British Gymnastics (BG) is committed to supporting all young people to enjoy and excel in the sport and fully recognises that children need a safe, protective and nurturing environment if they are to fulfill their potential and remain in the sport.

BG aims to achieve a high standard in the safeguarding of members and has a key role in supporting gymnastics clubs to ensure safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a fundamental consideration in everything they do. Anyone who provides or delivers gymnastics activity has a duty of care towards young people and needs to ensure that they offer a protective and child-friendly environment that gives parents reassurance that their children will be happy and safe.

Since the 2008 policy, there has been considerable progress in developing the network of trained Welfare Officers’ across the sport. As a condition of membership, all BG registered clubs are required to have a Welfare Officer with the designated responsibility for safeguarding. The Welfare Officer plays a key role supporting child-centered practice and ensuring robust safeguarding arrangements are in place in the club. BG remains fully committed to developing the Welfare Officer network and continually improving our safeguarding practice and support to help ensure gymnastics has a positive impact on all children involved in our sport.

Key Policy Information - About the Policy

The British Gymnastics (BG) policy is informed by the government guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children – a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, HM Government 2013’. This guidance, which is applicable in England, sets out the legislative requirements and expectations on individual services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and provides the framework to which Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) monitor the effectiveness of local services.

BG policy translates for the gymnastics community the statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under Section 11 of the Children Act 2004. The BG policy is also informed by other key pieces of legislation, which are highlighted in the relevant parts of the policy. BG policy is developed in consultation with the NSPCC CPSU and is informed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The British Gymnastics (BG) Safeguarding and Protecting Children policy 2014 replaces the 2009 policy.

The document is now presented in four parts, namely: Policy, Recognising and Responding to Abuse and Poor Practice, Safe Recruitment and Safe Environment and links to a number of other supplementary policies and procedures. In complying with the policy, affiliated organisations’ can be reassured that they meet their statutory responsibilities.

To Whom Does the Policy Apply?

BG is a UK wide Governing Body of Sport with affiliated Home Country Governing Bodies in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Although BG policy is based on the English guidance and legislation, in the light of the common principles and similar approaches taken by all Home Countries, most elements of this document are fully applicable to all individual members and affiliated organisations’. Any necessary differences have been highlighted in the document and reference made to any complementary home country policy/procedures.

The policy is applicable to all levels of the sport and provides a framework for those involved in gymnastics to meet their duty of care towards young people. The policy, where applicable, is mandatory for all BG staff, members and volunteers (except where there are home country variations arising from legislative differences). Any individual or organisation that is providing a service to BG must also demonstrate that they comply with these standards.

Anyone who manages, or has overall responsibility for, a gymnastics club or organisation must support their Welfare Officer in to fulfil their role and ensure their organisation is fully compliant with this policy. All BG members should also read and comply with the policy.

How Should the Policy be used?

The policy is the key source of reference for all safeguarding and protecting children related matters. The main users of these policies and procedures are likely to be Welfare Officers’, as it is their role to guide their organisation to plan, prioritise and implement the various safeguarding responsibilities and activities.

The policy also provides important guidance for anyone involved in gymnastics including parents, coaches, officials, and other volunteers. It offers practical guidance for those involved in providing gymnastic activities for children and relevant sections should be reproduced in an appropriate format and widely shared across the gymnastics community to increase general awareness and good practice.

How Will the Policy Remain Up-to-Date?

Although the policy takes into account all relevant current legislation, the document will need to be amended as required in response to changes in the gymnastics, sport, political, legal, ethical, social and technological environment in which we operate. Any amendments will be recorded and communicated to all relevant parties.

BG will also review its Safeguarding and Protecting Children policy on an annual basis and as required by the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU), UK Sport and Home Country Sports Councils. The policy may also be reviewed following introduction of any new internal or external safeguarding process and as a result of any significant child protection case within gymnastics or other sports

Acknowledgements

BG wishes to express its gratitude to the NSPCC CPSU, for their support and guidance in developing this document.