Safeguarding Policy

1) Policy statement

The Shooters Hill LTC 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. 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 of abuse or neglect: 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).

3) Scope

This Policy is applicable to all staff, volunteers, directors, 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 Jo Thomas 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. 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 Children’s Services :- 02089213172 / 02088548888 (emergency, OOH)

  • Local Authority Adult Services :- 02089212304
  • Designated Officer (England only)for concerns/disclosures about a member of staff, consultant, coach, official or volunteer – Jo Thomas 07595 475497 or 0208 317 9863

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.

Codes of Conduct

All members of staff and volunteers 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 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
  • Not to have a relationship with anyone over 18 whilst continuing to coach or be responsible for them

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 adults 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 2 years (or earlier if there is a change in national legislation)

This policy is recommended for approval by:

Club Board Chair: John Ratcliffe:       Date: June 2019

Club Welfare officer: Jo Thomas        Date: June 2019

Reporting a Safeguarding Concern within the Tennis Environment