Designed with You and Our students in Mind
At Expressions Academy every student is treated as an individual to be the best they can be, to shine in confidence and exceed in performance ability.
Expressions Academy ensure all staff members have an enhanced DBS. All staff members are fully qualified to teach the genre they are teaching. We ensure there is always a staff member (usually the main teacher) present who is First aid trained. Expressions Academy is fully ensured and hold a PPL license.
Kathryn and Katie are qualified in UTD teaching and Acrotrix. They both hold a certification in Safeguarding of children in education and safeguarding of children in performance.
Kathryn is also fully trained in working with children who suffer with anxiety and low confidence through drama and play. As well as teaching children and adults with special needs.
Policies and Procedures
When you book or purchase any product or service from us, you are signifying your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Details of Expressions Academy terms and conditions, and times and dates of classes can be found on our Website too. It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of these.
You may contact us us using our email address found on our Website, or on emails received from Expressions Academy.
We may contact you by telephone, email or text. It is your responsibility to ensure that we have current contact details for you and a record of all adults authorised to pick up your child. You must also keep us appraised of any changes in the health or other relevant circumstances of you or your child.
All places in every class must be reserved (via class manager AND paid for in advance. (Date will be written on the invoice) It is a basic condition of attendance that fees are payable before the first day of term.
We urge you not to come to a class without prior registration, as you or your child will be informed that they cannot participate in the lesson and you will not be informed if there are any changes or cancelled classes. NO child or student will be allowed to participate in any class unless fees have been paid.
It is our policy not to offer refunds once payment has been made. Expressions Academy cannot be held responsible for changes in participants personal circumstances which might prevent attendance. We are unable to issue refunds if a participant changes their mind or does not come for any reason.
Arrival and departure
Parents are responsible for taking their children to the class and delivering them to the teacher, and for collecting them from the teacher at the end of the lesson. Expressions cannot be responsible for children that are not delivered to the teacher and signed in. To clarify, we do not accept responsibility for children left at the main entrance of venues or who enter on their own from outside any building or space that we hire.
Duty of care, safety & conduct
Please be aware that due to the nature of dance and for your child's growth, development and safety it will be necessary at times to engage in physical contact with your child. This will always be done in an appropriate manner and with your son or daughter's best interests in mind.
Expressions provides for the safety and care of students whilst on the premises.
Expressions Academy aims to take reasonable care to ensure their acts of omissions do not cause reasonable foreseeable injury to students.
Expressions Academy does not accept responsibility for student’s safety outside the premises.
Expressions Academy and its service providers attempt to minimise any risk of personal injury within practical boundaries, however accidents do happen and all physical activities carry the risk of personal injury.
All students and guardians acknowledge that while every care and safety measure will be taken, there is an inherent risk of personal injury in physical activities that will be undertaken at the studio as part of the programme and accept that risk.
The signatory will be financially responsible for any damage sustained to Expressions Academy’s property, venues and their fittings by the student or their guardian. Management will charge the signatory for any repairs, labour or replacement as deemed necessary.
Expressions Academy does not accept responsibility for the damage or loss of goods left on the premises prior to, during or after dance classes.
The student and their guardian are solely responsible for their personal belongings and property whilst left on the premises.
The student and their guardian release Expressions Academy staff from any responsibility in any way for loss or dance of its personal belongings or property.
The student and their guardian shall make no claim adversely impacting, causing hardship or undue stress on Expressions Academy as a result of their actions.
Photos and videos
From time to time we will take photos of students in class. By enrolling your child in Expressions Academy you acknowledge that photos and videos may be taken and used for this purpose.
Expressions Academy may also take photos for advertising purposes to be used on social media, websites and print. We will only ever use photos of your child provided we have your prior consent.
You may withdraw consent at any time by written notice to management. We reserve the right to request no photos or videos be taken by parents in class.
Health and safety policy
Statement of intent
This school believes that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our school a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers.
We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimise
the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.
Our risk assessment process includes:
checking for hazards and risks indoors and outside, and in our activities and procedures. Our
Assessment covers adults and children;
deciding which areas need attention; and
developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the timescales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.
We maintain lists of health and safety issues, which are checked daily before the session begins.
As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and health and safety is discussed regularly at staff meetings.
We have a no smoking policy.
Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussions, and routines.
We have public liability insurance which can be viewed on request
Children should be signed in upon arrival at the building, ensure they are signed in and the teacher is ready to begin with your child sat in the area told (usually edge of stage) before you leave the building.
When you collect your child please wait outside the door until the teacher opens the door and returns your child to you ready to be signed out of the building.
Parents are asked to wait in the waiting area or go home (or anywhere you wish) when the classes are in attendance. If you wish to discuss anything with your class teacher please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes your teacher may have another class to teach so may not always have time to talk to you at the time of the class.
We will have various times throughout the year you can see/discuss your child’s progression.
We take precautions to prevent children's fingers from being trapped in doors.
All surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven or damaged. Floors are swept and mopped daily.
Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.
All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.
Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.
There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.
The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.
We have a cleaning routine to ensure toilets are clean at the start and end of the classes
The toilet area has a supply of liquid hand soap and paper towels. Replenished by the caretaker. There are nappy changing facilities. We put a step in the toilet to ensure all the children can reach the toilet and also the basin without adult help.
We implement good hygiene practices by:
checking toilets regularly;.
Encouraging use of own individual drinking bottles.
Food and drink
If the child is at the studio for one class please do not bring a snack for your child. If your child is attending two or more classes in one evening and will be staying with the academy for a period of time you are welcome to leave them with a healthy snack.
Adults do not carry hot drinks
Snack are appropriately supervised and children do not walk about with food and drinks.
Please bring your child with a drink for every lesson. Drinking water is available to the children at all times via the kitchen by an adult
If a child goes missing the person in charge will carry out a thorough search of the building .
The register is checked to make sure no other child has also gone astray.
Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.
Person in charge talks to staff to establish what happened
If the child is not found the parent is contacted and the missing child is reported to the police.
The person in charge of the school contacts the child's parent who makes their way
The staff contact the police using the mobile phone and report the child as missing.
In an indoor venue, the staff contact the venue's security who will handle the search and
contact the police if the child is not found.
The key person/ staff writes an incident report detailing:
· date and time of the report;
· what staff/ children were in the group/outing;
· when the child was last seen in the group/outing;
· what has taken place in the group/outing since then; and the time it is estimated that the child went missing.
A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened.
If the incident warrants a police investigation all staff co-operate fully. In this case, the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, include interviewing staff. Social Services may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.
The incident is reported under RIDDOR arrangements and is recorded in the incident book; the local authority health and safety officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.
Non-collection of children policy Statement of intent
In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult at the end of their classes/day, the school puts into practice agreed procedures. These ensure the child is cared for safely by an experienced and qualified practitioner who is known to the child.
In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult, we will ensure that the child receives a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible. We inform parents/carers of our procedures so that, if they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for.
Parents of children starting at the school are asked to provide specific information which is
recorded on our Registration Form, including:
home address and telephone number - if the parents do not have a telephone, an alternative number must be given, perhaps a neighbour or close relative;
place of work, address and telephone number (if applicable);
mobile telephone number (if applicable);
names, addresses, telephone numbers and signatures of adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from the school, for example a childminder or grandparent;
information about any person who does not have legal access to the child; and who has parental responsibility for the child.
Kathryn and any other members of staff are first aid trained.
If a small incident the class helper (member of staff) will be asked to administer first aid toward the side of the room whilst the teacher continues with the class.
If needed the child’s parent will be called to collect their child and advices to seek medical attention.
If an incident appears where both members of staff are needed the children will be placed in front of the stage in a line to sit nicely until help arrives. In case of an emergency all parents will be called to collect their children from class early.
Kept safely and accessibly with the first aid box;
All staff and volunteers know where it is kept and how to complete it; and is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.
When there is any injury requiring general practitioner or hospital treatment to a child, parent, volunteer or visitor or where there is a death of a child or adult on the premises, we make a report to the Health and Safety Executive using the format for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences.
The incident book is not for recording issues of concern involving a child. This is recorded and attached to the child's registration form.
Our policy for the exclusion of ill or infectious children is discussed with parents. This includes procedures for contacting parents - or other authorised adults - if a child becomes ill while in the school.
Children are not to attend class if they have been sick within 48 hours.
We do not provide care for children, who are unwell, have a temperature,
or sickness and diarrhoea, or who have an infectious disease.
Parents are notified if there is an infectious disease, such as chicken pox.
Good hygiene practice concerning the clearing of any spilled bodily fluids is carried out at all times.
Fire evacuation procedures
Expressions Academy will follow the procedures for evacuating the building in the event of the fire alarm being sounded, in a way that ensures that all children are safely lead away from the building and adults do not take any undue risks.
The interior of the hall establishment is a No-Smoking zone
No child or adult will take unnecessary personal risks
Staff fully understand the required procedures and understand their role
Staff will follow day to day procedures to reduce the risk of fire
We will follow the advice of the fire brigade on any matters arising from their visit, including
discussing with the hall owner on matters outside of our control
There are fire escape doors in the halls
We will perform a formal risk management assessment at least once a year, and will
monitor risks each class.
We will keep registers of children, staff for each session.
In the event of a fire, the fire alarm will sound. The evacuation procedure to follow is:
Class helper will telephone the fire brigade on 999 and give appropriate details.
We will use the nearest available exit.
The assembly point is at the back of the grass field
The evacuation will start immediately and people should not try to collect bags and other
For safe evacuation class teacher will lead the children out, class helper to follow the
children after checking toilets to ensure the area has been cleared.
If it is safe to do so, the teacher will pick up registers and take them to the assembly point.
At the assembly point, the registers will be called and checked for any unaccounted children, and fire brigade will be told of any missing people.
Nobody will be permitted to return to the building until the all clear is given by the fire brigade.
Expressions Academy is committed to providing equality for all children and families and we strive to provide a caring and welcoming atmosphere to ensure that everyone may achieve his or her own potential whilst encouraging respect for others.
We promote the integration of children with differing needs as follows: -
Ensuring staff have access to special needs training such as sign language, knowledge of appropriate disabilities.
Through the purchase of gender appropriate and/or ability appropriate, multi cultural music visual aids, teaching aids
Ensuring children whose first language is not English are made to feel welcome and two-way communication is established by initially building a checklist of key familiar words.
By promoting understanding and respect of all, regardless of gender, religion, disability or culture.
Ensure that all the children regardless of gender or age have a chance to experiment with all styles we teach
Monitor and evaluate policies and procedures and current practices to ensure quality of care is maintained at an optimum.
All children from an early age are encouraged to respect each other and their immediate environment. Staff, parents and children have an active role to play within this process and by working together we will enable the children to become caring and thoughtful individuals.
In order to achieve this. the staff in the academy will-:
Adults will endeavour to a positive model for the children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy.
Praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
Apply the rules consistently so that children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up useful habits of behaviour.
Take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.
We do not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children.
We handle children’s unacceptable behaviour in ways which are appropriate to their ages and stages of development — for example by distraction, discussion or by withdrawing the child from the situation.
We work in partnership with children’s parents. Parents are regularly informed about their children’s behaviour by their teacher. We work with parents to address recurring unacceptable behaviour.
Labelling words such as ‘naughty’ are not used.
Children will never be sent out of the room by themselves.
The teacher will not shout or raise their voices in a threatening way.
Should a child consistently display unacceptable behaviour staff will work in consultation with parents in order to support each other in ensuring consistency in the management of the child’s behaviour.
Sometimes teachers will need to use physical contact with the child to ensure safe and correct positioning of the body. Teachers are trained in this to know to do it safely and only when necessary.
Partnership with Parents
Ensure that parents are informed on a regular basis about their child’s progress.
Ensure that parents are fully informed about the dance school’s intentions through email and newsletters.
Provide opportunities for all parents to learn about the school’s class styles with watching weeks and performance sessions.
If a parent has any difficulties for whatever reason in understanding our written policies they are very welcome to speak to Kathryn or Katie. Any information shared with us regarding a child or family will be treated in the strictest confidence at all times.
If your child has been unwell or had any accidents or upsets please inform us so that we can show any appropriate sensitivity towards the child.
Expressions Academy’s work with children and families will bring us into contact with confidential information. To ensure that all those using and employed within the school we will respect confidentiality in the following ways;-
Parents will have access to the files and records of their own child but will not have access to information regarding any other child.
Staff will not discuss individual children other than the purposes of group management with people other than the parents/carers of the child.
Information given by parents/carers to the manager will not be passed on to other adults without permission.
Any anxieties/concerns and evidence relating to a child’s personal safety will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within the school except with management.
Students/helpers within the school will all be informed of confidentiality policy and required to respect it.
Expressions Academy is committed to protecting your personal information. We are committed to providing a safe environment for all our customers, both physically and virtually (online). This Privacy Statement is part of Expressions Academy Information Management Strategy and relates to the use of any personal information provided to us online or via application forms, telephone, email exchange, letters or correspondence.
Whenever you provide such information, we are legally obliged to use your information in line with current legislation concerning the protection of personal information, including the Data Protection Act 1998.
2. What information does Expressions Academy have about me?
When you sign up to a class or to receive online content such as Expressions Academy news or Expressions Academy updates, we may collect and store personal information about you.
This can consist of information such as your name, age, email address, postal address, or mobile number, depending on how you are engaging with us. By submitting your details, you enable us to provide you with the services needed.
Expressions Academy does NOT share your personal information with third parties, unless clearly stated. We do NOT sell your data, and neither do we buy data from third parties.
3. How will you use my personal information?
We will use your personal information for a number of purposes including:
- to identify you when dealing with your requests and enquiries
- to provide you with information about our services and activities
- to share and keep you updated with Expressions Academy news
As and when we need to use your personal information for reasons other than the ones specified above, we will ensure that we notify you first. You will be given the opportunity to withhold or withdraw your consent for the use of your personal information for purposes other than those listed above.
4. Expressions Academy may contact you:
- in relation to any correspondence we receive from you or any comment or complaint you make about our services
- to invite you to participate in surveys about Edkins Academy services (participation is always free and voluntary)
- to occasionally market products or services that we think may be of interest to you
- to send you information you request
- to keep you updated on any news for example new classes, changed in timetable etc via email or social media if you have liked our page and given permission for this
5. How long will Expressions Academy keep my personal information for?
We keep the information we hold about our members for as long as is necessary to deliver the services we are providing you with. For example we will hold your information for as long as you are taking classes with us or wish to receive information about our classes.
6. Where is the information stored?
We use a few procedures and secure technologies to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. We store personal information you provide on computer systems which have carefully controlled access and which are located in secure facilities.
Paper copies of forms with details filled in are stored in a safe environment with the only access being the head of Expressions Academy.
Contacting us about this Privacy Statement
If you any questions or comments about this Privacy Statement please email
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Health and Safety
An over view
Expressions Academy takes seriously their responsibility to ensure the safety of their pupils. All pupils must complete a Registration Form when joining the school with clear information regarding emergency contacts and any relevant medical history.
A copy of emergency contact numbers will be kept on class registers at classes at all times.
1. It is the parent's responsibility to notify the school of any changes to their emergency contact details
2. In case of a Fire emergency all teachers and helpers have a clear understanding of responsibilities. They must be understood by all following the procedures of the relevant centre.
3. The School will undertake regular assessment of risks regarding premises hired and any concerns will be raised with the providers
4. We are committed to ensuring all employees/volunteers are competent to do their tasks and to give them adequate training
5. It is the schools responsibility to keep a fully equipped First Aid Box at all hired premises. In case of an incident – an Accident / Incident report must be made
6. If required the school will contact the emergency services first, then the parent / guardian of the student(s) involved by the telephone number on the class registers
7. Parents understand that dance is as active as engagement as any sport, and whilst every effort is made to avoid them, injuries can happen. The school accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained via any means other than a teacher's negligence
8. Pupils will be supervised during class time only and parents / carers must ensure the safety of their children in the minutes before class starts
9. Students/parents or guardians should inform the teacher of any special health considerations or existing injuries before participating in class
10. Parents must be responsible for ensuring your child's punctuality. Teachers are not available to supervise late pickups. Students may be refused entry if they are continuously late for class as they are missing out on warming up safely for class
11. Dress code must be observed at all times, especially footwear for safe dance practice.
12. Pupils should not wear any jewellery that may pose a risk to themselves or others
13. No food is allowed in the hard flooring area. Water is permitted in cap bottles on the carpet areas
Promoting Good Practice
Expressions Academy will encourage the following:
• Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)
• Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity
• Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals
• Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with dancers (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child)
• Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process
• Making class fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play
• Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the UTD.. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain correct positions when the child is constantly moving. Young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained. Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered
• Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in dance
• Involving parents/carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs
• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people
• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
• Recognising the developments/ needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
• Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
Expressions Academy is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people up to the age of 18. We recognise our responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.
Expressions Academy acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.
All staff and volunteers will work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.
Expressions Academy recognises its duty of care under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2018, the Children Act 1989 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.
Expressions Academy will ensure that:
The welfare of the child is paramount
All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse
All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
Expressions Academy will ensure that:
Everyone will be treated with respect and dignity
The welfare of each child will always be put first
Enthusiastic and constructive criticism will be given to pupils
· Bullying will not be accepted or condoned
· All adult members will provide a positive role model
· Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate behaviour
· It will comply with health & safety legislation
· It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children
It will undertake relevant professional development and training
It will ensure all contact and medical details for every child is up to date and available at the place of teaching or performance.
All staff will receive dedicated safeguarding training.
Expressions Academy has a designated Safeguarding officer who is in charge of ensuring that the child protection policy is adhered to.
Child protection officer Kathryn Edkins – 07815836318
Designated Safeguarding officer Kathryn Edkins – 07815836318
Deputy DSO. Carol Bayley - 07939 175117
Issues regarding students from this school will also to be reported to her in person following Rackham’s Primary School safeguarding policy September 2018
NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000
In implementing this policy Expressions Academy will:
Ensure that all workers/members understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation.
Ensure that all workers/members and volunteers understand their duty to report concerns that arise about a child or young person, or a workers conduct towards a child or young person to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead will refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Children’s Social Care).
Children, young people and parents will be informed of who the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy are and be able to raise any safeguarding concerns & know that these will be taken seriously and acted upon.
Ensure that workers/members will work implemented in a consistent and equitable manner in line with the safer working practice guidance Insert link.
All concerns will be dealt with immediately. Concerns and conversations will be written down in a personal file to monitor any continuing issues.
This policy will be regularly monitored by name of proprietor of organisation and will be subject to an annual review.
Last reviewed December 2019
Definition of safeguarding
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, defined for the purposes of this guidance as:
• protecting children from maltreatment;
• preventing impairment of children's health or development;
• ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and
• taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Child protection: Part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.
Abuse comes under the main headings of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.You may observe signs or symptoms which may indicate a child is either suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm:
• Children whose behaviour changes – they may become aggressive, challenging, disruptive, withdrawn or clingy, or they might have difficulty sleeping or start wetting the bed;
• Children with clothes which are ill-fitting and/or dirty;
• Children with consistently poor hygiene;
• Children who make strong efforts to avoid specific family members or friends, without an obvious reason;
• Children who don’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities;
• Children who are having problems at school, for example, a sudden lack of concentration and learning or they appear to be tired and hungry;
• Children who talk about being left home alone, with inappropriate carers or with strangers;
• Children who reach developmental milestones, such as learning to speak or walk, late, with no medical reason;
• Children who are regularly missing from school or education;
• Children who are reluctant to go home after school;
• Children with poor school attendance and punctuality, or who are consistently late being picked up;
• Parents who are dismissive and non-responsive to practitioners’ concerns;
• Parents who collect their children from school when drunk, or under the influence of drugs;
• Children who drink alcohol regularly from an early age;
• Children who are concerned for younger siblings without explaining why;
• Children who talk about running away; and
• Children who shy away from being touched or flinch at sudden movements.
Physical abuse is deliberately physically hurting a child. It might take a variety of different forms, including hitting, pinching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating a child.
Physical abuse can happen in any family, but children may be more at risk if their parents have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental health or if they live in a home where domestic abuse happens.1 Babies and disabled children also have a higher risk of suffering physical abuse.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. Physical abuse can also occur outside of the family environment.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of physical abuse:
Children with frequent injuries; Children with unexplained or unusual fractures or broken bones; and
Children with unexplained: bruises or cuts; burns or scalds; or bite marks.
In the performance sector, physical abuse could also include adult’s coercion into or conspiring with children and young people’s excessive physical exercise and training and/or deprivation of sufficient rest and sustenance.
Parents and other adults should also be alert to self abuse including cutting and eating disorders.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child. It is also sometimes called psychological abuse and it can have severe and persistent adverse effects on a child’s emotional development.
Although the effects of emotional abuse might take a long time to be recognisable, practitioners will be in a position to observe it, for example, in the way that a parent interacts with their child. Emotional abuse may involve deliberately telling a child that they are worthless, or unloved and inadequate. It may include not giving a child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.
Emotional abuse may involve serious bullying – including online bullying through social networks, online games or mobile phones – by a child’s peers.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of emotional abuse:
• Children who are excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong;
• Parents or carers who withdraw their attention from their child, giving the child the ‘cold shoulder’;
• Parents or carers blaming their problems on their child; and
• Parents or carers who humiliate their child, for example, by name-calling or making negative comparisons. In the performance sector this will also includes trainers and mentors in loco parentis.
Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. You should be aware that many children and young people who are victims of sexual abuse do not recognise themselves as such. A child may not understand what is happening and may not even understand that it is wrong. Sexual abuse can have a long-term impact on mental health.
Sexual abuse may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside clothing. It may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in the production of sexual images, forcing children to look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual abuse:
• Children who display knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to their age; • Children who use sexual language or have sexual knowledge that you wouldn’t expect them to have;
• Children who ask others to behave sexually or play sexual games; and
• Children with physical sexual health problems, including soreness in the genital and anal areas, sexually transmitted infections or underage pregnancy.
Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation doesn't always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and education at some point.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation:
• Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
• Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
• Children who have older boyfriends or girlfriends;
• Children who suffer from sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant;
• Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
• Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
• Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
• Children who regularly miss school or education or don’t take part in education.
Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even when a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child Sexual exploitation doesn’t always involve physical contact and can happen online. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from home, care and/or education at some point.
Sexual exploitation includes adults coercing or being compliant with children dressing, interacting and behaving in an over sexualised, age inappropriate manner.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of sexual exploitation: Children who appear with unexplained gifts or possessions
Neglect is a pattern of failing to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether it be adequate food, clothing, hygiene, supervision or shelter. It is likely to result in the serious impairment of a child’s health or development.
Children who are neglected often also suffer from other types of abuse. It is important that practitioners remain alert and do not miss opportunities to take timely action.3 However, while you may be concerned about a child, neglect is not always straightforward to identify.
Neglect may occur if a parent becomes physically or mentally unable to care for a child. A parent may also have an addiction to alcohol or drugs, which could impair their ability to keep a child safe or result in them prioritising buying drugs, or alcohol, over food, clothing or warmth for the child. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal drug or alcohol abuse.
Some of the following signs may be indicators of neglect:
• Children who are living in a home that is indisputably dirty or unsafe;
• Children who are left hungry or dirty;
• Children who are left without adequate clothing, e.g. not having a winter coat;
• Children who are living in dangerous conditions, i.e. around drugs, alcohol or violence;
• Children who are often angry, aggressive or self-harm;
• Children who fail to receive basic health care4; and
• Parents who fail to seek medical treatment when their children are ill or are injured
Disclosure of abuse
If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place:
Remain calm and in control, but do not delay in taking action
Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
Don’t promise to keep it a secret.
Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share the information with others and that you will only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help.
Reassure the child that they ‘did the right thing’ in telling someone.
Tell the child what you will do next
Speak immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (the person with responsibility for child protection). It is that person’s responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually Children’s Social Care or the Police
Never investigate or take sole responsibility for a situation where a child makes a disclosure
As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the child’s own words.
Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who you gave information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead would discuss concerns with a parent/carer if this was thought not to place the child at further risk. When the disclosure is about something a parent/carer has done, the Designated Safeguarding Lead should always seek advice from Children’s Social Care First.
Other safeguarding issues can include:
Forced marriage/honour based violence/ female genital mutilation (FGM)
Gangs and youth violence
Gender based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Sexting/grooming and other E safety issues
Teenage relationship abuse
Photographs and images of children
There are risks posed directly and indirectly to children and young people through the use of photographs on web sites and in other publications such as theatre programmes. Photographs can be used as a means of identifying children when they are accompanied with personal information, for example ‘this is X who goes to such- and-such a school who likes playing football’. This information can make a child vulnerable to an individual who may wish to start to ‘groom’ that child for abuse. Secondly the content of the photo can be used or adapted for inappropriate use. There is evidence of this adapted material finding its way onto child pornography sites.
Organisations need to develop a policy in relation to the use of images of children and young people on their websites, programmes and other material. The organisation will need to assess potential risks to the child when making decisions about the type of images they wish to use and the way they are used. Organisations should ensure that parents support the policy. Use of names of individuals in a photograph should be limited and it is sensible to avoid use of any additional information that might help locate the child. Using only images of children in suitable dress may reduce the risk of inappropriate use. Parental permission to use an image of a young person must be sought in advance.
If parents or other members of the audience are intending to photograph or video an event they should be made aware of the organisation’s policy. The use of cameras or mobile phones and camera or filming capability in dressing rooms and other inappropriate environments should be expressly forbidden.
If the organisation permits the use of personal photograph taking, parents/carers must be advised that this is for personal use only and photos of other children must not be put on social media without the permission of the child’s parent(s).
Most of our children will use mobile phones and computers. They are a source of fun, entertainment and education. However, we know that some men, women and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and e-mails, to enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face to face meetings.
All staff/ volunteers must not communicate with children via their phone or on social media. Communication should just be with the parent/carer.
Staff should not be ‘friends’ on social media with any pupil.
Cyber bullying by children via texts and e-mail will be treated as seriously as any
other type of bullying.
Mobile phones with cameras should not be permitted in the changing rooms except
for emergency communication with the designated members of staff. No photos are to be taken by anyone on any device backstage.
All staff and volunteers must go through a recruitment process which takes into account safeguarding issues as follows:
A DBS check for the Child Workforce that is enhanced with barring.
The interview process must include questions about safeguarding and sharing the questions the organisations safeguarding policy and expectations
Relevant qualifications and experience in order to practice safely Parents
The organisation believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the organisation. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the organisation and to share responsibility for the care and safeguarding of the children.
All parents will be given a copy of the organisation’s Child Protection/safeguarding policy and procedures.
All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after classes, rehearsals or performances. The organisation has a responsibility to ensure suitable arrangements are in place to take children home.
The organisation will ensure that no unauthorised adult has contact with the children.
If possible there will be two adults in the room when working with children
If unsupervised contact is unavoidable (i.e. only one member of staff present), steps will be taken to minimise risk. For example, work will be carried out in a public area or in a designated room with the door open.
All children will be chaperoned at all times by a local authority licensed chaperone whilst taking part in performances.
It is expected that all staff and pupils respect each other
If there are incidents of unacceptable verbal or physical behaviour relating to pupils
these will be challenged by staff and where appropriate brought to the attention of the
All prejudice incidents will be challenged
Sanctions should be applied in agreement with parents where necessary
Any incidents of unacceptable verbal or physical behaviour from staff must be
brought to the attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Manager. The relevant disciplinary process will be followed. If this has put a child at risk of-significant harm the incident must be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
All staff will abide by the Safer Working Practice guidance children--2
Adults will only touch children when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular activity
Adults will seek the consent of the child prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the contact shall be made clear
Responsibilities of the organisation
When putting on a production:
This section must clearly state the specific responsibilities of the organisation at the outset of any production involving children:
At the outset of the production Expressions Academy will:
Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process
Identify at the outset the person who will have designated responsibility for child protection
Engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children, including appropriate vetting.
Ensure that the children are supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
Ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead knows how to contact Children’s Social Care if they need to report any concerns.
If a child discloses abuse or what may seem to be abuse;
• Begin by believing the child
• Remain calm (easier said than done!)
• Do not ask any leading questions, use the following strategy:
• T–Tell me
• E – Explain that to me
• D – Describe that to me
• Make some notes and contact Children’s Social Care
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
This policy applies to all people involved in Expressions Academy, all will be aware of safe guarding practise and will have read this policy.
The purpose of this plan is:
To protect children who attend Expressions Academy
To make sure all people involved aware of safe guarding and child
The aim of this plan is to:
To ensure that all children are safe.
All helpers will report any concerns immediately to the Designated Safe guarding Officer who is Mrs Kathryn Edkins.
The lead will report these concerns to an appropriate person EG parent/ carer, head teacher or social services. This will be done as soon as possible, both verbally and email so that a record is kept.
The environment is as safe as possible:
No loose wires.
All rooms are well lit
All scenery and props are safe and secure
Separate toilets for different genders and disabled
Children are properly supervised and in correct ratio for insurance purposes and safeguarding policies.
Every thing is appropriate for mixed age group if necessary
Any physical contact is appropriate ,justifiable and agreed with the child
Encourage children to speak out about any concerns or worries they may have
Ask for children’s opinions, to ensure they feel involved
Obtain parents/careers written permission for their child to be photographed or videoed
If used in advertising or promoting no names are used
Parents /careers are informed of all lessons and rehearsal times
A space is provided where parents/ careers can watch unobtrusively
To be aware of any medication or issues that may affect the child
To keep a signing in and out register