York Chess Club Child Protection Policy

 

 

 



York Chess Club Child Protection Policy.


Background.
The York Chess Club ('the club') believes in safeguarding the welfare of children and has prepared this policy as a
guide to members to ensure that junior chess players can play in an environment where they feel safe.

The club also has certain obligations under the law, and wishes to take steps towards safeguarding the welfare of
children and ensuring that its members are aware of their responsibilities in this area.  Awareness of all members
will lead to protection, not only for children wishing to take part in chess at the club, but also for members, so
that they do not inadvertently fall foul of the law or put themselves in a difficult position.

Members should be aware of the correct procedures should a complaint be raised, or should they wish to raise a
complaint.  It should be remembered in all situations the welfare of the child is paramount.

Policy Statement.
Children under the age of 18 have a right to enjoy playing chess, and the club will ensure that they are able to do
this without any feeling of threat of inappropriate behaviour, intimidation or bullying.

The policy will be reviewed annually, or in the light of any incidents. The club welcomes suggestions for improvement
from members and from parents, so that juniors do not feel uncomfortable at any time before, during or after a league
match or any other chess match connected with York Chess Club.

Members need to be conscious of their behaviour in the presence of juniors and are expected to show consideration for
the age of the child.

The club will appoint a Child Protection Officer ('CPO') who will advise us and oversee the implementation of the policy.
The club will endeavour to make all of its members aware of the policy.


Junior Chess Evenings.

The club will ensure that all adults involved in the junior chess evenings have current CRB/DBS  checks.

The club will provide equal opportunities for all juniors to play chess regardless of gender, culture, race or background.

Rules and Complaints Procedure before, during or after a match.

Adults should show due discretion when shaking the hands of a junior so that this is not done in a manner that makes the
junior player feel uncomfortable. As many venues are on licensed premises, adult players need to be aware of their
responsibilities in not behaving inappropriately in front of juniors. If a player is clearly inebriated due to drinking
alcohol, this is not appropriate and complaint may be legitimately raised under the policy. Adults should ensure they
moderate their language in the presence of juniors.  Inappropriate language may be deemed as contravening this policy and
a complaint may be raised. Adults should refrain from making any inappropriate remarks to juniors.  These may be:
remarks of a sexual nature,
threats,
speaking aggressively.

Adults should be sensitive when asking for a draw - preferably not doing this repeatedly so that the junior feels
intimidated into accepting - or pointing out minor rule transgressions simply to put juniors off their game.  If adults
do feel they need to point something out to a junior (examples might be pressing of the clock with the wrong hand or failing
to write moves down) they should point this out gently in the first instance, but if it continues they should report it to
the team captain and allow the team captains to deal with it. In the case where the team captain needs to speak to the junior
about such matters, (s)he should again allow for the sensitivities of the junior.  In the case of a repeated transgression,
where the junior refuses, or simply cannot rectify, the match should be played to completion, but the incident reported to
the league secretary to rule on at a later date.  Heated disputes with or involving juniors should simply never be allowed
to arise in the presence of the junior.

It is inappropriate to raise your voice to a junior or issue threats of any kind.  If any member feels strongly that a junior
is misbehaving in any way, they should raise the matter with the team captain who may see fit to raise the matter with the
child's parent.  If this cannot be resolved, no dispute should be entered into, but the incident reported to the league
secretary at a later date.  Where possible finish the match, but if the adult feels they cannot play in such circumstances,
they should excuse themselves politely and then leave it to the league to settle the result of the game. Juniors should be
made aware by a responsible person at the club of the correct procedure if they feel uncomfortable in any way in the presence
of any adult - namely to report their discomfort to the team captain as soon as possible.

During a game, if a junior player feels uncomfortable or there is a dispute, then the junior should be made aware that they
must report this to the team captain straight away.  A parent or junior wishing to withdraw from a match for these reasons,
should state this to the team captain.  It will be for the committee to decide on the result of the game at a later date,
pending any reports from the team captains or the CPO should a formal complaint be made.  The child should not be forced to
play on in such circumstances.

Team captains need to be aware of their responsibilities to report any such incidents to the committee and, if appropriate,
the CPO. If a club is aware a player has been convicted of a criminal offence against a junior, it should not play this player
in a match likely to involve juniors.  If there is any doubt, then they should refer  the matter to the CPO for advice. It is
accepted that some people may have minor criminal convictions for offences unrelated to juniors and this will not affect their
behaviour towards juniors.  However, convictions for violence should be considered very carefully when involving such players
in matches where juniors will be present.  It should be noted that confidentiality in such matters should never be compromised,
but the safety of children is paramount.

If there is any dispute or confrontation in a match not involving a junior, but where a junior is present in the room, then it
is advised the dispute should not be continued in the presence of the junior, but taken elsewhere.  If the dispute is continued
in the room, then the players need to be aware that this may be reported to the CPO, who may take appropriate actions.

Parents should always be allowed to be present where their child is playing.  Any parent who interferes in a match should be
politely asked to desist. If they do not, the incident may be reported to the committee who may take appropriate action.

It is not advisable for an adult to be alone in a room with a child.  If, for example, there is only one game left in a match
and this involves a junior, then the team captain should stay to watch the game if the parent is not present or if it is the
team captain playing, then the vice-captain should stay. 


Complaints procedure.

Any incidents where there is a clear contravention of the procedures laid down in this policy should in the first instance, be
reported to the CPO.  The CPO will then carry out an investigation by speaking to all parties involved and any witnesses.  
The CPO will then decide on one of the following courses of action:
to simply contact the parties involved to give them advice on how they should behave in future,
to report to the committee a more serious incident where a ruling may be required on the result of a game or on any action
 that needs to be taken against a player,
to report a very serious incident to the police or appropriate child protection officers where the law appears to have been broken.

In all cases, the CPO will give a written report to the committee who may decide what action to take in the light of such a report.
All incidents reported to the CPO will be recorded.

June 2016.

All enquiries regarding York Chess Club's Child Protection Policy will be answered by;

York Chess Club Child Protection Officer Noel Stewart (01904) 624255 or Email : noel338@btinternet.com