Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees. Also, to provide such information, training and supervision as they require for this purpose. In addition, we accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities; this includes members of the public and on-site contractors.
Every employee, teacher, company, contractor and visitor/hirer who is given a copy of this policy has a duty to read it. Please ensure you understand the guidelines which are laid out, particularly emergency procedures and safe working practices. Any questions relating to it should be raised with the Chief Executive.
The policy will be kept up to date as the business changes in nature and size. To ensure this, the policy and the method of its implementation will be reviewed annually.
If you are a member of staff, this document should be issued to you in the first week of your employment at Dance Base and your Line Manager will discuss its contents with you. Please ensure you understand the guidelines laid out in this document, particularly emergency procedures and safe working practices.
Companies in residence or companies performing in Dance Base share responsibility for their company members or those working with them with Dance Base. Work carried out by a company in residence, or a performing company must not endanger anyone within the Dance Base building or contravene the guidelines set out in this document. Companies in residence or visiting artists must not use or borrow Dance Base equipment without permission and proper training. Dance Base may ask company representatives or visiting artists to demonstrate their competence in a given work practice and may require work to stop if this is not satisfactory.
The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements made to implement this policy are set out below.
- The overall and final responsibility for health and safety within the premises of Dance Base is that of the Dance Base Board of Directors.
- Dance Base Chief Executive is responsible for this policy being implemented at these premises.
- Employees, contractors and hirers have a responsibility to co-operate with Dance Base line managers and the Board of Directors to achieve a safe and healthy workplace, and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.
- Other responsibilities
- Line managers and other qualified personnel are responsible for safety training within their department.
- The Centre Director, private contractors and insurers are responsible for carrying out safety inspections at Dance Base.
- The Dance Base Board of Directors and the Health and Safety Executive are responsible for investigating accidents at Dance Base.
- The Centre Director and the Dance Base Board of Directors are responsible for monitoring the maintenance of plant and equipment at Dance Base.
5. All employees have a legal responsibility to co-operate with management to achieve a healthy and safe working environment and must take reasonable care of themselves and others and not to misuse anything provided to ensure safe procedures and practices. (This is your legal obligation: Section 7 – Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974). When you receive this policy, you will be required to sign a form to agree you have received, will read it and have understood it. If there is anything within this document that you do not understand you must speak to the Centre Director who will explain it. This will show you understand our commitment to achieving a healthy and safe workplace.
HOUSE KEEPING AND CLEANLINESS
- Cleanliness – all areas are to be kept clean and free from excess rubbish at all times.
- Waste Disposal – rubbish should be left in wheelie bin in rubbish storage area in pend or in the appropriate recycling bin provided.
- Safe stacking and storage – at no time are articles to be stacked in an unsafe manner likely to fall and cause injury.
- Gangways/Exits – all exits, and fire exits are to be kept clear at all times. All exits should be clearly signed and illuminated.
- Equipment – equipment should be checked before use and only used with the permission of the relevant manager. Work should not be carried out by individuals within Dance Base without proper permission, supervision or assistance.
HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
Emergency Procedures (e.g. fire alarm, evacuation) – Details are given later in this document. Any staff not absolutely certain of the action they should take in an emergency situation should talk to the Centre Director as soon as possible and have the procedures explained until they fully understand them.
It is the responsibility of the Centre Director to test all staffs understanding of evacuation procedures at least once every six months.
Manual Handling – Before lifting any object you should assess your capability for the task. You should only lift the object if you are certain you can do so without risk of injury. If you are not certain, then you should inform your line manager.
Non-Smoking Areas – all areas internally at Dance Base are non-smoking.
Alcohol – We have a strictly enforced policy on alcohol. Alcohol consumption is not allowed before or during working hours. Failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action.
Drugs – The use of narcotics is strictly prohibited.
Lifting and Moving Furniture – If you are required to lift or move furniture, you will be given manual handling instruction. Do not attempt to lift or move furniture until you have been properly instructed. Where possible use team lifting techniques or use mechanical aids were available.
Electricity – Electricity is very dangerous. Take care when using plugs and sockets. Switch electrical items off at the socket before moving the plug. Make sure there is no likelihood of water getting into the plug or socket. Take necessary precautions to ensure that sockets are not overloaded which may cause electrical fire.
Check all electrical equipment before use. Do not use broken plugs or frayed cables. Make sure that you are not stretching any cables, leaving them where they could cause damage or injury. Do not use electrical equipment in the shower area.
Noise – Amplified music is often played in our studios, both live and pre-recorded. Repeated exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss, so take precautions as appropriate: move away from the sound source, turn down the volume, or use ear defenders if necessary (disposable earplugs are available from reception).
On discovering a fire make your own decision as to whether the fire can be fought – do not attempt to fight the fire unless you are trained on the use of the equipment. Only tackle a fire if necessary to safely escape and if you a confident to do so, follow the specific instructions for each individual firefighting unit.
If you cannot tackle the fire, then smash one of the “Break Glass ” units to sound the alarm to warn all occupants.
Alarm sounds – know the difference between the Fire Alarm and the Intruder Alarm!
The Duty Manager and the Front of House Team are responsible for dealing with the fire alarm and will oversee the evacuation of the users of the building. If full evacuation has occurred, the Duty Manager will inform you when it is safe to re-enter the building.
The fire alarm is tested on Thursday mornings at 8.15am in conjunction with the Black Bull.
At any other time, the building must be evacuated by the nearest available exit following the emergency exit directional signage in your area upon the sounding of the alarm.
The evacuation assembly point for staff and public is either at Johnstone Terrace for those evacuated from back of the building or Grassmarket for those in the front of the building. For full Front of House evacuation procedures please refer to staff evacuation guidelines from the Centre Director.
Do not re-enter the building until it has been declared safe by the Fire Service.
Exit doors and routes must not be blocked in any way by rubbish bags, props, furniture, etc.
Extinguishers must not be removed from their designated points, e.g. to prop open doors.
Doors identified as “Fire Doors” must be allowed to close freely and should not be wedged or propped open at any time.
FRINGE FESTIVAL – THEATRE SPACES
If there is an audience in, the Front of House Team will carry out the evacuation of the audience and the Production Team will initiate the safe evacuation of the visiting company
If there is no audience in, the Production Team will initiate the safe evacuation of the visiting company
FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT
CHECK YOU HAVE THE CORRECT APPLIANCE BEFORE USE
- Reception (behind glass door) = CO2 & Water
- Office (opposite the safe) = CO2
- Studio 2 (beside the lift) = CO2 & Water
- Main foyer (red door to changing rooms) = Water
- Outside store & boiler room = CO2 & Water
- Boiler room = Powder (inside the door) & CO2 (next to the panels)
- Studio 3 and 4 (next to glass door) = CO2
- Studio 1 (by back door) = CO2 & Water
- Kitchen – Fire Blanket
ADVICE AND CONSULTANCY
Consultation for employees is provided through Chief Executive. If you think any aspect of Dance Base is unsafe, then you have a duty to report this to the Chief Executive.
In absence of Chief Executive this should be reported to the Centre Director or any member of the senior management team. If they are not available or you feel appropriate action has not been taken to remedy the situation then you may wish to contact directly the Chair of the Board of Directors.
If you still feel that appropriate action is not being taken, then you may wish to approach the Health & Safety Executive
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Belford House, 59 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3UE Tel: 0131 247 2000
Dance Base is committed to supporting, developing and promoting diversity and equality in all of its employment practices and activities and strives to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based on the values of fairness, dignity and respect. Dance Base will support and develop staff through providing everyone with access to facilities, personal and career development opportunities and employment on an equal basis regardless of their sex, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, age or disability (“the Protected Characteristics”).
This policy builds on the foundation of equality and anti-discrimination legislation and strives, not only to comply with legal requirements, but to use these to ensure that Dance Base endeavours to exemplify best practice.
Dance Base values diversity and recognises that the organisation is greatly enhanced by the different range of backgrounds, experiences, views, beliefs and cultures represented within its staff. Dance Base aims to embrace diversity in all of its activities and acknowledges that variety and difference are intrinsic to the success and future development of its business.
Dance Base values, artistic, excellence, creativity, inclusivity, responsibility and participation, underpin the Diversity and Equality policy and are integral to Dance Base becoming an employer of choice.
Dance Base expects all employees, contractors and freelance staff to act in accordance with this Policy.
The aim of this Policy is to build a fully inclusive organisation. This will be achieved by:
- Making the best use of the range of talent and experience available within the workforce and potential workforce
- Building a culture that encourages dialogue
- Dance Base and employees fulfilling their legal obligations 2. PRINCIPLES
The principles of the diversity and equal opportunities policy are:
- to develop and promote a culture of diversity and equality throughout the organisation;
- to develop and promote a culture of fairness, integrity and dignity;
- to support all staff, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership;
- to prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination;
- to deal with all forms of discrimination consistently, promptly and effectively;
- to ensure that the Diversity and Equality policy influences and informs the culture of Dance Base.
The policy applies to all applicants for posts with Dance Base, to all staff employed on a full time or part-time basis, on permanent or temporary contracts, to freelance staff and contractors.
- LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
This Policy is underpinned by legislation, which places individual responsibilities on staff/service users/visitors as well as Dance Base, this includes:
- Human Rights Act 1998
- The Civil Partnership Act 2004
- The Gender Recognition Act 2004
- The Equality Act 2006
- Equality Act 2010*
The above list is not exhaustive and will be reviewed regularly. Under the above Equality legislation it is unlawful to:
- discriminate directly against anyone and treat them less favourably than others because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (perception discrimination), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (discrimination by association).;
- discriminate indirectly against anyone by applying a criterion, provision or practice which particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic;
- subject someone to harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic;
- victimise someone because they have made, or intends to make, a complaint or allegation or has given or intends to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination;
- discriminate against someone in certain circumstances because of a protected characteristic after the working relationship has ended.
*The following groups are protected by law from discrimination and harassment under the Equality Act (2010)
Religion or belief
Pregnancy and maternity
Marriage and civil partnership
- Equal Opportunities: Equal opportunities is a principle that emphasizes that opportunities in employment, education and other areas are available to all. Equal Opportunities in particular relates to a Legal Framework, which makes it illegal to discriminate against people because of a protected characteristic they have.
- Diversity: Diversity is a broader concept that builds upon the progress made through equal opportunities. Everyone is different and diversity is about recognising, respecting and valuing the differences we each bring to work.
Equal opportunities and diversity work together by identifying and addressing any inequalities and barriers faced by people and by valuing, learning and benefiting from the diverse cultures in society and our staff.
- Direct Discrimination: Direct discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic they have.
- Associative Discrimination: This is direct discrimination or harassment of against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.
- Perceptive discrimination: This is direct discrimination against or harassment of an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess the protected characteristic.
- Indirect Discrimination: Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied universally, but its effect disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic.
- Harassment: Harassment is uninvited and unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic a which has the purpose of effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them and makes a person feel intimidated or humiliated.
- Victimisation: Victimisation is where someone is treated less favourably because they have made or supported a complaint or grievance about discrimination or harassment under the Equality Act 2010, or are suspected of doing so, or have given evidence relating to a complaint.
- Third party harassment: harassment related to gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, age or disability is also unacceptable
Dance Base is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for those members of staff who are disabled or become disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 during their employment with the organisation.
If an employee is disabled or becomes disabled, Dance Base encourages them to tell them about their condition so that the organisation may support them as appropriate.
If an employee experiences difficulty at work because of their disability, they may wish to contact their Line Manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments that would help to overcome or minimise the difficulty. The duty to make reasonable adjustments includes the removal, adaptation or alteration of physical features, if the physical features make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of services. In addition, service providers have an obligation to think ahead and address any barriers that may impede disabled people from accessing a service. A disabled employee’s Line Manager may wish to consult with them and their medical adviser(s) about possible adjustments. Dance Base will consider the matter carefully and seek to make reasonable adjustments to the employee’s role based on any medical advice it feels is relevant.
If an employee is unable to continue in their current role as a result of a disability, Dance Base will consider any alternative roles and vacancies they may have as a way of retaining the services of that employee.
It is essential that all members of Dance Base behave with dignity, courtesy and respect and to act in a non-discriminatory manner at all times.
Dance Base has a legal responsibility for demonstrating that it treats all groups of staff fairly in its employment practices. This includes promoting good relationships between different groups of staff and ensuring equality of opportunity. To achieve this Dance Base will:
- Gather information on the profile of our staff and our employment practices, such as recruitment; Consult employees and trade unions about how our services and employment practices could be improved
- Assess the impact of current and proposed employment policies, practices and services
- Identify priorities and set equality objectives
- The Directing Board will monitor progress through the Equality Impact Assessment process and support the implementation of action plans.
This will enable Dance Base to achieve its aim of a healthy work-life balance for all staff, improve retention and prevent under-utilisation of some staff.
Employees and job applicants, will receive no less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership.
- The Chief Executive is ultimately accountable for ensuring that all Dance Base business and employment practices are compliant with Diversity and Equality legislation and promote equality of opportunity.
- Will ensure that all members of staff within Dance Base, that they Line Manage, receive the appropriate diversity and equality training.
- Will investigate all matters of alleged discrimination, harassment and inappropriate behaviour promptly and thoroughly, where appropriate.
- Will ensure that selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes, staff development opportunities and disciplinary and grievance processes are fairly and consistently applied to all staff they manage.
- Will treat all applications for flexible working patterns on a fair and equitable basis and will provide reasonable and objective reasons when such requests must be refused.
- Will ensure that diversity and equality issues are considered as part of Dance Base planning processes.
- Will ensure the incorporation of this policy’s principles into all other Dance Base policies and procedures.
- Will provide appropriate diversity and equality awareness training for all staff.
- Will support managers in implementing the policy.
- Will ensure that recruitment advertising, selection and appointment procedures, performance management processes and disciplinary grievance processes are fair and transparent and are consistently applied.
- Will produce and monitor diversity and equality data.
- Legal responsibilities also extend to employees, and Dance Base therefore expects all staff, contractors and agency staff to act in accordance with this Policy when delivering Dance Base’s business.
- Staff are expected to treat colleagues and every service user fairly and with respect.
- All staff should deliver their work to the highest standard and that means adapting as much as possible to the specific needs of each individual service user and working in a supportive way with colleagues.
- Every member of staff is an essential member of a team and should feel able to develop their skills and play their part fully in the organisation.
- Staff should actively encourage non-discriminatory practices and challenge any incidences of behaviour that fail to comply with this policy.
- All staff should undertake appropriate diversity and equality training.
- APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
Recruitment and Selection
- Recruitment advertising will encourage applications from all sectors of the community reflecting Dance Base’s commitment to diversity and equality;
- recruitment advertising will appear in publications appropriate to the audience capable of producing the best candidates;
- job descriptions, person specifications and recruitment advertisements will be written on the basis of the essential and justifiable requirements of the position;
- shortlisting, appointment and rejection decisions will be transparent and justifiable and will be supported by written comments.
Grading, pay and Promotion
- All grading, pay and promotions criteria and procedures will be free from prejudice and must be applied equitably and consistently.
- All staff will have equal access to induction, personal and career development opportunities and facilities.
- Probation and performance management procedures will be clear and transparent and will be applied fairly across all staff.
Discipline and Grievance
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures will be applied fairly and transparently for all staff;
- allegations of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedures for staff.
- ADVICE AND COMPLAINTS
- All staff who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment have the right to seek redress.
- Staff may seek advice from their line manager, Human Resources or Chief Executive. Complaints should be submitted in accordance with Dance Base’s Grievance Procedure.
- Verbal or physical abuse by anybody will not be tolerated. Dance Base may discipline staff who are found to be abusive.
- POLICY FRAMEWORK AND SUPPORT
Dance Base has also developed a number of other policies and practices in support of the achievement of an organisational culture free from unfair bias, discrimination and harassment. In particular Dance Base’s Race, Disability and Equality Schemes and action plans to address inequality.
- Training: Diversity and Equality awareness training will be available for all staff.
- Communication: This policy will normally be available on Dance Base’s intranet. It will also be available, if requested, in different formats (eg. large print). This policy will be included in staff induction.
- Monitoring: Statistics will be gathered to monitor equality across all aspects of Insolvency Service processes and will be used to inform future practice.
- Confidentiality: Any information disclosed to Dance Base in relation to diversity and equality issues will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with legislative requirements.
- POLICY REVIEW
This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure it remains in line with legislation and Dance Base’s organisational principles.
Dance Base recognises that introducing creative activity to an individual can have an enormous impact on their wellbeing. For children, young people and individuals classed as vulnerable this impact can be even more important to the benefit of their development. It is also extremely valuable to the organisation to have these groups involved in the activity delivered.
However, when working with these groups an organisation takes on the responsibility of ensuring that they are safeguarded and protected.
Participation in the arts is an extremely enriching and rewarding experience for children and young people, developing their creative skills, encouraging self-expression, promoting open communication and heightening self-esteem. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises this and states that every child has the right to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
Dance Base provides a variety of opportunities for children and young people to engage in the arts centered in the following three areas:
- Dance class Activities
- Performance Activities
- Workshop Activities
Children and Young People:
Dance Base characterises children and young people as an individual ages 0 – 18 years of age. HM Government (2019) defines safeguarding children as:
- The protection of children from maltreatment
- The prevention of harm to children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care.
- The action we take to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
This policy applies to any vulnerable individual, however, Dance Base, at present, work mainly with the following groups of people:
- Children/young people with additional needs
- Adults with additional needs
- Older people
Dance Base is committed to the protection and safeguarding of all of its participants, employees, volunteers and associates. The organisation is vigilant in ensuring that all individuals directly participating in activity are able to do so safely and are free from the risk of deliberate harm.
Aims & Scope
Dance Base is committed to providing a safe and secure environment in which children and young people and vulnerable adults are able to enjoy their experience of the arts. We are dedicated to ensuring that everyone involved in any of these activities feels safe, comfortable and respected.
This policy applies to all employees, workers, freelancers and anyone who assists in Dance Base work with children, young people, and vulnerable adults. For the purpose of this policy these will be referred to as staff.
The following principles should underpin all interaction with children, young people, and vulnerable adults:
- The best interests of the person are a primary consideration.
- All children, young people, and vulnerable adults are treated fairly, with dignity and respect.
- All children, young people, and vulnerable adults have the right to express their views on matters that affect them.
- All children, young people, and vulnerable adults have the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Protection of Vulnerable Groups
Much of the work that Dance Base undertake involves individuals who are classed as vulnerable. Much of this is within the participatory dance programme but there are also performers, audience members and staff, volunteers or associates that can fall into this category. The following is a breakdown of where the organisation’s current activity involves people in vulnerable groups.
- Dance and movement classes for children with disabilities
- Dance and movement classes for adults with disabilities
- Dance and movement classes for older people who may or may not have age related health conditions and disabilities.
- Dance and movement classes for children and young people.
- Performances directly targeted at children and young people
- Performances involving artists with disabilities
- All performances aim to be accessible to audience members with disabilities and additional needs
- Dance Base will always welcome age appropriate volunteers or staff who are classified as vulnerable.
Protection of Vulnerable Groups: Implementation
To ensure the safety of its vulnerable participants, staff and audience members, Dance Base will ensure that the following actions are taken.
For any activity Dance Base will:
- Ensure that all staff, volunteers or associates that are working closely with children or vulnerable individuals are subjected to relevant government checks (ie. PVG checks).
- Ensure that all staff volunteers or associates that are working closely with individuals classified as vulnerable are familiar with this policy and its implementation procedures.
- Work with local authority and other organisations to provide its staff who work regularly with vulnerable groups the relevant training (ie. Child protection training).
- Ensure that when working with vulnerable individuals that there is an adequate number of staff or volunteers to support the participants. (ie. The current NSPCC guidance recommends having at least two adults present when working with or supervising children and young people and recommends the following adult to child ratios as the minimum numbers to help keep children safe:
- 0 – 2 years – one adult to three children
- 2 – 3 years – one adult to four children
- 4 – 8 years – one adult to six children
- 9 – 12 years – one adult to eight children
- 13 – 18 years – one adult to ten children).
- Ensure that any issues related to child protection or protection of vulnerable individuals is reported immediately and correctly.
Currently Dance Base have two staff members working in the community who have regular access to individuals classified as vulnerable. These staff members have had child protection training and are aware of the correct protocol of reporting any child protection issues bought to concern in Dance Base’s activities. We will ensure that no harm comes to any participants as a result of inadequate care or supervision. Please see Appendix 1 for the step by step child protection report procedure. Overall it is the responsibility of the staff, volunteers, associates and board of directors of Dance Base to ensure that the care and protection of vulnerable groups is maintained.
Protection of Vulnerable Groups: Outlook
In the future we anticipate that more activity being held will have a direct participatory element for individuals who are classified as vulnerable. This may be more performances involving disabled artists or more community activity for vulnerable groups across a wider area. As an organisation we are aware that accessibility is a constant concern during our activity. We want to ensure that every individual has the chance to partake in our events or activities.
This policy is in compliance with the ‘Children (Scotland) Act’ 1995 and the Children and Young People (Scotland) 2014. Essential principles behind the ‘Children (Scotland) Act 1995’ and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 which underpin this policy are:
- Each child has a right to be treated as an individual
- Each child who can form a view on matters affecting him or her has a right to express these views if they so wishes
- Parents should normally be responsible for the upbringing of their children and should share that responsibility
- Each child has the right to protection from all forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation
For the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 years should be considered as a child.
- Definition of Abuse
Abuse is usually categorised into four types, as outlined below. Child abuse may be repetitive or serial or may be an isolated case. The majority of abuse is committed by people who have a close, trusting relationship with a child, for example; parents, relatives and friends. Abuse by stranger’s accounts for only a very small percentage of cases.
Physical abuse: where an adult physically hurts, injures or kills a child. Also includes children who hurt themselves/other children.
Sexual abuse: involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children or adolescents in sexual activity they do not fully comprehend and to which they are unable to give informed consent. Can also include prostitution and ritual abuse.
Emotional abuse: where children are harmed by constant lack of love and affection. Emotional abuse includes taunting, shouting, ridiculing, negative criticism, threats or verbal attacks. Also includes racial abuse by adults.
Neglect: where carers fail to meet the basic needs of the child such as adequate food and clothing and/or fail to ensure that appropriate medical treatment is obtained or that a child is appropriately supervised.
In addition, children can also find themselves in abusive situations caused by, for example, drug or alcohol misuse, bullying, domestic violence, verbal abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
- Signs and Indicators of Abuse
Being aware of signs and indicators of abuse is essential if we are serious about seeking to protect children from harm and abuse. However, in many cases the signs will not be clear cut and decisions about what action to take can be difficult. The following is a list of things to look for that may indicate something is wrong:
- Sudden withdrawal from others
- Suspicious bruises with unsatisfactory explanations (e.g. hand or finger prints, bruising on the face or neck, lower back)
- Extreme anger or sadness
- Fear of strangers
- Aggressive behaviour
- Attention-seeking behaviour
- Lack of self esteem
- Inappropriate sexual behaviour for their age
For a fuller list please see Appendix 2
These indicators do not conclusively mean that a child or young person is being abused. However, we do know that children and young people who have been abused may sometimes react in some or all of these ways.
The Role of the Designated Child Protection Officer (DCPO)
The role of the DCPO is to provide advice and support to staff on all child protection matters and to liaise with the appropriate statutory organisations. It is their responsibility to pass information of a disclosure or suspicion of abuse on to the appropriate authorities and to consult with them on any immediate action that should be taken to ensure the safety of the child or young person.
However, it is not the responsibility of DCPO or any other member of staff to carry out an investigation.
The DCPO should:
- maintain good relations with relevant individuals in the statutory organisations
- keep up to date with developments in child protection training and guidance issues
- provide basic training to all staff in the organisation and provide support and guidance to staff with child protection concerns
- report immediately to the relevant statutory organisation any disclosure or suspicion of abuse or risk of abuse
- be responsible for the secure storage and appropriate sharing of recorded information
If you have any concerns about a child, you should discuss these immediately with the Dance Base Safeguarding Officer
Tony Mills, Artistic Director (Dance Base Safeguarding Officer)
Lead responsibility for dealing with disclosures and/or child protection concerns, policy development, good practice and training.
firstname.lastname@example.org /0131 225 5525
Jim Hollington, Chief Executive
email@example.com /0131 225 5525
- If for any reason the Dance Base Safeguarding Officer is not available, and you feel a child is in immediate danger please dial 999. If the child is not in immediate danger but you need urgent advice, please contact the Children’s Services duty team by calling 0131 271 3413 (Mon – Thu 9am-5pm and Fri 9am-4pm)
- the Emergency Social Care Service by calling 0800 731 6969 (freephone) at any time outside normal office hours.
Handling Disclosure of Abuse
Do not attempt to investigate
Investigation into the disclosure of abuse is the responsibility of the police and/or social work departments.
Never promise confidentiality
Do not promise to keep a secret until you know what the secret is – there are good and bad secrets. If the child asks you not to tell anyone what they has told you, explain that, in concern for his or her wellbeing, you have to pass this information on but that it will be to as few people as possible. Tell the child who will be told and, to the best of your knowledge, explain to them what will happen next.
Dance Base will promote the safety of all children, young people and vulnerable adults using the building by ensuring that they feel safe and secure and that they are free from exploitation and abuse. This will be achieved by:
- Dance Base promoting healthy lifestyles and relationships, hygiene, and personal safety in partnership with parents and carers.
- Staff and contract workers, permanent and sessional, being carefully vetted in line with the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland, 2014 and the National Child Care Standards prior to appointment.
- Staff and contract workers having a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse, bullying and neglect.
- Staff and contract workers receiving training in the recognition of harm, abuse, neglect, bullying and discrimination and by staff and contract workers following Dance Base’s procedures in addressing these issues.
- Dance Base’s child protection procedures complying with The City of Edinburgh Council guidance on child protection.
- Dance Base acknowledges the duty to refer to Scottish Ministers if the criteria for referral under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 are met.
- Regular risk assessments being carried out within Dance Base.
All child protection matters complying with Dance Base’s Confidentiality, Record-Keeping, Data Protection and Secure Handling, Use, Storage and Retention of Disclosure Information Policies.
The key principles that underpin this policy are:
- The best interests of the child, young person or vulnerable adult must always be a primary consideration.
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults should be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- All children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to express their views on matters that affect them.
Introduction and role of staff and contract workers
Dance Base aims to provide an environment where children, young people and vulnerable adults can feel safe and secure in line with Dance Base’s Policy for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.
All staff and contract workers of Dance Base have a responsibility to ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults taking part in our activities are safe from harm, abuse, bullying and neglect. The role of staff and contract workers in these situations is to ensure that referral to the appropriate agencies is made with the minimum of delay, using Dance Base’s referral procedure.
Staff and contract workers must not investigate concerns. The role of staff and contract workers is to pass on their concerns to enable a decision to be made about the most appropriate course of action.
Dance Base’s Referral Procedure
All concerns relating to the harm, abuse, bullying and neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults attending Dance Base activities must be brought to the attention of the Chief Executive.
The Chief Executive is responsible for discussing the concerns with the employee(s) and determining the appropriate course of action. The Chief Executive is the person responsible for contacting the Social Work/Police and other relevant authorities.
The Chief Executive will record the discussion and the action taken, including any advice given by external agencies.
Staff and contract workers will provide a written note of their concerns for the Chief Executive no later than 24 hours after their discussion.
The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that all written records/reports are securely kept and made confidential. The Chief Executive will inform the employee(s) or contract worker of the action being taken.
In the absence of the Chief Executive, the Participation Manager will deputise.
Dance Base staff and contract workers can be working in another organisation’s premises, for example a school. Where this organisation has a Policy for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults, their policy and procedure must be adhered to if Dance Base’s employee or contract worker has concerns about children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Staff and contract workers have a responsibility to establish what the other organisation’s Policy for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults and Procedures are and to make themselves familiar with them.
In the unlikely event that the other organisation does not have a Policy for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults and Procedure then Dance Base’s referral procedure can be used.
Concerns Concerning Dance Base and Contract Workers
Dance Base will not accept or condone any behaviour by its staff and contract workers that is contrary to the Dance Base Policy for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.
It is the duty of all staff and contract workers to report abusive, harmful, bullying, neglectful and discriminatory behaviour towards children, young people and vulnerable adults by and contract workers immediately to the Chief Executive.
The Chief Executive will determine the most appropriate course of action which may include carrying out an investigation; making a Social Work/Police referral and instigating disciplinary measures where appropriate. Written records will be made by the Chief Executive who will also be responsible for ensuring that such records are securely kept and made confidential.
In the absence of the Chief Executive, the Participation Manager will deputise.
Where the concerns/allegations refer to the Chief Executive, these should be reported to Dance Base HR, who will report this to the Chair of the Board.
Dance Base will support staff and contract workers who ‘blow the whistle’ in line with all relevant legislation and in particular the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
Photography and Filming
Dance Base is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults and protecting their welfare. Dance Base use photography and filming for promotional purposes, e.g. online marketing/advertising/website/social media or for brochures and printed flyers. Photographs and videos are used in a responsible way. We respect children’s and adults’ right of privacy and are fully aware of child protection issues and Data Protection Act.
Photos and video images of pupils and staff are classed as personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018. We seek the consent of the children’s, young persons’ or vulnerable adults’ parents or legal guardians, carers and the consent of members of staff before we display these images in brochures, websites and public places.
Dance Base will follow the guidelines below;
- Avoid using names (first name or surname) in photograph captions.
- Use a parental/guardian permission form to obtain consent for a photograph/video to be used
- Confirm expectations of professional photographers or the press who are invited to an event, making clear the organisation’s expectations of them in relation to child protection.
- Do not allow photographers unsupervised access to children.
Dance Base operates under a Safe Space Policy which covers all Dance Base spaces and events. The aim of this policy is to create an environment in which all participants, staff and visitors to the venue feel welcome, respected, and able to fully participate in our events and activities. It sets out our collective commitment to the principles of liberation, equality, diversity, and inclusion which we place at the heart of everything we do.
We are aware that certain social structures may serve to disadvantage particular groups (including but not limited to people of colour, women, the LGBTQI+ community, and disabled people) and therefore this policy aims to redress that imbalance by actively challenging oppressive and discriminatory behaviour.
It is also important to note that this policy exists within a legal framework that includes the Equality Act 2010 and Hate Crime legislation.
To ensure this environment is maintained we operate a Zero Tolerance policy to the following behaviours towards participants, professionals and staff, as well as anyone visiting our venues or attending our events:
- Harassment, defined as any behaviour which is directed at an individual or group which is non-consensual. This includes sexual harassment such as cat-calling, stalking, and groping or other physical contact.
- Abuse, covering both verbal and physical abuse, including sexual assault, which results in an individual or group feel intimidated or unsafe.
- Discrimination, including verbal and physical expressions of discrimination, based on any of the following characteristics:
- Disability and Mental Illness
- HIV/AIDS Status
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Nationality and Country of Citizenship
- Political Affiliation
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Race and Ethnicity
- Religion and Belief
- Sex Worker Status
- Trans Status
- Violence, defined as any act of physical intimidation or aggression, including threats of violence.
Safe Space Commitments
All participants, artists, members of staff, building users, and visitors to Dance Base are accountable for their own conduct and should refrain from any of the behaviours listed above. We would also encourage everyone to make the following commitments:
- Let’s be aware of those around us
- Let’s be respectful of each other’s physical and emotional boundaries
- Let’s communicate in a positive and respectful manner
- Let’s listen to each other
- Let’s not make assumptions about another person’s gender, preferred pronouns, sexuality, disability, ethnic identity, or life experiences
- Let’s communicate respectfully, even when challenged on our behavior
We welcome and encourage input from the Dance Base community on the continuing development of the Dance Base Safe Space Policy. It will continue to evolve and grow and will do so in response to the community it serves.
If you have comments or suggestions for helping Dance Base to develop as a Safe Space, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Incidents Relating to the Policy
We actively encourage the reporting of incidents that constitute a breach of the Safe Space Policy. It is the collective responsibility of all to uphold good conduct and challenge others’ unacceptable behaviour. If you experience or witness an incident which you believe is in breach of the Safe Space Policy, you can report it either:
- At the time, to a member of Dance Base staff
- At a later date, by emailing email@example.com
The Dance Base Safe Space Procedure is confidential and impartial. Incidents will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All incidents will be treated confidentially, respectfully and will be taken seriously. If an individual is found to have breached the Safe Space Policy they may face one or more of the following actions, at the discretion of Dance Base’s Centre Director and Chief Executive:
- Verbal Warning
- Request for an Acknowledgement of Wrongdoing and Apology
- Removal from Venue
- Dance Base staff disciplinary procedures
Incidents may also be referred for investigation under Dance Base’s Disciplinary Procedure.
Complaints against members of Dance Base staff will be referred to the Dance Base Disciplinary Policy. All incidents should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to report an incident to the Police, you can access support and advice (including
information on Third-Party Reporting) by visiting dancebase.co.uk/our-safe-space-commitments/safe-space-key-beliefs-1148
More Information – If you have any questions regarding Dance Base Safe Space Policy or would like more information about it, please contact email@example.com
This is a set of guidelines that apply to every class, performance or workshop organised by Dance Base and to general conduct within our studios and other spaces within the venue:
- Dance is an art form and art can benefit from constructive discussion and criticism. Dance Base encourages constructive contributions and comments, but we should never become disruptive or rude towards others. Hostile / aggressive comments have the ability to discourage others from voicing their opinions. Make sure everyone has a chance to participate.
- Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and will be challenged. This includes, but is not limited to: racism, ageism, homophobia, biphobia, acephobia, transphobia, sexism, body-shaming, slut-shaming or ableism. Similarly, prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender identity, gender presentation, language, ability, asylum status, political or religious affiliation will not be tolerated. Direct or indirect personal attacks are strictly not permitted; it is important that everyone feel equally comfortable here.
- All venue users have the right to their own ideas, beliefs and opinions. Venue users have the right to express these with equal respect and consideration from other venue users. Saying you don’t agree and why can be done in a polite and respectful way without causing offence.
- While everybody’s views are important and discussion is encouraged we would like everyone to be aware that differing experiences may give some people a deeper understanding of some issues than other people. We encourage members to take others’ perspectives into account when discussing controversial topics and to acknowledge that structural inequalities in our society can affect the way that an individual experiences the world.
- If you wish to draw attention to an area where someone may have acted/spoken in a manner that does not conform to these guidelines then this must be done in a constructive way that is conducive to a learning environment. This must not be done in a dismissive or derogatory way. Drawing attention to the fact that an individual may be approaching a topic with some biases is acceptable, if it is accompanied by an explanation. We understand that this may be difficult, so if you do not feel able to do this in a neutral manner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Grievance procedures enable employees to raise concerns, problems or complaints with management about their work, or about their employers’, clients’ or their fellow workers’ actions that affect them.
We hope that the majority of problems encountered at work will be resolved informally and recognise that it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that employees’ grievances are dealt with simply, quickly and fairly. Where a grievance cannot be settled informally, the following formal procedure should be used. Grievances may occur at all levels and the procedure applies equally to all employees.
This procedure should be used to settle all disputes and grievances that you wish to raise. You should ensure that there is no unreasonable delay in raising your grievance. Please note Dance Base holds the right to utilise external grievance chairs to conduct the investigation together with required changes to staffing structures to conduct the meeting, investigation and appeal procedures but the employee will be advised of the format when being invited to the initial grievance meeting.
You should first discuss the grievance with your Line Manager and then with the person involved; if this is not appropriate then go to the Head of Dance Base HR (Centre Director) who may well be able to resolve the matter directly. If your grievance is with Centre Director, you may raise it with the Chief Executive. It is always helpful to keep a note of any grievance meeting, however informal.
Step 1 – Written Statement of Grievance
If informal measures have been ineffective in resolving the problem, you should put your grievance, in writing, Centre Director or If it directly involves the Centre Director to the Chief Executive. Wherever possible, the Employee should set out in detail the issues relating to their grievance to allow a full investigation to take place.
Step 2 – Meeting
A meeting will then be arranged at which a colleague or Trade Union official can accompany you. Similarly, a staff member or legal representative may accompany the manager hearing the grievance. The meeting will be held at a reasonable time and location to allow all parties to attend and with sufficient notice to gather facts and documents where necessary. Following this meeting, the Centre Director will write to you within 5 working days, with a decision or suggested course of action to resolve the issue. You will also be notified of the right to appeal.
Step 3 – Appeal
If you feel the grievance has still not been resolved satisfactorily you must inform the Centre Director that you wish to appeal. You should do this within 5 working days of getting the decision from the second stage. A further meeting will then be arranged with the Chief Executive. Again, you have the right to be accompanied. A decision will be given as soon as possible and confirmed in writing to you within 10 working days of that meeting. In the instance of the grievance relating to the Chief Executive, the Chair of the Board will hear this appeal.
Employees should note that where the matter is complicated or detailed, or where it involves a number of other Employees, it may not be possible for Dance Base to respond within the 5 day timescale set out above. In these circumstances the manager will communicate the reason without any delay to the Employee and will seek to respond as soon as is practicable in the circumstances.
Records will be kept detailing the nature of the grievance, Dance Base’s response and any action taken. Records will be treated as confidential and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.
Employees with Less Than Two Years’ Service
Dance Base reserves the right at its sole discretion not to follow this grievance procedure in the case of an Employee with less than two years’ service.