Modern Slavery Statement 2022–23
This statement is made on behalf of BDMAT Multi-Academy Trust (company number 10729883) pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement. This statement relates to actions and activities during the year January 2023 – December 2023.
BDMAT recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. BDMAT is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking within its activities and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
This statement sets out BDMAT’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its business and supply chains.
Structure, business and supply chains
BDMAT is a multi-academy trust (MAT), working within some of the most economically deprived areas of the country. The list of our academies can be found on our website.
Our suppliers are UK based and key supply areas cover catering, maintenance/repairs, agency staff and cleaning.
We work to the highest professional standards and comply with all laws, regulations and rules relevant to our business. We expect the same high standards from those we work with. We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. We act ethically and with integrity in all of our charitable and business activities.
Policies, documentation and key relationships
The following key policies and documentation detail our approach to protecting our pupils and staff from modern slavery and ensuring our supply chains are free from modern slavery.
- Procurement and Contracts Policy
- Concerns and Complaints Polic
- Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure
- Single Central Record (SCR), Personnel Files and Safer Recruitment Policy
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
- Code of Conduct
- Supplier terms and conditions.
In addition, we work closely with the National Joint Council (NJC) to help reduce risk by improving employee working and pay practices.
Our Governance, Audit and Risk Committee has overall oversight of the process and practices embedded within BDMAT to reduce Modern Slavery and in ensuring our supply chains, which rely on people, can demonstrate adherence with local and national laws and regulations, including paying the living wage.
Identifying and addressing risks
We recognise as a Trust that there are two main avenues of risk through which modern slavery could impact BDMAT. The first is through matters of a safeguarding nature and covers child sex exploitation or human trafficking which can directly impact our pupils. This also potentially affects the staff of our contractors. The second is our supply chain and the vendors we contract with.
BDMAT’s procurement policy set out the requirements we have in relation to our engagement with suppliers. Our suppliers are expected to comply with all local and national laws and regulations. This includes paying their staff a living wage, and any on-site staff passing a DBS check. We publish our standard terms and conditions to ensure providers looking to contract with us are aware of our standards. Should suppliers fail to meet our minimum requirements, or be unwilling to make any changes, we may cease to trade with them.
Procurement is subject to internal audit review, as well as assessed by our external auditors annually. Frameworks via public sector buying organisations are considered for all tenders to provide assurance that BDMAT can meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act (2015) by default. In the event we opt not to use an existing framework all tenders go through the Deputy CEO at which point the modern slavery risk will be considered and incorporated into the tender evaluation criteria.
We have completed a desk-based audit of our key suppliers’ statements to reassure ourselves they continue to operate in accordance with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act (2015). No areas of risk were identified. We continue to ensure that we support staff in working with existing and new suppliers through training and understanding of our processes embedded in our procurement practices to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking, and fully understand our duty as a Trust as prescribed in legislation. All staff receive CPD on modern slavery as part of our annual safeguarding e-learning. Safeguarding colleagues also cover modern slavery within their CPD programme.
We take safeguarding incredibly seriously in upholding our statutory duties and striving to safeguard staff and pupils through a culture of safeguarding in everything we do. Safeguarding is led by the Head of School Support, working closely with school Designated Safeguarding Leads, and is overseen by the Executive Team.
All BDMAT staff collaborate to implement policy and secure excellence in safeguarding practice across the Trust. These colleagues are incredibly experienced in this area and model excellent practice for all staff. Through their encouragement, each academy proactively works with the local authorities, the local safeguarding partnerships, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and local stakeholders to combat safeguarding issues, including child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Good practice is shared formally amongst our academies through our safeguarding network and the focus of safeguarding training always includes detailed training about early identification of those at risk of exploitation.
The quality and impact of our safeguarding practice is reviewed at every level of Trust governance with updates taken to every meeting of the Board of Directors. Safeguarding policy and practice is reviewed through School Progress Meetings and specific Safeguarding Reviews in our academies. In addition, the Head of School Support reports directly to the CEO and is a member of the wider Executive Leadership Team.
Statutory safeguarding practices and impact on keeping children safe are formally reviewed and assessed by the Head of School Support.
Our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is reviewed annually by the Executive Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees. It is fully compliant with all statutory requirements and guidance set out in the latest version of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Each school Designated Safeguarding Lead is required to understand the local safeguarding context. This is included within the policy for each academy and published on each academy website.
Key performance indicators to measure effectiveness of steps being taken
Every member of staff is trained on safeguarding (either in person or via e-learning) and is required to declare annually that they have read and understood the policy and their training.
In addition, BDMAT also has a Whistleblowing Policy which enables those with concerns about any wrongdoing or breaches of law, to raise these concerns in confidence without fear of disciplinary action.
Throughout the year the annual safeguarding training plan across the Trust includes a detailed focus upon on early identification of those at risk of exploitation and training to help all staff know what to do if they become aware of any potential risks. We are fully satisfied that through our robust safeguarding training that staff could identify and act appropriately for at risk pupils, staff and contractors.
BDMAT keeps safeguarding policy and practice under close scrutiny and evaluation . This enables BDMAT to refine and develop excellence in safeguarding. Safeguarding awareness sessions for modern slavery (and trafficking) at school level are included within our staff safeguarding CPD plan.
We evaluate our processes for raising concerns to ensure that there are clearly identified ways to report concerns of whistleblowing or modern slavery which are available to all users of our estates.
To date, no referrals have been made in relation to modern slavery.