We know that all learners need a secure and supportive environment in which to learn. At AISB, we believe that every child and young person, regardless of age,:
- Has at all times and in all situations the right to feel safe and included, and be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, or harassment;
- Should be treated fairly with dignity and respect;
- Should be taught to understand their rights as an AISB student and have at least one trusted adult that they can confide in; and
- Adult decisions affecting children should be made in the best interest of the child.
AISB is committed to our safeguarding processes in order to prevent the risk of harm to children’s health or development. AISB expects all individuals and groups associated with our school community to act with integrity and to take responsibility for keeping students safe and included. Whether you are a staff member, a coach, tutor, contractor, guest, parent or visitor, it is our expectation that you will support our students and act with their wellbeing in mind at all times.
At AISB, ‘Safeguarding’ encompasses:
- adherence to safe and inclusive practices;
- meeting the individual physical, social-emotional or health needs of students;
- taking action to ensure children grow up with safe and supportive care
- ensuring that all members of our school community can effectively recognise abuse, appropriately respond, and understand how to keep themselves safe in all environments (including online).
At AISB, we define a child as any student of the school, or visiting child at the school.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as protecting children from maltreatment, preventing the impairment of their health or development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. Child Protection is part of the safeguarding process and focuses on protecting individual children where there are concerns about abuse, neglect or harassment.
AISB Child Protection Policy (endorsed by the AISB Board of Trustees)
Child abuse and neglect are of growing concern in schools throughout the world. Child abuse and neglect are violations of a child’s human rights and are obstacles to the child’s education as well as their physical, emotional, and spiritual development.
Schools fill a special institutional role in society as protectors of children. Schools need to ensure that all children in their care are afforded a safe and secure environment in which to learn and develop. Educators, having the opportunity to observe and interact with children over time, are in a unique position to identify children who need help and protection. As such, educators have a professional and ethical obligation to identify children who are in need of help and protection, and to take steps to ensure that the child and family avail themselves of the services needed to remedy any situation that constitutes child abuse or neglect.
All contractors and employees working at the American International School of Bucharest must report suspected incidences of child abuse or neglect whenever the staff member has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering abuse or neglect. Reporting and follow up of all suspected incidences of child abuse or neglect will proceed in accordance with administrative regulations respective to this policy. Furthermore, cases of suspected child abuse or neglect will be reported to the applicable authority.
The American International School of Bucharest adheres to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the host country, Romania, is a signatory. The American International School of Bucharest seeks to be a safe haven for students who may be experiencing abuse or neglect in any aspect of their lives. The American International School of Bucharest will distribute this policy annually to all parents, legal guardians and applicants, will communicate this policy annually to students, will provide annual training for all staff, and will make every effort to implement hiring practices to ensure the safety of children.
The AISB approach: As part of our educational program and specific to our shared responsibility to educate children, to protect them, and to learn and grow, AISB will:
- Teach age appropriate lessons to all students to help them understand personal safety and individual rights and responsibilities
- Annually train faculty and staff to recognize and report issues of child abuse and neglect
- Practice safe recruitment and hiring practices for all employees, volunteers and visitors
- Provide community trainings and materials to ensure understanding of our student safeguarding program
- Implement annual review of our safeguarding program to maintain best practice
- Designate individuals to oversee the safeguarding program and ensure the prevention, protection and response to concerns is carried out in a timely, consistent and transparent manner
- Partner with local Romanian authorities and foreign embassies when needed
- Protect the confidentiality of individuals involved in an incident and maintain secure documentation of reports
- Conduct risk management of all school sponsored activities and trips
Safeguarding and the AISB Curriculum
Here is how the AISB curriculum is tailored to fully support our safeguarding policies through our Pastoral Program and Social Emotional Learning
At AISB, we believe that our pastoral program supports the whole child, and we seek to develop the social and emotional well-being of all of our students. Our social-emotional learning program serves to increase a sense of belonging and connectedness and to empower students to be engaged and respectful members of their school, local and global communities. We aim for our learning community to be welcoming, safe and inclusive where everyone feels a sense of belonging. AISB has established beliefs around Social Emotional Learning which can be found below:
AISB utilizes the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum (KS:CPC) integrated within our pastoral programs, which is an evidence-based child safety curriculum that teaches children and young people to recognize abuse, tell a trusted adult, understand what is appropriate and inappropriate touching, and ways of keeping themselves safe. The KS:CPC is delivered to students beginning in our Early Learning Center at age 3 (EC3) through our 18-year-old Grade 12 students by educators that have completed a comprehensive training course. For more information on the scope and sequence of KS:CPC please see below.
Designated Safeguarding Leads: In the event that you have a safeguarding concern, please contact one of the following designated safeguarding leads to report your concerns as soon as possible, but ideally no later than within 24 hours of the disclosure. This is to ensure safety and risk management can take place as quickly as possible.
Safeguarding children from harm works best when the entire community is involved. AISB is committed to working with everyone in the community towards providing the safest possible environment for our current and future students. It is expected that as a member of our school community, you recognize your role and responsibility to safeguard students as outlined below, and to keep an eye out for one another. If you see something, say something, and we thank you for helping build an AISB school culture and community where safety and wellbeing are essential.