National Care Standards: School Care Accommodation Services

National Care Standards - School Care Accomodation issue


School care accommodation services

School care accommodation services form one part of the wide range of care services regulated by the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care ('the Care Commission') following the introduction of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 ('the Act'). School care accommodation services are those described in Section 2(4) of the Act which:

  • 'are provided for the purpose of the pupil being in attendance at a public, independent or grant-aided school'; and
  • consist of 'the provision, in a place in or outwith the school, of residential accommodation'.

The national care standards

Scottish Ministers set up the National Care Standards Committee ( NCSC) to develop national standards. The NCSC carried out this work with the help of a number of working groups. These groups included people who use services and their families and carers, along with staff, professional associations, regulators from health and social care, local authorities, health boards and independent providers. Many others were also involved in the consultation process.

The standards have been developed from the point of view of children or young people who use the services. They describe what each individual child or young person can expect from the school or hostel. They focus on the quality of life that the child or young person using the service actually experiences.

The standards for school care accommodation services are grouped under headings that follow the child or young person's journey through the service. These are as follows.

Settling in (standards 1 to 7)

1 Arriving for the first time
2 Keeping in touch with people who are important to you
3 Care and protection
4 Privacy and dignity
5 Comfort, safety and security
6 Support arrangements
7 Management and staffing

Leading your life (standards 8 to 15)

8 You as an individual
9 Exercising your rights
10 Contributing to your care
11 Eating well
12 Keeping well - lifestyle
13 Keeping well - medication
14 Supporting your education
15 Supporting communication

Leaving school (standard 16)

16 Leaving school

Expressing your views (standards 17 and 18)

17 Concerns, comments and complaints
18 Advocacy

Annex A: Glossary
Annex B: Useful reference material

Using the national care standards

The Care Commission is interested in the care that is provided in school care accommodation services. The Care Commission and HM Inspectorate of Education work together to deliver an integrated service for the regulation and inspection of these services. The Registrar of Independent Schools in Scotland keeps a register of independent schools on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Registration is provisional until the school has been inspected by HMIE and found to be satisfactory. HM Inspectorate of Education is responsible for inspecting and reporting on standards and quality in schools using the indicators of quality in 'How Good is our School?'.

As a child or young person, you can use the standards as a guide to the quality of life you can expect in the school or hostel. For example, the standards tell you what the arrangements are for you to contact your family. They tell you what you should do if you feel that you need extra help at any time. They explain how to raise a concern or make a complaint. The standards also help to highlight areas where the school or hostel is performing well.

Your parents or others responsible for your care can use the standards to help them find out about the quality of support and care the school or hostel provides.

People who run the school or hostel will use them to find out what is expected of them in offering the services. The standards make it clear that everything about the service is focused on the quality of life that you experience.

Standards for school care accommodation services cover a wide range of schools with residential accommodation. Some pupils will be at boarding school because it is their choice and their parent's choice. Some pupils will stay in hostel accommodation provided by their local education department because there are no schools within travelling distance. Some pupils will be at residential schools which meet their particular care and education needs.

The principles behind the standards

The standards are based on a set of principles that are the result of all the contributions made by the NCSC, its working groups and everyone else who responded to the consultations on the standards as they were being written. They recognise that services must be accessible and suitable for everyone who needs them, including people from black and ethnic minority communities. They reflect the strong agreement that you have rights and that your experience of receiving services is very important and should be positive.

The main principles

The principles are dignity, privacy, choice, safety, realising potential and equality and diversity.


Your right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect at all times; and
  • enjoy a full range of social relationships.


Your right to:

  • have your privacy and property respected; and
  • be free from unnecessary intrusion.


Your right to:

  • make informed choices, while recognising the rights of other people to do the same;
  • know about the range of choices; and
  • get help to fully understand all the options and choose the one that is right for you.


Your right to:

  • feel safe and secure in all aspects of life, including health and wellbeing;
  • be secure in the knowledge that adults are responsible for children's safety;
  • enjoy safety but not be over-protected; and
  • be protected from exploitation and abuse.

Realising potential

Your right to have the opportunity to:

  • achieve all you can;
  • make full use of the resources that are available to you; and
  • make the most of your life.

Equality and diversity

Your right to:

  • live an independent life, rich in purpose, meaning and personal fulfilment;
  • be valued for your ethnic background, language, culture and faith;
  • be treated equally and be cared for in an environment which is free from bullying, harassment and discrimination; and
  • be able to complain effectively without fear of victimisation.

The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 ('the Act') set up the Care Commission, which registers and inspects all the services regulated under the Act, taking account of the national care standards issued by Scottish Ministers. The Care Commission has its headquarters in Dundee, with regional offices across the country. It will assess applications from people who want to provide school care accommodation services. It will inspect the services to make sure that they are meeting the regulations and in doing so will take account of the national care standards. You can find out more about the Care Commission and what it does from its website (

The Scottish Social Services Council

The Act created the Scottish Social Services Council ('the Council') which was established on 1 October 2001. It also has its headquarters in Dundee. The Council has the duty of promoting high standards of conduct and practice among social services workers, and in their education and training. To deliver its overall aims of protecting service users and carers and securing the confidence of the public in social services, the Council has been given five main tasks. These are: to establish registers of key groups of social services staff; to publish codes of practice for all social services staff and their employers; to regulate the conduct of registered workers; to regulate the training and education of the workforce; to undertake the functions of the National Training Organisation for the Personal Social Services. The Council has issued codes of practice for social service workers and employers of social service workers. These describe the standards of conduct and practice within which they should work. The codes are available from the Council website (

How the standards and regulations work together

The Act gives Scottish Ministers the power to publish standards which the Care Commission must take into account when making its decisions. It also gives Scottish Ministers the power to make regulations imposing requirements in relation to school care accommodation services.

The standards will be taken into account by the Care Commission in making any decision about applications for registration (including varying or removing a condition that may have been imposed on the registration of the service). All providers must provide a statement of function and purpose when they are applying to register their service. On the basis of that statement, the Care Commission will determine which standards will apply to the service that the provider is offering.

The standards will be used to monitor the quality of services and their compliance with the Act and the regulations. If, at inspection, or at other times, for example, as a result of the Care Commission looking into a complaint, there are concerns about the service, the Care Commission will take the standards into account in any decision on whether to take enforcement action and what action to take.

If the standards were not being fully met, the Care Commission would note this in the inspection report and require the service manager to address this. The Care Commission could impose an additional condition on the service's registration if the provider persistently, substantially or seriously failed to meet the standards or breached a regulation. If the provider does not then meet the condition, the Care Commission could issue an improvement notice detailing the required improvement to be made and the timescale for this. Alternatively, the Care Commission could move straight to an improvement notice. The Care Commission would move to cancel the registration of any service if the improvement notice does not achieve the desired result. In extreme cases ( i.e. where there is serious risk to a person's life, health or wellbeing) the Care Commission could take immediate steps to cancel the registration of any service without issuing an improvement notice.

Regulations are mandatory. In some cases not meeting a regulation will be an offence. This means a provider may be subject to prosecution. Not meeting or breaching any regulation is a serious matter.

Decisions by the Care Commission on what to do when standards or regulations are not met will take into account all the relevant circumstances and be proportionate.

You can get information on these regulations from the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001, which is available from the Stationery Office Bookshop. You can also see the Act on-line (see Annex B for the address).

You can also see the Scottish Statutory Instruments for the Regulation of Care Regulations 2002 on-line (see Annex B for the address).


If you would like to comment on these standards you can visit our website and send a message through our mailbox:

You can also contact us at:

Care Standards and Sponsorship Branch
Community Care Division
Health Department
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Tel: 0131 244 3520
Fax: 0131 244 4005

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