The Questors Theatre Child protection policy statement
Policy Statement and Aims
Questors Policy regarding Young Persons Under the age of 18:
For Child Protection Purposes as well as Health and Safety reasons, it is the policy of the Questors Theatre that no young person under the age of 18 is permitted to work on any Questors Production in whatever capacity, nor be engaged voluntarily on site, unless participating within a controlled environment. A controlled environment is a drama class, course, workshop, Youth Theatre production or any other appropriate activity which are supervised by Questors personnel holding a current enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate.
Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance by the Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer - Executive Director Andrea Bath - who will be responsible for notifying relevant Questors heads of department and members.
Our Mission Statement
The Questors Theatre actively encourages the safety and well-being of children and young people, by creating a culture and environment that actively supports this.
We aim to create a safe environment where children can enjoy rewarding and stimulating experiences and believe the welfare of the child is paramount.
We aim to ensure all areas within the theatre used for children’s recreational activities have a risk assessment carried out to make sure they are safe and hazard free.
We recognise that all children - regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion - should be:
- Listened to and heard
- Valued and respected as individuals
- Respected for their identity and uniqueness
- Encouraged and praised
- Involved in decisions as appropriate
The Questors Youth Theatre (QYT) works within the boundaries of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
- To create a safe environment for the children in our care
- To be committed to safe recruitment, supervision and training of all staff who are in contact with children
- To ensure all staff and members are aware of, and confident in using, the Questors Theatre Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures
- To ensure all staff and members in this organisation accept and recognise their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm
- To keep up to date with Health and Safety legislation and to keep informed of any changes in new laws and policies for the protection of children
- To be particularly aware of what is inappropriate behaviour, since this could lead to disciplinary proceedings
Code of Practice
We will endeavour to safeguard children by ensuring staff working with children will at all times:
- Understand their personal responsibility for protecting children with whom they work
- Treat all children with respect including respecting a child’s right to privacy
- Take seriously any suspicion, disclosure or allegation of abuse a child makes, ensuring that the correct procedure is carried out
- Take appropriate action should they suspect a child is being abused by reporting both internally within the Questors Theatre or to appropriate statutory authorities if appropriate
- Plan activities so that there are always at least two members of staff in the room. If for any reason there is only one staff member in the room at any particular time, the door should remain open at all times
- Provide a positive role model for children
- Ensure enthusiastic, sensitive and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism
- Not take children on a car journey, however short
- Not take children to their home, or agree to meet them outside the Questors Theatre
- Not allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
- Not make sexually suggestive comments to any child
- Ensure that bullying will not be accepted or tolerated at any time
- Never give out any personal details such as phone numbers or email addresses to children or parents. All correspondence must go through the Questors office
- Not take any photos on their own phones or cameras. If photos are required to be taken, parental/carer permission must be obtained first. Only the Questors Youth Theatre camera is to be used and photos stored on a Questors computer.
- Adhere to the QYT policy of not having contact through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with QYT members
- Seek permission from people with parental responsibility for use of photographic material featuring their child
- Seek consent of a child prior to any appropriate physical contact in relation to a particular activity and the purpose of the contact should be made clear at all times
- Adopt Child Protection Guidelines through procedures and a Code of Conduct for staff, volunteers and students.
- Share information about concerns with agencies who need to know and involve parents/carers and children appropriately
- Carefully follow all procedures for recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers, ensuring that all tutors hold current enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificates
- Provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
- Regularly monitor and review policy and good practice
- Ensure all members and adults using the theatre adhere to Health and Safety regulations throughout the Theatre
- Treat all parental/emergency consent forms and personal data as strictly confidential