This policy sets out the commitment that the National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) makes to ensuring the safety of young people and adults at risk during their interaction with the organisation. NYJC recognises the right of all young people and adults at risk to be protected from any situation or practice that results in physical or psychological harm. NYJC expects all staff and volunteers to:
- establish and maintain an environment in which the welfare of young people and adults at risk is paramount
- ensure that NYJC’s policies and procedures protect all young people and adults at risk from harm, regardless of who they are, and that they and their families are consulted
- ensure that all concerns and allegations of abuse are dealt with and responded to in an appropriate manner
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis. The next review is due in January 2022.
- Safeguarding: NSPCC defines safeguarding as “the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm”.
- Child Protection: NSPCC defines child protection as focusing on “protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child”.
- Young person: for the purposes of this document, the term young person will refer to any individual aged under 18, including children.
- Adult at risk: for the purposes of this document, the term adult at risk will refer to any individual aged 18 and who is at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and or support. Where someone is 18 or over but still receiving children’s services and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be dealt with as a matter of course by the adult safeguarding team. Our policy on safeguarding young people should be applied to any interaction with adults at risk.
- Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO): the person with overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection is Executive Artistic Director Issie Barratt, who will act as the organisation’s DSO. Programme Manager Nick Brown is NYJC’s Deputy DSO. Jonathan Baggaley holds specific board-level responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, however all trustees are responsible for ensuring this policy is enacted effectively.
Code of behaviour
Guidelines for staff and volunteers
Participation in NYJC projects should be a rewarding experience for participants, staff and volunteers. Staff and volunteers must commit to:
- treating participants equally and respectfully
- behaving in a friendly but professional manner, maintaining high standards of personal conduct
- providing constructive and supportive feedback
- taking responsibility for relevant Health and Safety procedures
Behaviour to avoid
- one-to-one contact: staff and volunteers should avoid wherever possible being alone with a participant; if private conversations are required, these must take place in public areas with another DBS-checked adult present.
- physical contact: staff and volunteers must maintain a safe and appropriate distance from participants; if physical contact is required (e.g. for demonstrating instrument technique), this must only be done as a last resort and with the participant’s consent.
- outward displays of affection: only appropriate in the case of comforting a participant and must only occur when another DBS-checked adult is present.
- personal contact: staff and volunteers must not exchange personal contact details or engage with participants on social media; any requests for exchanging contact details (e.g. recommending a local tutor) must be coordinated via the Programme Manager. Where the participant is under 18, contact details must be shared via a parent / guardian.
Guidelines for residential course settings
In residential settings, staff and volunteers must pay particular attention to communicating rules and expectations to participants and avoiding one-to-one contact. Specific guidance relating to each residential course will be shared with staff, volunteers and participants in advance of each course. This guidance must include reference to:
- code of behaviour for participants
- process for dealing with breaches of the code of behaviour, including expulsion
- access to accommodation areas and bedtime, in particular adult access to bedrooms
- designation of separate bathroom facilities for young people and staff
- attendance at scheduled activities
- security of personal belongings
- policy on smoking, alcohol, drugs and sexual activity
Guidelines for online activity
i. Delivery of online activity
NYJC will use Microsoft Teams and Zoom to deliver activities online. Staff and volunteers involved in this delivery must only use official @nyjc.co.uk accounts and a member of the NYJC core team must have access to every meeting. Staff and volunteers will undergo specific training on the technical aspects of delivering online activity.
Meetings can either be set up centrally by the NYJC core team or by the relevant staff member or volunteer according to a pre-agreed schedule. The meeting must be set up in a way that participants are not able to bypass the meeting lobby and only NYJC staff and volunteers are able to share their screens (i.e. present). The core team will share the link to the meeting with the staff member / volunteer and parent / guardian, along with relevant briefing information. This briefing information should include:
- time, date, duration of and link to the online meeting
- information about the staff member or volunteer, the content of the activity and any material to be prepared
- technical instructions, including a reminder to test audio and video equipment in advance
- reminder of this code of practice and expectations of staff members, volunteers, young people and parent / guardians
- details of who to contact in the NYJC core team with any questions before, during or after the activity
We will encourage all participants to access the meetings using a laptop or desktop computer, however smartphones and tablets are also permitted.
The relevant staff member or volunteer must be prepared to join the meeting at least five minutes before the session begins and must end the meeting to ensure no young people are left in the meeting unsupervised. A member of the NYJC core team must be contactable by phone one hour before, during and one hour after any online activity to respond to questions or concerns from staff, volunteers, young people or parents / guardians.
Meetings will be recorded by the NYJC team for quality assurance and safeguarding purposes. Content of these recordings will be kept on the password protected NYJC SharePoint and may be used for marketing and fundraising purposes, however consent must be sought from the young person (or if under 16 the relevant parent / guardian). Parents / guardians may request recordings, however NYJC core staff should be made clear that these recordings are for personal use and must not be shared any further.
ii. Safeguarding and online activity
Staff and volunteers must follow this safeguarding policy as normal, remaining aware to the possibility of young people making a disclosure or staff members / volunteers witnessing potential abuse. The following additional safeguarding guidelines apply:
- Staff and volunteers must only engage in online activity using their official @nyjc.co.uk email account and must not share any alternative contact details, social media accounts or personal information with young people. Staff and volunteers must inform young people that this account will only be used for the purposes of delivering online activity and contact with NYJC should be otherwise made as normal through the core team.
- Young people should, if possible, use a parent or guardian’s online account to access the online activity. Alternatively a parent / guardian should set up an account for the young person.
- Parents / guardians must provide written consent before the relevant young person participates in online activity. The NYJC core team will provide a list of those with consent to the staff member / volunteer in advance of the meeting. Young people without consent must not be permitted access to meetings.
- The core team must make staff, volunteers, young people and parents / guardians aware of the process of reporting any safeguarding concerns during online activity.
iii. Guidance for staff and volunteers working online
Staff and volunteers must treat online activity as if working in a face-to-face context, dressing appropriately and ensuring the background to their video is as neutral as possible. If available, staff and volunteers should use the Blur my background function. If sharing the screen, staff and volunteers must ensure that only the relevant content / window is visible.
Staff and volunteers should inform young people at the start of the online activity of the expectation that this is a safe space and the consequences if the ground rules are broken (i.e. removal from the session). The ground rules will be made available to all staff, volunteers and young people in advance of the start of any online activity. Staff and volunteers should enforce professional standards throughout the session, including young person’s appropriate dress and behaviour.
iv. Guidance for parents / guardians during online activity
In advance of any online activity, parents / guardians must:
- discuss the activity with their child and ensure their child is happy to participate
- give written consent for their child to participate
- give written consent for their child’s participation to be recorded
- ensure their child has the necessary technical setup (e.g. working audio and video) and provide them with an appropriate space to take part in the activity (e.g. in a space with as neutral a background as possible where they are unlikely to be disturbed)
- ensure their child understands this code of practice
Parents / guardians must be present at the start of the session to ensure the technical setup is working and to be able to ask the tutor any questions about the session. There must be an adult present on the premises during any online activity, and the session must be undertaken in a room with an open door. Any questions or concerns about the conduct of staff / volunteers during the online activity must be raised directly with the core team.
Guidelines for young people
All participants in online and face-to-face activity are required to agree to a Code of Behaviour outlining expected standards of conduct during the project. Where the participant is under the age of 18, their parents are also expected to sign. Participants are also expected to abide by any codes of behaviour put in place by delivery partners (e.g. during regional activity). NYJC is responsible for communicating and enforcing any additional codes of behaviour. The Code of Behaviour will also outline the process following a serious breach, including expulsion from the project.
Guidelines for one-to-one tuition
One-to-one contact should be avoided wherever possible. If one-to-one tuition is required, either online or face-to-face, staff and volunteers should:
- Discuss with the DSO or Deputy DSO in advance
- Avoid using confined spaces, spaces without windows or spaces particularly isolated from other staff and volunteers
- Keep doors open wherever possible
Marketing and communications
NYJC shares information on its activity with supporters and funders as part of its ongoing marketing, communications and fundraising work. Where information about participants under the age of 18 is to be shared externally, including on its website, consent will be sought by the participant’s parents (and participant if aged 16-18). This includes the use of photographs and videos.
Recruitment and training
Annual training for staff and volunteers will include a refresher on safeguarding and child protection. In advance of each project, staff and volunteers must complete an online Safeguarding Policy form confirming they understand and agree to abide by this policy. The Programme Manager must ensure all staff and volunteers have completed this form before the start of any project.
Disclosure and Barring Service checks
Staff and volunteers involved in NYJC projects will be subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks where their duties will entail significant contact with young people or adults at risk. NYJC will accept enhanced DBS checks conducted by other organisations as long as they were carried out within the last two years and provide at least the same level of information. New DBS checks will be organised and paid for by NYJC where necessary, with staff members meeting the costs of joining the DBS update service. If a staff member does not join the update service and NYJC has previously paid for a DBS check, the staff member will need to cover any further costs for a new DBS check. Any costs for volunteer DBS checks will be covered by NYJC.
Recognising abuse and neglect
A young person or adult at risk may disclose their experience of abuse during their engagement with NYJC, so all staff and volunteers must be ready to respond to disclosures appropriately. Disclosures can happen in a number of ways:
- directly: a verbal statement of an experience
- indirectly: an ambiguous statement suggesting something is wrong
- behaviourally: a display of behaviour suggesting something is wrong
- non-verbally: a statement of an experience using non-verbal communication
If abuse is suspected, staff and volunteers must not wait for a direct disclosure before taking action using the procedures outlined in this policy.
Abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional, or can include neglect. All staff and volunteers must be able to recognise the signs of abuse, and must be familiar with the following resource:
Definitions and signs of child abuse (NSPCC)
Responding to a disclosure
Staff and volunteers have a responsibility for providing a safe environment in which young people and adults at risk feel comfortable to speak about their concerns. NSPCC recommends the following approach to responding to a disclosure:
- show you care, help them open up: Give your full attention and keep your body language open and encouraging. Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important. Phrases such as “you’ve shown such courage today” help.
- take your time, slow down: Respect pauses and don’t interrupt – let them go at their own pace. Recognise and respond to their body language.
- show you understand, reflect back: Make it clear you’re interested in what they are telling you. Reflect back what they’ve said to check your understanding – and use their language to show it’s their experience.
It is important for staff and volunteers to make it clear that, as part of their role with NYJC, they will need to share this information with the DSO and cannot keep it a secret.
Immediately after the conversation, it is important to take accurate and detailed notes about any concerns to be shared with the DSO, if possible using a Cause for Concern Form. Notes should include details about the young person or adult at risk, the timing, the setting, the child’s presentation (appearance, behaviour, emotional state) and what the young person or adult at risk said or did that gave you cause for concern. Use exact words where possible; do not paraphrase.
Reporting a safeguarding concern
In emergency situations it is vital to take steps to safeguard young people and adults at risk. For medical emergencies, call 999 to request an ambulance or visit the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. If a young person or adult at risk is in imminent danger of harm, call 999 to request police assistance; where appropriate the police may have the right to remove a young person or adult at risk under police protection orders.
Following a disclosure
Following a direct disclosure, staff and volunteers must discuss with the DSO or Deputy DSO as soon as possible and complete a Cause for Concern Form within 12 hours. The DSO or Deputy DSO will consult with the relevant staff member or volunteer and make the decision on what action is necessary in partnership with Local Authority / NSPCC where necessary.
Staff members and volunteers should consult externally with the NSPCC (0808 800 5000) or the relevant Local Authority (https://www.gov.uk/report-child-abuse-to-local-council) if:
- the DSO or Deputy DSO is unavailable within this time period
- the concern relates to the DSO or Deputy DSO
- there is uncertainty or disagreement as to whether concerns exist
A referral of a concern to the Police or Local Authority allows the relevant agency to take the necessary next steps. Parents / guardians of those under 18 should be informed of any referrals, unless the concern relates to suspected abuse by a parent / guardian. If in any doubt about whether to inform parents / guardians, discuss with NSPCC or Local Authority contact.
Staff members and volunteers should contact the NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line (0800 028 0285) if it is believed that:
- NYJC lacks clear safeguarding procedures
- concerns are not being dealt with appropriately
- concerns are being covered up
- there will be repercussions if concerns are raised
All Cause for Concern Forms must be kept by NYJC for a period of ten years in password protected PDF format. Only the DSO, Deputy DSO and board-level representative must have access to these files. Sharing information about the concern in any format must be avoided and deleted as soon as possible.
Informing those involved
Information relating to concerns is highly sensitive, and it is important that staff and volunteers only share information with the DSO, Deputy DSO or external bodies as outlined here. It is the responsibility of the DSO to inform the young person or adult at risk of any further action taken and, in the case of an external referral, this will be done in partnership with the relevant Police or Local Authority contact.