Safeguarding Policy

As a cornerstone of the Acosta Dance Foundation (ADF), the Acosta Dance Centre (ADC) rigorously adheres to the Foundation’s Safeguarding Policy. This policy is designed to uphold the highest standards of safety and protection for all individuals engaged in activities associated with the ADC. We encourage all users of this website to carefully review the detailed Safeguarding Policy provided below to ensure a comprehensive understanding of our commitment to maintaining a secure and protective environment for everyone involved.

By accessing and utilizing this website, you explicitly acknowledge and agree to abide by the terms outlined in the Acosta Dance Foundation’s Safeguarding Policy. Any violation of this policy will be addressed with utmost seriousness and may result in legal consequences.

Your cooperation in upholding the principles of safeguarding is crucial for fostering a secure and respectful community within the Acosta Dance Centre.

Acosta Dance Foundation – Safeguarding Policy 2022-2024 (last revised Jan 2023)


The following document applies to all children and young people under 18 in the settings we support and any other children and young people the Acosta Dance Foundation (ADF), and the Acosta Dance Centre (ADC) will come into contact with (e.g., other family members/siblings/friends).

Anyone coming into contact with children and young people through the Acosta Dance Foundation must abide by the following policy, which is available to everyone on our website.

Everyone working for the ADF as a staff member or volunteer must safeguard and protect our children and young people. They must read this policy, sign to say they understand it, and agree to it.

Any contractors and/or freelance teachers/volunteers/chaperones must read our safeguarding statement:





Table of Contents

Keeping children & people safe in the ADC.

What is safeguarding?

Who’s Who at the ADC

Responsibilities of the DSLs

How can you act about the ADC Safeguarding Policy?

When we review this policy

Using the ADC premises


Our Safeguarding principles

Valuing diversity when safeguarding

Mental Health

What is Abuse?

Whistleblowing Policy

Our commitment:

Aim of the policy

To whom this policy applies to:

Defining whistleblowing

Protecting individuals using this policy

Malicious disclosures

Non-whistleblowing concerns

Raising a concern

Who should I raise it with?

Raising a concern externally.

Disclosing to the press

Further help and assistance

Reporting a Concern

Responding to disclosure when dealing with a child or a young person.

Scope of the policy

How do I tell if a young person is at risk of abuse or neglect?

Children & young people with special educational needs and disabilities

How will ADC manage allegations made to a staff?

Safer Employment Practice & Recruitment Policy

Recruitment Process

Pre-employment checks

Verification of identity, address, right to work in the UK and qualifications.


Disclosure and Barring Services

Referrals to the DBS.

Physical contact in dance-related activities policy

Safeguarding Code of Conduct Policy for All Staff at the Acosta Dance Centre

Participant’s Code of conduct Policy

Dealing with Incidents


Complaints Procedure


Healthy Eating Policy

Children Data Protection



Document References


Keeping children & people safe in the ADF/ADC.

Welcome to the ADF & the ADC. If you have any worries during your visit, please raise them with a staff member or ask to speak to the DSL. If you are still worried or do not feel able to share your concern with us, you can:

  • Speak to Javier Torres, ADF/ADC Managing Director
  • If you have serious concerns about the work we undertake at the ADC that we cannot deal with, please contact ‘Protect’ at 020 3117 2520. “Protect” aims to make whistleblowing work for individuals, organisations, and society, and they will be able to help.

What is safeguarding?


Safeguarding is the action taken to promote children’s welfare and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action enables all children and young people to have the best outcomes.


Who’s Who at the ADF

Ms Luanda Pau is the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and the Foundation’s Education & Community Programmes Artistic Programmer Manager. This means she has lead responsibility for the well-being and protection of all children the Foundation & the Centre will come into contact with and ensure all staff and volunteers are recruited and trained safely.

Ms Luanda Pau can be contacted at 07848816208 or via email at

If the concern relates to any of the programmes given as part of the ADC Education & Community programmes, the designated safeguarding lead, in this case, would be Ms Luanda Pau, she can also provide advice and serve as a point of contact. She can also be contacted by email at

If the concern relates to any of the DSLs on duty, please get in touch with Mr Javier Torres. He is the Managing Director of the Acosta Dance Foundation and the Acosta Dance Centre.

Javier can be contacted at 07542180762 or, if not urgent, by email at


Responsibilities of the DSLs

-Keeping a complete and secure record of all child protection concerns.

-Ensuring that all staff receive appropriate training.

-Ensuring staff is appropriately informed about matters to do with child protection.

-Making referrals to any external agencies if necessary.

-Represent the Centre at child protection events and liaise with other professionals and agencies supporting children.

How can you act about the ADF/ADC Safeguarding Policy?

This policy is available on the ADF/ADC website and will be included in all application forms the Centre will use to engage in activities related to children and young people. When children & young people attend the ADF/ADC events, we talk about keeping safe and whom they can talk to. We remind children & young people regularly.

When we review this policy


This policy is reviewed every two years and updated if required on a yearly basis.

The ADC is committed to reviewing this policy every year, keeping up to date with legislation/guidance, key reports, and safeguarding issues as they emerge and evolve, as well as including lessons learnt from any case that may arise. This policy follows the government guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education”.

Using the ADC premises

When we hire, rent, or facilitate any classes and events within the Centre’s premises, we check, monitor and ensure that appropriate safeguarding arrangements and any relevant legal requirements and statutory guidance are in place.


As well as talking to or emailing the staff above, children & young people or parents can make a complaint about something they have seen in the setting. Please see our cause for complaint form in Appendix A below for more details.

“We believe in the power of dance as a tool for changing attitudes. We craft creative opportunities for every human through the joy of dance. We make dance accessible by creating an environment where every human being can dance.”

Our Safeguarding principles

  • We listen: We always act in the best interests of each child & young person by listening to any communication from children and young people or parents and taking any possible concerns positively and seriously.
  • We acknowledge the risks: We openly discuss the risks children & young people, parents, and staff can face. Without proper care and vigilance, abuse or neglect of children & young people could occur. We talk to them about this, and together, we will carefully plan to keep them safe.
  • We help them achieve their hopes and goals: Our cause of creating a dancer in every home recognises that children & young people take more risks as they grow and develop. We will support them in managing those risks to achieve their dreams through the joy of dance.
  • We act: If you or any of our staff is worried about a child & young person, we shall act until we all believe the child & young person is safe.
  • We are fair and candid: We are fair and open in our decisions, open and honest about what is going on in the Centre and let parents and local authorities know about any concerns.
  • We protect and respect: We respect the safety of anyone raising concerns. At the ADF, every child has the right to protection regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, or beliefs, whether they interact with us online or in person.

Valuing diversity when safeguarding

Embracing individual differences is central to the strength the ADF wants to engrain in the Greenwich community. We promote inclusive behaviours that empower children & young people to make the right choices. Discrimination can be a safeguarding issue. The ADF is committed to working with the community, Woolwich Works and other agencies to consider how harmful behaviour or comments affect children & young people and act accordingly. If staff or volunteers behave in a way that discriminates against particular groups, we will take action to rectify things and consider whether this is a breach of our Code of Conduct. Please see our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy.

Mental Health

It is widely recognised that a child/young person’s emotional health and well-being influence their cognitive development and learning, physical, social health and mental well-being. It is part of the role of the ADF/ADC staff to promote the welfare of children & young people, mentally as well as physically. An example of this is represented in our Education and Community Programmes aim to improve children’s mental health and community lifestyles.

We will provide a safe environment which nurtures and encourages children & young people’s sense of self-worth and self-efficacy, reduces the threat of bullying and violence, and promotes positive behaviours within the community.

All staff and volunteers involved in the ADC activities will foster an ethos that promotes mutual respect, learning and successful relationships among all. We will create a culture of inclusiveness and communication that ensures all children & young people’s concerns can be expressed and addressed. Staff & volunteers undertake training that reflects the needs of children & young people.

The Centre we support works in partnership with Woolwich Works and the Greenwich community to promote children’s & young people’s social and emotional well-being.

What is Abuse?

All forms of abuse involve the elements of power imbalances, exploitation, and the absence of actual consent, whether they concern acts of commission or acts of omission.

Abuse is the wrongful application of power by someone in a dominant position, and its recognition is not always clear or easy to identify. The ADF staff is not considered responsible for determining whether an abusive situation has taken place. If any of our staff has a concern or identifies any case where abusive behaviour is present, it is essential that they report to the DSL following the Foundation’s procedures and let the appropriate bodies investigate the situation (see sections 1, 3 and 7 above).

This applies regardless of whether the abusive behaviour has occurred (whether it relates to another staff member’s conduct or the possibility that the abuse might occur at home or elsewhere within the community).

Abuse can take many forms, and it is usually divided into the following four categories. Some possible indicators are listed. However, a single indicator is not necessarily evidence of abuse; usually, several indicators can be present, and all concerns should be reported to the DSL using the CCF form or emailing abuse is present in all forms of abuse but can occur in isolation.


Including hitting, shaking, throwing, scalding, drowning, suffocating and burning or otherwise harming a child. Failure to act to protect a child is also considered to be physical abuse.

In our work, this could involve:

•inappropriate touching

•over training or dangerous training

•failure to assess physical limits or pre-existing injuries or medical conditions

•failure to notice an injury done during class and administer appropriate first-aid care

•administering, condoning or failing to intervene in drug use.



Involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact and non-contact activities such as involving children
in looking at pornographic material or watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in inappropriate ways.

In our work, this could involve:

•inappropriate touching

•provocative choreography

•creating opportunities to access children’s bodies.



The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to causes severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. This can include making a child feel worthless, unloved or inadequate, often causing a child to feel frightened or in danger.

In our work, this could involve:


•exposing children to humiliating, taunting or aggressive behaviour or tone

•demeaning children’s efforts by continuous negative feedback

•failure to intervene where a child’s self-confidence and worth are challenged or undermined.



Is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a guardian failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or failure to ensure access to appropriate medical treatment.

In our work, this could involve:

•exposing children to unnecessary cold or heat

•exposing children to unhygienic conditions, lack of food, water or medical care

•non-intervention in bullying or taunting

•consistently and continually failing to acknowledge, address and teach a child in and outside the classroom


Whistleblowing Policy

Our commitment:

At the Acosta Dance Foundation, we always aim to conduct ourselves ethically, with honesty and integrity in everything we do. We expect the same high standards from all of our people, including employees, workers, contractors, agency workers and volunteers. However, we recognise that there may be occasions when we – or our people – do not get this right. In these instances, you may feel that you need to raise your genuine and severe concerns through this whistleblowing policy.

Aim of the policy

  • To provide an effective way for you to raise serious concerns
  • To ensure that you receive feedback on any action undertaken by us as a result of you raising serious concerns
  • To ensure that you will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for having raised your concern in good faith
  • To signpost you to further options available to you if you are dissatisfied with our response or if the internal investigation is not appropriate
  • To allow the Acosta Dance Foundation and the ADC to take action against any employee who makes allegations in bad faith and publicly discloses information when it is unreasonable for them to do so.

To whom this policy applies to:

This policy applies to everyone who works for and volunteers with the Acosta Dance Foundation and the Acosta Dance Centre. This means all our employees, volunteers, freelancers, interns, and contractors.

Defining whistleblowing

‘Whistleblowing’ is a term used to refer to the internal or external disclosure of malpractice and illegal acts or omissions at work. It covers, for example, how we raise funds and commission our work or make payments.


Protecting individuals using this policy

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996, and it protects individuals who raise legitimate concerns about specified matters outlined below. These are called qualifying disclosures. A qualifying disclosure is one made in good faith by an individual who has a reasonable belief that:

  • a criminal offence (including fraudulent and corrupt behaviour, e.g. theft, fraud or malpractice)
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • an act creating risk to health and safety
  • an act causing damage to the environment
  • a breach of any other legal obligation, or
  • concealment of any of the above.

It is not necessary for you to prove that such an act is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed. However, you need to hold a reasonable belief that such an action has been, is being, or is alleged to be carried out. If you make such a protected disclosure, you have the right not to be dismissed, subjected to any other detriment, or victimised. This is the case even where it materialises that you were genuinely mistaken. We will not tolerate any individual being subjected to a disadvantage due to their disclosing good faith. Under the law, interns, contractors or volunteers are not afforded the same legal protection that is afforded to employees. However, we want to promote and encourage an open and honest environment where concerns can be freely raised at the ADF and the ADC. We will, therefore, aim to treat all individuals disclosing the spirit of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Malicious disclosures

If it is found that you have maliciously raised a matter which you know to be untrue or you are involved in any way in the malpractice, wrongdoing or illegal acts or omissions, your behaviour may be addressed through the appropriate ADF policy.

Non-whistleblowing concerns

This policy is only to be used in exceptional circumstances. The ADF and the ADC have several policies that will be relevant in other cases. This list includes but is not limited to the following:

  • safeguarding and child protection
  • bullying and harassment
  • disciplinary
  • grievance.

Raising a concern

It would help if you raised your whistleblowing concern as soon as possible. This will make it easier to act and enable any problems to be resolved or reported quickly. You can make your disclosure orally, but written disclosures are preferable as these will make the process more efficient and effective. In your exposure, you should:

  • provide any relevant context and background, including relevant dates, venues, names etc
  • state the reason why the situation is cause for concern.

You must say that you are raising your concern using the whistleblowing policy and whether you wish your identity to be kept confidential. While we will make every effort to deal with your case confidentially, depending on the circumstances of the case, this may not always be possible. You will be informed of this and why it was not possible where this is the case.

We will consider anonymous disclosures, but we do not encourage them as anonymity often makes it difficult to properly investigate concerns, protect employees or give feedback on outcomes.

Who should I raise it with?

First, you should always look to raise the matter with your top manager (or the Foundation’s Managing Director). Where this is inappropriate because they may be involved in the alleged malpractice, wrongdoing or illegal acts or omissions, raise your concern with the Foundation’s Vice Chair, Mr Rupert Rohan. In some circumstances where it would be inappropriate to approach your manager or their manager, you should raise the matter directly with a legal advisory firm.

What happens after I raise a concern?

Your disclosure will always be acknowledged within three working days. It will be investigated by the ADF Board of Directors and the Managing Director that you raise your concern.

They will arrange to meet you as soon as possible, away from the workplace if necessary, to enable you to explain your concern.

We may not always be able to keep your details confidential, but we will always let you know if it is impossible to do so. You will be told, either at the meeting or as soon as possible afterwards, what action will be taken to address your concerns. Where the action is not taken, you will be informed and explained. The action taken in response to the disclosure will depend on the nature of the concern.

Typically, the matters raised may result in one or more of the following:

  • no action required
  • action being taken under other ADF/ADC policy or procedure
  • an internal investigation under this policy
  • a referral to the police or relevant statutory body
  • a referral to the Charity Commission
  • an independent enquiry.

Any manager/volunteer, worker/director receiving a potential whistleblowing concern must immediately notify the head of governance that a problem has been raised and inform them of progress in resolving it.

Raising a concern externally.

We encourage you to exhaust the internal processes set out above in the first instance.

In exceptional or urgent circumstances, however, or where, having made a disclosure, you are unhappy with the outcome, you have a legal right to disclose to prescribed bodies. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • the Charity Commission;
  • HM Revenue & Customs;
  • the Health and Safety Executive;
  • the Financial Services Authority;
  • the Office of Fair Trading;
  • the Environment Agency
  • fundraising regulator.

Similar to the rights and obligations of an employee, the ADF and the ADC reserve the right to make a referral to any of the above agencies without your consent.

Disclosing to the press

Disclosures to the press will not be considered reasonable and may constitute misconduct. The matter might be treated as a disciplinary matter following our disciplinary and grievance policy and procedure.

Further help and assistance

If you are unsure about what to do at any stage in the procedure and would like independent advice, you can discuss your concern with someone at Public Concern at Work. This body is an independent charity staffed by lawyers, which offers confidential free legal and practical advice on how people can raise concerns about malpractice at work. They can also advise what legal protection may be available to you. You can email Public Concern at Work at or phone them on their advice line: 020 3117 2520.

 Reporting a Concern

There are many ways in which abuse can become apparent,

-through observation

-a disclosure

-a third party may have reported an incident or may have a strong suspicion

-you may have a suspicion

If you need to report any concerns, please follow sections 1, 3 and 7 of this document.

 Responding to disclosure when dealing with a child or a young person.

If a child is involved or not n eh activities of the Acosta Dance Foundation or the Acosta Dance Centre, disclose/reveals information to you; you should please:

1-Listen & Reassure


3-Get DSL involved

1-Listen & Reassure:

-Listen & reassure the child.

-Stay calm – do not rush into inappropriate action.

-Reassure the child or young person that they are not to blame and confirm that you know how difficult it must be to confide.

-Take the concern seriously by actively listening and keep questioning to the minimum. If questioning is needed, try to use open-ended questions to get as much information as possible to have an accurate understanding of the concern.

The law is stringent, and child abuse cases have been dismissed if it appears that the child has been led or words and ideas have been suggested.

Ensure the child understands the type of support you will offer and what will happen next. Also, ensure they are physically and emotionally able to return to the activity. At all times, reassure the child about confidentiality.


-Panic or make any promises you can’t keep by explaining that you cannot keep secrets and may have to tell other people to stop what is happening while maintaining maximum confidentiality.

-Make the child repeat the story unnecessarily.

-Delay in reporting what is happening.

-Judge or make assumptions


Complete a Cause for Concern incident report form without delay with as many details as possible.

3-Involve the Appropriate People

Disclosures must be reported to a DSL immediately.

During activities offered outside the ADF/ADC premises, all disclosures must be reported to the ADC activity delivery team and the teacher responsible, who will work with the venue’s DSL in response to the disclosure.

Scope of the policy

This policy covers anyone representing and working with/within or for the Acosta Dance Foundation. This means that it applies to all staff and associates.

Staff includes:

  • all staff, national and international, including dancers from Acosta Danza.
  • all volunteers and interns

Associates include:

  • all contractors, e.g., consultants
  • all Board Members
  • all partners
  • guests and visitors

How do I tell if a young person is at risk of abuse or neglect?

We, at the. ADF understand that when someone is at risk, at times, it seems difficult to be specific about the exact risk of cause. Still, if you have a reason to worry, that should be enough for you to express your concerns to the safeguarding team about the risk or involve other agencies. Use this document’s definitions of abuse or neglect and specific situations(see Appendix B) if needed guidance.

Some of the critical issues affecting our children & young people are set out in Appendix B. More detailed guidance on specific topics is available in the London Child Protection Procedures. 

Children & young people with special educational needs and disabilities

There are additional safeguarding challenges for children/young people with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities, including:

  • that behaviour, mood and injury may relate to possible abuse and not just a SEN or a disability
  • Higher risk of peer group isolation
  • Disproportionate impact of bullying
  • Difficulties with communication
  • Sometimes, a child/young person’s SEN or disability needs are seen first, and the potential for abuse second. If children/young people are behaving in particular ways, are looking distressed, or their behaviour or demeanour is different from in the past, staff/volunteers should think about that being a sign of the potential for abuse and not simply see it as part of their disability or their special educational needs. Children/young people with SEN and disabilities also have a higher risk of being left out, isolated from their peers, and disproportionately affected by bullying.

For more information about Children & young people with special needs and disabilities, please see Council for Disabled children.

How will ADF manage allegations made to a staff?

Keeping Children Safe in Education defines an allegation in the following:


“… all cases in which it is alleged that a teacher or member of staff (including volunteers) that provides education for children under 18 years of age has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they would risk harm to children.”

Any allegation of abuse made against a staff member must be dealt with quickly, fairly, and consistently, providing adequate protection for the child and supporting the person who is the subject of the allegation.

  • As an employer, the Acosta Dance Centre have a duty of care to its staff. Therefore, it will ensure adequate support for anyone facing an allegation. Suspension is not an automatic response to an assertion until the investigation of the incident demonstrates the opposite. The ADC will respond proportionately to them to manage risk and provide appropriate support.

Safer Employment Practice & Recruitment Policy

The Acosta Dance Foundation follows the Government’s recommendations for the safer recruitment and employment of staff who work with children. All members of Staff, Governors, Sponsors, Volunteers, Freelance artists, and Contractors undertaking regulated or non-regulated activity is subject to the relevant Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) and related checks.

The Centre will conduct face-to-face interviews with all short-listed applicants as well as verify applicants’ qualifications and experiences.

Where possible, the recruitment process (see section 18.1 below) will gain references from previous employers and provide staff with an induction to their role (including safeguarding policies and procedures) and accredited safeguarding training where necessary.

The ADF will also ensure that all staff complete a probationary period. For more information and a fair and open recruitment process, please see section 18.1 below.

The Centre will comply with the requirement to report to the DBS within one month of leaving the Centre any individual who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child and who has been removed from paid or unpaid work with children or would have been removed had they not left earlier, whether employed, contracted, volunteer or a student because they are deemed unsuitable to work with children.

Recruitment Process


At the Acosta Dance Foundation, when a role involves working with children & young people or any adults at risk, the employee will be carefully reviewed to determine if a DBS check is required.

The Centre will advertise any vacant positions, and any adverts or job descriptions will refer to any requirements to complete the appropriate DBS check.

All applicants will be required to complete a standard application process to ensure they have all the information they need about the Centre, including the advertised role. This process will provide us with essential information such as employment history, further education background, and vocational and academic qualifications, among other details.

During the application process, applicants are asked to confidentially self-disclose any unspent criminal offences or child protection investigations they would have underway. If the role requires an enhanced DBS check, we will also request applicants to disclose any unprotected spent crimes. Where the information raises a safeguarding concern, details will be shared with the ADC Safeguarding Team.

We will take reasonable steps to confirm the applicants’ suitability for the role, including verifying qualifications and professional memberships and assessing skills and relevant experience. All applicants will be asked to explain any significant gaps or changes in employment history where no reasons have been provided on their application. We may also ask interview questions designed to allow candidates to demonstrate the attitudes and values that people working with children need to have.

Applicants will be asked to provide contact details of people willing to act as referees during the application process. References are usually sought after a conditional offer of employment, or engagement has been made. However, we may occasionally ask applicants for their consent to contact a referee before a request for employment or engagement has been completed. All conditional offers of employment or engagement are subject to the satisfactory completion of all vetting processes, including references.

The aims of the ADF recruitment process are as follows:

  • To ensure that the best possible staff are recruited based on their merits, abilities and suitability for the position, which includes their attitudes towards safeguarding and their ability to work with children and young people to promote children’s safety and welfare.
  • To ensure that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently.
  • Ensure no job applicant is mistreated about any protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010).
  • To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance.
  • To ensure we meet our commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.

Pre-employment checks


Verification of identity, address, right to work in the UK and qualifications.

According to government guidance, applicants must provide acceptable original documents demonstrating their right to work in the UK.

  • Manual three-step identity checks are made against official documentation such as a passport or other items deemed acceptable by the Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks.
  • At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide documents confirming any educational or professional qualifications relevant to the role referred to in their application form.
  • Where an applicant claims to have changed their name by any means, they will be required to show documentary evidence of that change.
  • Proof of date of birth is necessary so that ADF may verify the identity and check for any unexplained discrepancies in all applicants’ employment and education history. The ADF does not discriminate on the grounds of age.


If necessary, we ask for references only after an offer of employment has been made.

A minimum of two references will be sought, one of which must be from the applicant’s current or most recent employer.

If the most recent employment does/did not involve work with children, the second reference should be from an employer with whom the applicant most recently worked with children (if applicable).

We will ask for an academic reference for entry-level roles where no previous work can be contacted.

Neither referee should be a relative or solely a friend

All referees will be sent the Job Description for the role and asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the role and whether they have any reason to think that they would be unsuitable to work with children.

If the referee is a current or previous employer, they will also be asked to confirm the following:

– the applicant’s dates of employment, job title/ duties, performance, and disciplinary record.

– whether any allegations or concerns have been raised about the applicant related to the safety and welfare of children or vulnerable adults or behaviour towards children or vulnerable adults, except where the allegation or concerns were found to be false, unsubstantiated, or malicious.

The ADF will only accept references from the referee and will not rely on honest testimonials, references, or those provided by the applicant. The ADF will compare all references with information on the application form and resolve any discrepancies with the applicant before confirming an appointment. The ADF will carefully consider any information about past disciplinary actions or allegations disclosed when considering the applicant’s suitability for the role. The ADF may, at its discretion, contact any referee to verify the details of the written reference.

Disclosure and Barring Services

The ADF will apply for a disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in respect of all relevant prospective permanent and temporary employees. The level of check will be determined by the role and its potential for access to children or vulnerable adults.

Freelancers are expected to hold a DBS, registered with the update service, and must agree to provide their full name and date of birth to the ADF to check the certificate.

Referrals to the DBS.

The ADF has a legal duty to make a referral to the DBS in prescribed circumstances where an individual:

  • has applied for a position at the ADF/ADC despite being barred from working with children,
  • has been removed by the ADF from working with children (whether paid or unpaid), or has resigned before being removed because they have harmed, or pose a risk of harm to, a child; or
  • the ADF becomes aware that an ex-employee has fulfilled either of the above criteria.


Physical contact in dance-related activities policy

Dancing is a physical skill which, at times, requires guiding the student in physical movements by touch. Any contact is made with sensitivity and care, talking to the pupil about what they are going to do.

Parents and Students are informed of this policy and are advised to sign and or agree to this form of correction. This policy also sets out what to do if they feel uncomfortable at any time, from telling the teacher to contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead in confidence (see sections. 1, 3 and 7).

During dance classes, some contact by the teacher is made, with particular awareness of the needs of each individual, to assist young dancers in correcting placement. The Acosta Dance Centre accepts that adjusting body parts (significantly younger students) is necessary. This is to demonstrate the correct placement of the hands (for example, for lifting) and to help a participant feel an accurate position of a limb to avoid injury if a move is incorrectly performed.

While essential, touch can sometimes be misinterpreted, and the guidelines below are in place to safeguard staff and children.

-All participant handbooks will include this statement so that children and guardians know our guidelines.

-Teachers will initially use description and imagery to help participants feel a movement and use touch to help with correction only if the imagery isn’t helping.

-Touch will be accompanied by verbal instruction and will never be a surprise to the participant.

-When using touch to correct a participant’s placement, teachers will use a finger/s or palm and may touch their rib cage, thigh, back, buttock, arm, hand, or foot.

-When using touch to help someone at risk of falling/ injury, teachers will touch with their hands.

-When a teacher uses touch, they will do this with knowledge of that individual participant’s needs.

-If a participant feels uncomfortable regarding appropriate touch, we encourage them to talk with their teacher.

-If a participant feels any touch is inappropriate, we encourage them to speak with the DSL.

Safeguarding Code of Conduct Policy for All Staff at the Acosta Dance Foundation

This Code of Conduct is expected of all ADF staff when interacting with children in any capacity on behalf of the organisation.

-Always prioritise the safety and well-being of the child. Remember, they are children first and dancers or participants second.

-Always act within professional boundaries – ensure all contact with children is essential to the programme/project/activity/performance you are working on.

-Never give out your contact details, ask children for their details and do not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children you are working with on social networking sites.

-Follow guidance notifications on using toilets when children use the same working space as you.

-Do not assume sole responsibility for a child and only take on practical caring responsibilities such as taking a child to the toilet in an emergency.

-If a child needs care, alert the teacher, guardian or chaperone.

-Never lose sight of the fact that you are with and around children – behave appropriately and use appropriate language at all times.

-Listen to and respect children, don’t patronise them and avoid favouritism.

-Treat children fairly and without prejudice or discrimination.

-If you observe children engaging in bullying or other behaviour that may put them at risk, you must report it to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or chaperone.

-Ultimately, if you have any concerns about the welfare of a child or feel someone is misbehaving around children, you must report your situation to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (see sections 1, 3 and 7).

Failure to follow this code of conduct will result in disciplinary action as detailed in the Acosta Dance Foundation Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure, available in General/Handbook & Policies or from the Managing Director, who can be contacted via email at


Participant’s Code of conduct Policy


The Acosta. Dance Foundation aims to create a positive and friendly environment for children to dance and learn. We aim to foster good relationships, encourage effective learning, and create equal opportunities for all participants to thrive, enjoy dancing, and gain resilience and confidence.

All Centre visitors/participants must:

-Act in a considerate and courteous manner to staff and fellow participants at all times.

-Avoid aggressive or bullying behaviour.

-Provide an example of good conduct for others to follow that includes:

  • Being polite and respectful of others
  • Using appropriate and inoffensive verbal and physical language
  • Participate in classes professionally, care for others, and respect the environment and premises.
  • Respecting each other’s right to personal privacy.
  • Be accepting of and open to expectations regarding individual training and be willing to take constructive criticism or corrections.
  • Develop resilience to adverse situations. Please take responsibility for your actions.
  • Put their point of view across sensibly and sensitively.
  • Speak with their teacher if they have questions or concerns regarding classwork.
  • Speak with any staff member if they have concerns relating to issues with other participants or problems away from their class work.
  • Inform the project/programme manager, staff member (where applicable) and teachers of any injury or illness before the beginning of class or immediately during class. The participant must stop, notify the teacher, and seek help if needed.
  • Do any assigned homework and practice corrections at home.
  • Arrive no later than 10 mins before the class starting time for registration, and ensure you sign in and out of the building following Woolwich Works’ health and safety policy/rules.
  • Wear the correct dance attire and have all the necessary equipment with you.
  • Respect the ADC and Woolwich Works’ code of conduct.


Dealing with Incidents

The ADC reserves the right to take action if any individual is not acting appropriately or complying with the above terms.

– Any incidents relating to unacceptable behaviour should be reported directly to the receptionist or the Manager in charge.

– Dependant on individual cases, the ADF will carry out a full investigation into any incidents concerning behaviour that does not meet the principles outlined in this Code of Conduct, resulting in an appropriate course of action which may include one or more of the following:

  1. A participant is temporarily removed from their class.
  2. A meeting with the participant/guardian to discuss the issues raised.
  3. A verbal warning.
  4. An email/formal written warning should it be decided that there has been enough evidence to suggest behaviour falls short of adhering to the Participant Code of Conduct.
  5. A Positive Behaviour Agreement, based on discussions with the participant/ guardian, may be implemented.
  6. Internal exclusion from classes.
  7. Permanent exclusion and or full membership cancellation following a thorough investigation carried out by the Designated Safeguarding Lead/s, with support from the ADF’s Board of Directors. A. Board Level Representative must approve all exclusions.

Corporal punishment is never used at the Centre under any circumstances.


The ADF takes issues around bullying extremely seriously and will deal with any such problems using the entire possible range of actions outlined in this policy, up to and including permanent exclusion.

Bullying is discussed in Appendix B under specific situations.

Complaints Procedure

Anyone wishing to complain about any issue under the Participant Code of Conduct should report concerns to Reception or the Designated Safeguarding Leads.



The ADF/ADC must ensure that all participants are treated fairly, in line with the Equalities Act 2010. Where a participant has an identified disability or another factor that should be considered, such as a mental health condition, this will be given due and appropriate regard when assessing an incidence of poor behaviour. No participant will be sanctioned when their behaviour results from a disability, mental health condition or other protected characteristic. However, there may be occasions where actions need to be taken to assure the safety of the individual concerned or the wider community; this may include creating a bespoke behavioural contract which specifically details expected behaviour and the support package in place.


Healthy Eating Policy

Policy for the Prevention, Identification and Action on Disordered Eating

Organisations providing dance-related activities and surrounded by dancers are more likely to recognise eating disorders in their environment.

Disordered eating may also be unrelated to dance. Puberty and adolescence are risk factors, and a combination of factors is often the cause. Nevertheless, we see prevention, identification and positive action around disordered eating as part of our remit, as we believe it is unhealthy and dangerous for children & young adults to allow problems to go undetected. We know that dance training can and should be a positive and healthy experience for children. It is, therefore, our goal to work toward promoting healthy eating and positive body image alongside and as a part of our artistic and technical goals.

This policy aims to:

  • Clarify. the stance of the Acosta Dance Foundation in regard to disordered eating
  • Aid prevention, so that disordered eating can be avoided wherever possible.
  • Facilitate the identification so that children with disordered eating can be identified early and as accurately as possible
  • Support positive action when disordered eating does occur.

As part of our commitment, this policy reassures that:

If an ADF staff member, child, or guardian is concerned about a child’s weight, this must be communicated to the Safeguarding team.

Children will not be commented on as being over or underweight, and we will focus on the aim of a classical physique. They will only be advised to adjust their weight or diet if it appears that their health is at risk. Only designated staff and Designated Safeguarding Leads will directly discuss concerns about under or overeating with a child and their guardians.

Advice will be within the framework of this policy and take place in an appropriate setting.

Any child seeking to adjust their weight will be given knowledgeable, evidence-based advice regarding healthy eating and weight change related to dance training. They will be referred to a nutritionist, doctor, or dietician. Changes should be closely monitored and recorded by the child or guardian.

Children with suspected eating disorders will not be blamed or punished. Instead, they will be supported both within the Centre and in seeking outside help (e.g., GP referral).

Children Data Protection

Children have varying levels of contact with the ADF/ADC; therefore, the data collected depends on the activity undertaken.

If your child attends one of our classes, we ask for personal details, which are likely to include the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Emergency contact details
  • Details of medical conditions or medication.

If further details are requested, this will be in consultation with the guardian and aligned with the activity being undertaken.

All data stored is in line with the Centre’s Privacy Policy.



ACOSTA DANCE FOUNDATION – CAUSE FOR CONCERN FORM ( you can download the ADF Cause for Concern Form HERE)

Child’s Name:


DOB (if known):


Teacher/Programme Manager at the time of incident:




Time (of writing this record):


Name of person completing this form (please print):


Job title or relation to child:

Reason(s) for recording the incident/concern (headline):


Record the following factually: When (date & time of incident or concern arising)?

Where did your concerns arise?

Who else – were any other children or staff present?

What exactly did you see/hear/smell that raised your concern?

Please record any direct disclosures/comments using the child or adult’s exact words in quotation marks.

If additional pages are used, these must be attached securely to this form.

Professional opinion: our professional opinions, impressions and worries are important. Facts should be recorded in the box above but please record your opinions, impressions and worries here and state what has led you to form them (e.g., something you have noticed, feel or suspect).


Immediate action following the disclosure for the child: (e.g., the child went back to the lesson, the child was collected by the guardian).


Action taken, including names of everyone spoken to about the incident/concern:


Name of Designated Safeguarding Lead this form was passed to:


Date and time incident/concern was shared with Designated Safeguarding Lead: Please check to make sure your report is clear; and will be clear to someone else reading it next year

NOW PASS THIS FORM TO YOUR DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD FOR COMPLETION OVERLEAF (By end of the working day at the latest, if the child is not at immediate risk of harm)


Time & date information received by DSL and from whom:

Any advice sought by DSL
(date, time, role, organisation & advice given):


DSL’s analysis of presenting issues/concerns and advice received:


Action taken (referral to or consultation with) If decision not to refer, please state reason:


Note time/date/names/who information shared with etc.


Include names of individuals/agencies who have given you information regarding outcome of any referral (if made)

Guardian informed

Yes/No – reason if no:

Where can additional information regarding the child/ incident be found?

(e.g., pupil file, incident book)







Date and time member of staff submitting this form received feedback about action taken from DSL Date:




What was shared:


Date and time that a response was given to the child Date:




What was shared:



Definitions of abuse, neglect, and specific situations


Physical abuse: A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical damage may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates a child’s symptoms or deliberately induces illness.

Emotional abuse:  Whether or not the child is aware of what is happening – activities of emotional abuse may involve physical contact, including assault (penetration, rape or oral sex are some examples) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving young people in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Adult males do not solely perpetrate sexual abuse. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue (also known as peer-on-peer abuse) in education. All staff will follow these child protection procedures.

Neglect: The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs is likely to result in the severe impairment of the child’s mental and physical health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
  • protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
  • ensure adequate supervision (including inadequate caregivers), or provide access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
  • It may also include neglect or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child causes severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet another person’s needs. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on young people. These may include interactions beyond a child’s developmental capability, overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child from participating in regular social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may affect severe bullying (including cyberbullying), causing young people to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of young people. Some emotional abuse is involved in all types of child maltreatment, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse: Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to participate in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving young people in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Adult males do not solely perpetrate sexual abuse. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. The sexual abuse of children by other children is a specific safeguarding issue (also known as peer-on-peer abuse) in education.

Specific situations/issues

Staff and volunteers must respond if they identify any of the following:

  1. a) Domestic Violence and Abuse

We recognise that Domestic Abuse significantly impacts a child’s development and emotional well-being and should always lead to a child protection referral.

DVA is widespread; staff and volunteers should talk to their supervisor when they have concerns for other staff members or volunteers.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises children/young people as victims in their own right if they see, hear or experience the effects of abuse. Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of physical, emotional, economic or sexual abuse, controlling, coercive, violent or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged sixteen or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Abuse can be direct or indirect (e.g. through a child).

  1. b) Physical Intervention and restraint

Staff and volunteers must read the code of conduct, understand how to work with young people in a person-centred way, and learn to analyse the child’s behaviour and respond in a proactive and caring way to reduce the stress displayed.

Staff and volunteers must only use physical restraint as a last resort when a child endangers themselves or others. It must be the minimum force necessary to prevent injury and apply for the shortest possible time.

All staff and volunteers understand that physical intervention or restraint of a nature which causes injury or distress to a child and is unreasonable under the circumstances may be considered a disciplinary matter.

  1. c) Bullying

While bullying between young people is not a separate category of abuse, it is a severe issue that can cause considerable anxiety and distress. At its most profound level, bullying can have a disastrous effect on a child’s well-being and, in rare cases, has been a feature in the suicide of some young people.

All incidences of bullying, including cyberbullying and prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying, should be reported to be investigated by the ADC and, in some circumstances, could lead to a child protection referral. Teachers and volunteers will work with individual young people who have been bullied and those who have forced others to assist them in understanding their actions. If the bullying is serious or the procedures are ineffective, the Safeguarding Team will consider implementing child protection procedures.

Staff or volunteers who allow or condone bullying may face disciplinary proceedings under the child protection procedures. This includes cyber, racist, homophobic, and gender-related bullying. (See also: e) peer on peer/child on child abuse).

  1. d) Child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment, and other harmful sexual behaviour.

This is a form of peer-on-peer abuse. Children/young people may be sexually harmed by other children/young people inside or outside education settings and online. The settings we support have a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence & sexual harassment, and all reports will be taken seriously.

Staff have been trained to recognise abusive behaviours, grading these using a recognised framework. Where there is a concern that another young person may have sexually abused a young person, the local authority and parents will be contacted, and we will plan how best to respond.

We regularly review our actions and decisions with locally agreed multi-safeguarding arrangements by the safeguarding partners to ensure that our learners feel confident to make reports and disclosures to the setting. We provide support to both alleged victims and perpetrators.

‘Up skirting’ typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, to view their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm. It is a criminal offence and may constitute sexual harassment.

We recognise that sexual violence (rape, penetration, and sexual assault) and sexual harassment (unwanted conduct of a sexual nature) are crimes and will always follow the DfE guidance when allegations are received.


  1. e) Peer on peer/child on child abuse

This covers any kind of physical abuse (such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting and hair pulling), sexual abuse (such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault, making someone strip or engage in sexual activity with another), emotional or financial abuse or coercive control exercised between children/young people. It may occur within or outside education settings and can sometimes be linked to gang involvement. It includes bullying, prejudice-based bullying, discriminatory bullying, cyberbullying, consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and videos, abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers, sexual violence, harassment (sexual comments, remarks, jokes, and online sexual harassment, which can be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse.

A whole setting preventative approach, which includes focused staff training, is taken in the settings we support to enable students to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously and knowing they can safely express views and feedback. Even if there are no reported cases of peer-on-peer abuse, the settings are aware that such abuse may still occur but is not being said. We will continue to work with our learners to make our procedures more accessible. It should be recognised that the behaviour in question is harmful to both the perpetrator (who is a child/young person) and the victim. Behaviour may be intimate or non-intimate.

Although both the perpetrator and victim of peer-on-peer abuse are under 18, understanding the power dynamic between children and young people is very important in helping to identify and respond to peer-on-peer abuse – there will be a power imbalance, and this may be due to age or status – social or economic – and the perpetrator in one situation may be the powerless victim in another, so it is essential to try to understand the perpetrator and what is driving their behaviour before taking sanctions. We will also deal supportively and effectively with reports/disclosures that turn out to be unsubstantiated, unfounded, false or malicious. A thorough investigation of the concerns should include any broader contexts that may be known. However, the victim should always be made to feel safe, and actions will need to be taken to separate victim and perpetrator and ensure that the abuse is not allowed to continue. Staff will remain vigilant and not downplay the abuse scale or scope. The issues of the interplay between power, choice and consent should be explored with children/young people. How a setting responds is seen to influence the confidence of others to report what is happening to them. Harmful sexual behaviour must be addressed to help prevent problematic, abusive and violent behaviour. How a setting responds to disclosure or incident will impact future sexual violence or sexual harassment victims. Students may not directly inform staff about their abuse. It may be that staff overhear a conversation or changes in the pupil/student’s behaviour indicate abuse or harm. Sexual assault can result in various health needs so the safeguarding team will signpost to sources of support.

  1. f) Racist and other Hate Incidents

We value each of our members, and we support communities as individuals. We are therefore committed to equality of opportunity for all staff, students and visitors and to meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. Equality does not mean treating everyone the same; it means treating people fairly, with respect, and having regard for their rights and wishes. Sometimes, this might mean giving people extra help to have the same chances. We follow our Equality policy and acknowledge that repeated racist, disablist, homophobic, transphobic or other hate incidents or a single serious incident may lead to consideration as a disciplinary matter and under Child Protection procedures. All hate incidents, including, for example, jokes, name-calling or excluding someone based on race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender fluidity etc., will be taken seriously and must be reported to a senior staff member.

  1. g) Forced Marriages & ‘Honour’ Based Abuse

Forced marriage is when a person faces physical pressure to marry (e.g., threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g., if you are made to feel like you are bringing shame on your family).

So-called ‘honour-based’ abuse (HBA) encompasses incidents or crimes committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and the community, including female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. Abuse committed to preserving “honour” often involves a broader family or community pressure network and can include multiple perpetrators.

If we become aware of the possibility of HBA, it must be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Team or the Police.

  1. h) Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse involving the manipulation and coercion of young people under eighteen into sexual activity in exchange for money, gifts, accommodation, affection, or status. The victims can be male or female. The manipulation or ‘grooming’ process involves befriending children/young people, gaining their trust, and often feeding them drugs and alcohol, or making them look at sexual images or watch sexual activities, encouraging children/young people to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or grooming a child/young person over the internet, as a one-off occurrence or over a long period, before the abuse begins. It may also happen without the child/young person’s immediate knowledge by, for example, others sharing videos or images of them on social media. The abusive relationship between victim and perpetrator involves an imbalance of power which limits the victim’s options. It is a form of abuse often misunderstood by victims and outsiders as consensual. While young people may believe they are in a loving relationship, no child under eighteen can ever consent to be abused or exploited. CSE is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking. All staff and volunteers must be aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation, and all concerns should be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Team.

  1. i) Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation is a form of violence against women and young girls and is considered child abuse in the UK wherever it has occurred. It is a grave violation of the human rights of girls and women to life and their freedom to mental and physical health. The UK Government has signed international human rights laws against FGM, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and enacted the FGM Act 2003, which includes mandatory reporting by teachers/school nurses (amongst others) who become aware that this may be planned or has happened for any child (U18). Access e-learning on FGM here.

  1. j) Trafficking

The two most common terms for the illegal movement of people – ‘trafficking’ and ‘smuggling’, are very different. In human smuggling, immigrants and asylum seekers pay people to help them enter the country illegally, after which there is no longer a relationship.

Trafficked victims are coerced or deceived by the person arranging their relocation. On arrival in the destination country, the trafficked child or person is denied their human rights and forced into exploitation by the trafficker or person under whom they are delivered.

  • Children/young people are a particular case. Any child transported between or within countries or cities/towns for exploitative reasons is considered a trafficking victim, whether or not they have been deceived. This is partly because children/young people can’t give informed consent under these circumstances.
  • Even when a child/young person understands what has happened, they may still appear to submit willingly. Any concerns about trafficking and exploitation must be reported to the Safeguarding Team immediately.
  1. k) County lines

County lines are a network between an urban centre and a county location where drugs are often sold over a mobile phone. Children and vulnerable people are used to transporting drugs, cash, or weapons. It can involve intimidation, blackmail, and severe violence. We recognise the potential for these issues near the settings we support and are particularly aware of the risks to children/young people who are, or previously have, been subject to safeguarding concerns, where there are unstable home conditions, social isolation, significant money issues or homelessness, gang activity or where children/young people have been excluded from education.

Staff and volunteers will be vigilant for the signs of exploitation, be aware of the potential for serious violence, follow our safeguarding procedures and take prompt action to involve the Police and Children’s Services where concerned.

  1. l) Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

Child Criminal Exploitation occurs when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under eighteen. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through technology.

It can include being threatened, forced or manipulated into:

  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Working in cannabis factories
  • Shoplifting
  • Pickpocketing
  • Vehicle crime
  • County lines
  • Modern slavery
  • Serious violence

It is important to note that the experience of criminally exploited girls can differ from those of boys. Both boys and girls being criminally exploited may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation. More information is available here.

  1. m) Criminality, anti-social or gang-related behaviour

Education settings often identify children/young people involved in these behaviours. We will be particularly aware of the risks of more vulnerable children/young people being drawn into challenges and difficulties and respond with sensitivity rather than judgement.

We recognise the issues within the Greenwich community and respond with awareness and sensitivity to the pressures on children/young people while encouraging firm boundaries in the settings we support to ensure they are a safe place for pupils/students. We achieve this through promoting equality and choice throughout the curriculum and settings’ values. We also build relationships with the Centre’s students, understand whom they admire and relate to, and create an environment where it is safe to talk about even the most difficult things.

When we become aware of the signs of gang activity, we will talk with the pupil/student and their family, link with preventative services in our area and, where necessary, involve the Police.

  1. n) Serious violence & Knife Crime

Knife crime does occur in our local communities, and we take specific steps to reduce the impact on the children we work with. Central to this is awareness through the teaching of safeguarding, and the relationships pupils/students have with staff. The ADC will report the carrying of knives but, more importantly, will explore with students who are concerned about safe ways to manage their fears and enable them to build secure relationships with adults so they can talk to us when worried about themselves, their family, their friends, or others in the community.

  1. o) Homelessness & Poverty

Children/young people’s life chances depend on a complex combination of household income, equal opportunities, and social inclusion/exclusion. While some children/young people who grow up in low-income households will go on to achieve their full potential, many others will not. Poverty strains family life and excludes children/young people from the everyday activities of their peers.

Coupled with poverty, the Centre and settings have a heightened awareness of homelessness. The definition of homelessness means not having a home of your own. You are homeless if you have nowhere to stay and live on the streets, but you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head.

Poverty and homelessness may impact tiredness, appearance, mental and physical health, stress, anxiety, attainment, self-esteem, and vulnerability to the other safeguarding issues identified.

The Centre will pay particular attention to these children & young people, providing support for engagement wherever possible and talking to parents about their worries. Where these issues are causing the student significant harm, the child protection process is followed.

  1. p) Substance misuse

The ADC takes a severe view of substance misuse while recognising that young people may get caught up in misusing substances through vulnerability or exploitation.

All cases of substance misuse should be brought to the attention of the Directors, who will consider the student behaviour policy and any factors that may indicate a young person needs help or protection.

  1. q) Modern slavery

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Victims are trapped in servitude, deceived, coerced into, and feel they cannot leave. It can include:

  • human trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • criminal exploitation • forced labour
  • domestic servitude

As a London-based Centre, we work within the remit of the London Child Protection procedures. Concerns will be referred to children’s services or the Police for them to follow the National Referral Mechanism.

  1. r) Young people who have previously been in care/had a social worker

Young people who have previously been ‘looked after by a local authority or had a social worker may require additional support. This includes young people who have returned home from care, have been adopted, or are care leavers.

The settings we support will assess the need for additional support for all children/young people who have previously had a social worker.

  1. s) Radicalisation and extremism

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

The Government defines extremism in the Prevent Strategy as:

Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition that extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

Extremism includes, for example, far-right views, animal rights activism and religious fundamentalism.

There is no “typical extremist”: those involved in extremist actions come from various backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become engaged in violent extremist activity.

Children & young people may become susceptible to radicalisation through social, personal and environmental factors – it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. It is vital that our staff and volunteers can recognise those vulnerabilities.

Indicators of vulnerability include:

  • Identity Crisis – the child is distanced from their cultural/religious heritage and experiences discomfort about their place in society;
  • Personal Crisis – the child may be experiencing family tensions; a sense of isolation; and low self-esteem; they may have dissociated from their existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends; they may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging;
  • Personal Circumstances – migration; local community tensions; and events affecting the young person’s country or region of origin may contribute to a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
  • Unmet Aspirations – the child may have perceptions of injustice; a feeling of failure; rejection of civic life;
  • Experiences of Criminality – which may include involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment, and poor resettlement/reintegration.
  • Special Educational Need or disability – children/young people, may experience difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.

However, this list is not exhaustive, nor does it mean that all children/young people experiencing the above are at risk of radicalisation for violent extremism. More critical risk factors could include:

-Being in contact with extremist recruiters.

-Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element.

-Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature.

-Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage.

-Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues.

-Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations; and significant changes to the appearance and behaviour.

-Experiencing a high level of social isolation results in issues of identity crisis and personal Crisis.

s.1) Preventing Radicalisation

To reduce the risks of children/young people being radicalised, we have:

  • Ensured the Designated Safeguarding lead has completed Prevent training.
  • Maintained and applied a good understanding of the relevant guidance concerning preventing young people from becoming involved in terrorism and protecting them from radicalisation by those who support terrorism or forms of extremism which lead to terrorism;
  • raised awareness about our role and responsibilities in protecting young people from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
  • raised awareness about the safeguarding processes relating to protecting young people from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism;
  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead as the first point of contact for case discussions relating to children/young people who may be at risk of radicalisation or involved in terrorism;
  • collated relevant information from referrals of vulnerable young people;
  • Ensured that progress on actions would be reported and
  • shared any relevant additional information promptly
  1. t) Online or internet use

Many adults have a separation in their minds between ‘real life and the ‘online world’. The connected world embraces both online and offline and is the norm for most children & young people, having grown up with the use of mobile phones, tablets and computers daily.

While mobile devices are a source of fun, entertainment, communication, and education, we know that some adults, children & young people will use these technologies to harm children & young people. Our policy states they may not be used while at the Centre. The harm might range from hurtful and abusive texts and emails to enticing young people to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face-face meetings.

In many cases, abuse will take place concurrently via online channels and in daily life. Children & young people can also abuse their peers online via abusive, harassing, and misogynistic messages, the non-consensual sharing of indecent/sexual images, especially around chat groups and the sharing of offensive images of pornography to those who do not wish to receive such content. Our online safety policy explains how we try to keep children/young people safe in the home.

The Centre follows UK Council for Internet Safety and Department for Education guidance around ‘sharing nudes and semi-nudes’ – staff will immediately report concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Social networking sites are the more prominent sources of inappropriate and harmful behaviour; children/young people cannot access these on our IT system. We will work with children/young people on how to maintain their safety and summon help if they are concerned about what they see online. Some children/young people will undoubtedly be chatting on mobiles, or social networking sites at home and parents are encouraged to consider measures to keep their children safe.

  1. u) Photography and images

Most people who take or view photographs or videos of children/young people do so for innocent, understandable and acceptable reasons. We know some people abuse children/young people by taking or using images, so we must ensure that the following safeguards are in place.

While parents are permitted to bring a camera to events, no staff member or volunteer should use their equipment to photograph children & young people. The Centre, however, from time to time, will overtake marketing activities which require taking photographs of guests, students, volunteers etc.; when happening, all parties involved will be informed I.  advance, and the Centre will provide equipment for this purpose and follow the guidance below (u.1).

When a staff member or volunteer is concerned that someone is taking photographs in breach of this policy, they should contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

u.1) To protect children/young people we:

  1. a) seek their consent for photographs to be taken or published (for example, on our website, in the newspapers, or in other publications).
  2. b) seek parental consent.
  3. c) use only the child’s first name with the image.
  4. d) ensure that the child is appropriately dressed.
  5. e) encourage children/young people to tell us if they are worried about any photographs taken.

Consensual sharing of indecent and sexual images, primarily between older children/young people of the same age, may require a different response. It might not be abusive, but children/young people need to know it is illegal, whilst non-consensual is illegal and offensive. Staff and volunteers should be aware that many indecent images in current circulation were taken by the child themselves or peers. (See DfE advice: consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude photos and videos for further information). Sex, sexuality and relationships should be an age-appropriate topic in the home and include what to do if young people are worried about an image they see.

  1. v) Body image and confidence

Children/young people come under increasing pressure to conform to so-called ideals by peers, adults, sometimes parents, and the mass media, through social media and their view of themselves. Research shows that more than half of children/young people worry about how they look, which can lead to withdrawal, isolation, emotional and, at its extremes, serious physical harm. We work assertively to tackle these values, support individuality, teach body confidence and encourage children & young people to work together to present a positive and healthy view of body shape.

  1. w) Private Fostering

Private fostering is when a child or young person under 16 years old (or 18 if they have a disability) is to be looked after for a period of 28 days or more by someone who is not a close relative, guardian, or person with parental responsibility. Close relatives include parents, stepparents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

The local authority must be told about all private fostering situations by law. The child’s parents, personal foster carer, and anyone involved in the arrangement (including the ADC) are legally required to inform the local authority.

It is then the local authority’s legal duty to ensure all private fostering arrangements are safe for the child or young person. Once informed of the agreement, the local authority will check the suitability of foster carers, make regular visits to the child or young person, and ensure advice, help, and support are available when needed.

  1. x) Young carers

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative with a condition, such as a disability, illness (including ‘long covid’), mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.

Most young carers look after one of their parents and care for siblings. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, helping with medication or helping someone to get dressed and move around. Some children/young people give much physical help to a parent or sibling who is disabled or ill. Along with doing things to help, they may also be supporting family members emotionally.

Children and young people should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that may impact their development. The Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2016 lists some duties considered inappropriate. Still, you should also consider the impact of the following caring responsibilities on children & young people:

  • personal care such as bathing and toileting
  • strenuous physical activity such as lifting
  • administering medication
  • maintaining the family budget
  • emotional support to the adult
  1. y) Children/young people going missing

All staff and volunteers know that children/young people going missing, particularly repeatedly, can be a vital warning sign of a range of safeguarding possibilities. Early intervention is necessary to identify any underlying safeguarding risk and to help prevent the chances of a child/young person going missing in future. Staff and volunteers at the ADC must be aware at all times if there is a missing child within the setting. Any concern of a missing child must be reported to the DSL immediately.

  1. z) Indicators of abuse

Physical signs define some type of abuse, for example, bruising, bleeding or broken bones resulting from physical or sexual abuse, or injuries sustained while a child has been inadequately supervised. The definition of physical signs is complicated, as young people may go to great lengths to hide injuries, often because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or their abuser has threatened further violence or trauma if they ‘tell’. It is also quite challenging to categorise injuries as accidental or deliberate with any degree of certainty. For these reasons, staff and volunteers must also be aware of the behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

It is the responsibility of staff and volunteers to report their concerns. They are not responsible for investigating or deciding whether a child has been abused.

Document References

Council for Disabled Children

Children Act 2004

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Domestic abuse. How to get help

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks

Equality Act 2010

Tackling Child Exploitation

General Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR

Keeping Children Safe in Education

London Safeguarding Procedures and Practice

UK Council for Internet Safety

Sharing Nudes and Semi nudes advice for education

NNCEE (National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment)

Care and Support Statutory Guidance

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018