ACT Youth Theatre

16 Greengarth

Carlisle

CA2 4PW

 

Tel: 07582 022 047

Email:info@acttheatre.co.uk

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© 2019 by ACT Youth Theatre

ACT Youth Theatre: Child Protection, Health & Safety Policy and Procedures
16 Greengarth, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 4PW. 07582 022 047

 

ACT Youth Theatre has a duty of care to safeguard all children under 18 engaged in its activities and will take steps to ensure their safety and protection by adhering to the guidelines set out in this document.  At all times, staff, supervising adults and volunteers will seek to promote a safe, happy and risk-free environment for everyone in the school and encourage children to respect themselves and others.

 

Teachers/supervising adults/volunteers:

  • Ensure an accurate attendance register is completed at the start of each session

  • All children must be supervised until collected by a parent or someone specifically authorised by the parent.  A member of staff must remain on the premises until all the pupils have left.

  • Rehearsal and performance spaces should be thoroughly checked for hazards and, if possible, all hazards should be removed before the session proceeds. Any obstacles or hazards that cannot be removed must be pointed out to the children as something to avoid.

  • When working in a new venue the children must be made aware of where emergency exits are situated and the fire safety procedures required for that venue. 

  • Accidents or injuries requiring treatment should be written in the Accident Book by the supervisor present with a note of the date and time as soon as they have been dealt with and the parents informed.

  • No child should be given medication by a member of staff/supervisor or volunteer unless this has been agreed with a parent.  They may take their own medication.

  • Plasters should not be applied unless the child answers “Yes” to the question, “Do your parents allow you to wear a plaster?”

  • All details, that ACT has been made aware of, of any allergies or special medication required are on record in the Pupil Details file held by Jennifer Heron. 

  • If anyone needs the emergency services, notify the parents as soon as possible and tell the services when they arrive what special medication the child usually takes.

 

Always try to:

  • Treat all young people with respect and dignity

  • Put the welfare of each young person first

  • Be an excellent role model

  • Give enthusiastic constructive feedback rather than negative criticism

 

Good Practice Guidelines

 

All teachers/supervising adults/volunteers should try to demonstrate exemplary behaviour not only to protect the children in their care but also to protect themselves from false allegations.  These are specific examples but no guidelines can cover every eventuality.  In some cases you may need to use your own judgement as a responsible adult.

 

  • Avoid being alone with any child, especially behind a closed door.  Get someone else to sit in and leave a door open, or re-locate to a more visible area.

  • Ensure that if any form of physical support or contact is required, it should be provided openly and with due care to current professional practices, giving appropriate explanation where necessary and seeking the young person’s approval and agreement

  • If group changing and dressing is being supervised, teachers, supervising adults and volunteers will work in an appropriately open environment, with at least one member present having criminal record clearance

  • Never do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves

  • If a young person needs to be escorted to the toilet or changing area, maintain a suitable distance in a visible public area wherever possible or ensure you are never in a private or unobserved situation

  • All parents/guardians will complete and sign a registration form which will include a clause stating if the parent/guardian permits their child to be included in ACT photographs, videos etc. that may be used for advertising purposes.

 

Practices to be avoided

 

The following should be avoided except in emergencies (eg if a child sustains an injury requiring hospital attendance or if the child is not collected from class or rehearsal).  It should be with the full knowledge and consent of another staff member or the child’s parents.

 

Avoid:

  • Transporting a child to or from an event

  • Arranging a meeting outside class times without the specific agreement of the parent

  • Spending an excessive amount of time alone with children away from others

 

Never sanction the following:

  • Rough games or play-fighting

  • Any form of inappropriate touching

  • Bad language

  • Anyone, including children, making sexually suggestive comments, even in fun

  • Never allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon

 

Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

 

  • Teachers must have appropriate criminal record clearance as a basic minimum and be able to supply further evidence of good character

  • Teachers must have proven relevant professional qualifications or expertise which will be independently verified.

  • Teachers must be a good role model to pupils and seek to uphold the standards of their profession at all times.

  • All supervising adults and volunteers with substantial access to children must have appropriate criminal record clearance or work alongside someone who has.

  • All persons with substantial access to children must read, sign and retain a copy of this Policy.

 

Responding to allegations or suspicions

 

It is not ACT Youth Theatre’s responsibility to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place, but there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

 

Action: 

  • Any suspicion that a child has been abused should be reported Pauley and/or Jennifer Heron 07582 022 047, or to the Child Protection Officer, Alison Murphy 07725 625 537, who will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.  If the Child Protection Officer is not available, go direct to Social Services 01228 607002 or the police 101 (non-emergency).

  • The parents or carers of the child must be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.

  • Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned and the Child Protection Officer will deal with any media enquiries arising.

  • Information should be handled on a need to know basis only.

  • The Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services enquiries.

  • For children, parents, teachers and volunteers needing support to deal with the aftermath of abuse, the British Association for Counselling Directory is available:

Tel: 01788 550899  www.bacp.co.uk     email bac@bacp.co.uk

British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ.

 

Bullying during ACT Youth Theatre sessions and events:

  • If bullying is suspected, follow the same actions as in “Responding to allegations or suspicions” above.

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously

  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns and tell the person in charge or someone in authority

  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe.  Speak with the victim and bully or bullies separately.

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

  • Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when)

  • Report any concerns to the Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring)

 

Action towards the bully/bullies:

  • Talk and explain the situation and try to get the bully to understand the consequences of their behaviour.  Seek a genuine apology to the victim.

  • Inform the bully’s parents

  • Insist on the return of “borrowed” items or that the bully compensate the victim

  • Provide support for the reporting teacher/supervisor/volunteer

  • Encourage and support the bully to change behaviour

  • Hold meetings with the families to report on progress

  • Inform all organisation members of action taken

  • Keep a written record of action taken

 

Concerns about bullying outside of ACT Youth Theatre sessions and events:

  • Report your concerns to the Child Protection Officer who should contact social services or the police as soon as possible.  If the Child Protection Officer is not available, go direct to social services or the police immediately.

  • Social services will decide how to involve the parents/carers and all information should be confidential on a need to know basis only.

 

Make a detailed record at the time of the disclosure/concern of:

  • The child’s name, age and date of birth, home address and telephone number.

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

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

  • Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay

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

  • Details of witnesses to the incidents

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

  • Have the parents been contacted and if so, what was said.

  • Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser

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

 

Child Protection Contacts:‚Äč

  • Social Services: 01228 607002

  • Police:  101 (non-emergency).

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000

  • British Association for Counselling: 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ

Tel: 01788 550899; Email: bac@bacp.co.uk; Web: www.bacp.co.uk