Child Protection & Safeguarding Procedures
Last revised August 2020
- We believe it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the B.A.D. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the school and to share responsibility for the care of children. All parents will be given a copy the school’s Child Protection Policy and procedures.
- All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of the B.A.D to take children home.
- If possible there will always be two adults in the room when working with younger children.
- If it is predicted that an individual is likely to require unsupervised contact with children, he or she may be required to obtain a criminal record disclosure.
- Some physical contact may be necessary to guide young children into lines. The nature of dance and dance education is that some physical contact is sometimes helpful to guide student placings and understanding of the positions they need to learn. Any contact will be done in a sensitive and appropriate manner.
- Many children are positively tactile with teachers, student teachers and each other, particularly at a young age. Whilst this will not be actively encouraged we will not force it to stop as some children find this too negative.
- Some dance disciplines require contact work within routines and should be expected.
Managing sensitive information
- The school has a policy and procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or images of children.
- Permission will be sought from the parents upon enrolment.
- The school’s web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
- The school will ensure confidentiality to protect the rights of its members, including the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information.
Suspicion of abuse
- If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the B.A.D, please make this known to the person with responsibility for child protection. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for child protection is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the Principle or Studio Manager.
- Please make a note for your own records of what you witnessed as well as your response, in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
- If a serious allegation is made against any member of the B.A.D, chaperone, venue staff etc., that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the theatre, rehearsal rooms etc. and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other children in the production.
Disclosure of abuse
- If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place:
- Remain calm and in control but do not delay taking action.
- Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
- Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have, to share the information with the Studio Manager or Principal. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help.
- Reassure the child that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone.
- Tell the child what you are going to do next.
- Speak immediately to the Studio Manager or Principal. It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.
- As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the child’s own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
- In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether or not the concerns have been shared with a statutory child protection agency.
- An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter, any further action taken eg suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the matter was not referred to a statutory agency and the name of the person reporting and to whom it was reported
- The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident or allegation.
Rights & Confidentiality
- If a complaint is made against a member of the Basingstoke Academy of Dancing he or she will be made aware of their rights under the school’s disciplinary procedures
- No matter how you feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the child who is thought to have been abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998. Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through in appropriate information being released.
- In criminal law the Crown or other prosecuting authority must prove guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Criminal Record Disclosures
- The school believes it is in its best interest to obtain criminal record disclosures for all personnel.
- The school will ensure that information contained in the disclosure is not misused.
Productions & Professional Engagements
Responsibilities of the School
At the outset of any production involving children the Basingstoke Academy of Dancing will:
- undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process;
- identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection;
- engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children, including appropriate vetting;
- ensure that children are supervised at all times;
- know how to get in touch with the local authority social services, in case it needs to report a concern.
- Chaperones will be appointed by the school for the care of children during the production process. By law the chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give to a child. The maximum number of children in the chaperone’s care shall not exceed 12.
- Chaperones will be made aware of the school’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
- Chaperones will not usually have unsupervised access to children in their care. If unsupervised access is unavoidable, a criminal record disclosure will be sought.
- Where chaperones are not satisfied with the conditions for the children, they should bring this to the attention of the Producer. If changes cannot be made satisfactorily the chaperone should consider not allowing the child to continue.
- If a chaperone considers that a child is unwell or too tired to continue, the chaperone must inform the producer and not allow the child to continue.
- Under the Dangerous Performances Act no child of compulsory school age is permitted to do anything which may endanger life or limb. This could include working on wires or heavy lifting. Chaperones should tell the producer to cease using children in this way and should contact the local authority.
- During performances, chaperones will be responsible for meeting children at the stage door and signing them into the building.
- Children will be kept together always except when using separate dressing rooms.
- Chaperones will be aware of where the children are always.
- Children are not to leave the theatre/event unsupervised by chaperones unless in the company of their parents.
- Children will be adequately supervised while going to and from the toilets.
- Chaperones should be aware of the safety arrangements and first aid procedures in the venue and will ensure that children in their care do not place themselves and others in danger.
- Chaperones should ensure that any accidents are reported to the appropriate person.
- Children should be signed out when leaving and a record made of the person collecting.
- If a parent has not collected the child, it is the duty of the chaperone to stay with that child or decide to take them home.
- To avoid accidents, chaperones and children will be advised of “house rules” regarding health and safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds. Children will be advised of the clothing and footwear appropriate to the work that will be undertaken.
- If a child is injured while in the care of the school, a designated first-aider will administer first aid and the injury will be recorded in the school’s accident book. This record will be counter-signed by the person with responsibility for child protection.
- If a child joins the production with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the accident book. This record will be counter-signed by the person with responsibility for child protection. This record can be useful if a formal allegation is made later and will also be a record that the child did not sustain the injury while participating in the production.
Basingstoke Academy of Dancing Child Protection Procedures 2020