At Pacesetter (Pacesetter Sports & Wellbeing Limited/Pacesetter Training CIC) the designated people regarding Child Protection are Julia Farebrother (Managing Director) and Rob Paul (Director). These duties include being responsible for co-ordinating all functions of our term time and holiday clubs and for liaising with all our schools and other agencies.
PACESETTER COACHES & STAFF
All coaches/staff go through a 2 stage interview process. Stage 1 being office based and stage 2 a practical observation at a Primary School. If successful, coaches/staff are required to complete and pass a DBS clearance. We follow Safer Recruitment practices by ensuring member of staff undertake Teacher Prohibition checks and sign Staff Disqualification Disclosure forms. At this point ‘right to work’ and verification of ID is cross referenced with their documentation.
All staff undergo a probationary period including full training. All coaches will have completed or will be working towards at least one level 2 award in sports coaching. While at Pacesetter coaches also have the options to work towards a AFPE Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport. All staff receive annual appraisals and within these it is asked whether they have anything to disclose relating to their DBS, which would affect them working with children. Staff appraisals are signed and dated.
The Designated people are responsible for ensuring that staff receive appropriate information and training regarding Safeguarding & Child Protection (last updated and refreshed in September 2023). Staff are placed on appropriate courses. Julia Farebrother and Rob Paul have attended relevant Safer Recruitment training and “Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023” training (31st August 2023).
RECOGNISING CHILD ABUSE
The possibility of a child being abused may come to light in several ways, the two most common being:
- The child makes a disclosure to a staff member (or one of his/her friend’s does)
- Member of staff has concerns about a particular individual (e.g. bruising, swelling, drawings, and imaginative writing).
In all cases a sensitive approach is required. Even if (as in 2 above) the child offers an innocent explanation, but the member of staff is not convinced of it, the coach should pass on his/her concerns to the designated person. Ultimately the protection of the child is paramount, and we need to be cautious. Staff therefore need to report their concerns to the designated person at the earliest stage of suspicion/anxiety.
WHAT IS ‘CHILD ABUSE’?
Abuse is any crossing of a child’s boundaries. Abuse generally involves intimidation or manipulation and an intrusion into another person’s space. It can be physical, sexual or emotional and it can happen in person or online. It can also be a lack of love, care and attention – this is neglect.
Further to the abuse laid out in this definition it is important that all staff are aware of other possible signs of abuse outlined below, and if they do, they must report it.
Persistent or severe neglect, or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any kind of danger, including cold or starvation, or extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care, resulting in the significant impairment of the child’s health or development, including non-organic failure to thrive.
Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
- Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers).
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
3.2 Physical Abuse/Injury
Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child. Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
3.3 Sexual Abuse
Actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child or adolescent. The child may be dependent and/or developmentally immature. Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
3.4 Emotional Abuse
Actual or likely severe adverse effect on the emotional and behavioural development of a child caused by persistent or severe emotional ill-treatment or rejection. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.
3.5 Peer on Peer Abuse and Bullying
All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer-on-peer abuse). This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:
- Bullying (including cyberbullying);
- Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm.
- Sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault.
- Sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse.
- Upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
- Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery).
- Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals. KCSIE (Keeping Children Safe In Education) 2020 makes it clear that “Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off a banter or part of growing up”.
3.6 CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation)
CSE are forms of abuse and occur where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance in power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual or criminal activity. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status access to economic or other resources. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can occur through the use of technology.
3.7 County Lines/Gangs County Lines
A term used to describe gangs and organized criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs (primarily crack cocaine and heroin) into one or more importing areas (within the UK), using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. Exploitation is an integral part of the county lines offending model with children and vulnerable adults exploited to move (and store) drugs and money. Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims. Children can easily become trapped by this type of exploitation as county lines gangs create drug debts and can threaten serious violence and kidnap towards victims (and their families) if they attempt to leave the county lines network.
3.8 Forced Marriages
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in the cases of people with learning disabilities) cannot consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example when someone is made to feel they are bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.
3.9 Honour Based Violence (HBV)
The term ‘Honour based violence’ is the internationally recognised term describing cultural justifications for violence and abuse which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community including FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), forced marriage and practices such as breast ironing. It justifies the use of certain types of violence and abuse against women, men and children. All forms of HBV are abuse (regardless of motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. HBV/HBA is normally associated with cultures and communities from Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as Gypsies and Travellers also occurs in communities in parts of Europe and Eastern Europe. In reality, HBV/HBA cuts across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities and transcends national and international boundaries. HBV/HBA is also a Domestic Abuse issue, a Child Abuse concern and a crime.
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others or sends sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones laptops or any device allows you to share media and messages. Sharing explicit images of a child is illegal even if the person doing it, is a child. These are examples:
- A person under the age of 18 creates and shares sexual imagery of themselves with a peer under the age of 18.
- A person under the age of 18 shares sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18 with a peer under the age of 18 or an adult.
- A person under the age of 18 is in possession of sexual imagery created by another person under the age of 18
This does not cover the sharing of sexual imagery of people under 18 by adults as this constitutes child sexual abuse. We need to protect the children from the impact of new technologies of sexual behaviour for example sexting and accessing pornography.
Confidentiality is vital in child protection matters. The Designated Person should ensure that confidential material relating to the child and family is only accessed by those members of staff who need to know in order to safeguard the interests of the child.
Staff have a professional responsibility to share relevant information with the Designated Person and investigative agencies. If a child confides in a member of staff and requests that the information is kept secret, the member of staff MUST NOT agree to this. The child must be sensitively told that the member of staff must refer the matter for the child’s safety. The child should be reassured that the matter will be disclosed only to people who need to know. Staff must act responsibly regarding information disclosed by a child, they must not discuss this information with anyone else other than the Designated person.
All Child Protection records are kept securely by the Designated person in the office.
DEALING WITH REFERRALS
The child may have been plucking up courage to speak to you for a long time; he/she has probably chosen you because you have built up a positive relationship with him/her. It is important that the member of staff to whom the disclosure is made reacts in a supportive and reassuring way. It is also important to remember that the member of staff has statutory responsibilities in this area and that the initial disclosure could end up with a criminal prosecution. The following notes are aimed to help you deal effectively with disclosures:
- Listen to the child. If you are shocked by what they tell you, try not to show it.
- Take what they say seriously.
- Children rarely lie about abuse and to be disbelieved adds to the traumatic nature of disclosing.
- Stay calm and reassure the child that they have done the right thing in talking to you. It is essential to be honest with the child, so don’t make promises you may never be able to keep like, “Everything will be all right now”.
- Do NOT promise confidentiality: you have a duty to refer a child who is at risk.
- Try to alleviate any feelings of guilt that the child displays. For example, you could say, “You’re not to blame” or “You’re not alone, you’re not the only one this sort of thing has happened to.”
- Do NOT ask “leading” questions such as “What did they do next?” (this assumes that they did!). Such questions may invalidate your evidence (and the child’s) in any later prosecution in court. There is always the danger that the process of an investigation could become abusive in itself and we need to strike a delicate balance between eliciting sufficient information to make a referral and subjecting the child to a stressful interview.
- Make brief notes as soon as possible after the disclosure. Make them as objective and factual as possible. Remember they may be needed by the Police.
- Do NOT ask the child to repeat everything to another member of staff, as this will add to the trauma.
- Explain what you have to do next and to whom you have to talk.
- Inform the Designated Person for Child Protection.
Please remember that any information disclosed by the child is confidential and may not be discussed with anyone other than the Designated person.
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE
It is recognised that all staff working with children have a responsibility to report concerns they have about a child. If a staff member has concerns about the behaviour of a child or encounters any indicators of child abuse they must:
- Report concerns to the Designated Person (i.e. Director or Managing Director of Pacesetter).
- Make a written record on either the Pacesetter official Safeguarding form or the schools form of what the child has said, or what has been seen, including dates and times. Pacesetter should retain a copy of the form, to be kept securely in the office.
If the incident happens during term time either during the school day or in an out of school club the Designated person will refer this to the (DSO/DSL) at the school. The written record will be passed over to the school. This will then be managed by the school themselves BUT Pacesetter have a duty of care to follow up on the incident if they feel they need to. In most cases, when it comes to suspected ‘child abuse’ the coach and/or the Pacesetter DSO will communicate with the school. Especially important as it could put the child at risk from further harm. The abuse may already have been ‘flagged’ by the school and we don’t want to interfere with any communication that has already started. The school will decide how each reported incident will be managed.
If the incident happens outside of term time then it should be reported to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Child Protection Team. The customer service number is 0300 126 1000 option 1 or MASH@northamptonshire.gcsx.gov.uk. The form should also be shared with the school that the child attends.
Outside of school time and in the holidays the Pacesetter Coach at the club, with the direction of either a Director or Managing Director would speak to the parents first, however if there is any concern of putting the child at further risk by talking to the parents the DSO should contact MASH (as per 3). The incident should also be shared with the (DSO/DSL) of the child’s school.
If a child is in immediate danger, left alone or missing, contact the police and/or ambulance service directly on 999.
If a child is at immediate risk you should call MASH on 0300 126 1000 and make a telephone referral, you will subsequently be required to put this in writing.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
From 31st October 2015 the act introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires health, social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police.
If a child under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if disabled) is living in a private arrangement with someone who is not their parent, step-parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle or adult sibling, for 28 days or more, then the local authority must be notified, as this is likely to be a 'private fostering' arrangement.
The Prevent duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on specified authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
ALLEGATION AGAINST STAFF
If an allegation is made against a member of staff of abuse, then the Director will follow the steps in the child protection and safeguarding policy. The Designated person will refer to Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Child Protection Team. As per above the customer service number is 0300 126 1000 option 1 or MASH@northamptonshire.gcsx.gov.uk. The out of hours number is 01604 626938.
DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS
If a parent/guardian has a complaint regarding the conduct of Pacesetter Staff or anything else regarding their child/ren this must be immediately reported to one of the Directors. They will interview both the parent/guardian and the staff member concerned and further action taken if necessary.
Under no circumstances do we ever contact a child. Complaints will always be dealt with the parent/guardian/school. (Further information on this is in our separate ‘Complaints Policy’).
Pacesetter have regard to statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2023’
– Staff are aware of and have access to a copy of the document.
– Copies of What to do if you think a child is being abused (2018) see below link.
Pacesetter have regard to the latest document ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023’
Northamptonshire Area Child Protection Committee (July 2001) Recognition and Referral of Possible Child Abuse – A guide for Small Organisations. Also information collected from the LSCB website.
This policy is in line with the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (NSCB). The website is www.northamptonshirescb.org.uk
Leaflet explaining the role of Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board:
About Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board Leaflet
Guide to the New Procedures Manual launched in August 2016
Leaflet explaining the work the NSCB is doing around Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE):
NSCB Child Sexual Exploitation Leaflet
Leaflet for parents and carers that you can download and print. It includes examples of different cases that have been referred to the MASH and will help them understand more about how the MASH works:
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub: Information for Parents and Carers
FGM campaign poster
Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (August 2016)
Further background reading on British values
Direct link to NSCB Designated Officer information: