Online Safety and Social Media Policy

Adapted from the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit

  • the terms ‘child’ or ‘children’ apply to anyone under 18.
  • The term ‘parent’ applies to anyone with guardianship or caring and parental responsibility for the child.
  • The term ‘staff’ applies to members of staff and volunteers.

Our online safety statement

This policy explains how our business uses the internet and social media and the procedures for doing so. Swim Wild Breathe Free is committed to implementing this policy and addressing any concerns quickly and within these guidelines.


The aims of our online safety policy are:

  • To protect all children involved with our organisation and who use technology (such as mobile phones, game consoles, and the Internet) while in our care.
  • To provide staff with policy and procedure information regarding online safety and inform them how to respond to incidents.
  • To ensure our organisation operates in accordance with our values and the law regarding online behaviour.

Understanding the online world

As part of using the internet and social media, our organisation will:

  • Assess and manage the safety aspects – including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for staff and children when using websites, social media including What’s App, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, apps and video conferencing platforms including Zoom or Skype.
  • Be aware of how staff in our organisation and the children they work with use social media inside and outside our setting.
  • Adhere to relevant legislation and good practice guidelines when using social media or video conferencing platforms.
  • Provide training for the staff responsible for managing our organisation’s online presence.
  • Regularly review existing safeguarding policies and procedures.

Managing our online presence

Our online presence through our website or social media platforms will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All social media accounts will be password-protected.
  • The designated safeguarding lead will advise on safeguarding requirements.
  • Designated staff will remove inappropriate posts by children or staff, explaining why and informing anyone who may be affected (as well as the parents of any children involved).
  • We’ll ensure children know who manages our social media accounts and who to contact if they have any concerns about something that’s happened online.
  • We will not post identifying details such as a child’s home address, school name, or telephone number on social media platforms.
  • Any posts or correspondence will be consistent with our aims and tone as an organisation.
  • Parents will be asked to give their approval for us to communicate with their children through social media, video conferencing platforms, or other means.
  • Parents must give permission for photographs or videos of their children to be posted on social media.
  • Video conferencing sessions will be password-protected to maintain children’s privacy and prevent exposure to inappropriate or harmful content by third parties.

What we expect of our staff

  • Staff should be aware of this policy and behave in accordance with it.
  • Staff should seek the advice of the designated safeguarding lead if they have any concerns about the use of the internet or social media.
  • Staff should not communicate with children via personal accounts.
  • Staff should not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ children from personal accounts on social media and maintain the exact professional boundaries online as they would in person when using organisation accounts.
  • Staff should make sure any content posted on public personal accounts is accurate and appropriate, as children may ‘follow’ them on social media.
  • Rather than communicating with parents through personal social media accounts, staff should choose a more formal means of communication, such as face-to-face, in an email or writing, or use an organisational account or website.
  • Staff should avoid communicating with children via email or organisational social media outside of regular office hours.
  • Emails or messages should maintain the organisation’s tone and be written professionally, e.g. In the same way you would communicate with fellow professionals, avoiding kisses (x’s) or using slang or inappropriate language.
  • Staff should not delete any messages or communications sent to or from organisation accounts.
  • Staff should undertake all online safety training offered and gain a basic knowledge of the platforms.
  • Any concerns reported through social media should be dealt with in the same way as a face-to-face disclosure, according to our reporting procedures.
  • At least one parent must be present during the delivery of any activities via video conferencing platforms at home.

Using mobile phones or other digital technology to communicate

When using mobile phones (or other devices) to communicate by voice, video or text (including texting, email and instant messaging such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger), we’ll take the following precautions to ensure children’s safety:

  • Staff will avoid having children’s mobile numbers and will instead seek contact through a parent.
  • We’ll seek parental permission on each occasion we need to contact children directly; the purpose for each contact will be identified and agreed upon.
  • A method of accountability will be arranged, such as copies of texts, messages or emails also being sent to another member of staff or parents.
  • Smartphone users should respect the private lives of others and not take or distribute pictures of other people if it could invade their privacy.

If a child misinterprets such communication and tries to engage a staff member in conversation, the member of staff will take the following steps:

  • End the conversation or stop replying.
  • Suggest discussing the subject further at the next practice or event.
  • Inform the organisation’s lead safeguarding officer in the interest of transparency.
  • If concerned about the child, provide contact details for the organisation’s designated safeguarding lead or appropriate agencies, and report any concerns using the organisation’s reporting procedures.

Using mobile phones during sports activities

So that all children can enjoy and actively participate in sports activities, we discourage using mobile phones during such activities. As part of this policy, we will:

  • Educate children on how and who to contact if there is an emergency or a change to previously agreed arrangements with the organisation.
  • Advise parents that it may not be possible to contact children during activities and provide a contact within the club or organisation who will be reachable should there be an emergency.
  • Explain to children how using mobile phones during activities impacts their safe awareness of their environment and their level of participation and achievement.


Designated Safeguarding Lead


Name:  Sarah Patrick

Phone: 07355389453




Take a look at the CPSU’s online safety guidance –

The NSPCC provide an e-learning product called Keeping Children Safe Online for professionals –

See CPSU’s topic page for further guidance on the use of photography in sports –