Safeguarding and Children in School Sport

The provision of high quality PE and School Sport makes a significant contribution to children and young people’s health and well-being. The investment that has been made through both the School Games and Primary PE Premium has led to an increase in the number of new partners working with schools. The most recent survey has shown that 60% of schools are using outside providers to support in the delivery of sport and PE in schools. As with any situation where a number of partners are involved in delivering services to children there is potential for young people being exposed to risks through the failure to put effective safeguards in place or where there is lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities.

In 2010 Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, in conjunction with a number of local partners developed a set of minimum standards for deployment for coaches working in schools. The aim of these standards was to provide a consistency for both schools and external coaching providers and to ensure safeguards are in place. These standards are supported through RightCoach and all schools in Wiltshire and Swindon can access this database of registered coaches.

The standards reflect the current national framework being developed by Sports Coach UK for coaches working in schools. Coaches meeting these standards will hold a level 2 qualification in a specific sport, considered essential for the effective delivery of community sport. They will have in place the minimum level of public liability insurance to ensure they are properly covered in the event of an accident or incident taking place and will hold a current DBS check. In addition they will have undertaken safeguarding training either through Sports Coach UK or through the Local Safeguarding Children Board that includes an awareness of good coaching practice, recognising indicators of harm or abuse and how to respond to a concern. They will also have undertaken training in the fundamentals of physical literacy for young people and a first aid qualification.

In addition to this local resource schools can ensure they are implementing best practice in employing outside coaches by utilising the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit “check and challenge” toolkit. This resource looks at each of the key stages of deployment of an external coaching provider a school should consider and some of the key questions to be asked by those involved in the delivery within the school environment.

Ann Tiivas, Director of the Child Protection in Sport Unit said “we have developed this resource to support partners involved in providing sport activities for children in primary schools. It is intended to help ensure that young participants will be safe and looked after while involved in these activities” 

To access the “check and challenge” toolkit and for further information about a range of topics related to safeguarding and protecting children in sport please visit; https://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/2013/primary-school-check-and-challenge-tool/

For more information about the minimum standards for deployment or RightCoach please contact Alan Low at Wiltshire and Swindon Sport by email alan@wiltssport.org.uk or call 01225 781500.

Please visit the CPSU website for guidance on which safeuguarding course is right for you.

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