BOTLab committee meeting 7 June 2016

Date/time and location: 7pm, 7/6/2016 at the Hackspace

Committee meeting to discuss policy towards children in the hackspace.

  • David W, David H, Russell D, Ian S.
  • Apologies from Toby S, Arthur A
  • Three areas to be discussed: Child protection, Health and safety, Insurance. See later for notes on each of these.
  • The following were discussed, going forward to create a policy. This is not the policy, it's a draft!
  • Children protection
    • Definition of child: 18 years old (From UN, NSPCC, HM Govt UK)
    • Child protection is not an issue UNLESS it's in loco parentis, and even then personal, non-commercial arrangements are excluded.
    • While responsibility for a child may have been given by parent/guardian to a third party, this CANNOT be devolved to others.
    • Hackspace is an adult environment
    • If a parent/guardian hackspace member wants to bring in their child, that's fine; they are responsible for them.
    • Parents who leave their child in the care of a third party in the hackspace (a hackspace member) MUST be made aware that the hackspace is a public environment, not a protected environment, ie there is no supervisory role, no one is CRB/DBS checked. Any hackspace member who wishes to accept responsibility for a child should facilitate a meeting between the parent and a committee member, to convey the policy to the parent/guardian.
    • On occasion, child-focussed activities may be run in the hackspace. If parents are not present, at least one organiser MUST be DBS checked (these are free to volunteers).
  • Health and Safety
    • HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is generally pro children being brought into the 'workplace', but states there should be a risk assessment.
    • Under 18s cannot be inducted on potentially dangerous equipment. This effectively limits under 18s to desk-based activities, but other equipment can be used on behalf of the child by the hackspace member who is responsible for the child, so long as the member is themselves inducted on the equipment.
    • Parent/guardian must be aware of the effect of other people in the space. They may inadvertently present dangers to children.
    • Otherwise, usual hackspace H&S rules apply.
    • Allowed list of tools for children will be tools that do not need induction, eg soldering iron, oscilloscope, Arduino, PC, t-shirt press. Parent/guardian member's supplied tools are the member's responsibility, and is up to the parent/guardian if their child uses them.
    • G10: No under 16s, except on open days/supervised events. Okay for 16 to 18 to use hand tools. Parent must be 'present'.
  • Insurance
    • Current policy says nothing specific about ages, it will all be about our risk assessments.
    • The policy only covers hackspace members, who are all 18+. Children are regarded as visitors, and are covered by public liability insurance.
  • Action: DW will draft a policy on children/under-18s in the Hackspace for review by other committee members.

Child protection at the hackspace, David Wyatt, 7 June 2016

Generally NSPCC website is quite good - Preventing Abuse → Child Protection in the UK → …in England They offer consultancy on child protection Possibly able to get advice from Citizens' Advice Bureau?

Generally everything is about people who work with children, either as employees or volunteers.

Definition of a child: 18 years old From UN Conv on Rights of the Child unless majority attained earlier In UK, for child protection, a child is anyone under 18 Source: NSPCC Legal Definitions → HM Govt (2015) Working Together to safeguard children, Appendix A: Glossary

Reference points:

HSE on Work experience: (again via NSPCC) Dept for Ed “Post-16 work experience as part of 16 to 19 study programmes and traineeships” says refer to HSE, “employer” has responsibility for H&S and should assess risks to under-18s. Voluntary organisations with only Public Liability Insurance would need “temporary Employer Liability Compulsory Insurance”. Providers no longer required to do enhanced DBS checks [not sure about ordinary DBS checks!]. HSE has a whole section on website about “young people” - covering work and work experience DBS checks for eligible volunteers are free

Child protection policies:

These are, we think, a requirement if we are going to run Regulated Activities. See NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit. Also Wiltshire Council, Guidance info to be considered for a child protection policy suitable for sports clubs/holiday clubs (seems to be common across different areas) - again, takes the viewpoint of “staff” providing childcare and sets out procedures accordingly. E.g. British Judo has one.

DBS checks and supervising: Regulated Activity in relation to Children: Scope Key concept is “regulated activity” - this is when you need a DBS check (?), or rather is something that a barred person must not do. Also key concept is “specified place” - everyone paid there must have a DBS check (?) In general: i. “teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children” ii. “work for a limited range of establishments with opportunity for contact: e.g. schools, children's homes, childcare premises. Not work for supervised volunteers;” iii. personal/health care iv. registered childminding and foster carers i, ii only if done “regularly”. Specifically, Teaching/training/instruction carried out by same person frequently (once a week/4 days per 30 days/overnight) “Regulated activity still excludes family arrangements; and personal, non-commercial arrangements.”

But: someone in “RA” can “supervise” someone who is then not in RA (and thus does not need a DBS check?). Supervision must be “regular” and “reasonable in the circumstances”. “peer exemption” in above.

NSPCC advises babysitters should be at least 16!

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