Children & vulnerable adults

This document forms part of the

AOAA Rules and Regulations.

It should be considered in conjunction with the policies and guidelines of the National Governing Body (AMA)

AoAA Parental consent form.pdf

Child Protection Policy

  1. Child Protection- The AOAA adheres to the Child Protection Guidelines issued by the AMA 2008. Please also refer to AMA Instructors’ Guidelines section 5: Teaching Children

  2. The welfare of children whether practising in class or attending as onlookers will be of paramount importance.

  3. All instructors will have received instruction in child welfare

  4. No instructor will be allowed to teach a class which includes children without having received such training unless a CP-trained instructor is also present

  5. A child (or minor) is determined by law as any person under the age of 18. Persons aged 16+ who are in full-time employment may be considered as adults

  6. The parent or guardian (‘parent’) of the child must complete a standard form giving permission for the child to attend AOAA sessions

  7. The parent MUST attend a minimum of three sessions of the child’s course at an AOAA venue as onlooker or participant to ensure that the training is suitable for their child

  8. Wherever possible, separate changing facilities will be made available for boys and girls

  9. Children will be supervised by a suitably qualified adult whilst in the changing room

  10. Suitably qualified adults will be those with clean DBS certificates and be of suitable gender.

  11. If no changing facilities are present, or no person of suitable gender available, children must arrive and leave class wearing their training clothes

  12. Children under the age of 13 will not be allowed to train with steel weapons.

  13. COVID REGULATIONS prevent the sharing of equipment at the time of writing. Parents will need to source ‘Soft’ substitute weapons for their child’s training. A list will be supplied by the Instructor

  14. Children will only be allowed to train with others of the same build or a parent if no other child is attending.

  15. The minimum age a child can start training with the AOAA is 10 and only in controlled child-only classes.

  16. Teens may train in adult classes providing that the above criteria are met

  17. Care must be taken to ensure that mixed training between adults and teens is controlled, preferably under the supervision of coach

  18. Certain conditioning exercises, especially those which require load-bearing, should be avoided by minor students. Instructors will take care to ensure this.

  19. Kids will be kids, teens will always want to prove themselves in an adult environment. However, class discipline must be maintained. Please refer to the AOAA Code of Conduct and Discipline documents.


  1. Instructors and coaches will avoid contact with a child unless this contact is important for the teaching of a particular technique.

  2. Coaches and instructors must take care to ensure that no action on their part can be misconstrued and that NGB guidelines are followed.

  3. The pupil must be given the opportunity to consent to or decline proposals for training, performance, or competition

  4. Abuse takes several forms: Physical, Neglect, Sexual, Emotional. Instructors and coaches are urged to read and understand Section 5 of the AMA Instructor’s Guidelines on Child Abuse and make themselves aware of what constitutes abuse and how to deal with it.

Special Needs Policy

  1. The AOAA is open to all who wish to train regardless of physical or mental disability.

  2. See also AMA Instructors’ Guidelines Section 9: Teaching those with Special Needs

  3. Instructors must be aware (or made aware) that a student may have special needs

  4. Less able students must be treated the same as able-bodied (and able-minded) students unless the disability requires otherwise

  5. The class instructor may need to make special adaptations of the lesson accordingly

  6. Instructors must at all times be patient with those with SN and show due care and consideration

  7. Visiting Instructors must also be made aware of any less able students

  8. Not all disabilities are obvious: eg poor hearing, learning difficulties, poor spatial co-ordination, poor balance. The student or student’s guardian should ensure that these issues are explained on the Par Q given to them when they first join the class. They may further be highlighted on the membership form.

  9. Instructors may need to enhance certain communication skills and ensure that they always face the class when giving an an instruction and may need to ad or rely on further gestures than would normally be used.

  10. Additional space must be allowed for wheelchair athletes

  11. If possible, an instructor should take a course in the care and teaching of sport to those with special needs. Information is available through the NGB and Sport England.