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Safeguarding information for parents of club swimmers

Protecting and safeguarding children is of the utmost importance across our organisation and Swim England is committed to ensuring that any child who attends an affiliated organisation, event or activity will be safeguarded from harm.

All our clubs and organisation must adopt and abide by our comprehensive policy and procedures for child safeguarding, which are contained in the Wavepower manual.

What should parents/guardians expect?

As a parent or guardian of a Swim England club member you can be assured that:

  • your child is safeguarded during their time with us.
  • all people with responsibility for your child will:
    • be suitable qualified and trained.
    • have been safely recruited by the club or organisation and that recruitment procedure includes a DBS check
  • any concerns about your child’s welfare will be listened to and responded to.

You also have a right to access the Swim England Wavepower child safeguarding policy manual and to contact your club welfare officer and / or the Swim England safeguarding team should you need to.

What should parents be aware of?

As a parent or guardian, we recommend you make yourselves familiar with:

Key club information and contacts, such as:

  • website, social media site or notice board which would provide the latest news and updates for members.
  • your welfare officer – who they are, how to contact them and any information on their role.
  • the coaches, teachers and poolside team and who to contact to discuss your child’s training.
  • information about the pool facilities, particularly around the changing rooms and any relevant rules that apply to the facility e.g. the use of mobile devices.

The club’s procedures and status, such as:

  • rules, regulations, selection policies and codes of conduct.
  • complaints process and disciplinary process and the relevant contacts.
  • SwimMark status.

Always ask the club to make this information available to you if you have problems finding or accessing it.

How can I help support my child and the club?

  • Complete all consent, emergency contact and medical forms and update the club immediately if anything changes.
  • Sign and adhere to the Parents Code of Conduct.
  • Ensure your child arrives to sessions on time and is collected promptly. If you are going to be late let the club know.
  • Ensure your child has the right kit for training or competition, as well as enough food and drink.

Swim England’s position on weighing aquatic athletes

Swim England recommend that children under the age of 18 should not be weighed unless they are on a nationally supported pathway.

This recommendation is designed to prevent potential areas of concern, such as psychological distress, which may occur as a result of athletes being tested and monitored in this way. If you therefore have concerns regarding the weighing of your child or any other child, please raise this matter directly with the child’s coach or alternatively, with the Club Welfare Officer.

You can read the full position statement here to understand more.

How can I raise a question about my child’s training or progression?

The coaches, teachers and poolside team will do all they can to ensure that children enjoy all the activities the organisation offers and they progress in accordance with their ability.

However, if you or your child is unhappy with the training, development, squad selection decisions, squad progression or you simply have questions you would like to put to your child’s coach or teacher, then you should arrange to meet them at a mutually convenient time to discuss further.

Please do not interrupt poolside training session or competition to speak to the coaches or poolside staff unless it is an emergency.

Following your meeting, if you are not happy with the response, the club will advise you of next steps, which could be referral to the head coach or to the club committee.

Please also see our whistleblowing policy where you can raise genuine concerns about wrongdoing or illegal or unethical conduct, whether suspected or confirmed, with Swim England for review or investigation.

Swim England has a Coach Referral Protocol where concerns regarding coaching techniques can be raised.


How can I raise a non-child safeguarding concern?

Please contact the club chair or secretary if you have a concern such as:

  • club constitution disputes
  • club governance disputes and voting rights
  • breaches of the Code of Ethics and Codes of Conduct
  • breakdowns in communication and disputes between members at the club
  • disciplinary matters

All Swim England affiliated clubs must follow the Swim England Judicial Regulations for internal club disputes, so they will advise you of the steps that must be followed to resolve your complaint or concern.

If you are not happy with the actions being taken to resolve your complaint, you can seek advice from Swim England by contacting Kerry Moss, Judicial Office Manager on 01509 640764 or [email protected].

Further information for Swim England members on this area can be found on the Swim England Members site.

If you are dissatisfied with the services Swim England has provided to you, or the actions of Swim England’s staff, you may raise a complaint under our complaints policy.