Press Release

FA ‘Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children’ Policy

With this much confusion in the FA’s approach to child protection, it will be no surprise to discover that much abuse in football continues to go unreported.” says Tom Perry of Mandate Now, the pressure group which leads the agenda for the introduction of Mandatory Reporting of known and suspected abuse in ‘Regulated Activities’ including sport.

In advance of today’s debate in the House of Lords ‘Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse within football clubs’ Lord Addington (Estimated start 14.00), Mandate Now has reviewed the FA’s ‘Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children Policy’ and in addition the child protection template for club usage.

Our detailed summary of both is here 

We found :

  • The FA incorrectly believes there is a legal obligation to report abuse, and has said so in its safeguarding policy for grassroots football.
  • Despite this, its procedures for reporting abuse are merely guidelines rather than requirements.
  • The template policy intended to be adopted by grassroots clubs has a reporting procedure that is very confusing to read.
  • The club template policy and the FA’s main safeguarding policy for grassroots football contradict each other on several key points. (see Summary).
  • There is confusion about who is required to undergo a criminal records check. The FA policy is out of step with other Regulated Activities in that it doesn’t ask the (nominal) proprietors of a club to undergo a CRC (Criminal Records Check).
  • The FA’s policy (confused wording and legally incorrect statements included) has been endorsed by the NSPCC’s Child Protection In Sport Unit (CPSU) as featured in full summary.

Here are the full reviews of FA policies by Mandate Now:

  1. FA Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children
  2. FA Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures – Club Template

Our commentary on both documents is shown in grey background with interpolations between the paragraphs.

Here are the FA’s original documents

  1.         FA Grassroots Football Safeguarding Children
  2.         FA  Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedures; Club Template


About Mandate Now : Mandate Now is a pressure group that seeks the introduction of law requiring staff  who work in ‘Regulated Activities’ to report concerns about the welfare of children to the Local Authority. Mandatory reporting of suspected or known child abuse is a vital component of a functioning child protection system in institutional settings. Mandatory reporting is in widespread effective use in the majority of countries on all four continents.

Mandate Now has previously reviewed the following policies including: