Connecting Schools with Nature Safeguarding and Code of Conduct Policies

BES Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Duty of Care
Connecting schools to nature in North East England Outreach Project 

The BES has a full duty of care policy that covers all our activities and you are welcome to ask the main office for a copy or online. Part of our policy is to share our code of conduct with you. 

We believe all participants and attendees of the BES ‘Connecting Schools to Nature in North-East England’ project have: 

  • The right to be safe from harassment or discrimination in all its forms 
  • The right to fully engage in all the activities on offer 
  • The right to have any complaints or concerns investigated, regardless of career position 

We ask everyone to help us maintain an inclusive, safe environment for all project participants by agreeing to the common principles of our code of conduct: 

  • being courteous, respectful and professional towards others 
  • valuing the diversity of participants, their views and opinions 

If you feel you have experienced any harassment or discrimination or would like to report any concerns, you can send a confidential email to to report a concern or ask to speak to our duty of care staff. 

BES Safeguarding Policy:  

The British Ecological Society believes that no one should experience abuse of any kind; this is especially important in our dealings with children, young people and vulnerable adults. 

We are committed to practice in a way that protects all those involved in learning, mentoring and professional development experiences delivered through or on behalf of the British Ecological Society. 

This policy applies to all staff and the board of trustees, volunteers, agency staff, students, teachers, or anyone working else on behalf of the British Ecological Society. 

The purpose of our policy is: 

  • to protect from harm children, young people and vulnerable adults who engage with the British Ecological Society’s programmes and events 
  • to provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding 

Digital Safeguarding Approach and Online Safety Policy Statement: 

A full version of our Safeguarding policy is available to download via the webpage here. In addition to this, the British Ecological Society have created protocols for digital safeguarding and conduct that specifically relate to the ‘Connecting schools to nature in North-East England’ project. These have been outlined for you below and circulated separately via email too.  

Please take the time to read these now, paying particular attention to the guidelines regarding online events and safety. 

Should your school or establishment have additional safeguarding policies and protocols that you would like to make BES staff and volunteers aware of ahead of time, please send these to directly to Alexa at and Chris at 


BES online live and recorded event and materials:

  • All volunteers will need to sign our Safeguarding and Code of Conduct policies and adhere to the guidelines within. This includes content for delivering live events or recorded material. 
  • Volunteers will be made specifically aware of digital safeguarding rules relating to adult materials, language, and other potentially harmful content prior to delivering any online events. 
  • For live events, BES staff will always be present and able to end live broadcasts instantly in the case of a breach of guidelines. 
  • All volunteers and BES Staff will have undergone an Enhanced DBS check with a clear record of approval status. In incidences where the Enhanced DBS check has not been obtained, we will make this known to schools and why this is the case.  It is at the discretion of the school/teacher to give written approval for any contact to still occur in the absence of an Enhanced DBS check for any volunteer. 
  • Comment box moderation will be conducted by the BES to remove any inappropriate content during live online events. 
  • Should any participant receive a chat box comment that presents safeguarding concerns (e.g. divulging abuse, calling for help, improper conduct), BES staff will not approve the comment, and will then record the incident and take any necessary action to remove the participant of concern from the meeting 
  • If accidentally approved, BES staff will delete the comment immediately or ask the digital producer to close comments from view. 
  • Direct electronic messaging between participants will be restricted where possible. Should participants receive a direct electronic message that presents a safeguarding concern (e.g. divulging abuse, calling for help, improper conduct), these should be reported immediately to a member of BES staff who will then record the incident and take any necessary action to remove the participant of concern from the meeting. 
  • During pre-recorded events, there will not be any direct contact between pupils and volunteers.  
  • During live online events, a teacher must be present in the classroom at all times. The online live platform session is considered a classroom and as such, teachers must be present at all times. If these events are hosted or partly lead by BES volunteers, in addition to BES Staff monitoring safeguarding policy and activity, it will also be the additional responsibility of teacher’s to monitor any interactions between staff, volunteers and pupils that occur throughout the live and digital sessions and inform BES Staff/Volunteers as required (e.g. Q&As, volunteers instructing or demonstrating to the class). This includes making BES Staff and volunteers aware of any school-specific safeguarding policies that are relevant. 


Digital ‘Encounters Hub’ platform:

Participants must adhere to the BES Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policies when sing the Encounters Hub, particularly in relation to handling their own and/or other participant’s (e.g. pupils, volunteers, teachers) personal data that they have access to as a result of using the digital platform. Please find guidance below on how to use the platform safely: 

  • Pupils will be given their own accounts on the platform and in addition to BES safeguarding monitoring and activity, it is additionally the teachers responsibility to ensure their pupils use the platform in a way that adheres to both the British Ecological Society and MammalWeb’s terms and conditions (including our Safeguarding, Code of Conduct and Privacy policies), reporting concerns and issues to BES Staff as they occur. 
  • Pupils will not have access to the platform’s messaging service. In this way, contact between BES volunteers and pupils is not permitted via the platform.  
  • Pupils will only have access to resources and documents that they themselves have uploaded. 
  • All messages sent via the platform will be stored securely in the platform’s database alongside the sender and receiver’s ID and details. BES Staff can access this database in the event of a safeguarding report or concern that was raised in relation to use of the messaging service. The BES retains all relevant DBS checks for 30 years should safeguarding issues arise 
  • Should participants choose to reveal additional personal information through the platform (e.g. teachers choose to use pupil names as login details rather than the provided code names), please be aware that this will be accessible to BES project staff, project partners/contractors, and any participants who have been specifically assigned or paired with you (e.g. your assigned Environmental Educator volunteer(s) or teacher). Any data provided through these channels will be subject to the project’s Privacy Policy and not shared beyond the project. 
  • The platform includes a ‘Report incident’ button in case of any abuse. Please use this where you are concerned about another user’s behaviour or language on the platform. This will go directly to BES Staff who will handle this in line with the BES Safeguarding Policy. 

For all safeguarding events that occur, send a confidential email to  to report a concern or ask to speak to our duty of care staff. Please record the time of the incident, and state the nature of it. The issue will then be reported confidentially to the head of safeguarding at the BES for actioning.

Please sign and date the space below to confirm that you have read, understood, and agree to this cover letter in addition to the BES Code of Conduct, Safeguarding Policy, and Privacy Policy. Alternatively, you can view and sign each policy separately via the Microsoft Forms link here.

Signature (electronic is suitable):