Child protection

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We believe child protection requires everyone to take responsibility. We recognise that the care and welfare of children is paramount and that all children have the right to protection from all types of harm.

The British Council recognises that we have a fundamental duty of care towards all children we engage with, including a duty to protect them from abuse. We achieve this through compliance with UK child protection laws and relevant laws in each of the countries we operate in, as well as by adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 1989.

A child is defined in the British Council as anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday (UNCRC 1989) irrespective of the age of majority in the country where a child is, or their home country.

This policy is mandatory for all British Council staff worldwide. This includes anyone who works for the British Council, either in a paid or unpaid, full or part time capacity. This includes directly employed staff, trustees, contractors, agency staff, consultants, volunteers, interns and anyone working on behalf of the British Council.

The British Council is committed to:

  • valuing, respecting and listening to children
  • ensuring all necessary checks are made when recruiting staff
  • maintaining strong child protection systems and procedures for staff
  • training our staff and providing a common understanding of child protection issues to inform planning and practice
  • sharing information about child protection and good practice with children and parents/carers
  • sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
  • providing effective management for staff through clear processes, supervision, and support.

We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.

This global policy statement was approved by Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, in February 2014 and is due for review in February 2015.