UO SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT
The Ulster Orchestra Society Limited, founded in 1966 and based in Belfast, is Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra. It employs 63 full-time musicians, has a passion and commitment to musical excellence, and is a cornerstone of cultural life in the region.
The Ulster Orchestra enriches lives across the community through an innovative education and outreach programme which breaks down barriers and opens up the exciting world of music to everyone. A commitment to cultivating homegrown talent and developing the audiences of the future is at the core of the Ulster Orchestra’s learning and community engagement programmes. Activity is delivered in a wide range of settings, including schools, community venues, arts centres and public venues.
This policy also applies to Ulster Orchestra activity in non-Learning and Community Engagement settings, to include concerts and other activity at which children and/ or adults at risk are present.
The safeguarding responsibilities of participating venues are agreed in advance, to include measures such as provision of additional staff, separate toilet facilities for children and adults and appropriate seating of any participants who are not permitted to be photographed.
The Ulster Orchestra Society has an ethos of inclusion and openness and is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for children and adults at risk in any of its learning and community engagement activities. All references to children and adults at risk throughout this Policy and Guidelines should be taken to refer to ‘children, young people under the age of 18 years or adults at risk.’
Ulster Orchestra learning and community engagement activity is carried out by players who should be accompanied by a member of teaching staff, community leader or supervisor at all times. Activity will range from one-off visits to longer projects and residencies over weeks and months.
When a learning and community engagement activity is confirmed, a partnership agreement is sent to the participating community group, school or other organisation. This agreement will outline the responsibility of the group to provide the correct ratio of children: adult supervision, in adherence to their own Safeguarding procedures. Ulster Orchestra players are advised in training and in this Safeguarding Policy not to continue an activity if a supervising adult is not present in workshops with children and/ or adults at risk.
Each player is given the Ulster Orchestra Code of Practice to follow, which is included in this Safeguarding Policy and is circulated among all players, staff and volunteers. Each player signs a form (attached) to confirm they have read and agreed the Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
The Ulster Orchestra Safeguarding Policy is given to all members of administrative staff, players, visiting conductors, composers and anyone who may be involved in learning and community engagement or other activity involving children and/ or adults at risk. This includes event presenters, external facilitators, Associates who deliver activity on behalf of the orchestra and venues hosting activity. A copy of the policy is also sent to each of the Orchestra’s funding bodies and partner organisations.
The Ulster Orchestra Society is committed to practice which protects children and adults at risk from harm. Staff, volunteers and artists in this organisation accept and recognize their responsibilities under the Children (NI) Order 1995, Co-operating to Safeguard Children DHSSP 2003 and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults - A Shared Responsibility 2010 and will endeavour to carry these out by:
• Having an awareness of the issues which cause children harm
• Adopting child protection guidelines for staff, leaders, volunteers and artists
• Providing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, parents, staff, volunteers and artists
• Sharing information about concerns with children, parents and others who need to know; following carefully the procedures and recruitment and selection of helpers (staff, volunteers, artists) and the management of the group
• Undertaking appropriate training
• Following carefully the procedures for safe recruitment, selection and vetting of staff, artists and volunteers
• Keeping the Safeguarding policy under review
• Providing information as required to management committees/funders
Click this link to read the Ulster Orchestra Safeguarding Policy in full.