Safeguarding Children - Policy and Procedures
This policy must be read and understood by anyone working on behalf of Balletic (paid staff, parents/carers.) We will ensure this policy is accessible to all via the Balletic website and ensure that all teachers understand this policy by providing supporting training, guidance and information. All paid staff must understand their duties regarding safeguarding.
As a registered school of bbodance we ensure we have appropriate safeguarding training, DBS checks and have a safeguarding policy in place. Within our school we follow the ethos and good practice contained within the bbodance safeguarding children and child protection policy and procedure which can be found;
At Balletic we recognise we have a responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of all children and young people we work with and that we have an explicit duty to do so under the Children Act 1989 and 2004 and the Education Act. We believe that the welfare of the child is of paramount importance and that no child should be treated any less favourably than others in accessing services that meet their needs. All children, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs.
A ‘child’ is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently, in further education, or working does not change his/ her entitlement to services or protection as a child. Our guidelines apply to all children and young people until their 18th birthday.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people means:
· Protecting children from maltreatment
· Preventing impairment of a child’s health or development
· Ensuring that children are growing up with the provision of safe and effective care
· Taking action to ensure that children have the best life chances
At Balletic we will do this by (for example):
· Identifying and responding to concerns about a child or young person
· Providing a safe and happy dance environment with a focus on wellbeing
· Having a health and safety policy and risk assessments for all events and activities
· Ensuring our approach to equality, diversity and representation is consistent at all levels of our organisation and is aligned with our anti bullying strategy
· Ensuring all events are well staffed with individuals with appropriate training and checks
· Ensuring all staff and contractors role model safe and appropriate behaviours
At Balletic all concerns and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously. It is the responsibility of all staff, contractors and volunteers to take steps to protect children, to keep them safe from hazards and to take appropriate action in the event of an accident. It is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers to take reasonable steps to protect children and young people from harm and abuse while in contact with our organisation /our staff and to report any incident of or suspicion of abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Person, Michelle Higgins, or in their absence directly to the appropriate statutory authority.
All staff and volunteers have a strict duty never to subject a child to any form of harm or abuse. Failure to adhere to these procedures will be treated as gross misconduct.
Michelle Higgins, Principal/Founder of Balletic
It is their role to coordinate and advise on matters relating to safeguarding and all safeguarding concerns should be shared directly with them in the first instance.
If a child has a physical injury and there are concerns about abuse attention should be sought for the injury first then safeguarding information shared with Michelle Higgins and referred to children’s social care if needed. Contacting the emergency services for medical treatment must not be delayed for any reason. The member of staff at the scene of the incident is responsible for ensuring medical attention, the concern can be shared following this with the DSL. In the event that an ambulance is required, safeguarding concerns should also be shared with medical staff in attendance to ensure they are able to safeguard the child or young person in their ongoing work.
All individuals working at or for who have contact with children and young people are required to hold a valid, clear DBS check. All staff, contractors and volunteers will be recruited in line with our safer recruitment policy. Please see our safer recruitment policy. No staff, contractors or volunteers will be employed or able to volunteer if they are barred from working with children and in the event of an incident where a member of staff has to be dismissed (or chooses to leave) because they have harmed a child DBS will be notified.
If any member of staff or volunteer has concerns about the behaviour or conduct of another individual within the organisation the nature of the concern should be reported to Michelle Higgins or in the event she is part of the concern bbodance headquarters. The member of staff who has a concern or to whom the allegation or concern is reported should not question the child or investigate further. The Designated officer, Michelle Higgins will report the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). If allegation or concern is raised about a member of staff, outside of work, this may still present a risk of harm to children for whom that member of staff is responsible and as such the general principles of this policy still apply.
Harm to Children and Child Protection
Everybody working with children at or on behalf of Balletic must be alert to the needs of children and the risk of harm. All staff, contractors and volunteers should be able to recognise, and know how to act upon evidence that a child’s health or development is being impaired or that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.
At Balletic we will make every effort to protect children from harm when they are attending our classes.
We will ensure:
· Appropriate recruitment and selection procedures are used
· Provision of safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers
· All staff and volunteers hold a clear and current DBS check
We will take all practical steps to ensure that no one working with us or for us would put a child in a situation of unreasonable risk to their health and safety. We will not harm or abuse children within our care and will take all reasonable steps to ensure no one working with us or around us within the community could harm or abuse a child in our care.
We will ensure good reporting to our DSP and onward to children’s social care where ever we suspect harm.
We will foster an environment of good communication, transparency and trust.
All staff, contractors and volunteers have a strict duty to never subject a child or young person to any form of harm or abuse.
During the registration process, relevant contact and medical information shall be collected and access to emergency information will be available to teaching staff and volunteers at every event.
We will listen to children and young people and address any safety concerns they may have. We recognise that the voice of children is important and we will advocate on their behalf.
We understand that the welfare of all children is of paramount importance.
Where We Suspect Harm and Abuse
Every member of staff has a duty to be alert to the signs of harm and abuse. Where they have concerns, these should be recorded carefully and accurately. All concerns should be discussed with the Michelle Higgins @ Balletic. A decision shall then be made with the DSL regarding sharing this concern onward to children’s social care or the police as required.
Where possible and only if it is safe to do so the staff member who has the concern, or the DSL, should let the parent / carer of that child know that they intend to raise that concern with children’s social care and they should seek their permission to share information.
Please be aware if the parent declines to consent and your concerns regard harm/significant harm Balletic are still duty bound to share with children’s social care where we believe there is a risk of or the experience of significant harm.
In the absence of the DSL all concerns should be shared directly with children’s social care and the information shared with the DSL on their return. A necessary referral to children’s social care should never be delayed due to staff absence.
Where to Refer Concerns
When a safeguarding concern is raised about a child their information should be shared with the social care team in the local authority area where they live. You will need to confirm the child’s address to do this. This information can be sought through the registration process of the event in question if the child is unable to tell you this. If the concern is about an adult in a position of trust who has harmed a child this concern should also be raised to the Local Authority Designated Officer in the area where the ‘work’ has taken place. Where a child has attended an event from overseas they are still protected by the law in the UK during their time in the UK so any instances of harm to them should be reported as a crime to the police. If a young person (ages 18 -25) with extended provision under the SEND code of practice is harmed / discloses harm this information should be shared with adult social care.
Recognising Harm and Abuse
Below are the definitions of harm to children and young people use these to help you recognise harm and ensure you cause no harm.
Physical abuse: A form of abuse that may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of or deliberately causes illness in a child.
Emotional abuse: The persistent emotional maltreatment off a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless, unloved, inadequate, or valued in so far as they meet the needs of another person only, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as the over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (or cyber bullying), causing children to frequently feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing rubbing or touching outside of clothing. They may also include noncontact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect: The persistent failure to meet a child’s physical and/ or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter (including exclusion from home and abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care givers); ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include an unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.
If a child tells us they have experienced harm and abuse:
· Always listen to what the child has to say with an open mind
· Do not ask leading or probing questions
· Never stop a child who is talking freely about significant events
· Make a note of the discussion, taking care to record the timings, setting and people present, as well as what was said
· Do not ask children to make a written statement
· Never promise a child that what they have told you may be kept secret.
· Explain that you have responsibility to share information
· Inform Michelle Higgins at Balletic immediately
Where we believe a responsible adult has harmed a child
If any member of staff, contractor or volunteer has concerns about the behaviour or conduct of another individual within the organisation the nature of the concern should be reported to the DSP immediately who will report the matter to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in the appropriate area. If the concern relates to the DSP the matter should be reported to bbodance headquarters or directly to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in the appropriate area.