Swanage Tennis Club’s Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy
Click here for a downloadable copy of the policy Policy Document
Swanage Tennis Club takes seriously the issue of safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. Within the course of providing our activities to club members and local residents, we have the opportunity to make positive impacts in improving children’s lives and protecting them, and vulnerable adults from injury and abuse. The Victoria Climbié and more recent publicised cases highlight the necessity for all organisations to be vigilant for child abuse, to recognise their duty of care, and to ensure that any concerns are acted upon, recorded and followed through.
The Club’s Commitments
We will seek to tackle the following responsibilities:-
We will avoid employing people or recruiting volunteers who are a risk to children or vulnerable adults in roles where they would have unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults.
We have a responsibility to identify potential risks to children and vulnerable adults, through the activities the club provides.
We will respond to accusations of inappropriate behaviour towards children or vulnerable adults by our coaches, volunteers, members or non-members in accordance with the LTA and local interagency procedures.
We will ensure that our concerns and warnings to other agencies do not go unheeded.
We will seek to prevent radicalisation of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Whom are we safeguarding and what are we safeguarding against? Who
Anyone under the age of 18
Young adults over the age of 18 who cannot protect themselves against harm or exploitation
Vulnerable adults – any person of 18 or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.
Sexual Abuse (by adults or other children)
Bullying / psychological / emotional abuse
Risk of injury
How will we go about it?
Have clear “Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection” policies and procedures for coaches, volunteers, club members and non-members.
Have (and promote to coaches, volunteers club members and non-members) clear communication channels in case of suspicions about child or vulnerable adult abuse, or other risks.
Appreciate and advise coaches, volunteers, club members and non-members that we can be held to account for “Child and Vulnerable Adult” safety issues.
Have a formal process for notifying and recording warnings to other agencies about potential child or vulnerable adults abuse.
How might Swanage Tennis Club become involved in children’s or vulnerable adults’ issues?
Running and organising activities and events for children or vulnerable adults
What is the legal and national guidance framework?
Chief Inspectors Reports on arrangements to Safeguard Children (2002 and 2005)
Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report
Every Child Matters
2004 Children Act
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services
UN convention of the Rights of the Child
Working Together To Safeguard Children http://www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk/index.html
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health Act 1983 as amended in 2007.
LTA Safeguarding Policies and Procedures https://www.lta.org.uk/about-the-lta/policies-andrules/safeguarding-protection/
Dorset Safeguarding Children Board https://www.dorsetlscb.co.uk/
Steps for coaches, volunteers, club members and non-members to follow to avoid putting themselves or children or vulnerable adults at risk
Ensure that all coaches and volunteers who have unsupervised / regular contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults in any capacity are DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checked.
Either avoid working or being alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult in a private or unobserved situation or if this is unavoidable ensure that the Welfare & Inclusion Officer or Chairperson of the committee is informed.
Avoid unnecessary physical contact with a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Protect information on, and images of, children being misused.
Advice on avoiding problems
Do not use verbal or physical chastisement that could be classified as abuse, (including shaking, hitting, shouting, swearing, or humiliating behaviour).
Do not enter any premises at the invitation, or with the acquiescence, of a child or young person unless an adult householder is also present
Maintain a safe and appropriate physical distance.
Do not allow a child, young person or vulnerable adult to make close physical contact with you.
Ensure that if any form of a manual/physical support is required it should only be provided when absolutely necessary in relation to the activity.
Do not take a child in a vehicle under any circumstances unless specifically authorised to do so.
Do not film or photograph children or young people, or allow others to do so, or use the images without expressed and recorded permission from their parent or guardian (sample form at Appendix 1).
Do not use general photographs of children unless they are appropriately dressed. (It is also preferable that they are in groups and engaged in an activity).
Do not do things of a personal nature that the child, young person or vulnerable adult is able to do themselves.
Ensure that services for children are provided in areas where children cannot be taken away, where adults are in sight of other adults, (and you should encourage children to report concerns).
Do not use physical restraint except as a last resort to prevent the child, young person or vulnerable adult causing damage or injury to themselves or another person.
Do not publish information about children that could lead to them being identified or traced.
Do be mindful in your use of social media
Action to be taken by coaches and volunteers if they feel that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk
In most circumstances it is unlikely that coaches or volunteers will be in a position to assess whether or not a child or vulnerable adult has been abused. However in certain areas, there is closer working with children or vulnerable adults and it is possible that abuse may be suspected. In general terms coaches should be alert to any suspicion of abuse. Any concerns held by coaches, volunteers or club members should be raised immediately and in the strictest of confidentiality with the Welfare Officer or Club Chairperson
All coaches, volunteers and club members who may have regular contact with children or vulnerable adults should be given copies of the Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection Reporting Concerns Procedure in Appendix 2.
Any concerns regarding a child, young person or vulnerable adult should be documented by the coach, volunteer or club member using the “Reporting A Concern” form in Appendix 3. This completed form should be handed to the Welfare Officer or Club Chairperson.
The Welfare Officer or Club Chairperson should provide reassurance to the reporting coach, volunteer or club member that the situation will be dealt with sensitively. The Welfare Officer and Chairperson will decide on the appropriate course of action following the procedure in Appendix 2.
Support will be provided to any coach or volunteer reporting concerns, and their safety considered when deciding whether to share information with parents or carers.
Copies of all documents must be kept securely regarding any concern and given to Chairperson. These will be deleted after 6 years.
If a coach, volunteer or club member suspects another coach, volunteer or club member of inappropriate behaviour towards a child, young person or vulnerable adult, it should be reported immediately to the Welfare Officer or Chairperson. Such concerns should be put in writing using the form in Appendix 3. The Welfare Officer and Chairperson will decide on the appropriate course of action following the procedure in Appendix 2. Action should be taken to remove any club member, coach or volunteer against whom an allegation has been made from any unsupervised contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults pending an interview and/or relevant investigation. Further advice can be obtained from the LTA Safeguarding Team or from guidance provided by the Dorset Safeguarding Children Board website.
Risk Assessment Wherever an event or activity is proposed for children, young people or vulnerable adults, the risks must be assessed in advance, and “safeguarding” issues and relevant matters addressed. Consent may also be required from parents (sample “Junior Enrolment Form” at Appendix 4) for children to take part.
We need to ensure correct adult/children ratios (see NSPC guidance) at events, and that suitable safety, security and sanitary facilities etc. are available.
All initiatives and facilities shall be designed and risk assessed to ensure low risk of injury to children or vulnerable adults.
Disclosure and Barring Services Check (DBS) All coaches, volunteers and club members who have unsupervised/regular contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be required to have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring check. This will be repeated on a three-yearly basis. When considering the feedback from the Disclosure and Barring Service only relevant convictions, cautions, or spent convictions will be considered. Consideration should be given to those coaches, volunteers or club members who may have spent convictions for consensual offences, that would not be offences in the present day following equality-based changes to offences.
To ensure confidentiality of information contained in any persons DBS check, only the Welfare & Inclusion Officer and Chairperson will review and approve the checks.
Appendix 5 confirms the roles requiring a Disclosure and Barring (CRB) check. These checks will be repeated every three years. The Committee will review the checks and update the training records on an annual basis.
Support for Coaches, Volunteers and Club Members All coaches and volunteers regularly working with children and vulnerable adults will receive familiarisation training with the Safeguarding Children Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy. Coaches and the Welfare Officer will be required, as a minimum, to have attended the LTA Safeguarding and Protection in Tennis course. Volunteers working closely with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be required to familiarise themselves with club policy and procedures. The Committee will maintain a log of club members requiring additional training, and this will be refreshed on a three yearly cycle to ensure it reflects changes to current practice (Appendix 5).
Allegations against Coaches, Volunteers or Club Members
If there is an allegation that a coach, volunteer or club member has not followed this policy the Welfare Officer and Chairperson will review the persons role within the club.
If there is an allegation or suspicion that a coach, volunteer or club member has
behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed a child or vulnerable adult,
possibly committed a criminal offence against / related to a child or vulnerable adult,
behaved towards a child or vulnerable adult in a way which indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children/vulnerable adults, then the procedure for reporting concerns or an allegation against a member of the tennis club will be followed as laid out in Appendix 2.
The allegation must be reported immediately to the Welfare Officer. If they are not available then the Chairperson must be contacted.
There may be three types of investigation carried out:
Child Protection Investigation / Adult Abuse Investigation
Review of the person’s future relationship with the club
This policy will be reviewed every three years by the Welfare Officer and Swanage Tennis Club Committee.
Version 1.1 24th September 2017 Review Date: September 2020
Supporting Detail and Forms:
Safeguarding, Welfare and Inclusion Policies and Procedures
i) Role of the Welfare and Inclusion Officer at Swanage Tennis Club
The Welfare & Inclusion Officer is responsible for creating a safe and inclusive venue for everyone. By ‘Safe and Inclusive tennis’ we mean safeguarding and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
· To promote safe and inclusive tennis, empowering staff, volunteers, coaches, members and the committee to deliver a safe and inclusive venue and culture
· To ensure safeguarding and equality are on the agenda at committee meetings and to assist where required with safe and inclusive risk assessments
· To ensure safe and inclusive information, including policies, reporting procedures and Welfare Officer poster is clearly displayed
· To champion respect and Fair Play
· To be the main point of contact for all children and adults to report concerns and disclosures, handling concerns calmly and sensitively in line with the club’s reporting procedure and prioritising the wellbeing of the child/adult at risk at all times
· To work with the LTA Safe and Inclusive Tennis teams when concerns arise within your club. To record concerns on the Reporting a Concern Form and forward to the Safeguarding Team
· To contact the Local Authority children’s or adults’ social care teams and the police where appropriate
· To support and assist your club to fulfill its safeguarding and EDI responsibilities for Tennismark accreditation
· To ensure the relevant people at your club attend the LTA Safeguarding and Protection in Tennis training
· To support any young volunteers at the club, having regular check-ins and being aware of young volunteer guidelines
· To check the LTA safeguarding section online for updates and resources.
Skills and traits
· Tactful and discrete
· Able to resolve conflict
· Engaging and supportive
· Approachable and trustworthy
· Good listener and friendly
· Caring and understanding
· Professional and helpful.
· Chairperson and management committee
· Volunteers at the venue
· All members – junior and senior, plus parents/carers of junior members.
· Attendance at key club events, such as open days and junior competition
· Attendance at management committee meetings
· 2-3 hours per week.
Criminal records check
· Essential for this role
ii) Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures
Safeguarding Plan for Junior Match Play
Supervision of Children
The number of adults required to supervise children is;
· 2:8 for children 10 years and under
· 2:10 for children 11 years and over
(This may be different for children with special needs and supported by a risk assessment)
It is recommended that children under the age of 13 years are supervised by their parent/carer whilst at a tennis venue and outside of any venue sessions, such as coaching lessons or tennis camps.
If the tennis club wishes, at their discretion to opt for a different age a thorough risk assessment of the venue, facilities and location should inform the decision.
Transportation of Children
If at all possible, coaches or volunteers should not be responsible for transporting children to and from the venue unless as part of a club organised trip (see below).
Parents may choose to make private arrangements with another adult (such as a family friend or other parent to transport their child, however, should let the team manager/head coach know.
In situations where the club is arranging transport for children (for example to an away match) the club must ensure;
· Parents are informed of the destination, reason for journey and who the driver will be.
· Parents must return to the team manager/head coach a completed ‘Consent and Emergency Contact’ form and the driver should have a copy of this with them on the journey in case of emergencies.
· There are two adults in the car. If children are a mixture of female and male, where possible the two adults should also be male and female.
· Children are seated in the back of the vehicle at all times.
· There is an established procedure in the event of a breakdown/emergency.
§ Driver to contact team manager
§ Team manager to contact children’s parents/carers
§ Team manager to contact host venue of necessary
· The driver has a valid UK driving licence, satisfactory DBS check, correct insurance, MOT certificate and complies with the laws on the use of seatbelts.
· If transporting in a mini-bus or bus the driver must also have the correct type of licence.
· If a taxi company is hired then the above checks need to be made
Code of Conduct for players
Players should take pride in their appearance and act in a professional manner when representing the tennis club, both on and off the court.
Captains/ Team managers should remind all players to be on their best behaviour when away, to lead by example and play by the LTA competition rules at all times.
Code of Conduct for adult coaches/volunteers/parents
All coaches/volunteers/parents should be made aware of the club’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
All coaches/volunteers/parents are expected to abide by the LTA and club code of conduct at all times.
iii) Lost, Abandoned or Missing Child Form
iv) Accident and Incident Reporting Form
Please see "Accidents and incidents" under Club News
v) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
Click here for a downloadable copy of the Policy Policy Document
The aim of this policy is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect and ensure members, non-members and visiting teams are not denied access to our tennis venue because of a discriminatory reason. An explanation of the different types of discrimination (age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender reassignment, religion and belief and sexual orientation) can be found in the LTA / Tennis Foundation Equality and Diversity Policy – www.lta.org.uk/equality.
This policy is fully supported by the management committee who are responsible for the implementation and review of this policy.
Therefore we will adhere to the following:
1. Take responsibility for setting and upholding standards and values that apply throughout the tennis venue at every level, so tennis can be enjoyed by everyone who wants to participate.
2. Demonstrate a commitment to eliminating discrimination by reason of age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, ability or disability and to encourage equal opportunities and an inclusive welcoming environment.
3. Ensure that employees, members, non-members and visiting teams are treated fairly and with respect and ensure that all members of the community regardless of their ability have access to and opportunities to take part in, and enjoy its programmes of activities, competitions and events.
4. Oppose all forms of harassment, bullying or abuse towards an individual or group whether it is physical, verbal or online that is based on any of the characteristics listed above or for any other reason. Any incidents of this or a similar nature will be treated seriously and subjected to the appropriate disciplinary process.
5. Ensure there is an immediate investigation of any complaints of discrimination on the above grounds, once they are brought to the attention of the tennis venue. Complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the complaints policy and, where such a complaint is upheld, the management committee may impose such sanctions as it considers appropriate and proportionate to the discriminatory behaviour.
6. Promote a culture that encourages the learning and development of coaches and volunteers in order to achieve greater diversity and inclusion within tennis. As a minimum the Head Coach and at least two volunteers will undertake the LTA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training.
7. Support, promote and enforce the LTA/Tennis Foundation Fair Play values within all tennis activities and environments.
8. Be committed to and deliver a policy of fair and equitable treatment for all members and employees and require all members, employees and volunteers to abide by and adhere to these policies and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 as well as any amendments to this Act or any new equality legislation.
9. Be committed and take action to create an inclusive environment that is welcoming and seeks to improve representation across all groups and participation at all levels within tennis.
Lodging a Complaint
In the event that any employee, member, volunteer, visitor or visiting team feels that he, she or they have suffered discrimination or harassment in any way or that the policies, rules or code of conduct have been broken they should follow the procedures below.
1. The complainant should report the matter in writing to the Welfare & Inclusion Officer or another member of the management committee. The report should include:
a) details of what occurred;
b) details of when and where the occurrence took place;
c) any witness details and copies of any witness statements;
d) names of any others who have been treated in a similar way (provided that those people consent to their names being disclosed);
e) details of any former complaints made about the incident, including the date and to whom such complaint was made; and
f) an indication as to the desired outcome.
2. If the person accused of discriminatory behaviour is an employee, the management committee will regard the incident as a disciplinary issue and will follow any disciplinary procedure set out for employees or (if none exists) the statutory disciplinary procedure.
3. If the person accused of discriminatory behaviour is a non-employee, the management committee or representatives of the management committee:
3.1 will request that both parties to the complaint submit written evidence regarding the incident(s);
3.2 may decide (at its sole discretion) after reviewing the complaint and supporting evidence to uphold or dismiss the complaint without holding a hearing;
3.3 may (at its sole discretion) hold a hearing (whether or not such a hearing is requested by either party) at which both parties will be entitled to attend and present their case;
3.4 will have the power to impose any one or more of the following sanctions on any person found to be in breach of any policy, (including the Equality Policy):
a) warn as to future conduct;
b) suspend from membership;
c) remove from membership;
d) exclude a non-member from the facility, either temporarily or permanently; and
e) turn down a non-member’s current and/or future membership applications.
3.5 will provide both parties with written reasons for its decision to uphold or dismiss the complaint within one (1) calendar month of such decision being made.
3.6 Either party may appeal a decision of the management committee to the County Association (including a decision not to hold a hearing) by writing to the [County Secretary] within 3 months of the Place to Play’s decision being notified to that party.
4. If the nature of the complaint is with regard to the management committee or other body or group in the Place to Play, the member/visitor has the right to report the discrimination or
harassment directly to the relevant County Association.
Last Updated: August 2018
vi) Anti Bullying Policy
Statement of Intent
We don’t put up with bullying in our club. You should tell someone if you see bullying.
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our members so they can play tennis in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club. If bullying does occur, all
players or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively.
We are a TELLING club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the club Welfare and Inclusion officer or a member of the committee. (Helen Knight & Alison Phin are currently undertaking the role of Welfare and Inclusion officer for the club).
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 carried out by anyone, children or adults.
Bullying can have lots of different forms:
· Emotional – being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally and physically), sending hurtful text messages, tormenting, (e.g. hiding racquets/other equipment, 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 focusing on the issue of sexuality
· Verbal – name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing
Here are some examples of what we call ‘bullying’:
· Someone calling you names
· Being threatened
· Being pressured to give someone your money or your things
· Being hit or pushed
· Having your possessions damaged or broken
· Someone spreading rumours about you or about your family
· Someone posting hurtful comments or pictures on the web (such as on Facebook)
Why do we care about bullying?
Bullying is a serious problem. You have the right to stop it.
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Players who are bullying need to learn a different way of behaving.
A club has a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Anti Bullying Policy
· To make sure that the club finds out about bullying and deals with it as well as possible.
· All committee members, coaches, volunteers, players and parents should know what bullying is.
· All committee members, coaches and volunteers must know and understand this policy and should follow it when bullying is reported.
· All players and parents should know about this policy, and should understand what to do if bullying arises.
· As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and parents should be assured that they would be supported when bullying is reported.
· Bullying will not be tolerated.
How to spot if someone is being bullied?
A child might show that he or she is being bullied in lots of ways. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and they should investigate if a child:
· Says he or she is being bullied
· Is unwilling to go to club sessions
· Becomes withdrawn anxious or lacking in confidence
· Feels ill before training sessions
· Comes home with torn/damaged clothes or damaged equipment
· 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 unlikely explanations for any of the above
In more extreme cases
Cries themselves to sleep or has nightmares
Becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
Bullies other children or siblings
Attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviour may indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
1. Report bullying incidents to the club Welfare and Inclusion officer, a member of the club committee or ring the LTA Safeguarding Team (contact details on website).
2. In cases of serious bullying, the club should contact the LTA for advice
3. Parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
4. If necessary and appropriate, the police will be consulted
5. The bullying behaviour and threats of bullying will be investigated and bullying will be stopped as quickly as possible.
6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behaviour and disciplinary action will also be considered where there have been serious acts of misconduct.
7. The club will initiate disciplinary action under the club constitution if the bully does not change his or her behaviour.
How we will work with the bully and the victim.
If we decide (if necessary after receiving advice from the LTA) that it is appropriate for us to deal with the situation, we will follow the procedure outlined below.
1. Where the victim is comfortable to do so and the bullying has not become very serious, reconciliation will be attempted by getting the parties together. It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.
2. If this fails/ or is not appropriate, a small panel (Made up from Chairman, Welfare and Inclusion officer, Secretary, Committee members) will meet with the parent and child alleging bullying to get details of the allegation.
Notes/minutes will be taken for clarity, and these should be agreed by all as a true account of the matter being investigated.
vii) Whistleblowing Policy
Safeguarding children and adults at risk requires everyone to be committed to the highest possible standards of openness, integrity and accountability. As a club, we are committed to encouraging and maintaining a culture where people feel able to raise a genuine safeguarding concern and are confident that it will be taken seriously.
What is whistle blowing?
In the context of safeguarding, “whistle blowing” is when someone raises a concern about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk.
A whistle blower may be:
· a player;
· a volunteer;
· a coach;
· other member of staff;
· an official;
· a parent;
· a member of the public.
How to raise a concern about a child or an adult at risk at the club
If a child or an adult at risk is in immediate danger or risk of harm, the police should be contacted by calling 999.
Where a child or an adult at risk is not in immediate danger, any concerns about their well-being should be made without delay to the Club Welfare Officers (Helen & Alison). The Club Welfare Officers will pass the details of the concern on to the LTA Safeguarding Team at the earliest opportunity and the relevant local authority and the police will be contacted, where appropriate.
If, however, the whistle blower does not feel comfortable raising a concern with the Club Welfare Officers, the whistle blower should contact the LTA Safeguarding Team directly on 020 8487 7000, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
Information to include when raising a concern
The whistle blower should provide as much information as possible regarding the incident or circumstance which has given rise to the concern, including:
· their name and contact details (unless they wish to remain anonymous);
· names of individuals involved;
· date, time and location of incident/circumstance; and
whether any witnesses were present.
‘Reporting A Concern’ forms can be found on the club noticeboard
What happens next?
All concerns raised by a whistle blower about the well-being of a child or an adult at risk will be taken seriously and every effort will be made to deal with each concern fairly, quickly and proportionately.
The club will not tolerate any harassment, victimisation or unfair treatment of, and will take appropriate action to protect, whistle blowers when they raise a concern in good faith.
Updated: August 2018