Surrey Arts safeguarding policy for staff and volunteers

Surrey Arts fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working within the organisation and is intended to complement Surrey County Council's (SCC) safeguarding policies, in particular SCC Designated Safeguarding Lead Update Training (2016-17), a copy of which will be held at The Pines, accessible to all staff. Information on all aspects of Surrey CC's safeguarding work can be found at the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board website.

Surrey Arts will:

1. Ensure we practise safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children, in line with Surrey County Council 'Safer Recruitment' guidance. This means, for example:

  • All members of recruitment panels will have completed the online safer recruitment training e-learning module (available on My Learning portal - log in and go to the Leadership and Management section).
  • Staff delivering regulated activities with regular unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults are required to undergo an enhanced DBS check prior to employment. Surrey County Council is a registered body with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • Previous employer references, identity checks and evidence of qualifications are fully checked for all staff as part of the recruitment procedure.
  • At least one question about safeguarding is included at all interviews.

2. Raise awareness of safeguarding issues amongst staff and volunteers and promote a culture of vigilance. Guidelines and advice are issued to staff and form part of the Staff Handbook. Safeguarding issues will be discussed as part of the induction/training programme for all new staff. Safeguarding issues will be discussed with volunteers.

3. Ensure a safe environment in which children can learn and develop musically. Guidelines are given to staff/volunteers regarding how to maintain a safe environment for children and young people. This includes guidance on retaining a professional 'distance', common situations (including working in a 1:1 situation), advice on physical contact, and avoiding actions and behaviours that may be misinterpreted.

4. Develop and implement procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse. Advice is given in guidance to staff and volunteers, who are also required to read: Keeping children safe in education – Part 1: Information for all school and college staff (GOV.UK).

5. Recognise that because of the day-to-day contact with children, Surrey Arts teaching staff are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. Surrey Arts will therefore:

  • Seek to establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to.
  • Ensure children know that there are adults in their school and in Surrey Arts whom they can approach if they are worried.

6. Follow the advice of the Surrey Safeguarding Children Board and draw on nationally recognised good practice to:

  • Ensure we have a designated member of the Senior Management Team to be responsible for safeguarding matters. The Head of Surrey Arts will carry ultimate responsibility for safeguarding matters. The service will also retain a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
  • Ensure every member of staff, volunteer and board member knows the name(s) of the designated person(s) responsible for safeguarding and their role. A copy of this Safeguarding Policy will be provided for all staff along with practical guidelines.
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated person(s) responsible for safeguarding in schools or Surrey Arts.
  • Ensure that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on Surrey Arts and its staff for safeguarding. Surrey Arts obligations relating to safeguarding are included in information for parents.
  • Co-operate as required with relevant agencies regarding safeguarding matters.
  • Ensure Surrey Arts staff always wear ID so they can be clearly identified in schools by staff and children.
  • Keep written records of concerns about children and vulnerable young people.
  • Follow up a concern reported to a school by a member of our staff by contacting the school separately to ensure the relevant member of school staff is fully aware of the concern.
  • Ensure all records are kept securely, separate from the main pupil file, and in locked locations.
  • Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer. In the event of an allegation against a member of staff, the Head of Surrey Arts may suspend that member of staff pending an initial investigation. All allegations relating to safeguarding issues will be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who will provide advice and liaise/coordinate with the appropriate authorities. Surrey Arts will co-operate fully in any investigation. Where a school has received a complaint, the investigation will be carried out jointly with the school and both parties will attend investigatory meetings. In the event of an allegation against a volunteer, the volunteer's services will be suspended pending an initial investigation by Surrey Arts.
  • Ensure that a Body of Persons Approval is obtained for every public performance (including audio and visual recording) where young people aged 16 and under are involved.

7. Surrey Arts policy on handing over children to parents/carers after sessions

This is Surrey Arts staff guidance is applicable in any situation where school staff are not responsible for children on site, for example after the end of the school day, evenings, weekends, music centres, ensembles, holiday activities. The guidance is aligned with accepted practice in schools.

  • Primary age children, or children of any age who have additional needs, should be collected by a parent or carer, (or another named responsible adult if a manager has written authorisation from the parent/carer), except:
  • Year 5 and Year 6 children can make their own way home where a manager has written permission from the parent or carer, and the journey home is judged reasonable and safe.
  • In most circumstances secondary age children can make their own way offsite.

Who to contact if you have concerns about the safety of a child, adult or young person?

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