Child Protection Policy page

Turning Pointe Dance Studios (TPDS) believes that:

  • The welfare of children 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 will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
  • All staff (paid/voluntary) working in dance have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Policy Statement

The TPDS has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in dance from harm. All children have a right to protection and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. TPDS will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in dance through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by TPDS.

A child is defined as under 18 according to The Children Act 1989.

Policy Aims

The aim of TPDS Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

  • Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of TPDS
  • Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues

Promoting good practice

TPDS will encourage the following:

  • Always working in an open environment where possible (e.g. avoid private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets)
  • Treating all young people equally, and with respect and dignity
  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with dancers (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision making process
  • Making dance fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the RAD. Care is needed, as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Some parents are becoming increasingly sensitive about manual support and their views should always be carefully considered
  • Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in dance
  • Involving parents/carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms). If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure parents/teachers/officials work in pairs
  • Ensuring that at festivals/residential events, adults should not enter children’s’ rooms or invite children into their rooms
  • Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism
  • Recognising the developments, needs and capacity of young people - avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given
  • Requesting written parental consent if dance centre officials are required to transport young people in their cars

Practice to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the Dance School or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to collect a child at the end of a session.

  • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others
  • Avoid taking children to your home where they will be alone with you

Practice never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • Share a room with a child
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control
  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves
  • Invite or allow children to stay at your home unsupervised

Guidelines for use of photographic filming at dance events

There is evidence that some people have used dance events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled dancers in vulnerable positions. Therefore, photographing and videoing of pupils will not be allowed where any parent makes a specific objection to this at any event run by TPDS.

Videoing as a training aid: there is no intention to prevent teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, dancers and their parents/carers should be aware that this is part of the coaching programme and care should be taken in the storage of such films.

Recruitment and selecting staff and volunteers

TPDS recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. When undertaking pre selection checks the following should be included:

  • All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. This will elicit information about an applicant’s past and a self disclosure about any criminal record
  • The applicant should also provide an appropriate, up to date CRB check
  • Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)

Responding to suspicions or allegations

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in TPDS in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

TPDS will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is or may be abusing a child.

When there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

  • A criminal investigation
  • A child protection investigation
  • A disciplinary or misconduct investigation

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence the disciplinary investigation, but not necessarily.

Suspected abuse

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the principal who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in dance

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment
  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully/ies separately
  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else
  • Keep records of what is said (what happened by whom, when etc)
  • Report any concerns to the Principal

Action towards bullies

  • Talk with the bully/ies, explain the situation and try to get the bully/ies to understand the consequences of their behaviour

Seek an apology to the victim/s.

  • Inform the bully’s parents
  • Insist on the return of borrowed items and that the bully/ies compensate the victim
  • Provide support for the teacher of the victim
  • Impose sanctions as necessary
  • Encourage and support the bully/ies to change behaviour
  • Hold meetings with the families to report on progress
  • Inform all TPDS members of action taken
  • Keep a written record of action taken

Licia Becke (Principal)

Turning Pointe Dance Studios

Data Protection Policy

Turning Pointe Dance Studios adheres to the following principles of good information handling:

Data must be:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Not kept longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with the data subject’s rights
  • Not transferred to any other country
  • Not transferred to anyone else, or any other organisations, without specific authorisation, i.e. the information is confidential 

Information that Turning Pointe Dance Studios currently holds on students is as follows:

  • Name and contact details
  • Date of birth
  • Name and contact details of parents / carers for children, including address, telephone number and mobile telephone number (if provided)
  • Any medical conditions that may affect the student’s ability to dance and what to do in an emergency should this arise

The data is used only for the following purposes:

  • Registering the student as a participant in lessons
  • Contacting parents regarding day to day administration issues, either by phone or by post, e.g. notifying of a cancelled class, to inform of lost property, or to send out a newsletter not handed over in person
  • Contacting parents / carers in case of emergency
  • For entry into examinations
  • For day to day accounting purposes, e.g. raising invoices
  • For very occasional marketing by the dance school and relating only to the dance school e.g. sending out a leaflet about new lessons that are being provided

Parents/carers are asked to complete a new pupil details form annually to ensure data held is accurate and up-to-date. Data is destroyed as soon as possible after a student leaves the dance school, or once new details are provided.