C-ELS Policies

Privacy Policy

Thank you for choosing Cambridge English Language Society or visiting our website. This policy explains the what, how, and why of the information we collect when you visit our website, or when you use our Services. It also explains the specific ways we use and disclose that information. We take your privacy extremely seriously, and we never sell lists or email addresses. We may change this Privacy Policy at anytime and from time to time. All updates and amendments are effective immediately and will be posted on our websites. We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy periodically. If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to update, delete or change any Personal Information we hold, please write to us by email at secretary@cels-org.uk .

Information we collect

1.1 Information you voluntarily provide to us: You are free to explore our websites without providing any Personal Information about yourself. When you make an enquiry, sign up our offer or materials, make an online booking or communication with us in any way, you are voluntarily giving us information which we collect. This “Personal Information” may include your name, address, email address, phone number, credit card information and other information necessary for us to deliver the product you have purchased.

1.2 Information we collect automatically: When you browse our website we may collect information about your visit to our Websites and your web browsing. This information may include your IP address, your browser ID, your browsing activity, and other information about how you interacted with our websites. We may collect this information through the use of cookies or other tracking technologies. Our use of cookies and other tracking technologies is discussed more below.

1.3 Use of cookies: Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

1.4 How do I change my cookie settings? Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org. To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/

1.5 Payment Information: We collect and process payment information from you when you book a course online, including credit card and debit card numbers and billing information, using third party Payment Card Industry compliant service providers.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

2.1 Compliance with our Privacy Policy: We use the information we collect only in compliance with the Privacy Policy.

2.2 We never sell personal information: We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party.

2.3 Use of Personal Information to promote our service: We will only send you promotional emails if you opt-in to receive this information. We will only communicate with you by the channels that you have selected and requested eg email, phone, post, SMS. If you have opted-in to our marketing material you may opt-out at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions included in every email.

2.4 Use of Personal Information for service delivery: We will use your personal information to contact you about the delivery of our services and to process your order. This may include communication about your course confirmation, teacher attendance, rescheduling of lessons, course materials, course feedback, school facilities and another information relating to delivery of our services. We may call you by phone or send you an SMS if there is a change to your planned schedule.

2.5 To bill and collect fees: We may contact you about payment, refunds, confirming bank details, confirming credit card details, among other fee related communications. We use third parties for secure credit card transaction processing. These third party service providers are not permitted to store, retain or use information you provide except for the sole purpose of credit card processing on our behalf.

2.6 To communicate with our customers about the delivery of our services and provide customer support: when you contact us with an enquiry, query, question or request we accept this as express permission to contact you with our response.

2.7 To enforce complaint with our Terms and Conditions and applicable law

2.8 To protect the rights and safety of our customers, third parties and of Cambridge English Language Society Worldwide

2.9 To meet the legal requirements: Including complying with court orders and other legal processes. To provide information to legal representatives and advisors including solicitors and accounts, to help us comply with legal, accounting or security requirements. To prosecute and defend a court, arbitration or similar legal proceeding.

2.10 To support and improve our services: We may share information with third parties in order to support and improve our services. When we to share Personal Information with third parties we take steps to protect your information by requiring these third parties to enter into an agreement which requires them to use the Personal Information we transfer to them in a manner that is consistent with this policy.

Public Information and Third Party Websites

3.1 Social media platforms and widgets: Our Websites include social media features, such as the Facebook Like button. These features may collect information about your IP address and which page you are visiting on our Website, and they may set a cookie to make sure the feature functions properly. Social media features and widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Website. We also maintain presences on social media platforms including Facebook. Any information, communications, or materials you submit to us via a social media platform is done at your own risk without any expectation of privacy. We cannot control the actions of other users of these platforms or the actions of the platforms themselves. Your interactions with those features and platforms are governed by the privacy policies of the companies that provide them.

3.2 Links to third-party websites: Our Websites include links to other websites whose privacy practices may be different from ours. If you submit Personal Information to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy policies. We encourage you to carefully read the privacy policy of any Website you visit.


5.1 We may, from time to time, offer surveys, competitions, or other promotions on our Websites or through social media (collectively “Our Promotions”). Participation in our Promotions is completely voluntary. Information requested for entry may include personal contact information such as your name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address, username, and similar details. We use the information you provide to administer Our Promotions.


6.1 Notice of Breach of Security: If a security breach causes an unauthorized intrusion into our system that materially affects you, then Cactus Worldwide will notify you as soon as possible and later report the action we took in response.

6.2 Safeguarding Your Information: We take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect Personal Information from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction, taking into account the risks involved in the processing and the nature of the Personal Information.

6.3 Our credit card processing vendor uses security measures to protect your information both during the transaction and after it is complete. Our vendor is certified as compliant with card association security initiatives, including the Visa Cardholder Information Security and Compliance (CISP), MasterCard® (SDP), and Discovery Information Security and Compliance (DISC). We also perform annual SOC II audits. If you have any questions about the security of your Personal Information, you may contact us at secretary@cels-org.uk

Accuracy and Retention of Data

7.1 We do our best to keep your data accurate and up to date, to the extent that you provide us with the information we need to do so. If your data changes (for example, if you have a new email address), then you are responsible for notifying us of those changes. Upon request, we will provide you with information about whether we hold, or process on behalf of a third party, any of your Personal Information. We will retain your information for as long as you remain opted in. We may also retain and use your information in order to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, prevent abuse, and enforce our Agreements.


8.1 We will give an individual access to any Personal Information we hold about them within 30 days of any request for that information. Individuals may request to access, correct, amend or delete information we hold about them by contacting us at secretary@cels-org.uk. Unless it is prohibited by law, we will remove any Personal Information about an individual from our servers and systems at your request. There is no charge for an individual to access or update their Personal Information.

Health & Safety Policy

Dated 09/09/2015
Updated 05/05/2024

Health & Safety Policy statement:
Cambridge English Language Society is strongly committed to encouraging our committee members, staff members and volunteers to take part, but the health, well-being and safety of each individual is always our paramount concern. We recommend levels of activities dependent on age and ability, and expect them to participate within these boundaries."

To support our Health & Safety policy statement we are committed to the following duties:

- Undertake regular, recorded risk assessment of the premises used by the organisation and all the activities it undertakes 
- Create a safe environment by putting health & safety measures in place as identified by the assessment 
- Ensure that all members are given the appropriate level of training and competition by regularly assessing individual ability dependant on age, maturity and development 
- Ensure that all members, volunteers and participants are aware of, understand and follow the organisation’s health & safety policy 
- Appoint a competent organisation member to assist with health and safety responsibilities 
- Ensure that normal operating procedures and emergency operating procedures are in place and known by all members, volunteers and participants. 
- Provide access to adequate first aid facilities, telephone and qualified first aider at all times 
- Report any injuries or accidents sustained during any organisation activity or whilst on the premises where its activities are taking place.
- Ensure that C-ELS abides to the government’s instructions and rules in relation to any on-going health issues; e.g. COVID 19
- Ensure that the implementation of the policy is reviewed regularly and monitored for effectiveness.

As an organisation member, staff, volunteer or participant you have the duty to:

- Take reasonable care for your own health & safety and that of others who may be affected by what you do or not do 
- Co-operate with the organisation on health & safety issues 
- Correctly use all equipment provided by the organisation 
- Not interfere with or misuse anything provided for your health, safety or welfare.


Speaking sessions
Date: August 2021-July 2022
Venue: Arbury Community Centre

Organisation health & safety officer

Mahendra Soopaul

First aid

Location of first aid facilities: Venue’s Kitchen
Location of telephones: Venue’s Office

Qualified first aiders

Venue’s Duty Manager

Safeguarding Policy

Dated 11/2014
Updated 03/09/2023

This Safeguarding policy applies to all volunteers, members, staff, including senior managers, sessional workers and Committee members or anyone working or volunteering on behalf of the Cambridge English Language Society (C-ELS).

The purpose of this policy:
- to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults who attend C-ELS activities and events 
- to provide volunteers and staff with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the broader preventative and precautionary approach to planning and procedures that need to be in place to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any potential harm or damage. It is more than child protection, although child protection is one important aspect of safeguarding. Child protection involves recognising signs of physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect and acting on it.

C-ELS Commitment

C-ELS believes that a child, young person or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse of any kind, that they should be supported to feel comfortable and confident when participating in our activities and the wider society. C-ELS have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adult and to keep them safe. C-ELS are committed to practice in a way that protects children and supports them to engage in activities that support our aims and principles. C-ELS will not tolerate any behaviour which may harm children, young people or vulnerable adults emotionally, physically or psychologically. Such behaviour includes physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse, bullying, harassment, undue or harsh criticism or violence directed towards individuals or groups. C-ELS will take serious measures against any volunteer or staff member found in violation of this policy. C-ELS strive to maintain a culture of honesty and openness, supporting children, young people and vulnerable adults  to work co-operatively with C-ELS staff, members and volunteers to identify what they consider likely to affect them and their safety.  

Safeguarding Policy, September 2014

Safeguarding Principles

C-ELS recognise that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

C-ELS’s underlying safeguarding principle is that all members (children, young people and vulnerable adults) should be protected at all times from behaviour and attitudes they find uncomfortable.

To achieve this aim:

- The needs of children, young people and vulnerable adults are central to all activity planning
- Open communication with members of all ages and effective planning will support safeguarding of children, young people and adults
- Anyone has the right to speak out about behaviour and attitudes they find uncomfortable, they know who they should speak to in advance and be confident they will be listened to
- Physical contact should be instigated by the child, young person or vulnerable adults, and should be relevant to their needs or safety
- Appropriate screening and checks need to be undertaken by all adults working with children, young adults and vulnerable adults, but these are only effective when supported by good communication, training and ongoing observation  C-ELS are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.

Whose responsibility is it?

All volunteers and members are responsible for:  
Being familiar with safeguarding policy and child protection procedures. Ensuring parents, carers, children, young people and vulnerable adults are aware of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and procedures  

Local Safeguarding Officers are responsible for:  
- Being familiar with Safeguarding procedures  
- Acting as the first point of contact for volunteers concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, young adult or vulnerable adult  
- Contacting relevant organisation/body/institution in cases where a child/young adult/vulnerable adult  is at risk of harm  
- Ensuring that all volunteers know where they can find the safeguarding policy and procedures  
- To support volunteers after they have shared their concerns about a child/a young adult/a vulnerable adult 
- To liaise with appropriate local agencies for support and advice and keep a list of local contacts   

Safeguarding Policy, September 2014

Lead Safeguarding Officer is responsible for:

- Developing safeguarding policy and procedures 
- Advising and providing guidance to staff and volunteers concerned about a safeguarding issue  
- Communicating to staff and volunteers any changes in policy and procedures  
- Training staff and volunteers about how to respond to child protection concerns 
- Keeping accurate records of concerns about children/young adult/vulnerable adult and actions taken  
- Collecting monitoring data on all safeguarding activities across the organisation 
- Ensuring that the organisation meets the requirements of its insurers regarding its safeguarding responsibilities  
- Promoting the importance of safeguarding across the organisation  
- Managing complaints about poor practice of either staff or volunteers  
- Making decisions about appointing someone who has a criminal record  
- Supporting Local Safeguarding Officers in their role   

Safeguarding committee is responsible for:    
- Nominating a lead member for safeguarding  
- Evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding within the organisation  
- Reviewing and updating the organisation’s policy and procedures on safeguarding every year  

Safeguarding Declaration

I confirm that I have read and understand my responsibilities with regard to safeguarding children and young people taking part in C-ELS activities.  

I confirm that I have never received criminal convictions for offences involving abuse against children, nor am I subject to any such investigation. I have no other criminal convictions which might render me unsuitable to work with young people. I understand that any such proceedings or convictions could result in suspension or expulsion from the C-ELS subject to the organisation’s procedures.    

Dated:  07/09/2018

Where can I get more support and information?

The Board of Directors will nominate a Lead Safeguarding Officer and a Deputy, who can be contacted on 07773877658 or by emailing secretary@c-els.org.uk   The Lead Safeguarding Officer and their Deputy will work with external advisers, staff and volunteers to produce and deliver:   

- Training in safeguarding and child protection  
- Good practice guidance in risk assessment  
- Guidance for responding to Safeguarding disclosures and abuse concerns  
- Guidance for dealing with allegations about staff and volunteers

Prevent Policy

Dated 05/11/2015
Updated Yearly (last updated: 12/09/2023)

Introduction and Context

Prevent is part of a Government initiative to develop a robust counter terrorism programme – CONTEST. The UK faces a range of terrorist threats. All the terrorist groups who pose a threat to us seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause. The Prevent strategy seeks to:

- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
- Provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
- Work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation which needs to be addressed, including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health

A system of threat level has been created which represents the likelihood of an attack in the near future. The five levels are:

Critical – an attack is expected imminently
Severe – an attack is highly likely
Substantial – an attack is a strong possibility
Moderate – an attack is possible but not likely
Low – an attack is unlikely

The current threat level from international terrorism in the UK and is substantial which means that a terrorist attack is a strong possibility.

Community Organisations, Further Education colleges are major education and training providers for the 16 – 25 year age group, particularly young people from ethnically diverse, and socially and economically disadvantaged areas.  The age and profile of our students make it crucial to be involved in the Prevent strategy. Community Organisations and Colleges have a part to play in fostering shared values and promoting cohesion.  Community Organisations and Colleges should focus on the risks of violent extremism, which represents the greatest threat at national level, while recognising that other forms of violence and extremism can and do manifest themselves within organisations, colleges and other training settings. This strategy has five key objectives:

1. To promote and reinforce shared values; to create space for free and open debate; and to listen and support the learner voice.
2. To break down segregation among different student communities including by supporting inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and understanding, and to engage all students in playing a full and active role in wider engagement in society
3. To ensure student safety and that the College is free from bullying, harassment and discrimination
4. To provide support for students who may be at risk and appropriate sources of advice and guidance
5. To ensure that students and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in preventing violent extremism.

In order to achieve these objectives the strategy will concentrate on four areas;

Leadership and Values

To provide an ethos which upholds core values of shared responsibility and wellbeing for all students, staff and visitors and promotes respect, equality and diversity and understanding. This will be achieved through:

- Promoting core values of respect, equality and diversity, democratic society, learner voice and participation
- Building staff and student understanding of the issues and confidence to deal with themDeepening engagement with local communities
- Actively working with local schools, local authorities, police and other agencies

Teaching and Learning

To provide a curriculum which promotes knowledge, skills and understanding to build the resilience of students, by undermining extremist ideology and supporting the learner voice. This will be achieved through:

- Embedding  equality, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and community cohesion
- Promoting wider skill development such as social and emotional aspects of  learning
- A curriculum adapted to recognise local needs, challenge extremist narratives and promote universal rights through our’ Engaging young people ,Building Resilience ‘Project funded by the Home Office.
- Encouraging active citizenship/participation and learner voice.

Student Support

To ensure that staff are confident to take preventative and responsive steps working with partner professionals, families and communities. This will be achieved through:

- Establishing strong and effective student support services
- Listening to what is happening at C-ELS and the community
- Implementing anti-bullying strategies and challenging discriminatory behaviour
- Helping students and staff know how to access support at C-ELS or through community partners
- Supporting at risk students through safeguarding and crime prevention processes
- Focussing on narrowing the attainment gap for all students

Managing Risks and Responding to Events

To ensure that C-ELS monitors risks and is ready to deal appropriately with issues which arise. It will do this through:

- Understanding the nature of the threat from violent extremism and how this may impact directly or indirectly on the organisation
- Understanding and managing potential risks within the Organisation and from external influences
- Responding appropriately to events in local, national or international news that may impact on students and communities
- Ensuring measures are in place to minimise the potential for acts of violent extremist within the Organisation i.e.’ Engaging Young People, Building Resilience ‘Prevent’ funded Project.
- Ensuring plans are in place to respond appropriately to a threat or incident within the Organisaton
- Developing effective ICT security and responsible user policies

Equal Opportunities Policy

Updated 04/09/2023

Introduction and Context

Cambridge English Language Society(C-ELS) recognises that our society suffers unfair discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexuality/sexual orientation, class, gender, age, marital status, physical, learning or sensory disability, HIV status, mental health. Cambridge English Language Society is committed to incorporating equality of opportunity issues in all its areas of its influence.

Cambridge English Language Society is committed to the principle of Equal Opportunities in employment, volunteering, service delivery and relationships with all its contacts within the Cambridge community. Cambridge English Language Society recognises the variety of people who live in, work in and visit Cambridge. It aims to promote and to achieve equal opportunities in all its activities and encourages service users and members to do likewise.

In particular Cambridge English Language Society aims to ensure that no employee (if any), volunteer, job applicant (if any), member (organisation or individual) or user receives more or less favourable treatment or access to services as a result of unfair discrimination for any reason.

Cambridge English Language Society will continue to implement, monitor and review its policies, procedures and practices to ensure that they promote equality of opportunity and access and prevent and deter discrimination.

Aims and objectives

In Cambridge English Language Society’s relationships and work with Cambridge’s Community;

- to ensure that the principles of equal opportunity are followed in all areas of Cambridge English Language Society’s work. This includes Cambridge English Language Society’s involvement in multi-agency partnership working;
- to encourage, enable and provide advice on the development of equal opportunity policies throughout Cambridge’s voluntary sector;
- to improve positive links with people facing disadvantage;
- to work pro-actively with statutory agencies and with Cambridge’s voluntary sector to jointly promote the implementation of Equal Opportunities in service provision to the local community.

Within Cambridge English Language Society we will strive:

To provide a curriculum which promotes knowledge, skills and understanding to build the resilience of students, by undermining extremist ideology and supporting the learner voice. This will be achieved through:

- Embedding  equality, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and community cohesion
- Promoting wider skill development such as social and emotional aspects of  learning
- A curriculum adapted to recognise local needs, challenge extremist narratives and promote universal rights through our’ Engaging young people, Building Resilience ‘Project funded by the Home Office.
- Encouraging active citizenship/participation and learner voice.

Cambridge English Language Society will work towards counteracting stereotypes and challenging assumptions about particular groups. It aims to ensure that its leaflets, exhibitions, photographs, presentations and reports reflect, where possible, the diverse nature of the Cambridge community.

Cambridge English Language Society will keep up to date information on equal opportunities, including: relevant organisations to contact, the law and changes to it, access to translators and signers etc., and will make this information available to all staff, volunteers and service users.

Members of staff and volunteers are the key to the effective operation of Cambridge English Language Society. Recruitment and selection of paid and unpaid staff (if any arises) will only be undertaken by people who have been trained in fair and effective recruitment procedures. Cambridge English Language Society aims to ensure that every job applicant and staff member is treated fairly in all employment matters, should any arise. Terms and conditions of service will reflect the spirit and terms of this policy. Staff should use the grievance procedure if they consider action of colleagues to contravene this policy.

Volunteers and members (individual or group) who believe that they have been treated unfairly within any of Cambridge English Language Society’s work areas should bring this matter to the attention of the Senior Management Team, who will investigate the matter further according to the Complaints Procedure. The Chair will investigate complaints against members of the organisation.

Monitoring and responsibility for this policy

The policy will be reviewed in accordance with C-ELS’s policy review schedule.

The monitoring and review process will be linked to;
i) organisation of C-ELS activities
ii) regular support and supervision
iii) future work plans and programmes and
iiii) where new areas of work are identified.

Recruitment practice will be monitored on an ongoing basis through Finance and Resources Sub-committee.

The training needs of the C-ELS, staff, volunteers and service users will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

The policy will be referred to in all relevant documents and reports, including:- advertisements, job descriptions, person specifications and employment contracts.

All C-ELS staff members and volunteers have a personal responsibility to co-operate with, adopt and apply the practical requirements of this policy.

Learner Complaints and Feedback Policy

Updated 04/11/2023


This document sets out our complaints policy and procedure and is aimed at our centres (venues, learners and all interested parties who encounter a direct or indirect service from C-ELS.
We value the way in which our programmes and services are delivered and the learners who undertake them and our aim every day is to deliver according to the expectations of our learners.
We are confident of providing a high quality service and hence, it is important should a learner or participant feels he/she has encountered a level of service that is below
his/her and our expectations that he/she raises any concerns he may have with us immediately so that we may address them and learn lessons.


This policy covers complaints from learners, members of the public, centres or any other associated third parties who may wish to make a complaint in relation to the programmes and associated services offered by C-ELS.
It is not to be used to cover appeals in relation to decisions made by C-ELS. Should a complaint be submitted which is in fact an enquiry or an appeal we will respond to inform the relevant party that the issue is being considered, where appropriate, in accordance with the approach outlined in our Appeals Policy.
If you are unhappy about the way a programme, examination or assessment was delivered and conducted and you suspect malpractice or maladministration may have occurred you should send your concern to the Chair of C-ELS Board of Directors.

Complaints Policy

C-ELS responsibility

C-ELS should take all responsible steps to ensure that their staff involved in the management, delivery, assessment of our programmes and learners, are aware of the contents of this policy
If an individual is unhappy about a service or activity being delivered by C-ELS the individual must first of all go through the C-ELS’ complaints process.

Review arrangements

We will review the policy and its associated procedures annually as part of our self-evaluation arrangements and revise it as and when necessary in response to participant, learner or regulatory feedback (eg to align with any appeals and complaints process established by the exam boards or associated funders) and any trends that may emerge in the subject matter of complaints received.
If an individual would like to feedback any views he/she can contact us via the details provided below or fill out the feedback sheet available at out venues.

How should an individual complain?

All our staff are trained to help our learners and they all like to help, so someone should first try to sort out any problem at the earliest opportunity by either contacting the teaching, coordinating or management team by telephone or emailing using the contact details provided at the end of this policy.
Where necessary complaints will be directed to the relevant team or the Board of Directors and further investigations will be undertaken.
If, after receiving a response the individual is not satisfied, he/she can request by email to be contacted by the team manager.
Learners and/or members of the public who wish to complain about a level of service provided C-ELS should have exhausted all means to resolve the issues at the delivery and management levels before bringing the complaint to the Board of Directors. However, learners and individuals can make the complaint directly to the Board of Directors in exceptional circumstances where they feel there was a significant breach of our various procedures (contact details are provided at the end of this policy).

What details does a complainant have to give?

When an individual contacts us, he/she will have to give his/her full name, contact details including an email address (where applicable) and a daytime telephone number along with:
• a full description of the complaint (including the subject matter and dates and times if known)
• any names of the people you have dealt with so far
• copies of any supporting documentation to do with the complaint.

Complaints brought to our attention by our funders or exams board about failures that have been discovered in the delivery and assessment process or other activities, will be reviewed in the same manner as other external complaints in accordance with the procedures below to ascertain if the same issue could affect C-ELS delivery and assessment of its programmes.

Confidentiality and whistle blowing

Sometimes a complainant will wish to remain anonymous. However, it is always preferable to reveal identity and contact details to us, and if there is are concern about possible adverse consequences C-ELS must be informed that identity must not be divulged. If it helps to reassure on this point, C-ELS can confirm that there is no obligation to disclose information if it would be a breach of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

C-ELS is prepared to investigate issues which are reported anonymously by whistleblowers.

We shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the complaint/allegation relates.

What will happen to my complaint?

C-ELS acknowledges receipt of a complaint within a maximum of 5 working days, indicating who is investigating the complaint and the ongoing status. Your complaint will be investigated by someone who has no personal interest or involvement in the matter of the complaint.
If the complaint is more complex, the complainant will be kept updated on timescales which will be dependent upon the complexity of your complaint. We may contact the individual to seek further information or clarification (in some instances we may recommend a meeting). In the event of complex cases; timescales may exceed 10 working days. We commit to providing an update to the complainant and parties concerned, every 5 working days throughout the investigation process. At the end of the investigation we shall write/email to inform the individual
of our decision.

Successful complaints and/or issues bought to our attention by our partners or funders:

If any part of the complaint is upheld C-ELS will respond to the complainant accordingly and give due consideration to how service and arrangements can be improved.
For example, by
reviewing our procedures to assess the impact on our programme development, delivery or
awarding arrangements and assessment process (if relevant) or
arranging for staff training.
In extreme circumstances, internal disciplinary procedures may be exercised where the performance or behaviour in question is deemed in appropriate.
In situations where a complaint has been successful, or where an investigation following notification from partners or exams board indicates a failure in C-ELS processes, C-ELS will give due consideration to the outcome and will take appropriate actions such as:
(a) identify any other learner who has been affected by that failure
(b) correct, or where it cannot be corrected, mitigate as far as possible the effect of the failure, and
(c) ensure that the failure does not recur in the future.

What the complainant is not happy with the reply?

If a complainant disagrees with the decision the first point of call is the Chair of the Board of Directors.
If the individual is still unhappy with the decision taken by C-ELS in reviewing the complaint he/she can, where relevant, take the matter through our Appeal arrangements which our outlined in our
Appeals Policy.

Contact us
If there are any queries about the contents of the policy, we should be contacted on
+44 (0) 7773877658 or email to secretary@c-els.org.uk

Data and Information policy statement in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Updated 01/04/2024

C-ELS takes the responsibility of how we manage the data and information we hold seriously

As an organisation, we will ensure that all our staff members (including volunteers), students and visitors are covered under the GDPR.

We will ensure that information we hold is:
- Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. 
- Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes. 
- Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are used.
- Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. 
- Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.
- Kept securely.

We will ensure that we our policies and practices are regularly reviewed in accordance with the GDPR. This will include:
- Ensuring that Personal data that is found to be inaccurate is be deleted or corrected without delay. All personal data will be periodically checked to make sure that it remains up to date and relevant.
- Our Privacy Notice Our Data Sharing agreementsSeeking appropriate consent when that is required
- Documenting our data/information related activities
- Our contracts with any Data Processors
- Being clear about how people can raise concerns/challenge information we hold.

Note: All related forms will be reviewed and in place by the 25th of May 2020.

Sustainability Development Policy and Action Plan

Updated 01/04/2024

Cambridgeshire County Council has a strong commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. Due to the nature of the work carried out by Adult Learning and Skills (ALS) we have developed our own policy statement clarifying duties and responsibilities for both our use and our providers delivering adult education provision. Our current subcontractors are listed here: Cambridgeshire Skills

Cambridgeshire Adult Learning and Skills (ALS) is committed to promoting the principles of sustainability within its work with learners, staff and others closely associated with our work.

ALS is aware of its continual impact on the environment through its activities including:
- Hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, storage and disposal
- Consumption of electricity and waterUse of resources and consumables
- Procurement and purchasing
- Transport

In this policy statement we commit to:

Check that each organisation involved in delivery of the contract will: 
- dispose of its waste using a registered waste collector and 
- observe and comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.  

We also commit to ensure that we and our providers: 
- minimise waste
- minimise energy consumption
- minimise use of travel and promote use of public or green transport where travel is unavoidable
- Comply with all relevant environmental legislation, regulations and approved codes of practice
- Protect the environment by striving to prevent and minimise our contribution to pollution of land, air, and water
- Promote environmentally aware practices with those working on our behalf through third party contracting arrangements
- Regularly communicate our environmental performance to our employees and other significant stakeholders
- Develop our management processes to ensure that environmental factors are considered during planning and implementation
- Monitor and continuously improve our environmental performance in accordance with our environmental objectives and targets

This policy statement and action plan will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary or when activities, products or services change. The management team endorses these policy statements and is fully committed to their implementation.

Subcontractor statement:
I agree to the statement and actions above and confirm that Cambridge English Language Society will
- dispose of our waste using a registered waste collector and 
- observe and comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations

Pound Plus and Community Learning Fee Remission Policy

Updated 02/03/2023

What is Community Learning?

The purpose of Community Learning is to develop the skills, confidence, motivation and resilience of adults of different ages and backgrounds in order to:
• progress towards formal learning or employment and/or
• improve their health and well-being, including mental health and/or
• develop stronger communities

Community Learning Courses fall under the following four strands:

• Personal and Community Development Learning - learning for personal and community development, cultural enrichment, intellectual or creative stimulation and for enjoyment (inmost cases not leading to a formal qualification)
• Family English, Maths and Language - learning to improve the English, language and maths skills of parents, carers or guardians and their ability to help their children
• Wider Family Learning - learning to help different generations of family members to learn together how to support their children’s learning
• Neighbourhood Learning In Deprived Communities - supports local Voluntary and other third sector organisations to develop their capacity to deliver learning opportunities for the residents of disadvantaged neighbourhoods

Partnership working underpins the community learning objectives and is critical to developing and delivering an effective community learning offer in our locality; Cambridge. C-ELS will engage and work closely with a wide range of relevant partners and stakeholders in our local area to help shape our community learning delivery of ESOL Speaking programmes. C-ELS will work strategically to reduce duplication of this community learning provision in our locality

What is Pound Plus?

The ‘Pound’ represents the public pound, that is the government funding received to support the delivery of community learning provision. The ‘Plus’ is everything else C-ELS can generate to be used, in addition to the public funding, to deliver the provision, such as fee income, funding from other sources, resources in kind, volunteering and other sources of revenue/ sponsorship. C-ELS must invest Pound Plus fee income/ savings for the people who most need, and can least afford, community learning provision and will be signposting learners to other partners as and when appropriate.

Learner Fees

There will be no charges made to our learners who satisfy the criteria set by the CALS (Cambridge Adult Learning and Skills) for fully funded non-accredited courses as set out in funding conditions.  For learners who do not satisfy the criteria for eligibility for fully funded courses, we will ask our learners to provide a contribution towards the cost of their course. C-ELS uses an hourly rate, which is lower than that charged to adult learners for other accredited provision delivered at the College. The hourly rate for the 2019-20 academic year is £5.00 per hour.

Learner Subsidies

As part of our ‘Pound Plus’ commitment C-ELS will fully waive fees for evidenced unemployed and retired people.


C-ELS will seek opportunities to bid for any arising community grants that can support the widening of our ESOL Speaking programme for the community.

Venue costs

For the delivery of its Speaking programmes, C-ELS will use rooms that are offered at discounted rate for community organisations.

C-ELS running costs

The courses and the organisation itself, are permitted to run on a lower cost, through the use low cost resources, materials and equipment.


When developing and delivering our ESOL Speaking programmes for the community, C-ELS will seek to make use of volunteers for delivery whenever possible to enable wider use of our community learning funding by freeing up cost.

Partner reduced cost delivery

C-ELS will work in partnership with local community organisations to provide free programmes to meet the needs of targeted groups of learners from hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups. C-ELS will expect our partners, in turn, to add value by contributing through cost savings (e.g. reduced service costs) or in kind (e.g. free venue use).

Business Continuity Policy

Updated 03/2023

This is the statement of general policy and arrangements for C-ELS.
Overall and final responsibility for business continuity recovery: The Board of Directors C-ELS is totally committed to the principles and practice of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Since they are aligned in the principle of keeping the business running in the event of an incident, this business continuity plan is referenced in the disaster recovery plan and vice-versa.
Since the business needs to keep running in the event of an incident, it is important to realise that having a contingency plan to ensure ongoing business gives C-ELS a competitive advantage. This policy requires management to financially support and diligently attend to business continuity planning efforts.


This policy defines the requirement for a baseline business continuity plan to be developed and implemented by C-ELS that will describe the process to recover Offices, IT Systems, Applications and Data from any type of incident that impacts the business and to cover business as usual (also called the BAU) for any type of incident that impacts an individual.


This policy is directed to all who are accountable to understand the steps within the plan to ensure the plan is developed, tested and kept up to date. This policy is to state the requirement to have a business continuity plan and highlight.


Failover and Contingency Plans

The following contingency plans are contained in the planning presentation to staff:

• Staff continuity plan: the flow of responsibility when normal staff are unavailable to perform their duties.
• Application plan: what steps are in place to recover data and continue business in the event of applications being unavailable locally
• Criticality of Service List: list all the services provided and their order of importance.
• Data Backup and Restoration Plan: Detail which data is backed up, the media to which it is saved, where that media is stored, and how often the backup is done
• Equipment Replacement Plan: Describe what equipment is required to continue to provide services, list the order in which it is necessary, and note where to purchase the equipment.
• Office and location plan: what steps are in place to ensure ongoing business in the event of an incident that impacts a working location.
• Communication Management: Who is in charge of giving information inside the business including some guidelines on what steps are to be taken.The plan is to be practiced to the extent possible. The board of Directors will set aside time to test implementation of the business continuity plan in conjunction with the Disaster Recovery Plan. During these tests, issues that may cause the plan to fail should be corrected. This plan, at a minimum, will be reviewed an updated on an annual basis.


Any exception to the policy must be approved by the Board of Directors in advance. Business Continuity Policy Statement March 2019


An employee or volunteer found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Related Standards, Policies and Processes
Disaster Recovery Plan.