NSPCC Questionnaire Blasted

An NSPCC training booklet to help Welsh sports coaches spot child abuse has been branded a “joke” for testing them on whether it is acceptable for parents to have sex with their kids.

The questionnaire also asks aspiring trainers to consider other dilemmas, including: is it a good idea for a coach to sleep with a 16-year-old athlete and can a coach slap the buttocks of a young female to praise her performance?

Budding coaches have to answer the questions in the booklet, Protecting Children: A Guide for Sportspeople, produced with SportsCoach UK, before attending a three-hour lecture about child abuse.

The NSPCC has defended the approach, insisting some people were unaware it was illegal to have sex with their children.

But one trainee coach attending one of the courses has described it as pointless, especially as everyone has to undergo a police record check before being accepted on the programme.

One trainee cricket coach who had paid £24 for the level one course said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes at some of the questions – they were a joke. They prove nothing. I cannot think of a single person who would say it is acceptable for a person to sleep with their child. It cracked me up the first time I looked at the booklet, but they were deadly serious about it. They even had us debate the scenarios in the class.”

Other quiz questions include: “Children are resilient and recover quickly from abuse. True or false?”

And another asks whether it would be acceptable to make racist comments to a Japanese child.

NSPCC spokesman Steve Boocock said: “People start the course at different levels, so for some this will be quite a steep learning curve. There have been examples of people who did not know it was illegal for a parent to sleep with their child. They knew it was wrong but couldn’t say why.

“What the exercise is seeking to do is to get people to understand the different reasons why behaviour is unacceptable. Some are moral issues, some are legal. You need to ask the extremes so people can see the shades of grey in between.”

A spokesman for NSPCC Cymru said it was “just one of the resources that they use on the course”.