Shires Festival of Dance
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL)
Last reviewed on
Next review date
Children’s Social Care (Family Front Door): 01905 82266 (Monday – Thursday 08:30 – 17:00 Friday 08:30 – 16:30)
Emergency Duty Team: 01905 768023 (16:30 Friday – 08:30 Monday, 17:00 – 09:00 Monday – Thursday and bank holidays.
For use if child’s safety and welfare is at serious risk and cannot wait till 09:00am the following weekday.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, the Childcare Act 2006, and in line with 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' 2015 and the recommendations of Worcestershire Safeguarding Children's Board.
We fully recognise our responsibilities for safeguarding children and our policy applies to all adults in the setting. The main aims of our policy and procedures are:
All adults will:
Take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well
Follow the policies and procedures of the Festival and notify the relevant person or agency without delay if concerns arise
Keep appropriate records
Disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands or warnings that may affect their suitability to work with children
In addition Shires Festival of Dance Association will:
Ensure that the Festival implements a policy and procedures to safeguard children, which is in line with guidance from Worcestershire Safeguarding Children's Board (WSCB), and review these at least annually;
Nominate a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) and ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to perform their role;
Ensure that parents, carers, legal guardians, teachers, and principals have an understanding of the responsibility placed on the Festival and Festival Personnel for safeguarding and child protection by making the Policy and Safeguarding Statement available;
Ensure that all Festival Personnel have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues and receive updated information on a regular basis, at least annually;
Ensure all Festival Personnel/Volunteers understand their responsibility for referring any concerns to the DSL or DDSL;
All Festival Personnel in public facing roles to participate in face-to-face safeguarding training;
All Festival Personnel to understand Shires Festival of Dance’s safeguarding policies and procedures and all related policies;
Provide training which enables Festival Official Personnel to be responsive if a disclosure occurs and or identify signs of possible abuse and respond appropriately;
Notify the Family Front Door (or the police in an emergency) without delay if they have concerns about a child;
Be aware of and follow procedures set out by the Local Authority and the WSCB where an allegation is made against a member of Shires Festival of Dance or volunteer, including making a referral to the DBS if a person in regulated activity has been dismissed or removed due to safeguarding concerns, or would have been had they not resigned;
Obtain an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure for all Official Festival Personnel (Committee Members) who volunteer at the Festival;
Record information about Official Festival Personnel’s qualifications/training: First Aid, Safeguarding, Health & Safety, and Fire Marshal;
Regarding vetting processes – this is by personal recommendation of current Committee Members who themselves are either close or an immediate relative of Festival participants or are a teacher or close relative of dance teacher.
When volunteers join our Festival they will be informed of the safeguarding arrangements in place. They will be given a copy of this policy and Shires Festival of Dance's code of conduct and will have access to a copy of all related policies. They will be told who the DSL is and who acts in their absence.
All Official Festival Personnel will receive training in safeguarding children. The training programme provided by Babcock Prime for Worcestershire County Council will include basic child protection information relating to signs and symptoms of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, when and how to record a concern about the welfare of a child, who to report concerns to, and advice on safe working practice.
All Official Festival Personnel will receive training in child protection and safe working practice, updated every three years. Those with specific responsibility for safeguarding children will undertake appropriate training, updated every two years.
All Festival Volunteers will receive and be required to acknowledge receipt of and agree to adhere to the Shires Festival of Dance’s Safeguarding Statement.
Information Sharing & Confidentiality
We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential and the DSL will only disclose information about a child to other members of Official Festival Personnel on a need to know basis. However, we also recognise our responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children, and we will not promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child's safety or well-being.
Any Official Festival Personnel present at the Festival receiving a disclosure of abuse from a child or young person, or noticing signs or symptoms of possible abuse will seek advice from the DSL as soon as possible who will advise and follow guidelines provided by the WCSB.
Festival Personnel will make notes as soon as possible (within the hour, if possible) writing down exactly what was said, using the child’s own words as far as possible. All notes will be timed, dated and signed, with name printed alongside the signature. Concerns will be recorded using the safeguarding children recording system template provided by Worcestershire Children’s Safeguarding Board. All records will be kept securely and scanned electronically for recording purposes.
Our aim is to establish an internal procedure that will enable all adults in the Festival environment to raise serious concerns about any aspect of practice in confidence without fear of reprisal. This will ensure that Shires Festival of Dance continues to work within best practice guidelines to safeguard children and young people.
Concerns may be in relation to the actions/behaviours of other Official Festival Personnel or volunteers, or about something that is perceived as:
Official Festival Personnel should raise concerns with the DSL, Deputy or Chair and should include:
reference to the fact that it is a whistleblowing disclosure
the background and history of the concerns
names, address and relevant locations (where possible)
the reason why they are concerned about the situation
The action taken will depend upon the nature of the concern. Some concerns may be resolved by an agreed action or an explanation regarding the concern, without the need for a further investigation. Official Festival Personnel may also share concerns directly with Family Front Door where appropriate.
The appropriate person/s will investigate the concern thoroughly, ensuring that a written response is provided within 28 days.
If a malicious allegation is found to have been made it may result in removal from the Committee and / or Board of Charity Trustees.
Shires Festival of Dance will do its best to protect the identity of the whistle blower. However, if the concern raised needs to be investigated by an external agency Shires Festival of Dance cannot guarantee their anonymity.
Mobile phones, cameras and the use of images
Photography and digital recording by any means is strictly prohibited in the Performance Areas for the protection of children. Only the appointed professional photographers who have the prerequisite Enhanced DBS check documentation are permitted to photograph competitors where consent has been provided.
Photography by competitors/friends/family/teachers is permitted subject to mutual consent* and agreement of distribution. Public spaces include the Photo Booth (located in the foyer), outside space, and foyer. Public spaces DO NOT INCLUDE CHANGING ROOMS, CORRIDORS OR ANY BACKSTAGE AREAS.
*Mutual consent: the type of consent that should be sought is a private matter between the individuals concerned; whether this be verbal or written. However, we consider verbal consent by mutual agreement to be satisfactory and would not intervene in matters that arise unless distributed images contained a looked after child which has previously been disclosed to us and the carers/principals have notified the festival on entry. In this case our Designated Safeguarding Lead and or Secretary (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead) would intervene and act on behalf of the looked after child's responsible adults acting on their behalf and request deletion from devices and anywhere that the images have been distributed i.e.; social media and proof of deletion of any images containing said child.
The use of mobile phones is strictly forbidden in the Changing Rooms, with the exception of playing routine music. Photography and digital recording by any means is strictly prohibited in the changing areas.
Notification (verbal or written) about abuse of a child may be received from another child, Festival Personnel, Volunteer, parent/carer/legal guardian, teachers and principals. The alleged perpetrator may be an adult or child and regardless of whether they are at the Festival or not, procedures must be followed. If the alleged perpetrator is a child is in attendance at the Festival, that child's own safeguarding needs must also be considered.
Steps to be taken:
Discussion with parents may put the child/an adult at greater risk of harm
Evidence may indicate sexual abuse (e.g. a clear disclosure)
Evidence may indicate that a crime has been committed (e.g. an injury)
Evidence of Aggravating Factors (domestic abuse, substance misuse or parental mental ill health – the toxic trio)
In these circumstances the Family Front Door will advise Festival Personnel what information should be shared with the parents/carers, if any, at this stage. Shires Festival of Dance will at all times follow instructions from the Family Front Door
Managing a Disclosure
If a child discloses directly to a member of Shires Festival of Dance Festival Personnel, they will listen carefully to what is said and ask only open questions such as 'tell me what happened.' They will not ask closed questions or ask a child to repeat the disclosure to another staff member, and they will not begin an investigation. They will report immediately to the DSL and complete a hand-written record as soon after the disclosure as possible, using the child's words as far as possible and using body maps to record any observed injuries.
Where a child discloses safeguarding allegations against another child, the DSL will seek advice from the Family Front Door before commencing an investigation or contacting parents.
Procedure to be followed if an allegation against an adult in the setting is received. Festival Organisers must never investigate an allegation of abuse but must always follow the advice of the Children’s Social Care (Family Front Door or via Emergency Duty Team)
When a safeguarding concern involves the behaviour of someone working or looking after children on the premises, whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere, appropriate action will be taken in line with guidance received from Children’s Social Care.
An allegation may be made by a child, a parent/carer, a member of staff or from an outside agency, and may be verbal or written but should be treated with equal concern.
Confirmation of the allegation in writing will be sought from the person making the allegation, but action should not be delayed whilst awaiting written confirmation.
The allegation will be recorded confidentially and stored securely.
The recipient of the allegation will immediately inform the DSL and the DSL should immediately contact the Family Front Door. If the allegation is against the DSL the recipient of the allegation will inform the Deputy Safeguarding Lead or Chairperson who will contact Family front Door / Emergency Duty Team.
A note will be made of any actions advised by the Family Front Door and of the date and time they are implemented.
If necessary, the Family Front Door will discuss the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). If the allegation meets the threshold criteria for an independent investigation then the LADO will convene a Position of Trust meeting.
Shires Festival of Dance will take recommendations and guidance of follow up actions needed.
The allegation will be handled in confidence, and not discussed amongst the Festival Committee Personnel or with the person involved, unless advised to do so by the Children’s Social Care.
If an allegation is contained within a wider, more general complaint, the complaint will be recorded following the Festival's usual complaints procedure but with care to keep the detail of the allegation itself confidential.
Parents/carers will be informed of any allegation involving their child unless by doing so this could put the child or adult in further danger or compromise an investigation.
If no further action is recommended by Children’s Social Care or Position of Trust meeting we may still proceed with removal of Committee Members or Charity Trustees.
If we have concerns about the suitability of the Festival Personnel/Volunteer to continue to work with children there is a statutory duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
In all cases where an allegation against a member of Festival Personnel is made, Shires Festival of Dance will review all policies and procedures and address any identified training needs.