CHILD PROTECTION POLICY 2018

IC Academy of Dance & Arts holds child protection and wellness as a number one priority. Our policy holds the rights of our students and withholds them from experiencing any harm including mental, emotional, physical or sexual abuse and injury by our staff, volunteers, fellow students and/or parents. Safety of our students is held high before, during and after scheduled classes.

1.    IC Academy of Dance & Arts has a zero tolerance to bullying. We arecommitted to providing an environment free from all forms of discrimination andabuse. We do not tolerate any formof verbal, physical or visual abuse and other behaviour where the purpose of effect, even if unintended, is to create an offensive, hostile or intimidating environment. Students not complying with this policy will be dismissed from the Academy. 

 2.    For the safety of our students and protection of our staff, no instructor or staff member is to transport any student to and from places without that parent or caregiver’s written consent given to the director, Eugenia Machado.

3.    All photographs and video recordings will not be used in any inappropriate manner. Photographs and video recordings can be used to promotional features, if a parent or caregiver has signed off to this in the initial enrolment. No student is to photograph or video record fellow students, instructors or parents without consent given by the other party.

4.    All dance styles, music and dance steps must be cleared by the director to ensure there is no derogatory, offensive or indecent displays that may influence a child negatively or may raise questions to parents or caregivers.

5.    All instructors are clear and understand of our child protection policy.

6.    All parents or caregivers must be aware of and understand our child protection policy.

7.    All students attending IC Academy of Dance & Arts under the age of 18 must have a parent or caregiver sign the enrolment form to give consent to the child’s involvement in the dance school.

8.    One or more staff at IC Academy must have a valid first aid certificate and a first aid kit must be accessible to all staff at any given time.

9.    Any bullying or harassment incidents must be reported as soon as possible to the director - a written report will be required by all parties involved.

10.  If there is a different arrangement for the collection of a child, the instructor or director must be notified on who will be collecting the child and provide a pick up time. If the collection of the child is late, the child must wait inside with either an instructor or director.

11.  IC Academy aims at providing students with appropriate costumes that do not create an uncomfortable feeling for the audience or students and suit the age group. IC Academy aims to provide costumes that suit all body types to allow our students to feel as comfortable as possible. 

 Touch

As dance instructors, touch is an important tool in correcting the bodies of our students to practice safe dance. At IC Academy our instructors rely on touch to ensure our students have the correct alignment to be able to execute a skill properly and safely. All our instructors are trained in their field and know how and when to correct a child. When a child needs immediate correction, our instructors have been trained to ask the child before using touch to ensure that child is comfortable with this method. When a child is not comfortable with teachers being hands-on, they will try their best to verbally explain or physically demonstrate what their correction is. 

Uniform is compulsory for all students of the academy. The IC Academy uniforms have been specially made to fit the bodies of our students so our instructors are able to clearly see how their body moves. If a student is not in uniform, the instructor may not be able to see their alignment and may not be able to correct their body movements. 

Physical Environment

Instructors are trained to ensure the dance space is clear of any hazards, such as water spillage on the floor, uneven floorboards, electrical wired clear from students and providing a clean space for the students. Any issues with the physical space on any given day are to be reported to the director Eugenia Machado, where further action will be taken if needed. 

Our students are to wear the correct and appropriate footwear for the class e.g. Jazz shoes for Jazz, Cheerleading, Troupes, Hip Hop - Ballet slippers for Ballet - Tap shoes for Tap - or Foot undies for Contemporary and Acrobatics. Students are to not wear only socks for dance practice. If a student does not have the correct shoes for the class, we allow sneakers or barefoot as a temporary replacement. 

Safety

IC Academy of Dance & Arts holds student safety as its first priority. It is our duty of care to provide our students with a safe dance space and provide trust for their parents or caregivers that they will be well taken care of. 

All children under the age of 14 must have a parent or caregiver over the age of 21 to drop them off and pick them up at the front door of our studio. If there is no adult to pick them up at the end of the class, the child is advised to wait inside until an adult is present. 

At IC Academy many students do more than one class a night. When there is a break in between their classes, those specific students are asked to stay inside the studio or sit quietly in our private lesson room while the next class is in progress. Under no circumstances are students to leave the studio in their break without the presence of a parent or caregiver. 

Mobile phones are to be turned to silent during class time and are not accessible until the scheduled class has ended. Video recording or photography taken of other students, instructors or parents is not tolerated without their consent. If a child is seen on their mobile phones, our instructors have been trained to politely ask the student to put it away. Mobiles phones are strictly for emergency purposes. 

Reporting

All incident reports including the physical environment, bullying or abuse are to be reported by the instructor to the director and a written report is necessary in this process. 

Any risks that are reported regarding the physical state of the dance space will be dealt with through the director and will be immediately taken care of. 

Any reports of harassment or bullying within the dance class are taken very seriously and all parties involved will be examined to determine the issue. Abuse or bullying incidents are dealt with as quickly and quietly as possible, ensuring that all students safety is protected at all times. 

Safe Dance

At IC Academy we practice safe dance in all our classes to prevent injuries to our students and/or instructors. Below are our fundamentals of safe dance that coincides with emotional, physical and environmental aspects.

 Promoting physical wellbeing:

 -      Instructors are to give students adequate water breaks during class time to ensure the students are properly hydrated. 

-      Provide students with role models in the dance industry relating to body image and determination

-      Acceptance of all body types, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, skin colour etc

 Promote emotional wellbeing

 -      Create a connection and trust between student and instructor and parent and instructor

-      Promote on self-esteem and confidence of all students

-      Work on improving their strengths as well as accept their limitations

-      Be sympathetic to external stresses that may be influencing their dance training, e.g. school work and/or family issues

 Use of anatomy knowledge:

-      Introduce anatomical references when correcting students alignment and positioning so the student understands why and how

-      Promote the importance to correctly warm up and cool down the body after vigorous gross motor movement to prevent muscle imbalance, injury, burnout and muscle fatigue

-      Instructors to demonstrate correct and safe body movements so students can mimic the body

-      Monitor the students fitness and their progress throughout the year

 Physical Variables:

-      Recognise issues that may come with age, gender, physical development and skill level and match technique exercises and movement to these factors

Injury prevention and management:

-      Ensure students are in uniform to be able to clearly see their positioning and alignment needs correcting

-      Clear the dance space of any hazards such as a clean up any dirty or wet floors, move chairs and bags to one side of the room to avoid trips and create a bigger dance space

-      Introduce the initiative for students to be aware of their physical space and any risks that can happen to themselves and other dance students

-      Create exercises that build on one another such as plies to jumps and leaps, tendues to kicks, demi pointe to pointe and turns

-      Create a goal for individual students and the class to work up towards

Definitions

Abuse – Mental, emotional, physical or sexual harassment and mistreatment (Merriam-Webster, 2018)

Safety – The condition of feeling safe and protected from hurt, injury or loss (Merriam-Webster, 2018)

Bullying – Unwanted, aggressive behaviour mainly among children that evolves from a real or perceived power imbalance (Stopbullying.gov, 2017)

Discrimination – The unfair treatment to people on the ground of race, age or sex (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Consent – Permission to do something or to let something happen (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Derogatory – To lessen the reputation of a person or thing (Dictionary.com, 2018)

Valid – Legally or officially acceptable (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Parties – A group of people with a common purpose and/or opinion who support one side of a dispute, question or debate (Dictionary.com, 2018)

Alignment – The relationship of the skeleton to the base of support and line of gravity (Contemporary-dance.org, 2018)

Compulsory – Mandatory or obligated (Merriam-Webster, 2018)

Hazards – Something that can be dangerous to ones self, health or safety (Collins, 2018)

Temporary – Lasting for a limited time; not permanent (Merriam-Webster, 2018)

Duty of Care – A legal duty to take reasonable care not to cause harm to another individual (Slater & Gordon, 2018)

Risk – Exposure to the chance of injury or loss (Dictionary.com, 2018)

Safe Dance – Knowledge of safe dance practices and principles, environmental, physical and psychological factors to prevent injury and promote wellbeing (4dancers.org, 2018)