BelfastTrad is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of any student attending its classes and workshops. We wish to ensure that all students, especially children and vulnerable adults participate in the Society's activities in an enjoyable and safe environment in which they can have fun and feel valued.
In particular the Society's tutors and volunteers will, in their dealings with students and members
• Be supportive, approachable and reassuring.
• Show respect, be patient and listen.
• Respect a young person’s right to personal privacy.
• Treat and value all students as individuals.
• Treat students with consistency, fairness and equality.
• Set a good example by using appropriate attitude, demeanor & language at all times
• Offer support and empathy in a manner appropriate to age, stage and gender of a student - always in an open and transparent manner and within context e.g. if child distressed)
• Ensure that any time spent with children or vulnerable adults takes place in as open a setting as possible.
• Provide clear instruction, clarify meaning and establish clear boundaries.
• Focus on the student and what they really want to do (i.e. it could be damaging to push a child or vulnerable adult who is not ready, for example, to take part in a performance).
• Encourage leadership, responsibility and participation in activities.
• Encourage children to do as much as possible for themselves and instill confidence –support them to make choices and to find acceptable ways to express their feelings. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
The Society's tutors and volunteers will avoid
• Spending periods of time alone with children and vulnerable adults
An adult who needs to take a child aside should stay within the sight of others. If it is necessary to enter a separate room, use a room with visual access (e.g. a window) and leave the door open. Another adult should know, be vigilant and within ear shot if possible. A written record should be made and kept on file. The Society will support a tutor who chooses not to run a class if only one student is present.
• Physical contact that is out of the art form context.
Any required physical contact (e.g. demonstration of 'the hold' in dancing or of the position of hands on an instrument) should only take place with the student’s consent, within context and any resistance should be respected. (*See Note)
The Society tutors and volunteers will never
• Show favouritism towards a child.
• Belittle or demean children.
• Shout at or argue with children or other workers in a humiliating, patronising or threatening manner.
• Embarrass, ignore or single out a child.
• Give unnecessary orders or orders which humiliate/instigate fear in others.
• Allow or engage in inappropriate touching (e.g. kissing, hitting, smacking etc.) or engage in
any other form of bullying
• Engage in sexually provocative/inappropriate games (including horseplay). Any contact activities must be part of the planned activities for the group and clearly supervised.
• Make sexually suggestive comments about or to a child, even in jest.
• Abuse privileges/own position.
• Give your personal contact details to children; organisational details should be used instead.
• Text, telephone or e-mail children on a one-to-one basis unless with parental consent and for a specific purpose.
• Invite/accept invites from children for social networking websites.
• Let allegations a child makes go unrecorded or leave issues unresolved.
• Teach or give instruction that is outside your remit.
• Be under the influence, or recovering from the effects of, alcohol/illegal substances.
• Leave children unsupervised.
• Allow children to use language that is deemed inappropriate or offensive to others within the group.
Children or Adults with disability and additional needs
The Society equally welcomes students with and without a disability or additional needs to participate in activities. In this regard the Society will try to maximise inclusion by:
• Planning for inclusion in advance, with regards to accessibility of activities,
venue, equipment, transport and sanitary/changing and catering facilities.
• Involving the child, parents/guardians, workers and support organisations with
regards gathering information, planning and reviewing.
• Minimising fuss when including a child with additional needs and taking care
to avoid singling them out.
• Ensuring appropriate supervision ratios are maintained at all times.
• Asking parents/guardians to provide detailed information about medical,
dietary and intimate care needs to ensure the comfort, safety and privacy of
• Only giving out information on a need to know basis with strictest confidentiality.
* NOTE: Specific guidance in the context of the teaching of dance and musical instruments
In addition, physical touch should only occur:
• After the type of contact within an activity and reason for it has been explained
to the student
• When the student’s consent has been gained.
• In an open and transparent manner, preferably in view of others.
• When it is appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the student
• In response to the particular needs of the student
• When it is not in breach of appropriate physical contact guidelines.
• As lightly and sensitively as possible.
Most recently reviewed, updated and adopted by the Committee December 7th 2016
Deirdre Kearns, Chair Christine Dowling, Secretary & Admin