KCSIE: Out-of-school guidance

6 January 2021

One of the most important pieces of statutory guidance for schools is 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' (KCSIE). The provisions of this must be followed by all schools, although it does not apply to those offering extracurricular services (educational or otherwise). The Department for Education has therefore issued a code of conduct for Keeping Children Safe in Education for out of school service (OOSS) providers. The guidance is non-statutory, unlike the official KCSIE, which means that it is not legally binding of itself. However, we strongly encourage all out of school service providers to follow it. 

The new guidance will apply to all organisations or individuals which provide 'tuition, training, instruction or activities' to children without their parents' supervision, but will not apply to schools, colleges, and various other institutions which will be covered by the existing KCSIE. It will largely apply to other service providers, including (but not limited to) tuition centres, extracurricular clubs, youth organisations (such as the scouts) and private language schools.

The guidance is split into five main sections, which deal with the following:

Health and Safety

The duty of care which a provider owes to the individuals who attend the out of school activity, to ensure that the environment is safe.

The various factors which OOSS providers should consider as part of their health and safety policy,  such as ensuring that facilities are adequate and appropriate for the activity, carrying out a site risk assessment, introducing measures to manage the risks and ensure relevant training of staff and volunteers.

The providers' fire safety obligations, including the steps which a 'responsible person' must carry out under the 'Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Obtaining parental consent, taking information from parents and keeping an attendance register.

Safeguarding and child protection

The safeguarding duties of the provider, including to nominate a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

The safeguarding issues on which DSLs should be trained and have a good understanding.

The need to have a child protection policy, as well as what it should contain.

The various procedures which providers should have in place, including what to do in the event of concerns about of peer-on-peer abuse

The need to give all staff members training on safeguarding and child protection, which may differ according to the type of setting.

The signs of abuse and neglect in pupils, and what to do if members of staff have concerns about this.

The types of peer on peer abuse, and how the DSL should respond to them.

Dealing with online safety issues, including the main risk areas of harmful content, contact, and conduct.

How to respond if a provider has extremism/radicalisation concerns about a child.

The need to ensure child protection policies adequately address the challenges faced by SEND pupils.

Common signs of mental health problems in children and how to respond.

The procedure to follow if you are working alone with children.

Reporting concerns about a colleague who poses a risk of harm to children, and what to do if a child makes a disclosure of harm.

Suitability of staff and volunteers

The procedures which should be followed to recruit suitable people, including checking that they have the right skill set and asking for references

The need to carry out pre-employment checks staff members and volunteers, such as a DBS check, and establishing whether the applicant has been disqualified under the Childcare (Disqualification and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (see section 76 of the Childcare Act 2006).

What information you should gather from references.

How to determine whether you are a regulated activity provider, which carries extra safeguarding responsibilities.

How to ensure the ongoing suitability of staff after they are recruited.


The benefits and implications of applying for charitable status.

The recommendation that a management committee be established to ensure effective running of the service.

The need to register with HMRC if you make a profit and have one or more volunteers or paid employees.

The need for a complaints policy and whistleblowing policy.

Other requirements

Miscellaneous matters, including requirements which should be followed if you are putting on performances involving children, the procedure to follow if photographs of children are taken and/or shared, the procedure to be followed when organising overnight stays and general data protection considerations.  


Whilst the guidance itself is non-statutory, it sets out the legal requirements in relation to each factor by reference to the relevant legislation.

The DfE simultaneously released the following shorter pieces of promotional material:

Providers of all OOSS should review the guidance to ensure that 1) it applies to them; and if so 2) that they are fully compliant. Depending on the size of the undertaking, not all of the considerations listed above will apply. The code of conduct shows which measures apply to which sizes of provider at the beginning of each section. For example, lone providers will not need to follow any guidance relating to working with colleagues.

If you would like more information or advice on your OOSS' position in light of the new guidance, please contact our Vicky Wilson or your usual Wilsons contact.

Back to news