Child Protection Policy for Group Leaders

Child Protection Policy for Group Leaders

Introduction


Titanic Belfast is committed to a delivery of service that promotes good practice and protects children from harm.  One of the key principles in the child care law is Protection.  The principle is that children should be safe and should be protected by intervention if they are in danger. Titanic Belfast is committed to the review of this policy annually and to its annual approval by the CEO of TBL.
 

What We Expect From Adult Supervisors


Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the person providing supervision (parent, guardian, teacher or group leader) to look after the children and ensure their safety whilst in our building. Where children are visiting as part of an organised group, the client must inform us, at point of booking, who the contact person is and guarantee adequate supervision as laid down in our terms and conditions. (Minimum of one supervising adult for every group of 10 or 15 children, depending on age, or part thereof and a minimum of 2 adults per group or sub group.) Primary consideration must be given to the welfare of the children.  The clients’ nominated staff must remain with the children at all times. 

Titanic Belfast Staff are provided strictly to deliver the learning experience, customer care and for evacuation purposes and are not trained or vetted to have unsupervised access to children.
 
Client’s Child Supervisors must be aged 18 and over.  Under 18’s can only act as “helpers” and cannot be charged with responsibility for children and young children and cannot be counted in the ratio.

Supervisor/chaperone ratios should be made up of both male and female supervisors but the responsibility for this lies with the group. Bus drivers i.e. those employed for the sole purpose of driving should not be considered as supervisory staff but again this is the responsibility of the group organisers.
 
Supervision can be close or remote:
Close supervision is direct supervision where the group is always within sight and contact of the supervisor.
Remote supervision is where the leaders and group will know of each other’s whereabouts but are not necessarily within direct contact or vision. In this type of supervision, the supervisor will always have communicated the next rendezvous point clearly and will always remain in the same area of the building and on the same floor as the minors in their care. For instance, in the galleries a group doing a self-guided tour will move through the galleries “space by space”, with the supervisor setting the parameters of how far ahead the students will progress and where they will regroup before progressing further. At no point, however, will the supervisors leave the area of the galleries that their students are in until the whole group moves on or allow the group (or portions thereof) to move into the next section without adult supervision. It is vital that there are adult supervisors on the same floor as the students at all times; this is particularly pertinent when the group are accessing the toilets on level -1 and when moving from level 1 to level 4 on the gantry lifts. Adult supervisors must accompany the students when they are using the 3 retail and catering outlets on level 0, The Great Atrium, the North Pavilion and the outside spaces surrounding Titanic Belfast. 
 

General guidelines for children and adults whilst in Titanic Belfast


Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic crew will support schools, colleges and youth groups visiting our venues to uphold their own standard policies and practises. As such, we expect that children will behave at all times in an appropriate manner whilst on the premises; 
 
  • When visiting with their school, club or youth organisation, children and young people must be aware of the sensitivities of particular clothing or symbols that relate to one section of the Community.  It is advisable in the interests of safety and community relations that children and young people refrain from wearing such identification, particularly when participating on community relations events. Where a school has a school uniform we strongly advise that it be worn during their visit to Titanic Belfast. This will have the additional benefit of making students more visible/identifiable to both their supervising adults and Titanic Belfast staff.
  • No guest is permitted to engage in verbal and or physical violence or use threatening or violent behaviour.
  • No guest is permitted to engage in rough, physical games including horseplay.
  • Noise levels must be kept low as there are always other events and other guests in building.
  • All guests are asked to use only appropriate language and conversation, both with staff, other guests and each other.
  • All guests must abide by the laws regarding the sale of alcohol.
  • Vandalising Titanic Belfast property is not permitted, regardless of the age of the person committing the offence.
  • Please do not bring valuables/large sums of money/unnecessary personal belongings NB: Titanic Belfast is not liable for any damages or thefts.
  • All guests must comply with “in house” policy and procedures and instructions from Titanic Belfast staff re: health & safety related issues, fire evacuation procedures and any other instruction which may affect your personal safety and security
 

Ratios


For working with children under 12 years of age, the Children (NI) Order 1995 requires the following ratios.
 
On site activities:
1 to 5 adults for children aged 4 – 12 years
 
Although children over 12 years are not covered within this legislation, Titanic Belfast requires the following ratios for working with young people and provides free adult places to allow this to be provided. Please note that where larger groups are subdivided, a minimum of 2 supervising adults (ideally one of each gender when the group is co-ed) per subdivided group is an essential requirement.

Preschool-Nursery 1:6 (or as advised by your ELB)
Foundation (4-6 year olds) 1:10
KS1 (6-8 year olds) 1:10
KS2 (8-11 year olds) 1:15
Post Primary (11-18) 1:15

Increased adult supervision may be required when working with children or young people with disabilities and Titanic Belfast is happy to provide advice if required. Additional free supervisor places are available, under our carers’ policy, for adults assisting children with a statement of special educational need.
 
The Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Northern Ireland) Order (2003) is designed to significantly enhance the protection of children and adults in need of protection.  Copies of the booklet, Safer Organisations – Safer Children, can be obtained from www.dhsspsni.gov.uk
  
 

What you can expect from Titanic Belfast Crew


Vetting
Titanic Belfast is not eligible to put its staff through a Child Protection vetting procedure through the CRB as our staff do not have the “prolonged and regular” access to children that they require to make such vetting appropriate.
 
Titanic Belfast Staff and Children – Code of Behaviour 
Titanic Belfast expects minimum standards of behaviour from our crew in order to fulfil their roles within Titanic Belfast.  This code should assist in the protection of both children and members of staff. The pertinent points are listed below.
Where this code of behaviour is not adhered to by staff Titanic Belfast & SS Nomadic’s Internal Disciplinary Procedures will be followed and a referral made to the Independent Safeguarding Authority and or the PSNI as appropriate.
 
Staff must:
  • Abide by the Child Protection Policy and Procedures at all times
  • Treat all guests equally, without favouritism or prejudice, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or disability, with respect and in keeping with Titanic Belfast’s 5* values
  • Be aware of children visiting Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic; especially with regard to their safety and supervision.
 
Staff must never:
  • Engage in rough, physical games including horseplay with children.
  • Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind.
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves or that their parent would normally do for them.
  • Use language or tone that could humiliate or belittle a child guest.
  • Use inappropriate language and conversation when talking to or within hearing distance of children and young adults. 
 
Staff must not:
  • Take a child to the toilet
  • Spend time alone with a child on his/her own. 
 

Photography

  • Through the visiting school or youth organisation, the parents of any children being photographed must give explicit consent for photographic and recorded images to be used for publicity purposes. This consent will be kept on record at Titanic Belfast for as long as the footage will be used.
  • Photographs and footage is held on a secure server and is accessible only by designated members of the Learning and Outreach and Marketing teams.  Photographs and footage will only be used for the purposes for which explicit consent has been received from parents of the children involved.  Photographs and footage will be securely destroyed when it has been determined that there is no longer a lawful need to keep it.  If you would like further information please contact [email protected]
  • A strict “no photography of education guests by anyone other than their school appointed adult supervisors” house policy is strictly enforced during their time at Titanic Belfast. As such, Titanic Belfast & SS Nomadic crew are authorised to politely but firmly request guests to desist from this behaviour and to delete any photographs or video already taken.
  • Photographs, films or web-based materials of children or young adults participating in any project will only be taken with the explicit consent of the parents through the visiting school or youth organisation and in consultation with the children and young adults involved.
  • As laid out in our company data protection policy, Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic adheres to the General Data Protection Regulations. We support confidentiality and will not hand out any information about education guests.
Should you need any further information contact Titanic Belfast’s Designated Child Protection Officer Siobhán McCartney on 028 90 766387 or [email protected]