Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Code of Practice
1. Policy objectives
The Stringcredibles is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and safety of all the children it works with and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
The Stringcredibles also recognises that good child protection policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with our work, especially staff, as they can help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.
The Stringcredibles Trustees are also committed to practices that protect children from harm. This policy applies to all those working for The Stringcredibles, including volunteers. All staff and volunteers who have unsupervised access to, or contact with, children are required to:
• develop and maintain an awareness of the issues which can cause children harm
• report concerns following the procedures described in this policy document
• hold a current enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
The Stringcredibles will endeavour to safeguard children by:
• adopting Child Protection Procedures and a Code of Practice which all who work on behalf of the organisation will be required to follow
• keeping parents/carers informed of any child protection or other concerns as appropriate
• reporting any concerns to the authorities as appropriate (e.g. NSPCC, police, social/welfare agencies)
• carefully following Safer Recruitment procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers
• providing effective management for all staff and volunteers through support and training.
The Stringcredibles is also committed to reviewing its Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Code of Practice annually.
2. Policy Statement
It is The Stringcredibles’ policy to:
• foster a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings, both in individual decisions and the planning and provision of services
• ensure that staff and volunteers are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where they feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role
• remind staff that they should never put themselves at risk and should avoid interaction with a child in any circumstances which might be misinterpreted.
The Stringcredibles undertakes that:
• All staff and volunteers working on behalf The Stringcredibles accept responsibility for the welfare and safety of children in their care, for reporting any concerns, and for adhering to the Code of Practice
• A culture of mutual respect between children and those who represent The Stringcredibles in all its activities will be encouraged, with adults modelling good practice in this context
• All staff and volunteers with unsupervised access to children will have current enhanced DBS checks
• Anybody who encounters child protection concerns in the context of their work on behalf of The Stringcredibles will be supported when they report their concerns in good faith
• The Stringcredibles policy will be made available to staff and volunteers and actively promoted within the organisation
3. Code of Practice
The Stringcredibles expects that all staff and volunteers will read and absorb this Code of Practice and adhere to its principles in their approach to children at all times. The Code of Practice is based on the Government document Guidance for Safer Working Practice (updated April 2020) and has been reviewed considering the document Keeping Children Safe in Education published by the Department for Education in March 2015.
The Stringcredibles’ musicians are rarely alone with children, and will seek, wherever possible, to have another member of staff with them in school settings.
Staff and volunteers should not have unnecessary physical contact with a child. There may be occasions when physical contact is unavoidable or necessary for safety or educational reasons, for example:
• Providing reassurance for a distressed person.
• Administering first aid.
• When teaching a child how to hold a bow or instrument correctly.
• When working with a person with a disability who requests such assistance.
4. Dissemination of Policy and Code of Practice
A copy will be given to staff and volunteers prior to their first period of employment or voluntary work with us.
The Stringcredibles will ensure that appropriate training is provided to staff and volunteers where appropriate in accordance with the Department of Education’s Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance (updated December 2020), and refreshed as appropriate or at least every three years.
6. Acceptable use of media (including social media) policy and guidance
The use of social media platforms is an important mechanism for sharing The Stringcredibles’ news and raising the profile of the charity and its work. The Stringcredibles will continue to develop its use of social media platforms (primarily, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for these purposes and will capture a wide variety of material.
Some members of The Stringcredibles staff may be asked to take photographs or produce news items or other material using personal devices (such as smartphones) for uploading onto The Stringcredibles social media platforms. This is because Stringcredible-owned smartphones are not available.
This guidance covers use of personal devices to capture material for uploading to and distribution on The Stringcredibles social media platforms. It is intended to provide a clear framework to which we work.
• Written permission from schools, children and parents will be obtained prior to any pictures and/ or videos being taken. Copies of written permission documents will be stored in the Stringcredibles’ Dropbox, for a maximum of 7 years.
• It is the responsibility of the member of staff capturing the material to ensure that it is deleted from their personal device as soon as reasonably practicable.
• Where practical, images and videos will be shared on social media using the Stringcredibles’ laptop, rather than personal devices.
• Images and videos will be stored in the Stringcredibles’ Dropbox, for a maximum of 7 years.
• Any material that is captured should be within the scope agreed beforehand, should be done in public, and the guidance in The Stringcredibles’ Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy regarding interactions with children strictly observed at all times.
• The individual member of staff is responsible for ensuring that any material captured is appropriate and consistent with the image, aims and ethos of The Stringcredibles.
7. Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
The Stringcredibles is responsible for appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) who is responsible for:
• being the first point of contact for staff wishing to report an incident or concern
• determining the action to be taken in the event of a safeguarding incident or complaint being raised
• dealing with any concerns about the protection of children
• providing information and advice on child protection within The Stringcredibles
• identifying training needs and providing training
• updating and reviewing this Policy and Code of Practice considering changes to guidance, practice or legislation by Government or other lead agencies
• liaising with The Stringcredibles Board to ensure that this Policy and Code of Practice is regularly reviewed and updated
• ensuring the dissemination of this Policy and Code of Practice to others
• Review, with the board of trustees, the operation of this Policy regularly to ensure the procedures are working effectively and that it complies with current best practice
Trustee with safeguarding responsibilities
The Trustee with responsibility for safeguarding is Eluned Mansell.
Their role is to support the Designated Safeguarding Officer if any serious safeguarding concerns occur.
They also play a key role in updating the organisations safeguarding policy and have overall responsibility for approving amendments or changes to the policy.
Stringcredibles DSO contact details
High energy, interactive and educational shows for children in primary schools
For students, teachers and organisations working with young musicians (any instrument)
Designed to inspire young musicians and young audiences with the joy of classical music
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