Some questions parents could ask of groups/clubs include:
- Have staff and volunteers undertaken DBS checks? How recent were
- Will any adults besides the instructor be present at the venue while my child is there? If so, will they be there on a regular basis?
- What training have staff had? Did this include safer working practices, e.g lone working contacting children, use of phones?
- May I have a copy of your child protection policy?
- Who is your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and what training have they had? How recent was this training?
- My child has Special Educational Needs and / or a disability (SEND). What steps will you take to accommodate this?
- My child needs help with: using the toilet; changing; feeding; their medication, etc. How will these personal care needs be addressed?
- How are you securely storing the information you hold on my child? Who has access to it and are you giving it to anyone else?
- Is my child allowed to access the internet unsupervised?
- Do you have filtering and monitoring systems in place? What are they?
- Do you have an up to date code of conduct for staff?
In addition to the questions to ask, the draft guidance for parents sets out some 'red flags' that the might prompt parents to send their children to a 'different setting'. The red flags are:
- Staff are not DBS checked
- No child protection policy
- Signs of abuse on other children who attend the setting, for example, unexplained bruises
- Provider unable to name a designated safeguarding lead
- The designated safeguarding lead has not had relevant training
- If they allows children access to the internet, no filtering or monitoring systems in place
- Dangerous physical environment e.g. loose wires, damp, no fire escape, no first aid kit
- No designated first aider
- No parental consent form or requirement for emergency contact details
- Other adults coming into the out-of-school setting who are not staff members / a lack of clarity on the roles of different adults in the setting
- No health and safety policy
- No fire escape plan
You can download the full document here: Questions for Parents and Carers
Considerations When Using Tutors
Around 1 in 4 children receive extra, out of school tuition. Even more children take part in extra-curricular clubs. It is best that parents and carers use tutors employed by reputable tutor agencies where reference and criminal record checks will have been undertaken. If you are hiring a private tutor directly, advice from The Tutor Pages
- Hire a tutor who has an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) check. The Disclosure & Barring Service perform a DBS check on anyone before they work at schools, charities or other organisations to make sure there is no known reason why they may not work with children or vulnerable adults. You can ask to see their DBS disclosure certificate when you meet them. However, please remember that paper credentials are no substitute for parental vigilance, that many excellent tutors do not possess a DBS certificate and that it is not a legal requirement for tutoring.
- Ask the tutor for details of two referees, and follow them both up with a phone call.
- Ask the tutor for details of the parents of some current or former students, and follow them up with a phone call.
- Check to see whether the tutor is properly accredited and qualified by asking to see evidence such as certificates, and then contact the relevant accreditation body or organisation.
- Ask the tutor pro-active questions, listen for inconsistencies in information you are being told and observe body language.
- Be clear where the tutoring will take place and who will be present. You may wish either to be present in the same room, or to leave the door open and enter the room at random. Your child’s bedroom is not a suitable study space.
- Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid of calling off the lessons if you or your child feels uncomfortable.
- Be clear about contact – phone/text etc. e.g. that this will be between you and the tutor not the tutor and your child.