Case Studies

Chess in Schools and Communities

Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is a UK charity whose mission is to improve children’s educational outcomes and social development by introducing them to the game of chess. Founded in 2009, CSC now teaches in over 300 schools and supports 400 more nationwide.

CSC delivers chess via curriculum time lessons or through the traditional extra-curricular chess club. Children are taught by trained tutors, who are self-employed and have enhanced DBS clearance, and training progresses from the rules of the game to foundational tactics and strategy over 30 weeks. The children acquire a life-long skill, opening up an affordable and enjoyable game of limitless depth.

The Challenge


CSC was holding a conference for their chess tutors and requested a bespoke, basic level Safeguarding Children in Education Workshop to form part of the programme for the conference. The workshop needed to cover all the latest and relevant legislation and statutory guidance for the education sector.


Having reflected on the conference workshops and the areas for further development that were highlighted during the event, CSC recognised the need to update the knowledge and skills of the Designated Safeguarding Leads for the charity. The challenge in undertaking a Level 3 Designated Safeguarding Lead course was that the two members of staff who required this lived and worked in different locations with limited access to a central venue.

The Athena Solution


Athena proposed an interactive workshop for the conference with a number of agreed learning outcomes including:

  • Understanding of the legal and historical context of safeguarding children and young people
  • Knowledge of what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused
  • Understanding of why and how to share information in relation to safeguarding children and young people
  • Confidence and understanding of safer practice and safe relationships with children and young people

The workshops were prepared in accordance with the requirements for those working in school and educational settings as outlined in statutory guidance and by Ofsted.


Athena provided two options: Option 1: The Level 3 training could be attended by any other staff or tutors invited by CSC, thus making a face-to-face session better value for money. Option 2: The Level 3 standard DSL course could be delivered remotely using telephone or Skype and other technology. This style would limit personal interaction but would be delivered in a shorter timeframe and at a lower cost.

The Outcome


Using the CSC Safeguarding Policy and Procedures an interactive bespoke workshop was developed and delivered twice during the conference to allow all delegates the opportunity to participate. Using our creative and visual exercises and quizzes we were able to test the knowledge and understanding of the tutors attending the conference workshops. Athena provided a supporting handout, course evaluation and an attainment certificate.


Athena discussed the options with CSC, reflecting on the issues raised during the conference. Having recognised that face-to-face training was cost prohibitive for their remaining budgets, CSC chose to undertake the training remotely. This solution proved to be the most cost and time efficient for their budget and staff. This approach eliminated the need for travel by the staff and only required minimal technical resources to facilitate the session namely access to a laptop/computer and a telephone for a conference call.


Athena delivered two workshops at the CSC Annual Conference for the tutors together with the Level 3 Designated Safeguarding Leads remote training course. Collectively the workshops and training has contributed to making Chess in Schools and Communities a safer organisation for its staff, tutors and the children and young people in the schools that they work with throughout the UK. CSC Head of Safeguarding & National Library Coordinator Dan Staples said, “…..We are very pleased with the training provided by Athena. They delivered high quality courses that provided exactly what we needed. Athena were really helpful and efficient before and after the course. The trainer was very professional and we have had extremely positive feedback from the delegates. We would certainly use them again.”