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Keeping children safe in Out of School Settings

Out-of-school settings, including supplementary schools and tuition centres, and all other such activities, like other parts of the sector, should be following Government’s guidance on staying at home and away from others and encouraging others, such as parents with children that would usually attend their settings, to do the same.

The Department for Education is currently working with the BBC and others to provide resources for children to access while at home. For parents with children under 5 years old. Gov.UK has the latest information

Providers of Out-of-school settings may also wish to bring the following government guidance to the attention of their children’s parents and carers:

 which provides advice on how to prevent the spread of the virus, alongside details of the Government support available to businesses.

The implications of this latest advice is that, with the exception of key workers and those with vulnerable children, parents should be keeping their children at home, to limit the spread of the virus; and should not be sending their children to out-of-school settings, where this would fall foul of the new rules. Anyone found to be failing to comply with the new rules could be fined.

What is an Out of School Setting?

An Out of School Setting provides tuition, training, instruction, or activities to children in England, outside of school, without supervision from their parents or carers. These sessions are usually available during evenings, weekends and school holidays, although some are part-time during school hours to meet the needs of those who are being educated at home.

These can include:

  • Tuition centres and supplementary schools
  • Extracurricular activities, e.g. ballet or music classes, drama or sports
  • Uniformed youth organisations, e.g. Scouts, Guides and Cadets
  • Open access youth provision, e.g. centre-based and detached youth work
  • Private language schools
  • Religious settings which offer education in their own faith

Out of School Settings 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.  

What does an Out of School Setting do?

Out of School Settings are great ways for children to have fun, play, learn new skills, make new friendships and gain useful life skills. They involve a variety of activities that encourage children and young people’s interests and improve their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. They can include sport, art, learning a musical instrument or language and religious instruction. 

Out of School settings have an overriding responsibility to safeguard all children and young people using them.

Considerations for parents and carers

Most Out of School Setting providers will expect parents and carers to ask them questions.

It is always worth a visit to observe how staff and volunteers interact with the children and young people in their charge, as this will help you decide if the Out-of-School Setting is suitable for your child(ren) and if you feel the activities are safe and well-managed.

It might also be helpful to speak to parents and carers already using the facility. It is important that your child(ren) know that they should talk to you if anything happens that makes them scared, worried or uncomfortable when using an Out-of-School Setting.

Waltham Forest council is not required to have information about Out of School Settings in the borough, either known or unknown. It is important that parents and carers understand that the council is not connected or attached to any Out-of-School setting, except for Ofsted-registered providers.

Tuition centres and/or private tutors are increasingly being used to provide additional learning support in a variety of subjects, like Maths, English and languages. Tutors do not have to be a qualified teacher nor do they have to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. They are not required to be registered or approved by any statutory organisation, this is why it is very important that you speak to your child/ren about the activity they are doing and that you are able to observe them without restriction if necessary.