Introduction – 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 that are home educated. 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.
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. Read NSPCC useful resource, which gives both tutors and parents advise on how to ensure that children are safe during tutoring sessions.
Some tutors work in association with schools, others work independently. If you are considering using a tutor, it is helpful to tell the school so that they are aware and can offer support with what areas your child may need extra help with or what would benefit your child most. Thinking of using the services of a Private Tutor or Tuition Centre?
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:
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.
*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.
The Department for Education (DfE) published in 2020 a voluntary code of safeguarding practice for out-of-school settings – Keeping Children Safe During Community Activities, After School Clubs and Tuition. This is a non-statutory code of practice intended to support providers of OOSS. It covers advise on what policies and procedures providers should have in place for health and safety, safeguarding and child protection, staff suitability and governance. There is also guidance for parents and carers intended to help them in identifying safer settings for their child/children.
The guidance covers:
- community activities;
- after school clubs;
- supplementary schools;
- music lessons;
- sports training; and
- other activities for children that take place without parents or carers supervision that are not a school, further education provider, or Ofsted registered early years provider, including registered childminder.