Safeguarding and Apprentice Welfare

At the University of Suffolk, we understand the diverse range of safeguarding issues facing learners today including sexual harassment, hate crime and online harassment.

Everyone has the right to work, live and study in a safe and supportive environment that is free from harassment and fosters inclusivity and respect, which are fundamental to our British values.

Which is why we have created a number of safeguarding policies and procedures to support the safety and wellbeing of our students. Please see below for information about some key themes that are apprentices may come across during their work, studies, and beyond.

Fundamental British Values underpin what it is to be a citizen in a modern and diverse Great Britain valuing our community and celebrating diversity of the UK. At the University of Suffolk, we promote British Values to reflect life today in modern Britain. 

There are four values outlined in the strategy:

  1. Democracy
  2. Rule of Law
  3. Individual Liberty
  4. Respect and Tolerance

We encourage and discuss the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other's opinions.


A culture built upon freedom and equality, where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

  • Leadership and accountability
  • Joint decision making
  • Team meetings
  • The right to protest and petition
  • Receiving and giving feedback

Rule of Law

The need for rules to make a happy, safe and secure environment to live and work.

  • Legislation
  • Agreed ways of working, policies and procedures
  • How the law protects you and others
  • Codes of conduct

Respect and Tolerance

Understanding that we all don’t share the same beliefs and values. Respecting the values, ideas and beliefs of others whilst not imposing our own others.

  • Embracing diversity
  • The importance of religion, traditions, cultural heritage and preferences
  • Stereotyping, labelling and prejudice
  • Tackling discrimination

Individual Liberty

Protection of your rights and the right of others you work with.

  • Equality and Human Rights
  • Personal Development
  • Respect and Dignity
  • Rights, choice, consent and individuality
  • Values and principles

County Lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs. The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs. Importing areas (areas where the drugs are taken to) are reporting increased levels of violence and weapons-related crimes as a result of this trend.

Some signs to look out for include:

  • An increase in visitors and cars to a house or flat
  • New faces appearing at the house or flat
  • New and regularly changing residents (e.g different accents compared to local accent
  • Change in resident's mood and/or demeanour (e.g. secretive/ withdrawn/ aggressive/ emotional)
  • Substance misuse and/or drug paraphernalia
  • Changes in the way young people you might know dress
  • Unexplained, sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g clothes, jewellery, cars etc)
  • Residents or young people you know going missing, maybe for long periods of time
  • Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults
  • Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are
  • Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school
  • An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community
  • Unexplained injuries

The best advice is to trust your instincts. Even if someone isn't involved in county lines drug dealing, they may be being exploited in some other way, so it's always worth speaking out.

You can speak to your local police by dialling 101, or in an emergency 999. If you would rather remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. A good option is to speak to an adult you trust and talk to them about your concerns.

Who is the active citizen?

The active citizen is a person who participates fully in community life. Active citizens volunteer. They contribute to their local community in positive ways. They have involvement with community organisations such as libraries, hospitals, sports clubs, mutual interest groups and faith groups.

The active citizen engages in civic life. Active citizens turn up to vote. They have political literacy and campaign on issues they care about. They engage with politics on a local and national level and are effective in making change happen.

The active citizen is globally aware. They are tolerant, have intercultural awareness and respect diversity. They understand that some issues are too big for any one country to deal with and know that actions at home can have wider consequences around the world.

Why is this important?

The development of citizenship skills through volunteering is valuable to both the individual and society. By working with organisations that serve the community, from charities to public sector bodies, each volunteer is able to develop their understanding of a wide range of non-profit organisations.

Research suggests that student volunteering plays an ‘important role in developing students’ community awareness and integration into communities outside the university’. Furthermore, graduates who volunteered at university are more likely to volunteer later in life than their peers who did not volunteer during their studies. Volunteering can boost self-esteem, make mental health conditions more manageable, improve family relationships and encourage a healthier lifestyle. Volunteering helps graduate employability. Volunteers gain exposure to the workings of a variety of different organisations, and can gain experience in areas such as financial management, event planning, volunteer management, organisation, time management, commitment and leadership.

Your journey through University can be an amazing time of change in your life. Throughout your studies, it is important to care for your physical health as well as your mental health and wellbeing. There may also be times where you may feel that you need support to help you get the most out of your time here. Our support service will provide information, support and guidance to help you manage any issues that might impact on your studies, as well as your general wellbeing.

Our goal is for both the University and our students being part of a tolerant, inclusive academic community.

To support our student and apprentice learners wellbeing, we have launched a range of online, CBT-based (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) wellbeing programmes through our SilverCloud platform. The following programmes are now available:

  • Space from COVID-19
  • Space from stress
  • Space for resilience
  • Space for sleep
  • Space from money worries
  • Space for positive body image
  • Space for perinatal wellbeing
  • Space from alcohol

Each programme is interactive, and you can tailor to your specific needs. You can access SilverCloud programmes on Brightspace Wellbeing, along with lots of relevant information on services and resources available to support you.

Please find below additional resources on:

Prevent is part of the Government counter-terrorism strategy. It’s designed to tackle the problem of terrorism at its roots, preventing people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. It is about supporting individuals who are at risk of radicalisation away from becoming terrorists, or supporting terrorism.

There are many terms that are associated with the topic of terrorism and it is important that for the purposes of promoting understanding of the aims of Prevent, that they are clearly explained:

  • Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals. This can eventually result in condonation or support of terrorism.
  • Extremism is the holding of political, religious, ideological ideas or actions that are outside the parameters of the moderate mainstream and not normal, reasonable or acceptable to most people. It is important to understand that extremism in itself is not illegal but it can act as a pathway to terrorism.
  • Violent Extremism is where people seek to justify or promote terrorism or encourage others to commit such acts.
  • Terrorism is the use or threat of action where the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

Please note: these explanations are given for the purpose of clarifying the use of terms in this text. They are not legal definitions and their meaning may differ when used in other publications.

What do you do if you are worried?

  • Tell someone! Any student can approach any member of staff about PREVENT and radicalisation and they will listen to you.
  • The University has procedures in place to investigate and deal with this issue and take them seriously.
  • So, if you have concerns about your well-being or that of others please share them with; your Lecturer, Apprenticeship Practice Educator, or with any member of staff.