Child Safeguarding Code of Practice

This document contains our policy, code of practice for working with children on a one to one or small group basis.


Part of the nature of the work of the British Trombone Society is working with children and young people to enable them to learn, enjoy and flourish through music education. This policy and guidance is specifically focused on children. For the purposes of this policy and guidance a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

This policy and guidance should be observed by all staff (conductors/tutors/committee members) and parent volunteers who work with children. 

British Trombone Society adults will have contact with children in the course of their activities. The British Trombone Society acknowledges that it has a responsibility to promote best practice and the highest standards of conduct among its staff in relation to the safety of children. It also recognises that good safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are also of benefit to the adults themselves as they can help protect them from misunderstandings or erroneous allegations.

The British Trombone Society is committed to practices that protect children from harm.


All adults having leadership or one to one access to or contact with children must:

  • Have a recent DBS disclosure clearance
  • All adults having access or contact with children must:
  • Sign a ‘Self declaration for Work with Children’ form on an annual basis.
  • Recognise and accept they have a responsibility to protect any children within their sphere of work and care.
  • Develop awareness of the issues which can cause children harm and have knowledge of and be able to recognise signs of the four most common types of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, neglect).
  • Be aware of ‘grooming’ behaviour (the befriending of children as a precursor to abuse); and
  • Immediately report any concerns using the set procedures for reporting safeguarding concerns.

The British Trombone Society will in turn endeavour to safeguard children through:

  • Adherence to the Code of Practice included later in this document.
  • Adherence to the standard procedure for reporting safeguarding concerns; and
  • Reporting concerns to the relevant authorities.

It is the British Trombone Society policy that:

  • All freelance tutors and volunteers/designated parent helpers accept responsibility for the welfare of children with whom they come into contact in the course of their work, and that they will report any concerns about a child or somebody else’s behaviour, using the procedures laid down.

There is a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) within the organisation who will take action following any expression of concern and the lines of responsibility in respect of child protection are clear.

Child Protection Officer – Dávur Juul Magnussen.

All British Trombone Society adults who come into contact with children in the course of their professional activities must adhere to the Safeguarding Code of Practice within this document, the procedure for reporting safeguarding concerns, and have regard to any other relevant guidance issued by the service. Failure to comply with these obligations may result in being asked to relinquish a role with The British Trombone Society.

Information relating to any allegation or disclosure must be clearly recorded as soon as possible, and there is a procedure setting out who should record information and the time-scales for passing it on.

The Children Act 1989 states that the “welfare of the child is paramount.” This means that considerations of confidentiality, which might apply to other situations, should not be allowed to over-ride the right of children to be protected from harm. However, every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when an allegation has been made and is being investigated.

A culture of mutual respect between children and adults will be encouraged, with adults modelling good practice in this context.

It is part of the organisation’s acceptance of its responsibility of duty of care towards children that staff who encounter child protection concerns in the context of their work will be supported when they report their concerns in good faith.

At all British Trombone Society events there should never be less than three people or two adults in a room.

Code of Practice – Safeguarding:

Inappropriate physical contact with children must be avoided. Physical contact is only appropriate in very limited circumstances. Please see guidance for small group and one to one teaching set out later in this document.

Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted. Inappropriate remarks include innuendo, swearing, and discussing their or your own intimate relationships.

Avoid communicating directly with individual children by email, text messages or social media (Twitter/Facebook…). If electronic communication is necessary, best practice would be to include parents or guardians as well as committee members in messages. If you have suspicions over a parent/colleague’s communications via social media this must be passed on to the Designated Safeguarding Person.

Do not engage in behaviour which could be construed as “grooming” a child (for example; giving a child money, presents or favours or talking or behaving in an inappropriate or unprofessional manner towards children).

Do take a disclosure of abuse from a child seriously. It is important not to deter children from making a “disclosure” of abuse through fear of not being believed, and to listen to what they have to say. Guidance on responding to an allegation of abuse is set out later in this document.

If the allegation gives rise to a child protection concern it is important to report such concerns, and not to attempt to investigate the concern yourself.

Always report any concerns immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Person regarding the conduct of another staff member in relation to children or vulnerable adults.

Remember that those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background or class, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place. 

Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct - which will always exclude bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism or sexism.

Guidance on responding to a child making an allegation of abuse

  • Stay calm.
  • Listen carefully to what is said and show that you are taking it seriously.
  • Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets.
  • Tell the child that the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it.
  • Allow the child to continue at her/his own pace.
  • Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer. Never ask why.
  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
  • Tell them what you will do next, and with whom the information will be shared.
  • Make no judgement about what you have heard.
  • Record in writing what was said, using the child’s own words as soon as possible - note the date, time, any names mentioned, to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated. (An incident report pro forma is available upon request)
  • Remember that whilst you may have been the first person encountering an allegation of abuse it is not your responsibility to decide whether abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies, following a referral from the Designated Safeguarding Person in the organisation.

How to report your concerns - reporting procedures for The British Trombone Society.

Suspicions or concerns could be raised in a number of ways, the most likely of which are:

  • The conduct of another music professional or adult;
  • A child “disclosing” abuse;
  • Bruising or evidence of physical hurt;
  • Unusual behaviour by a child.

If any such concerns arise they should be reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Person. This principle applies regardless of whether the adult is working in an employed or voluntary capacity. 

The most common examples of the types of concerns that must be reported immediately are:

  • Someone has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Someone has possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
  • Someone has behaved towards a child in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children.

The Designated Safeguarding Person will consider the concerns raised and refer them immediately to the committee who will take appropriate action.

Advice - Guidance for Small Group and One-to-One Teaching:

One-to-one and small group working is appropriate and necessary in the delivery of music education. This type of teaching is not our core work but can sometimes arise in our delivery. We must always guard against complacency about the risks to teacher. Instrumental teachers are vulnerable to allegations and every possible measure must be taken to minimise risk. Thankfully, due to our diligence and self-awareness in the situation we work in, such incidents are extremely rare.

Physical contact between teachers and pupils is not appropriate under any circumstances in this type of teaching. Teachers should consider using other strategies such as demonstrating for the student to copy or using a mirror.

Whilst there is a case to be made for limited physical contact in the course of teaching technical aspects of playing, this should only occur only when the parents are present in the lesson.

Still, our advice is not to engage in any physical contact with a child.

If, however, a teacher intends to use any physical contact in teaching in the parent supervised situation above, they should state this in writing before lessons begin and ask the parent or guardian to sign that they have read the document. Explain the type of touch involved, where on the body and why, and make sure the pupil is aware of the reason for physical contact. Explain this orally to parents, guardians and pupils, and keep them informed of any need to modify the type of touch required as pupils progress.

It is not appropriate in any circumstances to touch a child on the trunk of the body unless there is a justifiable reason (e.g. to administer first aid). It is not appropriate to touch a child around the chest, waist, diaphragm or ribs in order to teach breathing.

The risk of individual and small group tuition:

Instrumental teachers need to be aware of the risks associated with teaching children alone. Teaching must not take place in remote locations and teaching in rooms without vision panes in doors is forbidden unless it is possible to teach with the door wide open. Teachers must refuse to work in inappropriate rooms regardless of the requests.

Any incident of distress, anger or other concern which arises during a one-to-one or small group lesson should be reported to a member of the British Trombone Society committee immediately. Staff are advised to log the date and time of the incident and record any notes being mindful of data protection and sensitive information.

First Aid:

Andy Gray is the organisation's designated first aider.

Those administering first aid should be mindful of the limits of their ability, experience and training.

Under no circumstances should a first aider undertake an examination of a child’s injuries beneath their under-clothing unless it is considered necessary as part of the preservation of life, first aid practice and they are supervised by other staff.

If you have any queries or disclosures, please do not hesitate to make contact. Remember, this document is for the protection of us as adults as well as the children in our care and by working together we can ensure that we can make The British Trombone Society run smoothly.

 Click here to download a copy of this Code of Practice.