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All organisations working with children have both a legal and moral duty of care for those children. These are defined by the following pieces of legislation and government guidance.
- The Children Acts 1989 and 2004 define children as anyone under the age of 18 years.
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) provides government guidance for organisations working with children. This includes explicit mention of sport and the requirement that all funded sports organisations should achieve the CPSU Safeguarding Standards. Responsibilities for organisations working with children are outlined in the diagram below:
- Every Child Matters Change for Children 2004 outlines the five key outcomes for all children:
- Be healthy - physical and mental health and well-being
- Stay safe - protection from harm and neglect
- Enjoy and achieve - education, training and recreation
- Make a positive contribution - the contribution made by them to society
- Achieve economic well-being - social and economic well-being
- Children and Social Work Act (2017) included reference to changes of Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards to “local safeguarding arrangements” which could include sports organisations.
- Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2018 provide guidance around safe storage and sharing of information including safeguarding information. The latter refers to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Information Sharing Guidance for safeguarding practitioners (2015) provides guidance around what, how and when to share safeguarding information, including the Seven Golden Rules of information sharing.
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 introduced the offence of an employer knowingly employing someone in a regulated position if they are barred from doing so, and for for an individual who has been barred to apply for a regulated position (one which involves spending regular time working with children).
- Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 reduced the scope of "regulated activity" by focusing on whether the work is unsupervised (in which case it counts as "regulated activity") or supervised (in which case, organisations can request an enhanced criminal records check, but this will not include a check of the barred list). The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 created a single, new, non-departmental public body called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Advice and information about safeguarding in sports organisations
If you are a national sports organisation, this toolkit will support you in ensuring you have the appropriate safeguards in place, in accordance with government guidance. Additional information is available here.
If you provide sporting or leisure provision for children (whether voluntary, private, charity, social enterprise or faith based organisation) then this guidance and toolkit will help to ensure you meet the legal requirement.
If you are a leisure provider (LA or this a legal requirement for private/Trusts providers) there is some guidance and information here.
For more information about the DBS, these guidance leaflets will provide advice and more information about wider safer recruitment is available here.
For information on a range of safeguarding training, including access to free webinars on various safeguarding topics see here.
If you need to deal with a concern about a child you can find information and guidance here including safeguarding links to National Governing Bodies and Active Partnerships. You can also call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.