ACM Safeguarding ACM Safeguarding Team

This page includes:

  • Who are the ACM Safeguarding Team?
  • What is Safeguarding?
  • What should I do if I am concerned about mine or another persons welfare or wellbeing?
  • How does ACM Safeguard our students?
  • What constitutes a concern?
  • What constitutes abuse?
  • Types of Abuse and Neglect
  • Six key Safeguarding principles
  • Internet and Mobile Phone Safety
  • Dealing with Bullying & Harassment
  • Looking after yourself - Online Mental Health Support
  • Helpful Sources of Support and Information

The Academy of Contemporary Music recognises our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all that are associated with ACM.

Safeguarding is a priority at ACM and promoting the wellbeing and welfare of our community is at the heart of everything that we do.

We will endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where students, staff and visitors are respected and valued.

We will be alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and will follow our procedures to ensure that everyone receives effective support and protection from harm.

Who are the ACM Safeguarding Team?

What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding is a term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland to denote measures to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow everyone to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.

What should I do if I am concerned about mine or another persons welfare or wellbeing?

Simply refer your concern to a member of ACM Safeguarding Team.

You can get in contact with a member of the ACM Safeguarding team via:

  • Your ACM Student Support Hub: Pop to one of our student hubs and ask them to contact a member of the safeguarding team for you
  • Calling: 01483 910197
  • Emailing: dsl@acm.ac.uk
  • Accessing the Disclosure Link:

A member of the ACM Safeguarding Team will contact you as soon as possible and ask you to explain your concerns in as much detail as possible.

Information that is helpful when communicating a concern:

  • Person or persons details the concern is about
  • Location of concern
  • Date & Time of Concern
  • Contributing factors to the concern
  • Your relationship with the person or persons this concern is about
  • Other witnesses or people aware of the concern
  • Previous history that may impact the process the Safeguarding Team will be taking


We take confidentiality very seriously at ACM

Any information you provide to us with regards to safeguarding or wellbeing will be treated as confidential.

Information will be shared with external parties should there be significant concerns regarding you or someone else being at risk of harm.

Safeguarding and wellbeing concerns are managed with the highest levels of sensitivity and professionalism.

Therefore where information needs to be shared, it will be done so to support you and on a need to know basis, in accordance with relevant guidance and legislation by the Safeguarding Team.

How do we Safeguard our students?

There are many ways to safeguard our students at ACM, but here are some of the most common forms:

  • Reviewing safeguarding policies, processes, procedures and training to ensure they’re effectiveness throughout all campuses
  • Regular staff training and Continued Professional Development sessions
  • Information sharing of all new policies and best practises with all staff
  • Where required forwarding any concerns onto local authorities for advice and support
  • Carrying out review of safeguarding concerns and writing reports into the findings
  • Proactively taking action in many areas to best support vulnerable people
  • Recognising, reporting and responding to all concerns relating to safeguarding
  • Following up on any measures put in place to ensure they’re working
ACM Safeguarding Team

What constitutes a Safeguarding Concern?

A safeguarding concern is when you are worried about the safety or well-being of a child or adult because of something seen, heard or observed, it can also be information which has been disclosed to you.

Safeguarding concerns can relate to anyone, for example:

  • A student
  • A visitor
  • A Member of Staff

What constitutes abuse?

In order to fully understand safeguarding and the role it plays, it is important to know what constitutes abuse.

It can be verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, financial or even neglect and can lead to the victim being hurt, upset, frightened or manipulated into doing something they know is wrong or do not want to do.

It is important to be aware that the person subjected to the abuse may find it hard to report the matter or see that they are victims of abuse.

Types of Abuse and Neglect

The Care Act recognises 10 categories of abuse that may be experienced by adults.


This covers a wide range of behaviour, but it can be broadly defined as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health, or surroundings. An example of self-neglect is behaviour such as hoarding.

Modern Slavery

This encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and domestic servitude.

Domestic Abuse

This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse perpetrated by anyone within a person’s family. It also includes so-called “honour” based violence.


Discrimination is abuse that centres on a difference or perceived difference, particularly with respect to race, gender, disability, or any of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act.


This includes neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting, such as a hospital or care home, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. Organisational abuse can range from one off incidents to ongoing ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.


This includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraint, and misuse of medication. It can also include inappropriate sanctions.


This includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented, or was pressured into consenting.

Financial or Material

This includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, and coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions. It can also include the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions, or benefits.

Neglect and Acts of Omission

This includes ignoring medical or physical care needs and failing to provide access to appropriate health social care or educational services. It also includes the withdrawing of the necessities of life, including medication, adequate nutrition, and heating.

Emotional or Psychological

This includes threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Four Additional Types of Harm

There are four additional types of harm that are not included in The Care Act, but they are also relevant to safeguarding adults.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying occurs when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online, or repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages. It can also involve using online forums with the intention of harming, damaging, humiliating, or isolating another person. It includes various different types of bullying, including racist bullying, homophobic bullying, or bullying related to special education needs and disabilities. The main difference is that, instead of the perpetrator carrying out the bullying face-to-face, they use technology as a means to do it.

Forced Marriage

This is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties are married without their consent or against their will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of a third party in identifying a spouse. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 make it a criminal offence to force someone to marry.

Mate Crime

A “mate crime” is when “vulnerable people are befriending by members of the community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them” (Safety Network Project, ARC). It may not be an illegal act, but it still has a negative effect on the individual. A mate crime is carried out by someone the adult knows, and it often happens in private. In recent years there have been a number of Serious Care Reviews relating to people with a learning disability who were seriously harmed, or even murdered, by people who purported to be their friend.


The aim of radicalisation is to inspire new recruits, embed extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals to the legitimacy of a cause. This may be direct through a relationship, or through social media.

Abuse can happen in many different forms and people often suffer multiple types of abuse at once.

If you or someone you know who is associated with ACM has experienced any of the abuses detailed above please speak to a member of the ACM Safeguarding Team immediately.

We've got you

ACM Safeguarding Team

Six key Safeguarding principles

These are the six key principles outlined in the 2014 Care Act, which is one of the most important pieces of legislation when it comes to safeguarding.

  • Empowerment - People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
  • Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality - The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Protection - Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership - Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability - Accountability and transparency in safeguarding practice.
ACM Safeguarding Team

Internet and Mobile Phone Safety

Mobile phones and computers are a part of everyday life for all students and adults. Used correctly, they are a great source of communication, fun and education but used incorrectly, or in the wrong hands they can be threatening and dangerous.

The risks include:

  • Cyber-bullying, where hurtful texts or emails are sent to students
  • Students accidentally or deliberately accessing violent or sexually explicit websites, either on a computer or a mobile phone
  • Sexual grooming is where someone will talk to students by mobile phone or online and enticing them to engage in sexual conversations, photographs, video or actual meetings.

We take illegal online activity very seriously, anyone seen to be misusing electronic devices on any of our ACM campuses will be dealt within a strict manner in line with the ACM disciplinary policy and procedures.

Dealing with Bullying & Harassment

At ACM we strive to ensure that all our students and staff are able to study or work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

ACM does not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind and will investigate any complaint from any student or member of staff who alleges this kind of behaviour.

All staff and students should:

  • Behave in a way that promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect at all times
  • Challenge and report any unacceptable behaviour.

What is Bullying?

Bullying can take various forms:

  • Name calling
  • Sarcasm
  • Teasing and unwarranted criticism
  • Cyber bullying
  • Threats of violence or actual physical violence

It often involves the abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient physically or emotionally.

What is Harassment?

Harassment can be defined as unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment which interferes with the harassed persons:

  • Learning
  • Working
  • Social environment

This can lead to increased:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Mental & Physical illness

It is unlawful to harass someone because of their:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Gender reassignment
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion/belief
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity

It is also a criminal offence to harass (or stalk) someone persistently.

Other examples of harassment include:

  • Unwarranted physical or sexual contact
  • Jokes
  • Offensive language
  • Posters, emails, texts, comments on social media
  • Graffiti
  • Public telling off or putting down
  • Excluding or ignoring
  • Micromanaging

What causes someone to Bully?

Before we give one explanation of why someone may bully, we would like you to know that if you are being bullied it is not your fault, it is not acceptable or to be tolerated. Everyone has a right to be happy and free from abuse or intimidation.

When experiencing trauma some of us use positive behaviours, such as:

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Talking therapy

All are designed to relieve the stress and bring about a positive outcome.

Unfortunately some people use negative behaviours such as:

  • Bullying
  • Violence
  • Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol abuse

These all temporarily mask the issues but usually make them worse in the long-term.

Research shows that some people simply do not know how to positively respond to stress and so default to bullying others as a coping mechanism.This is clearly not acceptable.

Differences of attitudes, background or culture and the misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another; nevertheless, this does not make it acceptable.

Getting Support

Below are a list of charities and organisations that can offer further support and information on Bullying:

Should you have any concerns regarding bullying or harassment please report this to your student hub representative and a member of the safeguarding team will contact you to discuss your concerns further.

Looking after yourself

ACM students have the ability to access an online community that support those with concerns for mental health. This is a service that is run 24 hours a day 7 days a week that has trained professionals online at all times to answer questions and offer support to those in need.

What they offer

You can sign up to Together All for help with a wide range of mental health and wellbeing issues – from anxiety, depression, stress and trauma, to relationship problems and lifestyle challenges.

ACM promote this Support Network service in addition to our own internal student services.

Support Network

An anonymous and stigma-free environment. Members follow their own path towards better mental wellbeing.

  • Peer support through our online community
  • Resources for self-management
  • Information and advice
  • Guided support programmes on a range of common issues
  • Monitored 24/7 by trained clinicians
  • Sessions available seven days a week, 7am to 11pm
  • Sessions take place via text, audio and secure video
  • Sessions can be booked quickly, with no waiting lists
  • Members choose their therapist
  • Live Therapy clients have access to the Support Network

If you are interested in joining this network you can find more information at your ACM Student Support Hub.

Helpful Sources of Support and Information

Child Protection

  • NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Child Law Advice Line: 08088 020 008


  • NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Kidscape: 08451 205 204 www.kidscape.org.uk

Mental Health

  • Young Minds: 0808 802 5544 - www.youngminds.org.uk
  • Mental Health Foundation: 020 7803 1100 - www.mentalhealth.org.uk
  • Mind: 0845 766 0163 www.mind.org.uk

Parents’ Support

  • ParentlinePlus: 0808 800 2222 - www.parentlineplus.org.uk

Sexual Harm and Sexually Harmful Behaviour

  • Stop It Now! 0808 1000 900 - www.stopitnow.org.uk
  • The AIM Project (for children with sexual behaviour problems): www.aimproject.org.uk

Internet Safety

  • ChildNet International: www.childnet.com
  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection: 0870 000 3344 www.ceop.gov.uk
  • Internet Watch Foundation www.iwf.org.uk
  • Think U Know: 0870 000 3344
ACM Safeguarding Team