Everyone who participates in Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club is entitled to
do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that, when given responsibility for young people, coaches and
volunteers provide them with the highest possible standard of care.
The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club is committed to devising and
implementing policies so that everyone in sport accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means to follow procedures to protect children and report any
concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities.
The aim of the policy is to promote good practice, providing children and young
people with appropriate safety/protection whilst in the care of Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club and to allow staff and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child
A child/young person is defined as a person under the age of 18
(Children’s Act 1989)
- Policy Statement
The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club is committed to the
- the welfare of the child is paramount
- all children, whatever their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial
origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity should be able to participate in gymnastics and trampoline in a fun and safe environment
- taking all reasonable steps to protect children from harm, discrimination and
degrading treatment and to respect their rights, wishes and feelings
- all suspicions and allegations of poor practice or abuse will be taken seriously
and responded to swiftly and appropriately
- all Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club employees who work with children will
be recruited with regard to their suitability for that responsibility, and will be provided with guidance and/or training in good practice and child protection procedures
- working in partnership with parents and children is essential for the protection
- Monitor and review the policy and
The implementation of procedures should be regularly monitored and reviewed. The
welfare officer should regularly report progress, challenges, difficulties, achievements gaps and areas where changes are required to the management committee.
The policy should be reviewed every 3 years or whenever there is a major change in
the organisation or in relevant legislation.
Promoting Good Practice
To provide children with the best possible experience and opportunities in
gymnastics and trampolining everyone must operate within an accepted ethical framework and follow all club procedures.
It is not always easy to distinguish poor practice from abuse. It is
therefore NOT the responsibility of employees or participants in gymnastics and trampolining to make judgements about whether or not abuse is taking place. It is however their responsibility to
identify poor practice and possible abuse and act if they have concerns about the welfare of the child, as explained in section 4.
This section will help you identify what is meant by good practice and poor
- Good Practice
All personnel should adhere to the following principles and
- always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved
situations and encouraging open communication with no secrets)
- make the experience of gymnastics and trampoline fun and enjoyable: promote
fairness, confront and deal with bullying
- treat all young people equally and with respect and
- always put the welfare of the young person first, before any competitive
- maintain a safe and appropriate distance with children (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)
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact with young people. Where any form of
manual/physical support is required it should be provided openly and with the consent of the young person. Physical contact can be appropriate so long as it is neither intrusive nor disturbing
and the young person’s consent has been given
- Involve parents/carers wherever possible, e.g. where young people need to be
supervised in changing rooms, encourage parents to take responsibility for their own child. If groups have to be supervised in changing rooms always ensure parents, coaches etc work in
- request written parental consent if club officials are required to transport
young people in their cars
- gain written parental consent for any significant travel arrangements e.g.
- ensure that if mixed teams are taken away, they should always be accompanied by a
male and female member of staff
- ensure that at away events adults should not enter a young person’s room or
invite young people to their rooms
- be an excellent role model, this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol in the
company of young people
- always give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative
- recognise the developmental needs and capacity of the young person and do not
risk sacrificing welfare in a desire for club or personal achievements. This means avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
- secure written parental consent for the club to act in loco parentis, to give
permission for the administration of emergency first aid or other medical treatment if the need arises
- keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with details of any
- Poor Practice
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all
- unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with young people away
- taking young people alone in a car on journeys, however
- taking young people to your home where they will be alone with
- sharing a room with a young person
- engaging in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including
- allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
- allowing young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged, all incidents
should be recorded for the welfare officer.
- making sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in
- reducing a young person to tears as a form of control
- allow allegations made by a young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not
- do things of a personal nature that the young person can do for
When a case arises where it is impractical/impossible to avoid certain situations
e.g. transporting a young person in your car, the tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the parent/carer and the young person involved.
If during your care you accidentally hurt a young person, the young person seems
distressed in any manner, appears to be sexually aroused by your actions and/or if the young person misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done, report any such incidents as soon as
possible to another colleague and make a written note of it. Parents should also be informed of the incident.
3Defining Child Abuse
Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of
care that leads to injury or harm, it commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a young person
regardless of their age, gender, race or ability.
There are four main types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse,
emotional abuse and neglect. The abuser may be a family member, someone the young person encounters in residential care or in the community, including sports and leisure
activities. Any individual may abuse or neglect a young person directly, or may be responsible for abuse because they fail to prevent another person harming the young
Abuse in all of its forms can affect a young person at any age. The effects
can be so damaging that if not treated may follow the individual into adulthood
Young people with disabilities may be at increased risk of abuse through various
factors such as stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, isolation and a powerlessness to protect themselves or adequately communicate that abuse had occurred.
- Types of Abuse
- Physical Abuse: where adults physically hurt or injure a young person e.g. hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, suffocating, drowning. Giving
young people alcohol or inappropriate drugs would also constitute child abuse.
This category of abuse can also include when a
parent/carer reports non-existent symptoms or illness deliberately, or causes ill health in a young person they are looking after. This is call Munchausen’s syndrome by
In a sports situation, physical abuse may occur
when the nature and intensity of training disregard the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body
- Emotional Abuse: the persistent emotional ill treatment of a young person, likely to cause severe and lasting adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may
involve telling a young person they are useless, worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued in terms of only meeting the needs of another person. It may feature expectations of young people that
are not appropriate to their age or development. It may cause a young person to be frightened or in danger by being constantly shouted at, threatened or taunted which may make the young person
frightened or withdrawn.
Ill treatment of children, whatever form it
takes, will always feature a degree of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse in sport may occur when the
young person is constantly criticised, given negative feedback, expected to perform at levels that are above their capability. Other forms of emotional abuse could take the form of name calling
- Bullying may come from another young person or an adult. Bullying is defined as deliberate hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time, where it is
difficult for those bullied to defend themselves. There are three main types of bullying.
It may be physical (e.g. hitting, kicking,
slapping), verbal (e.g. racist or homophobic remarks, name calling, graffiti, threats, abusive text messages), emotional (e.g. tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, ignoring, isolating from the
group), or sexual (e.g. unwanted physical contact or abusive comments).
In sport bullying may arise when a parent or
coach pushes the young person too hard to succeed, or a rival athlete or official uses bullying behaviour.
- Neglect occurs when an adult fails to meet the young person’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, to an extent that is likely to result in serious impairment of the
child’s health or development. For example, failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect from physical harm or danger, or failing to ensure access to appropriate
medical care or treatment.
Refusal to give love, affection and attention
can also be a form of neglect.
Neglect in sport could occur when a coach does
not keep the young person safe, or exposing them to undue cold/heat or unnecessary risk of injury.
- Sexual Abuse occurs when adults (male and female) use children to meet their own sexual needs. This could include full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal
intercourse and fondling. Showing young people pornography or talking to them in a sexually explicit manner are also forms of sexual abuse.
In sport, activities which might involve
physical contact with young people could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed. Also the power of the coach over young athletes, if misused, may lead to abusive
- Indicators of Abuse
Even for those experienced in working with child abuse, it is not always easy to
recognise a situation where abuse may occur or has already taken place. Most people are not experts in such recognition, but indications that a child is being abused may include one or more of
- unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly
if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
- an injury for which an explanation seems inconsistent
- the young person describes what appears to be an abusive act involving
- another young person or adult expresses concern about the welfare of a young
- unexplained changes in a young person’s behaviour e.g. becoming very upset,
quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper
- inappropriate sexual awareness
- engaging in sexually explicit behaviour
- distrust of adult’s, particularly those whom a close relationship would normally
- difficulty in making friends
- being prevented from socialising with others
- displaying variations in eating patterns including over eating or loss of
- losing weight for no apparent reason
- becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt
Signs of bullying
- behavioural changes such as reduced concentration and/or becoming withdrawn,
clingy, depressed, tearful, emotionally up and down, reluctance to go training or partake in competitions
- an unexplained drop off in performance
- physical signs such as stomach aches, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, bed
wetting, scratching and bruising, damaged clothes, bingeing e.g. on food, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes
- a shortage of money or frequent loss of possessions
It must be recognised that the above list is not exhaustive, but also that the
presence of one or more of the indications is not proof that abuse is taking place. It is NOT the responsibility of those working in (Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club) to
decide that child abuse is occurring. It IS their responsibility to act on any concerns.
- Use of Photographic/Filming Equipment at Sporting
There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to
take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young people. All clubs should be vigilant and any concerns should be reported to the Club welfare officer. Please see staff
All parents and performers should be made aware when coaches use video equipment
as a coaching aid.
4Responding to Suspicions and Allegations
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline
Club 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 through contact with the appropriate authorities
so that they can then make inquiries and take necessary action to protect the young person. This applies BOTH to allegations/suspicions of abuse occurring within Ainsty
Gymnastics and Trampoline Club and to allegations/suspicions that abuse is taking place elsewhere.
This section explains how to respond to
- Receiving Evidence of Possible
We may become aware of possible abuse in various ways. We may see it
happening, we may suspect it happening because of signs such as those listed in section 3 of this document, it may be reported to us by someone else or directly by the young person
In the last of these cases, it is particularly important to respond
appropriately. If a young person says or indicates that they are being abused, you should:
- stay calm so as not to frighten the young person
- reassure the child that they are not to blame and that it was right to tell
- listen to the child, showing that you are taking them seriously
- keep questions to a minimum so that there is a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said. The law is very strict and child abuse cases have
been dismissed where it is felt that the child has been led or words and ideas have been suggested during questioning. Only ask questions to clarify
- inform the child that you have to inform other people about what they have told you. Tell the child this is to help stop the abuse
- safety of the child is paramount. If the child needs urgent medical attention call an ambulance, inform the doctors of the concern and ensure they
are made aware that this is a child protection issue
- record all information
- report the incident to the club/welfare officer
For further information please go to
- Recording Information
To ensure that information is as helpful as possible, a detailed record should
always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. In recording you should confine yourself to the facts and distinguish what is your personal knowledge and what others have told you.
Do not include your own opinions.
Information should include the following:
- the child’s name, age and date of birth
- the child’s home address and telephone number
- whether or not the person making the report is expressing their concern or someone
- the nature of the allegation, including dates, times and any other relevant
- a description of any visible bruising or injury, location, size etc. 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
- have the parents been contacted? If so what has been
- has anyone else been consulted? If so record
- has anyone been alleged to be the abuser? Record
- Reporting the Concern
All suspicions and allegations MUST be reported appropriately. It is
recognised that strong emotions can be aroused particularly in cases where sexual abuse is suspected or where there is misplaced loyalty to a colleague. It is important to understand these
feelings but not allow them to interfere with your judgement about any action to take.
The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club expects it’s members and staff to discuss
any concerns they may have about the welfare of a child immediately with the person in charge and subsequently to check that appropriate action has been taken.
If the nominated club welfare officer is not available you should take
responsibility and seek advice from the NSPCC helpline, the duty officer at your local social services department or the police. Telephone numbers can be found in your local directory and will
be displayed on the club noticeboard.
Reporting procedures can be found in the staff handbook. Where there is
a complaint against an employee or volunteer, there may be three types of investigation.
- Criminal in which case the police are immediately involved
- Child protection in which case the social services (and possibly) the police will be involved
- Disciplinary or misconduct in which case Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club will be involved
As mentioned previously in this document the Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club
are not child protection experts and it is not their responsibility to determine whether or not abuse has taken place. All suspicions and allegations must be shared with professional agencies
that are responsible for child protection.
Social services have a legal responsibility under The Children Act 1989 to
investigate all child protection referrals by talking to the child and family (where appropriate), gathering information from other people who know the child and making inquiries jointly with the
NB: If there is any doubt, you must report
the incident: it may be just one of a series of other incidences which together cause concern
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by an employee or a volunteer should be
reported to the Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club welfare officer who will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk. This
will include the following:
- Any allegations made against a member of staff should be discussed with the Local
Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
- If the allegation is about a lead person in your organisation then the matter
should again be discussed with the LADO.
- The worker must ensure that that the child is safe and away from the person
against whom the allegation is made.
- Regardless of whether a police and/or Children Social Work Service investigation
follows, an internal investigation should take place and consideration is given to the operation of disciplinary procedures. This may involve an immediate suspension and/or ultimate dismissal
dependant on the nature of the incident.
- The contact details of the LADO can be found on the LSCB website under: Managing
Allegations. The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club welfare officer will refer the matter to social services department
- the parent/carer of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following
advice from the social services department
- the chair person of your organisation should be notified to decide who will deal
with any media inquiries and implement any immediate disciplinary proceedings
- the Club welfare officer should also notify the relevant sport governing
- if the Club welfare officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation the report
must be made to the appropriate manager who will refer the matter to social services
Allegations of abuse are sometimes made sometime after the event. Where such
allegation is made, you should follow the same procedures and have the matter reported to social services. This is because other children in the sport or outside it may be at risk from the
alleged abuser. Anyone who has a previous conviction for offences related to abuse against children is automatically excluded from working with children.
- Concerns outside the immediate Sporting Environment (e.g. a
parent or carer)
- Report your concerns to the Club welfare officer
- If the Club welfare officer is not available, the person being told or discovering
the abuse should contact their local social services department or the police immediately
- Social Services and the Club welfare officer will decide how to inform the
- The Club welfare officer should also report the incident to the Ainsty Gymnastics
and Trampoline Club management. The management should ascertain whether or not the person/s involved in the incident play a role in the organisation and act
- Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis
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 Welfare Officer
- The parents of the child
- The person making the allegation
- Social Services/police
- Sport Governing Body Club welfare officer
- The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a
Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged
All information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to
designated people, in line with data protection laws.
4.7 Internal Inquiries and
- The Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club welfare 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 Ainsty
Gymnastics and Trampoline Club management 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; especially where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases the Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club management must reach a
decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on the 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.
- Recruiting and Selecting Personnel with
It is important that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people
from working with children. This applies equally to paid staff and volunteers, both full and part time. To ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children the following
steps should be taken when recruiting.
- Controlling Access to
- All staff and volunteers should complete an application form. The
application form will elicit information about the applicants past and a self disclosure about any criminal record.
- Consent should be obtained from the applicant to seek information from the
- Two confidential references, including one regarding previous work with children
should be obtained. These references MUST be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.
- Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with
- Interview and Induction
All employees and volunteers will be required to undertake an interview carried out
to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive formal or informal 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
- They should sign up to the organization’s staff handbook
- Child Protection Procedures are explained and training needs identified e.g.
basic child protection awareness
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training
after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
- Analyse their own practice against what is deemed good practice, and to ensure
their practice is likely to protect them from false allegations
- Recognise their responsibilities and report any concerns about suspected poor
practice and/or abuse
- Respond to concerns expressed by a child
- Work safely and effectively with children
Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club requires:
- All staff and volunteers who have access to children to undergo a DBS
- All employees, volunteers, coaches, welfare officers and team managers to
undertake relevant child protection training or undertake a form of home study, to ensure their practice is exemplary and to facilitate the development of positive culture towards good practice and
- All staff and volunteers to receive advisory information outlining good/bad
practice and informing them what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person
- All coaches, trainee coaches and leaders should have an up to date first aid
On behalf of Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline Club we, the
undersigned, will oversee the implementation of the Child Protection Policy and take all necessary steps to ensure it is adhered to.
(n.b. One of the signatories should be the Welfare
Position within Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline
Position within Ainsty Gymnastics and Trampoline