  • Rushmere, as far as practicable, will adapt any existing accommodation to provide access for learners, parents/carers, staff and members of the wider community with disabilities and meet the requirements of the act.

  • Rushmere will continue to liaise with external organisations to promote inclusive learning and access to learning opportunities.

  • Rushmere will ensure that staffing levels are appropriate to individual learner’s needs.

  • Promotional and publicity material will reflect the positive image Rushmere is accessible to all irrespective of their learning difficulties or disabilities.


  • Rushmere admissions procedures will give potential learners and/or parents/carers the opportunity to register a learning difficulty and/or disability in order that the school can make appropriate arrangements to meet individual needs.

  • The admission procedures will ensure that the learner will be provided with the most appropriate learning or behaviour programme to meet the individual’s needs and will receive initial assessment as appropriate.

  • Inter-agency referrals will be made, as and when needed.

  • Rushmere will continue to raise the awareness of all staff of the Equality Act and managing diversity and differentiation in the classroom.

  • Rushmere will provide specialist support and training for staff involved in teaching learners with a learning or behaviour difficulty and/or

  • Rushmere will ensure that Health and Safety legislation is taken into account and special measures are taken so not to compromise the health and safety of learners, parents/carers, staff and members of the wider community with a learning difficulty and/or disability.

  • Rushmere will arrange specialist support with the home school depending on the individual’s need; this will be initiated after discussing requirements with the individual, in the case of a student also with their parents/carers. For students, support can be altered according to any changes in their level of need and will be agreed in their support plan.

  • Examples of additional support may include, but is not restricted to;
  • Communication e.g. using a signer or Braille
  • Note taking for the learner
  • Equipment and technology, including sound-field systems and vibrating alarms
  • Large computer screens and specialist software
  • Additional time to complete coursework
  • A personalised approach to learning

  • Rushmere recognises that to provide the best possible support it will require specialist guidance so will liaise closely with Social Services, the Local Authority Education Department, the Educational Psychology Service and the young person home school.
E-Safety Policy

The designated safeguarding lead are responsible for understanding the filtering and monitoring of systems that Rushmere have in place.  The DSL must understand the types of websites the young people may be visiting.

Computing and the use of digital devices is seen as an essential resource to support learning and teaching, as well as playing an important role in the everyday lives of children, young people and adults.  Consequently, education providers need to build in the use of these technologies in order to arm our young people with the skills to access life-long learning and employment.

Computing and ICT covers a wide range of resources including; web-based and mobile learning.  It is also important to recognise the constant and fast paced evolution of computing within our society as a whole.  Currently the apps and software children and young people are using both inside and outside of the classroom include:

  • Websites
  • Podcasting
  • Coding
  • Gaming
  • Mobile devices
  • Video & Multimedia

Whilst exciting and beneficial all users need to be aware of the range of risks associated with the use of these technologies.

At Rushmere Academy we understand the responsibility to educate our learners on e-safety issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies.

Roles and Responsibilities

As e-safety is an important aspect of strategic leadership within the provision, all staff  have responsibility to ensure that the policy and practices are embedded and monitored. 

Managing e-safety messages

We endeavour to embed e-safety messages across the curriculum whenever the internet and/or related technologies are used.  These messages will be appropriate to the age of the children being taught.

E-safety guidelines and the SMART rules will be prominently displayed around the school.

As an education provider, each year, we also participate in e-safety activities during Safer Internet Day.

E-safety in the Curriculum

Rushmere Academy provides opportunities within a range of curriculum areas to teach about e-safety.

Educating pupils on the dangers of technologies that maybe encountered outside education is done informally when opportunities arise and as part of the e-safety curriculum.

The teaching of e-saftey focuses on helping children to recognise inappropriate content, conduct, contact and commercialism and helps them learn how to respond or react appropriately.

Learners are aware of the impact of online bullying and know how to seek help if they are affected by these issues.

Learners know how to seek advice or help if they experience problems when using the internet and related technologies; i.e. parent/ carer, teacher/ trusted staff member, or an organisation such as Childline/ CEOP report abuse button.

Security, Data and Confidentiality

When accessing, amending and saving any data or information, relating to the provision or pupils, Rushmere Academy staff follow the guidelines set out in the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

Managing the Internet

The provision maintains students will have supervised access to Internet resources (where reasonable) through digital devices.


Staff and students are aware that should they encounter or access anything unsuitable or damaging they must report it immediately to staff.

Mobile Technologies


Personal Mobile devices (including phones)

Rushmere Academy allows staff to bring in personal mobile phones and devices for their own use during designated times outside of the classroom.   Rushmere Academy is not responsible for the loss, damage or theft of any personal mobile device.  Learner mobile devices must be handed in when requested. 

Managing email

The use of email within the provision is an essential means of communication for staff.

Pupils currently do not access individual email accounts.

Social Networking

Rushmere Academy does not permit the pupils to access their private accounts on social or gaming networks at any time during the school day.

Should the staff be made aware of incidents or activities on social networks, which has a direct effect on the children’s behaviour or attitudes within school, then the school reserves the right to take action regarding their accounts.  This may include discussions with parents, information letters or reporting the child’s access  to the respective organisations/companies.

Safe Use of Images

Creation of videos and photographs

With the written consent of parents (on behalf of pupils) and staff, Rushmere Academy permits the appropriate taking of images by staff and pupils with school equipment.

Publishing pupil’s images and work

All parents/guardians will be asked to give permission to use their child’s work/photos in publicity materials or on the website,.

This consent form is considered valid for the entire period that the child attends the provision unless there is a change in the child’s circumstances where consent could be an issue.

Parents/ carers may withdraw or amend permission, in writing, at any time.

Pupils’ names will not be published alongside their image and vice versa on the website, twitter account, mobile app or any other school based publicity materials.

Misuse and Infringements


Complaints or concerns relating to e-safety should be made to the Centre Manager.

Equal Opportunities

Learners with additional needs

The school endeavours to deliver a consistent message to parents and pupils with regard to the schools’ e-safety rules.

Staff are aware that some pupils may require additional teaching including reminders, prompts and further explanation to reinforce their existing knowledge and understanding of e-safety issues.

Where a pupil has poor social understanding, careful consideration is given to group interactions when raising awareness of e-safety.

Internet activities are planned and well-managed for these children and young people

Equality, Diversity and Dignity Policy


Rushmere is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity in line with the Equality Act 2010. We seeks to reduce disadvantages, discrimination and inequalities of opportunity, and promote diversity in terms of its students, workforce and the communities it serves.

Rushmere will assist students in achieving their very best potential. Where students experience barriers to their success Rushmere will work with them to address these in a sensitive and sympathetic way. Rushmere will teach students the importance of equality and what forms discrimination can take and the impact discrimination can have.

Rushmere responsibility

Rushmere will not discriminate on any of the grounds listed below (known as the Protected Characteristics) save where such discrimination is permitted by law. Examples of permitted discrimination are:

  1. Arranging pupils in classes based on age.
  2. Taking positive action to deal with particular disadvantages affecting pupils of one racial group if this is a proportionate means of dealing with the issue.

The Protected Characteristics that apply to Rushmere are:

  • Promoting equality and making services and employment accessible to all
  • Treating people fairly, regardless of their race (colour; ethnic or national origin)
  • Religion or belief
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Sex or sexuality
  • Marital or civil partner status
  • Pregnancy or maternity
  • Disability
  • Age

Rushmere will not tolerate any of the following:

  • Direct or Indirect Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

Rushmere will:

  • Promote an environment where employee. Agents, contractors, clients, learner and members of the pubic are treated with dignity and respect.
  • Promote an inclusive environment where all learners can attend, participate and feel safe and valued.
  • Eliminate all forms of harassment and bullying as it recognised that such behaviour in unacceptable, discriminative and at times, unlawful.
  • Celebrate and value Equality and diversity by embedding it into our culture. This includes employment and qualification delivery.
  • Meet the requirements of legislation regarding Equality, Discrimination and Harassment.
  • Make all learners, staff, home schools and awarding bodies aware of this policy.
  • Encourage anyone to report in confidence and discuss any incidences of unfair practice, discrimination or harassment.
  • Work with employees, local groups, contractors, awarding bodies, home schools and anyone else involved in Rushmere to ensure that this policy in upheld.                                   


Directors holds responsibility for the management of Rushmere principals and day to day oversight of equality and diversity.

General Data Protection & Information Security Policy

The Rushmere Academy will comply with all statutory requirements under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) by registering all personal data and by taking all reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy and confidentiality of such information.

The Rushmere Academy will appoint a Director/Officer with overall responsibility for Data Protection (DPO) and register with the Information Commissioners Office.

The Rushmere Academy will assess, and document, the status of each organisation with whom they work in respect of all the personal data and processing activities you carry out.

The Rushmere Academy will seek the permission of individuals to collect, control and process personal data and explain to them how this data will be used.

The Data Protection Act protects individual’s rights concerning information about them. Anyone processing personal data must comply with the eight principles of good practice.

Data must :-

  • Be processed fairly and lawfully.
  • Be obtained for a specified and lawful purpose and shall not be processed in any manner compatible with the purpose.
  • Be adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose.
  • Be accurate and up-to-date.
  • Not be kept for longer than necessary for the purpose and observe the rights of individuals to have data erased.
  • Be processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights.
  • Be kept safe from unauthorised processing, and accidental loss, damage or destruction.
  • Not be transferred to a country outside the European Economic Area, unless that country has equivalent levels of protection for personal data, except in specified circumstances.

Staff Responsibilities

All staff shall:

  • Ensure that all personal information which they provide to The Rushmere Academy in connection with their employment is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Inform The Rushmere Academy of any changes to information, for example, changes of address.
  • Check the information which The Rushmere Academy shall make available from time to time, in written or automated form, and inform Rushmere of any errors or, where appropriate, follow procedures for updating entries on computer forms.
  • When staff hold or process information about students, colleagues or other data subjects (for example students’ course work, pastoral files, references to other academic institutions, or details of personal circumstances), they should comply with the Data Protection Guidelines. See specific guidelines for children below.
  • Staff shall ensure that all personal information is kept securely.
  • Personal information is not disclosed either orally or in writing, accidentally or otherwise to any unauthorised third party. Unauthorised disclosure may be a disciplinary matter, and may be considered gross misconduct in some cases.

Employees can request access to the information held on them by the Company. All requests by employees to gain access to their personnel records should be made in writing.

Sensitive Information

  • The Rushmere Academy may process sensitive information about a person’s health, disabilities, criminal convictions, race or ethnic origin, or trade union membership. For example, some contracts or courses will bring the applicants into contact with children, including young people between the ages of 12-18, and The Rushmere Academy has a duty under the Children Act 1989 and other enactment to ensure that staff are suitable for the job, and students for the courses offered.
  • The Rushmere Academy also asks for information about particular health needs, such as allergies to particular forms of medication, or conditions such as asthma or diabetes. The Rushmere Academy will only use such information to protect the health and safety of the individual, for example, in the event of a medical emergency.

Retention of Data

  • The Rushmere Academy will keep different types of information for differing lengths of time, depending on legal, academic and operational requirements. Information and advice about the recommended retention times are available.


  • Compliance with the Act is the responsibility of all students and members of staff. Any deliberate or reckless breach of this Policy may lead to disciplinary, and where appropriate, legal proceedings.

Any individual, who consider that the policy has not been followed in respect of personal data about him or herself, should raise the matter with one of the Directors initially. If the matter is not resolved it should be referred to the staff grievance or student complaints procedure.

Specific Guidance for controlling and processing data relating to children.

Children need particular protection when you are collecting and processing their personal data because they may be less aware of the risks involved.

If you process children’s personal data then you should think about the need to protect them from the outset, and design your systems and processes with this in mind.

Compliance with the data protection principles and in particular fairness should be central to all your processing of children’s personal data.

You need to have a lawful basis for processing a child’s personal data. Consent is one possible lawful basis for processing, but it is not the only option. Sometimes using an alternative basis is more appropriate and provides better protection for the child.

If you are relying on consent as your lawful basis for processing, when offering an online service directly to a child, in the UK only children aged 13 or over are able to provide their own consent.

For children under this age you need to get consent from whoever holds parental responsibility for the child – unless the online service you offer is a preventive or counselling service.

Children merit specific protection when you use their personal data for marketing purposes or creating personality or user profiles.

You should not usually make decisions based solely on automated processing about children if this will have a legal or similarly significant effect on them.

You should write clear privacy notices for children so that they are able to understand what will happen to their personal data, and what rights they have.

Children have the same rights as adults over their personal data. These include the rights to access their personal data; request rectification; object to processing and have their personal data erased.

An individual’s right to erasure is particularly relevant if they gave their consent to processing when they were a child.


Bases for processing a child’s personal data

When relying on consent, we make sure that the child understands what they are consenting to, and we do not exploit any imbalance of power in the relationship between us.

When relying on ‘necessary for the performance of a contract’, we consider the child’s competence to understand what they are agreeing to, and to enter into a contract.

When relying upon ‘legitimate interests’, we take responsibility for identifying the risks and consequences of the processing, and put age appropriate safeguards in place.

Protect the personal data you hold.

For computer security:

  • Install a firewall and virus checking on computers
  • Make sure that your operating system is set up to receive automatic updates
  • Protect your computer by downloading the latest patches or security updates, which should cover vulnerabilities.
  • Only allow staff access to the information they need to do their job.
  • Encrypt any personal information held electronically that would cause damage or distress if it were lost or stolen.
  • Take regular back-ups of the information on your computer system and keep them in a separate place so that if computers are lost the information would not be lost.
  • Securely remove all personal information before disposing of old computers (by using technology or destroying the hard disk).
  • Consider installing an anti-spyware tool. Spyware is the generic name given to programs that are designed to monitor activities on computers. Spyware can be unwittingly installed within other file and program downloads, their use is often malicious. It can capture passwords, banking credentials and credit card details which can be relayed fraudulently. Anti-spyware helps to monitor and protect computers from spyware threats.

For using emails securely:

  • Consider whether the content of the email should be encrypted or password protected.
  • Ensure correct email address is used when auto-complete suggests recipients.
  • Use bcc (blind carbon copy) function to send email to additional recipients without revealing their information.
  • When sending a group email ensure message is definitely meant for all members of group.
  • If a sensitive email is sent from a secure server to an insecure recipient, security will be threatened. Check recipients email is secure before sending messages.

For other security:

  • Shred all confidential paper waste
  • Check physical security of premises.
  • Use a strong password – at least seven characters with a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers.
  • Do not open spam mail
  • Never give out passwords

References. For any further guidance on The Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR reference should be made to The website contains a wealth of help, guidance and best practice for compliance.

Health and Safety Policy


This document is The Rushmere Academy Health and Safety Policy. It provides details of management arrangements and expectations.

This Policy is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our employees, pupils, visitors and any members of the public who may visit our sites.

All persons on and offsite are required to adhere to the Health and Safety Policy.  Rushmere endeavours to achieve the highest standards of Health, Safety and Welfare under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and all associated Regulations, Approved Codes of Practise and Guidance documents.

At Rushmere, we believe that health and safety is part of our everyday activities and not a topic that is added on as an afterthought. We endeavour to be compliant and follow good practice, and are passionate about empowering staff and learners to take health and safety seriously.  To that end, failure to comply with the Health and Safety Policy may result in disciplinary action.

It is the responsibility of all individuals at Rushmere to familiarise themselves with this policy and comply with its provisions.  Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions for all our employees, contractors, pupils and agency/supply staff working on our behalf. In addition, we will seek to ensure the work that we carry out does not affect the health and safety of others, e.g. our pupils, visitors and members of the public. 


  • Appointing competent Persons who are responsible for health and safety
  • Ensuring that adequate resources are in place to control health and safety risks arising from our work activities
  • Consulting with all our employees on matters affecting their health and safety and providing information, instruction, training and supervision, as appropriate
  • Seeking advice and assistance from external organisations to supplement our own in-house health and safety initiatives
  • Monitoring and reviewing the health, safety and welfare arrangements we have put in place at least every twelve months to determine their continued effectiveness
  • Promoting a positive health and safety culture within our organisation, e.g. with Managers leading by example


Rushmere are required to hold the following information:

  • Signed Health and Safety Policy Statement;
  • Copy of the Health and Safety Policy;
  • Risk assessments which have been adopted to be site specific;


Accountability – “The legal responsibility and thus the accountability for health and safety lies with the employer” – Taken from HSE services, education, frequently asked questions

Rushmere, is the employer, and therefore has the legal responsibility and accountability for health and safety.  Whilst overall accountability lies with the Directors, other staff and colleagues have specific responsibilities for the health and safety of staff, pupils and visitors. All Rushmere employees are responsible by law, as they have a duty to take care of their own health, safety, and that of others who may be affected by their actions at work.


Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the Employment Rights Act 1996, every employee has the right to refuse to carry out work that they believe to be unsafe. Where an employee feels that the work they are asked to do is unsafe, they must report it immediately to their Supervisor or Manager. If it is their Supervisor or Manager who has asked them to carry out the work, they may report to a safety representative or directly to a Senior Manager. Work will not be recommenced until the safety concerns have been reviewed and if necessary, addressed.  All refusals to work on safety grounds must be recorded, along with the findings of the assessment and actions taken to address the concerns. No employee raising justifiable safety concerns will be subject to any related disciplinary action, discharge, suspension, laying-off, demotion or any financial or other penalty


Rushmere will retain records evidencing compliance with this policy.      


  • Co-operate in the implementation of this Health and Safety Procedure and supporting procedures and guidance documents.
  • Take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and other persons who maybe affected by their acts/omissions. (including contractors, co-workers and visitors)
  • Ensure they are undertaking their work in accordance with Safe Working Practices, which have been developed through the preparation of Risk Assessments. These  must be prepared prior to undertaking the relevant activities.
  • Co-operate fully with their line manager and other responsible persons on all matters pertaining to their health and safety at work.
  • Not recklessly or intentionally interfere with, or misuse, any equipment and safety devices
  • Adhere to the information, instruction and training that they have received
  • Are aware of what to do in the event of an emergency e.g. fire
  • Lead by example to pupils and other colleagues by following the required Rushmere safety requirements
  • Do not operate any vehicle, machinery or equipment that they are not competent or authorised to use
  • Report all defects and any other obvious health and safety hazards, accidents, injuries and dangerous occurrences to their line manager
  • Risk Assessments are prepared for the tasks that they undertake and resultant Safe Systems of work are adopted
  • Appropriate action is taken to rectify unsafe systems or actions
  • Wear all protective clothing or equipment which has been provided for their and others safety whilst at work
  • Good housekeeping at all times to prevent incidents and accidents where possible, e.g., cleaning up a spillage immediately after it has occurred
  • All contractors that they employ are; appointed and managed in accordance with the procedure for Approved Contractor Management Procedure


This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment.


 Subject to disciplinary procedures.

Uniform Policy


First impressions are very important to us and we expect our young people to be well present inside and outside of Rushmere. Please also remember that the purpose of uniform is to remove hierarchy, difference and status as much as we can for our young people.


  • Black Rushmere jumper – provided on start day (additional jumpers may be purchased)
  • Black school/suit/slim fit trousers (these must be standard school type, not jeans, or leggings)
  • White collared shirt or collared polo shirt (standard school type – no logos)
  • Trainers (not flip flops, sandals, sliders, crocs or open toed shoes of any kind) 


  • Black skirt
  • If wearing a skirt, black tights
  • Black school shoes
  • White collar blouse (long or short sleeved)
  • Hijab – Navy, beige or neutral colour


  • A wristwatch may be worn. This has to be removed during exams. If it is a smart watch your young person may be asked to hand it in along with their telephone.
  • Jewellery is acceptable, but large amounts of will be decided at discretion of the Tutor/Centre Coordinator.


Light make-up may be worn to give a natural look.


Sweatshirts or hooded jackets are not permitted and other items of leisure wear such as denim jackets and baseball caps are not allowed at Rushmere.

All uniform and possessions must be clearly marked with the learner’s name.

Coats/jackets are to be removed on entering Rushmere.