Call for PVG checks to cover sports coaches

The Oban Times - - OUTDOORS -

A NA­TIONAL chil­dren’s char­ity has called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to con­sider reg­u­lat­ing sports coaches to bring them into line with other vol­un­teers and paid work­ers with ac­cess to chil­dren.

Due to a loop­hole in the law, sports coaches have not been part of the on­go­ing PVG ( pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble groups) check­ing sys­tem for adults work­ing with peo­ple un­der the age of 18 or vul­ner­a­ble adults.

Matt Forde, na­tional head of ser­vice for NSPCC Scot­land, said: ‘The PVG sys­tem has been op­er­a­tional for five years and so we want to make sure that it is op­er­at­ing ef­fec­tively and con­sis­tently, that or­gan­i­sa­tions are clear when checks are nec­es­sary and that adults who work with chil­dren are mem­bers of the scheme.

‘It is re­mark­able that roles such as sports coaches are not con­sid­ered to be a po­si­tion of trust by law given the sig­nif­i­cant amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity, in­flu­ence and author­ity that an in­di­vid­ual in this role can hold in a young per­son’s life.

‘Sadly, we know that this trust can be abused and it is there­fore vi­tal that this le­gal def­i­ni­tion is widened to in­clude sports coaches and other youth work­ers, bol­ster­ing pro­tec­tion for teenagers at risk of groom­ing once they pass the age of con­sent.

‘There can be no room for com­pla­cency. Good poli­cies need strong and con­sis­tent ap­pli­ca­tion and it is right that, par­tic­u­larly in light of the re­cent al­le­ga­tions in football, we need to look at what more can be done to pro­tect and sup­port our chil­dren in sports set­tings.’

Matt Forde.

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