Safeguarding & Inclusion Policy

Fakenham Rugby Union Football Club fully subscribes to the RFU Policy and Procedures for the Welfare of young people in Rugby Union and recognises that they have a high degree of responsibility to safeguard and promote the interests and well-being of all the children with whom they are working and therefore have adopted the RFU child protection policy.

Rugby Union is an all-inclusive sport. Fakenham Rugby Club fully subscribes to that ethic. Fakenham Rugby Club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the England definition of sports equity:


Policy Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults

1. Fakenham Rugby Football Club acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and vulnerable adults involved in Fakenham Rugby Football Club from harm.

2. Fakenham RFC confirms that it adheres to the Rugby Football Union's Safeguarding Policy and the procedures, practices and guidelines and endorses and adopts the Policy Statement contained in that document.

3. A child is anyone under the age of 18 engaged in any rugby union activity. However, where a 17 year old male player is playing in the adult game it is essential that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure his safety and well-being are protected as per RFU policy.

4. The Key Principles of the RFU Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy are that:

  • The welfare of the child or vulnerable adult is, and must always be, paramount to any other considerations.
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, race, faith, culture, size, shape, language or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or harm.
  • All allegations or suspicions of abuse, bullying, racism, neglect, harm and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly and appropriately.
  • Working in partnership with other organisations, statutory agencies, parents, carers, children and young people is essential for the welfare of children and young people.
  • Children and vulnerable adults have a right to expect support, and personal and social development delivered by persons appropriately recruited, vetted, trained and managed in relation to their participation in rugby union, whether they are playing, volunteering or officiating in the community or professional areas of the sport.

5. Fakenham RFC recognises that all children and vulnerable adults have the right to participate in sport in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment whilst at the same time being protected from abuse, neglect, harm and poor practice. Fakenham RFC recognises that this is the responsibility of everyone involve in the club in whatever capacity.

6. Fakenham RFC will implement and comply with the RFU Code of Conduct and the Codes of Conduct for Coaches, Spectators and Officials as appropriate. Fakenham RFC will ensure its spectators, parents, members and officials are all aware of and have accepted the club Photographic Policy as set out in the club welcome pack, and on the website.

7. Fakenham RFC will endeavour to comply with the Guidance for the use of social media sites as set out in the RFU policies and at Appendix 'A'to this document.

8. The Club Safeguarding Officer is:
Name: Karl Barstard
Mobile: 07900 392 087
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you witness or are aware of an incident where the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult has been put at risk you must in the first instance inform the Club Safeguarding Officer. They will then inform the Eastern Counties Safeguarding Manager and the RFU Safeguarding Executive. If an incident involves the Club Safeguarding Officer you should inform the Chairman Jeffrey Pearce 01328 701255 (H) and either the Eastern Counties Safeguarding Manager or the RFU Safeguarding Executive.

9. All members of Fakenham RFC who have a regular supervisory contact with children or a management responsibility for those working with children will undertake an RFU Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure and must also be ISA-registered in accordance with the RFU ISA-registration Policy.

10. Fakenham RFC will ensure that all its members, whether they are coaches, parents, players or officials will comply with the Best Practice Guidance as issued by the RFU. In summary, the following are NOT acceptable and will be treated seriously by the club and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the club, the CB or the RFU:

  • Working alone with a child, children, vulnerable adult, or adults.
  • Consuming alcohol whilst responsible for children or vulnerable adults.
  • Providing alcohol to children or allowing its supply.
  • Smoking in the presence of children.
  • Humiliating children or vulnerable adults.
  • Inappropriate or unnecessary physical contact with a child or vulnerable adult.
  • Participating in, or allowing, contact or physical games with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Having an intimate or sexual relationship with any child or vulnerable adult developed as a result of being in a 'position of trust.'
  • Making sexually explicit comments or sharing sexually explicit material.
  • Abusive behaviour towards any players, coaches, officials or other spectators.
  • Use of illegal or performance enhancing drugs[as defined by the RFU policy]

11. Fakenham RFC manages the changing facilities and arranges for them to be supervised by two adults, ISA-registered and RFU CRB checked, of the appropriate gender for the players using the facilities. Fakenham RFC ensures that all its coaches, parents, officials and spectators are aware that adults must not change at the same time, using the same facilities as children or vulnerable adults.

12. Fakenham RFC will ensure that its coaches and team managers will receive the support and training considered appropriate to their position and role. The RFU "Managing Challenging Behaviour" Policy has been adopted and circulated amongst the club workforce both, voluntary and paid.

13. Any events held on Fakenham RFC premises must comply with this Policy and if appropriate a Safeguarding Plan should be discussed and circulated to those affected. Any tours, overseas or domestic, undertaken by Fakenham RFC must comply with the relevant RFU Regulations and Guidance relating to tours.

Appendix A- RFU Guidance on Social Media for Clubs

In the RFU's opinion social networking, such as Twitter, Facebook, internet blogs and other online sites, offers tremendous opportunities for rugby to communicate and engage with a growing audience as well as its existing members, supporters and players.

The RFU is keen to promote the safe and responsible use of social networking technology but also to make its members aware of the potential risks and to share best practice.

Participants should be aware that comments which bring the game into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting, may lead to disciplinary action.
Comments that include a reference to a person's ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability may attract a high disciplinary sanction.

Comments can also attract civil and criminal action. Nearly 5,000 offences involving Facebook and Twitter were reported to police in 2012 and 653 people charged.

General Guidance

  • These are public forums, so treat them as such
  • Individuals and organisations are strictly responsible for any posting on his/their account/s
  • Re-posting or re-tweeting inappropriate content represents an endorsement of that content and can be actionable
  • Do not use abusive, derogatory, vulgar or sexual language
  • Do not criticise or imply bias in match officials
  • At all times, exercise discretion and respect for clubs, players, fans and the game's partners
  • Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting does not prevent disciplinary action being taken
  • Consider "protecting" Tweets and changing security/visibility of Facebook accounts

Clubs and Constituent Bodies (For FRUFC CB = Eastern Counties)

Clubs and Constituent Bodies (CBs) should be aware that they can be vicariously liable for material published by employees in the course of their employment, for example on an official website, Facebook site or Twitter feed, or published by employees outside work via a work email address or a work Twitter handle.

Clubs can also be liable for third party comments and postings made in their website forums or on their Facebook pages. We recommend that clubs and CBs:

  • Clearly identify who is responsible for posting and maintaining social networking and internet sites
  • Set standards for content generated in line with the RFU's Core Values and the guidelines above
  • Establish protocols for monitoring output, moderating content in online forums and removing offensive postings
  • Hold members to account for any breaches