Child Protection Policy
Imogen Gibson School of Dance have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for children, all staff, chaperones, parents/legal guardians and volunteers accept their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to ensure that everyone follows procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities. All dance teachers are fully qualified, DBS (CRB) checked and insured. Due to the nature of dance sometimes it is necessary to correct dance positions physically. This is always conducted with the utmost care and professionalism.
There are three elements to our policy:-
- Prevention through awareness of each individual child’s needs.
- Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect
- Procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases, of abuse.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of the dance School and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Imogen Gibson School of Dance will therefore:-
- Act within the Children’s Act 1989 & 2004
- Act within the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
- Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel welcome and familiar with their environment and are informed of personal (toilets, dressing rooms etc) and emergency arrangements (fire exits etc) and any Health and Safety Procedures (First aid etc)
- Inform each child who the appropriate person or people are to speak to if they have any questions, problems or concerns.
- Ensure that all children are treated with respect and dignity and are treated as individuals and offered equality of opportunities.
- Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and unnecessary physical contact with children)
- Recognising the individual needs of the child. Eg- recognising when a child may be tired and may need a break.
- Ensure that children are supervised appropriately.
- Ensure all volunteers and staff coming into close contact with children are DBS checked.
- Ensure that all staff and crew who don’t necessarily have close contact with children but who are assisting in the production are aware of their conduct around children.
Definitions of Child abuse and Neglect
A child or young person up to the age of 18 years can suffer abuse or neglect and require protection. · Physical Abuse - May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates or induces illness in a child whom they are looking after.
- Sexual Abuse - Forcing or enticing a child/young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening.
- Neglect - 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.
- Emotional Abuse - The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional and behavioural development.
Imogen Gibson School of Dance will adhere to the relevant legislation when working with children and young people under the age of 18 years as outlined in the following:
- Children Act 1989. Children Act 2004
- Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 Suspicion of Abuse
- If you see or suspect abuse of a child, immediately make this known to the designated individual/manager responsible for child protection. Disclosure of Abuse If a child tells you that they or another child or young person is being abused:- Always stop and listen straight away, show that you take their allegations seriously. Encourage the child to talk, but do not ask leading questions, interrupt or ask the child to repeat itself. Never promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret – explain that if you are told something of concern that you will need to let someone know but that you will only tell the people who need to know and can help. Record what you have been told accurately and as soon as possible. Use the child‘s own words. Make a note of the time, location, whether anyone else present and of the Child’s demeanour. Ensure that your concerns are reported immediately to the designated individual/manager. Do not confront the alleged abuser.
- If a child makes an allegation against a member of staff it must be reported as a matter of urgency to the designated manager/individual for child protection who will refer to Social Services department for Children’s Services.
- In all situations the details of allegation or reported incident must be recorded. Make accurate notes of time, dates, incident or disclosure, people involved, what was said and done and by whom, action taken to investigate and further action taken.
- DO NOT worry that you might be mistaken; you have a responsibility to pass on your concerns following a disclosure. Never think abuse is impossible, or that an accusation about a person you know well and trust is bound to be wrong.