CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

SECTION 1
1. Policy Statement
1.1 PPA (the School) is committed to creating an environment that enables children and young people to learn and develop in a safe, understanding and encouraging environment.
1.2 The School recognizes that it is a privilege to work with children and young people and that it is also a great responsibility. Parents/Guardians trust the School to look after their children, and to care for them, give leadership, and keep them safe. The School needs to ensure that we honour their trust.
1.3 “Children & young people” refers to persons under the age of 18. However, information and advice in this policy also applies, in spirit, to those young adults over the age of 18 who are deemed to be “vulnerable”
1.4 The School will take appropriate steps to ensure that children and young people are not exposed to reasonably foreseeable risk of injury, whether to their physical or mental health and wellbeing. The School is committed to the protection from harm and the safeguarding of all children and young people who attend its activities.
2. The School endeavours to safeguard children and young people by, recognizing its ‘Duty of Care’, by adopting child protection guidelines through:
2.1 Ensuring that staff and assistants are aware of who holds “Designated Officer” responsibility for child protection.
2.2 Ensuring that staff, assistants, helpers and volunteers respond appropriately should abuse be discovered or disclosed and that any reported incidents of abuse are fully recorded.
2.3 Disseminating information to children and young people, parents/guardians, staff and assistants about child protection and good practice with children and young people.
2.4 A child protection code of conduct for staff, assistants, helpers and volunteers.
2.5 Ensuring that procedures for recruitment and selection of staff, and assistants, are rigorous, clear, fair and uniformly applied.
2.6 Providing effective management and support for staff and assistants.
2.7 Monitoring and reviewing the Child Protection Policy.
3. This policy will work in tandem with:
3.1 The School’s Health and Safety Policy, Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy, Data Protection Policy and Disciplinary Procedures, as well as the School’s Criminal Records Bureau Policy Statement and Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders.
4. This policy aims to comply with the requirements of :
• The Children Act 1989
• The Human Rights Act 1998
• The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Ratified by the UK Government in 1991)
• The Protection of Children Act 1999,
• The Criminal Justice & Court Services Act 2000
• The Children Act 2004.
• As well as the Promoting Children’s Welfare and Safeguarding Guidelines as recommended by: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) ‘Safe From Harm’ Guidelines, Home Office Recommendations.
SECTION 2
1.1 Policy Aims
This policy aims to:
• Demonstrate PPA’s commitment to protecting all children and young people who use our services.
• Provide information and support to staff, assistants and volunteers in relation to child protection.
• Provide a clear and effective framework for staff, assistants and volunteers for safeguarding children.
• Provides clear procedures for reporting and recording suspicions, disclosures and allegations of abuse, including allegations against the School’s personnel.
1.2 Definitions
The School recognizes the following definitions of child abuse, which are based on those from “Working Together to Safeguard Children.” (Department of Health, Home Office, Department for Education and Employment, 1999).
Physical Abuse - this may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or the threat of physical abuse. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after. Physical abuse as well as being a result of an act of commission can also be caused through omission or the failure to act to protect.
Emotional Abuse - the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual Abuse – this involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of or consents to what is happening. Sexual abuse may also include noncontact activities, such as involving children in looking at or in the production of pornographic material, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females, by adults and by other young people, and by people from all different walks of life.
Neglect - the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, leaving a young child home alone or the failure to ensure a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Abuse of Position of Trust - This guidance is primarily intended to protect young people over the age of sexual consent but under 18 years of age and vulnerable adults where a relationship of trust, with an adult exists. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that it is a criminal offence for any person aged 18 years or over, who is in a position of trust (i.e. an School staff member, assistant or volunteer), developing a sexual relationship with a person under 18 years. The principles and guidance apply, irrespective of sexual orientation: neither homosexual nor heterosexual relationships are acceptable in a position of trust.
Note: Bullying is not an official category of child abuse but is damaging, harmful and oppressive. It is vital not to underestimate the damage that can be caused by bullying. The School acknowledges that regardless of who the perpetrator might be, that signs of bullying should be reported and appropriate action taken anti-bullying strategies should be enforced.
Note: Children from minority ethnic groups, children with learning difficulties, deaf children and children with other disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and may be targeted.
2 General Principles
2.1 The School recognizes that it is a privilege to work with children and young people; and that it is also a great responsibility. Parent’s trust us to look after their children, and to care for them, give leadership, and keep them safe. We need to ensure that we honour their trust.
2.2 The School recognizes that child abuse can occur in all cultures, religions and all social classes. All children have the right to be protected.
Children who have been abused deserve care, respect and sensitivity.
2.3 The School will take appropriate steps to ensure that children/young people are not at risk of injury, whether to their physical or mental health and wellbeing.
2.4 The School is committed to the protection from harm and safekeeping of all children/young people who attend our activities ensuring that leaders and workers respond appropriately should abuse be discovered or disclosed and any concerns about abuse is fully recorded.
2.5 The School is committed to a Child Protection Code of Conduct for all workers including staff, assistants, helpers and volunteers to ensure positive interaction between workers / and children./young people.
2.6 The School is committed to having suitable and adequate supervision of children/young people at all times while children/young people are attending School activities.
3 Implementation
3.1 Designated Officer:
Joanna Guariglia is designated as the Designated Child Protection Officer. This role includes taking responsibility for handling disclosure or suspicions of abuse, coordinating referrals and investigations and liaising with relevant agencies.
3.2 Access to Policy: The policy is available on the School’s website and paper copies are available on request at all our teaching venues 3.3 Guidelines:
Guidelines on the procedures on how to implement this Policy will be made available to all staff and assistants, for how to respond to allegations or concerns regarding child abuse.
Procedures for recruitment and selection of workers and will be rigorous, clear, fair and uniformly applied, in accordance with the School’s Recruitment and Selection policy and procedures. Effective management for Designated officers and workers will be given through supervision, support and training.
3.4 Assessment and Monitoring of Policy:
The School will continually monitor the implementation of this policy, it’s practices and procedures and review the policy on an annual basis. The School undertakes to make and retain a full and detailed record of any reported incident or suspicion of abuse.
SECTION 3
1. Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct applies to all School employees, independent contractors, helpers, volunteers and any other individuals who come into contact with children and young people (under the age of 18), whether as part of their administrative, teaching, examining or ancillary duties.
2. Child Protection Policy Statement.
Phoenix Performing Arts:
• Is committed to creating an environment that enables children and young people to learn and develop in a safe, understanding and encouraging environment.
• Recognizes that it is a privilege to work with children and young people; and that it is also a great responsibility. Parents/Guardians trust the School to look after their children, and to care for them, give leadership, and keep them safe. The School needs to ensure that we honour their trust and -
• Will take reasonable steps to ensure that children and young people are not exposed to a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury, whether to their physical or mental health. PPA is committed to the protection from harm and safekeeping of all children and young people who attend its activities ensuring that staff, assistants and volunteers respond appropriately should abuse be discovered or disclosed and any reported incidents of abuse are fully recorded.
• Is an equal opportunities organisation and has a policy of open access to courses and activities for children and young people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, socioeconomic background, colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin, age or disability.
3. Guidelines
3.1 Children and young people should be treated equally and, with respect and dignity.
3.2 Workers should at all times provide an example of good conduct and be an excellent role model. This includes refraining from smoking, drinking alcohol or swearing in the company of children and young people.
3.3 Workers should build balanced relationships with all children and young people and should not have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people.
3.4 Workers should give enthusiastic and constructive feedback and not negative criticism. Workers should not show favouritism to any individual, resort to bullying tactics or reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
3.5 Workers should ensure that whenever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with children and young people, or at least that they are within sight or hearing of others.
3.6 Workers should recognize the developmental needs and capacity of children and young people, avoiding excessive training and not pushing them against their will.
3.6 Workers should put the welfare of each child and young person before achieving goals.
3.7 Workers should challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations and suspicions of abuse to the School’s Child Protection Officer or appropriate Manager.
3.8 Workers should record any injury that occurs in the official Accident Book, along with details of any treatment given.
3.9 Workers should give guidance and support to inexperienced assistants.
3.10 Workers should not jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
3.11 Workers should not exaggerate or trivialize child abuse issues.
3.12 Workers should not rely on the good name of Phoenix Performing Arts to protect them.
3.13 Workers should not take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
4. Physical Contact
4.1 Workers should respect a child and young person’s right to personal privacy and encourage them all to have concern for others, especially where unsound or unacceptable behaviour is concerned.
4.2 Workers may from time to time be required to undertake tasks of a personal nature for children/young people (e.g. assist with dressing and visits to the toilet). In performing these tasks workers should be responsive to the child’s/young person’s reactions. If they are fully dependent on you, talk about what you are doing and give choices where possible. Workers should not do things for a personal nature that a child can do for themselves.
4.3 Workers should ensure that any form of physical interaction, if required, is always appropriate to the situation and never against a child or young person's will.

Contact

EMAIL: phoenixperformingarts@hotmail.co.uk
TEL: 07968 367397
ADDRESS: 16a Roper Close, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7EP