Find our Policies and Procedures document here.


Section one: Administrative procedures


  1. Admissions Procedure


Referrals should be made through the Brokerage Team for young people who have an open case with the Disabled Children’s Team and the KIDS Hubs for all other young people. We cannot take direct referrals from the families.


1.1 Criteria for admissions


We operate several services each with their own criteria:


  • NHCVS Breakaway Holiday Club is open to children/young people with special needs aged 5-19 years and live in
  • North Herts Breakaway Club is open to children/young people with special needs aged 5-19 years and live in North Herts.
  • NHCVS Breakaway PMLD Club is open to children/young people aged 5-19 years and who live in Stevenage/North Herts area and have complex health needs.
  • NHCVS Saturday Breakaway Club is open to children/young people 5-19 years with special needs living in Stevenage and North Herts.


1.2 Procedure for allocation


Allocations of children/young people to Breakaway Playschemes will ensure:


  • Suitable opportunities for users
  • Appropriate staffing to fulfil the staff rations decided upon for each child/young person ensure the risk associated with caring for the young people can be managed at all times.


Individual children/young people who have specific needs or challenging behaviour or who may require additional support will be discussed with the local Disabled Children’s Team regarding extra resources to support their need.  Stevenage and North Herts Breakaway Playschemes have a high staff/child/young person ratio.  In some cases, on advice from Children’s Services, the child/young person could be supported on a 1:1 basis.


Please note: NHCVS cannot support children/young people who are a danger to other users, staff or volunteers at Breakaway Playschemes.


We consult with families about preferred dates, and make every effort to supply those dates most urgently requested. However, we cannot guarantee to provide all dates, since Breakaway Playscheme is very popular, and we try to offer all applicants at least some respite care. When allocating places, the SBLO balance of each young person will be considered.


Families should notify us in advance if a booked place is not required, so that we can try to reallocate that place. (If a family repeatedly misses sessions without explanation, lower priority will be given to that family in future allocations.)


The final decision regarding allocation of a place at any of our Playschemes is at the discretion of NHCVS.


  1. Escalation protocol


For the purposes of these procedures, designations are as follows:


  • The Playleader has delegated authority to deal with everyday problems
  • The Breakaway Manager has delegated authority to deal with most major problems - in her absence (leave or sickness) the Executive Director takes on this role
  • The Executive Director has authority to deal with major and severe problems and is responsible for notifying the Hertfordshire County Council of problems in a timely fashion according to the guidance for emergency notification – in her absence (leave or sickness) the Trustee with delegated authority for the Breakaway Project will take on this role


Details of who is serving in what capacity, together with contact numbers, is included daily in the morning briefing for each Playleader.


Where a major problem arises at the Breakaway Clubs the Playleader must:


  • Escalate the problem to the Breakaway Manager
  • Abide by the principles of the Safeguarding and Confidentiality Policy when contacting emergency or medical services
  • Record actions taken in writing at the time


Where a major or serious problem arises at the Breakaway Clubs the Breakaway Manager must:


  • Escalate the problem to the Executive Director
  • Ensure that staff, volunteers and users are safe and receiving such support as needed
  • Record actions taken in writing at the time


The notifications procedure for serious incidents is that the Executive Director notifies serious events to the Brokerage and the Case Holding Team (or Safeguarding Out-of-Hours Service) or will delegate this responsibility to the Breakaway Manager.


  1. Security


Staff, volunteers and visitors should always sign in and out.


Staff and volunteers need to be aware of the system in operation for children/young people’s arrivals and departures so that at least one adult will be at the door during these periods. If an adult other than the child/young person’s guardians are collecting them from Breakaway Playscheme then the password system needs to be operated (this should be noted in the child/young person/young person’s Care Plan and kept confidentially).


Children/young people will be supervised by an adult at all times and will not be left alone. The members of the team will need to co-ordinate between themselves when other children need to be taken aside for toileting or personal care.


It is the policy of NHCVS that all volunteers will be under the constant supervision of trained staff.


The following needs to be locked away during the Playschemes operating hours:


  • Children/young people/young person’s details
  • Staff details
  • Money tin
  • Staff personal belongings
  • Medicines


At each playscheme, the Play Leader’s phone number will be available to parents, as will the Manager’s phone number for Safeguarding concerns.



Section two: Safeguarding


The policy and procedures for safeguarding the children/young people attending the Breakaway Playschemes are given in full here as they form the back-bone of the way in which the service is delivered.


It is the policy of NHCVS to ensure that children/young people are protected and kept safe from harm whilst they are with staff/volunteers in our service.  (The definition of a child/young person for the purpose of this policy is anyone under the age of 18 years. Please see the NHCVS Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults policy for Breakaway attendees over 18.)


We believe that the safety and welfare of children/young people should always be of paramount importance, whatever the circumstances, and that all staff and volunteers have a responsibility to safeguard and promote a child/young person’s welfare. 


We are aware that special care is needed in dealing with children/young people whose age, inexperience or physical state makes them particularly vulnerable to abuse.  We aim to be observant of the children/young people in our care and to take action should we feel that they are being harmed at home.


We will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:


  • Valuing them, listening to respecting them
  • Adopting child protection guidelines through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Sharing information about child/young person protection and good practice with children/young people, parents, staff and volunteers
  • Sharing information about concerns with agencies who need to know, and involving parents and children/young people appropriately
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
  • Reviewing our policy and good practice annually


NHCVS will endeavour to safeguard the children/young people who attend Breakaway Playschemes by following the procedure below if a concern is raised about a child/young person’s welfare.


1. Safeguarding Procedure


It is not the responsibility of anyone working for NHCVS to take responsibility or to decide whether or not abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.


Any concerns about a child/young person, or suspicion of abuse, must be reported immediately to the Breakaway Manager who in turn will contact the duty officer at Children’s Services on 0300 123 4043 (including out of hours).


The Executive Director should be informed immediately and kept informed of all developments. This includes any concerns about returning a child/young person to their parents/carers.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned.


Please see a flow chart of the procedure at appendix one:


We aim to ensure that:


  • Staff are carefully selected, trained and supervised, being interviewed by staff who work to current standards
  • Each member of staff and volunteer has a current DBS check and that references are sought and vetted
  • Volunteers are always supervised by paid staff and never left alone with a child/young person
  • Staff are given training in safeguarding children/young people, are aware of the Safeguarding Policy and have read accompanying booklets. All staff and volunteers sign confidentiality statements.
  • Parents, children/young people and staff are aware of what we do and what they can expect from us. Parents are informed of complaints procedures should they have any concerns
  • Reporting procedures are in place with a designated person available
  • Codes of behavior are developed between staff and children/young people
  • A safe environment is maintained. Where possible, staff should be working in an open environment and should not be left alone with a child/young person or in an unobserved situation
  • Staff who have not been registered as ‘fit’ persons (holding a current DBS certificate and meeting above criteria) will not take children/young people, unaccompanied, to the toilet
  • All children/young people are treated equally and with respect
  • A written record of any injury/accident that occurs will be kept and shown to parents/carers
  • Staff should be made aware of any visitors expected. All visitors should be signed in and not left alone in the presence of any children/young people.


To protect the children/young people when they are not in our care, we will:


  • Ask parents/carers to provide a satisfactory explanation of any injury a child/young person may have when they arrive at the Playscheme. Written notes should be made immediately after this conversation (together with noting the details of the injury) and it should be reported to the Playleader and the Breakaway Manager (who will contact the duty team at Children’s Services if necessary). Where a concern is identified, the Executive Director should be informed immediately and kept updated on all developments.
  • If a child/young person arrives with injuries on a regular basis, records must be collated on the injuries, dates, and explanations given by the parent/carer.
  • Should a child/young person disclose abuse we will listen carefully, offering reassurance they are safe to speak to us, but not question the child/young person. The conversation should be recorded in writing as soon as possible afterwards.  The Breakaway Manager will be informed and will contact Children’s Services.  The Executive Director should be informed immediately and kept updated on all developments.
  • The alleged abuser should not be informed of any suspicion of abuse or disclosure until advice has been given by Children’s Services.
  • Confidentiality between members of staff of NHCVS and parents/carers will be maintained at all times, unless there is a child/young person protection concern which will be reported to the Children’s Services. If a report is made to the authorities, the child/young person’s parents/carers will be informed at the same time the report is made, unless the alleged abuser is the parent/carer. 


Staff will not:


  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
  • Allow children/young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a child/young person, even in fun
  • Reduce a child/young person to tears as a form of control
  • Allow allegations made by the child/young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
  • Do things of a personal nature which the child/young person can do for themselves
  • Invite or allow children young people into their home unsupervised


Should an allegation be made about a staff member’s conduct, it should immediately be reported to the Breakaway Manager who will report the incident to the Executive Director and the duty team at Children’s Services. Then the NHCVS complaints policy will come into effect.


2. Indicators of Abuse


Wherever worrying changes are observed in a child/young person’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, notes will be made by the Playleader. The Breakaway Manager and, if necessary, the Executive Director will then be informed of the observations. The information will not be shared with other members of staff or volunteers, except on a ‘need to know’ basis.


Child abuse can take many forms only some of which have visible signs.  However, these signs must not be taken in isolation from other circumstances in a child/young person’s life.  One sign on its own may not be an indicator of abuse.


Possible indicators of physical abuse


  • Injuries which are not consistent with explanation given for them
  • Injuries occurring in places on the body not normally exposed to falls or rough games etc.
  • Injuries which have not received medical attention which you would expect a reasonable parent to give/arrange
  • Instances where children/young people are kept from attending group inappropriately
  • Reluctance to change clothes for or participate in games or swimming
  • Bruises, bites, burns, fractures etc. which do not have an accidental explanation
  • Cutting / slashing / substance abuse


Possible indicators of emotional abuse


  • Changes or regression in mood and behavior; such as withdrawal, clinginess, depression, aggression or nervousness
  • Sudden under-achievement, lack of concentration or persistent tiredness
  • Inappropriate relationships with peers/adults
  • Attention seeking behavior, running away, stealing or lying




Possible indicators of sexual abuse


  • Any allegations made by the child/young person concerning sexual abuse
  • Child/young person with an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters and a detailed knowledge of adult sexual behavior
  • Sexual activity through words, play or drawing
  • Child/young person who is sexually provocative with adults or inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home


Possible indicators of neglect


  • Inadequate food and nutrition, shelter or living conditions, clothing
  • Exposure to physical danger or harm
  • Failure to ensure child/young person receives access to appropriate medical care and treatment


  1. Child Sexual Exploitation Policy and Procedure


The aim of the NHCVS Child Sexual Exploitation Policy and Strategy is to define and identify child sexual exploitation (CSE) and to detail effective response.


It is very important as professionals that we do what we can to raise awareness of CSE, because it is a serious problem across all cultures, and impacts significantly on looked after children. Vulnerability and low self-esteem are common factors amongst children at risk of sexual exploitation. Vulnerable adults are also at risk of sexual exploitation.


3.1 What is Child Sexual Exploitation?


Child sexual exploitation is illegal activity by people who have power over young people and use it to sexually abuse them. The sexual exploitation of children is child sexual abuse.


This can involve a broad range of exploitative activity, from seemingly ‘consensual’ relationships and informal exchanges of sex for attention, accommodation, gifts or cigarettes, through to very serious organised crime.


Sexual exploitation also means sexual, physical and emotional abuse and sometimes neglect. Therefore, sexually exploited children are victims of abuse. Children under the age of 16 cannot give consent to sexual activity. Sexual activity with children under the age of 13 is statutory rape.


3.2 Risks faced by children


Children at risk of sexual exploitation are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Younger victims are being targeted.  Perpetrators of these crimes are becoming increasingly sophisticated; using the internet to protect their identity and trafficking children around the country to avoid detection.


Children may be drawn into sexual exploitation by peers already involved, or coerced by an older man or women; drugs and alcohol may be involved. The child/young person may become alienated from the very people (friends, family, and professionals) who could help.


3.3 Risk factors:


  • adults or older youths loitering outside the child’s usual place of residence;
  • persistently missing, staying out overnight or returning late with no plausible explanation;
  • leaving home/care setting in clothing unusual for the individual child (inappropriate for age, borrowing clothing from older young people);
  • acquisition of expensive clothes, mobile phones or other possessions without plausible explanation;
  • truancy/disengagement with education or considerable change in performance at school;
  • volatile behaviour exhibiting extreme array of mood swings or use of abusive language;
  • getting involved in petty crime such as shoplifting, stealing;
  • entering or leaving vehicles driven by unknown adults;
  • hostility in relationship with parents/carers and other family members; and
  • returning after having been missing, looking well cared for despite having no known home
  • Showing signs of sexual activity/abuse, including sexually transmitted infections, terminations and pregnancy scares


3.4 Sexual Exploitation and technology


Children and young people need to know of the risks that can be posed by the misuse of technology. For example, vulnerable children can be inadvertently grouped via social networking sites.


3.5 Risk Assessment Framework


Indicators of risk of harm can be grouped into categories but the categories need to be used flexibly to take account of each child’s individuality, the uniqueness of his / her circumstances and the changes that may occur for him / her over time:


  • Category 1 (At Risk): a vulnerable child who is at risk of being targeted and groomed for sexual exploitation;


  • Category 2 (Medium Risk): a child who is targeted for opportunistic abuse through the exchange of sex for drugs, accommodation (overnight stays) and goods, etc. The likelihood of coercion and control is significant;


  • Category 3 (High Risk): a child whose sexual exploitation is habitual, often self-defined and where coercion / control is implicit.


3.6 Responsibility


Child sexual exploitation is a child protection matter. Failure to report a child protection concern, or an incident of suspected abuse, is a disciplinary matter and the relevant NHCVS policies should be followed.


Where appropriate, the child and their family should be made aware of the concerns. However, engaging the child and family and alerting them to the risks should be approached with a high level of sensitivity to avoid compounding risks or furthering alienation.


3.7 The role of the police


The priority for the police is the investigation and prosecution of offenders who have been involved in abusing the child through sexual exploitation. This role should be undertaken in accordance with the principle of multi-agency co-operation to safeguard children.


3.8 Useful resources and reading




The Sexual Exploitation of Children- It Couldn’t Happen Here Could It – Ofsted Report November 2014.


Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre


The CEOP Centre is the UK's national police agency set up to tackle child sexual abuse. If you are worried about someone's behaviour towards a child, online or offline, you can report this at You can get help, advice and support on all issues related to internet safety for young people by visiting






Section three: Health and safety: Health issues


It is the duty of all staff to ensure that they maintain an awareness of, and a high standard of, health and safety practice in all settings, activities and events, including off-site trips.


1.    General Medication Policy


The Medication Policy aims to ensure that medication is given in a safe manner and only given by NHCVS staff who are competent in administering the medication.


NHCVS staff will not administer medication without prior parent’s/carer’s written consent and are never to administer non-prescribed medication to children/young people in their care.  A parent’s/carer’s consent is sought in writing using the Medical Consent Form.  The form provides specific written consent for staff to administer prescribed medication to the child/young person or young person.  Administration details, including member of staff and time(s) of day are kept on file.


Storage of medication differs according to setting:


  • On site – must always be in a specific medicine cupboard or cabinet, all the doors of which are individually lockable.
  • Activities or community – named person to take full responsibility of administration and storage.
  • Refrigeration – medication which needs storing in a refrigerator should be inside a lockable container.


Any medication held for staff must be clearly identified and be kept securely and separately from children/young people’s medication.


2.    Procedures for the benefit of NHCVS staff


2.1 Introduction


Training should take place, and will be given, in all aspects of the administration of oral medication as required. No NHCVS employee should consent to give drugs intravenously, save in the case of anaphylaxis where they should follow the procedures and conditions described in the Sick children/young people Procedure.


If a child or young person is prescribed drugs which are to be given by any other route except by mouth, and for all other medical procedures (e.g. rectal), NHCVS employees may be required to attend training and achieve a certificate of competence in relation to each individual item (e.g. rectal diazepam)


The employee should know if the child/young person or young person to whom they are giving the medication has any allergies or any other contra-indication to specific drugs.


2.2 Procedures to be followed by NHCVS staff


At the start of each Playscheme a copy of each child/young person’s Medication Consent Form is securely attached to the Medicine Record Book.  The following procedures are then observed when giving the medication:


  • Two members of staff must always be present when medication is administered
  • Only trained members of staff are permitted to administer medication, although the second member of staff (the witness) may be a sessional worker
  • Child/young person specific seizure protocol must be sent to a medical professional and endorsed by them
  • The medicine and dosage should be measured, checked and correct on the handover of the child/young person.  In case of discrepancy between the parent/carers’ instructions and those written on the bottle by the pharmacist, discuss them before the parent/carer leaves and before giving the medicine.  Parental/carer’s consent for such a change in dose should never be taken over the telephone.  The parent/carer should provide a note confirming that the dose has to be different from the pharmacist’s instructions
  • Both the NHCVS employee administering the medicine and the witness must sign and record the time in the Medicine Record Book on each occasion that the medicine was administered to confirm that medicine, dose and procedure were all correct
  • Medicine from an unmarked bottle must never be given. The medication should come from a bottle or a pack that is labelled with an original label indicating the contents and dosage and name of child/young person


If there is any confusion or uncertainty about any aspect of giving medicine, the NHCVS employee should discuss this with their line manager.  If the NHCVS employee has doubts about the giving of medication and failing to administer the medicine at the prescribed time may cause distress or put the child or young person at risk, the child/young person’s GP or NHS Direct (111) should be called.


2.3 Protocol for the Administration of Medicines at Playscheme


All medication must be in its original container and must be clearly labelled with the name of the child/young person, name of the drug, required dosage and administration instructions.  Only medication prescribed by a doctor will be accepted.


All medication is administered by a suitably qualified member of staff, and training for certain medications will take place periodically throughout the year.



  • Upon arrival, all medication must be handed in and a ‘Medicine Consent’ form completed. Parents/carers must sign any medication in.
  • When accepting medication from parents/carers, ensure that the medication is in its original container and is clearly labelled with the name of the child/young person, name of the drug, required dosage and administration instructions.  Please note, only medication prescribed by a doctor will be accepted.
  • When accepting medication from parent/carers, ensure directions for administration are clear and written down on Medicines Consent Form. In case of discrepancy between the parent/carers’ instructions and those written on the container by the pharmacist, discuss them before the parent/carer leaves and before giving the medicine.  Parental/carer’s consent for such a change in dose should never be taken over the telephone.  The parent/carer should provide a note from a medical professional confirming that the dose has to be different from the pharmacist’s instructions
  • Place medication in lockable box and keep key safe The box is to be kept in a suitable, staff-only area when children/young people are on the premises. When out on trips - keep medication with you at all times.
  • Before administrating medication, check you have the correct child/young person. Check expiry date. Sign when given and where possible get a member of staff to witness the administration.
  • When parents/carers collect their child/young person, ensure they sign for receipt of any medication they take home.


NB: - Parents should be advised to leave the medications in their original packaging. However, some parents/carers will send only what is required for the day. For example, blue inhalers may be presented without a box, as long as the dose clearly matches what is in the care plan and medicine form.


3. Hepatitis B


Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the COSHH Regulations 2000, the North Herts Centre for Voluntary Service is obliged to undertake a risk assessment and to inform all staff/volunteers about the precautions identified to prevent infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The Breakaway Playschemes have been identified as potentially a source of risk to staff and so the following guidance and procedures applies.


Hepatitis B is a serious infection, initially causing inflammation of the liver, which can also be caused by alcohol and some drugs, but usually it is the result of a viral infection.  There are many types of hepatitis virus, which can cause hepatitis.  Each of these viruses acts differently.

Hepatitis B can be found in the blood and virtually all body fluids of people with acute Hepatitis B, and carriers of the virus and is highly infectious.


The information in this guidance is taken from:

  • Hepatitis B NHS Factsheet
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE)


3.1 How is it spread?


The virus is mainly spread by ‘blood to blood’ contact with an infected person, and normally occurs via:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Sharing contaminated needles or other drug-injecting equipment
  • By using non-sterilised equipment for tattooing, acupuncture or body piercing
  • From an infected mother to her baby during delivery
  • Through blood transfusion in a country where blood is not tested for the Hepatitis B virus. Note, all blood for transfusion in the UK is tested
  • Potentially through a human bite if the bite breaks the skin of the person bitten, although less likely. Broken skin should be covered with a plaster even if wearing gloves


3.2 Signs and symptoms


People may have no symptoms at all, but they can still pass on the virus to others.  Symptoms may include:

  • A short, mild, flu-like illness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellow skin & whites of eyes)
  • Itchy skin


Most adults infected with the Hepatitis B virus fully recover and develop life-long immunity.  Between 2% and 10% of individuals infected, as adults will become chronic carriers, which means they will be infectious to others and can develop chronic liver damage even though they show no signs of infection.


3.3 Immunisation


The most important measure whereby staff/volunteers can be protected against Hepatitis B is by immunisation, which provides protection in up to 90% of recipients. Three injections are given over a period of 3-6 months. A blood test is taken once the course of injections is completed to check that they have worked. Immunity should last for at least 5 years.


However, immunisation is not a substitute for good infection control practice – since it provides no protection against infection from other blood-borne viruses (BBVs) and not all staff will respond to the immunisation.


3.4 General measures to reduce the risk of occupational exposure


If an accident or incident occurs during the Playscheme, you should bring it to the attention of the nurse immediately. Do not attempt to deal with any cuts/wounds yourself. The nurse will be fully trained in the correct procedures. (All the nursing staff on the Breakaway Playschemes will be fully immunised against Hepatitis B.)


The following measures will help to minimise the risk of exposure to blood-borne viruses:


  • Wash hands before and after contact with each child/young person/young person and before putting on and after removing gloves
  • Change gloves/disposable aprons every time when dealing with different children/young people
  • Use disposable coverings on all surfaces where appropriate and change every time when dealing with different children/young people and disinfect
  • Cover existing wounds and existing breaks in exposed skin with waterproof dressings
  • Wear gloves/aprons where contact with blood can be anticipated
  • Avoid the use of “sharps”[1] where possible, and where sharps usage is essential, exercise particular care in handling and when disposing. “Sharps” must be disposed of using “sharps” bins, not regular bins. Do not re-sheath needles.
  • Avoid wearing open footwear in situations where blood may be spilt, or where sharp instruments or needles are handled
  • Clear up spillage of blood promptly and disinfect surfaces with bleach or NaDCC or Virkon (wearing gloves/aprons)
  • Dispose of contaminated waste safely


3.5 Post-exposure procedures


Immediately following any exposure from blood or other potentially infectious body fluids, the site of the exposure i.e. wound or non-intact skin should be washed liberally with soap and water but without scrubbing. If there has been a puncture wound, free bleeding should be encouraged gently but the wound should not be sucked.

Staff/volunteers who sustain an occupational exposure should report it promptly to the Nurse who will seek advice on further management and treatment. Contact will be made with the hospital for treatment with immunoglobulin and or drugs.


3.6 Summary

  • HBV immunisation of all NHCVS staff/volunteers is not essential but all nurses should have received immunisation
  • Control will be by good working practices
  • High-risk HBVC/BBV children/young people should be identified where possible
  • All injuries must be reported to the nurse/supervisor or Breakaway Manager and, if necessary, further treatment sought


4. Hygiene


The Playleader and staff are to ensure all areas used by Breakaway Playscheme are clean and tidy.  The staff and nurses will wear disposable gloves when dealing with bodily fluid.


All bodily fluid will be wiped up promptly using antibacterial spray and disposed of in the medical bins provided.


Staff and the nurses will wash their hands after using the toilet and after toileting the children/young people (including changing pads).  Staff and nurses will wash their hands before preparing food or drink.


Children/young people are encouraged to wash their hands after toileting and before eating and drinking.


5. Dietary needs


The children/young people always have access to fresh drinking water.


Careful attention is paid to any allergies/dietary requirements that may have been highlighted on the parent/carers application form. Information will be included in the letter sent out to parents/carers regarding what food they can and should send with their child/young person. Particular attention will be paid to requesting parents/carers not to include any nuts i.e. packs of peanuts, or peanut butter.


6. Sick Children/young people


Breakaway Playscheme will ask parents to keep their children/young people at home if they are suffering from anything contagious, such as sickness and diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, chicken pox or similar or if the GP has advised that they be kept at home.

Consultation with the on-site first aider regarding exclusion periods may be necessary.  In the event of illnesses such as sickness and diarrhoea, an immediate exclusion of 48 hours (after both have ceased) may be enforced.


In line with Schools policy, pupils who have been prescribed antibiotics should be kept home for at least 48 hours and should not return to Breakaway Playscheme until they have fully recovered.


On advice of the nurse, if a child/young person falls ill during Playscheme, arrangements will be made by the Playleader to contact the parents/carers to collect the child/young person.  A quiet area will be allocated for the child/young person while awaiting collection.


6.1 Children’s Act Regulations


The Breakaway Manager must notify Ofsted of any infectious disease that a qualified medical person considers notifiable at:


Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 1231.



For reporting procedures of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences – see RIDDOR 2013 recommendations (Section Four) or online at



Section four: Health & Safety – Risk management


1. Daily Risk Assessment


At the beginning of each day of the Playscheme (before the children/young people arrive) it will be the Playleader’s responsibility to carry out the appropriate checks:


They should:

  • Complete the ‘Daily Risk Assessment’ checklist, sign and date.
  • Highlight and note any new or not previously identified risks and put into action a plan to reduce/eliminate the risk.


In addition to the Daily Risk Assessment, a general check of the site should be made.  General daily checks should include:


  • Check the site is clean and tidy
  • Check all equipment/toys are clean and safe
  • Check toilets/changing areas are clean and well stocked
  • Ensure the refrigerator is clean and in good working order
  • Check fire exits are clear
  • Highlight to any new staff the external fire doors and the potential risks of a child/young person


Risk assessments on specific events or activities are done separately.


2. Equipment


Furniture, toys and equipment on the premises should conform to BS EN 71 safety standards for the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 where applicable.


The toys and equipment offered to children/young people should be developmentally appropriate, and staff should recognise that materials suitable for older children/young people may pose a risk to younger children/young people. The toys and equipment provided should be stimulating, fun, interesting and provide a sufficient challenge.


At the end of each Playscheme equipment needs to be checked and sanitised thoroughly and any items that are damaged are discarded and reported to the Breakaway Manager or Administrator to be replaced.


Any potentially hazardous equipment must be securely stored.


All electrical equipment is to be PAT tested annually.


3. Fire Safety


All staff should familiarise themselves with the following:


  • Each site will be provided with fire whistles which are placed in designated areas i.e. hall, classrooms etc. and are easily available to all members of staff
  • Playleaders should ensure all staff are competent to carry out emergency evacuation procedures and are aware of fire exits/location of fire whistle’s etc.
  • A ‘designated meeting point’ will be decided at the beginning of each Playscheme – i.e. car park or playground
  • Any recommendations made by the fire safety officer are fully complied with
  • Fire Exits are clearly marked and kept free of obstructions
  • There will be a practise fire drill per Scheme. This may take place during briefing or debrief.
  • The Playleader will be responsible for the children/young people’s contact details/register and the staff’s contact details/register
  • The Playleader will be responsible for telephoning the fire brigade
  • The Playleader will do a final check of the building/toilets etc.
  • Wherever possible – send a member of staff to wait for the fire brigade to guide them to the area of the fire
  • The Playleader will inform the Breakaway Manager of the situation


If a fire is detected, please alert the Playleader:


  • On hearing the fire whistle, please take your child/young person to the nearest fire exit
  • Please take your child/young person to the far end of the Playground/Car Park
  • Please do this quickly, quietly and by walking
  • The Playleader will call the Fire Brigade
  • The Playleader will call the Children/young people’s and Staff’s / Volunteers’ Registers
  • The Playleader will call the Breakaway Manager and inform him/her of the situation


4. Bouncy Castle operation


It is the policy of the NHCVS Breakaway Playscheme to do everything possible to ensure the safe use of the bouncy castle (or any other equivalent inflatable).


The bouncy castle is to be hired from a reputable company which complies with either PIPA or ADIPS schemes. Prior to hiring the following questions must be answered:


  • Does the company conform to the PIPA or ADIPS Scheme?
  • If it is the PIPA scheme ask for the inflatable's PIPA tag number (this can be checked online)
  • Does the company carry out daily checks on the equipment?
  • Ask the company when the equipment was last fully inspected
  • Does the company supply full instructions on its safe operation?
  • Ask to see the current PIPA/ADIPS test certificate for this equipment
  • Ask the company, is the equipment clearly marked as to its limitations of use (max. user height etc.)?
  • Is the company a member of a relevant association (AIMODS, NAIH, TIPE or BIHA)?
  • This can be checked against the relevant web site listing
  • Does the company have Public Liability Insurance?
  • Is there adequate room on site for the inflatable?
  • Note, the blower should be positioned at least 1.2m away from the inflatable
  • The supplier company should be consulted for information on the safe siting of the castle


When hiring it is important to ensure that the company provides us with written instructions about the safe setting up, operation and supervision of the equipment, and that the name and address of the manufacturer or supplier is clearly marked upon it.


4.1 Daily Checks


It is the responsibility of the Playleader to carry out safety check of the equipment each morning prior to the arrival of the service users. This task may be delegated to the Deputy Play Leader. The daily check is part of the daily risk assessment and contains the following checks:


  • Power Breaker working
  • Blower correctly positioned/adequately protected and not causing a trip hazard
  • No sign of wear and tear on fabric
  • No exposed electrical components & no signs of wear and tear on plugs, sockets, cables and switches
  • Safety Mats in place
  • Inflated correctly

If any staff come across any safety concerns during the day they are to immediately inform the Playleader. The castle must not be used if there are any concerns for the safety of the children/young people. NHCVS Breakaway Playscheme does not compromise when it comes to child/young person’s safety.


4.2 Safe Operation


Information regarding the safe operation of the equipment should be supplied by the hire company and must be adhered to. Any additional rules for usage provided by the hire company must also be followed.


4.4 Bouncy Castle Rules


  • Soft mats must be placed adjacent to the entrances and exits of the castle
  • The blower must be situated at least 1.2m away from the castle – serious injuries may be sustained by any user who strikes the blower unit
  • Children/young people on the castle must be closely supervised at all times
  • The number of users at a time recommended by the hire company must be adhered to
  • Be mindful of the ages/sizes/requirements of the users. i.e. do not mix older and younger users as injuries may result
  • All children/young people must be made to remove footwear, hard or sharp objects such as jewelry, buckles, pens and other similar pocket contents
  • No food or drink is to be consumed on/immediately prior to the use of the bouncy castle
  • Boisterous play, acrobatics (somersaults etc.) and climbing on the sides are to be strongly discouraged




Section five: Health & Safety – issues with children & young people


1. Late Collection Procedure


In the event of a child/young person not being collected at the designated time, staff must:


  • Inform the Playleader if a child/young person has not been collected
  • The Playleader and at least one other member of staff must stay behind with the child/young person
  • If after 15 minutes the parent/carer has still not collected the child/young person, the Playleader will telephone the contact numbers available to ascertain the cause of the delay and how long it is likely to last. If the parent/carer cannot be contacted or only their answer phone is available, try the other emergency contacts for the child/young person/young person in the order in which they are listed. Messages should always be left on answer phones requesting an immediate response.
  • If after repeated attempts, no contact is made with the parent/carer and a further 45 minutes has gone by, the Playleader should call the Breakaway Manager who will contact Children’s Services Emergency Duty Team on 01438 737500 (opening hours are 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm Saturday) or the out of hours number 0300 123 4043 to advise them of the situation.
  • The two members of staff will remain in the building until suitable arrangements have been made for the collection of the child/young person
  • The Breakaway Manager is kept informed of situation at all times, the Executive Director should be informed after 1 hour.


The incident and associated actions are recorded in writing at the time by the Playleader and counter signed by the Breakaway Manager.


  1. Outings Procedure


The children/young people will be taken on local outings and outings further afield. The children/ young people’s safety will be ensured at all times to the best of our ability.




  • Parents/carers will be asked to complete a consent form for their children/young people to leave the premises as part of the application form
  • Parents/carers will be asked to give verbal permission each time an outing is planned that involves travelling, enabling their child/young person to attend
  • The Breakaway Manager will carry out a risk assessment identifying any potential hazards on the journey and at the location
  • An outings folder including the young person’s emergency contact details, photo and relevant information will be taken on all outings, including a first aid kit, any necessary medication and all required paperwork.
  • Each child/young person/young person attending an outing will be allocated to a member of staff or volunteer
  • Every member of staff will be responsible for their child/young person/young person or group of children/young people at all times
  • A higher ratio of staff to children/young people will be put in place during outings to local parks and areas of interest, to minimise risk
  • On an outing, staff/volunteers and children/young people will be told a meeting point. In the unlikely event of a child/young person becoming separated they will meet their worker at that point


3. Lost/missing child/young person/young person procedure


NHCVS Breakaway Playscheme has the following procedure in place in case a child/young person goes missing, to ensure that a missing child/young person is found as soon as possible and that the appropriate people are informed.


The welfare of children and young people in our care is paramount.  All children/young people in our care are supervised by staff at all times and therefore the chance of losing a child/young person or young person is extremely unlikely. 


3.1 On-site


If a child/young person/young person goes missing from the Playscheme, an immediate search should be carried out by all available staff.  Indoor and outside areas should be searched thoroughly, and the child/young person’s name repeatedly called. 


It will be necessary to notify the local police if the child/young person is not found after the initial search.


If the child/young person is not found, a member of staff should inform the Breakaway Manager immediately.  Parents/carers of the missing child/young person should also be informed.  Other members of staff should continue the search whilst maintaining staff/child/young person ratios.


3.2 Off-site


If a child/young person goes missing during an off-site activity, all available staff should carry out a search of the immediate area.  There should be a pre-arranged meeting point, or if the location has a central focus or missing person’s area a member of staff should go there, and give a description of the missing child/young person.


Depending upon the location of the visit, it will be necessary to notify the local police if the child/young person is not found after the initial search.


If the child/young person is not found, a member of staff should inform the Playleader immediately. Parents/carers of the missing child/young person should also be informed. Other members of staff should continue the search but the safety and welfare of all the other children/young people participating in the trip must be maintained.


Details of the trip and those attending must be given to a contact person who remains on-site. If the entire Playscheme is going on the trip, the details should be given to the Breakaway Manager. 


When following the above procedure, it is of the utmost importance that a record is made of all the child/young person/young person’s details. The form at appendix two should be used.



Section six: Accident and RIDDOR Policy


  1. Accident Policy


It is the policy to provide an environment that minimises risk and which safeguards the health, safety and welfare of the employees, children/young people and visitors to Breakaway Playscheme.  This policy complements NHCVS’s Health and Safety Policy.


  • All staff/volunteers will be asked to read our policies/procedures as part of the Induction process. Policies are available at any time for staff and parents/carers to read
  • There will be a trained first aider onsite at all times
  • Breakaway Playscheme’s premises and equipment will be kept to a high standard of cleanliness and safety
  • A member of staff will complete daily risk assessments of the indoor and outdoor play area
  • There are at least two suitably qualified members of staff on the premises at all times
  • Children/young people who attend will be assigned a key worker and will be supervised at all times
  • Care is taken to ensure that no child/young person/young person can leave the premises undetected
  • Furniture and equipment are laid out to minimise safety risks
  • Only suitable materials are available to the children/young people
  • Any unsuitable materials such as cleaning equipment, or medication are kept out of the children/young people’s reach in a locked unit
  • The First Aid box is always fully equipped and in a location known to all members of staff
  • Injuries and signs of illness should be reported promptly to the Playleader.
  • All accidents will be recorded in the accident book. The accident book will be kept in an agreed place, and a record kept of any accidents.  Details recorded will include those involved, date, time, place and other relevant notes.
  • All accidents/incidents where no wound is visible should also be recorded. Cuts or open sores will be appropriately covered
  • Medical Records of individual children/young people may be kept where appropriate
  • Records will be accessible to all members of staff in case of an emergency. However, confidentiality of each child/young person’s records will be respected
  • Minor accidents will be treated and the parents/carers will be advised of the injury, and the action taken when the child/young person/young person is collected
  • Accidents of a more serious nature will be reported to the parents/carers immediately and appropriate action taken
  • The Emergency Services will be contacted as and when necessary
  • Should a child/young person/young person need to be taken to hospital a member of staff will accompany the child/young person/young person until a parent or guardian arrives




The reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) places a duty on NHCVS as an employer to report certain accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences arising out of or in relation to work to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


Further information on RIDDOR 2013 can be obtained from the HSE’s website ( The following are helpful guides published by the HSE:



2.1 General Procedures


Accidents to members of the public must be recorded in the on-site accident book by the Playleader or the Breakaway Manager.


Accidents to employees must be reported and recorded in the on-site accident book.  The accident report book should contain a record of incidents that happen when working with children/young people, for example being scratched or kicked by a child/young person as well as more serious incidents. The entry should be completed by the employee who has been involved in the incident or by somebody who is acting on behalf of the employees’ behalf and countersigned by the Breakaway Manager. 


2.2 RIDDOR Procedure


This section contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.


In this policy, occurrences which are reportable to HSE are split into three sections:


  • Injuries and ill health involving employees
  • Injuries involving volunteers, Breakaway Playscheme users and other members of the public
  • Dangerous occurrences


2.2.1 Injuries and ill health involving employees


RIDDOR requires employers report and keep records of certain work-related accidents and diagnoses of certain occupational diseases involving an employee. The following must be reported:


  • Accidents that result in death
  • Accidents that result in a specified injury. These include:
    • Fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
    • Amputations
    • Any injury likely to lead to permanent loss or reduction of sight
    • Any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
    • Serious burns (including scalding), which:
      • Cover more than 10% of the body
      • Or cause significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
    • Any scalping requiring hospital treatment
    • Any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
    • Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
      • Leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
      • Or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours
    • Accidents which prevent the injured person from continuing their normal work for more than seven consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident, but including weekends and other rest days)


Note: Accidents that result in death or one of the specified injuries must be reported without delay. Accidents which prevent the injured person continuing their normal work for more than seven consecutive days must be reported within 15 days of the accident.


Under RIDDOR, certain occupational diseases must be reported by the employer when they receive a written diagnosis from a doctor concerning their employee. These include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Severe cramp of the hand or forearm
  • Occupational-related dermatitis
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Occupational-related asthma
  • Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm
  • Any occupational-related cancer
  • Any disease attributed to occupational exposure to a biological agent


2.2.3 Injuries and ill health involving volunteers, Breakaway Playscheme users and                            other members of the public.


Injuries to service users, volunteers and visitors who are involved in an accident at Breakaway Playscheme or on an activity organised by Breakaway Playscheme are only reportable under RIDDOR if the accident results in:


  • the death of the person, and arose out of or in connection with a work activity
  • an injury that arose out of or in connection with a work activity and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment (examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute treatment)


The lists of specified injuries and diseases described in Section 20.1 only apply to employees. If a service user injured in an incident remains at Playscheme, is taken home or is simply absent from the Playscheme for a number of days, the incident is not reportable. Also, there is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution, when no injury is apparent.


Note, injuries or deaths resulting from a road traffic accident involving a Breakaway Playscheme vehicle travelling on the public highway do not need to be reported under RIDDOR. These are classed as road traffic incidents and are investigated by the police. However, if another vehicle collides with a Breakaway Playscheme vehicle while service users are getting on and off and this results in death or injuries in which a person is taken directly to hospital for treatment, this is a reportable incident.


2.2.3 Dangerous occurrences


Incidents which class as a dangerous occurrence must also be reported under RIDDOR. These occurrences are specified in Part 1 of Schedule 2 of RIDDOR 2013.


Dangerous occurrences are typically incidents which did not result in serious injury, but could have done. For example, this could be a serious fire resulting from an electrical fault of equipment belonging to Breakaway Playscheme.


2.3 Reporting Incidents


The duty to notify and report rests with the ‘responsible person’. In the case of Breakaway Playscheme, this is the Breakaway Manager.  In the case of a serious incident, this is the responsibility of the Executive Director.


To report an incident, go to: and complete the appropriate form.


All incidents can be reported online but a telephone service remains for reporting fatal and specified injuries only. Call the Incident Contact Centre on 0845 300 9923 (opening hours Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm). Information about contacting HSE out of hours can be found at


Incidents must also be reported to the local authority (Herts County Council).


2.4 Keeping records


Records of any reportable injury, disease or dangerous occurrence must be kept for at least three years after the incident.


For injuries/deaths records must include:

  • the date and time of incident
  • the person’s details
    • full name
    • occupation if employee, otherwise status if volunteer, service user or other member of the public.
    • Injury
  • The location of the incident
  • Brief description of the nature/circumstances of the incident
  • the date and method of reporting


For occupational diseases, records must include:

  • Date of diagnosis
  • Name of affected person
  • Occupation
  • Name of disease
  • the date and method of reporting


Providing that the above information is recorded, the records can be kept in any form that we wish.


2.5 Completing an Accident and Incident Report Form


Accidents to children/young people must follow the Notification of an Accident/Incident Stages 1-3.  All accident/incidents should be reported on the correct form for the type and nature of accident/incident by the relevant person.  Accidents/incidents to children/young people must be recorded using the following guidance:


Stage 1

The Person who dealt with accident / incident is to complete the Stage 1 form and make a note in the child’s play book.  Stage 1 can be summarised as accidents / incidents that do not require first aid or break skin.

The following examples are considered to be Stage 1 accidents / incidents:


  • Grazes
  • Scratches (that haven’t broken skin)
  • Slips, trips, bumps that do not leave a mark or require first aid
  • Kicks that do not bruise
  • Slaps that do not leave a mark
  • Hair pulls that do not remove hair
  • Child to child/staff member pushes that does not require first aid
  • Challenging behaviour resulting in use of Hertfordshire Step On
  • Minor incident that have happened through play – football etc
  • Normal seizures in children/young people (children that frequently seize as documented in the care plan) [NB: While these are considered Stage 1, if the seizure is entirely in-keeping with the child’s care plan, seizures may be recorded on the site’s ‘Seizure Log’ instead, which requires recording of the kind of seizure and its duration.]


Stage 2

The Person who dealt with the accident / incident is to complete form and make a note in the child’s play book.  Once completed contact the Breakaway Manager the same day who will be required to write to parents formally.  Stage 2 can be summarised as accidents / incidents where the use of first aid is necessary.


The following examples are considered to be Stage 2 accidents / incidents:


  • Injuries to head
  • Injuries to eye
  • Bites – human
  • Bites – insect
  • Kicks, slaps etc that leave marks and bruising
  • Child trying to escape but was stopped by play assistant
  • Frequent or repeated incidents of Stage 1 behaviour
  • Challenging behaviour requiring the use of Hertfordshire Step Up (Steps paperwork also needs to be completed and sent to Adam Hayes which will be overseen or completed by the Breakaway Manager)
  • Seizures that are different to those that are in the child’s care plan
  • Behaviour in-keeping with child’s sensory needs, performed for comfort in isolation


Stage 3

The Breakaway Manager should be contacted immediately who will be required to oversee the accident / incident, write to parents formally, inform NHCVS Safeguarding panel and HCC using their events and notification procedure. The Person who dealt with accident / incident is to complete form and make a note in the child’s play book.  Stage 3 can be summarised as the most serious types of accidents / incidents.


The following examples are considered to be Stage 3 accidents / incidents:


  • Any incidents that require an ambulance, including seizures which require emergency medication (will be detailed on care plan)
  • Safeguarding concerns, if appropriate a body map needs to be completed
  • Serious incidents resulting in calling the police
  • Serious Illness
  • Serious infection disease or serious accident or injury sustained by a child/young person
  • Death of a young person in our care
  • When needed to report to RIDDOR
  • A child goes missing
  • Suspicion of self-harm or attempted suicide
  • Allegation that a child/young person has committed a serious offence
  • Intentional sexualised activity in view of others or aggressive sexual behaviour towards others


The accident log book and incident forms will be reviewed after each Playscheme and weekly during summer playscheme to check for patterns or repeated accidents and identify potential risks, hazards and trends.  For serious incidents (Stage 3) in most instances, except when safeguarding is suspected parents will be notified straight away, if necessary staff will call the emergency services, before calling parents.


The Breakaway Manager must notify Ofsted of any serious injury or death to any child/young person in our care or any adults on the premises:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 1231  






Section seven: Working with children and young people


1.    Special Educational Needs awareness


Breakaway Playschemes are open to all children/young people living in North Herts and Stevenage, aged between 5 and 19 years, who have a disability and have been referred by either the Brokerage Team or KIDS Hubs. They are open to children/young people with learning difficulties and physical disabilities.


Every child/young person is treated as an individual and their abilities valued and recognised. Every effort is made to ensure a range of activities are provided to include all children/young people on an equal basis.


Breakaway Playschemes are run on a very high staff/child/young person ratio. A 1:1 ratio is used where appropriate, on advice from Children’s Services.


The utmost care is taken in choosing an appropriate physical environment for each Breakaway Playscheme to include a wide range of disabilities.


The Playleader and staff are made aware of each individual’s needs via:


  • Information provided by the child/young person's parents
  • Care plans created at home visit by Breakaway Manager
  • Liaison with any professional agencies
  • Reading any reports that have been prepared
  • Any new observations/monitoring of the child/young person are added to the above information and discussed at the team’s morning meeting.


  1. Intimate Care Procedure


While caring for the children/young people at Breakaway Playschemes, a number of routines involve intimate handling. These include:


  • Help with dressing and undressing
  • Assisting with toileting and changing
  • Assisting with eating/drinking and other self-help skills
  • Moving, supporting and helping less mobile children/young people
  • Providing comfort and support to a distressed child/young person


Each child/young person will be treated with dignity, respect, sensitivity and privacy appropriate to their age, culture, gender and needs. Wherever possible, children/young people will attend to their own intimate care.


Two adults with whom the child/young person is confident with will undertake intimate care. The two adults must have valid and up-to-date training in moving and handling, where appropriate.


Female staff should attend to the female children/young persons’ intimate care and likewise male staff attend to the males. Personal care never takes place in secret.


We ask that you change your child/young person within one hour to them attending the Playscheme, your child/young person will be changed once per day after lunch whilst with us, unless we notice an extra change is needed.

Please ensure you provide us with nappies, wipes and creams.

  1. Positive Behaviour Management Policy


NHCVS Breakaway's preferred approach to behaviour management is Hertfordshire Steps.  It is a therapeutic approach to positive behaviour management and forms part of the Breakaway’s behaviour strategy. It is based on the following principles:


  • Shared focus on inclusion of all children and young people within our settings
  • A shared set of values and beliefs
  • Open and shared communication
  • A shared commitment to diversion and de-escalation
  • Shared risk management
  • Shared reparation, reflection and restoration


Hertfordshire Steps covers two areas:

'Step On' – Step On is training in de-escalation. It emphasises the importance of consistency and teaching internal, rather than imposing external, discipline. It focuses on care and control, not punishment. It uses techniques to de-escalate a situation before a crisis occurs and, where a crisis does occur, it adopts techniques to reduce the risk of harm.


‘Step Up' – Step Up is training in Restrictive Physical Intervention (RPI). It combines elements of RPI and personal safety. Step Up training can only be provided within services where staff have already completed Step On training and are still within their period of certification. Step Up training is only delivered where there is an audited need with an individual child or young person.


Training takes places annually and staff interested in attending the training should inform the Breakaway Manager.


We aim to work towards a situation in which children/young people can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.  All staff are expected to be positive role models to the children/young people with regards to friendliness, care, courtesy and respect.  Staff will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.


  1. Positive Behaviour Management Procedure


  • The ground rules will be clearly explained to children/young people in a language they can understand. Ground rules will be made and developed with the help of the children/young people
  • All staff/volunteers to provide a positive role model in the way that they relate to each other and to the children/young people in the setting
  • Staff will be given training, where appropriate, in child/young person behaviour management
  • Parents/carers will be asked if their child/young person has any behavioural difficulties we need to be aware of
  • Staff should encourage and praise children/young people for positive behaviour
  • We want all our children/young people to feel secure and safe, and we will promote a culture of caring for and nurturing each other and ourselves
  • Staff must not use any physical intervention, except in the case of danger to themselves or other children/young people and only staff trained in Hertfordshire STEPS will use physical interventions.
  • Consequences of challenging behaviour are clearly explained to the child/young person with a view to promoting respect for each other, surroundings, our property and ourselves
  • Consequences of non- serious challenging behaviour for children/young people will be “time out” from an activity, or the child/young person will be asked to talk to a member of staff regarding their behaviour
  • Physical punishment such as smacking or shaking will never be used or threatened.  Staff/volunteers will not raise their voices in a threatening manner
  • Parents/carers will be notified of any incidents of challenging behaviour and, if serious, they will be asked to sign an ‘Incident Sheet’ completed by a member of staff at the time of the incident
  • Violence or verbal abuse from children/young people or parents/carers towards staff/volunteers, or other children/young people will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences
  • Staff will challenge bullying and other inappropriate behaviour
  • The Playleader will inform the coordinator if a child/young person/young person continually exhibits unwelcome, challenging behaviour. Advice will be taken from Children’s Services.
  • Exclusion from Breakaway Playscheme is the last resort when all other attempts to integrate the child/young person and modify their behaviour have failed.  NHCVS Breakaway Playschemes reserve the right to ask parents/carers to withdraw their child/young person from the Playscheme in cases of challenging behaviour that is considered serious.


3.2 Dealing with conflict and Hertfordshire Steps


Conflicts do arise at times and incidents need to be handled sensitively and consistently.  Conflicts can occur for various reasons, including frustration, disruptive/uncooperative behaviour, lack of space, competition over equipment, bullying and teasing and misunderstandings.


When conflicts do arise it is essential that the Hertfordshire Steps approach is used:


  • Actions are taken to calm the child/young person down and to allow them to express how they are feeling in a way that is safe to other children/young people
  • A positive, calm approach is maintained, both physically and verbally
  • Negative behaviour is not rewarded
  • The response to a situation should take account of the child/young person/young person’s level of understanding/ability
  • Blame is not attributed to individuals in situations involving more than one child/young person. The focus should always be on dealing with the unacceptable behaviour. The child/young person should never feel it is they who are unacceptable


3.3 Effective and appropriate sanctions


The principles of effective sanctions are generally that they should:


  • Be as informal as possible and not escalate
  • Be as balanced by rewards
  • Be as near in time as possible to the offence, be relevant and understood and be seen to be just
  • Follow from clear rules and explanations from the worker as to what is expected of the child/young person/young person


Any sanction used must be related to the child/young person/young person’s age and level of understanding, realistic, sensitive, enforceable, and applied consistently.  It is preferable, if possible, that there is continuity in the setting of limits and how behaviour is managed between all those involved in the care of a child/young person/young person.



Section eight: Staff Guidelines


1. No Smoking Policy


There is a strict no smoking policy at all Playschemes.


In line with current legislation, our policy of no smoking whilst on our premises, any premises we may use or hire for work purposes, in our vehicles or on customer premises must be observed at all times.  Smoking next to entrances or in front of venues in full view of the general public is also forbidden.  There is no statutory right to ‘smoking breaks’.  Smoking breaks must be counted within the agreed lunch or ‘rest’ breaks.  


  1. 2. Clothing and Jewellery Policy


Please familiarise yourself with the NHCVS Uniform Policy which aims to ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of uniform standards so that:


  • All staff are clearly identifiable to parents/carers, visitors, children and young people and members of the public
  • Staff are aware of the requirement to portray a smart, professional image at all times


3. Data Security


NHCVS needs to collect and use certain types of information about the data subjects who come into contact with it in order to carry on our work.  This personal information must be collected and dealt with appropriately – whether on paper, in a computer or recorded on other material and there are safeguards to ensure this under the Data Protection Act 1998.


You should familiarise yourself with the NHCVS Information Security Policy and in particular:


  • Confidentiality - Access to Data shall be confined to those with appropriate authority. Data shall be kept no longer than necessary, and only when consent is given.
  • Integrity – Information shall be complete and accurate. All systems, assets and networks shall operate correctly, according to specification.
  • Availability –Data and information shall be used or stored for the specific purpose(s) for which consent was given. Information shall be available and delivered to the right person, at the time when it is needed.


4. Staff Grievance


It is important that if you feel dissatisfied with any matter relating to your work you should have an immediate means by which such a grievance can be aired and resolved. If you feel aggrieved at any matter relating to your work (except personal harassment, for which there is a separate procedure), please see the procedure laid down in the NHCVS Grievance Policy


5. Harassment


Many people in our society are victimised and harassed as a result of their race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, gender, marital status, class, employment status, caring responsibility, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, unrelated criminal conviction, age or disability. Personal harassment takes many forms ranging from tasteless jokes and abusive remarks to pestering for sexual favours, threatening behaviour and actual physical abuse.  Whatever form it takes, personal harassment is always taken seriously and is totally unacceptable.


We recognise that personal harassment can exist in the workplace, as well as outside, and that this can seriously affect employees' working lives by interfering with their job performance or by creating a stressful, intimidating and unpleasant working environment. We deplore all forms of personal harassment and seek to ensure that the working environment is sympathetic to all our employees.


Please see the NHCVS Harassment policy for how to access support and redress if you feel that you are being harassed.


6. Student and Volunteer Involvement


Periodically we may have students placed with us, or volunteers wishing to gain experience from working at Breakaway Playscheme. We consider students and volunteers to be a valuable asset to Breakaway Playscheme and welcome them. We do however expect volunteers and students to comply with the Volunteering Policy.


7. Safe Recruitment


NHCVS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children/young people, and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  The safe recruitment of staff and volunteers is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children/young people and vulnerable adults.  It is recognised that this can only be achieved through sound procedures, good inter-agency co-operation and the recruitment and retention of competent, motivated employees who are suited to, and fulfilled in the roles they undertake. The Safe Recruitment Policy provides a good practice framework to comply with the principles set down in the NHCVS Equality and Diversity Policy and Recruitment and Selection Policy.  


8. Reporting a Suspected Malpractice (Whistle Blowing)


It is the duty of every member of Breakaway staff and volunteers to speak up about genuine concerns in relation to criminal activity, breach of a legal obligation (including negligence, breach of contract, breach of administrative law), miscarriage of justice, danger to health and safety or the environment, and the cover up of any of these in the workplace. It applies whether or not the information is confidential. Please see the NHCVS Whistle Blowing Policy.