Safeguarding Policy

1 Introduction

Hertfordshire Chorus (known in this document as the “Chorus”) is a symphonic SATB choir of about 130 amateur singers from all walks of life. The Chorus rehearses once a week, usually at Stanborough School Welwyn Garden City, and has an annual schedule of some fiveconcerts, as well as special events, engagements, international tours, recordings, and concerts for charities.  The Chorus has charitable status (registered in England, number 281627) and is managed by an elected Council of Trustees, appointed at the Chorus’s Annual General Meeting.  The Chorus contracts a Musical Director and Accompanist.

From time to time the Chorus may work with groups of children, young people and other vulnerable groups (known in this document as “young and vulnerable people”).

2 Safeguarding Policy

2.1 The Chorus will proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of all members, visitors and the general public.

2.2 The Chorus recognises its Duty of Care towards groups of young and vulnerable people to ensure that all rights to protection from abuse are upheld.

2.3 The Chorus recognises that all suspicions or allegations of abuse must be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

2.4 The Chorus accepts that all Chorus staff and singing members have a duty of care to abide by this Policy and to report concerns.

2.5 The Policy should be applied whenever it is alleged a member of the Chorus during choir activities involving young and vulnerable people:

i   behaved in a way that has, or may have, harmed a young or vulnerable person;

ii  possibly committed a criminal offence against/related to a young or vulnerable person;

iii behaved toward a young or vulnerable person in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm.

2.6 All Chorus members, volunteers and Trustees are required to familiarise themselves with the contents of this policy document and especially the procedures for reporting and responding to any concerns.

2.7 Parents or guardians of members of the choir under 18 years of age will be provided with a copy of this Policy.

3 Code of behaviour for Trustees, Chorus members, volunteers and external group leaders

3.1 While young and vulnerable people are working together with Chorus members, they should wherever practically possible be accompanied by their designated leader(s).

3.2 Chorus members should never be alone with a young or vulnerable person.

3.3 All young people and vulnerable groups will be treated with respect at all times, regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. (See Hertfordshire Chorus Equal Opportunities Policy).

3.4 The Chorus recognises the consequences of breaching any part of this policy and any such breaches will be subject to disciplinary and grievance procedures by the Trustees as is deemed appropriate to the situation.

4 Actions prior to working with young people or vulnerable groups

4.1 Adherence to safe recruitment procedures, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and the follow up of necessary references should have been undertaken by the group(s) involved prior to any involvement with the Chorus.

4.2 The designated leader of any group of young or vulnerable people will be given a copy of this policy document prior to working with the group.

4.3 Prior to an activity involving young or vulnerable people the Chorus Designated Safeguarding Officer, where appropriate in conjunction with chorus members, will complete a Safeguarding Risk Assessment Form which should be discussed with all relevant chorus officers and group leaders working with the Chorus.

4.4 Before the Chorus works with a group of young or vulnerable people the designated leader of that group will sign a pre-prepared proforma acknowledging that:

i   they have acquired the necessary permissions for all young people and vulnerable groups to be photographed while working with the Chorus;

ii  all the adults accompanying such groups have been recruited in accordance with Local Authority Safeguarding        Boards requirements, Protection of Vulnerable Adults and Protection of Children Act 1999;

iii all adults accompanying the group have read the policy document;

iv they have completed a checklist of actions prior to the planned activity.

4.5 Should a member of the Chorus be barred from working with young or vulnerable groups they will be prevented from taking part in any activities involving such groups.  Members of the Chorus are asked to declare any such restrictions to the Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding.

4.6 Before the start of any activity involving young or vulnerable groups the Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding should be put in contact with and at the earliest possible opportunity be introduced to the group designated leader(s). The group leaders should at all times approach the Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding if they need to discuss any safeguarding issues relating to the Chorus.

5 Reporting procedures

5.1 Any expression of concern by a young or vulnerable person regarding the conduct of a Chorus member will immediately be reported to the Designated Member for Safeguarding or in his/her absence the Deputy Designated Member.

5.2 Confidentiality for all parties will be maintained at all times.

5.3 All allegations must be recorded clearly and accurately and include details of how the matter was resolved.

5.4 Information about an allegation must be restricted to those who have a need to know in order to protect the young or vulnerable person, facilitate the enquiry, avoid victimisation and safeguard the rights of the person about whom the allegation has been made and others who might be affected.

5.5 Where a concern is raised by a young or vulnerable person it would be usual for that person to approach their designated leader or another adult member of their group in the first instance.  In such a case the designated leader or other group adult should then approach the Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding.

5.6 The Designated Officer for Safeguarding is responsible for the secure storage of records of concerns, incidents and referrals in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

5.7 The Chorus has a Whistle-blowing Policy which should be read in connection with this Policy.

6 Role of designated officer once a concern has been raised

6.1 Any allegation of abuse must be dealt with fairly, quickly and consistently in a way that provides effective protection for the young or vulnerable person and supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.

6.2 In the case of an allegation being made against a member of the Chorus, the Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding will:

i  log the incident as set out in “Reporting Procedures”;

ii contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within 24 hours.

6.3 The Chorus Designated Officer for Safeguarding will inform the designated member from the Board of Trustees that an incident has occurred but will not at this stage pass on names or the nature of the incident.

6.4 Once the facts are clear and proven, serious incidents will be reported to the Board of Trustees and also The Charity Commission in adherence to their requirements.

7 Handling the Media

7.1 In the case of an alleged abuse a media strategy should be agreed with no improper or inadvertent release of information to the media.

7.2 Only the appointed officer should perform this role.  The person appointed must ensure that they work closely with the Designated Officer for Safeguarding, Chair and LADO.

8 Process for policy review

The Safeguarding Policy will be reviewed annually by the Designated Officer for Safeguarding and a representative of the Trustees.  The named Designated Officer for Safeguarding shall be responsible for ensuring that up to date legislation and policies and procedures are adhered to.

9 Appointment of officers

9.1 The Trustees will appoint a Designated Officer for Safeguarding and Deputy Designated Officer for Safeguarding on an annual basis.

9.2 In the absence of the Designated Officer for Safeguarding the Deputy Designated Officer for Safeguarding will assume the role of Designated Officer for Safeguarding.

10 Contact details

Designated Safeguarding Officer safeguarding@hertfordshirechorus.org.uk

Chair chairman@hertfordshirechorus.org.uk

11 Useful contact information

Hertfordshire LADO Team       01992 555420

https://www.pro-actionherts.org/safeguarding/membership-safeguarding-information/safeguarding-policy-in-hertfordshire/lado-local-authority-designated-officer

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Herts Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB)

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/childrens-social-care/child-protection/hertfordshire-safeguarding-children-board/hertfordshire-safeguarding-children-board.aspx

Herts Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB)

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/adult-social-services/report-a-concern-about-an-adult/hertfordshire-safeguarding-adults-board/hertfordshire-safeguarding-adults-board.aspx

The Charity Commission www.charitycommission.gov.uk

Date Policy reviewed: 9 March 2021

Date of next review: March 2022

Policy approved by the Hertfordshire Chorus Council and signed by the Chair

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