The Maidenhead Festival of Music and Dance recognizes its duty of care under the Children
and Young Persons Act 1963, the Child (Performances) Regulations 1968, the Protection of
Children Act 1999 and the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (in Scotland change
to Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003).
The festival recognises that abuse can take many forms, whether it be physical abuse,
emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. The festival is committed to practice which
protects children from harm. All members of the festival accept their responsibilities to
develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.
The festival believes that:
• The welfare of the child is paramount.
• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious
beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and responded to swiftly
and appropriately.
• All members and employees of the festival should be clear on how to respond
appropriately. The festival will ensure that:
• All children will be treated equally and with respect and dignity.
• The duty of care to children will always be put first.
• A balanced relationship based on mutual trust will be built which empowers the children to
share in the decision-making process.
• Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism.
• Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
• All adult members of the festival provide a positive role model for dealing with other people.
• Action will be taken to stop any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour.
• It will keep up-to-date with health & safety legislation.
• It will keep informed of changes in legislation and policies for the protection of children.
• It will undertake relevant development and training.
• It will hold a register of every child involved with the festival and will retain a contact name
and number close at hand in case of emergencies. The festival has child protection
procedures which accompany this policy.
The festival has a dedicated Child Protection Officer, who is in charge of ensuring that the child
protection policy and procedures are adhered to. The current officer is Mrs Kirsty Janusz and can
be contacted on 07919 688572 or by email at
This policy will be regularly monitored by the festival committee and will be subject to an
annual review. Next Date: 21st March 2025


Responsibilities of the Festival
At the outset of any event involving children the festival will:
• Undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process.
• Identify at the outset the person with designated responsibility for child protection.
• Ensure that children are supervised at all times when not in the case of their parents.
• Know how to contact the local authority social services, in case it needs to report a concern:
RBWM LADO (LA Designated Officer) contact – Tel: 01628 683 202. Secure email to: Emergency Duty Service (out of hours) – Tel: 01344 786 543.

• The festival believes it is important to have a partnership between parents and the festival.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in the activities of the festival and to share
responsibility for the care of children. A copy the festival’s Child Protection policy and
procedures will be made available to parents and should be posted on the website:
• Parents have responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children to and from
festival classes. It is NOT the responsibility of the festival to take children home.

Changing areas for the Dance Section
• Separate changing areas are provided for male and female performers which are
clearly marked.
• Each changing area is controlled by a teacher from the relevant dance school, who
is easily identified by a badge. It is the responsibility of the dance school to ensure that
the teachers have a current DBS.
• Children must be accompanied by their parent if the teacher is absent.
• Each school is allocated its own clearly marked changing area on arrival.

Unsupervised Contact
• The festival will attempt to ensure that no adult has unsupervised contact with children. If a
child is rehearsing with an accompanist prior to a class, their parent will be asked to be

Physical Contact
• All adults will maintain a safe and appropriate distance from children. Adults will only touch
children when it is absolutely necessary in relation to the particular activity. Adults will seek
the consent of the child prior to any physical contact and the purpose of the contact shall be
made clear.

Managing sensitive information
• The festival has a policy and procedures for the taking, using and storage of photographs or
images of children. Permission will be sought from the parents for use of photographic
material featuring children for promotional or other purposes. The festival’s web-based
materials and activities will be carefully monitored for inappropriate use.
• The festival will ensure confidentiality in order to protect the rights of its members, including
the safe handling, storage and disposal of any sensitive information such as criminal record

Suspicion of abuse
• If you see or suspect abuse of a child while in the care of the festival, please make this
known to the person with responsibility for child protection. If you suspect that the person
with responsibility for child protection is the source of the problem, you should make your
concerns known to the Festival Chairman (Mat Lehocky).
• Please make a note for your own records of what you witnessed as well as your response,
in case there is follow-up in which you are involved.
• If a serious allegation is made against any member of the festival, venue staff etc., that
individual will be suspended immediately until the investigation is concluded. The individual
will be excluded from the venue and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other
children participating in the festival.

Disclosure of abuse
If a child confides in you that abuse has taken place, remain calm and in control but do not
delay taking action. Listen carefully to what has been said. Allow the child to tell you at their
own pace and ask questions only for clarification. Don’t ask questions that suggest a
particular answer. Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Use the first opportunity you have to
share the information with the person with responsibility for child protection. Make it clear to
the child that you will need to share this information with others. Make it clear that you will
only tell the people who need to know and who should be able to help. Reassure the child
that ‘they did the right thing’ in telling someone. Tell the child what you are going to do next.
Speak immediately to the person with responsibility for child protection. It is that person’s
responsibility to liaise with the relevant authorities, usually social services or the police. As
soon as possible after the disclosing conversation, make a note of what was said, using the
child’s own words. Note the date, time, any names that were involved or mentioned, and who
you gave the information to. Make sure you sign and date your record.
In all situations, including those in which the cause of concern arises from a disclosure made
in confidence, the details of an allegation or reported incident will be recorded, regardless of
whether or not the concerns have been shared with a statutory child protection agency. An
accurate note shall be made of the date and time of the incident or disclosure, the parties
involved, what was said or done and by whom, any action taken to investigate the matter,
any further action taken e.g. suspension of an individual, where relevant the reasons why the
matter was not referred to a statutory agency, and the name of the persons reporting and to
whom it was reported. The record will be stored securely and shared only with those who
need to know about the incident or allegation.

Rights & Confidentiality
• If a complaint is made against a member of the festival committee, he or she will be made
aware of their rights under the festival’s disciplinary procedures. No matter how you may feel
about the accusation, both the alleged abuser and the child who is thought to have been
abused have the right to confidentiality under the Data Protection Act 1998. Remember also
that any possible criminal investigation could be compromised through inappropriate
information being released.
• In criminal law the Crown, or other prosecuting authority, has to prove guilt and the
defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
• To avoid accidents, parents children will be advised of “house rules” regarding health and
safety and will be notified of areas that are out of bounds.
• If a child is injured while in the care of the festival, a designated first-aider will administer
first aid and the injury will be recorded in the venue’s accident book. This record will be
countersigned by the person with responsibility for child protection.
• If the festival believes it is in its best interests to obtain criminal record disclosures for
committee personnel, it will inform the individual of the necessary procedures and the level of
disclosure required. An Enhanced disclosure will be required for anyone with unsupervised
• The festival will have a written code of practice for the handling of disclosure information.
• The festival will ensure that information contained in the disclosure is not misused.