Child Protection Policy
- The Youth Music Centre (YMC) is a charitable trust (charity number 1077495) whose objective and principal activity is to provide a happy environment in which young people can come together to realise their musical potential. This is principally achieved through the provision of a Saturday morning music school offering a variety of musical activities and classes.
- Since 1999 YMC has a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital (Company Number 3816808), with a Council of Members (usually referred to as Trustees) who are responsible for YMC’s overall management and who are not remunerated. The day to day running of YMC is the responsibility of the Artistic Director, Administrator and Treasurer.
- YMC is not a Child Care Organisation in the full meaning of the Protection of Children Act 1999.
- YMC aims to provide a safe and caring environment for children under 18 years in co-operation with their parents, guardians, carers and teachers and to ensure so far as is reasonable that the available facilities will produce this environment.
- All members of the teaching and administrative staff have to show evidence of an up to date Criminal Records Bureau check. In addition at least one member of staff present on a Saturday morning has a First Aid certificate.
- All members of staff are given a printed Code of Good Practice, a copy of which can be obtained on request from the Administrator.
- YMC follows a strict non-discrimination policy and all its students are treated equally irrespective of race, sex, religion, disability or ethnic origin.
- In the event of any allegation of misconduct or child abuse being brought against a member of YMC staff the people who need to know and are responsible for taking any necessary action are:The Artistic Director – Nigel Goldberg 020 8343 2630 or 07973 959 827The Administrator – Marina Solarek 020 8450 9290 or 07970 746 942The Chair of Trustees – Rachel Douglas 020 7485 1467
- Where a possible or alleged abusive situation either within or outside YMC is suspected or brought to the attention of a member of staff, it is not the responsibility of that person to decide whether or not abuse has occurred. The Chair of Trustees takes responsibility in the event of an internal situation and any external allegation will immediately be referred to Social Services.
YMC Code of Good Practice
- Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as individuals, irrespective of race, sex, religion, disability or ethnic origin, and providing an adult model of appropriate conduct. Such conduct excludes bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism or sexism.
- Physical contact should be avoided as far as possible. This may be difficult if a teacher wishes, for instance, to correct the way a bow is held. The teacher should prefix such an action by saying: “Let me guide your hand/arm correctly, then you have a go” or similar. Such physical contact should be very gentle and kept to a minimum.
- Wherever possible teachers should avoid being alone with a student in an enclosed room without a window in the door. Parents are given the opportunity to be in attendance at individual lessons if desired.
- All students must be valued equally. Teachers must ensure that the less able students are encouraged and given as much help as the more able ones and not excluded from any group activity wherever possible.
- Moderate language must be used if it is necessary to correct a student. Under no circumstances use extravagant language or language which might give offence. Where possible any difficulty should be discussed privately with a parent or carer when a younger child is involved, especially when the problem is lack of practice, or similar, so that an amicable solution can be agreed.
- Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child even in fun as this could be misinterpreted.
- If a parent or child cannot be pacified it is essential that the teacher leaves the room and seeks assistance in the first place from one of the designated persons at YMC (see below for details). A problem which cannot be satisfactorily resolved will be brought to the Trustees, who may ask parents to remove their child from YMC if they consider them to be behaving in an unreasonable manner.
- Where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of YMC staff this must be reported immediately either to the Artistic Director or to the Chair of Trustees (see below). In the first instance separate meetings with the two sides involved will be arranged in an attempt to reach a solution. If an amicable settlement cannot be reached immediately a committee of three Trustees will be convened by the Chair to investigate the allegation further.
- Where you suspect abuse has been or is occurring outside YMC you are required to report it to one of the designated persons (see below). It is then the responsibility of that person to pass these concerns on to the Social Services. This is an inescapable personal and professional responsibility for the protection of children from harm.
- The following information is intended to assist you if you become involved in a potential child protection situation:Always stop and listen straight away to someone who wants to tell you about incidents or suspicions of abuse. Take what is said seriously: it is rare for children to make false allegations.If you can, write brief notes of what they are telling you while they are speaking – these may help later if you have to remember exactly what was said. Keep your original notes however rough: it is what you wrote at the time that may be important later, not a tidier and improved version you wrote up afterwards. If you don’t have the means to write at the time, make notes of what was said as soon as possible afterwards.Never make a promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret. If you are told about abuse you have a responsibility to report it so that action can be taken. Give reassurance that only those who need to know will be told.Do not ask leading questions that might give your own ideas of what could have happened (e.g. “Did he do XX to you?”), just ask: “What do you want to tell me?” or “Is there anything else you want to say?”
Never attempt to carry out an investigation of suspected or alleged abuse by interviewing people etc. yourself. The designated persons will take responsibility for allegations within YMC. All other suspicions/allegations will be referred to Social Services, who are the people trained to deal them. You could cause more damage and spoil possible criminal proceedings.
Thankfully we have not had any past history of complaints or incidences of misconduct, however, here is a list of persons at YMC designated to deal with complaints, allegations of misconduct or child abuse:
The Artistic Director – Nigel Goldberg 020 8343 2630 or 07973 959 827
The Administrator – Marina Solarek 020 8450 9290
The Chair of Trustees – Julia Edwards 020 8340 3079