How Can I Choose a Safe Out of School Setting?
What is an out of school setting (OOSS)?
An OOSS can mean many things, from places like community and youth centres, sports clubs, and places of worship to individuals offering tuition in their home or providing coaching at a playing field or local park. As a parent or carer, you will want to know that your child is safe while they are not in your care.
Out of School Settings are not inspected or assessed - so there is no one checking the quality and safety of their provision. As a minimum organisations or clubs working with children and young people should have safeguarding policies in place to reduce the risk of harm.
What to Look and Ask for?
- Does the venue feel and look safe? who can enter the building during an activity?
- Are there enough staff / volunteers for the number of children in the activity?
- Do they have health & safety and safeguarding policies which you can see and read?
- Is there a named safeguarding lead person & do you know how to speak to this person if you have any concerns ?
- Do staff and volunteers have training and qualifications to look after your child?
- Have all staff & volunteers being checked to be safe to look after your child?
- Have you been asked for medical information and emergency contact details before your child starts? & is there a first aid kit?
- Have you given permission for photos to be taken of your child and shared on their website or social media sites?
- Do children in the activities seem happy & do you think your child would be happy in this setting?
Out of School Settings in Sandwell are advised to refer to the DFE guidance:
Keeping Children Safe during Community Activities, After-School Clubs and Tuition: Non-statutory guidance for providers running out-of-school settings
Here is the link if you want to have a look:
Sandwell Safeguarding Children's Partnership website has information for parents/carers, children and young people who may have any concerns that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, including any form of mistreatment or abuse
What to do if you are concerned about your child or another child in the out of school setting?
If you have an urgent concern about a child call West Midlands Police 999 or 101 in a non emergency (24 hour non-emergency number).
If not an emergency but you are concerned you can contact the Sandwell Safeguarding Team on 0121 569 3100 and speak to someone from Social Care who can offer you advice and guidance.
0800 800 5000 currently operating between the hours of 10am–4pm Monday to Friday. However, you can email help@NSPCC.org.uk at any time
Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) at email@example.com if you have a concern about a member of staff working with children (either a staff member or volunteer)
Useful websites for finding an out of school setting
The place for families, children and young people to find and discover the services, support and activities available in Sandwell. There is a checklist on this website
click on 'choosing childcare with steps for parents to take'
Online directory of services for children, young people and families