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Safeguarding Policy

Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership (DDMP) will safeguard and promote children’s welfare to keep our learners safe from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

DDMP logoDDMP operates a whole organisational approach and ethos to safeguarding and protecting children. Where safeguarding is concerned, we maintain an attitude of "it could happen here".

We recognise that everyone in the organisation has a role to play to keep children safe; this includes identifying concerns, sharing information, and taking prompt action.

Safeguarding and child protection is incorporated in all relevant aspects of processes and policy development. All systems, processes and policies operate with the best interests of a child at their centre. 

This policy was last amended in January 2023.

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1. Introduction

This child protection/safeguarding policy outlines how the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership (DDMP) will safeguard and promote children’s welfare to keep our learners safe from abuse,neglect, and exploitation.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing the impairment of children's mental and physical health or development
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and
  • Taking action to enable all children to achieve the best outcomes

Children includes everyone under the age of 18.

We help to keep children safe by:

  • Providing safe environments, with secure access, where children can learn and develop
  • Acting in the best interests of children to protect them online and offline, including when they are receiving remote education
  • Identifying children who may need early help, and who are at risk of harm or have been harmed. This can include, but is not limited to, neglect, abuse (including by other children), grooming or exploitation
  • Taking timely and appropriate safeguarding action for children who need extra help or who may be suffering, or likely to suffer, harm. This includes, if required, referring in a timely way to those who have the expertise to help
  • Using safe recruitment processes and managing allegations that may meet the harm threshold and allegations/concerns that do not meet the harm threshold, referred to a slow-level concerns

We will ensure that parents/carers and our partner agencies are aware of our child protection/safeguarding policy by ensuring that it is on our website. 


This policy enables DDMP to carry out our functions to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and must be read alongside key guidance:

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2. What is abuse?

Abuse is a form of maltreatment of a child which may be caused by an adult, adults or by another child or children inflicting harm or by failing to prevent harm. The abuse can be physical, sexual, neglect or emotional, including witnessing the ill treatment of others, such as domestic abuse.

Children can be at risk of abuse inside and outside of their home, in their community, inside and outside the school/college and online.

Safeguarding issues can put children at of risk harm. Behaviours linked to drug taking and or alcohol misuse, deliberately missing education, serious violence (including county lines), radicalisation, consensual/non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images can be signs that children are at risk.

Abuse, neglect, and safeguarding issues are rarely stand-alone events; in most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another.Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children from the following risks, which include abuse perpetrated by other children as well as by adults:

  • Any concerns that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect
  • Bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying, racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse
  • Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls
  • Sexual harassment, online sexual abuse, and sexual violence between children. Online abuse can include sending abusive, harassing, and misogynistic or misandrist messages; sharing nude and semi-nude images and videos; and coercing others to make and share sexual imagery
  • Radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour
  • Child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation, including county lines. This is known locally as child at risk of exploitation or CRE
  • Risks linked to using technology and social media, including online bullying; the risks of being groomed online for exploitation or radicalisation; and risks of accessing and generating inappropriate content, for example youth produced sexual imagery
  • Upskirting – taking a picture of someone’s genitals or buttocks under their clothing without them knowing, either for sexual gratification or in order to humiliate or distress the individual. This is a criminal offence, see Voyeurism (Offences) Act (2019)
  • Substance misuse – drugs and alcohol Domestic abuse Forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour-based’ violence
  • Children with Perplexing Presentations (PP) in whom illness is fabricated or induced (FII)
  • Homelessness
  • Other issues not listed here but that pose a risk to children

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3: Safeguarding roles and responsibilities

Staff induction

Newly accredited instrumental/vocal teachers will be asked to complete the 2-hour online Safeguarding in Music Course (supplied by the Child Protection Company) prior to them commencing teaching in schools

All staff will complete this course every two years or be asked to retake the course earlier than this if deemed necessary.

All staff should also:

  • Know what to do if a child tells them they are being abused, exploited, or neglected and will be able to reassure children they are being taken seriously, will be supported, and kept safe

  • Know what to do if a parent or carer shares any concerns about a child

  • Discuss/report any concerns they have about a child with the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy. If staff members are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy

  • Be mindful that early information sharing is vital to identifying and tackling all forms of abuse and neglect and in promoting children's welfare, including in relation to their educational outcomes 

Staff should also be aware:

  • Children may not feel ready or know how to tell and/or might not recognise their experiences as harmful and that certain children may face additional barriers to telling
  • Of the indicators of abuse and neglect, understand that children can be at risk inside and outside of the school/college, in their home, institutional or community setting and online
  • Children can abuse other children, referred to as child-on-child abuse, and who to refer concerns to within schools
  • Children with special education needs or disabilities (SEND), particularly those with neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, as well as those with certain medical or physical health conditions are particularly vulnerable to online and offline abuse, exploitation, and neglect – and also face additional barriers to the recognition of this abuse
  • Technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and well-being issues o Mental health problems can, in some cases, be an indicator that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation
  • Of the indicators which may signal children are at risk from, or involved with, serious violent crime

Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead 

A member of the senior leadership team is appointed to the role of designated safeguarding lead to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety). 

The designated safeguarding lead co-ordinates the setting’s safeguarding and child protection arrangements by providing advice and support to other staff on child welfare, safeguarding and child protection matters, takes part in strategy discussions/meetings and inter-agency meetings – and/or supports other staff to do so.

DDMP also has a deputy designated safeguarding lead to cover for when the designated safeguarding lead is not available; the lead responsibility however remains with the designated safeguarding lead.

More information about the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead can be found in Keeping Children Safe in Education Annex C: Role of the designated safeguarding lead.

Safeguarding training

In addition to the safeguarding training at induction, all DDMP staff and accredited teachers will receive safeguarding training appropriate to their roles and responsibilities which is regularly updated so they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep children safe.

They will also receive regular safeguarding and child protection (including online safety) updates at least annually to help provide them with an awareness of safeguarding issues that can put children at the risk of harm ensuring they have the relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. 

Those involved with the recruitment and employment of staff to work with children will have received appropriate safer recruitment training.

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4. Key safeguarding contacts

Other key local safeguarding contacts

Key national contacts

  • NSPCC helpline for adults
    Text 88858 | Call 0808 800 5000 | Email
    Helping adults protect children 24 hours a day. For help and support, including anyone needing advice about female genital mutilation, young people affected by gangs, concerns that someone may be a victim of modern slavery contact the NSPCC trained helpline counsellors.
  • NSPCC helping report abuse in education
    Call 0800 136 663 | Email
    Bespoke helpline for children and young people who've experienced abuse at school, and for worried adults and professionals who need support and guidance:
  • UK Safer Internet Centre professional advice line
    Call 0844 381 4772 | Email
    Helpline for professionals working with children and young people in the UK with any online safety issues they may face themselves or with children in their care:
  • Report harmful online content
    UK Safer Internet Care | Report online harm | 
    A national reporting centre that has been designed to assist anyone in reporting harmful content online
    Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) | Report online | to report online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating online

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5. Responding to concerns about a child's welfare

Key points to remember for any member of staff whenever they have any concerns about a child’s welfare:

  • In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call 999
  • Do not assume a colleague or another professional will take action and share information that might be critical to keeping a child safe. Early information sharing is vital in keeping children safe, whether this is when problems first emerge, or when a child is already known to local authority children’s social care
  • Report your concern to the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy as soon as you can and by the end of the day at the latest
  • If you are unsure speak to the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy
  • If the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy is not around, ensure the information is shared with the most senior person in the organisation that day. The concerns and any action taken must then be shared with the designated safeguarding lead as soon as it is possible
  • Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • As soon as you are able complete a record of the concerns. This should be on the same day and before the child is due to leave the school premises
  • Seek support for yourself if you are distressed

Staff must always immediately inform the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy if there are any

  • Concerns that a child is presenting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect, including suspicion that a child is injured, marked, or bruised in a way which is not readily attributable to the normal knocks or scrapes received in play
  • Behaviour or changes in presentation which gives rise to suspicions that a child may not be receiving adequate care or may be suffering harm
  • Hint or disclosure of abuse about or by a child
  • Concerns that a person(s) who may pose a risk to children is living in a household with children present
  • Concerns about online abuse including cybercrime, exploitation, harmful sexual behaviour, sharing nudes and semi nudes and/or where any adult appears to be sexually communicating (e.g. email, text, written note or verbally) with a child
  • Concerns about child-on-child abuse, including sexual violence and harassment
  • Information which indicates that the child is living with someone who does not have parental responsibility for them (this is known as private fostering)
  • Concerns that a child is at risk of domestic abuse or so called ‘honour-based’ abuse, including forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), breast ironing, virginity testing or hymenoplasty
  • Concerns that a child is at risk of radicalisation, child sexual exploitation or criminal exploitation, including county lines; (this is also known locally as CRE - child at risk of exploitation) or that a child or their parent/carer may be a victim of modern slavery (trafficked)

If you are unsure, you should always have a discussion with the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy

If a child chooses to tell a member of staff about a concern or abuse

It takes a lot of courage for a child, parent, carer, or other significant adult to disclose that they are worried or have concerns. They may feel ashamed, the abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell, they may have lost all trust in adults, or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault.

It is important they are reassured that they are being taken seriously, and that they will be supported and kept safe. They should not be made to feel they are creating a problem or feel ashamed for making a report.

Reports, particularly those about sexual violence and harassment, if possible, should be managed with two members of staff present however this might not be possible in all cases. 

If a child or adult talks to you about any risks to a child's safety or wellbeing you will need to let them know that you must pass the information on – you are not allowed to keep secrets. The point at which you do this is a matter for professional judgement. 

During your conversation with the child (or their parent/carer):

  • Allow them to speak freely, listen to what is being said without interruption and without asking leading questions
  • Keep questions to a minimum and of an open nature (‘TED questions’ tell me, explain, describe) i.e. "can you tell me what happened?" rather than "did [person] hit you?"
  • Remain calm and do not overreact – the child (or their parent/carer) may stop talking if they feel they are upsetting you
  • Give reassuring nods or words of comfort – "I’m so sorry this has happened", "I want to help", "This isn’t your fault", "You are doing the right thing in talking to me"
  • Avoid admonishing the child or adult for not disclosing earlier. Saying "I do wish you had told me about this when it started" or "I can’t believe what I’m hearing" may be your way of being supportive but they may interpret it that they have done something wrong
  • Do not be afraid of silences – remember how hard this must be for the child or adultUnder no circumstances ask investigative questions – such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings too, or what do other family members think about all this
  • At an appropriate time tell the child or adult that to help them you must pass the information on
  • Do not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort; it may be anything but comforting to a child who has been abused
  • Tell the child or adult what will happen next. The child or adult may agree to go with you to see the designated safeguarding lead. Otherwise let them know that someone will come to see or contact them before the end of the day
  • Report verbally to the designated safeguarding lead
  • Write up your conversation as soon as possible and hand it to the designated safeguarding lead
  • Children should not be asked to write statements about abuse or any concerns that may have happened to them or sign the staff record
  • Seek support if you feel distressed. This may be sometime after the disclosure

Role of the designated safeguarding lead and their deputy following identification of concerns

Whenever the designated safeguarding lead or their deputy receive information regarding concerns about a child, they will:

  • Review information received and assess if any urgent actions are needed, i.e. medical, child’s immediate safety
  • Check what is known about the child when they arrived (or not) at school today, how they are presenting physically and emotionally and if there are any changes in their behaviour
  • Consider what is already known about the child and their family, including whether any previous concerns have been raised by staff or if they are already known to local authority children’s services (targeted early help or social care)
  • Consider what ‘checks’ need to be carried out and how best these can be achieved
  • Following the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures and using the DDSCP Threshold document to support decision making about the child’s needs and the appropriate level of support and intervention.
  • If unsure about the action to take, including that a child protection referral should be made, seeking advice from local authority children's social care or another appropriate agency.
  • If the concerns are about radicalisation or violent extremism, making a referral to the police Prevent Team.
  • If a child is at risk of immediate harm, and/or where it is believed a criminal offence has been committed, including sexual violence and harassment, referring to the police. (See NPCC When to call the police; guidance for schools and colleges)

Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff should be mindful of the seven golden rules to sharing information:

  • Remember that the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and human rights law are not barriers to justified information sharing, but provide a framework to ensure that personal information about living individuals is shared appropriately.
  • Be open and honest with the individual (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  • Seek advice from other practitioners, or your information governance lead, if you are in any doubt about sharing the information concerned, without disclosing the identity of the individual where possible.
  • Where possible, share information with consent, and where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to having their information shared. Under the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 you may share information without consent if, in your judgement, there is a lawful basis to do so, such as where safety may be at risk. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case. When you are sharing or requesting personal information from someone, be clear of the basis upon which you are doing so. Where you do not have consent, be mindful that an individual might not expect information to be shared.
  • Consider safety and well-being: base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the individual and others who may be affected by their actions.
  • Necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure: ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those individuals who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely (see principles).
  • Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.
  • (Taken from Information Sharing: advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (2018) (HM Government)).

The Data Protection Act (2018) and UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) obligations. Staff are aware that the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR do not prevent or limit the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. 

School/college staff should be proactive in sharing information as early as possible to help identify, assess, and respond to risks or concerns about the safety and welfare of a child, whether this is when problems are first emerging, or where a child is already known to local authority children’s social care.

If in any doubt about sharing information, staff should speak to the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare, and protect the safety, of children

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6. Safer recruitment and selection of staff

DDMP uses best practice and has adopted robust recruitment procedures as outlined in Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) to deter and prevent people who are not suitable to work with children from securing employment within the organisation.

Those involved with the recruitment and employment of our staff have received appropriate safer recruitment training and at least one person who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training.

Safer practice in recruitment means thinking about and including issues to do with child protection and safeguarding children at every stage of the process from advertising, job descriptions/person specifications, application forms, shortlisting, employment history and references, selection and pre-appointment vetting checks.

We maintain a single central record of pre-appointment checks consistent with Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022).

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7. What staff should do if they have a safeguarding concern or an allegation about another member of staff or concerns about safeguarding practices within schools

As part of our organisational approach to safeguarding there are processes in place for continuous vigilance, maintaining an environment that deters and prevents abuse and challenges inappropriate behaviour. Our culture and environment support staff to discuss matters that concern them in the workplace which may have implications for the welfare and safety of children. 

By doing so everyone in the organisation will:

  • Create and embed a culture of openness, trust, and transparency
  • Help to identify concerning, problematic or inappropriate behaviour at an early stage
  • Minimise risk of abuse
  • Ensure that school/college staff are clear about professional boundaries and act within these, in accordance with the ethos and value of the school/college.

Our response to concerns/allegations is consistent with the DDSCP Safeguarding Children Allegations against Staff, Carers and Volunteers procedure and we also refer to the DDSCP Briefing Note: Low-Level Concerns about Staff.

If you have concerns about another staff member

Staff who are concerned about the conduct of a colleague must remember that the welfare of the child is paramount.

All concerns of poor practice or concerns about a child’s welfare brought about by the behaviour of colleagues should be reported without delay to the head of service.

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