Do you run residential activities or are you hoping to run them in the future?
If your organisation runs overnight trips or activities (or is hoping to) for deaf children and young people, where the parents of the child/children are not present, then there is a new regulation that will affect you. In 2013 the Department for Education released a new regulation, requiring organisations that run residential holiday schemes for disabled children to register with OFSTED.
What is OFSTED?
OFSTED stands for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They are a national body/organisation who inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people.
How will this affect you?
This stringent new regulation may mean that you feel that you don’t have the required time and qualifications to meet the regulations and best practice required under OFSTED to run residential activities.
If your organisation runs overnight trips or activities where the parents of the child/ren are not present (or is hoping to in the future), you will need to consider your options.
These may include:
- Registering with OFSTED and then continuing to run residential activity.
- Changing your residential activity so that parents (at least one parent of each child) attend – you should continue to carry out all usual planning, health and safety and risk assessments that you do to ensure these activities are run safely.
- Changing your residential activity to day events – you should continue to carry out the usual planning, health and safety and risk assessments that you do to ensure these activities are run safely.
- Running your residential activities through another organisation who are registered with OFSTED.
- Stopping organising residential activity.
What does registering with OFSTED involve and how long will it take?
Registering with OFSTED is quite an involved process, there are fees, it requires dedicated time, substantial paperwork and nominating appropriately qualified people within your organisation to manage and run the activities. Once registered (although unfortunately there is no guarantee that every application is successful), you would be required to undergo inspections. It takes at least 16 weeks for an application to be considered. You can find out more information and how to register online through the OFSTED website here.
If you want detailed information about registering with OFSTED, please contact them directly on 0300 123 1231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information kindly passed on by National Deaf Children’s Society, member of UKCoD