Frontline Stage School - Child Safeguarding Statement

 

Child Safeguarding Statement

We Frontline Stage School, are committed to a child-centred approach to our work with children and and young people. We undertake to provide a safe environment and experience, where the welfare of the child/young person is paramount. We will adhere to the recommendations of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children, published by the Department of Health and Children.

We have implemented procedures covering:

 - Code of behaviour for all staff;

- Reporting of suspected or disclosed abuse;

-Confidentiality;

- Recruitment and selecting staff;

- Managing and supervising staff;

- Involvement of primary carers;

- Allegations of misconduct or abuse by staff;

- Complaints and comments;

- Incidents and accidents;

- In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our service.

·       Procedure in respect of any member of staff/volunteer who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child availing of our service.

·       Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children;

·       Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm;

·       Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla;

·       Procedure for appointing a relevant person.

All procedures/policies listed are available on request.

 

 

This policy will be reviewed on 1/6/2019

Signed by: Jean McGlynn

Date:1/1/19

 

General Information:

Frontline Stage School is a performing Arts School which runs classes in Adare (4), Caherdavin (5), Castletroy (6), Raheen (2) and Scarriff (4)*.

*(Number denotes the amount of classes in each venue)

Class sizes range from 15-30 students in each class.  Younger classes have one facilitator, one class assistant and one floating facilitator. Older classes have one facilitator. We have three permanent members of staff and additional casual staff which differ in each venue.

In the case of our theatre productions which usually involve between 100 – 180 children, younger classes (15-30 students) have three backstage supervisors and older classes have two backstage supervisors. We also appoint four stage door staff, four backstage assistants, two staff members (to put on and remove radio microphones) and two stage managers. This in addition to our three permanent facilitators. We also provide our staff members with t-shirts, so they are easily identifiable.

 

 

Code of Behaviour for Staff:

Child-centred approach

• Treat all children and young people equally;

• Listen to and respect children and young people;

• Involve children and young people in decision-making, as appropriate;

• Provide encouragement, support and praise (regardless of ability);

• Use appropriate language (physical and verbal);

• Have fun and encourage a positive atmosphere;

• Offer constructive criticism when needed;

• Treat all children and young people as individuals;

• Respect a child’s or young person’s personal space;

• Discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children and young people and their primary carers;

• Agree group ‘contract’ before beginning new projects;

• Encourage feedback from group;

• Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials;

• Lead by example;

• Be aware of a child’s or young person’s other commitments when scheduling rehearsals or activities, e.g., school or exams;

• Be cognisant of a child’s or young person’s limitations;

• Create an atmosphere of trust;

• Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation.

 

Good practice

• Register each child/young person (name, phone, special requirements, attendance, emergency contact);

• Make primary carers, children/young people, visitors and facilitators aware of the Child Protection Policy and procedures;

• Have emergency procedures in place and make all staff aware of these procedures;

• Be inclusive of children and young people with special needs;

• Plan and be sufficiently prepared, both mentally and physically;

• Report any concerns to the Designated Person and follow reporting procedures;

• Encourage children and young people to report any bullying, concerns or worries;

 • Observe appropriate dress and behaviour;

• Evaluate work practices on a regular basis;

• Provide appropriate training for staff and volunteers;

• Report and record any incidents and accidents;

• Update and review policies and procedures regularly;

• Keep primary carers informed of any issues that concern their children;

• Ensure proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age, abilities and activities involved;

• Ensure clear communication between artist and organisations;

• Avoid taking a session on your own. If this is not possible then it should be in an open environment with the full knowledge and consent of primary carers;

• Avoid if at all possible giving a lift to a child/young person and if you do then make sure that primary carers are informed;

• Maintain awareness around language and comments made. If you think that something you said may have caused offence or upset, then try to address it in a sensitive manner.

 

 Inappropriate behaviour

• Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people;

• Don’t use or allow offensive or sexually suggestive physical and/or verbal language;

• Don’t single out a particular child/young person for unfair favouritism, criticism, ridicule, or unwelcome focus or attention;

• Don’t allow/engage in inappropriate touching of any form;

• Don’t hit or physically chastise children/young people; • Don’t socialise inappropriately with children/young people, e.g., outside of structured organisational activities.

 

Physical contact

• Seek consent of child/young person in relation to physical contact (except in an emergency or a dangerous situation);

• Avoid horseplay or inappropriate touch;

• Check with children/young people about their level of comfort when doing touch exercises.

 

 

 Health and safety

• Don’t leave children unattended or unsupervised;

• Manage any dangerous materials;

• Provide a safe environment;

• Report any incidents to the Designated Person who will ensure it is logged in the incident book and must bes signed by both members of staff.

 

Who to contact about issues related to child protection and welfare

Jean McGlynn has been designated by the permanent members of staff as the person to contact if you have an issue or concern about any aspect of a child’s or young person’s safety and welfare. It is the responsibility of this person to support and advise staff about policy and procedures in relation to child protection and to ensure that procedures are followed. It is also the responsibility of the Designated Person to liaise with the Health Service Executive or Gardaí where appropriate. Jean McGlynn can be contacted at 0877840282. Pamela McGlynn has been designated as deputy to Jean McGlynn and can be contacted at 0851342891.

 

 

Confidentiality statement

We in Frontline Stage School are committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that:

• Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the child/young person;

• Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality;

• We cannot guarantee total confidentiality where the best interests of the child or young person are at risk;

• Primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if personal information is being shared and/or a report is being made to the Health Service Executive, unless doing so could put the child/young person at further risk;

• Images of a child/young person will not be used for any reason without the consent of the parent/carer (however even though we discourage use of cameras and videos both in writing and audibly at our performances, we cannot guarantee that cameras/videos will not be used at public performances);

• Procedures will be put in place in relation to the use of images of children/ young people;

• Procedures will also be put in place for the recording and storing of information in line with our confidentiality policy.

Recruitment and selection policy statement

We will ensure that staff are carefully selected, trained and supervised to provide a safe environment for all children and young people, by observing the following principles:

• Roles and responsibilities will be clearly defined for every job (paid or voluntary);

• We will endeavour to select the most suitably qualified personnel;

• Candidates will be required to complete an application form;

• Candidates will be asked to sign a declaration form;

• At least two written references that are recent, relevant, independent and verbally confirmed will be necessary;

• Staff will be selected by a panel of at least two (or more) representatives through an interview process;

• No person who would be deemed to constitute a ‘risk’ will be employed;

• All staff will be required to consent to Garda vetting.

 

Staff management policy statement

To protect both staff (paid and voluntary) and children/young people, we undertake that:

All staff will:

• Receive an adequate level of supervision and review of their work practices;

• Be expected to have read and signed the Child Protection Policy Statement;

• Take part in a mandatory induction training session;

• Be made aware of the organisation’s code of conduct, child protection procedures, and the identity and role of who has been designated to deal with issues of concern;

• Undergo a probationary or trial period.

Regular staff will:

• Receive an adequate level of supervision and review of their work practices;

• Be expected to have read and signed the Child Protection Policy Statement;

• Be provided with child protection training.                

 

Policy statement on the involvement of primary carers

We are committed to being open with all primary carers. We undertake to:

• Advise primary carers of our child protection policy; •

 Inform primary carers and schools of all activities and potential activities;

• Issue contact/consent forms where relevant;

• Comply with health and safety practices;

• Operate child-centred policies in accordance with best practice;

• Adhere to our recruitment guidelines;

 • Ensure as far as possible that the activities are age-appropriate;

• Encourage and facilitate the involvement of parent(s), carer(s) or responsible adult(s), where appropriate.

 

 If we have concerns about the welfare of the child/young person, we will:

• Respond to the needs of the child or young person;

• Inform the primary carers on an on-going basis unless this action puts the child or young person at further risk;

• Where there are child protection and welfare concerns we are obliged to pass these on to the Duty Social Worker and, in an emergency, the Gardaí;

• In the event of a complaint against a member of staff, we will immediately ensure the safety of the child/young person and inform primary carers as appropriate.

 

As a child-centred organisation, we are committed to putting the interest of the child/young person first. To that end we will:

• Contact local Health Service Executive and Gardaí where there is a child protection welfare concern;

• Encourage primary carers to work in partnership with us under the guidelines set out by our organisation to ensure the safety of their children;

 • Have a designated contact person available for consultation with primary carers in the case of any concern over a child or young person’s welfare.

 

Dealing with an allegation against staff

Two separate procedures will be followed:

1. In respect of the child/young person Jean McGlynn will deal with issues related to the child/young person.

2. In respect of the person against whom the allegation is made Pamela McGlynn will deal with issues related to the staff member.

• The first priority is to ensure that no child or young person is exposed to unnecessary risk;

• If allegations are made against the Designated Person, then the Deputy Designated Person should be contacted;

• Both the primary carers and child/young person should be informed of actions planned and taken. The child/young person should be dealt with in an age-appropriate manner;

• The staff member will be informed as soon as possible, of the nature of the allegation;  the staff member should be given the opportunity to respond;

• The head of the organisation should be informed as soon as possible;

• Any action following an allegation of abuse against an employee should be taken in consultation with Health Service Executive and Gardaí;

 

In the event of complaints or comments:

• Complaints or comments will be responded to within two weeks;

 • Jean McGlynn has responsibility for directing complaints/comments to the appropriate person;

• Verbal complaints will be responded to.

 

Accidents procedure

• The organisation must maintain an up-to-date register of the contact details of all children/young people involved in the organisation;

• Children/young people’s details should be cross-referenced between the incident book and file;

• Proof of public liability insurance will be available at any time and this will be extended to offsite venues where necessary;

• First-aid boxes will be available and regularly re-stocked;

• The location of the first-aid box will be made known to staff;

• Availability of first-aid should be in accordance with the organisation’s Health and Safety guidelines. The location of accident/incident books will be made known to staff;

• Children and young people must be advised of risks of dangerous material;

• Record details of risky equipment used and take steps to minimise risk;

• Take cognisance of responsibility for first-aid on off-site trips.

 

Further Information

This statement is intended to be furnished to staff, to parents or guardians and members of the public on request, and displayed in a prominent place in the organisation where services are provided.

A risk assessment has been carried out and forms part of this Child Safeguarding Statement.

There are no mandated persons working at the stage school.

Jean McGlynn is the relevant person for the Child Safeguarding Statement.

Any further information eg. Children’s code of behaviour, collection procedure, anti-bullying policies etc. is available upon request.

 

Signed:  Jean McGlynn
             FRONTLINE STAGE SCHOOL

Updated 16/8/2018

 

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Frontline Stage School -  Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

 

Written Assessment of Risk of Frontline Stage School.

In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of Frontline Stage School.    

 

  1. 1.     List of school activities
  • Arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • Workshop teaching
  • One-to-one teaching
  • Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in schools
  • Use of off-site facilities for theatre performances
    • Care of children with special educational needs.
    • Management of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint where required
  • Administration of First Aid
  • Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
  • Use of external personnel for theatre performances
  • Recruitment of school personnel including -

-       Facilitators

-       External Tutors/Guest Speakers

-       Volunteers

  • Existing tudents participating in work experience in the Stage school
  • Use of video/photography/other media to record events

 

 

  1. 2.     The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities -
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel, a volunteer, a member of staff of another organisation or other person while child participating in theatrical productions
  • Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly by school personnel
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child.
  • Risk of harm due to bullying of child
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school
    • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in theatre performances.
    • Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and adult
  • Risk of harm to children with SEN who have vulnerabilities
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate code of behaviour
  • Risk of harm due to nature of classes (dance, running etc.)
  • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
    • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
  1. 3.     The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment -
  • All staff are provided with, read and sign a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and core members of staff will participate child protection training.
  • All staff to be informed that any risk of harm must be reported immediately to Jean McGlynn.
  • All children will participate in the forming of a ‘Code of Behaviour Contract’ as part of their first workshop beginning each term or rehearsal process. This contract will be revisited intermittently and more often if necessary.
  • The stage school has an Anti-Bullying Policy which will be provided to all primary care givers and children.
  • The stage stage school has a policy to ensure appropriate supervision of children during, arrival, dismissal and breaks and in respect of specific areas such as toilets, changing rooms etc.
  • The stage school has in place clear procedures in respect of offsite theatre productions.
  • The stage school has a code of conduct for personnel (teaching and non-teaching staff)
  • All staff will be made aware of any children with special needs and vulnerabilities. We will also keep in frequent contact with primary care givers and where necessary provide an SNA.
  • The stage school –
    • Has provided each member of school staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
    • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
    • The core staff of the stage school will all have first aid qualifications and will follow the relevant health and safety procedures.
    • Students will be discouraged from sharing any personal data with any staff member. Staff members will be discouraged from making any personal contact with our students.
    • The stage school discourages the taking of photographs/videos etc. both by staff and students. This is only to be done by appointed staff, photographers or videographers who have access to genuine stage school online platforms including our website and our Facebook page.

 

 

In undertaking this risk assessment, Frontline Stage School has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to our organisation and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified.  While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

This risk assessment has been updated by Jean McGlynn on 1/1/2019. It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s bi-annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

 

This policy will be reviewed on 1/6/2019

Signed by: Jean McGlynn

Date:1/1/19