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Fact sheets and legal compliance info
LC6. Education Act (2002)
Date Posted: 11 August 2016
The Education Act (2002) was created in response to the UK’s adoption of the Human Rights Act. The Act introduced the requirement of safeguarding children and young people from abuse or neglect. It sets out the roles and responsibilities of teachers and those with delegated responsibility for child protection. It requires anyone working with children and young people to share information or concerns in relation to a child’s safety and wellbeing.

The Education Act (2002) was created in response to the UK's adoption of the Human Rights Act. The Act introduced the requirement of safeguarding children and young people from abuse or neglect. It sets out the roles and responsibilities of teachers and those with delegated responsibility for child protection. It requires anyone working with children and young people to share information or concerns in relation to a child’s safety and wellbeing.

At a practical level this means that a dance practitioner working within a youth group setting must know about and implement the child protection procedures set out by the agency organising the youth provision or, if setting up an independent group, the practitioner must understand their responsibility in relation to safeguarding and know how to contact their local authority’s child protection officer or the NSPCC if they have concerns about abuse or neglect.

If you have your own dance school or work independently with children or young people, you may want to develop your own safeguarding or child protection policy so that parents and carers know that you’re aware of your responsibilities and anyone who works with you is also made aware of their obligations. A number of organisations, including the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU),  Youth Dance England and People Dancing can provide information and advice on developing a child protection policy. A policy will cover a range of issues including guidelines for staff or volunteers on their roles and responsibilities, explaining reporting procedures if neglect or abuse is suspected, gaining consent for a child’s participation in activities, photo consent and the use of children’s images, information on your where you stand in relation to photography and the use of videoing during dance sessions. With the rise in cyberbullying, image sharing and digital abuse you need to consider if you will allow anyone to take images of children in your classes – including other parents and children.

Your child protection and safeguarding policy may also explain your policy on safe touch. There has been confusion within the arts and sports sector for some years about whether an adult is ever allowed to touch a child in any circumstances. The NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) provides excellent guidelines on when it may be appropriate to come in to physical contact with a child or young person. The overarching rule is: physical contact between an adult and child must always be driven by the child’s needs and welfare – not the adults. If it’s necessary to come in to physical contact with a child or young person in order to facilitate safe alignment, to prevent harm to a child or someone around them or to treat an injury then physical contact may be appropriate. Whenever possible you should ask the child’s permission first. A number of organisations, including Sport Coach UK, provide workshops on safe touch and dance practitioners should seek training and advice in order to ensure that they and their pupils remain safe.

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