1. PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE ORGANISATION
The objects of the English Arts Chorale Association (EACA) are to advance, improve, develop and maintain public education in, and appreciation of, the art of music in all its aspects by any means the Trustees see fit, including through the presentation of public concerts and recitals. The objects of the EACA are achieved principally through the activities of the English Arts Chorale, a voluntary choir.
2. THE EACA ENVIRONMENT
The EACA was founded in 2014 and is an amalgamation of two previous charities, the English Arts Chorale Members and Friends Association and The Music Trust founded in 1980. It is governed by its own constitution, which has been approved by the Charity Commission. The EACA is a Registered Charity, no. 1153599, with its affairs governed by a Committee of Trustees. It is organised and run by volunteers and all helpers at EACA events are volunteers. Rehearsals are run by EACA’s self-employed Artistic Director or a substitute on occasion, with an accompanist.
The EACA actively welcomes children and young people into audiences and to take part in choral performances, and from time to time runs specific projects aimed at widening participation of children and young people in singing and music making.
Concerts take place in public buildings. Where children/young people under the age of 16 take part in an event, they do so under the supervision of a parent/carer or DBS-checked staff from their schools and this is a condition of their participation. Young people aged 16-17 may participate in an event without the supervision of parent or carer as long as EACA has written consent from a parent or carer. Children/young people who attend any EACA event as a member of the audience remain the responsibility of their parent or carer throughout.
3. COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING
EACA believes that no child, young person or adult at risk should ever experience abuse of any kind. We recognise that we have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people and adults at risk. We are committed to safeguarding the well-being of all children, young people and adults at risk we come into contact with and to protecting them from harm.
4. ABOUT THIS POLICY
- This policy applies to all members, staff (whether employees or freelancers), volunteers and anyone working on behalf of EACA or taking part in EACA activities.
- The purpose of this policy is to provide members, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to the protection of all vulnerable people.
- This policy recognises vulnerable people as:
• Children up to the age of 16 and young people aged 16-18.
• Adults aged over 18 at risk as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. This might include adults with a learning or physical disability, a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs, or reduced physical or mental capacity. This policy also recognises risk is determined by the activity an adult is taking part in and not solely on the personal characteristics or circumstances of the adult. As such any adult can be at risk, and the risk can be temporary.
- This policy aims to:
• Protect children, young people and adults at risk who are; members of, receive services from, or volunteer for, EACA.
• Ensure members, staff and volunteers working with children, young people and adults at risk are carefully recruited and understand and accept responsibility for the safeguarding of those vulnerable individuals they are interacting with.
How EACA might work with vulnerable people: membership is open to those over 16 years of age. We run regular rehearsals for members and put on concerts for the general public. As such our involvement with vulnerable people might include, but is not limited to:
- Members of the group who attend rehearsals and concerts
- Relatives and friends of members who attend rehearsals and concerts as a volunteer
- Audience members at public concerts.
The EACA will ensure that a child protection co-ordinator who has been appropriately DBS checked will be appointed for each EACA event in which children and vulnerable persons are likely to participate as a performer or volunteer. The EACA requires all children to be accompanied and supervised throughout any event by a Schools Supervisor, parent, guardian or carer. No unaccompanied children will be admitted to any part of any event. Young people aged 16 and 17 may attend rehearsals and performances unaccompanied, provided EACA has obtained written permission from a parent or carer.
Named safeguarding person: Claire Kelly has responsibility for safeguarding issues. All queries and concerns relating to safeguarding should be referred to Claire Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. Any projects, events or other activities that will involve vulnerable people must be planned with the involvement of Claire Kelly and in line with established procedures and ground rules (see below). A further document – ‘Ground rules, ways of working and procedures’ is available and forms part of this policy.
5. AUDIO AND VISUAL RECORDING
From time to time photographs of performers may be taken but only by representatives of the EACA or press by invitation. Where parents, guardians, carers do not wish photographs or videos to be taken, then the responsible adults attending with the children or vulnerable persons are responsible for ensuring that they are not included in photographs. For further information please see EACA’s Member’s Data Privacy Statement.
6. THE LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE THAT SUPPORTS THIS POLICY
The Children Act 1989
The Data Protection Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998
The Protection of Children Act 1999 as updated in 2005
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
The Children Act 2004
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
7. POLICY REVIEW
The EACA Committee will review this Policy annually, improving and enhancing it as necessary. It will be reviewed in response to changes in relevant legislation, good practice, or in response to an identified failing in its effectiveness.
Ground rules, ways of working and procedures
This document forms part of the EACA Safeguarding policy
The policy applies to all members, staff (whether employees or freelances), volunteers and anyone working on behalf of EACA or taking part in EACA activities.
The purpose of this policy is to provide members, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to the protection of vulnerable people.
This policy recognises vulnerable people as:
- Children up to the age of 16 or young people aged 16-18.
- Adults aged over 18 at risk including those defined as vulnerable by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006; this might include adults with a learning or physical disability, a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs, or reduced physical or mental capacity.
This document includes:
- Recruitment practices around safeguarding
- Ground rules and ways for working regarding safeguarding of vulnerable people
- Procedures for raising safeguarding concerns and incidents of abuse
- Procedures for dealing with concerns and incident of abuse
- Resolution and disciplinary action
Recruitment practices around safeguarding
If an existing or potential new member, staff member or volunteer will be working with vulnerable people as part of the EACA activities the appropriate level of DBS will be requested before that work is undertaken.
The level of DBS check required will be decided by the committee and in line with DBS rules regarding regulated activity. The results of any check to inform a decision will be used confidentially and in line with the EACA equal opportunities policy.
Ground rules and ways for working regarding safeguarding of vulnerable people
When EACA organises an activity or event where they will be responsible for vulnerable people they will ensure:
- Planning is carried out in line with this policy and procedures.
- The event is attended by an appropriate number of DBS checked adults – this will be a minimum of one but more when practically possible.
- All children under 18 years old, whether participating or in the audience are accompanied by, and remain the responsibility of, a parent, teacher or carer.
- There is a main contact for safeguarding on the day - this will be an individual who has been DBS checked.
- The main contact has access to emergency contact details and other relevant details (e.g. information about picking up arrangements for vulnerable people).
- That if vulnerable people of different gender will be taking part in activities adults of different gender will be in attendance too.
- A vulnerable person is not be left alone with an adult, unless that adult is DBS checked and carrying out regulated activity.
- Two adults (one DBS checked) should be the last to leave a venue once the activity has finished and will be responsible for ensuring vulnerable people get home safely.
Working with parents/guardians: If a vulnerable person wishes to take part in EACA activities, written permission (email is fine) should be obtained from parents/guardians where appropriate, and before the activity takes place. Written permission should include: emergency contact details of any relevant pick-up arrangements – including permission for another adult to pick up the vulnerable person after the activity has finished.
Procedures for raising safeguarding concerns and incidents of abuse
· If any member, staff or volunteer in EACA witnesses, suspects or is informed of a witnessed or suspected case of abuse they should immediately report it to the named safeguarding officer; Claire Kelly.
· If the named person is not available, or is involved in or connected to, the abuse, it should be reported to the Chairman, or another DBS checked adult.
· If an individual wishes to report an incident of abuse against themselves they should report it to the named safeguarding officer or an individual they trust.
Procedures for dealing with concerns and incidents of abuse
The Named person (or person reported in their absence) will first make a decision based on the immediacy of the concern and the following two factors:
1. If the vulnerable person is in immediate danger or needs emergency medical attention – call the police and/or ambulance service.
2. If the person at the centre of the allegation is working with vulnerable persons at the current time – remove them, in a sensitive manner, from direct contact with vulnerable people and follow the procedures below.
If neither of the above applies the named person will:
· Make a note of the concerns reported to them.
· Speak with committee members to decide how to handle the reported abuse, excluding any committee members who are involved in the incident.
· Escalate the report by either:
- Raising concerns with the police – for serious or possible criminal offences.
- Requesting an assessment by the local authority social care department about whether a vulnerable person is in need of protection.
- Initiating an internal investigation – for less serious incidents where they feel internal mediation will be successful.
Where cases are escalated the committee will cooperate with the police or local authority in dealing with the reported incident.
Where an internal investigation takes place the committee will:
- Inform all parties involved of the reported abuse as soon as possible.
- Inform the family/guardians of the person reported as being been abused of the incident.
- Arrange separate meetings with both parties within 10 days of the reported incident. A joint meeting may be arranged if appropriate.
Both parties should be given the opportunity to bring a friend or representative to any meeting.
Meetings will be attended by the named safeguarding officer and at least one other committee member.
All parties will also be invited to submit a written statement in advance of the meeting.
Once meetings have taken place the committee will decide on the next steps and communicate them to all parties in writing within 5 days. They will be either:
- To escalate the incident to the relevant authority.
- Initiate further investigation – with established procedures and timelines to work towards a resolution.
- A decision or resolution.
Resolution and disciplinary action
If abuse is found to have taken place any final resolution or decision will be taken in the best interest of the person who has suffered the abuse.
Any disciplinary action will be taken in line with the EACA constitution.
Approved 20 October 2023