Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

Date Ratified August 2017
Revision Date September 2018
Created By Grace Rogers

 

Safeguarding Statement

Great Waves Swimming Academy recognise our responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all swimmers, staff and spectators. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. All members of staff are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect to ensure that our procedures are followed and that the individual receives the required, support, action and protection. Child Protection forms part of Great Waves Swimming Academy safeguarding responsibility.

Safeguarding the welfare of all individual’s who are associated with Great Waves Swimming Academy, through a working position, or as a swimmer or spectator. This is defined as follows:

  • i) Preventing an Individual from maltreatment.
  • ii) Preventing impairment to ones health or development.
  • iii) Ensure individuals access an environment which is a consistent safe and effective care provision.
  • iv) Taking action to ensure the best outcome for the individual.

Child Protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare and is activity or action that is taken to protect a child who is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

 

Introduction

At Great Waves Swimming Academy, the safety and protection of all customer and team members is our number one priority. In light of our Teaching Staff and Support Staff working directly with swimmers, all staff receives safeguarding and child protection training annually and termly review of safeguarding procedure to ensure and maintain the welfare of all swimmers.

 

Safeguarding Responsibilities

All Staff working with Great Waves Swimming Academy have the duty of care to ensure all swimmers are protected from harm or abuse and are responsible for taking the appropriate actions if they deem a swimmer is at risk of harm or abuse. Great Waves Swimming Academy works in accordance with the Children Act 1989  and 2004 to ensure that any incidents or welfare concerns are reported to the Welfare Officer and that appropriate steps and actions is taken to safeguard the swimmer in question. This may include liaising with the family or contacting appropriate outside agencies to ensure the correct and swift action is taken.

Great Waves Swimming Academy also works in accordance with Swim England’s Wave Power 2016-2019 Safeguarding Policy for swimming specific safeguarding.

Our safeguarding policy is also inline with the government publication, ‘ Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015 and‘ What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ 2015;

Great Waves Swimming Academy’s Safeguarding Policy sits alongside our Discrimination and Anti-bullying policies and Photographing and filming policy and a thorough risk assessment for all activities, to ensure that all participants experience swimming lessons in a safe environment.

This policy applies to all members of the Great Waves Team, regardless of the capacity of their role.

 

Policy Principles

 

  • The safety and welfare of children is paramount.
  • All children regardless of age, gender, race, culture, religion, language or ability have the right to equal protection safeguarding and opportunities.
  • Great Waves Swimming Academy acknowledge that all members of staff, including temporary positions, play a full and active part in the protection of all children and have an equal responsibility to act on any concerns in regards to the safeguarding of any child or individual.
  • All Great Waves Team Members believe and promote Great Waves Swimming Academy as a safe, enjoyable, stimulating and positive environment for all children to develop and learn a new and imperative life skill.
  • All children or Team Members involved in a safeguarding or child protection issue to receive the appropriate support.

 

 

 

Prevention and Protection

Great Waves Swimming Academy endeavour to ensure that all children and individuals have access to an open and trusting environment. We aim to create trust good lines of communication with trusted adults and an ethos of protection.

Great Waves Swimming Academy will create an environment where:

  • Children feel secure and establish an ethos of open communication and trust.
  • Establish and maintain an environment where Members of the Great Waves Team feel able to express themselves and are open about any concerns.
  • Ensure all Staff receive information on Great Waves Swimming Academy’s safeguarding arrangements, code of conduct, the role and names of the safeguarding officer.
  • All Team Members receive safeguarding and child protection training at induction.
  • All members of staff are trained in and receive regular updates in reporting concerns.

 

Safeguarding Procedures

What follows in this policy is the procedures provided to all Great Waves Swimming Academy team members, who are trained and briefed in the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy. Great Waves Swimming Academy management recognise the responsibility to ensure that all team members are suitable to work with children, which can be firstly and initially assessed through a thorough and stringent application and interview process. All Great Waves Swimming Academy applicants must complete an enhanced DBS Certification before becoming part of the team.

All staff will be subject to an enhanced DBS Certification process.

 

Recruitment Procedure

As part of our safeguarding responsibility, Great Waves Swimming Academy are committed to ensuring all individual’s who join the Team are subject to stringent and comprehensive vetting and interview process to ascertain the suitability to the role. Great Waves Swimming Academy is committed to following the outlines recruitment procedure below:

  1. Clear and Concise Job Description for potential applicants, which details the role, person specification, experience and formal requirements, i.e qualifications.
  2. Interview Phase. Each selected applicant must attend a face to face interview.
  3. References gathered for individual
  4. Individuals are subject to an Enhanced Disclosure with Barred List Check.

Only once a thorough recruitment process has taken place can the Individual be considered for the position in question.

 

Operating Procedure

To ensure Great Waves Swimming Academy promote and maintain an environment that is conducive to the protection and welfare of all children, Great Waves Swimming Academy will ensure the following structure is in place;

  1. All Team members to receive Swimming teacher related Safeguarding and Child Protection training.
  2. Ensure that there is a designated Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer.
  3. Implement procedures if there is cause to believe an individual may be at risk of harm or safeguarding concern.
  4. Work with team members to understand and identify any potential cases of harm or abuse within the customer population.
  5. Establish and maintain an ethos of communication between the team members and managements, which is re-enforced during team meetings and in light of any team member concerns.
  6. Establish a safe environment for all swimmers. Staff should embody the ethos of creating an open and transparent environment in which swimmers feel safe and any issues or concerns can be voiced by parents, the team and swimmers alike and taken seriously.
  7. Support swimmers who have experienced abuse and liaise with the relevant agencies to provide support within the Great Waves Swimming Academy remit.
  8. Ensure any concerns are approached swiftly and appropriate support or intervention is given immediately.

The Role of Great Waves Swimming Academy Designated Safeguard Lead Officer

  • The designated Safeguarding Lead Officer is ultimately responsible for the overall protection and safeguarding of all.
  • Acts in a role of expertise and support for carrying out all safeguarding and child protection responsibilities.
  • Encourages a culture of listening to children and taking account of their wishes and feelings.
  • Is appropriately trained and will refresh their knowledge and skills at regular intervals but at least annually.
  • Will refer a child if there are concerns about possible abuse, to the relevant agencies as deemed necessary depending on the case in question.
  • Is responsible for keeping detailed and accurate records of all concerns about a child, even if a referral to an outside agency is not required.
  • The designated Safeguarding Lead will ensure that all such records are kept confidential and stored securely for a minimum of 10 years, or until the individual is 25 years of age.
  • Will ensure that all staff sign to say they have read, understood and agree to work within Great Waves Swimming Academy’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.
  • Will organise child protection and safeguarding induction, regularly updated training and a minimum of annual updates (including online safety) for all Team Members, keep a record of attendance and address any absences.
  • Has an understanding of locally agreed processes for all child protection and safeguarding procedures.

 

The Role of Great Waves Swimming Academy Teaching and Support Staff

All Great Waves Swimming Academy Teaching and Support Staff receive industry standard Safeguarding and Child Protection online training. The role of each member of staff is paramount to initially establishing if a swimmer’s welfare is at harm or there are any signs of abuse.

What follows is a list of initial concerns that may indicate a safeguarding or child protection concern. This list is not exhaustive and the presence of one of more indicators is not necessarily a sign of abuse, please see Appendix A for further details. Concerns may be as follows:

  • Bruises or marks on a swimmer’s body
  • Explanation of the injury that may be inconsistent.
  • Remarks made by the swimmer in question or a third party describing an abuse act.
  • Third Part expression of concern for another swimmer.
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour, which is out of character.
  • Inappropriate Sexual Awareness.
  • Engaging in sexually unacceptable behaviour.
  • Distrustful of adults and especially with adults whom trust was previously established.
  • Abusive scenario’s verbalised by the swimmer or being introduced into the lesson.
  • Unknown reasons for absence from lessons.
  • Signs of neglect, which include dirty or unkept appearance, noticeable weight loss.

A Great Waves Swimming Academy member of teaching or the support team must adhere to procedures when concerns present regarding safeguarding or child protection issues. All Staff are required to deal with any issues in a professional, confidential and sensitive manner. Any concerns should only be discussed with Great Waves Swimming Academy Management who will investigate further and work in accordance with Great Waves Swimming Academy Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedure to ensure any relevant action is taken or appropriate authorities are notified.

Under no circumstances should any safeguarding or child protection issues be open to discussion in public areas or with individual’s who are not directly responsible. It is the responsibility of the team member in question to report all any concerns with immediate effect. Under no circumstances should a team member promise to keep any abusive or safeguarding concern ‘secret’, it must be clearly communicated that this information will need to be passed to Great Waves Swimming Academy Management.

Swimmers who are facing child protection issues or safeguarding concerns may be subject to low self esteem and self worth. Great Waves Swimming Academy lessons may be one of the only secure and safe places for an abused or neglected swimmer. Great Waves Swimming Academy will therefore act in a supportive and sympathetic way to support the swimmer within the  esson capacity.

 

Designated Staff for Safeguarding

The overall responsibility for all Safeguarding is managed by Grace Rogers.  In the event of a safeguarding concern, the first point of call should be to immediately notify our area safeguarding managers, these are as follows:

Croydon: Grace Rogers

Oxted: Alice Rogers

Dorking: Alice Rogers

Wimbledon: Grace Rogers

The above members of the management team are responsible for all safeguarding and child protection issues. Any member of the team who is concerned about a swimmer, should immediately report this to your Area Manager. If it is not possible to contact the above Area Manager, due to illness or annual leave, please contact Grace Rogers on 07943854962.

The designated safeguarding managing team member has a responsibility to:

Be alerted to any specific need of swimmers.

  1. Encourage a culture of listening to swimmers and taking account of their feelings and wishes.
  2. Liaise with the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Local Education Authority, Children and Family Service and Police or other agencies.
  3. Be responsible for communicating with Staff on a ‘need to know’ basis to protect swimmers rights to confidentiality.
  4. Be familiar with the London Safeguarding Children Board procedures.
  5. Raise awareness about Child Protection on an ongoing basis.

Confidentiality

Great Waves Swimming Academy recognises that in order to ensure the safety and welfare of children and individuals, we may be required in line with ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2015, to share information with outside agencies if there is a concern regarding a child’s or individual’s safety.

All Members of the Great Waves Team must be aware that they are unable to keep any information a child or individual may share secret, where it may cause harm or impact upon the person in question or another’s safety. It must also be understood by all members of the Team that there is a professional responsibility to share information with outside agencies if there is a safety or safeguarding concern. Safeguarding concerns will not be discussed in public areas of include individual’s who are not involved.

Great Waves Swimming Academy are committed to being open with Parents/ Guardian’s regarding any disclosure of abuse, unless it is deemed that the notification could place the individual at risk.

 

Procedure for reporting Safeguarding Concerns

If a member of the Great Waves Team is concerned about a swimmers welfare or safety, the following must be observed:

  1. If a member of the Team notices any signs of abuse or has any safeguarding concerns, this must be bought to the attention of the Safeguarding Lead Officer, who must make written notes on the conversation and concerns.
  2. There may be times when a swimmer may present as a safeguarding concern without any tangible ‘evidence’ of foul play. This may include changes in behaviour or acting out of the ordinary. Great Waves Swimming Academy accept that there are variety of factors for changing behaviour which do not constitute as a safeguarding concern, such as changes to family circumstances or bereavements. However inline with our safeguarding responsibilities, staff must be aware that this can be a sign of abuse or neglect.
  3. In these circumstances, Great Waves Team Members will give the swimmer the opportunity to talk and ask if there is anything that can be done to help.
  4. Following an initial conversation with the child in question, this should be submitted in writing to the Lead Safeguarding Officer.
  5. If any information on abuse or safeguarding incidents are disclosed, the Team member must follow the below procedure.

If a swimmer discloses any form or abuse or harm, team members must implement the following:

  1. Listen to what the swimmer has to say. Do not interrogate or ask leading or biased questions.
  2. Remain Calm. If the swimmer has a sense that the information disclosed has shocked, upset or angered the team member, they may be reluctant to disclose further information.
  3. Assure the swimmer that they have done nothing wrong and are not to blame. As above, do not promise any information will be kept a secret, be transparent and inform the swimmer that this information will be passed to Great Waves Swimming Academy Management.

It is imperative the remember the following in regards to any disclosure:

  • It can be very difficult for individuals to speak about any abuse or safeguarding concerns. Great Waves Swimming Academy appreciate and recognise the courage required to disclose abuse. A child may not be aware that the disclosure may even constitute as abuse.
  • Take what the swimmer is disclosing seriously.
  • Allow for silences in a conversation – give the child space and time to provide their account of the circumstances.
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions, speculation or accusations.
  • Tell the child what will happen next. Inform them that this information will be shared with Great Waves Swimming Academy Management.

Immediately report any abusive or safeguarding concerns back to Great Waves Swimming Academy Management. The management team will ask for team member in question to make a written full report of what was seen, heard, communicated immediately.

When a Staff member becomes concerned about a child’s welfare or safety, it is important that the following are taken into consideration for reporting purposes:

  • The nature of the allegation
  • A description of any visible injuries.
  • The child’s account or information presented
  • Any times, dates or other relevant information.
  • Only factual information supplied.

 

a.) Make Written Notes

Written record of your concern should be made at the earliest possible moment. This is completed on the Swimmer Concern form. It is imperative to report the facts accurately and clearly. Do not include opinion. These notes should be legible, signed and dated.

Do not photograph any physical injuries, record on the body map. Do not audio record any disclosures.

The Swimmer Concern Form must be given to the Area Safeguarding Management immediately.

This information will be reported to Grace Rogers who will be responsible for contacting the required authorities or taking further steps in regards to the information presented.

 

b.) Referral Process

Once a safeguarding concern has been raised the area manager, they will take this information to Grace Rogers. A decision will be made as to if a referral to an outside agency or to the Police will be made.

 

Supporting Staff

Great Waves Swimming Academy is committed to supporting Staff Members who have been involved in the disclosure of any safeguarding issue or have any concerns regarding the welfare of a swimmer.

Any safeguarding or welfare issues can be upsetting and stressful for Team Members and so will be supported appropriately. Great Waves Swimming Academy management will provide opportunities to discuss any concerns through supervision.

 

Whistle Blowing

Children and swimmers can not be expected to advocate for failings in care or teaching where Staff are not able to raise concerns. All Staff Members are required to raise concerns including concerns regarding care, unsafe practices, unacceptable actions or attitudes of other Team Members or failures in safeguarding procedures. This should initially be raised to Grace Rogers.

The NSPCC Whistle Blowing Helpline is available for Team Members who feel unable to raise concerns regarding child protection failures internally. Staff can call: 0800 028 0285 – line is available from 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday and Email: help@nspcc.org.uk.

 

6) Great Waves Swimming Academy Good practices

Due to the nature of swimming lessons, it is imperative that all Great Waves Swimming Academy staff adopts good practice. When working with swimmers Great Waves strongly suggests avoiding situations where the staff member and the swimmer is completely unobserved, including on poolside and in changing rooms.

Swimming Teacher’s working within the water may be required to physically support or manually demonstrate swimming skills. Care is required to ensure the contact is appropriate for the activity and Teacher’s must bear in mind the difficulty to maintain hand positioning.

Parents and Guardians should take responsibility for all duties involved in changing swimmers or assisting within a toilet setting.

If a swimmer is accidentally hurt or actions are misconstrued leading to a child becoming upset or injured. This must immediately be passed onto the Great Waves Swimming Academy management.

 

7) Summary

Swimming is a life skill and will aid physical and social development as well as promote a healthy lifestyle. The skill of swimming will stretch beyond childhood and will help form the basis of an active and inclusive lifestyle.

Great Waves Swimming Academy’s main priority is to ensure every swimmer’s protection and safety whilst attending swimming lessons. All team members should ensure that they follow the above procedures to serve every swimmer’s best interest. If any safeguarding or child protection concerns come to light, listen carefully and remain calm, ensure that this is communicated to management immediately through verbal feedback and written notes. Report facts not opinions or assumptions and reassure the swimmer in question that they have done nothing wrong. Understand the signs of abuse or neglect; however be mindful that the aforementioned are not exhaustive and not necessarily indicative of abuse.

The sport of swimming is a Olympic sport and a lifesaving skill, all Great Waves Swimming Academy team members are ambassadors for promoting a sports ethic and a healthy lifestyle, we are passionate about ensuring that all swimmers have access to such a vital life skill. It is imperative to ensure that all swimmers are safeguarded and their welfare is at the forefront of all lessons, enabling all to enjoy the water environment and grow into confident and able swimmers.

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