What you need to know about the Department for Education’s new guidance for out-of-school settings (OOSS)

Last updated: 02 Nov 2020 Topics: News Type: News
Adult and child taking part in activity outside

The NSPCC was part of a cross sector group who supported the Department for Education (DfE) in developing their new non-statutory guidance for providers of community activities, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings in England.1

The guidance aims to help providers, staff and volunteers in out-of-school settings (OOSS) to:

  • understand best practice for creating a safe environment for children and young people in their care
  • give parents and carers confidence that their child is in a safe activity or learning environment.

> Download the guidance

What is covered in the guidance?

The guidance covers safeguarding best practice across different areas such as child protection policies and procedures and training. Below are some of the key messages from the guidance.

Child protection policies

Providers should have a clear and effective child protection policy in place that says how they will protect children in their care. Policies should be tailored to their own organisations and meet the minimum criteria listed in the guidance.

Safeguarding procedures

Written procedures should be in place to ensure that all staff members understand their responsibilities and know what to do in the event of a safeguarding concern. Providers should also consider additional guidance including:

Awareness of safeguarding issues

Staff and volunteers should be aware of safeguarding issues that can put children at risk. All staff and volunteers should be appropriately trained in safeguarding and child protection.

Topics outlined include:

Further information on all of the above topics can be found here on the NSPCC Learning website, including examples of common safeguarding scenarios with practical advice on how to respond to issues.

We have a wealth of resources to support you, such as information for the voluntary and community sector, training opportunities and child protection updates.

For additional out-of-school settings guidance, you can also see the DfE’s advice for self-employed providers or volunteers, tuition and faith groups, sports clubs and other extra-curricular activities.

> Download the guidance


Department for Education (DfE) (2020) Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings: code of practice. [Accessed 28/10/2020].

Work in a voluntary or community organisation?

We have a variety of resources available to help you whether you’re just starting out or reviewing existing processes. From introductory guides to learning about writing safeguarding policies and procedures, you’ll find all the information you need to ensure children and young people are safe in your community.

See the resources