Policies and Procedures

Please see below for our guide to our child protection and complaints procedure

 

Child Protection Policy – OVERVIEW

 

SportNE believes that child protection is an important issue that must be addressed and adhered to by all SportNE staff.  Using the national governing body of each sport covered by the company, the Child protection policies of each will be adhered to.  Below is an extract from their policy, the aims of this policy are:

 

  • To develop a positive and pro-active position in order to best protect all children and young people who play sports, enabling them to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment.

 

  • To demonstrate ethics and high standards through sport participation.

 

The key principles underpinning this policy are that:

 

  • The child’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.

 

  • All children and young people have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity.

 

  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

 

 

Every Child or young person who plays or participates in sport should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse.  This is the responsibility of every adult in the chosen sport.

 

SportNE recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm or from neglect or bullying.  SportNE follows the Child Protection Procedures and Practices handbook, and advocates that it should be consulted at all times.

 

In order for SportNE to keep its high standards, all staff must be qualified to a minimum of Level 1 in coaching for their chosen sport.  This allows SportNE to ensure that all staff has a valid CRB form, in current use for their chosen sport.  As well as this, SportNE ensures that all staff continues to be up to date with current child protection issues by encouraging staff to attend Child Protection workshops in their sport.

 

SportNE maintains equal opportunities in employment; therefore it will subject all staff to Criminal Record Bureau checks.  SportNE will consider, having taken advice, whether anyone who has a previous criminal conviction or caution for offences related to the abuse of children or young people, violence or any sexual offences should be excluded from working with children and young people.  This position is reinforced by U.K. legislation and guidance.

 

 CHILD PROTECTION POLICY (updated Sept 2013)

 

Promotion of good practice – Introduction

 

SportNE recognises that Child abuse of all nature can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to recognise these feelings; however they must not interfere with the judgement and action taken. SportNE recognises that abuse can occur in all environments, be in the home, school or any sporting context, and can occur in the most subtle and obvious forms.

A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer may have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where a young person needs protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document. When a child enters the club having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self esteem. In such instances SportNE must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.

 

Good Practice Guidelines

All people working for SportNE in a sporting environment should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are examples of good practice and should be adhered to at all times by staff:

 

Good practice means:

  • Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment i.e. no secrets).
  • Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.
  • Always putting the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
  • maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with players (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child)
  • building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process;
  • Making sport fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
  • Ensuring that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it should be provided openly and according to guidelines provided by the Coach Education Programme, and those outlined by the governing body of that sport. An explanation of manual support should be given to the child prior to it occurring and if necessary explanation should also be given to the parent/guardian of the child and agreement sought from both parties. The views of both child and parent/guardian should be carefully considered.
  • Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in sport, particularly the advancement of coaching techniques and child protection workshops.
  • If groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, it shall be ensured that parents/teachers/coaches/officials work in pairs.

 

  • All coaches are to be viewed as a role model for the child – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the company of young people and showing a professional attitude to sport at all times. Particularly important is respect for officials and coaches and the promotion of good attitude towards them should be encouraged.
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
  • Securing parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment.
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

Practice to be avoided

 

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:

 

  • spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others, if necessary ensure there are always two coaches present
  • If a child needs to go to hospital it should be ensured that the child is accompanied by a coach and a responsible adult.
  • If a parent fails to arrive to pick the child up at the end of a session then two coaches must wait while the parent is contacted/or arrives.

Practice never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay;
  • allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching;
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged;
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun;
  • reduce a child to tears as a form of control;
  • allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon;
  • do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they can do for themselves;

N.B. Coaches of SportNE must avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which they are not appropriately trained, if circumstances occur where they are asked to perform tasks for which they are not trained, e.g. assisting a child to dress appropriately, they must seek assistance and consent from the parent/guardian of the child to perform such tasks. A child should be encouraged to perform these tasks for themselves wherever possible.

If any of the following should occur SportNE coaches should report this immediately to another colleague and record the incident. They should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:

  • If you accidentally hurt a player.
  • If he/she seems distressed in any manner.
  • If a player appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
  • If a player misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.

 

Guidelines for Use of Photographic Filming Equipment at Sporting Events

 

SportNE recognises that this is a sensitive issue and vigilance is encouraged at all times. If a coach feels inappropriate use of such equipment occurs they must report it immediately. If photography is required, written and verbal consent will be sought from every child and every parent/guardian for that child, having being given an explanation for the reason of the event, prior to the photography/filming taking place.

 

Photography and filming of a sporting event may occur legitimately for the purpose of event analysis, where this is the case guidelines (given above) will be adhered to and care will be taken for the storage of such films.

 

 

Recruitment and selecting staff and volunteers

 

SportNE recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children.

 

SportNE maintains equal opportunities in employment; therefore it will subject all staff to Criminal Record Bureau checks.  SportNE will consider, having taken advice, whether anyone who has a previous criminal conviction or caution for offences related to the abuse of children or young people, violence or any sexual offences should be excluded from working with children and young people.  This position is reinforced by U.K. legislation and guidance.

 

In order for SportNE to keep its high standards, all staff must be qualified to a minimum of Level 1 in coaching for their chosen sport.  This allows SportNE to ensure that all staff has a valid CRB form, in current use for their chosen sport.  As well as this, SportNE ensures that all staff continues to be up to date with current child protection issues by encouraging staff to attend Child Protection workshops in their sport.

 

 

Responding to suspicions or allegations

 

It is not the responsibility of anyone working for SportNE, in a paid or unpaid capacity, to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place.

However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

SportNE will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff advice will be sought about how to take appropriate action.

 

 

Action if there are concerns

 

Poor Practice

  • If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; SportNE Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue – SportNE Management.
  • If the allegation is about poor practice by SportNE Child Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the relevant authorities who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

Suspected Abuse

  • Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to SportNE Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
  • SportNE Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours.
  • The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
  • SportNE Child Protection Officer should also notify the relevant authorities who in turn will inform the Child Protection Officer who will deal with any media enquiries.
  • If SportNE Child Protection Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the appropriate Manager or in his/her absence the Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to Social Services.

Confidentiality

SportNE aims to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.

Any information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

  • SportNE Child Protection Officer;
  • The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused;
  • The person making the allegation;
  • Social services/police;
  • The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child). *

*Seek social services advice on who should approach alleged abuser.

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

 

Action if Bullying is Suspected

The same procedure should be followed as set out in the Section relating to responding to suspicions or allegations, if bullying is suspected. All settings in which children are provided with services or are living away from home should have rigorously enforced anti-bullying strategies in place.

 

 

 

Action to Help the Victim and Prevent Bullying in Sport:

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns. Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. Create an open environment.
  • Investigate all allegations and take action to ensure the victim is safe. Speak with the victim and the bully(ies) separately.
  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
  • Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).
  • Report any concerns to SportNE Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring).

Action Towards the Bully(ies):

  • Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an apology to the victim(s).
  • Inform the bully’s parents.
  • Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
  • Inform all organisation members of action taken.
  • Keep a written record of action taken.

 

These are guidelines given by the NSPCC and should be followed in all cases.

 

 

SportNE Parents Complaints Procedure

We hope that you are satisfied with all aspects of your SportNE experience, however if you do at any time encounter difficulties or problems with SportNE it is your right to have this dealt with efficiently, sensitively and confidentially.

Initially your complaint should be directed to the Camp Co-ordinator in person (where possible) and as soon as possible. Please give the Camp Co-ordinator as much information as possible regarding the complaint. The Camp Co-ordinator will then either:

  • Investigate the complaint and feedback to the parent within a specified time period.
  • Escalate the problem to the SportNE management who will contact you with further information

The Camp Co-ordinator will decide which of these actions is most appropriate in consultation with you.

If you feel that the problem has not been satisfactorily dealt with by the Camp Co-ordinator, or you are unhappy to take the problem to the Camp Co-ordinator, you should bring your complaint to the SportNE management directly, by emailing info@sportne.co.uk, phoning 01912817678, or arranging a meeting to visit the office in person.

In exceptional circumstances, where you feel that you cannot approach the SportNE management with the complaint, you have the right to report directly to Ofsted. Ofsted can be contacted at www.ofsted.co.uk or on 0300 123 1231.

 

REFUND POLICY

We will happily offer a refund for the sessions BEFORE the week has started.

HOWEVER, once the week has started, the first day (whenever this falls) will be deducted at a cost of £30 per day. If you wish to cancel the remainder of the days this is at the residual amount we owe you.

For example: Booking for 3-day flexi option (cost £65). Days booked Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday. 

If cancelled once the camp has started (i.e. on the Monday) then first day is charged (£30) and a remaining £35 is refunded back.

We appreciate your understanding on the matter.