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Safeguarding in out-of-school education settings

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The government has reported on the results of its call for evidence on the subject of out-of-school education settings.  Views were sought in November 2015 on proposals to introduce a new system of regulation to bring in registration, investigation and intervention for out-of-school settings that teach children extensively.

The proposals consulted on included the following:

  • Threshold levels that would constitute an out-of-school setting as teaching children extensively and having to register with their Local authority (child attends a setting of between six to eight hours per week or more)
  • The information an out-of-school setting would have to provide on registration (proprietor, location, education offering and the number of children)
  • That Ofsted be the authority responsible for the investigation
  • Prohibited activities (failure to adequately ensure child's safety in their care, appointing unsuitable staff, accommodating children in unsafe premises, corporal punishment and undesirable teaching - including teaching that undermines or is incompatible with fundamental British values, or promotes extremist views).

 

On considering consultation responses, the government has decided not to pursue the model proposed in the call for evidence, but it instead intends to develop further the evidence base for a national approach, including future legislation where gaps in existing powers are identified.

  • The multi-agency working, which was announced as part of the integrated communities strategy, will form the basis of this evidence base; and £3 million of targeted funding has also been announced to support this work. This will be provided to selected areas to build and share best practice on how existing legal powers – held by local authorities, the police, Ofsted, other departments and other agencies – can be used best, alongside community engagement and outreach, to address welfare and safeguarding concerns

 

  • The government will consult later this year on a voluntary code of practice for out-of-school settings that will explain what providers need to do to run a safe setting (reconfirming the commitment in the integrated communities strategy)
  • The government will work with local authorities to provide guidance to parents on out-of-school settings to help them make an informed choice (again reconfirming the commitment in the integrated communities strategy).

 

First published 23 April 2018