Safeguarding Policy Statement

Children, Young People, and Adults.

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Introduction

The care and protection of children, young people, and adults attending lessons for the music school is the responsibility of the ‘the music room | Coventry’. Everyone who is employed or freelance for ‘the music room | Coventry’ has a responsibility for their own students' safety. 

This document sets out the safeguarding children, young people, and vulnerable adult’s policy of ‘the music room | Coventry’. It has been approved with Christ Church CofE Coventry whom we work jointly on many aspects of safeguarding policy. 

Full understanding of, and adherence to, this policy should lead to a deepening in the understanding of, and respect for, the rights of children, young people, and adults for music teachers working at ‘the music room | Coventry’.

Child - anyone under the age of 18 years.

Young people/person - means any individual(s) aged 14 to 17 years old.

Vulnerable adult - A person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is to being temporarily or indefinitely impaired” 

Definition of Safeguarding

Safeguarding is defined as:

“Promotion of the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable adults and is dependent on effective information sharing, collaboration, and understanding between customers and employees.

There are two essential aspects to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable adults:

  • The arrangements to take all reasonable measures to ensure that risks of harm to children, young people, and vulnerable adult’s welfare are minimized. And,

  • Arrangements to take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of a child, children, young people, and vulnerable adults, in accordance with local policies and procedures in full partnership with other local agencies.

Categories of Abuse and Definitions

 

As stated by the Area Child Protection Committees’ Regional Child Protection Policy and Procedures (ACPC) (2005) Child abuse occurs “when a child is neglected, harmed, or not provided with proper care. Children may be abused in many settings, by those known to them, or more rarely, by a stranger. There are different types of abuse and a child may suffer more than one of them”.

The ACPC defines four categories of abuse:

  • Sexual

  • Physical

  • Emotional

  • Neglect

Sexual Abuse Definition

This form of abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

 

Physical abuse definition

Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child or adult, or the wilful or neglectful failure to prevent suffering or physical injury. This can include: hitting, shaking, throwing, scalding or burning, drowning, suffocation, confinement to a room or cot, or inappropriately giving drugs to control behavior.

 

Emotional abuse definition

Emotional abuse is the continued and persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It can involve conveying to a child that he/she is worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as he/she meets the needs of another person.

It may involve causing a child to feel frightened or in danger or the exploitation or corruption of a child. Though it may occur alone, some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child.

Situations such as domestic violence, adult mental health problems and substance use by parents and adults part of the child’s inner circle may expose a child to emotional harm.

 

Neglect Definition

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s physical, emotional, and/or psychological needs, likely to cause significant harm. It can involve a failure in providing adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure in protecting a child from physical harm or danger, failure to ensure access to the medical care of treatment, lack of stimulation and/or supervision, and non-organic failure to thrive.

 

Music School Safeguarding Roles

Both principals, Adam Kibble and John Griffiths, of the music school, are trained as safeguarding officers. Both principals take the lead role for safeguarding within the School’s premises. This includes:

  • Developing local practices that comply with gov.uk guidance.

  • Reporting all safeguarding situations to a safeguarding officer.

  • In addition to the above, immediately notifying the statutory authorities if an adult or child:

  • Is at imminent risk of harm; or,

  • Discloses any abuse which is a criminal offence. 

  • Processing DBS checks for volunteers and staff working for the music school.

  • Ensuring volunteers and staff receive appropriate safeguarding training.

  • Acting as a bridge between the music school and Christ Church Coventry for matters relating to the safeguarding of adults at risk and children on the church premises.

  • To discuss concerns with employees who are affected in the case by case circumstance. Making sure the employee is comfortable and in mutual understanding with the circumstances. 

  • Maintaining records of concerns or incidences. 

  • To carry out actions under the Children Act 2004.

  • To advise parents/guardians of student safety measures within the school premises. 

 

Staff Code and Conduct

At ‘the music room | Coventry’ our main aims are to create a safe space for children, young people, and adults to thrive musically and gain confidence in themselves. We strive to teach the highest level of our instrument profession. There is no place for teachers who do not share these values within our service. Our teachers should act with personal courtesy and integrity, to enhance the reputation and standards of the teaching profession, striving to develop professional skills and expertise.

‘the music room | Coventry’ recognizes the personal dignity and rights of all children, young people, and adults, as enshrined in the Human Rights Act 1998 and the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Safeguarding work is undertaken within a legislative framework supported by government guidance which sets out a range of safeguarding duties, responsibilities, and best practices. 

For the purposes of the safeguarding arrangements set in this document, any recourse to the “legal age of consent” or any aspect of a “consensual relationship” is deemed to be indefensible. As such, there must be no personal relationships or inappropriate conversations between staff and pupils or students.

Where staff has any concerns whatsoever about a pupil, student, vulnerable adult they should contact either principal of the school (Adam Kibble and John Griffiths).

 

All teachers have a responsibility to:

  • Support the music school and its Principals in their duties and responsibilities.

  • Maintain, at all times, a professional relationship with all colleagues.

  • Respect the terms of their work contract with ‘the music room | Coventry’.

  • Make good use of all resources provided.

  • Respect the right of an individual to hold religious or political beliefs and not seek to impose personal opinions on such matters.

  • Not misrepresent professional qualifications.

We hold a high standard for our teachers to:

  • Act with compassion and be impartial.

  • Encourage and praise students when appropriate.

  • Always refer to positive aspects first before expressing criticisms and do not utter hurtful comments in any situation. This applies for both one-to-one tuition, group situations and all educational activities delivered at ‘the music room | Coventry’.

  • At all times maintain a professional teacher/student relationship.

  • Never exchange your personal details such as phone, mobile phone, emails, social media contacts with children, young people, vulnerable adults. 

  • If a student approaches you on your mobile phone, private email/s, and media contacts such as Facebook or twitter you need to: 1) Not to reply and 2) report this immediately to a principal. 

  • Respect confidentiality of information unless its disclosure is either required by law or is considered to be in the best interests of the student.

  • Ensure that reports on young people are based on factual information and emphasize their strengths and areas of improvement.

All employees of ‘the music room | Coventry’ are informed of these standards and are contracted to uphold them. 

 

Our teachers are educated to practice a ‘don’t touch’ rule. This includes:

  • Teachers congratulating and encouraging students without giving a friendly tap on the shoulder or arm.

  • Teachers must refrain from tapping the pulse of music on any part of a student’s body.

  • When teaching breathing exercises, teachers must never touch the chest, diaphragm, ribs or legs of a student.

  • When teaching students music performance body posture teachers must announce their intention very clearly and involve other students or parents so that they can observe clearly what is happening. If needed to correct a playing position the teacher must ask the student if he/she is happy for the teacher to demonstrate it while touching him/her. Only if the student agrees then the teacher may proceed. If the student doesn’t consent, the teacher should record exactly what was said and report the matter as soon as possible to one of the music school’s principals.

  • On some occasions, distressed pupils may need comfort and reassurance (for example after a music performance situation that didn’t go as well as expected). In such cases, teachers should use their discretion. However, in such cases, teachers need to be aware of the limits of such contact and of the potential possibility of it being misinterpreted.

  • Teachers should never physically restrain a student UNLESS if it is strictly necessary to prevent physical injury to another child, teachers, members of staff, or themselves.

Teachers should also behave professionally towards colleagues and any member of staff on the premises of Christ Church Coventry. The following practices should be implemented:

  • At all times have a friendly and caring attitude towards colleagues while being aware of their personal and professional needs.

  • Discussions with colleagues concerning professional and personal problems must be kept in confidence.

  • Never discuss colleagues or students' issues with parents, other young people, or other students.

  • When assessing or making observations of colleagues' work respect their professional status.

  • Never criticize a colleague in the presence of others.

  • Always provide references that are fair and truthful.

Working with Parents, teachers should:

  • Respect at all times the shared responsibility that exists between the music school and the parents/guardians of young people.

  • Fairly and accurately present the facts concerning any matters related to the musical development of young people and all students.

  • Seek to establish a co-operative relationship with the parents and students

  • Respect parental rights to ask questions request consultation and information regarding the musical and general development of their children

Working with Christ Church, teachers should endeavour to establish a co-operative and friendly relationship with the Church community, volunteers, and staff, specifically with Arthur Woo (Vicar of Christ Church) and the church trustees.

Teachers will also need to respect the practices of the church and their professional conduct. Inappropriate language such as swearing and cursing will not be tolerated on-site or during lessons by teachers. Teachers are encouraged to dress appropriately for lessons. 

Online Music Lessons

Online lessons will only take place using the Zoom.us application on android, iPhones, tablets, pads, Windows or OS. If a student or parent/guardian requests to use another application the teacher MUST decline. Zoom.us enables all lessons run by ‘the music room | Coventry’ to take place with maximum security measures and confidentiality. ‘the music room | Coventry’ cannot guarantee students safety using other applications. 

Prior to the first lesson ‘the music room | Coventry’ will establish communication between the student and their teacher. The teacher will then be responsible for sending a scheduled Zoom meeting link to the student with a password. No one else except the student/parent and teacher will have access to the meeting link and password. The teacher will use their professional email provided by ‘the music room | Coventry’ to send the meeting link. Teachers and students must uphold the following requirements for online lessons:

  • The lesson’s online connection must always be established only between teachers' and parents contacts or accounts, and never using the child’s own email, phone, or social media contacts.

  • It is mandatory that online lessons take place in a common area of the house, such as the living room or kitchen. Lessons in bedrooms are not allowed. A student's house lessons must take place in a room with an open door and with a responsible adult on the same premises as the student while the lesson takes place, in cases where the student is under 18 years of age. 

  • The teacher's teaching environment must be professional and your surroundings and background neutral.

  • Teachers, students, and parents must wear appropriate attire (pyjamas are not allowed). If a student or parents' attire is inappropriate, teachers will terminate the lesson. The lesson can resume when the person in question is suitably attired. However, the lesson will finish at the set previously agreed to finish time.

  • Teachers must never use students' personal contacts (e.g. email, phone, social media contacts) to send any materials or resources to students. Instead, they are only permitted to use parents/guardians' contacts for this purpose, and it must be strictly related or connected to the provision of music or instrumental lessons. The teacher must use their email provided by ‘the music room | Coventry’ for any such communication.

  • Neither teachers nor parents or students can record a lesson without the knowledge and permission ‘the music room | Coventry’, as written consent from all parties is required before this can be done. In addition, considerations will need to be made regarding copyrights.

  •  If teachers or parents' details are hacked, they must contact ‘the music room | Coventry’ immediately to inform us of any possible issue.

 

Onsight practices for students

Illegal substances and alcoholic drink

‘the music room | Coventry’ has zero-tolerance conduct for any use or possession of illegal and alcoholic substances. If a student or parent/guardian is identified being under the influence or in possession of illegal drugs or alcohol the following actions must be taken:

  • The student and any associates must be escorted off site by the teacher.

  • If for any reason the person under influence or in possession refuses, the teacher must declare to that person that they will call the police and not act physically towards the person. If the person still refused to leave the church site the teacher must call the police to handle the situation.

  • The same teacher must contact and communicate the incident to either principal to be reported. Any further actions will be dealt with by the principals and any action under the HM government law.

  • For any person caught under the influence or in possession of illegal substances or alcohol ‘the music room | Coventry’ will cease to offer this person any lessons and services. 

  • A refund will be given for any future lessons the student has paid for. However, if the student is escorted off site before the duration of the lesson is ended, due to their actions stated above, they will not be refunded for that lesson date and will still be charged for the full lesson. 

How a student/ parent can make a complaint

If a parent has a child protection concern he/she can follow the steps below:

  • I have a concern about my/a child’s safety

  • I can talk to the teacher

  • I can talk to the designated teacher for Child Protection or..

  • If I am still concerned I can talk to either principal

 

Policy in Action

‘the music room | Coventry’ must adopt or take account of this Policy Statement within their own safeguarding policy. The Policy Statement must actively underpin all safeguarding work within the music school and the drive to improve safeguarding practice.

‘the music room | Coventry’ will ensure that:

  • All teachers have access to this Policy Statement;

  • The Policy Statement is promoted and publicized; see https://www.themusicroomcoventry.co.uk/

  • ‘the music room | Coventry’ safeguarding message is communicated as reflected in the policy

 

Designated Safeguarding Officers:

Adam Kibble - School Principal 

John Griffiths - School Principal 

Contact: themusicroomcoventry@gmail.com 
 

Useful Contacts and Links:

Children Act 2004 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents

School Website https://www.themusicroomcoventry.co.uk/

Safeguarding Children https://www.gov.uk/topic/schools-colleges-childrens-services/safeguarding-children

Protecting vulnerable adults https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-policy-protecting-vulnerable-adults

HANDBOOK FOR SCHOOLS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/6915/1/SafeguardingChildreninEducationHandbook.pdf

SAFEGUARDING