We are sure you are aware of the serious information which continues to come to light regarding child abuse in football, and FA Chairman Greg Clarke has written an open letter which is attached to this email.

Everyone at ESFA is appalled by the horrific abuse suffered by former footballers and our thoughts are with the victims and their families. In his letter, Greg Clarke asks everyone in football to offer support to anyone who needs it and to encourage anyone with information to contact the Police, The FA or NSPCC.

In your role with a Schools’ Football Association, you may receive enquiries from concerned parents or players and we wanted to offer our reassurance and support to you and your Association. If anybody contacts you about these allegations, please feel free to give them the number of our National Welfare Officer Sarah DaCosta (07960 500723) and also remind them of the safeguards we have in place in schools’ football. An approved press release is also provided for your use should you receive any media enquiries.

The FA has set up a helpline in conjunction with the NSPCC and you can also give them the Childline contact number. We suggest also sharing these numbers on your Association website and social media.

Schools’ football has implemented robust safeguarding procedures and we would like to remind you that:

Nobody must be coaching in your Association unless they have an accepted FA Enhanced Criminal Record Check (DBS) in place. You and your committee are responsible for this

Every coach involved in your Association must be registered and attached to a team on the ESFA portal

If a coach is a practising teacher or education services employee and receives regular safeguarding training through their employers, this must be kept up to date. All other coaches must attend the FA’s Safeguarding Workshop which must be renewed every 3 years. This can be renewed online here:

This is an ESFA policy and Associations may face suspension if they are using coaches who have not had the required training and criminal record checks.

Safeguarding Children is a priority for ESFA and we want to make sure everybody knows how to report a concern and who to report it to. It is very important that everybody in your Association knows who the Welfare Officer is and how to get in touch with them. Remember, a DBS check and attending a Safeguarding Workshop form part of the safeguarding process but we must all continue to be vigilant and report anything unacceptable or which causes concern; doing nothing is not an option.

A reminder that all ESFA policies in this regard can be found on the website at:

Finally, we want to thank you for your hard work and support and to keep football safe across ESFA. The work you do is invaluable and your time and commitment are appreciated by all of us at ESFA and in your Association.

Any questions, please contact either of the ESFA National Welfare Officers- Martin Duffield (07852 276 416 or Sarah DaCosta (07960 500 723

Letter from FA Chairman Greg Clarke which was sent to all clubs.