Church Broughton Tennis Club acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults at risk. The club is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and LTA requirements.
The club’s safeguarding policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children and adults at risk are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children:
- have a positive and enjoyable experience of tennis at [insert name of club] in a safe and inclusive environment
- are protected from abuse whilst participating in tennis.
The Club acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and we accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.
As part of our safeguarding policies we will:
- promote and prioritise the safety and well-being of children and adults at risk
- ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and adults at risk
- encourage and maintain a culture where people feel able to raise a genuine safeguarding concern and are confident that it will be taken seriously
- ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern
- ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
- prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals
- ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation
SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
NOT RESPONDING TO A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN IS NOT AN OPTION.
1. Policy statement
Church Broughton Tennis Club is committed to prioritising the well-being of all children and adults at risk, promoting safeguarding in our club at all times, including all programmes and events we run. All activities, events and trips arranged by the club run in accordance with the LTA’s Safeguarding at Events and Competitions guidance. This Policy strives to minimise risk, deliver a positive tennis experience for everyone and respond appropriately to all safeguarding concerns/disclosures.
2. Use of terminology
Child: a person under the age of eighteen years.
Note that some legislation in Scotland defines a child as a person under sixteen years old. However, where there is any safeguarding concern, anyone under the age of 18 is regarded as a child unless advised otherwise by the LTA Safeguarding Team .
Adult at risk: a person aged eighteen years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is, or may be, unable to take care of, or unable to protect him or herself against abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding children: protecting children from abuse and neglect, preventing the impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that they grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care, and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Safeguarding adults at risk: protecting adults from abuse and/or neglect. Enabling adults to maintain control over their lives and make informed choices without coercion. Empowering adults at risk, consulting them before taking action, unless someone lacks the capacity to make a decision, or their mental health poses a risk to their own or someone else’s safety, in which case, always acting in his or her best interests.
(See appendix A for full glossary of terms).
This Policy is applicable to all staff, volunteers, committee members, coaches, club members and parents/children attending the club. It is in line with national legislation and applicable across the UK.
Advice, guidance and support is available from the LTA Safeguarding Team.
4. Responsibility for the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure
- Our club’s committee has overall accountability for this Policy and its implementation
- Our club Welfare Officer is responsible for updating this Policy in line with legislative and club developments
- All individuals involved in/present at the club are required to adhere to this Policy, in conjunction with the Concern Reporting Procedure and the Club Code of Conduct
- The LTA Safeguarding Team can offer support to help clubs proactively safeguard.
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 at the club
If anyone at the club has safeguarding concerns about a child or adult at risk, they should follow the club’s Concern Reporting Procedure which contains a flowchart of the process to follow, full contact details, etc.
In general, unless there is an immediate risk to a child or adult at risk, then the first point of contact will be the club Welfare Officer, but the Concern Reporting Procedure also provides alternative options if the Welfare Officer is not available, or the individual does not wish to involve the Welfare Officer for some reason.
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 Welfare Officer 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 the whistle blower does not believe that the concern has been dealt with appropriately and wishes to speak to someone outside the club or the LTA Safeguarding Team, the NSPCC Whistleblowing advice line should be contacted on 0800 028 0285 or by emailing [email protected].
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.
6. The Role of the Club Welfare Officer
The club aims to maintain a safe and well organised environment for all to enjoy playing tennis. These Welfare Officer guidelines are included to ensure continuity when club officers change. The LTA’s general role description is included in Appendix B.
- The Club Welfare Officer will be a person who is not a coach, but is generally quite involved with the coaching to keep an independent eye on any safeguarding and equality issues at coaching. Ideally they will also be a member of the club but this is not a requirement as long as they come along to the club frequently – eg a non-member parent of a junior attending coaching. The Welfare Officer must also have:
- A DBS check (specific to the club) – renewable every three years
- Attended an approved LTA Level 1 safeguarding course (eg “Safeguarding and Protection in Tennis” and, within a year, also have attended a Level 2 course (eg “A Time to Listen”)
- A photo of the Welfare Officer and their contact details will be displayed prominently in the clubhouse and contact information will also be available on the club website
- The Club’s “Safeguarding Policy”, “Diversity & Inclusion Policy”, “Concern Reporting Procedure” and “Code of Conduct” will also be displayed in the clubhouse and available on the club website, with the relevant flowcharts, contact numbers, etc prominent and clear.
- Other key club personnel that need to interact closely with children or vulnerable adults should also have, as a minimum, a DBS check. For these people, the club will accept a recent DBS check carried out for other organisations if appropriate. The Welfare Officer will maintain a confidential list of who has checks, when they expire, etc. This includes:
- Junior match captains
- The Membership Secretary, Treasurer and other club officers that may require access to contact information – either online or in the locked location for paper documents.
- Any other people associated with the club that are regularly in a position of authority or trust with children or vulnerable adults, or access sensitive personal data associated with them.
- Wherever possible, other members of the committee or involved adults will be encouraged to attend the LTA safeguarding courses, so that as many people at the club as possible are aware of safeguarding issues and how to actively maintain a safe environment. This also provides additional trained personnel who can take over the Welfare Officer role in the event that they are unavailable, move or resign at short notice.
- The Club will ask all parents to fill in an initial paper registration form at the first session they attend, as well as to register their details online on the Clubspark system – either immediately as a full member or temporarily as a “non member registration”. Either way, both the paper form and the online process will ask parents to:
- Provide contact details and an additional emergency contact
- Fill in any medical requirements, food allergies, etc that the club should be aware of:
- Give consent (or not) for coaches to give basic first aid if required
- Give consent (or not) for coaches to give basic contact and medical information, etc to medical staff if required in an emergency
- Give consent (or not) for photographs to be taken
The Welfare Officer will keep a list of consents, medical information, etc up-to-date for coaches and others to use – either in paper form in the clubhouse or via the club’s data management system (eg Clubspark)
- The Club will store all paper information in a locked drawer / cabinet that is only accessible to coaches, the Welfare Officer and other club officers that may need it. On at least an annual basis, the Club Welfare Officer or other authorised committee members (eg the Membership Secretary) will review the paper documentation and online records to check that we are only holding current information – as described in more detail in our Data Protection Policy.
- The Welfare Officer will try to involve children in decision making and feed this back to committee meetings. They will help to make the club Child Centred, so that it continually considers how to improve tennis for children and give them the opportunities they need. Where possible, the Welfare Officer will give children an opportunity to contribute ideas for improving the club and its policies.
- The Welfare Officer and Committee will be responsible for reviewing club policies, including this Safeguarding Policy at least every two years to ensure that all information is current – in particular making sure that local and national safeguarding and whistle blowing contact numbers are updated and prominently displayed at the club.
7. Guidance for Coaches at the club
The Head Coach and Welfare Officer will be responsible for ensuring that all coaches working at the club are made aware of this guidance before they start at the club, follow it and are reminded of it as often as necessary.
- All coaches employed by CBLTC will be LTA accredited as soon as possible after completing their initial coach training. This requires:
- Coaching training course
- DBS check (specific to tennis coaching) – renewable every three years
- Going on an LTA approved safeguarding course
- Going on an LTA approved First Aid course
- Paying an annual LTA accreditation fee
The club will pay coaches half of the upfront cost of any required training course, certificate, etc in order to achieve this accreditation.
The Head Coach and Club Welfare Officer, as well as the individual coaches, will be responsible for ensuring that all coaches maintain a current LTA accreditation and renew their training or certification as often as is required by the LTA.
- Coaches must, of course, adhere to the club Code of Conduct at all times. But they must be particularly mindful of the extra position of trust and responsibility that they have with the children and adults they are coaching.
- Coaches should not communicate directly by text, phone, etc with a child. Always communicate with the parent or, as children get older (14+) and take more responsibility, create a group chat that always includes the child and their parent.
- Although younger players may see you as a friend, and may request to be your ‘friend’ on a social media site, you should direct them to the tennis club related page and keep all contact professional via their parents. What they might consider innocent, friendly contact may not be seen as such by their parents, people at the club and others. You should also ensure that your social media communications privacy settings are set to “Friends Only” so that children that may look for you would not find anything that might be inappropriate.
- It can create a really positive message to post on Facebook, etc. But coaches must only post photos of children if they have parental consent to do so and also respect children’s wishes on the matter. In all posts, only ever use first names, not surnames to protect children’s identity.
There are many considerations when setting coach / player ratios. Ultimately the responsibility lies with coaches, but Church Broughton includes this guidance from the LTA to help coaches. The aim is always to ensure that on-court coaching is delivered safely, to good quality and providing good value for money, and also ensures that in the event of an emergency that requires either the coach or a child to leave the court, that there is still adequate supervision for all.
Coaches (and any other staff and volunteers) should not allow children to go to the toilet or leave a session on their own. Coaches, staff and volunteers should not go into the toilet with children.
Wherever possible, junior coaching at the club will be organised as group coaching with two or more coaches in attendance. This ensures that there is always a second coach to look after the main group should an accident occur that requires the other coach to attend to. It also provides a second account of events in the event of allegations by parents or children.
Recommended minimum coach / player ratios are shown below, although the coach should also use their judgement about these, taking into account factors such as the level & experience of the players, the experience of the coach, the facilities available, the aims of the activity, etc.
There may also occasionally be instances when a coach is alone with a group. The club recognises that many children reach a point where they thrive best with individual one-to-one coaching. The guidelines below outline how coaches can ensure that in these situations, coaching can still be carried out safely, with minimum risk to coaches and children.
8. Breaches of the Safeguarding Policy, Code of Conduct or Concern Reporting Procedure
Breaches of this Policy and/or failure to comply with the outlined responsibilities may result in the following:
- Disciplinary action leading to possible exclusion from the club, dismissal and legal action
- Termination of current and future roles within the club and roles in other clubs, the LTA, Tennis Wales, Tennis Scotland and the Tennis Foundation.
Actions taken by players, parents or carers, staff, consultants, volunteers, officials, coaches inside or outside of the club that are seen to contradict this Policy may be considered a violation of this Policy.
Where an appeal is lodged in response to a safeguarding decision made by the club, the individual should adhere to the club’s Complaints Prcedure.
This Policy is recommended for approval by:
Club Committee Chair Jeremy Fisk Date: 24/02/2020
Club Welfare Officer Jeremy Fisk Date: 24/02/2020
Appendix A: Glossary of Terms
Appendix B: Welfare Officer Role Description