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Cumbria Football Academy

Safeguarding of children policy and procedures

V1 February 2020



The committee of Cumbria Football Academy are ultimately responsible for ensuring that there is effective safeguarding within the organisation. All committee members and staff have a responsibility to ensure that safeguarding and consideration of risk is a part of everything they do. 

At Cumbria Football Academy we recognise the need to provide a safe and positive environment for all. We accept the responsibility for the safety and well-being of children.

This policy which  is adopted and implemented by the committee of Cumbria Football Academy , intends to provide overarching principles and guidance to those who represent us as staff and volunteers, to guide our approach to safeguarding and the protection of children. Through this policy we aim to ensure the safety & wellbeing of all children at risk.


The purpose of the policy is:

    • To provide protection for children who receive services from Cumbria Football Academy.

    • To provide staff and volunteers with guidance on procedures they should adopt in the event that they suspect somebody may be experiencing, or be at risk of, harm.

    • The policy is intended to protect children at risk who receive any service from us.

    • To create and establish a culture where safeguarding practice is widely understood, openly discussed and where the academy officers and coaches recognise the role they play in keeping children free from abuse.


We recognise that:

    • The welfare of the children at Cumbria Football Academy is of paramount importance.

    • Every person has the right to live a life free from abuse, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity.

    • Everyone has the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.


We will seek to safeguard children by:

    • Valuing, listening to and respecting them.

    • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made. 

    • Sharing information about safeguarding and best practice through training and Continual Personal Development (CPD).

    • Sharing information about concerns with the appropriate agencies.

    • Providing effective management of staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.

    • Creating clear policies and guidance systems which promote and support prevention, vigilance and early intervention where there are matters relating to safeguarding.

    • Provide training, support and advice across all areas where there will be children.


Our safeguarding aims:

    • Preventing unsuitable people working with children and ensuring that staff are appropriately trained.

    • Procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.

    • Supporting vulnerable children,  or those who may have been abused or at risk of significant harm.




WO refers to the designated Welfare officer within Cumbria Football Academy.

‘Child’  is any person 16 years of age or below.

‘Workforce/Staff’ refers to any person who works on behalf of the club either in a paid or voluntary capacity.

‘Safeguarding’ is the action taken to promote the welfare of children in preventing harm. All children have the right to be safe. All adults who spend time with children have a responsibility to make sure that their well-being is prioritised.



Safer Recruitment

2.1 No individual will be recruited on a paid or voluntary basis into a ‘Position of Trust’ without satisfactory clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and two written references. Nor without the necessary qualifications, coaching qualifications for the role in which they have been appointed. 

Due to the roles of much of our coaches, they are considered to be in a position of trust in relation to those in their care, meaning that where staff or any other members are in a position of influence and power over children that they must not abuse their position for gratification or personal gain.

Cumbria Football Academy , through the FA, will ensure appropriate checks are completed. Records of all staff/volunteers’ DBS numbers will be kept on file.

No applicant, conditionally offered a position of trust with Cumbria Football Academy, will start until all satisfactory clearances have been received. 

An individual applying for a post which involves contact with children must attend the necessary safeguarding training in line with their professional development. 

Appropriate renewals of an individual’s criminal history and safeguard training will be completed in line with guidance issued by the FA at the justified time.

2.2 Understanding Roles and Responsibilities

All staff, paid and unpaid, working on behalf of the Cumbria Football Academy will be supported through their training to understand their duty around safeguarding. 

Poor or unsafe practice regarding children,  should be raised by staff immediately to  the WO sensitively and effectively.

All staff, paid and unpaid, will be reminded that it is not the responsibility of anyone within Cumbria Football Academy to decide whether abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns and report issues to the WO. 

Cumbria Football Academy will look into the matter then, when required,share  information with social services, the police, DBS service and the FA who may decide to take the lead on investigations.

2.2.1 Club Coaches Code of Conduct

Coaches must:

    • Respect the right, dignity and worth of each child.

    • Develop an appropriate working relationship with each child. Over familiarity between coach and player may be misunderstood, therefore clear boundaries must be established from the beginning.

    • Encourage and guide children to accept responsibilities.

    • Ensure that all activities are safe and appropriate for participants.

    • Clarify with children exactly what is expected of them and what they are entitled to expect from their coach.

    • Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.

    • Personal data of children must be kept in a secure place. All such information is confidential. Access to the information should be limited to the squad coaches, the Scheme Administrator or Development Officers.

2.2.2 Volunteers

It is now against the law to work, or to employ someone to work, with Children  without the receipt of a satisfactory DBS Clearance. A volunteer will not start at Cumbria Football Academy, until all satisfactory clearances have been received.

    • In compliance with Cumbria Football Academies Recruitment Policy, all volunteers employed to work in the Academy must be confirmed as ‘suitable and safe adults to work with children  by the DBS. They must not start work until a satisfactory DBS clearance has been received. 

    • All volunteers will be trained in, and adhere to, Cumbria Football Academies Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. 

    • All volunteers must adhere to these guidelines.

    • All volunteers should complete the FA online safeguarding module.

2.3 Professional Boundaries

Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a member of the workforce and a service user. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place. 

Cumbria Football Academy expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the Academy . The following professional boundaries must be adhered to:

2.3.1 Personal Relationships

Personal relationships between a member of staff (paid or unpaid) and a current service user is prohibited. 

This includes relationships through social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. 

2.3.2 Use of abusive language

No staff, volunteers or those engaged in activity with Cumbria Football Academy should use abusive language at any Cumbria Football Academy event. All staff at Cumbria Football Academy  have a right to to hear civil, reasonable language at Cumbria Football Academy regards abusive language as swearing and language that expresses stereotypical and perverse comments about Race, Sexuality, Gender, Religious Belief, age and Disability.

Any incidents of abusive language should be referred to the Welfare Officer who will take relevant action.

2.3.3 Selling to or buying items from a service user

Under no circumstances should a member of Salford City Staff, paid or voluntary, buy or sell any items to any service users associated with the club.

2.3.4 Accepting responsibility for any valuable on behalf of a service user

On occasions a service user may ask staff to hold on to or keep safe a valuable item such as a phone or a watch. This is acceptable, however the staff must let the service user know that this is at their own risk and Cumbria Football Academy accept no responsibility for lost or damaged items. 

Cumbria Football Academy must make this policy clear to children engaged in activity with the Academy



3.1 All staff working with children have to take part in FA safeguarding training, this has to be done every 3 years. 

At Cumbria Football Academy  we support our staff to be confident about:

    • Cumbria Football Academy legislative responsibilities.

    • Their personal responsibilities.

    • Cumbria Football Academy policies and procedures.

    • The need to be alert to the signs and indicators of possible abuse, including possible child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and radicalisation.

    • The need to record concerns.

    • How to support and respond to a child who makes a disclosure of abuse.

    • Cumbria Football Academy will if required support staff who have been affected by such reports.

3.2 Recognising Abuse

To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment. Somebody may physically abuse a child by inflicting harm, for example by hitting them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, for example by leaving a small child home alone. Abuse may be committed by adult men or women and by other children.

Working Together to Safeguarding Children 2019 (HM Gov) and Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2019) refer to five main categories of abuse and a sixth referring to finance. These are set out below along with indicators of abuse.

What is abuse?

Physical Abuse

Defined as the actual or likely injury to a child , or the failure to prevent physical injury or suffering to a vulnerable individual. This may include:

    • Physical signs such as injuries that are unexplained.

    • Injuries that have not received medical attention.

    • Medical problems that go unattended such as persistent pressure sores and skin infections.

    • Scalds or unusual bruises.

Behavioural signs:

    • Bullying and aggression or abuse of others.

    • Withdrawal or feelings of depression.

    • Fear of going to a certain place or having contact with a particular individual.


Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s  basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the Vulnerable Individual’s health or development.

    • A child appears malnourished or dehydrated.

    • A child  has untreated medical problems.

    • A child lacks physical aids when they are required by the child  to live normally.

    • A child lives in accommodation which falls below minimum practical standards.

    • A child’s  physical appearance or condition is poor.

    • Visitors are refused access to the child’s  home.

    • A child does not appear to be receiving their prescribed medication.

    • A child has a prolonged unusual period of absence.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. This again may be difficult to identify, but there are some indicators:

    • A child discloses fully or partially that sexual abuse is occurring or has occurred in the past.

    • A child appears unusually withdrawn or has poor concentration.

    • Running away.

    • Age inappropriate sexually explicit knowledge or behaviour.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on the child. This form of abuse is more difficult to identify, but here are some signs to be aware of.

    • A carer always being present so you cannot see the child on their own.

    • Self-harm.

    • Low self-worth, lack of confidence, worried appearance.

    • Increased levels of confusion.

    • Toileting problems.

    • Lack of growth or development.

    • Submissive behaviour when the perpetrator is around.

    • Excessive distress, particularly when a visitor is leaving.


Bullying is the use of aggression with intention of hurting another person. It results in pain and distress for the victim. It may occur from coach to player, within player peers and sometimes players to coach. It can be difficult to define below are some examples.

    • A player intimidates other players.

    • An official is over officious.

    • Emotional, Eg. Being unfriendly towards or excluding others.

    • Verbal, Eg. Name calling, teasing, spreading rumours.

    • Electronic, Eg. Emails, texting, comments on social networking sites.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can take many forms, from denying you all access to funds, to making you solely responsible for all finances while handling money irresponsibly themselves. 

Money becomes a tool by which the abuser can further control the victim, ensuring either the child’s financial dependence on them, or shifting the responsibility of keeping a roof over the family’s head onto the child  while simultaneously denying their ability to do so or obstructing them.

    • Unusual financial transactions or loss of financial assets.

    • Unexplained loss of valuable items, jewellery, heirlooms, personal collections etc.

    • Changed signatories to bank accounts or other assets.

    • A person who always visits on the day they receive state payments.

    • Unexplained visits from neighbours or local young people, where these are not supervised.

    • Professional Contract ‘promise’ by a coach to an aspiring player and/or players family in return for progression.

3.3 Taking Action

Any child in any family and in any organisation could become a victim of abuse. Staff should always maintain an attitude of “it could happen here”.

    • In an emergency  take immediate action necessary to help the child. If required call 999.

    • Record the factual details that have been disclosed to you and report your concerns as soon as possible to the WO, this should be before the end of the day.

    • Do not start your own investigation.

    • Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family.

    • Seek support for yourself if required.

All concerns are to be reported to the Academy Safeguarding officer via 07739987082

3.3.1 Reporting Concerns

    • It is important for staff to report without delay anything which they may have been told or observed where a concern has been identified.

    • All reports must be kept factual and not subjective.

    • Should there be an injury, provide a note or sketch of the injury where possible on the Cumbria Football Academy Accident/injury form, for example appearance and size.

3.3.2 If you are concerned about a Child’s welfare

There will be occasions when staff may suspect that a child may be subject to harm or abuse. These concerns may arise as a result of issues within Club activities or outside of the Club environment. Their behaviour may have changed, they may show signs of confusion or distress, or physical indicators may have been noticed. In these circumstances, staff should give them the opportunity to talk and ask if they are okay or if they can help in any way.

Staff should report these early concerns to the WO. If the child does reveal that they are being harmed, staff should follow the advice below and discuss their concerns with the WO

Concerns noted by Parents / Carers

Parents and Carers will know their children best and are best placed to notify changes in their well being or behaviour. Should you be concerned abut your child’s behaviour or wellbeing, you contact the Academy WO.

3.3.3 If somebody discloses to you

It takes a lot of courage for anybody to disclose that they are being abused and there are even greater blocks for children. They may feel ashamed, particularly if the abuse is sexual; their abuser may have threatened what will happen if they tell; they may have lost all trust in adults; or they may believe, or have been told, that the abuse is their own fault. Sometimes they may not be aware that what is happening is abusive.

If a child talks to a member of staff about anything that indicates a potential risk to their safety or wellbeing, the staff member will, at the appropriate time, let the child know that in order to help them they must pass the information on to someone who can help or advise (the WO).

    • Appropriate questioning is a specialist area which should be undertaken by social services or police officers.  It is important that staff report all information that is being shared with them at the time of the disclosure. 

    • Remain calm and not over-react.

    • Give reassuring nods or words of comfort:

      • ’I’m so sorry this has happened’, 

      • ‘I want to help’, 

      • ‘This isn’t your fault’, 

      • ‘You are doing the right thing in talking to me’

    • Not be afraid of silences.

    • Under no circumstances ask investigative questions such as how many times this has happened, whether it happens to siblings, or what does their mother think about it. It is fine to say ‘Do you want to tell me what has happened?’ or ‘Can you describe what you mean by [quote something they have said]?’ in order to clarify what has caused them distress or harm.

    • At an appropriate time tell the child that in order to help them, the member of staff must pass the information on to the Academies WO to get advice and support.

    • Not automatically offer any physical touch as comfort. If the child is upset and initiates the contact themselves, this should be  reported.

    • Tell the child what will happen next.

    • Report verbally to the WO themselves (never assume the child or someone else will or has done so).

    • Provide reassurance, but false promises of confidentiality should never be made.

    • Seek support for themselves as managing concerns always has an emotional impact.

3.4 Notifying Parents

The Academy will normally seek to discuss any concerns about a child with their parents or legal guardian. This must be handled sensitively and the WO will make contact with the parent in the event of a concern, suspicion or disclosure -

Unless the Academy believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s social care and/or the police before parents are contacted.

3.5 Confidentiality and sharing information

All staff will understand that safeguarding issues warrant a high level of confidentiality, not only out of respect for the person and staff involved but also to ensure that information being released into the public domain does not compromise evidence or any subsequent investigation.

Staff should only discuss concerns with the WO. That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and they will disseminate it on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

However, any member of staff can contact children’s social care if they are concerned about a child.

Safeguarding information will be stored and handled in line with the General Data Protection Regulations Policy 2018. Information sharing is guided by the following rules and principles*:

    • Neither data protection legislation and guidance or human rights law are barriers to sharing information in the interests of safeguarding.

    • Be open and honest.

    • Seek advice (from designated people, eg. WO or statutory agencies).

    • Share information with consent where possible.

    • Always consider safety and wellbeing.

    • The information shared is necessary, proportionate, relevant, adequate, accurate, timely and secure.

* Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers. HM Gov. March 2015.

Information sharing decisions will be recorded, whether or not the decision is taken to share.

3.6 Referral to Children’s Social Care

The WO will make a referral to children’s social care if it is believed that a child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm. The child (subject to their age and understanding) and the parents will be told that a referral is being made, unless to do so would increase the risk to the child.

Any member of staff may make a direct referral to children’s social care if:

    • They believe independent advice and action is necessary to protect a child.

    • The situation is an emergency and the WO is unavailable.

    • They are convinced that a direct report is the only way to ensure the child’s safety.

    • For any other reason they make a judgement that direct referral is in the best interests of the child.

3.7 What is abuse and what will raise concern

3.7.1 Peer on peer abuse

A child may be harmed by other children. Staff will be aware of the harm caused by bullying and will use the Club’s anti-bullying procedures where necessary. However, there will be occasions when a child’s behaviour warrants a response under child protection rather than anti- bullying procedures.

Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, including:

    • Physical abuse such as biting, hitting, kicking or hair pulling.

    • Sexually harmful behaviour/sexual abuse such as inappropriate sexual language, touching, sexual assault.

    • Sexting, including pressuring another person to send a sexual imagery or video content.

    • Teenage relationship abuse – defined as a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, perpetrated against a current or former partner

    • Initiation / Hazing – used to induct newcomers into an organisation such as sports team or school groups by subjecting them to a series of potentially humiliating, embarrassing or abusing trials which promote a bond between them.

    • Prejudiced behaviour – a range of behaviours which causes someone to feel powerless, worthless or excluded and which relates to prejudices around belonging, identity and equality, in particular prejudices linked to disabilities, special educational needs, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, gender and sexual identity.

Abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as ‘banter’ or ‘part of growing up’. Different gender issues may be prevalent when dealing with peer on peer abuse, for example girls being sexually touched/assaulted or boys being subject to initiation/hazing type violence.

At our Academy, we take the following steps to minimise or prevent the risk of peer on peer abuse:

    • We will seek to promote an open and honest environment where children feel safe to share information about anything that is upsetting or worrying them.

    • Induction processes are used to provide a moral framework outlining codes of conduct, acceptable behaviour and stressing the effects of bullying.

    • Staff will endeavour always to create surroundings where everyone feels confident and at ease in the Academy.

    • We will ensure that Academy activities are well supervised by appropriate and qualified staff and volunteers.

All allegations of peer on peer abuse should be passed to the WO immediately. They will then be investigated and dealt with as follows:

    • Information gathering – children, staff and witnesses will be spoken with as soon as possible to gather relevant information quickly to understand the situation and assess both the impact and whether there was intent to cause harm.

    • Decide on action – if it is believed that any child is at risk of significant harm, a referral will be made to children’s social care. The WO will then work with children’s social care to decide on next steps, which may include contacting the police.

    • Inform parents – as with other concerns of abuse, the school will normally seek to discuss concerns about a child with parents. Our focus is the safety and wellbeing of the child and so if the Academy believes that notifying parents could increase the risk to the child or exacerbate the problem, advice will first be sought from children’s social care and/or the police before parents are contacted.

3.7.2 Bullying

While bullying between children is not a separate category of abuse and neglect, it is a very serious issue that can cause anxiety and distress. All incidences of bullying, including cyber-bullying and prejudice-based bullying should be reported and will be managed through our anti-bullying procedures. 

(Refer to bullying policy)

3.7.3 Sexting

There is no accepted definition of ‘sexting’ but most professionals agree that it refers to the sending or posting of sexually suggestive images, including nude or semi-nude photographs of a person under 18 years of age, via mobiles or over the internet. 

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety defines sexting as the production and/or sharing of sexual photos and videos of and by young people who are under the age of 18. It includes nude or nearly nude images and/or sexual acts. It is also referred to as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’.

‘Sexting’ does not include the sharing of sexual photos and videos of Under-18s with or by adults. This is a form of child sexual abuse and must be referred to the police.

Guidance for staff and volunteers dealing with sexting incident/disclosure:

    • The incident should be referred to the WO immediately and the WO will clarify the concerns with any staff involved in reporting and ensure concerns are accurately recorded.

    • Never view, download or share the imagery yourself, or ask a child to share or download – this is illegal.

    • If you have already viewed the imagery by accident (e.g. if a young person has showed it to you before you could ask them not to), report this to the WO

    • Do not delete the imagery or ask the young person to delete it.

    • Do not ask the children who are involved in the incident to disclose information regarding the imagery. This is the responsibility of the WO.

    • Do not share information about the incident with other members of staff, the children it involves or their, or other, parents and/or carers.

    • Do not say or do anything to blame or shame any child involved.

    • Do explain to them that you need to report it and reassure them that they will receive support and help from the WO.

    • If there is a concern a child has been caused distress, harmed or is at risk of harm a referral will be made to the police immediately. The police do not seek to criminalise children but take sexting very seriously and will take appropriate action which may include seizure of devices and speaking to the children involved. On-line abuse through sexting can have very serious consequences and undertaking an investigation at Academy  level can lead to images and evidence being deleted which prevents appropriate action being taken to support and/or educate those involved or impacted by these issues. Parents will be informed at an early stage and involved in the process unless the police advise against this or there is good reason to believe that involving parents would put the young person at risk of harm.

3.7.4 Sexual Exploitation of Children

Sexual exploitation involves an individual or group of adults taking advantage of the vulnerability of an individual or groups of children or young people, and victims can be boys or girls. Children and young people are often unwittingly drawn into sexual exploitation through the offer of opportunities, future career gains, friendship and care, gifts, drugs and alcohol, and sometimes accommodation. Sexual exploitation is a serious crime and can have a long-lasting adverse impact on a child’s physical and emotional health. It may also be linked to child trafficking.

A common feature of sexual exploitation is that the children often don’t recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and therefore do not see themselves as a victim. In some cases parents/guardians also fail to recognise that a relationship is potentially abusive and both the child and their carers may initially resent what they perceive as interference by staff, but staff must act on their concerns, as they would for any other type of abuse.

All staff are made aware of the indicators of sexual exploitation and all concerns are reported immediately to the WO.

3.7.5 Honour-based Violence

‘Honour-based’ violence (HBV) encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of HBV are abuse.

FGM is the collective name given to a range of procedures involving the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the practice is a criminal offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The practice can cause intense pain and distress and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth.

FGM is carried out on girls of any age, from young babies to older teenagers and adult women. Many such procedures are carried out abroad and staff should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns expressed by a girl of any age about going on a long holiday during the summer vacation period.

A forced marriage is a marriage in which a female (and sometimes a male) does not consent to the marriage but is coerced into it. Coercion may include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. It may also involve physical or sexual violence and abuse. In England and Wales the practice is a criminal offence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The reporting of any concerns about either suspected forced marriage or FGM is mandatory.

Children may be married at a very young age, and well below the age of consent in the UK which would make it unlawful in relation to a UK citizen. Relevant Club staff receive training and should be particularly alert to suspicions or concerns raised in relation to a young person who is being taken abroad and may be anxious or prevented from returning to the UK.

3.7.6 Radicalisation and Extremism

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups or activities.

The government defines extremism as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’ (HM Government Prevent Strategy).

Some children are at risk of being radicalised: adopting beliefs and engaging in activities which are harmful, criminal or dangerous. Islamic extremism is the most widely publicised form however staff should also remain alert to the risk of radicalisation into white supremacy extremism.

‘Prevent’ is a cross-Government policy that forms one of the four strands of the UK’s strategy for counter terrorism which includes the prevention of radicalisation of vulnerable adults and children. Those who are targeted with a view to radicalise them are often the most vulnerable in society including those with poor networks of support or who are experiencing socially isolated, mental health issues and/or learning and communication issues.

Keeping children safe from these risks is a safeguarding matter and should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from other risks.

If the behaviour of anybody involved in our activities indicates that they or those around them are at risk of harm, staff should report these concerns immediately to the DSO. In the event that there appears to be an immediate risk or danger call 999.

3.7.7 Supporting those involved

The support required for the child who has been harmed will depend on their circumstance and the nature of the abuse. Support could include counselling, mentoring, the support of family and friends and/or support with improving peer relationships.

We acknowledge that support may also be required for the child that exhibited harmful behaviour. We will seek to understand if appropriate why the child acted in this way, in order to consider what support may be required to help the child change behaviours or whether support is required through external agencies.



4.1 Whistleblowing Policy

All organisations face the risk of things going wrong or of unknowingly harbouring malpractice. Cumbria Football Academy believes it has a duty to identify such situations and take the appropriate measures to remedy the situation. By encouraging a culture of openness within our organisation, Cumbria Football Academy believes it can help prevent malpractice – prevention is better than cure.  That is one of the aims of this policy.

Workers have a right and duty to raise matters of concern they may have about the services being offered by Cumbria Football Academy or serious malpractice associated with them.  By knowing about malpractice at an early stage Cumbria Football Academy stands a good chance of taking the necessary steps to safeguard the interests of all staff and protect the organisation.  In short, please, do not hesitate to “blow the whistle” on malpractice.

This policy is designed to ensure staff raise concerns properly and to ensure that mechanisms exist in Cumbria Football Academy whereby issues raised by staff will be addressed quickly and effectively.4.3 Social Media Policy

Cumbria Football Academy has developed a Social Media Policy. This includes information about use of social media, taking and sharing of photographs and inappropriate internet use etc…

4.2 Communication with Children involving technology

For the purpose of this policy ‘technology’ includes the use of mobile phones, text messaging, e-mails and all forms of electronic Messaging Services and Web Sites. 

Communication between Children and Young People and Adults, by whatever means, must only take place within the boundaries of professional behaviour. 

Cumbria Football Academy staff must not give their personal contact details, including home / mobile phone numbers, or e-mail, or messaging addresses to children  with whom they work at Cumbria Football Academy, nor may they respond to any personal information from children. 

Staff must ensure that any communication with children is used only for professional reasons, and that parents/carers are aware and have consented to such contact. 

Company e-mail systems should be the primary means of forwarding information if parents have given their consent for the use of this means of communication. 

The only permissible information to be communicated would be to inform players and their parents/ carers of any urgent changes in arrangements.

In the case of tours,Cumbria Football Academy will have a central contact number for parents/carers.

4.3 Texting and Electronic Communication

Text messaging makes staff vulnerable and should under no circumstances be used for personal communication. 

Personal telephone numbers e-mail, Social Networking or other Electronic Communications addresses should NEVER be given to the children you work with at Cumbria Football Academy. All communications between Cumbria Football Academy Club and children should be through official Cumbria Football Academy channels. If in the case a child texts a member of staff, or contacts them through social media, they should notify the Academy Manager or Welfare Officer and the child’s parent at the earliest opportunity. Staff should constantly reinforce to parents that their contact numbers or email addresses are not to be shared with children.

4.4 Social Networks

Most children will assume they are safe when using the internet because they are in their own home. They will usually assume that the person they are chatting with is who they say they are. Using the internet is now central to how children and young people stay in touch with their friends and family by using Social Networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. However the internet is also a public place and while bringing many benefits and opportunities, also opens up new risks and challenges. 


    • Don’t give out any personal information: Guard your home address and family information. Abusers will use this to groom a child or young person over the internet. 

    • Report inappropriate behaviour.

    • Report incidents of bullying, sexual exploitation, or other fraud to the chat room moderator (as well as to the police if applicable). 

Employees and Volunteers

    • It is prohibited that Cumbria Football Academy staff and volunteers use the internet to contact children and young people. 

    • Do not become ‘friends’ on social networks with children and young people you are in a position of trust with. 

    • If you are concerned about the way a player is attempting to contact you via the internet e.g. using a social networking site or a chat area, speak to your Academy Manager or Welfare Officer. 

    • Remember that even when outside of work, the law deems that if you are in a position of trust, this must be maintained at all times. 

4.4 Information Sharing

Information sharing is key to the Government’s goal of delivering better, more efficient public services that are coordinated around the needs of the individual. It is essential to enable early intervention and preventative work, for safeguarding and promoting welfare and for wider public protection. 

Information sharing is a vital element in improving outcomes for all. The Government understands that it is important that people remain confident that their personal information is kept safe and secure and that practitioners maintain the privacy rights of the individual, whilst sharing information to deliver better services. It is therefore important that practitioners can share information appropriately as part of their day-today practice and do so confidently. It is important to remember there can be significant consequences to not sharing information as there can be to sharing information. You must use your professional judgement to decide whether to share or not, and what information is appropriate to share. 

Golden rule – Remember that the GDPR Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.

4.5 Best practice in the use of images

As part of Cumbria Football Academies commitment to safeguarding children , in accordance with the following guidance.

Guidelines for all age groups: 

    • Cumbria Football Academy must have parental consent to use a player’s image if it is to be used in the public domain e.g. club website or newspaper article.  

    • Ensure that any child at Cumbria Football Academy, who is under care proceedings, is protected by ensuring that their image is not placed in the public domain.  

    • The image should focus on the activity and not the child . Unless it is for Academy promotional purposes and permission is obtained from parent/carer for each individual instance eg. player profiles on Academy website. 

    • Ensure that those featured are appropriately dress – a minimum of a vest/shirt and shorts is required.

Guidelines for Under-18 players: 

    • No individual profiling – it is strongly recommended that no under-18 player should become the focus of excessive media attention and that commentators, presenters and journalists should respect this principle, modifying their contact with the young players accordingly.


    • Try not to use images that include individuals wearing jewellery (as wearing jewellery whilst playing is contrary to the Laws of the Game as well as being a health and safety issue). 

    • If you have serious concerns about a possible child protection issue relating to the recording of images then call the Police. This action should only be taken where you believe that someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a child at risk. 

Images on tour, at tournaments and training camps

In order to capture the fun, enjoyment and learning opportunities that takes place on Tours, Tournaments and Training Camps the Academy leader will appoint a designated person to take photographs. The pictures will be used for the Event diary. If they are used for any other purpose parents will be notified by Cumbria Football Academy. .

4.6 Matchday Safeguarding Policy

The following section provides some further detail with regards to incidents that take place at a Cumbria Football Academy home fixture. 

4.6.1 Introduction

Cumbria Football Academy endeavours to ensure that attending a fixture is a positive experience for everyone.  When considering bringing a child or vulnerable adult, please consider their age, time of the fixture, the weather conditions and any other applicable factors that may create risk.  

4.6.2 Weather

Weather conditions vary through the football season and visitors are likely to experience all weather types: early and late season may mean high temperatures and strong sunshine – parts of the stadium may be in full sun for long periods of time; mid-winter games, especially at night, may mean sub-zero temperatures, rain, wind and snow; and frost and ice underfoot may also be an extra hazard for those carrying or walking with small children. Be very careful in cold and wet and windy conditions.  

Babies and very small children can become very cold very quickly, even at times of the year where adults feel that it is warm outside, they will more than likely be inactive at the stadium and get cold quickly.  Keep an eye on your child. Don’t forget, unusually quiet with bright red skin doesn’t necessarily mean they are warm and happy, this could be a sign of hypothermia (their skin will be cold). If you do choose to bring your child to a match remember to clothe them with layers, at least one more than you are likely to be wearing as well as an outer coat, hat and gloves in wintry conditions. 

Check the weather forecast before you leave and be prepared for it to be colder, wetter, hotter than predicted.

4.6.3 Safeguarding

The Academy has coaches who are up to date with their FA safeguarding qualification. Should you have a concern about a child  whilst at a match please contact a coach immediately who will put you in contact with the Welfare Officer. Please view the Cumbria Football Academy Safeguarding of children Policy for further information.

4.7 Training Ground Policy

All aspects of the Academies policy apply to the use of the Training Ground and the people who work there. 

    • Never find yourself alone one on one in a room with a child. If you do remove yourself from the situation immediately.

    • If it is unavoidable, make sure that the door is open and that you are in easy view of other staff.

    • No one should engage in any inappropriate behaviour, actions or language in the presence of an Academy Member.

    • There is to be designated Academy Changing Rooms.

    • All match officials will be provided with a gender specific changing room and toilet facility.

    • No one other than Academy coaches should enter the designated Academy Changing Rooms.

    • The use of mobile phones by both Staff and Academy Members in the Academy Changing Rooms is strictly prohibited.

    • All Academy Staff and those in regular contact with the Academy must have a current FA Enhanced DBS Certificate and have completed the FA Safeguarding Course. 

    • No unauthorised photography or video filming is to be taken at any time whilst onsite.

4.8 Transport Policy

4.8.1 Driving

    • If driving an Academy Member you must have Full Business Insurance.

    • Each driver should check the number of people their car is insured to carry, and carry no more than that number (including the driver). 

    • Check that the vehicle is mechanically sound, has a valid road-fund licence and a valid MOT certificate (where appropriate). 

    • You must not carry Academy Members where seatbelts are unavailable (i.e. every member must have a seatbelt). 

    • Ensure seat belts are on.

    • Take directions and a map if necessary, and nominate a map-reader so that the driver is not distracted trying to map-read and drive at the same time. 

    • Ensure someone is expecting you at a certain time at a certain place, so that if you appropriate steps can be taken to determine where you are.

    • Always drive within the speed limits, and within the limits of your driving ability, the car and the prevailing conditions (weather, road surface, other vehicles, road works, etc).

    • Do not drive under the influence of drink or drugs. (The club has a zero tolerance threshold on driving after alcohol consumption this is even if you are under the legal limit)

    • Mobile phones and any other electronic devices must NOT be used by drivers when driving. 

    • Keep your distance from the vehicle in front. 

    • Be courteous to others, anticipate what might happen, keep a watch for the unexpected (child stepping off the kerb, car pulling out, sudden braking, etc). 

    • Don’t show off – avoid the temptation to impress your passengers with speed or handling. 

    • Don’t turn the stereo up so loud that you’re distracted. 

    • From both a safeguarding and safety perspective, you must have at least 2 Adults per vehicle when you are transporting Academy  Members.

    • If it is unavoidable you find yourself alone in a car with an Academy Member (under the age 18) they must sit in the back of your car. You must also notify the Welfare Officer and the Parent/Guardian of the Academy  member you are transporting.

    • Have a mobile phone on you in case of a breakdown. 

    • Anyone transporting Under-18 players must provide evidence of a full enhanced DBS check.  Dated within the last 3 years.

4.8.2 If a Child is not collected

In the event of a parent/carer failing to collect their child after a match or training session, the following procedures must be followed:

    • Under no circumstances must a child be allowed off-site or left unsupervised.

    • All possible attempts must be made to contact the parent/ carer using the Emergency Contact Numbers.

    • If contact cannot be made with the parent/carer or approved emergency contact, the coach must contact the Police Safeguarding Unit or Children’s Services for advice.


    • The coach must record the telephone contact made including the name and position of the person contacted.

    • Continue to try to contact the parent/ carer and emergency contacts. 

    • Continue to seek advice from the Police/ Social Services.

    • Keep senior Cumbria Football Academy  staff informed of the situation (including the Welfare Officer)

    • Should it be necessary to transport the child home (with the permission of the parent/ carer), it is preferable for two members of staff to accompany the child. The child must sit in the rear seat of the vehicle.

4.8.3 If a Child is reluctant, or refuses to be collected

If a Child speaks in confidence to a coach stating that they do not want to return home at the end of a session or Cumbria Football Academy fixture, the coach must remember that their first duty is to ensure the young person’s safety. 

In the presence of a second member of staff, they must encourage the child to give reasons why they not wish to return home. 

If the reasons given suggest that the child is being abused, coaches must inform Children’s Services or the Police Safeguarding 

If the child has been involved in an argument at home, staff must use their considered judgement as to whether the child would be at risk by returning home.

This involves responsible and serious decisions being made. Should coaches have any doubts, they should immediately contact the Academy Manager or the Welfare Officer for advice. Alternatively Children’s Services or the Police Safeguarding Unit may be contacted. 

If, however, the reluctance to return home appears to relate to ‘naughtiness’, petty quarrels at home, or trivial matters that do not put the young person at risk, the parents should be contacted to resolve the matter.



The Senior Management Team fully recognises its responsibilities with regard to safeguarding. It will ensure that this Safeguarding Policy is annually reviewed, updated and shared with staff.







Cumbria Football Academy are committed to providing an inclusive environment for all and preventing discrimination. The Academy recognises the protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010 and will not discriminate on the terms of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage of civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or sexual orientation.




Cumbria Football Academy does not tolerate racist language or behaviour at our training ground or at any other event they are involved in, or on its social media channels. Our anti-racism policy includes the following objectives:

  • Issuing statements via the club website, social media regarding our policy of    zero tolerance towards racist language and behaviour.

  • Disciplinary action will be taken against players or club staff who engage in racial abuse.

  • The Academy will continue to develop links with, local residents, business and organisations, police and The FA, with the aim of eradicating racially-based abuse and discrimination.​

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