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Hilton Hall Dance Academy
First Floor, Raglan House
St Peters Street
Maidstone
Kent ME16 0SN
01622 755049
07921 402625

Child Protection Policy

The Academy aims to provide an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued, respected and confident. They know how to approach adults if they are in difficulty believing they will be listened to effectively.

Charlotte Latter is the Academy’s designated Child Protection Co-ordinater (CPC) and Joanna Hilton is Deputy CPC.

As part of the ethos of the academy we are committed to:

  • Maintaining children’s welfare
  • Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe
  • Providing support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults whom they feel confident to approach if in difficulty
  • Using the opportunities for increasing self-awareness, self-esteem, assertiveness and decision making so that children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others.
  • Working with parents to build and understanding of the academy’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations.
  • Ensuring all staff are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the academy’s procedures and lines of communication are in conjunction with KCC guidance
  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies where necessary.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Academy is responsible for ensuring that all action taken is in conjunction with Kent’s Child in Need/Child Protection Procedure. The role of the academy within this procedure is to contribute to the identification, referral and assessment of children in need including children who may have suffered or are suffering or who are at risk of suffering significant harm. All adults have a role to play in relation to protecting children from abuse, promoting the welfare of children, and preventing children from being harmed. It must be emphasized that the role of the academy in situations where there are child protection concerns is not to investigate but to recognize and refer.

The CPC is responsible for:

  • Liaising with other agencies
  • Insuring that locally established procedures are followed including reporting and referral processes.
  • Acting as a consultant for staff to discuss concerns
  • Making referrals as necessary
  • Maintaining a confidential recording system
  • Representing the academy when appropriate at inter agency meetings or child protection conferences
  • Organizing training for staff
  • Liaising with other professionals

General Strategies

The academy has in place

  • An anti bullying strategy
  • Complaints procedure

Procedures

Recognition and categories of abuse.

Where any person having permanent or temporary custody of a child mistreats or knowingly colludes with the mistreatment of that child this is deemed to be abuse. Abuse can take several forms and the following are commonly used categories.

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect

Responding to concerns.

Concerns for a child or young person may come to the attention of staff in a variety of ways, for example through observation of behavior, injury or disclosure and member of staff who has a concern must report this to the CPC as soon as is practical. More serious concerns must be reported immediately to ensure that any intervention necessary to protect the child is accessed as early as possible.

If a child makes a disclosure of abuse to a member of staff they should

  • Allow the child to make the disclosure at their own pace and in their own way.
  • Avoid interrupting except to clarify what the child is saying
  • Not ask leading questions or probe for information that the child does not volunteer.
  • Reassure the child that they have been heard and explain what you will do next and to whom you will talk.
  • Record the conversation as soon as possible
  • Inform the CPC

Record Keeping

Staff can play a vital role in helping children in need or at risk by effective monitoring and record keeping. Any incident or behavioural change in a child that cause concern should be recorded on an incident sheet which are kept in locked cabinet in staff office. It is important that records are factual and reflect the words used by the child. Opinions should not be given unless there is some form of evidence base, which also must be quoted. Records must be signed and dated with times if appropriate it is important to remember that any issues are confidential and staff should be informed only on a need to know basis.

Information to be recorded

  • Childs name and date of birth
  • Child in normal context e.g. Behaviour, attitude, (has there been an extreme change)
  • The incident(s) which give rise for concern with date(s) and time(s)
  • A verbatim record of what the child has said
  • If recording bruising/injuries indicate position, colour, size, shape, and time on a body map.
  • Action taken

These basic details are vital to the information gathering process and do not constitute an investigation. Written information should be passed to the CPC who should always be kept informed of any significant issues.

Storage of Records

The Academy will ensure that records relating to concern for the welfare and safety of children are kept separate from other files and are stored securely. Information will be shared on a strict need to know basis and in line with child protection policy guidance.

Referrals to social services

It is the responsibility of the CPC to decide when to make a referral to the social services department. To assist with this decision she may choose to consult with social services children and families duties service. Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these. Some concerns may need to be monitored over a period of time before a decision to refer is made. It should be noted that in all but the most exceptional cases parents/carers will be made aware of any concerns at the earliest possible stage and in the event of this becoming necessary their consent to refer will be sought.

Referrals to social services will be made in writing providing time allows. In situations where there are felt to be urgent or grave concerns a telephone referral will be made and followed up in writing. If a child is referred the Academy will ensure that relevant staff are informed. If after consultation with the CPC the person who raised concerns feels that appropriate action is being taken he should refer direct to social services and the academy should be informed of this decision.

Any Concerns that involve allegations against a member of staff should be referred immediately to the CPC (or Deputy CPC if theses allegations are made against the CPC). Further consultation will then be sought from social services to agree any further action to be taken both in respect of the child and the staff member.

Code of practice.

All staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position in relation to child protection. All staff should work toward providing an environment and atmosphere for children to enable them to feel safe to talk. However staff should never promise a child to keep information confidential it must be explained that staff have duties to keep that child safe which may involve informing others.

Supervision and support.

Any member of staff affected by issues from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from the CPC, who can put staff and parents in touch with outside agencies for professional support.

Training opportunities.

The CPC is responsible for ensuring all staff receive training in the area of child protection.

Monitoring and review.

All staff should have access to this policy and sign to the affect that they have read and understood it. All staff should have opportunities to consider and discuss the policy content. This policy forms part of the academy’s development and will be reviewed annually.

Anti-Bullying Policy

Aims

The Academy wish to make it clear to all students and staff that bullying is always unacceptable. We are trying to establish an environment free from threat. We want to allow all members of our community the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities, to be happy and to feel secure. We want all members to have confidence that if they are bullied their complaints will be received sympathetically, investigated promptly, and treated in a sensitive manner which respects confidentiality.

Definition.

Bullying involves a deliberate and hurtful act of intimidation, humiliation or malice carried out by a person or group in a strong position against a person of group in a weaker position. It usually, but not always, involves repetition rather than a single isolated incident, it can be overt (e.g. Name calling) or covert (e.g. Ignoring)

The three main types of bullying are:

  • Physical i.e. hitting, kicking, biting, pinching, taking or hiding property.
  • Verbal i.e. name calling, teasing, insulting, writing nasty notes, texts or emails.
  • Emotional i.e. excluding, isolating, tormenting, spreading rumours.

Explanation.

Any behavior that makes an individual feel insulted intimidated or hurt, or which is intended to do these things is bullying. It can include the following:

  • The abuse of power by those in authority
  • “Sending someone to Coventry.”
  • Any form of violence, or threatening of violence or unkindness.
  • Sending nasty messages in order to upset somebody.
  • Saying nasty things, which have connection to race, colour, religion, appearance, or sexual preference.
  • Spreading nasty rumours, or circulating sensitive information.
  • Deliberately damaging someone else’s property.
  • Taking someone’s property or food by extortion or otherwise.

Procedures.

  1. When an allegation of bullying reaches a member of staff they will record it in writing and report it to the Principal and the CPC immediately.
  2. The Principal and the CPC will co-ordinate an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the complaint.
  3. If the complaint regards a group every effort will be made to prevent collusion during the investigation.
  4. Parents of any students concerned will be informed and asked to accompany their child whilst they are questioned.
  5. It is our intention to try to resolve such issues by getting all parties together to discuss the events and seek reconciliation.
  6. If the events are such that this is not considered appropriate or where aggravation has been repeated after previous attempts of reconciliation sanctions will be considered.
  7. Details of any sanctions applied will be sent to the parent in a letter informing them of the circumstances of the bullying incident advising them of the consequences which may follow should any further incidents occur.

Signs and symptoms of bullying.

Staff should be aware of any changes in the general demeanour of pupils, which may include:

  • Pupils become withdrawn.
  • They are easily upset
  • They start to bully other children
  • Their performance in class suffers

Appropriate Physical Contact

Teaching dance is a physical activity and a teacher may sometimes need to make physical contact with a student to demonstrate an idea, correct the student’s position, stabilize a child whilst learning a new movement or demonstrate partner work.

This can include:

  • Lifting
  • Adjusting arms, legs, rib cage, hips, feet, hands
  • Moving one student in relation to another

Where contact is needed, we will remain sensitive to the student’s wishes and put their welfare first. In all cases, we will say why and how we will be correcting the student’s position before making any contact.

We encourage students to report any concerns.

Chaperoning

Whilst attending events outside the Academy we will:

Provide parents and students with as much information about the event as we can.

Provide the full address of the event and identify a meeting point.

Provide parents with the names of those who will be chaperoning at the event (if this is possible).

We will ensure that chaperones hold all required checks and licenses and are aware of our Child Protection Policy.

Photographs and Film

As part of our enrollment form parents are asked whether or not they agree to images and or film of their children being used by the academy on social media or in our brochures.

Where we have publicly displayed images at our school or on social media, parents and students may withdraw their permission at any time. In such cases, the images will be removed as soon as is reasonable and without question.

We ask that any parent wanting to take photographs or film at our events only do so with our prior permission. Permission will only be granted on the agreement of all present.

Complaints Procedure.

Aims

This policy seeks to explain the systems the academy has put in place to reassure you and give you confidence in our willingness to listen to you and in our determination to be open, honest and fair.

Our intentions

In pursuit of these aims your concerns and complaints will enable us to modify and improve our procedures

How to make a complaint.

We would encourage all parents to air their concerns informally in the first instance to allow an opportunity to respond and resolve if at all possible. In the event of you wishing to take the complaint forward in a more formal manner the following procedure should be adhered to:

Oral Complaints

If you make an oral complaint a record will be made by the person to whom you speak. Matters raised orally will usually be responded to by phone, unless you ask for a written replay. We will acknowledge your message and respond to your complaint within four days. If we are not able to provide a full reply within this time we will tell you what is being done and when you can expect a full reply. If possible in the case of oral complaints we will try to deal with the matter immediately. If this is the case you will be asked to confirm your satisfaction with this process, if you acknowledge satisfaction no further action will be taken.

Written Complaints.

You make a written complaint by letter or email, but please include a full postal address and contact number. We will make a written response with in eight days of receipt of your communication. If we are not able to provide a full reply within this time we will tell you what is being done and when you can expect a full reply.

This Policy was written in August 2011 with guidance from Clare Blundell of KCC.

The Policy was reviewed in August 2018.

Name: Joanna Hilton

Title: Principal

Signature:……Joanna.f.Hilton……………………………………………..

Date……15th August 18…………………………….

Hilton Hall Dance Academy
First Floor, Raglan House
St Peters Street
Maidstone
Kent ME16 0SN
01622 755049
07921 402625
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