Child Safeguarding Policy

GENERAL STATEMENT

The safety of any child performer at our concerts is paramount. Every child, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief and sexual orientation, has the right to be protected from harm. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously, and responded to swiftly and appropriately. The staff of Scratch Concerts Ltd (working in conjunction with the staff at the Royal Albert Hall, the staff of any participating schools or youth choirs, and the parents/guardians of individual child singers) acknowledge their responsibility to report concerns.  The following clauses apply only to children who are singing; under 18s in the audience will be deemed to be the responsibility of the adults who brought them (children under 3 years of age are not normally admitted).

1. CONCERTS INCLUDING CHILD PERFORMERS

(a) From time to time, Scratch Concerts Ltd may specifically engage children to perform at concerts where, for example, the work requires a children’s choir or a solo chorister. There will be close co-operation at all times between the staff of Scratch Concerts Ltd and those normally responsible for the choir/chorister concerned (see also Sections 4 and 5 below).
(b) Amateur adult singers who take part in our concerts may also choose to bring older children to sing alongside them. We encourage this, because it is important to give young singers an experience of massed choral singing in a truly prestigious venue, and thereby to foster a love of choral singing which will be with them for the rest of their lives. In this way the remarkable choral heritage of the UK will continue to thrive amongst future generations (see also Section 5 below).
(c) Where applicable, the necessary licences, conforming with the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, will be applied for from Westminster City Council (if the event is at the Royal Albert Hall) or the relevant authority, and appropriate records relating to hours of rehearsal and performance will be kept. 

2. THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s foremost concert venues. In addition to its programme of high-quality events for the general public, it also hosts frequent events for young people such as the Schools Prom. As such it has its own robust child protection policy and safeguarding procedures, which have informed the policies drawn up by Scratch Concerts Ltd. The RAH has a dedicated Child Protection Officer with responsibility for ensuring the Hall’s procedures are followed. The Hall’s Duty Managers are also trained in the area of Child Protection, and at least one of them is on duty at every event.

3. TO WHOM THIS POLICY REFERS

This policy refers to children aged under 16 (and, in the case of groups, those up to 18 years of age), and vulnerable people of any age whose needs are identified in advance to Scratch Concerts Ltd. Adults who buy singing tickets from us are asked to notify us in advance of the performance if they are bringing a child aged under 16 so that appropriate action can be taken. Anyone with special needs, for whom either we or the Royal Albert Hall need to provide additional support, should get in touch with us by email: members@trbc.co.uk.

4. CHILDREN’S CHOIRS

(a) All under 18s in a named choral group will be under the direct supervision of chaperones appointed by the group. We would not normally expect children in named choirs to be less than 7 years old. 
(b) There should be one chaperone for every 10 children, subject to a minimum of two chaperones per group.
(c) Chaperones must at all times closely supervise the children in their group, and are responsible for ensuring a suitable level of behaviour so that others are not endangered, inconvenienced, or their enjoyment of the event impaired.
(d) It is the responsibility of each group organiser to ensure that chaperones are suitably vetted and, if such checks are appropriate and required, that they have undergone the relevant DBS checks. Names and numbers of chaperones are to be supplied in advance to Scratch Concerts Ltd.
(e) Details of the ages and gender of all children in a particular group, together with a statement about the children’s health are to be supplied in advance to Scratch Concerts Ltd; any medical conditions which might be the concern of either Scratch Concerts Ltd or the Royal Albert Hall are also to be notified.
(f) The Royal Albert Hall staff and stewards are trained in the management of large groups, both under normal circumstances and in the event of an emergency. To ensure the safety of all, group leaders and chaperones must at all times follow the directions of Royal Albert Hall staff, and instruct members of their groups to do the same.
(g) It is the responsibility of the group organiser to ensure that every child in their group is attending with the prior consent of the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s).

5. INDIVIDUAL CHILD SINGERS

(in the clauses below, ‘responsible adult’ is understood to mean a parent, guardian, close relative or teacher who might normally be expected to accompany the child)
(a) Children under the age of 5 are not permitted to perform.
(b) Children aged 5–8 are most unlikely to take part in an individual capacity; anyone wishing to bring a child under the age of 9 is asked to discuss the matter in advance with Scratch Concerts Ltd (email members@trbc.co.uk). If attendance is permitted, Clauses 5(c) to 5(h) below will apply.
(c) Children aged 9–16 may sing, provided they are accompanied at all times by a responsible adult.
(d) No more than two children aged 9–16 may be under the supervision of one responsible adult (unless they are attending as part of a choir as in Section 4, above).
(e) The responsible adult should notify us in advance of the concert if their party includes a child under the age of 16 and to comply with the necessary requests for information.
(f) The responsible adult will be asked to notify us in advance of the age and gender of their child, and that the child is in good health; any medical conditions which might be the concern of either Scratch Concerts Ltd or the Royal Albert Hall are also to be notified.
(g) The responsible adult must at all times closely supervise any child in their care, and is responsible for ensuring a suitable level of behaviour so that others are not endangered, inconvenienced, or their enjoyment of the event impaired.
(h) The responsible adult will be asked to supply an emergency telephone number for a friend or relative not attending the concert.
(i) If stipulated by the licensing authority, the responsible adult will be asked to sign in and out of the building each time they enter or leave, especially at the beginning and end of the day of the event.
(j) Where a solo chorister under the age of 18 has been specifically engaged by Scratch Concerts Ltd, other/different conditions than those listed above may apply. All statutory requirements will be adhered to and the relevant licences procured in consultation with the adult(s) responsible for the child.

6. RECORD KEEPING

(a) Scratch Concerts Ltd will not at any time seek to obtain or store the personal details of any individual child under the age of 18.
(b) The only exception to Clause 6(a) is where Scratch Concerts Ltd is required by the licensing authority to provide details of a child (for example to assist in a medical emergency). The licensing authority may require such information to be kept for a period after the event; in the case of Westminster City Council this period of time is 6 months. After that time, any such information is destroyed.
(c) When an individual child soloist is engaged, appropriate note will be made of the hours worked; the relevant licence will be obtained and any required information will be submitted to the licensing authority.

7. PHOTOGRAPHY

(a) It is not permitted to take photographs or use video equipment at any time during any of our performances. Such equipment may be confiscated, and the photographs destroyed.
(b) Photographs may be taken before the performance starts or during the applause at the end. However, under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to come into the performing areas (Stage, Arena and Choir) to take photographs, as this will impede the safe exit of the performers.
(c) One or more official photographers may be in attendance throughout the rehearsal and the performance (with the permission of the Royal Albert Hall) for the purpose of taking photos of the event. Photographs may be taken of a children’s choir if present,  but no photographs of individual children will be taken without the express permission of the chaperone being sought and granted. If a single child performer represents a larger organisation (e.g. as in the case of a cathedral chorister), then the organisation’s permission will be obtained in advance.
(d) Leaders of children’s choirs will be informed that photographs may be taken, and should obtain the necessary agreement from parents in compliance with their own child safeguarding policies.
(e) Where photographs of children’s choirs are published, they will be identified solely by the name of the choir and the event. The names and personal details of individual children will never be disclosed without specific permission in writing being sought and obtained from the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) and/or the school concerned where the school is acting in loco parentis.
(f) Where a children’s choir performs in a uniform, choir/school insignia may sometimes be obscured in photographs to reduce the possibility of children being identified.
(g) Photos will be uploaded on social media only if the tagging of individual children can be disabled.

8. RELEVANT LEGISTLATION

This document is informed by the following legislation:
The Children and Young Persons Act 1963
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
The Children Act 1989
The Police Act 1997
The Data Protection Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998
The Protection of Children Act 1999
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
The Children Act 2004
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
The Children, Schools and Families Act 2010
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
The Children and Social Work Act 2017

Policy first implemented October 2013
Updated November 2014; reviewed October 2015
Updated November 2016
Updated October 2017
Updated June 2018
Updated June 2019
Updated February 2020
Updated February 2023

For Scratch Concerts Ltd
Company directors: Marianne Barton, Trevor Ford, Anne Hastings, Anthony Hastings, Ann Monro,
Company address (for correspondence): PO Box 4211, Bath BA1 0HJ
Registered Office: 141 Englishcombe Lane, Bath BA2 2EL