Tennis Scotland Safeguarding

child on court. enjoying tennis match

We strive to ensure that all children, young people and adults at risk are safeguarded from abuse and have an enjoyable tennis experience. 

Policies and procedures Policies and procedures addremove

View the  British Tennis Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding and Protection resources
The LTA has an extensive menu of resources to help Clubs ensure that they are fully up to date with current Safeguarding requirements. They have published an excellent resource called “What’s the Score” Tennis Toolkit – This document enables tennis venues, coaches, officials, volunteers, players and parents to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy tennis in a safe and inclusive environment. Click to view the Safeguarding policy. All resources can be downloaded from the LTA website.

Children 1st also have a great website with lots of useful Safeguarding resources.

Anti Bullying
Please click to view the Anti Bullying Policy.

Diversity and Inclusion
Promoting Equality - Championing diversity - Including everyone. Click to view the British Tennis Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

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Disclosure Applications for Coaches/Clubs/Volunteers

All people engaged in activities that involve supervising or managing children as part of their normal and regular duties (called Regulated Work) should be Disclosure checked, it is an offence,

  1. For an organisation to engage a person in Regulated work that is on the Barred List
  2. For a person on the Barred list to try to obtain Regulated Work

The only way to check if someone is not on the Barred list is to ask them to do a Criminal Record Check. This can be obtained as follows.

 Scottish PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) Scheme

This is the preferred option if you are currently, or will be working (full-time, part-time, Voluntary or paid) at a Club/venue in Scotland.

Government advice to organisations in Scotland that engage people in roles that involve supervising children as part of their normal and regular duties - is that Disclosure checks should be obtained via the PVG Scheme. This is an important part of recruitment procedures.

To join the PVG Scheme costs £59 (free if you are a Volunteer) and if you are already a member of the PVG Scheme, an update costs £18 (again, free if you are a Volunteer).

If you wish to join the PVG scheme, or do a PVG Scheme Record Update – download an application pack.

If you would like to understand more about PVG you can view - frequently asked questions on the PVG Scheme.

 LTA - DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) – England and Wales

The LTA now have a quick and efficient online application process for acquiring a Disclosure check. This involves completing an online form and then getting your ID checked by one of the network of DBS ID checkers.   

Please be aware however that if you obtain your Disclosure through the DBS scheme (cost £59, free for Volunteers) a subsequent employer in Scotland may also ask you to become a member of the PVG scheme which will cost a further £59 (also free for volunteers).

Training for Coaches, Clubs, Officials & Volunteers Training for Coaches, Clubs, Officials & Volunteers addremove

LTA Safeguarding training

This course is essential for anyone who has contact with children and/or adults at risk in a tennis environment and is a prerequisite for LTA Accredited coaches and Welfare Officers at LTA "Registered" venues. These are scheduled in Scotland   - dates & venues can be found on the LTA Course Search system. Workshops are reasonably priced for all attendees and Accredited+ coaches can claim 3 CPD credits.

Other acceptable Safeguarding training workshops - the Sportscotland Safeguarding workshops as delivered by Scottish Local Authorities are now acceptable for LTA Coach Accreditiation purposes. Dates and venues for these can be found on the Sportscotland website. Click on the Safeguarding filter option and look for courses specifically titled "Child Wellbeing and Protection in Sport". Please foward a copy of your certificate for this to Tennis Scotland so they can update the LTA system.

Safeguarding - Online learning

The LTA have recently added online Safeguarding training for Coaches, Officials, and Welfare Officers. These are all free and can be accessed through the LTA “Find a Course” facility.

Please note that for Coach Accreditation and Welfare Officer requirements you are only eligible to take the online course if the last safeguarding course you completed was face-to-face training i.e. you must alternate between face-to-face and online training. For more information click here.

Club Welfare Officers - specific training

Children 1st offer a good 3 hour generic workshop specifically aimed at Sports Club Welfare Officers and supports clubs putting Welfare policies in place. Dates and venues for these workshops called In Safe Hands, can also be found on the Children 1st -Safeguarding in Sport Website. Please note that Welfare Officers at LTA Registered Venues are required to do the In Safe Hands Workshop within 3 years of their initial training. All training needs to be renewed every 3 years.

Information for Clubs Information for Clubs addremove

Safeguarding note to clubs – Coach Accreditation

Tennis Scotland takes this opportunity to remind Clubs of the importance of ensuring that their coaching workforce is LTA Accredited this is important in 3 ways.

  1. Accredited coaches have met current Safeguarding requirements in that they have had Criminal Record Checks and attended a Safeguarding workshop. They will also have a valid First Aid Certificate
  2. They have Public Liability Insurance to protect them should there be a claim in connection with any injuries to participants or damage to property.
  3. To protect the club; if there is a claim and the coach is uninsured, the claim may in some circumstances fall upon the club.

Through the Accreditation scheme coaches can either be Accredited or Accredited+. Tennis Scotland recommends that Coaching Assistants should be Accredited (formerly called Registered) whereas Lead/ Head Coaches should be Accredited+ (formerly called Licensed) which carries higher levels of insurance. Full details can be found on the LTA Website.

Good Practice guidelines

Managing Challenging Behaviours
Coaches, Coaching Assistants and Club Volunteers delivering tennis activities may from time to time require to deal wth a child's challenging behaviour. These guidelines which have been adapted from the Safeguarding in Sport 10 Steps aid to promote good practice.

Sexual Activity
Within sport, as with other activities, sexual relationships do occur. It is important to address sexual activity both between children and young people and between adults and young people. Click here for the guidelines.

Volunteers aged 18 & Under
It is fine for children and young people to help out in clubs - it is important to understand the law and additional vulberabilites they may face. Click here for the guidelines.

What is Cyberbullying?
Cyber bullying is a growing problem on the internet and most young people will experience it or see it at some time. Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can go viral very fast.  Children and young people are often unaware of the boundaries between what is appropriate and what is not. Click here for the guidelines.

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If you think someone is in immediate danger call 999

Here are some other contacts that can help with Safeguarding concerns and advice.

Club Welfare Officer

If you have a concern your first port of call is your Club Welfare Officer. Their contact details should be on the Club Noticeboard and should have been circulated in Club communications

Tennis Scotland

Matthew Hulbert

Mat Hulbert is the Lead Welfare Officer for Tennis Scotland. He works closely with the Safeguarding team that LTA and with Children 1St – Safeguarding in Sport and meets regularly with Lead Officers from other Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport. If you have any concerns or need advice please feel free to contact Mat on 01786 641 716 ext.2012 or alternatively send an to matthew.hulbert@tennisscotland.org.

LTA

LTA have a dedicated well-staffed department dealing with Safeguarding and Welfare issues across Great Britain. The LTA website has many downloadable resources to help Clubs make Safeguarding a priority within Clubs. For more information you can download resources from the LTA website.

If you have any concerns, or wish to report anything, you can call the British Tennis Services team on: 020 8487 7000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or email the Safe and Inclusive Tennis team: safeandinclusive@lta.org.uk.

If you wish to speak to someone outside of office hours, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or if someone is in immediate danger, call the police (999).

Scottish Local Authority Child Protection contacts

All Scottish Local Authorities will have specialist departments that handle child protection and safeguarding concerns – full contact details can be found online.

 Citizens Advice Bureau - Advice for Scotland

The CAB website has alot of information with links to organisations for Children & Young People and Parents.

Children 1st – Safeguarding in Sport

Tennis Scotland works very closely with Children 1st they have an excellent website full of advice and resources – they can be contacted on 0141 419 1156

RespectMe

respectme, Scotland’s anti-bullying service, was launched in March 2007.  The service is fully funded by the Scottish Government and is managed by SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland. Their website contains a lot of valuable information and resources.

Online safety

The internet is a fantastic place for us all to learn, create and have fun, but they may occasionally give rise to a variety of sometimes challenging issues. These might include cyberbullying, pressure to take part in sexting, encouragement to self-harm, viewing pornography, along with various others. But there are positive things you can do to equip yourself and your child, and support them in resolving any issue they may face. There are many resources on the web to help you negotiate you way through this subject – here are a few sites. 

Child Protection - Scottish Context Child Protection - Scottish Context addremove

The Scottish government is responsible for child protection in Scotland. It sets out policy, legislation and statutory guidance on how the child protection system should work.

Child Protection Committees (CPCs) are responsible for child protection policy, procedure, guidance and practice at the local authority level. CPCs make sure that all the different local agencies, such as children's social work, health services and the police, work together to protect children.

The key guidance for anyone working in Scotland is Scottish Government (2014) National Guidance for child protection in Scotland.

Scotland specific Legislation

  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Sexual offences (Scotland) Act 2009
  • Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Digital Economy Act 2017
  • Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Act 2017

GIRFEC - Getting it Right for Every Child 

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the Scottish government's approach to making a positive difference for all children and young people in Scotland. Its principles help shape all policy, practice and legislation that affects children and their families. It provides a consistent way for people to support and work with all children and young people in Scotland. It aims to improve outcomes for children and make sure that agencies work together to take action when a child is at risk or needs support.

GIRFEC says children should be:

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Achieving
  • Nurtured
  • Active
  • Respected
  • Responsible
  • Included.

These are remembered by the acronym SHANARRI as per the diagrams below.

 

View larger image here

 Each child is different, and there is no set level of wellbeing that children should achieve. These 8 wellbeing indicators are seen as the basic requirements needed for all children and young people to grow, develop and reach their full potential. GIRFEC is based on 10 core components that can be applied in any setting and any circumstance. These include: a focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of well-being; a co-ordinated and unified approach; consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication.

Complaints Complaints addremove

Information about how Tennis Scotland handles complaints regarding conduct and behaviour. Tennis Scotland strives to deliver an effective and efficient service to a high standard at all times.

We understand that you may not always be happy with Tennis Scotland. For that reason Tennis Scotland has a Complaints Procedure.

Complaining locally

The best way to resolve problems is usually on a personal basis and / or at local level by talking to the people involved. You should normally try this before contacting Tennis Scotland. This might take the form of contacting the club, tournament organiser, referee, or coach.

Complaints such as:

  • The courts at my club have not been maintained for months
  • The rules about access for different members are unfair
  • I have not been refunded for lessons that the tennis centre cancelled
  • My son attended a tournament that was badly organised

These type of complaints can often be dealt with quickly and efficiently in this way and we would encourage you to do that. However you should bear in mind that if the complaint cannot be resolved quickly in this way that Tennis Scotland does have a time limit of four weeks for accepting and managing complaints within this Complaints Procedure - see below.

How to contact Tennis Scotland

If complaining locally does not resolve the issue or if the matter relates to a serious issue such as unsafe, unprofessional, offensive, intimidating or discriminatory conduct you may wish to complain to Tennis Scotland. You can do this by writing to Tennis Scotland at Tennis Scotland, Airthrey Castle , Hermitage Road, Stirling FK9 4LA or by emailing us at info@tennisscotland.org. It would assist greatly if you would head up any letter or email with the word "Complaint" so that we know that you wish us to deal with this in accordance with this Complaints Procedure.

We will accept telephone complaints if the matter is both urgent and serious. See under "Complaints Format" below.

Values and Principles

There are some important values and principles that Tennis Scotland applies to its complaints process. We also encourage other organisations and persons in Scottish tennis to apply these values and principles.

  • Right to complain: You have a right to complain. Complaints should be taken seriously. You should not be bullied, harassed or disadvantaged for making a complaint.
  • Equality: You should receive a proper response to your complaint, regardless of your age, gender, disability, race, religion, nationality, social status or sexual orientation. Tennis Scotland has an Equality and Diversity Policy to protect your rights in this area.
  • Fairness: Complaints should be dealt with fairly and openly. Unless it would put other people at risk, those affected by a complaint should have a chance to contribute and respond to any investigation.
  • Confidentiality: complaints should be treated as confidentially as possible, and should only be discussed with those involved in the investigation or decision-making process. Sometimes, advice or intervention might be needed from organisations such as the Lawn Tennis Association, social services departments, Police, or Children 1st. Tennis Scotland and other tennis organisations reserve the right to speak to these or other authorities if advice or intervention might be needed.

Safety and welfare are our priorities: concerns that affect the safety or welfare of a person or the public will be given the highest priority.

Possible outcomes

In many cases, we can help to resolve problems informally. This might include:

  • An explanation or apology
  • Clarifications to responsibilities or roles
  • Changes in local arrangements
  • An agreement between those involved to act or communicate differently in future

Sometimes, our involvement might lead to formal action at local level. Examples of this include:

  • Disciplinary action against staff or members by a club or other organisation
  • Disqualification or exclusion from an event

Your complaint could lead to formal action by Tennis Scotland. This might include:

  • Formal disciplinary or child protection proceedings against a Licensed coach, an official or a player
  • Formal disciplinary action against a Tennis Scotland employee
  • Action to enforce contracts or agreements with Tennis Scotland
  • A decision to refer the case to another organisation such as the Lawn Tennis Association, Children 1st, Police or social services

If Tennis Scotland begins formal proceedings, further investigation and correspondence may form part of these.

Tennis Scotland may decide to close your complaint without taking further action. If this happens, you will be given the reasons for our decision. This could happen if, for example, it is decided that your complaint is ill founded or if Tennis Scotland has no jurisdiction to act in the matter.

Complaint formats: Telephone, email or letter

We will accept a telephone complaint if the matter is both urgent and serious. A matter will be regarded as serious if it relates to a matter which endangers the safety or welfare of an individual.

Unless the matter is both urgent and serious we ask that you send to us an email or letter detailing the nature of your complaint. This helps to ensure accuracy and that we understand fully the concerns which you have.

Level of information

Provide as much information as you can. It can be difficult for us to deal with a complaint if we do not have very much information. Remember that we might not be familiar with your local area. Try to include information such as names, contact details and job titles.

The more information you are able to provide with your initial complaint, the easier it will be for us to investigate.

If you are unsure of what to include with a complaint, call us for advice on 01786 641 716 .

Anonymous complaints

We will consider anonymous complaints, but it is often very difficult to investigate these properly. Often we have no choice but to close them without action.

Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into an anonymous complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.

Tennis Scotland's response to complaints

We try to give an initial response to complaints within five working days. If the matter is urgent, we will respond more quickly.

We will investigate your complaint fairly. This means that we will gather information from the relevant people or organisations. In many cases this may require only a few telephone calls.

Normally our investigation will include talking to you and to the person or organisation who is the subject of the complaint. Sometimes we will ask for permission to show copies of information or reports to other people. This is because we believe in being fair and open.

  • We will not share information if we think that this could endanger someone's safety or welfare.We will not share information if this could affect a possible enquiry by the Police, social services or other authority.
  • We will take reasonable steps to conduct a thorough investigation, but will always give priority to cases where there may be a risk to someone's safety or welfare, and we always reserve the right to end an investigation at any time.
  • We will not divulge your identity without your permission but you should remember that the nature of your complaint may be such that investigation will result in accurate speculation about your identity. We will assume that you understand and accept that this could happen.

Staying informed of progress

The Tennis Scotland employee dealing with your complaint will act as a point of contact. You will be given the name and contact details of the person responsible for your complaint. That person will make sure that you understand the process, and will help to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Sometimes we might agree that someone more local will act as your point of contact. You can, of course, still contact Tennis Scotland with any questions about your complaint.

You will be given updates on the progress of your complaint. We hope to resolve complaints quickly but in the event of a complicated and lengthy complaint we will update you on a three monthly basis.

If your complaint leads to formal disciplinary action, you will normally be informed of the outcome of this action. Some cases require a higher level of confidentiality than normal. In these cases, we may not be able to inform you of the detailed outcome. We will still try to give you information about how it will affect you.

Disputes and arguments

Tennis Scotland does not offer an arbitration, dispute-resolution or independent enquiry service. We will not usually become involved in arguments or disputes involving individuals or organisations unless we decide that:-

The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and all parties involved are content that we should be involved or
The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and involves misconduct by someone who is subject to the Rules of Tennis Scotland.
Advice from the Police, social services or other authorities

Sometimes Tennis Scotland receives complaints that we need to discuss with other authorities. These might include Children 1st, the Police, social services departments, or other government or local authority departments. Often this is because:

  • A criminal offence may have been committed, or
  • There could be a risk to the public, or
  • There could be a risk to the safety or welfare of an individual

Like any person or organisation, Tennis Scotland does not need evidence of a crime or of a serious hazard before consulting with these statutory authorities. If we believe that their input could be relevant, we will consult at the earliest opportunity.

Sometimes this consultation will lead to the direct involvement of statutory authorities.

Time Limit

It is important to us that all complaints are made within a reasonable timescale so that matters can be investigated while events are fresh in people's minds. It is also for the best that you should decide within a reasonable timescale either to complain or to put the matter behind you.

For that reason Tennis Scotland will regard a complaint as falling within this Complaints Procedure only if it is made within four weeks of the event complained of.

If a complaint is made outwith that period then Tennis Scotland may still investigate and take action; however you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint and advising that it will be considered and dealt with as a late complaint. That will mean that you will not be told of the outcome and will receive no further contact from Tennis Scotland in relation to the complaint unless we decide to investigate and request further information from you.

Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into a late complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.