top of page

Child Protection

At our Karate School, we are committed to creating a culture of inclusivity and respect. We strive to ensure that all children, regardless of disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs, or sexual identity, are protected and supported. We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for all students, and we take all reports of abuse seriously and respond to them promptly and appropriately. We believe that all children have the right to be respected and free from any form of discrimination.


Introduction: In Karate as in most sporting activities today, a high level of participants are young people and people that can be classed as vulnerable and at risk. For this reason this document is being issued to cover ‘Best & Poor Practice’, ‘Moral & Legal responsibilities’. Our responsibilities and those of the HKK are determined by the following legislation;



All sporting organizations which make provision for children & young people must ensure:

The welfare of the child/children is paramount.

All children, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin religious beliefs & / or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

All Instructors / Coaches (paid or unpaid) have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Note: Instructors / Coaches are very unlikely not trained to deal with situations of abuse nor decide if abuse has occurred.



The HKK has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in Karate from harm. All children have the right to protection and the needs of disabled children & others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. The HKK ensures the safety and the protection of all children involved in Karate through adherence to the Child Protection Guidelines adopted by The HKK.

A child is defined as under 18 The Children Act (revised) 2000.

Policy Aims:

The aim of the HKK Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice when dealing with children & the vulnerable and to constantly look for improvement within coaching/teaching methods. Providing children & young people with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of the Karate environment will obviously mean predominantly within the Dojo, but when other areas are used for instance when training outdoors, that the child is protected and safe.

Allow all Instructors / Coaches to make informed and confident responses to specific Child Protection issues.


Promoting Good Practice:

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about any action that is to be taken. Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school, and the sporting environment and of course outside the stated areas. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official, or volunteer may have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where a young person needs protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document. When a child enters the club having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem.

In such instances, the club must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support. All Instructors/coaches should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behavior in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate within Karate and the HKK.

Good Practice.

Always work in an open environment.

This within Karate is generally common practice due to the Dojo training area. However when private tuition is being taken then it is good practice to have the child’s guardian observing, never be alone with a child or vulnerable person as this is leaving you at risk. Also, it is common that some clubs do not allow parents to watch, maybe a re-think in this attitude may be needed, setting out guidelines for the parents/ guardians while within the Dojo. Treat all young people/disabled adults equally, and with respect and dignity.

Always put the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.

Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with students (e.g. it is not appropriate to
have intimate relations with a child or to share a room with them).

Building appropriate relationships based on mutual trust lets children share in the decision-making process.

Make karate fun and enjoyable and promote fair play. (If a child enjoys their training
they are more likely to progress and stay part of your club).

Due to the nature of karate (as with a lot of sports e.g. gymnastics) manual / physical support is required. This should be openly carried out and according to guidelines provided by the Coach Education Programme. Care is obviously required and needed, as hand positions are difficult when a child is constantly moving. You should make this process of instruction aware to the child and guardians, as some people are very sensitive about manual handling within the sport, and always be aware of their views on this matter.

Keeping up to date with technical skills, qualifications, and insurance in Sport.

Involve parents/carers wherever possible and ensure if groups have to be supervised in changing rooms that they work in pairs. This goes for parents, teachers, coaches, officials, etc.

If mixed teams are taken away, which is most common in Karate, that a male and female adult accompany the group Note same gender abuse can also occur.

When at tournaments or at residential events/courses, adults should not enter children’s rooms or invite children into their rooms.

Due to the position you as an Instructor / Coach children will naturally hold you as a role model, this holds a lot of responsibility and you should strive to be an excellent one, this will include not smoking, not drinking, and no swearing in front of children. Other areas will include personal hygiene and attitude e.g. sportsmanship etc.

Give constructive and enthusiastic feedback rather than negative criticism.


Recognizing the developmental needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will. You are there to try and get the best from your student and done within the guidelines you will secure parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment. What can you do if you are at a competition and the parent or carer are not in attendance and the child needs urgent medical surgery?
Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of treatment given. You must then inform the child’s parents/carers as soon as possible.
The request is written parental consent if the club officials are required to transport young people in their cars. Note: Never get into a one-on-one situation in a car, you are leaving yourself at risk.

Practice to be avoided:

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If the cases arise where these situations are unavoidable they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to the hospital, or a parent fails to pick a child up at the end of a session:


Avoid spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.

Avoid taking children to your home where they will be alone with you.

If you need to treat an injury or discuss anything with a child try to do this in full view of other adults, even at a distance. If this is not possible try and have someone go with you.

Poor Practice:

The following are classed as should never happen. You should never; Engage in rough, physical, or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.

Share a room with a child.
Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded, or not acted upon.
Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.
Invite or allow children to stay with you at your home unsupervised.



It may sometimes be necessary for Instructors / Coaches to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the students involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependant on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of clothing. Or where there is physical contact, lifting, or assisting a child to carry out particular activities.

Avoid taking on the responsibility for the tasks for which you are not appropriately trained. Within Karate, it is common for a child when first in a Karate suit to look very untidy, you will possibly have to have a ‘ hands-on approach to ‘tidy’ them up’, Karate belts Obis are a classic, if left incorrectly tied could cause damage to the individual or others.

If the following does occur you should report this immediately to another colleague and record the incident. You should also insure the parents of the child are informed.

· If you accidentally hurt a student.
· If he/she seems distressed in any manner.
· If a students appears to be sexually aroused by your actions.
· If a student misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.


Guidelines for Use of Photographic Filming Equipment in Training and Sporting Events. There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. It is advisable that all clubs be vigilant with any concerns to be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer. Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent any club coaches and instructors from using video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, performers and their parents/carers should be aware that this is part of the coaching program and care should be taken in the storing of such films.

Recruitment and Selection.

The HKK recognizes that anyone may have the potential to abuse in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Due to the nature of the Karate and the HKK constitution, procedures, and the grading process. Instructors / Coaches have trained within Karate for a number of years, the records require that all criminal offenses are disclosed when registering for a license. However, this may still be ‘abused’ so the following should apply.

All Instructors / Coaches should complete an application form. The form will elect
information about an applicant's past and self-disclosure about a criminal record.

Consent should be obtained from an applicant to seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

In the case of general helpers (parents etc) two confidential references, including one
regarding previous work with children. These references must be taken up and confirmed through telephone contact.

Evidence of identity (passport or driving licence with photo) again for general helpers.

Responding to Suspicions or allegations
Action. It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Karate, in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.


The HKK will assure all Instructors / Coaches that it will support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concerns that a colleague is, or maybe or has been abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against an Instructor /Coach or helper there may be three types of investigation.

· A criminal investigation.
· A child protection investigation.
· A disciplinary or misconduct investigation.


The result of the police and child investigation may well influence the disciplinary
the investigation, but not necessarily.


Poor Practice Concerns:

If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice; The Club Child Protection Officer will deal with the misconduct issue. If the allegation is about poor practice or the Club Child Protection Officer has handled the matter inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the relevant HKK Officer, who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings with the disciplinary officer of the HKK, after consultation with the Executive.

Suspected Abuse:


Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either an Instructor / Coach or helper should be reported to the Club Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

The Club Child Protection Officer will refer the allegations to the NSPCC in the first instance for guidance.

If The Club Child Protection Officer has been advised by the NSPCC he/she will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police, or go directly to the police if out of hours.

The parent or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from either the NSPCC or the social services.

The Club Child Protection Officer should also notify the relevant HKK Officer who will, in turn, notify the Governing Body Child Protection Officer who will deal with any media inquiries or delegate as deemed applicable.

If the Club Child Protection Officer is subject to the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the appropriate Instructor / Coach or in or her absence the HKK Child Protection Officer who will refer the allegation to the NSPCC for guidance.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need-to-know basis only. This includes the following people.

· The Club Child Protection Officer.
· The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused.
· The person making the allegation.
· NSPCC Social Services Police.
· The Governing Body Child Protection Officer The HKK Child Protection Officer.
· The alleged abuser (and the parents if the alleged abuser is a child).


Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection law (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

Internal Enquiries and Suspension.

The HKK Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.
Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the HKK Disciplinary Committee will assess all individual cases to decide whether an Instructor / Coach or helper can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the HKK Disciplinary Committee must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on the balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of children should always remain paramount.


Allegations of Previous Abuse:

Allegations of abuse may be made sometime after the event, as proved in recent court cases (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by an Instructor / Coach or helper who is still currently working with children). Where such an allegation is made, the club should follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter in the first instance to the NSPCC for guidance. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offenses related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.

Action if Bullying is Suspected:

The same procedure should be followed as set in the sections relating to responding to suspicions or allegations if bullying is suspected. All settings in which children are provided with services or are living from home should have rigorously enforced anti-bullying strategies in place.

Action to Help the Victim and Prevent Bullying in Karate/Sport.

Take all signs of bullying seriously.

Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns NOTE; Children do commit Suicide as a result of bullying, so if anyone talks about or threatens suicide, seek professional help immediately.

Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell anyone else.

Keep records of what you said. ( what happened, by whom, when)

Report any concerns to the Club Child Protection Officer or the school (wherever the bullying is occurring).


Talk to the bully(ies), explain the situation, and try to get the bully(ies) to understand the consequences of the behavior. Seek an apology to the victim(s).

Inform the bully’s parents.

Keep a written record of action taken.

Impose sanctions as necessary.

Speak to the NSPCC, bullying is child abuse they can advise you on the action to take.

This Child Protection Policy has been set up to help Instructors / Coaches and Helpers, it is not meant to frighten and put Club officials off dealing with children. It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our students to train; ignorance is not acceptable in the eyes of the law. The Child Protection Policy should be used in conjunction with all best practices within the coaching guidelines. However, you should make provision that some training methods have to be adapted or even disregarded for teaching children. If in doubt find out.

This policy will run in line with the Governing Bodies Guidelines and will be updated when applicable.

Forms will be issued in due course to cover recruitment, recording incidents, CRB checks etc. If you need forms before, contact me directly.


Some telephone numbers to keep with you;

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000 / For Deaf Users Textphone 0800 056 0566 24 hrs Free and Confidential. All updates will be made on the HKK website, when amendments are made, the club
the newsletter will inform you.

bottom of page