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Safeguarding Children & Young People Policy


The Cheltenham Vocal Academy (“the Academy”) is committed to creating and encouraging a safe environment for the protection of all children and young people associated with its activities, both onsite and elsewhere. These guidelines shall also apply to all visiting organisations and individuals contracted to the Academy. These guidelines are intended to protect not only the young people but also all adults working at the Academy who come into contact with them.

This policy contains the following sections:

  • Guidelines for Safeguarding Children and Young People

  • General Guidelines for all adults working with Children and Young People for the Academy

  • Group Activities Policy

  • Code of Conduct for Children and Young People studying at the Academy

This document shall be distributed to all teachers and other adults working at the Academy.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer at Cheltenham Vocal Academy is currently Aidan Smith, Musical Director.

A Child or Young Person is anyone under the age of 18 as defined by the Children Act 1989.




All teachers and other adults working for Cheltenham Vocal Academy must be carefully selected and accept responsibility for safeguarding children who use the Music School.

If a teacher or adult working for the Academy has reason to suspect a child is experiencing physical, sexual or emotional harm or neglect, this must be reported in the first instance to the Child Protection Officer (CPO) currently Aidan Smith.

If a teacher or adult working for the Academy has reason to suspect a colleague of causing physical, sexual or emotional harm or neglect, this must be reported immediately to the CPO.

If a teacher or adult working for the Academy feels uncomfortable about approaches made to him or her by a young person, without delay, he or she should discreetly make the young person aware of their discomfort. If the situation persists, they should inform the CPO.

It is unacceptable for a teacher and a young person working together to enter into a relationship of a personal or sexual nature. A young person is classified as anyone under 18 years of age. The law states that it is an offense for a person aged 18 or over to have sexual intercourse or engage in any other sexual activity with a person under that age if the older person is in a ‘position of trust’ in relation to the younger person.

Teachers and adults working for the Academy should not enter into agreements with a child or young person to keep disclosed information secret but should inform the young person that they will inform an appropriate employee and/or body. (i.e. Police, Children’s Services or NSPCC)

All teachers and adults at Cheltenham Vocal Academy (paid or volunteer) who are engaged to work with or are responsible for children or young people as part of their job should be checked for any previous convictions using the Disclosure and Barring Service Checking System.

Cheltenham Vocal Academy will administer the DBS Checks but will require all potential and new teachers to pay for the checks that may be required.

The obtaining of DBS checks should always occur prior to any person starting work at the Academy and all DBS checks should be renewed in accordance with current guidelines.




The well-being and safety of each child or young person is the primary concern.

Children and young people should be treated with respect and dignity at all times. They should be treated equally and sensitively regardless of gender, ethnic origin, cultural background, sexual orientation or religion.

In particular, all teachers and adults working for the Academy should:

  • Communicate clearly with all young people and children working within the Academy.

  • When assigning a task to a child or young person, make sure that he/she has fully understood the instruction and that completing the task is within his/her capabilities.

  • Encourage participation but not force any child or young person to do something that he/she may feel uncomfortable within lessons, workshops, rehearsals, or performances.

  • Respect the physical and emotional health of the children and young people they are working with.

  • Avoid being left alone in the school building with a child or young person – if this is likely to be unavoidable make sure you have the written agreement of the parent or guardian

  • Not do anything of a personal nature for a child if they can do it themselves.

  • Avoid taking children alone on car journeys, however short.

  • If it is essential to transport any child or children, it must be done with the parents’/carers’ consent.

  • Not have any unnecessary physical contact with children. If it is unavoidable or indeed desirable (for example if a child is distressed about something) the purpose of the contact must be made clear and it should only take place with the child’s consent. Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, however well-intentioned.


As a part of your teaching, it is sometimes necessary to touch a student, for example, to correct a position or guide a movement. There are some basic guidelines about touching children that you should always follow when working with children:

  1. Think about whether the correction you are making or the point you are trying to explain could be made in another way, for example by you or another student demonstrating. If possible, it is preferable to use the alternative approach instead of physical contact.

  2. Children and young people must always be treated with respect and dignity. If it is necessary to touch a child it is important that there is an understanding and agreement to this taking place.

  3. A touch can be misconstrued, so it is important that the child understands the intention behind your action. You should make sure that you touch in a firm, unambiguous manner – it is important that you are neither too rough nor too delicate, both of which can be misunderstood.

  4. Be sensitive to a young person’s feelings – if a child or young person says they do not want you to touch them, or if you sense that this is the case, respect that young person’s feelings and find different approaches to teaching them. There could be many reasons for such a reaction – a young child may have been bullied or abused for example, and young people going through adolescence can be very embarrassed by touching.




Rules & Regulations
All groups shall only meet when a member of the Cheltenham Vocal Academy staff is present. All teachers shall have DBS Certificates.

Where teacher/pupil ratio is likely to be exceeded, an assistant or other approved person should be present. All such individuals shall have Enhanced CRB Disclosure and be contracted to the Academy.

The duration and child/adult ratios must adhere to the following:

  • 2 1⁄2 to 4-year-olds, 1 1⁄2 hours. An adult must accompany each child in this age group unless the activity is advertised and labeled as a crèche; in which case, there must be at least one adult for every 3 children present

  • 5 to 7 year olds, under 2 hours. There must be 1 adult to every 8 children.

  • In groups and workshops for 8-year-olds and above, there must be one adult to every 12 children.

There should be a First Aid trained person at the Academy whenever activities are in progress. This may be the teacher or other member of staff.

A DBS-checked member of staff must wait with children at the end of an activity until they have all been collected. The only exception is those for whom express permission has been obtained for the child to leave unaccompanied. For the purposes of this responsibility, a child is defined as any young person under the age of 16.

If a concert, rehearsal, or workshop is being held at an alternative venue, then it is the teacher’s (or the Academy’s representative’s) responsibility to:

  • Outline the fire procedures

  • Carry a First Aid kit

  • Check the room before and after the event

  • Carry a mobile phone.

The Teacher or the Academy representative must collect consent forms signed by the parent or carer for each child.


  1. Children and young people should respect any venue used by the Academy and its contents at all times.

  2. Parents, carers, or young people should give adequate notice to appropriate staff if a child or young person is unable to attend a lesson, will be late for a lesson, or has to leave a lesson early.

  3. Parents and carers must give express permission for children to attend the Academy unaccompanied and to leave unaccompanied.

  4. Children and young people attending the Academy should not give their personal mobile phone numbers or email addresses to an individual teacher or adult working for the Academy.

  5. These contact details may be given to the Academy for essential communication purposes but only with the express permission of parents/carers.

  6. Children and young people must not smoke, take illegal drugs or drink alcohol anywhere in the school building, or at any other venues whilst working in conjunction with the Academy.

  7. Children and young people should always show due consideration for the staff working at the Academy and at other venues in which workshops and performances may take place.

  8. Children and young people should treat all staff and other users of the venues with respect at all times. Instructions given by Academy teachers or adults should be respected.

  9. Children and young people should treat others as they wish to be treated themselves.


All communication between children, young people, and adults working at the Academy, by whatever method, should take place within clear and explicit professional boundaries. Whenever possible it should take place through the Academy.

This includes the wider use of technology such as mobile phones, text messaging, emails, digital cameras, videos, webcams, websites, social networks, and blogs.

Teachers and adults working for the Academy should not share any personal information with a child or young person. They should not request or respond to, any personal information from the child/young person other than that which might be appropriate as part of their professional role.

All communications should be transparent and open to scrutiny.

In practice:

Teachers and adults working for the Academy should not give their personal contact details to children or young people including mobile phone numbers, email, and details of any blogs or personal websites unless the need to do so has been agreed upon with parents/carers and the School Principal.

Text messaging should only be used when other forms of communication are not possible.

Teachers and adults working for the Academy should ensure that if a social networking site (e.g. Facebook) is used, details are not shared with children or young persons and privacy settings are set at maximum. No private or direct messaging may be used.




The appropriate personnel on an annual basis will review this policy document. This will be in consultation with current legislation and will be updated as necessary. Should the document’s content be updated, the Academy will re-issue it to all relevant personnel.

Previous versions of this document have been created and issued on the following dates.


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