Code of Conduct

Oxford Youth Choir Code of Conduct

The document provides a guide for adults working in Oxford Youth Choirs (“OYC”) about acceptable and desirable conduct to protect both adults and choir members. It refers to and complements other policies and guidance:

Child Protection Policy
Allegations Management Policy

All adults working in OYC should know the name of the Designated Child Protection Lead in the OYC, be familiar with local child protection arrangements and understand their responsibilities to safeguard and protect children and young people.

Basic Principles
The Child’s welfare is paramount (Children Act 1989)
All staff have a ‘duty of care’ to children.
Adults working in OYC are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead a reasonable person to question their motivation or intentions
Adults working in OYC must work and be seen to work in an open and transparent way.
Adults should discuss and/or take advice promptly from a senior member of staff about any incident which could give rise for concern. This would include reporting infatuations by a choir member for that or another member of staff, to ensure that such situations can be handled promptly and sensitively
A record should be kept of any such incident and of decisions made/further actions agreed.
Staff should apply the same professional standards regardless of gender or sexuality
Staff should be aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could result in criminal or disciplinary action being taken against them
Staff should be fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all choir members by taking all reasonable steps to protect them from physical, sexual or emotional abuse
All adults should conduct themselves in a way that reflects the values of the OYC and meets the expected high professional standards.
Our safer recruitment and selection procedures will be followed for all Appointments.

All staff, volunteers and visitors to OYC must:

Be familiar with and work in accordance with the policies at OYC including in particular child protection and allegations management.
Provide a good example and a positive role model to all children and young people.
Behave in a mature, respectful, safe, fair and considered manner.

For example:
Not making sarcastic remarks or ‘jokes’ to children and young people that are personal, sexual, racist, discriminatory, intimidating or otherwise offensive.
Not embarrassing or humiliating children or young people.
Not discriminating favourably or unfavourably towards any child or young person.
Treating all children equally – never building ‘special’ relationships or conferring favour on a particular child or young person.
Not giving or receiving (other than token) gifts unless arranged through the OYC.

Ensure that relationships with children or young people remain on a professional footing.
For example :
Only touching choir members for professional reasons when this is necessary and appropriate for the choir member’s wellbeing or safety.
Not behaving in a way that could lead a reasonable observer to question conduct, intentions or suitability to care for other people’s children.
Only making arrangements to contact, communicate or meet with choir members on a professional basis.
Not accepting facebook ‘friend requests’ or interacting on a personal basis on social media sites with  current choir members or ex-choir members who are under 18.
Not developing ‘personal’ or sexual relationships with choir members.

Particular attention is drawn to the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which creates a new criminal offence of abuse of a position of trust (when a person aged 18 or over is in a ‘position of trust’ with a person under 18 and engages in sexual activity with or in the presence of that child or causes or incites that child to engage in or watch sexual activity).