Keeping children safe in school is very important, especially when it comes to PE and sports. PE lessons can sometimes take place off school premises and schools may outsource services from organisations to work with children.
With this in mind, we have come up with a few things to consider in order to make your PE and sports sessions as safe as possible.
Schools and other organisations that work with children must have safeguarding procedures and policies in place to ensure every child, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity or religion is protected from harm.
Schools and organisations must carry out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on each member of staff before they come into contact with children. The DBS helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable individuals working with children.
As well as carrying out DBS checks, schools and organisations must be fully aware of who their point of contact ‘safeguarding leader’ is and who it is they should contact if the leader is unavailable. This will help children get the care they need as soon as possible.
Staff must also have a debriefing session on what to do if a child raises an issue and how the procedure works, emphasising confidentiality. Staff must only tell the designated safeguarding leader and not discuss the situation with others for the safety of the child.
Before carrying out PE and sports sessions, it is essential that hazards are eliminated, before children enter the area, to prevent physical injury. This can be done by undergoing equipment checks and ensuring enough space is given to carry out activities.
Children must also disclose any medical requirements and hand in medication such as inhalers to staff before participating in any physical activity. Coaches should make sure that students have the necessary medication with them, and allow children time to go and get them before they participate if they don’t - coaches should assist children when leaving the sports centre.
Equipment must be inspected regularly and monitored for wear and tear. If equipment is faulty, it must not be used in PE sessions and coaches must contact the relevant person to make sure all faulty equipment is fixed or removed from the premises.
Equipment must also be stored safely and used correctly, it is up to the PE leader to ensure children do not mess around with equipment and are using it safely, if they are not, simply make sure they do not use it. Equipment must always be checked before use.
All PE and sports sessions must be prepared and planned before they are carried out. This will ensure the staff member has thoroughly thought through the session, assessing what activity will take place, what equipment is needed and where the session will commence. Planning sessions will help improve the safety of children and prevent any incidents taking place. Up-to-date risk assessments are also required before children enter the premises.
As well as this, it is important staff have read and agreed to the safety policy and guidelines. This will make sure they have sufficient knowledge of safe practice and will take it into account when planning, preparing and carrying out sessions.
After reading and agreeing to the safety policy and guidelines, schools must ensure that:
- Sports staff are aware of any child at risk.
- Sports staff or regularly observed.
- Sports leaders work together with support staff and team members.
- Coaches understand their obligations relating to their duty of care.
- Any incidents that take place are reported - logging them in the appropriate documents.
S2S Courses offer high quality PE and sporting opportunities for children in local schools, we are a unique sports coaching organisation that gives children the opportunity to develop new skills and be active.
Most importantly, every S2S Courses Coach has an enhanced DBS Disclosure, is fully qualified, has completed a mandatory safeguarding course and holds an up-to-date First Aid Certificate. The Coaches here at S2S Courses are the perfect fit for safe practice in PE and Sports in schools.