Shrewsbury Orchestral Society

Our Privacy and Safety Policies

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Procedure for children at possible risk of abuse

This procedure applies to any member who may be concerned about the safety and protection of a child (person under the age of 18).

Purpose and aim of this procedure

We aim to ensure those children who attend the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra receive the protection and support they need if they are at risk of abuse. This procedure provides clear direction to members of the orchestra if they have concerns that a child is in need of protection.


Child protection documents shall be publicly available to view on the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra website. All members who join the orchestra shall be expected to abide by our code of behaviour, to read our Child Protection policy and understand their responsibilities in relation to our stated procedures. A reminder of our Child Protection policy shall be a standing item on the AGM agenda.

Definitions of abuse

These are set out in Appendix 1 below.

Designated Safeguarding Officers

The Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra has safeguarding officers who are responsible for dealing with child protection issues and with any concerns about children involved with the orchestra’s activities. There shall be at least two of these at any one time. As of (1st January 2016), they are:

CAZ BESTERMAN         DBS number 001404571635
NIGEL CAPPS        DBS number 001479356551

The role of the Committee and the Safeguarding Officers is set out in Appendix 2 below

Procedure for Reporting Concerns

Ways that abuse might be brought to your attention:

  • a child might make a direct disclosure about him or herself
  • a child might make a direct disclosure about another child
  • a child might offer information that is worrying but not a direct disclosure
  • you might be concerned about a child’s appearance or behaviour or about the behaviour of an adult towards a child
  • a parent or carer might make a disclosure about abuse that a child is suffering or at risk of suffering
  • a parent might offer information about a child that is worrying but not a direct disclosure.

If you have any such concerns, you should report them to one of the Safeguarding Officers as soon as possible.

Talking to a child who has told you that he/she or another child is being abused:

  • Reassure the child that telling someone about it was the right thing to do
  • Tell him/her that you now have to do what you can to keep him/her (or the child who is the subject of the allegation) safe.
  • Let the child know what you are going to do next and who else needs to know about it.
  • Let the child tell his or her whole story. Don’t try to investigate or quiz the child, but make sure that you are clear as to what he/she is saying.
  • Ask the child what he/she would like to happen as a result of what he/she has said, but don’t make or infer promises you can’t keep.
  • Give the child the ChildLine phone number: 0800 1111.

What to do if you have concerns about a child or young person

You should report your concerns immediately to one of the Orchestra’s safeguarding officers (see above). Do not discuss your concerns with anyone else.

What to do if someone else discloses concerns about a child or young person

If someone else discloses information to you, listen to what is said, but avoid asking any unnecessary questions. Tell the person that you will have to pass on your concern. You should write down what was said, using their words as far as you are able. This should be signed and dated by you.


Do not agree to keep secret any disclosures of information which may cause a concern, whether it is a child or another adult making that disclosure. A potential risk to a child or young person will always override any obligation of confidentiality.

Action to be taken by the Safeguarding Officer(s)

All cases of suspected or alleged abuse must be treated seriously and the Shropshire Children’s Services contacted.

They can:

  • report any concerns online via the 'Report child abuse online - NSPCC website' or
  • phone the Initial Contact Team on 0345 678 902
  • contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0345 6789040 (out-of-hours).

They can also speak to:

  • Protecting Vulnerable People (West Mercia Police): 0300 333 3000
  • NSPCC: 0800 800 5000
  • Childline: 0800 1111

The Safeguarding Officer(s) should explain any concern and follow up any phone calls in writing within 48 hours using the referral form in Appendix 3 below.

What will happen next?

Once the concern has been raised with Shropshire Children’s Services, it is their duty to follow the matter up. If there is an allegation of any criminal matter, the Police will also be involved. It is likely that the investigating officer will need to speak to the person who raised the original concern. You should co-operate fully with any enquiries.

What to do in an emergency

If you think a child or young person is being harmed or is at imminent risk of being harmed then you must contact Children Services on 0345 678 902 or 0345 6789040 (out-of-hours) and tell them your concerns or you should call the Police on 999. Do not delay doing this.

Helping a child in immediate danger or in need of emergency medical attention

  • If the child is in immediate danger and is with you, remain with him/her and call the police.
  • If the child is elsewhere, contact the police and explain the situation to them.
  • If he/she needs emergency medical attention, call an ambulance and, while you are waiting for it to arrive, get help from a first aider if available or use any first aid knowledge that you may have yourself to help the child if no first aider is available
  • You also need to contact one of the safeguarding officers as soon as is possible to let them know what is happening.

Keeping a record of your concerns

You can use the reporting form in Appendix 3 below as a basis for recording any concern and how it is dealt with. It can be used to forward information to the statutory child protection authorities. The form should be signed and dated by all those involved in its completion and kept confidentially.

What to do if you have any concerns about unsafe practices

If you have any concerns about any of the Orchestra’s activities or practices or if you are concerned about the behaviour of any of the Orchestra’s members which you think may put children or young at risk of harm you should raise this with one of the Safeguarding Officers as soon as possible. Your concern will be kept confidential as far as is possible. Any reports or concerns will be reviewed by the Safeguarding Officers and raised with the Committee, where appropriate, to decide on the appropriate course of action to remedy the situation.

Appendix 1: Different types of abuse

Physical abuse is violence causing injury or occurring regularly during childhood. It happens when:

  • a child is hurt or injured by being hit, shaken, squeezed, thrown, burned, scalded, bitten or cut
  • someone tries to drown or suffocate a child
  • someone gives a child poison, alcohol or inappropriate drugs
  • someone fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
  • In some cases the injuries will be caused deliberately. In others they may be accidental but caused by the child being knowingly put at risk.

Sexual abuse occurs when someone uses power or control to involve a child in sexual activity in order to gratify the abuser’s own sexual, emotional or financial needs or desires. It may include:

  • forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening
  • encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways
  • showing children pornographic material or involving them in the production of such material
  • involving children in watching other people’s sexual activity or in inappropriate discussions about sexual matters.

Emotional abuse is persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment of a child that is likely to cause serious harm to his/her development. It may include:

  • persistently denying the child love and affection
  • regularly making the child feel frightened by shouts, threats or any other means
  • hurting another person or a pet in order to distress a child
  • being so over-protective towards the child that he/she is unable to develop or lead a normal life
  • exploiting or corrupting a child, eg by involving him/her in illegal behaviour
  • conveying to a child the message that he/she is worthless, unlovable, inadequate, or his/her only value is to meet the needs of another person. This may or may not include racist, homophobic or other forms of abuse.

Neglect involves persistently failing to meet a child’s physical, psychological or emotional needs. It may include:

  • failing to ensure that a child’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, health care, hygiene and education are met
  • failing to provide appropriate supervision to keep a child out of danger. This includes lack of supervision of particular activities or leaving a child alone in the house.

Appendix 2: Role of the committee and the safeguarding officers

Quote from Making Music insurance:

Any indemnity shall be conditional upon compliance with the following guidelines set out in the Making Music ‘Safeguarding Children’ document.

  1. Two written references to be obtained detailing any previous work carried out by persons involved with children/ vulnerable adults.
  2. A formal interview to be conducted to assess the commitment of such persons mentioned in 1 above to maintaining the safety and wellbeing of children/vulnerable adults.
  3. Undertaking a disclosure check of such persons mentioned in 1 above with the Disclosure and Barring Service (England and Wales)
  4. Having and adhering to a written abuse policy incorporating roles responsibilities and procedures which includes appropriate risk assessments being undertaken and guidelines to be followed.

Safeguarding officers are appointed by interview, and report to: the Chairman

DBS requirement: Appointment to these posts is subject to satisfactory checks with DBS, or satisfactory evidence of such checks having been made previously for similar purposes. References will be taken.

Purpose of the role

  1. To take the lead role in ensuring that appropriate arrangements are in place for the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra for keeping children or vulnerable adults safe.
  2. To promote the safety and welfare of children or vulnerable adults who are members or guests of the orchestra.
  3. To be introduced to children or vulnerable adults in the orchestra as the designated officer to whom any concerns can be relayed.

Duties and responsibilities

  1. The committee and the safeguarding officers will ensure that issues concerning the safety and welfare of children/ vulnerable adults who attend the orchestra are properly dealt with through policies, procedures and administrative systems.
  2. The committee and the safeguarding officers will make sure that the members of the orchestra including any children/ vulnerable adults and their parents and carers are made aware of the procedures and what they should do if they have concerns about a child/ vulnerable adult.
  3. The safeguarding officers will receive and record information from anyone who has concerns about a child or vulnerable adult who is a member of the orchestra, and will immediately also inform the Chairman of this.
  4. The safeguarding officers will take the lead on dealing with information that may constitute a child protection concern. This includes assessing and clarifying the information, and taking decisions where necessary in consultation with other members of the committee and statutory child protection agencies.
  5. The safeguarding officers will consult with, pass on information to and receive information from statutory child protection agencies, such as the local authority children’s social care department and the police. This includes making formal referrals to these agencies when necessary.
  6. They may also consult with the NSPCC Helpline when such support is needed.
  7. The safeguarding officers will aim to be familiar with local inter-agency child protection procedures, be familiar with issues relating to child protection and abuse, and keep up-to-date with new developments in this area.

Appendix 3: Example reporting Form

Details of Person Raising Concern


Contact Phone No _________________________ Email ___________________________

Address _______________________________________ Post Code __________________

Details of Referral

Date of Referral_______________________________ Approx. Time of Referral___________________

Agency (Police/Childrens Services)_____________________________________________

Name of staff member _______________________________________________________

Is the parent/carer aware of this referral? Yes/No?

Is the young person aware of this referral? Yes/No?

Details of Child/Young Person

Child’s Name _______________________ Other name known by ____________________

DOB _________________ Age_____________ Gender (M/F)________________________

Home Address _____________________________________________________________

Name of Principal Carer ______________________________________________________

Details of any disability ______________________________________________________     

Details of Child/Young Person’s Family

Mother’s Name ______________________________ Contact No_____________________

Father’s Name ______________ ________________ Contact No_____________________

Please supply current address of parent(s) if different from that of child/young person

Reason for Referral/Details of Concern

Record the reason for your concerns, including the name, if applicable, of the alleged abuser. What action has been taken, if any. (Continue on separate sheet, if necessary)


Actions agreed during phone referral.


Signature of person making referral ______________________ Date _______________

Print Name _______________________________________________________________