Child Protection Policy

The purpose and scope of this policy

The purpose of this policy is:

  • to protect children and young people involved in workshops and performances with Manchester Theatre Academy.
  • to provide parents, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.

This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of Manchester Theatre Academy, including members of the committee/trustees.

Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance that seeks to protect children in England.

A summary of the key legislation is available from nspcc.org.uk/learning.

Related policies and procedures

This policy should be read alongside our organisational policies/procedures, including:

  • Role of the designated safeguarding officer
  • Dealing with disclosures and concerns about a child or young person
  • Managing allegations against staff and volunteers
  • Recording and information sharing
  • Code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Safer recruitment
  • Online safety
  • Anti-bullying
  • Managing complaints
  • Whistleblowing
  • Health and safety
  • Induction, training, supervision and support
  • Adult to child ratios
  • Quality assurance

We believe that:

  • children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind
  • we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them.

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount
  • all children, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • valuing, listening to and respecting them
  • appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people, a deputy and a lead trustee/board member for safeguarding
  • adopting child protection and safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • developing and implementing an effective online safety policy and related procedures
  • providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
  • recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • recording and storing information professionally and securely
  • sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, their families, staff and volunteers via leaflets, posters, group work and one-to-one discussions
  • using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately  using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance.

Safeguarding Youth Performers at Manchester Theatre Academy

We are dedicated to providing a safe environment for children performing at Droylsden Little Theatre.

  • At every performance, we will ensure the correct legal adult-child ratio is adhered to.
  • An official Chaperone licence holder will be on the premises during every performance.
  • Volunteers in charge of the children backstage, will hold a full enhanced DBS. These will be a mixture of parents, teachers and members who work with children.
  • We will have designated, separate, changing areas for male and female children throughout the week.
  • Parental permissions will be obtained for photographs or filming of the children and if permission is given, such material will be handled sensitively and in accordance with our privacy policy. It will only be used by Manchester Theatre Academy.
  • Bullying will not be tolerated at Manchester Theatre Academy and any reported incidents will be dealt with immediately. Children can report any issues to the safe guarding officer or chaperone, who will take steps to diffuse the issue, along with parents/relevant authorities.
  • We will ensure children are made aware of the people involved in their safety and well being and who to go to if they are worried about something.

Safeguarding at workshops

We are dedicated to providing a safe environment during our weekly workshops and rehearsals.

Bullying will not be tolerated at Manchester Theatre Academy and the designated safeguarding officer will be willing to listen and act on complaints.

Risk assessments will be undertaken before activities.

Parental permission will be obtained for photographs or filming.

Staff and volunteers will hold an enhanced DBS.

We aim to be inclusive and ensure young people with special educational needs are catered for.

Role of The Designated Safeguarding Officer

  • The designated Safeguarding Officer should be on the premises during the show.
  • Ensure there are enough volunteers to care for the children and that they hold an enhanced DBS.
  • Ensure permission has been obtained for children to be photographed/filmed.
  • Listen to complaints made by children or parents and act accordingly by recording incidents and reporting them to relevant authorities where necessary.
  • Confer with relevant members of the committee or production team, to ensure Health and Safety procedures have been considered and that the children will be performing/volunteering in a safe environment.
  • Ensure adequate designated male/female changing areas have been arranged and that there is an adult with an enhanced DBS/Chaperone with them during this time.

Contact details

Senior lead for safeguarding Name: Jayne Skudder

Phone/email: jayne@manchestertheatreacademy.co.uk/07966482962

NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually. This policy was last reviewed on: 20th June 2019