This code is provided for all those at Westminster Abbey (the Abbey Church, St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey Choir School) to follow when working and volunteering with children, young people and adults. The code represents the behaviours which constitute safe practice. As such it will assist those working with children and vulnerable adults to do so safely and responsibly, enabling each to monitor their own standards of integrity and good practice.

You should:

  • Treat all children, young people and adults with respect and dignity, keeping your own language, attitude and body language respectful
  • Actively communicate with children, young people and vulnerable adults and involve them in planning and running activities where possible
  • Avoid being alone with a child; there should always be a minimum of two properly recruited adults with each group of children
  • Develop a culture where staff (paid and voluntary), children and vulnerable adults feel comfortable to point out inappropriate attitudes and behaviour in each other
  • Make it plain who someone can speak to about a personal concern, and be proactive in addressing concerns and allegations
  • Never use illicit drugs, abuse prescription medication, or use alcohol when responsible for a child or vulnerable adult
  • Keep physical contact specific to the needs of the activity and always seek permission from the person first
  • Obtain consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown or displayed
  • Never use rough play, sexually provocative words and games or any forms of physical punishment
  • Never scapegoat, ridicule or reject a child, group or adult or allow others to do so
  • Avoid showing favouritism to any one child, adult or group or doing anything to reinforce their possible infatuations towards you
  • Never give lifts to children or young people on their own or on your own or allow unknown adults access to children
  • Never share sleeping accommodation with children or invite them to your home alone
  • Always operate within the Abbey’s principles, procedures and guidelines, clarifying these when unsure

This Code sets clear expectations of behaviour which serve to reduce the possibilities of positions of trust being abused or misused, or false accusations being made.

© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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