This document is based on guidelines from OSCB, Charity Commission, ITC, Arts Council England, Oxford City Council, and NSPCC.
Last updated: 14/05/2019 by Jessica Braviner, appointed Safeguarding Officer
Creation Theatre Company is committed to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of children and young people that are involved with us as part of our workshops, on work experience placements or involved in our productions.
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
The Education Manager is the Designated Safeguarding Officer and should be the first point of contact with regards to any suspicion of a child or young person being at risk or of an adult behaving inappropriately.
We at Creation have established the following code of practice:
- Workshops will always be conducted with a Workshop Leader and an Assistant present.
- Both members of staff at all workshops will be DBS checked and children will never be left alone with an adult who is not DBS checked (except in the situation as detailed in next point.)
- When conducting a Workshop which has been arranged by a school on their premises, the Workshop Assistant does not need to be DBS checked if a Teacher is in attendance.
- Children under 15 will not be left unattended including lunch breaks and arrival and departure times.
- A signing in and out procedure must be used at all times.
- The Education Department policies and procedures will be followed for all workshops and a hard copy of these policies will be available for all parents/staff to access at each of our workshops.
SAFEGUARDING AND REPORTING SIGNS OF NEGLECT/ABUSE
According to government policy and agreed prevention criteria set out by Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children’s board, Creation Theatre have the right to report any evidence of harm or neglect where a child in their care is concerned. Workshop leaders and assistants will contact the Designated Safeguarding Officer if they have evidence of harm or neglect where a child in their care is concerned who will then contact the relevant Children’s Social Care Assessment team:
Child Sexual Exploitation
If a child or young person has made a disclosure regarding sexual exploitation or if Creation Theatre think a child may be at risk of being sexually exploited, the Safeguarding Officer will notify the Kingfisher Team.
CHILD BEHAVIOUR POLICY
Our aim is that all of the children should behave in socially acceptable ways.
To be socially acceptable, we believe that children should be able to:
- treat other children and adults with respect
- speak politely to other people
- have self-confidence and high self-esteem.
To encourage this, the staff will:
- treat all children and adults with respect
- praise children’s efforts and achievements as often as they can
- explain to children what they should have done or said when they get it wrong
- tell parents about their child’s efforts and achievements
- avoid using critical or sarcastic language.
We will not accept the following behaviour from children or adults:
- use of rude or unkind language
- hitting, kicking, biting or other such physical responses
- racist or sexist remarks
- any form of bullying.
If such behaviour occurs:
- We will tell the child that it is wrong and explain what they should have done or said [or not said].
- If the behaviour is repeated, the child will be reminded once more as above.
- If the behaviour continues we will remove the child from the activity and speak to the parent when the child is collected.
- We will try to find out why the child is behaving this way and then treat the situation accordingly.
If a child’s behaviour has been problematic during their time at the workshop the Workshop Leader or Workshop Assistant will speak with the parent or guardian when they come to collect the child notifying them of what happened, how the situation was handled and the outcome. If the child is leaving the centre on their own, the Workshop Leader or Workshop Assistant will notify the parent or guardian by telephone. Any observations/reports given by the Workshop Leader will then be passed on to the relevant authorities be it the Education Manager.
If a child’s behaviour is such that they are deemed to be ‘out of control’ (i.e. causing excessive harm to other children, staff or property), the Workshop Leader or Workshop Assistant reserves the right to telephone the parent or guardian immediately.
Children’s mobile phones should not be used during class time at all.
You should bring your child into the workshop reception area. Here you will be met by the workshop leader or workshop assistant and be asked to sign your child in. This document is kept to hand and serves as a Fire Register.
Upon booking onto a workshop, you are obliged to indicate who will be collecting your child at the end of the workshop, or if you prefer for your child to leave independently. In the latter case, written permission must be given.
In the former situation, Creation will keep children within the workshop room until the parent or nominated person arrives in the reception area, where they will be greeted and identified by a member of staff, before collecting their child. You may be invited into the workshop for a brief period, to watch a demonstration or performance of what the children have been doing that day.
On leaving the workshop the child must be signed out by their parent or whoever is authorised to collect them.
At the end of a term/week or day long workshop all registers and contact sheets must be returned to Creation, where they will be shredded inline with the Data Protection Act.
Child Non-Collection Procedure
In the instance of a child within our care who is not permitted to leave the workshop independently not being collected within 30 minutes of the workshops end, the following action will be taken:
- Telephone the parent or guardian.
- If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, telephone the Social Services, who are trained to support the child and help them cope with their vulnerable position.
Lost Child Procedure
In the instance of a finding that a child within our care is missing and unaccounted for, actions will be taken by staff in the following sequence, until the child is located:
- Conduct a thorough search of the venue.
- Telephone the parent.
- Telephone the Police.
- send any spare* staff to search vicinity of the venue.
Creation Theatre Company has a commitment to the safety and well being of the children, staff, and parents. Our Accident Policy is designed to ensure that any accident that takes place at one of our workshops is dealt with appropriately. This policy works in conjunction with our Behaviour Management and Incident policies and is supported by our Workshop Rules.
Each workshop has a First Aid Box and an Accident Record Book.
The Accident Book and Accident Procedure
Where an accident takes place at a Creation workshop the situation will be recorded in our Accident Book.
The following will be recorded:
1. The name of the person(s) injured.
2. The name(s) of the staff reporting the accident.
3. The circumstances of the accident, what the accident was, when it happened and whether any furniture or equipment was involved.
4. A description of any injury sustained (type and location). A note should also be made if no visible injury or wound is visible.
5. What actions were taken and by whom e.g. First Aid.
6. The signature of 2 members of staff as witnesses to the event.
7. The signature of the parent / guardian collecting the child or the signature of the adult to whom the accident happened.
A copy of the accident report will be given to the parent / guardian of the child involved or to the adult to whom the accident happened.
N.B. If a child has been injured, has permission to leave the centre by themselves and is not being collected by a parent or guardian, the Workshop Leader or Workshop Assistant in charge will telephone the parent or guardian and notify them of the accident, explaining that it has been recorded in the Accident Book.
An accident record may also be made if a child comes to a centre with an existing injury.
Creation Theatre Company defines ‘incident’ as meaning any situation where it is necessary to restrain a child physically, bullying, or in the case of a child disclosing information to us (with regards abuse).
Where physical intervention is necessary the member of staff restraining the child will do so with minimum force and for a minimum amount of time.
Creation Theatre Company has a commitment to the safety and well-being of children under the care of Creation staff. Our Incident Policy is designed to protect the children, staff, and parents at our workshops and ensure that any incident is dealt with appropriately. This policy works in conjunction with our Behaviour Management and Accident Policies, and is supported by our Workshop Rules.
Where an incident takes place at a Creation Theatre workshop the situation will be recorded in our Incident Book.
The following details will be recorded:
- the child’s name
- the member(s) of staff involved
- the date and time the incident happened
- what the member(s) of staff witnessed
- what the child says happened
- how the incident was dealt with and the outcome
- the signature of 2 members of Creation staff (1 for the member of staff involved and the other as a witness to the event) the signature of the parent/guardian on collecting the child.
Site Specific Policy
In the event of drama clubs happening outside of the normal venue, a risk assessment must be taken of the new space. The following must also be adhered to:
- Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied to the toilets at all times and only by a DBS checked adult.
- If all leaders are female, boys are required to use the ladies toilets.
- A count of all children should happen regularly throughout the day.
- A clear set of workshop rules should be established and read to the children at the start of each week – which should include toilets, restricted areas, behaviour, etc.
- A clear sign in and sign out base must be established.
- Any items/props not supplied for the workshop should not be touched.
- A designated class area must be clear at all times, particularly in the case where audience/members of public also operate.
- At any point if the venue is deemed not safe for work or if the welfare or safety of you or the children come into question you must inform the designated safeguarding officer immediately who will source an alternative location for the workshops.
Sick Child Policy and Procedure
In the instance of a child becoming ill whilst in our care, actions will be taken in the following sequence:
- Immediately inform the Workshop Leader or Workshop Assistant who are qualified in First Aid (if not call the Creation office on 01865 761393).
- Any medication that the child is prescribed must be able to be self-administered unless the parent or guardian gives written authorisation to administer the medication.
- Children with allergies such as nuts or dairy need to carry their own medication (Epi-pen or anaphylactic medicines).
- Assess the child’s needs and treat accordingly.
- If required immediately call emergency services on 999.
- Telephone the parent to inform them of the incident if the emergency services have been called, or if we need them to collect the child.
- Explain on collection the child’s symptoms, how we responded and any treatment given.
A poster detailing the ‘Fire Action’ is displayed at the workshop venue.
FIRE ACTION SAFETY POLICY
All staff maintains day to day responsibility for fire safety. In the event of a fire, procedures should be followed as outlined.
Notification of Procedures to Parents and Children
IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE
Children: Alert a member of staff
Leaders: Operate the fire alarm, at the nearest and safest point, by the appropriate method. Alert other staff to start evacuating themselves and their children.
Evacuate the building and, unless trained to do so, no attempts to extinguish a fire should be made. Do not take any unnecessary personal risks. Close any doors/windows if it is safe for you to do so.
CALLING THE FIRE BRIGADE
Call the Fire Brigade on 999.
ON HEARING THE FIRE ALARM
Evacuate the premises.
Children: Evacuate via the Fire Exit
Guides will escort you to the Fire Assembly Point
Tutors: Evacuate through the Fire Exit in an orderly fashion. Escort children to the Fire Assembly Point. Do not let children leave the Fire Assembly Point.
Workshop Leader (Or WA if absent):
- Check Toilet, Workshop Room, Kitchen
- Conduct final checks of premises
- Proceed to Fire Assembly Point
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
Creation aim to bring an educational experience of the theatre and its benefits to as many children as possible. It is important to us that we serve a diverse mix of children and in particular:
- a balance of both sexes
- a diversity of racial and cultural backgrounds
- children of all abilities
- disabled children, and those with special educational needs
We treat every child as an individual and we operate with a very high staff ratio.
It is the job of our staff to ensure that the workshops are welcoming to all children and that they all benefit from what we have to offer, including recognition and celebration of their successes and positive social interactions with staff and other children.
Creation is committed to offering equal opportunities to both full-time and part-time employees irrespective of gender, race, social group, religion and disability, providing they meet our selection criteria.
DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS POLICY
Creation aims to treat all children equally, as individuals, with diverse needs, likes and dislikes. Our workshops have a lot to offer all children, irrespective of ability.
We ensure that:
- We take time to discuss a child’s needs with the parent and child at the time of booking onto a workshop.
- All children enjoy the same support and encouragement from staff irrespective of ability.
- We adapt the activities in our workshops to be appropriate each individual child based on their needs.
- Staff are encouraged to be aware of disability issues and to attend development training on developing inclusive practice.
- We are always open to guidance from parents and professionals on the type of training that may be beneficial or necessary for working with a specific child.
- We work within the guidelines of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
We may take photographs during the sessions to use for future publicity. We assure you that no names will ever be tagged or printed next to the photographs and we do not give permission for any other companies to use these images. Please notify us in writing, in advance of the workshop start date, if you do not give permission for your child to be included in these pictures.
If you feel at any time that you have reason for complaint, in the first instance you should speak to the Workshop Leader. If you would prefer not to discuss your concerns with the workshop staff, we recommend that you contact the Education Manager on 01865 761393 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Creation Theatre aims to review and and update our policies annually to reflect best practice.