Effective safeguarding arrangements in every local area should be underpinned by two key principles:
• safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation should play their full part; and
• a child-centred approach: for services to be effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views of children.
(Working Together to Safeguard Children HM Government, 2013)
Rugby union is a powerful and positive influence. Enjoyment goes hand in hand with achievement and the RFU believes that for the game to thrive we must look after the children and young people who play rugby. Their welfare and wellbeing is fundamental. We all want the rugby environment to be a safe and happy one.
Rugby’s core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship are attributes that we all want to impart. Our hope is that everyone children meet within our sport can act as a positive role model. As children develop qualities and skills like confidence, commitment and concern for others they become potential leaders for the future. (RFU Safeguarding Policy)
At Stockport RFU we respect such values and offer all our players a safe, secure and enjoyable environment to prosper in. By law, we are required to have various persons in place. The people who work or volunteer in our club are the most important asset we have. A good recruitment process is essential to ensure the best people are chosen for the roles they undertake. These persons are suited to the club and who are less likely to harm children, intentionally or accidentally.
The children’s safety and wellbeing has to be paramount.
Official checks and vetting procedures on their own are not enough to protect children. They are only part of a wider set of practices and an organisational culture which supports safe practice. We encourage all our staff, volunteers and visitors to have an awareness of Safeguarding and our measures.
Clubs are requested to appoint a Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO), and where appropriate a deputy, as the first point of contact for safeguarding and welfare concerns. The named CSO for the 2017/18 season is:-
Mrs Haidee Langtree
And you will also have a named SC (Safeguarding Co-ordinator) in each age group. These are your head coaches and or managers
• The CSO must:
*share their details with all parents/carers as the first point of contact
*adhere to their RFU role description
*be a member of, or attends the appropriate club committees making safeguarding issues a priority at the proper level
*works in accordance with the Safeguarding Toolkit and all RFU Policies and
*ensures DBS checks are up to date and where relevant, references requested
This isn’t an extensive list of the responsibilities; further information is available for all on the RFU website www.rfu.com/managingrugby/safeguardingchildren
Further to the CSO, other official person’s within our club will be informed of any Safeguarding matters. These persons are
Neil Wakefield/role – Mini & Junior Chairman/ contact – email@example.com
Individual head coaches may also be informed on a need to know basis.
Adult : Child Ratios
There will 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 1:10 for children over 8 years old aged at least 9
2 1:8 for children under 8 years old aged 7 and 8
3 1:6 for children under 7 years old
Safeguarding disabled children
Disabled children and their families may need additional information, help and support. The club’s paid and volunteer workforce may require training and advice to ensure they include and safeguard them.
Some children may be more susceptible to harm than other participants because they may: lack the mutual support and protection of a peer group, require higher degrees of physical care and support, have limited communication skills, find it difficult to resist inappropriate interventions, have several carers making it difficult to identify an abuser, have a history of having limited or no choice or have a degree of dependency on a carer conflicting with the need to report harm or raise concerns.
It is also important to be aware of the additional vulnerability some children experience as a result of a wide spectrum of issues such as autism, attention deficit disorder and a variety of other disorders.
All children and families are welcome at Stockport rugby club; we endeavour to uphold our inclusive and equality philosophy.
Good role models
Our expectation of all our staff, volunteers and adults is that they should consistently display high standards of personal behaviour and appearance and refrain from pursuits considered unhealthy in front of their players, both on the pitch and in our clubhouse. They must not make sexually explicit comments or gestures to or in the presence of children and use any language which causes them to feel uncomfortable or lose confidence or self-esteem is unacceptable, as is the use of obscene or foul language.
Any inappropriate or aggressive contact between adults and children is unacceptable and a number of principles should be followed when teaching contact rugby:
Physical handling by a coach must only be used for safety reasons or where there is no other way of coaching the technique (Level 1 Coaching Award in Rugby Union)
The reasons for physical contact should be explained wherever practicable 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.
The wellbeing and safety of children must be placed above the development of performance. Contact skills are to be taught in a safe, secure manner paying due regard to the physical development of the players involved.
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 (see the RFU website for further information).
A risk assessment on the conditions, players and apparent risks should be carried out by a person responsible for the overall session.
Female players may only play in the adult game from their 18th birthday. However, there is an exception for 17yr old girls allowing them to play adult rugby within the RFU Women’s Elite Rugby programme in accordance with Rugulation 15.
Discipline on the field of play is the responsibility of the players. Coaches, team managers and parents must always promote good discipline amongst their players, both on and off the field. Penalising lack of discipline on the field of play which contravenes the laws of the game is the responsibility of the referee.
Coaches, managers and spectators should not intervene or enter the field of play.
In a situation where individuals have to consider whether to intervene to prevent a child being injured, injuring themselves or others, physical intervention should always be avoided unless absolutely necessary. In these situations it is imperative to:
1 Consider your own safety
2 Give verbal instructions first
3 Use the minimum reasonable force and only when necessary to resolve the
4 incident, the purpose being restraint and reducing risk
5 Do not strike blows, act with unnecessary force or retaliate
6 Avoid contact with intimate parts of the body, the head and neck
7 Stay in control of your actions
The CSO is to be notified at the earliest opportunity of an incident of physical intervention.
If this involves a possible dispute as a complaint might be lodged with the RFU or the police by a parent whose child has been physically restrained, the incident is to be recorded on the RFU Initial Issue/Concern Reporting Form.
Physical intervention, often referred to in education as ‘Positive Handling’, should only be used to achieve an outcome in the best interests of the child whose behaviour is of immediate concern or other children involved and never as a form of punishment.
How the club will respond to suspicions or concern in conjunction
with the RFU
Incident Referral Process
The RFU encourages and supports “whistle-blowing” and will, where appropriate, notify the statutory agencies of any allegation and work in partnership with them. RFU investigation will usually commence once the statutory agencies have completed their investigations and refer the case back to the RFU.
The wellbeing of the child must be central to any procedures involving them. The RFU will work in partnership with local children’s services and our club to support the victim and witnesses.
1.Regulations (21) requires all incidents, suspicions and concerns regarding a child to be reported to the RFU Safeguarding Team as soon as possible (Initial Issue/Concern Reporting Form).
2.Once the RFU Safeguarding team receives written notification of an incident, allegation or disclosure, they will assume management of the case. If the case is being investigated by the police the Safeguarding team will liaise with them and discuss whether or not to proceed with RFU disciplinary action prior to or alongside the police investigation.
3.Once the RFU assumes management of the case the club should take no further action until advised to do so by the RFU or relevant authority. The RFU will ensure that the club and Constituent Body are kept informed of procedure and progress.
Those under investigation
Our club and the RFU is committed, first and foremost, to protecting the interests of the child. In the course of a referral being made to the RFU or statutory agencies, individuals who are accused of causing harm will be informed of the procedures by the RFU. They may also request at any time an update on the progress of the referral. Investigations are concluded as quickly as possible to ensure that those guilty of causing harm are dealt with expeditiously and those falsely or mistakenly accused are able to return to the game with reputation intact.
Suspension from Rugby Union
A temporary suspension order or a suspension order may be issued by the RFU Legal Officer in accordance with RFU Regulations (21).
It is important that our management committee take considered, positive action to ensure that they are responsible licensees.
It is against the law:
1 To sell alcohol to someone under 18
2 For an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of someone under 18
Away Days and Tours
SRUFC has an exclusive policy for such, outlining the parameters and the guidance around these events, ensuring it is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Children are defined in the Children Act 1989 as people under the age of 18 years. For the purposes of this Policy the legal definition applies.
All those who volunteer or are in a paid role at a rugby club and work with children are part of the children’s workforce, providing services to children.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
The DBS was created when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in December 2012 as a result of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA). The DBS runs checks at three different levels providing information on an individual’s criminal records.
The statutory definition of Regulated Activity applies to this Policy. In summary, this means teaching, training, instruction, care or supervision of children carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often) or on four or more days in a 30 day period, or overnight.
Regulations 15 and 21
Regulation 15 is the RFU Regulation which deals with Age Grade Rugby and it is advisable for all those working with children in rugby union to read and refer to this regulation regularly. Regulation 21 relates to safeguarding aspects within the rugby union environment.
The Safeguarding Team consists of the Safeguarding Manager, Case Officer, Advisor and Compliance Officer all based at Twickenham. Their contact details are in the back of this policy as well as on the RFU website
This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding Toolkit which provides further guidance and advice on safeguarding matters
17 Year Olds Playing in the Adult Game
This Policy covers all players under 18. However, in accordance with RFU Regulation 15, a male player can, with the necessary written consent, play in the adult game when he reaches his 17th birthday, although not play in a front row position until his 18th birthday. The only exception is England Academy players who require the written consent of the RFU Professional Player Development Manager in accordance with Regulation 15.3.8.
A club’s management team must have assessed and continue to assess, that any 17 year old male player playing in adult games or training is both physically, emotionally and intellectually capable of taking part.
Those responsible for the management of adult teams which include 17 year olds, must at all times be mindful of their safety and wellbeing and ensure that a suitable adult from within the team and management acts as a mentor or buddy.
If a 17 year old is playing rugby under Regulation 15 a “Player Approval” form must be completed in the first instance by the head coach, gaining parents signatures then handed to the Safeguarding officer to process to the RFU for their approval.
Please remember if you have any concerns of a Safeguarding nature, or you wish to obtain further information, you can contact the following -
Stockports Safeguarding officer – Haidee Langtree
The RFU for further advice and information www.rfu.com/managingrugby/safeguardingchildren
Annie Davis RFU Safeguarding Advisor
Child Protection in Sport Unit
T: 0808 800 5000
(for adults - 24hrs)
Reviewed and updated 19/09/2019. H. Langtree