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Safeguarding

Introduction

The Story Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities.  The museum has a responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all users of our building and site be they staff, volunteers, visitors, contractors or tenants, regardless of age or physical ability.  The museum is part of the Happy Museum project and is committed to supporting staff and visitor well-being.

This policy is written to ensure that all children and young people are guaranteed appropriate and safe treatment in all circumstances in the museum. While it is aimed specifically to protect children from abuse, it should be considered to encompass a wide meaning of health and safety.

All staff and volunteers are responsible for supporting this policy.  The protection provided to children under the age of 18 by this policy will also be provided to vulnerable adults (as defined by “Who Decides?” consultation issued by the Lord Chancellor’s Dept in 1997).

Background

Children come to the Story Museum either to visit a gallery or attend a planned activity. They usually visit the museum with their own teacher, parent or carer who accompanies them on tours, exhibitions, performances, storytelling events, gallery activities or family drop in sessions.  Children over the age of 11 may visit the museum unaccompanied however attendance at some workshops will require the completion of parental consent forms.

The museum occupies a range of linked buildings around an enclosed, but not secured, courtyard.  Activities usually take place in specific performance or workshop spaces inside the building.  Very occasionally with advance notice workshops may involve attendees to participate in activities elsewhere in the city.  Occasionally events take place in the courtyard which is also accessed by different site users.  Currently, during term-time, the museum opens to schools or prebooked visitors for three days a week, to schools and the general public one day a week and to all visitors at the weekends.  During school holidays the museum is open 7 days a week for all visitors.

Risk assessments are conducted for all museum spaces and activities and partner organisations consulted.

The Story Museum is committed to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child “children have a right to express their views and have them taken seriously in accordance with their age and maturity”. Further details on our commitment to working with children to inform every area of our work is included in the Learning and Participation Strategy.

Aims

We aim to:

  • Provide an environment which is safe and welcoming for children and vulnerable adults and which protects them from all forms of harm.
  • Make sure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the need to protect children and vulnerable adults and know how to reduce the risks to them.
  • Respect the rights of all children and vulnerable adults.
  • Provide procedures and guidance for all staff and volunteers for their own protection and to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable adults while at the museum or while taking part in museum-led activities off-site.

Practice

The Story Museum and everyone who works for it is committed to safeguard children and vulnerable adults by:

  • Making sure that individuals working with children / vulnerable adults are fully aware of and follow the museum’s written procedures and Code of Practice by providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
  • Adopting safeguarding procedures for all staff and volunteers which minimise any opportunity for abuse and establish appropriate treatment of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Sharing information about the principles of safeguarding and good practice with staff, volunteers and visitors and ensuring any accompanying adults (parents, carers, school teachers etc.) are aware of their own responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents/carers as appropriate.
  • Following robust procedures for the recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers and ensuring individuals who are working with children / vulnerable adults in a ‘regulated activity’ have the appropriate DBS checks. Please refer to the Safe Recruitment Policy.
  • Informing staff that not adhering to the policy and guidelines will lead to formal disciplinary action.
  • Publicising our guidelines in our visitor information documentation.
  • Developing and following a safeguarding action plan and reviewing our policy and practice at regular intervals.
  • The designated Safeguarding Officer (SO) is Sarah Fussell, Operations Manager. All questions and referrals should be made via the SO.