Out of School Setting
What is an Out of School Setting?
Many children and young people attend a variety of out of schools settings and activities in Redbridge, often, without their parents’ or carers supervision. These settings provide an important service to children in our community with opportunities to gain useful skills, make new friendships and improve their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
They are generally run during evenings, weekends and school holidays, although some are part time during school hours to meet the needs of those in-Home Education. Subjects are varied and range from sport, arts, language, learning a musical instrument, joining a youth organisation, such as scouts and guides, doing extra maths and English in a tuition centre and education in their own faith.
An out of school setting does not include schools or colleges registered by the Department for Education and are not required to be registered by any statutory organisation. There are no regulations governing many out of school activities, unless it is an Ofsted registered childcare provision, in which case it must adhere to the statutory requirements of its Ofsted registration.
Safety first/protecting children and young people
We recognise the many exemplary providers who create positive and safe environments for children to flourish, engage in new activities, and interact with their peers, but we want to ensure that all out of school settings are a safe place for children to be, regardless of what activity they are participating in.
Coaches, tutors, religious leaders and all other providers involved in Out of School settings have an over-riding responsibility to protect and safeguard children and young people from the risk of harmful practices.
Tuition Centres and/or Private tutors are increasingly being used to provide additional learning support in a variety of subjects, e.g. maths, english, reading, and languages. Tutors do not have to be a qualified teacher or have a Disclosure and barring service check and are not required to be registered or approved by any statutory organisation.
Consideration for parents and carers
As a parent or carer, it is important when choosing an out of school settings (OOSS) that certain questions are asked of a provider, such as whether staff have undertaken DBS checks, how safe is the environment. A provider should be able to reassure you that your child/ren will be safe in their setting and demonstrate the steps they are taking to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Here are some further questions to consider asking:
- do all the staff/volunteers have a valid Disclosure Baring Service check (DBS)?
- who has overall responsibility for safeguarding and may I/we have a copy of your safeguarding policy?
- are the premises safe, for example, are fire notices displayed?
- who is responsible for first aid?
- is there a parental consent and emergency contact form that I/we need to complete?
- are the necessary building insurances in place, in date and available on request?
You may wish to sit in on a session, to satisfy yourself that it is a safe environment before determining to send your child to a particular OOSS.
Responsibilities for out of school providers
All out of school setting providers have an obligation to ensure that children and young people in their care are offered a safe and comfortable environment in which to learn or have fun. They also have a responsibility towards the people who work for them whether they are employed or voluntary, in addition to offering clear guidance and protection against possible allegations or misconduct.
The Children’s Act 2004 places a duty on organisations to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children as well as ensuring that all adults who work with children and young people are safe to do so. Out of school settings includes a wide range of activities and ages the arrangements for keeping children and young people safe will vary. As a minimum standard out of school settings should have:
- A safeguarding policy (including online and digital safety)
- Health and safety procedures including insurances and fire safety
- DBS checks for staff and volunteers
- GDPR compliance
- Complaints procedure
*Out of School Setting is any institution providing tuition, training, instruction or activities to children aged under 18 in England without their parents’ or carers’ supervision that is not a school, college, 16-19 academy, early years provider (for children under 8) or registered childcare provider; and otherwise regulated under education law.