Safeguarding policy

Safeguarding of children


The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) has a busy education programme, working regularly in Early Years Settings, Primary, Secondary and Special Needs schools nationwide.

The aim of the OAE’s Safeguarding policy is to inform OAE staff about the issues and appropriate procedures and practices in order to ensure the OAE provides a safe environment in which any work with children, young people and vulnerable adults can take place.

For the purpose of this policy “OAE staff” applies to all full time/part-time employees, musicians, the board of trustees, volunteers and sessional workers, students and anyone working on behalf of the OAE.

The OAE recognises that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

OAE Policy

It is our policy to safeguard children by insisting that

  • All those working on behalf of the OAE adhere to the child protection procedures and the OAE Code of Practice laid out in this document
  • A DBS checked teacher or teaching assistant must be present in the room at ALL times during school workshops
  • A safe environment will always be in place, where children feel secure and valued
  • In the case of any concerns all staff will be clear on how to respond to the appropriate person
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately and swiftly
  • The OAE designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Cherry Forbes – OAE Education Director will implement the policy and act as a mentor for any OAE staff to approach with any worries, suspicions or allegations and will pass on information to the appropriate authority
  • All OAE staff and volunteers will be informed of the OAE DSL
  • In any case of allegations or suspicions the OAE will ensure confidentiality
  • The policy will always be available upon request

It is the specific role of the DSL to:

  • Be the first point of contact to whom allegations and concerns of abuse should be reported
  • Receive information from OAE staff, children or parents who have concerns and record it
  • Assess the information promptly and seek to obtain more information about the matter as appropriate
  • Make a formal referral to the appropriate body, whether the safeguarding lead for the school/setting or the relevant authorities, and inform the OAE’s CEO and Board of Directors of that referral
  • Act as a source of advice, support and knowledge within the OAE.
  • Ensure all OAE staff are aware of and have access to this policy
  • Ensure that this policy is reviewed at regular intervals
  • Ensure that accurate and secure written records of any referrals are kept
  • Keep a record of contact details of all necessary authorities so they can be contacted should any suspicion, allegation or referral occur
  • Ensure that the OAE Education Officer (Andrew Thomson) keeps up to date records of DBS checks in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (2018).

It is NOT OAE staff’s role to decide whether a child had been abused or not, this is the task of the relevant authorities. It is however, everybody’s responsibility to ensure that concerns are shared and appropriate action taken.

Recruiting and Training

When recruiting OAE staff the OAE will seek to ensure that:

  • The OAE Safeguarding policy is brought to the attention of all new staff
  • All those involved in OAE Education work are committed to the safeguarding of children and feel comfortable reporting any concerns, suspicions or allegations regarding the safety of the children to the DSL
  • All staff involved in OAE Education work are made aware that the OAE insist that a DBS checked teacher or teaching assistant is present in the room at ALL times during school workshops
  • All those involved in regulated activity have an up to date DBS check and are encouraged to join the update system which will be checked by the OAE on a regular basis

OAE Code of Practice

The OAE adheres to the following practice for staff during the planning, interpersonal dealings and contact with children for all education workshops and events.

  • Monitoring all risks throughout project planning and delivery.
  • Avoiding unobserved one-to-one contact with a child unless absolutely necessary, during which they must be within sight or hearing of others who are aware of the situation
  • Making sure participants are informed of and comfortable with any necessary physical contact – for example demonstrating a string bow hold
  • Ensuring that a member of staff from the school or third-party organisation, such as music services, is present for any out of school events to meet their responsibility for the safety of the children
  • Always putting the welfare of the child first and encouraging them to feel comfortable enough to raise any issues of problems. If such an issue is raised, recognising that caution is still required while in contact with the child
  • Confronting any inappropriate behaviour from the children and disallowing any form of bullying or abusive activities between children
  • Never favouring any children and giving constructive feedback to all children
  • Liaising with schools or adults acting in loco parentis in advance of events if an OAE photographer or filmmaker is to be present to ensure that any identifying images are only of those children whose parents have given permission to the school/pastoral carer in advance. School teachers and careers will be given the opportunity to identify those participants who cannot be photographed. If any photographs or films are used by the OAE the OAE will ensure that they do not include the individual names of the participants. At education concert events the OAE may reasonably wish to take wide angle, more general photos of the concert and orchestra etc. As ‘non-identifying’ images, it is not reasonable or practical to require parental consent for this type of photography. Organisations should be aware that by bringing pupils to this type of event such photography might occur. If parents wish to photograph their children the OAE cannot be held responsible for those who use the pictures for manipulative purposes
  • Never letting a suspicion or disclosure go unreported. Where there are concerns about a child’s safety, neither parental/guardian nor child consent is needed in order for a referral to be made

Following concerns

The guidelines for any OAE staff suspicious of abuse are as follows:

  • If you see or suspect abuse of a child, make the appropriate DSL or teacher/teaching assistant with legal responsibilities aware of the problem immediately as well as the DSL. If for any reason contact cannot be made to the DSL the matter should then be reported to the OAE Education Officer and the OAE’s CEO
  • If you are suspicious of the teacher/TA, you should report to the DSL lead at the school or institution and DSL making a note for the OAE’s records of what you witnessed, along with the response in case there are any follow ups of consequences in which you may be involved. If you witness an accident involving a child, you should make a note of the accident and the time it occurred and tell the teacher/teaching assistant as well as the OAE DSL

Responding to a disclosure:

If a child discloses information of abuse, OAE staff should:

  • Remain calm and approachable and show no judgement
  • Allow the child / young person to speak without interruption, making it clear that you are taking them seriously and don’t ask for more information than is necessary
  • Assure them that you will have to pass on the information to another adult because they will be better able to help, but they will remain supported
  • Assure them that the problem will only be shared with the people who need to know in order to provide help and support

Reporting a disclosure:

If a child discloses information or abuse, the relevant OAE staff need to immediately report it and should:

  • Immediately inform the designated person in the school and the OAE DSL about the disclosure
  • Make a report immediately comprising of the true words voiced by the child. This should be based on evidence and entirely factual and objective to what you have heard and should never be based on assumptions or opinion unless clearly stated that this is so
  • Give a copy of the report to the OAE DSL who will refer it onto the appropriate authority
  • Never pass on any of the information to any third party who shouldn’t be involved. The report should remain confidential at all times
  • Never speak to the person(s) alleged or put the child in danger or put anyone into further compromise

Responding to a child or adult protection emergency

In an emergency when a child or adult has been seriously hurt or is in imminent danger of being harmed OAE Staff must ring 999 and ask for the emergency service required – Police and/or Ambulance – then inform the appropriate DSL after taking this action. Once the emergency situation has been dealt with they must contact the OAE DSL to report the emergency

Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults


Vulnerable adults are defined as:

  • People aged 18 or over
  • People who are receiving or may need community care services because of learning, physical or mental disability, age, or illness
  • Individuals who may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation

The OAE will:

  • Work to protect vulnerable adults in all areas of our business
  • Work with other agencies as required and will make a referral to the relevant services as appropriate
  • Will endeavour to keep up to date with national developments relating to preventing abuse and welfare of adults
  • Ensure all staff are aware of the risks posed to vulnerable adults and how we can all work to prevent abuse