Lynne Godfroy

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Safeguarding Your Students Part 2

Posted by Lynne Godfroy on Aug 15, 2018 5:42:55 PM

Dance school

Safeguarding your Students and Protecting Your Organization (Part 2)

Filming and Photographing Children at Your School

Your school will be filled with joyous events that mark the achievements of your teachers and their students. Of course everyone will want to commemorate these milestones and there is often only a split second between the taking of a wonderful photo or performance video and the posting of that same pic to the internet. It will often include class members. An arts educator or studio owner should stop and think about this. No one wants a picture of their child floating around the internet, so how can you help your students and their families share their joy while safeguarding your students’ privacy?

Developing a broad-based policy around safeguarding your students, see Part 1, will help you to add a section on filming and photographing students that is consistent with your operating principles. Make sure your parents and staff sign an agreement that includes a commitment not to identify students by name in any photo and have a signed consent form by the parents on file in case professional photographers are brought in. Naturally the photographers should sign an agreement also and should never be left alone with the students. For promotional purposes on a website, for example, it might be best to use commercial stock photos.

If images remain in your possession, store hard copies in a locked drawer and electronic copies in a protected folder with restricted access. Do not store them on unencrypted devices, like a mobile phone or laptop. If you issue photo ID cards, make sure you comply with any data protection legislation.

Small mistakes can have big repercussions, so once you have your policy and practice in place and have explained everything to your instructors, staff, parents and students, make sure your Protégé insurance policy is in effect to safeguard you and your business against an allegation of improper behavior. Your students are precious and so is your studio.


Topics: music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance

3 Steps to Start a Dance Studio

Posted by Lynne Godfroy on Aug 15, 2018 5:38:55 PM

dance studio insurance

3 Business Tips on How to Start a Dance Studio

So you’ve danced all your life and the time has come to share your passion and insight.  The path for many is to open a dance studio, but how does one turn that passion into a successful business?

  1. Should be to find out about your prospective clients. The web is full of links for parents looking for the best dance school for their kids. Read up on what is important to them. A quick search will reveal they often want a variety of dance styles and teachers to match their child’s interests and needs. They want a timetable that is convenient for their busy lives and qualified teachers that can provide a high level of instruction. If you can provide all that, think about whether or not you will you be able to hire instructors that can build levels of expertise, creating a core group of returning students each term. Consider focusing on small children that will grow with you.

  2. Defines your ability to pay yourself. Get advice on how to structure a business plan. That will help you sort out your expenses and determine if renting a studio makes sense at first. Identify your renovation costs and your fixed costs like utilities, rent, and specialty dance insurance coverage, like Protégé, that will protect you and your business from claims of injury, abuse, or property damage. It’s a small cost, but can make the world of difference for a small business owner who has been threatened by a suit and wouldn’t ordinarily have the means to defend.

  3. Reminds you to invest in yourself. You are the best representative for your own studio, so don’t get so bogged down in administration that you forget your passion. Keep dancing! And don’t be afraid to ask for advice.  The Facebook group, Dance Coaches & Teachers Unite, has several thousand members who trade tips and conversations about dance, as do the members of The Dance Teachers Network, also on Facebook.

Let’s keep dance alive!

Topics: music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance

Safeguarding Your Students With Art School Insurance

Posted by Lynne Godfroy on Aug 15, 2018 5:37:27 PM

Art school

Safeguarding your Students and Protecting Your Art School (Part 1)

The priority for all schools and teachers must be the safety of the students that are entrusted to their care. A lot of research has been done over the last few years as to how we can all practice a higher standard of responsibility in that regard and as a consequence, school administrators and owners are expected to demonstrate a ‘duty of care’.  One recommendation is to establish a safeguarding policy for your school. Not only will this demonstrate your commitment to the well-being of your students, but should there be an insurance claim it could be helpful to show you have a set of standards and procedures acknowledged by all staff.

Before you begin to draft your policy, consider the following questions because the answers will help shape the final document: What are the potential risks to the children? Who may pose that risk and what situations might increase the risk? How will you check the backgrounds of your volunteers and staff? How will you respond to allegations of concern or harm?

When you start to write your policy, name your organization and then state the purpose and aim of the policy. Provide a link to the law that supports the policy and explain how the policy relates to the business’s procedures around taking photographs or videos, internet use, recruitment, etc.  Include an equality statement that commits to anti-discriminatory practice and clarify the scope of the policy – will it apply only to staff and volunteers who have contact with the children, or other people, like a janitor? Finally, identify review dates, so the policy can be updated at regular intervals.

Once this has been done, make sure you have specialty art school insurance for arts educators in place, like the Protégé Program, offered by Front Row Insurance Brokers. Front Row is the premier brokerage in Canada for coverage in the performing arts and supports a number of national and provincial organizations like PACT and Dance Ontario. Protégé comes out of their realization that insurance expertise should be available for small studio owners as well as the large organizations. They know their stuff and provide coverage through a quick online service at very little cost.


Topics: music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance

Arts Education School Insurance

Posted by Lynne Godfroy on Aug 15, 2018 5:29:42 PM

arts education school

Safeguarding your students and protecting your arts education school with Protege

Opening a studio or educational facility is a way to express your creative interests while experiencing the joy of mentoring.  It demands passion, skill and commitment, and involves a serious investment of time and money.  Like all small business owners, you need to guard that investment with insurance that protects your reputation as well as your studio. This can make a major contribution to your success, so clearly you need a policy that is designed to protect you, your property, your students and your teachers. The Protégé Program, offered by Front Row Insurance – the largest arts and entertainment insurance brokerage in the country – does exactly that.

Protégé is broken into five key areas which work together to protect the business you created:

  1. Abuse Liability: While you do your best to hire the most qualified staff, teachers, and coaches, you cannot account for every misstep.  Abuse Liability manages allegations that may be leveled against you or your business, as well as providing risk-specific coverage that pays for criminal and civil legal defense costs, as well as the medical, rehabilitation and counselling costs for individuals affected by an incident of abuse.
  2. Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability: This provides help to defend against claims triggered specifically by injury or property damage to a performance venue or leased studio. Protégé protects your art school’s corporation, teachers, employees, and volunteers for claims brought against them as well.
  3. Educators’ Errors and OmissionsE&O provides extra coverage for allegations caused by a student’s dissatisfaction with your curriculum, a dismissal, or failure to educate.
  4. Studio Property: Of course your studio needs property coverage too, and perhaps you need coverage for touring and competitions.  That’s what Studio Property coverage is all about.
  5. Business Continuity: If something unexpected happens, you need to ensure your bottom-line is protected. You’ll need money for fixed expenses, loss of future  tuition fees, and extra costs incurred if your property is damaged.

Overall, Protégé works to protect you, your students, your teachers and your school.  It’s demonstrable proof that you take your business and the relationships you depend upon, seriously.

Topics: music school insurance, art school insurance, film school insurance, dance school insurance

Mandatory Data Breach Law: Get Protected with Cyber Insurance

Posted by Lynne Godfroy on Aug 15, 2018 4:39:11 PM

cyber law

cyber law insurance / The Digital Privacy Act

What does the federal mandatory data breach notification law mean for your small business?

The law, The Digital Privacy Act, went into effect on Nov 1, 2018, and applies to all businesses that hold identifying information of employees, customers, members, or vendors. In the case of a breach, business owners are required to notify the affected individuals as well as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. It’s easy to think that these risks and responsibilities only apply to large businesses, but in fact ‘personal information’ can include something as small as an email address as well as credit card details. As the skills of hackers have grown, it’s become an important part of business management to understand and mitigate the risks in the digital world, no matter the size of the company.

Research shows that roughly 30% of small businesses have been targeted by hackers because their online security is often not as robust as that of a large corporation.  Apart from reputational damage, which can ruin small businesses, there can be significant costs associated with fixing the breach after legal bills are paid, IT professionals hired, and staff time accounted for as they divert from their normal duties to attend to the crisis.

What can a small business owner do to protect his/her business from cyber hackers? Front Row Insurance Brokers provides cheap online cyber insurance coverage that protects against hacking, theft, fraud, business interruption, and legal, technical, or forensic services. Hackinsure starts from only $300 CAD annually and takes about 5 minutes to get your policy.

Topics: Cyber Insurance