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Child Protection Policy

Section 1 - Introduction

The Pentland Singers, and the Pentland Junior Singers (the “Juniors”), seek to promote the joy of singing choral music and bring pleasure to others in the community through performing concerts.

Our main purpose from our constitution is to advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of choral music in all its aspects by the presentation of public choral concerts and thereby provide for the enjoyment of amateur music making in the community, and to share that enjoyment with others (“Our Purpose”)

We acknowledge, in carrying out Our Purpose, our duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people aged under 18 years and we are committed to ensuring our safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice.

To see what we are protecting children and young people against please see Appendix 1.

This policy applies to the Pentland Singers committee members, volunteers and anyone engaged by or working on behalf of the Pentland Singers (whether paid or unpaid) with those aged under 18 years.

The purpose of this policy is to protect children and young people who wish to participate in the activities of the Pentland Singers and Juniors and provide staff, volunteers and committee members with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection.

Section 2 - Key Principles

The Pentland Singers acknowledge that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare. The key principles that underwrite our safeguarding policy  whilst participating in choir activities are:

  1. The welfare of children is our primary concern.

  2. The general principles of GIRFEC (the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people.)

  3. Children have the right to express views on all matters which affect them, should they wish to do so.

  4. It is everyone’s responsibility to promote and safeguard the welfare of children

 

Section 3 - Responsibilities

In order to keep children safe Pentland Singers will:

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people;

  • value, listen to and respect children and young people;

  • ensure all persons working paid or unpaid with children and young people understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate documentation, guidance, training and support to ensure the effective implementation of this policy;

  • make clear who the designated Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and their Deputy are and their roles;

  • ensure all wellbeing concerns are correctly recorded and reported in accordance with the How to Report a Wellbeing Concern procedure;

  • ensure that all suspicions and allegations of abuse be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately;

  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored;

  • ensure the safe recruitment of suitable individuals;

  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation;

  • share concerns with agencies who need to know, involving parents and children appropriately in accordance with How to Report a Wellbeing Concern procedures; and

  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy and the procedures (to be reviewed every 3 years).

 

This policy should be read alongside our policies and procedures on:

 

  1. Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer (CWPO)

  2. How to Report a Wellbeing Concern

  3. Code of conduct

  4. Photography and Social Media Policy

  5. Disciplinary Procedure

  6. Data Protection Policy

  7. Behaviour Policy for Pentland Juniors

 

Section 4 - Legal framework

This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:

 

United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991

Data Protection Act 2018

General Data Protection Regulation

Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

The Equality Act 2010

Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Human Rights Act 1998

Children (Scotland) Act 1995

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

GIRFEC

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014

 

Safeguarding involves assessment of risk to a child/children.

Pentland Singers undertake to protect children by:

1. Carrying out safe recruitment. The Pentland Singers will ensure that any professional employee working with the Pentland Junior Singers has had a PVG check carried out.  The volunteer leader of the Pentland Juniors will be selected by the Choir Committee following an Enhanced Disclosure check. 

2. Appointing a Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer who has responsibility for providing advice and support to other staff, volunteers and members, and ensuring that safeguarding children remains a priority in all the work that the Pentland Singers does. 

3.Providing advice and guidance on how becoming aware of a safeguarding issue and how to report it in terms of the “How to report a Wellbeing concern” policy.

The Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer for the Pentland Singers is:

Name: Alison Marr

Contact: pentlandjuniorsCP@gmail.com

 

 

Training in child protection issues is the responsibility of the Child Wellbeing and Protection Officer and will be arranged as necessary.  This training can be undertaken on line.

 

The Pentland Singers Child Protection Policy is approved by the Pentland Singers Committee

Signed:                            Alison Marr            Date:      01.03.2019

 

Date of last Review:         01.03.2019

                                                     (On behalf of the Pentland Singers Committee)

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

What we are protecting Children From:

Pentland Singers commit to protecting children and young people from harm whilst participating in choir activities.  Harm is defined as all harmful conduct which can be:-

  • Poor practice – this can be any behaviour that contravenes this safeguarding policy or any policy or procedures that don’t respect children’s rights or their parents/carer’s rights. This conduct would fall short of abuse but still be considered unacceptable.

 

  • Wellbeing concerns – This is if a child’s wellbeing is, or is at risk of, being adversely affected by any matter. The wellbeing indicators are contained within GIRFEC as being safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included or SHANARRI (see Appendix 2 for Guidance).

 

A wellbeing concern may be identified by the child or by anyone who knows or supports the child and can be identified for many reasons such as:

 

  • A child may be worried or anxious or upset about an event or set of circumstances including socio-economic circumstances;

  • A parent/ carer or a family member may have noticed a change in the child’s behaviour, demeanour or developmental progress

  • A parent/carer or a family member may have concerns about the impact on their child of an event or set of circumstances;

  • A practitioner may have concerns for a child’s health, or may have noticed a change in their behaviour, demeanour, developmental progress or level of achievement.

 

  • is deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, in situations where it’s difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. It can take many forms including:

  • Physical – hitting, kicking, theft, punching, shoving or any use of violence

  • Verbal – threats, name-calling, spreading rumours, teasing

  • Emotional – isolating an individual from the activities and social acceptance of the peer group, being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (eg hiding belongings, threatening gestures)

  • Cyber – vindictive posts on all areas of the internet such as social media sites, nasty messages, emails, mobile threats by text messaging and calls, misuse of connected technology ie camera and videos

  • Prejudice based – eg racist, homophobic or sectarian using abusive behaviour in a manner unintended to cause alarm or distress.

 

The Effects of bullying

The lives of many people are made miserable by bullying. Victims of bullying can feel lonely, isolated and deeply unhappy. It can have a devastating effect on a child’s self esteem and destroy their self-confidence and concentration.

Potential signs of bullying

The person may:

  • Become withdrawn

  • Become insecure

  • Become more cautious and less willing to take any sort of risk

  • Feel it is somehow their fault

  • Believe that there is something wrong with them

  • Act out and bully others

  • Suffer from depression

  • Develop feelings of worthlessness

  • Exhibit self-harm behaviours such as cutting, an eating disorder, taking of drugs/alcohol

  • In extreme cases, experience feelings which could lead to suicide.

 

 Child abuse

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting or failure to act to prevent, significant harm to the child. The four types of child abuse are:

  • Physical – for example, hitting, slapping, pushing, shaking, poisoning, burning, locking them in a room, tying them to a chair

  • Emotional –for example, threats of harm, being left alone, humiliation, intimidation, causing distress, verbal abuse, bullying, blaming, constant criticism, controlling, depriving contacts with others;

  • Neglect – for example, failure to provide medical or physical care, failure to take them to school or the doctor/dentist or denying medication, food or heating, privacy or dignity;

  • Sexual – for example, sexual activity with a child, photographing, sexual harassment, voyeurism, exhibitionism and grooming.

 

These categories are not mutually exclusive, for example, a child experiencing physical abuse is undoubtedly experiencing emotional abuse as well.

Possible signs of abuse include:

  • Unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries or the explanation of the cause of the injury is does not seem right.

  • You observe or the child discloses abuse, or describes what appears to be an abusive act.

  • Someone else (child or adult) expresses concern about the welfare of another child.

  • Unexplained change in behaviour such as withdrawal or sudden outbursts of temper.

  • Inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour.

  • Distrust of adults, particularly those with whom a close relationship would normally be expected.

  • Difficulty in making friends.

  • Eating disorders, depression, self-harm or suicide attempts.

 

 

Appendix 2 - Guidance: Children’s Wellbeing in Scotland

It is important to recognise what we mean by children’s wellbeing. As part of Scotland’s national approach to ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ (GIRFEC), the wellbeing wheel demonstrates the eight indicators that are believed to be essential for a child’s overall wellbeing. 

By having a universal language and understanding for all people that work with children, collectively we can contribute to promoting, supporting and safeguarding a child’s wellbeing whether they are in an educational, health, community or sports setting. It is essential that in sport we understand not only how participation in sport contributes to these wellbeing indicators, but also what we need to do if we are ever worried that something is impacting a child’s wellbeing. As part of the ‘Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014’, the concept of wellbeing and the GIRFEC approach is now enshrined in law.