Safeguarding / Child Protection

SGS’ purpose is to improve the lives of young people through the provision of music activities. We pride ourselves on providing these activities in a warm, supportive, collaborative and safe environment. All our members, including staff, contractors and volunteers, understand this and we share a code of conduct to underpin it.

We recognize that many of the young people we work with may be vulnerable in some way. We all have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of young people as best we can and to keep them safe.

SGS has a comprehensive Child Protection Policy and set of Procedures, copies of which can be made available by request to Tom Scott on tom@schoolgroundsounds.org

Specifically in relation to keeping young people safe, we expect all members:
● to be alert to any signs of abuse amongst any of our participants and, if any suspicions, to act accordingly
● to keep alert to any risks to the health and safety of participants and mitigate
accordingly
● to ensure we always have an adequate level of adult supervision when handling groups of children (under 18-year-olds) – at least one adult per 8 children

We will always seek parental consent for participation in our activities if the participant is under 18. Often this may be through the school. And we ensure that we have emergency contact details available in case of an incident. On no account will any member:
● take photos or videos involving children unless we have explicit parental consent
● initiate contact with an SGS participant under 18 via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)

Members will mainly communicate with SGS participants using SGS Gmail accounts, which can be monitored, or, for mentors, using Mentornet, a special confidential IT platform, designed for the purpose. For multi-participant projects requiring shared communications we may choose to use group WhatsApp and, occasionally, individual texts, phone calls or WhatsApp messages may need to be used. In all cases, messages are restricted to essential information sharing only.

If an SGS participant under 18 contacts an SGS member via social media, then the participant will be told that this method of communication is inappropriate. If a text, phone message or email sent by an SGS participant is deemed inappropriate they will be given immediate feedback.

We recognise that most often physical contact is an entirely natural and healthy way of showing empathy and support, and when this is the case, we consider it acceptable for SGS members so long as others are around. However, we discourage SGS members from any physical contact in circumstances where the SGS member and a child (under 18) are alone
without other adults around.