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Ratio of Adults to Children

Safeguarding best practice requires adults (over 18s) to be present when football-related activity takes place for children. But the number of adults present depends on three main factors:

  • the age of the children involved;
  • the degree of risk the activity, location and venue present; and
  • whether any participants have additional supervision or support needs

As a rule, the lower the age of the participants, the higher the ratio of staff must be. If the activity is mixed gender, male and female staff should be available.

Whatever the age of the children, a minimum of two FA-DBS-checked coaches/adults will always be present. This ensures at least basic cover in the event of an incident.

If the children have additional needs e.g. learning needs or a disability, the ratio will be increased to ensure the specific needs of any given group can be met.

All coaches/adults involved in a regulated activity (i.e. supervising, instructing, coaching or caring) will have completed an FA online Safeguarding training module and anyone involved in these activities for more than 3 days in any 30 days must have an in-date FA-DBS check. (i.e. an Enhanced DBS Check with a children’s barred list check).

The Club will aim to follow the recommended ratios which are as follows:

Age GroupAdult:Child Ratio*No.
PLAYERS
(Squad Size)
Minimum No.
COACHES
(FA-DBS-Checked)
Additional
COACHES / ADULTS
(FA-DBS-Checked)
Minimum No.
COACHES /ADULTS
(FA-DBS-Checked)
Dev – U91:6up to 12
13-18
19-24
1
1
1
1
2
3
2
3
4
U10 – U131:8up to 16112
U14 – U181:10up to 16112

* NSPCC recommendation

Note: Where young leaders (under-18) or coaches aged 16-17yrs are used, they are not considered as adults and, in these circumstances, more adults may be needed to supervise because there will be more under-18s in the group.