Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy

Last updated: 01/01/2021

This Policy has been produced by SOPM to enable children and vulnerable adults to enjoy music and socialising in a safe environment.


The ‘school’ shall mean The School of Popular Music the ‘child’ or ‘children’ refers to any student under the age of 18 and any vulnerable adults. The ‘tutor’ shall mean the music teacher employed by the School of Popular Music.

SOPM seeks to create a safe and welcoming environment where children can have fun and develop their skills. We recognise that safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone, not just those working with them and we will do our best to ensure everything is always run to the highest possible safety standards. We confirm that:

  • All children will be treated with respect and celebrated for their achievements.
  • All tutors selected to work with the students are carefully chosen and have up to date enhanced DBS checks. All tutors must sign a code of conduct agreement. All heads of department will be ‘Child and Safety Level 2’ trained.
  • Response is swift and appropriate to any complaints or concerns raised regarding   poor practice and suspected or actual child abuse.

Please read through the following Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy carefully:

Code of Behaviour for Tutors (Also see ‘Staff Code of Conduct’)

  1. Children are to be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect.
  2. School tutors must be sensitive to the risks involved in interacting with children in a one- to-one setting.
  3. While physical contact may be necessary to instruct a child how to hold/play an instrument, it should be appropriate to the lesson or class, and only take place when it is acceptable to all concerned.
  4. Tutors should never punish or be in any way verbally abusive to a child, nor should they tell jokes of an inappropriate nature in the presence of children.
  5.  Tutors should be sensitive to the possibility of developing favouritism, or becoming over involved or spending a great deal of time with any one child.
  6. Children should be encouraged to report cases of bullying to a tutor of their choice. Complaints will be brought to the attention of the School.
  7. All complaints and allegations will be met with a response.
  8. Everyone involved in the School should respect the personal space, safety and privacy of individuals.

Procedures for Reporting Suspected Cases of Abuse

Child abuse can be categorised into four types: neglect, emotional, physical and sexual. The National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children have adopted the following definitions of child abuse:

  1. Neglect. This is where a child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical care.
  2. Emotional Abuse. This is normally found in the relationship between a caregiver and a child. It occurs when a child’s needs for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met.
  3. Physical Abuse. Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury that causes significant harm to a child.
  4.  Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or arousal, or for that of others.

Any person who suspects that a child is being abused or is at risk of abuse has a responsibility to report their concerns to The School of Popular Music. The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act (1998) provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse ‘reasonably and in good faith’.

Within the School, the report should be made to the Director, Tyler Edmonds or the Assistant Manager, Casey-Joe Rumens who are both trained to deal with sensitive information and will then report the incident. The Person first reporting the abuse will then be required to speak with the police. If the person does not feel comfortable consulting with anybody from the school they should contact the police directly. When reporting, as much information as possible should be provided, i.e. names, addresses, full account of the concern for the child, dates of incidents, circumstances, and the child’s own statement, if relevant.

In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, the Police will be contacted.

A suspicion, which is not supported by any objective signs of abuse, would not constitute a reasonable suspicion, or reasonable grounds for concern.

Any information provided will remain confidential.

Allegations of Misconduct or Abuse by Staff

The following actions are to be taken if an allegation is made against a tutor:

  1. The laws of natural justice are to be followed.
  2. The School director will be informed as soon as possible.
  3. The first priority is that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk, and the director will take the relevant protective measures.
  4. These measures will be proportionate to the level of risk, and will not unreasonably penalise the tutor.
  5. Any action following the allegation of abuse against a tutor will be taken in consultation with the director. An immediate meeting will be arranged.
  6. After these consultations, the accused person will be informed by the director of his/her future at the School.

Selection Practices

  1. When a vacancy opens up, a clear description of the job is to be provided. The minimum level of personal qualities required to fill the post are to be made clear.
  2. All employees are required to sign a declaration stating that there is no reason why they would be unsuitable to work with children, and declaring any past criminal convictions or cases pending against them. They are also required to sign a staff code of conduct agreement. This specifically outlines all requirements expected.
  3. An enhanced police check (DBS) will be required.
  4. The names of two referees who will testify as to their character, their suitability to the job and any other issues, which may affect their ability to perform the required tasks. At least one referee should have first hand knowledge of their previous work or contact with children.
  5. They will be required to confirm his/her identity against some documentation, which gives his or her full name and address.

Complaints and Accidents Procedure

  1. Emergency numbers are prominently displayed, and known by all.
  2. A telephone will always be at hand and available to all.
  3. A first aid box is kept close at hand.
  4. All accidents and complaints are to be reported and then entered into a logbook.
  5. The School director will be informed of any new entries in this book.