The government asked the Sport Duty of Care Working Group, lead by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, to review the duty of care that sport has towards participants.
The public consultation for this review closed on 23 May 2016 and an independant report to government was published on 21 April 2017.
The report will be a key agenda item for discussion in the Sport Safeguarding Partnership strategic group in the coming weeks. The group will be developing an action plan for sport to respond to the recommendations outlined in the report.
We invite the Government to engage with the Sport Safeguarding Partnership and the Adult Safeguarding Group to ensure effective measures are put in place so that everyone can enjoy taking part in sport and recreation in a safe environment.
Anne Tiivas, CPSU director, is a member of the working group, which published its terms of reference on 12 April 2016. The wider CPSU team has also contributed to the focus groups as part of this review.
The Sport Safeguarding Partnership has identified key messages that they hoped would be considered in the public consultation. These are:
Emphasise safeguarding in the governance code
Safeguarding children and adults should be a central pillar in the new UK governance code.
Its status as an integrity issue should be the same as the other integrity issues which the code seeks to address. There should be clear links between the code and the work of the ‘Duty of Care’ working group.
Leaders should embrace safeguarding
Safeguarding must be embedded within leadership structures and prioritised by organisations.
Accountability for safeguarding needs to be clearly placed at the top of organisations through CEOs, senior management and boards.
Keep children in all activities safe
Consideration needs to be given to how safeguarding requirements can be applied to organisations which may fall outside of the current proposals and which may leave children and adults at risk.
For example, sports and leisure bodies which may not receive public funding provide services to millions of children and adults. They should be subject to the new definition of ‘Duty of Care’ and should be expected to meet safeguarding requirements.
Government needs to play a key role
Central government must play a key role in acting as a point of information, signposting to expert resources and training within the sector.
Further, Government has a role in setting standards and in disseminating good practice. Local authorities should play a co-ordinating role, ensuring regular dialogue between sport and recreation organisations, County Sports Partnerships, facilities, social care and health services, law enforcement and other relevant organisations.