Wavepower: The ASA Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures

Wavepower 2016–19 is the latest Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures publication which replaces all previous versions. It has been produced to assist in safeguarding and protecting children in our sport and has been adopted by TSC, as it should by all ASA affiliated clubs and organisations. Please read the full policy here:

http://www.swimming.org/asa/clubs-and-members/safeguarding-children/


Pool side etiquette

Parents are NOT permitted pool side at any time unless they are there in an official capacity such as coach, chaperone, team manager, judge or referee, or results. If parents go pool side at a gala or meet then the swimmer or club can be disqualified. Parents should not go into the changing rooms. Parents are NOT to interrupt training sessions by talking to swimmers or coaches.

Swimmer safety

TSC's top priority is to ensure that children are safe at all times, and we ask for parents' full support in our efforts. Parents should ensure that the club has up to date mobile phone numbers in case of emergency. Please advise a member of the committee of any changes ASAP. Swimmers must carry with them any medicines they may need such as inhalers or epicene. These should be easily accessible in their bags in case of an emergency. Parents must advise the club of any medical conditions which may affect a child whilst they are pool side, with details of any medication which may be needed.

Talking to coaches

If you wish to talk to a coach, please email the club requesting an appointment. Some coaches do make themselves available to talk to parents after training but this cannot be guaranteed, especially as the coaching team often have their meetings after training to discuss swimmers' progress and the training schedule.


Lane sharing between adults and children Policy

The Club and the ASA recognise that children and adults may train together in the same lane if they are of a like standard and physical size, but the Club/Coach must give additional consideration to child safeguarding if lane sharing is necessary.  The Club/Coach must consider the following factors when lane sharing:

  • Suitability of lane supervision at Club sessions involving under 18’s
  • The ages and sexes of the swimmers
  • The relative sizes and abilities of swimmers
  • The individual swimmers’ lane discipline and precision of strokes
  • Any lane etiquette guides, e.g. overtaking
  • The presence of lifeguards
  • The width of each training lane
  • The number of swimmers in each lane
  • Whether the session is open to spectators
  • Whether the club has identified and publicised a process by which concerns can be raised with an identified child welfare officer

Masters who are training with younger swimmers do not require a DBS check, unless they are volunteering in the club and taking on additional roles.


Swimmers' code of conduct

General behaviour

1. Treat all members of and persons associated with the ASA with due dignity and respect.

2. Treat everyone equally and never discriminate against another person associated with the ASA on any grounds including that of age, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or nationality.

3. The use of inappropriate or abusive language, bullying, harassment, or physical violence will not be tolerated and could result in action being taken through the club disciplinary or child welfare policy.

4. Display a high standard of behaviour at all times. Always report any poor behaviour by others to an appropriate club officer.

5. Recognise and celebrate the good performance and success of fellow club and team members.

Swimming training

1. Treat your coach and fellow swimmers with respect.

2. Make your coach aware if you have difficulties in attending training sessions as laid down for your squad.

3. Arrive in good time on poolside before the training session starts to complete poolside warm up as directed by your coach.

4. If you arrive late report to your coach before entering the pool.

5. Ensure you have all your equipment with you, i.e. paddles; kick boards, hats, goggles etc.

6. If you need to leave the pool for any reason during training inform your coach before doing so.

7. Listen to what your coach is telling you at all times and obey instructions given.

8. Always swim to the wall as you do in a race, and practice turns as instructed.

9. Do not stop and stand in the lane, or obstruct others from completing their training.

10. Do not pull on the ropes as this may injure other swimmers.

11. Do not skip lengths or sets - you are only cheating yourself.

12. Think about what you are doing during training and if you have any problems discuss them with your coach at an appropriate time.

13. If you have any problems with the behaviour of fellow club members report them at the time to an appropriate adult.

Competition

1. At competitions whether they be open meets, national events or club galas always behave in a manner that shows respect to both your club coach, officers and team mates and the members of all competing clubs.

2. You will be required to attend events and galas that the Chief Coach has entered / selected you for unless previously agreed otherwise with the relevant club official and coach.

3. You must wear appropriate swimwear, tracksuits, T shirts/shorts and hats as laid down by the club.

4. Report to your club coach and / or Team manager on arrival on poolside.

5. Warm-up before the event as directed by the coach in charge on that day and ensure you fully prepare yourself for the race.

6. Be Part of the Team. Stay with the Team on poolside. If you have to leave poolside for any reason inform and in some cases get the consent of the Team manager / coach /chaperone before doing so.

7. Immediately after your race report to your coach for feedback.

8. Support your team mates. Everyone likes to be supported and they will be supporting you.

9. Swim down after the race, if possible again as advised by your coach. Your behaviour in the swim down facility must be appropriate and respectful to other users at all times.

10. Never leave an event until either the gala is complete or you have the explicit agreement of the club coach or team manager.


Swimmers' disciplinary procedures

It is the Club’s policy to be inclusive at all times and to work with swimmers and their parents to help them reach the required standards of behaviour. However, please remember that the Club has a duty of care over all its members and can not allow the behaviour of individuals to unduly affect the wider membership and younger members in particular.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct for Swimmers will be dealt with in the first instance by the Coach/Team Manager/Lifeguard;

1 The swimmer will be reprimanded by way of a verbal warning.

2 The swimmer will be required to get out of the pool and have ‘time out’.

3 The swimmer will be barred from the rest of the session. In these circumstances the swimmer will change and sit on poolside until the end of the session, unless the parent/carer is present to take that child home. If a second incident occurs the Coach/Team Manager/Lifeguard will again refer to the above system but also inform the Welfare Officer and Chairman. The Welfare Officer will record the incident in a disciplinary book with date, time and description of behaviour. Parent(s)/Carer(s) will be notified of this by the Welfare Officer. A third incident will again be dealt with as above but will result in the swimmer being given a written warning. The swimmer, parent(s)/carer(s) will be asked to meet with the Coach, Chairman and Welfare Officer of the Club to discuss the incident and strategies to address behavioural issues.

Any further behaviour issues will result in either the swimmer being suspended until such time as determined by the Club or permanent exclusion from the Club, depending on the severity of the incident. At the discretion of the Club’s coaches, managers or officials, any offence which in their opinion is deemed serious enough can be escalated up the behaviour system without recourse to prior sanctions. For instance a swimmer might be required to leave a session immediately, without prior warning, if the offence warrants it. Any threatening, intimidating, aggressive, physical or inappropriate behaviour will result in the swimmer being immediately suspended until further notice and until the committee has had the opportunity to consider the matter.

Final decisions on disciplinary matters will be made by the Club committee. Any decision can be disputed either via the Club’s internal procedures or via the ASA. Further details on internal disputes can be found at www.britishswimming.org in the Wavepower manual. Please note that the Club also has the right to suspend a swimmer where parents, carers or associated adults have breached the Code of Conduct for Parents.


Parents' code of conduct

Parents are expected to:
1. Complete and return the Medical Information Form as requested by the club and detail any health conditions /SEN needs/ concerns relevant to your child on the consent form.  Any changes in the state of your child’s health should be reported to the coach prior to coaching sessions.  Ensure the club has up to date contact details for you and any alternative person.

2. Please ensure their swimmers arrive to their session in time to change and warm-up on poolside.  The Club/Coach cannot be held responsible for swimmers dropped off at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre or Tewkesbury School pool in advance of sessions, nor once the swimmers have left the poolside/changing room at the end of the session.  (See club procedures for missing children and late collection.)

3. Parents must check that the session has not been cancelled before they leave or drop off swimmers at any club session or Land training. We advise that parents ensure their swimmer is in the pool before they leave their child unattended and ensure they arrive back as the swim session finishes, not after the swimmer gets changed.

4. Parents should be aware that they should not be in a changing room/village whilst the swimmers are getting changed, unless their child is of an age where help is required (aged 8 and under) or have specific needs, requiring help with changing. If there is an issue in the changing room/village, then suitable club officials or DBS checked poolside helpers may enter with another adult/parent to assist where necessary. PLEASE NOTE the changing rooms at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre are a mixed changing village and may be shared with members of the general public. At Tewkesbury School Pool the changing rooms are separate male and females and may also be shared with other clubs/swim schools and the general public.

5. Parents are not required to stay (unless swimmers are aged 8 and under) at club swim training sessions, but they are welcome to spectate in the café area only at Tewkesbury Leisure Centre if they wish (parents are not permitted onto the poolside spectator area during club swim training sessions). Parents may sit on the bench at Tewkesbury School pool.

6. Inform the Coach/Welfare Officer before a session if your child is to be collected early from a coaching session/meet and if so by whom.

7. Ensure your child is properly and adequately attired for the training session/events including all required equipment, i.e. hats, goggles etc.

8. Behave responsibly as a spectator at training / meets and treat swimmers, coaches, committee members and parents of yours and other clubs with due respect meeting the ASA commitment to equality.

9. Ensure you do not use inappropriate language within the club environment.

10. Show appreciation and support your child and all the team members.

11. Ensure your child’s needs are met in terms of nutritional needs and listen to advice given from the club coach / nutritionist. 

12. Support the club coach and committee appropriately and raise any concerns you have in an appropriate manner.  Details of the club Welfare Officer can be found on the website, or emailing talk2tsc@gmail.com.

13. Do not enter poolside unless requested to do so or in an emergency.  If you wish to have a discussion with the coach please speak to them before training or once the session has finished. 

14. Most of all help your child enjoy the sport and achieve to the best of their ability.

15. Parents must refrain from engaging their children during training/gala’s/meets etc. Please leave the coaches and chaperones to look after your children.

16. Encourage your child to obey rules and teach them that they can only do their best. 

17. Parents are asked to please ensure their child/swimmer is fully aware of the club’s expectations to ‘display a high standard of behaviour at all times’ and to report any poor behaviour to the Coach or Club official.

18. If the club changes your child’s lane and training times, please remember the change is to provide appropriate levels of training and enable your child to progress and should be facilitated and encouraged at all times.

19. Parents are expected to be aware of the club fixture list and ensure that they or their swimmer gives maximum notice to Coaches/Communications officer of the non-availability for team selection.

20. Parents are expected to read Club notice boards and the club website to ensure their swimmer is aware of team selection and other important notices.

The club will undertake to:

1. Inform you at once if your child is ill and ensure their well-being until you are able to collect him / her. 

2. Ensure good child safeguarding guidelines are followed at all times to keep your child safe.  The Coach only has Duty of Care for the swimmer while they are training in the pool.  If a member/swimmer goes out of the pool area the coach/teacher must be made aware of this.  If the swimmer/child fails to return within a reasonable time, or appears to be upset upon leaving poolside, the coach/teacher should request a suitable responsible adult/club official/lifeguard to check on them.

3. Ensure all activities are properly supervised / taught / coached and consent is obtained for any activity outside of that previously agreed.

The parent has a right to:

1. Make a complaint to the club if they feel the club or a member of the club is not acting appropriate to ASA / club rules and regulations.  Details of how to do this can be obtained from the club Welfare Officer.

2. Make a complaint on behalf of their child to the ASA Office of Judicial Administration.


Missing Child Policy

Hopefully no child will ever go missing from the club. If they do then we must remember most are found within a few minutes of their disappearance.

However, if a child for whom the club has responsibility goes missing, the following guidelines have been devised to clarify actions should they be taken by the coach, parent volunteers, or club officers:

  • Ensure the other young people in your care are looked after appropriately whilst a search is organised for the missing person.
  • Inform the parents/carers of the missing person if they are present or nominate an appropriate person to telephone them and advise them of the concern, reassuring them we are doing all we can to locate their child.
  • Inform the local pool manager of the situation and ask to help organise all available staff and responsible adults to help search all areas.
  • Take a short time to organise the search properly so that all places are fully searched.
  • Search the area in which the child has gone missing to include changing rooms, toilets, public and private areas including the outside grounds.
  • Request all those who are searching report back to an agreed point at a certain time.

It may be in the best interest if possible for a nominated person to be making a detailednote of all actions and events including a physical description of the person to include approx height, build, hair and eye colour, as well as a description of the clothing they were wearing and where they were last seen and who by, as this will be requested by the local Police.

If after a period of time the search is unsuccessful, please then report the concern to the local Police. (This should be reported to the police no later than 30 minutes after the person’s disappearance.)

If the Police recommend further action, before they get involved then we must follow their guidance. Once the Police act upon the concern then we must all be guided by them in any further actions to take.

At any stage the person is located and found then all persons involved (parents/carers, searchers and the police) during the search are to be informed.


late collection of children policy

Tewkesbury Swimming Club has a policy with guidance for safeguarding all swimmers including the late collection of children and children going missing. Our policy is in accordance with the ASA and Wave Power guidelines.

Everyone from coaches, parents and club officers are responsible for the safety and welfare of all swimmers whilst they are in the pool during training sessions, when getting changed and whilst waiting to be collected.

We understand that, on occasion parent/carers may be delayed and unable to collect their child on time from training or after an event, hence we would like everyone to be aware of the protocol that, as a club, we must follow.

In order to help keep your children/swimmers safe, we would ask that the guidelines below are followed:

• Any swimmer who has to get out of their session early through illness or injury (or is asked to leave the pool for behavioural reasons) will be asked to remain on poolside until their parent/carer arrives. This way we can ensure their well-being rather than them sitting unaccompanied in a changing cubicle etc.

• If a swimmer knows they will have to get out early for a particular reason in advance

of the session, please could this be cleared with the coach/welfare officer beforehand, preferably by a parent/carer. If this has not been discussed and the parent/carer is not present, the swimmer (under 16 years old) will be asked to remain on poolside until the parent arrives, for their own safety.

• If parents/carers are not staying during training times, please make sure that you are contactable by phone at all times.

• Please insist that your children wait for you inside the leisure centre/pool building when being collected.

• If a child is aged 12 or under then it is unacceptable for the child to leave the Leisure centre/pool building – they need to wait inside to be collected.

As always, the safety and well-being of each and every swimmer, is the Club’s priority. Please discuss the above with your children/swimmers.

We need a working partnership between us to be able to provide the support we would like to give to your children.

Parents, who persistently fail to collect a child on time or have not arrived after a reasonable period of time, and have given no prior notice or informed the club that they will be delayed, may be failing in the care of their child.

In the event that a child/swimmer is not collected on time after a training session or event, the club (officers/coaches) will use the emergency numbers they have for the child to arrange for a nominated person to collect the swimmer. If no one nominated is available to collect the swimmer, and the parent has still not contacted the club, the child will be asked if there is another family member who may be contacted. After a reasonable period of time and if the child still has not been collected, the club will consult the local police or local authority Safeguarding Team duty officer for advice and appropriate action to take.

If a parent/carer arrives to collect a child/swimmer and the coach/club officers are concerned at their ability to take appropriate care of the child (i.e. they are considered to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the level under which they are unfit to drive, and/or take care of their child) the club should gain advice from the police or children’s services.

The club’s coaches / teachers and officers will avoid;

1. Taking the child home or to another location.

2. Asking the child to wait in a vehicle or at the club with them alone. A second responsible adult e.g. a club officer, coach, teacher, volunteer or parent will be asked to assist.

3. Sending the child home with another person without permission.

If a parent/carer fails to collect their child or young person on several occasions with no contact or reasonable reason for the delay, the club Welfare Officer and another club officer will arrange to meet with them to discuss the matter.

If there is no change, the Welfare Officer will contact either The Children’s team at local Social Services or seek advice from the ASA ICPO.


Coaches' code of conduct

All Teachers, Coaches and Team Managers of Tewkesbury Swimming Club (“the Club”) assent to the ASA Code of Ethics and recognise and adhere to the principles and responsibilities embodied in it. They all are aware of the potential problems which could arise on poolside, or when accompanying swimmers to away competitions. The club has a structured format and level of communication, and all members have details for contact with the Welfare Officer. All Staff, volunteers and committee members representing the club must:

1 Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.

2 Treat all swimmers with respect and dignity, value their worth and treat everyone equally, recognising their needs and abilities within the context of their sport.

3 Develop an appropriate working relationship with swimmers based on mutual trust and respect.

4 Meet the ASA commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

5 Always place the well-being, health and safety of swimmers above all other consideration including developing performance.

6 Always ensure that all teaching, coaching and competition programmes are appropriate for the age, ability and experience of the individual swimmer.

7 Always identify and meet the needs of the individual swimmer as well the needs of the team/squad.

8 Be fair and equal in team and training squad selection.

9 Never exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward. In particular, coaches must not use their position to establish or pursue a sexual or improper relationship with an athlete or someone close to them.

10 Encourage and guide swimmers to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.

11 Continue to seek and maintain their own professional development in all areas in relation to coaching and teaching children.

12 Treat all information of a personal nature about individual swimmers as confidential, except in circumstances where to do so will allow the child to be placed at risk of harm or continue to be at risk of harm.

13 Encourage all swimmers to obey the spirit of the rules and laws both in and out of the pool.

14 Co-operate fully with other specialists (eg. other coaches, officials, sport scientists, doctors, and physiotherapists) in the best interests of the swimmer.

15 Never encourage or condone swimmers, volunteers, officials or parents to violate the rules of the club or the sport and report any violations appropriately.

16 Observe the authority and the decision of the officials and only question those decisions in the appropriate manner.

17 Treat all competitors and other club teams with respect, whether that is in victory or defeat and encourage all team members and fellow club members to do the same.

18 Refer all concerns of a child safeguarding nature in line with the club/ASA safeguarding children policy.


Committee members, officials and volunteers' code of conduct

1 At all times adhere to the ASA Code of Ethics, Rules and Laws.

2 At all times adhere to the ASA Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

3 Adhere fully to the role and job description as outlined by the club and never use that role to gain favour for yourself or any individual swimmer.

4 Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.

5 Wear Club Uniform whilst assisting at Poolside.

6 Treat all swimmers with respect and dignity, value their worth and treat everyone equally recognising their needs and ability within the context of the sport.

7 Encourage and guide swimmers to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance.

8 Continue to seek and maintain your own development in line with your role and complete a Safeguarding Children in Sport course, if appropriate to your role.

9 Meet the ASA’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

10 Treat all information of a personal nature about individual swimmers as confidential, except in circumstances where to do so will allow the child to be placed at risk of harm or continue to be at risk of harm.

11 Encourage all swimmers to obey the spirit of the rules and laws both in and out of the pool.

12 Never encourage or condone swimmers, volunteers, officials or parents to violate the rules of the club or the sports and report any violations appropriately.

13 Observe the authority and the decision of the officials and only question those decisions in the appropriate manner.

14 Treat all competitors and other club teams with respect, whether that is in victory or defeat and encourage all team members and fellow club members to do the same.

15 Refer all concerns of a child safeguarding nature in line with the club/ASA safeguarding children policy.


Equality, diversity and inclusion

1 The ASA and British Swimming have committed themselves to tackling forms of discrimination and to strive to become inclusive of all those who want to participate in swimming (as competitors, officials, coaches and administrators) irrespective of their race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and faith and ability.

2 This code of conduct includes the Association’s commitment to address equality, diversity and inclusion in swimming. To this end the Association will not tolerate:

a. Discrimination on the grounds set out in 1 above.

b. Harassment.

c. Bullying.

d. Abusive or insensitive language

e. Inappropriate behaviour detrimental to any individuals or groups of individuals.

3 The ASA and British Swimming are governed by UK law and will seek to ensure that its participants are committed to addressing its responsibilities under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Equal Pay Act 1970, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Human Rights Act 1998, Disability Discrimination Act (Amendment) 2005, Equality Act 2006.

4 Committees, officials and volunteers in all aquatic disciplines must address this responsibility to support equality, diversity and inclusion in our sport.


TSC Complaints Procedure

Introduction

Tewkesbury Swimming Club (TSC) is dedicated to coaching children and adults alike to become excellent swimmers, who can, if they wish, compete against others. Tewkesbury Swimming Club prides itself on the quality of the coaching and care provided to all swimmers. However, if any member has a complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the club in accordance with this Procedure. All members can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and with an appropriate degree of courtesy and confidentiality. The club, in its turn, expects that concerns and complaints will be presented with courtesy and in a calm manner. If any member is aggressive or verbally rude they will be asked to make their point in writing. An anonymous complaint will not be investigated under this procedure unless there are exceptional circumstances. These would include serious concerns such as child protection issues or bullying allegations, where the club would either involve appropriate external agencies or conduct a review in accordance with Wave Power, the ASA Child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures document.

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally. If a member has a complaint they should normally contact the Head Coach. In many cases, the matter will be resolved in this way and without delay. If the Head Coach cannot resolve the matter, it may be necessary to involve a member of the committee. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally then the member may proceed with their complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this Procedure.  

Stage 2 – Formal Resolution

If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the member should submit their concerns in writing via the club email talk2tsc@gmail.com, marked for the attention of Chairman (emails sent to committee member's personal accounts will not be acted upon). The Chairman will then decide the appropriate course of action. In most cases, the Chairman will meet the member concerned, normally within 15 working days (during school term time) of receiving the complaint. Response times may be longer during school holidays. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage. It may be necessary for the Chairman to carry out further investigation. The Chairman will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint. Once the Chairman is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a considered response will be given to the member in writing. If the member is not satisfied with the outcome, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this Procedure.

Stage 3 – Panel Hearing

If a member wishes to invoke Stage 3 they should address their complaint in writing to the Club Secretary, who has been empowered by the Chairman to call hearings of the Complaints Panel at this stage. The matter will then be considered by the Complaints Panel. The Panel will consist of three committee members not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint. The Club Secretary will acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing as soon as practicable and normally within 20 working days (during school term time). The Panel may ask for further information about the complaint or any related matter. Copies of this shall be supplied to all parties prior to the hearing. The member may be accompanied at the hearing by one other person. This may be a relative or friend. If possible, the Panel will resolve the complaint without the need for further investigation. Where further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should be carried out.  When all the relevant facts are available the Panel will reach its conclusions and may make recommendations. This shall be done as soon as is reasonably practicable after the Hearing. The Panel will write to the member informing them of its conclusions and the reasons for them. The Panel’s findings and any recommendations will also be sent in writing to the Chairman and to any individual named in the complaint. In more complex cases the Complaints Panel may choose to meet the club member to explain their findings and any recommendations. When the matter is concluded the Complaints Panel may choose to prepare a short report for the full committee if deemed appropriate. Stage 3 is the final stage in the Club’s procedure.


social media code of conduct

Tewkesbury Swimming Club runs Twitter and Facebook accounts to be used to publish news, results and swim-related news stories. These accounts will also be used to generate interest in the club from potential new members and potential sponsors or partners. Occasionally these accounts might be used to contact individuals with a club message.

Social media interaction

The club would kindly request that members do not use the Twitter or Facebook accounts to communicate information to the club or its officials. Information sent via Twitter and Facebook is in the public domain and even the slightest hint of negativity can have an adverse effect on the club. Personal or sensitive information, malicious comments or complaints spread quickly across social media and we kindly ask that you bear this in mind and offer nothing but positivity about swimming and the club on these accounts. Should you need to contact us, the email account talk2tsc@gmail.com is the correct conduit to communicate with the club.

Inappropriate or incorrect information

Tewkesbury Swimming Club will make every effort to post appropriate, relevant and accurate information. In the event that the information on the Twitter or Facebook accounts does not meet these standards, we ask that you contact us via the club email account so that we can investigate and correct the information – please don't contact us via social media platforms. If any postings sent to the Twitter or Facebook accounts are deemed to be inappropriate, ill-judged, sarcastic, open to misinterpretation or harmful in any way to the club, its swimmers, coaches or officers, we will contact the author to remove them and if necessary will take additional action to block future postings from offending authors.