Policy for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Ex Cathedra runs a range of participation, performance, learning activities and projects for people of all ages in a variety of settings including in schools, hospitals, concert halls, and community settings. Projects are run with varying group sizes, including for individuals, of all ages and capabilities and needs. This includes Regulated Activities.

The key principles on which to base work with children are found in the Children Act 1989 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the UK is a signatory. All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential. They should be enabled to:

• Be as physically and mentally healthy as possible
• Gain the maximum benefit possible from good quality educational opportunities
• Live in a safe environment and be protected from harm
• Experience emotional wellbeing
• Feel loved and valued, and be supported by a network of reliable and affectionate relationships
• Become competent in looking after themselves and coping with everyday living
• Have a positive image of themselves and a secure sense of identity, including cultural and racial identity
• Develop good inter-personal skills and confidence in social situations

In order to achieve this level of wellbeing, it is the responsibility of every organisation that works with children to protect them from abuse. There are four categories of abuse:

• Physical Abuse
• Emotional Abuse
• Sexual Abuse
• Neglect

Ex Cathedra is committed to the safeguarding and the care of children (up to age 18) and vulnerable adults for which it has responsibility and with which it comes in to contact as part of its work. Ex Cathedra recognises that all children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in its work have a right to be protected from harm.

Ex Cathedra will take every possible action to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, prevent abuse and deal with it, if it occurs, or any allegations, as promptly and effectively as possible. It will co-operate fully with any statutory agencies as required.

The board of trustees has overall responsibility for Ex Cathedra’s Safeguarding Policy and procedures and will normally appoint a trustee to support the staff team, including Ex Cathedra’s Designated Safeguarding Officer.

The trustees will ensure that appropriate detailed operating policies and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed to ensure that:

• Legislation, best practice and relevant guidance are followed
• Management responsibility for safeguarding within the organisation is clearly defined
• People involved with our work are carefully selected and receive appropriate training for working with participants in our projects, using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) at the relevant level, amongst other tools, to check the background of each person
• Specific local safeguarding requirements, e.g. in hospitals, are observed
• Risk assessments are undertaken and documented for all events involving children and vulnerable adults
• Procedures for promptly dealing with disclosures and concerns are in place
• Relevant legislative requirements regarding confidentiality, photography, video recording and social media are observed

The board of trustees will review this policy annually and, as part of this review will check that all internal procedures, including DBS checks, are up to date.

Graham Mackenzie, Chair of Board of Trustees, rev 9th March 2020

Safeguarding Plan

1. Introduction

Ex Cathedra runs a range of participation, performance, learning activities and projects for people of all ages in a variety of settings including in schools, hospitals, concert halls, and community settings. The projects are run with varying group sizes, including for individuals, of all ages and capabilities and needs. This includes Regulated Activities.

We recognise that it is of the utmost importance that we consider and take appropriate action for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in all circumstances, including where we have sole charge of children, where we are hosting an event, and where we are working in partnership with another body that has overall responsibility for the participants or event.

Ex Cathedra recognises that all children, young people and vulnerable adults have a right to be protected from harm and takes every reasonable step to ensure that children and vulnerable adults involved in its arts projects are protected from harm.

We are respectful of the safeguarding practices we uphold, and that are upheld by others. We follow legislation, guidance and best practice and aim to keep up to date.

2. Our People

We carefully select the members of our team (employed and freelance) in considering their skills, experiences and appropriateness for working with our participants.

2.1 DBS CHECKS

Before anyone can deliver or attend participatory sessions for Ex Cathedra (paid or on a voluntary basis) directly with children or vulnerable adults, or have responsibility for their activities such that they are or may be undertaking regulated activity, a satisfactory DBS check is carried out.

The highest appropriate level of DBS check for each role is undertaken. This level – basic, standard or enhanced – is identified using the government’s online tool, published in 2018: https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check.

Ex Cathedra follows best practice with regards to repeating DBS at appropriate intervals and our people are asked to put themselves on the update service.

If any information changes with regards to the individual and their suitability for working with children or vulnerable adults the individual is required to inform Ex Cathedra immediately and Ex Cathedra will immediately consider appropriate action.

Our people carry their DBS certificates when working with children and vulnerable adults in a new setting and Ex Cathedra keeps a central record of the certificate number and date of issue. ID is also worn and visible at all times.

For the sake of clarification, when children and young people join Ex Cathedra adult singers and players Ex Cathedra’s musicians, whether professional or amateur, singer or instrumentalist are treated in Safeguarding terms as participants. They are not subject to DBS checks, and if children and vulnerable adults rehearse and perform with non DBS-checked musicians they are safeguarded according to the same criteria as if they were in a public space and the musicians were unknown to Ex Cathedra.

2.2 RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to:

• Formulate the Company’s safeguarding policy and make it available to all staff
• Ensure that all members of staff (including freelance staff) have read the policy and procedures and understood them
• Arrange for display of the safeguarding policy on Ex Cathedra’s website so that it is accessible to all parents
• Co-ordinate action in safeguarding issues and understand the DBS referral process
• Ensure that all staff know who the designated member of staff is and know about the role
• To follow procedures set out below and refer suspected cases of child abuse to the appropriate authorities
• To take part in relevant and appropriate training
• To maintain records in a secure and confidential file
• To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of safeguarding work carried out within the
• organisation
• To report to Ex Cathedra Trustees on safeguarding within the organisation

It is the responsibility of the designated member of the Board of Trustees to:

• Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the safeguarding of children within the organisation
• Support and monitor the work of the Designated Lead

It is the responsibility of all members of Ex Cathedra staff (including freelance staff) to:

• Understand their responsibility for referring safeguarding concerns using the proper channels
• Ensure that any suspected exploitation or radicalisation of young people is regarded as a safeguarding concern and is referred to the Designated Lead
• Be aware that abuse can occur between children and vulnerable adults and if there are concerns that this is taking place refer it accordingly
• Treat the child’s or young person’s welfare as paramount
• Be alert to potential indicators of abuse and neglect, and to the risks that individual abusers may pose to children and young people
• Be aware of the effects of abuse and neglect on children and young people
• Know how to respond to anyone who may disclose abuse, including providing a written report to the Designated Lead
• Treat any allegation or complaint with respect

3. Training and Awareness

All trustees, and all staff will receive appropriate Safeguarding. The Trustee overseeing Safeguarding, the General Manager and Director of Education (both Designated Safeguarding Leads) receive Safeguarding training. Safeguarding is a standing item within the Director of Education’s quarterly Board reports, and also monthly office team meetings. Members of the Education team receive additional training pertinent to specific project work (e.g. Singing Medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital). We engage chaperones for our Academy of Vocal Music members (for under 18s) who are trained and approved by local authority for chaperone duties. Safeguarding is an item on the annual Education, Learning and Participation team members review with the Director of Education.

In addition to our own preparations and procedures Birmingham Children’s Hospital requires all our Singing Medicine vocal tutors working on their premises to attend additional internal child protection training as well as being aware of its own safeguarding policy, disclosure procedure and the designated senior person for Child Protection.

4. Making our Space Safe

Risk assessment documents are created for our events.

5. Confidentiality

We hold confidential information for some participants of our work as well as members of our Academy of Vocal Music training choirs, for example as a result of licensing procedures for performances. This information is used only by those who have appropriate DBS checks and is kept in locked filing cabinets and password protected computer files.

5.1 PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ARTS DOCUMENTATION AND PUBLICITY

If at any point photographs or film need to be taken of any children or vulnerable adults we are working with, parental / carer permission is sought first with the projected use and timescale for the use of the images detailed. Children and vulnerable adults must also be asked for their permission. Any photographs and consent forms are stored in a lockable cabinet at the Ex Cathedra office. These will be destroyed once the agreed specified date of use on the consent form has expired.

5.2 RECORDING, REPORTING AND EVALUATION

Evaluation of projects and activities is regularly undertaken. Records are made of our work for funders, partners, other stakeholders, and for our own planning and progression purposes. Discussions take place on work and also on participants. All staff understand, with the utmost importance, the necessity for appropriate respect, discretion and confidentiality to be used when holding discussions, recording and reporting unless permission is given otherwise. When recording information nothing is written down that a third party sees that means a participant may be identifiable unless appropriate permission been obtained. Any information on participants that we need to retain (such as membership information for Academy members) is kept in locked cabinets or in password protected computers and only accessed by those with appropriate DBS checks.

6. Communication

No person in the Ex Cathedra ‘family’ (trustee, staff, freelance, professional players and singers, amateur players and singers) will communicate directly (via phone, text, email, social media or similar messaging), or be alone, with anyone under 18 in our activities, or within our Academy choirs, unless given express instruction and permission by a parent / carer to do so – for example driving an Academy member home.

6.1 SOCIAL MEDIA

We do not mention any participant on social media unless permission has been granted. We do not share photos on social media unless permission has been granted and recorded, or unless taken at a public event.

7. Issues of Concern and Disclosures

If, during a workshop session or event, an incident of concern happens, (such as a child or vulnerable adult banging their head, child or vulnerable adult feeling unwell, and any misbehaviour), the child’s parent/teacher, or the vulnerable adult’s parent/carer is informed as soon as possible by the vocal tutor/registered chaperone in charge. A report is submitted to the office via the Designated Safeguarding Lead and in their absence the General Manager or trustee overseeing safeguarding activities.

In the rare occurrence of a concern arising over the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult due to an observation, or disclosure from the child or vulnerable adult to a vocal tutor, then the matter is handled with the utmost care. Vocal tutors are trained to recognise signs of abuse and to deal with such disclosures.

We are vigilant to matters associated with physical abuse, sexual abuse, FGM, and terrorism.

8. Special Issues

When teaching singing it is often required to bring attention to different parts of the body, for such reasons as developing good posture and breathing. In these case permission is always sought from participant. We never work one-to-one.

Some of our singing-play work encourages physical contact between participants. All Vocal Tutors receive training on appropriateness and awareness, discuss suitable practice regularly, and permission from attending teachers is sought.

9. Infection Control

In a hospital environment it is extremely important to follow the Infection Control Procedures in place at each specific setting. We ensure we follow – and are seen follow – the correct procedures in full. Training is provided for each vocal tutor at the outset of a project, on joining the project, and when updates are requested by a hospital. Our team take infection control very seriously and are diligent and conscientious in following them. We never work independently, and vocal tutors support, guide and check each other in adhering to full and proper procedures.

Safeguarding Routines

We plan our events carefully to safeguard children and vulnerable adults from harm.

Our work is carried out in a variety of settings. We have a firm principle that vocal tutors and instrumentalists always work in pairs or larger teams when with children and vulnerable adults. Vocal tutors only work independently in situations such as school classrooms or assembly and only when a member of staff of the host school is present.

Examples of our current usual working situations are:

• Vocal tutors work with a child or small group of children and often their carer in a hospital ward or in a high dependency unit or in an isolation unit. Hospital staff are present or very close by
• Vocal tutors work with primary aged children in their school playground during school lunchtimes
• A vocal tutor works within a school setting teaching a group of children with a teacher in attendance
• Vocal tutors and an accompanist work in a central venue with large numbers of school children, with their teachers present
• A vocal tutor and accompanist work with our Children’s Academy, Junior Academy, Senior Upper Voices, and Senior Lower Voices in a rehearsal venue with no public access with vocal tutors and / or Education Coordinator and registered chaperones present. Parents are welcome to stay but not required to
• Vocal tutors and accompanist work with our academies performing in a public venue, often with Learning & Participation Coordinator and registered chaperones present
• A vocal tutor leads an intergenerational community choir rehearsal with children accompanied by a parent or carer
• A vocal tutor and accompanist and supporting singers work with a small group of adults in a hospital ward
• A vocal tutor team and accompanists work in a concert hall or similar setting with large numbers of participants

Working practices for key examples of our working situations are given below.

For our Academy of Vocal Music choirs

• Risk assessments are carried out for activities
• Parents are asked on signing their child up to membership to inform us of any extra needs we should consider or provide for
• Parents are asked to inform vocal tutor / registered chaperone / Learning & Participation Coordinator of any additional needs a child may have when performing licenses are undertaken
• Children remain chaperoned at all times by vocal tutors and registered chaperones on a ratio of a minimum of 1:12. When Vocal tutors/registered chaperones take a group of children outside a rehearsal/performance setting (e.g. travelling to a performance; walking from rehearsal venue to performance venue) the ratio is 1:6
• Children are registered upon their arrival by parent / carer and are required to sign in with the registered chaperone, even where parents remain in attendance
• Children in the Children’s Academy and Junior Academy must arrive with a parent / carer
• Children in the Senior Upper and Lower Voices are allowed to arrive without a parent / carer but if they do not arrive we will contact the parent / carer
• Children are chaperoned at all times
• Children are not allowed to leave until collected by a parent / assigned carer, and must sign out with the registered chaperone; (*when the parent is not collecting the child the parent must inform us)
• A contact details document which includes any specific additional information on a child’s needs remains with the vocal tutor/registered chaperone in charge at all times
• The registered chaperone/person in charge will carry a mobile phone, and have it switched on at all times. All parents will have been informed of this number
• Regular, appropriate food and drink breaks are provided
• The group is informed of evacuation procedures at the beginning of a session
• Vocal tutors and registered chaperones will not leave the building until all children have been collected and registered as doing so by the parent (or designated carer of which the parent has informed us)

For school project work on school premises

• Our team members are not left alone with children
• Teachers supervise children
• Our team members carry on their person an appropriate DBS certificate and ID at all times

For school project work off school site

• Our team members are not left alone with children
• Risk assessment activities are carried out by Ex Cathedra or lead partner
• Our team members carry on their person an appropriate DBS certificate and ID at all times

For hospital work

• At the beginning of each session, and at the end of each session the team meets to reflect and plan including safeguarding issues
• Our team members are not left alone with children, but will enter rooms on wards without hospital staff (there are windows)
• Hospital staff supervise children
• Our team members carry on their person an appropriate DBS certificate and ID at all times

Project specific training and meeting events are held at appropriate times for project staff. At these sessions discussion around keeping child and vulnerable adults safe is undertaken.

Peter Trethewey, General Manager, Ex Cathedra
Rebecca Ledgard, Director of Education,
John Clemson, Trustee
9th March 2020

Codes of Conduct

Codes of conduct are in place and documents entitled Keeping our People Safe are given to:

1) Ex Cathedra’s adults including staff, players and singers
2) Ex Cathedra’s education team including Artistic Director, vocal tutors, accompanists, percussionists, admin team and chaperones.

Keeping our People Safe – Code of Conduct for staff, singers and instrumentalists

Ex Cathedra runs a range of participation, performance, learning activities and projects for people of all ages in a variety of settings including in concert halls and various performance spaces – alongside Ex Cathedra Choir and Orchestra. The projects are run with varying group sizes, including for individuals, of all ages and capabilities and needs. This activity is Regulated Activity.

Ex Cathedra is committed to the safeguarding and the care of children (up to 18 years) for which it has responsibility and with which it comes in to contact as part of its work. Ex Cathedra also recognises that all children, young people involved in its work have a right to be protected from harm. To ensure the execution of these responsibilities, Ex Cathedra has a robust, board approved, safeguarding policy that is regularly reviewed.

This behaviour code, which forms part of Ex Cathedra’s Safeguarding Policy, outlines the code of conduct expected of our staff, adult singers and instrumentalists and has been informed by the children in our organisation. Following this code will help to keep children safe and protect children from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from adults. It will also help staff, singers and instrumentalists to maintain the standard of behaviour expected of them and will reduce the possibility of unfounded accusations of abuse being made against them.

Staff, singers and instrumentalists are expected to report any breaches of this code to Rebecca Ledgard or Peter Trethewey (General Manager), or if about either one of them to the Trustee named below. Our children (members of our Academy of Vocal Music) know who to talk to if they do not feel safe. This includes designated chaperones and vocal tutors on site. For children present with their school this will be their teachers.

Staff, singers and instrumentalists who breach this code of conduct may be subject to disciplinary procedures or be asked to leave. Serious breaches may result in a referral to a statutory agency such as the local authority children’s social services.

When working alongside children it is important that all adults adhere to the following statements. The list below has been developed by the children in our Academies.

Adults will:

• Keep us safe, and if there is something that is dangerous or a problem, they will stop it or try to solve it;
• Demonstrate that they understand us and our needs;
• Set a good example, are nice, kind, to be trusted and respect us;
• Challenge and inspire us, have high expectations of us but won’t make us do too much, or something that we don’t want to do;
• Listen to us and our opinions;
• Support us in our singing;
• Be appropriately behaved; and
• Help us.

Ex Cathedra informs you that you must not:

• Be alone with a child;
• Use inappropriate language;
• Behave inappropriately;
• Develop inappropriate relationships with children that are outside the scope of the organisation’s duties;
• Conduct a sexual relationship with a child or have any form of sexual contact with a child;
• Enter children’s dressing rooms (concerts) unless required to do so as part of your duties;
• Exchange contact details, including addresses, telephone and mobile phone numbers, emails or link up on social media.

You must:

• Follow our safeguarding policy.

Food and drink: Please take care with regard to hot drinks when children are present. On specific occasions we may ask you to not bring products (eg nuts) into a space to keep those with a nut allergy safe.

The children and young people in our Academy of Vocal Music see themselves, in their words, as a linked team – a big family of singers who like to sing together, with a good bond. They want to have fun and they always aim to enjoy themselves together. They want to do their best.

They agree to the following statements, given in their own words.

We are

• Mature, professional and well behaved;
• Kind and helpful to each other;
• Trustworthy;
• Loyal;
• Friendly to others, positive and nice;
• Courageous, we persevere, and we try to do better;
• Considerate and supportive of each other, and we listen to one another;
• Creative;
• Inclusive and accepting of everyone, with no one ever left out; and
• Respectful of each other.

Latest review: March 2020

Designated Safeguarding Officer, Rebecca Ledgard, rebecca@excathedra.co.uk
General Manager, Peter Trethewey, peter@excathedra.co.uk
Trustee, John Clemson johnfclemson@hotmail.com

Keeping our People Safe – Code of Conduct for our education team, including Artistic Director, vocal tutors, accompanists and percussionists, education admin staff and chaperones

Ex Cathedra runs a range of participation, performance, learning activities and projects for people of all ages in a variety of settings including in concert halls and various performance spaces, in playgrounds, classrooms, on hospital wards and at hospital bedsides. The activities are run with varying group sizes, including for individuals, of all ages and capabilities and needs. This activity is Regulated Activity.

Ex Cathedra is committed to the safeguarding and the care of children (up to 18 years) and vulnerable adults for which it has responsibility and with which it comes in to contact as part of its work. Ex Cathedra also recognises that all children, young people involved in its work have a right to be protected from harm. To ensure the execution of these responsibilities, Ex Cathedra has a robust, board approved, safeguarding policy that is regularly reviewed. We are proud of the professionalism of our team.

This code of conduct, which forms part of Ex Cathedra’s Safeguarding Policy, outlines the code of conduct expected of our Education team – including our Artistic Director, Director of Education, administration staff, chaperones, vocal tutors and instrumentalists. This includes those who are freelance, those who are salaried and volunteers. This document has been informed by the children in our organisation. Following this code will help to keep children safe and protect children from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from adults. It will also help our adults to maintain the standard of behaviour expected of them and will reduce the possibility of unfounded accusations of abuse being made against them.

All adults in our team are expected to report any breaches of this code to Rebecca Ledgard or Peter Trethewey (General Manager), or if about either one of them to the Trustee named below. Our children (members of our Academy of Vocal Music) know who to talk to if they do not feel safe. This includes designated chaperones and vocal tutors on site. For children present with their school this will be their teachers.

Adults who breach this code of conduct may be subject to disciplinary procedures or be asked to leave. Serious breaches may result in a referral to a statutory agency such as the local authority children’s social services.

When working with children and vulnerable adults it is important that all adults adhere to the following statements. The list below has been developed by the children in our Academies.

Adults will:

• Keep us safe, and if there is something that is dangerous or a problem, they will stop it or try to solve it;
• Demonstrate that they understand us and our needs;
• Set a good example, are nice, kind, to be trusted and respect us;
• Challenge and inspire us, have high expectations of us;
• Listen to us, our needs and our opinions;
• Support us in our singing;
• Be appropriately behaved; and
• Help us.

Furthermore, Ex Cathedra expects you to be:

• Professional;
• Respectful;
• Kind;
• Encouraging;
• Supportive;
• Patient; and
• To use people’s names.

Ex Cathedra informs you that you must not:

• Be alone with a child or vulnerable adult, unless carrying out chaperoning duties;
• Use inappropriate language;
• Behave inappropriately;
• Develop inappropriate relationships with children or vulnerable adults that are outside the scope of the organisation’s duties;
• Conduct a sexual relationship with a child or vulnerable adult or have any form of sexual contact with a child or vulnerable adult;
• Enter children’s and vulnerable adults’ dressing rooms (concerts) unless required to do so as part of your duties;
• Exchange contact details, including addresses, telephone and mobile phone numbers, emails or link up on social media.
• Refer to a participant on social media unless given permission to do so.

You must:

• Follow our safeguarding policy.
• Follow procedures for making disclosures or matters of concern.
• Respect and follow confidentiality practice.

Food and drink: Please take care with regard to hot drinks when children and vulnerable adults are present. On specific occasions we may ask you to not bring nut products into a space to keep those with a nut allergy safe.

The children in our Academy of Vocal Music see themselves, in their words, as a linked team – a big family of singers who like to sing together, with a good bond. They want to have fun and they always aim to enjoy themselves together. They want to do their best.

They agree to the following statements, given in their own words.

We are:

• Mature, professional and well behaved;
• Kind and helpful to each other;
• Trustworthy;
• Loyal;
• Friendly to others, positive and nice;
• Courageous, we persevere, and we try to do better;
• Considerate and supportive of each other, and we listen to one another;
• Creative;
• Inclusive and accepting of everyone, with no one ever left out; and
• Respectful of each other.

Some of our work, particularly in school and hospital settings needs extra care with regards to conduct. Some of our work involves engaging children in singing play and enabling them to play together. Within play and many of our games there is often contact between people. You must only encourage and use touch that is required and appropriate in the game and activities.

Latest review: March 2020

Designated Safeguarding Officer, Rebecca Ledgard, rebecca@excathedra.co.uk
General Manager, Peter Trethewey, peter@excathedra.co.uk
Trustee, John Clemson johnfclemson@hotmail.com

Child Protection Procedure

The NSPCC lists abuse in four areas:
• Physical abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Neglect

If a child makes a disclosure to you:

  1. Reassure the child that telling someone was the right thing to do.
  2. If possible, ensure you are not alone with the child.
  3. Let the child tell you their whole story. Don’t quiz them but ensure you have a clear understanding of what they are telling you.
  4. Tell them that you now have to do what you can to keep them (or the child who is the subject of the allegation) safe.
  5. Tell the child what you are going to do and who you need to tell.
  6. As soon as is appropriate make notes of the conversation.
  7. Ask the child what they would like to happen as a result of telling you, but don’t make any promises you cannot keep.
  8. Give the child the ChildLine phone number 0800 1111
  9. As soon as is appropriate and urgently report to:

• Ex Cathedra’s Designated Safeguarding Officer, Rebecca Ledgard, rebecca@excathedra.co.uk
or Peter Trethewey, General Manager, Ex Cathedra, peter@excathedra.co.uk
or John Clemson, Trustee johnfclemson@hotmail.com
• And Birmingham City Council Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS) M-F 9-5pm 0121 303 1888 or 0121 675 4806 (out of hours)
• And when hosted by anther organisation (school or hospital) the host’s Designated Safeguarding Officer.
• NSPCC HELPLINE 0808 800 5000

If the child needs urgent medical attention or is in immediate danger call the emergency services: 999

If you have a concern about a child urgently report to Rebecca Ledgard, or if unavailable then Peter Trethewey, or John Clemson – contact details above.

Issues to consider:
• The child’s feelings
• The parents’ right to know
• The impact of telling the parents

Latest review: March 2020