Play the violin

Child Protection Policy
and Staff Code of Conduct

Revised May 2022

Introduction

At Enact Music, the welfare of children, young people, and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance. Therefore we consider our pupils' emotional well-being, health and safety, relationships and contribute to their development of a moral thinking and value system. Our teaching is mainly in one-to-one settings or small groups, allowing for exploring sensitive issues with children and young people in an age-appropriate way to help them develop appropriate protective behaviours. Our pupils' ages range from as young as three years old, with several students aged 18 years. As professionals working in positions of trust, our staff have a responsibility to be alert to forms of abuse such as sexual, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and bullying. The arrangements set out in this policy ensure that teachers and staff working at Enact Music, our institutional partners, volunteers, parents, and young people understand the safeguarding ethos promoted by Enact Music whilst being informed about what to do if they have any concerns. 

 

Recent NI documentation informing this policy

In Northern Ireland, the key guidance includes the following documents:

Our Recruitment process

All staff working at Enact Music has completed an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from AccessNI. Only upon a clear enhanced disclosure, an employment offer is made. 

 

1. Definition of Safeguarding

In accordance with the NI document entitled Safeguarding and Child Protection in Schools (updated in 2020), safeguarding is defined as:

"more than child protection. Safeguarding begins with preventative education and activities that enable children and young people to grow up safely and securely in circumstances that promote their development and wellbeing. It includes support to families and early intervention to meet the needs of children and continues through to child protection, which refers specifically to the activity that is undertaken to protect individual children or young people who are suffering, or likely to suffer harm".

There are two essential aspects to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children:

  • The arrangements to take all reasonable measures to ensure that risks of harm to children's welfare are minimised. 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.

2. Categories of Abuse and definitions

The document Co-operating to Safeguard Children and Young People in Northern Ireland (2017) states that child abuse occurs "when a child is neglected, harmed, exploited 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 above-mentioned document defines five categories of abuse:

  • Sexual

  • Physical

  • Emotional

  • Neglect

  • Exploitation

2.1 Sexual Abuse Definition

This form of abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to engage 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.

 

2.2 Physical abuse definition

Physical abuse is the deliberate physical injury to a child or the willful 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 behaviour.

 

2.3 Emotional abuse definition

Emotional abuse is the continued and persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child, such as causing severe and persistent adverse effects on a child's emotional development. It can involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet another person's needs.

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.

 

2.4 Neglect Definition

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

 

2.5 Exploitation Definition

The intentional ill-treatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over a child or young person to take advantage of a child or young person for personal gain. It can involve child labour, slavery, engagement in criminal activity, begging, financial fraud, or child trafficking. It extends to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, or children's receipt or harbouring for exploitation. Exploitation can take many forms, including sexual.

 

3. Roles and responsibilities

At Enact Music, we acknowledge the vital role professionals have in fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities. Our safeguarding team comprises:

• A Designated Teacher for Child Protection (Enact Music Director)

• A Deputy Designated Teacher for Child Protection

 

3.1 Role of the Designated Teacher for Child Protection

  • To discuss child protection concerns with school/support staff and maintain records

  • To participate in child protection training

  • To refer, if necessary, to Social Services or PSNI

  • To disseminate child protection training to all staff

  • To promote a child protection ethos at Enact Music, amongst our partner institutions and elsewhere

  • To provide a written report to Enact Music Management on child protection issues

  • To take the lead in the development of Enact Music Child Protection Policy

 

3.2 Statutory Agencies

The agencies below have statutory responsibility for investigating child abuse complaints:

  • Social Services

  • PSNI (Public Protection Units – Child Abuse Investigation Units)

 

4. Reporting Process for when concerns arise

Enact Music staff is trained to manage the issue of disclosures by remembering the five Rs:

  • Receive

  • Reassure

  • Respond

  • Record

  • Report

 

4.1 What teachers must do

  • When teachers see signs of concern, as a first step, seek some clarification from the child with tact and understanding. Classroom assistants and non-teaching staff should first report their concerns to the teacher or the Designated Child Protection Officer.

  • Avoid the confidentiality trap

  • Believe the child

  • Listen carefully and do not interrupt

  • Go at the child's pace

  • Stay calm and do not rush to take action that may be inappropriate

  • Do not make assumptions or speculate

  • Do not make promises you cannot keep (e.g. all will be fine from now on)

  • Explicitly tell the child that they have done the right thing by telling you

  • Reassure the child: "it's not your fault"

  • Do not allow your shock or distaste to show

  • Do not criticise the perpetrator

  • Do not ask the child to repeat the disclosure or make a written statement

  • Let them know the next step (i.e. how you will help)

  • Record exactly what was said using the child's words

  • Record the time, date, place and context of the disclosure

  • Report the disclosure and hand over your record to the Designated Teacher as soon as possible (do not keep copies of this for your record)

  • Advice can also be sought from the Child Protection Support Service for Schools (CPSSS)

  • Report immediately to the designated teacher for child protection (Enact Music Director)

 

5. Staff Code of Conduct

Staff at Enact Music must adhere to the Code of Values and Professional Practice for teachers launched by the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (2004), where the high standards of the core values underpinning professional practice are made explicit. Thus, music teachers need to be aware of the following:

 

5.1 Professional conduct of staff

All teachers have a commitment to young people, colleagues, parents, guardians, school and the wider community. In fulfilling the obligations of professional practice, a teacher should act with personal courtesy and integrity to enhance the reputation and standards of the teaching profession, striving to develop professional skills and expertise.

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" are deemed to be indefensible. There must be no personal relationships or inappropriate conversations between staff and pupils or students.

If staff have any concerns about a pupil, student, or vulnerable adult, they should contact the Designated Teacher (Enact Music Director) immediately.

 

5.2 Code of Practice

All teachers must:

  • Support Enact Music Company and its Director in their duties and responsibilities

  • Maintain at all times professional relationships with all colleagues

  • Respect the terms of their work contract with Enact Music

  • 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

  • Not to accept gratuities, gifts or favours that might impair or appear to impair professional judgement

 

5.3. Working with young people

Be aware that the musical, aesthetic and general intellectual development of students is of paramount importance. As such:

  • 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 to both one-to-one tuition, group situations and all educational activities delivered at Enact Music

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

  • Never exchange your details such as phone, mobile phone, emails, or social media contacts with students

  • 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 Enact Music Director

  • 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 emphasise their strengths and areas of improvement

Physical contact

A fundamental rule is: Don't touch

  • Teachers should find ways of 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 to observe what is happening. If needed to correct a playing position, the teacher must ask the student if they are happy for the teacher to demonstrate it while touching them. Only if the student agrees 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 Enact Music Director.

  • 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 the potential possibility of it being misinterpreted.

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

 

5.4. Working with colleagues

  • 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 work colleagues respect their professional status

  • Never denigrate a colleague in the presence of others

  • Always provide references that are fair and truthful.

 

5.5. Working with parents

  • Respect at all times the shared responsibility that exists between Enact Music Ltd 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 cooperative 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

 

5.6 Working with schools and nurseries

  • Endeavour to establish a co-operative and friendly relationship with schools and nurseries, specifically with headteachers, heads of music and music co-ordinators

  • Be aware and supportive of the general musical activities of schools and nurseries

  • Co-operate with reasonable requests related to preparing students for school concerts and public examinations

  • Keep regular and clear communication with the headteacher, music co-ordinators and Enact Music director, particularly in relation to the timetable, student absenteeism, health issues, special educational needs and any other relevant issues

  • Know who are the designated teachers for child protection in schools and nurseries and communicate with them if necessary

  • Respect the school's and nursery's rights to ask questions, request a consultation, and information relating to the musical and general educational development of your students

  • Do not compare schools and nurseries, and do not make any statements that denigrate them whatsoever

 

5.7. Working with the community

  • Promote good relations with the community while generating a clear understanding of the vision, mission, values, aims and objectives of Enact Music ltd

  • Be aware of the social, economic, ethnic needs, aspirations and problems faced by the communities

 

5.8. Personal conduct

  • Use appropriate language when speaking with young people, parents/ guardians and colleagues

  • Ensure that mobile phones do not disturb and disrupt your teaching and that personal/private calls are kept to a minimum during teaching

  • Dress appropriately, ensuring that you wear non-slippery shoes while at work (this is for health and safety purposes).

 

5.9. Lessons given at students' homes

Most lessons are given at Enact Music Ltd, schools and nurseries. However, at the parents request, lessons may be given at the parents/guardian's premises. In such case:

  • When you teach on parents/guardian's premises, a responsible adult must be at home at all times

  • Invite parents/guardians or caregivers to sit with you and your student during the lessons.

  • Never teach in a room with closed doors – always keep open doors.

  • Bedrooms are not suitable places for teaching, and you should NEVER enter any bedrooms in the house.

  • If a parent/guardian or caregivers ask you to stay alone with young children or vulnerable adults, you MUST refuse. In such a case, the lesson can ONLY go ahead if a parent or caregiver stays at the house with you. Otherwise, immediately cancel that lesson for that day and report this to Enact Music Director

  • Never accept requests for picking young people up from school and driving them anywhere. Teachers must never have young people, vulnerable adults or students in their vehicle.

  • The Child Protection Policy must be strictly observed in every detail when teaching at parents/guardian's premises

  • If any concerns arise related to child protection, health and safety or any other matters, you must report this immediately to Enact Music Director immediately

 

5.10 Lessons online

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

  • Online lessons must take place in a common area of the house, such as the living room or kitchen. Lessons in bedrooms are not allowed. At students' houses, 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 where the student is under 18 years of age. At the start of each lesson, teachers must confirm that this is the case. If this is not the case, teachers must cancel the lesson and inform Enact Music.

  • 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 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' 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.

  • Neither teachers nor parents nor students can record a lesson without the knowledge and permission of Enact Music Director, 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 Enact Music immediately to inform us of any possible issue.

 

6. Students 18 plus years of age

Enact Music Ltd enrols students who are 18 years old and above. These students take instrumental music tuition, participate in rehearsals and concerts, and undertake work placement experience. They may be asked to support younger fellow students (young people and children) in a mentoring capacity from time to time, and such mentoring activity is supervised at all times by the class teacher.

All students 18 years old and above engaged in mentoring activities remain under the direction of authorised teachers and fall within the jurisdiction of the overall child protection procedures set out in these arrangements. As young adults, students 18 years of age and above must take cognisance of and adhere to the code of conduct as set out in section 5 and the anti-bullying policy in section 7.

Any concerns about post 18 students must be reported immediately to the designated teacher for child protection and Enact Music Ltd Director.

7. How a parent can make a complaint regarding a child protection concern

If a parent has a child protection concern, they can follow the steps below:

 

Step 1: I have a concern about my/a child's safety

Step 2: I can talk to the teacher

Step 3:I can talk to the designated teacher for Child Protection

Or

Step 4: If I am still concerned, I can speak with Enact Music Director

Alongside Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4:

At any time, I can write or talk to a Social Worker or the Police

 

8. Enact Music Contacts

Enact Music Director

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Name: Dr Lilian Simones

Contact number: 07544489815

 

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer

Name: Elisabete Tavares

Contact number: 07504548135

 

9. Useful Contacts and Links

NSPCC Helpline: 0800 3891701

Website: www.nspcc.org.uk

Relevant Websites

• www.safeguardingni.org

• www.connectsafely.org

• www.thinkuknow.co.uk

• www.staysafeonline.org

• www.netsmartz.org

• www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/social-services/child-protection

• www.education-ni.gov.uk/articles/dealing-bullying

 

PSNI Child Abuse Investigation Units

Police Service of Northern Ireland

Tel: 101 or 02890 650222

To make contact: ring the Police Exchange and ask for the Child Abuse Investigation Unit in your area

Social Services Contacts – Gateway Teams

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust:

  • Gateway Team: 02890 507000

  • Care and Protection Team (18+) 02895 041744

  • All Child Protection referrals should be sent in writing on UNOCINI template within 24 hours of the telephone referral.

  • All Child in Need referrals should be sent in writing on UNOCINI template within 48 hours of the school's decision to refer.

  • The UNOCINI referral should be marked 'Confidential' and addressed to the Senior Social Worker, Social Services Gateway Team, 110 Saintfield Road, Belfast, BT8 6HD

 

NEW REGIONAL CENTRALISED OUT OF HOURS SERVICE FOR NI

  • 02890 95049999 (5 pm – 8 am Monday - Thursday, Friday 5 pm – Monday 8 am)

WOMEN'S AID GATEWAY TEAM

  • All referrals to social services Gateway with a domestic violence element are assessed by senior social workers.

  • Where assessed at levels 1 or 2, either a social worker or health visitor (where the pre-school child in the family) seeks consent from someone with parental responsibility for referral to women's aid for support.

Call 

+44 (0) 7504 548 135

Email 

Follow

  • Facebook