Child Protection Procedures

Safeguarding Children and Young People


  1. Policy Statement
  2. 1.1 Definitions
  3. 1.2 Legal Framework                                                                                                   
  4. Responsibilities                                                                        
  5. 2.1 Directors & Board of directors                                                                                                                     
  6. 2.2 General Manager
  7. 2.3 All staff, freelancers and volunteers                                                                                                           
  8. Procedures                                                                                   
  9. 3.1 Recruitment and Training 
  10. Staff & Freelancers Training Log
  11. External Contractors
  12. Working with External Organisations
  13. 3.2 Working with Young People
  14. 3.2.1 Code of Conduct
  15. 3.2.2 Photography Filming and social media
  16. 3.2.3 Child Performance Licensing
  17. Requirement
  18. Chaperones
  19. 3.2.4 Online Safety
  20. Online Behaviour & Code of Conduct
  21. 3.2.5 Recording Attendance
  22. 3.3 Reporting Abuse
  23. 3.3.1 Signs and Types of Abuse
  24. Signs of Abuse
  25. Types of Abuse
  26. Radicalisation & Extremism
  27. 3.3.2 Disclosures & Reporting
  28. Barriers to Disclosure
  29. Reporting & Responding to Disclosure
  30. Allegations against Staff
  31. Reporting Flowchart
  32. 3.3.3 Designated Safeguarding Officers
  33. 3.3.4 Local Contacts
  34. 3.3.5 Confidentiality                                                                                          
  35. Review 
  36. Next Review  
  37. Appendix 1 ThirdSpace Theatre Safeguarding Report
  38. Appendix 2 Media Consent Form Template

1. Policy Statement

ThirdSpace Theatre (TST) is an open drama club for young people (YP) aged 5-23 in Brighton, Hove, Sussex. We are inclusive and supportive; we provide a friendly, safe environment for YP to express themselves and explore ideas they find challenging or exciting. We provide weekly drama sessions during which YP work together to create pro-level theatre shows that directly engage with YP their age, making work that is contemporary and socially engaged.

TST believe that everyone, without exception, has the right to protection from abuse, harassment or any kind of harm regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, class or socio-economic background, trade union activity or political activity or opinion. TST’ s policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of directors, staff, freelancers, volunteers, interns, apprentices, students or anyone working on behalf of TST and is approved by our board of directors. 

TST are committed to practices that promote safe environments and support the health, wellbeing, safety and positive development of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All staff are trained and supported to offer high quality, positive and safe opportunities.

TST recognises: 

  • that the welfare of our YP is paramount and that they must be protected from harm at all times.
  • the needs of children, YP and vulnerable adults from African or Caribbean heritage, people of South and East Asian heritage, people of Arabic heritage and people who are ethnically diverse and/or people who experience racism and those who are D/deaf or D/disabled, and the barriers that they may face, especially concerning communication.
  • that everyone working with children, YP and vulnerable adults has a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of each person in our care, and that they should feel safe and able to speak out if this is not the case.
  • that all staff and volunteers should have the appropriate knowledge of how to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults, including an understanding of common safeguarding terms, in order to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

TST meets their responsibility towards Safeguarding through:

  • adopting the NSPCC 2019 Edition Voluntary and Community Sector Standards Six Standards
  • ensuring proper recruitment and training for all staff and volunteers, including checking references and the appropriate level DBS certificate checks where appropriate
  • sharing information regarding policies and protocols with external contractors and volunteers
  • ensuring that all external contractors and volunteers agree to follow the TST Code of Conduct
  • ensuring that all documentation and sensitive information is treated confidentially and held and used in line with the Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation and that the relevant consent procedures are taken for filming and photography
  • ensuring that there is sensitivity to the content of classes, considering age, gender and abilities of the participants

Directors, staff and volunteers will familiarise themselves with this policy as soon as they begin working with us. This policy is a lengthy document but this is to ensure that all relevant information is provided. Anyone can seek the advice and support of the Designated Safeguarding Officer (see section 3.3.3) at any time. Additional relevant policies (Healthy and Safety, Code of Conduct etc.), resources and information are available to staff.

TST ensures that partners, external contractors and parents/ carers have access to this Safeguarding Policy and are aware of the procedures that are put in place to safeguard all those involved in TST’s work. The policy statement, link to the policy and information about who to contact is available on our website:

All concerns, and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously by directors and staff and responded to immediately and appropriately – this may require a referral to children’s services and in some instances, the Police. 

This policy will be updated as necessary and at least every two years. Last update date and staff member are noted on the footer of this document.

1.1 Definitions

Child – the term used for a person up until their 18th birthday

Young Person – although not a legal term, widely used to include older children and those into their early 20’s

Vulnerable Adult – a person 18 years or over who is deemed to require extra support with care, access or learning

Child Protection – protecting children from abuse and neglect through adhering to legislation

Safeguarding – recognised as the wider practice of supporting the needs of children, young people and vulnerable adults which also includes preventing impairment to health or development and where their welfare is actively promoted

Abuse – Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Someone may abuse or neglect by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Abuse can be committed by an adult or another child. For the full definitions of Types of Abuse, please see Appendix 3

1.2 Legal Framework 

This policy was created by TST with reference to the Safe Network, and First check guidelines produced by the NSPCC and Keeping Arts Safe, Arts Council England guidelines.  These policies and procedures have been written in line with the following government legislation and guidance:

  • Children’s Act 1989, Children’s Act 2004, and Children and Social Work Act 2017 
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children HMG 2018 
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused HMG 2015
  • Protection of Children Act 1999 
  • Police Act 1997
  • Care Act 2014
  • Data Protection Act 2018  
  • Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation (FGM) (Serious Crime Act 2015)
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Prevent Act)
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Equality Act 2010  
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, amended 2010 
  • Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014
  • Mental Health Act 1983 
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 
  • Information Sharing: Advice for practitioners providing Safeguarding Services DfE 2018
  • Pan Sussex procedures  BHSCP

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Director & Board of Directors

The Director is responsible for the implementation of ThirdSpace Theatre’ Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. They are supported in this role by the Board.

They are responsible for:

  • ensuring that safeguarding implications are constantly reviewed across the scope of TST’s work and are fully considered in the development of all new pieces of work. 
  • the continued development of TST’s approach to Safeguarding, considering and authorising any immediate changes in operational policy required due to a safeguarding incident or near miss 
  • ensuring safeguarding is considered in all appointments of staff (to include directors, volunteers, freelance staff etc). 
  • ensuring training of staff is delivered as regularly as is necessary
  • ensuring all staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities under this policy

    2.2 Company Manager

The Company Manager is responsible for:

  • ensuring that staff, freelancers, and volunteers are able to discuss safeguarding, child protection and abuse issues confidentially and receive guidance and support on action if situations arise
  • ensuring the referral of all safeguarding, child protection issues to the Safeguarding Officer
  • ensuring staff and volunteers undertake appropriate and required induction and training in safeguarding/child protection, at the required level relevant to their role
  • ensuring all new staff members and volunteers have the required disclosure certificate in place if engaging in regulated activity with young people and that they cooperate with the internal DBS procedure to include checking ID and provision of signed copies of documents with application forms to HR.

2.3 All Staff, freelancers and contractors

All staff, volunteers, freelancers and consultants are expected to adhere to the requirements of this policy and procedures and operate within codes of conduct outlined within. Any behaviour by a member of staff, volunteer, freelancer or consultant that contravenes the terms of this policy and procedure may be considered for disciplinary action, which in turn may lead to dismissal for staff and ending of contracts for volunteers, freelancers and consultants.

3. Procedures

3.1 Recruitment & Training

All staff, external contractors and volunteers undergo a thorough recruitment process, including interview and reference checks. At least one of the persons conducting the interviews has been instructed on safe recruitment procedures as part of their Safeguarding training. Staff recruited to work with TST have the necessary skills to fulfil their role and are willing to attend relevant training to ensure that their role is performed well. TST is exempt from the Rehabilitation Act 1974. 

Staff are required to attend safeguarding training (Introduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection) on the specific safeguarding issues that can put children at risk of harm (for example, abuse and neglect, peer-on-peer abuse, extremism, and radicalisation) every two years. This includes training in the Prevent Duty to ensure they are aware of when it is appropriate to refer Prevent related concerns to the DSL.

Those working with TST are required to read, understand and agree to the company Safeguarding policy and procedures, and will work in line with the Code of Conduct in this policy.

Those working with children, young people or vulnerable adults undertaking regulated activity will be required to go through the necessary DBS certificate checks at the appropriate level.

The DSO is required to complete Safeguarding Lead Training every two years, and to update their knowledge on a continuous basis. The DSO’s last training date was on the 20/01/2022

Staff & Freelancers Training Log
First NameSurnameTrainingCompletedExpiry
TanushkaMarahSafeguarding Lead Training20/01/202219/01/2024
DaveBarnstormSafeguarding Children (Level 2)07/06/202307/06/2024
AngelaEl-ZeindIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection07/03/202206/03/2024
RebeccaMilnerIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection24/03/202223/03/2024
SamCartwrightIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection21/07/202220/07/2024
NatashaHigdonIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection24/02/202223/02/2024
NatashaKaweckaIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection24/03/202223/03/2024
DeniseEvansIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection13/07/202212/07/2024
GrahamShackellIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection24/03/202223/03/2024
KirstyMartinIntroduction to Safeguarding & Child Protection19/07/202218/07/2024

Specific Policy for External Contractors

All external contractors should receive the appropriate induction pack outlining the relevant TST policies including this policy. It is the responsibility of the member of staff contracting the external worker/company to ensure that they understand and act on the relevant policies and to provide the Designated Safeguarding Officer’s contact details.

Contracting & Working With Host Organisations

When working with a host organisation whether in a school or community setting all staff (or external contractors where this forms part of their contract with TST, for example when an artist undertakes a series of workshops for TST) must ensure the following procedures are in place:

  • A contract or letter of agreement for the provision of the sessions (if appropriate) – all contracts must be signed by an authorised signatory, and a scanned or online copy placed in the main contracts file for reference. This should include any agreements regarding the provision of a second worker to provide appropriate cover for sessions.
  • A site risk assessment must be undertaken if the session is taking place in any setting other than a school or formal setting. This should be documented and any appropriate action taken to mitigate against identified risks. The external contractor must also inform the member of TST responsible for coordinating the project if this situation arises.
  • If for any reason a session is being held in a community context led by a member of staff or an external contractor and it has not been agreed prior to the session that there will be a second adult available (e.g. youth worker/ other group leader) then an assistant should be contracted to support the session leader. This individual must meet policy requirements regarding an up to date DBS certificate and appropriate references and could be a fully trained volunteer or a paid worker. If this is not possible, then TST must undertake a risk assessment and ensure action is taken to mitigate any risk identified

3.2 Working with Young People

3.2.1 Code of Conduct

TST believes that the safety of its participants is of paramount importance. Participants should not be put at risk at any time while they are involved in TST projects. Staff, volunteers and external contractors should ensure that their standards of personal behaviour, conduct and language are professional, that there is sensitivity to the content of workshop sessions, taking into account age, gender, and disability and protected characteristics of participants and adaptations made where necessary.

All staff, volunteers and external contractors are at all times ambassadors for TST This Code of Conduct outlines the behaviour expected. It is set out to help protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, promotes good practice and challenges inappropriate behaviour. It serves to maintain professional and respectful standards of behaviour and will reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations of abuse being made.

All members of staff, volunteers and external contractors are expected to report any concerns or breaches of this Code of Conduct to the Designated Safeguarding Officer. A serious breach may result in a referral to the police, the Local Children’s or Adult’s Safeguarding Board, Social Services and/ or the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

When working with children, young people and vulnerable adults it is important to:

  • Read in full and follow TST’s Safeguarding Policy at all times. 
  • Treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with respect and provide examples of good conduct you wish others to follow
  • Ensure that at least one adult will hold the appropriate level DBS certificate, and if only one adult is available, then appropriate measures will be identified by that adult and action taken to mitigate against any risk.
  • Know at all times where children, young people and vulnerable adults are.       

3.2.2 Photography, Filming and Social Media

TST uses photos and film footage to document and promote its work. Images and footage will only be used when written consent is given by the parent or guardian of participants or by a relevant school or carers authority.

TST recognises that some people (parents, guardians and participants) may be happy for images or footage to appear in documentation which is not widely distributed but do not want these to appear through social media or online.

  • TST will make explicit where images or footage will be uploaded onto the official TST website, Facebook page or other social media site and ensure that the Media Consent Form includes an opt out from these.
  • TST will take reasonable steps to ensure that reproduction of a participant’s image does not put any participant at risk. 
  • TST will not attach names of participants to any photography or film material.
  • All images and footage will be stored safely in line with Data Protection legislation 
  • See Appendix 4 for a pro forma of the Media Consent Forms

    3.2.3 Child Performance Licensing


All children who perform on stage or in television, films, commercials or who work as models, have their welfare and safety protected by the following children in entertainment legislation: 

  • Children & Young Persons Act 1933 & 1963 
  • Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 
  • The Children (Performance) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1998(1) 
  • The Children (Performance) Amendment Regulations 2000
  • The Children (Performance) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2000
  • Statutory Instruments: 1968 No. 1728, 1998 No. 1678, 2000 No. 10, & No. 2384 

 For the purposes of children in entertainment a child is a person aged from birth until the end of their compulsory schooling (18 yrs from 2015). 
The aforementioned legislation requires licences to be issued by each Local Authority (LA) for children who take part in one of the following categories: 

  • broadcast performances (films, TV, video) covers performances that will be broadcast; 
  • non-broadcast performances (theatre, modelling) covers performance that are not broadcast. 

It is the responsibility of TST to establish contact with the relevant local authority in which a child resides to obtain instructions as to whether a licence is required.

The Children (Performances) Regulations 1968 only apply to actual performances and therefore the following information does not apply to rehearsals or regular workshops. Rehearsals are, however, affected by the Regulations, if they take place during the currency of a licence (between first and last performing day). Rehearsals are then subject to the same restrictions and conditions applicable to that licence i.e. time at place of performance, performing times and so forth. Rehearsals also count as a performance when calculating length of working week i.e. 5 days broadcast, 6 days theatre/other. 


All licensed children need to be chaperoned in law while taking part in a performance. Chaperones act 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. A chaperone will have total charge of a child – unless the child is being chaperoned by his/her parent/carer – whilst the child is at the theatre/performance location, and is responsible for the child’s care and control. If the child has completed his performance and is then handed into the care and control of his parent/guardian who is outside of the stage performance area, the chaperone will no longer have responsibility for the child.

Chaperones are required by law to keep a record for each child, per performance: 

  • It is a requirement under the Regulations that these records be kept and made available, together with each child’s Licence, at every place of performance where a child is present, for inspection by an officer of the Local Authority in whose area the performance takes place.
  • Upon completion of the production, the daily record sheet/s should be stored at the Licence Applicant’s main company address for a period of not less than 6 months after the final performance date for which the Licence has been granted. 

Licenced Chaperones are approved by Local Authorities and will be familiar with the law regarding children in entertainment

3.2.4 Online Safety

The use of information technology is an essential part of all our lives; it is involved in how we as an organisation gather and store information, as well as how we communicate with each other. It is also an intrinsic part of the experience of our children, young people and vulnerable adults, and is beneficial to all. However, it can present challenges in terms of how we use it responsibly and, if misused either by a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, can be actually or potentially harmful to them. 

TST seeks to promote online safety by: 

  • supporting and encouraging the children, young people and vulnerable adults using our service to use online technology in a way that keeps themselves safe and shows respect for others; and supporting and encouraging parents and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online. (see Staying safe online | Childline)
  • reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly, ensuring that usernames, logins and passwords are used effectively, using two factor authentication were possible and providing adequate physical security for ICT equipment;
  • using only official email or social media accounts provided via the organisation to communicate with children and young people and monitoring these as necessary
  • ensuring that images of children and young people and their families are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given;
  • informing parents and carers of incidents of concern as appropriate; 

If and when we use the internet to provide or host activities that involve direct interaction with children online, we will seek written consent for children to be involved from parents, carers and the children themselves as appropriate. We will carefully consider whether it is appropriate to allow children to share pictures or videos of themselves as part of those activities and will seek permission from children and their parents.

If we intend to record a session, for example to share it with young people who weren’t able to attend a live event, we will carefully consider whether the recording is necessary, adequate and legitimate for our purposes,  seek consent from children and their parents and only use it for that purpose. Recordings will be password protected, only stored on TST’s secure online server and  for a maximum period of 6 months or for as long as they are required for their stated purpose (whichever is longer), after which period they will be permanently deleted. Only relevant staff, children, young people, parents and carers will be given access to the recordings. We will always disable settings allowing children, parents and carers to record the session themselves.

Online behaviour and codes of conduct for staff, volunteers and external contractors

Staff volunteers and external contractors working with children and young people should always:

  • only use accounts that have been authorised by TST to communicate with children and young people (never use personal accounts)
  • turn on privacy settings on accounts that are used to interact with children and young people
  • use an organisational device to communicate with young people (if this isn’t possible, managers should authorise individual staff and volunteers to use a personal device on a case-by-case basis)
  • ensure all communications are relevant to the work of the project and organisation
  • use age-appropriate language
  • be aware of their digital footprint. Children, young people and families may look up the personal social media accounts of people who are working with them so these should be free of inappropriate or harmful content and not provide any personal information such as personal email addresses or phone numbers. It’s best practice for staff and volunteers not to accept friend requests on their personal accounts from children and families they work with

3.2.5 Recording Attendance    

Children and young people’s attendance to TST’s classes, workshops, performances and rehearsals is recorded in a digital register which is updated after every session by the relevant tutor and saved on TST’s server. Parents and carers are required to let us know if their child is unable to attend via email or text ahead of the session and a note of this is made on registers.

For children aged below 11 years old, if they are happy for their child to travel unaccompanied to and from TST classes parents and carers need to provide them with written permission. The information is recorded on the Student Database and relevant register.

If parents are sending another person to collect their child they have to provide written permission via email or text message ahead of the session.

ThirdSpace Theatre is registered with the Information Communications Officer, and collects, processes and handles personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and other relevant legislation and regulations. TST’s privacy policy is shared with parents when they first register students and is published on TST’s website.      

3.3 Reporting Abuse

3.3.1 Signs & Types of Abuse

Signs of Child Abuse

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. Some signs that could alert staff and volunteers to the fact that a child, young person or adult at risk might be being abused include: 

▪ Unexplained bruising and injuries
▪ Sexually explicit language and actions
▪ Sudden changes in behaviour
▪ Something a child has said
▪ A change observed over a long period of time e.g. losing weight or being increasingly dirty or unkempt. 

If a child, young person or adult at risk displays these signs it does not necessarily mean that they are being abused. Similarly there may not be any signs; you may just feel something is wrong. If you are worried, it is not your responsibility to decide if it is abuse but it is your responsibility to act on your concerns and do something about it by reporting it appropriately.

Types of Abuse

Physical abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child, young person or adult at risk. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child or young person.

Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child or young person such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their emotional development. It may involve conveying to them that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children or young people. These may include interactions that are beyond their developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing them participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children or young people frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of them. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child or young person though it may occur alone.

Sexual Abuse & Sexual Exploitation
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including sexual exploitation, whether or not they are aware of what is happening, and whether it is for money or reward or not. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative contact (e.g. rape and buggery) or nonpenetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children or young people in seeing or receiving or sending sexually suggestive emails or text-messages, or inappropriate behaviour on the internet, involving them looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material of watching sexual activities, or encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Consensual sexual activity involving a young person under 18 years is not abusive, but it may be, and a child or young person’s ability to consent can be impaired due to lack of freedom, capacity or choice; for example because of an age/power imbalance; because it is leading into sexual exploitation; because one person is in a position of trust with the other (e.g. a teacher); where one person is vulnerable because of disability or capacity; where the child/young person is in the care of another away from home. No child under the age of 13 or under is able to consent to any sexual activity according to the Sexual Offences Act (2003).

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy because of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: 

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  • Protect a child or young person from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) 
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child or young person’s basic emotional needs.

Discriminatory Abuse
Discriminatory abuse includes racial or sexual harassment and abusive treatment based on a child, young person or adult at risk’s disability.

Abuse of Disabled Children
Disability is defined as: a major physical impairment, severe illness and/or a moderate to severe learning difficulty; an ongoing high level of dependency on others for personal care and the meeting of other basic needs.
Disabled children are at increased risk of abuse and those with multiple disabilities are at even more significant risk both of abuse and neglect. Parents of disabled children may experience multiple stresses. This group of children may be particularly vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons including: 

  • Having fewer social contacts than other children, young people or adult at risk; 
  • Receiving intimate personal care from a larger number of carers; 
  • Having an impaired capacity to understand what they are experiencing is abuse or to challenge the abuser; 
  • Having communication difficulties resulting in difficulties in telling people what is happening;
  • Being reluctant to complain for fear of losing services; 
  • Being particularly vulnerable to bullying or intimidation; 
  • Being more vulnerable to abuse by peers than other children or young people

Bullying may be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. It can take many forms, but the three main types are physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, threats, name calling) and emotional (e.g. isolating an individual from the activities and social acceptance of their peer group). There is increasing use of new technologies as a tool for bullying and such incidents should be taken seriously.

Self-Harming Behaviour
Children and young people who harm or attempt to harm themselves should be taken seriously. The self-harming behaviour in itself may cause impairment of their health or development and in some circumstances present significant harm or the risk of significant harm. Self-harming behaviour may also arise alongside eating disorders and/or drug misuse.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation is a collective term for procedures that include the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons. This type of physical abuse is practised as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious physical and mental health consequences both at the time and in later life. The procedure is typically performed on girls of 4 -13 years but may be performed on newborn babies or on young women. FGM can result in death. Symptoms may include bleeding, painful areas, acute urinary retention, urinary infection, wound infection, septicaemia, incontinence, vaginal and pelvic infections with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physiological concerns.
FGM is a criminal offence (Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 2003 and subsequent amendments by the Serious Crime Act 2015). Under the act it is an offence to arrange, procure, aid or abet female genital mutilation. Parents/carers may be liable under this act. It is also an offence to allow the procedure to be undertaken in another country.  There is a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18; and  children’s social care team should be contacted in the same way as other types of physical abuse.

Forced Marriage
A forced marriage is one that is conducted without the full consent of both parties and where duress is a factor. Forced marriage can amount to sexual and emotional abuse and put children, young people or adults at risk, susceptible to physical abuse.
In circumstances where there are concerns that someone is at imminent risk of a forced marriage urgent referrals should be made to the children’s social care team. In the case of a child or young person in danger of forced marriage it is likely that an initial discussion with the parent, carer or other community member may significantly increase the level of risk to the person.

Online abuse
Online abuse is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse. It can take place anywhere and anytime.

Online child sexual abuse
When sexual exploitation happens online, young people may be persuaded, or forced, to: 

  •  send or post sexually explicit images of themselves 
  • take part in sexual activities via a webcam or smartphone 
  • have sexual conversations by text or online. 

Abusers may threaten to send images, video or copies of conversations to the young person’s friends and family unless they take part in other sexual activity. Images or videos may continue to be shared long after the sexual abuse has stopped.

Online bullying or cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behaviour which happens on social networks, games, and mobile phones. Cyberbullying can include spreading rumours about someone, or posting nasty or embarrassing messages, images, or videos. Cyberbullying includes: 

  • sending threatening or abusive text messages 
  • creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos 
  • ‘trolling’ – sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
  • excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups 
  • setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child 
  • encouraging young people to self-harm
  • voting for or against someone in an abusive poll 
  • creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name 
  • sending explicit messages, also known as sexting 
  • pressuring children into sending sexual images or engaging in sexual conversations.

Online grooming
Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or trafficking. Groomers can use social media sites, instant messaging apps including teen dating apps, or online gaming platforms to connect with a young person or child. They can spend time learning about a young person’s interests from their online profiles and then use this knowledge to help them build up a relationship. It’s easy for groomers to hide their identity online – they may pretend to be a child and then chat and become ‘friends’ with children they are targeting. Groomers no longer need to meet children in real life to abuse them. Increasingly, groomers are sexually exploiting their victims by persuading them to take part in online sexual activity. 

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually-explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops etc – any device that allows you to share media and messages. Sexting may also be called ‘trading nudes’, ‘dirties’ or ‘pic for pic’. The creating or sharing of explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child.

Cuckooing is the process whereby criminal gangs target the homes of vulnerable people in order to use their premises for criminal activity. Many of the victims are particularly vulnerable and criminal gangs may use threats and intimidation to gain access to the property to engage in criminal activity such as drug dealing, sexual exploitation etc.

Criminal exploitation: county lines
Criminal exploitation of children is a geographically widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns.

Peer on peer abuse
Children can abuse other children. It can take many forms including: bullying; sexual violence and sexual harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals. Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur online and offline. Evidence shows that girls, children with special education and needs disabilities (SEND) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children are at greater risk. Peer on peer abuse tends to be experienced by children aged 10 and upwards, with those abusing them being slightly older. Signs of possible peer on peer abuse include but are not limited to: physical injuries, drug and alcohol abuse, going missing, committing criminal offences, disengagement from school, poor mental health, sexual health concerns.

Children, young people and adults at risk can be trafficked into, within and out of the UK for many reasons and all different types of exploitation. Trafficking is a form of child abuse and needs an appropriate safeguarding response. Any child or young person who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for exploitative reasons is considered to be a victim of trafficking, whether or not they have been forced or deceived. This is because it is not considered possible for children or young people in this situation to give informed consent. Even when they understand what has happened, they may still appear to submit willingly to what they believe to be the will of their parents or accompanying adult. It is important that these children and young people are protected too.
Children and young people are trafficked for many reasons, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, labour, benefit fraud, forced marriage, begging and involvement in criminal activity such as pick pocketing, theft and working on cannabis farms. They are likely to be subjected to other forms of abuse, as a means of coercing and controlling them. Trafficking is carried out by individual adults and organised crime groups.

Radicalisation and Extremism

The threat from terrorism and extremism in the UK can involve the exploitation of vulnerable children or young people. Children and young people are being targeted by adults who hold extreme views that advocate violence, including far-right extremism, involving them in extremist activity in the UK or abroad which is putting them in extreme danger.
Radicalisation is a process by which an individual, or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine the status quo or contemporary ideas and expressions of a given nation.
Extremism is when people have very strong opinions or beliefs about politics or religions which are hateful, dangerous or against the law. Extremists might use violence, hate and fear to express their views, control and influence people.

Children and young people may become radicalised if they feel: 

  •  Isolated and lonely or wanting to belong; 
  • Unhappy about themselves and what others might think of them; 
  • Embarrassed or judged about their culture, gender, religion or race; 
  • Stressed or depressed; 
  • Fed up of being bullied or treated badly by other people or by society; 
  • Angry at other people or the government; 
  • Confused about what they are doing; 
  • Pressured to stand up for other people who are being oppressed.
  • The desire to be valued and respected 
  • There are few other options open to them 
  • No one is listening to them/ they have no voice 

Following the guidance of the Prevent Duty Act 2015, all TST staff working with children and young people have received training in the Prevent Duty, to help them identify children at risk of being drawn into radicalisation and to challenge extremist ideas.
If a member of staff has a concern about a particular young person they should follow TST’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with TST’s designated safeguarding officer, who will use the Prevent National Referral Form to report any concerns.

Brighton & Hove City Council has a Prevent lead who can also provide support: Prevent Coordinator, Nahida Shaikh, Partnership Community Safety Team – T. 01273 290584; M. 07717303292; E.

3.3.2 Disclosures & Reporting

A ‘disclosure’ is when a person shares information about abuse. Disclosures can be verbal, written or physical. It is sometimes the case that a disclosure occurs during more creative or emotionally engaging activities and to an adult who is less well known to the participant. Although each project, workshop or event will be supervised by a member of staff with a recent enhanced DBS certificate, it is possible that a child, young person or vulnerable adult will disclose abuse to another member of the team. It is therefore imperative that every staff, freelancer, volunteer or contractor has read this policy and knows how to respond to and report this disclosure. 

Every concern must be acted upon. It is not the responsibility of the staff member or the Designated Safeguarding Officer to judge whether the information is true. Appropriate action will be taken following a consultation between the Designated Safeguarding Officer and a professional or professionals from child protection agencies. These include the police, NSPCC and Social Services.

Barriers to Disclosure

A child, young person or vulnerable adult may not tell anyone that they are being abused for a number of different reasons.  They may be scared to do so and often receive threats from their abusers.  They often believe it is their fault that they are being mistreated and are frightened that they may be taken away from their home if anyone finds out.  It is often embarrassing for a child, young person or vulnerable adult to disclose such personal details. Some children, young people and vulnerable adults may not be able to disclose information due to communication or learning difficulties, or they may simply be too young or vulnerable to understand what is happening to them. Fear of not being believed is also a common reason for keeping quiet and it may be that they had tried on previous occasions to seek help and have been ignored.

Adults also face difficult decisions when they discover that abuse may be taking place.  It can be very stressful and time consuming to become involved in allegation processes of this type.  Some people fear that they may have got it wrong and don’t want to cause unnecessary upheaval for the child, young person, vulnerable adult or their family. The person to whom the disclosure has been made may not know who to contact or what to do with the information they hold.  It may be that the allegation is against someone they know and they cannot face the consequences of becoming involved. By ensuring that all staff, volunteers and external contractors have read and understood this policy, TST can mitigate against this.

Reporting and Responding to a Disclosure

If a child or young person  discloses to you it is important to follow these guidelines.

  • Stay calm 
  • Actively listen to the participant, allowing them to speak at their own pace
  • You must tell the participant that you cannot promise to keep it a secret
  • Where possible ensure that you are not alone during the disclosure
  • Only ask questions to clarify what is being said, do not ask leading questions
  • Reassure the participant that they have done the right thing by telling you
  • Tell the participant what will happen next and who will need to know the information
  • Record in writing what was said using the participant’s own words. Include the date, time, child/young person/ vulnerable adult’s name, your name and job title, location disclosure took place, what was happening immediately before the disclosure was made (the activity), any other witnesses
  • Report the disclosure to the Designated Safeguarding Officer as soon as is possible on the report form (see Appendix 1- Report Form) If you believe that the child, young person or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger or that a crime has been committed, call the police.
  • You must not share the information about the disclosure to other colleagues, though it is recommended that you inform your line manager that a disclosure has taken place so that you can be given the support that you need. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will discuss concerns with the Local Area Designated Officer, Front Door Families or NSPCC and will take the recommended action.

If a child or young person’s behaviour or appearance gives reason for concern or if you are concerned that a child, young person or adult at risk is or may be subject to abuse or harm: 

  • Make a written, dated note of observations
  • Immediately inform your Manager or TST’s Safeguarding Officer or in their absence the Company Manager as soon as possible, who will, within the appropriate time frame, either make enquiries without raising the question of abuse and evaluate the matter and/or make a referral to the appropriate external authority (the Local Area Designated Officer, Front Door Families or NSPCC) and will take the recommended action.

If you receive a request for advice from anyone external to TST about suspected/reported abuse of a child, young person or adult at risk the procedure is: 

  • advise them to make a note as soon as possible detailing the facts as known and, if they spoke with the child, young person or adult at risk, what was discussed;
  • advise them to contact the nearest Children’s Social Care with details of the concerns/report, including a copy of the written notes (see 3.3.4 – Local Contacts). Don’t give them a copy of TST’s procedure, but give details of the organisations/publications detailed within it
  • immediately inform your Manager or TST’s Safeguarding Officer. Record the facts as you know them and give a copy of the record to your Manager or or TST’s Safeguarding Officer. It is the responsibility of the safeguarding officer to inform the appropriate authorities.

Allegations against staff

If an allegation is made against a member of staff, freelancer or volunteer or any other person who comes into contact with the children and young people at TST, regardless of whether the allegation relates to TST or elsewhere, or if you are concerned that a member of staff is harming or abusing a child, young person or adult at risk, you must report the allegation or your concerns immediately to TST’s Safeguarding Officer.  If this person is the subject of the allegation, then this should be reported to the company manager instead. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO will then be informed immediately in order for this to be investigated by the appropriate bodies promptly. If as an individual, you feel this will not be taken seriously or are worried about the allegation getting back to the person in question then it is your duty to inform the LADO yourself directly.  Currently the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is Darrel Hews: T. 01273 295643

A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals  to determine how this will be handled. We will follow all instructions from the LADO and ask all staff members to do the same and co-operate where required. Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation in line with LADO support and advice. 

TST reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation. All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities. Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being reinstated. Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisations including the local authority children’s social care team and where an offence is believed to have been committed, the police, and will result in the termination of employment. All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 21 years and 3 months’ years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references and future DBS checks and avoids any unnecessary reinvestigation. TST retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry

Reporting Flowchart

3.3.3 Designated Safeguarding Officer

The Designated Safeguarding Officer at TST leads on child protection and safeguarding issues and concerns relating directly to TST led activity.  They provide support, advice and guidance to any other staff on an ongoing basis, and on any specific safeguarding issue as required. They are responsible for liaising with the relevant local statutory children’s services, and with BHSCP.

In the Designated Safeguarding Officer’s absence, the Company Manager will act as Designated Safeguarding Officer until a new Designated Safeguarding is appointed.

They receive Safeguarding Lead Training every two years
Date of last training: 20th January 2022

TST Safeguarding Officers’ contact details:

Designated Safeguarding Officer
: Tanushka Gill. Telephone: 07932776114.

Company Manager: Dave Barnstorm, Telephone:07784589244

These details, alongside this policy – are published on ThirdSpace Theatre’ website, and circulated to parents when they register their children with the company

3.3.4 Local Contacts

  • Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Darrel Hews: T. 01273 295643
  • Front Door for Families (FDfF) – T. 01273 290400 (9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4.30pm Friday); Emergency out of hours T. 01273 335905 or 335906
  • Police – T. 01273 665502 or 0845 6070999 or 101
  • The Channel Coordinator based at the Safer Communities team in the council at: or call on 01273 291115
  • Prevent Coordinator, Nahida Shaikh, Partnership Community Safety Team – T. 01273 290584; M. 07717303292; E.
  •  Prevent National Referral Form.
  • NSPCC Whistleblowing – 0800 028 0285
  • Public concern at work – 020 3117 2520

3.3.5 Confidentiality

The legal principle is that the “welfare of the child is paramount”

  • The right of a child, young person or vulnerable adult to protection takes precedence over their right to confidentiality. All concerns will be reported
  • Names of children, young people, vulnerable adults or staff members about whom there are concerns or who have breached the code of conduct are not shared around the organisation
  • Information will be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, and destroyed safely after a designated amount of time, in line with Data Protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure)

4. Acknowledgements and Review

Reviewing this policy

This policy and related procedures are reviewed every year as a minimum and reviewed and approved by the board of directors bi-annually. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will check regularly for updates to safeguarding guidelines and will undertake training as and when appropriate. The policy will be updated as soon as possible after new information or guidance becomes available.

Date: 01/06/2023

Signed: Tanushka Marah
Next Review Date: 01/06/2024

For staff use:

I hereby certify I have read and understood the above policy, and will act in accordance with the responsibilities, as relevant to my role, outlined within it.

Tanushka MarahTanushka Marah
David BarnstormDavid Barnstorm
Angela El-ZeindAngela El-Zeind
Graham ShackellGraham Shackell
Gina KaweckaGina Kawecka
Natasha HigdonNatasha Higdon
Sam CartwrightSam Cartwright
Rebecca MilnerRebecca Milner

Appendix 1
Safeguarding Report Form

Name of Individual:

Date of Birth:  

Way in which they are involved with TST:  

Date and time of occurrence/disclosure:

Report made by: 

Job title/Position in organisation: 

Signed: Date:

Action taken 

Report received by (Designated Safeguarding Officer) 

Signature Date:

Appendix 2
Media – Photograph/Film Consent Form – PARENT/CARER if not completed on Joinin

Name of event/ activity: Date: 

TST will be taking photographs and film footage of [event/ activity]. This material will be used by TST to promote the programme and its activity, to report on its success to funders and for archive purposes. It may be used in press/media, brochures, newsletters, and on the TST websites as well as official TST channels of social media and its partners and associates. TST has final usage rights.

TST will follow its Safeguarding Children and vulnerable adults policy in taking and use of photographs and film footage. These images will be kept securely on our server for promotional and archive purposes.

Individual names of children and young people will not be associated with any photographs or film footage used.

TST will take all steps to ensure these images are used solely for the purposes they are intended. If you become aware that these images are being used inappropriately you should inform TST immediately.

Indication of your agreement below, your signature and participation is confirmation of your consent.

The TST Safeguarding Policy is available on our website or you can request a form at

Please tick ONE of the following options:I AGREE                          ❒ I DO NOT AGREEfor images and film footage to be taken of my child [NAME OF CHILD] for documentation and publicity purposes including marketing, online publishing/ publicity and social media.
Print NameDate

Please sign and return to a TST staff member or email to