Safeguarding Policy

  1. Introduction

    1. Practice Pal is committed to ensuring the highest possible standard of safeguarding. The personal safety and wellbeing of each student and mentor using Practice Pal is paramount.
    2. Our app was developed with the aim of ensuring that online music practice supervision takes place in a safe environment. This is reflected in a number of key built-in features and a defined set of policies and procedures for the students, parents/responsible adults and mentors who use this service.
  2. Legislative Framework/Related Policies

    1. These policies and procedures aim to ensure that all persons using the Practice Pal services can do so safely within child safeguarding standards and UK law.
    2. These policies should be read in conjunction with the Practice Pal Terms and Conditions and the procedures.
  3. Aims

    1. The aim of this policy is to safeguard all students and other persons using the Practice Pal system whilst they are within an online practice session.
    2. This policy document contains the responsibilities of all persons using Practice Pal, including mentors, students, parents (responsible adults) and teachers.
    3. It is important that all persons using or working on behalf of Practice Pal are aware of this policy and have familiarised themselves with the detailed safeguarding procedures.
    4. This policy should be read and understood before engaging in any activity arranged through Practice Pal and the responsibilities and procedures therein adhered to. Contravention of the policy document could lead to suspension and/or barring from the services (see Compliance section).
  4. Registration of Mentors

    1. Practice Pal will only accept mentors to the platform who have had, and supply to Practice Pal, a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
    2. Practice Pal conducts an interview process with all mentors as part of the selection process and will request photo identification documents (such as a passport or driving licence). Practice Pal will only transfer payment to mentors holding a personal bank account in the United Kingdom.
  5. Privacy

    1. All communications between mentors and students will go via the app in order to preserve anonymity of the student to the mentor.
    2. The mentor will not be aware of the email address of the student or parent/responsible adult and will not be able to communicate with them directly.
    3. A copy of all messaging communication between mentor and student will be sent to the parent/responsible adult immediately after an online practice session is finished.
    4. All personal details about the student and parents, including contact address and phone number, will remain private and confidential and will not be available to the mentor.
    5. All data held by Practice Pal is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 (also see Privacy Policy).
  6. Recording of sessions

    1. Only the messages sent between mentor and student will be held by Practice Pal. The video and audio streamed by the student will not be recorded.
    2. Practice Pal will review the messages from any sessions where a report has been made by any person using Practice Pal for the purpose of investigating the report.
    3. Practice Pal will allow UK law enforcement agencies to access any sessions where it is reported a criminal offence may have occurred in relation to a specific session.

    Roles and Responsibilities of persons using Practice Pal

  7. The mentor

    1. The mentor shall:
      1. Treat students fairly, respectfully and without prejudice or discrimination; students who have a disability or come from a minority ethnic or cultural group can easily become victims of discrimination and prejudice which may be harmful to the student’s well-being
      2. Always ensure language in messages is appropriate and not offensive, discriminatory or abusive.
      3. Ensure any messages to the student are appropriate to their role as a mentor and confined to the relevant online practice session.
      4. Not make any improper suggestions to a student or engage in any form of emotional abuse.
      5. Not send unsolicited communications to the student or parent/responsible adult.
      6. Value and take students’ contributions seriously.
      7. Report any dispute with a student or parent/responsible adult to Practice Pal, in accordance with the Safeguarding procedures document.
      8. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity identified within an online practice session by the student or third party, in accordance with procedures set out in Safeguarding procedures .
      9. Be aware that the messages sent during an online practice session are retained by Practice Pal for review.
  8. The Student

    1. Students can register with the service but cannot start using the service until a sponsor/parent/guardian/carer over the age of 18 has formally registered and agreed to be the formal sponsor and to hold legal relationship with the site.
    2. The student shall:
      1. Treat the mentor with respect and fairness, and not subject them to abusive behaviour or language or any form of prejudice or discrimination.
      2. Not make any improper suggestions to the mentor.
      3. Have no inappropriate communication with the mentor outside the online practice session (also see Section 9.1.7 below).
      4. Report any dispute with a mentor to a parent/responsible adult in accordance with Section 3 of Safeguarding procedures .
      5. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a mentor within a session in accordance with the Section 3 of Safeguarding procedures .
      6. Be aware that they can terminate the online practice session immediately if they feel uncomfortable by pressing the disconnect button located near the top left of the screen.
  9. Parent/Responsible adult

    1. The parent/responsible adult shall:
      1. Ensure the student is fully aware of and observes the Practice Pal Safeguarding Policy.
      2. Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
      3. Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the session ensuring it is safe and appropriate (ie a family room).
      4. Be available during an online practice session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible.
      5. Ensure that mentors will be treated with respect and fairness by the student and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
      6. Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by the student or mentor. This includes reading the messaging communications which are copied into the lesson report and emailed after the session.
      7. Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the mentor outside the online practice session.
      8. Report any unsolicited communications between the mentor and student.
      9. Report any dispute with a mentor to Practice Pal in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
      10. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a mentor in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
  10. School and teachers/school representative (if a session is within school hours and on school premises)

    1. For the purpose of this policy document a ‘responsible adult’ includes teachers and school representatives.
    2. The school and teachers or school representative shall:
      1. Ensure the student is fully aware of and observes the Practice Pal Safeguarding Policy.
      2. Ensure that the session is conducted in accordance with the School’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
      3. Always be responsible for the welfare of the student during the session.
      4. Always be responsible for the physical environment of the pupil during the session ensuring it is safe and appropriate.
      5. Be available during a online practice session so any concerns encountered by the student can be reported as soon as possible.
      6. Ensure that mentors will be treated with respect and fairness by the student and will not be subjected to abusive behaviour or language.
      7. Ensure that no improper suggestions are made by either student or mentor. This includes reading the messaging communications which are copied into the lesson report and emailed after the session.
      8. Ensure the student has no inappropriate communication with the mentor outside the online practice session.
      9. Report any unsolicited communications between the mentor and student.
      10. Report any dispute with a mentor to Practice Pal in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
      11. Report any inappropriate behaviour or illegal activity by a mentor in accordance with procedures set out in this document.
    3. If the online practice session has been arranged by the school but takes place outside school hours and away from school premises, it is the responsibility of the school to make the appropriate parent/responsible adult aware of the Safeguarding Policy and that both parties agree their safeguarding responsibilities.
  11. Director/Management of Practice Pal Services

    1. The Director/Management of Practice Pal shall:
      1. Conduct an interview with mentors before they are permitted to join the Practice Pal panel of mentors (also see Section 4 of Registration of mentors).
      2. Only allow mentors to be appointed to the panel after a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check has been supplied to Practice Pal.
      3. Ensure that any dispute between persons using the Practice Pal services is handled efficiently and fairly without discrimination in accordance with the procedures set out in this document.
      4. Deal with reports of possible illegal activity promptly, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the student and/or mentor in accordance with the procedures set out in this document (see procedures section).
      5. If any incident is reported to the police relating to a specific session, make the messages sent available for the police to use as evidence in any proceedings if appropriate.
      6. If appropriate, employ the services of an independent Child Protection consultant to review a report concerning the welfare of a student ensuring an appropriate course of action is taken.
      7. Regularly review the policy and procedures to ensure they are relevant and adequate to safeguard all persons using the Practice Pal services.
  12. Compliance

    1. All persons using the Practice Pal services have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with the Safeguarding Policy.
    2. Any mentor reported for a breach of the Safeguarding Policy will be suspended from the site until the incident has been investigated by the appropriate authority. The reporter may be informed of the resolution if appropriate.
    3. The final decision on action taken for minor breaches of the Safeguarding Policy will be the responsibility of Practice Pal.
    4. Any person reported for causing harm to a student or subjecting the student to sexual abuse will be reported to police and barred from the service.
  13. Review

    1. The Safeguarding Policy and procedures will be reviewed by Practice Pal on a regular basis to ensure that they comply with relevant law and practice.