Coronavirus

Advice and Information

Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Who will be delivering the lessons and what training have they received?

All the lessons will be delivered by staff who work regularly for Dudley Performing Arts (DPA). We follow safer recruitment process for all new appointments and all staff regularly update safeguarding training as per Dudley policy. All staff have DBS checks every 3 years.  A specific briefing has been given in relation to online lessons.  There will be an explosion of people offering online lessons over the next few weeks from a completely unregulated sector as we are already seeing. Online lessons with DPA are delivered with a secure understanding of safeguarding issues and a process in place to manage concerns.

How will you communicate with parents and students?

To receive these lessons parents need to enrol specifically with DPA, regardless of the current level of engagement with us.  This way we can be sure that parents have seen the guidance and we can take them through GDPR.  Our teaching staff will liaise with parents via either @dudley.gov.uk or @dpa.dgfl.org email addresses and will never use any other form of communication. All communication will be direct with parents. In the event that a student’s email address needs to be used (e.g. It is the only way of connecting with a device) we insist that all communications are copied to the parent and the line manager of the member of staff.

Will parents be present during the lesson?

Yes. We are insisting that a parent/responsible adult is present (and visible) at the start and end of each lesson.  We are encouraging parents to stay in the room throughout the lesson and received positive feedback in regard to this during pilot sessions. Our staff are instructed to end the session if there is no sign of an adult.

What guidance has been given in regard to managing the setting?

We have given guidance to staff and parents. Our staff will be dressed ‘as if at work’ and will have Dudley ID on show. They will deliver the session from an area that does not show any items of personal interest in the background and will keep other family members away from the camera. We have advised parents to create a sensible space for the session and have stipulated that if the session has to take place in a bedroom that the parent must remain visible at all time

Will the lesson be recorded?

No.  We acknowledge that there are some advantages in terms of managing allegations from recording the lessons. The counter argument is with issues relating to the risks of storing videos of children and issues to do videos of our staff that are not intended for wider viewing. We therefore feel that the control measures we have put in place are a more appropriate alternative

What about general safer practice?

Our staff will conduct these lessons ‘as if they were in school’.  We regularly work 1 to 1 with children and are used to managing risks.  Our staff have been clearly instructed that if anything does not seem right, or that there is even a hint of inappropriate behaviour that the session should stop immediately and contact made with the head of Dudley Performing Arts. We have also reminded our staff of their responsibility for referring any safeguarding related concern they may pick up during these session.

What platform will you use?

We plan to use Teams, part of the office 365 suite wherever possible along with Zoom. At no point will lessons be delivered by messenger/whatsapp/facetime etc.

And if something goes wrong?

Staff have been very clearly briefed on their responsibility to log/report anything that happens that could in any way be considered a mistake in process.