Silwood Park Karate

Safeguarding Policy


1. Statement of Intent


The member clubs of Kent Shotokan Karate Clubs (KSKC) believes that it is always unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people, by a commitment to practice that which protects them.[1]

For safeguarding concerns please contact:

Gillian Rose at or phone 01344 440328.

The KSKC safeguarding officer is Mel Kirk, contactable at or phone 01634 371544

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount.
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.  This policy applies to all children and young people.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents and carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.


The purpose of the policy:

  • To provide protection for the children and young people who receive the services of the KSKC, including the children of adult members or users.
  • To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect a child or young person may be experiencing, or be at risk of harm.


1.1            This policy applies to all staff, paid staff, volunteers, or anyone acting on behalf of the KSKC.


1.2            This policy follows guidance from, and adheres to, the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children procedures (updated version 2017) and “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused” (2015)


1.3            We will review our safeguarding policy and procedures annually to ensure they are still relevant and effective.  Or when there are any significant changes to the way services are delivered or any new legislation.


1.4            The words “child” and “children” are used to refer to children and young people.



Safeguarding procedure


  • There will be a named person for safeguarding who will be responsible for dealing with any concerns about the protection of children.  The designated safeguarding co-ordinator is Mrs Mel Kirk.  In her absence it is Mr Glen Wright.
  • All staff/volunteers will be vetted appropriately and as required by law through DBS checks.
  • All staff/volunteers will, as their induction, be given this document and basic training in safe conduct, what to do if they have concerns for a child and recognising reasons for concern.
  • All staff/volunteers will be monitored and have supervision to ensure the safeguarding policy is followed and their practises are in keeping with this policy and it’s procedures, as well as all relevant policies of this organisation.
  • All staff/volunteers will be aware of the procedure for dealing with allegations against staff, volunteers and those outside of the organisation.
  • All staff will be aware of how to record concerns in a confidential manner and know what the organisations information sharing arrangements are.
  • Children and young people, their parents and carers will be informed about the safeguarding policy, what they should do if they have concerns and who the designated safeguarding co-ordinator is.  We will convey this information by e-mail and newsletters.
  • This document will contain details of contacts for other agencies and resources.
  • There will be a complaints and whistle blowing procedure.
  • Special provisions have been made due to members of the organisation taking children away on trips on occasions.



2.    Abuse


  • Different categories of abuse


2.1            Child abuse can be in the form of neglect, physical injury, sexual abuse or emotional abuse inflicted or knowingly not prevented, which causes significant harm or death.


2.2            Abuse can take place within a family, in an institutional or community setting, by telephone or on the Internet.  Someone known to the child or a complete stranger may carry out abuse.  Some abuse can be face to face, via the telephone, texting, emails, social networking or any other form of written/verbal contact. 



2.3            Physical abuse takes place when a child is physically hurt or injured by hitting, shaking, squeezing, burning, biting or attempting to drown or suffocate them.  Physical abuse also includes giving a child alcohol, inappropriate drugs, poison or failing to prevent physical injury.  It can also be caused by a parent/carer deliberately causing ill health of a child in order to seek attention.



2.4            Sexual abuse includes enticing or forcing a child to engage in fondling, masturbation, oral or anal intercourse or full sexual intercourse, making a child observe inappropriate behaviour and showing a child pornographic materials; whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.



2.5            Emotional abuse is persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection that has, or is likely to have, a serious effect on the child’s development.  It occurs when a child’s need for love, security, praise and recognition is not met.  This can include withholding love, constantly shouting and threatening or demeaning the child, being persistently over protective or undermining a child’s self esteem and prevent them developing a positive self-image.  It may result from children being prevented from having social contact with others.  Emotional abuse usually, although not always, co-exists with other forms of abuse.



2.6            Neglect occurs when any of a child’s basic needs are not met, these needs include physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs.  Examples of neglect include children being left alone in possibly dangerous situations or left alone at an inappropriate age or being denied access to education or proper health care or not having adequate food, clothing or shelter.



2.7            It is also important to consider bullying as a abuse as it may play a part in form of other recognised abuses.  Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour, usually repeated over a period of time.  Bullying can be physical verbal or emotional.  Although bullying normally involved child and their peers adults can also inflict it.  The damage inflicted by bullying can frequently be underestimated.  Bullying can cause considerable distress to children, to the extent that it affects their health and development or, at the extreme, cause them significant harm (including self harm).



3. How to recognise the signs of abuse


3.1      Each type of abuse can have possible signs and effect behaviour.  This list is not exhaustive and recognising the signs and behaviour does not necessarily mean a child is being abused.  They may help you identify if something is wrong, the possibility of abuse should be investigated if a child shows a number of signs or any of them to a distinct degree.  Many signs are applicable to more than one type of abuse.  Alternatively the child may show no outward signs of abuse.


Physical Abuse

·       Unexplained recurrent injuries or burns.  Finger, bite and pinch shaped bruising, scratches and bruising to face, cigarette and shaped burns, fractures in young/small children and bald patches can all be signs of abuse.

·       Improbable excuses or refusal to explain injuries.

·       Wearing clothes to cover injuries, even in hot weather.

·       Refusal to undress for activities requiring change of clothes.

·       Chronic running away.

·       Fear of medical help or examination.

·       Self-destructive tendencies.

·       Aggression towards others.

·       Fear of physical contact - shrinking back if touched or flinching at sudden movements.

·       Admitting that they are punished, but the punishment is excessive (such as a child being beaten every night to 'make him study')

·       Fear of going home or of suspected abuser being contacted.

Sexual abuse[2]

·       Being overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way inappropriate to the child's age and more concerned with sexual matters.

·       Medical problems such as chronic itching, pain in the genitals, venereal diseases.

·       Other extreme reactions, such as depression, self-mutilation, and suicide attempts, running away, overdoses, anorexia.

·       Personality changes such as becoming insecure or clinging.

·       Regressing to younger behaviour patterns such as thumb sucking or bringing out discarded cuddly toys.

·       Being isolated, fearful or withdrawn.

·       Inability to concentrate.

·       Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well, such as not wanting to be alone with another member of staff or volunteer.

·       Starting to wet again, day or night/nightmares, with no physical cause.

·       Become worried about clothing being removed.

·       Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures.

·       Trying to be 'ultra-good', overly compliant or perfect, overreacting to criticism.

·       Unexplained sources of gifts/money.

·       Talks about “a friend” being abused.


Emotional Abuse

·       Physical, mental and emotional development lags i.e. speech delay, poor verbal ability and lack of communication skills.  Lack of concentration and learning problems.

·       Sudden speech disorders.

·       Continual self-depreciation and low self esteem ('I'm stupid, ugly, worthless, etc')

·       Overreaction to mistakes.

·       Self-mutilation/harming.

·       Attention seeking and lack of appropriate boundaries with strangers.

·       Extreme/unreasonable fear of any new situation.

·       Inappropriate response to pain ('I deserve this') and inappropriate emotional responses to stressful situations.

·       Neurotic/obsessive behaviour (rocking, hair twisting, self-mutilation).

·       Extremes of passivity or aggression.

·       Alcohol, drugs and solvent misuse.

·       Eating disorders (over or under eating).


·       Constant hunger, compulsive scavenging or stealing (for food and clothes) and emaciation.

·       Poor personal hygiene, poor skin/hair.

·       Constant tiredness.

·       Poor state of clothing or inappropriate clothing for conditions. 

·       Untreated medical problems.

·       No social relationships and withdrawal from relationships with other children.

·       Destructive tendencies or repeated accidents.

·       Frequent lateness or non-attendance to activities.


  • Change in behaviour and avoidance or certain activities but not others.
  • Unexplained damaged property.
  • Repeatedly “lost” money.
  • Unexplained bruising (also sign of physical abuse).
  • Social isolation.


4.    How to respond to signs of abuse


4.1            If you recognise signs of abuse keep a written record of any physical or behavioural signs or symptoms.  If patterns emerge or signs become frequent report them to your designation safeguarding coordinator.  Try and be specific and write down what you have actually seen so that your notes can be used as evidence in any investigation.  It may be a good idea to record what you have seen on a body map (included in the appendix B) for an accurate record that cannot be misinterpreted. 


4.2            If you suspect abuse you must report your suspicions to the designated safeguarding coordinator who will be able to deal with your concerns. 



5.    How to respond to allegations of abuse against a member of staff


5.1            If the concerns are about the appointed Safeguarding Officer report your concerns to the Deputy Appointed Person. If they are unavailable report your concerns directly to the local authority Customer First[3] line or the Police, who will advise on the action to be taken including advice on contacting parents.  Alternatively contact the NSPCC for advice (0808 800 5000).


5.2            It is crucial that all allegations are taken seriously and appropriate action taken. It is important that any concerns for the welfare of the young person, arising from abuse, poor practice or harassment by a member of staff or volunteers, should be reported immediately.


5.3            Suspension will not be an automatic response to allegations.  The seriousness and plausibility of the allegation will be considered along with the risk of harm to children and the possibility of tampering with evidence, as well as the interests of the person concerned and the organisation.


5.4            All incidents should be investigated internally after any external investigation has finished, to review organisation practice and put in place any additional measures to prevent a similar thing happening again.


6.    How to respond to allegations of abuse against someone not working in the group


6.1            Report the concerns to the appointed Safeguarding coordinator immediately who will report the concerns directly to the local authority customer first line or Police who will advise on the action to be taken, including advice on contacting parents. 


6.2            If you cannot contact the appointed Safeguarding Officer or their deputy report your concerns immediately to the local authority or Police who will advise you appropriately. Should you wish to seek expert advice to help you decide on the best course of action you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or Child line on 0800 1111.


7.    How to respond to a child telling you about abuse


7.1  If a child tells you about abuse:[4]

·       Stay calm and be reassuring, respond with tact and sensitivity.  Don’t make judgements.

·       Find a quieter place to talk and allow the child to speak in their own time, this should still be in the open but away from the crowd and you should tell somewhere else where you are going and who with.

·       Believe in what you are being told; take allegations or suspicion of abuse seriously.

·       Listen, possibly confirm details but do not press for information or ask leading questions as this may void any disclosure you receive in a court case or investigation.[5]

·       Make brief notes using the person’s own words.  Do not interpret what has been said or make assumptions.

·       Say that you are glad that the child told you.  Do not promise confidentiality and discuss who you need to tell.  Do not investigate the allegation yourself and do not contact the parents/carers in the first instance until advised to do so by the local authority/officer in charge of the allegation.

·       If it will help the child to cope say that the abuser has a problem.

·       Say that you will do your best to protect and support the child.

·       If necessary, seek medical help and contact the police or social services.  Ensure the safety of the child and that they are away from the alleged abuser.

·       Acknowledge that the child may have angry, sad or even guilty feelings about what happened, but stress that the abuse was not the child's fault. Acknowledge that you will probably need help dealing with your own feelings and your organisation should provide additional support.

·       Follow procedures for reporting allegations and suspicions to the designated safeguarding coordinator. 

8.    How information will be recorded


8.1            Referrals to the designated safeguarding person should be clearly documented.  Any notes made during a disclosure should also be passed onto the designated person.  These records will be kept in a locked drawer/cabinet.  The documents will be made available to the police or social care and the designated person for safeguarding will follow the guidance for information sharing.  Those expressing their concerns must not consult others in the first instance.


8.2            Your report of concern should contain, as far as possible, the following:

Items to be included in a Record of Concern

  • Name of child
  • Child’s address
  • Name of parent/carer(s) (if available)
  • Phone numbers for parent/carer(s) and child (If available)
  • What is said to have happened or what was seen?
  • When and where did it occur?
  • Who else, if anyone, was involved and how?
  • What was said by those involved?
  • Were there any obvious signs e.g., bruising, bleeding changed behaviour?
  • Was the child able to say what happened, if so, how did they describe it and record using their words?
  • Who has been told about it and when?
  • Do the parents know?
  • Signature of person filing the record and their name
  • Date of record 
  • A completed body map (where appropriate) See appendix B


Confidentiality policy


9.1            The legal principle that the “welfare of the child is paramount” means that taking action to safeguard the child is most important.  Privacy and confidentiality should be respected, but if doing this leaves a child at risk of harm, the child’s safety has to come first.  If you are worried about a child’s safety it should be reported to those that need to know, respecting the child’s/families/staff’s right to privacy.  It is fine to say that a concern has been raised and it is being dealt with following the group’s procedures.



10. Designated safeguarding person


10.1        The designated person (and their deputy) needs to complete safeguarding awareness training and have a good understanding of “What to do if you are worried a child is being abused”.  They will have an enhanced DBS check.


10.2        The role of the designated safeguarding person is to:

·       know about the signs and symptoms of abuse and know how abusers behave.

·       ensure the organisations safeguarding policy and procedures are followed and updated.

·       ensure information is shared appropriately[6].

·       receive and record information from anyone who has concerns and store information in a locked drawer/cupboard.

·       assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying or obtaining more information when they need to.

·       consult initially with a statutory safeguarding agency; such as the local children’s social care teams or the NSPCC’s safeguarding helpline (0808 800 5000), to talk about any doubts or uncertainty.

·       make a formal referral to a statutory safeguarding agency or police.


10.3        The designated person must have relevant contact number and addresses of statutory agencies in their area.


10.4        If you have concerns that a child in Medway may be suffering from harm please contact:



Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Tel: 01344 352005

Or: when out of hours 01344786543

Alternatively call:

NSPCC 0808 800 5000



If you have concerns that a child in Kent may be suffering from harm please contact:


Kent police (Child abuse investigation unit)

01622 690690

(These calls are answered by the Kent Police Force Communications Centre in Maidstone.  You will be diverted to the person best able to respond to your call) 


Kent Children’s social services

08458 247100


Any club outside Kent should contact their local authority for the relevant contact details of their area and insert in their policy.


11. Code of conduct for everyone[7]


11.1  This code applies to all staff and volunteers.


You must:

  • treat all children equally and with respect.
  • provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow.
  • ensure that, whenever possible, there is more than one adult present during activities with children (or where the staff member or volunteer is under 18) or at least that you are within sight or hearing of others.  If you are asked to talk in private ensure someone else knows where you are and leave a door ajar or stay in clear view, always make a note of the conversation, tell the child or young person they are free to leave or stop talking at anytime.
  • respect a young person’s right to personal privacy/encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like.
  • remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
  • be aware that physical contact with a child may be misinterpreted
  • recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with children.
  • operate within the organisation’s principles and guidance and any specific procedures.
  • challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse.


You must not:

  • engage in sexual activity with a young person (even if they are over 18) you have met through your duties within the organisation, this would be an abuse of trust.
  • invite a child to your home or arrange to see them outside set activity hours.
  • give out personal contact details or contact them unnecessarily outside of activity hours.
  • give child gifts personally, any appropriate gifts such as token birthday gifts should come from the organisation.  You should not accept gifts from children unless they are small token gifts appropriate to a celebration.  All gifts must be reported to your club instructor.
  • lend or borrow any money or property. 
  • allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour/make suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children.
  • jump to conclusions about others without checking facts.
  • either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues.
  • show favouritism to any individual.
  • rely on your good name or that of the organisation or to protect you.
  • believe “it could never happen to me”.
  • take a chance when common sense, policy or practice suggests another more prudent approach.
  • allow abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, bullying or horse play.


11.2        You should give guidance and support to inexperienced helpers.  Staff relationships are based on mutual respect and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure a positive working environment.



12. Staff/volunteer selection and training


12.1        Staff and volunteers will be selected based on their suitability to the role.  All staff/volunteers are required to complete the recruitment process before activity commences.


12.2        Staff/volunteer’s ability to deal with disclosures should be assessed.  Special consideration should be given when recruiting under 18s.


12.3        All staff/volunteers will be required to:

·       complete a self-disclosure form.

·       obtain a full disclosure through checks from the Disclosure Barring Service (when they will be in contact with children or vulnerable adults both directly and indirectly).

·       complete an agreed probationary period.

·       Undertake induction and training.


12.4        Advice will be sought when recruiting someone with a criminal record.


12.5        Any applicant refusing to go through the DBS check will not be employed as a paid member of staff or as a volunteer if their role includes regulated or controlled activities that require registration. 




13. The Disclosure Barring Service process


13.1        All staff and volunteers will go through DBS checks as necessary.


13.2        All staff/volunteers who have regular, unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults will have the Enhanced check as will the designated person for safeguarding.


13.3        Staff/volunteers who have regular contact with children and young people through mixed groups (activities that both adults and children participate in together), and who have positions of responsibility and trust where contact with children is possible will in most cases have the Standard check.


14. Complaints procedure


·       Complaints are any clear expression of dissatisfaction with the group, its personnel, or its services that calls for a response

·       The procedure deals with specific concerns including: a risk to the health or safety of any individual or improper conduct or unethical behaviour or inappropriate behaviour in relation to children. 

·       Anyone may make a complaint including children, parents/carers, volunteers, paid workers, or other people outside the group. 

·       Complaints are treated seriously whether it is made in person, by telephone, by letter, by fax, or by e-mail

·       Complaints will be dealt with promptly, politely, and with respect within 2 weeks.


14.1        The group learns from complaints and uses them to improve its services.


14.2        Complaints will be taken in person, in writing or by telephone by a member of the management team/senior workers.  Formal complaints should be written down in as much detail as possible, including names of people the complaint has already been taken to.


14.3        Complaints can be made anonymously although a name and contact details would help for further investigation.


14.4        Initial complaints will be dealt with by the Club instructor within 2 weeks.


14.5        If you feel that your complaint has not been dealt with to a satisfactory level the complaint should be taken to Mr Glen Wright (Chief Instructor of the KSKC)


14.6       Whistle blowing is supported when reporting concerns of actual or possible unethical, illegal or unprofessional conduct by anyone within the organisation.  Complaints should be reported through normal line management unless they are unable to deal with the matter, in which case it should be taken to the Chief Instructor.



If you have concerns that a child in Medway may be suffering from harm please contact:

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Tel: 01344 352005

Or: when out of hours 01344786543

Alternatively call:

Alternatively call:

NSPCC 0808 800 5000
Thames Valley Police 08458505505


If you have concerns that a child in Kent may be suffering from harm please contact:


Kent police (Child abuse investigation unit)

01622 690690


Kent Children’s social services

08458 247100


Any club outside Kent should contact their local authority for the relevant contact details of their area and insert into their policy.


What to Do If You’re Worried a Child Is Being Abused” (DH) 2015.


Kent and Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures 2017

(Available at


















Appendix A

Special circumstances


a)     Trips away from home

Children need to be kept safe when taking trips away from home.  It is therefore important that rigorous safeguarding policies and procedures are in place, in addition to health and safety procedures, adequate insurance, etc.  In putting together a trip away from home, some procedures to follow include:



·       Ensure children know how to behave.

·       Getting written consent from parents and, if necessary, holding a meeting for parents to give them a briefing on the outing.

·       Asking parents about any special needs or requirements for their children.


Using activity centres and other external providers

·       Use reputable organisations that have in place any licences or accreditation required (some adventure activities require specific licences).

·       If possible, visiting the centre beforehand and complete a risk assessment.  You can ask the centres for their own risk assessment sand follow it up with your own.

·       Get agreement on the activities to be undertaken if using an adventure activity provider.

·       Ensure external providers have proper safety procedures in place (e.g. insurance, maintenance of equipment/ transport, health and safety policies, recruitment of staff to work with children, Safeguarding policies etc.).

·       Ensure the accommodation is suitable.



·       Have a person trained in first aid and suitable equipment.

·       When staying in self catering accommodation a member of staff will need a food hygiene qualification (e.g. Level 2 NVQ in Food and Hygeine)

·       Have adequate staff ratios.  These will depend on the age of the young people and the activity being planned, but DfES guidance on a typical school trip to a museum or historical site are:

o   1 adult to 6 pupils for under-eights (more adults if under-fives).

o   1 adult to 10-15 pupils for eight to eleven-year olds.

o   1 adult to 15-20 pupils for over-elevens.

·       Ensure all those attending are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

·       Ensure staff/volunteers are competent to lead children in activities.

·       Even greater care should be taken over trips abroad.


Two publications in particular provide more detailed information on planning trips away are:

·       Safe Sport Away, produced jointly by the Amateur Swimming Association and the NSPCC.

·       Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits, published by the Department for Education and Skills, available free or to download from[8]



b)     Working with children with disabilities

For a number of reasons, children with disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse than others.  For example children with disabilities may be more dependent on others for intimate care and may be less able to tell people about any abuse they experience. For these reasons, it is essential that rigorous safe recruitment procedures are in place, especially with regard to recruitment checks on volunteers and paid workers, whistle blowing policies, and having clear guidelines setting out acceptable behaviour by those working with children with disabilities.



c)     Social networking

Over the past years the use of social networking sites such as Bebo, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook has become increasingly popular.  Such sites are used to share information, photographs and news with friends across the world.


Whilst the use of such sites (known as social networking) has very many benefits there are potential problems concerning privacy and appropriate usage.  These may include breaches of confidentiality, unsuitable language or images, and in some cases breaches of the law.


Examples of such problematic usage of publicly accessible social networking could be:


  • Staff/volunteers referring to children by name on their profiles.
  • Staff/volunteers referring to private organisation matters
  • Staff/volunteers using derogatory or offensive language about fellow colleagues or children.
  • Staff/volunteers posting images of themselves in inappropriate dress or situations, especially when it can be accessed by children and young people.
  • Staff/volunteers participating in illegal activities such as the sharing of indecent images of children.
  • Photos published can identify the staff/volunteers home.
  • There should be absolutely no private online contact between professionals and any young people with whom they have a work-related relationship. 


d)      Use of photos


Consent forms signed by parents and guardians can be used as blanket permission for the taking and publication of images when you are working with the same group of children and young people continuously or over a long period of time.  Or for one off events, or when the conditions of on which permission was granted have changed, new permission forms may need to be signed.


Consent/information forms should include;

·       How long the permission will be considered valid.

·       How images may be used.

·       For how long will you be able to use the photos etc.

·       That you will not publish names or any personal details.

·       Only images of children suitably dressed will be used.

·       Specific detail of how a photo may be used i.e. in a newsletter.

·       Give the option for a parent/carer to give permission to photos being taken but not filming.

·       Issues with parents/visitors taking pictures.

·       That every effort will be made to prevent the capturing of any image of a child who should not be identified.


If a general event is taking place, such as a grading or competition, you could warn visitors by sign or on any documentation.  General consent is then implied by attendance.






























Appendix B Body Map


Child body map













































[1] Policy statement is taken and adapted from Firstcheck, NSPCC 2006

[2] Adapted from

[3]Customer First is the gateway to council services.  They are trained to direct your call to the appropriate service team.


How to respond to an abuse disclosure is taken partly from the kidscape website.

[5]Additional information on listening and questioning skills can be found

[6] See page 55 “What to do if you are worried a child is being abused”

[7] Taken and adapted from the Final report of the independent review on Safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, September 2001 and Firstcheck, NSPCC, 2006.

[8]Further information and advice can be found at and

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