A Club for All the Family  West Oxfordshire Sailing Club

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WOSC Child Protection Policy Statement

The WOSC Child Protection Policy is in line with the most recent RYA guidelines:


As defined in the Children Act 1989, for the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. The policy also applies to vulnerable adults.

It is the policy of WOSC to safeguard children and young people taking part in boating from physical, sexual or emotional harm.  WOSC will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures and training, children participating in WOSC activities do so in a safe environment.  We recognise that the safety and welfare of the child is paramount and that all children, whatever their age, gender, disability, culture, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, social status or sexual identity, have a right to protection from abuse.

WOSC Sailing School actively seeks to:

  • Create a safe and welcoming environment, both on and off the water, where children can have fun and develop their skills and confidence.
  • Recognise that safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work with children.
  • Ensure that WOSC training and events are run to the highest possible safety standards.
  • Be prepared to review its ways of working to incorporate best practice.
We will:
  • Treat all children with respect and celebrate their achievements.
  • Carefully recruit and select all employees, contractors and volunteers.
  • Respond swiftly and appropriately to all complaints and concerns about poor practice or suspected or actual child abuse.

This policy relates to all employees, contractors and volunteers who work with children or vulnerable adults in the course of their WOSC duties. It will be kept under periodic review. All relevant concerns, allegations, complaints and their outcome should be notified to the WOSC Child Welfare Officer: Linda Grace. This policy supplements the WOSC General Safeguarding Policy.

WOSC General safeguarding policy 2019.pdf


  • Parents are responsible for their dependent children who are under sixteen the whole time they are at the Sailing Club, including during Sailing School training sessions, and children should not be left unattended at any time.
  • Children of sixteen years and over can attend the club unaccompanied, with parental permission.
  • If a child is left unattended, they will be asked to contact their parent/carer or responsible adult to come and supervise them. If children are left unattended at the club, this puts your child and adults at the club in a vulnerable position. Thus, if a child’s parent/carer are not contactable, the WOSC safe-guarding policy will come into effect.
  • When they are under instruction with the Sailing School, all children under sixteen years of age, must be signed in by a parent/carer and provide an emergency telephone contact so that the parent/carer can be quickly identified and located on site.
  • Children sixteen years and over, must sign themselves in at Sailing School training sessions and provide an emergency contact number.
  • If a child is injured we need to be sure a parent/carer or an adult responsible for them can ensure they get immediate and appropriate care.

Staff and Volunteers

All club staff and volunteers whose role brings them into regular contact with young people are members of the club. All those instructing, coaching or supervising young people will also be asked to complete a self-declaration form (see below).

Good Practice

All members of the Club should follow the good practice guidelines as described in the RYA guidelines and agree to abide by the WOSC Sailing School Code of Conduct and the RYA Racing Charter contained in the Racing Rules of Sailing. Those working or volunteering with young people should be aware of the guidance on recognising abuse.

Adults are requested not to enter the showers and changing rooms at times when children are changing before or after junior/youth training or racing. If this is unavoidable it is advised that they are accompanied by another adult.

The Club will seek verbal consent from parents/carers before taking photos or video of a child at an event or training session and written consent if any images are published. Parents and spectators should be prepared to identify themselves if requested and state their purpose for photography/filming. If the Club publishes images of children, written parental consent is required and no identifying information other than names will be included. Any concerns about inappropriate or intrusive photography or the inappropriate use of images should be reported to the Club Welfare Officer.

In addition:

  • Do not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others
  • Do not take children alone in a car on journeys, however short
  • Do not take children to your home
  • Where any of these are unavoidable, ensure they only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the organisation or the child’s parents
  • Design training programmes that are within the ability of the individual child.

You should never:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form
  • Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun
  • Let allegations a child makes go unchallenged or unrecorded; always act
  • Do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

However, it may be sometimes necessary to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are very young or disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents. In an emergency situation, which requires this type of help, parents should be fully informed. In such situations, it is important to ensure that all staff are sensitive to the child and undertake personal care tasks with the utmost discretion.


Anyone who is concerned about a young member’s or participant’s welfare, either outside the sport or within the Club, should inform the Club Welfare Officer immediately, in strict confidence.

Any member of the Club failing to comply with the Safeguarding policy or any relevant Codes of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action under Club Rules.

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