This policy applies to all Microsport coaches, staff and anyone working on behalf of Microsport Activity Clubs Ltd.
Microsport has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in its activities from harm. Safeguarding is ensuring children are protected by having systems and policies in place and taking appropriate action when a child is harmed or at risk of 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. Microsport will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by the organisation.
The purpose of this policy:
- to protect children and young people who receive Microsport Activity Clubs Ltd.’s services
- to provide staff with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection.
Microsport Activity Clubs Ltd. believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practise in a way that protects them. This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely:
- Children Act 1989
- United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Sexual Offences Act 2003
- Children Act 2004
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Protections of freedoms Act 2012
- Children and Families Act 2014
- Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practise: 0 to 25 years – Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
- Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers; HM Government 2015
- Working together to safeguarding children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children; HM Government 2015
We recognise that:
- the welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
- some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- valuing them, listening to and respecting them
- appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for the children and young people
- adopting child protection and safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff
- providing effective management for staff through supervision, support training and quality assurance measures
- recruiting staff safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
- recording and storing information professionally and securely
- using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
- using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff appropriately
- ensuring that we have effective complaints measures in place
- ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people and staff, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance
Microsport’s practice and guidelines
Practices in an emergency
If an emergency arises action will be taken after consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Officer. 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. During the class a child should not be able to leave the room unless accompanied by a member of the Microsport team or their parent/guardian. All exit points therefore must be made safe in this respect.
Procedures for children leaving at the end of the session are very important. It must not be possible for a child to leave without a parent or guardian. At least one of the team must be stationed at the exit to deliver each child to his/her parent/guardian. Should the parent/guardian not arrive at the allotted time, keep the child with you until they arrive. Phone if necessary.
Avoid spending time alone with children away from others.
Fire escape Plan: the children should be brought to centre of room on your whistle as quickly as possible and a quick head count done. Do not collect the equipment. The Coach is then responsible for choosing the safest exit route to the assembly point and together with helpers, lead the children out of the room in an orderly fashion through safest escape door. Take if at all possible, the register and left over name labels and assemble with the other occupants of the building in the designated assembly point. If there is no assembly point then to a safe place. Sit the children down, take register and account for all children before handing them back to parents. Keep calm!
If a fire drill or emergency occurs during a 2yr old class, take charge of the mums and children and give the mums clear instructions for leaving the building. They should hold onto their children firmly and all leave together by the chosen exit. Make sure anyone that has gone to the loo is aware of what is happening and that no one is left behind.
Parents/guardians of 3&4 year olds are encouraged to ensure children are taken to the toilet before the lesson begins. If an emergency occurs and a child must be taken to the toilet during a lesson, please observe the following rules :- (1) stop all activity in your group (2) do not abandon the other children in the group – make sure another helper/Coach/adult deemed responsible by the coach is watching them until your return (3) if at all possible hand the child over to their own parent/guardian and return to your group as quickly as possible.
Practices that are never sanctioned
The following should always be avoided unless a situation is life threatening e.g. a child running out into the path of oncoming traffic:
- Holding a child round the neck or by the collar or in any other way which might restrict breathing
- slapping, punching or kicking a child
- twisting or forcing limbs against a joint
- holding or pulling a child by the hair or ear
- holding a child face down on the ground.
- touching or holding a child in a way that might be considered indecent.
Photography of children and vulnerable adults
Videoing or photography should not take place at a session without asking permission of all parents/guardians present.
All Microsport staff need to be aware of how they interact with the children in terms of the appropriate physical contact allowable given the current climate of suspicion. Coaches and helpers should always try to deal with a situation through other strategies before using force. The following guidelines apply:
- Whenever possible if a child is exceptionally upset or aggressive, try to involve the parents/guardians immediately rather than dealing with the situation entirely by yourself.
- Attempt to diffuse the situation orally and to prevent any incident from escalating.
- Restraint using reasonable force should only be used where necessary to prevent a child at imminent risk of harming themselves or others, or is behaving in a way, which is compromising good order and discipline within the class and thus endangering others.
- In extreme circumstances colleagues should be summoned to be present to witness or assist.
- The degree of force involved in any situation must be in proportion to the circumstances of the incident. Any force used should always be the minimum needed to achieve the desired result.
Incidents that must be reported/recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate Designated Safeguarding Officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:
- if you accidentally hurt a child/young person
- if he/she seems distressed in any manner
- if a child appears to be sexually aroused by your actions
- if a child misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done or said.
What to do if a child tells you about current or historical abuse:
- Remain calm and in control – don’t panic
- Ensure the child is safe and address any immediate health issues.
- Listen to the child without judgement-remember as much as possible
- Do not put words in the child’s mouth-remain silent during the disclosure if possible, it is often helpful to nod or make sounds to show you understand what is being said.
- Only ask questions if you don’t understand what is being said – perhaps they said something quietly, perhaps you didn’t understand a word they used (people quite often use a range of words you may not be familiar with to describe sexual acts or parts of their body).
- Don’t promise to keep a secret – you cannot keep this a secret, so let them know that you can’t and that you will have to pass it on to Designated Safeguarding Officer. The welfare of the child is paramount and takes precedence over confidentiality.
- It is common that the child or young person will start to disclose to you whilst you are on your own – it is not appropriate to call another worker over – but equally you may be putting yourself at risk of a later allegation if you are locked away in a private place with a child or young person. Ideally try to make sure the door of the room you are in is not shut.
- Try to reassure them that they have done the right thing – You could say something like, “I’m glad you have told me this.”
- Even if what they are saying is shocking to you try not to show this.
- As soon as you can after the meeting write a clear record of what the child said. Try to use their words. Write it up as clearly as possible. Date and sign the document.
- Consult the Designated Safeguarding Officer for further guidance.
- Remember that it is not your job to prove if this information is true or not – nor is it up to you to notify the police or social services. You have to get as accurate a record as possible of the disclosure to the lead child protection person as quickly as you can.
What will happen to a Disclosure
- Once a written record has been taken ensure that it gets to the Designated Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible. The Disclosure form will be kept and locked away in a safe place that only the designated child protection officer will have access to.
- The Designated Safeguarding Officer will consider the report and decide on the next course of action.
- A record of the disclosure and action taken will be kept in the Safeguarding log book and only the Designated Safeguarding Officer will have access to.
Microsport will make every effort to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information is to be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:
- the Designated Safeguarding Officer
- the parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused if appropriate.
- the person making the allegation
- social services/police
- Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
- Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns, help the victim to speak out, and 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 but NOT to promise to tell no one else.
- Keep records of what is said Report any concerns as needed.
Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
02039076849 / firstname.lastname@example.org
0808 800 5000
We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
This policy was last reviewed on: 10th May 2018.