ACS DANCE CENTRE
CHILD PROTECTION AND VULNERABLE ADULT
ACS Dance Centre (Anthony Clifford Studios) (herein referred to as ‘ACS’)
has a duty of care to safeguard from harm all children, young people or vulnerable adults with whom it interacts. Children, young people and vulnerable adults occupy a central place within ACS and our charitable aims.
We strongly believe that all children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to be treated fairly, justly and have the right to freedom from abuse and harm.
This policy details the legal requirements, organisational procedures, and best practice as applicable to all staff. This policy applies to all ACS staff, including those who work on a volunteer and freelance basis as well as ACSs Board of Trustees.
Our policy ensures that all our staff and volunteers are carefully selected and vetted, have the relevant qualifications and experience, and accept responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults in their care. We aim to offer comprehensive advice to ACS staff members and freelance artists with regards to legal requirements and good practice.
All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. We have procedures in place to address poor practice, and to help any child/young person or vulnerable adults who appears to be at risk, or who appears to be a victim of abuse. We will offer help and support when a child/young person or vulnerable adult tells us that they are affected by these issues.
We will work extensively with external agencies such as the NSPCC and the police to ensure as far as possible that children and young people are protected. The terms “child”, “children”, “girl” and “boy” are used to refer to anyone under the age of 18. The terms “young person”, “young people”, “young woman” and “young man” are used to refer to anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 years. We will not tolerate bullying. Incidents of bullying will be investigated and treated seriously. Action will be taken to stop the bullying.
The Principals of ACS are: Diana Lunn and Mark Lunn. The Designated Safeguarding Officer is: Diana Lunn, Deputy Safeguarding Ambassador is: Sharon Herbert. The Lead Trustee for Safeguarding: Robert Crowther
(contact details below)
STAFF ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Designated Safeguarding Officer leads upon policy development and reporting, including reviewing and updating the or
ganisation’s safeguarding policy on an annual basis or when necessary.
Leading upon contact with Local Authority Social Services in the event that a child/young person is at risk of harm.
Managing complaints about poor practice and allegations against staff/volunteers.
Referring relevant issues of safeguarding to the Board of Trustees for consideration.
Collecting monitoring data on all safeguarding activities across the organisation.
Ensuring safer recruitment procedure and promoting safeguarding across the organisation The Designated Safeguarding Ambassador leads upon policy implementation, including:
Acting as a “front-line” point of contact for any persons concerned about the welfare of a child/ young person
Updating the Designated Safeguarding Officer upon any issues raised/reported in sessions
Modelling best practice when it comes to safeguarding amongst staff/volunteers/participants Contributing to the review and update of the safeguarding policy and procedures
Providing guidance to staff concerned about a child protection issue
Keeping accurate records of concerns about children and young people and actions taken
The Lead Trustee for Safeguarding leads upon policy and procedure oversight, including:
Ensuring that policy and procedures are fully implemented and followed by all staff
Being kept informed of all serious safeguarding incident forms and feeding in as necessary
Reporting to Trustees upon any observations and/or findings concerning safeguarding. All members of staff/volunteers have a responsibility to safeguard children and young people from harm, including:
Being vigilant of the signs that may indicate a child/young person is experiencing harm or is at risk of harm
Report any disclosures or concerns, as soon as possible, to the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador referring on further to Havering LADO (see contact details below), via Havering procedures as necessary.
When taking a disclosure from a child/young person remembering not to ask any leading questions, to inform them that anything they say will need to actioned on further and passed to any relevant authorities who may need to know.
RECRUITMENT, SELECTION AND TRAINING OF STAFF
SAFER RECRUITMENT & SELECTION OF STAFF
Safe recruitment and selection practice is vital in safeguarding and protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults. ACS recognises and takes seriously its responsibility to adopt practice which minimises risk to the children and young people by ensuring that measures are in place through this practice to deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children, young people and vulnerable adults or who are unsuitable to work with them. The safety and wellbeing of children and young people is always borne in mind throughout the recruitment and selection process. ACS has adopted the NSPCC Value Based Interview and Recruitment Policy. In accordance with this, ACS will ensure that
Appropriate checks are carried out on new staff/volunteers
The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults is explicitly stated in job descriptions and person specifications
Interviewers question and interrogate up on gaps in employment history through to the interview ACS carries out enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for relevant roles
Whenever a new freelancer or staff member joins ACS, there will always be a senior staff member or principal in the room who has knowledge and experience of the ACS ethos and good practice to observe and hand-over
ACS has an open door policy when teaching, rehearsing, this means at any time a full time member of staff may enter the space to observe the lesson. This offers transparency and an opportunity to feedback and reflect on good teaching practice. Any appointments with substantial access to children and young people will be subject to a reference. ACS will ensure that permanent and freelance staff are carefully selected, trained, and supervised to provide a safe environment for all children and young people, by observing the following principles:
Applicants will be required to complete an application form in which they specify safeguarding training;
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel of at least two staff /Trustees or a combination of both
Selected candidates will be required to provide at least two written references;
If necessary, staff will undergo safeguarding training required by ACS and will require a probationary period.
Persons will meet with ACS’s Principals and or Trustees in advance of an employment offer; Where relevant written references will be obtained to confirm their suitability for working with children and young people;
Staff will be monitored by ACS’s Principals/Directors who will offer appropriate advice/ guidance.
STAFF TRAINING ACS
Staff have access to Safeguarding training with ACS or by attendance to an external course by either their LA, NSPCC or Sport UK.
ACS training is informed by Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance (2013) and is organised into different levels of knowledge and skills. The level required depends on the degree of contact that an individual has with children and young people and the role they play. Our policy details how these levels are applicable to key ACS staff members:
ACS staff/volunteers with limited contact with children and young people
Will have responsibility to contribute to promote the welfare of children and young people but do not have specific safeguarding organisational responsibilities.
Will have professional and/or organisational responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and requires the skills to respond appropriately to staff that may approach them with concerns about the welfare of a child/young person.
Freelance teachers and staff who work regularly with young people
These staff and freelance teachers have regular contact with children and young people and have a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy to act on the welfare concerns of children and young people. They have access to safeguarding training through the ACS Safeguarding officer or NSPCC or Sport Uk safeguarding courses online updated every 2-3 years.
ACS will keep a record of Safeguarding Training undertaken by both freelance and permanent staff and recommend further training as necessary. ACS asks all contracted staff to take responsibility for their own training and development and to seek further training as and when required.
IDENTIFYING & RESPONDING TO CONCERNS ABOUT A CHILD/YOUNG PERSON
At times ACS staff may have to respond to concerns about the welfare of children and young people. This could relate to the actual or alleged harm of a child/young person. Alternatively, a child/young person we are working with may disclose abuse directly to you. This section provides information and guidelines on our procedures in these situations.
1 IDENTIFYING TYPES & INDICATORS OF ABUSE
In order to effectively protect children and young people against harm all staff should be familiar with the various types and key signs of abuse. The Government’s Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) details four key types of abuse:
All staff are required to acquaint themselves with indicators of abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing harm to a child.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. This situation is commonly described as factitious illness, fabricated or induced illness in children or “Munchausen Syndrome by proxy” after the person who first identified this situation.
A person might do this because they enjoy or need the attention they get through having a sick child.
Physical abuse, as well as being the result of a deliberate act, can also be caused through omission or the failure to act to protect.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also classed as physical abuse. FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. In 2003 it also became a criminal offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to take their child abroad to have female genital mutilation.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of the other person.
It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may also involve causing children to feel frequently frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of a child.
Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative acts such as rape, buggery or oral sex, or non-penetrative acts such as fondling.
Sexual abuse may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and or females, by adults and by other young people. This includes people from all different walks of life.
Neglect is 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. It may involve a parent or a carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, leaving a young child home alone or the failure to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
It is accepted that in all forms of abuse there are elements of emotional abuse, and that some children are subjected to more than one form of abuse at any time. These four definitions do not minimise other forms of maltreatment.
Recent guidance notes other sources of stress for children and families, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, the mental illness of a parent or carer, or drug and alcohol misuse. These may have a negative impact on a child’s health and development and may be noticed by an organisation caring for a child. If it is felt that a child’s well-being is adversely affected by any of these areas, the same procedures should be followed.
Recognising and Responding to Abuse
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered.
– Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or
neglectful failure to protect a child/young person. An important indicator of physical abuse is where bruises or injuries are unexplained or the explanation does not fit the injury. A delay in seeking medical treatment for a child/young person when it is obviously necessary is also a cause for concern. Bruising may be more or less noticeable on children and young people with different skin tones or from different racial groups and specialist advice may need to be taken. Patterns of bruising that are suggestive of physical child abuse include:
Bruises that are seen away from bony prominences;
Bruises to the face, back, stomach, arms, buttocks, ears and hands.
Multiple bruises in clusters.
Multiple bruises of uniform shape.
Bruises that carry the imprint of an implement.
Adult bite marks.
Scalds. Although bruising is the commonest injury in physical abuse, fatal non-accidental head
injury and nonaccidental fractures can occur without bruising. Any child/young person who has unexplained signs of pain or illness should be seen promptly by a doctor. Behaviour changes can also indicate physical abuse:
Fear of parents being approached for an explanation.
Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts.
Flinching when approached or touched; • Reluctance to get changed, for example wearing long sleeves in hot weather.
Depression; or withdrawn behaviour.
Running away from home.
– Emotional abuse happens where there is a relationship between a carer and a child/young person and can manifest in the child/young person’s behaviour or physical functioning. Emotional abuse can be difficult to measure, and often children, young people and vulnerable adults who appear well-cared for may be emotionally abused by being taunted, put down or belittled. Emotional abuse can also take the form of children and young people not being allowed to mix/play with other children and young people. The physical signs of emotional abuse may include:
– Failure to thrive or grow;
– Sudden speech disorders;
– Developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress. Changes in behaviour
which can also indicate emotional abuse include:
– Neurotic behaviour, eg, sulking, hair twisting, rocking;
– Being unable to play; or fear of making mistakes;
– Fear of parent being approached regarding their behaviour;
– Self-harm. –
– Sexual abuse involves the use of a child/young person for gratification or sexual arousal by a
person for themselves or others. Adults who use children, young people and/or vulnerable adults to meet their own sexual needs abuse both girls and boys of all ages, including infants and toddlers. Usually, in cases of sexual abuse it is the behaviour of children/young people/vulnerable adults which may cause you to become concerned, although physical signs can also be present. In
all cases children/young people/vulnerable adults who talk about sexual abuse do so because they want it to stop. It is important, therefore, that they are listened to and taken seriously. The physical signs of sexual abuse include:
– Pain or itching in the genital/anal areas;
– Bruising or bleeding near genital/anal areas;
– Sexually transmitted disease; vaginal discharge or infection;
– Stomach pains;
– Discomfort when walking or sitting down. The following changes in behaviour may also
indicate sexual abuse:
– Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour (eg becoming aggressive or withdrawn);
– Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people;
– Sexual knowledge which is beyond their age or developmental level;
– Self harm or mutilation, sometimes leading to suicide attempts;
– Suddenly having unexplained sources of money;
– Acting in a sexually explicit way towards adults;
– Sexual drawings or language. –
– Neglect results in a child/young person suffering significant harm or impairment of development
as a result of being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical care. Neglect can be a very difficult form of abuse to recognise. The physical signs of neglect may include:
– Hunger, sometimes stealing food from others;
– Constantly dirty or smelly;
– Loss of weight, or being constantly underweight;
– Inappropriate dress for the conditions. –
– Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child/ young person both physically and emotionally.
– Bullying that happens online, using social networks, games and mobile phones, is often called
You can’t always see the signs of bullying. And no one sign indicates for certain that a child’s being bullied. But you should look out for:
belongings getting “lost” or damaged
physical injuries such as unexplained bruises
being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning, or skipping school not doing as well at school
asking for, or stealing, money (to give to a bully)
being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn
problems with eating or sleeping bullying others.
ACS recognises the positive contribution it can make towards protecting children and young people from radicalisation to violent extremism.
ACS will continue to empower children and young people to create communities that are resilient to extremism and support the wellbeing of particular children and young people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into violent extremism or crime. It will also continue to promote the development of spaces for free debate where shared values can be reinforced. Radicalisation is the process by which individuals come to support terrorism or violent extremism. There is no typical profile for a person likely to become involved in extremism, or for a person who moves to adopt violence in support of their particular ideology. Although a number of possible behavioural indicators are listed below, staff should use their professional judgement and discuss with other colleagues if they have any concerns:
Use of inappropriate language
Possession of violent extremist literature including electronic material accessed via the internet and communication such as e-mail and text messages
The expression of extremist views
Advocating violent actions and means
Association with known extremists
Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology If staff have any significant concerns about a child/young person beginning to support terrorism and/or violent extremism, they should discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador immediately.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM) or to take a child abroad or aid or abet someone to take a child out of the country to undergo the procedure – Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. Despite the harm it causes, FGM practising communities consider it acceptable to protect their cultural identity. The age at which girls are subject to FGM varies greatly from shortly after birth to any time up to adulthood. The average age is thought to be 6 – 12 years but it is also thought that the age at which girls are mutilated is dropping. Although the age of the children and young people with whom ACS engages is such that they are not necessarily in the ‘high risk’ category for FGM, a child/young person may disclose that she is at risk of FGM, has suffered FGM or that she has a sister or family member who is at risk of mutilation. Staff should be alert to the following indicators:
The family comes from a community that is known to practise FGM
A child/young person may talk about a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent A child/young person may confide that she or a sister or family member is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion
A child/young person may request help from a teacher or another adult
Any girl/young woman born to a woman who has suffered FGM or has a sister or relative who has been subjected to FGM must be considered to be at potential risk Any information or concern about a child/young person or member of her family being at risk of FGM must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador as matter of urgency. This may be treated as an immediate child protection referral to the child/young person’s home borough. ACS recognise that before working in any particular area of the country, connection will be made with all the relevant support agencies and providers and this will all be available to both the children and young people and the staff before any rehearsals/ work begins.
HEARING A DISCLOSURE
If a child/young person says or indicates that he or she is being abused, or information is obtained which gives concern that a child/young person is being abused, you should follow the below guidance:
Listen to what is being said, without displaying shock or disbelief.
Accept what is said and react calmly so as not to frighten the child/young person. Make a note of what has been said as soon as practicable.
Reassure the child/young person, but only so far as is honest and reliable.
Tell the child/young person they are not to blame and that it was right to tell; I am glad you came to me.
It is important that you do not promise to keep it a secret as your professional responsibilities may require you to report the matter. If you make this promise to a child/young person and then break it, you confirm to the child/young person yet again that adults are not to be trusted.
React to the child/young person only as far as is necessary for you to establish whether or not you need to refer this matter, but do not interrogate for full details.
Take what the child/young person says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what is said by a child/young person who has a speech disability and/or differences in language;
Do not ask ‘leading’ questions, for example ‘what did he do next?’ (This assumes he did!), or ‘did he touch your private parts?’ Such questions may invalidate your evidence (and that of the child/young person) in any later prosecution in court.
Explain what you have to do next and whom you have to talk to.
Make some brief notes at the time on any paper which comes to hand.
Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by a court.
Record the date, time, place, persons present and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour. Be specific when noting the words used by the child/young person.
To share your concerns with the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador who will may take the matter forward.
REPORTING ALLEGATIONS, SUSPICIONS OR CONCERNS
It is not the responsibility of anyone working at ACS to decide whether or not a child/young person is being abused or might be abused. However, there is a responsibility to act on concerns to protect children and young people in order that appropriate agencies can then make enquiries and take any necessary action to protect the child/person. If you become aware of any issue or complaint relating to the welfare or wellbeing of children and young people then you should raise these with the Designated Safeguarding Officer or the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador who will be responsible for documenting your concern on an Incident Report Form
All concerns will be considered, and a decision reached as to whether the concern should be referred to Social Services or a Havering form for suspecting a child at risk should be sent to the LADO. All Incident Report Forms are securely stored in a restricted and protected folder on the ACS server. When an Incident Report Form is archived in this folder a note will be made on ACS’s Participant Safeguarding Tracker. The note will provide basic details about the incident and a reference to the location of the Incident Report Form.
MAKING A REFERRAL TO SOCIAL SERVICES
If a decision is made to raise a concern with Social Services it will be the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer to formally report this concern. If, for any reason, the Designated Safeguarding Officer is unable to lead on this process then the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador will make the referral. Referrals should be made to Havering through Multi agency referral form to LADO at Havering or to NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000. ACS will make all referrals within 24 hours of a serious concern or disclosure coming to light. When a referral is made, ACS will record the name and role of the children and young people’s services member of staff or police officer to whom the concerns were passed, together with the time and date of the call/referral. If a concern is allayed and a decision is made not to make a referral then ACS will still be required to record details of the concern and details as to why a referral was not made. This information may become relevant later on if further concerns emerge.
ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT OR ABUSE BY STAFF
In the event of allegations being made against an employee (staff or voluntary), ACS has a dual responsibility in respect of both the child/young person and employee. The same person must not have responsibility for dealing with the welfare issues about children and young people and the staff employment issues. Two separate procedures must be followed:
- In respect of the child/young person the Designated Safeguarding Ambassador will lead the process related to the child/young person;
- In respect of the staff member against whom the allegation is made the Designated Safeguarding Officer will lead the process related to the staff member. With regards to the child/young person, the aforementioned process will be followed. With regards to the staff member against whom the allegation is made, the below process will be followed:
- ACS will make formal contact with the NSPCC who is responsible for providing instruction in the event of an allegation of abuse or suspicious behaviour made against a staff member.
- ACS is legally required to alert the LADO (local authority designated officer) to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children and young people has:
a.) Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child/children and/or a young person/ young people;
b.) Possibly committed a criminal offence against a child/children and/or a young person/young people;
c.) Behaved towards a child in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable for such work.
- The LADO will instruct ACS on procedure and what information may be shared with the person who is the subject of an allegation. ACS and LADO will decide, in consultation with the Police and/or any other relevant agencies, what may be shared in situations that may possibly lead to a criminal investigation.
4. Subject to advice from the LADO, and to any consequent restrictions on the information that can be shared, ACS will, as soon as possible, inform the accused person about the nature of the allegation, how enquiries will be conducted and the possible outcome.
In all instances ACS will seek to ensure that any staff member is treated fairly and honestly and that they are supported to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved. They will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary or related process. Contact details for Havering (the home borough of ACS’s Albert Road, Romford, Studios) are provided
Code of Behaviour and Good Practice
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STAFF, VOLUNTEERS AND TRUSTEES
All staff, volunteers and trustees will be expected to be aware of and follow ACS’s Safeguarding Policy and Operational Procedures. All staff, volunteers and trustees will be expected to adhere to the below code of conduct. Staff, volunteers and trustees will
Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Set an example you would wish others to follow.
Treat all children and young people equally including those with special educational needs.
Provided with an environment in which all feel confident and able to discuss their concerns and have support with communication difficulties where needed
Plan activities (including examinations) involving children and adults at risk that should include a ratio of one adult to every 10 children/adults at risk. For younger children under the age of nine, there should always be at least one additional adult (e.g. a teacher, a pianist, an assistant) or whatever recommended ratio becomes advised by the local education Authority in that location. Where this is not possible, the ACS Dance Centre will ensure that activities take place within sight or hearing of other adults
Respect a child/young person’s right to personal privacy.
Avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust.
Allow children and young people to talk about any concerns they may have.
Remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned. Respect should be given to a child’s or adult at risk’s rights to personal privacy
Physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted and should be avoided. Where any physical touching is required for purposes of instruction, it should be provided openly in front of other students. Parents, guardians and students will be warned in advance that physical touching and dance partnering may be required for correctional or for ballroom and latin partner dancing purposes only
Feedback should always be constructive rather than negative, and language used should never be threatening or upsetting
Private or unobserved contact with a young person or adult at risk should be avoided wherever possible unless authorisation is given by the appropriate parent or guardian
Take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately. Staff, volunteers and trustees will
In all dealings with children and adults at risk, ACS Dance Centre Faculty, students, volunteers and visitors to ACS Dance Centre where appropriate, should
Form a relationship with a child/young person that is an abuse of trust.
Engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact – physical, verbal, sexual.
Make suggestive remarks or threats to a child/young person.
Use inappropriate language – writing, phoning, email or internet.
Let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported. On occasion, one-to-one contact will be unavoidable, in such cases:
Make sure it is for as short a time as possible.
Ensure you remain accessible to others.
Tell someone where you are going, what you are doing and why.
Try to move with the child/young person to areas where there are more people.
Try to avoid unnecessary physical contact, if required to touch a child in the course of dancing or teaching make sure they give permission for you to adjust a line or partner in contact in advance and ensure parents/guardians understand the physical requirements of the relevant dance style.
Leave children who are in their care unsupervised on ACS Dance Centre premises
play rough, physical or sexually provocative games, involving or observed by children or adults at risk whether based on talking or touching.
Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate physical activity involving children or adult at risk, or any bullying of a child by an adult or another child.
Allow children or adults at risk to use inappropriate language without challenging it
use any physical punishment as part of disciplining a child or adult at risk.
Give their personal contact details to a child or adult at risk whom they have met through work including via social networking sites.
Allow allegations by a child or adult at risk to go unrecorded or not acted upon in accordance with these or other ACS Dance Centre procedures .
Any incidents which cause concern in respect of a child or an adult at risk must be reported immediately. Below are examples of incidents which are to be reported.
A child or adult at risk is hurt accidentally.
You think a child or adult at risk has misunderstood or misinterprets something you have done.
You have been required to take action to prevent a child or adult at risk from harming themselves or another, or from causing significant damage to property. Unless you have received specific training on how to restrain a child or adult at risk, this should only be done as a last resort. Try not to do it alone, call for assistance.
You see any suspicious marks on a child or adult at risk.
You hear any allegations made by a child or adult at risk or any other person relating to events giving rise to a safeguarding concern either inside or outside of ACS Dance Centre which have happened recently or in the past.
You are concerned that a child or adult at risk or older is being subjected to violence in the name of honour.
A child or adult at risk discloses that they have been a victim or are involved in serious violent crime.
Children with special educational needs/disabilities may be especially vulnerable to abuse and extra care should be taken to interpret apparent signs of abuse or neglect. They may be disproportionately impacted by behaviour such as abuse or bullying without outwardly showing any signs through communication barriers.
Assumptions should not be made that indicators of abuse (e.g. behaviour, mood and Injury) relate to a child’s disability or learning difficulty without further exploration.
If first aid is required, where possible, it should be administered by a trained first aider in the presence of another adult. ACS Dance Centre First Aiders are as follows; Sharon Herbert and Natalie Lane
A First Aider will complete a report if they have any safeguarding concerns as a result of administering the first aid
ACS Dance Centre has changing room guidelines which are designed to provide a safe environment in which children and adults at risk can use ACS Dance Centre facilities. Teachers should encourage children, young people, parents, guardians and carers to follow this guidance
The changing room guidelines prohibit the use of telephones, cameras or other photographic or filming devices being used in changing rooms or toilet facilities
Written parental or guardian consent should always be obtained by the ACS Dance Centre for the use of any photographs, film or videos involving children and adults at risk. This should clearly indicate the uses to which the photographs, film or videos will be put by giving consent on enrolment.
ACS Dance Centre Faculty, students, volunteers and visitors where appropriate, should challenge unacceptable behaviour in accordance with the provisions of this code of conduct and good practice
Any incidents, allegations or suspicions of abuse should be reported immediately
ACS Dance Centre Faculty
ACS Dance Centre uses the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in the UK for criminal record checks and follows its advice with regard to requirements in relation to vetting and checking any ACS Dance Centre Faculty.
People and organisations that hire ACS Dance Centre premises to run their own activities will be required to have their own necessary disclosure and barring checks done for any employees and volunteers. For the avoidance of doubt, this means that anyone who will be working with participants below the age of 18 or adults at risk in any capacity must hold an appropriate Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring service. This requirement applies whether parents, guardians and/or carers are present during the activities or not.
Photography and filming of children and/or adults at risk
No filming or photography of children or adults at risk should take place without gaining written permission from the appropriate parent, guardian or carer. The purposes for which any photographic images or film will be used should be clearly explained.
There is evidence that some people do use activities and events as an opportunity to take photographs or footage of children and/or adults at risk, including those with disabilities, with the intention to use them inappropriately or manipulate them.
Due to the prevalence of COVID-19 and under guidance from the UK Government and since because of missing classes or students from overseas, ACS Dance Centre have delivered lessons via an online video conferencing software called Zoom.
Safeguarding policies will be followed as normal, with some additional precautions.
Zoom is an unaffiliated company, and attendees must agree to their terms and conditions. Online security and GDPR have been assessed and deemed acceptable.
Attendees join through private links sent only to people who have pre-booked sessions. Session leaders add attendees through waiting room feature to ensure only ACS Dance Centre students have access.
All attendees must use their webcam at all times.
COMMUNICATION WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Staff should converse with parents and guardians through the office wherever possible except when arranging private tuition. They should not receive calls or texts to or from children and young people using their personal mobile phones unless a monitored school group with parental envolvement. Where possible, take calls in an open environment where the conversation can be witnessed. All teachers who have pastoral responsibility for any child or young person should use the office phones whenever possible except in an emergency.
COMMUNICATION VIA EMAIL
Staff should direct email conversations through the office email addresses wherever possible, on occasion, if required to email children and young people to organise rehearsals etc they may using their personal email address and keep records of all correspondence. In all cases staff should use formal language to avoid any misunderstanding on the part of the recipient and should be carbon copied to one of the Designated Safeguarding Officer. Staff members who have concerns regarding content of an email that they send or receive from a child/young person should consult the Designated Safeguarding Officer for guidance.
ACS recognises that social media can be a legitimate and effective way to communicate with children and young people. Current social media applications frequently used by members include Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram, WhatsApp to name but a few. Contact with children and young people through such forums should only take place through organisational group parental monitored pages.
Staff should protect their personal Facebook or twitter accounts separating from the studio site.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
Parental/guardian consent for photography or video recording of any child is obtained through ACS Enrolment forms. Photographs or videos of children and young people will be stored in a designated folder that is only accessible by designated ACS staff.
Any camera owned by the ACS and used by staff for the purpose of photographing children and young people engaged in ACS activity must have its memory wiped as soon as content has been transferred to the designated ACS folder. ACS will ensure that any professional photographers or video-makers contracted by ACS to make photos/videos of children under the age of 16 and vulnerable adults have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which is dated within the last 3 years or on the renewal service, inclusive of their period of engagement. ACS will announce at all performances that “Video and photography is not permitted during the performance”.
Before an organisation considers asking a person to apply for a criminal record check through DBS, they are legally responsible for ensuring that they are entitled to submit an application for the job role or volunteer. There are currently three levels of check:
- Standard checks reveal information relating to spent and unspent convictions, cautions,
reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC). To be eligible for a Standard Check the position must be specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Enhanced checks reveal the same information as Standard Checks but also check against information held by local police forces (for instance, relevant on-going investigations). To be eligible for an Enhanced Check the position must be specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 AND regulations made under the Police Act 1997, which includes work with children. ACS uses DDC checking and suggests that each staff/volunteer sign up for the renewal service after their initial certificate is issued.
- Enhanced checks (with barred list) are used to check against lists of people prohibited from working with children and vulnerable adults. These are known as ‘barred lists’ (see below). To be eligible for an Enhanced Check with Children’s and/or Adults Barred list check the position must meet the above criteria and fall within the DBS definition of ‘Regulated Activity’ (see below). The minimum age at which someone can apply for a DBS check is 16. Organisations wishing to undertake a check should choose between three routes depending on the nature of the role:
REGULATED ACTIVITY DEFINITION
Regulated Activity is work a person who appears on the DBS barred lists is prohibited from doing. This includes work that involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups, including children. The DBS has recently reduced the scope of Regulated Activity, so that some roles that previously needed a barred list check no longer do so. However, those posts taken out of Regulated Activity remain eligible for Enhanced Checks. In reducing the scope there is now a greater role for organisations in deciding whether person is a suitable candidate for a particular role. To do this effectively they must also use other safeguarding measures rather than rely on legal provisions alone. Activities that place a staff member in Regulated Activity with Children are:
- Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/ guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children;
- Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers;
III. Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.
- Registered childminding; and foster-carers. Work under (i) or (ii) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. ‘Regularly’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more) or on four or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases overnight). Activity under (iii) and (iv) does not have a frequency restriction and is Regulated Activity even if performed only once. Broadly speaking, the new definition of Regulated Activity relating to children no longer includes certain activities done on an irregular or ad-hoc basis or some activities properly supervised by someone who themselves is in Regulated Activity.
CHILD PERFORMANCE LICENSING
REQUIREMENT TO LICENCE FOR PERFORMING
All children who perform on stage or in television, films, commercials or who work as models, have their welfare and safety protected by the following children in entertainment legislation:
Children & Young Persons Act 1933 & 1963
Children (Performances) Regulations 1968
The Children (Performance) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998(1)
The Children (Performance) Amendment Regulations 2000
The Children (Performance) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2000
Statutory Instruments: 1968 No. 1728, 1998 No. 1678, 2000 No. 10, & No. 2384 For the purposes of children in entertainment a child is a person aged from birth until the end of their compulsory schooling. The aforementioned legislation requires licences to be issued by each Local Authority (LA) for children who take part in one of the following categories:
broadcast performances (films, TV, video) covers performances that will be broadcast;
non-broadcast performances (theatre, modelling) covers performance that are not broadcast. It is the responsibility of ACS to establish contact with the relevant local authority in which a child resides to obtain instructions as to whether a license is required. It should be noted that there will be occasions when a licence is not required, see EXEMPTION sections below.
The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 only apply to actual performances and therefore the following information does not apply to rehearsals or regular workshops. Rehearsals are, however, affected by the Regulations, if they take place during the currency of a licence (between first and last performing day). Rehearsals are then subject to the same restrictions and conditions applicable to that licence i.e. time at place of performance, performing times and so forth. Rehearsals also count as a performance when calculating length of working week i.e. 5 days broadcast, 6 days theatre/other. Appendix 5 shows the regulations of times and hours as required by The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968. All categories of children’s entertainment licensing, including both licence exemptions, are subject to these times and hours.
All licensed children need to be chaperoned in law while taking part in a performance. Chaperones acts in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child. Regulations require a ratio of 1 chaperone to 12 children. A chaperone’s first priority is always to the child and the chaperone must not take part in any activity that would prevent them from proper supervision and care of the children they are responsible for. A chaperone will have total charge of a child – unless the child is being chaperoned by his/her parent/carer – whilst the child is at the theatre/performance location, and is responsible for the child’s care and control. If the child has completed his performance and is then handed into the care and control of his parent/guardian who is outside of the stage performance area, the chaperone will no longer have responsibility for the child. Chaperones are required by law to keep a record for each child, per performance:
It is a requirement under the Regulations that these records be kept and made available, together with each child’s Licence, at every place of performance where a child is present, for inspection by an officer of the Local Authority in whose area the performance takes place.
Upon completion of the production, the daily record sheet/s should be stored at the Licence Applicant’s main company address for a period of not less than 6 months after the final performance date for which the Licence has been granted. Licenced Chaperones are approved by Local Authorities and will be familiar with the law regarding children in entertainment.
CHILD PERFORMANCE LICENCE EXEMPTIONS EXEMPTION ONE
THE FOUR DAY RULE: The “four day rule” is an exemption that can be considered for use by both professional and amateur companies. This exemption states that a licence is not required for a child if:
they perform for only 4 days in any 6 month period; and
they do not need time off from school to undertake the performance; and
they do not receive any payment other than expenses. Children who fall within the exemptions and do not need a licence are still covered by Regulations 21, 22, 33 and 34 of the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 covering the number of days on which children may perform and permitted hours of performance (see appendix 5).
ACS will use the four day rule where appropriate; however this will only be done in consultation with relevant Local Authority Education Welfare Teams who will be required to know the names of the children taking part in the production, and the production dates.
ACS have bi-annual shows in a Theatre with a maximum of two performances of 2 and a half hours each with 2 hour break, it is thought that no child would need a licence under these circumstances since they are not required to miss school to rehearse or attend and receive no payment and a BOP could therefore be applied for instead.
EXEMPTION TWO – BODY OF PERSONS LICENCE:
The Children & Young Persons Act 1963 gives a local authority under Section 37(3)(b) the power to issue a licence to a Body of Persons e.g. a group of responsible adults (youth organisations, amateur dramatics, etc) to enable them to engage children and young people in non-broadcast and recorded performances without the need to apply for separate licences for each child for each production. Where appropriate, ACS will apply for a Body of Persons Licence. The Body of Persons must then provide the Education Authority with the following information in advance:
names, addresses and dates of birth of all the children who will be performing;
venue and dates of performances;
names and addresses of the adults forming the Body of Persons. Approval can be granted providing:
the child performers receive no payment other than expenses;
the performance is for a stage production;
the performances all take place within the local authority that is granting the Body of Persons licence;
the child performers are supervised by the adults who form the Body of Persons or licensed chaperones;
the organisation complies with the regulations on days and permitted hours of performance contained in the Children (Performance) Regulations 1968 (see section 7 of Good Practice);
that the Child Employment Team agreed that the rehearsal/performance venue(s) are suitable places for children to perform;
the organiser has ensured appropriate arrangements are in place to transport child performers to and from the venue and for them to be released into the care of an appropriate person;
the organiser will not use the children in performances that may be dangerous;
the organiser can demonstrate that it can meet any health, safety and welfare conditions set by the local authority;
the Body of Persons ensure that arrangements are made to transport young performers to and from the venue; This is usually only by the parent or guardian of the children.
the Body of Persons does not use children in performances that maybe dangerous. The holders of the licence must ensure that they keep records of each child’s performance as required by Schedule 3 Children and Young Persons, The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 (see ECC pro forma). Approval can only be granted for children who perform solely for the holder(s) of the Body of Persons Licence. Although the law does not place a statutory obligation on organisations to ensure that chaperones are provided for unlicensed children, local authorities prefer that all children be provided with a chaperone as a condition of granting a Body of Persons licence. The local authority believes this preference is justified as a matter of good practice and to ensure that all children benefit equally from child protection procedures. ACS will obtain a Body of Persons licence where appropriate and upon the advice of relevant Local Authority Education Welfare Teams.
If you think a child is at immediate risk of significant harm phone Children’s Social Care and / or the Police immediately
Children’s Social Care: 01708 433584 / 01708 433999 (out of hours)
Police – 0300 123 1212 (999 if an emergency)
DSO- Diana Lunn 07792 532352 email@example.com
DLSO- Sharon Herbert 07866 844723 firstname.lastname@example.org
LADO- Lisa Kennedy 01708 431653 LADO@havering.gov.uk
NSPCC- Helpline 0808 800 5000
thirtyone:eight 0303 003 1111
Managing allegations about adults working with children & young people
Notification / progress and monitoring form to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Section one must be completed and emailed immediately to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a child; or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
The manager should then telephone the LADO immediately to discuss the next course of action.
Any referrals or communications with the LADO must be sent to: LADO@havering.gov.uk
Emails sent to personal email addresses may get lost or not responded too.
Do not assume that the form has been received – telephone the LADO.
When receiving an allegation:
- Treat it seriously and keep an open mind
- Do not investigate
- Do not make assumptions or offer alternative explanations
- Do not promise confidentiality
- Record the details using the child/adult’s own words
- Note time/date/place of incident(s), persons present and what was said
- Sign and date the written record
- Do not tell the member of staff/volunteer if this might place the child at risk of significant harm or jeopardise any future investigation
- Do refer to Havering’s ‘managing allegations against people who work with children’ policy
The LADO will maintain a live record of the case using Section two.
POLICY LAST REVIEW 1/9/22 by Diana Lunn- Designated Safeguarding Officer NEXT REVIEW Due 1/9/23
SECTION ONE: REFERRER TO COMPLETE
Member of staff / volunteer concerned – The person(s) about whom the allegation has been made
Date of Birth:
Employing Agency (include statutory or voluntary agency):
Place of employment:
Does this person work or volunteer with children in any other capacity? Yes / No
Details of own children (Names, Dates of Birth, Address):
Additional information e.g., employment history; previous concerns raised:
Details of any previous allegations made:
Have safer recruitment processes been followed?
Date of CRB:
Child 1 details (to whom the allegation refers)
Date of Birth:
Male / Female:
Unique Pupil Number:
Additional information e.g. disability, communication or other special needs, previous child protection concerns:
Parents contact details (Name, Telephone number):
Details Of Allegation / Concern
Date of Allegation:
Time of Allegation:
Place of Allegation:
Allegation in Personal Life?
Yes / No
Allegation in Professional Life?
Yes / No
Record the details of the allegation using the child/adult’s own words where possible:
Record nature of allegation – physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect:
Did the incident involve an authorised physical restraint?
Are there are any marks on the child (if yes, please give a description or use a body map – DO NOT take photos.
Has the child been spoken to you about this incident or concern? If yes, give details
Has a parent / carer been informed? If yes, give reason and details.
Has the member of staff / volunteer been informed? If yes, please give reason and details
SECTION TWO: PROGRESS & MONITORING FORM: LADO TO COMPLETE
Date Allegation Received
Summary of allegation (additional to referral information above)
Chronology of events
Detail of action
Tick all applicable
There is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation that a child has been harmed or there is a risk of harm.
If the facts of the incident are found to be true but it is not found that a child has been harmed or there is a risk of harm, then consideration should be given to deciding that the outcome is ‘unsubstantiated’ or ‘unfounded’..
There is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation and there has been a deliberate act to deceive. The police should be asked to consider what action may be appropriate in these circumstances.
There is sufficient evidence to disprove the allegation, however, there is no evidence to suggest that there was an deliberate intention to deceive.
False allegations may be an indicator of abuse elsewhere which requires further exploration. If an allegation is demonstrably false, the employer, in consultation with the LADO, should refer the matter to LA children’s social care to determine whether the child is in need of services, or might have been abused by someone else.
There is insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation. The term, therefore, does not imply guilt or innocence.
The additional definition of ‘unfounded’ can be used to reflect cases where there is no evidence or proper basis which supports the allegation being made. It might also indicate that the person making the allegation misinterpreted the incident or was mistaken about what they saw. Alternatively they may not have been aware of all the circumstances.
No further action after initial consideration Borough
Initial consideration means the discussion about whether the alleged incident constitutes an allegation within the scope of these procedures. It does not mean following an initial assessment undertaken in accordance with the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.
Refer to other Borough