We've had a number of complaints and anecdotes about another outdoor education company that claims they are a forest school provider. Its always sad to hear people haven't had the positive experience they expected. Often these experiences are fun until something goes wrong. Some of these stories are outrageous so its best to make sure things are legitimate before you hand over your loved ones.
As part of our advice to schools service built on my 15 years experience in education we prepared a safety bulletin for schools some time ago which we'd like to share again because it seems the message isn't getting through. Please feel free to share any of the links.
As a parent I would strongly recommend that you scrutinise any forest school nursery or holiday club that is for kids only i.e. parents drop off in the morning. You can view what they need to do in this document. Basically if they're doing more than 2 activities and parents aren't about then they need to register. If they haven't then you need to think why not?
Do they have a facebook page? Have a look at the reviews and not just the positive ones. How did they react when things went wrong?
If you have problems with any organisation that claims to be a forest school then you can report them to the Forest School Association. There is a code of good practice they should follow. See our bulletin here.
Nobody find Risk Assessment particularly exciting but as a parent you want to know the company you're taking your children to has done its homework. Don't be embarrassed to ask for a risk assessment. See our original bulletin here.
Like Risk Assessments they should have Public Liability Insurance to cover any eventuality. btw if they're using land without permission then its probably not valid so make sure they've got a licence agreement. See original bulletin here.
Are they as they should be? A CRB/DBS tells you that. Is it as clean as you think? As a parent you have a right to query this to make sure staff are competent and safe. Or will you just take it on trust. See our CRB bulletin here.
Its certainly worth having a conversation about these safeguards and don't feel embarrassed. You as a parent/carer/teacher have a right (in fact a duty) to make sure everything's above board and any company working with children recognises that and can provide what you need no questions asked.
Enjoy the holidays!