By Sally Gleaves, Owner of Worcestershire Martial Arts
Back in May, Worcestershire Martial Arts was successful in achieving the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts Mark. This is obviously a fantastic achievement for us, but for you it's an even bigger deal.
Worcestershire Martial Arts makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our students and expect all our volunteers and members to share this commitment. We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment, including our Child Protection Policy which can be viewed in the Policies section of our website. Sometimes we may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a child's welfare. We will ensure that our concerns about our students are discussed with his/her parents/carers first unless we have reason to believe that such a move would be contrary to the child's welfare.
We actively support the Government's PREVENT Agenda to counter radicalism and extremism. If you have a safeguarding concern please raise it with an Instructor who will alert our designated safeguarding lead (DSL).
Worcestershire Martial Arts Safeguarding Policy can be found Here
Please be advised we do not allow parents to leave children under the age of 10 unattended at classes and we do not allow children under the age of 12 to leave the premises after class without a parent/guardian in attendance.
About the Safeguarding Code
The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts recognises clubs or providers in England who have reached and maintain excellent safeguarding standards. The scheme empowers parents/carers and educational establishments to make informed decisions when selecting a club or provider for their child/children, young people or adults in their care.
The Safeguarding Code has been developed through close consultation between Sport England, representatives from martial arts governing bodies and those with years of expertise in safeguarding. Support was also provided by the Child Protection in Sport Unit, the Ann Craft Trust and NWG Network. It is funded by the National Lottery and was launched by the Sports Minister in early 2018.
Benefits to Parents and Carers
The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts has been created to give parents and carers peace of mind when searching for martial arts clubs suitable for children or adults in their care.
Funded by the National Lottery, this scheme was launched by the Sports Minister in early 2018 and is delivered through a group of partners and experts in safeguarding such as the Child Protection in Sport Unit (NSPCC) and Sport England.
As such, any martial arts club/organisation or individual in England who has achieved the Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts, has successfully demonstrated to us that they have a good working knowledge of quality safeguarding practices will be able to reassure you that they have the following in place:
Disclosure and Barring Service Check for all coaches
Safeguarding awareness training for all coaches
All coaches will have hold a minimum Level 2 coaching standard or coaching qualification
A Safeguarding Policy
A Safe Practice Policy
A reporting system for reporting participants' safety and welfare
A complaints process for parents and all participants
Code of Conduct for children/young people, coaches/volunteers and parents
Above information taken from https://www.safeguardingcode.com/ - Are you a martial arts school? Make sure you take safeguarding seriously!
Policies, codes of conduct and complaints process can all be found in the Worcestershire Martial Arts Members Area.
Child Protection in Martial Arts - 10 reasons for good safeguarding and child-protection practice
Many of these points apply to any sport or activity.
1 – It's part of your legal duty of care
Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2018; PDF) is government guidance that explains how safeguarding and child protection should work in England. It makes it clear that anyone delivering activities for children has a duty of care to those children. This includes having child protection policies and procedures in place.
2 – It's best for children
Children have a right to participate in martial arts in a safe and fun environment. Adults who take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously help to create a safe and welcoming environment
3 – To help make yours a 'fit for purpose' club or organisation
Ensure your club or activity is safe and has the relevant safeguarding measures in place, for further information see our putting safeguards in place page.
4 – To reduce the likelihood of safeguarding incidents occurring
Effective safeguarding practices act as a preventative measure and will help to reduce the likelihood of organisations having to deal with serious child-protection concerns. For example, robust recruitment procedures will help to prevent people who could harm children from holding responsible positions within your organisation.
5 – It promotes the growth of martial arts
Activities where children and parents feel safe and where adults demonstrate high standards of behaviour and respect, are more likely to grow and retain their members.
6 – It's best for martial-arts instructors
Safeguarding is primarily about protecting children from harm. But it also benefits everyone else involved in martial arts, especially those instructing children. Instructors need to be properly trained and informed about how to work with children in a safe and appropriate way.
7 – To reassure parents
Parents want their children to participate in activities in a safe, fun environment and are increasingly well-informed about what safeguarding measures should be in place.
8 – It helps you meet insurance requirements
Insurance companies will want to ensure organisations are meeting their safeguarding responsibilities and to what extent. Organisations failing to do so may have problems in getting insurance cover in the first instance and/or being protected should a serious safeguarding incident arise.
9 – To help secure sponsorship and funding
Where organisations have not meet their safeguarding responsibilities, this has had an impact on funding and sponsorship relationships. External funders and sponsors don't want their reputation linked to organisations that can't demonstrate how they meet their duty of care to children.
10 – It's simply the right thing to do
Failing to implement good standards of safeguarding and child protection is not an option for anyone delivering activities to children. When your club or organisation is responsible for other people’s children during activities, it's right that we take our duty of care to those children seriously.
Above information taken from https://thecpsu.org.uk/resource-library/best-practice/safeguarding-in-martial-arts/
For more information about safeguarding or to access training in safeguarding - check out your local sports partnership or local authority, alternatively look for an online course.
Every Child Matters. See it. Report it.