Greyfriars Dumfries

Child and Vulnerable Adult policy

St Bride’s Church ( Dumfries ) Ltd, SC040685
Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy

Staff and volunteers with St Bride’s Church ( Dumfries ) Ltd recognise that their duty is to protect all children and young people, attending or participating in events, or worship, from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation, and the needs of the particularly vulnerable will be taken into account.

A child is defined as a young person less than 16 years of age.

Statement of Principles:

  • All children, young people and vulnerable adults will be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

  • All children, young people and vulnerable adults, without exception, have the right to protection from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

  • All children, young people and vulnerable adults have the right to express their views on matters that affect them.

  • Any allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, and appropriately.

  • All staff members and volunteers have a responsibility to report any concerns.

This policy aims to promote good practice, providing children, young people and vulnerable adults, with the appropriate safety and protection in which they can enjoy music activities, and to create the best possible environment, in all those involved feel safe, comfortable and respected.

Good Practice Guidelines:

Being involved with children puts people in a position of trust, where they are contributing to the child’s education and personal development. All staff members and volunteers will be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour. For their own protection, adults must not allow themselves to be drawn into any act or behaviour that is capable of being misunderstood, or for which they, on reflection, may regret.

The following are examples of how to create a positive culture and climate within any arts activities and projects.

  • Children and young people are to be heard, heeded, respected and valued.

  • Children and young people are project partners and must be treated fairly and with respect and dignity

  • Always put the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.

  • Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with children and young people (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child or young person or to share a private room with them).

  • At every stage of an activity you should be prepared to explain why a particular course of action would be in the best interests of the children or young people taking part.


  • Working with children and young people can be challenging and maintaining discipline is a common concern. Before commencing work with a group of children and young people you need to be clear in your own mind how you are going to deal with difficult behaviour.

  • Even if the children and young people are only meeting up for a short period it is worth spending some time at the beginning of the session to outline the rules and ask them what they think the rules should be.

  • Have a set of rules outlining acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour.

  • Children and young people should be involved in developing the rules.

  • All adults must also agree to abide by the rules.

  • Ensure that you implement the rules fairly and consistently.

  • Never use any kind of physical punishment.

Place and time

  • Appropriate locations that are safe and accessible should be chosen. Always work in an open environment, avoid private or unobserved situations.

  • Encourage an open environment (i.e. no secrets).

  • Sensible times for activity should be established which take account of safety issues with regard to necessary travel to and from the venue.

  • The code of practice of the place should be respected

  • Try to ensure that rehearsals and performances do not last too long, finish late at night or involve activities that may be damaging to their health or well being in any way. Remember that there is legislation that sets out how many hours a week children are allowed to work. The purpose of this legislation is to protect children from exploitation.

  • Tutors must recognise and support the developmental needs and capacity of children and young people and avoid excess training or competition and must not push them against their will.

  • It is preferable that all tutors/musicians have the support of a teacher, parent, youth worker or school assistant when working with children and young people.


  • Ensure that communication is appropriate in content, frequency and method.

  • Allow children and young people to express their views, this is an important aspect of their involvement in the arts. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children and young people have the right to express their views on all matters affecting them.

  • Ensure that tutors language meets current standards in terms of race, belief or orientation.

  • It’s not only what you do or say but also the way in which you do it or say it! It is important to think about how a child or young person may interpret your behaviour or the language you use and the tone of your voice.

  • The use of IT can only be with the informed consent of child and parent, or/and a teacher.

  • Build balanced relationships based on mutual trust that empowers children to share in the decision-making process.

  • Make any form of the arts fun, enjoyable, educational and promoting fair play.

  • Have a clear policy about the appropriateness of the material you use with children and young people.

  • All children and young people must be treated as individuals but also treated equally.

  • Involve parents / carers wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children).

  • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.

  • Secure parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and /or other medical treatment.

  • Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

  • You need to request written parental consent if anyone is required to transport young people in their cars. (Please also ensure that the appropriate insurance cover is in place)

Best interests

  • The best interests of the child or young person must always be a primary consideration.

  • Good planning is important for a wide range of reasons but it is particularly true when ensuring that the best interests of the child are taken as a primary consideration. Try to plan all your activities with a ‘best interests test’. At every stage of an activity you should be prepared to explain why a particular course of action would be in the best interests of the children or young people taking part.

  • Best interests should include a consideration of ways to minimise the opportunities for children and young people to suffer harm of any kind.

Fairly and with dignity and respect

  • You shouldn’t treat someone differently for the wrong reasons i.e. because they are better at a certain activity than others. Of course, there may be times when the needs of a particular child require that you treat them differently but the way you treat children and young people must be seen to be fair.

  • The important thing to remember is to treat every child as an individual. You should never assume that all children and young people are alike. They may have particular needs due to: their religious, cultural or ethnic background; a disability; emotional and behavioural difficulties.

  • Vulnerable children and young people are often at more risk of harm than other children and young people are. In order to allow these children and young people equal access to participation in an activity you may need to make special arrangements.

Protection for the child or young person

  • Children must be protected from harm as a result of the activity undertaken; risk assessment is an essential part of planning and it is important to remain constantly alert to possible sources of harm to a child.

  • A health and safety check on equipment, location and materials is essential prior to activity.

  • First aid facilities and access to a trained first-aid person should be available during the activity.

  • Children should be made aware of safety provisions e.g. evacuation routes in case of fire or spillage.

  • Tutors must plan their activity, including assessing the risks associated with materials, location, numbers, ages of participants.

Publication and imagery

  • Children, young people and vulnerable adults may not be photographed, recorded or filmed without informed written consent from either parents, or a school if a workshop is being held.

  • All participants rights to their copyright and ownership shall be upheld.

  • Avoid the use of the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph or caption.

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a project.

  • Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.

  • Avoid taking children to your home where they will be alone with you.

  • At no time is an adult to be alone with a child or vulnerable adult on property owned by St Bride’s Church ( Dumfries ) Ltd

Personal Disclosure and References

The Trustees and Congregation of St Bride’s Church ( Dumfries ) Ltd recognise that anybody may have the potential to abuse children in some way, and will therefore ensure a rigorous selection process to ensure the eligibility and the suitability of all tutors, musicians, staff and volunteers who work or come into contact with children.

  • Tutors and Volunteers working with children, young people or vulnerable adults must be routinely checked for Disclosure status prior to engagement.

  • Disclosure refusals will be binding on the organisers

  • The Trustees and Congregation commit to ensure that checks are undertaken regularly.

Statement concerning PVG compliance

The Trustees have discussed the issues surrounding our Child and Vulnerable Adult Policy in particular in relation to protection of vulnerable groups. We recognise that as an Anglican Private Chapel it is difficult for us to fit into one of the bigger national systems, none the less it is our belief that in addition to our own Child and Vulnerable Adult Policy, we should work in sympathy, in so far as we can, with the policies of the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church. These are described in more detail:


In brief:

The collective responsibilities of the Trustees are:

to facilitate PVG scheme membership for all those in regulated work, including all new appointments from March 2011 and all others between November 2012 and 2015;

not to appoint anyone to paid or voluntary regulated work who is on the list of those barred from the relevant workforce;

not to appoint to a position of responsibility and trust anyone who may pose a risk to vulnerable groups;

report any concerns to the PVG Co-ordinator;

maintain a list of the regulated workforce and position of trust workforce.

To give local expression to these policies the Trustees agreed to appoint Anne Lindsay as PVG Co-ordinator. Anne is therefore the person identified at local level to address any concerns and/or complaints in relation to the issues.

The Trustees have identified one person as being in regulated work which good practice requires to have an updated Disclosure Certificate. Further, our priest received a small stipend for the first time since 2009 during the last financial year. Fr Andrew is the first paid employee of St Brides Church, Dumfries. In reviewing his position the Trustees noted that there was a need to update the Disclosure Certificate obtained for their one employee. Fr Andrew had clean ECRB Certificates issued in 2003 & 2007 in relation to his previous church posts. The Trustees have obtained Disclosure under and membership of the PVG Scheme. Fr Andrews membership number is 1502 1013 8952 0320. The Scheme Record issued 10/02/2015 shows no material under Vetting information. In simple terms our one employee in regulated work has had three clean certificates since 2003.

Anne Lindsay