Practicalities and Safeguarding

1.Tutors and Facilitators

During workshops at The Imagining History Programme UK, young writers and historians work with writer-educators, arts-educators and, wherever possible, ‘experts’ associated with the particular venue or theme. During COVID times our work is exclusively online and we actively develop ways of interacting with young writers that makes sense of the online environment. All our workshops are developed in association with an academic historical adviser.

2. Safeguarding

All workshop-leaders are fully DBS-checked (PVG-checked in Scotland) for the activities that we offer. For site-specific in-person workshops, we ensure that any associated adult colleagues are fully accredited and checked by participating venues.

Our tutors are up-to-date on safeguarding training before they lead one of our workshops. We carefully assess a tutor’s skill and record during a training period, before allowing them to co-lead workshops.

Unless specially commissioned, tutors work in teams of a minimum of two, and with the participation of teachers and teaching assistants. Within the school environment, including on field visits, we defer to teaching and teaching support staff in dealing with issues concerning behaviour, including safeguarding issues.

At no point during a workshop will our tutors be in one-to-one unsupervised contact with students. From the moment that our tutors or associated staff find themselves without the presence of a member of staff they will suspend the workshop activity, leave the room or area and wait until a member of staff returns.

Each workshop is carefully risk-assessed in association with the partner-venues and schools. Our online workshops are also fully risk-assessed in terms of content and any references made to external material.

3. Online Codes of Practice

What follows is essential reading for anyone, students and staff, who becomes involved with an IHUK online workshop. It can be a fun environment, but also one in which misunderstandings and uncertain situations can arise. We wish to ensure that everyone in our corner of the online world feels equally free, heard, respected and inspired by what happens. Our Codes of Practice are designed to support our wish. We ask you to please make sure that you have read and understood the following paragraphs.

We work closely with our collaborators, the Young Norfolk Arts Trust, in developing our safeguarding and disciplinary procedures.


Young Walter Scott Prize/Imagining History UK

Code of Interaction for online workshops and events.

This code of behaviour aims to create a positive and safe environment for all participants on our online workshops to work together, support each other and get the best out of workshops.

We want you to have freedom to express your ideas, and the freedom to stay quiet and simply listen. We do our best to create an atmosphere where there is no pressure. Our workshops are for you to develop your thinking and writing in a comfortable way.

It is possible, as it is with any subject, that people might be sensitive to issues being discussed. At any time during a project, you can contact the project leader to talk about your concerns, in order for a solution to be found that makes you feel comfortable again.

The age-range of participants in our online projects may be very broad – from 16 to 24 yrs in some cases. We expect everyone to be respectful of each other and to follow the list of dos and don’ts listed below.

This code of practice will help you to:

  • identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
  • encourage cooperation, honesty, fairness and respect
  • create an environment where your self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence will grow
  • encourage you to recognise and respect the rights of others
  • encourage you to take responsibility for your own behaviour
  • help resolve conflicts and make it clear what will happen if you decide not to follow the code.

Dos and don’ts

You should:

  • cooperate with others
  • be friendly
  • listen to others
  • be helpful
  • have good manners
  • treat everyone with respect
  • take responsibility for your own behaviour
  • talk to one of our members of staff about anything that worries or concerns you
  • follow this code of behaviour and other rules (including the law)
  • join in and have fun!

You shouldn’t:

  • be disrespectful to anyone else
  • bully other people (online or offline)
  • behave in a way that could be intimidating
  • be abusive towards anyone.

If you have any concerns, in the first place make contact with us ImaginingHistoryUK@outlook.com. It is important for you to know what will happen if any of our simple rules are broken.

The online world can be fun, but we recognise that it can also be confusing and sometimes threatening. As an organisation we need to have procedures in place to protect everyone involved and to keep the atmosphere positive and supportive.

Our aim is for you to enjoy your time with The Imagining History Programme UK

The following is an explanation of our procedure when an issue or a concern arises:

Q: What happens if I decide not to follow this behaviour code?

1. Minor or first-time incident:

We will try to resolve any incidents in discussion with you. If after discussion a resolution can’t be found, or if

If you behave in a way that doesn’t follow our behaviour code, our staff will remind you about it and ask you to comply with it. They will give you an opportunity to change your behaviour. This gives you the chance to think and to plan how you could behave differently, with support from staff and/or volunteers.

2. Formal warning:

If you continue not to follow the code of behaviour after your first reminder, or if your behaviour is more serious, you will be given a formal warning by the person running the workshop.

They will make a record about what happened and inform your parents or carers if this is appropriate. They will also talk with you about what happened and agree what support you need to improve your behaviour in the future.

3. Final warning:

If the support we have put in place isn’t helping you to change your behaviour, we may need to give you a final warning.

Again this will be recorded and we’ll inform your parents or carers as appropriate. At this point, we may need to liaise with other organisations that will be able to advise on services that might be more able to give you the support you need.

Child protection procedures

If any member of staff becomes concerned that your behaviour suggests you may be in need of protection or that you may present a risk of harm to other children and young people, they will follow our child protection procedures.

If child protection procedures are necessary we will talk this through with you and your parents as soon as possible, unless doing so would put you in danger or or interfere with a police investigation.

The role of parents and carers

We see parents and carers as valuable partners in promoting positive behaviour and will involve them where this is appropriate.

We will always inform and involve your parents or carers if you receive a formal warning about your behaviour, unless doing so would put you in danger.

The responsible member of faculty at the Imagining History Programme UK is the Director, Alan Caig Wilson.


4. In-Person Workshop format

We have returned to offering our highly successful in-person workshops. We are pleased to note that many educational organisations have, through the pandemic, recognised the importance of outdoor learning and the potential this has to support the mental well-being of their students. Our workshops are small-group, outdoor-focused and based on processes of active enquiry and discovery. Our workshops allow young writers and historians to discover and become confident in new ways of thinking through their writing.

Our basic day format is a one-day event beginning at 10/10.30am and finishing at 2.30/3pm. The day is a carefully devised pattern of tasks and personal and individual writing time.

We are evolving different structures in response to proposals that we receive from our organisational partners. For example, our multi-day integrated field-work and in-school format was devised in association with our collaborators in North Cornwall.

Read more about our workshop content here. 

5. Group make-up

We work with groups of young people aged between 11 and 19 years (secondary school-age students) from schools and who are home-educated. We have often offered workshops to coincide with the age-categories of The Young Walter Scott Prize (11-15 yrs, 16-19yrs), but we are more and more open to a more vertical idea of age-group mixing.

We have worked with a full range of students and we are committed to exploring ways to extend the diversity and accessibility of workshops to all young people who are drawn to express themselves creatively through their writing.

6. Our workshops are often spent entirely outdoors

Our workshop days are immersive and experiential, and can often be entirely conducted outdoors. Wherever we can, we negotiate special access to areas of venues often not seen by members of the general public.

We ask that the young people arrive prepared for unexpected weather – including bright sunshine!

We work with young people who are developing a passion for writing. Our group-size is set at 15, plus or minus one or two. This allows our participants to feel that their creative needs are being met during their immersion in the historical environment.

Read some of the feedback from previous participants here.

7. Costs

All of our workshops are designed to be free to participants and their schools in the state sector (including home-schooled students). In the private sector we charge a fee that covers tutor preparation, engagement and evaluation, as well as organisational time relevant to the project in hand.

Participating schools, parents and responsible adults provide transport to and from our venues. Students should bring their own food and refreshment, although water will be provided.

8. Ongoing development of workshops

We do not operate in all areas of the UK, but we are committed to following up possibilities as they arise, either through contact with a school, a heritage venue or other organisation wishing to explore the methodology we offer.

For more information please use the contact form on this website, or email Alan Caig Wilson at ImaginingHIstoryUK@outlook.com