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Safeguarding Children Policy

CHESHIRE SCHOOLS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY

1. The Cheshire Schools Football Association acknowledges that the CSFA, district associations affiliated to CSFA and all Cheshire schools and colleges have a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every student involved in schools’ football and are committed to working to provide a safe environment for all students.

2. We endorse the following principles:
a) The student’s welfare is, and must always be, the paramount consideration.
b) All students have a right to be protected from abuse whether verbal, written or
through social media regardless of their age, gender, disability, culture, language,
racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
c) All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to
swiftly and appropriately.
d) Working in partnership with other organisations, students and their parents is
essential.
We acknowledge that every student who plays or participates in schools’ football should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from poor practice and abuse.

3. All associations (county and district) must appoint a Child Welfare Officer. One or more associations can ‘share’ a CWO but the lines of communication must be clearly defined and known to all involved. CWO training needs to be undertaken through the Cheshire FA Safeguarding Children Workshops.

4. All associations need to ensure that every manager, coach, assistant or physio working with a representative team has an FA Criminal Record Check. DBS Checks through their school or other organisations are not accepted by the FA. Everybody working with representative teams needs to have regular safeguarding training, either through their employer (as a teacher) or through the FA.

5. Any team (school or association) under the control of an AOTT (adult other than a teacher) needs approval in writing from the local or county school’ football association and the permission of the Headteacher (for schools’ teams) or the ESFA (for association/county teams).

6. Players, officials and spectators should be made aware of the ESFA Codes of Conduct which can be found in the Cheshire Schools FA handbook and website.

7. Adults should not be messaging children directly without written parental consent and this should only be a group message about football matters – personal and private messages to children and young people are strictly against ESFA safeguarding policy. In no circumstances should adults be friends on Social Media with players unless they are directly related to them.

8. If a parent or player has any concerns relating to a child welfare issue, contact in the first instance should be made with the Cheshire Schools FA secretary. Contact will then be made with ESFA. All ESFA Safeguarding Policy Documents and Guidelines are available to download from the ESFA website: www.esfa.co.uk/childwelfare. The FA has set up a 24-hour helpline in conjunction with the NSPCC: 0800 023 2642. Contact can also be made with Childline: 0800 1111.