Safeguarding Policy

Introduction to the UKSA safeguarding policy

UKSA is committed to safeguarding children, and vulnerable adults (“students/individuals”) taking part in UKSA activities and training from physical, sexual or emotional harm, neglect or bullying. UKSA will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures and training, students in UKSA activities and training do so in a safe environment. We recognise that the safety and welfare of the student is paramount and that all participants, whatever their age, gender, ability, culture, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, social status or sexual identity, have a right to protection from abuse.

Policy Statement

As defined in the Children Act 1989, for the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. The policy also applies to vulnerable adults, who are defined as individuals aged 18 and over and who are acknowledged as requiring additional support due to a mental or physical disability, learning difficulties, social challenges or are at higher risk due to the misuse of substances.

UKSA actively seeks to:

  • Create a safe and welcoming environment, both on and off the water, where participants can have fun and develop their skills and confidence.
  • Recognise that safeguarding students is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work directly with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Ensure that UKSA organised training and activities are run to the highest possible safety standards.
  • Continually review its way of working to incorporate best practice and share and communicate this information with staff.
  • Adhere to the relevant guidelines for safeguarding from governing bodies and external agencies including the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and Local Authority guidance for schools and colleagues.

UKSA will:

  • Treat all students with respect and celebrate their achievements
  • Carefully recruit and select all employees, contracted instructors and third parties and provide them with appropriate training or information.
  • Respond swiftly and appropriately to all complaints and concerns about poor practice or suspected or actual child abuse.

This policy relates to all employees, contracted instructors and third parties who work with children or vulnerable adults in the course of their duties with UKSA. It will be kept under periodic review.

All relevant concerns, allegations, complaints and their outcome should be notified to the Director of Training at UKSA, who is the Designated Safeguarding Officer ‘DSO’. In the absence of the Director of Training the Chief Executive Officer will cover this role.

Designated Persons

Although everyone has a role to play in ensuring that children are safe, the Director of Training (see contact details in Appendix 1) is UKSA’s ‘DSO’ and has specific responsibility for implementing this policy, and acts as the point of contact to receive information.

It is the responsibility of the Director of Training (Chief Executive Officer in their absence) to:

  • Maintain an up-to-date policy and procedures, compatible with the governing bodies guidelines.
  • Ensure that all staff and/or third parties are issued with the policy and understand its importance, at induction to the organisation and arrange regular follow ups.

It is the responsibility of the Director of Finance & Business Services (Manager of HR in their absence) to:

  • Advise on the safer recruitment procedures for compliance with child protection.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer will:

  • Ensure that all relevant staff, volunteers, trustees and managers receive appropriate and timely training in safeguarding practices and procedures.
  • Advise the management team and board of trustees on child protection and vulnerable adults issues.

If there is a concern, the Designated Safeguarding Officer will:

  • Be the first point of contact for any concerns or allegations, from children or adults, ensuring that confidentiality is maintained in all cases.
  • Decide on the appropriate action to be taken, in line with UKSA’s procedures, governing body guidelines and the law.

Handling the Media

If there is an incident at UKSA which attracts media interest, or if you are contacted by the media with an allegation concerning a guest, student or employee, do not give any response until you have had an opportunity to check the facts and seek advice from the DSO or Director of Sales and Marketing.

Good Practice Guidelines


UKSA recognises that it is important to develop a culture within our organisation where both children and adults feel able to raise concerns, knowing that they will be taken seriously, treated confidentially and will not make the situation worse for themselves or others. Some children and adults may be more vulnerable to abuse or find it more difficult to express their concerns. For example, some students with a learning difficulty and / or disability may be especially vulnerable or have difficulties in communicating problems or worries. UKSA will work alongside students to ensure they are supported to share their views. Staff need to be mindful and vigilant at all times.

Minimising risk:

(see also Good Practise Guide Appendix 4 )

UKSA plans the work of the organisation and promotes good practice to minimise situations where staff are working unobserved and could take advantage of their position of trust. The safeguarding training given to all instructors and volunteers and is extended to managers and trustees of UKSA to support planning and safe operational practices. UKSA recognise that good practice protects everyone-students,volunteers and staff.

It is preferable for staff members to stay away from residential, changing and shower rooms while there are children there. If it is essential, in an emergency situation, for a male to enter a female changing room or vice versa, they should be accompanied by another adult of the opposite gender. UKSA carries out risk assessment on an on-going basis and designates separate adult and children sleeping, changing, and shower areas, dependant on student mix. The only exception is when adult group leaders/teachers accompanying their group sleep in separate rooms in the same dormitory block as the children from their group.

Safeguarding forms part of the Risk Management Register for governance purposes which is subject to regular review by the Directors, Trustees and external audit.

Contact by electronic and social media is now a popular means of communication among students and UKSA has implemented a full social media policy and IT, Internet, Email and Telephone policy) for those members of staff who communicate information to students or potential students by this method as part of their role at UKSA. As part of the induction process, all employees and Third Parties are advised they should not engage in activities with students using social media sites such as Facebook; nor should they provide their personal details to any student such as home address, home telephone number, mobile telephone number, e-mail addresses or social media profile, nor ask for those details for personal use from any student.

A safeguarding group meets regularly (monthly) and more frequently in the case of a specific concern, to discuss safeguarding matters at UKSA including the practical application of best practice and procedures, training and risk management; and acts as an internal audit. The group is chaired by the DSO, and attendees include senior representatives from Executive Team, Training and Business & Hotel Services.

Preventing Radicalisation

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, 2015, places a duty on specified authorities, including local authorities and childcare, education and other children’s services providers, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”). Where staff are concerned that children and students people are developing extremist views or show signs of becoming radicalized, they should discuss this with the DSO.

UKSA are committed to ensuring that students are prepared for life in modern Britain. Communicating the academy’s core values alongside the fundamental British Values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society.

Recognising Extremism:

Early indicators of radicalisation or extremism may include:

  • showing sympathy for extremist causes
  • glorifying violence, especially to other faiths or cultures
  • making remarks or comments about being at extremist events or rallies outside academy
  • evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature
  • advocating messages similar to illegal organisations or other extremist groups
  • secretive behaviour
  • online searches or sharing extremist messages or social profiles
  • out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships (but there are also very powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online so involvement with particular groups may not be apparent).
  • intolerance of difference, including faith, culture, gender, race or sexuality
  • graffiti, art work or writing that displays extremist themes
  • attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
  • verbalising anti-Western or anti-British views
  • advocating violence towards others

Learning Difficulties and / or Disabilities:

Some people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities may need different treatment to other persons e.g. in the way their physical/mental condition might mask possible abuse and their ability to verbalise their concerns.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):

FGM refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK. FGM typically takes place between birth and around 15 years of age, however, it is believed that the majority of cases happen between the ages of 5 and 8.

Risk factors for FGM include:

  • low level of integration into UK society
  • mother or a sister who has undergone FGM
  • girls who are withdrawn from college or school
  • visiting female elder from the country of origin
  • being taken on a long holiday to the country of origin
  • talk about a ‘special’ procedure to become a woman

FGM may be likely if there is a visiting female elder, there is talk of a special procedure or celebration to become a woman, or parents wish to take their daughter to visit an ‘at-risk’ country (especially before the summer holidays), or parents who wish to withdraw their children from learning about FGM.

Indications that FGM may have already taken place may include:

  • difficulty walking, sitting or standing and may even look
  • spending longer than normal in the bathroom or toilet due to difficulties
  • spending long periods of time away from a classroom during the day with bladder or menstrual problems.
  • frequent urinary, menstrual or stomach problems.
  • prolonged or repeated absences from college, especially with noticeable behaviour changes (e.g. withdrawal or depression) on the girl’s return
  • reluctance to undergo normal medical examinations.
  • confiding in a professional without being explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.
  • talking about pain or discomfort between her legs.

The Serious Crime Act 2015 sets out a duty on professionals (including teachers) to notify police when they discover that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18. This will usually come from a disclosure. Under no circumstances should staff physically examine students. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, concerns about FGM should be raised through the usual safeguarding referral channels.

Honour based violence (HBV):

HBV is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community. It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:

  • become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage
  • want to get out of a forced marriage
  • wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular

Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys. Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go assault

Forced Marriage:

If there are concerns that a vulnerable person (male or female) is in danger of a forced marriage, you should contact the DSO for safeguarding who will contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) (Tel: 020 7008 0151 or email: [email protected] or by visiting the website The police and Children’s Services will also be contacted.


Publishing articles and photos in club newsletters, websites, local newspapers etc is an excellent way of recognising young people’s achievements and of promoting the organisation and the sport as a whole. However, it is important to minimise the risk of anyone using images in an inappropriate way. Digital technology makes it easy to take, store, send, manipulate and publish images.

There are two key principles to bear in mind:

Before taking photos or video, obtain written consent from the child’s parents/carers or the young adult and students themselves for their images to be taken and used

  • A consent should be completed and signed by a parent/carer – see Medical Form.
  • Any photographer or member of the press or media attending an event should wear identification at all times and should be fully briefed in advance on your expectations regarding his/her behaviour and the issues covered by these
  • Do not allow a photographer, aside from authorised UKSA staff, to have unsupervised access to young people at the event or to arrange photo sessions outside the event.
  • Consent should also be obtained for the use of video as a coaching aid. Any other use by a coach will be regarded as a breach of the UKSA Code of Conduct.
  • Care must be taken in the storage of and access to images.

When publishing images, make sure they are appropriate and that you do not include any information that might enable someone to contact the child

  • It is preferable to use a general shot showing participants on the water or a group shot, without identifying them by name.
  • If you are recognising the achievement of an individual and wish to publish their name with their photo, DO NOT publish any other information (eg. where they live, name of school, other hobbies and interests) that would enable someone to contact, befriend or start to ‘groom’ the child or vulnerable
  • Ensure that the students pictured are suitably dressed, to reduce the risk of inappropriate

Most water based activity takes place in areas that are open to the public and it is therefore not possible to control all photography, but any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography, or about the inappropriate use of images, should be reported to the organisation’s DSO and treated in the same way as any other child protection concern. Parents/carers and spectators should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state their purpose for photography/filming.

The use of cameras or camera phones in changing areas should not be permitted in any circumstances. Such use should be regarded as a form of bullying.

Handling Concerns, Reports or Allegations

A complaint, concern or allegation may come from a number of sources the child, their parents, an employee of UKSA, or an outside source. In all instances, the DSO for UKSA must be informed at the earliest opportunity by the Designated Safeguarding Lead DSL.

If the complaint, concern or allegation is regarding the DSO the Chief Executive Officer must be informed at the earliest opportunity.

See Safeguarding Reporting flow diagram for reporting method – Appendix 2 attached.

Handling an allegation from a child or vulnerable adult


  • stay calm – ensure that the student is safe and feels safe
  • show and tell the student that you are taking what he/she says seriously
  • reassure the student and stress that he/she is not to blame
  • be careful about physical contact, it may not be what they want
  • be honest, explain that you will have to tell someone else to help stop the alleged abuse
  • make a record of what the student has said, including the date and time as soon as possible after the event, using the student’s own words.
  • follow UKSA’s child protection


  • rush into actions that may be inappropriate
  • make promises you cannot keep (eg. you won’t tell anyone)
  • use leading questions or ask more questions than are necessary for you to be sure that you need to act
  • take sole responsibility – always consult someone else (ideally the designated DSO, or a Director or the Duty Manager) so that you can begin to protect the student and gain support for

It is the DSO’s or other responsible manager’s responsibility to make the decision to contact the police on (9) 101 and to file a report with the Local Area Designated Officer ‘LADO’; it is NOT their responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place, however they must act on any concerns raised.

It is the DSO’s duty to follow RYA, LADO LASB and LSCB guidelines for handling an allegation and this will be done in the strictest confidence. All information will be treated as confidential, stored securely and only shared with those who need to know.

Any complaint or concern which involves an employee of UKSA will also be dealt with under the company’s disciplinary procedure.

Categories of Abuse

(Based on statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018 and Care Act 2014 guidance)

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child or vulnerable adult by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children or vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (including via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.

Physical abuse may involve adults or other children inflicting physical harm:

  • hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning or suffocating
  • giving children or vulnerable adults alcohol or inappropriate drugs
  • a parent or carer fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately inducing, illness in a child or vulnerable adult
  • in sport situations, physical abuse might also occur when the nature and intensity of training exceeds the capacity of the child’s immature and growing body.

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the individual’s emotional development.

It may involve:

  • conveying to an individual that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate
  • not giving the individual opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate
  • imposing expectations which are beyond theindividual’s age or developmental capability
  • overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the individual from participating in normal social interaction
  • allowing a child to see or hear the ill-treatment of another person
  • serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing individuals frequently to feel frightened or in danger
  • the exploitation or corruption of individuals
  • emotional abuse in sport might also include situations where parents or coaches subject children to constant criticism, bullying or pressure to perform at a level that the child cannot realistically be expected to achieve.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult.

Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse involves an individual (male or female, or another child) forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening, to gratify their own sexual needs.

The activities may involve:

  • physical contact (eg. kissing, touching, masturbation, rape or oral sex)
  • involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images
  • encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways or watch sexual activities
  • grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)
  • sport situations which involve physical contact (eg. supporting or guiding children) could potentially create situations where sexual abuse may go unnoticed.
  • Abusive situations may also occur if adults misuse their power and position of trust over young people and vulnerable adults. If you are in any doubt just ask.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child or vulnerable adult’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s or vulnerable adult’s health or development. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  • provide adequate food, clothing and shelter
  • protect a child or vulnerable adult from physical and emotional harm or danger
  • ensure adequate supervision
  • ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment
  • respond to a child’s or vulnerable adult’s basic emotional needs
  • neglect in a sport situation might occur if an instructor or coach fails to ensure that children or

vulnerable adult’s are safe, or exposes them to undue cold or risk of injury.

  • Neglect can also be self neglect

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity in exchange for something the victim needs and wants (eg. attention, money or material possessions, alcohol or drugs), and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation can also occur online without involving physical contact.

Extremism goes beyond terrorism and includes people who target the vulnerable – including the young – by seeking to: sow division between communities on the basis of race, faith or denomination; justify discrimination eg. towards women and girls; persuade others that minorities are inferior; or argue against the primacy of democracy and the rule of law in our society.

Bullying (not included in ‘Working Together’ but probably more common in a sport situation than some of the other forms of abuse described above).

Bullying (including online bullying, for example via text or social media) may be seen as deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated or sustained over a period of time, where it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves. The bully is often another young person. Although anyone can be the target of bullying, victims are typically shy, sensitive and perhaps anxious or insecure. Sometimes they are singled out for physical reasons – being overweight or physically small, being gay or lesbian, having a disability or belonging to a different race, faith or culture.

Bullying can include:

  • physical pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching etc
  • name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing and emotional torment through ridicule, humiliation or the continual ignoring of individuals
  • posting of derogatory or abusive comments, videos or images on social network sites
  • racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, sectarianism
  • sexual comments, suggestions or behaviour
  • unwanted physical

The acronym STOP – Several Times On Purpose – can help you to identify bullying behaviour.

Recognising Abuse

It is not always easy, even for the most experienced carers, to spot when a child or vulnerable adult has been abused. However, some of the more typical symptoms which should trigger your suspicions would include:

  • unexplained or suspicious injuries such as bruising, cuts or burns, particularly if situated on a part of the body not normally prone to such injuries
  • sexually explicit language or actions
  • a sudden change in behaviour (eg. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden outbursts of temper)
  • the child or vulnerable adult describes what appears to be an abusive act involving him/her
  • a change observed over a long period of time (eg. the child or vulnerable adult losing weight or becoming increasingly dirty or unkempt)
  • a general distrust and avoidance of adults, especially those with whom a close relationship would be expected
  • an unexpected reaction to normal physical contact
  • difficulty in making friends or abnormal restrictions on socialising with others.

It is important to note that a child or vulnerable adult could be displaying some or all of these signs, or behaving in a way which is worrying, without this necessarily meaning that the child or vulnerable adult is being abused. Similarly, there may not be any signs, but you may just feel that something is wrong. If you have noticed a change in the student’s behaviour, first talk to the parents or carers. It may be that something has happened, such as a bereavement, which has caused the student to be unhappy.

If you are concerned

If there are concerns about sexual abuse or violence in the home, talking to the parents or carers might put the child or vulnerable adult at greater risk. If you are worried or concerned consult your organisation’s designated Welfare/Safeguarding Officer or the person in charge. It is this person’s responsibility to make the decision to contact Children’s or Adult’s Social Care Services or the Police. It is NOT their responsibility to decide if abuse is taking place, BUT it is their responsibility to act on your concerns.

Appendix 1

  • DSO – Chris Frisby
  • DSL – Kristine Harbourne
  • DSL – Kim Fry
  • DSL – Gary Kurth
  • DSL – Will Satterly
  • DSL – Rich Baggett
  • Safeguarding Number: 01983 301894

If above are unavailable, contact: Director, Dept Manager or if out of normal working hours, Duty Manager

The safeguarding training syllabus for all key personnel may be obtained from the Director of Training & Operations. This policy compliments the following organisations Safeguarding Policies and Guidelines and is subject to revision:

Appendix 4

Good Practice Guide for Instructors, Coaches and Volunteers

This guide only covers the essential points of good practice when working with children and young people. You should also read the organisation’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures which are available for reference at all times.

  • Avoid spending any significant time working with children in isolation
  • Do not take children alone in a car, however short the journey
  • Do not take children to your home as part of your organisation’s activity
  • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure that they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge of the organisation or the child’s parents
  • Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual child
  • If a child is having difficulty with a wetsuit or buoyancy aid, ask them to ask a friend to help if at all possible
  • If you do have to help a child, make sure you are in full view of others, preferably another adult
  • Restrict communications with young people via mobile phone, e-mail or social media to group communications about organisational matters. If it’s essential to send an individual message, copy it to the child’s parent or carer.

You should never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games
  • allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged, or use such language yourself when with children
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • fail to respond to an allegation made by a child; always act
  • do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

It may sometimes be necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of the child (where possible) and their parents/carers. In an emergency situation which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed. In such situations it is important to ensure that any adult present is sensitive to the child and undertakes personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.

Please remember: Any concerns can be raised by any member of staff.