Safeguarding in Sport - Choosing a club, tutor or coach?
Recent investigations into the Professional Footballers Association following historical allegations of child sexual abuse, has raised concerns over safeguarding of children and young people participating in sport.
In July 2016, Essex Safeguarding Children Board published guidance to parents on choosing activities, clubs or tuition.
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
- Does the club or tutor have a policy on safeguarding children?
- Who do you speak to if you're worried about anything?
- Are staff trained and do they have police checks (referred to as DBS checks)?
- Is the group linked to a professional body or recognised organisation?
- What is the staff ratio and is there a trained first aider on site?
- Are you required to sign any consent forms, or provide emergency contacts and your child’s relevant medical details? Is there a written code of conduct for coaches and volunteers? (Many clubs will have codes of conduct for the children and parents as well).
- What's the policy if a child needs personal care?
- Always interview the tutor and be satisfied that they answer your questions fully.
- Ask to see personal references and confirm their authenticity by contacting the referees directly.
- Ask to see their qualification certificates (not photocopies) and be satisfied they are recognised and authentic.
- Ask to see their CV or employment record, if there are career gaps, ask reasons and seek evidence of any explanations offered.
- If the tutor is a qualified teacher ask to see a copy of the tutors Teaching Agency Registration and a copy of their DBS check. (Essex County Council is not responsible for the checking of personal tutors.) If the tutor has recently been or is currently employed in a school, speak to the headteacher for a reference.
- Arrange a time for your child to meet the tutor as observing the interaction between the tutor and child may help you make your decision.