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School Policies

School Policies

Policy On Child Protection

Aims & Objectives

Policy Statement

Apple Tree – The World School firmly believes in the idea that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, all individuals regardless of their age, culture, challenges, gender, language, racial origin, physical condition, religious belief and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse. Apple Tree – The World School tirelessly works to provide an environment where no one is subject to any kind of abuse including sexual abuse or grooming, and/or bullying from students, parents or adults employed by the school.

Apple Tree – The World School views the welfare of each individual as paramount and is committed to providing a safe, nurturing community, within which everyone can live, study, learn, work and mature. Therefore, abuse (including sexual abuse and grooming) or bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Apple Tree – The World School. This policy deals specifically with the issue of abuse, bullying, sexual abuse or grooming by students or adults in the community. All suspicion and/or allegations of grooming, sexual, inappropriate and abusive behaviour as defined in this document will be taken seriously and responded by stern and appropriate measures.

Apple Tree – The World School sets the expectation that in regards to child protection we are committed to aligning with the responsibilities set out in the laws of India (see References) read with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) See Appendix I and II.

Policy & Procedures


  • Staff member – includes administrators, any staff appointed directly / indirectly by school administration, interns, student teachers, volunteers and employees. Any other person, such as a spouse / family member of a serving staff who are not working for the school but are currently staying with the staff member in or outside the school campus/property
  • Child – any child (Apple Tree – The World students, children of staff or employees or any child under the age of 18 years, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.)
  • Child abuse – damage done to a child’s physical, emotional or mental health.
  • Grooming – Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the object of child sexual abuse.
  • Counselor – A qualified staff member specially assigned the duty to make a proper detailed report to monitor and ensure the welfare of the victim.

Prohibited Behaviour

The following behaviour will be considered abuse in staff-child relationships at Apple Tree – The World:

  • Physical abuse
    Any action that causes physical pain, hurt or injury or discomfort to a student, however light, comes within the ambit of physical punishment. It includes but is not restricted to the following:

    1. Using physical contact to correct or punish a student, or deliberately hurting or injuring a student physically; Provided that nothing in the abovementioned definition includes any kind of bruise, injury, etc. occurred during any sports/ athletics/ activities during any such activities routine.
    2. Using any form of corporal punishment for students including standing on bench, standing with schoolbag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling etc. that causes discomfort to the student.
    3. Giving students alcohol, substance containing alcohol, inappropriate drugs, illegal drugs or other harmful substances.
    4. A doctor or any technically qualified medical staff may need to be assigned for physical exams as soon as practicable to ensure evidence is not lost. Notwithstanding anything in the abovementioned paragraph, in case of medical emergency, only authorised medical staff can provide any legally permitted medicine (containing alcohol) to any student/child within the school premises.
    5. Detention (to keep in custody or confinement) in the classroom, library, toilet or any enclosed/locked space in the school.
  • Emotional abuse
    Any non-physical treatment of a student that is deleterious to the psychological development of a student falls within the purview of emotional abuse. It includes but is not restricted to the following:

    1. Withholding of approval, affection or respect.
    2. Abusing power (intimidation, threats, silencing).
    3. Frequently and unnecessarily shouting at or taunting students.
    4. Using bullying or stereotyping comments publicly or privately against a student or group of students.
    5. Ridiculing a student with regard to his or her family background or status or community.
    6. Belittling a student for poor academic performance.

    Notwithstanding anything in this clause, any advice or corrective statements given bona fide by a staff member, in furtherance of development or a student, shall not be considered as an incident of emotional abuse.

  • Sexual abuse/grooming
    1. Making sexual innuendos or telling risqué jokes in the presence of individual student or groups of students.
    2. Sharing personal sexual information with students.
    3. Participating in any form of physical sexual contact or sexual activity with any student.
    4. Showing inappropriate intimacy, either verbally or physically towards student or anyone else in presence of the student.
    5. Sharing pornographic materials, taking pictures or any form of recording media for pornographic reasons with students.
    6. Grooming, as it may lure minors into child trafficking, illicit businesses such as child prostitution, or the production of child pornography.
  • Neglect
    1. Failing to notice, pay attention and respond to students’ basic emotional and/or physical needs.
    2. Leaving students alone for long periods and/or inadequately supervised (age appropriate).
    3. Failing to ensure student’s safety.
    4. Failing to respond to allegations of abuse (as defined in this Policy and national laws).
  • Discrimination
    1. Assigning different tasks to the students based on caste, community or gender Prejudices.
    2. Bringing social attitudes and prejudices of the community into the school by using belittling remarks against a specific social group or gender or ability/disability.
    3. Using derogatory remarks for the child, including pinning of slogans.
    4. Discriminating a student on the grounds of academic abilities.
  • Other acts
    1. Any other acts which the school or the law deems inappropriate.

Prevention Of Abuse

  • Student Protection Panel (SPP)
    A panel for protection which includes the Dean of Student Life, Head of Personal Counselling, should be formed to protect the students from abovementioned prohibited behavior by any Staff Member.
    The SPP will be responsible to:

    1. Ensure the Student Protection policy is kept up-to-date and the procedures regularly reviewed in the light of experience or changing situations.
    2. Ensure that all administration, staff, volunteers and employees understand the policy and procedures and put them into practice.
    3. Educate staff and students regarding the policy and investigating reports or violations of the policy and communicating information to the Principal.
    4. Compile a report to the Principal for any allegation of abuse and the outcome.
    5. Creating awareness through various programs.
    6. Developing training programs for staff, students and parents.
    7. Displaying names and contact members of the committee should be clearly displayed everywhere in the school premises.

    Exception: if the allegation is against the Principal or member of the board then the report will be forwarded to Chairman of the Board.

  • Compulsory reporting obligation
    1. Staff (including members of the SPP), Employees and Students need to report any hint, gossip or suggestion, observation, suspicion of any allegation to the SPP.
    2. The SPP shall prepare a report consisting of all the material information along with details of the informant. Moreover, the report needs to explain the circumstance of the source of the information so the investigating officer can make an informed decision to assess a rating/prioritization of a case.
    3. The report shall be expediently forwarded to either the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police without any delay.
  • Recruitment procedures
    1. All applications for positions at Apple Tree – The World will be subject to careful scrutiny during the application process. The scrutiny procedure will be designed to elicit information about the applicant’s career and past experience (requiring explanations for any gaps).
    2. A compulsory background check to rule out the existence of any criminal record or allegation of sexual/grooming/physical/emotional abuse. If any such record exists, the applicant will be barred from employment. References will be collected for all administrators, staff and volunteers applying to Apple Tree – The World School.

Policy dissemination

All staff members, consultants, volunteers and employees serving at Apple Tree – The World School will receive a copy of this policy and sign a statement that they have read and will abide by it, both in terms of their own conduct and in terms of their professional responsibility for the conduct of colleagues and students. A copy of the Student Protection policy will be distributed in the orientation manual for new administrators, staff, volunteers and employees. An acknowledgement of receiving this policy and having read it will be kept in their personnel file. A copy of the policy would be provided to the parents or guardians of the students for their reference.

In case any changes are made to the policy, all staff members, consultants, volunteers, and employees will be made aware of the changes and would be required to re-sign the new policy.

Students, Parents and Guardians shall also be made aware of the new policy.

Visitors on campus

A list of people entrusted with the responsibility of dropping and receiving a student at the school shall be maintained. No other person, apart from the names mentioned in the list shall be allowed to take custody of the child, in whatsoever manner, from the school premises.

Appendices & References

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child ratified by India on 11th December 1992
  • Anti-Bullying policy, reference
  • Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act read with the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Rules, 2012
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 read with The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 and the National Charter for Children, 2003
  • The Constitution of India