The law requires any organisation involving young people and vulnerable adults to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to their welfare are minimised, and where there are concerns, to share them with other local agencies. The relevant legal requirements arise from:
The Children’s Act 1989
The Human Rights Act 1998
The Protection of Children Act 1999
The Sexual Offences (Amendments) Act 2006
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The relevant government guidance includes Safe from Harm 1993
Working Together to Safeguard Children 1999
Caring for the Young and Vulnerable 2000
Kingston Choral Society recognises that it is not the role of our organisation to decide whether a child or vulnerable adult has been abused or not. This is the role of the Social Services department who have legal responsibility or the NSPCC who have powers to investigate child protection concerns under the Children Act.
In developing this policy, Kingston Choral Society has taken input from the national amateur music performance association Making Music.
Who are Children or Vulnerable Adults?
In this context anyone up to the age of 19 is a child and anyone over 18 years who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation is a vulnerable adult.
How Kingston Choral Society Operates
Kingston Choral Society is a Registered Charity, composed of choir members. Officers are elected and others co-opted to serve on the committee. Rehearsals are run by our self-employed Musical Director or a substitute on occasion, with an accompanist. There are neither employed staff nor volunteers in the conventional sense.
Kingston Choral Society does not advertise itself as an activity suitable for children or vulnerable adults. Most choir members are independent adults. It happens only rarely that a young person or vulnerable adult joins, rehearses and performs with us.
Choir rehearsals and performances are group activities, and there is no need for a member of the choir to be alone with another member of any age. Kingston Choral Society is therefore unlikely to be targeted by a person seeking opportunities to abuse children or vulnerable adults. Nonetheless Kingston Choral Society recognises the need to safeguard any young and vulnerable members and the Committee has therefore agreed the following Safeguarding Policy.
Kingston Choral Society’s Safeguarding Policy
1. Kingston Choral Society will publicise its Safeguarding policy on its website (http://kingstonchoralsociety.org.uk/kcs/) and draw it to the attention of members at the beginning of each season.
2. Young people will be welcome to participate in choral works requiring children and/or youth voices with Kingston Choral Society as long as they bring a parent or other responsible adult who remains responsible for them throughout rehearsals and performances.
3. Kingston Choral Society have nominated a Designated Person, Kate Cockle, who is CRB-checked and who will attend appropriate training as required.
4. Choir members will report any concerns to the Designated Person. Detailed Guidance is available from the Designated Person
5. In the absence of the Designated Person the matter should be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Kingston Choral Society. A permanent confidential record will be kept of the report.
6. If Kingston Choral Society should need to recruit staff, then we will apply safeguarding principles to ensure that appointees are suitable to work with young or vulnerable people (see Appendix 8 of Detailed Guidance).
7. The policy and procedures will be reviewed annually at committee meeting. Approved at a committee meeting on 29 April 2014.
Signed by the Secretary on behalf of the Committee.
C E Johns
Secretary Kingston Choral Society