Safe Guarding

Policy Booklet

 

Safeguarding Children Policy

Jazz Repertory Company is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse and harm.

 

The organisation will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur.  The organisation’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

 

The organisation’s designated Safeguarding Officer (SO) is Natalie Hunt. The SO coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted).

 

Forms of child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below:

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.

  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

  • is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.

 

Signs of child abuse and neglect

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:

  • significant changes in a child's behaviour

  • deterioration in a child’s general well-being

  • unexplained bruising or marks

  • comments made by a child which give cause for concern

  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.

 

If abuse is suspected or disclosed

When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:

  • Reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out

  • Listen to the child but not question them

  • Give reassurance that the staff member will take action

  • Record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below).

 

If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the incident straightaway. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that the Organisation is obliged to and the incident will be logged accordingly.

 

Logging an incident

All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:

  • Date of the disclosure or of the incident causing concern

  • Date and time at which the record was made

  • Name and date of birth of the child involved

  • A factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words.

  • Name, signature and job title of the person making the record.

 

The record will be given to the Organisation’s SO who will decide whether they need to contact Social Care or make a referral. All referrals to Social Care will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.

If any member of staff thinks that the incident has not been adequately dealt with, they may contact Social Care themselves.

 

Allegations against staff

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:

  • The allegation will be recorded on an form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.

  • The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and the Organisation will act upon their advice. Any reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.

  • Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.

 

 

Promoting awareness among staff

The Organisation promotes awareness of child abuse issues through its staff training. The Organisation ensures that:

  • Its designated SO has relevant experience and receives appropriate training

  • Safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff

  • All staff have a copy of this Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse or neglect

  • All staff are aware of their statutory requirements with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse

  • Staff are familiar with the ‘What To Do If You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused’ flowchart

  • Its procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2012)’.

 

Use of mobile phones and cameras

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only the organisation camera will be used to take photographs of children at the Organisation, except with the express permission of the manager. Neither staff nor children may use their mobile phones to take photographs at the Organisation.   All parents sign a permission slip on registration.

 

Contact numbers

Social Care: 020 7332 3621

Out of hours contact: 020 8356 2710

LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Board):  020 8489 3145

Ofsted: 0300 123 1231

NSPCC: 0808 800 500

 

Complaints Policy

The Directors will respond to any complaint within 24 hours and will give you a written outcome to the complaint within 72 hours. If for any reason the response time is going to be different we will inform you of when you will be notified.

 

Collection Policy

  • Staff will ensure that they, parents or carers sign children out before they leave, including the time of collection.

  • An adult who has been authorised to collect them on their registration form can only collect children.

  • The child’s parents or carers must inform the Organisation in advance if someone who is not listed on the registration form is to collect the child. The manager will contact the main parent or carer for confirmation if they have any concerns regarding departures.

  • The parent or carer must notify the Organisation if they will be late collecting their child. If the Organisation is not informed, the policy will be followed.

  • Children over the age of 8 will only be allowed to leave the Organisation alone at the end of the session if the Organisation has discussed this with the child’s parents and has received their written consent.

  • Children below the age of 8 will not be allowed to leave the Organisation unaccompanied.

 

Uncollected Children Policy

MD Dance endeavours to ensure that a parent or carer collects all children at the end of each session. If a child is not collected, and the parent or carer has not notified us that they will be delayed, we will follow the procedure set out below:

 

Up to 15 minutes late

  • If a parent or carer is more than 10 minutes late in collecting their child, the manager will try to contact them using the contact details on file.

  • When the parent or carer arrives they will be reminded that they must call the Organisation to notify us if they are delayed.

 

Over 15 minutes late

  • The parent or carer will be informed that penalty fees will have to be charged and any cost to MD Dance for expedient on ward travel or lost earning from subsequent teaching commitments will also be added.

  • If there is no response from the parent or carer, messages will be left requesting that they contact the Organisation immediately. The manager will then try to contact the emergency contacts listed on the child’s registration form.

  • While waiting to be collected, the child will be supervised by a member of staff.

  • When the parent or carer arrives they will be reminded that they must call the Organisation to notify us if they are delayed, and that penalty fees will have to be charged.

 

Managing persistent lateness

The manager will record incidents of late collection and will discuss them with the child’s parents or carers. Parents and carers will be reminded that if they persistently collect their child late they may lose their place at the Organisation.

 

Toileting Policy

Children are asked to go to the toilet before a session begins. They are encouraged to wash their hands after they have been to the toilet for hygiene reasons.

 

All children must ask a member of staff if they need to go to the toilet, so all staff knows who has gone to the toilet if there is a fire.

 

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

MD Dance will make every effort to keep the Organisation open, but in exceptional circumstances, we may need to close at short notice.

The following are possible reasons for emergency closure:

  • Serious weather conditions

  • Heating system failure

  • Burst water pipes

  • Fire or bomb scare/explosion

  • Death of a member of staff or child

  • Assault on a staff member or child

  • Serious accident or illness

 

In the event of an emergency our primary concern will be to ensure that both children and staff are kept safe. If it is necessary to evacuate the Organisation, the following steps will be taken:

  • If appropriate the manager or session supervisor will contact the emergency services.

  • All children will be escorted from the building to the assembly point using the nearest safe exit.

  • No attempt will be made to collect personal belongings, or to re-enter the building after evacuation.

  • A nominated member of staff will check the premises and will collect the register (including emergency contact details) providing that this does not put anyone at risk.

  • Before leaving the building the designated person will close all accessible doors and windows, if it is safe to do so.

  • The register will be taken and all children and staff accounted for.

  • If any person is missing from the register, the emergency services will be informed immediately.

  • The manager will contact parents to collect their children. If the register is not available, the manager will use the emergency contacts list (which is kept off site).

  • All children will be supervised until they are safely collected.

  • If after every attempt, a child’s parent or carers cannot be contacted, the Organisation will follow its Uncollected Child procedure.

 

If the Organisation has to close, even temporarily, or operate from alternative premises, as a result of the emergency, we will notify Ofsted.

 

Ofsted’s address is: Ofsted, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH

 

Telephone: 0300 123 1231

 

DBS checks

We will obtain enhanced DBS disclosures for all staff, students and volunteers who will work unsupervised with the children on a regular basis, or who have access to children’s information, If candidates have subscribed to the DBS Update Service we will carefully review their current DBS certificate and then check their status online. If there has been a change in their status since their last DBS certificate was issued we will obtain a new DBS disclosure for them.

 

New staff will only be allowed to work unsupervised with children when we have had full sight of a satisfactory DBS certificate for them.

 

If we decide to allow a new member of staff to begin work pending the completion of their DBS check, we will complete a written risk assessment first and they will not be allowed unsupervised access to the children until we have seen and reviewed their DBS certificate.

 

When we appoint a member of staff we will keep a record of the date and number of their DBS disclosure on our Central DBS Record. We will update the DBS checks for all staff every 3 years.

 

Disqualification

The Organisation will not employ staff or volunteers who have been convicted of an offence or have been subject to an order that disqualifies them from registration under regulations made under section 75 of the Childcare Act 2006. If a member of staff becomes disqualified we will terminate their employment.