Respond to the Government’s consultation on the regulation of supplementary schools.
The Department for Education is calling for evidence to inform the development of the government’s proposals for requiring certain out-of-school education settings to register and be subject to risk-based inspections.
Who this is for? Local authorities; supplementary schools; tuition centres; other out-of-school education settings; schools; accreditation bodies; parents; young people; any other interested organisations and individuals.
What is NRCSE’s view? Read our letter here.
Why should you respond? Engaging with the call for evidence sends a powerful message to the government that supplementary schools care about the issue. NRCSE members voluntarily sign up to meet the Code of Practice for Supplementary Schools. The Quality Framework is a voluntary regulation scheme that over 420 supplementary schools have chosen to follow. As members, this consultation is an opportunity to inform the government about the good work that all of you undertake in providing language, core-curriculum and/or cultural education within a community context.
There are three easy ways to submit responses:
1) Complete the online form here – you will need to register, which takes 90 seconds.
You don’t have to answer every question.
After filling in your details, the important questions on the form are:
Question 11: Which settings subscribe to voluntary accreditation schemes? Tell the government about the Quality Framework for Supplementary Schools and if you have completed any level, why you did so and why it was useful/helpful.
Question 12: Give details of the positive benefits that you think out-of-school settings provide for children and the local community, including any case studies from your own experience.
Question 14: What advice and assistance is available to out-of-school settings, and what additional support would be welcome. Tell government what support you have received eg. from your council, voluntary organisations, NRCSE – was it enough? is support still available?
Question 15: Tell the government whether you agree with the proposed criteria (‘threshold’) of six to eight hours per week. In this question you can suggest alternative criteria to the government. NRCSE believes that the opportunity to register with your local authority and receive clear guidance and support should be available to ALL forms of supplementary education regardless of the number of hours.
Question 20: Should Ofsted be able to investigate out of school settings meeting the criteria (‘threshold’)? Or do you think that another agency would be better equipped to manage regulation and investigate concerns? which? your local authority? an umbrella organisation? Sector/faith specific organisations?
Question 21: Tell the government about the potential impact of these proposals on your organisation, you can also tell them about what you might see as the benefits of a registration scheme.
Question 22(d): Should ‘undesirable’ teaching, including teaching which undermines or is incompatible with fundamental British values, or which promotes ‘extremist ‘views, as set out in paragraph 3.19 of the Call for Evidence be prohibited? Do you have any concerns regarding this definition? Do you foresee any problems with these proposals?
Question 25: Will these proposals have a significant impact on certain people or a certain group of people in society? Please explain why to the government, using your own or other published figures if possible.
2) Send an Email to: outofschoolsettings.REVIEW@education.gsi.gov.uk
Provide your contact details, organisation/role and answer the above points.
3) You could post (although it is getting late to do this since the deadline is Monday 11th January) to: Out-of-school settings: call for evidence
Department for Education
Great Smith Street,
London, SW1P 3BT
The full proposal can be downloaded from the www.gov.uk website (hyperlink takes you straight to the call for evidence).
An excerpt giving the expected standard is given below. Schools having an up-to-date Bronze Management File and Bronze Quality Framework Award meet these standards.:
3.18. We expect all settings providing services to children to act in the best interests of children and provide high quality services in a safe environment. Safeguards are already in place in schools and in childcare provision to ensure children are kept safe and there are standards for schools around both the quality of teaching and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. We want to be proportionate in our approach to ensuring out-of-school settings provide a safe environment. As mentioned in paragraph 3.13, settings would not be required to demonstrate compliance with a set of minimum standards in order to register. We would be clear about a set of activities that would be prohibited in out-ofschool settings that met the threshold for registration. Concerns raised about 13 any of these prohibited activities could be reported to the investigative body and inspection could result in action being taken.
3.19. Based on the concerns that have been previously raised and reported about outof-school settings, the prohibited activities would be focused around the following areas designed to keep children safe and promote their welfare:
• Failure to adequately ensure the safety of the children in their care, for example, failing to maintain basic records and emergency contact details for the children in attendance.
• Appointing unsuitable staff. Teaching, if not supervised, falls within the definition of ‘regulated activity’ (This is defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Broadly speaking, regulated activity relating to children is considered to be: teaching, training, instruction, care or supervision of children (except if the person undertaking the activities is under regular supervision) if carried out by the same person frequently (i.e. once a week or more) or the period condition applies (i.e. that the activity takes place on more than 3 days in a 30 period or between 2am and 6am where this provides direct face to face contact with children). For example, it is an offence to knowingly permit individuals who are barred from working with children to engage in regulated activity, or to work in regulated activity while barred.
• Accommodating children in premises that are unsafe and pose a threat to their safety or welfare.
• Undesirable teaching, for example teaching which undermines or is incompatible with fundamental British values, or which promotes extremist views6 .
• Corporal punishment. We propose to ensure that corporal punishment is not a practice adopted in out-of-school settings, regardless of the number of hours which children attend the setting.
3.20. We welcome views on whether these prohibited activities appropriately capture the range of concerns that could arise and that should be reported and investigated in settings providing intensive education.