The policy that follows has been adapted from the policy drafted by Bev and Ray Langton, (who organise a number of children’s festivals throughout the country) on behalf of the Association of Festival Organisers, to which the Morris Federation belongs.
It is intended for use by Morris sides when holding workshops or other events where Morris dancers come into contact with unsupervised children. For children joining Morris sides as members, this policy should be viewed alongside the approach that it is for the parent or guardian of the child to decide how much unsupervised contact his/her child will have with the side. If the parent or guardian feels the level of contact, on a ‘weekly practice basis’ is inappropriate, it is for the parent or guardian to arrange for supervision. This also satisfies a number of concerns that Morris sides have about children joining what is, in essence, an adult hobby, particularly regarding dancing in licensed premises.
The policy will need to be amended for use in a Morris side, replacing the asterisks with the name of the organisation holding the event.
What is Regulated Activity?
Regulated Activity is work a person who appears on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) barred lists is prohibited from doing (*). This includes work that involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups, including children. There are two types of Regulated Activity; Regulated Activity relating to Children and Regulated Activity relating to Adults. If the tasks undertaken by a volunteer fall within either of these categories an organisation may request an Enhanced Check and a check against the respective DBS barred list.
It is against the law for organisations to employ someone or allow them to volunteer for this kind of work if they know they’re on the relevant barred list.
The reforms introduced by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 reduced the scope of Regulated Activity, so that some roles that previously needed a barred list check no longer do so. However, those posts taken out of Regulated Activity remain eligible for Enhanced Checks.
a) Is the volunteer engaged in Regulated Activity with Children?
NCVO has a user-friendly guide to help determine whether a volunteer’s role is classified as Regulated Activity relating to Children. This should be read in conjunction with the full guidance from the Department for Education.
Activities that place a volunteer in Regulated Activity with Children include:
- teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children if the person is unsupervised, or providing any form of advice or guidance on well-being; moderating a public electronic interactive communication service (e.g. an online forum) which is likely to be used wholly or mainly by children; or driving a vehicle only for children; or
- work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact with children: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers
- relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.
- registered child minding; and foster-carers.
Work under (1) or (2) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. ‘Regularly’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more) or on three or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases overnight).
Activity under (3) and (4) does not have a frequency restriction and is Regulated Activity even if performed only once.
Broadly speaking the new definition of Regulated Activity relating to children no longer includes certain activities done on an irregular or ad-hoc basis or some activities properly supervised by someone who themselves is in Regulated Activity. It is important organisations understand the distinction between supervised and unsupervised by referring to the Department for Education’s guidance on supervision.
A person whose role includes the day to day management or supervision of any person who is engaging in Regulated Activity, is also in Regulated Activity.
September 2004, updated 2020
Sample Child Protection Policy
Teams will need to amend this policy according to their specific venues, activities and individual programmed events for children.
The Safe Child Policy
The Children’s Events organisers at ***** will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all children within events programmed specifically for children. The organisers of ***** believe that the safety of children is paramount on all occasions.
Objectives of the Safe Child Policy
The ***** is committed to protecting children from the following:
- Emotional distress
EXPOSURE TO INAPPROPRIATE:
Through these objectives the organisers of ***** are committed to ensuring that all possible situations are risk assessed to ascertain the level of risk involved. The organisers of ***** will then endeavour to establish suitable control measures to reduce the risk to acceptable levels. Both artists and stewards must be aware of the risk assessment and control measures in place.
The ***** Safe Child Policy will be accessible to all participants and interested parties for inspection.
Protecting Children from Harm and Abuse
- Adequate lighting, heating and ventilation
- Supervised and controlled entry and exit
- Clear boundaries or be appropriately fenced and located away from open water
- Clearly labelled exits and fire exits
- Access to toilets and running water within a reasonable distance
- A No Smoking policy during all Children’s and Family events
- Suitable furniture for the age range of the children
- Appropriate safety glass, handrails and non slippery floors
- Provision for the regular and safe disposal of rubbish
- Suitable levels of adult supervision at all times
- Each activity and event will have a maximum number of children
- Age guidelines will be defined for all activities
- The Morris Federation has a commitment to the equality of opportunity for all children, including those with disabilities, to participate actively within its events
Children’s events must be arranged and managed by responsible and suitable adults who have relevant qualifications, expertise and experience. The person/s with designated overall responsibility for organising events for children must have a clearly defined role including before, during and after the event.
- People working with children must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- People working with children must be deemed to be medically fit
- The **** will ensure that appropriate First Aid cover is as close as possible
- All people working with children should know the nearest First Aid point and all emergency procedures
- All people working with children should be fully briefed on all aspects of event safety and child protection issues
- No single adult should be in sole charge of any single child
- All accidents must be recorded on an Accident Report form
- Children under 8 years must not be left unattended
- It is inadvisable for children under 8 years to leave the event unless accompanied by a parent or carer
- All artists and stewards must take all possible steps to avoid the inappropriate handling or touching of any child
BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT OF CHILDREN
- All artists and stewards must be conversant with procedures for discipline and dealing with uncooperative children
- Corporal punishment (smacking, slapping and shaking) is illegal
- Practices that threaten, frighten or humiliate children must not to be used
- Bullying and physical abuse from one child to another, will not be tolerated
- The *** will not accept disruptive or unruly behaviour from any child which spoils the enjoyment by others
- The organisers of the ***** have a Lost Children Policy which is accessible to all
Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse
The Morris Federation is totally committed to protecting all children, of all ages, from sexual abuse by any adult.
This Safe Child Policy has been modelled on the Association of Festival Organisers document with their thanks and it is understood that the AFO’s policy has been produced, following detailed research into aspects of Child Protection and the Prevention of Unsuitable People from Working with Children and Young Persons.
Documentation consulted for the research included:
- DfES Guidance 0278/2002: Child Protection: Preventing Unsuitable People from Working with Children and Young Persons in the Education Services
- DfES Guidance 0780/2002:Criminal Records Bureau: Managing Demand for Disclosures
- The Criminal Justices and Court Services Act 2000
- Chapter 22 of the HSE The Event Safety Guide
- Out of School Care: Guidance to the National Standards published by OFSTED
The Morris Federation believes that it appears to be neither practically possible nor legally required, for all performers and volunteers working with Children, to be police checked or to have a Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure. Any Children’s events organiser will require to fulfill these requirements.
To ensure that children are protected from both sexual and all other types of abuse, the organisers of the ***** reserves the right not to employ in any capacity:
- Any person with a known history of sexual abuse to children
- Any other person that they feel presents a danger or threat to the safety of children
The organisers of the ***** will endeavor to take all reasonable steps possible, to ensure that there are no situations where any artist or volunteer steward is working within a situation where they have sole charge and unsupervised access to children.
If any person reports any incident of unacceptable behaviour towards any child, *** is committed to taking immediate and appropriate action, to ensure the safety of children within the event.
The organisers of the *****is totally committed to annually reviewing its Safe Child Policy, to ensure that there is neither complacency nor negligence in its commitment to protecting children from abuse.
Protecting Children from exposure to inappropriate activities, actions, language and materials
The Children’s Events organisers at ***** are committed to:
- Booking helpers/performers whose acts have been viewed or who provide creditable references
- Ensuring that helpers/performers or stewards do not swear, use lewd actions or make inappropriate references to sexual or illegal activities
- Ensuring that performers/artists and stewards avoid overt criticism or sarcasm to any child
- Providing performers with guidance about the age range of children
- Ensure that all performers and stewards avoid stereotypical attitudes, racist terminology or gender bias
Signatories including Event Organiser and Named Person with responsibility for Children’s Events:
The event contact details are as follows:
Children’s Events Organiser details are as follows:
Date of police check/CRB Disclosure Certificate:
Organisations which can provide useful sources of information
Home Office: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
Kids’ Club Network: www.kidsclubs.co.uk
Last updated: September 2004