Terms and Conditions and Child Protection Policy

Class Act Theatre School (CATS):

Terms and Conditions

1. Trials

Each child may attend one trial session – following this trial, a full or pro-rata term payment is due. CATS must be provided with sufficient contact, identification and health details to assume responsibility for your child during any class.

2. Joining Class Act Theatre School

Classes are purchased in a minimum block of 10 weeks. The classes will generally run consecutively and on occasions run during school holidays. If a child starts part way through a term, the pro-rata payment amount will be calculated for you. .

3. Payment

The full cost for each term must be paid within 14 days of the date that appears on the renewal letter issued at the end of each term. CATS fees may be paid via the following methods - cash, cheque or via internet banking. All deposits for any activity, costume or show are non-refundable. We regret that classes missed, for whatever reason, will not be refunded under any circumstances, Top up classes are available. You may pick up your missed class in any other CATS school. Please notify the Principal if you intend to come to another class. Top ups may only be taken in the current term.

4. Liability

All CATS teachers are fully qualified, DBS checked + insured. Due to the nature of teaching drama/movement, sometimes it is necessary to correct dance positions physically. This is always conducted with the utmost care and professionalism.

Parents have a responsibility to notify CATS of any illness and/or injury that may affect a child’s class. We do not accept liability for death or personal injury to any child attending class, whether organised by CATS or otherwise, with the exception of such injury being caused by negligence or fault of any member of CATS staff or any other default on the part of CATS. We do not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to personal property. We do not accept responsibility for any loss or expense due to circumstances beyond our control including, transport, fire, weather and other such actions.

5. Cancellations

We reserve the right to cancel any classes anytime up to and including the date the activity starts. We only do this when every alternative has been examined. Occasionally it is necessary temporarily to change the venue of a class. Where this occurs, we will endeavour to notify pupils either by letter, word of mouth, internet or telephone.

6. Miscellaneous

Occasionally, photographs or filming may be taken during class/performance for publicity. By completing the Application form, at the point of joining CATS, you give consent to photos and filming, which will be kept secure and used only for CATS purposes. Please inform the Principal before any such event if you do not want your child to be involved in photos or filming. CATS has a zero tolerance on bullying, Should any child be found to be bullying they will be asked to leave. It is your responsibility to ensure that CATS have the correct details for you and your child and to keep CATS updated of any changes to health.

7. Opt-in/Data Protection

By completing the initial Application/Registration form, you will be indicating your consent (Opting in) to receiving e-mail information about classes and events in relation to CATS. Yours and your child’s personal information will be kept secure in accordance with CATS’ Data Protection Policy. You also consent to your child’s photograph being used in promotional material (see opt-out above). During show week, your contact details may be made available to our third party photographer – who will also keep this information secure.

8. Chaperoning at shows/events

During Dress Rehearsals and Show week CATS requires ALL parents to be available to Chaperone their own child at least twice. In addition CATS also invites all parents to become Licensed as official Chaperones via the appropriate Education Authority. This means that, should you proceed to become licensed, the parent will have attended a recognised Child Protection Course, undertaken an enhanced DBS check and received independent references. If you are able to give the time to become a Licensed Chaperone for CATS, please let the Principal know.

9. Commitment to CATS

To avoid conflicts of interest and to enhance CATS' spirit of collaboration, for as long as each child is a CATS member, we ask that each child does not attend any other Theatre/Drama School (this excludes dance schools, singing lessons or events run by the Education Authority).

Child Protection Policy

Introduction

Class Act Theatre School have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for children all staff, chaperones, parents/legal guardians and volunteers accept their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to ensure that everyone follow procedures to protect children and report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.

There are three elements to our policy:-

  • Prevention through awareness of each individual child’s needs.
  • Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Procedures for identifying and reporting cases or suspected cases, of abuse.

The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of Class Act Theatre School and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

Prevention

We recognise that the “entertainment industry” can be a very “adult” environment and we expect that all staff, chaperones, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and anyone else who comes into contact with children behave in an appropriate manner at all times, and remember that “The Welfare of the Child is Paramount”.

Class Act Theatre School will therefore:-

  • Act within the Children’s Act 1989 & 2004
  • Act within The Children’s (Performance) Regulations 1968 (and amendments)
  • Establish and maintain an ethos where children feel welcome and familiar with their environment and are informed of personal (toilets, dressing rooms etc) and emergency arrangements (fire exits, meeting points etc) and any Health and Safety Procedures (Dangerous equipment, First aid etc)
  • Inform each child who the appropriate person or people are to speak to if they have any questions, problems or concerns.
  • Ensure that all children are treated with respect and dignity and are treated as individuals and offered equality of opportunities.
  • Always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and unnecessary physical contact with children) and involve/allow parents/chaperones wherever possible, to take responsibility for the child/children they are responsible for. (parents must only have responsibility for their own child)
  • Recognising the individual needs of the child. eg recognising when a child may be tired and may need a break.
  • Ensure that children are supervised appropriately.
  • Ensure that all Chaperones are registered with the local authority in which they reside and have an enhanced CRB check.
  • Ensure all crew and staff coming into close contact with a child are CRB checked.
  • Ensure that all staff and crew who don’t necessarily have close contact with children but who are assisting in the production are aware of their conduct around children.

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

A child is abused or neglected when somebody inflicts harm, or fails to act to prevent harm. A child or young person up to the age of 18 years can suffer abuse or neglect and require protection.

  • Physical Abuse - May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
  • Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates or induces illness in a child whom they are looking after.
  • Sexual Abuse - Forcing or enticing a child/young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not they are aware of what is happening, may involve: physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts; non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities; or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
  • Neglect - Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
  • Emotional Abuse - The persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional and behavioural development. It may involve conveying to the child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age and developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. It may involve causing children to feel frightened or in danger, for example witnessing domestic abuse within the home or being bullied, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone

Legislation, Policy and Guidance

Class Act Theatre School will adhere to the relevant legislation when working with

children and young people under the age of 18 years as outlined in the following:

  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Children: Working Together under the Children Act 2004 (WAG, 2006)
  • All Wales Child Protection Procedures (2008)

Suspicion of Abuse

  • If you see or suspect abuse of a child, immediately make this known to the designated individual/manager responsible for child protection.

Disclosure of Abuse

If a child tells you that they or another child or young person is being abused:-

  • Always stop and listen straight away, show that you take their allegations seriously.
  • Encourage the child to talk, but do not ask leading questions, interrupt or ask the child to repeat itself.
  • Never promise that you will keep what is said confidential or secret – explain that if you are told something of concern that you will need to let someone know but that you will only tell the people who need to know and can help.
  • Record what you have been told accurately and as soon as possible. Use the child‘s own words. Make a note of the time, location, whether any one else present and of the Child’s demeanour.
  • Ensure that your concerns are reported immediately to the designated individual/manager
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser.

Handling Allegations

  • If a child makes an allegation against a member of staff it must be reported as a matter of urgency to the designated manager/individual for child protection who will refer to Social Services department for Children’s Services. If the allegation is against the designated person then the information should be reported to another senior manager or directly to Social Services department for Children’s Services. (This would generally be referred to the authority in which the alleged incident took place).
  • The alleged perpetrator should not be made aware of the allegation at this point.

Recording

• In all situations the details of allegation or reported incident must be recorded. Make accurate notes of time, dates, incident or disclosure, people involved, what was said and done and by whom, action taken to investigate, further action taken e.g. suspension of individual and if relevant: reasons why the matter was not referred to a statutory agency, name of person reporting and to whom it was reported

The record must be stored securely and shared only with those who need to know.

  • DO NOT worry that you might be mistaken; you have a responsibility to pass on your concerns following a disclosure. Never think abuse is impossible, or that an accusation about a person you know well and trust is bound to be wrong.

IT IS YOUR DUTY TO REFER CONCERNS ON, NOT TO INVESTIGATE