Safeguarding Children Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 Hendon Chess Club (the Club) is a non-profit organisation run for the purpose of providing competitive and social chess-playing opportunities for its members.

1.2 The Club is based at The Holly Bush, 22 Holly Mount, Hampstead, London NW3 6SG.

1.3 The Club has adopted this Safeguarding Children Policy and expects every adult to support it and comply with it.

1.4 The following definitions should be noted:

  • activity means any activity organised by the Club, including those listed in paragraph 6.1
  • adult means a person aged 18 or over who organises, leads, participates in or is present at any activity
  • junior means a person aged below 18 who participates in or is present at any activity
  • parent includes step-parent, guardian, or other adult in loco parentis
  • person in charge means:
  • at a match, the captain of the Club’s team
  • at a tournament or simultaneous exhibition, the organiser and any senior officer present
  • at a coaching session, the coach and any senior officer present
  • at a talk, any officer present or (if none) the speaker
  • officer means any officer of the Club
  • senior officer means one of the Club’s Principal Officers (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Events Director, Club Captain or Website Manager)

2. Purpose of the Policy

2.1 This policy is intended to protect juniors; and to provide guidance and overarching principles to those who represent the Club as officers or volunteers in our approach to child protection and safeguarding.

3. The risks to children

3.1 While we have no reason not to believe that our juniors grow up in a safe and happy environment, and while it is important not to exaggerate or overestimate the dangers to juniors, there are nevertheless situations where juniors need protection, including but not limited to:

  • Sexual abuse;
  • Grooming;
  • Physical and emotional abuse and neglect;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Inappropriate supervision by staff or volunteers;
  • Bullying, cyber-bullying, and acts of violence and aggression within our schools and campuses;
  • Victimisation;
  • Self-harm;
  • Unsafe environments and activities;
  • Crime; and
  • Exploitation.

4. Universality of protection

4.1 The Club recognises that:

  • the welfare of the child is paramount;
  • all children regardless of race, gender, religious belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or identity have a right to equal protection from harm;
  • some children are more vulnerable to harm as a result of their circumstances, prior experiences, communication needs or level of dependency; and
  • working with children, young people, their parents and/or guardians, carers or other agencies is essential to protecting their wellbeing.

5. Safeguarding juniors

5.1 The Club organises three kinds of activities:

  • those open to adults and juniors;
  • those for juniors accompanied by a parent; and
  • those for unaccompanied juniors, which are sometimes run alongside other activities.

5.2 At activities open to adults and juniors:

  • Juniors under 16 must be accompanied throughout by an adult who not only brings the junior but also takes the junior home again afterwards.
  • Juniors aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of a parent.

5.3 At activities for juniors accompanied by a parent:

  • Juniors under 16 must be supervised throughout the activity by an adult who not only brings the junior to the activity but also takes the junior home again afterwards.
  • If a lone adult brings more than one junior, then the juniors will have to stay together so that the one adult can supervise them.
  • Juniors aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of a parent.

5.4 At activities for unaccompanied juniors:

  • The person in charge must ensure that sufficient adults are present to enable one adult to deal with any emergency while another adult supervises the juniors not directly affected by the emergency.
  • Juniors under 16 must be enrolled by a responsible adult before being left with the person in charge.
  • The enrolment must record the junior’s name, age and address and the names and addresses of the juniors parents, plus their mobile telephone numbers.
  • Juniors aged 16 or 17 may attend unaccompanied if they bring the written consent and mobile telephone number of a parent.
  • Before the start of the activity the Child Protection Officer or person in charge in his absence must comply with paragraph 7.1.

6. Disclosure and barring

6.1 The Club offers the following activities for juniors:

  • Over-the-board league matches (home and away)
  • Online matches
  • Tournaments
  • Simultaneous exhibitions
  • Talks, and
  • Occasional coaching

6.2 Some of our activities may require adult participants or adult leaders to undergo DBS and/or police checks under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The required level of checking (if any) will broadly reflect the degree and frequency of unsupervised access given to other people’s children.

6.3 The Club will take very seriously any allegation of impropriety on the part of any member of the Club. A member of the Club who discovers anything amiss should get in touch immediately with:

Christopher Rogal (Child Protection Officer)
tel: 07711 960 623; email: csrogal@hotmail.co.uk

6.4 Allegations will be appropriately reviewed by the Committee, who will take into account the likely risk to juniors; and, if appropriate, the Committee will consider banning the member from future activities or revoking his or her membership or both, but only in full accordance with the Constitution and Regulations of the Club.

7. Health and safety spects of safeguarding juniors

7.1 Before the start of any activity for unaccompanied juniors the Child Protection Officer or person in charge in his absence:

  • will carry out a risk assessment and then take steps to minimise all risks to health and safety.
  • will make parents and juniors aware of any particular risks and of the steps to be taken to minimise those risks.
  • will keep a record of all risk assessments.

8. Prevention of bullying

8.1 We will not tolerate the bullying of juniors either by adults or by other juniors.

8.2 If any incident of child-on-child bullying should arise at an activity, the person in charge will separate those involved immediately, will ask the parents of the juniors involved to deal with the matter, and will as soon as practicable report the incident to the Child Protection Officer.

8.3 The Child Protection Officer will review all incidents of child-on-child bullying and assess the likely future risk to juniors.

8.4 If appropriate, the Child Protection Officer will consider banning a child from future activities, but only in full accordance with the Constitution and Regulations of the Club.

8.5 Allegations of adults bullying juniors will be dealt with in accordance with this Policy.

9. Photographing juniors

9.1 No photos will be taken or published of any child attending an activity unless prior written permission is obtained from the child’s parent.

9.2 If any person has any concerns regarding any person taking photos at an activity, that person should contact the Club immediately.

10. Managing behaviour, discipline and acceptable restraint

10.1 Adults supervising juniors at activities must never use any form of corporal punishment. If physical restraint is absolutely necessary to prevent injury to any person (including the junior needing restraint) or to prevent serious damage to property, then the minimum necessary restraint may be used — but for that purpose only, without risking injury to the junior, and in accordance with paragraph 10.2 if applicable.

10.2 Unacceptable behaviour at activities for unaccompanied juniors will generally be stopped by separating the juniors from each other and from the group. The person in charge will suitably supervise miscreants and will return them as soon as possible to the care of their parents.

10.3 The Club may apply a further disciplinary sanction; namely the banning of the child from one or more future activities for such period as the Child Protection Officer may think fit.

10.4 A parent who is aggrieved by this ban may appeal to the Club’s Committee, which will hear the views of all relevant persons. The decision of the Committee is then final.

11. Other policies

11.1 This safeguarding policy should be read together with the following document:

This policy has been drawn up in accordance with the following legislation and guidance:

  • Children Act 1989
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children and Social Work 2017
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused: advice for practitioners (Department of Education, 2015)
  • Working together to safeguard children (Department for Education, 2018)

This Policy is approved and endorsed by the Club and is due for review every 12 months.

Signed: Christopher Rogal (Child Protection Officer)
14th September 2021