Policy for Safeguarding and Child Protection
Avenue Dance Company (the company), provides dance training to children – a child is defined as a young person under the age of 18 years – and recognises the contribution it can make to protect them within the environment the classes operate in. This includes schools and theatres. The aim of this policy is to show how we safeguard and promote children’s welfare by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive ethos.
The Owner/Director Lauren Jayne is the designated safeguarding lead and has reviewed this policy in accordance with the most recent versions of the following legal frameworks.
- The Children Act 1989
- Education Act 2002
- Children Act 2004
- Children (performances and activities) (England) regulations 2014
- Working together to safeguard children 2015
- Keeping children safe in Education 2015
The company believes that:
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- All children, whatever their age, culture, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
- All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
- All members and employees of Avenue Dance Company should be clear on how to respond appropriately.
The company will ensure that:
- All children will be treated equally with respect and dignity.
- The duty of care to children will always be put first.
- All adults working or volunteering within the company have been appropriately checked to ensure their suitability for working with children i.e. that they hold an enhanced DBS certificate.
- All coaches and volunteers have declared themselves to be suitable people to work with children.
- A person qualified in emergency first aid is in attendance at all times that children are present.
- Coaches and volunteers will provide a positive role model in cooperating with and supporting other people.
- Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour towards others and bullying will not be accepted or condoned in any circumstance.
- There is a register of every child involved with the company that retains a contact name and number close at hand in case of emergencies.
- We keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children.
- We ensure we are knowledgeable and work within the safeguarding and child protection policies of each school where we operate classes. This is in addition to our own policy and procedures.
Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
Responsibilities of the company
- The company will conduct risk assessments for each venue where classes and theatre productions operate. The coach responsible for each class will conduct a visual check prior to the arrival of students to ensure the physical safety of the environment on the day.
- The company only permits photography or filming of children in classes or theatre productions where parents and/or children have given their written consent including agreement of where the photos/videos will be used for example on our promotional website.
- The company will take all steps to ensure images/videos are used solely for the purposes they are intended and are stored safely and securely on a company phone/iPad.
- The company reserves the right to remove a student if they believe that the student’s behaviour is negatively affecting another student’s learning and safety. This may also result in the company reporting the behaviour to the local authority social services for further investigation.
- Students will be supervised at all times and the company will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children.
In school settings:
- The company will keep a register of all students attending each class. In the event of any safeguarding or child protection concern the coach will immediately inform the designated safeguarding lead within the school and will follow the school policy procedure. They will also immediately inform the designated safeguarding lead for the company of any action taken.
In theatre settings:
- During all activities related to theatre productions the company will adhere to its safeguarding policies and procedures and will give due regard to any additional procedures in place at the theatre.
- The designated safeguarding lead will be identified and will contact the local authority social services immediately in the event of any safeguarding or child protection concern being raised to them. Written records of any incidents or concerns raised will be maintained and remain confidential.
- Students will be signed in and out of the theatre and will only be released to their parents/guardian or other person nominated by their parents/guardian.
- The company will hire external filming companies to film dance performances in theatres and for these special events will seek further consent from parents and/or students. Online video platform may only be accessed by parents/guardians via a login link.
- Those attending a performance including parents, students, coaches, volunteers and guests will be prohibited from taking photographs and/or recordings on personal mobile phones or other digital imaging equipment.
Responsibilities of coaches and volunteers:
- Coaches employed by the company and volunteers will be familiar with the company’s safeguarding and child protection policy and will follow guidelines and procedures.
- Coaches and volunteers will take action in line with the policy by reporting concerns/incidents to the designated safeguarding lead.
- Coaches and volunteers will declare any existing or subsequent convictions that may render them unsuitable for working with children. In this event they will not be permitted to work in any capacity involving children. If coaches and volunteers have any concerns about other people working with children in schools or theatres, they have a duty to inform the designated safeguarding lead. This can be done in writing or verbally and in an atmosphere of confidence and knowledge that the matter will be dealt with sensitively and with an appropriate degree of confidentiality.
- Dance is an activity where physical contact may need to be used, coaches will use contact appropriate to the learning technique.
Responsibilities of parents/guardians:
- Parents/guardians will be given a copy of the company’s policy and procedures and will follow procedures relevant to them e.g. use of mobile phones.
- Parents/guardians are responsible for collecting or arranging the collection of their children after rehearsals and performances in theatres. It is not the responsibility of the company to take children home.
- Parents/guardians will inform the company/coach of any injuries occurring prior to theatre performances.
- Parents/guardians will provide contact details for use in the event of an emergency.
- Parents/guardians will switch off mobile phones or other digital imaging equipment during theatre performances.
- Parents/guardians are asked to use photos/videos of student performances appropriately and to inform the company if they become aware of any being used inappropriately.
Responsibilities of students:
- Students will wear appropriate clothing for the activity.
- Students will behave appropriately and in a positive manner. This includes respectful interactions with their peers and coaches.
- Students are not permitted to use mobile phones or other digital imaging equipment at any time during classes, rehearsals or theatre performances and they are asked to use photos/videos of their/their peers performances appropriately and to inform the company if they become aware of any being used inappropriately.
- Students should feel confident in reporting concerns about their own or others safety and must also be aware that disclosures in a child protection context will have to be shared confidentially with the appropriate local authority social services.
The designated safeguarding lead for Avenue Dance Company is Lauren Jayne and she can be contacted at any time on mobile number: 07870989287