Policy Statement

This policy addresses the following areas of safeguarding: child safeguarding, adult safeguarding, and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society (BATS) believes that everyone with whom it comes into contact – regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships and pregnancy and maternity – has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. BATS will not tolerate abuse and exploitation by staff or associated personnel.

A child, young person or vulnerable adult has at all times and in all situations a right to feel safe and protected from any situation or practice that could result in a child, young person or vulnerable adult being physically or emotionally harmed. If young people or vulnerable adults are involved in an activity run by BATS it will take action if it has any suspicions about their physical, sexual or emotional well-being.

BATS commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of: prevention, reporting and response.

It recognises that all children and vulnerable adults should be:

  • Listened to and heard.
  • Valued and respected as individuals.
  • Respected for their identity, talent and uniqueness.
  • Encouraged in everything they do.Have the same criteria applied to everyone.

Code of Practice

The purpose of the Code of Practice is to translate Bungay Arts & Theatre Society’s commitment to Equal Opportunities into procedures that will ensure adherence to these principles in every sphere of our activities.

1 – Recruitment

1a – Job Description

1a.1 All current and future posts should have job descriptions in a standard format, to include the following headings: job title, responsible to/for; external contracts; purpose of the post; duties/responsibilities; additional responsibilities.

1a.2 All job descriptions must state “The duties must at all times be carried out with due regard to Bungay Arts and Theatre Society’s Equal Opportunities Policy”.

1a.3 Before advertising any post, a decision should be taken as to whether any form of positive action is appropriate, for example the targeting of certain sections of the community.

1b – Person Specification

1b.1 The person specification is the key document in the selection process and must be derived from the job description.

1b.2 Each listed requirement in the person specification must be justified in terms of the duties/responsibilities contained within the job description. The Board will monitor selection criteria to ensure that discriminatory criteria are avoided.

1b.3 All requirements must be listed as either essential or desirable. Selection must proceed on the basis of the essential requirements. The sole purpose of the desirable requirements is to reduce to a manageable size the number of candidates meeting the essential criteria.

1b.4 Person specification should include a commitment to Equal Opportunities as an essential requirement.

1b.5 The wording used in person specifications should be non-discriminatory and as specific and skills orientated as possible.

1c – Advertising

1c.1 All advertising must reflect the duties and requirements outlined in the job description and person specification.

1c.2 Advertisements should state that the job is open to the possibility of job-share, unless it has previously been decided otherwise.

1c.3 All advertising must include the statement “Bungay Arts & Theatre Society is committed to a policy of Equal Opportunities”.

1c.4 Detail on all job vacancies must be sent to Disability Employment Advisers at Jobcentre in the region who can then inform and advise people with disabilities who are registered at Jobcentres about possible application. The Board will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the working environment does not prevent disabled people from taking up post for which they are qualified.

1d – Shortlisting

1d.1 The shortlisting criteria should adhere to the details set out in the job description and person specification, must be applied consistently and the process must be based solely on the information given in the application.

1d.2 The shortlisting panel must shortlist on the basis of essential requirement. Only if there is an unmanageable number of shortlisted candidates will desirable requirements be taken into account.

1d.3 Reasons for rejecting or shortlisting candidates should be recorded.

1d.4 Candidates who are not shortlisted should be informed promptly in writing.

1e – Interviews

1e.1 Interviews should be conducted by a selection panel chosen for this particular purpose and should normally include at least one person who has been involved in the shortlisting.

1e.2 The selection panel should meet in advance of the interview to prepare and agree questions to be asked of the candidates and to ensure that similar questions and the same range of topics will be covered for each candidate.

1e.3 The substance of the questions asked should not vary when delivered to all candidates, being aware of the nine protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010 of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships and pregnancy and maternity. Candidates should not be asked questions about their personal circumstances or family commitments.

1e.4 Where a job involves unsocial or irregular hours or travel, the full facts should be presented in the job information before the interview. The selection panel should establish by a simple question whether or not each candidate has fully understood the requirements of the job.

1e.5 Assumptions must not be made about what a disabled candidate can or cannot do. The interview must concentrate on the person’s abilities and interviewers must emphasize that the candidates disability will not affect the consideration they receive. At the end of the interview, interviewers may ask for factual information about the nature of the candidate’s disability. Further advice should be sought from the Disability Employment Adviser as to the nature of the disability and of the availability of aids to employment or adaptation of buildings before a decision is taken.

1e.6 If any informal interviews take place, they should be clearly defined as part of the selection process and should be carried out on the same basis for all candidates.

1e.7 Discussion on the merits of individual candidates will take place only when all the interviews have been completed.

1e.8 The Chair of the selection panel should record the reasons for the selection of the successful candidate and the non-selection of the other candidates.

2 – Artistic Policy

2.1 The Society will seek to work with as wide a range of artists as possible, and all artists, performers and workshop leaders will be engaged solely on the basis of their quality or work and communication skills.

2.2 The Society will ensure that all programme material will adhere to our policy of non-discrimination and that no material will portray any group in society in a negative or stereotypical way.

2.3 Artists will be recruited who can demonstrate that they will empower and encourage self-determination when working with people with disabilities.

3 – Access for people with disabilities

3a – Venues

3a.1 The Society is committed to ensuring that any premises it acquires will conform to the highest standards of accessibility so that the sensory and/or physical disabilities of artists and audience will not be a bar to full involvement.

3a.2 When the Society uses other premises it will use wherever possible existing venues with the widest possible access provision.

3b – Publicity

3b.1 Where possible publicity for the Society’s events will be directed at disability groups and special schools in addition to using traditional advertising methods to ensure that people with disabilities are aware of the group’s activities.

3b.2 Advice will be sought from disability arts organisations to ensure that programming reflects the needs of people with disabilities.

3b.3 All publicity for events will contain details of disability access provision.

3b.4 Where people with disabilities need to be accompanied, or need to purchase a more expensive seat as a result of their disability, concessions will be available and will be published on all promotional material.

4 – Training

All Board members, paid staff and volunteers will receive regular training in anti-discriminatory practices to raise awareness about valuing difference, avoiding direct or indirect discrimination, implementing a policy of active assistance to people with disabilities, and to ensure that all programming reflects the needs of our community.

5 – Monitoring

The Society’s Board members will have responsibility for implementing the Equal Opportunities Policy and will assess and review the effectiveness on an annual basis.

6 – Prevention

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will:

6.1 Ensure all staff have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy.

6.2 Design and undertake all its programmes and activities in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with its provision. This includes the way in which information about individuals in our programmes is gathered and communicated.

6.3 Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying staff and associated personnel.

6.4 Ensure staff receive training on safeguarding at a level commensurate with their role in the organization.

6.5 Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process.

7 – Staff Responsibilities

7a – Child Safeguarding

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society staff and associated personnel must not:

7a.1 Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18.

7a.2 Sexually abuse or exploit children.

7a.3 Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.

7a.4 Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children including child labour or trafficking.

7b – Adult Safeguarding

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society staff and associated personnel must not.

7b.1 Sexually abuse or exploit at risk adults.

7b.2 Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect.

7c – Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society staff and associated personnel must not:

7c.1 Exchange money, employment, goods or services for sexual activity. This includes any exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries of assistance.

7c.2 Engage in any sexual relationships with beneficiaries of assistance, since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics.

7d – Additionally, Bungay Arts and Theatre Society staff and associated personnel are obliged to:

7d.1 Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy.

7d.2 Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations by an Bungay Arts and Theatre Society staff member or associated personnel to the appropriate staff member.

8 – Enabling Reports

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to staff and the communities.

Any staff reporting concerns or complaints through formal whistleblowing channels (or if they request it) will be protected by Bungay Arts and Theatre Society’s Disclosure of Malpractice in the Workplace (Whistleblowing) Policy.

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.

9 – How to report a safeguarding concern

Staff members who have a complaint or concern relating to safeguarding should report it immediately to their line manager or trustee liaison person. If the staff member does not feel comfortable reporting to their line manager or trustee liaison person (for example if they feel the report will not be taken seriously, or if that person is implicated in the concern) they may report to any other appropriate member of the Management Board.

10 – Response

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations Policies.

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.

Bungay Arts and Theatre Society will offer support to survivors of harm caused by staff or associated personnel, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the complainant.

11 – Confidentiality

It is essential that confidentiality in maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.

12 – Glossary of Terms

Beneficiary of Assistance

This is someone who directly receives goods or services from Bungay Arts and Theatre Society. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that Bungay Arts and Theatre Society serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.


A person below the age of 18


Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights.

Psychological harm

Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation.

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)

The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13).


In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples’ health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

In the Fisher Theatre, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. A definition is as follows:

"Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur"

This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.

Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be complainant-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty.

Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.

Sexual Abuse

The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Sexual exploitation

The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition incudes human trafficking and modern slavery.


This is the person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘complainant’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.

At risk adult

Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult. A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Bungay Arts & Theatre Society T/A The Fisher Theatre – Version 1.0 – Dated 30th June 2021