New legislation on the protection of children and vulnerable adults (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006) will begin to have implications for ringing with these groups from the summer of 2010. The changes are not extensive or complex and are still under Government review.
In the meantime, the Association’s policy remains that of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers as published in ’Child Protection in Towers’ Guidance Note No 3. Guidance Note No 3
In that, it is recommended that each tower displays a copy of the leaflet ’Protecting Young Ringers’ which can also be downloaded from the CCCBR. Protecting Young Ringers
If anyone has a problem obtaining this, please contact the Association Safeguarding Officer.
In addition, the Diocese of Norwich has published extensive guidelines for the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults, called Safe Haven which is available to download or in a print copy.
A vulnerable adult is defined as a person over 18 who by reason of physical or mental disability cannot care properly for her/himself and/or is vulnerable to exploitation or harm.
Each tower in the Association should have individual arrangements, through its Parochial Church Council, including CRB checking, and policies about the behaviours and responsibilities of the adults ringing together with children and young people.
The Norwich Diocesan Association has responsibilities for child and vulnerable adult protection during Association and Branch events – meetings, outings, teaching events and so on – including the Association Training Day in each year.
The Association has also prepared a Permission to Ring Form which can be downloaded as a pdf: Permission to Ring Form
Summary of the Current Policy
CRB checking is required for those who are involved regularly (three or more days in a period of thirty days) in the face-to-face teaching of young people under 18 or of vulnerable adults.
Association or Branch activities will therefore not require the Ringing Master or his or her deputies to obtain CRB checks. Many of those in charge will have such checks in any event as a result of their local ringing or occupational responsibilities.
At local ringing as well as at Association and Branch activities, young people may often be in the care of their parent(s) but, if not, should never be left alone with a single adult. This is a sensible safeguard for all involved. Two adults, preferably one of each sex, should be with the young or vulnerable person at all times, both within and outside the ringing chamber.
Also, young or vulnerable people should not travel by car with a single adult, and it is the responsibility of the person in charge of an Association or Branch event – Ringing Master, deputy, or tutor (on a training day, for example) – to arrange suitable transport between towers for such a person in the absence of a parent. The same arrangements should also be made for transporting young or vulnerable people to local ringing activities.
Reasonable precautions should be taken to protect against physical harm: young or vulnerable persons should be sufficiently supervised so that they are not at risk from their own or others’ behaviour during and around ringing. For example, if lunch is involved on a training day, the tutor should ensure that those under 18 do not obtain alcohol in the pub.
This Safeguarding Policy, for good child protection, is really a matter of common sense and awareness of the potential dangers, through the ringing community acting together to be as watchful about the safety of those temporarily in our care as we would wish others to be for our own children.
NDA Safeguarding Officer
You can download this statement as a pdf: Safeguarding Policy Statement