Hertfordshire Music Service (HMS) understands and fully recognises the responsibility it has to have arrangements in place to safeguard children, protect their wellbeing and have due regard of the need to prevent people from being radicalised
HMS will ensure that all staff receive (or has received) the relevant training in relation to safeguarding, child protection and radicalisation prevention, in order to be vigilant at all times and identify those who may be at risk. Through their day-to-day contact with pupils, staff in HMS play a crucial role in identifying indicators of possible concern and making appropriate referrals. HMS will ensure that all Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) will undertake (or have undertaken) all relevant and appropriate safeguarding, child protection and radicalisation prevention training, and will be able to make appropriate referrals.
It is important for children to receive the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues escalating. Research and serious case reviews have repeatedly shown the dangers of failing to take effective action (as detailed in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’). Examples of poor practice include failing to act on and refer early signs of abuse and neglect, poor record keeping, failing to listen to the child and failing to reassess concerns when the situation does not improve.
If after a referral the child’s situation does not appear to be improving, the DDSL (or the person that made the referral) should press for re-consideration to ensure their concerns have been addressed and, most importantly, that the child’s situation improves.
This policy sets out how HMS discharges its statutory responsibilities and is part of a set of documents relating to its safeguarding and child protection responsibilities (these are available on the HMS website and in hard copy upon request). In addition, HMS also follows guidelines within the Handbook and Code of Conduct for Instrumental and Vocal Teachers.
This policy will be reviewed annually by HMS and will be implemented through the HMS induction and training programme. Compliance with the policy will be monitored by the HMS Executive Leadership Team, DSL and DDSLs.
HMS follows the procedures established by Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partners, including local authorities, Chief Officers of Police, and clinical commissioning groups.
In order to effectively safeguard children and young people and promote their welfare, HMS acts in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:
- The Children Act 1989;
- The Children Act 2004;
- Education Act 2002 (section 175);
- Hertfordshire Safeguarding Partners Inter-agency Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures;
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2020);
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018);
- The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005;
- Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers and Other Staff (DfE 2011);
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
To comply with legislation and guidance, HMS:
- Follows the procedures established by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Partners;
- Ensures staff can recognise, and are alert to signs of abuse and radicalisation;
- Ensures staff are aware of the procedures for handling suspected safeguarding issues, including those to be followed if a member of staff is accused or suspected of abuse, or promoting radicalisation;
- Ensures DDSLs receive appropriate training and have responsibility for co-ordinating action and liaising with the appropriate agency if a safeguarding issue is brought to their attention.
HMS understand and recognise their duty to undertake specific responsibilities to ensure all statutory measures, legislation and guidance is being adhered to. This is done so by ensuring:
- It has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) for Child Protection and receive refresher training at two yearly intervals to keep their knowledge and skills relevant and where necessary, take advice and guidance from a child protection specialist;
- The Child Protection Team at County Hall is notified of the HMS DDSLs and kept informed of any changes in personnel;
- Staff know the names and roles of HMS DDSLs;
- Staff undertake regular safeguarding training, including identifying indicators of abuse and neglect, knowledge of safe working practice and an understanding of their role and responsibilities;
- Staff are aware of and have access to a copy of this policy and other relevant documents;
- Staff adhere to a strict confidentiality policy and will only disclose information about a pupil on a need-to-know basis;
- If after a referral is made, the child’s condition does not improve, escalation procedures are followed to ensure their concerns have been addressed and the child’s situation improves;
- New and temporary staff receive a safeguarding children induction;
- HMS will work with relevant agencies and co-operate on child protection matters;
- HMS operates within the legislative framework and recommended guidance.
Preventing unsuitable people working with children
As part of HMS safeguarding responsibilities, HMS recognise the importance of ensuring only suitable candidates are appointed as a member of staff and are subsequently screened for necessary, statutory compliance checks. In order to do this appropriately, HMS will ensure they:
- Operate safe practice including ensuring appropriate DBS and reference checks are undertaken according to Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2020) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2018);
- Conduct any disciplinary proceedings against staff relating to child welfare matters and ensure they are concluded in full, even when the member of staff is no longer employed with HMS, and that notification of any concerns is made to the relevant authorities and professional bodies and included in references where applicable;
- Make all staff aware of the need for maintaining appropriate and professional boundaries in their relationship with pupils and parents (further information can be found in the “Safeguarding Guidelines for Instrumental and Vocal Teachers”);
- Make all staff aware that an intimate or sexual relationship with pupils under 18 years of age are unlawful and could result in legal proceedings being taken against them under Section 16 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, abuse of position of trust.
Hertfordshire County Council, together with HMS is committed to the highest standards of transparency, probity, integrity and accountability. This procedure is intended to provide a mechanism for making serious allegations about standards, conduct, financial irregularity or possible unlawful action. It does so in a way that will ensure confidentiality and protect those making such allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so from being victimised, discriminated against or disadvantaged. This procedure is intended to ensure that the County Council and HMS complies with its duty under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
Individuals employed or working in maintained schools should raise their concerns with the school using the school's own whistleblowing policy and reporting arrangements as a first contact, rather than directly with the County Council or HMS. If you, however, have a concern which you feel cannot be discussed with the management of the school or have good reason to consider that the complaint or disclosure will not be properly handled, then you may report concerns direct to HMS or the County Council. In respect of disclosures of serious misconduct or wrongdoing relating to safeguarding children or adults at risk and/or Special Educational Needs, the Council has a legal obligation to investigate and will do so irrespective of the status of the school.
When an allegation of whistleblowing is made, this can be done orally or in written format (although oral allegations may be required to be put into writing for confirmation). Please note – if you need to report/make an allegation of an incident within your school, you must follow your school’s whistleblowing policy, procedures and points of contact.
When an allegation is made regarding a member of HMS, the first contact should be with one of the DDSLs. When making a report, it is important that relevant information is provided including:
- The name of the person making the allegation and a contact point. It is much more difficult for the relevant investigating individual to pursue issues if allegations are made anonymously;
- The background and history of the allegation (giving relevant dates and names and positions of those who may be in a position to have contributed to the allegation);
- The specific reason for the allegation.
Although someone making an allegation will not be expected to prove the truth of any allegations, they will need to provide information to the DDSL to establish that there are reasonable grounds for the allegation. The DDSL will record details of the allegation and within 5 working days of receipt of the allegation, inform the relevant Monitoring Officer in writing that the allegation has been made and forward to the Monitoring Officer copies of:
- The record of the allegation;
- The acknowledgement of the allegation;
- Any documents supplied by the whistleblower.
The DDSL will ask the whistleblower for his/her preferred means of communication and contact details and use these for all communications with the whistleblower in order to preserve confidentiality.
If you wish to make an allegation and want to remain anonymous from the DDSL, there is a dedicated e-mail address for whistleblowing complaints to which only the Monitoring Officer and their two nominated Deputy Monitoring Officers will have access:
There is also a confidential phone number to which whistleblowing complaints can be made. This number is 01992 555320.
HMS recognises that the decision to make an allegation can be a difficult one to make. However, whistleblowers who make serious allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so should be reassured that they are doing their duty either to their employer and/or to those for whom they are providing a service. The County Council and HMS will take appropriate action to protect a whistleblower who makes a serious allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest to do so from any reprisals, harassment or victimisation.
All allegations will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made to not reveal a whistleblower's identity unless the whistleblower otherwise requests or unless there is a legal requirement to do so. If the matter is subsequently dealt with through other HMS and County Council procedures, such as the Disciplinary Procedure, the whistleblower's identity may have to be revealed in accordance with that procedure if the matter is to be effectively dealt with. Similarly, if the allegation results in court proceedings then the whistleblower may have to give evidence in court if the case is to be successful. A Reporting Officer will not, without the whistleblower's consent, disclose the identity of a whistleblower to anyone other than another Reporting Officer or to a person who has been asked by a Reporting Officer to investigate the allegation. A Reporting Officer, who intends to ask another person to carry out an investigation, will, as far as is practicable, inform the whistleblower before disclosing the whistleblower's identity to the person to be asked to carry out the investigation. Any person asked to carry out an investigation by a Reporting Officer and to whom a whistleblower's identity has been disclosed, will not further disclose that identity to any person without the whistleblower's consent.
The Whistleblowing Advice Line (NSPCC) offers free advice and support to professionals with concerns about how child protection issues are being handled in their own or another organisation. If you think an organisation is putting children at risk, even if you're not certain, call the helpline to talk through your concerns on 0800 028 0285 or you can email them on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Repertoire/Musical Resources written by convicted sex offenders
It is for our teachers to make their own decisions regarding which music is appropriate to purchase and use in their work.
We do, however, support colleagues who choose not to purchase or use music by convicted sex offenders. Teachers should also consider the potential challenge from parents/carers being asked to use/purchase such materials and how they will respond.
As a team within Children's Services, Hertfordshire Music Service will not knowingly purchase or use such materials.