GSOM CHILD PROTECTION  POLICY

1. GSOM Child Protection Policy Statement

Gleeson School of Music is fully committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people, and to safeguarding the well being of our young students, within the School. GSOM teachers and administrative staff should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of students and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the School.  The welfare of the children and young people under our care is paramount.

The aim of the Child Protection Policy of GSOM is to promote best practice in protection and set out a procedural framework to ensure that members of staff are equipped to make informed responses to specific issues and minimise risk with regard to protection and welfare issues. In implementing its policy, we follow the recommendations of Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and Our Duty to Care – The Principles of Good Practice for the Protection of Children and Young People.

 

GSOM has implemented procedures covering:

Code of behaviour for staff;
Code of behaviour for children and young people;
Reporting of suspected or disclosed abuse;
Confidentiality;
Recruitment and selection of staff;
Managing and supervising staff;
Involvement of primary carers;
Allegations of misconduct or abuse by staff;
Complaints and comments;
Incidents and accidents.
The Child Protection Policy (CPP) is available to GSOM staff.

This policy will be reviewed in June 2020.

The Designated Person is Elaine Gleeson;

The Deputy Designated Person is Darina Gleeson.

Signed       Date: January 2020

[Elaine Gleeson, Designated Child Protection Person]

*For the purposes of the GSOM Child Protection Policy, ‘staff’ refers to all full- and part-time staff, contractors, volunteers, freelance workers or work placement persons.

 

2. Code of Behaviour for Staff

This code of behaviour is intended to aid and advise GSOM staff in minimising risk and encouraging best practice while working on behalf of GSOM. Staff and volunteers must always exercise an appropriate level of judgment in each case.

The code of behaviour has been divided into the following subsections:

Child-centred approach;
Good practice;
Inappropriate behaviour;
Physical contact;
One-to-one teaching policy;
Health and safety.
Child-centred Approach

GSOM staff should do the following when working with children and young people:

Treat them equally but also as individuals;
Listen to and respect them;
Involve them in decision making when appropriate;
Encourage, support and praise them regardless of ability and always recognising that each child/young person is an individual and therefore has different capabilities to the next.
Use only constructive criticism when needed;
Encourage open feedback;
Use appropriate language, both physical and verbal;
Have fun and encourage a positive and trusting atmosphere;
Use age-appropriate teaching aids and materials;
Respect their personal space;
Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation;
Be cognisant of a child’s/young person’s limitations, due to a medical condition for example;
Ensure the code of behaviour for children is adhered to;
Lead by example.
Best Practice

To ensure best practice, GSOM is committed to doing the following on all classes that we run:

Enrolling each child/young person using the proper application system, which is available on our website (or from the office) and keeping a record of name, address, phone number, special requirements, attendance and emergency contact details of all children/young people in the main building.
Ensuring that staff, facilitators, visitors and volunteers are aware of our Child Protection Policy and procedures.  Policy copies are also forwarded to primary carers where requested.
all GSOM teaching centres are given a copy of our Child Protection Policy and are informed that GSOM staff work according to the GSOM policy, which reflects the ethos and standards of our organisation;
Having emergency procedures in place, as outlined in Section 4;
Accommodating special needs children in our classes, where it is possible to provide an adequate environment to meet their needs;
Evaluating work practices on a regular basis;
Training our permanent members of staff by sending them on child protection courses;
Training relevant staff, acting in positions of Designated or Deputy Designated Person by sending them on child protection training courses;
Training our part-time staff and volunteers by meeting to discuss and talk through this policy document at the beginning of each contract, before teaching begins. Staff will then be asked to sign a form acknowledging that they have received training, have read and understood the GSOM CPP, and will abide by it (Appendix 6);
Recording any incidents in the confidential incident file taken on all courses;
Ensuring that the relevant primary carers are made aware of our CPP;
Ensuring proper supervision based on adequate ratios according to age and gender;
Being proactive in relation to problems, so that they don’t get ‘out of control’.
GSOM requires its staff to do the following when working on behalf of GSOM:

Plan and be sufficiently prepared both mentally and physically;
Report any concerns to the Designated Person and follow reporting procedures as outlined in Section 4;
Follow and enforce the anti-bullying policy as outlined in the Code of Behaviour for Children and Young People in Section 3;
Observe appropriate dress and behaviour;
Maintain awareness around language and comments made and where there is a possibility that upset may have been caused, address it in a sensitive manner;
Staff must be sensitive to the risks involved in interacting with children in a one-to-one setting;
Staff should discuss boundaries on behaviour and related sanctions, as appropriate, with children/young adults;
Where possible avoid giving a lift to a child or young person and, where necessary, ensure the primary carer has been informed.
Inappropriate Behaviour

GSOM staff should not do any of the following:

Use or allow the use of offensive or sexually suggestive physical and / or verbal language;
Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form;
Hit or physically chastise students;
Socialise inappropriately with students outside of structured organisational activities.
Physical Contact

Where possible, GSOM teachers will avoid physical contact with children and young people and will demonstrate performing techniques themselves in class.  However, GSOM acknowledges that physical contact may be essential to the process of teaching in our classes on occasions.  GSOM requires, therefore, that teaching staff seek consent of children and young people before making physical contact with them (except in an emergency or dangerous situation) and check their level of comfort when teaching exercises that involve physical contact.

While physical contact may be necessary to instruct a child how to hold/play an instrument, it should be appropriate to the lesson or class, and only take place when it is acceptable to all concerned;
Should a child/young person initiate physical contact with a staff member, the staff member will not respond to this behaviour and the child/young person will be told in an appropriate manner that this is not permissible.
One-to-One Teaching Policy

GSOM acknowledges that some tuition will be conducted in a one-to-one setting as this is often in the best interest of the child/young person.  GSOM operates clear procedures regarding this type of class.  In addition to implementing best practice, inappropriate behaviour and physical contact procedures as above, GSOM will also do the following:

Every effort will be made by GSOM teachers to ensure that this teaching takes place in an open environment, i.e. teacher and student will be visible through a glass-panelled door/window and/or the door slightly ajar and blinds/curtains to be open;
Every effort will be made to schedule one-to-one teaching when other activities are in progress in the building or centre;
Parents/guardians will be encouraged to remain alongside or within the teaching room for the duration of the child’s/young person’s class;
Teachers will indicate the process of the class in writing, either through a hard copy or through digital means
If staff must spend unforeseen time alone with a child/young person outside of scheduled lesson times, doors will be left open and no physical contact will take place.
Health and Safety

 

At GSOM we will:

Avoid leaving children unattended where reasonable;
Be vigilant in ensuring that the environment is safe;
Operate a strict non-smoking environment.  The consumption of alcohol is expressly forbidden;
Be aware of accident procedures and follow accordingly.
Failure by staff to adhere to the ‘Code of Behaviour for Staff’ is gross misconduct and will be treated as a disciplinary offence, subject to the strict procedures.

 

3.   Code of Behaviour for Children and Young People

It is the policy of Gleeson School of Music to safeguard the welfare of all the children and young people who attend our music school, by protecting them from harm. GSOM is also committed to providing a positive and enlightened environment, to facilitate the best possible educational outcome for participants in our classes and courses. The welfare of the children and young people under our care is paramount.  The Gleeson School of Music Anti-Bullying Policy is documented in full in Appendix 1.

The following are the rules that all children and young people on our courses are required to follow:

All children and young people must:

Make sure a member of staff is informed if they are unable to attend an individual class or will be late for any reason where practicable;
Not consume alcohol, drugs or smoke while participating in GSOM classes, in keeping with civil law;
Not engage in rough play;
Not use inappropriate language.
GSOM wishes to promote a positive and inclusive atmosphere in our music school and asks children and young people to be aware of and follow these guidelines:

Treat each other and all members of staff of GSOM with courtesy, respect and dignity;
Be aware that bullying will not be accepted or tolerated. Bullying can be defined as repeated aggression, – verbal, psychological or physical – which is conducted by an individual or group against others.  Examples of bullying include the following – name-calling, physical fighting of any form, making offensive comments, intimidation, threatening, ignoring or excluding others, damaging property, sending abusive text messages, voicemails or social media posts, spreading rumours, sarcasm, mocking, derogatory remarks and gestures;
Treat each other equally but also as individuals;
Listen to and respect each other;
Have fun and encourage a positive, inclusive atmosphere;
Respect each other’s personal space;
Respect differences of ability, culture, religion, race and sexual orientation;
Be aware of any special needs people may have.
In general we ask that all participants use ‘common sense’ about what is acceptable behaviour and treat others as they would wish to be treated themselves.

 

4.    Reporting Procedures for Child Protection Concerns

Designated Person

GSOM Owner, Elaine Gleeson, acts as the Designated Person for Child Protection.

Contact Elaine Gleeson: 086 057 2023 elaine@gleesonschoolofmusic.com

Deputy Designated Person

GSOM Co-Owner, Darina Gleeson, acts as the Deputy Designated Person for Child Protection.

Contact Darina Gleeson : 085 165 2341

It is the responsibility of the Designated Person and the Deputy Designated Person to support and advise staff and children and young persons in GSOM classes about policy and procedures in relation to child protection and to ensure procedures are followed. It is also their responsibility to liaise with the Health Service Executive or Gardaí where appropriate.

 

Incidents 

GSOM has a confidential incident file, which will be held in the GSOM office in Aliied Hub

 

Dealing with a Disclosure

GSOM advises its staff to deal as follows with a disclosure from a child or young person:

Stay calm, listen and allow them enough time to say what they need to say;
Do not prompt or use leading questions;
Reassure them but do not promise to keep anything secret;
Do not make them repeat anything unnecessarily;
Explain in an age appropriate way what will happen next.

5.    Confidentiality Statement

GSOM is committed to ensuring peoples’ rights to confidentiality. However, in relation to child protection and welfare we undertake that:

Information will only be forwarded on a ‘need to know’ basis in order to safeguard the child / young person;
Giving such information to others for the protection of a child or young person is not a breach of confidentiality, if we deem it in the vital interest of a child to do so;
We cannot guarantee confidentiality where the best interests of the child or young person conflict with their rights to confidentiality under data protection legislation and their right to protection from any risk we identify or suspect;
Primary carers, children and young people have a right to know if personal information is being shared and / or a report is being made to the Health Service Executive, unless doing so could put the child or young person at further risk;
Images of a child or young person containing identifying information will not be used for any reason without the consent of a parent or carer (however, we cannot guarantee that cameras / videos will not be used in public performances; we do not have any control whatsoever in this regard and images or video recorded and shared of public performances are exempt from data protection legislation under the artistic exemption Article 85 of GDPR);
With the exception of public performances, GSOM will request the consent of primary carers to use images of students for publicity purposes by GSOM and will not use identifying images without this consent;
All new staff and fixed-term contracted teachers will be required to sign a staff confidentiality agreement
The incident report file will be kept in a locked cabinet in the GSOM office.
A refusal to sign declaration form or provide details of two referees;
A refusal to submit to the Garda Vetting process;
Insufficient documentary evidence of identification;
Concealment of information relating to one’s suitability for working with children.
There will be a probationary period of three months for each permanent member of staff recruited and a probationary period of 10 weeks for each fixed-term contracted teacher recruited;
All staff (permanent, fixed-term contract, and voluntary) will be required to complete a declaration form (See Appendix 6);
All new staff and fixed-term contracted teachers will be required to sign a contract.

Complaints and Comments Procedures

Complaints or comments in writing will be acknowledged within 7 working days;
GSOM Principal has responsibility for directing complaints / comments to the appropriate person and ensuring they are responded to on time;
Verbal complaints will be logged and responded to in the same way as written complaints;

 

Accidents Procedure

GSOM staff will record any accidents that take place during tuition in the confidential incidents file using the GSOM Confidential Incident Form.
GSOM maintains an up-to-date register of the contact details of all children and young people enrolled with the music school and will ensure that these details are cross-referenced with Confidential Incident Report Forms;
GSOM always has its own public liability insurance in place for all tuition and courses that it runs;
A First Aid box is always available and fully stocked in GSOM and staff are made aware of its location;
Emergency contact details are required from students upon registering with GSOM;