1. I’m interested in supporting supplementary schools (and other OOSS) to quality assure their delivery. Can I work with NRCSE to do this?
Register your interest in acting as a pro-bono Educational Expert at one of our Quality Recognition Meetings – the final stage of Quality Assurance is for schools to attend a quality recognition meeting where they present a portfolio of evidence for scrutiny by experts. Our educational experts are people with extensive experience of education in England, e.g. headteachers, educational consultants, lecturers in university education departments. We are looking for people who can give 3 hours of their time, once. The meeting will be chaired by a local authority officer or NRCSE Director and a member of the NRCSE Quality Development team will act as Governance Expert.
2. What is an OOSS (out-of-school setting/service)
The Department for Education defines an OOSS (out of school setting) as follows:
Any institution providing tuition, training or instruction to children aged 19 or under in England that is not a school, college,16-19 academies or registered childcare providers.
This would include, for example:
- Supplementary schools or part-time schools
- Religious settings offering education e.g. yeshivas, madrasahs,
- Sunday schools, other faith groups, Kumon etc
- Tuition or learning centres
- Single discipline clubs or settings (e.g. sports clubs, music, art,dance, drama tuition, martial arts training)
- Uniformed youth organisations e.g. Scouts, Guides, Cadets
It would not cover nursery or childcare providers, or children educated at home by their parents.
A code of practice and kite mark for ensuring safe practice is followed in OOSS has been developed by the DfE through pilot programmes in sixteen local authorities including eleven London boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Havering, Kensington & Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Westminster.
3. I am part of an organisation delivering out-of-school education to children. We want to achieve the Quality Mark, what do we need to do first?
Take a look at the ‘Route to quality assurance for supplementary schools‘ flow chart. If your local authority/safeguarding children board are already supporting supplementary schools you will follow the ‘blue route’. The ‘red route’ is for organisations that are not able to get support from the local authority and want to apply for quality assurance directly. Get in touch with us to discuss your options further 020 7697 4053/55
4. I work for the local safeguarding children board, can you help us to ensure that out-of-school education in our area is being run safely and with regard to the law?
Yes. There are a number of ways we can help: from delivering our 3-day Good Management course; undertaking school visits and reports; through to offering our full 360° quality assurance service. To find out how we can support you, the ‘Route to quality assurance for supplementary schools‘ flow chart and get in touch with us to discuss further contact email@example.com .
5. I want to open a supplementary school, what do I need to do?
Take a look at our ‘How to…’ guide, which takes you through the steps of planning, establishing and running a safe and effective supplementary school.
6. I have set up my school as a company limited by shares. Can we complete the Quality Mark?
There are several different ways that a school may be set up so there is not a simple answer. It will depend on the specific structure but these are some of the things we will be looking for:
- The school is not a ‘sole-trader’ company.
- There are at three, or more, unrelated company directors.
- There is a management committee which consults meaningfully with stakeholders and incorporate the responses from that consultation into the annual monitoring, evaluation and planning cycle. This committee may be the three company directors, it can also include others such as teachers, parents if the company directors are more distant from the day-to-day operation of the school.
- The directors are supported by an advisory committee which meets at least termly, made up of community members, including parents and former pupils, as well as others interested in the area in which school is providing tuition.
That is not an exhaustive list but would certainly lead in the right direction.
7. When does my membership expire?
- Subscribers’ membership will last twelve months. If you need help subscribing or renewing your membership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. My school had the Bronze Award but it expired some time ago. What do I need to do to renew it
- The Bronze was a basic safeguarding and management level, this is now awarded directly by each individual local authority in line with their own duties and requirements under Section 11 of the Children’s Act.
- In order to access the new Quality Mark, which is assessed by an educational and a governance expert rather than peer assessed, you will need to demonstrate that your school meets the safeguarding requirements of your local authority. Many local authorities are issuing specific guidance and assessment and calling this ‘Section 11 assessment’.
- The requirements are specific to your local authority, however, we can address any local authorities’ specific requirements during the 3-day Good Management course if school managers bring with them the assessment form they have been issued.
- If you have already completed this Section 11 assessment then you can of course proceed directly to the quality assurance.
9. Who can I ask to help me quality assure my supplementary school?
In order to be quality assured by NRCSE, an appropriate person (either a UK qualified teacher or a registered NRCSE mentor must visit your supplementary school, see that your school follows procedures relevant to the setting and understood by staff, volunteers, parents and pupils as appropriate, and write an observation report/witness statement. You can get ready for their visit by logging in and taking the self-assessment quiz. If you would like further information or would like to talk to someone, please contact email@example.com.
10. How will the course link in to NRCSE’s quality assurance offer?
The key documents recommended and developed during the course will meet the NRCSE’s minimum standards and entitle the school to put themselves forwards for the NRCSE Quality Mark.
11. Do supplementary schools still have to meet a predetermined set of quality standards, over and above the Good Management Course? What about the proposed government regulation?
NRCSE continually engages with government agencies and local authorities to ensure that our recommended minimum standards meet all current, relevant, requirements for safeguarding in the out-of-school sector. The Dept for Education have confirmed that the Government does not currently have a timescale for the implementation of regulation the provision of out-of-school education. NRCSE’s director was on the advisory group to the government on the proposal to regulate and we have used the latest information from the Dept for Education and the Home Office on what that regulation might have looked like to develop our courses and minimum standards.
12. What about Ofsted?
Supplementary schools are not classified as ‘schools’ by government/Ofsted and cannot be registered as such or inspected as such. Furthermore, they are exempt from registering with Ofsted as childcare providers so long as they don’t have children under 3 years, and any 3-5 year olds are not attending more than four hours per day. They can apply to join the voluntary part of the Childcare Register, this currently costs £114 and must be renewed annually.
13. How long will certification last?
Schools receive a clearly dated certificate and report e.g. “On 15th September 2017, the NRCSE found that ……” so it will be up to schools (and funders) when they reapply. The supplementary school’s listing on the NRCSE website will be removed two years from the date of the recognition meeting.
14. What happens in a recognition meeting?
The educational expert and the NRCSE expert scrutinise the portfolios before the supplementary schools attend to give their presentations. The presentations are an opportunity to showcase the school and there is more opportunity to discuss your school; to talk to the independent expert and the NRCSE expert; schools can show a film of their school. Each school has 8-10 minutes to present and 12-15 minutes to answer questions. Because the need for peer schools, other mentor has gone it should be easier to hold recognition meetings locally for 1,2,3 schools – the length of the meeting will depend on the number of schools participating.