This guidance is for anyone with responsibility for planning or delivering activities for children and young people, or for establishing good practice guidelines.
It is important to ensure that, in planning and running sports activities for children and young people, consideration is given to providing an appropriate staffing/supervision ratio of adults to participants.
Due to the number of potential variables, it is not possible to recommend “one size fits all” guidance to cover all activities involving children and young people. There are, however, a number of key considerations that are recommended as good practice:
It is the responsibility of those commissioning, planning or providing sessions/activities to ensure the suitability of those running the activity.
Many sports governing bodies, facilities and other activity providers have issued guidance on minimum supervision ratios (and a range of other factors linked to the welfare and safety of participants) for specific sports or activities which may exceed the guidance below. Where relevant to the activity these should be adhered to as minimum standards
While the risk assessment may well indicate the need for an enhanced level of supervision and staffing for a particular activity, the following table shows recommended adult to child ratios. These are based on Ofsted guidelines and would be suitable for most organisations working with children and young people.
Remember that regardless of the overall ratio, a minimum of two supervisors is recommended.
|Child/Young person’s age||Number of adults||Number of children|
Many sports provide opportunities for under 18’s to coach, officiate or organise events for other children, including achieving qualifications and awards.. These positive opportunities allow young people to develop skills, experience and confidence but should not mean that organisations should depend on them to take full responsibility for managing groups of children. Under18 year olds in coaching or other roles should only supplement the adult with overall responsibility for supervising the activity.
Although the CPSU encourages parents/carers to accompany children to activities, we do not recommend those planning or providing activities include carers in supervision calculations, unless the carers/parents are acting in a formal volunteering or other capacity during the activity. In these circumstances, this should mean that those parents/carers meet all appropriate requirements in terms of: