Policies and procedures



Message from the Safeguarding Officer

Nick Lewis Safeguarding Officer

Nick Lewis

Club Safeguarding Officer

Welcome the Old Pats Safeguarding section where you will find details of the Safeguarding team, how to contact us, information about the role of Safeguarding with subjects such as injuries, concussion, DBS checking, RFU Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. The Club actively promotes Safeguarding and recognises that everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding and creating safe environments in rugby union whether as a parent, coach, spectator or club official.

Children, which is anyone under the age of 18, must be cared for in the correct manner, as set out in the RFU Safeguarding Policy.

Rugby is fun – it helps you to make new friends, try out new activities and amaze yourself with what you can do. But for a few children the fun is spoilt by adults who do or say things during sporting activities that hurt or frighten them. This may be abuse and if something is worrying you or your Child don’t keep it to yourself.

You should:

  1. Tell an adult you trust as soon as possible. This could be: a parent or someone else in your family; another member of staff or coach at the club.
  2. Contact the Club Safeguarding Officer who is there for all children involved in rugby and makes their needs a priority.
  3. If you have a concern about how others are treating you or another child, or if something is making you unhappy your Club Safeguarding Officer is there for you.

All should operate within an accepted ethical framework and demonstrate exemplary behaviour to both safeguard children and protect all personnel from allegations of abuse or poor practice.

All children and vulnerable adults are entitled to protection from harm and be able to take part in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.

When recruiting volunteers all reasonable steps are taken to ensure only suitable people are selected to be involved with children at Old Pats.

Any concerns about a child should be reported to either your Club Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible.


What is Safeguarding

Safeguarding Children

Safeguarding is a proactive concept based around promoting a child’s welfare in every way. It means protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect but stretches much further to include all that we can do to ensure their appropriate development and to maximise life opportunities. Put simply, safeguarding is about all the things we do to create child centred rugby and to prevent any problems arising.

Club Safeguarding Officer, Nick Lewis, has been in this role for a number of years, and is therefore experienced, consistent and committed to the highest standards of Safeguarding.



Injury prevention and post injury management are specific subjects we will continue to focus on alongside concussion and as such the club have an appointed Rugby Safe Officer whose role is to ensure that we have all necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of our players.

Each playing squad has fully trained First Aid Officers.

In addition, all coaches are required to complete the RFU’s online “Headcase” course and we continue to improve communication between Coaches, Parents and Schools.

It is vitally important that Parents inform their respective Team Manager or Head Coach if their Child has had a head knock in the week leading up to Sunday training / playing.

In the event of an injury occurring during an Old Pats junior training session or match, Team Managers will contact parents. We will require updates from parents with regard to the player’s recovery and confirmation that they have informed their child’s school or any other sports clubs that they are involved in of any injuries or concerns that affect the players ability to partake in sport.

Likewise, we expect to be informed of any injuries that will affect the player when attending Old Pats sessions, especially if they have had any suspected concussion or head knocks in the week leading up to playing and training.

Please do not push your child in to returning too early following injury but discuss the return to play with the Coaches. We will, where necessary, assess a player on their return and take any appropriate action we see fit.

Rugby union is a powerful and positive influence where enjoyment goes hand in hand with achievement. The RFU and Old Patesians RFC believe that for the game to thrive we must look after young players who play rugby as they are the future of this fantastic sport. We all want the rugby environment to be a safe and happy one and as such their welfare and wellbeing is fundamental.

It’s also our intention for anyone who comes into contact with our junior players set a good example and always act as a positive role model.

Under our care, we work hard to impart these values, so that as a child develops skills such as confidence, commitment and concern for others, they are well positioned to become leaders for the future.

To achieve this, it’s essential that we provide them with a positive experience and give them the opportunity to achieve their true potential. We have a duty and commitment at Old Pats to ensure that Safeguarding of all within our care is a priority and that each child’s rugby experience is the very best that it can be.

RFU Headcase

Headcase and Understanding Concussion (youtube video)

Headcase PDF on the RFU’s website – click here

Graduated return to play protocols that must be followed – click here

RFU’s Headcase page – click here



The RFU uses The Disclosure & Barring Service to operate and manage a criminal record checking process for those working with children or vulnerable adults. The DBS runs checks at three different levels providing information on an individual’s criminal records.

Working with the RFU, the Old Pats Safeguarding team manages the DBS checking process independently from the Club, with our strict policy ensuring that all coaches have up to date DBS Certificates.

In addition to the DBS application process, we also ensure that coaches attend relevant courses, such as Play it Safe, First Aid, Referee and enhancing coaching qualifications and capability.


RFU Safeguarding Policies and Procedures

The RFU Safeguarding Policy Guidance & Procedures is fully endorsed and forms the very foundations of the way we operate as a Club and as individuals.

This Policy statement is based on these key principals:

Protection from harm

All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual identity, have the right to protection from harm

Child welfare

The welfare of the child is paramount

Response to allegations/concerns

All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately

Working in partnership

Everyone will work in partnership to promote the welfare, health and development of children

In cases of possible abuse of any kind we act swiftly, working in partnership with police, social services and the RFU Safeguarding teams to protect an individual or individuals from harm. We have robust safeguarding procedures to manage these situations with confidence and efficiency.

This Policy and the following Guidance and Procedures are based on the principle of empowering children and young people. The onus is on everyone who has contact with children and young people to protect them from harm as well as to create a positive environment in which to participate. Based on best practice, the Policy provides information about abuse in various forms, advice on identifying problems, as well as policies and procedures for use by those involved in delivering rugby union.

The RFU provides support for clubs, assisting them in making safer recruitment decisions for those involved with young people, systems for dealing with allegations or concerns and training programs for all working with young players, as well as effective systems for working with other relevant agencies.

Old Pats very much appreciates the army of volunteers who give up their time to organise mini and youth rugby, providing the highest standards of care for children in a safe and enjoyable environment. However, volunteers also need to be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and how they should respond to child protection concerns, by working with the Safeguarding Officers.

Safeguarding Children Policy Cover

RFU Safeguarding Policy


Club policies

The various club policies continue to be reviewed and updated. The Safeguarding Team work with Club Officials to create, update, implement and adhere to the policies which cover, but are not limited to, Social Media, Tour, Codes of Conduct for Players, Parents and Coaches together with updating expectations for pitch side behaviour and respect of officials, opposition parents, players and coaches alike.

Please contact one of the CSO team for further information or if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss.

You can also contact Nick via Twitter @OldPatesiansCSO

Nick Lewis Safeguarding Officer

Safeguarding Officer

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