72018Mar

Children’s out of school activities

Today we interviewed Amanda Spielman, Chief of Ofsted on the Education Select Committee. I grilled her regarding her back flip to now supporting the inspection of our children’s out of school activities. She favours inspecting and regulating activities over 6 hours a week which would realistically have to include leisure, sport, religious classes and meetings etc. Given equality legislation you couldn’t start cherry picking different groups as she indicated. Plus she basically said she had no clue how it could be done but was pushing for it.

This would be mission creep by the state into our private lives and religions – when we already have DBS checks for those looking after children and a reporting system. We can look at strengthening those areas but inspection wouldn’t work anyway as they’d be given warning and could cover up plus it would discourage people from volunteering to help young children learn religions and even Sunday schools if coupled with other things in the week, sport, activities etc etc.

We should not confuse main alternative educational provision with out of school activities. We do need to do more to ensure that the former is regulated and prevent extremism and safeguard children but out of school activities selected by parents are an entirely different ball game and we already have a safeguarding system in place for these.