National Care Standards: School Care Accommodation Services

National Care Standards - School Care Accomodation issue

1-7 Settling in

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 arrangements

Settling in

Introduction to standards 1 to 7

The services for your care and welfare in the school or hostel are designed to give you the opportunity for personal development and help you to reach your full potential. Standards in this section are grouped around the services that guide your arrival and settling-in time. They describe the ways in which the staff will help you adapt to living with a new group of people.

Arriving for the first time

Everyone takes time to settle when they first move away from home. You can expect staff to be particularly sensitive to your feelings and worries at this time. They will welcome and encourage you in your new surroundings, and offer help when you need it. Being able to visit the school or hostel beforehand will help prepare you for moving there.

Keeping in touch with people who are important to you

Keeping in contact with your parents or other people responsible for you, other members of your family and your friends is important. You should receive all the support you need to keep in touch with them through visits, over the phone, by e-mail or by fax.

Care and protection

You should feel welcomed and comfortable in the school or hostel. You can expect to be well cared for in a way that is appropriate to your needs. You are protected from any form of abuse, including bullying.

Privacy and dignity

You have the right to be treated politely and with dignity. There will be areas in the school or hostel where you can enjoy privacy.

You should stay in a friendly and welcoming environment that is warm and comfortable. The school or hostel should be accessible but also safe and secure. You must be satisfied that it can accommodate you and any belongings and equipment you need in a way which supports your right to privacy and dignity.

How the building looks on the outside is important. The building and its grounds should look good, giving a positive image to the outside world.

Comfort, safety and security

You have the right to feel safe, secure and protected in all aspects of your life in the school or hostel. Staff should make sure that you are not at risk in any way.

Support arrangements

The standards in this section will not apply to every school or hostel. They will be taken into account if your school provides specialist educational and care supports. If you are a child or young person with specific educational or care needs you will have a personal plan. This is the plan that you and all the people involved in your support and care draw up to make sure that your current and future needs are met by the school. If you are a child or young person who is looked after by your local authority you will have a care plan which describes how all services will work together to meet your needs. If there are changes in your circumstances that affect how the home or school can meet your needs staff will inform those responsible for planning your care.

Management and staffing

The standards in this section reflect the importance of knowing that the people who are responsible for your support and care have all the necessary experience, skills and training to meet your needs. They should know the best practice guidance and be able to put it into practice. The school or hostel services should be well managed. For example, managers should make sure there are enough staff to meet your needs. The way in which the school or hostel service is run should be regularly checked to see what improvements can be made.

Arriving for the first time

Standard 1

Staff members do all they can to help you to settle in to the accommodation. The school or hostel provides you with a friendly and caring environment, and you have access to help and support.

1 You are made to feel welcome. You and your family have good quality, up-to-date information about the school or hostel service in a leaflet or information pack that is written in plain English or in a language or format that is suitable for you. It should include information about:

  • the aims of the school or hostel;
  • the accommodation and services and number of places provided in the school or hostel;
  • the address and telephone number of the school or hostel and information about transport access;
  • the manager and staff of the school or hostel, including their qualifications;
  • your rights and responsibilities;
  • how you can be involved in decisions;
  • how you can raise a concern or complaint;
  • (whether, and if so how) staff meet any needs you have arising from your ethnic background, culture, language or faith;
  • how your particular interests will be met;
  • family contact and visiting arrangements;
  • how the school or hostel prevents bullying and discrimination;
  • the behaviour that is expected of you and what will happen if you do not behave in the way that is expected of you;
  • what will happen if you are caught in possession of unauthorised alcohol or unauthorised and/or illegal drugs;
  • what educational support you will receive;
  • the need to insure personal belongings; and
  • fire and safety procedures.

2 You have explained to you the arrangements for getting to know the school, including the roles of staff and positions held by fellow pupils.

3 You can be confident that your fellow pupils are helped to support you and other newcomers.

4 You can be confident that the school or hostel will allow you, whenever possible, to visit before you move there.

5 You know which member of staff to go to if you have a problem or want to discuss your experiences of living in the school or hostel.

6 You know that the school or hostel involves your family in all stages
of your stay. If you have a social worker, the school or hostel will involve them too.

Keeping in touch with people who are important to you

Standard 2

You can freely contact your family, and the school or hostel services makes good arrangements for parents or others responsible for your care to visit you.

1 You are helped to keep in contact with parents, brothers and sisters, friends or carers and other people who are important in your life. This has to be in line with your wishes and to be in your best interests. This may be by e-mail, letters and phone calls and visits.

2 You have opportunities to spend time with your brothers and sisters if they attend the school.

3 Your parents and others who are close to you are involved in the life of the school or hostel and can take part in events and get to know your teachers and care staff. There are good arrangements to allow you to meet them in and out of the school or hostel and you know when you can expect to see them.

4 Your parents or others responsible for your care receive a welcome pack.

5 Your parents or others responsible for your care receive regular reports on your personal development and wellbeing in the school or hostel.

6 If it is not possible for a member of your family to go to a parents' meeting, a member of staff may go instead and give them feedback.

7 You know that members of staff are aware of issues of separation and loss and can give you and your family advice and support if you need it.

Care and protection

Standard 3

You live in a warm and caring environment, and are protected from harm. At any time, there are enough staff available to help you when needed.

1 You receive support and care from staff in a way that is appropriate to your needs and age, and that feels comfortable to you.

2 Unless all pupils are aged 16 years or over, you know that there are at least two staff on duty and available at all times *. There is at least one member of staff on duty and another available on call at night.

3 You know that child-protection policies and procedures are in place and staff and pupils know about them.

4 In line with the school or hostel policy, staff and pupils actively challenge and combat any form of bullying or discrimination from any pupil or member of staff. You feel free to report anything that is worrying you.

5 You can be confident that all staff know what to do if a young person goes missing.

6 You have access to information about Childline and the phone number is freely available.

7 You know that the school or hostel has a clear policy on confidentiality. You understand the circumstances in which confidentiality can and cannot be maintained.

8 You can be assured the school or hostel has a written policy and procedures on the conditions where restraint may be used. Staff are fully trained and supported in the use of restraint. If it is necessary to restrain you at any time this is documented and records are kept of any incidents involving your restraint. You can expect to be supported after any episode of restraint.

9 You know that sanctions are appropriately matched to the behaviour and are in line with school or hostel policies. They are clearly recorded.

10 You can be confident that no-one will be physically punished.

11 Groups of pupils are not punished as a result of the behaviour of one person.

12 You can be confident that staff never touch you in an inappropriate manner.

13 You have guidance on how to use the Internet safely. Staff are skilled in helping you to use it. If you have access to TV programmes and videos, they are suitable for your age.

* Exact staffing levels will be agreed with the Care Commission as set out in standard 7 (3).

Privacy and dignity

Standard 4

The accommodation in the school or hostel services meets your needs. Your bedroom is not overcrowded, is big enough for you and you have privacy.

1 Your personal living space is respected and you do not sleep in an overcrowded bedroom. There are rooms you can use in private (for instance if you have visitors) and you have enough space for individual and group activities. This includes play space or quiet areas if you want to study.

2 Your room has a window, is well ventilated and is heated by a system that allows you to control the temperature.

3 You have somewhere to lock away your personal belongings.

4 Your bedroom is big enough to be comfortable and if you share a room, your views about who you share with are taken into account. The agreed and published policies for sleeping accommodation take account of your views and state that wherever possible, if you are over 16, you have a single room if you want one.

5 If you have a care plan or personal plan this will be used by staff to decide if it is appropriate for you to share a bedroom and if so, with whom.

6 If you use a wheelchair, or other equipment, your room will be large enough to accommodate your requirements.

7 Your furniture and equipment provided by the school or hostel is in good condition, is homely and sturdy, is safe and meets health and safety requirements.

8 You have en-suite or nearby bath or shower facilities and you have privacy when using them.

Comfort, safety and security

Standard 5

You live in a comfortable, safe and secure environment.

1 The school or hostel is clean and in good decorative order. The school or hostel provides home comforts (for example, books, fruit and drinks).

2 The school or hostel is personalised (for example, it is furnished with a range of personal items and touches) and has good lighting, heating and ventilation.

3 The accommodation is accessible, but attention is also paid to security issues and there is a security policy in place.

4 Fire and safety procedures are in place, meet regulations and guidelines on best practice, and are followed. Risk assessments are regularly updated.

5 You know what will happen if there is a fire or any other emergency, and what you should do.

6 Staff hold regular fire drills (including drills at night). Fire equipment is properly maintained and regularly inspected. Staff keep records of incidents, drills and inspections, including how long it took to evacuate the building.

7 When you are in a group that is taking part in activities, there are enough suitably qualified staff to supervise effectively. If an activity may be dangerous, staff assess the risk beforehand.

8 If you have an accident or are involved in an incident, staff record it and investigate it if necessary, and tell your parents or those responsible for your care about it.

9 Vehicles used by hostels and schools are serviced regularly and seat belts or alternative restraints are always worn. Drivers and escorts can deal with emergencies, for example, first aid and if people leave without permission.

10 You live in a smoke-free environment.

Support arrangements (for those schools which provide specialist education and care)

Standard 6

The support you receive in the school is based on your Care Plan or personal plan. You are involved in the planning of your care. Statutory care review arrangements are met.

1 You can be confident that staff care for you in a way that is in line with your Care Plan or personal plan and work with others to meet your needs. They have close working relationships with your family and friends and others involved in your education and care.

2 Your Care Plan or personal plan will be well linked to your individualised educational programme, if you have one.

3 You can be confident that staff in the school will help you to understand your care plan or personal plan and take part in reviewing it.

4 The services and support you receive take account of any particular needs you may have. These may include your health, education, culture, ethnic background, faith, language, sexuality, ability and any disability you may have.

5 If your circumstances change in a way that means the school may no longer meet your needs, you can be confident that staff will inform all those responsible for planning your care.

Management and staffing

Standard 7

You experience good quality care and support. This is provided by managers and staff whose training and expertise allows them to meet your needs. Your care is in line with the law and best-practice guidelines.

1 You can be assured that the school or hostel has policies and procedures that cover all legal requirements, including:

  • staffing and training;
  • 'whistle-blowing';
  • managing risk; and
  • proper record-keeping including recording incidents and complaints.

2 You can be assured that staff are supervised and appraised. They have access to advice and support when they do their jobs. The roles and responsibilities of the manager of the care service, school headteachers, and external managers are clear to you.

3 You know that at all times there are enough members of staff to meet your support and care needs. The levels necessary to meet the requirements of the service are agreed between the Care Commission's staff and the managers of the school or hostel.

4 You can be confident that effective recording and information systems are in place. All significant incidents are recorded.

5 You can be assured that when staff members are involved in any financial transaction, it will be carefully recorded. This will be in a way that can be checked by the Care Commission's staff.

6 You know that external managers monitor the care you receive in the school or hostel. The quality and performance of the school or hostel and children and young people's views and complaints are monitored. The external manager or board makes sure that the manager is suitable for the role.

7 You know that the school or hostel staff, managers and volunteers are recruited and selected through a process that takes account of safe recruitment practices. This includes:

  • Disclosure Scotland checks;
  • checks with previous employers;
  • taking up references; and
  • cross-reference to the registers of the Scottish Social Services Council, or other professional organisations.

8 You know that school or hostel staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake their roles and tasks and to meet your needs. There is a staff development strategy and an effective training plan to allow them to gain suitable training and qualifications.

9 You can expect the service to evaluate what it does and make improvements. It will do this by making sure that:

  • staff are involved in the systematic evaluation and discussion of their work and the work of the service, including the use of assessment information;
  • staff are trained and re-accredited appropriately;
  • parents, carers, children, young people and staff will have the opportunity to contribute as appropriate to evaluation;
  • evaluation is continuous and takes account of relevant national and local advice;
  • staff have clear plans for maintaining and improving the service; and
  • information (for example annual reports) is produced for pupils committees and those responsible for your care, outlining the performance of the school or hostel.

10 You can be confident that if you have special needs because of a disability, staff will have an understanding of this and be able to provide appropriate help and support.

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