CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance
1.Child Protection Policy
Everyone who attends Kirsty Purvis School of Dance is entitled to do participate in an enjoyable and safe environment. Kirsty Purvis School of Dance have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people, teachers and volunteers provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance is committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means following procedures which afford protection for children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of Kirsty Purvis School of Dance and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
A child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Children’s Act 1989)
1.1 Policy Statement
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance is committed to the following:
· the welfare of the child is paramount
· all children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in dance in a fun and safe environment
· taking all reasonable steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
· all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
· working in partnership with parents and children is essential for the protection of children
1.2 Monitor and review the policy and procedures
The implementation of procedures should be regularly monitored and reviewed.
The policy should be reviewed every 3 years or whenever there is a major change in the organisation or in relevant legislation.
2, Promoting Good Practice
All personnel should adhere to the following principles and action:
· always work in an open environment
· make the experience of dance fun and enjoyable: promote fairness, confront and deal with bullying
· treat all young people equally and with respect and dignity
· always put the welfare of the young person first
· request written parental consent if teachers are required to transport young people in their cars
· always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
· secure written parental consent for the school to act in loco parentis, to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises
· keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any treatment given
2.1 Poor Practice
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel:
· unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away from others
· taking young people to your home where they will be alone with you
· sharing a room with a young person
· engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
· allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
· allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged
· making sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun
· reducing a young person to tears as a form of control
· allow allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
· do things of a personal nature that the young person can do for themselves
3. Child Abuse
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm
Emotional abuse in dance may occur when the young person is constantly criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are beyond their immediate capability.
Bullying may come from another young person or an adult.
It is NOT the responsibility of those working in Kirsty Purvis School of Dance to decide that child abuse is occurring. It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns.
3.2 Use of Photographic/Filming Equipment
Under no circumstances must parents, family, friends or any other person photograph or film a child other than their own offspring.
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance will occasionally use photography/videography for promotion; advertising and sometimes training and will always seek parental consent.
4 Responding to Suspicions and Allegations
· stay calm so as not to frighten the young person
· reassure the child that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
· listen to the child, showing that you are taking them seriously
· keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. The law is very strict and child abuse cases have been dismissed where it is felt that the child has been led or words and ideas have been suggested during questioning. Only ask questions to clarify
· inform the child that you have to inform other people about what they have told you. Tell the child this is to help stop the abuse continuing.
· safety of the child is paramount. If the child needs urgent medical attention call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they are made aware that this is a child protection issue
· record all information
· report the incident to the principal
4.1 Recording Information
To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern.
Information should include the following:
· the child’s name, age and date of birth
· the child’s home address and telephone number
· whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone else’s
· the nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant information
· a description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. 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 bruising/injuries occurred
· have the parents been contacted? If so what has been said?
· has anyone else been consulted? If so record details
· has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record detail
4.2 Reporting the Concern
All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately.
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance expects it’s members and staff to discuss any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only.
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws.
Kirsty Purvis School of Dance requires:
· All staff and volunteers who have access to children to undergo a CRB check
· All staff and volunteers to receive advisory information outlining good/bad practice and informing them what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person
· All staff and volunteers should have an up to date first aid qualification/knowledge.
· Kirsty Purvis School of Dance will keep all technical skills, qualifications, licences and insurance up to date.