Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Getting back together safely
Getting back to face-to-face Scouting
The National Youth Agency has confirmed that the youth sector, including Scouts, has moved to the Yellow readiness level as from Monday 17 May, as England moves to Stage 3 on the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.
The key changes to the situation in Yellow status are (where an approved Covid-19 risk assessment is in place):
- Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers will be able to meet indoors as well as outdoors, with no legal limit on youth numbers. However you should keep it as one Section meeting at a time with flexibility for smaller Sections to join together if required. It’s important to remember that physical space will be limited and social distancing of two metres between everyone will be required. You should continue to take all measures to stop transmission and we would recommend most Sections to continue meeting outdoors if they can
- Scout Network may also meet indoors but will be limited to maximum group sizes of 15. We continue to encourage outdoor meetings where you can
- Adult activities can only take place outdoors and should follow the current Government guidance
- Trips and visits are now accepted; however these should only be done where you cannot stay local to achieve the outcomes and each must be completed within a day as residential activities remain prohibited
- Residentials may now take place, but only in groups of up to six people (this is a combined total of six with young people and leaders). We expect that this will only be practical for the older Sections who are working on key components of awards, such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Please note that these groups of six cannot mix with other groups of six, including for travel, sharing food preparation areas or accommodation.
If you have approved Amber assessments you don’t need to resubmit them for Yellow unless you wish to take advantage of the residential option, in which case a new risk assessment will need to be approved by the District beforehand.
Assuming that Stage 4 happens as planned on 21 June, we’re hoping that the numbers able to attend residentials will be increased in time for the summer holidays.
Please make sure that you plan meetings in a way that minimises the risk of infection – these changes should also be reflected in your Amber risk assessments. And please also maintain social distancing measures and don’t exceed the numbers for a normal indoor Section meeting. Download a list of steps to take to plan for safe indoor meeting places here.
If a Section is too small to be viable, without sufficient young people or volunteers, then it’s OK for them to join one other Section in the Group. Larger Group, District and County events remain prohibited, at least until the summer.
Headquarters have updated the information on our readiness levels. Remember, if you want to find any information to help with your return to Scouts, you can find it on the Getting back together safely pages, which now include a detailed information hub.
We hope with this next stage of restrictions easing that more young people and volunteers are able to return to face-to-face activities. To help, Headquarters have created some activities which can help you plan your first few weeks of programme.
It’s important to remember that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and we all have the duty to make sure we’re following the letter and spirit of the guidance. As Scouts, we have a responsibility to look after each other and our communities. Our actions should always reflect our values.
Thank you for your support in helping young people to meet face-to-face again.
Safeguarding and Safety
Young people or their parents/carers can make a report to the police in the UK about inappropriate sexual contact online such as ‘grooming’. See the CLICK CEOP button below.
Safeguarding in the Scouts
Adult volunteers who participate in regulated activity require a disclosure check. The Scout Association has reviewed all volunteer roles against the criteria for regulated activity which is defined as:
Teaching, training or instruction of children, carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on four or more days in a thirty day period, or overnight
Day to day management or supervision on a regular basis of a person providing this activity which would be regulated if unsupervised
Some roles fall outside regulated activity and do not require a disclosure check. The remainder meet the requirements of the legislation and will require an appropriate level of disclosure check. Compass helps to automate this process: when an adult volunteer is assigned a role it will know what checks need to be processed. Renewal reminders will also be automated for those roles that require it.
Adult volunteers who work with vulnerable 18-25 year olds in Scouting need a disclosure that is checked against both the adult and child register. This can be arranged on that volunteer’s behalf by contacting email@example.com.
When a new adult is entered onto the system there will be two options for disclosure checks. If the applicant does not have any identification documentation with them and they have an email address then they can be sent an email with a temporary username and password which allows them to log into the disclosures system and choose the identification documentation they have available which meets the minimum requirements. Once they have selected sufficient identification the system will inform them of this; they can then arrange a meeting with the person initiating the disclosure who will then check and verify the identification documents. The other option is to enter the details straight away if the applicant does have their identification documentation with them.
Carry the yellow card with you and make sure you follow its guidance on our safeguarding policy. You can download a copy of the card using the link below – and copies are available at the District Centre. Click on the links below for more resources.
- Yellow Card
- Safeguarding Training Arrangements
- On line Safeguarding Training
- Data protection (including use of social media and photography)
- Guidance for parents on responding to cyber bullying
BeatBullying has partnered with The Scout Association on an exciting new anti-bullying initiative. As part of this, through an easy two-stage process, BeatBullying will train Section Leaders to become BeatBullying Champions, providing them with the tools and resources they need to keep their young people safe, and empower them to take positive action to help make bullying unacceptable. Read more »
Carry the purple card with you and make sure you follow its guidance in an emergency. Contact the District on 07736 430660 if you are dealing with an emergency. Copies are available at the District Centre or you can download one from here.
You can also download copies of the Staying Safe checklists for Leaders, Managers and Executive Committees:
Scouting and Alcohol
The green card provides a checklist on our policy on alcohol for all adults in Scouting. Pick up a copy at the District Centre or you can download one from here.