In November 2016, SJFA obtained affiliation with the Middlesex FA, the local body of the English FA (Football Association). Consequently, we now have to abide by the directives and regulation of the ultimate football authority for grass root football.
This affiliation brings high level guidelines and good practice that we need to become familiar with. Furthermore, this step is joined by directives which must be adhered to and failure to comply may and will result in suspension. This is the case in particular following the recent safeguarding developments most of you must have followed in the media in relation to football clubs in particular.
Whilst we do no want to cause any unnecessary alarm bells, we need to be cognisant and it is a matter we cannot take lightly. It is our duty and responsibility to keep everyone abreast of developments and what SJFA is doing to ensure protocol is followed.
At this point SJFA would like to communicate that all active SJFA coaches have the below certificates without which no coach will be allowed to enter the pitch for training nor matches.
- FA CRC
- FA Safeguarding
On Sunday 5th February, 24 coaches attended a 3 hour long FA Safeguarding workshop. This course highlighted some fundamental principles as well as new perspectives we all – management, coaches, players, parents – need be cognisant of.
The common word used across the group was eye opener and we need to use this enhanced eye sight to tighten up our processes and protocols even further, a lot of which is now regulated and absence thereof would be regarded as negligence. To do this we will need co-operation from all parties mentioned above.
Furthermore we have a qualified FA Welfare Officer in the SJFA team who will be in charge of all safeguarding related matters.
For any communication with the welfare officer please use following contact details:
- Shafique Govani: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, we have brought in two members of the community from the legal field to assist us with establishing our internal policies and ensuring ongoing updates.
As you are aware, there is a dedicated policies section on our website currently covering basic codes of conduct. This section will be updated over time and we will draw your attention as developments take place.
At this juncture we would like to highlight a number of important points:
- Code of Conduct
- Background: FA Best Practice
- Action: All parents and players to read/implement the SJFA Code of Conduct.
- Respect Line/Barriers
- Background: FA Best Practice
- Training Sessions
Before we underline this action point, please note we really appreciate the support and presence of those parents who view the training sessions and we wish more attend in the future. We have always maintained that it is very important for the club and the players alike to have this visible support.
However, in the best interest of the players’ and the club’s safety we need to have protocols and processes in place which I am confident you will respect, understand, agree with, and adhere to.
During training at The Hive, apart from the SJFA coaches/management, no one is allowed to enter the training pitches. All parents MUST stand outside the gates (between the pitches). The only exceptions are Tier 1 parents who must attend throughout the training session and they already duly follow the location awarded to them on the side lines.
- Away Fixtures
Following the FA Guidelines, clubs will have demarcated areas as Respect Lines and Barriers. All of us – managers, coaches, players and parents – must respect these at any given time and venue.
- Communication Protocol with tiers/players up to U16
- Background: FA Directive
- Action: No direct communication allowed categorically between management/coaches/managers and players.
- All communication to be channelled via parents.
- Email addresses of players can be used but only used in communication where parents are included and the email addresses should be bcc in bulk emails.
- Neither phone conversations (without the parents’ permission) nor SMS/WhatsApp or any other message platform allowed. Hence, no players are allowed to contact their coaches with queries including selections. All conversations must be channelled via parents.
- Training Exit Process
- Background: FA Good Practice / Safety / Safeguarding
- Action: Admin is taking responsibility for any players not picked up as parents delayed/ ”forgotten” (yes it has happened!).
- Parents must ensure children are picked up on time.
- If parents are delayed, they must call to inform admin.
- Emergency phone numbers:
- Shafique Govani – 07967 455569
- Mohamed Valjy – 07904059070
- Hyderali Datoo – 07976813459
- Medical Equipment for players
- Background: FA Good Practice / Safety / Safeguarding / Directive
- Action: Parents need to ensure children have the correct medical equipment required for training and matches. Coaches/Managers to check if the equipment brought to training, if not player will not be allowed to participate.
These are initial action points and we will keep the members abreast of ongoing developments.
We are confident all parents will respect, understand, agree with, and adhere to the above and extending appreciation in advance on behalf of the SJFA for your cooperation.