Keeping Tae Kwon-Do Safe: A guide for Martial Arts Schools

All organisations working with children and young people are responsible for their health, safety and well being while in their care. Schools/Academies are no different and have a duty of care to all their junior members.

Anyone delivering activities to children has a duty of care to make sure this is done safely. This leaflet will prompt you to consider your different safeguarding responsibilities. Please see your NGB’s full safeguarding policies for comprehensive details about how to put safeguards into practice in your School/Academy.

Schools/Academies must take full responsibility for operating in a safe way, which includes:

Recruiting Coaches & Volunteers
When recruiting instructors, officials, paid staff or volunteers to work with children and young people, schools/ academies must ensure they follow a robust recruitment and selection procedure.

The welfare of children and young people in the School/ Academy is paramount and so taking steps to ensure the suitability of these staff and volunteers is essential.

The School/Academy MUST:
- Ensure all relevant club staff have an enhanced DBS/PVG check.
- Speak to your National Governing Body (NGB) or visit for further information.
- Take up and check a minimum of two written references and keep records.
- Check with the NGB to validate any qualifications.
- Inform new recruits of the School/Academy policies, procedures, standards an expectations.
- Provide a detailed role outline.

Schools/Academies have a responsibility to ensure that all activities and training sessions are covered by the appropriate insurance. Schools/Academies should also check individual instructors have the necessary cover.

Welfare Officers
All Schools/Academies must have a designated Welfare Officer in place and ideally a deputy officer to support. The Welfare Officers name and contact number should be made available to all participants, parents, instructors and volunteers and highlighted on notice boards.

The Welfare Officer is responsible for leading the implementation of the School/Academy Safeguarding Policy. The Welfare Officer and deputy should attend training and have a clear role outline. It is also important that they receive support from the committee.

National Governing Body Welfare Officers
Most NGBs have an appointed designated Welfare Officer. These officers are able to provide further guidance and support to School/Academy Welfare Officers. Contact your NGB directly for their details.

Code of Conduct
Schools/Academies have a responsibility to provide a Code of Conduct for instructors, volunteers, parents/ carers and participants. These should be promoted and adopted by
everyone concerned. There should be procedures for responding to breaches of these codes of conduct.

Instructor to Participant Ratios
Ratios should be based on the age and ability of the participants. The younger the players the greater need for supervision. Adaptations for disabled participants must be considered where appropriate and additional support made available if required. For mixed gender activities, male and female instructors should be available. Contact your NGB for specific ratios.

Where possible Schools/Academies should support all their instructors and leaders to undertake further training to develop their knowledge and skills. In particular instructors and
volunteers should attend safeguarding and protecting children training. This has a positive effect on the whole School/Academy.

Collection of Participants
The late collection of participants can potentially be a difficult situation for Shools/Academies. The School/ Academy should develop written guidelines to give to parents/carers around this issue.

If you are in a situation where a parent has not arrived to collect a child you should:
- Contact the parent/carer on the contact number given
- Use alternative emergency contact number if required
- Wait with the child at the facility with others. NEVER put yourself in a private one to one position with a child or young person
- When the parent/carer arrives remind them of the School/Academy guidelines

- Take a child home or to another location in your car alone, Ask the participant to wait alone or let them walk home alone
- Send the participant with another person without permission from their parent or carer.

Competitions Away
Your school/ academy has a responsibility to care for all children and young people whether at home or away. ‘Safe Sport Away’ a publication produced by the CPSU is available for additional guidance Alternatively contact your NGB for advice on trips away.

Changing Rooms
Two members of the School/Academy staff who are DBS/PVG checked should supervise children and young people using changing rooms. Adults should not share changing areas or shower at the same time using the same facilities. For mixed gender activities, separate facilities should be available.

No pressure should be placed on children or young people to shower or change at the facilities. Disabled participants should make sure they and their carers are involved in deciding how they should be assisted. Ensure they are able to consent to the assistance that is offered.

N.B. if a child needs assistance with personal care this should only be provided by their own parent/carer and not by other adults at your School/Academy.

Equity & Good Practice
All Schools/Academies should have an equity policy, which states the rights and worth of all club members and highlights that the club is open to all.

Good practice points relating to equity include:
- Using the appropriate language with participants and colleagues
- Refraining from the use of bad language
- Considering the needs of disabled participants
- Considering the needs of participants from black or ethnic minority backgrounds or LGBT groups
- Challenging inappropriate behaviour

Schools/Academies have a responsibility to protect their young people both at regular martial arts sessions and at competitive events.

If you commission a professional photographer or invite the press to an event it is important that you set out your expectations of them in relation to child protection.

You should:
- Provide a clear brief about what is considered appropriate in terms of their behaviour and content of the photography
- Issue an identification pass, which must be displayed at all times
- Inform participants and parents and ensure you gain their consent to filming and/or photography and to its publication
- Ensure you identify those young people who do not have permission
- Do not allow one to one sessions between a young person and photographer. You can obtain example photo consent forms from