Safeguarding Policy

DEFINITIONS  

The following definitions apply to this policy:  

 

“abuse” any reference to “abuse” means “abuse” as defined in Schedule 6

 

“BSCB” Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board

 

“Designated Safeguarding Lead” Rebecca Easter

 

“DBS” Disclosure Barring Service

 

“MASH” Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub

 

“Principal” Rebecca Easter

 

“staff” any reference to “staff” means any person paid or unpaid, employee, consultant, contractor, selfemployed, teacher or volunteer involved in the provision of  services of The Dance Academy

 

“TDA” The Dance Academy, operating under Rebecca Easter with its principal operation at Padbury Village Hall, Buckinghamshire and such other venues as it may operate from time to time.

 

 

1 POLICY STATEMENT

 

THE DANCE ACADEMY comes into contact with children through the services it offers with regard to the instruction of dance and musical theatre.

 

THE DANCE ACADEMY makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and fully recognises the right of every individual to stay safe and the contribution it can make to protect children.  

 

THE DANCE ACADEMDY students’ welfare and safety is of paramount importance.

 

This policy seeks to ensure that THE DANCE ACADEMY undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and will respond to concerns appropriately. The aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote our students’ welfare, safety and health by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive climate. This policy establishes a framework to all staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations. This policy should be read in conjunction with THE DANCE ACADEMY’S Health & Safety Policy as it exists and may be amended from time to time.

 

2 PURPOSE The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are The Children Act 1989, The Children Act 2004 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which the UK is a signatory).  This policy is consistent with:

 

the legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, as described in section 175 of the Education Act 2002   the statutory guidance ”Keeping Children Safe in Education – Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges” - March 2015  The government’s ‘Working Together To Safeguard Children 2015’ which sets out statutory guidance for agencies  The BSCB Procedures, which contain procedures and guidance for safeguarding children.

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as: protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

 

Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

 

3 COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING & CHILD PROTECTION  Under this policy TDA recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances.  It aims to ensure that all children without exception, regardless of age, gender, religion or beliefs, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic background have:  a positive and enjoyable experience of dance and musical theatre at TDA in a safe and child-centred environment;   an open and accepting environment as part of TDA’s responsibility for pastoral care;  encouragement from all staff so that children and parents feel free to talk about any concerns and to view the dance school as a safe place when there are difficulties;  an environment where all fears and concerns, suspected abuse or allegations will be taken seriously and acted up without delay, and children are encouraged to seek help from the TDA staff; and  protection from Abuse,

and no child or group of children must be treated any less favourably than others in being able to access services which meet their particular needs.

TDA acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and TDA accepts the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. As part of its safeguarding and child protection policy TDA will:  promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people;  enforce preventative measures by ensuring everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and child protection (e.g. prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals, positive, supportive school atmosphere, teaching and pastoral support to pupils, safer recruitment procedures);  protect all children by ensuring all staff  involved are provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people;  support any person(s) who raise or disclose any concern by taking appropriate action; work together with parents/guardians, staff, local authorities and child protection support agencies to ensure appropriate communications and actions are taken.

 

TDA will therefore: establish and maintain an ethos where children feel secure and are encouraged to talk, and are always listened to  with a culture that the children feel they are being listened to;  ensure that children know that their dance teachers are people whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty;  operate safe recruitment, selection and vetting procedures and make sure that all appropriate checks are carried out on new staff who will work with children attending TDA, including references, DBS record and prohibition from teaching checks and applies to all staff and volunteers over 16 years of age; and  ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored. Scope of Policy This policy applies to all staff, families and visitors involved with TDA.  Safeguarding and child protection is the responsibility of all staff of TDA.  TDA ensures that all parents/guardians and other working partners are aware of our safeguarding and child protection policy by making them aware that copies of this policy are available on request.  

 

Mandatory Compliance This policy and procedures contained herein will be widely promoted and are mandatory for everyone involved in the provisions of services provided by TDA. We expect all staff to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices. Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from TDA.  

 

4 ROLES, RESPONSIBILTIES & PROCEDURES

 

Duties of All Staff All individuals working with or on behalf of children have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare.  This includes a responsibility to be alert to possible abuse and to record and report concerns without delay. All staff must be aware of TDA’s arrangements for safeguarding and child protection and their responsibilities under this policy as detailed in Schedule 2.

 

What to do and how to report a Concern In the event of any concern in relation to safeguarding or child protection a member of staff must refer and adhere to the procedures and responsibilities as set out in Schedule 2. If at any point, there is a risk of immediate serious harm to a child a referral should be made to children’s social care immediately.  

 

Duties of Designated Safeguarding Lead The responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead in relation to this policy are set out in Schedule 2 and Schedule 4.

 

Duties of Principal The responsibilities of the Principal in relation to this policy are set out in Schedule 5.

 

5 SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN AND STAFF TDA commits resources for induction, training of staff, effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to safeguarding and child protection.

 

All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level.

 

TDA adopts an honest and open policy with regard to communications and discussion of safeguarding issues between staff.

 

Support for children TDA recognises that children, who are abused, neglected or who witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth and view the world in a positive way.  For such children their dance lessons may be one of the few stable, secure and predictable aspects of their lives.  TDA will actively seek to provide such children with the necessary support and to build their self-esteem and confidence.

 

Support for Staff  As part of their duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people staff may hear information, either from the child/young person as part of a disclosure or from another adult that will be upsetting. TDA recognises that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. Where a member of staff or a volunteer is distressed as a result of dealing with a child protection concern, he/she should in the first instance speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead about the support he/she requires. The Designated Safeguarding Lead should seek to arrange the appropriate level of support.     6 WORKING WITH PARENTS/GUARDIANS TDA will ensure that parents/guardians have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the dance school and its staff for child protection by setting out key points within its terms and conditions and making parents and guardians aware that copies of this policy are available on request. Additionally, TDA will undertake appropriate discussion with parents/guardians prior to involvement of CYPS Specialist Services (Children’s Social Care) or any other agency, unless to do so would place the child at risk of harm or compromise an investigation.

 

Should a parent/guardian have a concern about any child, they need to report it to a member of staff or to social care.  

 

7 REPORTING & RECORD KEEPING Well-kept records are essential to good safeguarding and child protection practice. All staff must be clear about the need to record and report concerns about a child or children within the dance school.  Any such record should always include details of the following:  the concern;  where/who it was reported to;  how it was responded to; and  what the outcome of this report was.

 

An example form showing what information must be included when a referral of a concern is made is shown at Schedule 3 of this policy.

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is responsible for collating and securely holding all such records and for deciding at what point these records should be shared with, or copied and passed over to, other agencies.

 

8 STUDENT SAFETY & SECURITY   The following must be adhered to at all times:

 

Access to premises Anyone wishing to enter the premises must be escorted by a member of staff. Any unidentified person seen on the premises must be reported to the Principal or a member of staff present immediately and the venue manager.

 

Facilities for Students Students are encouraged to wear suitable street clothes to and from lessons/rehearsals and to change in designated areas, avoiding changing outdoors or in cars.  Students and seniors  will always have access to toilet cubicles for changing in and out of dance clothes/street clothing.

 

Arrival & Collection of Children If parents/guardians are delayed, they are asked to contact the teacher.  Students will be supervised until the parent arrives.  Parents/guardians are asked to notify the dance teacher if a different adult will be collecting the student.  In the case of non-collection, attempts will be made to contact the parents/guardians/emergency contact person on the student’s records.   Students aged 16 and under will be asked to remain in the room with a teacher until an adult collects them.  Parents/guardians of students aged 14-16 years may sign a consent form allowing their child to wait safely at the venue after a lesson.  Any students aged 14 to 16 who have received written consent from their parents/guardians to wait at the venue unaccompanied are discouraged from waiting outside a venue when it is dark, and if they do, they are asked to remain vigilant for their own safety

 

Photography & Internet Policy

 

TDA asks that parents, guardians, students, staff and any other persons connected to the dance school in any way refrain from posting ANY photographs or videos of students or staff on the internet including all social networking/media sites.  If the dance school discovers this is happening, the person involved will be asked to remove the images/footage.  Failure to do so may result in a total ban of filming or photography, and instead professional photography will be permitted only.

 

Save for the email policy mentioned below in this section 8, staff may not have any contact with any students under the age of 18 via the internet including through the use of social media/networking sites This includes, via messages, friend requests or otherwise.  

 

Email Policy

 

In the event that regular contact with a student is required via email and the student is aged between 16 and 18 years, email can be used for correspondence purposes provided that a parent/guardian has given written consent for the child’s email address being used for contact purposes and the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student is/are always copied (cc’d) into every email correspondence.

 

In the event of any breach of this policy with regard to photography, internet and email involving staff, it may ultimately result in dismissal/exclusion from TDA.

 

9 RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION OF STAFF

 

TDA will undertake all relevant checks will be made prior to appointment.  This includes an enhanced DBS check.  New staff will not have unsupervised contact with students until their DBS check arrives.  Until such a time, the teacher can teach with another safe adult present who has been subject to an enhanced DBS check.

 

TDA will provide all the relevant information in references for a member of staff about whom there have been concerns about child protection / inappropriate conduct.

 

TDA has an open safeguarding ethos regularly addressing safeguarding responsibilities and fostering an ongoing culture of vigilance.

 

All staff of TDA have a continuing duty to notify the Principal immediately of any circumstances which may change the status of a DBS check.

 

10 COMMUNICATING AND REVIEWING POLICY  TDA will make clients aware of the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy by highlighting it in our terms and conditions and by making them aware that copies of this policy are available on request displaying appropriate information raising awareness with parents/guardians. This policy will be reviewed 12 months after development by the Designated Safeguarding Leader and then every three years thereafter, or in the following circumstances:   changes in legislation and/or government guidance;  as required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board;  as a result of any other significant change or event.  

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 1 – THE DANCE ACADEMY KEY STAFF, INFORMATION & USEFUL LINKS

 

 

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD: Judith Staff

 

DANCE INSTRUCTORS: Rebecca, Dave, Hannah, Anna, Gemma, Soeli, Katherine

 

SAFEGUARDING VOLUNTEER: Judith Staff  

 

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

 

MASH deals with referrals from professionals and members of the public who may have concerns about a child’s welfare following contact. It makes the process of dealing with referrals quicker and more effective. Buckinghamshire County Council Social Care, Education Safeguarding Services, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Thames Valley Police are co-located within a dedicated MASH team based within Aylesbury Police Station to facilitate effective information sharing and decision making.  

 

 

USEFUL LINKS

 

 

Local    

 

BSCB 4th Floor, County Hall Aylesbury Bucks HP20 1UZ

 

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/social-care/children-and-families/child-protection-andsafeguarding/

 

 

e-mail multi-agency form to: secure-cypfirstresponse@buckscc.gcsx.gov.uk              

 

Serious Case Referral (SCR) Form and SCR leaflet

 

http://www.bucks-lscb.org.uk/professionals/

 

National

 

Imperial Society Teachers of Dancing http://www.istd.org/examinations/quality-assurance/  0207 7326 8000

 

National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC): http://www.nspcc.org.uk/   0808 800 5000

 

Childline: http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Homeaspx    0800 1111

 

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP): http://ceop.police.uk/   0870 000 3344

 

 

SCHEDULE 2- PROCEDURE FOR REFERRAL OF CONCERN

 

The procedure to follow in cases of possible, alleged or suspected abuse, or serious cause for concern about a child.   KEY CONTACT INFORMATION

 

SAFEGUARDING REFERRALS MUST BE MADE IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WAYS:

 

By telephone contact to the MASH First Response Team:  a. Telephone: 0845 460 0001 b. (BSCB local: 01296 383962); c. By e-mail to: cypfirstresponse@buckscc.gov.uk;  In an emergency outside office hours, by contacting the 24-hour emergency number for calls outside office hours: 0800 999 7677 or the Police.  

 

If a child is in immediate danger at any time, left alone or missing, you should contact the police directly and/or an ambulance using 999.

 

Any referral should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours using the MARF   form http://www.bucks-lscb.org.uk/concerned-about-child/

 

(1) General (2) Individual staff (3) Designated Safeguarding Lead

 

(1) GENERAL

 

The BSCB sets out the processes, protocols and expectations for safeguarding children.  (Available on BSCB’s website http://www.buckslscb.org.uk/concerned-about-child/). The Designated Safeguarding Lead is expected to be familiar with this.

 

In the event of any safeguarding or child protection concern it is important that all parties act swiftly and avoid delays.

 

Any person may seek advice and guidance from MASH particularly if there is doubt about how to proceed (see contacts at Schedule 1 this policy document).  Any adult,

 

whatever their role, can take action in his/her own right to ensure that an allegation or concern is investigated and can report to the investigating agencies.

 

Written records, dated and signed, must be made to what has been alleged, noticed and reported, and kept securely and confidentially. Example form showing which information must be included is shown at Schedule 3 of this policy.

 

In many cases of concern there will be an expectation that there have already been positive steps taken to work with parents and relevant parties to help alleviate the concerns and effect an improvement for the child.  This is appropriate where it is thought a child may be in need in some way, and require assessment to see whether additional support and services are required.  An example might be where it is suspected a child may be the subject of neglect.  In most cases the parents’ knowledge and consent to the referral are expected, unless there is reason for this not being in the child’s interest.  However, there will be circumstances when informing the parent/guardian of a referral might put the child at risk, and in individual cases advice from Children’s Social Care will need to be taken.

 

If the concern relates to an allegation against a member of staff within the children’s workforce, contact the Local Authority Designated Officer 01296 382070.

 

(2) INDIVIDUAL STAFF – MAIN PROCEDURAL STEPS

 

1. When a child makes a disclosure, or when concerns are received from other sources, do not:  investigate;  ask leading questions;  examine children; or  promise confidentiality.    2. Children making disclosures should be reassured and if possible at this stage should be informed what action will be taken next.

 

3. As soon as possible write a dated, timed and signed note of what has been disclosed or noticed, said or done and report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead in the dance school. Refer to Schedule 3 for an example of a referral form.

 

4. If not already been done, inform the child (or other party who has raised the concern) what action you have taken.

 

(3) DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD – MAIN PROCEDURAL STEPS

 

1. Begin a case file for children where there are concerns, with an overview chronology, which will hold a record of communications and actions. This must be stored securely (see section 5 on Record Keeping).

 

2. Where initial enquiries do not justify a referral to the investigating agencies, inform the initiating adult and monitor the situation.  If in doubt, seek advice from the First Response Team on 0845 460 0001.

 

3. If the concern relates to an allegation against a member of staff within the children’s workforce, contact the Local Authority Designated Officer 01296 382070.

 

4. Share information confidentially only with those who need to know.

 

5. Where there is a child protection concern requiring immediate, same day, intervention from Children’s Social Care (Priority 1), the First Response Team (24-hour emergency number for calls outside office hours 0800 999 7677) should be contacted immediately by phone. Written confirmation should follow within 24 hours on MARF form (http://www.buckslscb.org.uk/concerned-about-child/).

 

6. If it appears that urgent medical attention is required arrange for the child to be taken to hospital (normally this means calling an ambulance) accompanied by a member of staff who must inform medical staff that non-accidental injury is suspected.  Parents/guardians must be informed that the child has been taken to hospital.

 

7. Exceptional circumstances:  If it is feared that the child might be at immediate risk on leaving the care of the dance school, take advice from the First Response Team.  If in these circumstances a parent arrives to collect the child, the member of staff has no right to withhold the child, unless there are current legal restrictions in force (e.g. a restraining order).  If there are clear signs of physical risk or threat, the First Response Team should be updated and the Police should be contacted immediately.

 

 

SCHEDULE 3–  CAUSE FOR CONCERN REFERRAL FORM Student’s Name:

 

Class:  

 

Date: Time:  

 

Reason for Concern:

 

 

 

Actions taken by staff member to whom the concern was reported to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow-up action taken by Designated safeguarding Lead:

 

 

 

 

Any other comments:

 

 

 

 

Concern raised by: (sign and print name)

 

Date:

 

 

 

 

Received by Designated Safeguarding Lead: (sign and print name)

 

Date

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 4 – ROLE OF THE DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD  

 

The broad areas of responsibility for the Designated Safeguarding Lead are:  

 

(1) MANAGING REFERRALS (2) TRAINING (3) COMPLIANCE

 

(1) MANAGING REFERRALS

1. All duties as detailed in Section (3) of Schedule 2 with regard to managing referrals. 2. To notify:  the DBS in cases where a person is dismissed or left from the workplace due to risk/harm to a child; and/or  Police (cases where a crime may have been committed).

 

3. Liaise with the Principal (if applicable) to inform him/her of issues especially ongoing enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and police investigations.  

 

4. Act as a source of support, advice and expertise to staff on matters of safety and safeguarding and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.  

 

(2) TRAINING  

The designated safeguarding lead should receive appropriate training carried out every two years in order to:   understand the assessment process for providing early help and intervention, for example through locally agreed common and shared assessment processes such as early help assessments;   have a working knowledge of how local authorities conduct a child protection case conference and a child protection review conference and be able to attend and contribute to these effectively when required to do so; and  ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s or college’s child protection policy and procedures, especially new and part time staff.

 

(3) COMPLIANCE

The designated safeguarding lead should:  ensure this policy is reviewed pursuant to section 10;  ensure that this policy is being adhered to with regard to recruitment and vetting procedures and adequate records are kept demonstrating such compliance; and  ensure that sufficient records are kept in compliance with section 5 of this policy.

 

 

SCHEDULE 5 – DUTIES OF THE PRINCIPAL  

 

With regard to safeguarding and child protection, the Principal of the dance school will ensure that:

 

this policy and all procedures contained herein are effectively implemented, and adhered to by all staff;

all staff feel able to raise concerns about poor or unsafe practice in regard to children, and such concerns are addressed sensitively, confidentially  and effectively in a timely manner;

all staff are made aware that they have an individual responsibility to pass on safeguarding concerns immediately and that if all else fails to report these directly to Children’s Social Care Services or the Police as appropriate;

referrals of cases of suspected abuse/neglect are made to MASH (and/or Police where a crime may have been committed) immediately by the Designated Safeguarding Lead;

each member of staff has access to and understands the dance school’s safeguarding/child protection policy;

all staff have induction training covering child protection and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately when  they arise;

all staff are aware of the guidance -  the Local Authority pocket guide, “Making Children Safer”, the “Keeping Children Safe in Education” - 2015 – Information for all School and College Staff” and the “Staff Code of Conduct”; and

concerns are recorded on the correct forms with substantial detail, and are stored securely in a locked drawer, ensuring a commitment to confidentiality.

 

 

SCHEDULE 6 - DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE

 

What is Child Abuse?

 

Abuse can happen on any occasion or in any place where children and young people are present.  Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm.  It commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and represents an abuse of power or a breach of trust.  Abuse can happen to a child regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.

 

Types of abuse and neglect (from ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2015)

 

Abuse: a form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.  

Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.  

Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.  

Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.  

 

Neglect: the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.