Amid a third lockdown and with the risk from COVID-19 remaining high, all our tutors have transitioned to online learning. This minimises face to face contact and the risk of transmission and infection for both tutor and child.
Children can still benefit from online lessons, but it’s important that their safety is maintained. Every tutor employed by Delphi Tutors is DBS checked. We never pair a tutor with a student without a copy of their identification, their DBS certificate and a face to face interview.
The following information is supplied for parents and tutors curious about best practice during a challenging new time.
Location in the house
For the child
Tutoring should be carried out for the child in a public space in the house, easily accessible to adults. The camera should if possible be directed so nothing personal or identifying is in the background of the shot. We recommend that tutoring lessons do not take place in the child’s bedroom. Sometimes however this is the only option. If this is the case, the door should be open at all times, and if possible the screen should be visible from the doorway.
For the tutor
Similarly, tutoring should as much as possible be carried out in an open location with a bland background; either a blank wall or one generated by the video conferencing software.
NetAware is a service built for parents to understand the safety features around commonly used social software. Prior to the tutoring beginning, parents should familiarise themselves with the software their child will be using so they understand the features available. Here is a sample page for Zoom, the software Delphi Tutors most commonly uses.
It is exceptionally hard to tutor effectively without a face to face connection, and for this reason we recommend children are on camera during their lessons. However, if the child does not wish to turn on the camera for any reason, the tutor should respect this choice.
Maintaining professional boundaries
For under 16s, there should be no reason for tutors and students to be communicating outside of their lesson. Occasionally for older students, direct contact can be useful to arrange the timing of further sessions, with parental consent.
If tutors need to contact students during the lesson over the phone (to compensate for a poor internet connection, for instance), the call should be made to the parents’ phone or to the house, rather than to the student’s mobile directly. Tutors should not ask for or be given the direct contact details for their students.
If calling to a parent’s mobile or house phone, we recommend tutors prepend 141 to the number they dial – this will result in a “No Caller ID” call, retaining the tutor’s privacy.
Tutors should not contact the child outside of the lesson time agreed with the parent.
The safety and comfort of the students we work with is Delphi Tutor’s highest priority. If you have any questions about online safeguarding, please contact us at email@example.com.