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Report published on handling of complaints at Swim England

We commissioned the review after receiving complaints about how the governing body dealt with allegations of abuse and bullying.

23rd March 2023

We’ve published the report from an independent review we commissioned last year, examining how three complaints were handled by Swim England.

We commissioned Sport Resolutions to conduct the review, which was carried out by barrister Louis Weston.

It looked at safeguarding processes and the culture around the governing body’s complaints process – the review did not re-investigate or rehear any matter.

People swim lengths in a swimming pool

The report makes nine recommendations – which can be seen on page 44 of the report – for Swim England, who earlier this month published their Heart of Aquatics safeguarding, welfare and culture plan to ‘build a better future’ for everyone in swimming.

Reacting to the report, our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said: “Safe and positive experiences for all children and young people in sport are paramount, and we expect all sports to have the highest standards of safeguarding and welfare.

“We do not hold regulatory powers over governing bodies, but any organisation that receives our funding must be compliant with the safeguarding and welfare criteria set out in the Code for Sports Governance.  

“After being made aware of concerns at Swim England, we appointed Sport Resolutions to carry out an independent review into how three complaints were handled, examining safeguarding processes and the culture around its complaints process.

“We welcome Swim England’s full acceptance of the nine recommendations made by Sport Resolutions.

“Effective implementation of a robust action plan is the critical next step, and we will be carefully monitoring their progress alongside other actions that we have determined as needed now.

“We encourage anyone with concerns about safeguarding in any sport to report it to the relevant governing body immediately.”

Support services

Anyone who has concerns about the safety of a child must take them seriously and contact the NSPCC’s free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Or if you have been affected by abuse in sport or in other contexts and would like more information or access to support, there are a number of specialist services available in England.

Find out more

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