Viper Martial Arts Academy
Online Policy


The Club considers emails to be an excellent option to quickly distribute information to a group of people. However, there are some risks involved and all Staff and Volunteers will consider good practice when it comes to these matters. It is important to take into account:

  • The use of appropriate and professional language
  • When possible, emails will come from the same person (for example the head instructor) and / or admin staff
  • Content of emails will be relevant to the Martial arts activity and avoid overfamiliarity
  • Preferably emails will be sent to groups rather than individual children or adults at risk
  • Communication regarding an individual child will to be sent to their parent / guardian
  • In the case of an adult at risk, a plan and agreement on how communication should be established will be agreed with the carer / guardian. The adult at risk must be involved in this process. It has to be assumed they have capacity unless shown otherwise under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • For group emails, consideration will be made as to if it is appropriate to allow others access to all the recipient’s email addresses by using the ‘to’ field or if the ‘blind carbon copy (bcc) function will be used instead
  • Under current GDPR law, people will be given the option to opt out of receiving further emails

For under 16’s, parental consent must be gained before collecting email addresses. Parents will also be copied into the email and be given the choice to include their own email address instead of their child’s.

  • In the case of young people aged 16-18, their permission will be gained to email them. Parents are informed the Club are emailing their child and the reasons for this.
  • If the Club receives any emails of concern from a young person, the Child Protection Policy will be followed at all times If any member of staff in charge of official communication leaves their position, the Club will ensure they delete any email addresses related to the Club activities from their computer.
  • Email addresses will not be passed on or used for other purposes without permission.

Text Messaging

The use of text messaging despite being one of the most direct forms of communication among young people increases the vulnerability of children, adult at risk and instructors. Viper Martial Arts Academy have established it is important to follow good practice to reduce the risks. This includes:

  • It will be the Clubs decision to use text messaging, rather than a decision taken in isolation by one person
  • The content should relate solely to Club activity and should reflect the professional relationship between instructor and participants
  • Consider the times of the day when text messages are being sent at (i.e. not overnight)
  • Avoid language that is overly familiar or could be misinterpreted
  • For under 16’s, parental consent must be gained prior to sending direct text messages. Parents should be given the option of also being sent the text message and be given the choice to include their own contact number instead of their child’s
  • In the case of young people aged 16-18, their permission should be obtained before texting them. Parents should be made aware the Club will be texting their child
  • The Club must ensure that every member of Staff and Volunteer knows how to sensitively deal with concerns if they receive messages from a young person that could be considered inappropriate or concerning
  • Under current GDPR law, people will be given the option to opt out of receiving further
  • messages

Websites/Social Networking

The Internet provides a superb opportunity to reach a wide audience at little cost. Most businesses make use of the Internet for publicity and keep in contact with those interested in its activities. However, Viper Martial Arts Academy recognise that being mindful in how they present themselves online and the risks the Internet can pose to young people if not used appropriately. Good practice guidelines include:

  • The website / profile will present a professional image, ensuring all language and content is appropriate
  • The Club will plan how they manage its website / social networking profile. Where possible,there will be more than one person with ‘moderator responsibilities so that content can be edited / removed quickly if necessary
  • The website/socials will be regularly monitored, and links reviewed regularly to ensure they
  • are appropriate and in working order
  • Procedures and contact details for reporting any problems or concerns will be easy to locate in our website
  • Contact details for the Safeguarding Lead and / or links to agencies that can provide help such as Childline, will be included on the Club website
  • No student profile under the age of 18 will be published without their permission and also that of their parent / guardian
  • Permission to publish photos / videos of young people will be gained from them and their parents and follow photography guidelines in the Safeguarding Policy
  • The Club will avoid publishing excessive personal information of all students (i.e. never includes email address, home address, school attended, etc.)
  • Parents, as well as young people, will be encouraged to view the Clubs website / profile
  • If the Club becomes aware of problems such as cyber bullying or a young person placing themselves at risk with the information they share on the internet, we will follow the set procedures and / or seek advice
  • Martial Arts instructors should think carefully about their personal online profiles and should not be linking them to young people’s pages. Any bullying and / or abuse online will be dealt with in the same manner as offline bullying and / or abuse


Livestreaming is the broadcasting of live events / classes as they happen (in ‘real’ time), over the Internet to a potentially unlimited audience base. Websites or apps can be used to live stream and, depending on particular preferences and settings, can be broadcast to either the world or a selected audience. Typically, mobile phones are used to live stream due to their portability and their built-in cameras, but webcams connected to laptops or computers can also be used

Livestreaming can offer a range of possibilities to Martial Arts Clubs, from teaching lessons remotely to broadcasting a special event or seminar whilst giving them access to a wider audience.

However, there are also risks associated with streaming online; it’s easy for young people to feel safe due to physical boundaries and this itself leads to increased vulnerability and potentially riskier behaviour. In cases of online grooming, predators have targeted children and used grooming techniques to get them to perform acts of a sexual nature in front of the camera. This is classified as a ‘non-contact abuse offence but is still sexual abuse.

We are committed to take all practical and necessary actions available when livestreaming to continue to promote the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. The following good practice guidelines should be adhered to when streaming online:

Livestreaming can typically be done in two ways:
1, Using a one-way live audio-video: The host cannot see, hear and record the participants. Whilst this option holds a very low safeguarding risk, it also considerably limits the instructor’s ability to teach and provide real time feedback to participants.

  1. Using a two-way live audio-video: The host can see, hear and record the participants. This option requires consideration to safeguarding and privacy laws as well as the need for consent.

Streaming platforms generally offer a range of options to adjust the settings of a livestreamed session. This will include audio and video settings. Participants should be informed, prior to commencing the session, if their locations can be viewed by the rest of the users during the streaming, if the session is being recorded and also of the options available to switch audio and video off at their locations.

Sessions streamed will be only accessible to registered participants using a private stream [that is, one only open to an invited audience].

Your terms and conditions include participants being prohibited from recording anything form the live stream session.

All participants under the age of 18 years attending a livestreamed training session will be accompanied by a parent/guardian while the streaming is taking place.

All parents / participants should be informed of the risks involved and that you hold no liability for their training environment / home

Parents & members will be advised of the livestreaming terms and conditions in advance and will be informed that by clicking on the link to join the session, they are agreeing to all terms and conditions and giving their consent. They should also be advised they can withdraw their consent by turning off the link.

If parents/participants witness anything which they consider to be a safeguarding issue, they should report this incident straightway to the Designated Safeguarding Lead for further investigation.

Updated 01/01/24