Oundle Tennis Club Safeguarding Policy
The Club Welfare Officer is Tean Hatt who can be contacted on: 07770 263159 - [email protected]
Oundle Tennis Club takes the welfare and safeguarding of its members seriously, particularly those who are aged under 18 and/or who are considered to be at risk. Should members, parents or guardians have any concerns, they should use the diagram in the image at the top of this page as guide to reporting any safeguarding concerns.
1. Policy statement
Oundle 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 competitions arranged by the club run in accordance with the LTA’s Safeguarding at Events, Activities 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.
(Click here the NSPCC website to gather more detail about types of abuse).
This Policy is applicable to all staff, volunteers, committee members, coaches and club members. 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
SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY: NOT RESPONDING TO A SAFEGUARDING CONCERN IS NOT AN OPTION.
- Our club’s committee has overall accountability for this Policy and its implementation
- Our club Welfare Officer, Tean Hatt, 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 the Policy and Code of Conduct
- The LTA Safeguarding Team and Tennis Scotland, Tennis Wales and Tennis Foundation Safeguarding Leads can offer support to help clubs proactively safeguard.
Where there is a safeguarding concern/disclosure:
- The individual who is told about, hears, or is made aware of the concern/disclosure is responsible for following the Reporting a Safeguarding Concern Procedure shown in the flowchart at the beginning of this policy and the guidance in Appendix A. Unless someone is in immediate danger, they should inform their club Welfare Officer, LTA Safeguarding Team or National Safeguarding Lead.
- The club Welfare Officer and Safeguarding Leads are responsible for reporting safeguarding concerns to the LTA Safe Safeguarding Team.
- The LTA Safeguarding Team is responsible for assessing all safeguarding concern/disclosures that are reported to them and working with the club Welfare Officer and National Safeguarding Leads to follow up as appropriate on a case-by-case basis, prioritising the well-being of the child/ adult at risk at all times.
Dependent on the concern/disclosure, a referral may be made to:
- The police in an emergency (999);
- Local Authority - Northamptonshire County Council Children’s Services 0300 126 1000
- Designated Officer (England only) for concerns/disclosures about a member of staff, consultant, coach, official or volunteer.
5. Breaches of the Safeguarding Policy, Code of Conduct and 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 appeal procedure. Copy on request.
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 Officer. 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, however, the whistle blower does not feel comfortable raising a concern with the Club Welfare Officer, 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.
The Club Welfare Officer, Tean Hatt, can be contacted on: 07770 263159, [email protected]
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.
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.
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.
Codes of Conduct
All members of staff, volunteers and members agree to:
- Prioritise the well-being of all children and adults at risk at all times
- Treat all children and adults at risk fairly and with respect
- Be a positive role model. Act with integrity, even when no one is looking
- Help to create a safe and inclusive environment both on and off court
- Not allow any rough or dangerous behaviour, bullying or the use of bad or inappropriate language
- Report all allegations of abuse or poor practice to the club Welfare Officer
- Not use any sanctions that humiliate or harm a child or adult at risk
- Value and celebrate diversity and make all reasonable efforts to meet individual needs
- Keep clear boundaries between professional and personal life, including on social media
- Have the relevant consent from parents/carers, children and adults before taking or using photos and videos
- Refrain from making physical contact with children or adults unless it is necessary as part of an emergency or congratulatory (e.g. handshake / high five)
- Refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol during club activities or coaching sessions
- Ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined and everyone has the required information and training
- Avoid being alone with a child or adult at risk unless there are exceptional circumstances
- Refrain from transporting children or adults at risk, unless this is required as part of a club activity (e.g. away match) and there is another adult in the vehicle
- Not abuse, neglect, harm or discriminate against anyone; or act in a way that may be interpreted as such
- Not have a relationship with anyone under 18 for whom they are coaching or responsible for
- Be acutely aware of the power that coaches and coaching assistants develop over players in the coaching relationship and avoid any intimacy (sexual or otherwise) with players
All children agree to:
- Be friendly, supportive and welcoming to other children and adults
- Play fairly and honestly
- Respect club staff, volunteers and Officials and accept their decisions
- Behave, respect and listen to your coach
- Take care of your equipment and club property
- Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of age, gender, ability, race, culture, religion or sexual identity
- Not use bad, inappropriate or racist language, including on social media
- Not bully, intimidate or harass anyone, including on social media
- Not smoke, drink alcohol or drugs of any kind on club premises or whilst representing the club at competitions or events
- Talk to the club Welfare Officer about any concerns or worries they have about themselves or others
All parents and carers agree to:
- Positively reinforce your child and show an interest in their tennis
- Use appropriate language at all times
- Be realistic and supportive
- Never ridicule or admonish a child for making a mistake or losing a match
- Treat all children, adults, volunteers, coaches, officials and members of staff with respect
- Behave responsibly at the venue; do not embarrass your child
- Accept the official’s decisions and do not go on court or interfere with matches
- Encourage your child to play by the rules, and teach them that they can only do their best
- Deliver and collect your child punctually from the venue
- Ensure your child has appropriate clothing for the weather conditions
- Ensure that your child understands their code of conduct
- Adhere to your venue’s safeguarding policy, diversity and inclusion policy, rules and regulations
- Provide emergency contact details and any relevant information about your child including medical history
This Policy is reviewed every two years (or earlier if there is a change in national legislation).
This Policy is recommended for approval by:
Club Committee Chair: Louise Haider Date: 16th February 2019
Club Welfare Officer: Tean Hatt Date: 16th February 2019
Appendix A: What to do if a disclosure from a child or adult at risk is made to you:
- Listen carefully and calmly to the individual
- Reassure the individual that they have done the right thing and what they have told you is very important
- Avoid questioning where possible, and never ask leading questions
- Do not promise secrecy. Let the individual know that you will need to speak to the Welfare Officer/LTA Safeguarding Team because it is in their best interest. If you intend to speak to the police or social care, you should let them know this too.
- Report the concern. In an emergency, call the police (999), otherwise talk to the Welfare Officer/LTA Safeguarding Team as soon as possible. Do not let doubt/personal bias prevent you from reporting the allegation
- Record details of the disclosure and allegation using the LTA’s online reporting a concern form within 24 hours. If you do not have access to the online form, write down the details using what you have available then sign and date it.
Appendix B: Reporting a Safeguarding Concern outside the Tennis Environment
What to do if someone is worried that a child is being abused outside the tennis environment (e.g. at home, school or in the community) but the concern is identified through the child’s involvement in tennis.
For Tennis Wales / Tennis Scotland cases, on-going consultation will take place with them.
If a member of staff, coach or volunteer is made aware of concerns about a child’s welfare or safety (e.g. suspicions of bullying at school, allegations of abuse within the family etc.) they should make a note of anything the young person/witness has said, and what they have seen with dates and times.
Note: They should inform the parent/carer of the concern, unless they believe it would put the child/adult, themselves or others at risk.
If they feel that the young/vulnerable person requires immediate medical attention, call an ambulance. If they do not require immediate medical attention, the Club's Welfare Officer should be called who will report the concern to Social Services/Police immediately.
If the Welfare Officer cannot be contacted, the NSPCC (number below), Police or Social Care should be called immediately. The LTA safeguarding team may be called for advice during office hours
The referrer should complete the LTA’s online concern form within 24 hours
The Safeguarding Team consider need for support or advice for original referrer, Club Welfare Officer or others involved.
British Tennis Services team: 020 8487 7000
Email: [email protected]
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
Emergency Services: 999
Tean Hatt, Club Welfare Officer: 07770 263159