Child Protection Policy

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Exam Stars recognises its duty of care under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, the Child (Performances) Regulations 1968, the Protection of Children Act 1999 and the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

Exam Stars is committed to protect children from all forms of harm and abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Exam Stars believes that:
– all children have the right to protection from abuse;
– all suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;
– all members of the society should be clear on how to respond appropriately.

For the purpose of this policy, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Exam Stars will ensure that:
– all children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity;
– the welfare of each child will always be put first;
– bullying will not be accepted or condoned;
– all adult members will provide a positive role model
– action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour
– it will keep up to date with changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children

Exam Stars operates the following child protection procedures to accompany this policy.

The Principal (Alexandra James) will be responsible for Child Protection and will endeavour to ensure that Exam Stars child protection policies and procedures are adhered to.

 

ALL STAFF MEMBERS OF EXAM STARS MUST HAVE A VALID DBS CERTIFICATE.

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

Responsibilities of Exam Stars
– Ensure that children are supervised at all times.
– Identify at the outset of each class/production/exam session the person(s) with designated responsibility for child protection for that class/production/exam session.
– Ensure all visiting staff/performers/examiners adhere to each schools signing in/out visitor policy.

Parents and Guardians
– Exam Stars believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents/guardians and them.
– A parent/guardian will be given a copy of this Child Protection Policy and Procedures.
– Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring the safe collection and transportation of their children to and from classes, rehearsals, performances and examinations. It is not the responsibility of Exam Stars to collect/deliver children to/from their home.

Unsupervised Contact
– Exam Stars will endeavour to have a minimum of two adults in the room when working with children in groups of more than 12.
– If a second adult is not possible, appropriate precautions will be taken to minimise the risk of harm or abuse.

Physical Contact
– All adults will apply appropriate physical contact with the children e.g. holding hands.
– Except in an emergency, adults will only touch children when it is absolutely necessary for the activity and the consent of the child will be explicitly sought in advance.

Photos and Other Personal information
– Permission will be sought from a parent/guardian for the use of photographic material featuring children for promotional, training or other purposes.
– Permission will be sought from a parent/guardian for the disclosure of any personal information that relates to their child through any medium, including the website or for examination entry purposes.

Suspicion of Abuse
– If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of Exam Stars, please make this known to the person with responsibility for child protection within the school you are teaching. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for child protection is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the Principal (Alexandra James).
– Please make a note for your own records of what you suspect or witnessed as well as your response, in case there is any follow-up in which you are involved.
– If a serious allegation is made against any member of Exam Stars, chaperone, venue staff etc, that individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be excluded from the classes, rehearsal or examination rooms, etc. and will not have any unsupervised involvement with any child within the care of Exam Stars .

Disclosure of Abuse
If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place:
– Remain calm and in control, but do not delay to take action.
– Listen carefully to what has been said.
– Do not promise to keep it a secret. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share the information with others who need to know and who will be able to help. Take the first opportunity available to share this information with the person with responsibility for child protection.
– Reassure the child that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone, and explain what you are going to do next.
– Make a record of what you were told. Note the time, date, names involved/mentioned and with whom you shared the information. Sign and date this record.

Recording of disclosure
The person with responsibility for Child Protection (Alexandra James) will ensure that:
– In all situations, (including where a disclosure was made in confidence) the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether the concerns were shared with a statutory child protection agency.
– The record will be securely stored and shared only with those that need to know about the incident.

Rights and Confidentiality
– If a complaint is made against a member of the society, he or she will be made aware of their rights under this policy and of the disciplinary procedures set out in the Society Constitution.
– No matter how you feel about the complaint, all affected parties will have the right to confidentiality. Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through inappropriate information being released.
– Remember that in criminal law the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Chaperones
– The person responsible for child protection will decide when the use of chaperones during a production/recital/examination is appropriate.
– Guidelines for chaperones will then be issued on an ad hoc basis by the person responsible for child protection.