Purpose and aim of the policy
Spotlight recognises that the protection of children is of paramount importance, and this Policy has been introduced for the protection and safeguarding of children who are using, or may use, Spotlight services.
Scope of the policy
This Policy applies to children and young performers who have an account or are applying for an account up to the age of 18, or who are attending a casting at our studios.
This Policy applies to individuals who may come into contact with, or work directly with, children and includes:
- All staff
- Individuals who are representing or working on behalf of Spotlight e.g. Freelancers
- Individuals working within Spotlight’s premises e.g. contactors and cleaners
- Individuals hiring our studios for the purpose of auditioning children e.g. casting directors, producers and directors
- Expectations of users of the Spotlight platform
This policy covers all activity related to Spotlight whether on our platform and/or premises, or anywhere we may host.
Spotlight does not undertake any activities that would be regarded as regulated activity as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006), however this Policy has been developed as part of Spotlight’s commitment to protecting and safeguarding children. Spotlight’s policy encompasses the following statements.
- We will champion the protection and safeguarding of children within Spotlight and across the industry through working with industry professionals and partners
- We will promote our Safeguarding Policy to parents, guardians and industry professionals who represent and work with children
- We will promote our Safeguarding Policy to all those who hire our studios
- We will give equal priority to keeping all children and young people safe regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation
- We will act upon any concerns reported and develop procedures to ensure that matters are handled appropriately and in accordance with legislation
- We will take appropriate action within our service powers in accordance with safeguarding investigations
- We will create a safe environment across our platform
- We will create safe spaces for children when they are in attendance at Spotlight events
- We will implement safe recruitment procedures
- We will ensure all Spotlight individuals as defined by the scope understand their responsibilities in safeguarding children
- We will assign Safeguarding responsibility to the most senior person within the company
Spotlight’s commitment to preventing children from harm
To support Spotlight’s aims in protecting children from potential harm, Spotlight commits to implementing best practices across our platform and within our other interactions with young performers. To enhance this approach, Spotlight has undertaken a risk assessment against the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Standard and attested its compliance with the Standard.
The best practices that Spotlight has implemented include:
- Terms and conditions presented in the application process explicitly state that no child under 18 can access a Spotlight account
- All young performer accounts of children (under 18) must be owned and maintained by a parent or legal guardian, and processes are in place to remove access if there is concern that this is not being met
- Parent or legal guardian contact details are a mandatory requirement in the application process
- Young performer accounts are restricted to ensure only their trained and vetted representatives can identify and apply for opportunities
- Mandated date of birth requirement during registration process
- Young performers can only apply to Spotlight using an invitation from a vetted Agency
- All Young Performers must continue to be represented by a vetted agent to maintain their Spotlight membership
- Comprehensive vetting of all Agencies who may represent young performers including requirements for having Safeguarding policies and understanding of child licensing requirements
- Comprehensive vetting of Casting Professionals
- Report concern facility within posted jobs and breakdowns
- Ensuring that staff who are working with children have undertaken appropriate checks including DBS certificates
- For any one to one session for Young Performers with Spotlight representatives, a parent/guardian or adult is required to be present, whether that be in person or online
- Robust data protection and confidentiality procedures that ensures no personal information is ever disclosed to non-authorised parties
- Images for headshots are reviewed to ensure appropriateness as well as quality
- Education within Spotlight of this Policy and procedures implemented to safeguard children
- Leading on education within the industry to develop awareness and understanding of professionals who may work with children
Expectations of Spotlight users
- Agents representing Young Performer clients and casting professionals hiring young talent are expected to know and understand current legislation and best practice guidelines for working with children and young people
- If casting or hiring Young Performers, including when holding auditions with children in our Rooms and Studios, casting professionals must understand their responsibilities regarding Safeguarding, DBS checks and what is required under current law
- Casting professionals, agents and parents/guardians should exercise thoughtful caution when sharing profiles or images of our Young Performer profiles. Profile links should only be shared for professional practice, for the purposes of representing a client or hiring the performer for a job
- Agents representing Young Performers should password protect their websites where client profile information is held
- When uploading media of Young Performers to the platform, parents/guardians and agents should ensure the media is professional and appropriate for the purposes of casting only
- We strongly recommend that Young Performers under the age of 16 should be accompanied by a parent/guardian if attending spaces for audition
- If an agent, parent/guardian or casting professional has any concern regarding a child’s circumstances, they are expected to report to the appropriate parties (see Reporting an Incident below) and if any concern arises regarding a casting posted on Spotlight, this should be reported to the Spotlight team asap at [email protected] or using the ‘report concern’ feature in the agents’ jobs feed.
Supporting the Policy
Spotlight has internal procedures in place to support this Policy, which provide Spotlight staff and representatives with direction on how to:
- Escalate a potential Safeguarding incident within Spotlight
- Report a potential Safeguarding incident to relevant authorities
- Report a potential Safeguarding incident to other Spotlight stakeholders
Spotlight’s Managing Director Matt Hood takes lead responsibility for safeguarding at the highest level of the organisation. Matt can be contacted at [email protected] if you have any questions about this Policy.
You can also contact the NSPCC Helpline for child protection support and advice, however, please consider referring to Spotlight’s Safeguarding Procedures before contacting.
- 0808 800 5000
- [email protected]
Our policy statement will be widely promoted on the Spotlight website and in relevant communications.
This policy will be reviewed at least annually or as required by changes in relevant legislation or guidance issued from NSPCC.
Reporting an Incident
- If there is an incident or concern you would like to raise (when unsure, err on the side of caution and do please get in touch with relevant parties).
* If you think a child is in immediate danger, contact the police on 999. If you're worried about a child but they are not in immediate danger, you should share your concerns.
- Contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing [email protected]. Our trained professionals will talk through your concerns with you and give you expert advice.
- Contact your local child protection services. Their contact details can be found on the website for the local authority the child lives in.
- Contact the police.
To report a concern or incident related to Spotlight: