Mon 23 Aug 2021 15:30



This policy provides guidance on how our organisation uses the internet and social media and the procedure for doing so. It also outlines how we expect staff and volunteers who work for us and the children or young people who are members of our organisation to behave online.


The aim of our online safety policy is:

• To protect all children and young people involved in our organisation and who make use of technology (such as mobile phones, games consoles and the internet) while in our care
• To provide staff and volunteers with policy and procedure information regarding online safety and inform them how to respond to incidents
• To ensure our organisation is operating in line with our values and within the law regarding how we behave online

Understanding the online world

As part of using the internet and social media, our organisation will:

• Understand the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff and children – when using websites, social media, apps, and other forms of digital communication
• Be aware that’s it doesn’t matter what device is being used for digital interaction, but that the same safety aspects apply whether it is computer, mobile phone, or game console
• When using social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter and instagram) ensure that we adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines
• Regularly review existing safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure that online safeguarding issues are fully integrated including
 Making sure concerns of abuse or disclosures that take place online are written into our reporting procedures
 Incorporating online bullying (cyber bullying) in our anti bullying policy
• Provide training for the person responsible for managing our organisations online presence
Managing our online presence

Our online presence through our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:
• All social media accounts will be password protected and at least 3 members of staff will have access to each account and password
• The account will be monitored by a designated person who will have been appointed by the clubs committee
• The designated person managing our online presence will seek advice from our designated safeguarding officer to advise on safeguarding requirements
• A designated supervisor will remove inappropriate posts by children or staff explaining why and informing anyone who may be affected (as well as the parents of any children involved)
• Account, page, and event settings will be set to ‘private’ so that only invited club members can see their content
• Identifying details such as child’s home address, school name or telephone number shouldn’t be posted on social media platforms
• Any posts or correspondence will be consistent with our aims
• We’ll make sure children and young people are aware of who manages our social media accounts and who to contact if they have any concerns about the running of the account
• Parents will be asked to give their approval for us to communicate with their children through social media or by any means of communication
• Parents will need to give permission for photographs or videos of their child to be posted on social media
• All of our accounts and email addresses will be appropriate and fit for purpose

What we expect of staff and volunteers

• Staff should be aware of this policy and behave in accordance with it
• Staff should seek the advice of the designated safeguarding lead if they have any concerns about the use of the internet and social media
• Staff should communicate any messages they wish to send out to children and young people to the designated person responsible for the organisation’s online presence
• Staff should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children or young people from personal accounts on social media
• Staff should make sure any content posted is accurate and appropriate as young people may ‘follow’ them on social media.
• Staff should not communicate with young people via personal accounts or private messages
• Rather than communicating with parents through personal social media accounts, staff should choose a more formal means of communication, such as face to face, in an email or in writing or use an organisational account, profile or website
• At least one other member of staff should be copies into any emails sent to children or young people
• Staff should avoid communicating with children or young people via email outside of normal office hours
• Emails should be signed off in a professional manner, avoiding the use of emojis or symbols such as ‘kisses’ ( X,s)
• Any disclosures of abuse reported through social media should be dealt within the same way as a face-to-face disclosure, according to our reporting procedures
• Smartphone users should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures of other people if it could invade their privacy
• Staff and young people must not engage in ‘sexting’ or send pictures to anyone that obscene, indecent, or menacing

What we expect of children and young people
• Children should be aware of this online safety policy and agree to its terms
• We expect children and young people’s behaviour online to be consistent with the guidelines set out in our acceptable use statement

Using mobile phones or other digital technology communicate

When using mobile phones (or other devices) to communicate by voice, video, or text (including texting, email, and instant messaging) we’ll take the following precautions to ensure young people’s safety:
• Staff will avoid having children’s or young people’s personal mobile numbers and will instead seek contact through a parent or guardian
• We’ll seek parental permission on each occasion we need to contact children or young people directly; the purpose for each contact will be clearly identified and agreed upon
• A method of accountability will be arranged such as copies of texts also being sent to the club’s lead welfare officer or to the parents
• Staff should have separate phone from their personal one for any contact with parents or young people
• Texts will be used for communicating information- such as reminding children or young people about up and coming events, which kit to bring or practice timings- and not to engage in conversation
• If a young person misinterprets such communication and tries to engage in a conversation. The member of staff will take the following steps
 End the conversation or stop replying
 Suggest discussing the subject further at next practice or event
 If concerned about the child or young person, provide details for the clubs safeguarding Officer or appropriate agencies

Using mobile phones during sports activities

So that all children can enjoy and actively take part in sport activities, we discourage the use of mobile phones during such activities. As part of the policy, we will:

• Make children aware of how and who to contact if there is an emergency or a change to previously agreed arrangements with the organisation
• Inform parents of appropriate times they can contact children who are away at camps or away trips and discourage them from attempting contact out of these times
• Advise parents that it may not be possible to contact children during activities and provide a contact within the club or organisation who will be reachable should there be and emergency
• Explain to Young people how using mobile phones during activities has an impact on their safe awareness of their environment and their level of participation and achievement

Use of other digital devices and programs

The principals in this policy apply no matter which current or future technology is used – including laptops, computers, tablets, web-enabling games consoles and smart TVs and whether an app, programme or website is used.

If any digital devices are used as part of activities within the organisation:
• We expect children and young people to adhere to the guidelines surrounding online use and behaviour set out in our acceptable use policy
• We’ll establish appropriate restrictions, more commonly known as ‘parental controls’ on any device provided to prevent misuse of harm

As an organisation, we commit to implementing this policy and addressing any concerns quickly and within guidelines

Further information for parents and carers on keeping children safe online:

NSPCC/ O2 helpline 0800 800 5002

Child exploitation and online protection centre


The UK safer internet centre