The Department for Education has updated its statutory guidance for schools and colleges.
Keeping children safe in education was published in June 2020 and was implemented on 1 September 2020.
Key points for sport and physical activity
Part 4: Allegations of abuse made against teachers, and other staff including supply teachers and volunteers
Supply teachers and volunteers have now been included in this section, who are not directly employed by the school (usually employed by an agency). It states schools should make sure they follow up any allegations against supply teachers and report any concerns to the local authority. This could apply to sessional sports coaches.
The guidance should be followed if a person who works or volunteers with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children
- behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children
Child mental health
The guidance now mentions child mental health in more detail and how this can become a safeguarding issue. It states that schools need to encourage discussion around children’s mental health. This reflects how mental health awareness has increased in sports context.
Domestic abuse (Annex A)
Operation Encompass operates in the majority of police forces across England. It helps police and schools work together to provide emotional and practical help to children.
The system ensures that when police are called to an incident of domestic abuse, where there are children in the household who have experienced the domestic incident, the police will inform the key adult (usually the designated safeguarding lead) in school before the child or children arrive at school the following day.
This ensures that schools have up to date relevant information about a child’s circumstances and can enable support for the child according to their needs. Police forces not signed up to operation encompass will have their own arrangements in place.
Upskirting (Annex A)
The Voyeurism (Offences) Act, which is commonly known as the Upskirting Act, came into force on 12 April 2019.
The definition of upskirting has been updated to read:
''Upskirting is where someone takes a picture under a person’s clothing (not necessarily a skirt) without their permission and or knowledge, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks (with or without underwear) to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm. It is a criminal offence. Anyone of any gender, can be a victim.''
Online safety (Annex C)
Additional resources have been added to reflect more online learning. These may be useful for anyone delivering remote sessions or workshop delivery.
- South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) – Guidance on safe remote learning for various platforms and on online tutoring and safeguarding, including the implications for safe recruitment
- National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - guidance on how to set up and use video conferencing
- Departmental guidance on safeguarding and remote education – government guidance on planning remote education strategies and teaching remotely. Includes safeguarding considerations and links to sources of support