Safeguarding

Newbury Youth Theatre
Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct for Working with Children and Young People

Newbury Youth Theatre (NYT) recognises that the welfare of all children and young people is paramount and that all children and young people, regardless of ability or culture, have equal rights of Safeguarding.  We have a duty of care when they are in our charge and will do everything we can to provide a safe and caring environment whilst they attend our activities and take part in our workshops, performances and trips.  Children includes everyone under the age of 18.

This Safeguarding Policy applies to all employees, volunteers and trustees; the procedures are most relevant for those with significant or sole responsibility for children and young people.  Employees, volunteers and trustees in these positions will be subject to Enhanced DBS clearance and should be registered for the update service.

We aim to attain the standards set out on the NSPCC website, in all our activities with children, young people, their families and/or carers.  We will achieve this by adhering strictly to this policy and the guidance and risk assessments, using guidance from the NSPCC website.

This policy has been developed with reference to the Department for Education publication Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2016), which can be downloaded here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2

What NYT employees, volunteers and trustees need to know:

All NYT employees, volunteers and trustees must read and follow this Safeguarding policy.  Employees, volunteers and trustees should be aware of the indicators detailed in this policy and the process for raising concerns.  Employees, volunteers and trustees must know what to do in the event of a disclosure and must remember the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality whilst at the same time liaising with the safeguarding lead.  Employees, volunteers and trustees should never promise a child that they will not tell anyone about an allegation, as this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.

What you should look out for:

All employees, volunteers and trustees should be aware of the types of abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues detailed later in this document, so that they are able to identify cases of children who may be in need of help or protection.  Everyone working with children at NYT is advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned.  When concerned about the welfare of a child, employees, volunteers and trustees should always act in the best interests of the child.  Knowing what to look for is vital to the early identification of abuse and neglect.  In the event of uncertainty, always speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

What you should do if you have concerns about a child

Anyone who has concerns about a child, should speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.  All NYT employees, volunteers and trustees, including the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy, will deal with concerns using the following steps:

Step 1

If you are worried a child has been abused because:

  • You have seen something
  • A child says they have been abused
  • Somebody else has told you they are concerned
  • There has been an allegation against a member of staff, a volunteer or a trustee.
  • There has been an anonymous allegation
  • An adult has disclosed they were abusing a child
  • An adult has disclosed they were abused as a child 

Step 2 (within 48 hours)

Talk to Designated Safeguarding  Lead (Jack Crittenden) or his Deputy (Tony Trigwell-Jones)

Step 3

The Safeguarding  Lead or Deputy should refer the concern to Children’s Social Care Services and/or the police (in an emergency) and follow up the referral in writing within 24 hrs 

Important:
Any consultation should not delay a referral. In an emergency dial 999

What you should do if a child is in danger or at risk of harm

If a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately.  Anyone can make a referral.  Where referrals are not made by the Designated Safeguarding Lead, they should be informed as soon as possible that a referral has been made.

What you should do if a child makes an allegation or disclosure

If a child makes an allegation or disclosure, staff should take the following steps:

  1. Never promise confidentiality – this may ultimately not be in the best interests of the child.
  2. Never ask leading questions.
  3. Never pass judgment.
  4. Make as verbatim a written record of the conversation as possible (including date and time) the record should not include judgment or put words into the mouth of the child.

Details of the allegation/disclosure and the written record should be passed to the Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible.

Record keeping

All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing, along with dates and times of the discussions and decisions, and the details of those present.  These records should be passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

What you should do if you have concerns about the behaviour of other adults

Concerns about the behaviour of other adults should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy at the earliest opportunity.  If the concerns involve the Safeguarding Lead or Deputy, they should be reported to one of the Trustees.

What you should do if you have concerns about safeguarding practices within the organisation

Any concerns about safeguarding practices should be raised with the Safeguarding Lead or Deputy.  NYT is committed to providing a safe and caring environment for the children and young people who work with us; concerns about safeguarding practices will be taken seriously by the senior leadership team.

Types of abuse and neglect

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment.  Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or vulnerable adult by inflicting harm, or failing to act to prevent harm.  Children or vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.  An adult, or another child or children may abuse them. It is generally accepted that there are four main forms of abuse:

  1. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child, or deliberately causes illness.
  2. Emotional abuse is persistent emotional ill-treatment, which can cause severe and persistent adverse effects on emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child or vulnerable adult that s/he is worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only for meeting the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed.  These may include interactions that are beyond the child or vulnerable adult’s developmental capability, as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or prevention of participation in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying causing children or vulnerable adults frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or their exploitation or corruption.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of children and vulnerable adults, but it can also occur alone.
  3. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities such as involving children or vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual on-line images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging inappropriate sexual behaviour.
  4. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of health and development. Neglect may also occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance misuse.  Once the child is born, it can include a parent or carer failing to:
  • Provide adequate food, clothing or shelter (including exclusion from home or 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 neglect of, or unresponsiveness to basic emotional needs

Specific safeguarding issues

Safeguarding issues can include bullying and cyberbullying, domestic violence, drugs, fabricated or induced illness, faith abuse, gangs and youth violence, gender-based violence, hate, mental health, peer to peer relationship abuse, sexting and trafficking.  There are a number of specific safeguarding issues for which there is a legal obligation to report awareness that a child is under risk:

  • Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them.  Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and can happen online.
  • So called ‘honour based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such.  If in any doubt, staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead.
  • Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is part of the wider safeguarding duties of staff.  There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology.  It can happen in many different ways and settings.  As with other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection.
  • Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs; it is illegal in the UK. There is a statutory duty to report to the police any discovery (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18.  It is rare to see visual evidence and employees, volunteers and trustees should not be examining young people.  Anyone discovering a case where FGM appears to have been carried out must personally report it to the police and should still discuss it with the Safeguarding Lead.

Lock down procedure

In the event of an emergency situation during an NYT workshop, rehearsal, or performance, employees, volunteers and trustees will adopt the lock down procedure of the space where the event is taking place.  This information will be shared with those leading the session as part of the standard health and safety induction/briefing for each rehearsal/performance space.

Use of data/email addresses

NYT will communicate with the children that it works with via teachers, parents or guardians.  All contact information is held securely and used in line with GDPR guidelines. A copy of the Newbury Youth Theatre GDPR statement can be found on our website (https://newburyyouththeatre.co.uk/); any questions or queries should be directed to the trustees – newburyyouththeatre@gmail.com.

E-safety

Mobile phones and computers are an important source of communication, entertainment and education.  However, all staff have a responsibility to ensure the e-safety of children in relation to NYT activity.  Staff should be alert to online abuse, grooming and cyber-bullying by text, email or on social media.  Concerns should be dealt with in the same way as any other safeguarding issue.

Children and young people will not be permitted to bring mobile phones or cameras into rehearsal or workshop settings.  In performance, the use of mobile phones to take photographs will be managed by NYT employees, volunteers and trustees.

NYT staff may not befriend on social media any children or young people who they have met through their work on NYT projects or productions, with the following exceptions:

  1. Situations whereby former members have continued or returned to work with NYT, its staff, trustees or volunteers, in a professional capacity and where social media connections are relevant to or facilitate that working relationship.
  2. Former members that take responsibilities within NYT following a hiatus and once they exceed the maximum age for membership are expected to retain social media connections with their former cohort.
  3. Where former members are over 18 and there has been a gap of at least 3 years between their leaving NYT and the online befriending.

NYT staff are reminded that great care and caution should be exercised when befriending ex-members under any of the exceptions above and that the social media relationships should always be public and content appropriate.

NYT uses instant messaging services such as What’sApp whilst on tour to facilitate contact between staff and members.  These channels are disbanded following the completion of the business of that tour.

It is important for NYT to document its work through film and photography for archive purposes, in order to have images and footage to use for promoting future projects, as well as to celebrate its high-quality work with funders and supporters.  NYT staff and/or professional photographers will document this work at regular intervals during each year, but only when prior written permission has been obtained from parents/guardians.  A child’s name or personal details will not be used without permission from parents/guardians.

NYT may post pictures on its social media channels of children who are involved in its work.  No pictures or names will be posted without parent/guardian permission.

Children and young people will not be permitted to use mobile phones/devices or cameras in rehearsals or workshops unless at the request of NYT for official reasons.

Children and young people will be permitted to use mobile phones/device and cameras in rehearsal breaks, but must abide by a code of conduct which includes the following:

  • Only suitable material should be accessed online; using the internet to transmit or gain access to materials which are unlawful, obscene or abusive is not permitted .
  • No photographs should be taken or posts shared online without consent.
  • Any inappropriate comments about NYT or company members will not be tolerated .
  • Social media must only be used in a polite and courteous way and any online bullying will not be tolerated.
  • No child or young person should befriend a member of staff online. Any requests to do so must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Any suspected inappropriate behaviour must be logged and reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD

Jack Crittenden | j.crittenden@maryhare.org.uk | 07792 856988

DEPUTY SAFEGUARDING LEAD

Tony Trigwell-Jones | t.jones@maryhare.org.uk | 07790 007393

IN AN EMERGENCY, DIAL 999

Website : https://newburyyouththeatre.co.uk/

Email : newburyyouththeatre@gmail.com

This policy was last reviewed and updated in February 2019

Working with Children – Code of Conduct

All Newbury Youth Theatre employees, volunteers and trustees have special responsibilities to the children and young people that they work with.  The company is committed to anti-discriminatory practice and clear guidance is provided on the types of practices that will meet these responsibilities and ensure that children are listened to, valued and respected as individuals.  You should:

  • Recognise the position of responsibility you hold with the children you are working with; understand that you will be trusted by these children and will hold a certain amount of power over them. Treat this trust and this power with the highest responsibility.
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour at all times and maintain a professional relationship with all children you work with, and never be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any illegal substance.
  • Work in an open and accountable manner at all times. Always ensure there is more than one adult present in any session or break. When this is not possible, ensure you are working in full view of others.
  • Not take children alone on car journeys unless absolutely unavoidable and only then if the full knowledge and consent of the parents / carers and senior manager in the organisation has been sought and given. Insurance liability should also be checked in this instance.
  • Not meet with children outside of organised activities, unless with the knowledge and consent of the parents / carers and senior manager in the organisation.
  • Use appropriate forms of communication and language. Do not swear and never make sexual or suggestive comments to a child. Always challenge a child’s (or colleague’s) use of bad language or sexual or suggestive comments.
  • Never discriminate against a child because of age, disability, gender, cultural or racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or sexual identity.
  • Recognise the additional needs of children from minority ethnic groups and disabled children and the barriers they may face, especially around communication.
  • Not use unnecessary physical contact with children. There may be occasions when physical contact is unavoidable or necessary, for example to provide reassurance to a distressed child, to provide physical support when working with a disabled child, or for first aid or demonstration purposes.  Physical contact should only take place with the consent of the child and the purpose of the contact should be clear.
  • Be vigilant and mindful that some children may misinterpret the actions of adults, sometimes finding good intentions to be intrusive or intimidating. Sometimes children become attracted to the adults working with them.  Adults should be aware of the impact of their actions, and should sensitively address any misunderstanding.
  • Not befriend on social media any children or young people who are NYT members.
  • Only photograph or film children (or invite a professional to do so) during a workshop or rehearsal situation for work purposes, and with the prior consent of parents/guardians. Ensure any footage is kept secure.