Academy of Contemporary Music Safeguarding

ACM 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 feel safe respected and valued. 

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

Who are the ACM Safeguarding Team?

ACM Designated Safeguarding Lead - Chris East


ACM Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead - Cornelia Okello

ACM Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead -  Tayla Lowe



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 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 or heard, or information which has been given to you.

A safeguarding concern can also involve an Education and Employers representative, or a representative from another organisation, endangering the safety or wellbeing of others, for example, by not following the code of conduct.

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.

Another issue is that the person subjected to the abuse may find it hard to report the matter.


We take confidentiality very seriously at ACM.


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

What should I do if I have a concern?

If you have any concerns please report this to our Safeguarding Team.

You can do this in a wide variety of ways:

  • In person: Pop to one of our student hubs and ask them to contact a member of the safeguarding team for you

  • Calling: 01483 910197

  • Emailing:


Safeguarding is of the utmost importance to us. If you have any concerns that anyone on our campuses is being harmed or is at risk of harm, or if you receive a disclosure, you must contact a member of the safeguarding team immediately.


What should I do if I have a concern about a member of ACM staff or volunteer?

All concerns that relate to a member of staff should be directed to the Head Of Student Services or HR.

What should I do if my concern is about the Designated Safeguarding Lead?

If you have a concern that relates to the Head of Student Services or HR, the concern should be escalated to the Chief Learning Officer.

Should you wish to contact someone other than staff associated with ACM then you should contact your campus Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO):

ACM Guildford - 0300 470 9100

ACM Clapham - 0208 871 7440

ACM Birmingham - 0121 675 1669

Safeguarding Do's 

Educate Yourself

  • Identify who the Designated Safeguarding Lead is on campus
  • Understand who the wider safeguarding team are 


Respond Immediately 

  • Report any issues or concerns to the safeguarding team
  • You can contact the team by emailing - 


Be Safe 

  • Keep yourself safe at all times 
  • Safeguard Yourself & Others
  • Implement professional boundaries and following good/positive working practice 
  • Password protect your laptop / PC / Mac / mobile phone 

Always Listen

  • It's very important you listen carefully to what any individual has to say without interrupting, listening is key as you can capture important information


Be Impartial 

  • Remain calm, approachable and receptive take all concerns seriously and follow the appropriate procedure 
  • Remember It Could Happen To Anyone
  • ALL individuals, no matter what background can suffer from any type of abuse and that an abuser is often known to them

Safeguarding Don'ts

Do NOT Investigate concerns yourself

  • Do not try and resolve any safeguarding concern yourself this is the role of the Safeguarding Team

Do NOT Ignore or Dismiss Individuals 

  • Always make the time to listen, never tell any individual to come back later if they want to make a disclosure 

Do NOT Follow Poor Practice

  • React in a professional way, do not look shocked or in a distasteful manner when an individual discloses information to you 
  • Do not speculate or make negative comments
  • Keep concerns about others to yourself, only inform the appropriate team (safeguarding team)
  • Do not delay in reporting the disclosure to the Safeguarding team.
  • Do not examine an Individual yourself or take any photographs of injuries that are reported to you
  • Do not ask leading or probing questions

Never Make Promises 

  • You cannot make promises to any individual, the likelihood is that you won't be able to honour it. 
  • YOU have a duty of care to report any safeguarding concerns to the safeguarding team if anyone is at risk of harm or if you have concerns regarding their welfare.

Never Assume

  • Everyone that works with children, young people or vulnerable individuals is safe and will do them no harm.
  • If you are in any doubt report straight to the DSL or wider safeguarding team 


Note: Any member of staff or volunteer who does not feel confident to raise their concerns to Directors or a member of the Leadership Team or does not feel that their concerns about a colleague have been taken seriously should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) directly:

ACM Guildford - 0300 470 9100

ACM Clapham - 0208 871 7440

ACM Birmingham - 0121 675 1669

Types of Abuse

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.


Staying Safe

Personal Safety

The towns surrounding our campuses are generally a safe place to be, however, you need to be aware of some situations that may put you at risk and what you can do to try to avoid them.

ACM want your studies here to be an enjoyable experience.


Insuring Your Belongings

One of the first things you should do before arriving to study at ACM is to insure your belongings. 


Looking After Your Belongings

- Do not leave valuable belongings on show;


- Do not carry around your PIN numbers;


- Put your name and postcode on all personal belongings (ultra violet pen);


- Make sure when you leave your accommodation that you lock up securely, don't expect others to do it;


- If you live in a shared house - you can ask your landlord if they are happy for you to put a lock on your door;


- Bikes - you need to make sure that you lock your bike with secure padlocks, including all wheels.


Safety When Out & About

-When you first move into your accommodation it is a good idea to look for safe and suitable routes to college, shops and frequent place you may visit. Look for routes that are well lit and busy;


- Walk on pavements;


- If you are returning home late at night use public transport. If you do walk home, make sure it is with a group, do not leave each other at any point and ensure that you do not take short-cuts;


- Never carry large amounts of cash on you;


- Carry a personal alarm when walking alone;


- Avoid confrontation - walk away if being provoked or hassled;


- You do not know what your attacker may be carrying. Your safety is more important than property;


- Be aware of who is around you at the cash point;


- When using a mobile phone in public be brief and try to hide it (otherwise you could be making yourself vulnerable to attack);


If your phone is stolen, call your network to immobilise it;


- Have your keys ready well before you reach your home or car;


- Carry your bag over your shoulder and close to your body; if someone grabs it, let go;


- When going out alone always tell someone where you are going;


- If you think you are being followed, cross the road and try to get to a shop, restaurant or somewhere you can alert somebody;


When Using Buses, Trains & Taxis

- Try not to wait alone at bus stops. If travelling on a double-decker bus sit downstairs or where the driver can see you especially when travelling alone at night;


- If travelling on a train, do not sit alone in an empty carriage;


- To remain safe, do not listen to ipods, personal stereos etc on a loud volume whilst travelling as they will prevent you from hearing what is going on around you;


- Always remember when travelling late to check the last bus or train to avoid being stranded;


- Make sure any taxi you use has an official plate attached before you get in;


- Do not get in taxis that stop you in the street as they may not be official drivers. They may be cheaper but they are not safe;


- Agree the fare before your journey commences;


- When travelling alone in the taxi, always sit in the back;


- Do not give out any personal details to the driver;


- Have your money ready before you leave the taxi;


Nights Out

- When you are out drinking, ensure that you keep your drink with you at all times;


- Remember, when you are drinking you may let your defences down so be aware of your surroundings;


- If you are drinking, do not drive. Remember you can still be over the limit the next day;


- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids between alcoholic drinks.



- Be careful and vigilant when using the internet;


- Do not disclose information on social media or other forums.


How to Report a Crime

In an emergency where there is danger to life or a crime has been committed, please contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance by dialling 999 from any telephone.


To report a non-emergency crime, call your local police station using  the 101 service

Crimestoppers can be called anonymously with information about crimes and criminals - 0800 555 111.

ACM Safeguarding Summary

ACM takes safeguarding of everyone associated with our university very seriously. Should you have a concern for anyones wellbeing or welfare you should report this immediately to our safeguarding team.


For more information on safety and security of our campuses please contact your campus student hub or reception.


This web link provides information on Safeguarding at ACM:

The page gives you advice on where to go should you have a concern for yourself or someone else's welfare or wellbeing, information on what constitutes abuse and how to understand the signs.