Explore Activity and Education Centre Child Protection Policy
Procedures and guidelines
At Explore Activity and Education Centre we believe that the welfare of children is everyone's responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting children from abuse. Everyone involved in the organisation - administrator, club official, coach, parent, friend, children themselves, everyone - can help.
Abuse can occur anywhere there are children - at home, at school, in the park, at the club. Sadly, there are some people who will seek to be where children are, simply in order to abuse them. We believe that everyone in the Explore Activity and Education Centre organisation has a part to play in looking after the children with whom they are working with.
The Children Act 1989 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (DOH 1999) highlight the shared responsibility of organisations to promote children's wellbeing and safeguard them from harm. They stress the importance of effective information sharing, collaboration, and understanding. As an established organisation Explore Activity and Education Centre has a moral and legal obligation to both identify and appropriately deal with concerns raised regarding the wellbeing of children involved in our organisation.
These child protection procedures stem from the following principles
- The child's welfare is the first consideration.
- All children regardless of age, gender, racial origin, religious belief, sexual identity and any disability have a right to enjoy activities free from all forms of abuse or sexual exploitation.
- Explore Activity and Education Centre and associated clubs have responsibilities for the welfare of children and young people who take part in any of our activities.
- Explore Activity and Education Centre has a responsibility to maintain confidentiality in all cases involving child protection in line with the current legislation.
- Explore Activity and Education Centre will not tolerate, within its associated clubs, poor practice in dealing with child welfare
We know that if the procedures in place help to protect children, everyone involved in the organisation needs to see and discuss them. We are, therefore asking all staff to ensure that they are widely distributed and discussed during executive and general meetings.
Finally, please remember Explore Activity and Education Centre will support anyone who, in good faith reports his or her concerns that a child is at risk of, or may actually be, being abused. A child is defined as any young person under the age of 18.
What is Child Abuse?
It's generally acknowledged that there are four main types of abuse - Physical, Sexual, Emotional and Neglect. PHYSICAL ABUSE may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm or deliberate ill health to a child. It might also occur if a child is forced to train beyond his/her capabilities.
SEXUAL ABUSE involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. It may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts, involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child that adversely effects their development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved, and inadequate, or where inappropriate expectations are put upon them. In a sporting context this may include severe parental or coaching pressure to succeed. Racially and sexually abusive remarks constitute emotional abuse and it can be a feature of bullying.
NEGLECT is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development, such as failing to provide shelter, food, clothing, or unresponsiveness to a child's basic emotional needs. In a sporting context it could also mean failing to ensure they are safe or exposing them to harm.
IN ADDITION BULLYING Explore Activity and Education Centre also has a separate anti bullying policy has been written by the Explore Activity and Education Centre with the assistance of KIDSCAPE. The guidance in this document should be followed in any case where bullying has been reported or observed within the club setting.
Children with Specific Needs
Some disabled children may require specialised care and clubs who work with children with physical and learning problems should ensure that:
The guidelines of Disability Sport England "Protecting Disabled Children and Adults in Sport and Recreation" are followed by clubs, teachers and coaches who work with children (and adults) with disabilities.
- All coaches and teachers are suitably qualified to teach/coach children with specific needs.
- The views of the child and parent/carer are always obtained prior to any activity, specifically those requiring any physical handling or of a physical nature, to gain both consent and agreement of all concerned.
- No child is discriminated against in any manner by the club or any member or from taking part in an activity, which it is safe and proper for them to undertake.
Some children will suffer with an illness but show no outward appearance of being a child with specific needs, such as those diagnosed with epilepsy or diabetes. It is essential that all members of Explore Activity and Education Centre co-operate with parents on their child's needs should they develop an attack during an activity at training or competition.
Advice can also be sought from the St Johns Ambulance medical advisor if required. Such children should not be excluded or prevented from taking part in any sporting activity in which all other are entitled to take part, as this would be discriminatory.
With the correct knowledge and information, and the required parental support, children with such illnesses can take part in activities and compete as any other participant.
Please remember it is not your responsibility to decide whether a child is being abused, but we are asking you to act on your concerns. It is your responsibility to ensure the concerns raised are passed on appropriately.
- All members of Explore Activity and Education Centre and any affiliated clubs official or parent involved should follow the guidelines as outlined below:
- If the child or young person is in immediate danger or has been physically injured, ensure they are safe and contact the police or social services.
- If the child is not in immediate danger but you have concerns, either:
- Discuss the concerns with Explore Activity and Education Centre Management who will advise you on the correct procedure for referring your concern appropriately
Childline - 0800 11 11
Ofsted - 08456 40 40 40
Make a note of what you've seen or heard but don't delay passing on the information. As soon as possible complete the Explore Activity and Education Centre referral form this can be obtained from any member of staff.
Action to take if a child tells you that he or she is being abused:
- Stay calm
- Don't promise to keep it to yourself
- Listen to what the child says and, please, take it seriously
- Only ask questions if you need to identify what the child is telling
- you - don't ask the child about explicit details
- Make a detailed note of what the child is telling you but as advised in the previous section, please don't delay passing on the information
Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our members so they can take part in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable in our organisation. If bullying does occur, all effected by should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING organisation. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a member of the management team.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
- Emotional - being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding goggles/floats, threatening gestures)
- Physical - pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist - racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual - unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic - because of, or focussing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal - name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. People who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Explore Activity and Education Centre has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
All members of Explore Activity and Education Centre, instructors and teachers, children and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
All staff should know what the organisations policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
All children and parents should know what the organistions policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
As an organisation we take bullying seriously. Children and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- Says they are being bullied and is unwilling to go to an activity or lesson.
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- feels ill before attending an activity
- comes home with clothes torn or equipment damaged
- has possessions go "missing"
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- is frightened to say what's wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
In more extreme cases:
- starts stammering
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away.
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
1. Report bullying incidents to a member of senior staff or ring Child line or Ofsted 08456 40 40 40
2. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
3. If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted
4. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
5. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour
6. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue the organisation will initiate disciplinary action under the club constitution.
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics was written with specific reference to Teachers and Coaches. However, most aspects of this Code are also applicable to other people involved in the sport. Therefore all Members of Explore Activity and Education Centre, should be aware that this Code also applies to them.
Explore Activity and Education Centre acknowledge that a large part of this Code of Ethics has been derived from the code produced by the industry Lead Body for Sport and Recreation.
Teaching/Coaching and Instructing
Even though the NVQ standards focus on and describe work functions, they are based on a number of accepted assumptions and values which underpin good practice in teaching/coaching and instructing.
Throughout the following Code the expression ‘Teacher/Coach' whether used in the singular or plural shall include all teacher/coaches, assistants and other helpers whose activities are connected with the activities associated with Explore Activity and Education Centre. Where the context of the code admits the expressions Teacher/Coach and Sports coach this may also include Officials and others involved in the sports and activities in any capacity.
The purpose of the Code of Ethics(referred to throughout the remainder of the document as the Code) is to establish and maintain standards for Teachers/Coaches and to inform and protect members of the public using their services. Ethical standards comprise such values as integrity, responsibility, competence and confidentiality.
The Code creates a framework within which Teachers/Coaches when engaged in sports coaching - in the fullest sense of the expression - should always work. The Code has been written as a series of guidelines rather than a set of instructions. However violations of the Code may result in complaints being made to a District Judicial Tribunal (DJT).
Issues of responsibility
Teaching/Coaching is a deliberately undertaken responsibility, and sports Teacher/Coaches are responsible for the observation of the principles embodied in the Code of Ethics.
Teacher/Coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their ultimate right to self-determination.
Specifically, Teacher/Coaches must treat everyone equally within the context of their activity, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, religion, disability or political persuasion.
The good Teacher/Coach will be concerned primarily with the wellbeing, health and future of the individual performer and only secondary with the optimisation of performance.
A key element in a teacher/coach relationship is the development of independence. Performers must be encouraged to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance in training, in competition, and in their social life.
Teacher/Coaches are responsible for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with their performers. This is particularly important when the coach and performer are of opposite sex and/or when the performer is a young person.
The Teacher/Coach must realise that certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted, not only by the performer, but by outsiders motivated by jealousy, dislike or mistrust and could lead to allegations of sexual misconduct or impropriety.
The relationship between coach and performer relies heavily on mutual trust and respect. In detail this means that the performer should be aware of the Teachers'/Coaches' qualifications and experience and must be given the opportunity to consent to or decline proposals for training and performance.
Teachers/Coaches should clarify in advance with performers and/or employer the number of sessions, fees(if any) and method of payment. They should also explore with performers and/or employers the expectation of the outcome of teaching/coaching.
Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to declare to their performers and/or employer and other current teaching/coaching commitments.
Teachers/Coaches should also find out if any prospective client is currently receiving guidance from another Teacher/Coach. If so, that Teacher/Coach should be contacted to discuss the situation. Teachers/Coaches who become aware of a conflict between their obligation to their performers and their obligation to their Governing Body or other organisation employing them must make explicit the nature of conflict, and the loyalties and responsibilities involved, to all parties concerned.
Teachers/Coaches should communicate and co-operate with other sports and allied professions in the best interest of their performers. An Example of such contact would be the seeking of educational and career advice/counselling for young performers whose training impinges upon the performance of their studies.
Teachers/Coaches must communicate and co-operate with medical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of their performers' medical and psychological problems.
Advertising by sports Teacher/Coaches in respect of qualifications and/or services shall be accurate and professionally restrained.
Teachers/Coaches shall not display any affiliation with an organisation in a manner that falsely implies sponsorship or accreditation by that organisation.
Teachers/Coaches should refrain from public criticism of fellow Teachers/ Coaches. Differences of opinion should be dealt with on a personal basis and more-serious disputes should be referred to the Governing Body.
Teachers/Coaches must not encourage performers to violate the rules of their sport, and should actively seek to discourage such action. Furthermore,
Teachers/Coaches should encourage performers to obey the spirit of such rules.
Teachers/Coaches must not compromise their performers by advocating measures which could be deemed to constitute seeking to gain an unfair advantage. Above all Teachers/Coaches must never advocate the use of prescribed drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.
Teachers/Coaches must treat opponents and officials with due respect both in victory and defeat and should encourage their performer to act in a similar manner.
Teachers/Coaches must accept responsibility for the conduct of their performers insofar as they will undertake to discourage inappropriate behaviour.
Teachers/Coaches inevitably gather a great deal of personal information about performers in the course of a working relationship. Teacher/Coach and performer must reach agreement as to what is regarded as confidential Information, i.e. no divulging to a third party without the express approval of the performer.
Confidentiality does not preclude the disclosure of information, to persons who can be judged to have a ‘right to know', relating to performers when relevant to the following:
Evaluation of the performer within the sport for competitive selection purposes and recommendations concerning performers for professional purposes;
Pursuit of disciplinary action involving performers within the sport;
Pursuit of disciplinary action by the ASA and/or ISTC involving fellow coaches in alleged breaches of this Code of Ethics and Conduct.
Abuse of Privilege
The Teacher/Coach is privileged, On occasion to have contact with performers and to travel and reside with performer in the course of teaching/coaching and competitive practice. Consequently, a Teacher/Coach must not attempt to exert undue influence over the performer in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.
The Teacher/Coach must consistently display high personal standards and project a favourable image of their sport and of teaching/coaching - to performers, other Teachers/Coaches, officials, spectators, the media and the general public.
Personal appearance is a matter of individual taste but the sports Teacher/ Coach has an obligation to project an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency.
The Teacher/Coach should never smoke when teaching/coaching.
Teachers/Coaches must not drink alcohol so soon before teaching/ coaching that their judgement may be impaired and the smell will still be on their breath when working with performers.
Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the performers with whom they work as far as possible within the limits of their control.
All reasonable steps should be taken to establish a safe working environment.
The work done and the manner in which it is done should be in keeping with regular and approved practice within that sport.
The activity being undertaken should be suitable for the age, experience and ability of the performers.
Performers should have been systematically prepared for the activity being undertaken and made aware of their personal responsibilities in terms of safety.
Issues of Competence
Teachers/Coaches shall confine themselves to practice in those fields of sport in which they have been trained/educated, and which are recognised by the associated governing body as being valid.
Valid areas of expertise are those directly concerned with sports coaching. Training includes the accumulation of knowledge and skills through both formal Teacher/Coach education courses and by experience at a level of competence acceptable for independent teaching/coaching practice.
Teachers/Coaches must be able to recognise and accept when to refer performers to other agencies. It is the responsibility of the Teacher/Coach as far as possible, to verify the competence and integrity of the person to whom they refer as performer.
Teachers/Coaches should regularly seek ways of increasing their professional development and self-awareness.
Teachers/Coaches should welcome evaluation of their work by colleagues and be able to account for performers, employers, Governing Bodies and colleagues for their actions.
Teachers/Coaches have a responsibility to themselves and their performers to maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and abilities, and to know when their personal resources are so depleted as to make it necessary for them to seek help and/or withdraw from teaching/coaching whether temporarily or permanently.
When recruiting club coaches and teachers whether paid or unpaid the following guidelines should be followed at all times.
1) Anyone has the potential to abuse children, male/female, young/old.
2) A potential abuser will choose to work where he has access to children.
3) An employer who asks the right questions and does the right checks to prevent abuse will put off a potential abuser from pursuing the application.
4) The same procedure in recruitment needs to be consistent whether the person is paid or unpaid, full or part time.
5) A potential abuser will not appear "different" and may be the most helpful and kind person in the group. To be particularly helpful, kind and friendly is part of the process by which the abuser becomes a trusted and respected member of the group. This is known as the "grooming process".
6) He/she may spend several months or years getting the trust of those around him to enable abuse to take place. In the case of sport some people will train within a club as a teacher or coach after having made themselves "invaluable" to the club committee, parents and swimmers.
When advertising for all staff to work directly with children you should:
1) Note in the advert that you have a Child Protection Policy.
2) Ensure all checks possible are made in advance of employment.
APLICATION FORMS AND INTERVIEWS
Application forms and the subsequent interview should be designed to elicit information required to ascertain the persons suitability to work with children and should include the following:
1) Past careers whether with children or not. (Any gaps in employment should be questioned at the interview.)
2) Any criminal record - specify that all offences against children need to be disclosed fully and will disqualify them from the position of a coach within swimming.
3) Whether the applicant has ever been refused employment with children and young people in the past.
4) Whether known in any capacity to a Social Services Department. If yes, details should be asked for and if need be dealt with further in the interview.
5) The name and address of two people (not relatives) as references including the last swimming club for whom they worked in the capacity for which they are applying. At least one reference must be able to comment upon the candidate's ability to work safely with children and young people.