1              PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF ORGANISATION:  Holywood Music Festival, in the full meaning of The Children Act 1999, is not a Child-Care Organisation.  It is, however, committed to practice which protects children from harm.  The festival is established to provide a platform for amateur performance combined with an educational element from professional musicians.  It is established to encourage people, but not exclusively the young, to become actively involved in such activities.  Our aim is also to promote and develop the arts for the benefit of the general public in the area of benefit, to encourage appreciation of music and stimulate the artistic creativity of people in the area of benefit and to promote, organise and manage a festival of music.  Within the document, the word “staff” refers to officers and members of the Festival committee who give of their time entirely voluntarily.  The term “volunteers” refers to additional people who assist the Festival committee members with running the festival, who also give of their time entirely voluntarily.


2              THE FESTIVAL ENVIRONMENT:  The festival is normally held in The Queen’s Hall, Holywood or local venues within the Holywood town area.  It is our policy to involve and inform parents/guardians/carers and teachers in partnership with ourselves in order to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, a safe environment at the festival which is run by volunteers.  With the exception of teachers, there is an entrance charge for all adults accompanying children to the festival.  As the festival is held in a public area, the festival volunteers cannot be held responsible for the care or safety of children whilst they are away from the supervised areas where classes are held.


3              TO WHOM THIS POLICY APPLIES:  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.  This should be done by contacting the designated officer/s at the address or telephone number at the bottom of this document.  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.


4              FESTIVAL PERSONNEL: Staff vacancies are filled at the Annual General Meeting on the recommendation of the committee members.  Volunteers are recruited from the teaching profession, from local churches and organisations.  They are also recruited by personal contact and recommendation from existing volunteers.  Volunteers are made fully aware of the policy and receive instructions as how best to implement the policy.  The festival has appointed a Safeguarding Designated Officer whose name appears below.  This officer will be responsible for the checking and maintenance of volunteer’s records.  During the Festival, all staff and volunteers wear identifying badges.  Anyone wearing a badge can be approached and will be able to direct you to someone who will deal with your problem.  The Designated Officer will be in attendance throughout the Festival.  We take every problem seriously.  In the event of any incident, this will be fully documented and dated.


5              ATTENDANCE AT THE FESTIVAL:  This policy is passed to all parents/guardians and carers in order to inform them that, where they are not attending with their children, it is their responsibility to ensure that their children are adequately supervised at the festival by adults acting on their behalf.  It is passed to parents directly, or via teachers, in time for them to make arrangements for their children to be supervised when attending the festival.  Teachers are expected to take responsibility for seeing that parents or carers of their pupils are aware of this policy and to inform the festival organisers that they accept the responsibility.  A copy of this policy appears in the programme and at the festival venue.


6.            PERFORMANCE AREAS AND REHEARSAL AREAS: As the Festival is held in a public area, parents/guardians/carers should be aware that, due to the location of the separate performance areas within the festival venue, it may be necessary, from time to time, for children to pass through or attend unsupervised areas such as the foyer, public toilets.  It will be the responsibility of those parents/guardians/carers to ensure that children in their care are accompanied at all times, whilst away from the supervised performance areas.


7              PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOTAPES AND PRESS PHOTOGRAPHY: It is our policy that no recording, other than photography by accredited photographers, will be permitted within the performance areas and signs to this effect will be clearly displayed.  Volunteers and staff who are on duty have been instructed to prevent an unauthorised recording, should this be attempted.  Press have been invited to take photographs and if you do not wish your child to be photographed then you must let the photographer know.  IT is the responsibility of parents/guardians/carers to ensure that their child, or child in their care, is not photographed if they do not wish this to take place.


8              THE LEGISLATION AND GUDIANCE THAT SUPPORTS THIS POLICY: Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (presently being read): The Protection of Children Act 1999; The Court Service Act 2000; The Care Standard Act 2000; Statutory instrument 417 (NI); Statutory Instruction No 439 (NI)


9              POLICY REVIEW: The organisers will constantly review their policy, improving and enhancing as necessary.  In doing this, they will look to The British and International Federation of Festivals for support and that body in turn will look to other agencies for good practice, most notably the NSPCC and Arts Council of Northern Ireland policy guidelines.