Northern Synod believes that children, young people and adults have a right to live in a way that does not cause them harm or impede their human rights. We therefore acknowledge their right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs. We consider that, in accordance with legislation, the welfare of children and adults at risk is paramount. We will follow legislation, statutory guidance and recognised good practice. We believe that domestic abuse in all its forms is unacceptable and inconsistent with a Christian way of living. Safeguarding is taken seriously by Northern Synod.
A revised Synod Safeguarding Policy was accepted by Synod on 16 March 2019.
SYNOD SAFEGUARDING ADVISOR:
The advisor is available to provide guidance upon any safeguarding situation faced by the churches, as well as to offer training, information and advice about safeguarding matters in our synod.
The United Reformed Church (Northern Province) Trust Limited has published its own Safeguarding Policy, which incorporates the Synod’s policy.
Handbook for Churches – this takes you to reference material, policies and draft templates. Everything you need to know should be here!
URC website pages dealing with recruitment and selection issues and DBS applications
Good Practice 5
The link to policy and good practice guidance in safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk is here
On the back of many requests that I have received I have arranged some training to be provided in relation to the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service).
This is completely separate to any training you may have attended provided by DDC (the company that oversees the checks on behalf of the URC).
This training session is provided by Sue Davison who is the Regional Outreach Advisor for the Disclosure and Barring Service and nicely complements training that is being provided by myself in relation to safer recruitment, contained within the Intermediate Safeguarding Training sessions.
She will discuss various points including –
• Understanding more clearly the role of DBS
• Understand the benefits of DBS and our churches working together
• To get a greater understanding of what ‘regulated activity’ means to our churches
• Understand different types of harm
• To have an understand of how barring works in relation to DBS checks and the importance of our duty to refer these concerns
• Have a clear understanding of consequences of various actions whilst in the workplace
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions that you may have and I will also be in attendance myself to assist with any specific URC questions.
The training is being held online via Zoom on Wednesday 10th November between 7pm and 8.30pm.
To reserve a place please contact Matt via email – email@example.com
Intermediate Safeguarding Training Package and additional Basic Training Sessions
On the back of the Foundation (Basic) Safeguarding Training packages that were made available to all persons from the URC in the past 12 months there has now been compiled an intermediate safeguarding training package.
This package follows on from the content of the foundation training based within Good Practice 5 and covers more in depth areas of safeguarding for use within the local church. The course content is divided into various areas – all taken from GP5. The duration is around 2.5 hours long and there will be adequate breaks to get drinks etc – as well as giving you time away from listening to Matt if needed!!
This training again is initially going to be provided through an online format. However, as we move into 2022 an assessment will be made in relation to training also being provided in a face to face environment. Watch this space for updates in relation to this!!
Everyone who attended the previous training is invited to attend and obtain this training. Please note however – to be able to attend this training you will have needed to have been on a basic course in the past 3 years. Therefore, the intermediate training is only available for those whose training is up to date.
To cater for this, we will also be providing some more sessions of basic training for those who need this input – either because you haven’t had it before or indeed if you need a refresher input due to the 3-year guidance.
To assist with the question of who needs to attend the different levels of safeguarding training could we please direct you to Paper T5 from the most recent General Assembly. This paper provides guidance in relation to the safeguarding training framework for the URC. The link is here https://urc.org.uk/images/General-Assemblies/Assembly2021/Paper_T5_-_SAG_-_Safeguarding_Training_Framework_FINAL.pdf if you want to read it but for those who just need to know if they need to attend the training we have added the details for you as follows:
|Roles requiring mandatory training||Foundation (Basic)||Intermediate||Advanced|
|Church safeguarding coordinators||X||X|
|Deputy church safeguarding coordinators||X||X|
|Members of Synod Safeguarding Committees||X|
|Active Ministers and CRCWs (including retired ministers who meet the requirements of active ministry)||X||X|
|Youth and Children Workers including volunteer leaders||X||X||X|
|Youth and Children’s Workers (volunteer helpers) **||X||X|
|Adult Workers including volunteer leaders||X||X|
|Adult Workers (volunteer helpers) **||X||X|
|Pastoral Workers / Visitors||X||X|
|Worship Leaders and Assembly Accredited Lay Preachers||X||X|
|URC Trustees and Synod Trustees||X|
|Elders as local church trustees||X|
** those helping at a holiday club, assisting occasionally with Sunday school, running a craft activity at Messy Church, running the tuck shop at a youth group, helpers at a craft club / lunch / trip, etc, where it is clear these people are in ‘helper’ roles are always working in the presence of, and under the supervision of, a ‘leader’.
Hopefully the above makes it easy for each church to understand who from its congregation must have attended safeguarding training. If it’s unclear or you need further guidance on this matter please contact Matt Knowles, the Synod safeguarding advisor who will be pleased to assist. Please remember, church safeguarding training must be refreshed every three years. For those members of local churches who haven’t attended the training in the past 3 years please endeavour to do so. Again, any queries please speak with Matt.
All courses are booked via the Synod office. Please contact Wendy via email to confirm your places on firstname.lastname@example.org
The dates for the upcoming courses are as follows – (please note all are via Zoom)
Foundation (Basic) courses – 2 hours in duration
Wednesday 15th September 2021 – 1pm to 3pm
Tuesday 21st September 2021 – 10am to 12pm
Thursday 2nd December 2021 – 9.30am to 11.30am
Intermediate courses – 2.5 hours in duration
Wednesday 13th October 2021 – 2pm to 4.30pm
Tuesday 19th October 2021 – 10am to 12.30pm
Thursday 28th October 2021 – 10am to 12.30pm
Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – 9.30am to 12pm
Saturday 13th November 2021 – 10am to 12.30pm
Wednesday 17th November 2021 – 9.30am to 12pm
Thursday 25th November 2021 – 1pm to 3.30pm
At present, Northern Synod uses the Methodist Church Safeguarding training materials.
We provide a Foundation Module which should be attended every three years by all who work directly with children or adults who may be vulnerable in church.
We also provide a Leadership or advanced Module which is for those with explicit responsibility for safeguarding within their church, particularly active ministers and church safeguarding leads. Again, this should be refreshed on a three yearly basis.
Foundation Module 2016 Edition
The focus of this training is to promote awareness of possible safeguarding concerns.
This training aims to equip all adults, both volunteer and paid, working in different roles in the Methodist Church to feel confident to share safeguarding concerns with the appropriate person.
The Creating Safer Space Foundation Module 2016 Edition training will help you:
• know that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and integral to being church
• have a better understanding of good safeguarding practice within the Methodist Church
• know when to have concerns about the safety and welfare of a child or adult
• appreciate your responsibility for sharing concerns about a child or adult
• be aware of who in the church to go to with any concerns
• recognise potential blocks within the church to responding well
Advanced Module 2018 Edition
This Creating Safer Space Advanced Module course is split into three parts:
• Essential preparation (1 hour 30 minutes)
• Core learning session (4 hours)
• Handbook (a resource for further study)
The aim of the Advanced Module is to consolidate and develop your previous safeguarding learning and to:
• explore what this means in your designated role of responsibility within the Church
• further equip you with skills and resources to be confident in promoting good practice in the Church and community
• extend your understanding of responding well to different groups within the Church community.
Engagement with all three elements of the Advanced Module will enable you to meet these aims.