The safety of children and members of other vulnerable groups is paramount and all, without exception, have the right to protection from abuse.  All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously, responded to swiftly and appropriately and all the festival’s organisers/volunteers have a responsibility to report concerns.

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE ORGANISATION  

To provide the facility for amateur performersto display their talents in front of professionals who will judge and grade their performance and provide feedback to help them to improve.

THE FESTIVAL ENVIRONMENT

Over many years the Festival has built up a reputation for being friendly, approachable and responsive to new ideas, which are welcomed by the committee.  The Festival is organised and run by volunteers, substantially from local Rotary Clubs and associates.

The Festival for 2023 will take place at the Headgate Theatre, Colchester and Colchester County High School for Girls. Male & female toilets are provided and non-binary facilities.

Female volunteers are provided in the female dressing room and stage areas and there is separate provision for boys with appropriate supervision. Non binary provision can be made. Access to the changing rooms is severely restricted. 

TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY

This policy relates to children under the age of 18 years and members of vulnerable groups of any age whose needs are identified to the festival organisers by parents/guardians/carers and/or teachers prior to their arrival at the festival.  Contact is made through admin@colchesterrotaryfestival.org 

Our festival actively seeks, wherever possible, to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to let you know that we are unable to help.

FESTIVAL PERSONNEL

The Festival is run entirely by volunteers, mainly from Colchester Rotary Club and all addresses are held for the personnel involved.   All personnel involved have provided referees to become members of their club.

Short job descriptions are provided to all volunteers and their duties assessed to see whether they will need to have a DBS disclosure (Disclosure & Barring Service, the successor to CRB) or enhanced disclosure.  

All volunteers at the Dance Festival will be provided with badges, as will parents and teachers allowed to go with the children taking part to the changing area.  Male parents, however, will not be allowed to go into the female changing area and females may not be allowed in the male changing area. 

There will be a private room set aside so that any concerns can be expressed to the Festival Safeguarding Officer or Chair of the Festival and every problem will be taken seriously, documented and dated.

PREPARATION FOR ATTENDANCE AT THE FESTIVAL

This policy is published on the Festival website.  Everyone applying to take part in the Colchester Rotary Festival of Music, Dance and Drama must acknowledge that they have read this policy with their application and their acceptance of these terms makes them a partner in implementing the policy.   

Where parents/guardians/carers are not personally attending with their children, this Policy requires them to be satisfied that their children will be accompanied to the festival and adequately supervised by responsible adults acting on their behalf.

PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOTAPES and PRESS PHOTOGRAPHY

No photographs or videos are permitted except by our official photographers.  We will only photograph those entrants who have given permission on registration.

THE LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE THAT SUPPORTS THIS POLICY

The rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974; The Children Act 1989;  The Police Act 1997;  The Data Protection Act 1998;  The Human Rights Act 1998;  The Protection of Children Act 1999;  The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000;  The Children Act 2004;  The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

POLICY REVIEW

The organisers will constantly review this policy, revising, enhancing it as necessary.  In doing this they will look to The British & International Federation of Festivals for support and that body, in turn will look to other agencies for good practice, most notably the NSPCC and Arts Council of England policy guidelines.

Reviewed Dec 2022