This project was run by Reading Museum as a Happy Museum project (Paul Hamlyn Foundation). iMuse/iOpener was able to support it with a contribution to accessibility with captioning being added to the film by Ginger & Pickles Production Company, getting visitors’ views on Reading through the iOpener days in March 2015 and introducing visitors to the film in the RG spaces tent at the East Reading Festival, June 2015.
iMuse is helping the Museum of Reading and the Ure Museum of Greek Archeology show how Reading got such fantastic Greek pots with another mini app based on the one we did for the Cultural Olympiad 2013.
Here’s a short video demo-ing the webapp iMuse created from material produced by participants in the Ure Move project, Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading, 2014.
Some pot photographs are (c) Reading Borough Council (Museum of Reading)
It is with great pleasure that the curators and student panel of the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology invite you to attend the Grand Opening of Ure Move, an exciting project and exhibition we have developed with the charity Access-Ability Communication Technology (AACT) as part of Universities Week 2014.
We take this opportunity to celebrate the invaluable work of our University students and the pupils of 3 local schools (Addington School, Kendrick School and Maiden Erlegh School) who together created this original exhibition. The Grand Opening will include a private preview of the exhibition, which shows the Ure collection through new eyes. Guests will also have the opportunity to look around the collection, play with the interactive iPad application or have a go at making their own short stop motion animations. Activities should enthuse people of all ages and abilities.
Saturday 14th June starting at 4.30 pm.
Please RSVP at email@example.com.
Just come along during opening hours and ask to use an iPad – or you can go to the Library to see the material created by young people and use the iPad ‘wax tablet’- watch the animations and follow your guide, Sophie, Athena’s owl.
- What are we all here for anyway? – Part 2 What’s imuse trying to achieve? Part 1 is at http://www.aact.org.uk/imuse.php. Here’s some more thoughts. We picked up interesting ideas from Museum Computer Network conference, Atlanta, November 2011 especially from Nettrice’s workshop on Alternate Reality Games – ways of encouraging visitors and museum interaction. Some of those methods were used in the mini ARG ...
- Welcome to imuse imuse is a programme trying-out some low-cost ways that visitors can communicate with a museum and with each other using mobile phones and tablets like iPads. imuse is partnering with some medium-sized museums to see if the ideas work in practice.If they do we aim to help set up an advisory service so smaller museums can ...
- RSA Fellowship Catalyst Grant The RSA has given a grant of £1,500 from its Catalyst Fund to Fellow Annette Haworth.Annette is imuse’s voluntary Project Manager.She will put £900 of her grant towards the cost of engaging a museum learning professional who will help create material especially for people with communication and learning disabilities.£500 of the grant will be used ...
- More experiences with touch screens and QR codes We’ve found that some people can have difficulty making touchscreens work. There can also be problems with lining-up the camera on a smartphone or iPad with a QRcode. A previous blog, http://imusenews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/initial-experiences-with-touch-screens.html, described these problems. We have a bit more experience, from both visitors and volunteers/staff at our iMuse partner museum and from more elderly and partially-sighted ...
- Initial experiences with touch screens & QR codes We’ve tried a very simple ‘game’ in which an object had an A4-sized label attached looking like this. The child is asked to find one of the labels in the museum, a volunteer scans the QR code with an iPad 2 and the child is asked to ‘touch’ whichever object they think they are looking ...
- iMuse where have we got to? At the start of 2012, we adopted some ‘principles’ – a rather grand name for a list of things we were trying to do and how. It’s somewhat past time to have look back to see where we are and whether we’ve stuck to these or think they should be altered. Here we go,original wording in ...
- Creating an audio stop on the Ure Museum Olympic Trail
- Copyright as an accessibility issue This is a tentative post because there are complex issues surrounding copyright which iMuse would not claim to have grasped fully. BUT, looking back on what we’ve done over the last few months, and are currently planning in the three museums/galleries we’re working with at the moment, it seems we are being driven at least partly ...
NB This is an example of the type of agreement we may require with a consultant. Individual circumstances and AACT’s requirements may alter the format in particular instances.
THIS AGREEMENT FOR CONSULTANCY SERVICES (“Agreement”) is made on DATE BETWEEN:
(1) Access-Ability Communications Technology Limited (also known as “AACT” or “AACT for Children” or “AACT4Children”) [Company Number 5538092 and Registered Charity No. 1113302] whose registered address is 3 Wesley Gate, Queen’s Road, Reading, RG1 4AP (hereafter referred to as ‘the Client’).
(2) name whose principal place of business is address (hereafter referred to as ‘the Consultant’).
WHEREBY IT IS AGREED as follows:
1.1 The Consultant purports to have the know-how, qualifications and necessary ability to undertake the work required to be carried out in the assignment specified in Schedule 1 below (the “Assignment”).
1.2 The Consultant warrants that it is not disbarred in any way from working on the Assignment.
1.3 Subject to Clauses 1.1 and 1.2 above, the Client hereby engages the Consultant, and the Consultant hereby accepts such engagement, to carry out the Assignment and perform all services required in order to carry out the Assignment and produce the deliverables required from the Assignment.
Notwithstanding the date hereof, the Consultant shall commence work on date and shall continue thereafter after the assignment is discharged or until date, whichever comes sooner.
3. DUTIES OF THE CONSULTANT
3.1 The Consultant shall, while this Agreement is in force or until the satisfactory completion of the Assignment, devote such of his time, attention and abilities to the Assignment as may be necessary for the satisfactory completion thereof as the same shall be determined by the Client and as set out in Schedule 1 below.
3.2 The Consultant agrees to advise and assist the Client as required in accordance with clause 3.1 above with respect to all aspects of the Assignment and in the performance of such duties the Consultant shall comply with all reasonable requests and directions of the Client or its customer or nominee including, but not limited to:
3.2.1 Complying with all local or internal policies and regulations operated by or affecting the Client or its customer or nominee as the case may be provided the Consultant has been appraised of them.
4.1 In consideration of the services rendered by the Consultant hereunder, the Client shall pay to the Consultant fees as set out in Schedule 2 and in accordance with the provisions of Clause 5 below. No fee is chargeable for absence due to illness, voluntary leave or statutory, public or local holidays.
4.2 The Consultant is responsible for accounting to the Inland Revenue and all other Authorities for all taxes, National Insurance contributions, other insurance, and any other liabilities, charges and dues for which the Consultant is liable.
Fees are payable within 30 days of receipt of correct and due invoices, which should be sent to:
Access-Ability Communications Technology
c/o Uttley Room BG05, Institute of Education, Bulmershe Court
University of Reading,
Berkshire RG6 1HY
The copyright in any report, documentation or information on whatever media, prepared by the Consultant pursuant to this Agreement shall be the property of the Client notwithstanding termination hereof unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing by the Client. Copyright for the Consultant’s standard templates, formats and presentation styles remains with the Consultant.
7. WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS
7.1 The Consultant warrants and represents that:
7.1.1 The Consultant has full capacity and authority and all necessary licences, permits and consents to enter into and to perform this Agreement and to provide the Assignment;
7.1.2 This Agreement is executed by a duly authorised representative of the Consultant;
7.1.3 The provision of the Assignment and the Client’s use thereof shall not, to the best of the Consultant’s knowledge and belief, infringe any Intellectual Property Rights of any third party;
7.1.4 The Assignment shall be supplied and rendered by appropriately experienced, qualified and trained personnel with all due skill, care and diligence and in a professional and workmanlike manner.
7.1.5 The Consultant shall discharge its obligations hereunder with all due skill, care and diligence including but not limited to good industry practice and in accordance with its own established internal procedures;
7.1.6 The Consultant shall in the performance of the Assignment and in all matters arising in the performance of this Agreement conform with all Acts of Parliament and with all orders, regulations and bye-laws made with statutory authority by Government Departments or by local or other authorities that shall be applicable to this Agreement and shall comply with any Codes of Practice to which the Client complies and which relate to the provision of the Assignment; provided that the Consultant has been appraised of them.
7.2 Except as expressly stated in this Agreement, all warranties and conditions, whether express or implied by statute, common law or otherwise (including but not limited to fitness for purpose) are hereby excluded to the extent permitted by law.
8. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND INSURANCE
8.1 Neither party excludes or limits liability to the other party for death or personal injury and the Consultant shall indemnify and keep the Client indemnified against death or personal injury to any persons or loss of or damage to any property which may arise out of any Default or any other act, default or negligence of the Consultant, their employees or agents and against all claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs, charges and expenses whatsoever in respect thereof or in relation thereto.
8.2 Subject always to Clause 8.1, the liability of either party for Defaults shall be as set out in this Clause 8.2.
8.2.1 Without prejudice to the generality of Clause 8.1, in no event shall either party be liable to the other for:
18.104.22.168 Loss of profits, business, revenue, goodwill or anticipated savings; and/or
22.214.171.124 Indirect or consequential loss or damage.
8.2.2 The provisions of Clause 8.2 shall not be taken as limiting the right of the Client to claim from the Consultant in the event of Default for loss of data and notwithstanding Clause 8.2.2, where the Client terminates this Agreement pursuant to Clause 11, the Client shall be entitled to recover from the Consultant, in addition to any other damages it is entitled to recover, the cost of obtaining the reasonable and proper cost for specialist accountancy services from a third party.
8.3 The parties expressly agree that should any limitation or provision contained in this Clause 8 be held to be invalid under any applicable statute or rule of law it shall to that extent be deemed omitted but if any party thereby becomes liable for loss or damage which would otherwise have been excluded such liability shall be subject to the other limitations and provisions set out herein.
8.4 Without limiting the Consultant’s responsibilities under Clause 8.1 above, the Consultant shall insure with a reputable insurance company against loss of and damage to property and injury to persons (including death) arising out of or in consequence of its obligations under this Agreement where negligence is proven and against all actions, claims, demands, costs and expenses in respect thereof.
9. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS INDEMNITY
9.1 The Consultant shall fully indemnify the Client against all claims, demands, actions, costs, expenses (including but not limited to full legal costs and disbursements on a solicitor and client basis), losses and damages suffered by the Client arising from or incurred by reason of any infringement or alleged infringement (including but not limited to the defence of such alleged infringement) in the United Kingdom of any Intellectual Property Right in connection with the Assignment.
The Consultant shall not, other than with the prior written consent of the Client, during or after the termination, determination or expiry of this Agreement disclose directly or indirectly to any person, firm, company or third party and shall only use for the purposes of this Agreement, any information relating to the Assignment, the Client, its business, trade secrets, customers, suppliers or any other information of whatever nature which the Client or its customer or nominee may deem to be confidential and which the Consultant has or shall hereafter become possessed of.
The foregoing provisions shall not prevent the disclosure or use by the Consultant of any information, which is or hereafter, through no fault of the Consultant, become public knowledge or to the extent permitted by law.
If the Consultant shall be guilty of any serious misconduct or any serious breach or non-observance of any of the conditions of this Agreement or shall neglect or fail or refuse to carry out the duties assigned to him hereunder, the Client shall be entitled to give notice to the Consultant to remedy the breach within seven days and if the Consultant fails to remedy then summarily to terminate his engagement hereunder without notice and without any payment in lieu of notice and without prejudice to any rights or claims the Client may have against the Consultant arising out of such default.
12.1 The Client may terminate this Agreement immediately by notice in writing if the Consultant shall:
12.1.1 suffer or threaten any form of insolvency administration; or
12.1.2 cease or threaten to cease to carry on business; or
12.1.3 be in breach of any of the terms of this Agreement which, in the case of a breach capable of remedy, is not remedied by the Consultant within seven days of receipt by the Consultant of notice from the Client specifying the breach and requiring its remedy; or
12.1.4 be guilty of any serious misconduct and/or any serious or persistent negligence in respect to its obligations under this Agreement.
12.2 Upon the termination of this Agreement or the Consultant’s engagement whichever shall be the earlier, the Consultant or his personal representative as the case may be, shall immediately deliver up to the Client all correspondence, reports, documents, specifications, papers, information (on whatever media) and property belonging to the Client which may be in his possession or under his control.
13. DATA PROTECTION
The Consultant shall at all times comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.
14. WORKING WITH CHILDREN
The Consultant shall ensure that he complies with all legislation with regard to working with children, should that be necessary in order to discharge the duties of the Assignment.
The Consultant shall not transfer or assign the whole or any part of this Agreement without the prior written consent of the Client.
16. HEADINGS AND EXPRESSIONS
The headings contained herein are for convenience of reference only and shall not affect the construction hereof. The expressions “client” “consultant” “him” “its” or such other expressions as appear herein shall be deemed to include the masculine, feminine single or plural thereof where the context so admits.
In the event that any of the terms contained herein are determined by any competent authority to be invalid or unenforceable to any extent, such term shall to that extent be severed from the body of this Agreement which shall continue to be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by the Law.
This Agreement shall take effect in substitution for all previous agreements and arrangements whether written or oral or implied between the Client and the Consultant relating to the services of the Consultant and all such agreements and arrangements shall be deemed to have been terminated by mutual consent with effect from the date hereof.
19. STATUS OF CONSULTANT ON TERMINATION, DETERMINATION OR EXPIRY
As a consequence of the termination, determination or expiry of this Agreement by effluxion of time, the Consultant shall not be entitled to the payment of any compensation or otherwise upon the occurrence of the same.
The parties hereby agree that this Agreement and the provisions hereof shall be construed in accordance with the Laws of England and the parties hereby agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court of England.
SIGNED for and on behalf of the CLIENT by )
SIGNED by the CONSULTANT )
SCHEDULE 1 – “The Assignment”
The Consultant shall:
List of work to be undertaken
SCHEDULE 2 – “The Fee”
The Consultant’s Fee shall be paid as follows:
Description of fee agreement
This version was agreed by the Board at its Winter 2010-11 meeting
The next review is due on or before Winter 2013-14
This document summarises the main duties and responsibilities of trustee-directors.
Trustee-directors serve on the Board of AACT and together form its governing body. Trustee-directors have, and must accept, ultimate and legal responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and meeting the needs for which it has been set up. As AACT is also a Company Limited by Guarantee, the trustee-directors also serve as directors of the Company and must also ensure that the charity pursues its objectives and purposes as set out in its Memorandum of Association.
3. The Board and attendance at meetings
The Board of trustee-directors takes decisions collectively and meets as often as it must to in order to carry out its responsibilities. Typically that is four times each year and trustee-directors are, save for exceptional circumstances, expected to attend. Unless otherwise authorised by the Board, three trustee-directors are required for the Board to be quorate and decisions to be made.
4. Appointment and term of office
Save for people who are ineligible, the Board considers nominations for trustee-directors, which must be received in writing. Trustee-directors are elected to the Board. In accordance with Articles 24 and 25(1), one third of Trustee-directors must resign each year at the annual general meeting. Directors shall retire by rotation based on those who have held office longest since their last appointment. Trustee-directors may stand for re-election.
5. Remuneration, expenses and donations
Trustee-directors will not be paid any remuneration unless explicitly authorised by the Board and in accordance with Section 5(5) of the Memorandum of Association.
- i. Ensure that the charity complies with charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission as regulator; in particular ensure that the charity prepares reports on what it has achieved and Annual Returns and accounts as required by law.
- ii. Ensure that the charity does not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in its governing document and that it remains true to the charitable purpose and objects set out there.
- iii. Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators (if any) which govern the activities of the charity.
- iv. Act with integrity, and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.
7. Duty of prudence
- i. Ensure that the charity is and will remain solvent.
- ii. Use charitable funds and assets reasonably, and only in furtherance of the charity’s objects.
- iii. Avoid undertaking activities that might place the charity’s endowment, funds, assets or reputation at undue risk.
- iv. Take special care when investing the funds of the charity, or borrowing funds for the charity to use.
8. Duty of care
- i. Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.
- ii. Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.
9. Resignation and Removal of trustee-directors
Trustee-directors may resign at any time, provided that:
- i. notice is given to the Board in writing at least 90 days prior to the resignation taking effect;
- ii. at least two trustee-directors remain in office when the notice of resignation takes effect.
Trustee-directors will be removed from office if he or she:
- iii. ceases to be a director by virtue of any provision in the Companies Act or is prohibited by law from being a director;
- iv. is disqualified from being a trustee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act;
- v. ceases to be a member of the Charity;
- vi. becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing his or her own affairs;
- vii. is not reelected as a trustee-director by the Board at an annual general meeting;
- is absent, without permission of the Board, for all meetings held within a period of six consecutive months and the trustee-directors resolve that his or her office be vacated.
 CC3 – The Essential Trustee: What you need to know – see http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Publications/cc3.aspx
 National Council for Voluntary Organisations; see http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/advice-support/trustee-governance/trustees/responsibilities-duties
 See also Paragraph 9viii.
 This is a requirement as set out in the Articles of Association, section 9(2).
 Trustee-directors must be over 18 years old and not having been disqualified as company directors, and/or been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or deception. In some cases, people beneficiaries may also be ineligible.
 Articles of Association, Section 31(6)
This version agreed by the Board Spring 2010
Next review due 2013
AACT aims to provide a website that is accessible to everyone. We design the site with usability and accessibility in mind.
If you have any problems accessing any information on the site please contact us.
Adjusting text size
All font sizes are relative, with the exception of graphical text, and text size can be increased or decreased by following these steps:
- For Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to the ‘View’ menu, select ‘Text Size’ and then the option that suits you.
- For Mozilla Firefox, go to the ‘View’, select ‘Text Size’ and then either ‘Increase’ or ‘Decrease’ until the text is the size you require.
- For Apple Safari: Use the Safari > Preferences > Appearance options in the browser menu.
All images have descriptive alternative text, with the exception of images that are used for aesthetic reasons only. Those images have null ALT text.
Colours have been chosen to give good contrast and to aid accessibility by colour-blind users.
This website is built using code compliant with W3C standards for XHTML 1.0 Strict and Cascading Style Sheets. You can check each of our pages for conformance by clicking the W3C buttons at the bottom of the particular page. If you find we have made a mistake please let us know by contacting us.
[There is one exception to adherence to XHTML Strict standards – we use the target attribute to allow some external webpages to open in a new window. Practical trials showed that this seems to be the lesser of two evils in trying to create an environment which is not muddling for users.]
We use PDF format for some information on our site. You will need Adobe reader (or another PDF viewer) to view PDF documents. Download the more recent version of Adobe reader here.
Testing for compliance
Testing for compliance with WAIG standards is not an exact science and we do not currently have the confidence to declare conformance to a specific level. We do test our website for accessibility using various utilities (such as Wave3.0 and those indicating colour contrast) as listed by W3C. We try it out on as many browsers and platforms as seems practical. From time to time we ask users with various accessibility needs to try the site for us.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
The following have useful advice and information about web accessibility.
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- RNIB web access centre
- Disability Rights Commission
- BBC My Web My Way
Our thanks to the UK Government’s Companies House and Oxfam websites which inspired us to include this accessibility statement following their examples.
Safeguarding and child protection policy
AACT acknowledges it has a responsibility for the safety of children. It also recognises that good safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with AACT’s work, as they can help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.
AACT is committed to practices which protect children from harm. The people covered by the policy include not only any employees but also those contracted to do work for the charity and those standing in a voluntary capacity. All those who have unsupervised access to or contact with children (both in person or remotely through electronic media) are required to:
• recognise and accept their responsibilities
• develop awareness of the issues which can cause children harm
• report concerns following the procedure below.
AACT will endeavour to safeguard children by:
- adopting safeguarding and child protection procedures and a code of practice for all who work on behalf of the organisation
- reporting concerns to the authorities
- following carefully procedures for recruitment and selection of employees, contractors and volunteers.
AACT acknowledges the help it has received from the several other charities who, through their websites, have provided us with education and material to use in our policy, in particular the AMRSB.
It is AACT’s policy that:
1. All those working on behalf of AACT accept responsibility for the welfare of children who come into contact with AACT in connection with its tasks and functions, and that they will report any concerns about a child or somebody else’s behaviour, using the procedures laid down.
2. There is a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) within AACT who will take action following any expression of concern and the lines of responsibility in respect of child protection are clear. They may be contacted through the telephone numbers given on the website or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The DSP knows how to make appropriate referrals to statutory child protection agencies.
4. All those who are involved with children on behalf of AACT should adhere to the Code of Practice in relation to children.
5. Information relating to any allegation or disclosure will be clearly recorded as soon as possible, and there is a procedure setting out who should record information and the time-scales for passing it on.
6. The Children Act 1989 states that the “welfare of the child is paramount”. This means that considerations of confidentiality which might apply to other situations should not be allowed to over-ride the right of children to be protected from harm. However, every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned when an allegation has been made and is being investigated, see appendix C.
7. AACT’s policy on duty of care to children will be referred to or included in recruitment, training, moderation and policy materials where appropriate, and the policies are openly and widely available to everyone and actively promoted within the organisation.
8. A culture of mutual respect between children and those who represent AACT in all its activities will be encouraged, with adults modelling good practice in this context.
9. All volunteers and anyone in paid or unpaid work on behalf of AACT with unsupervised access to children will be vetted appropriately.
10. It is part of AACT’s acceptance of its responsibility of duty of care towards children that anybody who encounters child protection concerns in the context of their work on behalf of AACT will be supported when they report their concerns in good faith.
Code of Practice
AACT expects that all those in paid or unpaid work on its behalf will be aware of this Code of Practice and adhere to its principles in their approach to all children.
1. It is important not to have physical contact with children and this should be avoided.
2. It is not good practice to take children alone in a car on journeys, however short.
3. Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted.
4. It is important not to deter children from making a ‘disclosure’ of abuse through fear of not being believed, and to listen to what they have to say. Guidance on handling a disclosure is set out in Appendix C. If this gives rise to a child protection concern it is important to follow AACT’s procedure for reporting such concerns, and not to attempt to investigate the concern yourself.
5. Remember that those who abuse children can be of any age (even other children), gender, ethnic background etc, and it is important not to allow personal preconceptions about people to prevent appropriate action taking place.
6. Good practice includes valuing and respecting children as individuals, and the adult modelling of appropriate conduct – which will always exclude bullying, shouting, racism, sectarianism or sexism.
Designated safeguarding person
AACT has appointed a Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) who is responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children. Contact details are available on the www.aact.org.uk website. The role of the DSP is to
1. Know which outside child protection agency to contact in the event of a child protection concern coming to the notice of AACT.
2. Provide information and advice on child protection within AACT.
3. Ensure that appropriate information is available at the time of referral and that the referral is confirmed in writing under confidential cover.
4. Liaise with local children’s social care services and other agencies, as appropriate.
5. Keep relevant people within AACT informed about any action taken and any further action required; for example, disciplinary action against a member.
6. Ensure that a proper record is kept of any referral and action taken, and that this is kept safely and in confidence.
7. Advise AACT of safeguarding and child protection training needs.
Procedure for reporting concerns
People could have their suspicion or concern raised in a number of ways, the most likely of which are:
- the conduct of a member of AACT or someone working, volunteering or contracting for AACT
- a child “disclosing” abuse
- bruising or evidence of physical hurt
- unusual behaviour by a child.
If someone has such concerns they should be reported to the DSP.
Concerns about a specific child should be reported immediately by telephone to the DSP and confirmed in writing within 24 hours. Delay could prejudice the welfare of a child.
If the concerns relate to the conduct of a member of AACT these should be reported by phone to the DSP immediately. Steps will be taken to fully support anyone who in good faith reports his or her concerns about a colleague and every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality for all parties whilst the allegation is considered.
The DSP will consider the report and either refer this immediately to the authorities or, after taking appropriate advice (which may include discussing the circumstances on a confidential basis with the NSPCC), decide not to refer the concerns to the authorities but keep a full record of the concerns.
Note for volunteers and contractors
AACT is a small charity, currently with no premises or staff of its own. All our work is done in partnership with other organizations and our contact with beneficiaries and the public will occur on others’ premises and normally under the supervision of a member of the partner organization. In these cases it is important that you follow any safeguarding policies in place at the host organization, for example reporting any concerns to their designated person. If this is impossible in practice, then AACT’s Designated Safeguarding Person should be contacted.
AACT also tends not to have long-term persistent contact with the same individuals. It is quite possible therefore that you will not ‘officially’ know that someone you are talking with is classified as a vulnerable adult. If you have any concerns about the safety of an individual you should report them as outlined below, whether or not you are certain of their ‘official’ vulnerable status, leaving it to professionals in the field to decide on further action.
Definitions of abuse
1. Physical Abuse
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. It may be the result of a deliberate act, but could also be caused through the omission or failure to act to protect.
2. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve making a child feel or believe that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. Some level o emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
3. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of, or consents to, what is happening. It may involve physical contact, including rape or oral sex, or non penetrative acts such as fondling. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by males and/or females, and by other young people. It also includes non-contact activities such as involving children in watching or taking part in the making of pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. It may involve failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or failing to ensure that a child gets appropriate medical care or treatment.
Recruitment and selection procedures
AACT has adopted appropriate recruitment and selection procedures for volunteers and consultants in the context of safeguarding and child protection and these include the following:
1. A clear definition of any role so that the most suitable appointee can be identified.
2. Identification of key selection criteria.
3. Confirmation of the identity of the applicant.
4. Requirement to declare previous convictions and obtain CRB disclosure for those candidates whose work will bring them into contact with children or who will have a management responsibility in relation to those whose work does bring them into such contact.
5. A clear guarantee that disclosed information will be treated in confidence and not used against applicants unfairly, including adherence to the Criminal Records Bureau code of practice.
6. Use of several selection techniques to maximise the chance of safe recruitment, eg interview, references, checks.
7. At least one representative from AACT meeting personally with every applicant, and an exploration of their attitudes towards working with children.
Responding appropriately to a child making an allegation of abuse
1. Stay calm.
2. Listen carefully to what is said.
3. Find an appropriate early opportunity to explain that it is likely that the information will need to be shared with others – do not promise to keep secrets.
4. Tell the child that the matter will only be disclosed to those who need to know about it.
5. Allow the child to continue at her/his own pace.
6. Ask questions for clarification only, and at all times avoid asking questions that suggest a particular answer.
7. Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you.
8. Tell them what you will do next, and with whom the information will be shared.
9. As soon as possible, record in writing what was said/communicated, using the child’s own words. Note the date, time, any names mentioned and to whom the information was given and ensure that the record is signed and dated.
10. It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. That is a task for the professional child protection agencies, following a referral from the Designated Safeguarding Person in the organisation.