Posted on 11th June 2022
Examples of abuse in a sport have come to light in recent times, most prominently the widespread child sexual abuse in football that was revealed in 2016. Following an investigation, it was concluded that existing child protection laws were too narrow in application.
The law was changed on 28 Apr 22 to extend ‘positions of trust’:
When someone is in a position of trust, it is against the law for them to engage in sexual activity with a child in their care, even if that child is over the age of consent. It is illegal to engage in sexual activity with any 16- or 17-year old if you hold a position of trust.
In extending positions of trust to include those involved in sports, the law makes clear that the activity must be conducted “on a regular basis”, to avoid an approach that is too broad and capture someone who only helps with a coaching session, say, on one occasion or infrequently.
In general, riding schools, livery yards and riding establishments do have robust Safeguarding arrangements in place, but the change in the law is an opportunity to review your arrangements (particularly where 16- or 17-year old are involved) to make sure they are robust. In particular, you should review your staff to confirm those that holds positions of trust because they coach, teach, train, supervise or instruct children under the age of 18.
ABRS+ recommends the following:
There are example policies, posters and forms in the ABRS+ members area.