Bridlington Amateur Operatic and
Child Protection Policy and Procedures
Name and Title of Author: Laura Sanders, Committee member and Child
Name of Responsible Committee/Individual: BOADS Committee
Implementation Date: 28 February 2022
Review Date: 28 February 2023
Target Audience: Committee Members, cast and crew of
productions both in house and visiting,
members and friends, and professional visitors.
Reference Documents: The Children and Young Persons Act (2008)
The Children (Performances and Activities)
(England) Regulations 2014
The Protection of Children Act (1999)
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act
2000 ( in Scotland change to Protection of
Children (Scotland) Act 2003)
The Bridlington Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society recognizes its duty of care under:
The Children and Young Persons Act (2008)
The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
The Protection of Children Act (1999)
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 ( in Scotland change to Protection of
Children (Scotland) Act 2003)
The above list is not exclusive but when undertaking policy development the society will consider
Child Protection and other safeguarding matters within each appropriate policy or guideline.
Purpose of a Safeguarding Policy
An effective Safeguarding Policy and Procedure provides a clear direction to society members about
expected codes of behaviour in dealing with safeguarding issues. An effective policy also makes
explicit the societys commitment to the development of good practice and sound internal services
and procedures. This ensures that safeguarding concerns may be handled sensitively and in ways
which support the needs of the child.
The aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote our younger members welfare, safety, health and
guidance by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive climate. The childs welfare is of
paramount importance. Our society fully recognises the contribution we can make to protecting
children and supporting them in a creative environment.
The policy will be reviewed by the Safeguarding Officer and the Committee annually.
The views of the committee and society members may be sought and taken into account in this
review. If at any time deficiencies or weaknesses in the Safeguarding policy and procedures are
identified they will be addressed by the Safeguarding Officer and Committee immediately and
The Societys Ethos
The society recognizes that abuse can take many forms, whether it be physical abuse, emotional
abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. The society is committed to practice which protects children from
harm. All members of the society accept and recognize their responsibilities to develop awareness of
the issues which cause children harm.
The society believes 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 should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly
All members and employees of the society should be clear on how to respond appropriately
The society will ensure that:
All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity
The duty of care to children will always be put first
A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers the children to
share in the decision making process
Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism
Bullying will not be accepted or condoned
All adult members of the society provide a positive role model for dealing with other people
Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour
It will keep up-to-date with health & safety legislation
It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children
It will undertake relevant development and training
It will hold a register of every child involved with the society and will retain a contact name
and number close at hand in case of emergencies
The society has child protection procedures which accompany this policy. This policy should also be
read in conjunction with the societys Equal Opportunities Policy and Health & Safety Policy.
The society has two dedicated Child Protection Officers, who are in charge of ensuring that the child
protection policy and procedures are adhered to.
Miss Laura Sanders
Miss Rebecca Smith
R esponsibilities of the Society
At the outset of any production involving children Bridlington Amateur Operatic and Dramatic
Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process
Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection during
that specific production, who will also have a current valid Enhanced DBS certificate
Engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for
children, including appropriate vetting (if necessary in consultation with the local education
Ensure that children are supervised at all times
Know how to get in touch with the local authority social services, in case it needs to report a
The society believes it to be important that there is a partnership between parents and the society.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the society and to share responsibility for
the care of children. All parents will be given a copy the societys Child Protection Policy and
All parents have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals
or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of the society to take children home. The society is also
not responsible for any private arrangements made between families taking other members home
after rehearsals or performances.
In the event of a domestic emergency where a parent may be late to collect a child, please ensure
the child protection officer or the director of the play is informed at the earliest convenience in
order to ensure someone is able to supervise the child appropriately until collection can happen. If
this becomes a regular occurrence it may be necessary to examine whether the childs membership
of the society can continue.
The society will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children. There will
always be two adults in the room when working with children. If unsupervised contact is
unavoidable, steps will be taken to minimize risk. For example, work will be carried out in a public
area, or in a designated room with a door open. If it is predicted that an individual is likely to require
unsupervised contact with children, he or she may be required to obtain a criminal record disclosure
(A volunteer DBS Check can be obtained through the society as needed).
All adults will maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children
Adults will only touch children when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular
Adults will seek the consent of the child prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the
contact shall be made clear
Managing sensitive information
The society follows all GDPR guidelines which can be further accessed here.
The society has a policy and procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or images
of children. Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic material featuring
children for promotional or other purposes.
The societys web-based materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
The society will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its members, including the
safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as criminal record disclosures.
Suspicion of abuse
If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the society, please make this known to the
person with responsibility for child protection. If you suspect that the person with responsibility for
child protection is the source of the problem, you should make your concerns known to the
Chairman, who is Mr Mike Sheldon. Please make a note for your own records of what you witnessed
as well as your response, in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
If a serious allegation is made against any member of the society, chaperone, venue staff etc., that
individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual will be
excluded from the theatre, rehearsal rooms etc. and will not have any unsupervised contact with any
other children in the production.
Disclosure of abuse.
If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place:
Remain calm and in control but do not delay 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.
Dont ask questions that suggest a particular answer.
Dont promise to keep it a secret.
Use the first opportunity you have to share the information with the person with
responsibility for child protection. Make it clear to the child that you will need to share this
information with others. Make it clear 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 are going to do next.
Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for child protection. It is that persons
responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police.
As soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using
the childs own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned,
and who you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made in
confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of whether
or not the concerns have been shared with a statutory child protection agency.
An accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties
involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter, any
further action taken e.g. suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the matter was
not referred to a statutory agency, and the name of the persons reporting and to whom it was
The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know about the incident
Rights & Confidentiality
If a complaint is made against a member of the society, he or she will be made aware of his rights
under the societys disciplinary procedures.
No matter how you may feel about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the child who is
thought to have been abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Remember also that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through
inappropriate information being released.
In criminal law the Crown, or other prosecuting authority, has to prove guilt and the defendant is
presumed innocent until proven guilty.
To avoid accidents, chaperones and children will be advised of house rules regarding health and
safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds. Children will be advised of the clothing
and footwear appropriate to the work that will be undertaken.
If a child is injured while in the care of the society, a designated first-aider will administer first aid
and the injury will be recorded in the societys accident book. This record will be countersigned by
the person with responsibility for child protection.
If a child joins the production with an obvious physical injury a record of this will be made in the
accident book. This record will be countersigned by the person with responsibility for child
protection. This record can be useful if a formal allegation is made later and will also be a record that
the child did not sustain the injury while participating in the production.
Disclosure Barring Service Checks
If the society believes it is in its best interests to obtain DBS checks for chaperones or other society
members, it will inform the individual of the necessary procedures and the level of disclosure
required. A Standard disclosure will apply for anyone with supervised access to children and to
include all committee members . An Enhanced disclosure will be required for anyone with
The society will have a written code of practice for the handling of disclosure information. The
society will ensure that information contained in the disclosure is not misused.
Chaperones will be appointed by the society for the care of children during the production process.
By law the chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent
might be reasonably expected to give to a child. The maximum number of children in the
chaperones care shall not exceed 12.
Potential chaperones will be required to supply photographic proof of identity (eg. passport, driving
licence) and two references from individuals with knowledge of their previous work with children,
unless already well known to the society. They will also be asked to sign a declaration stating that
there is no reason why they would be considered unsuitable to work with children.
Chaperones will be made aware of the societys Child Protection Policy and Procedures. Chaperones
will not usually have unsupervised access to children in their care. If unsupervised access is
unavoidable, or if this is a requirement of the local authority, a criminal record disclosure will be
Where chaperones are not satisfied with the conditions for the children, they should bring this to
the attention of the producer. If changes cannot be made satisfactorily, the chaperone should
consider not allowing the child to continue. If a chaperone considers that a child is unwell or too
tired to continue, the chaperone must inform the producer and not allow the child to continue.
Under the Dangerous Performances Act, no child of compulsory school age is permitted to do
anything which may endanger life or limb. This could include working on wires or heavy lifting.
Chaperones should tell the producer to cease using children in this way and should contact the local
During performances, chaperones will:
Meet children at the stage door and signing them into the building.
Keep children together at all times except when using separate dressing rooms.
Be aware of where the children are at all times.
Not allow children to leave the theatre unsupervised by chaperones unless in the company
of their parents.
Ensure children will be adequately supervised while going to and from the toilets.
Ensure children will not enter the adult dressing rooms.
Be aware of the safety arrangements and first aid procedures in the venue, and will ensure
that children in their care do not place themselves and others in danger.
Ensure that any accidents are reported to and recorded by the society.
Examine accident books each day. If an accident has occurred, the producer is not allowed
to use that child until a medically qualified opinion has been obtained (not just the word of
the parent or child)
Have written arrangements for children after performances. If someone different is to
collect the child, a telephone call should be made to the parent to confirm the
Make sure children are signed out when leaving and a record is made of the person
collecting. If a parent has not collected the child, it is the duty of the chaperone to stay with
that child or make arrangements to ensure they get home safely.