Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge

Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge safeguarding: Policy and Procedures

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 Turn Up the Volume 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 Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity.

Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge: DESCRIPTION

The Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge invites children and young people between the ages of 11-25 to submit poems (on the theme of inequality) in written, filmed or audio recorded format to The Poetry Society. 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 and Oxfam’s website.

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

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. 


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. There is no entry form required for 11-25 year olds submitting their own work. 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 a light touch entry form at the point of initial entry just to gather contact details of teachers so that we can follow up on any shortlisted entries.

Uploading films

For safety reasons The Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge has asked young people to share their poems privately via email rather than uploading them to an 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 / teacher consent is provided.

When a poem is shortlisted the moderators will check that its 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.



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.

b.)Online Interactivity

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


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 Data Protection Act (1998) 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 Turn Up the Volume 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 and the names of their poems
  8. Children’s age on the 31st of May 2017 OR their date of birth
  9. Permission to add the teacher/educator to Oxfam and/or The Poetry Society’s mailing lists

If young people are 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 any shortlisted entries we will go on to collect the following data via a parental permission form:

  1. Child’s full name
  2. Child’s address
  3. Child’s school
  4. Child’s address
  5. Child’s email address
  6. The responsible parent or guardian’s contact name
  7. The responsible parent or guardian’s telephone number
  8. The responsible parent or guardian’s relationship to the child
  9. Permission to opt in to the Young Poet’s Network Mailing list

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 Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge and then destroyed. No-one will use this information to contact the child/family for any other reason. The exception to this is if the young person opts in to be added to the Young Poets Network mailing list, in which case their data will only be used subsequent to the end of the Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge in order to send out Young Poets Network updates.
  5. Teachers or responsible adults will have the opportunity to opt in or out of The Poetry Society and/or Oxfam Education’s mailing lists.
  6. 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.
  7. Children’s personal data will not be shared with external bodies including partners, funders, contractors, sub-contractors and freelancers.
  8. 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.

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 Education and Youth
Oxfam GB
01865 473051
07769 931383

Nazmia Jamal
Education Manager
The Poetry Society
020 7420 9897