New guidance on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings

Last updated: 22 Oct 2020 Topics: Safeguarding children Type: News article

The government has released guidance for providers, parents and carers on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings, including sports training.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a new safeguarding code of practice to help providers of clubs, tuition and activities for children understand their safeguarding responsibilities, based on current legal requirements and what is considered to be good safeguarding practice.

The guidance encourages providers to review their practices under 4 sections: 

  • health and safety
  • child protection and safeguarding 
  • suitability of staff and volunteers
  • governance

In addition, the DfE has published guidance for parents and carers to help them choose a safer setting for their child. Providers are encouraged to proactively speak to parents about safeguarding and support them in answering any questions they may have about their policies. 

What is an out-of-school setting?

Out-of-school settings (OOSS) are organisations or individuals that provide tuition, training, instruction or activities to children in England without their parents' supervision, but are not schools, colleges, 16-19 academies, or providers caring for children that are registered with Ofsted or a childminder agency.

What this guidance means for sports organisations

If your organisation is currently working through the Safeguarding standards or Framework process in England or Wales, you should continue to work to this. These Standards cover all areas of the OOSS guidance and provide a benchmark to help those involved in sport make informed decisions, and to promote good practice and challenge practice that is harmful to children. 

If your setting has already signed up to another accreditation scheme, check whether at a minimum it covers the same basic requirements listed in the DfE guidance.

The OOSS guidance is voluntary for settings (aside for the legal requirements which are made clear throughout the guidance). DfE will not monitor or assess whether providers are implementing the practices set out. By adopting these practices, you will be taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children using your services and attending your setting.