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Safeguarding – Appendix 3

Code of Behaviour & Staff Guidelines

This Appendix outlines the behaviour expected of all staff and volunteers from Guitar Circus and provides guidelines for them to follow.

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

1. All staff and volunteers from GUITAR Circus, and staff from other organisations who
engage with young people* through GUITAR Circus and its activities are to follow the code of behaviour outlined in this Appendix.

2. Following this code will help to protect children from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from adults. It will also help staff and volunteers to maintain the standard of behaviour expected of them and will reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations of abuse being made against them.

3. All members of staff and volunteers are expected to report any breaches of this code
to the DSL under the whistle-blowing procedure or, if necessary, under child protection
procedures.

4. Staff and volunteers who breach this code of behaviour may be subject to disciplinary
procedures. Any breach of the code involving a volunteer or member of staff from another agency may result in them being asked to leave. Serious breaches may also result in a referral being made to a statutory agency such as the police, the local authority children’s social care department and/or the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

ROLE OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

5. When working with children and young people all staff and volunteers have a duty of
care and are acting in a position of trust. It is important that staff and volunteers are aware that they may be seen as role models by children and young people, and must act in an appropriate manner at all times.

6. When working with young people it is best practice to:

  • Apply this code of practice at all times
  • Follow Guitar Circus policies and guidance
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Be an excellent role model to young people by setting good examples
  • Treat children and young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination
  • Value and take young people’s contributions seriously, actively involve young people in planning activities wherever possible
  • Avoid favouritism
  • Ensure language is always appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory
  • Always ensure equipment is used safely and for its intended purpose
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse; Ensure whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with young people or if this isn’t possible, that you are within sight or hearing of other adults and the DSL knows where you are and what you are doing
  • Stay close to where other adults are working. If a young person specifically asks for or needs some private time with you, make sure you inform the DSL and other support staff know where you and the young person are.
  • Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy
  • In the residential accommodation only use the toilet and shower facilities which are
    designated for staff
  • Encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
  • Recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues
    with young people.
  • Be aware of how you are coming across to young people and remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned

ONE TO ONE SITUATIONS

7. It is recognised that some teaching requires individual participant – tutor coaching
sessions, but employees, contractors and volunteers are advised to avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with a single member away from others. Work in an open environment where possible and when it is not follow this guidance:

  • One to one meetings should take place in public or semi-public areas, such as
    classrooms or common rooms; leave the door open and / or ensure the DSL knows
    the meeting is taking place. The place/time should be specified and recorded by the
    DSL.
  • Encourage and maintain a safe and appropriate physical distance from members. The current NSPCC guidelines for music teachers is that it is better to visually demonstrate and use descriptive words to teach rather than physically contacting a student. However, if a tutor feels they need to touch a young person in order to rearrange finger positions (for example), they must ask permission from the young person first.
  • Staff and volunteers are only permitted to take one young person in a car in cases of an emergency, they should be accompanied by another member of staff or if this is not possible the DSL should be informed.
  • In a residential environment, adults should not enter a young person’s room or invite a young person into their room. The only exception for adults going in a young person’s room is if there is a health & safety reason i.e. fire alarm, medical emergency.
  • Outward displays of affection are only appropriate in the case of comforting a young person and should normally occur only when another adult is present, or in a public area.

BEHAVIOUR TO BE AVOIDED

8. To help prevent harm to young people and avoid allegations against staff and
volunteers the following behaviour cannot happen:

  • Allow allegations to go unreported.
  • Drink or smoke whilst working on the course
  • Trivialise abuse
  • Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, bullying.
  • Form a relationship with a young person that is an abuse of trust
  • Conduct a sexual relationship with a student or indulge in any form of sexual contact
  • Engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact with young people – physical, verbal, or sexual
  • Play physical contact games with young people.
  • Make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of young people – even in fun (i.e., physical, verbal, sexual, horseplay; rowdy or boisterous play, even in fun) or allow/encourage fellow staff to do the same.
  • Use inappropriate language – vernal, writing, phoning, email or internet
  • Act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.
  • Make inappropriate promises to young people, particularly in relation to confidentiality.
  • Confide personal details to young people and be party to gossip about staff and
    members, including criticism of either group.
  • Reduce a member to tears as a form of control.
  • Promote a particular belief, religion or political standing.Call, text or exchange email addresses with a member for personal purposes outside
    of business, or contact a member over Facebook or any other social media network.
  • Give personal money to a member.
  • Give out your address or invite any member to the staff member’s private address.
  • Rely on your reputation or that of the organisation to protect you.

 

REPORTABLE INCIDENTS

9. If any of the following occur it must be reported immediately to the DSL and the relevant incident forms must be filled out:

  • If a young person has told you that they feel unwell
  • If you have had to administer first aid to a young person that is unwell or injured
  • If there is a problem with a young person’s behaviour
  • If you have had to physically intervene in a situation
  • If there is a bullying incident.
  • If a child disclosures a concern about abuse
  • If a young person seems distressed in any way
  • If a young person is accidentally hurt

RESPONDING TO A DISCLOSURE

10. A young person may have talked to other people about an issue of abuse before they
talk to a member of staff or volunteer or it may be the first time they have told anyone. They are likely to be talking to you because they believe they can trust you and that there will be a therapeutic outcome.

11. If a young person does disclose always remember to:

  • Remain calm, accessible and receptive
  • Allow the young person to speak without interruption, accepting what is said
  • Offer immediate understanding and reassurance, while passing no judgement
  • Acknowledge their courage and reassure them that they are right to tell
  • Advise that you will try to offer support but that you must pass information on, but it will only be to the people that need to know.
  • Write careful notes of what is said; use actual words wherever possible.
  • If the child is in danger or injured, then seek emergency help immediately and inform the police
  • Make a written record with time and date, place and note non-verbal behaviour, and the words. Draw a diagram of injury. Record facts and statements, date and sign it.
  • Inform the DSL immediately
  • Always report your concerns to the DSL, however if you think a young person is in
    immediate danger (young person at imminent risk of significant harm) you should
    contact the Children’s Social Care Services (CSCS) or the police. For urgent situations, dial 999. (Please refer to Appendix 4)

12.  During a disclosure do not:

  • Allow your shock or distaste to show
  • Make jokes or change the subject
  • Probe for more information than the child offers
  • Speculate or make assumptions
  • Make negative comments about the alleged abuser e.g. “he would never do that to you surely” or “I’m sure they didn’t mean it”)
  • Make any promises that you cannot keep – e.g. that “everything will be all right”
  • Agree to keep the information a secret

 

13. If it is necessary to record any information follow these points:

  • Record it as soon as possible
  • Record verbatim notes of what child/young person says
  • Capture the details of the concern: nature of any injury/abuse, who, how, when and
    where
  • Date and sign recording – if you later recall further information do not change original record, add as addendum
  • Store and share appropriately
  • Be mindful that family members of the child along with other multi-agency professionals within the child protection process may view the recorded information.

RECORD KEEPING

14. To ensure that access to records is carefully managed the following protocols must be
observed:

  • Written reports about safeguarding concerns must be either stored away in a locked file (with restricted access to that file) or held securely electronically. Records of concerns about a child will be kept for ten years.
  • When no longer required paper records should be destroyed through shredding and disposed of as confidential waste. Electronic records should be deleted. A record should be made of records destroyed and this should be authorised by the nominated Guitar Circus Trustee.
  • In situations where a request is made by another organisation for information about an individual, the DSL must be informed, and their decision (including the reasoning for this decision) should be recorded and stored.
  • In all cases where information is shared the following information should be recorded:

1. Date and time
2. Summary of information shared
3. Who the information was shared with
4. Whether you are sharing with or without consent
5. If sharing without consent, whether the child or family were informed
6. How the information was shared and any receipt of it having been received.

PRINCIPLES FOR INFORMATION SHARING

15. The Government (HM Government Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners
and managers) has produced a list of ‘seven golden rules’ to support organisations and their workers when making decisions about when it is appropriate to share information with others, these are:

  • Remember that the Data Protection Act 1998 is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
  • Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information, will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  • Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, the lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.
  • Safety and well-being. Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their
    actions.
  • Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure. Ensure that the
    information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is
    shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to- date, is
    shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
  • Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it, whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.

GUIDELINES

16. All participants, trustees, employees, volunteers, contractors, other adults and young
persons that work with or come into contact with GUITAR Circus are required to comply with the following guidelines at all times:

  • Understand and comply with the Rules & Regulations.
  • Understand and follow the GUITAR Circus Code of Behaviour.
  • Foster an environment which encourages both young people and adults to feel
    comfortable and confident in challenging attitudes or behaviour which they feel to be discriminatory, abusive or inappropriate in any way, and to deal with these situations in a restorative manner, using extensive knowledge of and training in Restorative Justice methods.
  • Keep to NSPCC suggested guidelines for staff/young person ratios during
    residencies/projects – ideally 1 staff member to 14 young people (under the age of 16).
  • Any concerns you might have may not always be of the same nature, and may not require the same course of action. In practical terms, concerns are likely to arise in a number of days:
  • Day to day concerns: these are concerns that will arise as part of the child’s day to day activities at a course/event and are not concerns to do with safeguarding or child protection, e.g. homesickness or anxiety about a performance. On the whole these concerns will be dealt with immediately by a responsible adult (or member of pastoral staff) as part of their relationship and engagement with that child
  • Safeguarding concerns: these concerns will go beyond those that are dealt with as above and will usually indicate a member of staff’s concern about a child’s vulnerability, where it is felt that vulnerability needs further assessment and possible action, e.g. a child not eating or being withdrawn.
  • Child protection concerns: these will arise when staff or volunteers are worried or have evidence that a child has been harmed or is likely to be harmed or where a child makes a disclosure.
  • All staff have a responsibility to ensure concerns about children, no matter how unclear, information available on the local authority’s website). However, if a situation arises at a residential course or event where a child is at immediate risk of harm (e.g. child injured, child refusing to go home, parent unfit to care etc.) then the local children’s social care team/police would need to be contacted rather than the ones in the area where the child lives. Equally this applies to urgent medical attention, which should be sought from the nearest hospital to the residential/event.

 

  • GLOUCESTERSHIRE CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Tel. 01452 426565 (9.00am – 5pm, Monday – Friday). Emergency out of hours: 01452 614194
  • OXFORD CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Tel. 0345 050 7666 (8.30am – 5pm, Monday –Friday). Emergency out of hours: 0800 833 408
  • LOCAL AUTHORITY DESIGNATED OFFICERS (LADO): For concerns about a member of staff/volunteer, the LADO based in the local authority of the
    staff/volunteer’s home address should be contacted. A list of all the LADO’s can be
    requested from the DSL and is also available from the ISM website:
    www.ism.org/advice/article/LADOcontacts.
  • CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER: Tel: 0844 48009113

HELPLINES:

  • NSPCC HELPLINE (Concerns about a child): Tel. 0808 800 5000
  • CHILD LINE (For children with concerns): Tel. 0800 1111
  • PUBLIC CONCERN AT WORK (Whistleblowing concerns): Tel. 020 7404 6

are passed on and assessed. The responsibility of the staff is to be vigilant, record and
report only.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF SUPPORT

17. In addition to the GUITAR Circus staff with a designated Safeguarding role advice and support can be obtained from the following:

  • CHILDRENS SERVICES TEAM: If there is a concern about a child, then the children’s social care in local authority of the child’s home address should be contacted (contact information available on the local authority’s website). However, if a situation arises at a residential course or event where a child is at immediate risk of harm (e.g. child injured, child refusing to go home, parent unfit to care etc.) then the local children’s social care team/police would need to be contacted rather than the ones in the area where the child lives. Equally this applies to urgent medical attention, which should be sought from the nearest hospital to the residential/event.
  • GLOUCESTERSHIRE CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Tel. 01452 426565 (9.00am – 5pm, Monday – Friday). Emergency out of hours: 01452 614194
  • OXFORD CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Tel. 0345 050 7666 (8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday). Emergency out of hours: 0800 833 408
  • LOCAL AUTHORITY DESIGNATED OFFICERS (LADO): For concerns about amember of staff/volunteer, the LADO based in the local authority of the
    staff/volunteer’s home address should be contacted. A list of all the LADO’s can be
    requested from the DSL and is also available from the ISM website:
    www.ism.org/advice/article/LADOcontacts.
  • CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER: Tel: 0844 48009113

HELPLINES

  • NSPCC HELPLINE (Concerns about a child): Tel. 0808 800 5000
  • CHILD LINE (For children with concerns): Tel. 0800 1111
  • PUBLIC CONCERN AT WORK (Whistleblowing concerns): Tel. 020 7404 6

Links

Appendix 1 – Categories and Indicators of Abuse
Appendix 2 – Anti Bullying Policy
Appendix 3 – Code of Behaviour and Staff Guidelines
Appendix 4 – Concerns About a Young Person
Appendix 5 – Concerns or Allegations About a Staff Member

 

Document Information

A copy of this policy is published on the GUITAR Circus website.
Created: 01 May 2018
Created by: Nigel Manley
Signed off by: Guitar Circus Board/Commitee
Date of next review: May 2019

Helplines

NSPCC HELPLINE (Concerns about a child): Tel. 0808 800 5000

CHILD LINE (For children with concerns): Tel. 0800 1111

Guitar Circus