Guide to setting up an activity out of school

Are you thinking about setting up an Activity Out of School for children in Redbridge, or do you operate an activity and need confirmation of how to operate safely and within the law?

Here is some helpful information to help your Out of School Setting.

Business structure

What type of business will you be operating and how will this be funded?

Will your business be a:

Will you operate as a:

You may also need to consider the following:

Do you need to apply for Ofsted registration?

There are some situations when you do not have to register with Ofsted, and some when you cannot register such as:

You cannot register if you look after any child for under two hours a day - even if your setting is open for longer than two hours. The only exception to this is if you provide before- or after-school care for less than two hours a day in total. In this case you canregister on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

You do not have to register if you provide tutoring or coaching in either one or two of the following activities to children aged 3 and over: school study support or homework support, sports, performing arts, arts and crafts, religious, cultural or language studies.

The activity needs to be the main focus of what you offer, such as drama club, choir practice, netball or swimming. This should be specific tuition or coaching to help children improve their skills, rather than offering childcare for working parents. Ofsted do not necessarily expect everyone working with children to be a specialist coach, but you should have skills in those areas to help children improve.

You can still choose to register with Ofsted even if you do not have to. If you choose to, you should apply to join the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. For childminders and childcare providers please check the Ofsted registration requirements.

Business planning

Redbridge Business and Enterprise provides advice and support on how to set up a business and the necessary steps to turn a business idea into reality. The service is available to prestart, start -up and new entrepreneurs. Appointments are face to face and located at Hub Central, second floor, Redbridge Central Library, Ilford, IG1 1EA.
Book a business advisor appointment.

By attending an appointment with the business adviser you can also register with Hub Central and gain access to a range of businesses resources including COBRA, an online resource with information about the tools and skills required to set up a business, including business information factsheets and other useful tips to help at different stages of your business plan. For additional information about business support projects please contact

Support is also available to existing businesses who want information about marketing, legislation and finance. For more information about 1-2-1 support, monthly workshops and seminars please contact

What policies and procedures are required?

Safeguarding maters, we all have a duty of care and responsibility to keep children safe. In addition to their wellbeing and safety, it is imperative that as providers of Out of School Settings you should also safeguard yourself, your staff and volunteers, as well as parents and carers who are connected to your setting.

Our Safeguarding training is currently FREE via The Out of Schools Settings Team. We offer various certificated training courses linked to our Activities Out of School - Membership scheme which are available to all Providers, staff and volunteers. For more information on our courses please contact us by emailing us at


Safe recruitment - what staffing levels will be required and are DBS checks necessary?

There are seven things you need to do when employing staff for the first time. GOV.UK   will help you identify what you need to do. You should always follow rigorous safe procedure.

Get your business ready to employ staff by using this step by step guide from GOV.UK.

When you recruit a new member of staff you must check that they are not disqualified from working with children under the terms of the Childcare Act 2006. This requirement is typically fulfilled by obtaining an enhanced DBS check and by the member of staff signing a declaration that they are not disqualified on your application form.

You can use the eligibility tool to find out which roles or activities could be eligible for a basic, standard or enhanced DBS check. A list of umbrella organisations can be found here.

Recruitment and Disabled people; your vacancy must not exclude disabled people from applying for a job. However, some jobs may have an essential requirement that cannot be met with a reasonable adjustment.

Detailed guidance on DBS checks can be found on GOV.UK.

Jobcentre Plus has a range of recruitment services that can help you as an employer. You can get recruitment advice, including specialist support for businesses.

Work Redbridge for Business offers a quality, bespoke and free recruitment service. An advisor will guide you through the recruitment process and ensure you recruit the best candidate. The service also allows you to advertise your vacancies free of charge with our partners and large pool of Work Redbridge candidates. 

Employers Liability insurance

You must have Employers’ Liability (EL) insurance as soon as you become an employer - your policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer. You can be fined £2,500 every day you are not properly insured and you can also be fined £1,000 if you do not display your Employers Liability certificate or refuse to make it available to inspectors when they ask.

Health and safety

You must carry out a health and safety risk assessment in the workplace and take action to remove any hazards.

If you don’t follow health and safety rules you can be prosecuted. The main law covering health and safety at work in the UK is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local councils are responsible for making sure you follow the law.

Data protection

Personal data an employer can keep about an employee can be found here.

Our Activities Out of School Membership scheme, includes up to date training on all aspects of data protection. For more information please contact us at


RedbridgeCVS is the local umbrella body for charities and community groups in the borough, it supports local organisations by providing information, practical support like room hire, photocopying, training and development support to help your organisation improve. They also help small voluntary and community groups raise funds and make successful grant applications whilst also working with various networks that bring community organisations together, and help them work with the public and private sectors. 

Checklist of some questions you should consider

  • Is there a system for recording attendance and non-attendance/collection of child/ren?
  • Is visitor access via reception, what procedures are in place for visitors, are they prevented from moving around unescorted, is there a distinction between employees and visitors? Is there CCTV? If so, where?
  • How are staff recruited? Are there appropriate checks around suitability and qualifications?
  • Are employees subject to DBS checks? Who conducts the DBS checks and are ongoing checks conducted on employees?
  • Are there safeguarding/child protection policies in place and up to date? Who is the designated Safeguarding Lead?
  • Are there arrangements in place for the supervision of children at all times?
  • Is there suitable toilet, washing and changing facilities provided for children? Are these separate facilities for boys and girls?
  • Do you hold an accident/incident report book? Are there any members of staff who are first aid trained? Do accident records include a parent signature / feedback? What procedures are in place for reacting to an incident?
  • Do you hold emergency contacts for each of the children?
  • Do you have an up to date GPDR policy?
  • Do you have a fire risk assessment?
  • Do you have an up to date health and safety police in place?
  • Have you displayed your Employees Liability Insurance certificate?
  • Do students have access to internet or social media on the premises, do students have access to mobile phones whilst on the premises? Do you have an e-safety policy?
  • Do you have any governance /constitution information available?

What is your complaint procedure?

Please ensure all links are current. For further advice on your Out of School Setting and Policy advice, please contact the Out of School Settings team at