Rocksteady Music School

Safeguarding Children Policy 2019

Rocksteady Music School is committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which the children in our care are protected from abuse, harm and radicalisation.

Rocksteady Music School will respond promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns regarding the safety of a child that may occur. Rocksteady Music School’s child protection procedures comply with all relevant legislation and with guidance issued by the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB).

Rocksteady Music School’s Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) is Richard Bushby. The DSP coordinates child protection issues and liaises with external agencies (eg Social Care, the LSCB and Ofsted). The deputy DSP is Mike Heelan. Contact details can be found below.

All teaching staff and managers will also work alongside the schools’ own safeguarding policy and will also report to their designated safeguarding lead in the event of a concern.

Child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly, or by failing to protect them from harm. Some forms of child abuse and neglect are listed below.

  • Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making the child feel that they are worthless, unloved, or inadequate. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
  • Physical abuse can involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may be also caused when a parent or carer feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes, ill health to a child.
  • Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This can involve physical contact, or non-contact activities such as showing children sexual activities or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. It can involve a failure to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, to protect a child from physical and emotional harm, to ensure adequate supervision or to allow access to medical treatment.

Signs of child abuse and neglect

Signs of possible abuse and neglect may include:

  • significant changes in a child's behaviour
  • deterioration in a child’s general well-being
  • unexplained bruising or marks
  • comments made by a child which give cause for concern
  • reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, eg in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation, or that a child may have witnessed domestic abuse
  • inappropriate behaviour displayed by a member of staff, or any other person. For example, inappropriate sexual comments, excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their role, or inappropriate sharing of images.

If abuse is suspected or disclosed:

When a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff will:

  • respond in a calm manner
  • reassure the child that they were not to blame and were right to speak out
  • listen to the child but not question them or investigate (e.g. ask to see other bruises)
  • give reassurance that the staff member will take action
  • record the incident as soon as possible (see Logging an incident below)
  • Refer the disclosure to the DSP as soon as possible

If a member of staff witnesses or suspects abuse, they will record the incident straightaway on the form. If a third party expresses concern that a child is being abused, we will encourage them to contact Social Care directly. If they will not do so, we will explain that Rocksteady is obliged to, and the incident will be logged accordingly.

Peer-on-peer abuse

Children are vulnerable to abuse by their peers. Peer-on peer abuse is taken seriously by the staff and will be subject to the same child protection procedures as other forms of abuse. Staff are aware of the potential uses of information technology for bullying and abusive behaviour between young people.

Staff will not dismiss abusive behaviour as normal between young people. The presence of one or more of the following in relationships between children should always trigger concern about the possibility of peer-on-peer abuse:

  • sexual activity (in primary-aged children) of any kind, including sexting
  • one of the children is significantly more dominant that the other (eg much older)
  • one of the children is significantly more vulnerable that the other (eg in terms of disability, confidence, physical strength
  • There has been some use of threats, bribes or coercion to ensure compliancy or secrecy

If peer-on-peer abuse is suspected or disclosed, we will follow the same procedures as set out above for responding to child abuse.

Extremism and radicalisation

All companies working with children have a legal duty to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into extremism. There are many reasons why a child might be vulnerable to radicalisation, including:

  • feeling alienated or alone
  • seeking a sense of identity or individuality
  • suffering from mental health issues such as depression
  • desire for adventure or wanting to be part of a larger cause
  • associating with others who hold extremist beliefs

Signs of radicalisation

Signs that a child might be at risk of radicalisation include:

  • changes in behaviour, for example becoming withdrawn or aggressive
  • claiming that terrorist attacks and violence are justified
  • viewing violent extremist material online
  • possessing or sharing violent extremist material

If a member of staff suspects that a child is at risk of becoming radicalised, they will record any relevant information or observations on a Logging a concern form and refer the matter to the DSP by email and with a follow up phone call.

A note on safeguarding in secondary schools:

During secondary school education, students are maturing, acting more independently and taking on increased responsibilities. This may mean they encounter more risky situations, in addition to those which arise from neglect or abuse within their family.

It is an unfortunate fact that underlying reasons for young people’s poor behaviour are more likely to go unrecognised in secondary than is the case for younger children. So things like maltreatment can be masked by ‘difficult’ behaviour and the young person treated as a problem rather than a vulnerable child. Risk and neglect may also not be addressed because there is an assumption that young people can cope more easily than younger children.

Key points to note:

  • Safeguarding issues which arise in secondary schools are often different in nature to those experienced in primary schools, as a result of the increasing maturity of the young people involved. Things like self harm, peer on peer, and online risks are more likely to be seen.
  • Difficulties can often manifest in behavioural issues. It is important that schools recognise when poor behaviour may be the result of underlying risk or need.

Logging an incident

All information about the suspected abuse or disclosure, or concern about radicalisation, will be recorded on the Logging a concern form as soon as possible after the event. The record should include:

  • date of the disclosure, or the incident, or the observation causing concern
  • date and time at which the record was made
  • name and date of birth of the child involved
  • a factual report of what happened. If recording a disclosure, you must use the child’s own words
  • name, signature and job title of the person making the record.

The record will be given to Rocksteady Music School’s DSP who will decide on the appropriate course of action. A copy should also be given to the relevant school’s DSP in a sealed envelope marked for their attention.

For concerns about child abuse, the DSP will contact Social Care. The DSP will follow up all referrals to Social Care in writing within 48 hours. If a member of staff thinks that the incident has not been dealt with properly, they may contact Social Care directly. The DSP will also contact the relevant school’s DSP to inform them of the referral.

For minor concerns regarding radicalisation, the DSP will contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) or Local Authority Prevent Co-ordinator. For more serious concerns, the DSP will contact the Police on the non-emergency number (101), or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. For urgent concerns the CPO will contact the Police using 999.

Allegations against staff

If anyone makes an allegation of child abuse against a member of staff:

  • The allegation will be recorded on a Logging a Concern form. Any witnesses to the incident should sign and date the entry to confirm it.
  • The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and to Ofsted. The LADO will advise if other agencies (eg police) should be informed, and Rocksteady Music School will act upon their advice. Any telephone reports to the LADO will be followed up in writing within 48 hours.
  • Following advice from the LADO, it may be necessary to suspend the member of staff pending full investigation of the allegation.
  • If appropriate Rocksteady Music School will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Promoting awareness among staff

Rocksteady Music School promotes awareness of child abuse and the risk of radicalisation through its staff training. Rocksteady Music School ensures that:

  • the designated safeguarding person has relevant experience and receives appropriate training in safeguarding and the Prevent Duty, and is aware of the Channel Programme and how to access it
  • safe recruitment practices are followed for all new staff – see safe recruitment policy
  • all staff have access to a copy of this Safeguarding Children policy, understand its contents and are vigilant to signs of abuse, neglect or radicalisation. They are required to sign to acknowledge that they have read the policy.
  • all staff are aware of their statutory duties with regard to the disclosure or discovery of child abuse, and concerns about radicalisation
  • all staff receive basic safeguarding training (Universal safeguarding)
  • Rocksteady Music School procedures are in line with the guidance in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)’ and staff are required to read “Keeping children safe in Education Part One” and to sign to acknowledge having read and understood this document
  • Staff are required to read the “Energy Management Policy” and sign to acknowledge having read this policy.

Use of iPads, mobile phones and cameras

Photographs will only be taken of children with their parents’ permission. Only cameras or iPads belonging to Rocksteady Music School will be used to take photographs of children. To protect staff and children, personal mobile phones can only be used by staff when children are not present.

Recording Media

Recording videos of children performing for our Band of the Week competition to be published on our website is a positive part of Rocksteady culture, and a great way of showing the children how much they have progressed. However, it can be a very sensitive issue, both legally and emotionally, and the following must be adhered to by all employees:

  • Consent must be obtained by the child’s parents before any filming can take place
  • This consent must be recorded either digitally or physically.
  • All recording must be done on approved Rocksteady equipment provided.
  • Media may only be published through approved Rocksteady channels
  • Never upload any Rocksteady media to your own personal social media channels.
  • Do not share any Rocksteady media on your own personal social media channels unless it is taken from a public source eg. the Rocksteady website.
  • When you have finished uploading, processing or otherwise using the media, delete it from the device within 24 hours.
  • Never share internal Rocksteady media with anybody outside the company

Contact numbers

DSPRichard Bushby
Deputy DSPMike Heelan
Police101 (non-emergency)
999 (emergency)
Anti-terrorist hotline0800 789 321
NSPCC0808 800 500
Ofsted0300 123 1231
This policy was adopted byRocksteady Music School
DateSeptember 2019
To be reviewedSeptember 2020
SignedMike Heelan, Head of Operations

Written in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014): Safeguarding and Welfare requirements: Child Protection [3.4-3.8] and Suitable People [3.9-3.13].