RFU Poicy Statement
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is committed to safeguarding the welfare of children in the sport. All children are entitled to protection from harm and have the right to take part in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.
This Policy statement is based on the following key principles:
-The welfare of the child is paramount
-All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual identity, have the right to protection from harm
-All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately
-Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children.
Rishworthians Child Protection Policy statement
Old Rishworthian Rugby Union Football Club (ORRUFC) has a duty of care to safeguard all children
involved in ORRUFC 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.
ORRUFC will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in ORRUFC through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by ORRUFC.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
The aim of the ORRUFC Safeguarding Policy is to promote good practice:
Any allegation or suspicions of harm and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly,.
What is expected from parents, players and coaches
Old Rishworthian Rugby Union Football Club is registered under the Industrial and Provident society?s Act 1965 and the Friendly and Industrial and Provident societies Act 1968. The club has a set of rules, which may be examined, or a copy obtained from the club secretary Steve Farrand. The junior section is run according to these rules.
This is rugby Core Values
Rugby union is the fastest growing major sport in the country, attracting more people than ever to enjoy a vibrant game as professional and amateur players, volunteers and supporters.
But the expansion of rugby brings new challenges to the game and a need to sustain the standards that are its strengths. Two years ago the RFU put together a task group to run an extensive consultation exercise. The Core Values project – the first time a sport has set out to define its value system in formal terms and identified the following five principles that lie at the heart of the game in England:
Teamwork is essential to our sport. We welcome all new team members and include all because working as a team enriches our lives. We play selflessly: working for the team, not for ourselves alone, both on and off the field. We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play. We speak out if our team or sport is threatened by inappropriate words or actions
Mutual respect forms the basis of our sport. We hold in high esteem our sport, its values and traditions and earn the respect of others in the way we behave. We respect our match officials and accept their decisions. We respect opposition players and supporters. We value our coaches and those who run our clubs and treat clubhouses with consideration.
Enjoyment is the reason we play and support rugby union. We encourage players to enjoy training and playing. We use our sport to adopt a healthy lifestyle and build life skills. We safeguard our young players and help them have fun. We enjoy being part of a team and part of the rugby family.
Strong discipline underpins our sport. We ensure that our sport is one of controlled physical endeavour and that we are honest and fair. We obey the laws of the game which ensure an inclusive and exciting global game. We support our disciplinary system, which protects our sport and upholds its values. We observe the sport's laws and regulations and report serious breaches.
Sportsmanship is the foundation upon which rugby union is built. We uphold the rugby tradition of camaraderie with teammates and opposition. We observe fair play both on and off the pitch and are generous in victory and dignified in defeat. We play to win but not at all costs and recognise both endeavour and achievement. We ensure that the wellbeing and development of individual players is central to all rugby activity.
Code of Conduct
Although the Junior section has no separate rules we do have a code of conduct for players, parents, coaches, spectators and club administrators. We all enjoy watching young players and our enthusiasm can sometimes get the better of us. Please remember Mini/Junior rugby is about enjoying and learning the skills of the game in a friendly and safe environment.
Old Rishworthians will work within the RFU Safeguarding policy, The Core Values project TREDS, the club rules and club code of conduct to ensure the child plays in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.
Please read the rfu web site for more information on Safeguarding.
What is abuse
There are four main types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect. An individual may abuse or neglect a child directly or may be responsible for abuse by failing to prevent another person harming that child.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Examples of physical abuse in sport include extreme physical punishments; forcing a child into training/playing that exceeds the capacity of their immature and growing body, assaulting a person.
Sexual abuse involves forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, which may involve inappropriate touching, penetrative or non-penetrative sexual acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual photographic or online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Emotional abuse is the persistent maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on their development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing them from participating in normal social interaction.
Emotional abuse may involve a child seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another as well as serious bullying, causing children to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may also occur alone.
Examples of emotional abuse in sport include subjecting children to constant criticism, name-calling, and sarcasm or bullying. It could also include their regular exclusion from an activity, non-selection for a team, failing to rotate squad positions or more subtle actions such as staring at or ignoring a child. Putting players under consistent pressure to perform to unrealistically high standards is also a form of emotional abuse.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of their health or development. Neglect may involve a parent failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment), failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, or to ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers) or to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Examples of neglect in sport could include: not ensuring children are safe; exposing them to undue cold or heat or unsuitable weather conditions, or exposing them to unnecessary risk of injury.
Bullying is often considered to be a fifth type of abuse but when it does occur it usually has elements of one or more of the four categories identified. The bully can be a parent who pushes too hard, a coach or manager with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude or another intimidating child. It should also be recognised that bullying can take place in the virtual world of social networking sites, emails or text messages. Bullying should not be ignored and the victim should be supported through what can be a traumatic experience. Bullying will not just go away. Bullies can be very cunning and develop strategies to avoid it being seen by anyone but the victim. Bullying takes many forms but ultimately it is the perception of the victim that determines whether or not they are being bullied rather than the intention of the bully. There are opportunities to bully at any rugby club or activity. It is the way that incidences are dealt with which makes the difference between life being tolerable or becoming a misery for the victim.
Poor Practice Incidents of poor practice arise when the needs of children are not afforded the necessary priority, compromising their wellbeing. Poor practice can easily turn into abuse if it is not dealt with as soon as concernsare raised or reported. Examples of poor practice may be shouting, excessive training, creation of intra-club ‘elite squads’, ridicule of players’ errors, ignoring health and safety guidelines and failing to adhere to the club’s code of conduct.
Best Practice Guidance
The RFU’s aim is to create a culture where everyone feels confident to raise legitimate concerns without prejudice to their own position. Concerns about the behaviour of coaches, officials or any members of the children’s workforce which may be harmful to a child in their care must be reported to the RFU Safeguarding Team through the Club Safeguarding Officer and if required the CB Safeguarding Manager.
While remembering that it is the safety and welfare of children that is of paramount importance, there will be times when those responsible will need to exercise discretion and common sense to ensure their wellbeing. This Guidance is designed to provide information on a number of different topics which CBs, clubs and their volunteers and employees may find
useful and will help them to create safe, friendly and welcoming environments for children.
Further guidance is available from the Club Safeguarding Toolkit, the RFU website, or the RFU Safeguarding Team. There is also guidance relating to Regulation 15 on the RFU website which may be useful when considering this section.
A safe environment is one where: the possibility of abuse is openly acknowledged; volunteers and employees are appropriately recruited and trained; and those who report suspicions and concerns are confident that these will be treated seriously and confidentially. Communication is central to maintaining a safe environment; this includes information given to parents at the start of the season (such as the CSO’s name), choosing the correct and appropriate method of providing information to children (email/phone to parents), listening to children’s views on matters which affect them, as well as considering how to communicate in an emergency (mobile/landline). Messages relating to children, sent via telephone, emails and texts, should be through their parents/guardians. Where appropriate older players may be copied in but this should always be done by blind copying in order to protect their data. Direct personal communication with children should be avoided, unless in exceptional circumstances.
Clubs should encourage all adults who have a coaching role to attend an appropriate Rugby Union Coaching course and a “Play It Safe” course. This is an introductory level safeguarding course designed for any club members. All Club Safeguarding Officers must, within six months of being appointed, attend the RFU “In Touch” Workshop, which covers their role and responsibilities. This course is a more detailed course providing information about reporting and responding to incidents. Any club official is encouraged to attend this course to ensure their club is fully aware of its responsibilities. The behaviour and performance of new volunteers and employees should be monitored for a period to ensure they are following best practice.
To provide a safe environment, clubs should ensure that their volunteers and employees when working with children avoid working in isolation out of the sight of parents or other volunteers. Whilst volunteers and employees are awaiting their DBS disclosure they must be supervised by someone who does have DBS clearance. Contingency planning should ensure that if a player’s injury requires significant attention, or coaches are absent or away with a team, levels of supervision can be maintained by suitably DBS checked adults. However, in an emergency, the first attention must be paid to an injured player and if there are insufficient suitably DBS checked adults available to supervise the remaining players, clearly, other responsible adults will need to be asked to step in.
Adult : Child Ratios There should always be at least one DBS checked adult in charge of any group of children. The RFU recommends a minimum ratio of adult to children of: • 1:10 for children over 8 years old aged at least 9 • 1:8 for children under 8 years old aged 7 and 8 • 1:6 for children under 7 years old
On Tour These Policy guidelines apply equally on tour as at the club. When on tour if an adult is solely there supporting their own child they will not need DBS clearance but they will if they are acting in any official capacity with other children. This would apply to those on bedtime or other supervisory duties. For more detailed guidance please read the Safeguarding Toolkit and Tour guidelines which may be found on the RFU website.
Inappropriate Relationships with Children An adult in a position of trust must not enter into a sexual relationship with a child in their care. Sexual intercourse, sexual activity, or inappropriate touching by an adult with a child under the age of 16 years is a criminal offence, even where there is apparent consent from the child. A sexual relationship between an adult in a position of trust and a child over 16 years of age is a breach of trust and an abuse of the adult’s position. Whilst it may not be a criminal offence, in a rugby union setting it will be treated very seriously and may result in RFU disciplinary action, including suspension from attending rugby clubs. The RFU has a legal duty to refer anyone removed from Regulated Activity to the DBS. Therefore, an adult in a position of trust involved in a sexual relationship with a child over 16 years of age may be referred to the DBS for consideration. This could result in the adult being barred from working with children by the DBS. No-one in a position of trust should encourage a physical or emotionally dependent relationship to develop between them and a child in their care; this is often referred to as grooming
Children are entitled to participate in rugby union activities in a safe and welcoming environment. Safe recruitment procedures will enable the club to reduce the risk of abuse to children. When recruiting employees or volunteers for age arade rugby all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure only suitable people are selected.
Regulation 21 sets out in detail the requirements the RFU has for those working with children and the DBS. The RFU requires any individual engaged in working with children to undertake a DBS check through their club (using the online e-application system). Depending on the nature of the role and the level of supervision the RFU will require either Enhanced or Enhanced with barred list checks. Further information about the DBS and the e-application system is available on the RFU website.