The following principles guide this policy:
the safety of children and vulnerable adults is paramount and all, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse;
all suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately; and
all the Festival's trustees and volunteers have a responsibility to report concerns.
The Leamington Spa Competitive Festival was established to advance, promote and encourage the study and practice of the arts of Music, Dancing, Elocution, Literature and Acting in all their branches. The Festival Movement provides a platform for amateur performance combined with an educational element from professional artists.
The Festival is a registered charity and is run entirely by volunteers. There is a Management Committee who act as Trustees. There are a number of Section Secretaries who sit on this committee and who are each responsible for organising just one part of our festival. The contact details of all Officers and Section Secretaries are published annually in the Festival Syllabus and Programme, and are on our web site.
The Festival is held in the Town of Royal Leamington Spa. Each Section Secretary chooses a venue based on the suitability of its performance space for their particular branch of the arts. If the venue has more than one performance space or public area, the other spaces or areas may be in use by people not connected with the Festival.
More than one Section may be run on the same day. If a participant has entered classes in more than one Section, and those classes are held on the same day, then they should expect to have to move between different venues within the Town.
The Festival will inform and involve parents / guardians / carers and teachers so as to act in partnership with them to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, a safe environment for the enjoyment of the arts.
This policy relates to children under the age of 18 years and also to those vulnerable adults (of any age) who are identified to the organisers prior to their arrival at the Festival. This should be done by contacting the relevant Section Secretary, the names and contact details for whom may be found in the Festival syllabus and on our web site. In recognising the needs of children from all ethnic groups and children who are disabled, the Festival actively seeks to meet needs notified to the Festival by parents / guardians / carers and/or teachers.
The Management Committee is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting of the Festival. Volunteer helpers will not be taken on unless they are known personally to a Committee member or two trusted people have both confirmed that they are a suitable person. If any doubts are raised about someone, the Trustees will consider using the Protection of Children Act List process to confirm their suitability, but this process will not otherwise be used.
All Committee Members and volunteers wear a conspicuous badge. Volunteers' badges simply indicate that they are Stewards. Committee Members' badges contain additional information. If a problem arises, all those who wear a badge will do their utmost to help. All problems will be taken seriously and will be documented and dated.
Where parents / guardians / carers are not personally attending with their children, this Policy requires them to be satisfied that their children will be accompanied to the Festival and adequately supervised by responsible adults acting on their behalf.
When there is a need for many competitors to change clothes, for example in the Dance Section, separate male and female changing rooms will be provided and clearly marked. Participants will not be allowed to change in public areas, although these may be used for the application of make-up and such-like. The Festival will not supervise toilets or changing areas, although dance schools may choose to supervise an area which has been allocated to them. In other situations, specific changing rooms will not be made available.
Where practice rooms have been made available, these will not be supervised by the Festival (and the Festival will not take responsibility for items left in those rooms).
Photography, video and audio recording in any form and by any means is prohibited during any performance and this will be strictly enforced.
The Festival actively seeks publicity and photographs may be taken for this purpose. Where parents / guardians / carers do not wish their children to be photographed then the responsible adult attending with those children should ensure that they are not included in any such photograph.