Recognising the maturity of older juniors

By Chris Rogal, Child Protection Officer
Thursday 3 November, 2022

As Child Protection Officer, I and the club committee have completed our annual review of the Safeguarding Children Policy. The new policy is here (for comparison, the old policy is here).

This post explains the main changes.

  • We’ve made it plain that the club doesn’t run any activities which are mainly or exclusively for juniors; both adults and juniors are welcome at all our activities
  • Juniors aged 16 or 17 may now attend club events unaccompanied, and without parental consent and a parent’s mobile phone number as previously required
  • Parents of younger juniors (below 16) who are not club members must remain in the building while the junior is present
  • Organisers of club events must require written parental consent before letting a junior below 16 attend or participate in any event (consent will be requested in the online event application form)
  • The rule against taking photos without parental consent will apply only to juniors aged below 16

Members who applied before the new policy went online are still bound by the old policy until they renew their membership, but the club won’t require those aged 16 or 17 to obtain parental consent for attending events.

The club recognises that juniors aged 16 and 17 are on the brink of adulthood and in general don’t need the same degree of protection as those under 16, and the new policy reflects that realistic view.

At the same time we require club officers to maintain vigilance in relation to the safeguarding of these older juniors - and indeed young adults - from abuse and other threats, and we will act appropriately if such situations should arise. But we no longer consider it necessary to require 16- and 17-year olds to be accompanied at club events by an adult or to obtain parental consents which an adult would not be required to provide.

If you have any questions, you can always find contact information for our Child Protection Officer here.