Policy  Statement

The Torbay and South West of England Festival is committed to ensuring safe environments for children and young people and believe that it is always unacceptable for anyone to experience abuse of any kind. We recognise our responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to recommended best practice which protects them.

This policy applies to our Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers, adjudicators and sub-contractors, students or anyone working on behalf of the Festival.

The purpose of the policy:

• Provide protection for the children and young people who participate in the Festival

• Provide  volunteers and sub-contractors (e.g. adjudicators and accompanists) with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing  (or be at risk of) harm

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child/young person is paramount
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation   or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

How will we seek to safeguard children and young people?

  • Valuing them, listening to them, respecting them and reporting concerns immediately to the respective Festival  Safeguarding Officer
  • Adopting safeguarding  guidelines through induction procedures and safe working practice for volunteers and sub-contractors
  • Recruiting volunteers and sub-contractors safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made (e.g. DBS certification and Chaperone licence where deemed necessary) 
  • Sharing information about child protection and safe working practice with children, parents, staff and volunteers
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children appropriately
  • Providing effective management of volunteers through supervision, support and training, to ensure safe environments for everyone performing at or attending the Festival


The British and International  Federation of Festivals (Biff) and its member Festivals – including ours – use the following procedures to create Safer Festivals for everyone:

  • One or more designated Festival Safeguarding Officers (FSO) appointed for each Festival.
    For Torbay & South West of England Festival these are:
    Linda Lear      01803 607672 / 07971 421043
    Karen Walker     01803 522174 / 07890 200960
    Christopher Blurton     07595 499188
  • Best practice advice in the form of Biff Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection leaflets, which are available, alongside support and training, for all Festival volunteers (including clear reporting procedures for anyone with a concern about a child)
  • All Festival personnel will wear an official Festival (named) identity badge. All teachers /parents / guardians/carers are asked to report all incidents of any nature to anyone wearing a Festival badge. All reported incidents will be handled in accordance with the Safe Working Practice and Festival Child Protection best practice advice.  A quiet area/ room where concerns can be expressed in private will be made available.
  • For the duration of a Festival all teachers/parents/guardians/carers are responsible for the continuous care and supervision of their own children/students. If unable to attend personally, they must delegate their responsibilities to an identified adult (ensuring that their children/students are aware of the name/ identity of the person responsible for their care. This includes supervision throughout all Festival venues, practice and changing areas that may be provided. (NB The Festival cannot take responsibility for any property left unattended)
  • Some children and vulnerable adults may have specific needs in order to participate. If this is the case we ask the responsible teachers/parents/guardians/carers to contact the Festival Organisers prior to arrival. The Festival actively seeks wherever possible to meet these needs, but must know beforehand in order to prepare support – or to advise that help cannot be provided on this occasion.
  • By ticking the entry box, all parents / guardians / carers and teachers of performers under 18 (or vulnerable adults of any age) confirm that they give (or have obtained) the necessary consents for the performers to take part in the Festival and all participants agree to abide by the rules. Without this consent, the entry to the Festival cannot be accepted.
  • No unauthorised photography, audio or video recording of children and young people is allowed (whether on stage performing or off stage) at our Festivals. Where parents/guardians/carers do not wish photos to be taken at all, then the responsible adult attending should ensure that their child/student  is not included in official photography.

This policy and procedure will be updated every 2 years to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Name:   Linda Lear
Signature:  Linda Lear

Date of Issue: May 2024 Version: 1