Child Safeguarding Statements & Policies to Become a Requirement of IAYO Full Membership from September 2021

Message from Allin Gray, IAYO Director

Making a child protection policy a requirement of IAYO membership was first proposed – and voted on – at the IAYO Annual General Meeting in 2007, just before I took up my current position as Director with IAYO and has also subsequently been agreed for implementation by the board of IAYO. However, bringing such a requirement into being without providing appropriate resources for our members has held up the implementation of this requirement for a long time. The resources provided by Tusla and other agencies are targeted at those who are professionally qualified to write and implement policy and a suitable template for youth orchestras to work off has just not been available.

In order to make it reasonable for IAYO to place this requirement on members, I felt that such appropriate resources needed to be created. Finally, after much work and consultation, and with the collaboration of Carol Ann McKenna of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Wendy Arlow of Dublin Youth Orchestras, Tusla and others, we have now produced a Child Safeguarding Statement and a Child Safeguarding Policy that we feel members can adapt and adopt to their own circumstances and needs.

We have taken account of all the activities in and around youth orchestras that we could think of and incorporated those into our risk assessment and our policy. In line with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, our Child Safeguarding Statement is a separate document fulfilling the requirements of the act for such a statement. The statement has been approved by the Tusla Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit.

Other policies required by the Child Safeguarding Statement and by best practice are included in our Child Safeguarding Policy with the exception of our complaints policy which is a separate document that can also be adapted by members. Please note that a combined statement and policy in a single document do not fulfil the requirements of the act.

Both of the safeguarding policies are available as pdfs from our website at and can also be had as Word documents (.docx) from the IAYO office. This is also true of our complaints policy and internet-teaching policy.

The plan for future changes to the policy is that we will produce documents that highlight changes from previous editions and so those adopting the policies can simply see what has changed rather than having to trawl the documents for differences.

We welcome comments, feedback and suggestions from members with regard to the policies themselves and with regard to best practice in working with young people.

Allin Gray