End Hunger uk Poetry Challenge safeguarding: Policy and Procedures

This document has been created to set out the approach to safeguarding that will be taken by The Poetry Society and End Hunger UK whilst working in partnership to deliver the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge. End Hunger UK is a coalition of 20 charities of which Oxfam is one member. Oxfam is the charity on the coalition responsible for managing the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge partnership (although other coalition members are consulted). Therefore, this document refers to Oxfam (working in partnership with The Poetry Society) throughout.

1. Child Protection Policy: Core Statements

The Poetry Society and Oxfam are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in line with the Children Act 1989 and Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. It recognises the personal dignity and rights of children towards whom it has a special responsibility and a duty of care and respect. The Poetry Society and Oxfam, and all its staff and volunteers, undertakes to do all in its power to create a safe environment for children and young people and to prevent their physical, sexual or emotional abuse. The Poetry Society and Oxfam are committed to acting at all times in the best interests of children, seeing these interests as paramount.

In the context of this safeguarding policy and the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge, children and young people refers to anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday, as it is defined in the Children Act 1989. This policy applies to all children and young people with whom The Poetry Society and Oxfam staff and volunteers have contact in the context of the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity.

2. End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge: Description

The End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge invites children and young people between the ages of 11-25 to submit poems (on the theme of UK hunger) in written, filmed or audio recorded format to The Poetry Society. Poetry entries will be judged within three age categories: 1 winner and 2 runner ups will be chosen from each age category. The films will be emailed or transferred privately to educationadmin@poetrysociety.org.uk and, moderated by project staff and volunteers. For winning and commended poems, permission will be sought to share these poems on the Young Poets Network, End Hunger UK and its member organisations’ websites and publications. Permission will also be sought to publish these poems in printed materials memorializing the Poetry Challenge.

It is also anticipated that some shortlisted poems may be used by The Poetry Society and/or in the organisations’ campaigning and communication.

3. Offline events and filming for winners and runner ups

The End UK Hunger Poetry Challenge will seek to film one winner or runner up from each of the three age categories during a poetry workshop and filming event which will take place in London on the weekend of the 26th/27th of May. The three age categories are 11-15 years, 16-18 years and 19-25 years. Initially winners will be invited to attend and if they are unable runner ups will be invited to attend. Oxfam will also be organising an End Hunger UK multi-event touring exhibition at which winning and commended poems will be displayed. Young people who have entered winning or commended poems may be invited to these events to perform their poems. Oxfam and The Poetry Society will endeavour to safeguard 19-25 year olds involved in the competition, and to supervise them at all times when working with minors. Explicit parental consent in writing will be obtained in order for any under 18s to:

  • Attend one or more of the events listed above
  • Travel down to one or more of the events listed above
  • To be filmed performing their poems and for these films to be placed into the public domain.

Oxfam and The Poetry Society will both take measures to safeguard under 18s during offline events and film-making by ensuring the following measures are in place:

  • In any activity organised directly by Oxfam and/or The Poetry Society involving children and young people there will be members of Oxfam and/or The Poetry Society present who are in possession of an Enhanced Disclosure with check of the barred list for children from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • The Poetry Society and Oxfam staff and volunteers working within this project will avoid situations occurring in which there are lone adults working with one or more children.
  • If an exceptional circumstances occurs in which it becomes necessary for a child to be alone with an adult (e.g. a teacher or parent being taken unwell and waiting with the child whilst their emergency contact is reached) then members from Oxfam and/or The Poetry Society will be responsible for identifying and addressing such a situation and informing the designated child protection officer (contact details below).
  • Oxfam and The Poetry Society will be responsible for risk assessing the venues for events to which End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge entrants are invited.

Individuals will be responsible for their own risk assessments for travelling to and from any venues, assisted by relevant information provided by Oxfam and/or The Poetry Society. Individuals aged under 16 will need to be dropped off and picked up by a parent/guardian. Individuals aged 16-17 year old will need express written consent from their parents or guardians in order to travel unaccompanied to any events associated with the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge.

4. Principles of child protection: online safeguarding

 A significant element of the project involves winning and commended entries by children and young people being shared online. Careful attention will be paid to ensuring that consent to share winning and commended poems is obtained, that if individual children are personally identified that full parental consent has been obtained, that film content is rigorously moderated and that data is securely stored and used appropriately. 

Entrants

Submitting films shall be open to all children and young people aged 11 to 25. There are two types of entries, those coming directly from young people submitting their own work and those coming from teachers/educators submitting the work of young people on their behalf. In order to accept entries from 11 and 12 year olds, their work must be submitted alongside a completed parental consent from. There is no entry form required for 13-25 year olds submitting their own work, but we do ask that they provide their name, age, county/country and gender. However if shortlisted we will seek their consent as well as express parental consent to make public any poem entry/entries from under 18s. For teachers and educators submitting their students’ work we will require an entry form at the point of initial entry. This form gathers the contact details of teachers so that we can follow up on any shortlisted entries. Teachers must ensure that they have parental consent to enter any work by 11-12 year olds.

Uploading films

For safety reasons The End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge has asked young people to share their poems privately via email rather than uploading them to a public online space and sharing a link in order to submit their poems. The Poetry Society and Oxfam will only upload winning and commended poems, and only once the entry form with parental consent is provided.

When a poem is shortlisted the moderators will check that it is appropriate in terms of content, copyright and safeguarding prior to sharing the poem online on The Poetry Society and Oxfam website/s. Oxfam and The Poetry Society reserve the right to subsequently take down any poem on the basis of concerns about the safety or wellbeing of children.

Identification

Entries

Young people may have included identifying information in their entry such as their name, age, the name of their school or youth group or their town/city. If this is the case and their entry goes on to win or be commended we will seek written confirmation that there is parental consent to make this identifying information public.

Online Interactivity

For safeguarding purposes, no unmoderated comments boxes or other interactive features will be included on The Poetry Society or Oxfam websites. Viewers will have the opportunity to ‘like’ films.

Moderation

All poems will be moderated according to The Poetry Society’s process. Any poems that are considered unsuitable in relation to content, copyright and safeguarding procedures, will be unlikely to be shortlisted unless the author is able to edit their entry accordingly on our request.

Oxfam and The Poetry Society will use social media as appropriate, and in accordance with their safeguarding policies, to promote the project. It cannot, however, monitor the independent use of social media by children and young people to promote their own shortlisted entries.

Safeguarding and use of personal data

All information held on children and young people, including their personal information, is covered by The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and must be processed in accordance with this Act. This means that the information held must be:

  • Fair and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes only
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Not kept for longer than necessary
  • Processed in accordance with individual rights.

For poems submitted into The End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge by a teacher or educator on behalf by a young person/s, the entry forms will collect the following data:

  1. School or organisation’s name
  2. The town or geographical area
  3. The teacher’s or responsible adult’s name
  4. The teacher’s or responsible adult’s email address
  5. The teacher’s or responsible adult’s job title
  6. The contact address (school/group/parent/individual)
  7. Children’s first names
  8. Children’s age on the 6th of May 2018 OR their date of birth
  9. Confirmation that parental consent was gained by the teacher or responsible adult if the child is 12 or under
  10. Permission to add the teacher/educator to The Poetry Society’s mailing lists

If young people aged 13-25 submitting their own work directly to The Poetry Society on their own behalf, we will ask them to tell us their date of birth and also if they would like to be added to the Young Poets Network mailing lists. For 11 -12 year olds who would like to enter The End Hunger UK Challenge we will ask for permission from parents or guardians via a consent form. This will ask for:

  1. Entrant name
  2. Entrant date of birth
  3. Name of parent/guardian
  4. Relation to the entrant
  5. Phone number of parent/guardian
  6. Email address of parent/guardian
  7. Child’s email address
  8. Permission for their child to enter this and any Young Poets Network challenge while they are aged 12 or younger.
  9. Confirmation that their child understands the competition rules and is submitting their own original work.
  10. Confirmation that their child is happy to be contacted by The Poetry Society.
  11. Permission for their child’s details to be kept by The Poetry Society to offer further opportunities, and anonymised for reporting purposes.
  12. Permission for their child to be added to the Young Poets Network mailing list.

For any shortlisted entries by under 18s we will gain parental consent to publish their poetry. Please see section three in this document for measures to safeguard shortlisted entrants who are invited to offline events associated with the End Hunger Poetry Challenge.

It is particularly important to adhere to data protection procedures to protect the personal data of children and young people from a safeguarding perspective. Accordingly:

  1. All personal data will be stored securely at all times, in a ring-fenced and secure location (e.g. website or CMS).
  2. A member of The Poetry Society with a valid DBS disclosure certificate will have responsibility for the data
  3. Parental consent is always sought to publically share the work of anyone under 18 years of age
  4. The data shall only be used for the purposes of communicating with people about The End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge unless they opt in to receiving updates from the Young Poets Network. If they do not opt in to this mailing list their data will be retained but anonymised after the end of the End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge for the purposes of reporting.
  5. Poem entries from under 18s that give away personal data such as names and school names will only be uploaded once we have gained written parental permission to do so.
  6. Children’s personal data will not be shared with external bodies including partners, funders, contractors, sub-contractors and freelancers.
  7. Any website development by external organisations on The Poetry Societies behalf will be stripped of sensitive data. Information about children will only be shared with statutory agencies as required to meet the need to safeguard the child or others.
  8. The prohibition on lone working extends to all contact including telephone and emails. Phone contact should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, and Nazmia Jamal should be copied in to any one-to-one email correspondence with a child, with ‘End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge’ in the subject line.

5. Designated Child protection officers

If a safeguarding issue arises and you would like to speak to someone about it, then please contact a designated child protection officer:

Paul Langley
Head of Public Engagement and Education Oxfam GB
01865 473051
07769 931383
plangley1@oxfam.org.uk

 

Nazmia Jamal
Education Manager
The Poetry Society
020 7420 9897
njamal@poetrysociety.org.uk

6. Emergency safeguarding procedures

If any member of staff or volunteer is concerned about the risk of abuse, or suspects abuse, or if a child or young person makes a disclosure, the following steps should be taken:

  • Avoid any delay.
  • Reassure the person they’ve done the right thing in disclosing concerns.  Ask only open questions such as ‘what happened next?’ and ‘is there anything else I should know’.  Confidentiality will be limited only on a ‘need-to-know basis’ so you must be clear you’ll speak to others – though only in order to ensure the future safety of all involved.
  • Record what you’ve heard and report it immediately to the designated project safeguarding lead (Paul Langley/Nazmia Jamal – contact details above). Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.
  • If urgent action is required to protect children this should be done immediately.  If there is an allegation or credible evidence that a crime has been committed the police and social services (as appropriate) should be alerted without delay.
  • The designated project safeguarding lead will make adjustments to the project to ensure the safety of children and, if any risk or possibility of past abuse remains, s/he will see that a Safeguarding Meeting is held within 24 hours with Oxfam’s Child Protection Advisor and Child Protection Officer to decide further action. 
  • In responding to concerns, the interests of the child or young person will be paramount.