Safeguarding: a culture of care

Childcare and protection are priorities in the Cognita group and in PlayPen | Ecj, both of which adopt a safeguarding program held accountable by British standards. It is a set of actions and policies that seek to guarantee the physical and emotional well-being of all those in the school environment.

In 2020, the school initiated a pilot program for AS Tracking (Affective Social Tracking), an innovative tool that allows early identification of possible risks in the emotional health of teenagers and signposts interventions, thereby enabling the pedagogical team to act even more quickly and precisely.

Culture of Care

Our commitment is to maintain the highest standards of care for all children, as well as their well-being and safety.

The culture of care is demanding. It guides the decisions and actions taken in the day-to-day management of all Cognita Group schools, as well as the safety of educational environments, caring for our students and their emotional well-being, rigorous employee control, and robust training and procedural policies in the area of child protection. This culture is supported by the governance structure, reporting to the Cognita Council.

Our approach

Each Cognita school runs a safeguarding committee, which acts independently. They conduct rigorous personnel recruitment procedures, in addition to regular monitoring and evaluation of our schools to ensure the safety of the learning environment.

Click on each one of our policies to learn more.

Child Protection Policy

In compliance with the law, the school makes sure that it has the resources in place to promote the well-being of students and to provide a safe and healthy learning environment, the goal of which being to protect children from possible risky situations. The policy is comprehensive and involves several actions, such as guidelines to teams for identifying, communicating and addressing any situation of risk or abuse, for the use of first aid and for the prevention against extremism and radicalization. It also includes guidelines regarding drug and alcohol abuse and internet security.

Employees’ Code of Conduct

Adults have crucial roles to play in the lives of children and young people. Their well-being is of paramount importance: this Code of Conduct helps to establish the conditions for the safest possible learning and work environment, which is in turn able to protect children and reduce the risk of adults being falsely accused of improper or unprofessional conduct. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to provide a clear framework of standards and appropriate behaviors that all staff and volunteers must
follow, which include raising flags for illegal, unsafe and inappropriate conduct.

Risk Assessment Policy

Our commitment is to offer a safe and healthy work environment that provides inspiration and support for academic and educational achievements. We use risk assessments to help us examine any potential risk of harm and to identify and implement specific measures to minimize and manage these risks – these assessments are also conducted for educational visits and the supervision of students during activities.

Educational Visits Policy

Learning out of the classroom and educational visits are an integral part of school life, promoting students’ education and meeting their social and academic needs. The learning experience must be well organized and stimulating for everyone. Students must be well prepared for the visit and, subsequently, able to translate the experience into practice. The departure must be planned by the Educational Visit Lead, whose utmost priority is the safety and well-being of all children.

Fire Protection Policy

This policy describes the provisions for effective fire safety management, in order to prevent its occurrence and, in the event of a fire, to protect people and property. We have a robust and effective Emergency Plan for the safe evacuation of all people, be them students, staff, visitors, or service users, while taking people with impaired mobility into account. This plan is tested periodically through emergency drills.

Lockdown Policy – Lockdown and containment

Employees, students and visitors at Cognita Brazil schools have the right to learn, work and interact in a safe and protected environment. However, the possibility of a major incident of violence is a reality that cannot be overlooked. Everyone needs to know how to protect themselves and how to protect students in the event of a serious incident or threat of school violence.

Access Control Procedure

The goal of this procedure is to establish a system for the controlling the access of people to the school in their entrance, during their stay, and at their exit, as well as for monitoring the flow of people in the institution.

Student Attendance Control Procedure

The goal of this procedure is to establish a system for controlling the attendance of students at school, in order to ensure their safety and protection.

Policy for acceptable use of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), cellphones, websites and social networks

The purpose of this policy is to minimize the risk of inappropriate contact with students, to protect employees and the school from litigation and to minimize the risk of damage to ICT systems.

Internet Security Policy

This policy guides all collaborators in their involvement with internet security, ensuring their proper use, as well as serving as a model for responsible and safe use of technology at PlayPen ECJ.
PlayPen ECJ internet access is subject to strict monitors, filters and controls that are updated regularly. We are aligned with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Social Media Policy

PlayPen ECJ understands that the opportunities offered by social media are extremely valuable. Therefore, it seeks to promote the positive use of these tools for educational and communication purposes within its community. This policy establishes guidelines for the use of social media and outlines controls and good practices.

Drug Administration Policy

This policy aims to establish a system for the control and administration of medications in the school and during educational visits. Administering medication requires effective and regular communication between parents and school staff. A medical record containing health data on all students is required at the beginning of each school year and must be updated when any student’s condition changes. This policy also outlines procedure for the safe storage and shelf-life monitoring of medications. We will not administer medication unless in an emergency and/or is accompanied by a valid medical prescription.

Safe Recruitment Policy

This policy outlines our safeguarding responsibilities as a recruitment team for working with students, as well as our best practices in hiring procedures, which is used for the recruitment and selection of all employees, interns, volunteers and service providers in Brazil.

Policy for Positive Behavior

Our goal is to provide a safe and positive environment for children and young people, where they can develop a sense of belongingness and feel capable of trusting adults, which leads to them speaking openly about their problems. In addition, we want to provide students with the awareness of our diverse community by developing an appreciation for the value of differences.

Accessibility and Special Needs Policy

Our goal is to ensure that students with specific educational needs have the most complete school life possible, and our accessibility plan and required adjustments help to achieve that goal.

Policy on Reasonable Use of Force

The use of physical force is generally not necessary in our schools. However, if necessary, the purpose of this policy is to clarify the power of teachers and other employees who have legal control over or who are responsible for students. We will use this policy to protect everyone from harm, to protect all students from any unnecessary, inappropriate, excessive or harmful physical intervention and to ensure that all our staff know what constitutes the appropriate use of that responsibility.

Alcohol and other drugs policy

The goal of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy is to acknowledge and clarify the school’s role in combating drug use and raising awareness about use and abuse. This policy provides information regarding drug education, as well as procedures for responding to any incident related to this topic.

Complaint and Compliment Policy

We take great care of the quality of the pastoral care and teaching provided to our students.  However, if parents wish to make an observation, they can expect the following procedure to apply:

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution. Most complaints / compliments are expected to be resolved quickly and informally. For this, parents / guardians should initially contact the child’s Head of Segment.

Stage 2 – Formal Resolution. If it was not possible to address the complaint informally, then parents must make the complaint in writing, using a specific form, to the school’s Complaints Review Committee. This committee will decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate course of action to be taken, which includes the decision of who will lead an investigation, should one be required.

Stage 3 – Cognita’s Complaints Cell. If the parents are still not satisfied with the response or process carried out in Stage 2, the matter will be referred to the Cognita Complaint Cell. The suggestions and recommendations of the Cognita Complaint Cell will be sent in writing to the complainant. The decision of the Cognita Complaint Cell is final.

Compliments will be regarded individually and recorded internally.

Contact

Rodrigo Padilha

DSL (Designated Safeguard Leader), Supervisor and Science Teacher 11 3812-9122 / rodrigo.padilha@playpen.com.br

Julio Rubinstein

School Psychologist and Deputy DSL Leader 11 3812-9122 / julio.rubinstein@playpen.com.br

Conchita Kennedy

DSL Early Years (Designated Early Years Safeguard Leader) e Early Years Coordinator 11 3812-9122 / conchita.kennedy@playpen.com.br

Fabio Gargiulo

EVC (Educational Visits Coordinator) e Laboratory worker 11 3812-9122 / fabio.gargiulo@playpen.com.br