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Parents, not Ofsted, are best placed to protect children from harmful influences, says Safe at School

12 January 2016

London, 11 January 2016: Ofsted, the schools' inspectorate, shouldn't be allowed to regulate out-of- school education settings for children says SPUC Safe at School.  Instead, the government should look to parents as the principal co-operators to protect children from dangerous influences.

The government is recommending that Ofsted should regulate out-of-school education settings such as sports clubs, drama groups, summer camps etc., in a bid to prevent terrorists accessing children and young people. In its submission to the government's consultation, SPUC Safe at School says that the proposals could "curtail the freedom of parents to place their children in out-of-school activities which are underpinned by traditional moral values".

Safe at School supports parents who face difficulties in protecting their children from inappropriate education in Ofsted-inspected schools relating to sex, sexual orientation, marriage and the family.

Parents 'could be marginalised'

Safe at School's "experience indicates that schools will use the approval of Ofsted as a pretext for resisting the views and suggestions of parents seeking to protect their children from inappropriate teaching". Safe at School is concerned that if out-of-school activities for young people under 19 are regulated by Ofsted, parents could be marginalised in the same way as they are in many schools.

SPUC Safe at School promotes parents as the primary educators of their children and fosters among parents their duties and responsibilities as well as their rights. The government should encourage parents to take an active interest in what is being taught to their children in out-of-school settings. Parents are uniquely placed "to access conversations and incidents which could trigger the alarm over unacceptable practices which harm the welfare of children," says Safe at School.

Safe at School is a campaign of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

For more detailed comments, please contact Antonia Tully of Safe at School on:

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