Clubs, classes and tutorial sessions offer great ways for children and young people to develop their skills and confidence. But did you know that there is no regulation around certain types of activities with children? Even people who have committed criminal offences can legally continue to work in some roles, e.g. children’s entertainer, private tutor.
This page will help you ask the right questions about the safeguards that every provider should have in place and explains what to look out for, what to ask and what to do if you have any concerns.
How do I find a tutor or out of school club?
- Asking other parents if they can recommend anyone
- Suggestions from your child’s school
- Adverts in the local press or internet
- Contacting tutoring agencies who employ tutors and advertise in the local press and internet.
You can verify a tutors credentials by visiting the Tutors' Association website (external link).
Make sure you ask these important safety questions…
Whichever way you find a tutor or out of school club, you and your child should meet with the tutor or club teacher before the sessions begin. This means you can see how the tutor and your child seem to get on.
Don’t simply assume that the provision will be safe, ask the right questions:
- Can I read your policy on safeguarding children?
- Can I read your health and safety policy?
- Can I stay to observe the session?
- What emergency procedures do you have in place?
- Can I have a copy of your code of conduct for staff, volunteers and for children?
- Are all staff trained in safeguarding and first aid?
- Who do I speak to if I have any concerns?
- Do you have a child safeguarding page on your website, or a leaflet or information sheet that I can read?
High quality clubs and organisations will always welcome questions about their activities, the safety of their environment and care of your child.
How can I be sure that they are properly qualified and do not pose a risk to my child?
- Ask to see and check their professional references and qualifications certificates
- Ask to see a copy of their Disclosure and Barring Certificate
- Make sure that you are able to monitor and take an interest in the activities undertaken
- Talk to your child about their progress and what they have been doing
- Do you know anyone who this person has previously worked with that you can contact?
Where should private tuition take place?
- Tuition is best to take place in the home, in a quiet place away from distractions
- 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
- Bedrooms are not suitable for tuition
- It is reassuring to children and tutors to know that parents or carers are near and can go in to the tuition room and can watch the work at any time
- Whether at home or a tutor’s location it is important that you are able to go in to the teaching area and can watch and listen if you wish
- Doors can be kept partly open to allow both an undisturbed learning environment and your supervision.
Any tutor who is aware and supportive of current professional standards in tutoring should have no objection to these arrangements and is likely to offer them without your suggestion.
What should I do if my child tells me something inappropriate has happened or I have concerns?
Any adult who behaves in an inappropriate or abusive manner with a child should be reported to Wigan Council Children’s Social Care Services on 01942 828333, the Police 101 or Wigan Council’s Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) on 01942 486034/ 42. The relevant authority will then make further enquiries and where necessary instigate a child protection investigation.
If you have such a concern, report it, stop using the tutor and reassure your child.
Remember a DBS check and qualifications are not a substitute for parental vigilance, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to call off any lessons if you, or your child feels uncomfortable.
Government guidance for parents and carers on safeguarding children in out-of-school settings (external link) - Questions for parents and carers to ask to help them choose out-of-school settings for their children.
LGFL: Online Tutors - Keeping children safe (external link) - guidance for Parents and carers