Child Protection Policy

Child Protection Policy

01 The North London Festival of Music, Speech and Drama (‘the Festival’) takes place in March, April and May each year using venues in Hampstead, Muswell Hill, High Barnet and elsewhere when possible. In 2021, the Festival will take place entirely online.

02 The aim of the Festival is to advance, promote and encourage the study and practice of the arts of music, speech and drama, and to advance the education of the public in these arts by holding and promoting competitive classes, concerts, workshops, and master classes.

03 The Festival is organised and managed by an Executive Committee elected annually by the Festival Council at their AGM.

04 This Policy relates to children under the age of 18 and those vulnerable adults of any age who are identified to the organisers before arriving at the Festival (which should be done by contacting the Nominated Officers listed below). Prior to the Festival taking place members of the Executive Committee will forward a copy to the Parents, Guardians or Teachers (‘Carers’) involved for their information. This acknowledges the part they play in partnership with the Festival Organisers in the implementation of a Child Protection Policy.

05 The Festival aims to provide a safe and caring environment for children and vulnerable adults as far as is reasonable and practicable, both online and in person, but it is not a childcare organisation in the full meaning of The Protection of Children Act 1999.

06 Carers are reminded that the safety of young people and vulnerable adults together with their belongings remains their responsibility during the Festival.

07 When attending the Festival in person, Carers must ensure that children and vulnerable adults are adequately supervised by themselves or by another responsible adult acting on their behalf. Festival officials are not able to undertake this task. Changing areas, warm up rooms and toilets are not supervised, and children should not be allowed to stray into areas designated as out of bounds.

08 When attending the online Festival, Carers must ensure that children and vulnerable adults are adequately supervised by themselves or by another responsible adult acting on their behalf when using the internet, social media or mobile devices. Festival officials are not able to undertake this task.

09 When attending the Festival in person, Carers should be aware that backstage changing facilities for dancers and actors are limited. Two small family rooms are available and time in them has to be restricted to the period just before the entrants’ class.

10 The Festival follows a strict non-discrimination policy, and all entrants are treated equally irrespective of race, gender, religion, physical/mental disability, sexual orientation, age, or ethnic origin.

11 All those who assist in running the Festival are volunteers and are easily identified as they wear official Festival badges. They are recruited upon recommendation by those who manage the Festival as professional people in their own right and/or supporters of the Festival with good character.

12 All those who assist in running the online Festival are volunteers. The members of the Executive Committee will lead and moderate all the Festival online events and social media pages. Volunteers are recruited upon recommendation by those who manage the Festival as professional people in their own right and/or supporters of the Festival with good character.

13 Carers should be aware that members running the online Festival are only able to monitor public interaction during events. Carers must ensure that children and vulnerable adults are adequately supervised when interacting with other participants when using the internet, social media, or mobile devices.

14 In the event of a problem, anyone wearing a badge may be approached and, if not able to deal with the problem themselves, will contact somebody responsible to act for them. All problems will be dealt with sympathetically and discreetly and will be properly documented.

15 In the event of a problem during our online festival events, a moderator may be contacted and, if not able to deal with the problem themselves, will contact somebody responsible to act for them. If a problem relating to the Festival occurs between events, please contact one of the persons named at the end of this document.

16 All Festival volunteers and helpers are familiar with this Policy and the guidelines and definitions that follow.

17 Carers may photograph or video their own children as long as this causes no delay or disturbance. Prior permission will be sought from everyone likely to be involved before photographs are taken by the Festival or local press for publicity purposes.

18 Participants are asked not to record or capture Festival online events. Prior permission will be sought from everyone involved in online events before being uploaded to Festival pages or used for publicity purposes.

19 No adjudication whether live or by video may be recorded.

20 Any person or organisation wishing to record a performance must obtain a Private Function Licence from the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, 41 Streatham High Road SW16 1ER. Permission from each performer must also be obtained.

21 It is not our policy to take mobile phones from children or stop them using these to photograph or video, but Carers are asked to ensure they are used responsibly.

22 This Policy is kept under review by the Executive Committee under the guidance of the British & International Federation of Festivals and will be improved or enhanced from time to time as may be deemed necessary.

23 All Committee Members or volunteers working for the Festival are given a copy of this Child Protection Policy with the following Code of Good Practice and Definitions of Abuse. They will pass any concerns to one of the nominated officers (listed at the end of this document) and are expected to observe all the agreed procedures.

This policy is annually reviewed and updated as required: North London Festival 2021

Code of Good Practice for all Festival Volunteers and Helpers

01 Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as individuals and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct. Appropriate conduct excludes bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism, sexism or other form of discrimination.

02 It is important to avoid having physical contact with children who attend the Festival to enter any one or more of the various classes and competitions.

03 It is not good practice to take children home alone in a car however short the journey may be.

04 Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, even in fun, as these could be misinterpreted.

05 Those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background or class. It is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent the appropriate action being taken.

06 It is the responsibility of every adult to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of children and young people wherever they can and to report any actual or suspected abuse that comes to light.

07 It is important to only communicate with carers via the Festival’s approved accounts and ensure all online interactions with children occur solely during the Festival’s scheduled online events and via public social media Festival pages.

08 It is important to ensure all communications are relevant to the work of the project and organisation.

09 It is the responsibility of every adult to flag any inappropriate or upsetting content found on any of the Festival’s online platforms.

10 Festival Volunteers and Helpers’ personal accounts should be free of inappropriate or harmful content and not provide any personal information such as personal email addresses or phone numbers.

Note – scope for abuse will be minimized if the Festival is run with the safety of all its members in mind and sensible steps are taken in dealings with children. If an allegation is made, or concerns are raised, they should – with minimum delay – be brought to the attention of one of the persons named at the end of this document.

Definitions of Abuse

The following definitions of child abuse are taken from the HM Government publication “Working Together to Safeguard Children” 2018.

01 PHYSICAL ABUSE. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

02 EMOTIONAL ABUSE. Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

03 SEXUAL ABUSE. forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

04 NEGLECT. Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter, and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Advice on responding to an allegation

The following information is intended to assist you should you become involved in a potential child protection situation:

  1. Always stop and listen straight away to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse and stay calm. Take what is said seriously: it is rare for children to make false allegations.
  2. If you can, write brief notes of what they are telling you while they are speaking – these may help later if you have to remember exactly what was said. Keep your original notes however rough: it is what you wrote at the time that may be important later, not a tidier and improved version you wrote up afterwards. If you do not have the means to write at the time, make notes of what was said as soon as possible afterwards.
  3. Never make a promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret. If you are told about abuse you have a responsibility to report it so that action can be taken. Give reassurance that only those who need to know will be told.
  4. Do not ask leading questions that might give your own ideas of what could have happened (e.g., “Did he do XX to you?”), just ask: “What do you want to tell me?” or “Is there anything else you want to say?”
  5. Allow the child to continue at his/her own pace and reassure the child he/she has done the right thing in telling you.
  6. Inform the child what you will do next and with whom the information will be shared.
  7. Never attempt to carry out an investigation of suspected or alleged abuse by interviewing people etc. yourself; you could cause more damage and spoil possible criminal proceedings. That is a task for a professional person working with a Child Protection agency and would follow a referral from the Festival’s nominated Officer.
  8. The Data Protection Act 2018 sets out how personal information should be processed under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The introduction of GDPR does not affect the principle that adults should share child protection information with other agencies in order to keep a child safe.

Nominated Officers

The Festival Officers who need to know about any allegation of child abuse and who are responsible for taking any necessary action are:

Frank Wibaut – Festival Chairman – 07757 101579 – chairman@northlondonfestival.org.uk

Janice Twiselton – Festival Administrator 020 8886 7237 – admin@northlondonfestival.org.uk

Further information can be obtained from:

LB of Barnet, Child Protection 020 8359 4940
LB of Haringey, Hornsey District Child Protection 020 8489 1856
Tottenham District Child Protection 020 8489 5408/9
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0800 800 5000
Dept. for Children, Schools & Families www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/workingtogether/

This document is annually reviewed and updated as required North London Festival 2021

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