Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
The University of London Church Choir (ULCC) was formed in July 1992, when the University of London Anglican chaplaincy decided to stop having weekly services at Christ the King, Gordon Square. The choir had been built up over many years as a group of like minded individuals dedicated to singing at University services. The choir was formally created with a constitution and gained charitable status at the beginning of 1993. The aims of the choir, from its constitution, are "... to promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in an appreciation of liturgical choral music by the provision of such music for Christian Church Services and by presentation of public concerts and recitals."
The choir sings church services at places in and around London where there is either no regular choir, or where the regular choir is unable to perform. It aims to sing a service or concert every three to four weeks during the University term. Each summer we have sung a week's services at a cathedral (including Truro, Ripon, Salisbury, Gloucester, York, Winchester, Dublin, Lincoln, Durham, St Davids, Wells, Chester, Hereford, Lichfield, Ely, Norwich, Chichester and Exeter).
There are currently about 30 members, many of whom are graduates and undergraduates of the University of London. In addition, the choir occasionally has singers under the age of 18, including the children of regular choir members and/or others (e.g. students who have not yet turned 18).
ULCC is committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure that the risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised.
The Choir recognises its duty of care towards the children to see that all young people’s rights to protection from abuse are upheld.
The Choir recognises that all suspicions or allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
The Choir accepts that all Choir members have a duty of care to abide by this policy and to report concerns. All Choir members and officers are required to familiarise themselves with this Child Protection and Safeguarding document.
Code of Behaviour
The Choir recognises that there may be a necessity for DBS checks in certain situations and will undertake to have these put in place where the need arises.
All children will be treated with respect at all times, regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. Any child or young person in performance with the Choir is a valued member of the entire team and as such is of equal importance to any other performer.
At the same time, the Choir expects similar respectful behaviour from the children.
Any expression of concern regarding either a child, or a Choir member, will immediately be reported to the designated Choir members who will in turn report to the Chair of the Choir and in conference with them decide on the most suitable course of action to resolve the problem.
The reported problem will immediately be logged.
Confidentiality for all parties will be maintained at every stage of such an event.
Please see below for named persons and contact details.
Responding to reports of abuse from a child
The Choir notes the importance of being alert to signals of abuse, to the difficulty children may have in reporting it, and to responding appropriately to a child who has a complaint.
Some helpful responses:
- Remain calm, accessible and receptive
- Listen carefully without interrupting
- Be aware of the non-verbal messages you are giving
- Make it clear that you are taking them seriously
- Acknowledge their courage and reassure them they are right to tell
- Reassure them that they should not feel guilty and that you’re sorry that this has happened to them
- Avoid leading questions.
- Tell the child what you are going to do next.
- Write down what was said and who was present, using the child’s actual words wherever possible.
Dissemination of Policy
New members will be required to familiarise themselves with this policy upon joining the choir.