Stop Sports and Leisure Management mixing naked adults with children in changing rooms
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Sports and Leisure Management Ltd (Everyone Active) from mixing naked adults and children/young people in changing rooms.
The NSPCC Child Protection in Sports Unit, Safe Use of Changing Facilities briefing states:
" This guidance has been produced in response to a number of enquiries from individuals and clubs seeking advice about the safe use of changing facilities. These include queries about:
• adults who feel uncomfortable about sharing changing rooms with young children
• organisers unclear about the level of supervision they should provide
• concerns raised about unaccompanied children using facilities
• use of gendered changing rooms by transgender or transitioning children
Note: The term ‘children’ describes any person under the age of 18.
Clubs, facilities and those with responsibility for children have a general duty of care towards them. However, there are no specific legal requirements regarding the use of changing facilities. This paper is therefore intended as practice guidance to support individuals and organisations to consider issues relevant to their particular context; and to develop and implement policies and procedures that provide a safe environment............
...........Issues to consider and address
Adults using the changing rooms at the same time as children Ideally,
groups of children should have sole use of changing facilities. This reduces any risks and potential vulnerability associated with mixing with adults or other young people (known or unknown to them) when changing and showering.
Even when using public facilities, arrangements can be considered to address any potential concerns:
• there may be a separate room or space available for the group
• it may be possible to negotiate specific time slots for the group, and the coaches or volunteers to have exclusive use of the changing rooms
• a team area within the changing facility could be designated and nobody else allowed in that area
• children may opt to change at home before they arrive for the activity*
*Remember that many children are very self-conscious and anxious about undressing in front of others. Staff and volunteers should consider offering the option of changing at home as a matter of course.
Despite this Sports and Leisure Management Ltd(SLM)/Everyone Active stoically ignore the guidance and do not apply it to the dry changing area at Parklands Leisure Centre in Oadby, Leicester. This room has no cubicles, curtains, screens or other methods of ensuring privacy and dignity. It is open plan with an open plan communal shower leading off of the small locker room. It therefore breaches the NSPCC guidance despite denials that it does not do so by SLM, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council.
It is scandalous in this day and age, and given there is a changing village in the same building, which is close to the pool and the gym, which young people can use safely with the privacy and dignity of all respected, it seems inexplicable.
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