- Thornbury RFC acknowledges its responsibility to Safeguard the welfare of all children, young adults and vulnerable adults involved with Thornbury RFC. Thornbury RFC confirms it adheres to the Rugby Football Union’s Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines.
- A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. Where a 17 year old player is playing in the adult game every reasonable step will be taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
- All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
- All allegations or suspicions of abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
- Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children.
- Thornbury RFC recognises that all children have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice. Thornbury RFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involved, in whatever capacity, at the club.
CODES OF CONDUCT
Thornbury RFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and officials as appropriate.
SAFEGUARDING BEST PRACTICE
- Thornbury RFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the Gloucestershire RFU or the RFU.
- Working alone with a child or young person.
- Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children.
- Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
- Smoking/Vaping in the presence of children. Smoking/Vaping pitch side is not allowed between the hours of 0900 – 1300 on a Sunday. Smoking/Vaping is permitted in the car park away from the sight of the players. This will include coaches smoking/Vaping around children at Festivals and away games. We aim to create a healthy and positive environment for the players.
- Humiliating children.
- Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child.
- Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child developed as a result of being in a ‘position of trust.’
- Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.
- The club Safeguarding Officer and Assistant Officers are published on the Club Noticeboards. If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child has been put at risk you must, in the first instance, inform the Club Safeguarding Officer. They will then inform the CB Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Team. If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer you should inform the GRFU Safeguarding Chair, and the RFU Safeguarding Team.
The RFU require an Incident Reporting form to be completed within 24 hours of the incident occurring. This form can be found via this link
DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE (DBS) CHECKS
- If you work with children or young adults more than once a week or 4 or more times in a 30-day period, you need a DBS check.
- If an individual’s DBS has expired they can only continue in their role if they are actively seeking a renewal and have supplied all relevant documentation and only if they are supervised by a DBS valid colleague.
- All members of Thornbury RFC who has a regular supervisory role with children/young adults/vulnerable adults must undertake an RFU DBS check. It is a criminal offence to work with Children/young adults/vulnerable adults unsupervised without such a check. Positions that require a DBS check include the following –
Safeguarding and Assistant Safeguarding Officers
Coach (volunteer or paid assisting or leading)
Junior Supervisors (17+)
First Aiders/Physiotherapists/Medical Support
Any First Team Player assisting in the coaching with
Age group managers regularly
Who needs a DBS check?
- Thornbury RFC will ensure all its Coaches and Team Managers will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. Coaches and Team Managers must ensure they attend this training.
- Thornbury RFC ensures that all coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not use the changing facilities at the same time as children, young people or vulnerable adults.
- Adults will only enter the changing facilities when absolutely necessary due to poor behaviour, injury or illness. Adults will only enter the changing facility in an emergency and when waiting for another adult to assist them could result in harm to a child.
- No pressure should be placed on a young person who feels uncomfortable changing and showering with others, if this is the case they should be allowed to shower and change at home.
- Thornbury RFC has adopted the RFU’s Anti-Bullying policy. This can be viewed on the RFU website at www.rfu.com
- All tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by Thornbury RFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours. All tours must be notified to the RFU in advance and all overseas tours require RFU approval in advance. Tour organisers should contact the Club Safeguarding officer and a risk assessment completed.
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Online Photos and Video
- Photos and video clips can make any child featured vulnerable to grooming if information about the child (name, address, activities or interests) is also disclosed. Furthermore, posting an image on a website carries a risk that the image could be taken and adapted for an inappropriate use.
- Use group images, rather than individual images.
- Only use images of children in suitable dress, to minimise the risk of inappropriate adaptation of the image.
- If a child is named on the site, do not include an image (individual or group). If a child features in an image on the site, do not use the child’s first name or last name, either in text on the site or in the image file name.
- Thornbury RFC will abide by all RFU recommendations regarding photo and video images and will obtain consent from the appropriate responsible person(s) before using any images of children or vulnerable adults on its website. Consent request clauses are included in the registration form which is completed each season and are also held by the Club age group administrators.
Webcams and Live Image Streams
Thornbury RFC will not use webcams to stream live images of children or vulnerable adults and if use of a webcam to broadcast images of children or vulnerable adults is requested, the Safeguarding Officer at Thornbury RFC will contact the RFU for further guidance before permission is granted.
Mobile and Online Communication with Children
Technology is moving very fast in this area. There are now many ways for people to communicate. In addition to landlines, there are mobile phones for voice and text, and most new phones incorporate cameras that take still shots and video. Two-way video calling is commonplace. On-line communication can be by email, instant messaging and social networking sites.
The risks posed by such methods of communication arise from:
- The privacy. It is often one-to-one.
- The wide range of content that can be transmitted, including content of a violent, sexual or hateful nature.
- The ease with which images can be forwarded onto others.
- The difficulty in knowing truly who you are communicating with. Where grooming happens, it often involves this type of communication.
- An email should not be sent to a child unless the parent is also copied in.
- 1-1 messaging between Coaches and young people is not permitted.
- Communication via Facebook is permitted only via a public club Facebook page where the content is public.
- All Age group communications, for example fixture information, team selection – should be sent via a club message board. Emails can be sent linking to the message board as a reminder for parents to check the message board. The Club Website is a key part of the daily operation of the club. A message board on the website is the primary means of communicating with parents, players and members.
Photography/Video by a third party or media
The Club reserves the right to invite photographers from the local media rugby specialist press to record the Club’s events. If it does so it undertakes that it will:
- Require any such photographers to register upon arrival at a Club event; to carry with them, at all times, bona fide and appropriate identification which must be produced on request and to abide by the overarching principles set out above
- Inform parents and participants that one or more media photographers will be present and
- Not approve/allow unsupervised access to the players, one-to-one photography sessions with players, nor photo sessions outside the event or at any player’s home.
Use of photographic/video equipment by parents/guardians and adult supporters
Parents and carers are advised that if they have concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography/filming these should be reported to the squad manager, to an event organiser or to an official so that these may be recorded and dealt with in the same manner as any other child protection concern.
If parents or carers or adult supporters wish to take images of a game, session, or event at a Club ground, they must ascertain whether any member of the squad has had permission withheld for photography; at any other ground they must also be prepared to comply with the policy of the host Club.
In addition, wherever the Club’s young players are playing, photographers may be required to identify themselves and state their purpose for photographing/recording an event. They must, if advised that any visiting or host Clubs young player withholds permission for photography, cease doing so immediately unless able to come to an arrangement with that player’s parent or guardian.
The Club reserves the right to contact authorities in the event that any individual refuses to stop taking photographs/video or refuses to identify themselves upon challenge by the Club
Thornbury Rugby Club’s Photographic Policy
Thornbury Rugby Club’s photography policy derives from the RFU’s Policy. The basic principles are:
- Permission: Every parent or carer has the option to decline permission for the taking and publication of images/videos of a young person in their care
- Appropriate Circumstances & Attire: Photography/video must be undertaken in appropriate circumstances. All young people must be appropriately attired at all times
- Publication and Identification: Publication should not be done in such a way that young people are identifiable; images should be published without accompanying sensitive personal details such as a young person’s address
- Focus of the Photography: The imagery should focus on the activity rather than any particular individual
- Equity Policy: Wherever possible, imagery should reflect the diversity of the young people making up The Clubs membership
- Third Party Photography: Whenever professional photographers or outside media are invited or commissioned, the Club will require identification and safeguarding measures to ensure only the proper use and dissemination of imagery
Circumstances of photography/video
Photographs/videos of junior players are usually taken in the following contexts. This list is not exhaustive.
- Coaching – video may be filmed and used thereafter for coaching purposes
- Action photographs – general photographs of players during a game
- Team photographs – posed group photos of teams
- Awards and ceremonies
- Press coverage – local, national and specialist rugby media photographs/video
- Tours, festivals and away fixtures – at other Clubs and grounds which will be subject to the host Clubs policy permission.
All parents/guardians are asked to indicate on Registration Forms if they do not consent to the taking and use of photographs/videos featuring their children throughout the season. If consent is not withheld, the parent or carer permission continues throughout the season, terminating at its conclusion, unless the parent or carer notifies the squad manager and Club Safeguarding Officer, in writing, of a change of mind.
The result of withholding or withdrawing permission is that the Club reserves the right to require the parent or carer to be present throughout an event where photo/video is expected to be taken and to undertake to supervise and monitor the event for the purpose of safeguarding their child.
Coaches Code of Conduct
- All rugby coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every young person with whom they work and treat them equally within the context of Rugby Union
- All rugby coaches must place the physical and emotional well-being of all young players above all other considerations, including the development of performance
- The relationship that a rugby coach develops with the players with whom they work must be based on mutual trust and respect
- All rugby coaches must ensure that all activities undertaken are appropriate to the age, maturity, experience and ability of the young players
- All rugby coaches must encourage young players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance
- All rugby coaches should clarify with the young players (and their parents/carers) what is expected of them both on and off the rugby field and also what they are entitled to expect from the coach
- All rugby coaches should work in partnership with others within the game (officials, doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists) to ensure the wellbeing, safety and enjoyment of all young players
- All rugby coaches must promote the positive aspects of the sport e.g. Fair Play etc. Violations of the Laws of the Game, behaviour contrary to the spirit of the Laws of the Game or relevant regulations or the use of prohibited techniques or substances must never be condoned.
Parents Code of Conduct
- As a parent you will encourage your child to play within the laws and respect the officials’ and coaches’ decisions.
- Support your child’s performance, give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort and learning.
- Remember that children learn best by example: you will applaud good play by both your child’s team and that of the opponents.
- You will not pressure your child in any way, this is their game not yours.
- Do not criticise or ridicule from the side-line, children will make mistakes, they will learn from them.
- Parents will not use Social Media technology to bring the game into disrepute or make inappropriate comments about another player, official or volunteer.
- If you disagree with an official, raise the matter through the appropriate channels not on the side-line. Remember that officials are giving up their time and effort for your child to be involved in the game.
- If you see anything inappropriate report through the correct channels.
Remember that your child is playing a sport they enjoy, this is their game not yours.
Club procedures to manage cases of poor practice
Poor practice is defined as any behaviour which contravenes RFU Codes of Conduct (Fair Play Codes) or RFU Guidance for Good Practice
1. Once an incident is reported to the Club Safeguarding Officer they will consult with RFU Ethics and Equity Manager in order to ascertain whether the allegation is poor practice, bullying or abuse
2. Once the incident has been identified as poor practice and in consultation with senior club officials (Club Chairman/Youth Chairman) a decision will be made whether or not to suspend, temporarily, the person accused. Each case will be considered on its merits
3. A disciplinary hearing may be called. The panel should be made up of three club members with regard to the following criteria
- No person who has been involved in bringing the case to the disciplinary hearing should sit on the panel
- Senior management of the club must be represented
- If the case relates to poor coaching practice, experience in this field must be represented
4. The accused will be advised of receipt of the report and provided with copies
5. The accused will be invited to attend the hearing which must be held at a convenient time for him/her
6. The accused must be given sufficient advance notice of the hearing
7. The accused must be given the opportunity to be accompanied to the hearing by a person of their choice, offer their side of the story and call witnesses.
8. Once the disciplinary panel reaches a decision it should be communicated to the accused and confirmed in writing
9. A copy of the findings should be sent to the CB Safeguarding Officer and RFU Ethics and Equity Manager
Power of the Club Disciplinary Panel
- Temporary suspension
- Person may only coach whilst supervised
- Coach must undertake RFU Best Practice and Child Protection Course
- Coach must attend appropriate RFU Coaching Course
Terms of Reference for Club Safeguarding Officer
- To ensure club has a Child Protection Policy and implementation plan
- To ensure Codes of Conduct are well publicised and adhered to
- In consultation with County Safeguarding Officer to ensure all reported incidents are managed at the appropriate level in line with RFU procedures
- To ensure all relevant club members are aware of training opportunities
- To ensure all parents are aware of the club policy on Child Protection and the correct protocols for voicing concerns
- To be aware of local Social Services and Area Child Protection Committee contacts
- To sit on relevant club committees
The RFU Safeguarding Policy can be found via this link –
RFU Safeguarding courses can be found via this link –
The RFU Safeguarding Toolkit can be found via this link and can be printed for Parents reference –
Other links for parents’ reference –