Feis Dhún Geanainn is a voluntary organisation whose aim is to enable school age children to compete in cultural and traditional events, giving them opportunities to showcase their talents, meet children from other schools and learn more about their own culture through music, song, drama and poetry. Our annual feis is held around Easter.
This policy seeks to establish rules and guidelines to ensure that schoolchildren and vulnerable adults attending the feis, either as competitors or spectators, are well cared for, and protected from harm.
1. The welfare of the child/young person is paramount.
2. All children/young people are entitled to feel safe, secure and protected at all times.
3. All children/young people are entitled to equality of treatment regardless of perceived differences.
Roles and Responsibilities
Feis officers are volunteers who organise and steward events – it is not their role to be responsible for individual children or groups of children. However, where it is obvious that a child or children require support or care, a feis officer will provide this until the relevant carer is available. All feis officers will be vigilant, and if they suspect that a child is being, or in danger of being, harmed then they will intervene to prevent such harm. All efforts will be made to facilitate children with special needs, providing the officers are made aware in advance of the need to do so. Vulnerable adults, whose attendance is notified to feis officers, will be afforded the same protection as children.
Schools who enter children are responsible for the care of the children while they attend the feis. A school will normally have a teacher in attendance whose role it is to supervise and accept responsibility for their children. In some smaller schools a parent will, at times, accompany a number of children in the place of a teacher. In this instance that parent is deemed to have supervisory and caring responsibilities for the children s/he is accompanying.
Parents or guardians of children who attend evening events must ensure that there is a responsible adult who can accept responsibility for their children while at the feis. Where a parent/guardian has decided that a child is old enough to attend unsupervised they must accept responsibility for that decision. No parent/guardian should expect that feis officers can supervise their children at all times while they attend the feis.
Feis Rules related to Child Protection
• All children must be supervised by a parent/guardian/teacher during school events.
• Parents/guardians must accept supervisory responsibilities for children attending evening events – this responsibility may be delegated to a suitable adult.
• Competitors must sit in the designated seating.
• Children who are not competitors should be seated beside or close to the adults accompanying them.
• The only photographs that are permitted in the feis hall are those taken by press photographers. Parents or others may not use cameras, videos, camcorders etc even when their own children are on stage. Should a parent wish not to have their child included in press photographs they should notify the feis committee in writing prior to the commencement of the feis, indicating the child’s name and event/s entered. Addresses are in the syllabus.
• Where children need to change clothes toilet areas should be used, with children being supervised by adults during the process. It is strongly advised that children be dressed for performance on arrival at the hall.
This policy will be reviewed at each AGM.
DE Circulars 1999/10, 2006/6 and 2006/9. Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 Statutory Instruments (NI) 417 and 439