What is safeguarding?
The NSPCC describe Safeguarding as: “the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
preventing harm to children’s health or development
ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes”
Who is responsible for regulating Safeguarding?
There is not one regulator of ‘safeguarding’. Individuals and families would be effectively regulated by the Police and local councils. Schools and childcare provisions that are registered with OFSTED are inspected and safeguarding rightly makes up a vital part of their report. Fail on safeguarding and a provision will be put into special measures or shut down.
And there are many amazing organisations, most notably the NSPCC who are there to help keep children safe. The NSPCC is the UK's leading children's charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.
What about childcare provisions not registered by OFSTED?
Surely this could not be possible? Could there be childcare provisions that can legally look after children without being registered and inspected? Unfortunately – yes!
OFSTED ‘s website states that ‘Most childcare providers looking after children under the age of 8 must register with Ofsted (or a childminder agency).’
I could not tell you what ‘most’ means and if OFSTED or the government have figures to back this up. Maybe the clue is in what they deem to be a ‘childcare provider’? Most people would suggest this is anyone looking after children. But it does not appear that OFSTED agree. To understand this it is important to look at the OFSTED registration exemptions page where it clearly states that if a provision’s main focus is one or two of ‘school study support or homework support’, ‘sports’, ‘performing arts’, ‘arts and crafts’, ‘religious, cultural or language studies’ then they do not need to register!
So, let’s make that clear… An organisation can easily set up a residential camp focusing mainly or solely on sport and then they do not need to register with OFSTED!? Can this be right?