Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy 

Introduction

 

The Jill Foster Dance Centre (JFDC) believes that:

 

  • The welfare of our patrons whether they are children or adults is paramount.

 

  • All Patrons, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

 

  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

 

  • All staff (paid/voluntary) working in dance has a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

 

Policy Statement

 

The JFDC has a duty of care to safeguard all Patrons involved in dance from harm.  All patrons have a right to protection and the needs of disabled individuals and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.  The JFDC will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in dance through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by the JFDC.

 

A child is defined as under 18 (The Children Act 2004).

 

Policy Aims

 

The aim of the JFDC Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy is to promote good practice by:

  • Providing adults and children with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of the JFDC

 

  • Allowing all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues

 

 

Promoting good practice

 

  • The JFDC will encourage the following:

 

  • By always working in an open environment (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)

 

  • By treating all people regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity equally, and with respect and dignity.

 

  • By always putting the welfare of each person first, before winning or achieving goals.

 

  • By the maintenance of a safe and appropriate distance with dancers (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)

 

  • Through the building of balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process

 

  • By making dance fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play

 

  • By ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the IDTA.  Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. People should always be consulted and their agreement gained.  Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered.

 

  • By keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in dance

 

  • Through the involvement of parents/carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs

 

  • By ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, a male and female member of staff should always accompany them.  (NB however, same gender abuse can also occur)

 

  • By ensuring that at festivals/residential events, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms

 

  • Through being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people.

 

  • By giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism

 

  • Through the recognition of the developments/ needs and capacity of people avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will

 

  • By securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment

 

  • Through the keeping of a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given

  • By requesting written parental consent if JFDC officials are required to transport young people in their cars

 

Practice to be avoided

 

The following should be avoidedexcept in emergencies.  If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the JFDC or the child’s parents/carer. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to collect a child at the end of a session

 

·      Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others

 

  • Avoid taking children to your home where they will be alone with you.

 

Practice never to be sanctioned

 

The following should neverbe sanctioned. You should never:

 

·      Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay

 

  • Share a room with a child

 

  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching

 

  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged

 

  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun

 

  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control

 

  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon

 

  • Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves

 

  • Invite or allow children to stay at your home unsupervised

 

 

Guidelines for use of photographic filming at dance events

 

There is evidence that some people have used dance events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled dancers in vulnerable positions. Therefore, photographing and videoing of pupils is monitored closely at any event run by JFDC.

 

Videoing as a training aid: there is no intention to prevent teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, dancers and their parents/carers should be aware that this is part of the coaching programme and care should be taken in the storage of such films.

 

 

 

Recruitment and selecting staff and volunteers

 

The JFDC recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.  When undertaking pre-selection checks the following should be included:

 

  • All volunteers/staff should complete an application form.  This will elect information about an applicant’s past and a self disclosure about any criminal record

 

  • Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau

 

  • Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children.  These references must be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.

 

  • Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)

 

Responding to suspicions or allegations

 

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in the JFDC in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

 

The JFDC will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is or may be abusing a child.

 

When there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation

 

·      A criminal investigation

 

  • A child protection investigation

 

  • A disciplinary or misconduct investigation

 

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.

 

Suspected abuse

 

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the principal who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk

 

Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in dance

 

·      Take all signs of bullying very seriously

 

  • Encourage all patrons to speak and share their concerns. Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone on authority.  Create an open environment

 

  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe.  Speak with the victim and the bully/ies 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 etc)

 

  • Report any concerns to the Principal

 

Action towards bullies

 

  • Talk with the bully/ies. Explain the situation and try to get the bully/ies to understand the consequences of their behaviour.  Seek an apology to the victim/s

 

  • Inform the bully’s parents

 

  • Insist on the return of borrowed items and that the bully/ies compensate the victim

 

  • Provide support for the teacher of the victim

 

  • Impose sanctions as necessary

 

  • Encourage and support the bully/ies to change behaviour

 

  • Hold meetings with the families to report on progress

 

  • Inform all JFDC members of action taken

 

  • Keep a written record of action taken

 

Pandemics

 

In the event of a pandemic, the JFDC’s first priority is the Health & Safety of our patrons, therefore the following actions may be considered in line with Government guidance: 

  • The JFDC will adhere to all government directives regarding pandemics. 

  • The JFDC will ensure that class numbers allow space for social distancing in the event of a pandemic which complies with the measurement prescribed by the Government. 

  • Teacher/helpers will clean their hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and/or hand gel at regular intervals during the classes in which they teach or are present.

  • All students will be asked to thoroughly wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap before and after class. For younger age groups the washing of hands before and after class will be carefully supervised. 

  • The JFDC will work with the venue staff to ensure that the venue is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the start of sessions. 

  • Any equipment used in class will be disinfected before and after use. 

  • Waiting areas will be closed to parents and the JFDC will operate on a drop off and pick up basis only.

  • Door handles on the entrances to the venue, in toilets, studio spaces and any other areas used by the teaching staff and helpers will be disinfected regularly.

  • If the government advises the closure of all non-essential businesses the JFDC will cease operating until it is advised it is safe to reopen.

  • If the pandemic differs in any way from the Covid19 virus the JFDC will update its policies accordingly. 

 

Jill Kemp (Principal)

The Jill Foster Dance Centre

 

Updated April 2020

MK Snap, Bourton Low, Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, MK7 7DE

​jill@jfdc.co.uk | Tel 07850 441964

© 2020 by Jill Foster Dance Centre

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