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Safeguarding Policy



Senior Safeguarding Manager - Club


Designated Safeguarding Officer/Safeguarding Manager – Community Trust & Matchday’s

And Interim DSO for Club & Academy 

All SSM and DSO’s will meet monthly to discuss any issues unless there is an incident then they will call an emergency meeting.

If your designated officer is unavailable please contact any of the other DSO or SSM, all contact details are available on our full contact list at the back of our policy, or on the safeguarding flowchart.


  1. Safeguarding Policy
  2. Safeguarding Aims
  3. Roles & Responsibilities
  4. Statement - Management
  5. Child & Adults at Risk Policy
  6. Principles
  7. Recognition of Abuse
  8. What is Child Abuse
  9. Physical Abuse

10. Neglect

11. Emotional Abuse

12. Sexual Abuse

13. Bullying & Online Safety

14. Peer on Peer Bullying

15. Child Trafficking (Modern Slavery)

16. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

17. Racism

18. Sexual Exploitation

19. Harmful Sexual Behaviour

20. Domestic Abuse

21. Possible warning signs of Abuse

22. Effects of Abuse

23. Listening to Children & Young People

24. How to respond to suspicions or allegations of child abuse

25. Recording of information

26. Allegations of abuse against staff member or volunteers

27. Process of concern

28. Trips, Events, activities and lost child

29. Social Media, Images consent form

30. Safer Recruitment (Inc ex-offenders and lone working)

31. Safer Working

32. Responsible Recruitment

33. Whistle Blowing

34. Data Protection

35. Responsibilities – Designated Safeguarding Officers

36. Safeguarding dealing with concerns

37. Third Parties – Schools & community work

38. Contacts Number – Help & Advice

39. Reporting Safeguarding

40. Policy review date

Key and useful information


A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989)

Staff or Employees

Defined as any member of the workforce either paid or unpaid.


Designated Safeguarding Officer


Local Authority Designated Officer


Disclosure & Barring Service


Criminal Records Checks


Oldham Athletic Football Club


Oldham Athletic Community Trust

This policy is informed by the government guidance “working together to safeguard children- a guide to interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, hm government”


Keep safe, keep others safe.

Everyone has the right to live without fear of harm or abuse. Oldham Athletic Football Club, Academy and Community Trust recognises it has an active role to play in ensuring that everyone involved with the club and trust has that right and as such responsibility for safety and wellbeing. Through creating an environment and culture of trust and inclusion the community trust is committed to: -

Preventing and reducing the risk of significant harm, abuse or exploitation to children and adults at risk (sometimes referred to as vulnerable adults)

Responding effectively and appropriately to any incidents and concerns

Raising awareness of key messages and procedures to those who may be abused and to potential abusers, and

Compliance with the rules of safeguarding set out in this policy.

This policy also links into our equality and diversity policy.

Our policies and procedures are working alongside guidelines and safeguarding policies from Affiliated football, The football association, EFL & EFL Trust

Here at Oldham Athletic Football, Academy and Community Trust we embrace the following principles: -

Safeguarding practices are incorporate throughout the recruitment process

All staff working with children and adults deems to be at risk will be checked by the Disclosure,

All staff will receive appropriate training and are required to follow safe working practices including adherence to professional boundaries – an essential part of all relationships with customers

All people connected with the Oldham Athletic Football Club, Academy and Community Trust including partner organisations, will be made aware that there is a Safeguarding Team who can be contacted directly. There is a flowchart within this policy that gives you guidance on how to deal with safeguarding matters and another one with specific contact details for safeguarding officers, LADO, EFL, FA & Police if needed.

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be treated seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately

Work in partnership with Local Authority Safeguarding Team.

All safeguarding policies and procedures cover the sessions such as PL Kicks, FFD, Schools Programme, Projects funded by EFL & EFL Trust and other providers.

This policy has been endorsed by our Senior Management team, it has also been approved by our board of trustees.


* A safe and welcoming environment for children and other vulnerable people involved in any activities, free from abuse and fear of abuse in all its forms.

* A culture where safeguarding practice is widely understood, openly discussed and where the workforce recognises the role they play in keeping children, other vulnerable people, themselves and their colleagues, safe from harm.

* A clear system which promotes and supports constant vigilance, prevention and early intervention in safeguarding matters and where necessary prompt and thorough action in response to any reported concerns or incidents.

* To apply legislation, government policy and guidance and football governing body regulation, policy and guidance where applicable

* To work closely together with local statutory agencies and other partners to promote and safeguard the welfare of children and other vulnerable people.

In order to realise these aims we will:

  • work or liaise with relevant football governing bodies, to ensure we meet all necessary regulations and standards in respect of our safeguarding practice.
  • Listen to children and other vulnerable people and take them seriously, consult with them when developing processes and react appropriately to ideas, feelings and concerns then address them in a fair, effective and timely manner.
  • Develop and communicate a series of clear policies, protocols and guidance designed to help deliver sound governance and good practice across the Group’s activities.
  • Create and co-ordinate an effective network of designated safeguarding officers and maintain a visible safeguarding presence across all areas of the Trust, Club, and Academy.
  • Monitor Activities taking place at Boundary Park and those at any offsite locations.
  • Provide training, advice and support across all areas of the business where children and other vulnerable people are involved.
  • Support and help deliver ‘Safer Recruitment Policy’ in accordance with local legislative and regulatory requirements and in partnership with the HR department.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all information and documentation relating to criminal record disclosure, concerns, allegations and incidents in accordance with relevant data protection legislation.
  • Share sensitive information with the relevant authorities when it is appropriate to do so, and in the knowledge that the information will be treated confidentially.
  • Prepare annual safeguarding reviews covering each strategic element of the trust.

All safeguarding policies and procedures cover the sessions, to illustrate the scope of work is a list that provides an extensive list of sessions and welfare of people in our care.

  • PLCF Kicks projects – various activities in various locations in the borough of Oldham.
  • Primary Stars – delivery within schools
  • FFD – delivery of girls only sessions in the community and schools
  • Schools Programme – Deliver various activities within the school environment which can consist of PPA, our Inschool sessions, breakfast club, lunchtime or afterschool sessions.
  • Other funded projects – from local community group, council, housing associations etc


The safeguarding structure which ensures the safety and welfare of all children who interact with OAFC, Academy & OACT the community trust. The safeguarding team for the club and community trust is Club Secretary is Safeguarding Lead, DSO from the Academy and DSO from the trust.

DSO for the community trust is responsible for all aspects of the community trust and to ensure safeguarding is a key priority at board level. The provide leadership to deliver the safeguarding strategy, vision, values, priorities, policies promoting the welfare of vulnerable groups, communicating with Head of community. They are also responsible for embedding safeguarding within their own departments as well as being the point of contact should a concern arise within their own department.

Employees, volunteers and Trustees are responsible for familiarising themselves with the community trust policy and procedures, ensuring the safety and welfare of all children as well as promoting best practice and creating a safe and inclusive environment to prevent harm occurring through awareness of what constitutes abuse or neglect.


Oldham Athletic Community Trust aims to create a culture of fairness, respect, openness and best practice to safeguard and protect young people and adult who participate in OACT activities and adhere to legislation, through working with both local and national partners we as an organisation have a commitment to keep all our participants safe.

The Board of Trustees at Oldham Athletic Community Trust and all OACT employees acknowledges and accepts it has a statutory obligation and responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of all Children and young people who participate in the all Club/Trust’s activities. Through our three values (Dedicated, Professional, Inclusive) we ensure that through our high delivery standards that all activity is open to all and safe to attend.

The Community Trust Safeguarding Children Policy in place applies to senior managers and all staff, trustees, paid or volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, interns / students or anyone working on behalf of Oldham Athletic Community Trust and will be given to all adults working with our children and young people.

At Oldham Athletic Community Trust, we hold safeguarding in the highest regard. We work closely with the football club to ensure standards across both organisations are consistent. We, as a Community Trust, have a designated safeguarding representative on our board of trustees to provide expert advice and to constantly check & challenge the OACT policies and procedures.

The wellbeing of children is paramount, and all staff must make themselves aware of the Club’s Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy, which is updated annually or when there is a change in legislation.


Approximately 10,000 young people, adults at risk and children participate, annually, in activities or programmes provided by the community trust.

We recognise that we have a duty of care towards children or young people under 18 years of age or adults at risk and children enjoy participating in our activities and programmes.

Adults at risk is for people aged 18 years and over, who are in receipt of or may need community care services because of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or are unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation. For adults at risk under the care act 2014 we as an organization will follow the guidance provided as to making referrals, we will ensure that the adult at risk is part of this process, i.e., making safeguarding personal.

We acknowledge this duty of care places moral obligations upon as well as probable obligations under the law. We recognise that every adult who has an involvement in the Club has a responsibility to:

Do all they can to respect the rights, wishes and feelings of children and young people participate in our activities and programmes.

Do all that is possible to advance and supervise the wellbeing of children and young people who participate in our activities and programmes.

Develop promote and review ways of protecting this group of children and young people from discrimination, abuse, exploitation, or treatment which degrades them.

These obligations will be met by:

The production and annual review of our Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for the club/community trust which will be informed by Oldham Area Child Protection Committee's Child Protection Procedures, and Government Guidance

All employees and volunteers of the Club/Trust will hold the appropriate qualifications for their role and all individuals will be DBS checked.

An environment within the club which provides respect for others regardless of their age; colour; disability; ethnicity; marital status; nationality; national origin; parental status; race; religion or belief; gender; sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

This policy refers to young people, children and vulnerable adults.


All action taken under Oldham Athletic Safeguarding Procedures will be informed by the multi-agency safeguarding procedures developed by Oldham Area Child Protection Committee which in turn are informed by government guidance.

All action will be informed by a principle that the welfare of a child, adult at risk or a young person is of the paramount importance.

All young people, adults at risk and children have a right to be protected from abuse regardless of their age; colour; disability; ethnicity; marital status; nationality; national origin; parental status; race; religion or belief; gender; sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

All suspicions and allegations of abuse, especially those made against managers, coaches and volunteers within the club will be taken seriously.

At Oldham Athletic F.C and Oldham Athletic Community Trust, we recognise and accept the specific statutory responsibility of Oldham Social Services Department to ensure the welfare of children. All our managers, coaches and volunteers are committed to cooperating with Oldham Social Services Department to protect children and young people who are involved with our programmes and activities.

We also recognise that having child protection procedures not only helps us to safeguard the welfare of children but also safeguards all our staff, volunteer’s and trustees.

For further guidance we would seek advice and help from NSPCC and


The staff and volunteers of OACT, Academy & OACT are not experts in recognising child abuse. It is therefore expected that if any manager, coach or volunteer has concerns about a child they will discuss their concerns with the DSO who is the person designated within the community trust/club to deal with child protection matters.

It is then The Designated Safeguarding Officer's responsibility to seek appropriate advice from the relevant area team of Oldham Social Services Department.

If the DSO is not available, the person having the concerns should contact our SSM or Social Services Department directly and seek advice.


Child abuse happens when a person – adult or child – harms a child. It can be physical, sexual, emotional or neglect. Neglect can be just as damaging to a child as physical or sexual abuse.


  • Physical Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Harmful Sexual Behaviour
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Bullying & Online Safety
  • Child Trafficking
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

OAFC, Academy & OACT will follow guidelines and follow legislation from Sexual Offences Act 2003, FMG Act 2013 and Keeping Children Safe. BULLYING and RACISM are also being considered  forms of child abuse. We recognise that children often experience significant harm when they are the victims of bullying and/or racism.

Please see our Anti Bullying and Equal Opportunities policies for further guidance.


The term PHYSICAL ABUSE usually relates to adults harming children in the following ways:

Physically hurting children by hitting, shaking, biting, squeezing, burning or scalding them

Giving children alcohol or inappropriate drugs.

Attempting to suffocate or drown children.

In a football setting physical abuse could be considered to have occurred if the nature and intensity of the training fails to recognise and take in to account a child's immature and growing body.

Training which leaves a child prone to injury because they are too tired could be considered as abusive.

Drugs, which are administered to children/young people to enhance their performance in a football setting, would be considered as being abusive.


NEGLECT can be seen to occur if adults:

Fail to provide for a young people, vulnerable adults and child’s basic needs such as food, warm clothing, and shelter.

Regularly leave young people, vulnerable adults and children alone without age appropriate supervision

Fail to provide children with appropriate love, affection and approval

Neglect in a football setting could occur if a coach does not ensure that children are safe and appropriately supervised or by exposing them to unacceptably low temperatures and harsh weather conditions


Young people, vulnerable adults and children could experience EMOTIONAL ABUSE if they experience:

A persistent lack of love, affection and approval

Constant over protection, which prevents them from developing age appropriate relationships both with their peers and other adults

Constantly being shouted at, threatened or teased so that they become withdrawn and develop a poor sense of their own self worth

In a football setting children and young people having their efforts or progress go unrecognised and them being constantly criticised

Being subjected to unrealistic pressure from coaches or parents

Being bullied by coaches or parents to consistently perform to high standards


SEXUAL ABUSE occurs when stronger more powerful and usually more mature males and females use children to meet their sexual needs.

Such abuse could involve:

Full sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse, fondling or voyeurism

Showing children/young people pornographic books, videos or computer-generated graphics

Taking inappropriate photographs of children

In a football setting activity which involve close physical contact could provide potential situations where sexual abuse could occur without being noticed.

Coaches and managers could misuse their power and influences over children and young people to develop opportunities to sexually abuse them. We will rely on Sexual Offences Act 2003 for updated legislation when defining abuse.


Bullying is not always easily defined but most situations involving bullying include:

Deliberate hostility and aggression by the bully towards a victim

A victim who is perceived as being weaker and less powerful than the bully or bullies

An outcome which is always painful and distressing for the victim

Bullying can take the following forms:

Physical bullying involving - pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, spitting and threats of violence

Verbal bullying involving - name-calling, sarcasm, spreading of rumours and/or persistent teasing

Emotional bullying involving - excluding, tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating

Racist bullying involving - racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, denigration due to race or ethnic origins

Bullying which is of a non-verbal nature is more likely to be present in football than is bullying which is of a physical nature.


Bullying can happen anywhere, at school, home or online. When bullying happens online it can involve social networks, games and mobile devices. Online bullying can also be known as cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying includes:

  • Sending threatening or abusive text messages.
  • Creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos.
  • Trolling – sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games.
  • Left out of online games, activities or friendship groups.
  • Setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child.
  • Encouraging young children or vulnerable adults to self-harm.
  • Creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass someone or cause trouble using their name.

Signs of bullying or cyberbullying

It is can be hard to know whether someone is being bullied. They might not tell anyone because they’re scared the bullying will get worse. They may also think it’s their fault they are being bullied.

No one sign indicated for certain that someone is being bullied, but you should look out for:

  • Belongings getting lost or damaged.
  • Physical injuries such as unexplained bruises.
  • Being afraid to go to school or college, being mysteriously ill each morning, or skipping school/college.
  • Not doing well at school/college/work.
  • Asking for, or stealing money (to give to the bully).
  • Being nervous, losing confidence or becoming distressed and withdrawn.
  • Problems with eating or sleeping.
  • Bullying others.


Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes either physical or emotional harm. It can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation.

This type of workplace aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical bullies, workplace bullies often operation within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. In most cases, bullying in the workplace is reported as having been by someone who has authority over the victim. However, bullies can also be peers, and occasionally subordinates. Bullying can be covert or overt. It may be missed by superiors, it may be known by many throughout the organization. Negative effects are not limited to the targeted individuals and may lead to a decline in employee morale and a change in organizational culture.


Child trafficking is a child abuse. It involves recruiting and moving children who are then exploited. Many children are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

Children are trafficked for:

Child sexual exploitation.

Benefit fraud.

Forced marriage.

Domestic slave such as cleaning, childcare and cooking.

Forced labour in factories or agriculture.

Criminal exploitation such as transporting and selling drugs, pickpocketing begging, selling pirated DVD’s and bag theft.

Children who are trafficked experience many forms of abuse and neglect. Physical, sexual and emotional abuse is often used to control them and they’re also likely to suffer physical and emotional neglect.

Child trafficking can require a network of organised criminals who recruit, transport and exploit children and young people. Some people in the network might not be directly involved in trafficking a child but play a part in other ways, such as falsifying documents, bribery, owning and renting premises or money laundering. Child trafficking can also be organised by individuals including their own family members.

Traffickers trick, force or persuade children to leave their homes. They use grooming techniques to gain the trust of a child, family or community. Although these are methods used by traffickers, coercion, violence or threats don’t need to be proven in cases of child trafficking, a child cannot legally consent to their exploitation, so child trafficking only requires evidence of movement and exploitation.

Modern slavery is another term which may be used in relation to child trafficking. Modern Slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking (HM Government 2014). The modern slavery Act passed in 2015 in England and Wales categorises offences of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking (NCA 2017).

Signs of child trafficking – Modern Slavery

Signs that a child has been trafficked may not be obvious, but you might notice unusual behaviour or events:

These include a child who:

  • Spends a lot of time doing household chores.
  • Rarely leaves their house, has no freedom of movement and no time for playing.
  • Is orphaned or living apart from their family, often in unregulated private foster care
  • Lives in substandard accommodation.
  • Isn’t sure which country, city or town they’re in.
  • Is unable or reluctant to give details of accommodation or personal details.
  • Might not be registered with a school or a GP practice.
  • Has no documents or has falsified documents.
  • Has no access to their parents or guardians.
  • Is seen in appropriate places.
  • Possesses unaccounted for money or goods.
  • Is permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings, required to earn a minimum amount of money every day or pay off an exorbitant debt.
  • Has injuries from workplace accidents.
  • Gives a prepared story which is very similar to stories given by other children.

There are also signs that an adult is involved in child trafficking, such as

  • Making multiple visa applications for different children.
  • Acting as a guarantor for multiple visa applications for children.
  • Travelling with different children who they’re not related to or responsible for.
  • Insisting on remaining with and speaking for the child.
  • Living with unrelated or newly arrived children.
  • Abandoning a child or claiming not to know a child they were previously with.


FGM is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It’s also known as female circumcision or cutting.

The age at which FGM is carried out varies, it may be when a girl is new-born, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during pregnancy.

Religious, social or cultural reasons are something given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuses, it’s dangerous and a criminal offence.

There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn’t enhance fertility and it doesn’t make childbirth safer. It’s used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.

Signs of FGM

A girl at immediate risk of FGM may not know what’s going to happen. But she might talk about or you may become aware of:

  • A long holiday aboard or going home to visit family.
  • Relative visiting from aboard.
  • Special occasion or ceremony to become a woman or get ready for marriage.
  • A female relative being cut, a sister, cousin or an older female relative such as a mother or aunt.
  • Missing school repeatedly or running away from home.

A girl who has had FGM may:

Have difficulty walking, standing or sitting.

Spend longer in the bathroom or toilet.

Appear withdrawn, anxious or depressed.

Have unusual behaviour after an absence from school or college.

Be particularly reluctant to undergo normal medical examinations.

Ask for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.

We will do all we can to prevent bullying within our programmes and activities and our intentions are reflected by our staff and volunteers.

We will do all we can to ensure that bullying does not become a problem in our club. Please see Anti Bullying Policy located in Staff Handbook for more guidance. We will also get guidance and comply with FGM Act 2013.


Racism does occur within football at all levels and at Oldham Athletic, we to promote an environment where participants can take part in activities and programmes without fear of abuse or discrimination based on the grounds or ethnicity, cultural background or faith.

We will adopt a zero-tolerance approach.

Racism is difficult to define but is usually seen to involve the following features:

A belief that one's own race is superior to that of another person and this provides the right to dominate the other.

A belief that one's own race is superior and therefore has the right to privileges and power over those of a different race.

Prejudice is a central tenant of racism, which leads to opinions and feelings regarding those of another race to one's own, which are formed beforehand without knowledge or reasoned argument.

The expression of hostile and negative and unreasonable feelings, opinions and attitudes against a religious, cultural, racial or national group which is clearly identifiable.

Racism is usually rooted in an individual's beliefs, attitudes and values. At Oldham Athletic we accept that those associated with our club will have differing levels of experience and understanding of racism. However, it is our intention to do all we can to ensure that racism is not an accepted feature of our organisation.

Bullying and racism can be closely interlinked. Children who experience bullying and racism are more likely to experience low self-esteem and isolation which in turn can make them more vulnerable to those adults who wish to exploit them for their own purposes.

At Oldham Athletic we recognise the importance of developing a club climate which seeks to eliminate bullying and racism. We hold annual workshops to educate the staff etc and at all briefings on match day’s all stewards are informed of zero tolerance.

For more guidance please see our Equal Opportunities Policy located in our Staff Handbook.


Sexual exploitation is a type of sexual abuse. Young people and vulnerable adults in exploitative situations and relationships receive things such as gifts, money, drugs, alcohol, status of affection in exchange for taking part in sexual activities.

Young people and Vulnerable adults may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving consensual relationship. They often trust their abuser and don’t understand that they’re being abused. They may depend on their abuser or to be too scared to tell anyone what’s happening. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol before being sexually exploited. They can be groomed and exploited online. Some children and young people are trafficked into or within the UK for the purpose, of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can also happen to young people in gangs.

Sexual exploitation can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults and involve multiple perpetrators.

Signs of sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation can be very difficult to identify. Warning signs can easily be mistaken for normal behaviour.

People who are sexually exploited may:

  • Go missing from home, care or education.
  • Be involved in abusive relationships, appearing intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations.
  • Hang out with groups of older people, or anti-social groups, or with other vulnerable peers.
  • Get involved in gangs, gang fights and gang membership.
  • Have older boyfriends and girlfriends.
  • Spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothel.
  • Not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country.
  • Be involved in petty crime such as shoplifting.
  • Have access to drugs and alcohol.
  • Have new things such as clothes and phones which they can’t or won’t explain.
  • Have unexplained physical injuries.


Children and vulnerable people who develop (HSB) harm themselves and others.

HSB can include:

  • Using sexually explicit words and phrases.
  • Inappropriate touching.
  • Using sexual violence or threats.
  • Full penetrative sex with other children or adults.

Sexual behaviour between children is also considered harmful if 1 of the children is much older – particularly if there is more than 2 years difference in age or if 1 of the children is pre-pubescent and the other isn’t. However, a younger child can abuse an older child, particularly if they have power over them – for example, if the older child is disabled.

Signs of Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB)

It’s normal for children to show signs of sexual behaviour at each stage in their development. Children and vulnerable adults also develop at different rate and some may be slightly more or less advanced than others in their age group or disability. Behaviours which might be concerning depend on the age or situation of child or vulnerable adult. If you are unsure whether a child’s or vulnerable adult sexual behaviour is healthy, Brook provide a helpful, easy to use traffic light tool. The traffic light system is used to describe healthy (green) sexual behaviours, potentially unhealthy (amber) sexual behaviours and unhealthy (red) sexual behaviours.


Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people who are or were in an intimate relationship. There any many different types of abusive behaviour that can occur including emotional, sexual, financial, psychological and physical abuse. This abuse can be underpinned by an on-going pattern of psychologically abusive behaviour, that is used by 1 partner to control or intimidate the other partner. In situations of domestic abuse both males and female can be abused or be abusers. Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship regardless of age, sexuality, gender identity, race or religious identity. The definition of domestic abuse also covers relationships between young people aged 16 and 17 (Home office 2013).

Children and vulnerable adult exposure to domestic abuse between parents and carers is an abuse. They can be directly involved in incidents of domestic abuse or they may be harmed by seeing or hearing abuse happening. The developmental and behavioural impact of witnessing domestic abuse is like experiencing direct abuse. Children and vulnerable adults where there is domestic abuse is also at risk of other types of abuse or neglect.

Signs of domestic abuse

It can be difficult to tell if domestic abuse is happening, because it usually takes place in the family home and abusers can act very differently when other people are around.

Children and vulnerable adults who witness domestic abuse my, become aggressive, display anti-social behaviour, suffer from depression or anxiety or not do as well at school dur to difficulties at home or disruption of moving to and from refuges.


Possible warning signs of abuse include:

Children having bruises, cuts, abrasions or burns on parts of their body where such injuries are usually unexpected.

The explanation for the injury does not match the nature of the injury.

A child or young person makes a statement that they have been abused, or describe behaviour towards them, which could be considered as abusive.

Other people have expressed concern for the child or young person's wellbeing.

There are changes in the child or young person's behaviour or mood, for which there appear to be no logical explanations.

The child or young person displays an inappropriate sexual awareness or plays and talks in sexually explicit ways.

The child or young person has difficulty making friends and/or is actively discouraged by those caring for him/her, from having close relationships.

A child or young person becoming wary and distrustful and not wanting to be with an adult they previously appeared to like.

A child or young person not being able to trust adults especially those with whom they would normally be expected to have a close relationship.

A child or young person becoming increasingly dirty and poorly clothed.

This list does not contain all the warning signs of abuse and for a more detailed list please see Oldham Area Child Protection Committee's Child Protection Procedures, a copy of which is available and is with The Designated Safeguarding Officer. We annually do a review with the staff around Safeguarding matters and refresh them of what to look for and who to report too.


Each individual act of abuse is unique and children who are abused can be affected in different ways Children and young people can experience abuse at any stage in their lives and the affects they experience can have far reaching detrimental effects, particularly if they remain unprotected or are not provided with help to overcome their abusive experiences.

Some children's abusive childhood experiences stay with them into adulthood and significantly impair their ability to make sustaining worthwhile relationships.

The most serious effect of abuse is that a child could die. 

Some children who have been abused develop behavioural problems and present aggressive and angry behaviour which is seen in their home, in school and sometimes in a sports setting. 

Some abused children can become developmentally delayed.

Some can present significantly different behaviour in school which affects their ability to learn. In the long term this group of children develop low self-esteem and can sometimes present as being withdrawn and depressed.

Adults who were abused in childhood have reported that they felt they were responsible for their abuse and are sometimes left feeling worthless. Such adults have also reported that they suffered from mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression Some adults who were abused in childhood and do not receive appropriate help, go on to develop harmful negative relationships with their own children.

Children who experience discrimination e.g. because of disability or racism, often feel even more powerless to either protect themselves or to share their abusive experiences with others.

It is essential that all children who participate in the activities of Oldham Athletic Community Trust are given opportunities to talk about any abusive experiences they could be experiencing inside or outside of the club.

To ensure that children and young people have an opportunity to talk with someone within the Trust the Child Protection Officer has agreed to be a peer "listener" for children and young people engaged with our activities.

In addition, we will ensure that appropriate up to date telephone help line numbers are displayed in several prominent places throughout the club.


To disclose that they are being abused and by so doing expose a very strong secret, is never easy for children. When they do decide to tell we have a responsibility to ‘say’ and ‘hear’ what they tell us.

Many children when they are finally heard will state that they thought they had told of their abuse in the past, but no action had been taken to end the abuse.

Children who experience abuse will only tell people who they trust and with whom they feel safe.

It is likely in a football setting a child or young person's coach is someone who they trust and with whom they feel sufficiently safe to tell about their abusive experiences. If a child or young person does decide to tell, coaches and managers can offer positive help by doing the following:

Staying calm and not reacting in a way which will frighten the child/young person.

Letting the child/young person know that "telling" about their abuse must have been difficult.

Telling the child/young person that they are not to blame for their abuse and that they did the right thing in telling.

Listening very carefully to what the child/young person is saying and letting them know what they are telling about is being believed.

Letting the child/young person know that what they are saying is being taken seriously and when necessary acknowledging the additional difficulties of understanding what a child says if they have a disability which impairs their speech or English is not their first language.

Keeping questions to a minimum and only asking questions to gain a clear and precise understanding of what a child is saying.

Being honest with the child/young person and avoiding making promises which could prove impossible to keep.

By reassuring the child/young person that they did the right thing by telling but avoiding making promises of confidentiality which cannot be kept given the circumstances.

Explaining to the child/young person that other people may also have to be told so that the abuse will stop.

By keeping a full record of the facts, which is kept separate from personal opinions.


It is not the responsibility of any of the staff or volunteers of Oldham Athletic F.C, Academy or Community Trust to decide if child abuse has or is taking place or not. This is a job for trained experts.

We do, however, have a responsibility to protect children and young people by ensuring our concerns are discussed with agencies who have a responsibility to make appropriate inquiries and if necessary, act to protect the child or young person Within Oldham, Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Social Services Department have a responsibility to undertake such inquiries and investigations.

Such inquiries could mean staff from Oldham Social Services Department talking to the child/young person and his family. Information could be sought from another people e.g:

Schoolteachers, family doctors. On some occasions (usually sexual abuse or serious physical abuse) inquiries may be carried out jointly with the police.

Some children and young people who are associated with Oldham Athletic Football Club, Academy and Community Trust programmes and activities may have their family home outside of the Oldham area. In such circumstances Oldham Social Services Department could be required to liaise with the Social Services Department for the area in which the child/young person lives.

We believe in the principle of always working with parents and carers particularly when there are concerns about their children. In most situations it is important to talk with parents or carers to try and clarify any initial concerns. Such circumstances would normally relate to changes in a child/young person's temperament or behaviour, which could for example be because of bereavement or other family crisis.

There are some occasions when a child/young person could be placed at greater risk when concerns are raised. An example would be when a parent/carer may have been or is likely to be responsible for the abuse.

Under such circumstances, or even after discussions with parents/carers, if concerns remain the staff member or volunteer holding the concerns, suspicions of abuse, allegation or incident should discuss their concerns with DSO as the Trust's designated person, who in turn should contact Oldham Social Services Department to either seek advice or to make a referral relating to concerns of child abuse.

If the DSO is not available it is the responsibility of the staff member or volunteer, holding the concern to contact Oldham Social Services Department or Greater Manchester Police (see Appendix 1.  Flowchart for telephone numbers).

If the person holding the concerns is unsure what to do they should contact the Social Services Office for the area in which the child lives and ask the duty officer for a consultation. 

During out of office hours the person should contact Oldham Social Services Department's Emergency Team (see Appendix One for telephone numbers).

The NSPCC also provides a 24-hour Child Protection Helpline 0800 800 500 which can be contacted for advice.

Social Services Department together with the designated person will decide how and when parents or carers should best be informed of the concerns relating to their child.


For Oldham Social Services Department or the police to make an informed decision regarding the course of action which is required they do need to have helpful information from the person holding the concerns.

Such information should include:

The child/young person's name, date of birth and address.

The nature of the incident and the date upon which it occurred.

The staff member or volunteer's observation of the child/young person.

A note of exactly what the child/young person said, and a note of the staff member or volunteer's responses should be kept.

Staff member or volunteers should make a note of the action they took because of their concerns This could include any discussions they have had with the club's designated person, parents and/or agency representatives.

The record should be signed and dated and given to the DSO as the Trust's designated person dealing with child abuse.

It is important that staff members or volunteers do not take sole responsibility. They should consult with the DSO or ask for a consultation from the duty officer at the appropriate Social Services Department. If they have consulted with Oldham Social Services Department, they should advise the DSO as the club's designated person about the nature of the consultation.


Child abuse is not confined to families. Children are abused outside of a family setting and such abuse has occurred in institutions, schools, churches, mosques and within sports settings.

It is now generally accepted that abuse which takes place in a public setting such as a school, nursery or junior football club is rarely a one-off event, and unless the abuse is dealt with by experts it is unlikely to stop.

It is crucial for all staff member or volunteer's to be aware of this point and that all allegations made against staff member or volunteers of Oldham Athletic Community Trust are taken seriously, and appropriate action taken.

If an allegation is made against a staff member or volunteer there are three forms of investigation which could take place:

A child protection investigation.

A criminal investigation.

An internal misconduct/poor performance investigation This would relate to poor standards of coaching or football management.

Experience has shown that in these circumstances a child protection investigation and/or a police investigation can have a bearing upon a misconduct hearing.

The CCO has a legal obligation to make referrals to DBS. All staff, trustees and volunteers will need a DBS before they start their role within the organisation. Any DBS that comes back with content will be risk assessed, to see if content is relevant and to be decided.


If the allegation is related to poor practice or misconduct the designated person, the Designated Safeguarding Officer should deal with this as a misconduct or poor practice investigation.

If the allegation involves the practice of a designated person, the matter should be referred to the CEO or Board Members.

All allegations or suspicions that a child/young person has been abused by a staff member or volunteer of Oldham Athletic should be referred immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, who in turn should immediately consult with the Oldham Social Services Team which is responsible for the area within which the child/young person lives.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer will do all that they feel necessary to ensure the immediate safety of a child or other children who could be at risk.

The designated person will decide with Oldham Social Services Department the next steps to be followed, which could involve a police investigation.

The designated person will decide with staff from Oldham Social Services Department about how the child/young person's carers should be advised of concerns.

The Designated Safeguarding Officer along with the Chief Executive as a member of the Board will after consultation with Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Social Services Department, inform the person about whom the allegation has been made that (s)he is suspended from activities at the club until the allegations are fully investigated.

The SSM or DSO should contact Manchester FA about the allegations and the course of action which has been followed. The FA is contacted to help, give advice with any incidents or allegations, depending on the severity would depend on who you would contact, all contact details are listed within this policy. They are also there to make decisions on any content on staff/volunteer/trustee DBS, they also make decisions and enforce any safeguarding issues.

All staff member or volunteers involved with Oldham Athletic should respect all aspects of confidentiality to protect both the accused person and the child/young person involved.

The Board of Trustees will decide who should deal with any media enquiries and together decide the extent of what the media will be told bearing in mind the principle of confidentiality as outlined above.

If the designated person the DSO is the person about whom allegations are being made, the Chief Executive, as a member of the Board of Trustees will be responsible for contacting and liaising with Oldham Social Services Department.

There is often insufficient evidence from child abuse investigations to allow the police to pursue further action. In such cases the Board of Trustees must reach a decision based on the information available, bearing in mind, that on the balance of probability it is more likely than not that the allegation is true.

The Board of Trustees regardless of the outcome of the Social Services Department or a police investigation will have to decide if the suspended person should be reinstated in to the club.

Decisions should be taken following a principle "that the welfare of a child/young person is always of paramount importance".

The designated person should also discuss with Oldham Social Services Department what support could be offered to the child/young person and his/her carers

The executive committee should also consider what support could be offered to the person about whom the allegation has been made and to others who have worked with this person.

Over the past year many adults have come forward and disclosed abuse from their childhood. Sometimes the person about whom the allegations are made has continued to work with children and young people.

If such an allegation of a previous abuse is made against a current staff member or volunteer with OAFC, Academy or Community Trust the above Procedures should also be followed.

Experience has shown that sexual offenders rarely modify their behaviour unless they receive specialist help, and we should bear this in mind when considering past allegations against current staff members and volunteers within the Trust.

The flowchart helps the steps needed if there are concerns about a child or young person who is involved with an activity or programme of OAFC, Academy & OACT.


Trip Risk Assessment

Before undertaking any trip, employers are legally required to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment. A risk assessment should detail any significant risk associated with the activity/risk and the precautions to be taken to minimise the risk.

The Line Manager must ensure a risk assessment is completed prior to the event. However, it is always advised that this process should be completed by a team of people with relevant knowledge and experience to help ensure that the identification of potential risks is suitable and sufficient. The completed assessment will also need to be shared with all trip staff and volunteers.

The person in charge needs to ensure an ongoing process of risk assessment as new or unplanned situations arise leading up to and during the trip.

When staffing the trips/events we recommend one adult to 10 children. The ratio will increase if the group is made up of primary school aged children, or children with special needs, or the trip is of a nature where more supervision may be required.

If the group is mixed sex, there should be at least one male and one female supervisor/staff. There should always be at least two adults on accompanying any group. If the group included people with special needs, there may be some specific skill requirements of supervisors that need to be considered. In some case’s parents or designated carers may need to be included.


When travelling to competitions, events etc there may need to be other welfare factors to consider. Where an event is further away, it is often sensible to make arrangements to travel by hiring mini-bus, coach. If this is the case, we would then in force our transport policy and make sure drivers have been DBS/CRC checked and have insurance etc.

It is essential that parents/guardian are to complete a consent form for the trip and is asked to provide participant and emergency contact information. Parents need to be fully informed (in writing) of all details in relation to the trip, including information relating to the management of any identified risks, and information taken will be stored as per our Data Protection Policy.

Missing Children

In the rare event a child goes missing, the following guidelines have been devised to outline the actions that should be taken.

Ensure that other children in the group are looked after appropriately while a search for the child concerned is conducted

Inform the child’s parents if they are present, or nominate an appropriate person to telephone them and advise them of the concern. Reassure them that everything is being done to locate the child.

Organise all available responsible adults by areas to be searched. It is best to take a short time to organise the search properly so that all places are searched fully.

Search the area in which the child has gone missing including changing rooms, toilets, public and private areas.

Request all those searching to report back and to nominate an adult to stay at a specific point.

Make a note of the circumstances in which the child has gone missing and where he/she was last seen.

Prepare a detailed physical description of the child, including: approximate height, build, hair and eye colour, clothing he/she was wearing as this will be required by the police.

Report the concern to the police if the search is unsuccessful. This must happen no later than 30 minutes after the young person’s disappearance is noted, even if the search is incomplete.

Follow police guidance if further action is recommended and maintain close contact with the police.

Ensure that you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and police if at any stage the child is located.

Refer the concern ASAP to the DSO.

Late Collection of Children

The following information is a guideline on how to respond where a parent for whatever reason, does not arrive at the required time to collect their child.

All parents must be advised that in the event, they are delayed for any reason, they must:

Contact lead staff/coach at the earliest opportunity

Provide clear guidance on what they wish the staff/coach to do, e.g consent for another parent to transport child home.

Staff/Coach must:

Maintain a list of parent contact details and emergency numbers

Never leave a child or young person alone unless he/she is over 16 and then only with parent’s permission

Staff/Coach must not:

Must not take the child home or to another location

Ask the child to wait in a vehicle or the club with them alone

Send the child home with another person without permission

If the parent is considered as being unduly late the lead staff/coach should:

Attempt to contact the parent – from the information sheet completed by the parent

Attempt to contact emergency contact person nominated

If there is no reply from the emergency contact, ask the child if there is another family member who may be contacted.

Wait with the young person making sure you are with at least one other person e.g coach, volunteer, teacher or parent

Respond to any instruction received from the parent

If no one can be reached, contact local police or children’s social services to enquire about the best course of action.

Persistent failure to collect a child/young person on time:

Parents, who regularly fail to collect a child on time or have not arrived after a reasonable period of time, and have given no prior notice to inform that they are delayed, may be failing in providing adequate care for their child.

If the parent makes no effort to contact staff/coach or provide reasonable explanation for the delays, the DSO or other official staff should arrange to meet with the parent to discuss the matter. It may be parent/carer needs assistance to arrive on time.

If there is no change the DSO should contact LADO or seek advice from FA, ELF or ELFT.


Oldham Athletic FC and the Community Trust would like to promote and celebrate success by using photographs and images.

This consent form should be completed by the parent or carer/guardian who has legal guardianship of any child, under 18 years old, who will participate in activities organised by the club/community trust.


Name of Child (Print)............................................................ Age ...............DOB.......................

Current Address .................................................................................Post Code.......................

Name of school (if U16)............................................................................................................

To be taken by Oldham Athletic Football Club, Academy, Community Trust or its designated representative:

As the legal guardian of the child I agree that the images taken may be used in publicity materials and celebration publications produced by OLDHAM ATHLETIC FOOTBALL CLUB; EFL; EFLT, Community Trust(s) and/or any of their sponsors or future commercial partners/sponsors.  I agree images may be used on websites or social network sites managed by any of those groups.

Images taken may be used for in publicity features including local press, website and social media.

I understand that in addition, the images of my child MAY appear on live or recorded televised footage and understand any images will be safely stored and archived digitally or manually and may be used at any time for promotional or publicity purposes.


I understand that I must contact the OAFC, Academy or OACT Designated Safeguarding Officer if family circumstances change and I wish to withdraw my consent, or if my child is now or becomes the subject any Family or other Court Orders.  

All information submitted on this form will be used only for what it’s intended and fall inline with our Data Protection Policy which legislation and guidance comes from General Data Protection Regulations 2018

CONTACT DETAILS (Please print clearly)

NAME: ___________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: _________________________________________________________________________

POST CODE: _________________________________________

TEL: CONTACT: _______________________        

MOBILE PHONE: ___________________________ 

I agree that the organisations named may use any image(s) as outlined above. 

Parent / guardian

SIGNED Parent / guardian: __________________________

(Relationship): __________________ 

DATE: _________________DD/MM/YY

Social Media Code of Conduct Policy

Introduction to the Policy

All employees of Oldham Athletic, Academy and Community Trust and its associated companies are welcome to participate in Social Media, but it is essential that every member of staff who participates in online commentary strictly observes these clear and straightforward guidelines.

These rules and guidelines have been established to ensure that all employees who participate in Social Media do so in a respectful and relevant way, and that protects the club’s reputation and follows legislative requirements.  The intention is not to restrict your personal freedom, but we all have a duty to protect the reputation of Oldham Athletic FC by acting in a responsible manner.

The club and community trust expect appropriate standards of behaviour and communication from all employees, whatever the medium used.  However, Social Media has unique hazards that other media does not.  The lines between professional and personal / private communication remain blurred but the medium ensures that there is a permanent record of what has been said and done. Deleting unfortunate tweets, comments or photographs does not guarantee that they are removed from the public domain.  Act with caution!

Publishing photographs can be as damaging as publishing words and any restriction on what you can post to Social Media accounts should be read as including photographs, match footage, music, video, links and information using any medium, as well as words.

Please see our social media policy for more information all new starters including volunteers will receive a copy of the policy and everyone will be issued with updated policies once reviewed annually.

The club and community trust as created a list of simple and clear rules and guidelines for your benefit and should you have any questions or queries please do contact either you Line Manager or the Chief Executive.



As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Oldham Athletic Community Trust complies fully and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

Here at Oldham Athletic Community Trust we do not discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check based on a conviction or other information revealed.

We can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that we are legally entitled to know about and are not protected. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended, and where appropriate Police Act Regulations as amended)

Oldham Athletic Community Trust is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

Oldham Athletic Community Trust actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records, candidates are selected for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.

Oldham Athletic Community Trust ensures that all those in who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences and will ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we will ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place, about any offences, or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. Also, within the interview process there is a safer recruitment check list which helps you to ask relevant questions and what is needed from the prospected employee and what as an employer we should be looking for, this also stipulates references required and checked as well as the DBS and correct qualifications for the role.

Anything revealed on a DBS certificate will be discussed with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.


All adults who come into contact with children and young people in their work have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare. 

The Education Act 2002 places a duty on organisations to safeguard and promote the well-being of children and young people. This includes the need to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of children and young people in these organisations are competent, confident and safe to do so. 

The vast majority of adults who work with children and young people act professionally and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well-being and very best outcomes for children and young people in their care. However, it is recognised that in this area of work, tensions and misunderstandings can occur.  It is here that the behaviour of adults can give rise to allegations of abuse being made against them. Allegations may be malicious or misplaced. They may arise from differing perceptions of the same event, but when they occur, they are inevitably distressing and difficult for all concerned.  Equally, it must be recognised that some allegations will be genuine and there are adults who will deliberately seek out, create or exploit opportunities to abuse children and young people. It is therefore essential that all possible steps are taken to safeguard children and young people and ensure that the adults working with them are safe to do so. 

Some concerns have been raised about the potential vulnerability of adults in this area of work. It was suggested that there was a need for clearer advice about what constitutes illegal behaviour and what might be considered as misconduct. This document has been produced in response to these concerns. It was written by a team of individuals from various backgrounds who are knowledgeable about allegation procedures and the circumstances in which allegations might arise and provides practical guidance for anyone who works with, or on behalf of children and young people regardless of their role, responsibilities or status.  It seeks to ensure that the duty to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people is in part, achieved by raising awareness of illegal, unsafe and inappropriate behaviours.  

Whilst every attempt has been made to cover a wide range of situations, it is recognised that this guidance cannot cover all eventualities.  There may be times when professional judgements are made in situations not covered by this document, or which directly contravene the guidance given by their employer. It is expected that in these circumstances, adults will always advise their senior colleagues of the justification for any such action already taken or proposed.  

It is also recognised that not all adults who work with children and young people work as paid or contracted employees. The principles and guidance outlined in this document still apply and should be followed by all adults whose work brings them into contact with children and young people.

The guidance contained in this document has due regard to current legislation and statutory guidance. Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015).

We will ensure that all staff, volunteers and trustees are given the correct training to make sure, when they are out and about on behalf of the community trust they are in a safe working environment. We will endeavour to make sure that first aid, DBS and safeguarding qualification are up to date and that we do regular CPD training. All staff will receive updated policies and procedures annually unless legislation dictates, such as Whistle Blowing policy, Safeguarding etc.

When working within schools we will adhere to their policies and procedures around the child’s safety.


Those who apply for a role that involves working closely with children and in some cases adults at risk, on any of our activities will be subject to safer recruitment principles relative to the mandatory systems in place. As a minimum they will require a criminal record certificate (disclosure and barring service checks), we will also take and follow up in references, check qualifications and licences, and where necessary conduct medical checks. As a result of the roles and authority that many members of our workforce hold, they are considered to be in a position of trust in relation to those in their care. This means that staff, or other members of the workforce, are in a position of power and influence over children or other vulnerable people they must not abuse their position for personal advantage or gratification or that of others. Staff must also report any concern they have about another member of the workforce to a designated safeguarding officer.

DBS also known as CRC’s are an essential part of our recruitment for staff and volunteer who work or have contact on a regular basis.

The criminal record check gives us the applicant’s full criminal history. This includes spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. From time to time other information is released such as background information about an offence, impending prosecutions or serious and relevant allegations. Most importantly the criminal record check tells us if the person is barred from working with children. If a person is barred, it is a criminal offence for us to allow them to work with children and young people, and we will have to suspend such people from our employment.

Many people have a criminal record that are not linked to the care of children and young people. Every check is different, and every effort is made in order, to make a fair decision as to whether the information released is significant and relevant to working with children. Sometimes, we cannot simply make the decision based on the written information, and would need more information and would ask the applicant for more details and reference may be sought. We would also ask for help and guidance from other professionals such as FA and EFLT. All this is to help make an informed decision and ensure nobody is judged on mistakes they made when they were younger, or on information that is no longer relevant. Oldham Athletic Community Trust processes are fair and transparent and of course there is a complaints process if people feel they have been unfairly treated.


The aim of this policy is to provide a process through which people who work at OAFC, Academy and OACT and are able to raise a whistle blowing concern, safe in the knowledge that doing so will not led to reprisals, victimisation or detrimental treatment (e.g. denial of promotion, facilities or training which the member of staff would have otherwise been offered), provided that such a concern is based on an honest and reasonable suspicion.

What is Whistle Blowing?

Whistle blowing is a term used when someone within Oldham Athletic raises a concern about the possible,




Breach of Laws, regulations, policies and procedures

Serious risk that threatens clients, colleagues, the public, the environment or Community Trust reputation.


This policy will apply to all members of staff.

This policy will not apply to:

Possible frauds, crimes, dangers, breach of any laws or regulations or other serious risks committed by people who do not work for the OAFC, Academy, OACT i.e clients and other third parties

Personal grievances regarding an individual’s terms and conditions, complaints, bullying, harassment or disciplinary matters.

What should I do if I have a whistle blowing concern?

If you have a whistle blowing concern, write this down immediately. Make a note of all relevant detail, such as what was said, either on the phone or during other conversations, the date, the time and the names of those involved.

OAFC, Academy and OACT welcomes the opportunity to address whistle blowing concerns as early as possible – you should not attempt to investigate your concerns yourself. We hope that you feel that you can raise such concerns promptly with your line manager. However, we appreciate that doing so is not always easy, if you have concerns and would like some confidential advice on whether and how to raise this, you can call the Employee Assistance Programme at the The FA Group. Any safeguarding incidents you can email, or contact NSPCC helpline 0808 0800 5000.

It may not be appropriate for a whistle blowing concern to be raised with your director or line manager (eg if that director or manager is the object of the concern). In these circumstances, you should discuss the concern with one of the following:

The person to whom the individual reports and or the CEO.

For more guidance please see our Whistle blowing policy.


Records relating to recruitment will be held and destroyed in accordance with the Data Protection Act. For further information, please refer to the Data Protection Policy where regulations are taken from General Data Protection Regulation 2018.


The designated safeguarding officers are the first point of contact for all staff and volunteers to go for advice if they are concerned about a child (this may also need to be out of hours, so staff and volunteers should always know how to contact them or appoint a deputy).

They should have a higher level of safeguarding training and knowledge than the rest of the staff.

They are responsible for ensuring that their organisation safeguarding policy is kept up to date and reviewed annually and after any legislation change or after any serious incident.

They ensure that they comply with recruitment procedures for new staff members and their induction.

Are invited to sit in interviews as and when needed.

They support staff to assist in information regarding concerns and support decision making about whether staff concerns are sufficient, enough to notify Child Services, Police or NSPCC.

They ensure that concerns are logged and stored securely. 

They have joint responsibility with the management committee or board of trustees to ensure that the organisations safeguarding policy and related policies and procedures are followed and regularly updated. We meet each month and review any issues and policies and are raised in the board meetings.

They are responsible for promoting a safe environment for children and young people. This is done by giving staff the correct information, so they can pass it on to the young people.

They know the contacts details of relevant statutory agencies.

We have a legal duty to make sure that all staff, volunteers and trustees have an up to date DBS when working with children or have regular contact

New starters will be given the online information to complete their DBS, it will then need verifying and payment due.

DBS numbers and date of issued are logged, DBS are renewed every 3 years.  The staff/volunteers will receive reminders of when they need to renew their DBS. We send reminders to staff three, two and one month in advance of DBS running out to ensure that it gets done in time before the other runs out.

If the DBS does run out this could mean that the person in question would be suspended until such time, they have a new DBS in place.

If a DBS comes back as unfit to work, it would be up to the safeguarding officer to advise a cause of action and could warrant termination of employment. 

It is not the responsibility of the designated safeguarding officer to decide whether a child has been abused or not, that is the responsibility of investigative statutory agencies such as children’s social services or the police. However, keeping children safe is everybody’s business and all staff should know who to so to and how to report any concerns they may have about a child being harmed or at risk of being harmed.

We have a role to play in keeping safe and keeping other safe by preventing, identifying and reporting incidents and concerns. Thankfully incidents are rare but if you need to get in touch with the appropriate people, internally by the management structure list or for external help please see information below.

DSO works closely with all departments to make sure all safeguarding policies are adhered to. DSO’s from the club, academy and community trust meet on a monthly basis unless a major incident has occurred which we will then meet to discuss as a matter of urgency. On matchday’s the community trust DSO will be present and lead on any safeguarding incidents. In the absence of the community trust DSO you can contact the club or academy DSO or contact out Trustee safeguarding lead.