ESFA Newsletter - Friday 25 June 2010
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Chairman Mike Coyne
I have great feelings of pride and determination as I take on this prestigious role as chairman of the English Schools Football Association.
I am proud because I strongly believe that the whole membership of the ESFA are responsible for providing excellent opportunities for children and young adults to develop their physical and social maturity in a positive sporting environment.
I am determined, as we face an important year for the ESFA, to ensure that we continue to offer school-aged young people this excellent provision whilst looking forward to develop our association.
I become chairman as a council member of six years experience, following a number of years involved in schools football in Somerset and the South West. My early progress to office is an indicator of the problem of recruitment and retention we face as a council. The pressures on serving teachers have increased greatly in recent years and council welcome the initiation of a group to consider the future structure and organization of the association.
I have been very fortunate to have served as a vice chair to Paul Rickard for the last 12 months. This experience has helped me to be ready to serve the ESFA as chairman and I am very grateful to him for the experience and guidance he has provided.
As a primary school head teacher my background is mostly in primary football. However, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to develop my experience on council, and through the guidance of my colleagues I have developed a good understanding of the value of all of the areas the ESFA works to develop.
I, and my council colleagues, recognise the qualities of our CEO John Read. John contributes much to the life of the ESFA and has our full support for the vital, positive relationship he fosters with the Football Association.
The Council re-affirms its support for the Chief Executive as the ESFA representative on the Council of the FA. Council mandates the Chief Executive to sit on the National Game Board, the Youth and Development Committees and other FA groups as appropriate.
The previously mentioned vacancies on council mean that we have less people to carry out the duties that fall to that council. This has necessitated a streamlining of committees and a rethink about the key duties and responsibilities they fulfill. For the 2010-11 year the committees will be as follows:
- Competitions (all Age)
- International ( to include the duties of Coaching and Selection and International Match)
- Governance ( to include duties of Rules Revision and Referees plus the important responsibilities of safeguarding and player discipline)
- Community and PR (to include the duties of PR plus the additional responsibility of developing the profile of the ESFA in the community)
In the 2010-11 season we have plans to develop the partnership that has been forged with Magenta and their associates in the USA. A tour for the U18 team is planned for February half term 2011 and we are hoping to send an ESFA XI U16 girls’ team to the USA at Easter.
These opportunities are important developments for the ESFA as we offer our ‘gifted and talented’ youngsters great experiences and opportunities whilst developing our profile and reputation at home and abroad. This is a good example of the important work that our CEO develops on our behalf. In difficult financial times globally this represents significant sponsorship to develop our U18 programme.
At our recent AGM membership indicated some areas that council need to consider and develop to move our association forward. These areas have already been discussed, and where appropriate have been allocated to council committees for consideration and action this year. I look forward to the further development of the relationship between council and membership in the coming year. The key area of communication is already under review and will form a key part of this development.
The coming year promises to be an exciting and important one. As we work to develop our association I would like to finish by reminding us all of the great strengths of our successful organization:
- We provide competitive football for many thousands of boys and girls in many schools, districts and counties across England every year.
- We now run 28 national competitions for young school footballers between the ages of 10 and 18.
- We are financially strong and in difficult times are able to consider the prudent use of some of our reserves to protect and develop our activities.
- We benefit from the support of many volunteers across the country.
- The partnership between the ESFA and Sports Partnerships continues to develop and strengthen in some areas of the country.
- We have an experienced and dedicated team of staff who support and promote our association.
Let us all work together in the 2010-11 season, to address the views of the whole membership and to develop our great association from this undoubted position of strength.
Chief Executive’s Report
May I start my report by saying the following paragraphs have been ‘cut & paste’ from the General Newsletter written immediately after last year’s Annual General Meeting. Save for deleting Stuart Inger and replacing with Paul Rickard. As serving teachers both gentlemen have done a remarkable job as our Chairman and should be congratulated on their efforts. Mike Coyne, another full time teacher (well, when he is not too busy undertaking the myriad of tasks required of a head teacher!). Mike is a true team player and the staff and I look forward to working for him this coming season.
I would like to start the new season by thanking Paul Rickard for his support of myself and the office staff throughout his reign as Chairman. Despite being a very busy teacher with enormous exam pressures, Paul was always available to support the Association and on the few occasions he was unable to attend or had attendance clashes managed to get Council to rally round him so that ESFA was always represented at the highest level.
As I was unable to comment at the Annual General Meeting I would like, through the medium of this General Newsletter to assure membership that I operate with the best interests of ESFA at ALL times. It is worth noting that although I have lost some battles at the Football Association (over women and girls football and 11 a-side for under 10s), I have managed to bring into the Association a working practice, partially funded by the Football Association, which enables our hard pressed volunteers to use their County colleagues at County FA and County Competition Managers to deliver schools’ football at a local level. My work with the FA Development Committee and with the National Game Board allows me to debate all the aspects of school football and to maintain a good relationship with the National Governing Body. This work also involves attending meetings at Government level alongside my Football Association colleagues.
In the 8 years that I have been a member of the Football Association Youth Committee I have been honoured to represent ESFA as the Football Association Head of Delegation in Turkey, Sweden and Germany, but I must point out that this is not to the detriment of my ESFA duties as I take annual holiday to perform these Football Association tasks
Why have I repeated those last 3 paragraphs?
Well, only to reiterate some of the points that were again voiced at the Annual General Meeting. This year’s concern seemed to be around my work with the FA Youth Committee; work that was instigated before my arrival as CEO 10 years ago by predecessor. Those of you who have been around schools’ football for more than 10 years will understand the irony of that statement! I can assure you that attendance at all FA Youth matches is voluntary and that when I do attend it is a weekend, evenings or I take holiday to attend overseas trips. I wish membership to know that so that there is no need for the topic to be brought up again at the 2011 Annual General Meeting
May I through the medium of this General Newsletter take the opportunity to thank my staff for their loyalty, dedication and sheer hard work on behalf of our Association. Lorna, as Head of Administration started with ESFA 25 years ago in November. I am not sure whether or not she should be awarded a medal or just be put in a dark room!
Lorna Hartwell – matters of administration, affiliation and Handbook. email@example.com
Mike Spinks – all competition enquiries.
Dawn Howard – all financial matters firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Gifford – international matters and Child Protection email@example.com
And of course myself. Please feel free to use either my mobile or email address if you wish to discuss any ESFA matters:
firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 07740484490
Contact with myself, over the next 8 weeks, will be limited as I shall be recovering from a total knee replacement operation. During this time please contact Lorna or Mike, who will in turn contact me if it is deemed necessary. I will be in contact with the office on a daily basis.
Annual General Meeting
Thank you to all the members who have thanked the staff for their contribution in organizing the AGM. We are happy to do so again next year, so the AGM will be held here in Stafford on Saturday 25th June 2011. The staff agreed to accept an extra days holiday instead of taking the ‘organiser’s fee’ and this will be taken on Christmas Eve.
As agreed at the Annual General Meeting council has started the process of forming a Working Group to respond to the following motion:
We believe an appraisal of the structure and the key roles in our organization through an appropriate review body and based upon the premise “ESFA First” would enable us to move towards some appropriate answers and recommendations to ensure we are “fit for purpose” in the coming years”...
These are the words of the Nottinghamshire Schools’ FA motion. Mr. Barry Shackley from Nottinghamshire will Chair this working group and Phil Harding (Area H council member), Neil Pont (Area A council member) and Neil Hopwood (Area D council member will represent council. Nominations for the 3 membership seats on the working group should be sent to the ESFA office by 13th July. Please include a short (50 word) CV. This will allow Mr. Shackley to appoint the most appropriate members from membership. It is our intention to hold the first meeting in August (subject to availability of working group).
All the financial issues raised at the Annual General Meeting including the grant payment formula, funding for Festivals and Primary school competition entry fees will be discussed at the next Trustees meeting on 27 July 2010.
The new Community & PR committee have been mandated to a communication strategy for the association. At this point it is right to remind membership that much of the information previously sent by Royal Mail is now available on the web site for all to see.
I am also pleased to announce that Council have agreed to reinstate the 40 and 50 Year Awards lunches for season 2010-2011. Unfortunately finances will not allow us to provide retrospective lunches for those members who have not had the opportunity over the past 2 years. Additionally council felt that they could not add a new award for 60 years service
Two new Life Members were appointed at the Annual general Meeting.
Mr. John R Robson – Durham CSFA
Mr. Jeff Smith – Cheshire CSFA. Congratulations to both gentlemen, whose presentation photographs are now on the web site.
Football Association Annual General Meeting
The FA appointed Mr. David Sheepshanks (Ipswich Town and The FL) and Roger Burden (Gloucestershire CFA Chairman) as joint Chairmen of the Association. Since then David has stepped down allowing Roger to Chair the FA.
Mr. Alex Horne has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer to General Secretary and will take on the role previously held by Ian Watmore as the CEO.
The only new regulation to be of any real interest to schools’ football was the vote on mixed football. The FA had undertaken a 2 year trial to see the implications of allowing up to 4 girls to play in boys league teams up to the age of 14. ESFA took part in this trial with one of our leagues in the NE region allowing the girls to play. The study recommendation to the FA staff was that girls’ should be allowed to play in boys football but only up to the age of 13 (not 14). This was reluctantly accepted by the staff who still wanted under 14s to be included. The FA Council also accepted these recommendations having been advised by the national game Board, Development Committee and the Women’s Committee. On behalf of schools’ football I voted against the motion as we, ESFA council, believe that to make the best 3 or 4 girls away from girls football would have a detrimental effect on those remaining and that they would not then form teams without their “stars”. This was a point that the study did not cover as it concentrated on whether or not the girls could physically cope and whether there was an effect on the boys’ leagues. Additionally, we felt that the better girls were NOT being disadvantaged because they now had access to Centres of Excellence within reach of most of the population. The motion was then put to the FA AGM, a meeting which includes all the FA shareholders as well as council members. At this last hurdle the motion was finally defeated. Therefore we are still not allowed to play girls in mixed teams after the age of 11.
ESFA Committees for 2010-2011
As the Chairman has already mentioned we have introduced a new committee structure.
- Competitions (all Age)
This committee will be chaired by Neil Pont from Area A email@example.com
- To work with the competitions department to organise the national secondary competitions
- To work with the competitions department to organise the 4 national primary competitions
- To determine rules and propose rule changes for all competitions.
- To make judgments and decisions on competition problems / disputes where necessary.
- To seek the views of membership regarding potential changes or new competitions.
- To develop and promote non competitive festivals for Y3 and Y4 (possible links with Sports Partnerships)
- International ( to include the duties of Coaching and Selection and International Match) will be chaired by Nigel Brown from Area B firstname.lastname@example.org
- To arrange international fixtures for ESFA International Representative team(s)
- To liaise with local associations regarding International fixtures.
- To arrange selection and coaching of ESFA international and representative teams (Regional and National).
- To appoint national team manager and assistant manager
- To appoint additional staff for international team (GK Coach, Physio, Doc)
- To recommend council international rota to council
- Trustees & Officers will be chaired by
Phil Harding from Area H
- All aspects of finance
- Governance ( to include duties of Rules Revision and Referees plus the important responsibilities of safeguarding and player discipline) will be chaired by Peter Clayton who is the Football Association representative on council:
- To recommend ESFA policy for player discipline
- To recommend disciplinary policy for teams in national competitions.
- To make appointments for international home fixtures.
- To revise ESFA rules and prepare proposals for AGM on behalf of council
- Community and PR (to include the duties of PR plus the additional responsibility of developing the profile of the ESFA in the community) will be chaired by Dave Woollaston from Area G
- To develop community projects to raise the profile of the ESFA and to provide education experiences for young people and adults (nationally and internationally?).
- To develop a strategy to promote the work and profile of the ESFA though: Web Site / Kicks Magazine / Press Releases / ESFA Promotional Merchandise
- Sponsorship development
The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS)
The following is an extract from the advice given by the Head of Equality and Child Protection at the Football Association. In simple terms it means “watch this space – more information to follow!”
Important update on the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS)
As shared on 21st May 2010, the Coalition Government’s Manifesto published last week, expressed the intent to review and ‘scale back’ the Vetting and Barring Scheme.
To date we have not been able to gather any further information in relation to what this specifically means. We continue to actively seek further clarification of the potential implications of this and it is difficult now to see how this Scheme can still go live in July.
With regards to the planned ISA Briefings with Clubs – given the lack of information available at present, the safest position for football to be in, is not to communicate anything re VBS to leagues and clubs. This is because we do not know whether the information we currently have, will subsequently change.
May I wish you all a pleasant summer? I look forward to meeting up with many of you next season.
John A Read