Code of Conduct and Safety Agreement

Click on the title to go the relevant section:

1. Introduction
2. Responsibilities
3. Making Professional Judgements
4. Power and Positions of Trust and Authority
5. Confidentiality
6. Standards of Behaviour
7. Dress and Appearance
8. Gifts and Rewards
9. Infatuations and ‘Crushes’
10. Inappropriate or Abusive Images
11. Online Tutoring Safety Agreements
12. Quality Assurance and Review



Tutor Koala (TK) was founded to offer life-changing tuition for all. Our site was developed with the aim to make sure that lessons take place in a safe environment and this is reflected in a number of key built-in features.

We are committed to providing the highest possible standard of personal safety, wellbeing and safeguarding of each student, staff member and tutor using TK.

It is recognised that the vast majority of adults who work with children act professionally and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well-being and very best outcomes for children. Achieving these aims is not always straightforward, as much relies on the interactions between children and tutors where tensions and misunderstandings can occur. This policy aims to reduce the risk of these.

The underpinning principles for safer working practices are:

  • The safety and welfare of the child is paramount
  • Tutors understand their responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • Tutors are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any contact which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions
  • Tutors will work, and be seen to work, in an open and transparent way
  • Tutors acknowledge that deliberately invented / malicious allegations are extremely rare and that all concerns should be reported and recorded
  • Tutors will discuss and/or take advice promptly from the Tutor Koala team if they have acted in a way which may give rise to concern
  • Tutors will apply the same professional standards regardless of culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and sexual orientation
  • Tutors will not consume or be under the influence of alcohol or any substance, including prescribed medication, which may affect their ability to deliver tutoring to children and young people
  • Tutors will be made aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in disciplinary action being taken against them, criminal action and/or other proceedings

Our managers will continually monitor and review safer working practices to make sure this policy is followed and as an organisation we continue to be compliant. Tutors will be provided with a copy of the TK Online Tutoring Safety Agreement  and the TK Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures which should be read in conjunction with this policy.


Tutors are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources and safeguard children and young people.
All tutors have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe and to protect them from abuse (sexual, physical and emotional) and neglect. Children and young people have a right to be safe and to be treated with respect and dignity. Tutors are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Failure to do so may be regarded as professional misconduct.

This means tutors should:

  • Understand the responsibilities which are part of their role and be aware that sanctions will be applied if these provisions are breached
  • Always act, and be seen to act, in the child’s best interest
  • Avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions
  • Take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour
  • Only send documents via the TK platform
  • Make sure that a parent/carer or other responsible adult is in the vicinity when delivering a tutoring session
  • Make sure that, if using screen sharing, that everything else is minimised on the computer that is personal
  • Hold tuition sessions in an appropriate space
  • Make sure they are in a well-lit environment with no personal photos or information visible
  • Make sure anyone else in their house/office when delivering a tutoring session be asked to keep noise levels down
  • This means that TK will:
  • Promote a culture of openness, transparency and support
  • Make sure that systems are in place for any safeguarding concerns to be raised
  • Make sure that adults are not placed in situations which render them particularly vulnerable
  • Make sure that all tutors are aware of expectations, policies and procedures
  • Make sure that appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures are adopted, disseminated, implemented and monitored

Making Professional Judgements

Whilst this policy cannot provide a complete checklist of what is, or is not, appropriate behaviour for tutors, this policy does highlight behaviour which is illegal, inappropriate or inadvisable. Individuals are expected to make judgements about their behaviour in order to secure the best interests and welfare of the child in their charge, and, in so doing, will be seen to be acting reasonably. These judgements should always be recorded and shared with TK. Tutors should always consider whether their actions are warranted, proportionate, safe and applied equitably.

This means that where no specific guidance exists tutors should:

  • Discuss the circumstances that informed their action, or their proposed action, with the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy). This will help to ensure the safest practices are employed and reduce the risk of actions being misinterpreted.
  • Always discuss any misunderstanding, accidents or threats with the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputy)
  • Always record discussions and actions taken with their justifications
  • Record any areas of disagreement and, if necessary, refer to another agency / the Local Authority / Teaching Regulation Agency / other regulatory body

Power and Positions of Trust and Authority

As a result of their knowledge, position and/or authority invested in their role, tutors are in a position of trust in relation to students using tuition.
The relationship between a person working with a child/ren is one in which the adult has a position of power or influence. It is vital for adults to understand this power; that the relationship cannot be one between equals and the responsibility they must exercise as a consequence.
The potential exploitation and harm of vulnerable students means that adults have a responsibility to ensure that an unequal balance of power is not used for personal advantage or gratification. Tutors should always maintain appropriate professional boundaries, avoid behaviour which could be misinterpreted by others and report and record such an incident.

Where a person aged 18 or over is in a position of trust with a child under the age of 18, it is an offence for that person to engage in sexual activity with or in the presence of that child, or to cause or incite that child to engage in or watch sexual activity.

This means that tutors should NOT:

  • Use their position to gain access to information for their own advantage and/or student’s or family’s detriment
  • Use their power to intimidate, threaten, coerce or undermine students
  • Use their status and standing to form or promote relationships with students which are of a sexual nature, or which may become so


Tutors should never use confidential or personal information about a student or their family for their own, or others’ advantage (including that of partners, friends, relatives or other organisations). Information must never be used to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass the child.
Confidential information should never be used casually in conversation or shared with any person other than on a need-to-know basis. In circumstances where the pupil’s identity does not need to be disclosed the information should be used anonymously.

If a child – or their parent / carer – makes a disclosure regarding abuse or neglect, the member of tutor must follow the safeguarding procedures of TK.  The adult should not promise confidentiality to a child or their parent / carer, but should give reassurance that the information will be treated sensitively.

If a tutor is in any doubt about whether to share information or keep it confidential, they should seek guidance from the Designated Safeguarding Officer, or Deputy DSO.

This means that tutors:

  • Need to know the name and contact details for the Designated Safeguarding Officer and Deputies and be familiar with the safeguarding procedures
  • Are expected to treat information they receive about students and their families in a discreet and confidential manner
  • Should seek advice from the Designated Safeguarding Officer or Deputies if they are in any doubt about sharing information they hold or which has been requested of them
  • Need to be clear about when information can / must be shared and in what circumstances
  • Need to know the procedures for responding to allegations against tutors and to whom any concerns or allegations should be reported
  • Need to make sure that, where personal information is recorded electronically, that systems and devices are kept secure

Standards of Behaviour

All tutors have a responsibility to maintain public confidence and most importantly the confidence of children and their parents in their ability to safeguard the welfare and best of children. They should adopt high standards of personal conduct in order to maintain confidence and respect of the general public and all those with whom they work. They should be aware that their behaviour, either in or out of the workplace, could compromise their position within TK or the school they work with, in relation to the protection of children, loss of trust and confidence, or bringing TK into disrepute.
This means that tutors should NOT:

  • Behave in a manner which would lead any reasonable person to question their suitability to work with children or to act as an appropriate role model
  • Make, or encourage others to make sexual, racial, homophobic or any other discriminatory remarks to, or about, a student
  • Use inappropriate language to or in the presence of students
  • Discuss their personal or sexual relationships with or in the presence of students
  • Make (or encourage others to make) unprofessional personal comments which scapegoat, demean, discriminate or humiliate, or might be interpreted as such
  • Make contact with any student online or offline except within the TK platform
  • This means that tutors should:
  • Inform TK of any cautions, convictions, or relevant orders accrued during their employment, and /or if they are charged with a criminal offence
  • Be aware that behaviour by themselves, those with whom they have a relationship or association, or others in their personal lives, may impact on their work with children and TK

Dress and Appearance

A person’s dress and appearance are matters of personal choice and self-expression and some individuals will wish to exercise their own cultural customs. However, tutors should select a manner of dress and appearance appropriate to their professional role and which may be necessarily different to that adopted in their personal life.  Those who dress or appear in a manner which could be viewed as offensive or inappropriate will render themselves vulnerable to criticism or allegation.

This means that tutors should wear clothing which:

  • Promotes a positive and professional image
  • Is appropriate to their role
  • Is not likely to be viewed as offensive
  • Does not distract, cause embarrassment or give rise to misunderstanding
  • Is absent of any political or otherwise contentious slogans
  • Is not considered to be discriminatory
  • Is compliant with professional standards

Gifts and Rewards

Tutors need to take care that they do not accept any gift that might be construed as a bribe by others, or lead the giver to expect preferential treatment.

There are occasions when students or their parents / carers wish to pass small tokens of appreciation to tutors as a thank you for example at the end of a tutoring programme, or on receipt of positive exam results. This is usually acceptable; however, it is unacceptable to receive gifts on a regular basis or of any significant value.

Similarly, it is inadvisable to give such personal gifts to students or their families. This could be interpreted as a gesture either to bribe or groom. It might also be perceived that a ‘favour’ of some kind is expected in return.

This means that tutors should:

  • Ensure that gifts received or given in situations which may be misconstrued are declared and recorded
  • Ensure they do not behave in a manner which is either favourable or unfavourable to individual students

Infatuations and ‘Crushes’

It is not uncommon for students to become strongly attracted to tutor and / or develop a ‘crush’ or infatuation. Tutors should make every effort to ensure that their own behaviour cannot be brought into question, does not appear to encourage this and be aware that such infatuations may carry a risk of their words or actions being misinterpreted.

Any tutor who receives a report, overhears something, or otherwise notices any sign, however small or seemingly insignificant, that a young person has become or may be becoming infatuated with them, should immediately report this to a member of the Tutor Koala Staff.  In this way appropriate early intervention can be taken which can prevent escalation and avoid hurt, embarrassment or distress for those concerned.

This means that tutors should:

  • Report any incidents (verbal, written or physical) that suggest a student may be infatuated with them
  • Always maintain professional boundaries when working on virtual platform

Inappropriate or Abusive Images
Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (YPSI or “Sexting”) can be defined as images or videos generated by children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature or are considered to be indecent. These images may be shared between children and young people and / or adults via a mobile phone, webcam, handheld device or website / app.

The taking and sharing sexual imagery of children by children is always a risky behaviour and also illegal. Once an image has been shared, control of it has been lost and is unlikely to ever be fully regained. This activity can be more clearly described as ‘Youth Produced Sexual Imagery’.

>Children and young people may consent to sending a nude image of themselves. They can also be forced or coerced into sharing images by their peers or adults online. If a child or young person originally shares the image consensually, they have no control over how other people might use it.  If the image is shared around peer groups it may lead to bullying and isolation. Perpetrators of abuse may circulate a nude image more widely and use this to blackmail a child and/or groom them for further sexual abuse. It is a crime to take, make, permit to take, distribute, show, possess, possess with intent to distribute, or to advertise indecent images of any person below the age of 18. Tutors should be aware that the prosecution or criminalisation of children for taking indecent images of themselves and sharing them should be avoided where possible. Being prosecuted through the criminal justice system is likely to be upsetting and distressing for children and young people especially if they are convicted and punished. The label of sex offender that would be applied to a child or young person convicted of such offences is regrettable, unjust and clearly detrimental to their future health and wellbeing.

This means that tutors should not:

  • Display any material (either pictures or words) of a child or adult that is sexually explicit
  • Display any other images perceived to be inappropriate either due to age of the student or content of the image
  • This means that tutors should:
  • Where they witness a display of inappropriate or abusive images of a child by or in the presence of a student explain that due to the nature of the image(s) they will immediately terminate the session
  • Advise the DSO/Deputy DSO immediately after terminating the session to ensure any recordings can be preserved and made available for any subsequent police investigation
  • Alert TK immediately via the ‘Report An Issue’ button or email on the secure side of the tutor’s webpage of any unsolicited contact from the student or other persons following the termination of a session or immediately email: and terminate the session
  • TK will report to the police all concerns regarding the display of inappropriate or abusive images of a child or in the presence of a student and make available to the police any recordings.

Online Tutoring Safety Agreements

The safety and wellbeing of any student or other person using TK is paramount. TK understands the importance of students being able to engage in online tutoring for education and personal development. However, we also recognise that safeguards need to be in place to ensure students are kept safe at all times.

There are differing severities of behaviour which could be witnessed during a tutoring session. Some behaviour would warrant a report to TK only, however, other behaviour may be of a more serious nature where a direct report to the police may be necessary.

The TK Online Tutoring Safety Agreement (Appendix 1) is part of our overarching approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and should be read in conjunction with our Online Tutoring Safety Agreement

Quality Assurance and Review

TK is committed to striving for excellence in the provision of all its services. We do this by actively reviewing the safeguarding systems in place.
We use an electronic recording system to capture all relevant data that supports the evidencing and monitoring of compliance in safeguarding and online safety of our staff, tutors and students. This quality assurance mechanism is a crucial and integral part of the governance structure.
The leadership team will review this policy annually to ensure it continues to reflect legislation and guidance. Any amendments to the policy will be submitted to the Directors for approval.

Appendix 1

TK Online Tutoring Safety Agreement

TK understands the importance of students being able to engage in online face to face tutoring for education and personal development. The safety and wellbeing of any student or other person using TK is paramount.  The TK Online Safety Agreement is part of our overarching approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students.

Our Tutors will:

  • Always act, and be seen to act, in the student’s best interest
  • Take responsibility for their own actions and behave in a professional manner at all times
  • Avoid any online or offline conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions
  • Refrain from sending personal communication to students or parents/carers unless agreed with the Tutor Koala team
  • Adhere to the information security arrangements relevant to the TK platform
  • Inform Tutor Koala of any requests or arrangements where parents/carers wish to use their services outside the contractual arrangements in place
  • Report any concerns immediately about a student’s safety or wellbeing to the TK Designated Safeguarding Lead and liaise with the school/college Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Student: please read the following agreement and discuss it with your parents/carers or responsible adult
Parent/Carer or Responsible Adult: please read and discuss this agreement with student. For the purposes of this agreement ‘Responsible Adult’ includes teachers or any other representative of the school/college.

If you have any questions regarding this agreement please email


Student’s Agreement

  • I will be responsible for my behaviour when using the TK tutoring system.
  • I will not use inappropriate language during my tutoring session.
  • I will not deliberately browse, download or upload material that could be considered offensive or illegal. If I accidently come across any such material, I will immediately report this to the tutor and my teacher in school/college.
  • I will not send any material that could be considered threatening, bullying, offensive or illegal.
  • I will not give out any personal information during my tutoring session such as my phone number, address etc.
  • I will not reveal my passwords to anyone.
  • I will not arrange face-to-face meetings with my tutor.
  • If I am concerned or upset about anything I see or hear during my tutoring session I will inform my parent/carer or responsible adult
  • Parent/Carer or Responsible Adult Agreement
  • I will accept primary responsibility for the welfare and safety of the student during a session and will be present or available to deal with any concerns or incidents reported by the student.
  • I will ensure the wellbeing of the student if they have been affected by anything said or done by the tutor
  • I will immediately speak with the tutor if I am alerted by the student to any inappropriate behaviour, language or information by the tutor or the student, and advise them of my concern and that I will terminate the session.
  • I will inform TK of any inappropriate behaviour, language or information by the tutor and advise them that I terminated the session, detailing the time and date this was done.
  • I will immediately speak with the tutor if I am alerted by the student to any inappropriate or abusive images displayed by the tutor or another student, and advise them of my concern and that I will terminate the session.
  • I will inform TK of any inappropriate behaviour, language or information by the tutor and advise them that I terminated the session, detailing the time and date this was done.
  • I will have no further contact with the tutor involved in any alleged incident. Any unsolicited communication from the tutor will be reported to TK and the police as appropriate.
  • I accept that all tutoring sessions are recorded by TK for safeguarding and quality assurance purposes.
  • I am aware that I can request to view a session recording in relation to any concerns I have involving the student.
  • I understand that any tutor reported by a parent / carer or responsible adult will be suspended pending investigation by TK and/or appropriate authority. I understand that I will be informed of the resolution if appropriate.

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