Safeguarding Policy

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Full Safeguarding Guidelines & Procedures

Updated: August 2023

Review: July 2024



APPENDIX 1 – Reporting an incident flowchart.

APPENDIX 2 – Incident Report Form

APPENDIX 3 – Incident summary report form for allegations of abuse

APPENDIX 4 – Lost/ unaccompanied/ missing children report form

APPENDIX 5 – Types and indicators of abuse

APPENDIX 6 – Safeguarding guidelines declaration form

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Wakefield Theatre Trust has a duty to ensure that everyone involved in its work is able to feel that they work in an open and safe environment where they are treated with respect and dignity. Theatre Royal Wakefield takes pride in its work with children and young people.

The aim of these Safeguarding Guidelines and Procedures is to ensure that all staff, volunteers in participation projects, employees and participants at Theatre Royal Wakefield that are responsible for Children and Young People are confident about their own good practice and are aware of how to distinguish good practice in their colleagues’ behaviour.

Theatre Royal Wakefield has a duty of care to safeguard all children and young people who participate in its projects. This policy applies to all Theatre Royal Wakefield staff, including those who work on a volunteer and freelance basis for our participation projects.

This policy outlines our commitment to ensuring that all staff and volunteers are carefully selected and vetted, have the relevant qualifications and experience, and accept responsibility for helping to prevent the abuse of children and young people in their care. All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately. We have procedures in place to address poor practice, and to help any child/young person who appears to be at risk, or who appears to be a victim of abuse.

Wakefield Theatre Trust, trading as Theatre Royal Wakefield, believes that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All participants in our work, 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.
  • All staff (including Freelance and Casual Staff) and volunteers involved in our work have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Please note that no staff working for Wakefield Theatre Trust are trained to deal with situations of abuse or have the power to decide if abuse has occurred.

Our Safeguarding Policy should be considered alongside our Working in Schools policy, our Behaviour Policy, our Privacy Policy, our Data Management Policy, our Health and Safety Policy and Procedures and our Equal Opportunities Policy.

Any concerns about poor practice must be reported. Please phone 01924 215531 and ask for Aoibheann (Eee-van) Kelly (Designated Safeguarding Officer) or Gavin Leonard/Janine Heseltine (Deputy Safeguarding Officers)Please also email with a name and number and put SAFEGUARDING as the title. Please do not put confidential information in the email. We will phone you to discuss the issue with urgency.


Children / child: A child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday

Young person: A young person is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday (this term takes account for teenagers who may not wish to be referred to a ‘child’)

Adult: At 18 a child legally becomes an adult. Note that in some projects 25 is the cut off age when organisations consider young people to have become adults (and often with S.E.N.D). However this is not a legal definition.

Good Practice: Behaving in an appropriate manner towards all of the above.

Position of Trust: A position of trust is any position (paid or voluntary) that requires its holder to enjoy the trust of those around them. People in a position of trust need to carefully consider their relationships with children and young people. It is an offence for a person aged 18 or over to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 if the older person holds a position of trust as such sexual activity is an abuse of the position of trust. This includes young people aged 16 and 17 who, despite reaching the age of consent of sexual activity, are considered to be vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation in defined circumstances. This legislation does not currently apply to the participatory arts context but Theatre Royal Wakefield will work to the principles behind the legislation and put in place codes of ethics and conduct which are addressed through disciplinary procedures. A consensual sexual relationship between a person with authority over the young person and the 16 or 17 year old is never healthy in our view and can be open to abuse.

Who these guidelines cover:

These guidelines apply to ALL children and young people regardless as to why they are involved in the work of Theatre Royal Wakefield on or off the main site, for example, in rehearsal spaces, workshop rooms or during touring productions.

Including the following, but not limited to:

Audience members and customers

Family friendly participants

Wakefield Youth Music Theatre

Learning disabled participants

Performance Academy (incl bitesize)

Visiting companies

Online (website/e-comms)

Cast taking part in any TRW production

Speak up and all work in schools

Young people on work experience

Any other Participation project


Katie Town is the Executive Director, Aoibheann Kelly is the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Gavin Leonard and Janine Heseltine are the Deputy Safeguarding Officers and Jacquie Speight is the Safeguarding representative at Board Level.

The role and responsibilities of the Designated officers are:

  • To ensure that all staff, trustees and volunteers in participation projects are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have safeguarding concerns about a child/ young person.
  • Ensure that any concerns about a child are acted upon, clearly recorded, referred on where necessary and followed up to ensure the issues are addressed.
  • The designated officer(s) will record any reported incidents in relation to children or breach of Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. They will be kept in a secure place and its contents will be confidential.
  • The team will undertake face to face training applicable to their role and responsibilities every three years and complete an online refresher course annually.

In conjunction with the Safeguarding Officers,all staff must ensure that they:

  • Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
  • Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
  • Work safely and effectively with children.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer

Leads on reviewing and updating the safeguarding policy and procedures on an annual basis, including other relevant safeguarding policies.

Ensures all staff are aware of the importance of safeguarding and their responsibilities to keep children and young people safe.

Leading upon contact with Local Authority Social Services in the event that a child/young person is at risk of harm.

With the Executive Director, manage complaints about poor practice and allegations.

Where necessary will refer relevant issues of safeguarding to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

With the Executive Director, Ensure safer recruitment procedures across the organisation.

Arrange training for the Safeguarding team face to face every three years and online annually.

Keep accurate records of concerns about children and young people and actions taken.

The Deputy Safeguarding Officers will:

Undertake training specific to their role and responsibilities.

Deliver Safeguarding briefings to staff, including chaperones, volunteers, freelance staff and cast members of productions where necessary.

Ensure all staff and freelance workers and volunteers in participation projects have signed and returned the Safeguarding policy declaration form.

Will stand in for the Designated Safeguarding Officer when necessary and undertake the responsibilities with this role in their absence.

The Lead Trustee for Safeguarding:

Leads on policy and procedure oversight.

Is kept informed of all serious safeguarding incident forms and feeding in as necessary.

Report to Trustees upon any observations and/or findings concerning safeguarding.

All members of staff/volunteers have a responsibility to safeguard children and young people from harm.


The Designated Safeguarding Officer is trained in Safer Recruitment. We believe that Safe recruitment and selection practice is vital in safeguarding and protecting children and young people. Wakefield Theatre Trust recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children and young people in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and young people. Wakefield Theatre Trust requires the following upon offer of employment and signing of contracts:

  • The job requirements and responsibilities are clearly explained.
  • Safeguarding Policies are explained and the Designated Safeguarding Officer introduced to them.
  • Employees, freelance staff, casuals and volunteers will be required, upon commencing employment, to also complete the Safeguarding Policy declaration, which will be provided together with a guide to the Safeguarding Policy. Signing of the declaration will become a condition of employment and each line manager will ensure this is managed effectively.
  • Further safeguarding policy updates will be circulated yearly and all staff are expected to read updated policies and to raise any queries with the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
  • If an applicant is applying for a role during which their normal duties would involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children, then they will be required to obtain or have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check which satisfies Wakefield Theatre Trust.
  • Our internal policy is to follow best practice and to refresh D.B.S checks every three years or, where working with licencing authorities, with their suggested frequency (for example Wakefield Licensing Authority require chaperones to have updates every five years and therefore we would work within this)
  • When repeating update checks for DBS checks we will always ensure we have seen the original alongside I.D. and that we have explicit written or email consent to update. We will then record the relevant information and store securely.
  • Wakefield Theatre Trust will always follow up references for all employees and for volunteers if their role is in a position of trust.
  • We will state in all recruitment adverts etc the following statement:

Theatre Royal Wakefield is an organisation that takes the safeguarding of children and young people seriously’

  • We will ensure staff are trained in relevant safeguarding issues. Our Participation staff will attend full day training every three years and online refresher training annually. We will offer full staff training session yearly. We will update our internal chaperone training every year and will add training into projects as appropriate (for example our pantomime cast will receive training as they will be working intensively with our Child Chorus).
  • We will keep up to date with DBS service changes and advice.
  • It is made clear to all staff, helpers and volunteers that they are in a Position of Trust with Children and Young People and must not enter into a personal or sexual relationship with them.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel of at least two staff/Trustees.
  • Selected candidates will be required to provide at least two written references.
  • Appointed Staff will undergo any safeguarding training required and will require a probationary period.


ALL staff (including Volunteers, Freelance in participation projects and casual Staff) are expected to work within the Good Practice guidelines and follow TRW’s Safeguarding Policy and procedures. Failure to do so could result in allegations of poor practice, which would then be dealt with as a misconduct issue. Staff are acting in a position of trust and authority and have a duty of care towards the children and young people they work with and act appropriately at all times. Staff will be expected to challenge all inappropriate behaviour and reporting any breaches of the behaviour code to Aoibheann Kelly and Katie Town.

Staff are responsible for:

Respecting children and young people:

  • Treating all children, young people with respect and dignity.
  • Prioritising the welfare of children and young people and be aware of and cater to individual needs.
  • Promoting relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect.
  • Modelling good behaviour for children and young people to follow.
  • Valuing and take children’s contributions seriously.
  • Respecting differences in gender, sexual orientation, culture, race, ethnicity, disability and religious belief systems.
  • Being aware of any access needs of any child/young person whether this be due to cultural, religious, physical, emotional or other needs, prior to working with them.
  • Promote relationships that are based on openness, honesty, trust and respect.
  • Avoiding showing favouritism.
  • Being patient.
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Exercising caution when you are discussing sensitive issues with children or young people.
  • Maintaining healthy, positive and professional relationships with participants. Paid or voluntary staff in positions of trust with 16 and 17 year olds must not engage in sexual relations with them while that unequal power relationship exists. A consensual sexual relationship between a person with authority over the young person and the 16 or 17 year old is never healthy in our view and can be open to abuse.

Working Safely and Safeguarding

  • Providing a safe environment for children and young people, ensuring all equipment and space is used safely and for its intended purpose.
  • Having a good understanding of safeguarding and child protection and taking action when appropriate, reporting concerns, following TRW’s principles, policies and procedures
  • Ensuring a qualified First Aider will always be present during all activities with children and young people – they must only provide personal care in an emergency and make sure there is more than one adult present.
  • Ensuring relevant and responsible staff have undertaken a risk assessment for specific projects and risk must be monitored throughout.
  • Ensuring relevant and responsible staff always consider appropriate spaces for projects from a health and safety angle including:

Safety of the space/building

Access to qualified First Aider and stocked First Aid Kit

Access to a telephone/ quick communication with emergency contacts

Access to regular and appropriate food and drink

Agreed and appropriate use of toilets (gender and staff separate)

Evacuation Procedures

All equipment meeting safety standards’

Adequate space for the activity

  • Ensuring the recording and reporting any near misses or accidents in our building or offsite working are recorded.
  • Considering staffing ratio appropriate to age and the nature of the project (1:12 for chaperones to children if the show has a licence / B.O.P). If there is one staff member running a workshop, then we would not have more than 26 participants. We would also have a member of staff nearby in case of emergency.
  • Ensuring children under 8 years old must be supervised at all times.
  • When taking bookings for our family friendly workshops we will make it clear that ‘These workshops are aimed at children and accompanying adults and therefore there is no admissions for unaccompanied adults.’
  • Ensuring contact with children and young people is appropriate and relevant to the nature of the activity you are involved in.
  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets). On occasion, one-to-one contact will be unavoidable, in such cases: Make sure it is for as short a time as possible; Ensure you remain accessible to others; Tell someone where you are going, what you are doing and why; Try to move with the child/young person to areas where there are more people.

Safe Touch guidelines

  • Ensuring that, if any form of physical contact is required due to the nature of the work (e.g. costume fitting, practical drama session, dance) it should be provided openly and young people should always be consulted and their agreement gained.
  • Ensuring that Safe-Touch guidelines are adhered to at all times: In rehearsals, training and performance the use of touch can be essential. For touch to be ‘safe touch’ it needs to be:

Necessary: are you sure that demonstration or verbal instruction is not adequate?

Permitted: permission for contact sought and given by child or young person. Ask if you can touch and accept that permission may be refused.

  • Clear: tell the child or young person where you are going to touch and how you will touch.

Contextual: explain why you are going to touch.

  • Ensuring that a child of school age that takes part in performances in a licensed building may need a licence or a Body of Persons (B.O.P). The Participation Officer ensures all licenses are in place.
  • Speaking to parents/ guardians where there is a behaviour issue but we will treat potential signs of self-harm or eating disorders as a safeguarding issue and refer to the appropriate channels.
  • Ensuring parents and carers understand Theatre Royal Wakefield Staff do not provide intimate care, including toileting and changing. If a participant cannot use the toilet independently then their parent/carer must be present to support them at all times and take responsibility. If a participant requires unexpected assistance or support, then their parent/carer will be called immediately.
  • Ensuring that no school group, youth group or group from a care setting should be left without a LEGALLY responsible staff member present from the group.
  • Ensuring as part of project set-up, staff will always consider who needs further information or training in safeguarding (for example we brief our professional panto cast on safeguarding before they begin intensive sessions with children)

Practice never to be sanctioned (Poor Practice):

Never engage in rough or sexually provocative games, including horseplay

Never share a room or a dressing room with a child

Never allow or engage in any form of inappropriatetouching.

Nevermake sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun

Neverreduce a child to tears as a form of control.

Neverallow allegations made by a child to go unrecorded or not acted upon.

Never do things of a personal nature for children or young people, that they can do for themselves.

Never spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.

Never allow concerns or allegations to go unreported.

Never take unnecessary risks

Never smoke, consume alcohol or use illegal substances.

Never let children and young people have your personal contact details (mobile number, email or postal address) or have contact with them via a personal social media account.

Never take pictures or films of children and young people on your personal device (camera, mobile phone)

Never act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive.

Never patronise or belittle children and young people.

Never make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to or in front of children and young people.



Practitioners and all Theatre Royal Wakefield staff in a supervisory capacity are not permitted to use their own personal mobile phones for contacting children or young people, parents and carers. If it is necessary, it must be with the explicit consent of both the designated person for safeguarding/child protection and the parent or carer; unless it is considered an emergency. The designated project phone must be used at all times and the number of this phone is given out to all parents.

Under no circumstance should any member of staff (inc freelance or volunteer) make or receive calls or texts to or from children and young people using their personal mobile phone numbers.


Staff will always in the first instance email a child/young person’s named parent/carer or key support worker as the first point of contact. Where an individual young person has contacted a staff member via email (for example, a work experience request) and it has been agreed that a reply back to the young person would be appropriate from that staff member’s work email address, contact details must be obtained for their parent/carer who will be carbon copied into all future correspondence, including the Designated Safeguarding lead. In all cases staff should use formal language to avoid any misunderstanding on the part of the recipient. Staff members who have concerns regarding content of an email that they send or receive from a child/young person should consult the Designated Safeguarding Officer for guidance.

Social Media

Contact with children and young people through online platforms and forums should only take place through organisational accounts. Current organisational accounts are as follows:

FB: TheatreRoyalWakefield

Instagram: TheatreRoyalWakefield

Twitter: @trwakefield

Youtube: TheatreRWakefield

Theatre Royal Wakefield regularly use social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, You tube, Instagram and may use others to promote the work that they are doing and to share memories of activities with participants. It is the responsibility of staff to ensure that any online platforms that are set up by the company are monitored effectively and that the content on such platforms is safe and appropriate for its users.

Theatre Royal Wakefield is not responsible for systems, applications or tools that are designed by the social network in use and cannot take responsibility for the way in which participants engage with such platforms outside of the guidance offered during Theatre Royal Wakefield activities.

All Theatre Royal Wakefield staff, including voluntary and freelance, must not do any of the following on their personal social media accounts:

  • · Send or accept any friend requests on any social media platform from children or young people involved in Theatre Royal Wakefield Participation projects.
  • · Send or respond to any private messages from a child/young person or participant on social media.

If a staff member becomes aware that they are already connected on social media to a child or young person (eg through being related) who is now taking part in a participation project, they should contact the Designated safeguarding officers who will offer advice and guidance as to next steps.

Communication with children and young people must stay within the confines of a managed public forum or group set up and controlled by Theatre Royal Wakefield and must at no time be exclusive, except in the case of responding to direct e-mails which relate to Theatre Royal Wakefield activities, at all times following the procedures outlined in this policy (cc’ing parents/carers and safeguarding officer into all correspondence).


Theatre Royal Wakefield use photography, video and sound recording regularly within its work and share these online.

Unless written permission has been granted by the parent / carer of children/young people, staff are not allowed to take pictures or film. Theatre Royal Wakefield will need to be satisfied that all the relevant documentation and permission has been received before any pictures or film can be taken.

Parental/guardian consent for photography or video recording of any child/young person is always obtained. Please see our Privacy Policy and Data Protection Policy for more information

Photographs and videos of children and young people will be stored in a secure online folder.

Where deemed necessary for planning and preparation reasons, a Participation Tutor or Chaperone (with an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list checks) may be given permission to film, record or take photos during a rehearsal process for a production, by using the theatre’s own secure, password protected ipad. At the end of the rehearsal process, the tutor and safeguarding officers will ensure that all photos/ recordings from the rehearsal period, are permanently deleted.

TRW will ensure that any professional freelance photographers or video-makers contracted to make photos/videos of children/young people have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which is dated within the last 3 years, inclusive of their period of engagement. For any freelance photographers or video-makers who do not have a DBS Enhanced Certificate, a DBS checked member of staff from Theatre Royal Wakefield will accompany the person contracted, at all times.

Staff are responsible for informing others of any individuals who have not consented to have their work or images shared.

All staff are responsible for ensuring that no content of individuals who refuse consent are uploaded and that the rights of any person to refuse consent at any time are respected.

We will ensure that any negative comments posted against images of children are removed in line with our behaviour policy.

TRW will announce at all performances that “Video and photography is not permitted during the performance” during all performances with children and young people.

Mobile phone usage for participants in rehearsals and backstage areas:

Theatre Royal Wakefield wants to keep participants, staff, freelancers and volunteers safe, ensuring we are all focussing on the show and manage representations of the shows on social media through official photos and posts. For these reasons, we are strict about how and when we use phones in rehearsals and the backstage area.

The recording, taking and sharing of images, video and audio on any mobile phone is prohibited; except where it is explicitly agreed by the manager or designated person for safeguarding. Such authorised use is to be monitored and recorded. All mobile phone/camera use is to be open to scrutiny and the designated person for safeguarding/child protection or manager should be able to withdraw or restrict authorisation for use at any time if necessary.

No one (Staff or participant) is permitted to take photographs with any device backstage, in dressing rooms or in rehearsals at any time.

Participants must keep their mobile phone off and away in the rehearsal space or dressing room when anyone is getting changed. When no one is changing and where there are long periods of waiting in dressing rooms then young people can use their phones with permission from the chaperone and with camera covers (these will be provided).

Over 18 year olds can use phones in dressing rooms but no pictures please.

Technical team (and YPTT and pro cast in panto) can use phones in the green room during formal breaks only. No photos please.

Participants can enjoy taking pictures and filming in the DESIGNATED Photo and Filming session but must respect the rules about not sharing these on social media.

All participants can enjoy sharing TRW official pictures on social media.

If there is an emergency, mobile phones are permitted backstage and during rehearsals.

If the timings for pick-up changes, then permission will be given for mobile phones to contact a parent or guardian.

Participants may be given permission to film sections of choreography or make audio recordings for personal reference only (when instructed by the director / choreographer or lead artist) to support learning. Please note that these films are for personal reference and should never be shared on social media and must be deleted as soon as the learning has taken place.


As children are the legal responsibility of their parents or person with parental responsibility, children under 14yrs should not attend the theatre without a responsible adult and venue staff will accept no responsibility for any unaccompanied children. However, IF young children do visit unaccompanied it is important staff know what to do. Approach child with colleague

Try to find out if their parents know that they are with us unaccompanied.

Try to find out if they know how to get home.

Staff to use their judgment in deciding if it is reasonable to expect the child to find their way home.

Ask yourself:

- Does the child seem capable of finding their home?

- Does the child appear to know clearly where he/she lives?

- Are there any busy roads on route?

- What is the child’s age and understanding?

If staff are not sure, encourage the child to remain until the parent or carer can be contacted. If attempts to contact parent or person with parental responsibility fail, staff should contact: Wakefield District Safeguarding Children Board 0345 8503503 01924 306497 The police on: 999 (if a child is in immediate danger)

If a child is unaccompanied at closing time then staff must:

Inform their supervisor or the duty manager.

Two members of staff (preferably one member of staff should be DBS checked) should approach the child to find out if they are waiting for a parent or person with parental responsibility to collect them.

Ring the child’s home to clarify the situation.

Two members of staff should wait for the parent /carer to arrive.

If staff cannot contact the parent / carer ring the local children’s social services duty team or the local police and both members of staff should wait with the child until they arrive.

If a child is reported lost or missing, staff must inform the designated person (duty manager or supervisor) and complete the Lost Child record form (Appendix 4) Once a sufficient check is made, if the child is not found, the named/designated member of staff will inform the police. The member of staff who took the initial report should reassure parents that action is being taken to locate the child and explain that contact will be maintained with them until the child is found.

If a member of staff is approached by a child who is lost, they should:

Under no circumstance announce a lost child over an intercom system and do not give out any personal details about the child publicly, if radio systems are used ensure that lines are blocked and secure.

Contact another member of staff to stay with you and ensure you are in an open environment.

Reassure the child.

Seek to establish identifying details – name, age, school.

Contact the named person with identifying details and other information that might help reunite the child with its parent /carer.

In the unlikely event that the child is not claimed the named member of staff should contact the police.

Check the identity of the person to whom the child is handed over to, these details should be kept on file in a lost child record.

Uncollected Children

If a child is uncollected at the end of a session, rehearsal or performance we require Theatre Royal Wakefield Staff (this includes casuals and freelancers) to follow the following procedures:

Two members of staff (ideally DBS Checked) should always remain with the child.

No member of staff should attempt to take the child to their own home: ideally stay in the rehearsal or performance space and if this is not possible move to another appropriate public space (for example a Cafe)

Put the welfare of the child first at all times and remember how scary this experience might be.

The child should be reassured by the staff.

Constantly try to contact parents & or emergency contacts.

If, after one hour, you cannot contact any-one connected to the child you would need to contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503 or the local police to discuss the situation with them if a parent fails to collect a child after this time, then they will advise you. Both members of staff should wait with the child until they arrive

If you contact SCD this would need recording & they will support you with any follow up procedures etc.

Staff to record their actions.

If a parent/carer calls to say they are running late, two members of staff (ideally DBS checked) must:

Always remain with the child.

Never move from the agreed collection point and accompany the child to meet their parent/carer at an alternative location.

Signing Out

Any child aged 13yrs or under must always be signed out by their assigned parent/carer or authorised collection person.

Any young person aged between 14-17yrs must have written permission from their parent/carer that they are permitted to leave on their own.

For Theatre Royal Wakefield Licensed projects with children and young people, it has been agreed with Wakefield Licensing Authority that:

For a 14+year old child to leave without a parent or authorised adult, their parent/carer must complete a form in advance (available from the Designated safeguarding lead) and permission will be sent to Wakefield LA each time one is completed. TRW will keep digital copies of the forms for 6 months and will be made available to the licencing authorities if requested. Duty of care will overrule the parental permission and authorised adults will need to collect their children if it is considered an unsafe environment for the child aged 14+ years to leave on their own (ie, a late finish or an incident).


All licensed children need to be chaperoned in law while taking part in a performance. Chaperones acts in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child. Regulations require a ratio of 1 chaperone to 12 children. A chaperone’s first priority is always to the child and the chaperone must not take part in any activity that would prevent them from proper supervision and care of the children they are responsible for.


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. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse.

Staff and volunteers working for Theatre Royal Wakefield have a responsibility to be always vigilant when coming into contact with children, young people their families and other carers. You may have to respond to concerns about the welfare of a child or young person, so it is important you familiarise yourself with the following indicators of abuse. You may observe or be a witness to any of the following during your contact with children and families: (A full guide and further information can be found in Appendix 5)

Physical abuse

may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child. Common signs include Bruising; Burns/scalds; Bite marks; Fractures/broken bones.

Emotional abuse

is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. Common signs include: using language you wouldn’t expected for their age; struggle to control strong emotions and feel overwhelmed; seem isolated from peers; have few friends; withdrawn and not communicating

Sexual abuseand Child sexual exploitation involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. Common signs may be staying away from certain people; seeing frightened of a person; avoid being alone with people; showing sexual behaviour inappropriate for their age.

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. Common signs include: Poor Appearance and Hygiene; unwashed clothes; inadequate clothing; hungry and not provided with adequate food/snacks; untreated injuries, medical and dental issues


Action if a child Discloses Information

It is not the responsibility of anyone working for Wakefield Theatre Trust, in a paid or unpaid capacity, to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

If a child is suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm, the law supports staff in sharing the information with appropriate agencies or professionals without the child's or parent's consent.

When a child or young person discloses (says) something to you that causes concern, it is important to clearly record this information. Any concerns about a child or young person should be recorded on the incident report form regardless of whether or not it will be ultimately passed on to the statutory authorities. Sometimes, disclosures can be made accidentally and not intentionally – be aware and vigilant. This can happen through drama games, improvisation or you may overhear something someone has said. If you have ANY cause for concern, then take immediate, necessary action.

Be aware that some children and young people may not be able to express themselves clearly verbally. Communication differences may mean that it is hard for them to complain or be understood. Sometimes abuse of disabled children has gone unrecognised because behavioural clues were interpreted as part of their disability.

If a child or young person talks about possible abuse, the member of staff or volunteer should:

Remember the 4 Rs

Receive: Put arrangements in place to talk to the child/young person as soon as possible.

Listen to them and take what they say seriously - keep an open mind.

Let them know you want to be able to give them your full attention and you realise what they would like to tell you is important.

Call another member of staff to be present, move, if appropriate to another location – never in a closed room – always in an open environment and with another member of staff.

Accept what is said and react calmly so as not to frighten the child/young person.

Reassure: “You’ve done the right thing”

Be honest about outcomes.

Never promise confidentiality.

Reassure the child/young person but do not promise confidentiality.

Explain that you will have to speak to someone else who can help.

Tell them that they were right to tell and are not to blame.

React: Stay calm, stay professional

Ask open questions/ Don’t criticise / Explain Next Steps / Inform someone.

Recognise the inherent difficulties interpreting what is said by young children.

Don’t ask leading questions. Do not prevent them from recalling events.

Record: Make brief notes immediately onto the incident report form and pass this to the Designated Safeguarding Officer

Record words used by the individual. Record impartiality.

Try and use the same words and phrases as them e.g. for body parts etc. rather than interpreting what they think they mean. Make a full written record of what had been said in their own words, heard and/or seen as soon as possible on the incident report form. Also make an accurate record of any questions that you ask.

Remember to share your concerns:

  • Call the Designated Safeguarding Officer to report the concern and steps you have taken.
  • If a disclosure or incident takes place within normal working hours, the Designated Safeguarding Officer will talk to you face to face about the incident and be present while you record notes on the incident report form.
  • All Incident report forms are securely stored in a restricted and protected folder on the server. When an Incident Report Form is archived in this folder a note will be made in the Safeguarding folder, with basic details about the incident and a reference to the location of the incident report form.
  • If a disclosure or incident takes place outside of normal working office hours, you must telephone the Designated Safeguarding Officer, report the incident and detail steps taken so far, write a written record and keep this in a safe and confidential place until you are able to personally hand deliver the statement to the Designated Safeguarding Officer. It is also good practice to email a written account of a disclosure or cause for concern that has taken place if it is not possible to hand deliver your notes to the DSO for longer than 48hrs from the disclosure taking place. If emailing please anonymise names of the individuals. The Designated Safeguarding Officer may need to make a call to Social Care Direct and refer to these notes and will be requested to pass on further information.

What to record in the case of a disclosure:

To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern via the Incident report form (appendix 6) which should include the following:

  • The person’s name, age and date of birth.
  • Their home address and telephone number.
  • Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
  • The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors and other relevant information.
  • Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
  • A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
  • Details of witnesses to the incidents.
  • The person’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
  • Have the parents been contacted? If so what has been said?
  • Has anyone else been consulted? If so recorddetails.
  • Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
  • Where possible referral to the police or social services should be confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only. This includes the following people:

The Designated Safeguarding Officer, the Deputy Safeguarding Officers and, if relevant, the Executive Director.

The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused.

The person making the allegation.

Social services/police.

Social services should advise on who should approach the alleged abuser.

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with the Privacy Policy and Data Management Policy (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

Any referrals to social services (by the Safeguarding Officers) should be followed-up in writing between 24-48 hours.

Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse.

Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process. Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.

Allegations of previous abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).

Where such an allegation is made, Wakefield Theatre Trust will follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children may be at risk from this person.

Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.

If the disclosure indicates that the child is at risk of significant harm, then you must call Social care direct on 0345 8503503 and the Police on 999

With any disclosure the member of staff or volunteer should not:


Make promises or agree to keep secrets.

Allow their shock or distaste to show.

Speculate or make assumptions about what has happened.

Make negative comments about the alleged abuser.

Approach the alleged abuser.

Making a referral:

If a decision is made to raise a serious concern with Social Services it will be the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Officer (or Deputies, if the DSO is unavailable) to formally report this concern within 24 hours. When a referral is made, the Designated Safeguarding Officer will record the name and role of the person they spoke to, the date and time of passing on the concern. If a decision is made not to share a concern with external agencies, details will still be recorded of the concern raised and information as to why a referral was not made.


Any suspicion that a child or young person has been abused, or is at risk of being abused, by either a member of staff, a volunteer or any other adult involved in the child’s life (such as a parent) should be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer and Executive Director who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

Incidents that MUST be reported / recorded

For protection against false allegations and / or misconstrued behaviour, if any of the following occur staff should report this immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer and record the incident.

  • If staff accidentally hurt a participant.
  • If they seem distressed in any manner.
  • If a participant seems to have developed an attraction towards you.
  • If a participant misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

Action if there are concerns.

Concerns about Good Practice (i.e. if someone is not following the Good Practice Guidelines):

Please report to Designated Safeguarding Officer and this may be dealt with it as a disciplinary issue.

Concerns about suspected abuse (i.e. if any member of staff or adult involved in Theatre Royal Wakefield’s work is taking part in Poor Practice or abuse):

Any suspicion that a child or adult at risk has been abused, or is at risk of being abused should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the participant in question and any other person who may be at risk.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer will refer the allegation to the LADO who may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours. They may also make a referral to Social Care Direct

The Designated Safeguarding Officer has a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring service regarding concerns about an individual may have harmed a child or adult at risk, or put a child or adult at risk of harm

The Designated Safeguarding Officer has a duty to inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who must be contacted within one working day in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.

The LADO is responsible for:

Providing advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers.

Managing and overseeing individual cases from all partner agencies.

Ensuring the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded.

Ensuring there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made.

Monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.

The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The LADO is available to discuss any concerns and to assist in deciding whether you need to make a referral and/or take any immediate management action to protect a child. The LADO for the Wakefield District is currently Mark Wilkinson who is contactable on 01977 727032 or email

The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible, dependant on advice from the social services department and LADO. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will also notify the Executive Director of Theatre Royal Wakefield.

If the Designated Safeguarding Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the Executive Director of Theatre Royal Wakefield who will refer the allegation to LADO Social Services.

Internal Enquiries and Suspension

If there is an allegation of poor or mal practice, then this will initially be dealt with as a misconduct issue through our Disciplinary Procedure and Rules, which may include a decision to suspend.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer has a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring service regarding concerns about an individual who may have harmed a child or put them at risk of harm.

If a member of staff or volunteer has been suspended as the result of alleged misconduct in relation to a child protection/safeguarding issue, it is imperative that they cannot access the building or other locations where activities take place. Their log in will be disabled with immediate effect, they will be disconnected from all remote access and have no access to folders on the system. Depending on the nature of the misconduct issue, designated members of the Executive team may be required by the Police to undertake additional searches to determine that person’s search history in the workplace and check their personal online work folders. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will review and update the existing policy to ensure it is in line with what has occurred and make any relevant changes to procedures.

Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries, Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Executive Director will seek the advice of the Local Safeguarding Children Board to assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Executive Director, with advice from the Local Safeguarding Children Board, must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.


Where there is an emergency about the safety of a child, and they are in immediate danger the police should be contacted on 999 without delay. West Yorkshire Police direct line 0845 606 0 606

Integrated Front Door (Wakefield Safeguarding Children Partnership, social care direct) on: 0345 8503503 – open 24 hours a day. If you have concerns about children or young people or an adult at risk and believe the situation is urgent but there is no immediate danger, please call 0345 8503 503inthe first instance to speak to the Integrated Front Door. As part of this discussion the Integrated Front Door will advise on the next steps to take and as to whether a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) should be completed and submitted to

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) in Wakefield can be contacted Monday to Friday on 01977 727032 or via all allegations against people who work with children (whether paid or voluntary) The LADO will provide an initial response to the referrer within one working day advising whether there is a need for further action and will advise on the next steps required to be carried out.

Wakefield District Safeguarding Children’s Board : or 01924 306497

You can contact the NSPCC Helpline by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing Due to an increase in demand across the service, the voice Helpline is currently available 10am–2pm Monday to Friday. You can still email at any time

Childline on 0800 1111

If you are concerned a young person is at risk of radicalisation you can phone the police

helpline on 101 or 0800789321

If you are worried about F.G.M (‘Known’ cases must be reported to police) you can call the

F.G.M helpline on 0800 028 3550 or

Wakefield & District Victim Support who have a specialist Young People’s Service:

01924 369107 or National Line: 0845 303 0900.

SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES DECLARATION - after reading these guidelines please click the link below to sign using an online form