Child Protection Policy

Phill Sparks acknowledges the duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and is committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice and Mountain Training England’s requirements.

The policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic background, all children

  • have a positive and enjoyable experience of sport with Phill Sparks in a safe and child centred environment;
  • are protected from abuse whilst participating in climbing or outside of the activity.

Phill Sparks acknowledges that some children, including disabled children and young people or those from ethnic minority communities, can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and I accept the responsibility to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure their welfare.

As part of this safeguarding policy Phill Sparks, and anyone working on his behalf, will

  • promote and prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people;
  • ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding and is provided with appropriate learning opportunities to recognise, identify and respond to signs of abuse, neglect and other safeguarding concerns relating to children and young people;
  • ensure appropriate action is taken in the event of incidents/concerns of abuse and support provided to the individual/s who raise or disclose the concern;
  • ensure that confidential, detailed and accurate records of all safeguarding concerns are maintained and securely stored
  • prevent the employment/deployment of unsuitable individuals;
  • ensure robust safeguarding arrangements and procedures are in operation.

The policy and procedures will be widely promoted and are mandatory for Phill Sparks and everyone working on his behalf. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in dismissal or exclusion.


The policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every three years, or in the following circumstances:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance;
  • as required by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, UK Sport and Mountain Training England;
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.

Child Protection Representative

Phill Sparks is the appointed child protection representative. If anyone working on his behalf have any child safety concerns, they should discuss them with him. He has the following responsibilities:

  • Ensuring that the policy is being put into practice;
  • Being the first point of contact for child protection issues;
  • Keeping a record of any concerns expressed about child protection issues;
  • Bringing any child protection concerns to the Local Authority if appropriate;
  • Ensuring that staff and volunteers are given appropriate supervision;
  • Ensuring that everyone working for Phill Sparks is aware of the identity of the Child Protection Representative.

Staff/Volunteer Safety

  • Avoid being alone with an individual child. If there is a need to be alone with a child (e.g. first aid or he/she is distressed) make sure that another adult knows where you are and why.
  • Arrange meeting points where you will not be on your own with the first arrival – for example a staffed climbing wall reception or café. Alternatively, plan to arrive with another member of staff or volunteer.
  • When transporting children
    • Every effort must be taken to avoid transporting a lone child.
    • Ensure that another responsible adult is aware of the travel arrangements and check in with them at the start and end of the journey, and during any delays.
    • Any drivers must be properly insured, have rested before driving, and should have clean licenses.
    • All vehicles should be fitted with full seatbelts, not just lap belts. Full seatbelts should always be used.
    • If staff are asked to give a child a lift, they are not obliged to do so, it is left to their discretion.

Child Safety

  • When climbing or walking outside, a parent or guardian for each child must be present throughout the activity. When working at a centre, or on an artificial climbing wall, parents may leave the children.
  • We will ensure participants know how to access toilet and changing facilities, however we are not responsible for changing or toileting of children. Where children are known to require such assistance a parent or carer should assist.
  • Make sure that the area you are using for activities is fit for the purpose, e.g. remove furniture, which could cause injury in energetic games.
  • Make sure that all staff and volunteers know
    • Where the emergency phone is and how to operate it;
    • Where the first aid kit is;
    • Who is responsible for First Aid and how to record accidents or injuries;
    • What to do in the event of a fire or other emergency.
  • We will not let children go home without an adult unless the parent has specifically said they may do so. We will never let a child go with another adult unless the parent has informed us that this will happen.

Additional Staff, Assistants and Volunteers

Phill Sparks may occasionally employ additional staff to help improve the quality of his provision. Staff, assistants and volunteers must undergo certain checks before they are deployed

  • Checking of the applicants’ identity (passport, driving license, etc);
  • Taking up references prior to the person starting work;
  • Ensuring relevant Disclosure and Barring Service checks have been carried out;
  • Allowing no unaccompanied access to children until all of the above have been completed;
  • On-going supervision of paid workers and volunteers;
  • Verifying appropriate qualifications and up to date experience, including attendance on a face-to-face safeguarding course.

What is Child Protection?

Child protection is the response to the different ways in which a young person’s or child’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health are damaged by the actions of another person.

What you should do

  1. Listen to the child/young person.
  2. Look at them directly and do not promise to keep any secrets before you know what they are, but always let the child/young person know if, and why, you are going to tell anyone.
  3. Take whatever is said to you seriously and help the child/young person to trust his/her own feelings. Take notes of exactly what is said to you avoiding assumptions and conjecture.
  4. It is not the role of the worker to investigate any allegations (this would contaminate evidence if a situation went to court). Any disclosure by a child/young person must be reported to the named child protection officer.
  5. Make notes soon after the event. Try to write down exactly what the young person or child said. Avoid assumptions or conjecture.
  6. Speak immediately to the Local Authority or NSPCC for further advice and guidance.

What you should not do

  1. Project workers/volunteers should not begin investigating the matter themselves.
  2. Do not discuss the matter with anyone except the correct people in authority.
  3. Do not form your own opinions and decide to do nothing.

Things to say

  • What you are telling me is very important;
  • This is not your fault;
  • I am sorry that this has happened/is happening;
  • You were right to tell someone;
  • What you are telling me should not be happening to you and I will find out the best way to help you.

Things not to say or do

  • Do not ask leading questions – Why? How? What?
  • Do not ask “Are you sure?”
  • Do not show your own emotions e.g. shock/disbelief;
  • Do not make false promises.

Useful Contacts


Tel: 0808 800 5000

Child Protection in Sport Unit

Tel: 0116 366 5590

NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)

Tel: 020 7825 2500


This policy was adopted by Phill Sparks in February 2019.