WHAM THEATRE SCHOOLS

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy (2018)

 

We have a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in our classes from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and other who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. We will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in our classes through adherence to the Child Protections guidelines adopted by us.

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989). 

Safeguarding Adults at Risk

We recognise our responsibility to safeguarding adults as well as children and young people. Our child protection policy also applies to safeguarding adults at risk. Concerns of or allegations of abuse towards an adult at risk should be reported to the our designated Safeguarding Persons Officer.

Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, material, neglect, acts of omission, discriminatory and institutional abuse.

 

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Definition:

An adult aged 18 years or over ‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation’ (Department of Health DH, 2000).

 

Other definitions also exist. An adult at risk may therefore a person who:

  • is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment

  • has a learning disability

  • has a physical disability and/or a sensory condition

  • has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder

  • has a long term illness/condition

  • misuses substances or alcohol

  • is a carer such as a family member/friend who provides personal assistance and care to adults and is subject to abuse

  • is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.

(This list is not exhaustive.) Protecting Adults at Risk, London Multi agency Guidelines 2012.

 

The aim of our Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

  • Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in our care.

  • Allow staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

      Our Good Practice Guidelines:

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets).

  • Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.

  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.

  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with all students (e.g. it is not appropriate for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with a child).

  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.

  • Making all our classes fun, enjoyable and promoting good sportsmanship when competing or performing.

  • Ensuring that if any physical support is required it should be provided openly and according to the Terms & Conditions of our teaching practice.

  • Keeping up to date with skills, qualifications, insurance and first aid.

  • Ensuring all staff/volunteers have an enhanced DBS certificate/or are licensed chaperones.

  • Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking,  drinking alcohol or swearing in the company of young people.

  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of children and young people – avoiding excessive training and/or performances and not pushing them against their will.

  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to administer emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.

  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs along with the details of any treatment given.

  • Requesting written parental consent if teachers are required to transport young people in their cars.

 

 

WORKSHOP LEADERS/ MANAGEMENT / TEACHERS / ASSISTANTS / VOLUNTEERS POLICIES & GUIDELINES:

Practices never to be sanctioned:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games.

  • Share a room with a child.

  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.

  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child.

  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.

  • Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child.

  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

  • Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.

     

 

Incidents that must be reported/recorded:

  • If you accidently hurt a student.

  • If he/she seems distressed in any manner.

  • If a student appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.

  • If a student misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.     

Recruitment of Staff/Volunteers:

 

We recognise that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Pre-selection checks include the following:

  • All staff/volunteers should complete an application form and provide an up-to-date CV.

  • Present or obtain a current DBS Certificate.

  • Two references, including one regarding previous work with children.

  • Evidence of identity.   

             

We require that all staff/volunteers:

Attend a good practice and child protection awareness training workshop to ensure their practice is exemplary and to facilitate the development of a positive culture towards good practice and child protection.

 

Responding to allegation or suspicions:

It is not the responsibility of anyone working for us, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or authorities.

We will assure all staff/volunteers that we will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern, that somebody is or may be abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff/volunteer there may be three types of investigation:

  • Criminal

  • Child Protection

  • Disciplinary or misconduct

 

 

 

Actions if there are concerns:

Poor Practice:

If following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice only, the designated Child Protection Officer will deal with the misconduct issue.

Suspected Abuse:

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by somebody should be reported to the designated Child Protection Officer who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure that safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

The Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services who may involve the police.

The parents/carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services.

     

 

 

Confidentiality:

 Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

                     -  The Child Protection Officer

                     -  The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused

                     -  The person making the allegation

                     -  Social services/Police

     

 

 

 

Internal Enquiries and Suspension:

 We will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services investigation. Irrespective of findings we will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.

     

 

Action if Bullying is suspected:

We will under no circumstances accept Bullying within our classes.

 

Action to help the victim and prevent bullying:

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.

  • Encourage all students to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately).

  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe.

  • Speak with the victim and bully separately.

  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.

  • Keep records of what is said.

 

 

Actions to be taken against the bully:

Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation and try to get the bully to understand the consequences of their behavior. Seek an apology to the victim.

  • Inform the bully’s parents.

  • Impose sanctions if necessary.

  • Encourage and support the bully to change their behavior.

  • Hold meetings with the families to update on progress.

  • Inform all staff/volunteers of the action that has been taken. 

     

  Report your concerns to our Child Protection Officer, who will contact Social Services and/or the Police as soon as possible.

  Social Services and our Protection Officer will decide how to involve the parents/guardians.

 

Information for Social Services and/or Police about suspected abuse:

  • Child's name, age and date of birth

  • Child's home address and telephone number

  • Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else

  • The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.

  • A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs such as behavioural changes.

  • Details of any witnesses to the incidents

  • The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or injuries occurred.

  • Have the parents been contacted? If so, what has been said?

  • Has anyone else been consulted?

  • If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child been spoken to?

  • Has any been alleged to be the abuser?

  • Keep all information recorded for evidence.

  • Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.   

          

        

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AND IMAGES PROCEDURE

To protect children, we seek:

  • Student and parental consent for photographs/video/film images to be taken or published

  • Ensure minors remain unidentifiable, reducing the risk of inappropriate contact

  • Ensures that children are appropriately dressed

  • Visit WHAM TS on Facebook!

© 2018 V1. 

WHAM THEATRE SCHOOLS 

info@whamtheatreschools.com | 0800 689 4205