Out of School Settings

Introduction – What is an Out of School Setting?

An ‘out-of-school setting’ (sometimes referred to as OOSS) is a term used for organisations/agencies providing a service or activity to children aged under 19 years in England that is not a school, college, 16 – 19 academy or registered childcare provider.  Generally these are provisions that children attend without their parents or carers supervision.

Many children and young people attend a variety of out of schools settings and activities in Redbridge. 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 in-home education. 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.

The information provided on this page aims to equip out of school settings with the guidance and tools to deliver a safe setting to the children and young people using their services. It will be helpful to individuals and organisations who are considering setting up an out-of-school-setting and for those who already have, regardless of the size or type.

This advice helps advocate best practice which can be effortlessly delivered and importantly maintained, helping to ensure that not just children and young people enjoy the many thousands of varied activities that are on offer throughout England, but everyone connected to an out-of-school-setting can enjoy the benefits of being part of this most diverse and important sector.

This resource is the legacy of an extended pilot run in Redbridge on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) between 2019 – 2021.

Government Guidance

In 2020, the DfE published 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;
  • tuition;
  • 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 or registered childminder.

The code and other materials were developed in collaboration with the sector and other stakeholders such as Ofsted and the Charity Commission.

What should an OOSS have in place in relation to safeguarding?

As a minimum, out of school settings are recommended to have:

  • Safeguarding training, including refresher, for staff and volunteers
  • Safeguarding Self-Assessment Checklist
  • A safeguarding policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct and Whistleblowing Policy Statement
  • Health and safety procedures including insurances and fire safety
  • DBS checks for staff and volunteers delivering direct work – see government guidance.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance
  • Complaint’s procedure for service users

Voluntary Sector Organisations

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have guidance and sample templates and tools in place to help voluntary sector organisations with safeguarding hosted on the KnowHow website.  There is also government guidance on safeguarding in the voluntary sector.