The Sharks Swimming Club of Mottingham (TSSCM) acknowledges that mobile phones, text messaging, email and other forms of electronic communication are now widely used within daily life. The aim of this policy is to promote safe and appropriate practice by establishing clear guidelines for acceptable use of mobile phones and other handheld devices in accordance with Swim England guidelines.
Guidance for Swimmers and Parents
It is recognised that smart phones, tablets and other handheld devises contain a variety of functions that can be susceptible to misuse. Misuse may include the taking and distribution of images, exploitation and bullying. For example, the inappropriate use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Please refer to guidelines in the TSSCM Social Media Guidance in Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for more detail. This can be found on the TSSCM website.
Misuse of these devises can cause immense distress and upset to individuals which may impact their health and self confidence.
Inappropriate use of mobile phones includes:
- Using derogatory or obscene language
- Making personal attacks, bullying, or harassing an individual.
- Texting or posting private information or images of another individual.
Any photos taken on mobile phones should fall in line with the guidelines in the TSSCM Photography Policy, which can also be found on the TSSCM website. The camera facility on mobile phones must not be used at any time in the changing rooms.
You may at some point, come across or be made aware of, inappropriate use of mobile phones. If this is in relation to the swimming club, please inform the Club Welfare Officer at email@example.com
Guidance for Coaches and Teachers on phoning, texting or emailing a young person
- Coaches and teachers should not personally hold the mobile phone numbers or email addresses belonging to young members of the club.
- Coaches can hold phone numbers and email addresses of members’ parents with their consent, in order to get messages to their swimmers. It is then the responsibility of the parent to inform the swimmer of the message.
- In some circumstances, it may be necessary for coaches, team managers or chaperones to have mobile phone contact details of the swimmers for safeguarding reasons, for example if they are away at camp. In such circumstances, the individual should be DBS checked, have undertaken the appropriate safeguarding training and have the consent of each swimmer’s parent or guardian to temporarily hold that information for the purpose of the event. The member’s phone number should be deleted after the event
- Coaches of swimmers over 16 but under 18, with the consent of the parent, may use text messaging or email to communicate with the swimmer for training and competition purposes only. It is recommended that such communications are also copied to the parent or guardian to safeguard the member and the coach.
- Coaches should not take or make calls whilst supervising young members in a teaching or training session. It is permissible for a coach to make or take a call during an event provided they are not the sole supervisor of the swimmers.
Guidance for Coaches aged 18 to 21
Swim England recognises that many young coaches aged 18 to 21 will have been members of the club themselves before becoming a coach, and will still be friends with younger members. It is therefore plausible that they will have the personal contact details for these members. Swim England accepts it would be inappropriate to require young coaches to remove the details of those members from their contact lists.
Therefore, in such cases:
- If a coach aged 18 to 21 has phone or email details of swimmers aged between 16 and 17 prior to undertaking the role of the coach, Swim England does not expect them to remove those members from their contact list.
- However, the coach is advised to inform the welfare officer and the head coach.
- The head coach should make every effort to ensure the coach is not the primary coach for those specified young persons, except on an occasional basis.
For further information on all safeguarding issues, please refer to Swim England child /vulnerable adult safeguarding procedures and policies at www.swimming.org/swimengland/wavepower-child-safeguarding-for-clubs