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.
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.
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:
- a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
- information about the different types of abuse, signs and symptoms
- how to respond directly to a child who discloses abuse.
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:
- abuse and neglect
- peer-on-peer abuse
- online safety issues
- extremism and radicalisation
- children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities
- mental health and wellbeing.
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.
ReferencesDepartment for Education (DfE) (2020) Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings: code of practice. [Accessed 28/10/2020].