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6 month anniversary of the Clive Sheldon QC’s Report

Gateley Legal

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The Clive Sheldon QC’s  Report into abuse in football was published 6 months ago, it is an important time to take stock of the 13 proposed safeguarding recommendations.

Proposed safeguarding recommendations

  1. The FA should make arrangements to encourage all parents, carers to receive safeguarding training
  2. The FA should make arrangements for all players and young people to receive safeguarding training.
  3. The FA board and senior management team members should receive safeguarding training on a regular basis every three years.
  4. The FA should require the board of directors of professional clubs to receive safeguarding training on a regular basis every three years and should encourage professional club boards to encourage in-safeguarding strategy and implementation.
  5. The FA should require all those engaging in regulated activity including managers and coaches of junior teams under 18s and open age teams, teams comprised of adults and 16,17 year olds at grass root clubs to receive safeguarding training as part of their club’s affiliation to their county FA.
  6. One member of the FAs board should be assigned the role of children’s safeguarding champion.
  7. The FA should develop a 5-year strategy with specific intervention to support the voices of children, strategy for being monitored during the course of and at the end of the 5-year period to assess its success. If issues are identified during the course of the 5-year period they should be acted on speedily.
  8. The FA require all grass root clubs to make their safeguarding policy and their contact details of their Welfare Officer readily available to parents and carers of junior players under 18. The policy document should clearly allow the steps to raise a safeguarding concern or complaint. Junior players under 18 or clubs, professional and grass roots should be signposted to the club’s policy when they join the club and reminded of the policy at least on an annual basis. 
  9. The FA should, on an annual basis, widen the system of spot-checks for grass roots clubs to review the club’s safeguarding policies and practices including overnight stays, away travel and trips, use of social media and coaching in a digital environment as well as to obtain the views of children and young people and to sanction those clubs that fail to comply. 
  10. The FA should ensure that the safeguarding officer in professional clubs should report on a regular basis to their club’s board on safeguarding matters. The safeguarding officer at each of the Premier League and English Football League Championship clubs should be dedicated full-time salaried post with suitable qualifications and expertise. The EFL leagues 1 and 2, the Safeguarding Officer should as a minimum be a part-time salaried post with suitable qualifications and expertise and 50% of their time should be dedicated to safeguarding.
  11. Following receipt of this report the FA should launch a social media and online campaign to direct all those involved in football including parents and families towards information and advice on safeguarding and minimising risk.
  12. The FA should publish a safeguarding report on an annual basis which would include a statement from the FA Chairman. The safeguarding report should cover a number of areas, 1 key trend, 2 key developments, 3 work done in safeguarding during the year, 4 confirmation of who within the FA has received safeguarding training and the nature of that training, 5 the structure of the FA’s safeguarding team and the qualifications of staff. 
  13. The FA along with professional leagues and the county FAs should devote one day a year to a national day of safeguarding in football. 5-year period they should be acted on speedily.

Do you need to speak to an expert?

We can help you schedule and conduct a Sheldon review, to include a full review of your Clubs current safeguarding framework, culture and understanding which will result in the production of a traffic light action plan. We can also assist you with and help to organise your annual safeguarding event, as recommended by the Sheldon Report.

We specialise in safeguarding issues particularly in the sports sector. Our team is highly experienced in advising Clubs, management, directors & officers and board members regarding risk exposure in a sporting and commercial context, as well as PR, reputation and brand management. Visit our safeguarding service page for more information.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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