Policies and Procedures
This Is Us Dance Company and its Youth and Junior Groups are committed to the operation of safeguarding and welfare throughout the entire company. From staff to students and visitors/parents, This Is Us expect all involved to abide by and execute our policies and procedures.
It is our responsibility to monitor the safeguarding and welfare of our children, staff and visitors. We ensure that the previsions are in place to effectively protect those under our care and ensure we are creating an environment that is open, encouraging and a safe environment for all.
Parents and staff are encouraged to communicate any issues and worries with Directors and Safeguarding Lead Jan Cockburn and/or Deputy Safeguarding Lead Hannah Rotchell. It is here where the correct action is vital, in line with our Policies to ensure that all parents, students and staff feel seen and heard; allowing us to action in the correct and safest way.
On induction and at yearly intervals, all staff will receive:
Healthy and Safety Training
Awareness of Fire safety
Safeguarding and Child Protection Training
Updated with any new processes and procedures
Regular First Aid and Safeguarding courses will be taken by the designated lead.
In terms of the standard of teaching: Dance Teacher, Hannah, has received a First Class BA Hons degree in Contemporary Dance, received in 2014 at The London Contemporary Dance School. Continuing on from this, she has had an extensive career in dance, where she has built on her style of inclusive dance practice, through Stopgap Dance and their IRIS syllabus.
Regular Teacher Development courses and classes will be undertaken to ensure that the dancers of This Is Us are gaining access to the highest quality of inclusive dance training.
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
This Is Us have their own Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
This policy is for the adults and volunteers who work at This Is Us. We have also created. Child friendly document that is attached to each individual childs code of conduct that is given at the start of each new academic year.
The Policy ensures that all staff have the skill to deal with raising awareness of any individual child protection query, whether it be an emotional difference or physical warning. All staff have a training to identify and action accordingly following the disclaimer procedure. This allows the team to work effectively to protect the child. The key to our policy is to ensure that all children and adults are aware of how to create a safe environment where children can learn and grow.
To ensure that our Child Protection and Safe Guarding Procedures are adhered to, the company will:
Create a secure and open environment, where talking is encouraged to express themselves.
Ensure parents and children are aware of who they need to speak too if an issue arises.
Ensure that parents, children and staff know that whilst dancers are under our provision, they are our responsibility and therefore if there are signs (during this time) that lead towards an issue needing to escalate, this must be taken to the DSL.
Regular training and discussion is had between the entire team to ensure that everyone feels confident with this approach and has the skill set to deliver the policies and procedures effectively
That the team are aware not to take matters into their own hands
Parents to sign appropriate annual documentation and receive copies of our policies.
Children to understand the annual code of conduct, that supports the child friendly safe guarding policy
Regular training taken by the DSL’s to ensure that they are aware of all current standards.
Ensure that all teachers, volunteers and cover teachers are aware of the safe touch protocols within teaching
For our full Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Equal Opportunities Policy
This Is Us Dance has a full Equal Opportunities policy. To receive a copy, please email email@example.com
This Is Us Dance proudly support and promote equal opportunities and diversity within our company. There will be no discrimination against any individual for the reason of religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, disability, physical appearance, beliefs, age, gender or sexual orientation.
This Is Us Dance is an inclusive company and therefore our ethos is hugely focused around giving “ALL” the opportunity and right to realise their full potential.
This Is Us have an incredible level of support, which means that each individual who attends our company has the level of need they require. Whether this is a 1-1 support or more of a general support with learning. Upon signing up, the management team discuss the need with parents to ensure that our classes can be accessible for that individual. We rely on the parent/carer to let us know of the need in advance, allowing us to act in the best way for their child. It is all about getting the right provisions in place to allow the students to partake in either class, performance or trip.
All members of the company, both staff and students are expected to abide by the staff and pupil code of conduct. For a copy of our code of conduct, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
These behaviour points include, but are not limited to:
Treating others as they wish to be treated
Display a positive outlook to their practice
Showing self respect and discipline
Regular conversations are had between staff and students with how the company need to work together and act professionally whether in class, at a performance or on a trip. This Is Us strive to create a positive working environment throughout, allowing all students to gain a responsible and open approach to their learning, knowing that good behaviour is recognised.
If there are behaviour concerns, these will be reported to Jan Cockburn and Hannah Rotchell, where steps can be taken, either to have a conversation with the students, or escalate to a parent meeting. All of this will be done with the childs interest at heart and not to affect others within the group.
This Is Us also operate under a “Dancer of the week” trophy, which allows these qualities to be regularly talked about and awarded. Dancers are recognised for their hard work that reflect the terms within our side of conduct, making this a child friendly approach.
Anti Bullying Policy
In addition to our behaviour policy, bullying is not tolerated at any level within our company or groups. Any level of bullying is taken extremely seriously, as our ethos is to create a positive working environment, allowing dancers to feel seen, heard and belong. It is expected that parents, staff and students follow the expectation of mutual respect and support our behaviour policy. Any situation that shows a dancer disrespecting another is either pulled up upon there and then (if appropriate), or the dancer is taken to one side to allow them to understand why they acted in such a way. If needed, the DSL’s would decided to escalate this to a parent meeting, if they truly felt necessary.
Whether words are being said or actions made against religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, disability, age, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation - it is vital our company remains inclusive, safe and happy - which is why all remarks and actions are taken seriously.
Our dancers are encouraged to recognise this, so that they can continue this open dialogue should they hear or see a remark of such behaviour.
It is the job of This Is Us management to give our dancers the skills, values and overall attitude to prevent a situation like this unfolding.
Health and Safety Policy
This Is Us Dance has a full Health and Safety policy. To receive a copy, please email email@example.com
Before every session and class, the staff ensure that the environment is clean and tidy, ready for the lesson to commence. This may involve sweeping, or clearing trip hazards. Hannah, The Dance Teacher ensures that she is leading a class in a safe way, encouraging the need and importance of warm up, working together throughout, using their senses to remain Safe and cooling down at the end of a session. It is Hannah’s responsibility to keep up to date with effective inclusive teaching practices, allowing her working environment to be safe and accessible.
This Is Us Comply with the Health and Safety Regulations of First Aid 1981. This Is Us have a designated First Aider, Laurel Gardner and have First Aid box on site. This is checked on a monthly basis by Jan Cockburn and if needed replenished. If basic first aid is needed, this can be conducted, however, if an injury or situation needs to be escalated, our emergency procedure will be followed. Parents contacted and the appropriate third party will be called whether that be 111 or 999.
A formal risk assessment has been carried out for the running of each class and is handed to the hire space. More specific, detailed assessments are carried out for individual trips and performances. Fire risk assessments have been completed by our hire venue and TIU will comply with their guidelines in case of a fire/evacuation. Jan Cockburn will act as Fire Marshall for This Is Us Dance, students will be evacuated to the appropriate evacuation point and the register conducted.
This Is Us Dance comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and are registered with ICO. This Is Us keep records of pupils and data in password protected systems. We operate on a secured filing system for consistency and administration. This Is Us will not share any personal information without parental consent, aside from where law indicates it being justified to do so.
Information is collected upon registration of the childs specific need, parent contact numbers and addresses - all of which are stored securely for in house company use only.
For our full GDPR Policy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography and Videography Policy
All parents/carers are asked to sign a “Photo/Video policy” document upon sign up. This allows the company the opportunity to photograph and record children for the purpose of the Dance Company. These photos can be shared for promotional reasons to third parties or used for social media and website footage. If a parent would not like their child to be photographed, this will be respected and honoured.
This Is Us Dance Company and its groups respond to all complaints with a matter of efficiency. It is our purpose to ensure either staff member, visitor, parent or dancer is responded to in a courteous and timely manor. We do ask for any complaints to be emailed and addressed to Jan Cockburn at email@example.com with the full details that are deemed necessary. This way, management can respond swiftly and action accordingly, whether through email, or set up a meeting, if required.
Please report complaints and feedback to Jan Cockburn, who will be able to discuss matters with fellow directors Hannah Rotchell and Peter McGloughlin. The complaint will be internally logged and replied to within 10 working days.
All complaints are dealt with confidentially amongst management and the representative.
If logging an official complaint, this must be completed in writing. Email complaints are acceptable, as long as full contact details are provided. It is worth noting that complaints that do not list the full details or contact details will not be dealt with under this policy. All complaints must be factual with detailed explanation and accompanied by any supporting documentation and/ or action that may have already been taken to resolve the complaint.
The complaint must be no more than 2 months after the alleged incident, unless its existence was unknown or circumstance meant that it could not be acted upon.
When a complaint is logged, the member of whom the complaint is about will have 10 working days to state their case and provide any supporting evidence so that a resolution can be found amongst Management.
For posted complaints, please send to:
FAO This Is Us Dance
Bishops Down Primary School
If a parent or member of staff has a minor incident or complaint that they have come to briefly discuss in person, but has not been resolved, a meeting can be arranged where all directors are present and minutes/ follow up emails are sent.
Staff and Visitors Procedures
We abide by the hire regulations of our rehearsal space. Although we are not required to sign visitors and dancers in at the main school reception, we conduct our own weekly register that allows us to know who is in the building and under our own responsibility. Because of this, all external visits must be agreed in advance and documented by Jan Cockburn, the company Security.
If parents wish to remain on site, they must wait in the reception area, just outside the hall, where they are in site of This Is Us Management. Again, they are added to the register as “Visiting Parent”
Any Parent Meetings are agreed in advance
Parents must wait outside of the school entrance where the staff hand the child back over to their parent. If any pupil is to walk home alone, this again is agreed in advance by a communication between parent and Jan Cockburn.