Looking after Children and Young People in the Belfry

February 2015

Downloadable version: Looking after Children and Young People in the Belfry

  1. The parents or guardians of the young person (referred to here as the parents) should complete a consent form at the earliest opportunity when the young person starts to learn to ring. The parents should be encouragedto come to an early lesson to see what is involved. This form* should be kept securely, whilst accessible to the person/s responsible for children in the belfry. It should be updated as necessary.
  2. The Tower Captain should endeavour to establish that the young person has no known medical conditions that may affect safety.
  3. The Tower Captain should make sure that the parents are aware of and give consent for arrangements for young people travelling to and from ringing
  4. The parents should be told if there is any plan to use a video camera or still photography as a training tool or for any other purpose. A separate consent form* must be completed and signed by the parents. All photographic recording should be destroyed after use at a time agreed with the child and parent, preferably in the presence of the parent and the Tower Captain.
  5. The child / young people should undertake to ensure that suitable clothing is worn for all ringing activities. It should be loose under the arms to allow
    freedom of movement and not overtly provocative. These requirements should also be made clear to parents at the outset.
  6. The parents should be informed that to act with sufficient speed in an emergency or when learning to control a bell, it may be necessary to raise one's voice, or make physical contact (e.g. by taking hold of the learner's hand to take control of the bell rope). This can be demonstrated to the parents during their early visit to a practice. Procedures for acting in an emergency should be rehearsed, e.g. following the instruction 'Let Go' if the bell gets out of control.
  7. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) should be given the name of the Tower Captain and/or any deputies who may run the practice or ringing sessions
    involving children. Those people will need to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) through the Parish Safeguarding Officer.
    * Consent forms are available from the SCACR Website or from the Safeguarding Officer.
  8. If an outing is planned, parents should sign a detailed consent form*. Transport arrangements should be made so that young people travel in a car preferably with two adults, one of whom must be DBS checked. Where, in an exceptional circumstance only one adult is available, that person should be DBS checked and the young person should sit in the back of the vehicle.
  9. Where a parent is always present during ringing, e.g. as a member of the band, the parent is responsible for the young person's welfare. However, it is important to bear in mind that there may be occasions when a parent cannot be there or the young person is taken out by other members of the band (e.g. to another tower). As with other aspects, it is advisable to follow the standard procedure in all cases so as not to make an issue of any changes in routine.
  10. Two adults (if possible of different sexes) one of whom must be DBS checked should normally be present whenever young people are taking part in ringing or being transported to or from ringing events. The Tower Captain should endeavour to ensure that at least two adults arrive at the start of any planned ringing when young people are involved.
  11. The Tower Captain should not delegate responsibility for the care of the young people unless it is to someone previously notified to the PCC and who
    has completed a DBS check.
  12. It is good practice for an attendance register to be kept and completed, including the recording of the names of any visitors.
  13. Young people should not be allowed into a potentially hazardous situation unaccompanied.
  14. Normal Health and Safety issues should always be taken into consideration, and if possible a trained first aider should be present. A first aid kit should
    be available and an accident logbook kept. 
  15. Tower Captains are responsible for ensuring that these guidelines are followed and a copy should be displayed on the belfry notice board.  Consent forms are available from the SCACR Website or from the Safeguarding Officer.

This document is based on the CCCBR Guidance Note 3.
Revised by Safeguarding Officer SCACR February 2015.

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