Child Protection Policy
• Policy Statement
• Policy Aims
• Promoting good practice
• Good practice guidelines
• Use of photographic/filming equipment
• Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
• Responding to allegations or suspicions
SALLE OSSIAN will strive to ensure that:
• The welfare of the child is paramount;
• All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious
beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse;
• All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and
responded to swiftly and appropriately;
• All staff (paid/unpaid) working in sport have a responsibility to report concerns to the
appropriate officer. Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to
decide if abuse has occurred.
SALLE OSSIAN has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in SALLE OSSIAN
from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and
others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. SALLE OSSIAN
will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in FencingFit through
the Child Protection guidelines adopted by SALLE OSSIAN.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
The aim of the SALLE OSSIAN Child Protection Policy is to promote good
• Providing children and young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the
care of SALLE OSSIAN;
• Allow all staff /volunteers to make informed and confident responses to
specific child protection issues.
Promoting Good Practice
Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those
facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not
allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to
Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the
sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or
voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor,
teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and
be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All
suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines
in this document.
When a child enters the club activity 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 the club activity organiser must work
with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required
Good Practice Guidelines
All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in
order to promote childrens’ welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations
being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a
positive culture and climate.
Good Practice Means:
• Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or
unobserved situations and encouraging open communication with no
• Treating all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and
• 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 for staff or volunteers to have an intimate relationship with
a child or to share a room with them).
• 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. Care is needed, as it is difficult to
maintain hand positions when the child is constantly moving. Young
people and their parents should always be consulted and their
• Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications and insurance in
• Involving parents/carers wherever possible. For example, encouraging
them to take responsibility for their children in the changing rooms. If
groups have to be supervised in the changing rooms, always ensure
parents, teachers, coaches or officials work in pairs
• Ensuring that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be
accompanied by a male and female member of staff. However,
remember that same gender abuse can also occur
• Ensuring that at tournaments or residential events, adults should not
enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms
• Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking
alcohol in the company of young people
• Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative
• 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 administer 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
• Requesting written parental consent if club officials are required to
transport young people in their cars
Practices to be avoided
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where
these situations are unavoidable it should be 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:
• Avoid spending time alone with children away from others
• Avoid taking or dropping off a child to an event or activity
Practices never to be sanctioned
The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:
• Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including
• Share a room with a child
• 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
• Fail to act upon and record any allegations made by a child
• Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults, that they
can do for themselves
• Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised
N.B. It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a
personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled.
These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and
consent of parents and the players involved. There is a need to be responsive
to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her
about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly
so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where
there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular
activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the
appropriate officer and record the incident. You 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.
Use of photographic/filming equipment
There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an
opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and
disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. All clubs should be vigilant and
any concerns should to be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer.
Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent club coaches and
teachers using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However,
performers and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of
the coaching programme and their consent obtained, and such films should
be stored safely.
Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
SALLE OSSIAN 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. Pre-selection
checks must included the following:
• All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. The
application form will elicit information about an applicant’s past and a
self disclosure about any criminal record
• Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from
the Criminal Records Bureau
• Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work
with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed
through telephone contact
• Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo)
Interview and Induction
All employees (and volunteers) will be required to undergo an interview
carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and
volunteers should receive an induction, during which:
• A check should be made that the application form has been completed
in full (including sections on criminal records and self-disclosures).
• Their qualifications should be substantiated
• The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.
• Child protection procedures are explained and training needs are
• They should sign up to the organisation’s Code of Ethics and Conduct
and Child Protection policy
In addition to preselection checks, the safeguarding process includes training
after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
• Analyse their own practice against established good practice, and to
ensure their practice is not likely to result in allegations being made.
• Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about
suspected poor practice or possible abuse.
• Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
• Work safely effectively with children.
• Coaching staff to attend a recognised 3-hour good practice and child
protection awareness training workshop, to ensure their practice is
exemplary and to facilitate the development of a positive culture
towards good practice and child protection.
• Non-coaching staff and volunteers to complete a recognised
awareness training on child protection.
• Relevant personnel to receive advisory information outlining good
practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns
about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person.
• Relevant personnel to gain a national first aid training (where
• Attend update training when necessary. Information about meeting
training needs can be obtained from Sports Coach UK, the NSPCC,
and the Sport Council
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in SALLE OSSIAN, in a paid or unpaid
capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a
responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the
SALLE OSSIAN 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 there may be three
types of investigation:
• A criminal investigation,
• A child protection investigation,
• A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence
and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be
used to reach a decision.
Action if there are concerns
1. Concerns about poor practice:
• If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice;
the designated/Club Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a
• If the allegation is about poor practice by the Organisation/Club Child
Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and
concerns remain, it should be reported to the relevant officer at Scottish Fencing who will
decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary
2. Concerns about suspected abuse
• Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff
or a volunteer should be reported to the Organisation/Club 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
• The Organisation/Club Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation
to the social services department who may involve the police
• The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible
following advice from the social services department
• The Organisation/Club Child Protection Officer should also notify the
relevant officer at Scottish Fencing who in turn will inform the Child Protection Officer who
will deal with any media enquiries
• If the Organisation/Club 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 Scottish
Fencing Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to Social Services
Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.
Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This
includes the following people:
• The Club Child Protection Officer
• The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
• The person making the allegation
• Social services/police
• The FencingFit and Scottish Fencing Child Protection Officers
• Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the
alleged abuser is a child)
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
Internal Enquiries and Suspension
• The SALLE OSSIAN Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about
whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further
police and social services inquiries.
• Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the SALLE OSSIAN
Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff
or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a
difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by
the police. In such cases, the SALLE OSSIAN Disciplinary Committee must reach a
decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of
probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child
should remain of paramount importance throughout.
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
• Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members
of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an
open culture and help the healing process. The British Association for Counselling
Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place,
Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899, Fax: 01788 562189, E-mail:
• Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged
1.Allegations of previous abuse
Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult
who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently
working with children). Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the
procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police.
This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from
this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is
automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the
Protection of Children Act 1999.
2.Action if bullying is suspected
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in ‘Responding
to suspicions or allegations’ above. 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 (It is believed that up to 12
children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or
threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately). 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 the Club 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.
• Insist on the return of ‘borrowed’ items and that the bully(ies)
compensate the victim.
• Provide support for the victim’s coach.
• Impose sanctions as necessary.
• Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
• Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.
• Inform all organisation members of action taken.
• Keep a written record of action taken.
• Most ‘low level’ incidents will be dealt with at the time by coaches and volunteers.
However, if the bullying is severe (e.g. a serious assault), or if it persists despite efforts to
deal with it, incidents should be referred to the designated/Club Child Protection Officer as
in”responding to suspicions or allegations” above.
3.Concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or a carer)
• Report your concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer, who should contact social
services or the police as soon as possible.
See 4. below for the information social services or the police will
• If the Club Child Protection Officer is not available, the person being
told of or discovering the abuse should contact social services or the
• Social Services and the Club Child Protection Officer will decide how to
involve the parents/carers.
• The Club Child Protection Officer should also report the incident to the
Scottish Fencing. The Governing Body should ascertain whether or not the person/s
involved in the incident play a role in FencingFit and act accordingly.
• Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only.
• See 4 below regarding information needed for social service
4. Information for social services or the police about suspected abuse
To ensure that this information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record
should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern, which should
include the following:
• The child’s name, age and date of birth of the child.
• The child’s home address and telephone number.
• Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own
concerns or those of someone else.
• The nature of the allegation. Include dates, times, any special factors
and other relevant information.
• Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
• A description of any visible bruising or other injuries. Also any indirect
signs, such as behavioural changes.
• Details of witnesses to the incidents.
• The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how
any bruising or other injuries occurred.
• Have the parents been contacted?
• If so what has been said?
• Has anyone else been consulted? If so record details.
• If the child was not the person who reported the incident, has the child
been spoken to? If so what was said?
• Has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record details.
• Where possible referral to the police or social services should be
confirmed in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who
took the referral should be recorded.