Taunton Festival of the Arts

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

Function and Purpose

Taunton Festival of the Arts is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charity Commission and affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals. The Festival’s purpose is to advance, promote and encourage for the public benefit the performing arts generally and, in particular but not exclusively, Music, Dance and Speech and Drama.

It seeks to achieve the object by organising festivals, competitions and other occasional concerts, performances, workshops or such like events.

The Festival is managed by a committee of trustees which runs the Festival’s activities with sub committees and volunteer helpers. All Festival personnel are unpaid.

This Policy relates to all who attend Festival events in particular children under the age of eighteen and vulnerable adults.

Responsibility of Parents and Teachers

Children and vulnerable adults who attend Festival events remain the responsibility of their parents, carers, teachers or a responsible adult acting on behalf of a teacher who must ensure they are adequately supervised at all times. Code of Practice The safety of children and adults who attend Festival events is paramount. Our Trustees and volunteers undertake to do their best to provide an enjoyable learning and performance experience in an environment which is safe. Personnel The Trustees, Section Secretaries and Competition Organisers are DBS checked. Other volunteers are known personally by a trustee or the Stewards’ Secretary. New volunteers will be asked to provide a short written reference from someone of standing.

Festival personnel will wear name badges. Any safety or welfare concerns should be referred to one of them. Festival personnel will be on the lookout for any distress or behaviour which could indicate abuse of any kind. Each Festival event is overseen by a Section Secretary or Competition organiser who will deal with incidents or matters of concern. They will refer serious matters to the Festival’s Safeguarding Officer who will make a record and enlist outside support from the Police or Social services where necessary.

Festival personnel will receive appropriate training in Child Protection.

Online Safety. Any digital communication with parents or children should be limited to matters pertaining to the organisation of Festival events and informal contact, under the aegis of the Festival, through social media with individual parents or children should be avoided.

Safeguarding Officer

One of the Trustees will act as Safeguarding Officer. He/she will: • link with Somerset County Council’s Safeguarding Boards for Children and for Adults and ensure that the Festival is following any of their policies and procedures which are relevant. • record and ensure that any serious incidents are dealt with effectively. • inform the Charity Commission of any serious incidents or complaints about Safeguarding matters.

• organise appropriate training in Child Protection and Health and Safety for Festival Personnel. • ensure the Festival has adequate Insurance. • organise the vetting of all personnel by DBS checks and the use of references. • Prepare Risk Assessments for each Festival event.


The Festival uses local venues for its events. It is the responsibility of Section secretaries and Competition Organisers to carry out a Risk Assessment before each event. This should include ensuring there is adequate First Aid provision and arrangements to deal with Fire Safety. They should provide oversight during the event to ensure, as far as is possible, that everyone at the event is safe.

Photography or video recording (except by teachers for GCSE use) is not allowed in the rooms where Festival events are taking place. There may be Press Photography. If parents or schools would like to put a bar on any of their children appearing in a Press photograph, they must inform the Festival of this at the time of entry.

Where designated changing or rehearsal areas are provided, it is the responsibility of parents or teachers to provide supervision of their children. The Festival will not provide Stewards to supervise.

Volunteers who are not DBS checked (e.g. some accompanists) should not be left alone with children. They must be chaperoned by a parent or Festival volunteer.

Some children and vulnerable adults may have specific needs in order to take part in a Festival event. In these cases, parents or teachers should contact the relevant Section Secretary or Competition Organiser at the time of entry. The Festival actively seeks to meet such needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.

The Festival takes no responsibility for personal property at any of its venues.

Risk Assessment

Festival organisers have a duty of care to everyone involved at their events and may be held liable if anyone is hurt or injured because of negligence. Our Section Secretaries and Competition Organisers are responsible for the organisation of each event on behalf of the Festival

The Festival’s Safeguarding Officer will carry out a Risk Assessment for every Festival event in conjunction with the Venue Manager. These Assessments will be reviewed at least once a year.

The Event Organiser will be given Risk Assessment forms for each day. These should be signed and returned at the end of the Festival with any comments to the Safeguarding Officer.

Dissemination and Review

This policy will be published on the Festival’s website.

The Trustees will review this policy annually. It will be sent by email to all volunteers.

A copy of this policy will be given to each person entering a Festival event. For individual entries it will be sent directly as part of the acknowledgement. For group entries from teachers, one copy will be sent to the teacher who must return a signed letter/or confirmation  Email saying that the policy has been passed on to the parents. For entries from schools where the entry is a “school regulated event”, one copy will be sent to the school. It can safely be assumed that in these circumstances the school’s Safeguarding policies pertain.