Aberystwyth Musicfest: Safeguarding Vulnerable Individuals

 

Our Policy, Protocols and Code of Conduct

Safeguarding Policy

  1. Scope of this policy:

    Aberystwyth Musicfest recognises that it has a duty to safeguard individuals who are engaging in Musicfest activities. This includes members of staff, students, and volunteers, outside contractors, visitors and members of the public. This list is not exhaustive.

As part of its commitment to equal opportunities, diversity, the Prevent Duty and the provision of a safe working environment, Aberystwyth Musicfest has in place the necessary procedures designed to protect individuals. These procedures are contained in the attached Protocols. These procedures apply in relation to all members of Aberystwyth Musicfest staff (full time, part time, casual or relief), the student body and visitors.

  1. General principles – Aberystwyth Musicfest:

    • Is committed to providing a safe environment for all its staff, students and people who are attending Musicfest activities.
    • Recognises that vulnerable individuals may require additional protection in accordance with its statutory duties and common law duty of care.
    • Recognises its responsibility to raise awareness of staff and students of this policy and the relevant procedures.
    • Will ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to enable it to discharge its duties and to ensure that cases of suspected abuse, neglect of vulnerable individuals or concerns re potential radicalisation are dealt with sensitively and effectively in accordance with the law and relevant guidance.
    • Will ensure that investigations into reports of suspected abuse, neglect or potential radicalisation are carried out in a fair and timely manner.
    • Will work in conjunction with other agencies (for example, social services, the Police and health services) and any other bodies to safeguard vulnerable individuals in the implementation and monitoring of this Policy.
    • Will ensure that all allegations of abuse, neglect of vulnerable individuals or potential radicalisation are reported.
    • Undertakes to review this Policy at no less than three yearly intervals.

    3. Safeguarding responsibilities

    The Board of Directors of Aberystwyth Musicfest (hereafter referred to as ‘the Board’) has overall strategic responsibility for this Policy and for its review.

The Designated Verification Officer (DVO) is responsible for the day to day implementationof this policy. The DVO will be accountable to the Board for the effective implementation of this policy and specifically for alerting the Board of any significant concerns relating to the policy. The DVO is Joan Rowlands, Musicfest Administrator, who will also act as the Designated Reporting Officer (DRO).

All members of staff or any student who suspect a safeguarding issue must report their concerns to the DRO, or if very serious/urgent they should contact the police directly (and subsequently report to the DRO directly).

Upon receiving a report, the DRO must report the concerns to the officer in the relevant Authority(s) in England and/or Wales, and where appropriate to the Police. In addition, immediate measures must be put in place by the DRO to ensure that the child or vulnerable individual is safe and that any necessary evidence is protected.

If appropriate, the DRO should immediately inform the Board that it may be necessary to suspend a member of staff or a student, or to exclude an individual from Musicfest Aberystwyth activities pending determination of the issue. Full regard must be had to the rights of any alleged perpetrator.

4. Staff and student recruitment

The Board has strategic responsibility for ensuring that the vetting and recruitment procedures are implemented, and for monitoring its operation.

The DVO has operational responsibility for ensuring that all employees of Aberystwyth Musicfest (full time, part time, casual and relief) have, when necessary, undergone the appropriate checks under this Policy.

For the purpose of this Policy a Volunteer will also be considered to be an employee or student of Aberystwyth Musicfest and if there is appropriate involvement with vulnerable groups will fall under the remit of the DVO.

Protocol 1 describes the processes for Staff Recruitment.

5. Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service carries out criminal record checks for specific positions and professions and a DBS certificate is required for staff working in these specific positions and professions as part of Aberystwyth Music Fest’s pre-recruitment check following an offer of employment, including volunteering roles.

For the purposes of Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks the following definitions apply:

‘Child’ is defined as anyone under the age of 18 years. For the purpose of this policy the term ‘young individual’ has the same meaning. (Please note: -The definition of regulated activity relating to adults no longer labels adults as ‘vulnerable’. Instead, the definition identifies the activities which, if any adult requires them, lead to that adult being considered vulnerable at that particular time. In this policy wherever vulnerable individuals are referred to this includes children.

The DBS status of staff at Aberystwyth Musicfest will be checked every year. Individual tutors are required to provide evidence of their DBS status before a contract is confirmed, DBS status will be checked at the start of the festival.

6. Storage and Handling of Documents (Students and Staff)

Disclosure information will not be kept on an employee’s file and will always be kept separately and securely, in lockable, non-portable storage container with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see the information as part of their duties.

Handling
In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, disclosure information is only passed to those entitled to see it in the course of their duties.

Usage
Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.

Retention
Once a recruitment decision had been made, disclosure information is not kept for longer than is absolutely necessary. This is generally for a period up to six months to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in exceptional circumstances it is considered necessary to keep the disclosure information for longer than six months Aberystwyth Musicfest will consult the DBS and give full consideration to the Data Protection legislation and the individual’s human rights before so doing. Throughout this time the above conditions regarding safe storage and controlled access will prevail.

Disposal
Once the retention period has elapsed, Aberystwyth Musicfest will ensure that any disclosure information is destroyed by secure means. Whilst awaiting destruction disclosure information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle. The disclosure information will not be photocopied nor will any other image of the documentation be retained. Notwithstanding the above, we may keep a record of the contents of the disclosure, the name of the subject, the unique reference number and the details of the recruitment decision taken.

7. Acronyms

DBS – Disclosure and Barring Services
DRO – Designated Reporting Officer

DVO – Designated Verification Officer

A list of relevant contact details for use during the festival:
Designated Reporting Officer Joan Rowlands – Aberystwyth Musicfest Administrator E-mail: jnr@aber.ac.uk Phone: 07964 159401

Penny Davies Aberystwyth Musicfest Co-Ordinator Phone 07796 260863

Louise Perkins Musicfest Administration Assistant Phone 07794 176628

Gwenllian Lewis Aberystwyth Musicfest Assistant Co-Ordinator Phone 07772 594607

Procedure and Protocols for Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks

The DVO is registered with the DBS to receive the Disclosures.

It is the responsibility of Aberystwyth Musicfest to identify all new and any existing activities that will have a DBS check as a requirement.

Payment for such checks and registrations in the case of staff will be made by the individuals concerned.

The DVO is responsible for undertaking the DBS check process on staff. This is done by ensuring that applicants are aware that it is a requirement for the post/role/place (this post having already been identified and designated as requiring a DBS check).

Protocol 1- Safeguarding in staff recruitment
For roles involving contact with children or vulnerable individuals it will be made clear to the applicants that the post requires contact with children/vulnerable individuals and that a DBS check is required.

Successful applicants should be informed that any job offer is dependent on satisfactory DBS check. If a conviction/caution or any other information is revealed, the offer should be withdrawn.
Reasons for the decision should be recorded.

Safeguarding Code of Conduct

1. Values and Principles
Aberystwyth Musicfest has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for vulnerable individuals and will take seriously any suspicions or allegations of abuse, inappropriate behaviour or concerns regarding potential radicalisation and respond appropriately.

2. Aims of the code of conduct
The Code of Conduct aims to help Aberystwyth Musicfest provide a positive and supportive environment for vulnerable individuals. It is intended to:-
• provide guidance for staff on good practice in working with vulnerable individuals or those at risk of radicalisation;
• reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable individuals or those at risk of radicalisation;
• reduce the risk of complaints or allegations being made against staff;
• ensure compliance with the Prevent Duty.

3. Who does the Code of Conduct apply to?
The Code of Conduct relates to all vulnerable individuals/those at risk of radicalisation who participate in or are affected by Aberystwyth Musicfest activities, whether or not they are accompanied by their parents, including:-
• students;
• staff or volunteers;
• vulnerable individuals attending public Aberystwyth Musicfest events;
• vulnerable individuals in the care of staff or students.

4. Guidance on behaviour towards vulnerable individuals

Aberystwyth Musicfest expects all members of staff to treat vulnerable individuals with the same professional standards of respect and care given to other students or members of the public. However, in your contact with vulnerable individuals, you should also take into account:-
• the developmental needs of the vulnerable individual when planning activities;
• additional legal requirements or responsibilities due to the vulnerable individual’s age. This might include considerations such as the age of consent; drinking alcohol; gaining the consent of a parent or guardian to activities;
• Aberystwyth Musicfest’s responsibility under the Prevent Duty.

Use positive and appropriate language:-
• avoid swearing
• never shout or use derogatory language
• challenge inappropriate language by vulnerable individuals
• never address sexually suggestive jokes or comments to any individual

 

 

Use physical contact carefully:
• be aware that any kind of touching or physical contact can be misinterpreted
• where physical contact is justified, use it openly
• if a vulnerable individual is in distress, use a touch on the hand or shoulder rather than a hug

  • do not play rough physical games with vulnerable individuals. Avoid being alone with a vulnerable individual:
    • in tutoring or mentoring situations, meet in open places or leave the office door open if possible
    • do not arrange to meet a vulnerable individual alone unless as part of a specific role such as an individual tutor
    • on residential premises, never enter a vulnerable individual’s room unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do enter a vulnerable individual’s room you should be accompanied by another adult
    • do not give lifts to a vulnerable individual

    5. Guidance on sexual relationships

     

5.1 Members of staff should be aware that sexual intercourse and other sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 years and certain categories of vulnerable individuals are criminal offences. Any incidents will be reported to the Police.


5.2 Members of staff should be aware that individual relationships with a participant in Aberystwyth Musicfest activities who is capable of giving legal consent may nevertheless give rise to professional conduct issues and disciplinary measures may be taken.

 

5.3 If you feel that a vulnerable individual is behaving in a manner which is inappropriate you should report this to the Designated Reporting Officer.

6. Guidance on alcohol
Children under 18 attending Aberystwyth Musicfest are forbidden to drink alcohol. Any incident of alcohol consumption by a person under 18, or of drunkenness in a person over 18 should be reported to the DRO.

7. Guidance on photography
Written consent must be gained for photographs or video. In the case of children under 16, the written consent of parents or guardians must be gained.

8. Guidance on the Prevent Duty
Aberystwyth Musicfest has an awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation and does its utmost to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism. Potential concerns regarding the radicalisation of an individual should be reported to the DRO.

 

9. What to do if you are worried about a safeguarding issue?
Any member of staff may report a safeguarding concern. You should not assume that someone else has raised a concern simply because other members of staff may have more direct contact than you with the individual. You might raise an issue of concern if:-
• you have witnessed an incident in which an individual is harmed or abused;
• an individual has disclosed or hinted at abuse or harm to self or others (including potential risk of radicalisation);
• you have concerns about an individual because of their behaviour or appearance. This might include seeing injuries, or signs of distress such as uncharacteristic lack of self-care,
showing fear, anxiety, withdrawal or depression, making threats/statements inciting hatred at others;

• you have concerns about an individual because of their behaviour or because of something they have said or alleged to have said or done.

You may raise concerns about any individual for whom you are concerned. The vulnerable individual does not have to be a student or participant in Aberystwyth Musicfest’s programmes or activities. For example, an adult student might disclose information in relation to a child; or the behaviour of an adult student who has the care of a child might give rise to concern.

You should report your concern, even if it seems trivial, to the Designated Reporting Officer (DRO).
9.4 If you think that the individual is in immediate danger of serious harm, you should phone the police (999).

10. Guidelines for what to do if an individual discloses abuse to you

If an individual tells you about abuse they have experienced, this can be a difficult and distressing experience. The guidelines below can help both you and the individual concerned.
Listen and show concern
Assure the individual that it is right for them to be telling you. Don’t interrupt.
Don’t ask too many questions – especially not leading questions. Your role is not to establish exactly what happened. Do not in any way formally interview the individual nor hold any enquiry into the allegations. Simply make a record of what has been said to you keeping strictly to the facts. Remember not to make any judgement or give an opinion regarding the allegations disclosed to you. Do not agree or disagree, accept or reject.
Do not express strong emotions, e.g. of shock or anger. If you show strong emotions it can add to the vulnerable individual’s anxiety or feeling that they are ‘causing trouble’.
Don’t make promises which cannot be kept Let the individual know that you take what they have said seriously but don’t make promises you can’t keep such as ‘it will all be ok now’. Don’t promise to keep it confidential.
Let the individual know that you will pass the information on to those who need to know. Make a record
Write down as soon as possible all you can remember of your conversation. Use the individual’s own words as much as you can remember. Note down what you said and did. Keep the original notes.
Report the matter to the DRO.

11. Confidentiality

Vulnerable individuals have the same right to confidentiality as adults. Concerns about individuals will be treated as sensitive information which will be carefully stored; shared with the minimum number of people necessary; and anonymised in reporting whenever possible.
It is important to note that the need to protect individuals overrides the right to confidentiality – but information should only be divulged to those persons necessary to ensure the safeguarding of the individual.

How to report a safeguarding concern:

RAISE AN ISSUE OF CONCERN IF:
– You have witnessed an incident in which an individual has been harmed or abused – An individual has disclosed/hinted at abuse/harm to self or others (including potential risk of radicalisation)
– You have concerns regarding an individual’s behaviour or appearance, including: injuries; signs of distress/uncharacteristic lack of self-care; showing fear/anxiety/withdrawal/depression; making threats/statements inciting hatred at others
– You have concerns regarding an individual because of their behaviour or something they have said/alleged to have said or done.

 

Concerns may be raised about any individual for whom you are concerned. The vulnerable individual does not have to be a student or participant in Aberystwyth Musicfest’s programmes or activities.

Any concerns (even if they seem trivial) should be reported to the Designated Reporting Officer (DRO).

If you believe that the individual (or others) is in immediate danger or serious harm, you should phone the police (999)

 

 

 

ACTION TAKEN FORM

 

Name of Designated Reporting Officer:

 

 

Name of individual concern has been expressed about:

 

Name of individual bringing the concern to the attention of the DRO:

 

Date of incident:

 

 

Nature of allegation/concern:

Action taken:

 

Name and contact details of the duty officer at Social Services/Police that the allegation or concern has been reported to:

 

Signed (Designated Reporting Officer):

 

 

Date:

 

 

 

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