‘Significant risk’ over child safety at a Bognor club

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Children have been put at “significant risk” due to an out of hours club’s failure to ensure safety requirements are met.

Schools Out, which runs from Bognor Regis Youth and Community Centre, could face closure if it fails to address a string of concerns highlighted by Ofsted.

The club underwent an inspection on June 11 after Ofsted received a complaint about issues including child supervision, behaviour and staff deployment.

On June 30, a report was published by inspector Jacqueline Munden, which rated the club ‘inadequate’ across the board and said the owner/manager had “a weak understanding of requirements” and “significantly compromises children’s welfare”.

Among the safety issues highlighted was the club’s failure to check whether drivers used to ferry the children between the club and school had the appropriate insurance.

Other deficiencies included failure to ensure sufficient staff who held an appropriate first-aid certificate were on the premises or with the children on outings.

Ms Munden also said staff did not know how to manage children’s behaviour appropriately to keep them safe, and branded risk assessments “ineffective”.

While recognising children were “happy” and “confident”, the report stated: “Although the staff take some steps to help meet children’s learning needs, the learning environment is not safe. The provider has not ensured staff undertake the required suitability checks.

“Therefore, unvetted staff are left alone with children and this compromises children’s welfare and learning.”

The only high point in the report was the acknowledgement staff got to know children and provided an adequate range of activities. As a result of Ms Munden’s report, Ofsted will issue Schools Out with a welfare requirements notice containing a list of issues which must be addressed. When asked what would happen if the notice was not adhered to, an Ofsted spokesman said: “We give them a certain amount of time to meet the requirements and, if they don’t, we can start proceedings to cancel their registration.”

Schools Out has been contacted for comment.