RFU Policy 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 Safeguarding 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 safeguarding 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.
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.
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.
Always promote fair play - be positive
Always promote high standards of behaviour
Never condone rule violation or foul play
Encourage and treat all participants equally
Discourage unfair play and arguing with officials
Never criticize officials
Recognise good performance and effgort
Never belittle a player
Use correct and proper language at all tines
Always follow club and RFU guidelines
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 or print the RFU safeguarding document for more information on Safeguarding
Click here to View
What is expected from parents, players and coaches
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.
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.
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.
Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers
ORRUFC will take reasonable steps to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Pre-selection checks must include the following:
- All volunteers/staff should complete an application form. The application form will hold information about an applicant.
- Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau.
All volunteers will be required to undergo 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.
- Their qualifications should be substantiated.
- The job requirements and responsibilities should be clarified.
- They should accept the Code of Conduct.
- Safeguarding procedures are explained and training needs are identified.
In addition to pre-selection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:
- Analyse their own practice against established 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 or possible abuse.
- Respond to concerns expressed by a child or young person.
- Work safely effectively with children.
The club requires coaches to attend a recognised a Play it Safe training workshop.
- Non-coaching staff and volunteers to complete recognised awareness training on child protection.
- Relevant volunteers to receive advisory information outlining good practice and informing them about what to do if they have concerns about the behaviour of an adult towards a young person.
- Relevant volunteers to gain a national first aid training (where necessary). Attend update training when necessary. Each age group should have a qualfied first aider.
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.
The RFU safeguarding document has more information on Best practice detail see section 6
Click here to View RFU safeguarding document
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 people can report suspicions and concerns and confident that these will be treated seriously and confidentially. Communication is central to maintaining a safe environment; ie parents know who is the Safeguarding Officer name and contact, choosing an appropriate method of providing information to children (email/text/phone via parents), listening to children’s views on matters which affect them, communication in an emergency. Alll 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 courses 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 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
• 1:8 for children under 8 years old
• 1:6 for children under 7 years old
Touring with chidren
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. There must also be at least one coach holding the appropriate qualifications according to whikch age group in touring. There are 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.
Changing Rooms and Showers
Adults and children must never use the same changing or wash room facilities at a venue to shower or change at the same time. Where 17 year old children are playing in the adult game they should be offered separate changing and shower facilities.
The RFU welcomes the taking of appropriate images of children in rugby clubs and has developed guidance for parents/carers and the children’s workforce, which is available in the Safeguarding Toolkit, to enable suitable photographs to be taken celebrating the core values of the sport. The key principle is that clubs should ensure they obtain parental consent for photographs to be taken while a child is either at the club or at away fixtures.
Adults and children must never play contact versions of the sport together including training games or contact drills. They may play either tag or touch rugby together if these games are managed and organised appropriately
Physical handling by a coach must only be used for safety reasons or where there is no other way of coaching the technique. The reasons for physical contact should be explained so that children and their parents are comfortable with this approach. The activity should always be conducted in an open environment and in the presence of another adult.
Responding to allegations or suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working for the 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 Club Safeguarding Officer.
The RFU safeguarding document has more information on Procedures and reporting concerns see section 7 Click here to View RFU safeguarding document
The club will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.
Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be several types of investigation:
- A criminal investigation,
- A child protection investigation,
- A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.
- Poor practice or bad behavior
Concerns about poor practice:
If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; the Club Safeguarding Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue.
- If the allegation is about poor practice by the Club Safeguarding Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the District or County Safeguarding Officer who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
Concerns about suspected abuse
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure). Internal Enquiries and Suspension
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
The RFU safeguarding document has a list of useful contacts at the end of the document
Action if bullying is suspected
Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
Action towards the bully(ies):
Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the Club Safeguarding Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.
- The Club Safeguarding Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out-of-hours.
- The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.
- The Club Safeguarding Officer should also notify the District or County Safeguarding Officer who in turn may inform the Rugby Football Union Child Safeguarding Officer who will deal with any media enquiries.
- If the Club Safeguarding Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the District or County Safeguarding Officer or in his/her absence the Rugby Football Union Safeguarding Officer
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 Safeguarding Officer.
The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
The person making the allegation.
The player's coach or manager.
The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)
The Safeguarding 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 Old Rishworthian Rugby Union Football Club Disciplinary Committee 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; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the Old Rishworthian Rugby Union Football Club Disciplinary Committee must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a 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.
Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of help lines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process.
Click here to View RFU safeguarding contacts
If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.
Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns (It is believed that up to 12 children per year commit suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately).
Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone in authority. 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 that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
Keep records of what is said (what happened, by whom, when).
Report any concerns to the Club Safeguarding Officer or the school (ie wherever the bullying is occurring).
Talk with the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully (ies) to understand the consequences of their behaviour. Seek an apology to the victim(s).
- Inform the bully's parents.
- Insist on the return of 'borrowed' items and that the bully(ies) compensate the victim.
- Provide support for the victim's coach.
- Impose sanctions as necessary.
- Encourage and support the bully(ies) to change behaviour.
- Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.
- Inform all organisation members of action taken.
- Keep a written record of action taken.
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).
Internal Enquiries and Suspension
Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse:
The RFU safeguarding document has a list of useful contacts at the end of the document
Action if bullying is suspected
Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
Action towards the bully(ies):