Safeguarding and the ECF

Safeguarding statement

As the national body for chess in England, the ECF is committed to welcoming and safeguarding everyone involved in chess.   

We aim to make the chess environment a safe, inclusive, and supported activity for all.  This includes:

  • Safeguarding juniors
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults 
  • Promoting safeguarding regulations and good practice to all chess organisations and clubs around the country.  
  • Ensuring that female participants are not subject to inappropriate behaviour and supporting them accordingly.

Website page

This section of our website focuses on the work of the ECF within Safeguarding. 

Safeguarding is key for everyone, and we are developing this area of our work to ensure that ECF procedure is robust and based on good practice.

This page will be updated regularly as we progress.

We will collect and post information, advice and guidance. 

We will also develop clear and transparent channels of communication, both for those working to support safeguarding in clubs and also players and others with concerns.

The ECF Safeguarding Team

Stephen Woodhouse
Stephen is the Chair of the ECF Board and the Board lead on safeguarding matters, working closely with our safeguarding officers, Paul Sharratt and Jo Wildman.
Paul Sharratt
A former headteacher, Paul is also the general secretary of the Worcestershire CA with responsibility for County safeguarding issues.
Jo Wildman
As Chair of the Kent Junior Chess Association, Jo is ideally qualified to provide the ECF with the benefit of her years of experience with safeguarding issues both within and outside the chess community.

Aga Milewska
Director of Women’s Chess

If you wish to contact the safeguarding team, please write to

If you wish to contact the Director of Women’s Chess, email

Safeguarding Policy

The ECF safeguarding policy can be read here. We are currently working on updating this policy and a new version and guidance will be posted shortly. Our policy will be kept under regular review.

Safe Play Policy

We have also developed a Safe Play Policy which can be read here and will also be regularly updated.

Safe Play incidents can be reported by email to or via the Safe Play Reporting form which can be found at

Formal complaints may be made via the complaints procedure as set out here –


Training for safeguarding allows issues to be identified and addressed at an early stage. The NSPCC provides a range of courses relating to safeguarding which are discussed on their website here

Club Guidance

We are frequently asked for guidance from clubs seeking to provide training for juniors and who run junior clubs.

We are not in a position to provide legal advice, but we are planning to provide some advice on the issues we see arising and hope to provide some FAQ’s. When that is available, it will be published on this web page.

Coaches and Trainers

All coaches and trainers are expected to comply with the highest standards of training and operation with safeguarding. We are also intending to write a note on our expectations and publish that on this page.


The 4NCL is the premier league event in this country and offers both OTB and online chess both through team events and congresses, with major junior participation through Junior 4NCL events and being part of adult teams. This is reflected in their safeguarding policy which can be read here – 4NCL_Safeguarding