Child Protection Policy
Here at Talespin Theatre we ensure that your childs safety and happiness is our number one priority.
The aim of the Talespin Theatre Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice in:
• Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of Talespin Theatre.
• Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues
Talespin Theatre believes that:
• The welfare of children is vital and that safety and welfare come first in all instances.
• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
• All staff including teachers, actors, assistants and volunteers working for Talespin Theatre have a responsibility to report concerns to the principal or other identified staff.
Talespin Theatre has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in our classes from harm.
All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.
Talespin Theatre will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in our stage school through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines. A child is defined as under 18 The Children Act 1989.
Promoting Good Practice
Talespin Theatre will encourage the following:
• Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)
• Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity
• Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals
• Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with students (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child)
• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process
• Making performing fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play
• Ensuring that all material (i.e scripts /scene content) is age appropriate and never makes a child feel uncomfortable or concerned.
• Keeping up to date with the skills, qualifications and insurance in performing arts.
• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people, always aiming to speak in a positive manner and remembering that building confidence and ensuring the child is having a positive experience is always the main aim.
• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
Guidelines for use of photographic filming
• Talespin Theatre does not allow any filming or photographing to take place UNLESS;
• We have consent to take photos from the school/venue and has been approved by the head of school.
• We ask all children to put mobile phones away in bags, completely out of sight before starting a class.
Talespin Theatre recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. When undertaking pre selection checks the following should be included:
• All our staff; freelance / volunteers / assistants, should have a Criminal Records Bureau (DBS CHECK)
• Schools should ensure a member of staff is present at all times during shows and workshops.
• Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)
Responding to suspicions or allegations
It is not the responsibility of anyone working at Talespin Theatre in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities. Talespin Theatre will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague/volunteer is or may be abusing a child.When there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:
• A criminal investigation.
• A child protection investigation.
• A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation.
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the the directors: Marissa Moore and Keziah Lockwood, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
Action to help the victim and prevent bullying
Have a zero tolerance policy to bullying
Take all signs of bullying very seriously
Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns
Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone of authority
Create an open environment
Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe
• Speak with the victim and the bully/ies separately
• Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else
• Keep records of what is said (what happened by whom, when etc)
Action towards bullies
• Talk with the bully/ies explain the situation and try to get the bully/ies to understand the consequences of their behaviour
• Seek an apology to the victim/s.
• Inform the bully’s parents
• Provide support for the teacher of the victim
• Impose sanctions as necessary
• Encourage and support the bully/ies to change behaviour
• Hold meetings with the families to report on progress
Inform all appropriate members of the action taken
Keep a written record of action taken (whom, when etc)
Child Protection Lead:
Phone: 0800 689 1187 (opt 1)
This Child Protection policy was written under the guidance of NSPCC - Click Here for more information