1. Policy statement
    1. All the Organisation’s Trustees are responsible for ensuring that mechanisms are in place to assist staff to understand and discharge their safeguarding responsibilities. This policy has been authorised by the Trustees, is addressed to all Trustees, members of staff and volunteers, is available to parents on request and is published on the Organisation website. This policy can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required. It applies wherever staff or volunteers are working with children on London English Song Festival projects. All adults in the Organisation are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
    1. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children (everyone under the age of 18) is defined in the DfE’s Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018) as protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children’s health or development; ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action in the best interests of the child to ensure the best outcomes. 
    1. Every child should feel safe and protected from any form of abuse which, in this policy, means any kind of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and includes peer on peer abuse. All children without exception have the right to protection from abuse regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, or beliefs. No child or group of children must be treated any less favourably than others in being able to access services which meet their particular needs. 
    1. There is an important distinction between safeguarding children who have suffered or are likely to suffer significant harm (where cases should be reported to children’s social care immediately) and action required to promote the welfare of children in need of additional support even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk. Interventions for children in need may include CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services); TAC (Team Around the Child); TAF (Team Around the Family). 
  1. Principles
    1. The London English Song Festival (The Organisation) is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, Trustees and volunteers to share this commitment. We recognise that children have a fundamental right to be protected from harm and that children cannot learn effectively unless they feel secure. We therefore aim to provide an educational environment which promotes self-confidence, a feeling of self-worth, and the knowledge that children’s concerns will be listened to and acted upon.When working with children, the Organisation will take all reasonable measures to:

      – ensure that we practise safer recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers (including staff employed by another organisation) to work with children and young people in accordance with the guidance given in Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018).

      – ensure that we carry out all necessary checks of the people who serve on the Organisations Board of Trustees in accordance with the above regulations and guidance.

      – ensure that where the Organisation ceases to use the services of any person (whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or student) because that person was considered unsuitable to work with children, a detailed report is made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as soon as possible after the person has ceased to provide services to the Organisation and in any event within one month of the person leaving the Organisation. The includes dismissal, non-renewal of a fixed-term contract, no longer using an individual engaged directly or supplied by an agency, terminating the placement of a trainee or volunteer, no longer using staff employed by a contractor and resignation and voluntary withdrawal from any of the above.

      – ensure that early help and support is provided as soon as a problem emerges.

      – protect each child in our care from any form of abuse, whether from an adult or from another child.

      – be alert to signs of abuse both in the Organisation and from outside.

      – deal appropriately and promptly with every suspicion or complaint of abuse and to consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.

      – design and operate procedures which promote this policy.

      – design and operate procedures which, so far as possible, ensure that those within the Organisation who are innocent are not prejudiced by false allegations.

      – be alert to the medical needs of children with medical conditions.

      – operate robust and sensible health and safety procedures; and –

      – ensure that all Trustees and staff are aware of their responsibilities with regards to safeguarding through appropriate training which is regularly renewed, and other annual updates.

  1. Child protection procedures – summary
    1. Every complaint or suspicion of abuse from within or outside the Organisation will be taken seriously and in line with published local thresholds will be referred to an external agency such as the children’s social care department in the relevant local authority or the child protection unit of the police, without investigation within the Organisation. In these cases, the following referral procedures apply:- if the allegation is against a member of staff, the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a professional person connected to the Organisation, the allegation should be reported to the Festival Director immediately. The matter will be referred by the Festival Director or the Designated Safeguarding Lead to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day. If the Designated Safeguarding Lead is making the referral, she will keep the Festival Director informed. Any doubts or concerns may be discussed informally with the LADO, initially on a ‘no names’ basis.

      – if the allegation is against the Festival Director, the person receiving the allegation should immediately inform the Chair of the Board of Trustees, or in their absence the Deputy Chair. The Festival Director must not be informed of the allegation prior to contact with the Chair and the LADO. The Chair of Trustees, or in their absence the Deputy Chair, will liaise with the LADO and relevant agencies as required. If an allegation is made against the Chair of the Board of Trustees or another Trustee, the allegation should be reported to the Festival Director. In either case, any such allegations will be discussed with the LADO within one working day before further action is taken.

      – if the allegation does not involve a member of staff or a professional person and the child has suffered harm or is at risk of harm, the matter will be referred by the Designated Safeguarding Lead to the children’s social care department where the child lives. 

  1. Management of child protection matters
    1. The Board of Trustees (“the Board”) takes seriously its responsibility to uphold the aims of the charity and its duty in promoting an environment in which children can feel secure and safe from harm. The nominated Trustee for safeguarding is Johnny Langridge. He instigates a review of the Organisation’s safeguarding procedures on behalf of the Board and reports to the Board annually, making any recommendations for improvements. The nominated Trustee also discusses safeguarding matters with the Designated Safeguarding Lead at least annually and reports to the Board at each meeting.
    1. The Board of Trustees should ensure an appropriate member of staff is appointed to the role of designated safeguarding lead. The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. The ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection remains with the designated safeguarding lead.
    1. The Festival Director is responsible for ensuring that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed on a day-to-day basis. 
    1. The Organisation has appointed a member of staff with the necessary authority (designated safeguarding lead) to be responsible for matters relating to child protection and welfare. Parents are welcome to approach the Designated Safeguarding Lead if they have any concerns about the welfare of any child involved with the Organisation, whether these concerns relate to their own child or any other. 
    1. The Designated Safeguarding Lead for the London English Song Festival is Gabbi Freemantle (Administrator) who may be contacted by email at admin@londonenglishsongfestival.org. She will advise and act promptly upon all suspicion, belief and evidence of abuse reported to her, keep the Festival Director informed of all actions unless the Festival Director is the subject of a complaint, in which case she will consult with Johnny Langridge, nominated Trustee for safeguarding, and he will liaise with social services and other agencies on behalf of the Organisation. 
  1. Responsibility of all staff and volunteers
    1. Every employee and Trustee of the Organisation as well as every volunteer who assists the Organisation is under a general legal duty:
  • to protect children from abuse
  • to be able to identify welfare concerns and to be able to identify children who are in need of additional support
  • to be aware of the Organisation’s child protection procedures and to follow them, accessing and implementing them independently if necessary
  • to keep a sufficient record of any significant complaint, conversation or event; and
  • to report any matters of concern to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. 
  1. Procedures for receiving a complaint of abuse
    1. Initial complaint: A member of staff, Trustee or volunteer suspecting or hearing a complaint of abuse must;
  • stay calm and sympathetic. Listen carefully to the child and keep an open mind
  • not ask leading questions. Ask open questions that will encourage a secure and sympathetic environment for the child, such as “is there anything you want to tell me?”
  • reassure the child but not give a guarantee of absolute confidentiality. The member of staff, Trustee or volunteer should explain that they need to pass the information to a member of staff who will ensure that the correct action is taken. Staff, Trustees or volunteers should not make promises that they can’t keep such as “everything will be alright” but clearly explain what they have to do next and who they will talk to
  • keep a sufficient and accurate written record of the conversation. The record should include the date, time and place of the conversation and the essence of what was said and done by whom and in whose presence. The record should be signed by the person making it and should use names, not initials. The record must be kept securely and handed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible and;
  • not take any further action unless specifically requested by the Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Festival Director
  • only share information on a need-to-know basis and must not discuss the matter.
    1. If in exceptional circumstances you are not able to speak to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, the Festival Director or the Trustee for safeguarding, you should speak to the social services department where the child lives. If there is an immediate emergency, dial 999 and report the matter to the police.
  1. Confidentiality and information sharing
    1. When considering what information to share, the protection of the child must always be the most important consideration. Whilst the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR place duties on organisations and individuals to process personal information fairly and lawfully, the legislation does not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not stand in the way of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children at risk. Information which is relevant to safeguarding will often be ‘special category’ data; it is therefore treated as confidential personal data and stored / shared in a secure way. Further advice can be found in the document Information Sharing, published by the Government in July 2018.
    1. Child protection records: The Organisation will keep all child protection records confidential, allowing disclosure only to those who need the information in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Organisation will co-operate with police and social services to ensure that all relevant information is shared for the purposes of child protection investigations under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 and in accordance with the requirements of Working together to safeguard children (July 2018). 
    1. Allegations against staff: Where allegations have been made against staff, the Organisation will consult with the LADO and, where appropriate, the police and social services to agree the information that should be disclosed and to whom.
  1. Monitoring and review
    1. Any child protection incidents within the Organisation will be followed by a review of the safeguarding procedures (which will include a review of this policy) to determine whether any improvements can be made to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. Where an incident involves a member of staff, the LADO will assist in this review to determine whether any improvements can be made to the Organisation’s procedures. This will include a review of the Organisation’s co-operation and communication with local agencies.
    1. The Trustees will undertake an annual review of this policy and the Organisation’s safeguarding procedures. The Trustee conducting the annual review on behalf of the Board will meet with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Festival Director and take into account any issues raised as a result of any review within the Organisation. The outcome of the review is reported to the Board annually. As part of their review, Trustees will monitor how efficiently duties have been discharged and will make recommendations for any changes to policy and procedures necessary.
    1. The Trustees Governors will ensure that any deficiencies or weaknesses in regard to safeguarding arrangements at any time are remedied without delay.
  1. Key contacts
Role Name Email
Designated Safeguarding Lead Gabbi Freemantle admin@londonenglishsongfestival.org
Festival Director William Vann will@londonenglishsongfestival.org