Child Protection Policy
Keeping children safe is everyone's responsibility. Organizations and professionals who work with children are required to ensure that their policies and practices reflect this responsibility.
NIVA American International School (NIVA) upholds the value of providing a caring, nurturing, and safe learning environment for all our students. The school adopts three key principles in creating this safeguarding and child protection handbook, namely prevention, protection, partnership.
Child Protection Policy
In support of the Child Protection Act of Thailand, B.E. 2546 (CPA) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), NIVA has adopted a child protection policy and will follow all the procedures.
Code of Conduct
To protect and safeguard our children, all school personnel must:
- Be vigilant in protecting and safeguarding children regardless of the source of their difficulties, be it at school, out of school, or at home. Any form of abuse or violence - physical, psychological, sexual, and/or emotional - against a child that takes place at school, at home, or elsewhere must be reported to the administrators.
- Be knowledgeable by learning from or consulting with the principals to notice children who may have been abused or neglected or be in a difficult situation or any form of danger, and report such cases or suspicions to the principals or director.
- Not be involved in any form of child abuse at work or elsewhere. Failure to do so will result in employment termination and legal action.
- Ensure that each and every child at NIVA enjoys the benefit of a protective environment in which their rights are respected. The Employee's duties include protecting our children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of the children's health and/or development; ensuring that the children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and enable the children to have optimum life chances, environment, and education to enter adulthood successfully.
A child is anyone who is a student of NIVA regardless of his/her age.
Any form of abuse or violence against children at NIVA, at home, or elsewhere is unacceptable.
Child Protection Code of Conduct
All teachers and staff must:
- Immediately contact designated child protection school personnel and if a child is observed to be at risk of abuse. Follow-up follow-up in person and then with an email to the designated child protection personnel to ensure your concern is logged and the follow-up has occurred.
- Never leave the school premises at the end of the day without following-up in person with the designated child protection school personnel about a child protection concern.
- Adhere to the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and commit to child safety at all times;
- Take all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse; Conduct themselves in a manner befitting and consistent with their position as a teacher or staff member and a positive role model to children and young people and their families;
- Work towards the achievement of the aims and purposes of the School;
- Be responsible for relevant administration of programs and activities in their area;
- Maintain a duty of care towards others involved in the School’s programs and activities;
- Establish and maintain a child-safe environment in the course of their work;
- Be fair, considerate, and honest with others;
- Treat children, young people, and their families with respect and value their ideas, opinions, and backgrounds;
- Promote the safety, participation, and empowerment of children with difficulties and/or disabilities;
- Listen and respond to children’s views and concerns, particularly those concerning their safety and/or indicating a potential case of abuse whether to themselves or other children;
- Ensure (as far as practicable) that adults are not alone with a child;
- Comply with all mandatory reporting obligations under the School’s policies and procedures;
- Raise concerns about suspected abuse with the designated child protection school personnel as soon as they arise;
- Record and act upon all allegations or suspicions of abuse, discrimination or harassment and, if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child/children are safe;
- Be professional in their actions and maintain strict impartiality; Comply with the School’s guidelines on contact with children, including via electronic media;
- Respect confidentiality when sharing children’s information in accordance with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedure and reporting obligations;
- Maintain a child-safe environment for children and young people under the School’s policies and guidelines.
All teachers and staff must not:
- Ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse;
- Put a child at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors for an improper reason);
- Discuss concerns with persons other than designated child protection school personnel;
- Intervene by discussing a concern with any person suspected of causing abuse to a child;
- Self-investigate concerns of abuse (only the designated child protection personnel will conduct investigations.);
- Speak to a child in such a way that is or could be construed by an observer as harsh, threatening, intimidating, shaming, derogatory, degrading, or humiliating (examples include swearing or using inappropriate language in the presence of a child; yelling at a child, except in an emergency where the child's safety may be at risk; dealing with a child with temper; and using hurtful sarcasm);
- Express personal views on cultures, race, or sexuality in the presence of a child (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Discuss sexual activities with a child;
- Have contact with a child or their immediate family outside the School’s activities, unless the child is a member of their immediate family (accidental/incidental contact, such as seeing the child on the street or at social events or any other incidental contact that is outside of their professional relationship with the child but not for improper purpose, is allowed);
- Have any online contact with a child (including through social media, email, instant messaging, etc.) or their immediate family unless necessary for service delivery, unless the child is a member of their immediate family; except through school-monitored communications
- Use any personal communication channels and/or devices, such as a personal email account, to communicate with a child, unless the child is a member of their immediate family;
- Exchange personal contact details, such as phone numbers, social network handles or email addresses, with a child, unless the child is a member of their immediate family;
- Use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol while in the presence of or while supervising a child (unless their contact with the child is accidental/incidental and they are not performing their professional obligations);
- Use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal drugs while in the presence of or while supervising a child;
- Enable or allow a child to smoke and/or consume alcohol and/or illegal drugs;
- Initiate unnecessary physical contact with a child, or undertake actions of personal nature for him/her that he/she can do for him/herself (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Engage in rough physical games, hold, massage, kiss, cuddle, or touch a child in an inappropriate and/or culturally insensitive way;
- Engage in any sexual contact with a child;
- Take a child to their home or encourage meetings outside the School’s activities (unless the child is a member of their immediate family.);
- Be naked in the presence of a child;
- Access sexually explicit materials on the School’s IT systems;
- Possess sexually explicit materials, including but not limited to magazines, cards, videos, films, clothing, etc.;
- Sleep on the same bed or in the same sleeping bag or room with a child (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Discriminate against any child because of his/her age, gender, sex, race, culture, religion, sexuality, and/or disability;
- Engage in any activity with a child that is likely to be physically or emotionally harmful;
- Be alone with a child for more than a very short time (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Develop a ‘special’ relationship with a specific child for their own needs (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Show favoritism through the provision of gifts and/or inappropriate attention (unless the child is a member of their immediate family);
- Photograph and/or video a child without the consent of the child and his/her parents or guardians.
Additionally, all teachers and staff are prohibited from using physical discipline in any way for behavior management of children. This prohibition includes spanking, slapping, pinching, hitting, pushing, or the use of any other physical force as retaliation or corrective action for children’s inappropriate behaviors. Physical contact, however, may be used in an emergency situation to remove children quickly from danger or the threat of danger.
Physical contact between teachers, staff, and children should be avoided. Limited contact, such as tapping a child on his/her shoulder to gain his/her attention or provide comfort at times of distress, is part of normal human relationships. Some considerations and guidelines for such contact include:
- Consider the child's age, developmental level, maturity, and needed level of care;
- Such contact should take place in an open environment (for example, in confidential interviews or a one-to-one meeting, the door should be kept open with visual access (exceptions apply where strict confidentiality is required);
- Be alert to cues from children to gauge how comfortable they are in your proximity and respect their need for personal space;
- Be sensitive when interacting with children who may have the potential to misinterpret your actions, such as those traumatized by abuse or adolescents seeking attention from a member of the opposite sex;
- Be aware of cultural norms that may influence the interpretation of your behavior;
- Be cautious when making physical contact in games or practical instruction. If physical contact is necessary for demonstration purposes, explain the activity and your course of actions and maintain a safe and appropriate distance;
- Physical contact should only be made in a way that makes children feel comfortable. Examples include hands shaking, a congratulatory pat on the back, or a rub on the side of their arm for reassurance;
- Massaging a child or allowing a child to massage you is an inappropriate physical contact (unless the child is a member of your immediate family and you comply with all relevant policies or procedures).
All forms of physical contact should be avoided where possible.
Transportation and off-campus events:
- Other than in an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances in which no other option could reasonably be made available, children must not be transported without written permission from their parent, carer, or guardian.
- It is prohibited to have unnecessary and/or inappropriate physical contact with children while in vehicles.
- If transportation is provided for a child for a specific reason, he/she should be taken directly to his/her destination. No stops should be made other than those reasonably scheduled for meals or comfort stops. This obligation does not apply to children who are members of your immediate family.
- Children must not stay overnight at the residence of a teacher or staff.
- All vehicles used during off-campus events should have the appropriate teacher-student ratio to allow for effective supervision.
Confidentiality and Recordkeeping
Confidentiality is a matter that should be thoroughly discussed and understood by all teachers and staff, especially if it concerns child protection. Any report or disclosure regarding any form of abuse must be kept confidential for the benefit of the child. But the concerned child/student should not be guaranteed that the situation will be kept secret, as proper recording and reporting will be required for further investigation by the School’s Child Protection Team as well as the appropriate authorities. Pertinent information will be shared with other teachers or staff on a “need to know basis” only. Teachers and staff with access to any sensitive information are required to observe confidentiality at all times.
Supervision in Changing Rooms
Children may feel vulnerable and anxious when getting changed in shared spaces. Supervision in changing rooms is a sensitive matter, and approaches will be based on the age and the developmental needs of the children.
- Nursery and Kindergarten students are to change clothes as needed inside the classrooms with the help of teachers and authorized housekeeping staff. Full support with intimate care is necessary for school children ages 2 - 3 years old. School children ages 4 - 5 are most likely capable of managing themselves with regards to intimate care with some support. Supervision and facilitation of independence is applicable for this age group. The same applies to children with disabilities.
- Although lower elementary school children ages 6 - 8 are more independent, they may still require some support from time to time as appropriate and necessary.
- Upper elementary school children up to secondary school are to be supervised only from a safe distance for the following reasons:
- To maintain proper behavior and order as needed;
- To ensure the presence and help of an adult in case of an emergency;
- To check that the room is clear after everyone has finished changing.
Internet Safety and Responsible Use of Technology
NIVA prepares all students to become effective users of technology. Teachers use technology as an essential tool to facilitate 21st century learning and equip students with the appropriate skills necessary for responsible use of technology resources.
Members of the School community are reminded of the risks and possible dangers of internet usage and that everyone is expected to be mindful and sensible when engaging in online activities, including accessing websites, searching for information, and social networking.
Students are taught digital citizenship skills in their respective homerooms and in IT classes. However, as NIVA recognizes the fact that internet usage cannot be limited to only at the School, all members of the School community are encouraged to be responsible and apply appropriate discretion whenever they are online.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. It can occur through SMS, text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying also includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.” Cyberbullying is unacceptable, and appropriate disciplinary action will be given to any member of the School community who will engage in such activity.
NIVA is committed to ensuring that the personal information of all its community members is protected. Information is collected during admissions, or when inquiries are made. However, all pertinent data will be kept confidential and will not be shared with any third parties without permission.
Safeguarding Procedures for Taking Photographs and Videos
In accordance with our PDPA policy, upon joining NIVA, all stakeholders are automatically opted-in for the school to use personal data, images, and/or videos as needed - including day-to-day student management and posting photos or videos in newsletters, publications, and on social media accounts. Please refer to the PDPA policy section of the website.
NIVA’s buildings and facilities are equipped with CCTV to maintain a safe learning environment. CCTV is monitored by the IT department, and access to files are limited to the Head of School and designated senior administrators only. All requests to view CCTV footage are logged and must receive written approval.
Verifying incidents or accidents through the CCTV can only be done by the Head of School and designated senior administrators as appropriate and necessary. Any request from a parent to view CCTV footage must be made by contacting the Head of School directly. However, the school is under no obligation to approve viewing of the requested footage.
Student Collection Policy
Only authorized parents and/or guardians are allowed to collect students in between or at the end of the School day. Other individuals, such as drivers and nannies, who may be required to collect students on behalf of the authorized parents and/or guardians must register themselves in advance. In addition, a formal notification is required from the authorized parent or guardian prior to such collection. For safety and security reasons, the school reserves the right to withhold a child from being collected if the required procedures are not followed.
Parents are only allowed to collect their own children. In an emergency, a parent may designate someone to pick up their child. However, this request must be requested by the parent in writing or through a phone call. Verification of the pick-up will be made by school personnel by calling parents at the phone number on record at the school.
Child Protection Training
All teachers and staff will be given appropriate safeguarding and child protection training during teacher’s orientation as well as at other teachers and staff meetings.
Thailand Social Services
- Child Line 1387
- The Center for the Protection of Children's Rights Foundation
- ECPAT International
- The Prachabodi 1300
These policies are an excerpt from the Student/Parent Handbook and Teacher Handbook of NIVA American International School. To get the complete details, please refer to the appropriate handbooks.