Safeguarding Protocols


This document discusses various safeguarding protocols that Multiply Music or otherwise associated with ‘Multiply Music Group Ltd’ practices to create an environment that allows leaders to teach children in a safe and effective way. These safeguarding protocols may change or be re-written as the company grows. It’s the right of the company to do so, but for the mean time these protocols are in relation to the current company size. 

This guidance applies to: 

  1. Teachers and education staff
  2. Governing bodies/proprietors


  1. Young people aged 16 and 17 years may lead classes but must be taught under CCTV supervision and/or have an adult over 18 years of age on site to ensure that good practice and all safeguarding procedures in place are being followed.
  2. Recruit all regular leaders of activities with children according to the recruitment procedures – including obtaining a Confidential Declaration, taking up references and obtaining a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure check.
  3. Ensure all leaders are aware of the health and safety issues relating to the activity, including procedures for fire and first aid and any special needs of any of the children.
  4. Giving regular leaders/teachers a copy of the good practice guide and to provide them with training for their role.

Staffing Ratios

Staffing ratios will start with a maximum capacity of 1 adult/teacher to 20 children. This includes primary school teaching situations. However, in Multiply Music classes, are standard practice is 1 teacher to 1 student or maximum, 1 adult to 2 children in a class.

Do not include parents or carers in ratios unless they have been formally recruited but they can work as helpers under the immediate supervision of a leader.

These ratios are for guidance only and it may be necessary to increase staffing, for example if children have special needs, a risk assessment has shown additional hazards or for other reasons.

Record Keeping in Children Activities

  1. The Safeguarding Officer must make and update annually a list of all paid staff and voluntary workers in the company who have direct and/or regular contact with children and ensure that full recruitment procedures have been followed for each of them.

  2. Leaders must register every child or young person attending each specific activity with a form which includes their name, address, date of birth, contact number for their parent or carer and parental consent to the activity. (This form will be found online through the advertisements that are made clear on this sign-up process)

  3. Leaders must keep an attendance register for each activity that includes every child and leader that attends each session.

  4. There must always be a phone available through each activity in case of emergencies: this may be a mobile phone.

  5. All confidential records regarding leaders and confidential records that relate to allegations of abuse and specific concerns about children or young people must be stored in a locked filling cabinet. This will only be accessed by the Safeguarding Officer and the members of School staff.

  6. All accidents will be recorded in the Accident Book and will always be accessible on the premises.

  7. Records must normally be retained for 5 years, but there bay be special circumstances requiring longer retention.

Parental Consents

Parental/Guardian consent for all children is needed for any activity that they’re not present. These must include contact details of the parent or guardian, details of any special needs of the child and permission as necessary for taking photographs of children.

Consents by Children

It is good practice to obtain consent from children to any activity in which they are involved, though often this will be implicit and need not be formally sought.

Allegations or evidence of abuse or neglect must be reported to statutory agencies, usually the local authority’s children’s social care service and this must be explained to children before they offer confidential information.

First Aid

Staff associated with Multiply Music / Multiply Music Group (MMG) will either use the medical kits provided by Multiply Music Group or the medical kits found on school premises if possible. If an accident occurs the leader will seek to find a medical officer or a teacher on site that can help with the injury. All teachers associated with Multiply Music will also be first aid aware so that in the event of an accident, this can be dealt with.

Points to Check

  1. Is there a safety policy? Is it reviewed regularly? Is there a first aid kit? Is there an accident book?

  2. Are you aware of any relevant medical conditions affecting the children being taught? For example, epilepsy or diabetes.

  3. Has a registration check been completed?

Find out the name of the person to be contacted and the procedures that are to be followed in the event of a child making a disclosure about possible abuse. Always follow up such allegations, avoid detailed questioning of the child and never promise confidentiality.

Drug and Alcohol Policies

If a young person is suspected of carrying illegal drugs, they may be asked to turn out their pockets, but personal searches are not appropriate. Instead, the police should be contacted.

illegal drugs must be confiscated and either disposed of immediately or passed onto the police. Two staff members should be involved. Details should be recorded in the incident book.

Anyone whose behaviour is disruptive due to alcohol or drugs must be challenged and may be asked to leave. Consideration should be given to contacting parents.

Smoking: Legal Requirements

Smoking is illegal in any enclosed public premises.

There is no minimum age limit for smoking, although those under 18 are not permitted to buy tobacco products.

Smoking: Good Practice

It is never appropriate for adults to smoke in the presence of young people.

Passive smoking (being in the presence of smokers) is a health hazard. Therefore, if staff would like to smoke, then all smoking must be completed off-site and away from children or other staff members.

Electronic Communications

This concerns the use of mobile phones, email, SMS (text) messages and other electronic communication methods.

Electronic communication, through mobile phones, email, and social networking sites such as Facebook are the norm for most children and young people.

The issues involved in communicating electronically are not basically different from those in face-to- face communication, except that the person is not with the sender so neither can use facial expressions or body language to clarify their meaning. It is also normally private, so others are not there to provide a context and background. Also, it does in principle create a record which could in some circumstances be printed out and used in evidence.

Those who wish to abuse young people often start with electronic communications and then attempt to lure young people into an unprotected face to face meeting.

Good practice is to communicate in such a way that achieves its purpose without unintentionally encouraging habits in young people which could be dangerous.


  1. Appoint a suitable person as administrator of all digital devices who alone has access to the settings.

  2. Ensure all users have a different password.

  3. Monitor and supervise the use of your equipment by young people.

  4. Set parental control limits.

  5. Consider carefully whether and to what extent you will permit computer games on your machines.

  6. If possible, provide workers with a mobile phone specifically for work.

  7. If you suspect illegal downloads or inappropriate use of computers, involve an

    IT expert to scan and remove them.

  8. Any illegal material found should be reported to the police. It is an offence to

    make, retain or distribute indecent images of children (under 18). This includes

    indecent images children may make of themselves or one another.

  9. Do not use legal but inappropriate material on school premises or in premises

    used by children and young people. This includes but is not restricted to adult pornography, violent material and politically inflammatory or defamatory material. Breach of this could be a disciplinary offence.

Social Networking Sites

  1. Consider carefully whether to use such sites for teaching. It might be better to create a separate page for this purpose.

  2. Use of such sites makes it harder to maintain an appropriate boundary between work and private life.

  3. It also creates risks of inappropriate material appearing on the worker’s or young person’s profile.

  4. All those using social networking sites should set their privacy settings carefully and check them periodically.

Online Safety

5. It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. Proprietors should ensure protective filters and monitoring systems are in place to reduce/restrict the potential of inappropriate behaviour.

A Few Do’s and Don’ts

  1. If young people want you to hold their mobile phone numbers, email addresses or similar, make sure that their parents know and have agreed.
  2. Only give personal contact details that are within the public domain of the school, including your mobile phone number.
  3. Keep communications short. If you need a discussion, fix a time to do so face to face during or following the group and follow the guidelines on counselling.
  4. Use an appropriate tone: friendly, but not over-familiar or personal.
  5. While communications should be warm and friendly, they should not suggest or offer a special relationship.
  6. Respect the young person’s confidentiality unless abuse including self-harm, actual or threatened is suspect or disclosed. If in doubt consult Group Leader, Safeguarding Officer.
  7. Make sure that your communication is such that, in principle, it would not embarrass you for it to be seen by young person’s parents.

Making and Distributing Images of Children

Making and publishing images of children is usually enjoyed by children and parents and can bring useful publicity, but there are some important issues to note.

The issues are the same for still photographs, digital images for films and regardless of the technology used. For convenience they are all referred to as images.

Images count as personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 and therefore the eight principles of the Act apply. These are as follows:

Personal data should be:

  1. Fairly and lawfully processed.

  2. Processed for limited purposes.

  3. Adequate, relevant, and not excessive

  4. Accurate

  5. Not kept for longer than is necessary.

  6. Processed in line with your rights

  7. Secure: and

  8. Not transferred to countries without adequate protection

Legitimate journalism is a ‘special purpose’ under the Data Protect Act, which explains it from the requirement of security.

It is important that the consent of the children and their parents is obtained before the making and use of images of children.

Those taking photographs need to bear in mind that parents may have good reasons for refusing consent, for example:

  1. Some children may have been involved in legal disputes, local authority care, or adoption and their whereabouts should not be too widely known; parents of the affected children will know this and will appropriately withdraw consent without necessarily giving the reason.

  2. If individual children are identified, it would be possible for potential abusers to use them to target prospective victims

  3. Images made using digital cameras can be manipulated for child pornography, which is a growing problem on the internet; this is particularly relevant if children are scantily dressed.

Good practice is therefore as follows:

  1. Obtain consent from parents and children before making images. Consent need not be in writing if the pictures are not published in any way, but if they are going to be distributed, used in a newspaper, or put on a website, then a specific consent should be obtained. Images are usually made in the context of a specific activity. If a photo is about to be taken, the children who have not been given permission should remove themselves from the photo. This will be done by an oral notice that will be given out from the leader asking that any parent who objects to images being made of their child should either remove their child from view of the camera or approach the leader afterwards to ensure that any image they object to is not used. Alternatively, if the event is one for which specific parental consent is sought, add a suitable wording to the parental consent from, such as:

I consent to images and video recordings being made of my child and for these to be used in printed publications and on website (adapt and delete as necessary).

Where possible, each child should be a part of a group

2. If the photograph is to be distributed, avoid naming the child. If a name needs to be used, it should be only a first name. However, there may be circumstances where the explicit consent of the child and his parent would be permissible to use the child’s full name, for example when celebrating a specific performance or achievement.

3. If the child is named in full, avoid using their image

4. If children are scantily dressed

– Focus on the activity rather than a particular child
– Avoid full face and body shots
– Consider the age of the children involved
– Be clear about whether the image is to be retained for further use
– Store the image securely and dispose of it when it is no longer required

Newspapers and other print media are currently bound by the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice. There are numerous restrictions on photographing children.

Child Abuse and Neglect Background

From the mid-1970s onwards, the issue of child abuse has received increased public attention, in the light of several high-profile investigations and public inquiries following deaths of children. Over the years the accepted concept of child abuse has widened to include sexual and emotional abuse, along with the recognised issues of physical abuse and neglect.

The following facts about abuse are based on research findings and highlight issues relating to the different categories of abuse.

  1. Most children are abused by adults they know and trust.

  2. The reported cases of child abuse are a small proportion of the cruelty, exploitation, and neglect to which children in our society are subjected.

  3. Disabled children are most vulnerable to abuse; they are more dependent on intimate care and sometimes less able to tell anyone or escape from abusive situations.

  4. Children very seldom make false accusations of abuse and will often deny the abuse or take back an accusation after they have made it.

  5. Children who talk about the abuse fear the consequences of telling – if things are bad, perhaps they may get worse.

  6. Children and young people who are abused can be very good at hiding their pain and distress.

  7. Abuse has serious long-term harmful effects on children and young people. If untreated, the effects of abuse on children can be devastating and continue into adulthood.

  8. Social care services will only remove children from their home where there is actual, or risk of, significant harm and if the child is in real danger of further abuse.

  9. Child sexual abuse is equally common among all social classes, professions, cultures, and ethnic groups.

Forms of Child Abuse

Child abuse has many forms. There are four identified categories of abuse described in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010(1), from which the following definitions are taken.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger, for example by the internet. They may be abused by another adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force against a child that results in – or has a high likelihood of resulting in – harm for the child’s health, survival, development, or dignity. (2)

It may involve hitting, shaking, showing, poisoning, during or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in, a child.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non- penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing, and touching outside the clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activists, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse(including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent failing to:

  1. Provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  2. Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
  3. Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)

(1) This is due for revision in 2012. However, there are unlikely to be significant changes to these definitions.
(2) This definition is from the WHO and ISPCAN Guide 2006.

Good Behaviour Guide for Children

It may be useful to set clear expectations for children. An example is available in the good behaviour guide for children.

Leadership and Staffing

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training should be regularly updated.

  2. In addition, all staff members should receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

  3. Governing bodies and proprietors should recognise the expertise staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns daily. Opportunity should therefore be provided for staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy.

Whistleblowing (1)

A Whistle-blower is someone who works for the company and reports a chain or specific act that happens at work. These acts are in relation to:

  1. A criminal offence
  1. Someone’s health and safety are in danger.

  2. Risk of actual damage to the environment

  3. A miscarriage of justice

  4. The company is breaking the law, e.g., doesn’t have the right insurance.

  5. You believe someone is covering up wrongdoing.

As an employee, trainee of the company you will be protected by law. Complaints that are not covered by Whistleblowing:

Personal grievances (e.g., bullying, harassment, discrimination) will not be covered by Whistle-blower law, unless your case is in public interest.

Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) for help and advice on resolving a workplace dispute.

If there is an issue that you would like to discuss, it’s the right of the employee/trainee to speak with their employer. If you don’t want to report your concern to your employer, you can seek legal advice from a lawyer or tell a prescribed person or body. If you discuss a matter with a prescribed person or body, you must make sure that you are speaking with one that deal with the issue you’re raising.

(1) Whistleblowing advice taken from the following website: Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Children who suffer from special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Additional barriers can exist when dealing with abuse and neglect with regards to (SEN). This includes:

  1. Indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration.
  2. Children with SEN and disabilities can be disproportionally impacted by things like bullying – without outwardly showing any signs; and communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.


The safeguarding protocols have been advised/depicted from various extracts. However, the majority are from:

1. Diocese of Oxford Safeguarding Handbook for the protection of children and vulnerable adults

2. The NSPCC website