Registered Charity No. 1072473


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 and responded to swiftly and appropriately and all the charity’s trustees, staff and volunteers have a responsibility to report concerns. Throughout this Policy, where “children” are mentioned, this also includes members of other vulnerable groups.

2. Festival Environment:
The Abingdon Music Festival is organised and run by volunteers. All helpers at the Festival are also volunteers. The Abingdon Music Festival Association aims, in so far as this is reasonably practical, to provide a safe environment for all attending and taking part at the festival, informing and involving parents, guardians, carers and teachers (as applicable) working in partnership with the association. The Festival takes place in several halls all within a single building. There is no access for the public, other than for those attending the Festival

3. Policy Application:
This policy relates to children under the age of 18 years and those vulnerable adults of any age who are identified to the organisers prior to their arrival at the Festival. In recognising the needs of children from minority ethnic groups and children who are disabled, the Festival actively seeks to meet needs notified to the Festival by parents/guardians/carers and/or teachers. Details of how to contact the organisers are given in the festival syllabus.

4. Festival Personnel:
The volunteers who organise and help with the festival are recruited from personal contacts by committee members. Committee members are elected at the Annual General Meeting each year at which all ‘Friends of the Festival’ are eligible to attend and vote. Helpers and committee members are identified by badges. A detailed record of all helpers and their roles is retained at the front desk throughout the festival. Details of how to contact the Safeguarding Lead in the event of any difficulty are also retained at the front desk. A private area at the Festival venue will be allocated where any concerns may be explained and discussed. All problems or difficulties will be documented on a feedback sheet. Any follow up actions or investigations will be agreed and noted on the sheet.

5. Preparation for Attendance at the Festival:
The festival rules include the requirement for children to be accompanied and supervised throughout the festival. The syllabus includes the rules and these are also posted on the festival website. This policy will be circulated to all participants. The organisers are not responsible for the supervision of children or vulnerable adults during the festival. If the parents/guardians/carers are not personally attending the festival with their child(ren) it is required that they make satisfactory arrangements to ensure that their child(ren) will be accompanied to the festival and adequately supervised by responsible adults acting on their behalf.

6. Performance and Practice Areas:
Practice rooms are unsupervised and are open to the public who are attending the festival. In performance and public areas there are usually festival helpers and volunteers but they are not responsible for the supervision of performers. At quieter times some performance and public areas may be completely unsupervised. During classes the adjudicator and at least one steward will be available in the performance area. Parents/guardians/carers should remain with their child(ren) throughout their attendance at the festival and should particularly be aware of the requirement for supervision of the use of practice rooms at all times.

7. Photographs, Video Recording and Press Photography:
Photography and videotapes are not allowed in the performance areas and this is clearly stated in the festival rules. During the festival photographs may be taken for use in publicity by press or the organisers. An announcement is made about this before the start of each class and performers or their parents/guardians/carers have opportunity to refuse permission for their photograph to be taken or used.

8. Relevant Legislation and Guidance:
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 Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.