Child safety and protection

Risk Assessments, Emergency Procedures, Child Protection Policy, Consent Forms, Coach Contracts last updated: 24-02-2020

Related pages: Data Protection

The safety and protection of children whilst at Ministry of Football is paramount and all our coaching and management staff are committed to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare whilst at MoF. We use self-employed, suitably-trained and experienced staff and aim to provide a secure and safe environment.

Note: The use of the term 'parent' on this page (and the documents on this page) refers to whoever has parental responsibility for the child, and may include caregivers or other adult relatives.

With thanks to the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit for their help and advice in putting together our Child Protection documents and processes.


1. Child Protection Policy

The MoF Child Protection Policy

This policy should be read by all parents and coaches involved in the Ministry of Football programme. It includes: 

Policy statement/aims;  Promoting good practice; Good practice guidelines; Use of photographic/filming equipment; Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers; Responding to allegations or suspicions; Reporting concerns about poor practice or suspected abuse; Confidentiality; Enquiries and further action; Bullying; Reporting concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or carer); Providing information to police or social services.


2. Welfare Officer, and designated person for Child Protection

The Welfare Officer and Child Protection Officer for Ministry of Football is Mark Carter. Contact.


3. Information and Guidance for Coaches

Here are links that will be useful to MoF Coaches. They do not comprise any specific MoF Policy or MoF Guidelines, but are deemed best practice and should be read and understood by all coaches.

Child Protection in Sport Unit Briefings


4. Risk Assessments

Ministry of Football has two Risk Assessments, one for indoor sessions and events and one for outdoor sessions and events:

Risk Assessment for using Sports Halls

Risk Assessment for outdoor sessions and events

These risk assessments are updated annually, or when venues or circumstances change. Parents and Coaches should read these and follow the instructions and advice therein.

We also conduct a pre-session (or pre-game for Mini-Leagues) Risk Assessment at each venue. This is done by the manager, and is recorded on the register. Here is what we check for:

Slippery floors; Dangerous equipment or obstacles; Registers are visible and medical and contact information is easy to find; First Aid kit present and easy to find; Coach:Child ratio not less than 1:15; Children have appropriate footwear. long hair tied back, no jewellery.


Government COVID guidance changes regularly. MoF will update parents and families on procedures and processes regularly, in accordance with the latest guidance. Depending on this guidance, some or all of the processes in the additional COVID-19 risk assessment may be implemented:

Risk Assessment for COVID-19 (supplementary and additional to above risk assessments)

4. Public Liability Insurance

Ministry of Football has Public Liability Insurance with Protectivity.


5. Codes of Conduct

We have agreed Codes of Conduct for parents, children and coaches. When parents sign the consent form or enrolment forms for MoF events, they agree to follow the Code of Conducts. As well as helping to protect the safety and well-being of children, we want to ensure that all children and all adults behave in a way which enhances our key values of learning, creativity, inclusion and enjoyment.


6. Consent Forms

The parent online data and consent form must be completed and signed by the parent for all MoF sessions or events.

The online data and consent form

Related pages: Data Protection


7. Emergency Procedures

We have emergency procedures for Missing Child and Fire.

Emergency Procedures

[On the subject of emergencies, it is worth noting that there is a defibrillator stored in the PE office at Fortismere School, which is where we usually hold our sessions. In the case of emergency, the caretaker at the school would need to open the PE office so we could use it].


8. How parents/families can help us

We can best ensure the safety, protection and well-being of children at MoF sessions and events if we work collectively. There are a number of things parents can do that will help us:

  • Read and adhere to the Code of Conduct for Parents/Spectators and read the Code of Conduct for Children with your child
  • Read the For Parents page, and follow the advice
  • Read the Risk Assessments and Child Protection Policy in order to help us to ensure a safe environment

We recommend that children at MoF wear shin pads, and we ask that you remove any jewellery that your child is wearing before they attend sessions. Long hair should be tied back. Flat soled shoes are required for indoor halls.

Parents of children in our youngest age groups (KS1 at school), should let the MoF Coach know if they are not going to be attending sessions with their child.


9. Picking-up and dropping-off children

It is the parents responsibility to get the children safely to and from MoF events and sessions. This includes dropping them off and picking them up from the exact session or event location (rather than the car park or nearest street corner).

Parents need to sign children in/out of sessions and events so we know at all times how many and which children we have. MoF cannot take any responsibility for children who are dropped off or picked up in a car park or street, or children who have not been signed in/out properly.   

If a parent wishes a different adult to drop-off or pick-up their child, then they need to inform an MoF Coach, and will need to complete a new online data and consent form. If a parent wishes their child to find their own way home, they need to inform an MoF Coach, and will need to sign a new online data and consent form. There is a tick box on the online data and consent form which needs to be ticked in order for a child to leave unaccompanied by an adult.


10. Registers and Child Contact Details

Ministry of Football management will keep a register of all children at the session or event. This will be used in case of emergency. In order for the register to be accurate, parents need to sign their child in/out of sessions.

At every session, we will have all contact and medical information for each child, as given to us by parents in the online data and consent Form.

Related pages: Data Protection


11. Photography and Video

We ask parents/families not to video sessions or events at Ministry of Football without prior permission. Ministry of Football reserves the right not to permit video or photography of sessions or events.

The MoF Child Protection Policy contains information on Photography and Video at MoF events or sessions.


12. Player:Coach ratios

Our maximum group size is 15 players in all our coaching sessions.

However, where possible we use assistant coaches at MoF sessions, and aim for a Player:Coach ratio of not more than 12:1 (including management staff, assistant coach and lead coaches).


13. First Aid and Log Book, including Accident Report Form

All MoF Coaches have attended the Football Association's Safeguarding Children and Emergency Aid training.

We have a First Aid kit on-site at all MoF sessions and events. There is a Log Book with the First Aid kit and all incidents should be logged by the Coach - including date, child's full name, nature and description of accident, illness or incident, what treatment was provided, and what the effect of this treatment was.

The parents of ill or injured children must be informed of any incident when they collect their child, or by telephone as soon as possible if they do not pick their child up themselves.

Parents must let MoF Coaches know of any medical condition on the Consent Form, and must notify us of any change in circumstance.

All serious accidents need to be logged and described by a MoF Coach using the Accident Report Form.

Accident Report Form

First Aid kit contents: Plasters (assorted sizes), Antispetic spray or wipes, Tissues, Banadages, Dressings or swabs, Tape, Scissors, Cold packs, Log Book and pen, Accident report forms.

In addition, the MoF Manager will have each child's medical information and family contact information.


14. Shared facilities and toilet breaks

Parents need to know that the premises we use for MoF sessions and events are shared with other users. The actual play area we hire is usually for our sole use, but the toilets are often communal and can be shared with many other children's and adult users.

We need to ensure that children using these communal areas and toilets are safe and protected. The best way to do this is for parents to accompany their child to use toilets. Parents who can't stay for the duration of the MoF event or session should take their child to use the toilet before they drop them off for the session or event.

Children using the toilets during a session must let a MoF Coach know they are going to the toilet. However use of the toilets cannot be supervised by coaches, and all parents need to understand this.


15. Our staff, and DBS checks, including recruitment and training

All MoF Coaches are qualified by the English Football Association, or an overseas equivalent. They are experienced professionals with a proven track-record of teaching children and of creating positive learning environments. All MoF Coaches are involved in ongoing training to develop themselves as teachers of football.

All MoF Coaches have completed the Football Association's Safeguarding Children and Emergency Aid courses, and have an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) disclosure. As part of the process of CRB disclosure process, we have policies on the recruitment of ex-offenders and on the handling of disclosure information:

DBS: Policy statement on recruitment of ex-offenders

DBS: Policy statement on handling and storage of disclosure information 

More details on Recruitment can be found in the Child Protection Policy (number 1, at top of this page).

Staff training takes place regularly. All MoF Coaches have attended a training session on Child Protection at Ministry of Football. This training session runs through all the elements of Child Protection as outlined on this page and its associated documents.


16. Equipment and Goalpost safety

Ministry of Football makes every effort to ensure our Equipment is safe.

For more information on how we ensure the safety of equipment, see our Risk Assessments.


17. Discipline and sanctions

See Child Protection Policy


18. Holiday Programmes

Holiday Programmes re different from other MoF sessions and events because they include meal-times, and because parents leave their child for an entire morning, afternoon or day.

Meal-times need supervision by at least two MoF Coaches. Food should not be shared between children. MoF Coaches need to ensure that all children eat and drink enough to keep them active, healthy and happy.

Toilet breaks need to be scheduled and supervised by MoF Coaches.

19. Mini-Leagues

Mini-Leagues are different from other MoF sessions or events because they are competitive and involve parents and spectators watching their children compete (often for the first time).  We have specific Codes of Conducts and Rules of Play for Mini-Leagues. Parents/spectators and children are expected to adhere to these. 

20. Disability and Special Educational Needs

MoF welcomes children with disabilities and special eduational needs. MoF Coaches will make every effort to include these children in activities and sessions. MoF will work closely with parents of these children to find a way that they can learn, play and be included.


21. Mixed age and mixed ability groups

At Ministry of Football, we use a variety of factors to group players. We take into consideration the age of the child, but we also consider how athletic they are, how able they are and how confident and determined they are. We believe that grouping players correctly is paramount to learning and enjoyment. For more information on how we group players, visit our page on Inclusion.

Involving Children in Mixed Age Sport Activity (Child Protection in Sport Unit)


22. Anti-Bullying

See Child Protection Policy


23. Confidentiality

See Child Protection Policy

Related pages: Data Protection


24. Equal Opportunities

Football should be enjoyed by all children who want to participate in it. MoF runs programmes for all children regardless of their background and footballing ability. For more information, see our Inclusion page.

Our commitment is to confront and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, ability or disability and to encourage equal opportunities.

MoF is committed to a policy of equal treatment of all children and requires all children, coaches and spectators to abide and adhere to these policies and the requirements of the relevant equalities legislation: Race Relations Act 1976, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as well as any amendments to these acts and any new legislation.


25. Competition and Winning

Ministry of Football believes that competition and winning are important. However we believe that Enjoyment and Play are more important. We want to create a Learning Environment rather than a Win-At-All-Costs Environment.

MoF does not believe there is anything wrong with children wanting to win, and we recognise that some children will naturally be more competitive than others. We do not aim to adjust, increase or change the child's natural competitive desire, or lack of it. We recognise that there are problems associated with teaching and expecting young children to win at the expense of play, and that most of these problems are created by win-hungry parents and coaches. We take seriously our role in educating the adults involved in our programme on the effects of being overly-competitive and creating win-at-all-costs environments.

Parents should read the For Parents page of the website in order to fully understand and support our views on competition and winning.


26. Weather

Outdoor sessions are at risk of cancellation or postponement in heavy rain, severe cold,/wind snow, ice or hail. 

MoF Coaches will decide whether a session or event should be cancelled given the conditions, and aim to make parents aware of this as soon as that decision is made.

Parents may decide not to allow their child to take part in an outdoor event or session given their own view of the weather conditions and their child's current state of health.


27. Work-rest ratios

MoF Coaches need to ensure that children have breaks in play during an session or event. We aim to create a high-tempo, intense atmosphere, but we need to give all children the chance to relax and rest also. This is especially important in Holiday Programmes when we need to allow longer rest periods during the day, and include activities that are less intense than those used in weekly one-hour sessions.


28. Support and parent/spectator involvement from sidelines

Parents and spectators are encouraged to stay and watch the play at all MoF sessions and events. We encourage support and encouragement.

However, we need to remember the effect that adults and spectators can have on the learning environment. All parents and spectators must adhere to the Code of Conduct and also read and follow the instructions and advice on the For Parents page.


29. Wider ethical and social responsibility

We use Fairtrade footballs in all our programmes. These footballs - although slightly more expensive than cheap alternatives - ensure that we are removed from an economy where children in less developed countries work long hours for unfair pay to stitch the footballs our own children play with.


30. Feedback, comments and questions

Feedback, comments and questions are very welcome on any of the information contained on this page or any of the policies or documents therein. Feel free to email or call. Contact Us.

We realise that we need the support of all parents and spectators in order to create the safest possible environment for the children to play in. So if you don't understand something, have a question, or think we could do anything better, then we'd love to hear from you. Your comments and feedback will be dealt with in confidence.

Related pages: Data Protection

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  By Mark Carter

Copyright Ministry of Football 2020 - All Rights Reserved

Mark Carter

07772 716 876