(Updated February 2023)


ELOC is committed to the wellbeing and care of our young members and all members must read our child protection policy and abide by its guidelines.

The aim of the society's Child Protection Policy is to ensure that all children (i.e. those under 16) and young people are provided with the appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of its members. It enables its members to make the appropriate response in relation to any child protection issue.

The society believes that:

  • The welfare of the child and the duty of care to children are paramount;
  • All children have the right to protection from abuse, and will be treated equally and with due respect and dignity;
  • Any suspicion or allegation in relation to abuse must be taken seriously and responded to quickly and appropriately;
  • All members and employees of the society must be clear on how to respond appropriately.

The society will ensure that:

  • It follows the correct chaperone procedures as stipulated by the Local Authority;
  • It will keep up to date with health and safety legislation and risk assessment;
  • It will keep up to date with any changes in legislation and policies dealing with the protection of children;
  • It will hold a register of every child involved with the society and will retain a contact name and number close at hand in case of emergencies;
  • It will recruit suitable chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children, including appropriate vetting as necessary in consultation with the Local Education Authority.

Furthermore the society will seek to ensure that:

  • Children are supervised at all times;
  • Bullying of any kind will neither be accepted nor condoned;
  • Positive and constructive feedback will be given to children during rehearsals;
  • Members refrain from any inappropriate verbal or physical behaviour;
  • All adult members will act as role models in dealing with other people.

The society details its child protection procedures within this policy.

Child Protection Officer

The society has a dedicated Child Protection Officer, who is in charge of ensuring that this child protection policy and the appropriate procedures are followed diligently. The name of that person is Charlie Hoddell and she can be contacted by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Her contact details are available to all members of the society. Any concerns or queries regarding child protection issues will be reported to her. In the event that she is unavailable, members of the society should contact the Surrey County Council:

  • Child Employment, Education and Welfare Manager on 01483 518464, 07971 664861
  • Child Employment Team on 01483 517838.

Code of Conduct

All members of the society (both paid and voluntary) must conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. This relates to the use of language, the treatment of people and the treatment of property.

Inappropriate behaviour is considered to include:

  • Physical, sexual and verbal abuse to others, and unacceptable language either towards or in the presence of a child or young person;
  • The drinking of alcohol, smoking of cigarettes or the taking of any illegal substance while engaged in any activity with children or young people.
  • Excessive or intrusive physical contact with children or young people, when this is not absolutely necessary in the context of the rehearsal or performance.
  • Actions that could cause damage to any building, furniture, equipment or personal belongings.
  • Ignoring or encouraging children or young people that are involved in any of the behaviour as outlined above is also unacceptable.

Disciplinary Procedure

The disciplinary procedure will be as follows:

  • A verbal warning will be issued, asking for the behaviour to cease;
  • If the behaviour continues, the person responsible will be asked to leave the premises immediately (if the offence is caused by a child or young person, a call will be made to their parent/guardian/carer requesting that the offender be collected). A record of the incident will be kept on file and a copy given to the offending person.
  • Should a serious allegation be made against any member of the society (or employee, chaperone or volunteer), that individual will be suspended with immediate effect until an investigation has been carried out. The individual will be excluded from the theatre, rehearsal venues, etc. and will not have any unsupervised contact with any other children in the production. A final decision on further action will be made by the Committee.


The society believes it is extremely important that there is a partnership between parents and the society. Parents/guardians are encouraged to become involved in the activities of the society and to share responsibility for the care of children. All parents/guardians will be given a copy of the society's Child Protection Policy.

All parents/guardians have the responsibility to collect (or arrange collection of) their children after rehearsals or performances. It is NOT the responsibility of the society to take children home. Should alternative arrangements for collection need to be made either from the rehearsal venue or place of performance, the society must be informed in writing by the parent/guardian. The society will seek to ensure that no child is left without appropriate arrangements.

Managing Photographs/Video Footage Involving Children

The society will endeavour to ensure that any photographs or video footage taken of children will have the permission of the participant and/or the parent/guardian/carer as appropriate. Should the society use any photographic or video footage for promotional purposes, including display in the public part of their website, written permission from parents/guardians will need to be obtained.

All members and employees of the society will be discouraged from uploading images containing children to any social networking site, e.g. Facebook.


  • Most of our children will use mobile phones and computers. They are a source of fun, entertainment, communication and education. However, we know that some men, women and young people will use these technologies to harm children. The harm might range from sending hurtful or abusive texts and emails, to enticing children to engage in sexually harmful conversations, webcam photography or face-to-face meetings.
  • The society is committed to keeping children safe by not communicating with children via their phone, but with their parents. Subsequently, children under the age of 16 are not permitted to join any ELOC email or whatsapp groups. This is for their own safety. 
  • Cyber-bullying by children, via texts and emails, will be treated as seriously as any other type of bullying.

Health, Safety, Accident and Injury

The society has two designated First Aiders and their names are detailed on the notice board that is available at every meeting.

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that the society is fully informed of any health issues or additional needs that their child may have and make known to the society any necessary emergency contact details that may be required.

In situations where the parent/guardian is not present, the society will ensure that the relevant health, accident and emergency contact forms for children are readily available.

Whistleblowing or Concerns regarding possible abuse

It is not the responsibility of the society or any employed facilitator to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, it is their responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure of abuse in the appropriate manner.

The society takes all complaints very seriously and assures all members, employees and volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone who in good faith reports a concern regarding abusive behaviour towards a child or young person. If any abuse is disclosed to any member of the society, he or she should listen carefully and share the details of the discussion in confidence with the Child Protection Officer accordingly. Where the Child Protection Officer is unavailable, contact should be made direct to the Surrey County Council:

  • Child Employment, Education and Welfare Manager on 01483 518464, 07971 664861
  • Child Employment Team on 01483 517838.

Concluding statement

It is the duty of every member of the society and any visitors to the group to uphold this policy and safeguard children and young people.

Copies of this policy will be made available to all members of the society.

This policy will be subject to annual review by the society's Committee.