When working in schools, it is essential that the children’s safety is the main priority and all staff members must undergo safeguarding checks, such as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, before starting employment.
Staff members who assist in the teaching of pupils, but do not hold a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), including those assisting in sports and physical education, who have been employed either directly or indirectly on short term arrangements by the school must also undergo the same safeguarding checks.
How to Safely Employ a Sports Coach
In order to carry out the safest recruitment of Sports Coaches, it is advised head teachers and senior staff members follow the outlined procedures when recruiting someone new.
The most simple, and one of the most effective steps, would be to arrange an in person, face-to-face meeting. This meeting, as simple as it may sound, will allow you to see any important documentation or proof of identity needed and will confirm whether the potential coach is, in fact, suitable for the role.
Checking qualifications will be beneficial as sports coaches must have the minimum of a level two qualification in each activity they are expected to teach. Relevant experience may too be shown, but is not as essential if you are confident in the coach's abilities.
What to do Before the Coach Starts
Before the coach is to start employment, it is important that they are aware of what their role entails. They must either attend a meeting or be given a document clearly defining the role - discussing any limits of responsibility, what specialist expertise is required, and identifying the lines of communications and management to ensure the coach is appropriately experienced and qualified.
With this in mind, coaches must also be fully informed of what, if any, insurance provision is made by the school - the most important being employer and public liability. Employer liability covers any injuries or illnesses that may arise which is not covered by the workers compensation. Public liability is the legal responsibility for third party claims made against the activities of a group or individual.
When a coach has been assigned, it is essential they undergo an induction in order for the head teacher (or their chosen representatives) to explain all the relevant procedures and policies. Key areas such as the safeguarding procedures, emergency evacuations, risk assessments, first aid and behavioural management must be explained from the start of employment, prior to meeting the children and running sessions.
A meeting should then be arranged with those in charge of managing Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to provide specific information about any particular behaviors, needs and limitations of certain pupils. The manager of SEND must also monitor and assess the competency of coaches through gathering feedback on the coaches performance from pupils and other staff members and any other methods that they have available.
Finally, agreeing a probation period and monitoring the coach’s performance will determine whether the coach is willing to work towards set standards and goals. Undergoing indirect monitoring will be very beneficial as it will allow you to determine whether the children are engaged in consistent high quality learning, are making progress and are enjoying their sports sessions.
If the coach is displaying an inadequate performance, it is important you agree to, and provide, supportive professional development through training sessions. The coach should then be monitored until they show improved performance, if no improvement is shown further action may need to be taken.
How Active Superstars Can Help
Active Superstars offer high quality PE and sporting opportunities for children in local schools, we are a unique sports coaching organisation that gives children the opportunity to develop new skills and be active.
Most importantly, every Active Superstars Coach has an enhanced DBS Disclosure, is fully qualified, has completed a mandatory safeguarding course and holds an up-to-date First Aid Certificate. The Coaches here at Active Superstars are the perfect fit for safe recruitment in schools.