Safeguarding Policy

Aim of Policy

Safeguarding and child safety are of paramount importance to Bow Arts. We aim to create environments in which children and young people are safe. This policy covers anyone under the age of 18 years old.

The aim of this policy is to outline clearly the processes through which members of the Bow Arts staff, volunteers, interns and freelance contractors can keep children and young people safe.


Children and young people have the right to be physically, emotionally and sexually safe. They have the right to be safe from radicalisation and being drawn into violent extremism and terrorism. Bow Arts will therefore:

1.Take all reasonable measures to ensure that risks of harm to children’s welfare are minimised


2.Take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of a child, or children

The measures that Bow Arts take to meet these commitments include ensuring a careful recruitment and selection process, ongoing supervision and monitoring arrangements and guidance on appropriate behaviour. We will ensure that health and safety procedures are followed and that appropriate insurance cover is in place. Any suspicion of abuse will be promptly and appropriately responded to. Any concerns will be taken seriously and acted upon appropriately and we will pay attention to what children and young people say and feel.

Bow Arts will follow the Working Together to Safeguard Children Guidance (2018),and that of our partner schools and community groups.

1) Recruitment

  • All applicants for workthat will come into contact with children and young people, whether voluntary or paid, as an employeeor contractor,will be asked to provide two references and will be interviewed before the appointment is made.All references will be followed upand kept on file. Checks will be made on any gaps or inconsistencies in employment history
  • All appointments will be subject to satisfactory enhancedDisclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure checks
  • All appointments will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless we are confident that the applicants working directly with children can be safely entrusted with children and young people

2) Staff training

  • All staff members, freelance contractors, trustees, volunteers and interns will be made familiar with Safeguarding issues and procedures and will be notified of any significant changes to these
  • At Board level a Bow Arts Trustee will be responsible for ‘championing’ safeguarding issues. This is currently Cath Smith.

3) Safeguarding by means of good practice

  • Individual members of staff, freelance contractors, trustees, volunteers and interns will not be left alone with individual children or with small groups (if in a separate room, the door must be left open)

a) School, community or partner settings

  • A named supervising adult(school or setting staff)will be identified at the project planning stage. The responsible adult, or a named delegate, should be present during the activity at all times
  • It is not appropriate for staff, freelance contractors, trustees, volunteers and interns to be expected to take the role of ‘teacher’ or ‘youth worker’ and as such should not be expected to discipline children or young people–this is the role of the supervising adult. However, we would expect our contractors to be consistent in using the behaviour management strategies, rewards and sanctions of individual school settings

b) On-site at Bow Arts managed property

  • At least two responsible adults must be present at all times. Where the activity is not being delivered in partnership with a school or community group (e.g. Bow Arts Summer School taking place in the Nunnery Gallery), the two adults may be Bow Arts staff, freelance contractors, volunteers and/or interns

Everyone involved with a project has a duty to ensure that the children and young people involved are safe.

4) Contracts and Code of Conduct

All freelance contractors, interns and volunteers who will be in contact with children and young people will be asked to sign a contractor written agreement. As part of this we will:

  • strongly advise all contractors to take out their own Public Liability Insurance to at least £5million in addition to the cover in place by Bow Arts
  • request that contractors have read, understood and agree to our Code of Conduct (see Appendix C)
  • ensure that activities are risk assessed by the project manager and contractor and/or supervising adult prior to the commencement of the work where appropriate, or where requested by the school or community setting. Risk Assessments will be kept on the project file

5) Responding appropriately to suspicions or disclosures of abuse

All members of staff, freelance contractors, trustees, volunteers and interns have a duty to report any concerns relating to the welfare of children and young people. These may include:

  • Disclosures from children or young people
  • Observations or suspicions of inappropriate conduct towards children or young people
  • If there has not been a disclosure from a child but you are worried about behaviour

Guidance on how to respond to a disclosure of abuse can be found in Appendix A. All incidents must be recorded, preferably on the incident reporting sheet that can be found in Appendix B.

Reporting suspicions or disclosures of abuse:

a) School settings

If in a school setting then the school’s Designated Safeguarding Officer will be the first point of reference.

b) Community settings

If in a community setting then the community centre’s named Designated Safeguarding Officer will be the first point of reference.

c) Bow Arts managed events or projects on Bow Arts managed property

If it is a public event such as an Open Studios event or related workshop at Bow Arts premises or other partner venue, the first point of contact will be designated. Designated Safeguarding Officer for the event (usually a member of the Bow Arts Learning team).

In ALL cases, any suspicions or disclosures must ALSO be reported to:
Cath Smith – Trustee: 020 8980 7774 /

All information will be kept confidential.

Staff, freelance contractors, volunteers and interns should not attempt to investigate a safeguarding matter as it may compromise any possible legal proceedings. There is a need only to establish sufficient details and information for a decision to be made about making a referral.

Course of action:

If there are any concerns that a child may be at risk of immediate harm, the police should be contacted by dialling 999.

In all other instances, the course of action is:

  • 3. Record incident (see Appendix B – incident reporting)
    Who>Staff member, freelance contracter, volunteer of intern
  • 1. Report incident to Designated Safeguarding Office (School or Community Setting) AND Bow Arts Designated Safeguarding Office (Cath Smith – Trustee)
  • 3. Contact the contact the Duty Worker at: Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Tel: 020 7364 5006 option 3 Extensions: 5606/5601/5358/7796 Email: or that of the relevant Local Authority to child’s home addressWho> Designated Safeguarding Officer (School, Community or Bow arts)
  • 4. No further action required OR advised to refer to the relevant body (Social Services, Police, Heath Professional etc.)
    Who>Designated Safeguarding Officer (School, Community or Bow Arts)

6) Whistle blowing policy

• If you are concerned that a professional might be involved in abuse it is important that you take action.

In such circumstances concerns should be reported to:
Cath Smith – Trustee 020 8980 7774 /

DSO will contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Melanie Benzie 020 7364 0677 / 07903 238827
or that of relevant Local Authority to child’s home address
If they are unavailable, the DSO will contact the Safeguarding Advice Line on Tel: 020 7364 3444 / 5601 / 5606

If you have concerns regarding Bow Arts DSO please report to CEO Marcel Baettig,, 020 8709 5297

7) Keeping records

  • Records will be kept of times/dates that adults work.
  • An accident book will be kept to record any injuries that occur on any on-site visits to Bow Arts managed property.
  • Records relating to safeguarding should be kept for 7 years after Bow Arts last contact with the child and their family
  • Up to date information will be kept on all adults working with vulnerable adults and/or children through Bow Arts. This will include the current address, references, DBS information and disclosures of individuals. Personal data will be kept in line with our Privacy Policy.
  • Records regarding concerns about adults harmful behaviour towards children will be kept for up to 10 years and passed on to relevant safeguarding bodies.

8) Complaints

Service users and their parents and/or carers may not be satisfied with arrangements made or actions taken by us and may wish to make a complaint. In this instance, we will follow the Bow Arts complaints procedures as outlined in a standalone document. In such circumstances concerns must be reported to:
Cath Smith – Trustee 020 8980 7774 /

All such correspondence will be kept confidential.

9) Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks

Bow Arts processes volunteer, standard and enhanced DBS disclosure checks through a Registered Body, currently uCheck.

Bow Arts only offer work and volunteering/intern roles to individuals if they hold a valid DBS check completed within the past three years, or have a DBS application in process (see below). This can be completed through Bow Arts, or through another organisation. If completed through another organisation, the original certificate must be seen and recorded by Bow Arts. We encourage contractors to use the annual ‘auto-update’ service.

Freelance Contractors, staff and volunteers:

Bow Arts recognises valid DBS checks must include each of these elements:
1) The check must be an ‘Enhanced’ check, including a check of the relevant DBS Barred Lists
2) The check must be for ‘Child Workforce’ or ‘Child and Adult Workforce’
3) Have an appropriate role description to the role that will be carried out

  • All staff and contractors are responsible for informing Bow Arts of any convictions prior to, or following completion of DBS applications.
  • An individual may work/volunteer in client schools and settings if their DBS check is in process with Bow Arts. If the application has not been processed by the time the work is contracted, it will be noted in the client contract that the check is pending, and the application reference number will be included. In this situation the client retains the right to decline an individual.
  • If a disclosure is made, or if a ‘trace’ should come to light through a DBS check, we will provide a designated member of staff for the client with details of the disclosure. It will then be the responsibility of the client to make their own assessment of risk before allowing access to the individual. The client’s decision must be made in writing to Bow Arts.
  • If a disclosure or trace relates to a matter of safeguarding, Bow Arts retains the right to remove an artist from their Artist database.
  • How disclosures are treated internally within Bow Arts. A note that an artist has a disclosure will be added to the artist file and all members of the Learning team and the CEO will be informed. The Head of Learning will write to the contractor/volunteer to clarify our procedure (as above) and how we will handle the information.
  • Each staff member will also be issued with a PhotoID card that shouldbe worn at all times when on the school/settingpremises. This ID will display Bow Arts name and logo, a current photo of the individual, their job title and the date of issue.

Where a client has any special requirements that differ to this policy it is the responsibility of the organisation to inform Bow Arts in a timely fashion so that we can endeavour to support any such requirements.

All data processed as part of the DBS checking will be scanned and kept securely on file, in line with Bow Arts Privacy Policy.

Further information on DBS is available at

10) Further Information

If you have any further questions about this policy, any of the processes/procedures contained within and links to current Safeguarding training please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Learning team.

Cath Smith – Trustee 020 8980 7774 /

Any future changes to this policy will be made in line with current legislation and best practice.
This document will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Bow Arts DSO will have a 1-day refresher training every 2 years. Next booked November 2023.

Appendix A

Responding to a Disclosure – Checklist


Listen carefully and take an allegation seriously
Stay calm
Reassure the person
Explain what you will do next
Report to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (School, Community and Bow Arts)
In an emergency, call the Police by dialing 999
Record everything the child has told you or what you have observed – in detail and immediately (see RECORDING below)


“Go it alone”
Appear shocked or angry
Try to obtain more information than is necessary
Make comments or judgments
Contaminate the evidence
Promise to keep secrets (the information must be shared)
Give sweeping assurances
Confront the abuser


Brief and immediate
Identity fact and opinion
Record date, time, situation
Who else was present
Who said what/Observations
Use child’s own words
Be clear and specific
Action taken (even if no action)
Data protection:
– Record adquate and relevant information
– Be accurate
– Keep to a first hand account
– Head information securely

Appendix B

Safeguarding Incident Report Form

Name of person disclosing:
Project location / venue:
Contact details for person disclosing (when not held by school or community setting):

Briefly describe what happened (include times and dates):

Names and contacts of witnesses:

Name of person completing form:
Name of Manager responsible for investigation (Designated Safeguarding Officer):
Action taken:

A copy of this report MUST be given to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (school or community setting)
Cath Smith – Trustee, Bow Arts, 183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ /

Appendix C

Code of Conduct

Artists are requested to read, understand and comply with this Code of Conduct:
Conduct with Children and Young People

  • Read the Bow Arts Safeguarding Policy and be aware of who the designated member of staff for Safeguarding is within the school/setting.
  • You are not expected to be solely responsible for managing behaviour; ensure that a supervising adult is present at all times.
  • Do not be alone with a student.
  • Use appropriate language and behaviour with and in front of student.
  • Physical contact with students is prohibited unless overseen by a supervising adult and is essential to the delivery of the workshop for health and safety reasons.
  • Never give a student a lift in your vehicle.
  • Never communicate with a child or young person using personal phones.
  • If you feel any way uncomfortable about the behaviour of a student please discuss this with the supervising adult.

Photographs and Moving Images

  • Photographs or moving images should only be captured in the presence of the school/setting supervising adult. Please check if any individuals are not allowed to be photographed.
  • Images containing recognisable faces must be deleted from all devices once shared with Bow Arts.
  • Artists may use images that DO NOT contain recognisable faces for promotional purposes, crediting Bow Arts.

Conduct with other Adults (including Bow Arts employees, freelance contractors and school/setting staff)

  • Know who the supervising adult is when working directly with students.
  • Ensure that you and all other adults know your specific roles and responsibilities.
  • Be professional and treat other adults with respect.
  • Agree the use of school/setting and personal equipment and materials in advance.

Buildings and workspaces

  • Please sign in and out of the premises where requested.
  • Please wear a visitors badge at all times where requested.
  • Be aware of where emergency exits are and procedures for evacuation.
  • Report any breakages or accidents to the supervising adult.
  • Any equipment or work in progress that needs to be stored on premises during the project must be highlighted to all staff and appropriate arrangements made.
  • Drive with extra caution on school/setting premises (where applicable).
  • Do not obstruct emergency exits – even temporarily.
  • Check with reception where you can unload and park (where applicable).
  • Always use staff toilets and rooms.
  • Do not smoke on school/setting premises or when with a group of students.


  • Value and respect different racial origins, special needs, sexual orientations, genders, religions, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures.
  • Do not promote your own political or religious beliefs.
  • Be aware of how your online activity or social media presence may be perceived from a professional perspective, or if seen by students.
  • Consider environmental impact when planning your project. Aim to keep these to a minimum when planning the use of materials, equipment and transport.
  • It is recommended you have the hard copy of your DBS certificate with you at all times
  • Strive to plan and deliver work that meets the needs of all learners.

Appendix D

Image Permission Policy

Bow Arts may take photographs or capture moving images of children and young people participating in our projects for evaluation, monitoring and promotional purposes.

Bow Arts Policy for using Photographs and Moving Images

  • The school must give permission for photographs / moving images to be taken. By returning the Client Contract, the school gives permission. 
  • Images may be used: in printed publications; online; on social media platforms; and via electronic mail.
  • Images may be captured by Bow Arts employees, our freelance contractors or external press/partners.
  • Images should only be captured in the presence of the school/setting supervising adult (usually the class teacher, member of support staff or youth worker).
  • Images with recognisable faces must be shared with Bow Arts to store as soon as possible and deleted from artists’ personal devices. 
  • Images containing recognisable faces will typically be kept for a maximum of six years before being destroyed. Any exceptions to this will be agreed in writing with the school / setting.
  • Images can be used by Bow Arts, our funding or press partners. Images that DO NOT contain recognisable faces can also be used by our freelance contractors. Where images are used externally, Bow Arts should be credited.
  • Children’s names will not accompany the images. The school/setting name may be credited.


By agreeing to this Image Permission Policy:

  • School/settings confirm that have obtained the permission of the adult / parent / carer /
    person with custody of any children or young person who appears in the image.
  • School/settings confirm that they are aware that they have no rights of ownership, copyright
    or other interest in the images produced.
  • School/settings understand and agree to Bow Arts, our funding partners and freelance artists
    using any images produced for the purposes agreed, as indicated above.

Where a school/setting has any special requirements that differ to this policy it is the responsibility of the organisation to inform Bow Arts in a timely fashion so that we can endeavour to support any such requirements.

Appendix E

Definitions of abuse (as contained in Working Together, 2018)


A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others. Abuse can take place wholly online, or technology may be used to facilitate offline abuse. Children may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical abuse

A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meets the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Sexual abuse

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.


The persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

a. provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)

b. protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger c. ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers) d. ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.


Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to sow division between communities on the basis of race, faith or denomination; justify discrimination towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society. Extremism is defined in the Counter Extremism Strategy 2015 as the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist

Updated: August 2023
Due for review: August 2024