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UK law & childrens music/ dance classes

Mo the caller 03 Mar 09 - 08:49 AM
The Villan 03 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM
jonm 03 Mar 09 - 09:40 AM
Mo the caller 03 Mar 09 - 10:20 AM
Azizi 03 Mar 09 - 10:35 AM
Leadfingers 03 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM
manitas_at_work 03 Mar 09 - 11:34 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM
wysiwyg 03 Mar 09 - 12:08 PM
oggie 03 Mar 09 - 12:33 PM
Mo the caller 03 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM
oggie 03 Mar 09 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,KP 03 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM
The Villan 03 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Mar 09 - 06:33 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 03 Mar 09 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,KP 04 Mar 09 - 09:46 AM
Wolfhound person 04 Mar 09 - 09:57 AM
Mo the caller 04 Mar 09 - 11:56 AM
Eric the Viking 04 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM
Rowan 04 Mar 09 - 10:26 PM
Rowan 04 Mar 09 - 10:30 PM
Megan L 05 Mar 09 - 03:47 AM
Manitas_at_home 05 Mar 09 - 03:47 AM
pavane 05 Mar 09 - 04:09 AM
bubblyrat 05 Mar 09 - 04:37 AM
Bonecruncher 05 Mar 09 - 05:09 AM
The Villan 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM
CupOfTea 05 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM
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Subject: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 08:49 AM

Does anyone know how the UK child protection law affects one off events like country dance workshops.
I was told some time ago that one off events were not covered, is this still the case.
What age children are covered now?
I suppose I am OK to do a family dance for accompanied children, but what about allowing unaccompanied over 7s (or some other age) to attend.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM

>>but what about allowing unaccompanied over 7s (or some other age) to attend<<

I would have thought that every person involved apart from the children, would need to be CRB checked at the minimum.

Anyway, I always think that these days it makes sense to have up to date CRB checks, if only to protect yourself.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: jonm
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 09:40 AM

If children (that's anyone up to the age of 18, now!) are to be unaccompanied by parent/guardian at any point in time, SOMEONE needs a CRB certificate. For a single event, one person will do (assuming a relatively small number of children).

I would agree that everyone who has contact with children with the potential for it to occur unaccompanied should have a CRB certificate; so many parents and event organisers ask for one, it almost looks suspicious not to have one, especially if you regularly interact with children. Getting a CRB is relatively inexpensive and painless, although there is no definitive guidance on how regularly it should be updated (we as an establishment work on every three years for continuous employment and every start for discontinuous or sessional staff).

There is always the issue of a young child needing help going to the loo or having an accident.

If NOBODY has a CRB certificate, this should by rights be mentioned to all parents/guardians at the outset (usually as part of an introduction where you tell them they are responsible for their offspring etc.).

Hope that helps (designated Child Protection person in an educational establishment).


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:20 AM

Now I'm confused. I looked on the CRB website
and it says individuals can not apply. It looks as if it is for employees.
It doesn't say when it is needed.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:35 AM

Just an aside from a person from across the pond, this is interesting because I don't think that a comparable law or practice exists in the USA. I sometimes hold game song sessions, and I know a number of people who provide African dance classes, African drumming classes, (African American) line dance classes, and other such sessions on a one time or ongoing basis without having to have ACT 33 & Act 34 child abuse/child neglect clearances (which sounds like they may be the same thing as the UK CRB clearances). And though I do have those clearances as do some other people I know who offer these types of sessions, I don't think that anyone has ever ask me whether I have those clearances.

That said, I do recall asking a karate teacher whether he had those clearances. That teacher wanted to take my boys and other young children on an away trip. I said "no" and pulled them out of the class that they had just started a couple of weeks before, because I had "bad vibes" about the teacher. As it turns out, I subsequently found that he was accussed of child sexual abuse. Which goes to show you that these types of clearances may indeed be a good thing to have to help protect children and also to help protect yourself from the consequences of wrongful allegations.

**

Mo, I hope you sort this question out and that you get the clearances you need, if you need them, to protect yourself.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM

Ineresting that the Self Employed cannot apply for them selves ! It doesnt apply to us , as we do NOT do any kind of chidrens Entertainment , but what does a Children's Entertainer (Magician , Punch and Judy Man , etc) do to get CRB clearance ?


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:34 AM

Perhaps they have to go through their agency? There was a similar query on the Morris Dance Discussion list last year. I'll see if I can find something there.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM

I don't think there is a "UK" law.

In Scotland it goes through Disclosure Scotland and it's routine for the self-employed to register.

I last taught children (the recorder) way back when this sort of official paranoia was only just starting, and my take on it was that I preferred not to apply for the certificate and instead asked to have the parents present. Nothing to do with the legal issues - I figured that if the parent could see what I was getting the kid to work on, the learning process would go more effectively in between lessons.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:08 PM

It only seems like paranoia until something happens to "your" child.

Or until "you" (generic), an innocent person who cares about kids, is accused.

Or until "your" organization has to answer an allegation.


Then all the Risk Management stuff makes a lot of sense, and in a different way. AH, yes, hindsight, our reliable, good friend.

The US has had policies about this my whole adult life, which have gotten stronger in recent years. I don't recall anyone, who had to comply, treating it like a paranoia. :~)

If this is a new thing in the UK, welcome to the real world. It's just a piece of paper, no?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: oggie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 12:33 PM

"Ineresting that the Self Employed cannot apply for them selves ! It doesnt apply to us , as we do NOT do any kind of chidrens Entertainment , but what does a Children's Entertainer (Magician , Punch and Judy Man , etc) do to get CRB clearance ?"

If you are asked for a CRB clearance then the organisation doing the asking has to provide you with the form. If they are not CRB registered then then they can get an Umbrella Body to submit the clearance on their behalf but they will need to complete the employer's part. The CRB check is actually for their benefit, to show that you are a fit and proper person and they have undertaken due diligence etc.

If you feel you need one anyway the easy way is to do some voluntary work in a school or similar, mine comes courtesy of a befriending project I help with.

In the UK all the Sports Bodies have arrangements for CRB checking (and it's condition of being a licensed coach for many of them) so I wouldn't use any class where the coaches didn't have one.

For children's entertainers then the rule of thumb is to insist (in your contract) that parent's remain present. In all honesty it's almost impossible to entertain a group of kids if you're the only adult in the room "Mister, mister! Johnny feels sick" etc

Steve


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM

Sorry Jack. I did start to write "English Law", but it had too many letters for the thread title.

I think that insisting that parents are present will limit me to the tinies, or don't 10 -14 yr olds go off and do things on their own any more? (there will be musicians present - not really to cope with Johnny, but available in an emergency).

Years ago I was a Playgroup supervisor. At the beginning it was all very informal, then more rules and regulations came in. All of them very sensible in their way, but it took away the spontineity. And you wonder if the abuses that should be caught slip through while the people who were doing it right panic about inspection etc.

But I do think that if there are laws they should be easy to find, and these aren't.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: oggie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:26 PM

Running dance workshops etc is not on the list of things that require a CRB check. If you are really worried the bottom line is to make sure that neither you or one of your fellow musicians is in a room alone with children.

My only other thought is that if you are demonstrating a hold (waltz hold for example) do it with another adult not a child.

Steve


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:39 PM

Mo
The point about the CRB is that it is there to protect the organisation, not you! You need to take steps to protect both the young people and yourself. I'm a scout leader, and our policy is that there are always at least two adults present at any meeting. If one of the two leaders is late arriving, we would always ask a parent to stay until the other one gets there. If there is only one adult we would not have the meeting! If there is an emergency, you need one adult to deal with that, while the other one looks after the rest of the youngsters. You also need the other adult there to act as a witness in case of any stories coming from confused or frightened children if there is an emergency (you'd be amazed what bits of the anatomy can get bashed when around in a church hall, or tripping over the guy rope of a tent/marquee). In our hall, we typically have 3 or 4 adults for 30 young people (and legally any up to 18 counts as a minor). As soon as we move outside the hall, on a walk or camp etc we have one adult per 6 children and one spare.

The very first training that cub and scout leaders get these day is about child protection. This page here Working safely with young people gives some useful do's and don'ts.

So make sure that there are other trustworthy adults (parents, colleagues, teachers, scout leaders) around when you do this. But don't be put off, and do have a good time with the youngsters...
All the best
KP


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM

>>I suppose I am OK to do a family dance for accompanied children, but what about allowing unaccompanied over 7s (or some other age) to attend. <<

Its very simple really

Accompanied, you don't have a problem.

Unaccompanied, make sure that there are other responsible adults in the room as well, or don't do it.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM

For music teachers, having two adults present is mostly a non-starter unless one of them is a parent.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:33 PM

Someone used the term 'paranoia'. Whilst the CRB in principal is a very necessary thing, I think somebody is on the make here. If I work for several authorities for one off gigs each authority has to have a separate CRB check carried out on me. Typical of this government in wasting time and money and going over the top! Luckily some schools use their common sense and have a teacher present when I'm performing then you don't need the CRB.

'relatively cheap'. When you're doing one-off gigs for several authorities I wouldn't call £40 a go cheap.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 06:53 PM

A simple question: has any of this actually been tested in court?


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:46 AM

I have to agree with Steve, in that the lack of transferability of the CRB causes endless bureaucracy and waste. I know of people with 5 or more repeat checks. In other countries such as Australia, there is a single 'checked to work with young people' card (don't know the official title) which can be taken from event to event. It has to be renewed each year (CRB checks here don't officially expire) and seems like a much more effective solution.
KP


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 09:57 AM

As secretary of an organisation with junior members, I have been advised that "occasional" interaction with children does not require any checks, but that adult members should be "aware" when minors are present: should definitely not be alone with them, and should not allow any physical contact unless a parent is present.

This covers our routine meetings. For more extended contact such as a specifically "young person's day", staff who have been CRB checked should be employed where possible, and an appropriate adult of each sex should be on hand to cope with any issues (ie if staff are all blokes, a female adult should be on hand as well)

I am told by our expert panel (a social worker, a pychiatrist and people who are teachers or habitually work with children)that this legislation, whilst understandable in its provisions, is a complete OTT nightmare to work at the practical level.

Paws


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 11:56 AM

Thanks everyone,
KP and wollfhound, that's the sort of information I was looking for. Villan, I agree, a second adult is needed in case of emergency.
In the past I've done dances at children's parties and worked in school with the class teacher present, so all I had to do was concentrate on the dancing (someone else could cope with the asthma attack).


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM

When I left England to move to Scotland I aleady had a current CRB from teaching and also from scouting. When I joined the GTC Scotland I had to get a new CRB to move from GTC Englnd to GTC Scotland. Five weeks later when I went on supply here on Orkney believe it or not, I had to get another one. Crazy!! What a waste of money. Daft thing is, it only tells people that I haven't been caught for anything. (Not that I have anything.....so don't start you lot) It doesn't mean I won't do anything, it prevents nothing and from personal experience I know that the F#####s that do abuse children often get away with it for a long long time before they are brought to book, if ever.

Always have another responsible adult with you. It can be a minefield. Beware of physical contact.That doesn't mean you can't touch them, ie to move them into a dance position. It does mean be careful of touch that could be deemed inappropriate or misconstrued.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Rowan
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:26 PM

In other countries such as Australia, there is a single 'checked to work with young people' card (don't know the official title) which can be taken from event to event. It has to be renewed each year (CRB checks here don't officially expire) and seems like a much more effective solution.

This might be true in some circumstances but doesn't have blanket application. In NSW I have filled out the Working with Children form for a wide variety of activities (coaching my daughters' netball teams at their school/s, umpiring with the local netball association, volunteering with the Rural Fire Service, running RFS instruction for a local school that required separate checks; the State Emergency Service does a police check on all applicants for membership, whether as volunteers or paid staff so the child aspect of this comes under that check) but I have never seen a card, except for the one issued to volunteers in the SES, and it doesn't make reference to working with children.

The schools and netball association require such forms to be submitted each year but they cost nothing but your time. I've never received any feedback concerning them, despite requesting formal acknowledgement. All of the organisations requiring us do submit the forms are required to keep the originals for seven years. Most of us regard it as a necessary "show willing" compliance activity rather than a symptom of paranoia, and many of us regard it as a relatively positive step.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Rowan
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:30 PM

Beware of physical contact.That doesn't mean you can't touch them, ie to move them into a dance position. It does mean be careful of touch that could be deemed inappropriate or misconstrued.

This applied to me when I was being photographed in a Santa costume (where I also filled out the Working with children form); "Always keep your hands visible."

Sigh!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Megan L
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:47 AM

People should rise up against this checking as Erik said it only proves someone hasnt been caught. People are lulled into a false sense of security instead of keeping an eye on things for themselves.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:47 AM

There is an article on this in the latest ED&S. SOme websites cited are www.artscouncil.org.uk, www.nspcc.org.uk, www.thecpsu.org.uk, www.crb.gov.uk, www.isa-gov.org.uk.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: pavane
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:09 AM

"Daft thing is, it only tells people that I haven't been caught for anything".

Yes, our riding club had this problem with an instructor. Turned out that he was well-known locally for having sex with his under-age pupils, but no case had ever been brought because the victims wouldn't testify (understandably - one club which threw him out had their storage shed burned down). Even the police knew about him but couldn't act.

He is no longer with us, but still working elsewhere teaching children to ride. Of course, he could get a certificate.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: bubblyrat
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:37 AM

Well,what a sad world we live in,to be sure !! In the newspapers yesterday was a report suggesting that today's parents are so over-protective of little Jonny & little Sarah,that they won't let them play normally,run around,climb trees,play tag ,etc,as a result of which their hand and wrist muscles don't develop properly,so when they start school,they have great difficulty in learning to write !!
               And, do you know, I can quite believe it !!
             I suppose nowadays, if I saw a child in difficulty in the river,or at sea,I had best not try to rescue them,as a certain amount of physical contact would be inevitable,and I neither hold nor need a CRB certificate.
   Thank God I grew up when I did ie the 1950s-----Boys were boys,girls were girls,life was one big outdoor adventure,and anybody trying to "interfere" with us would get a good beating from our Dads !! Of course,Dad would be arrested for that today (Sadly).


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:09 AM

Well said, Roger.
It is no wonder that adults are no longer willing to act as leaders for Scouts, Youth Clubs etc. Being hidebound by pettifogging restrictions about what they are "allowed" to do or to teach the kids, mainly to protect the senior leaders of that organisation, is totally restricting the development of children.
Sometime in the future there will be a turnaround and the individual will again become paramount. Then our descendants will look back on the history of our times with as much incredulity as we have today for the tales of child workers in Victorian times.
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: The Villan
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 AM

I did a bit of checking with Lincolnshire North County Council, who have an umberella system.

They do a non portable CRB check and it would seem that if somebody was trying to set something like this up at our Village Hall, then they could possibly get a CRB done, depending on certain circumstances (not clear on that one).

However, for anybody in North Lincolnshire who might be considering doing such a thing, they could ring Tina Scholey on 01724 296607. The CRB cost would be £36 plus £11.50 admin.

As I see it, if there is an organisation such as scouts etc or lets say a Village Hall committee, then the treasurer could register with them and if they ever need to CRB somebody, the treasurer can organise it through her.

Hope that helps a bit.

I agree with Bonecruncher.

Incidentally and although it isn't the same sort of thing, but very much the health & safety rules situation, then this puts things into perspective.
Chris Broad the umpire for the Pakistan/Sri Lanka cricket match, could have said to himself "I better find some rubber gloves and put a mask on before I try and stop the blood pouring out of my colleagues body". Human nature stepped in, he just got on with stopping the blood flow.


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Subject: RE: UK law & childrens music/ dance classes
From: CupOfTea
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:17 AM

This sort of certification/training schemes are becoming more common in the US. The Cleveland Roman Catholic Diocese was hit by child abuse allegations.Part of the legal settlement was creating a system that included a required training session with regular bulletins you were required to read for ANYONE who worked with children, from paid, licenced, teachers to regular volunteers to casual volunteers to short term employees. I took it and some of the guidelines struck me as paranoid. While the paranoia may be justifiable by the current atmosphere of witch hunt litigation, it also took away some of the innocent physical interactions that are a part of caring for other humans, especially the young.

Don't even THINK of touching them!! Hugs are out - without asking permission. An encouraging touch on the shoulder? Nope, don't do that! Have a private one on one talk with a student? NEVER EVER be ALONE with a child!!

Thse are the rules for the trained, certified folks. In the training there were some things that were slightly educational about predators "grooming" a victim. But other things that just made me cringe, because they changed the whole way one was allowed to interact with children. The basics of teaching dance or other physical sports would certainly be impossible, if the rules were strictly adhered to. The rules that made it impossible for a predator to abuse a child also make it impossible for a good teacher to mentor in anything other than an impersonal way.

Reading the required follow-up bulletins and answering their questions was beyond condescending in it's stupidity, repetition, and general atmostphere of "we know best, think our way." I'm convinced that these programs are like many licencing of late: a way someone is making a big chunk of money.

The comment re: the "Blood-borne pathogens" type training rings true, too. Legally I'm supposed to put on latex gloves before dealing with a bleeding child. Ever tried to apply a band-aid in those gloves? You'd need 6 years of nursing school to do it!

Call me cynical, but I think any of these licencing schemes are only 25% about protecting children, 25% about keeping someone's ass from being sued and 50% about someone making money with the licencing/training programs.

Joanne in Cleveland


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