E-Safety Wiki e-Responsibility / Defining Vulnerable Learners
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Defining Vulnerable Learners

Page history last edited by Jackie Milne 8 years, 1 month ago

Advice on the issues that might affect learners with disabilities can be found in another section.e-responsibility and learners with disabilities


Beyond this, organisations have statutory responsibilities towards all learners, staff and volunteers including those that are considered vulnerable. This will naturally include children, young people and some adults. Their needs and abilities may be different and require specific support in order to keep them safe whilst ensuring full access and inclusion to resources and activities online. Organisations also owe a general common law duty of care to provide a safe learning environment for staff and learners and this is likely to be enhanced when dealing with vulnerable learners.  Each organisation will need to assess their own provision and demonstrate an appropriate response to risks in order to meet their legal duties.

In terms of safer recruitment, the definition of 'regulated activity' for vulnerable adults has been amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 from 10 September 2012.  This scales back the definition to focus on specific activities required rather than the setting or personal circumstances of the vulnerable adult and includes activities such as the provision of health, personal or social care and transportation.
So, following the new Act, a college providing adult education evening classes for learners with dyslexia will not be 'regulated activity' as this does not amount to providing relevant personal or health care.

When considering children, 'regulatory activity'  includes work such as teaching, training and instruction as well as caring for or supervising children.

The concept of 'controlled activity' now no longer exists.  

More guidance from LSIS on Safeguarding Adults can be found on the Excellence Gateway and Ofsted have produced a report of Safeguarding Best Practice in the colleges that received an outstanding grade for leadership and managment of their safeguarding arrangements which includes eSafety in some specialist colleges. See the summary of the recommendations and key points. A link to advice from JISC Legal on ICT and the Law for Specialist Colleges can be found on the Legal Aspects page of this resource.


Also it is worth being aware that some young people may be more vulnerable in their use of social media than others and additional safeguards and training may be required.  The ICO has some useful information for young people on keeping personal information safe.