In our packed e-newsletter we cover a wide range of good practice and achievements from the policy to the practice level on out of school care, including AQS awards. We also let you know about our events and training, with ideas to link physical activity work with national events and the start of our fantastic STEM project. We give you essential updates from the Scottish Government, Care Inspectorate and SSSC, and small grant information, and last, but not least, focus on an award winning service as an example of great practice.




SOSCN is currently pulling together case studies of innovative and good practice in out of school care services across Scotland; these studies along with results from the workforce survey, and parent, children and local authority surveys will provide data for the national OSC policy we are developing. The policy will be published in the first half of 2018.

The government have recognised the need for a national framework, and in their government programme: 'A Nation With Ambition: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18' which was published on 5th September, they said:

We recognise that it is not just activities during the school day that contribute to the success of our young people. Extra-curricular activities can also help to boost attainment and build the skills that young people will need in the future.

“There is also a challenge for parents, particularly working parents, in securing accessible, affordable and flexible childcare that does not end when their children start school. Over the course of this Parliament, we will develop a strategic framework for after-school and holiday childcare, beginning by assessing the availability of existing provision and setting out what we can do to better meet the needs of families.”

(p 77, A Nation With Ambition: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18)

Access 'A Nation With Ambition: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18)' here:

And this is also bolstered with the news that the sector continues to grow, now at a total of 1,029 services - see Care inspectorate update below.

Workforce Survey 2017

Thanks to everyone who has already taken part in our Workforce Survey 2017. We have had a good response so far, however, if you have not already taken part, please encourage all staff members to take a couple of minutes to fill in our survey. The survey can be completed online here:

Or if you prefer, paper copies to return by post can be downloaded from here:

SOSCN STEM Training - Creative Computing

Last week was the start of the creative computing STEM training project we are running in partnership with West College Scotland.

Each participant got a goodie-bag of tech equipment and they started to learn how to program microbits & some have already stated using it with children in their service.

SOSCN's STEM Champions project is funded by the Scottish Government CYPIEF project Fund.

Feedback from one participant:

“Fab to be coding again in some form! I've missed it. Major thanks SOSCN (and) WestCollScot for organising”

SOSCN Seminar Series - 2017-2018

'Preparing for the new Health and Social Care Standards'

Glasgow and Aberdeen now fully booked

Over the next few months SOSCN is running a series of events in partnership with the Care Inspectorate.

Starting this month, and running to February 2018, these events will provide services with a national update on out of school care in Scotland and developments in the sector, as well as the opportunity to network and discuss practice issues.

At each seminar the Care Inspectorate will also talk about the new Health and Social Care Standards which will be replacing the Care Standards from April 2018- presentations and discussions will look at what the standards consist of, what this means, and how they can be implemented.

Glasgow and Aberdeen Dates are now fully booked, however there are places still remaining in Edinburgh and Dundee.


10am-1pm. (approximately)


These events are free to SOSCN members but places are limited and must be booked. Depending on uptake, bookings may have to be limited to no more than two per site. You can download a booking form here: further information and booking form


National Standards for Health and Social Care (2017)

These Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

The new Health and Social Care Standards which will be replacing the Care Standards from April 2018.

Find out more here:

SOSCN's quality assurance framework, Achieving Quality Scotland, links in with the new Care Standards. More information on this can be found in the AQS section below.


Out of School Care continues to grow- the Care Inspectorate recently published their 2016 Early Learning and Childcare Statistics and there is a 1.8% increase in the number of services on the previous year. It is the 2nd largest sector providing care for children.

There is a total of 1,029 OSC services: 739 OSC main services and 290 services (predominantly nurseries) which have OSC as an additional service. The total number of children registered with all OSC services in Scotland is 79,790 children.

Of the 739 main services, 47% are run by the voluntary sector, 39% by the private and 13% by the public. The average capacity is 42.9 places.

In terms of holidays there are 599 services, of which only 44 are stand-alone holiday playschemes; the total number of children registered with holiday services is 54,110.

Find out more at this link:

SSSC - Social Media

Updated social media guidance for social service workers: see this link

Care Inspectorate - Call for Practice Examples

The Care Inspectorate are collaborating with Scottish Government and NHS health boards to develop a new resource that will celebrate and share examples of good practice for eating well in early learning and childcare settings. The publication will enhance the key messages from NHS Health Scotland's guidance Setting the Table and will be useful across the wide range of children's settings in the community.

The Care Inspectorate are inviting service providers and their staff to come forward, by mid-November, with stories and examples of good practice in children's food provision and eating experiences. We will especially welcome examples that promote the use of Setting the Table and demonstrate an aspect of the SHANARRI wellbeing indicators.

Guidance and the submission form are here:

If you would like more information, please contact:


What is AQS?

Achieving Quality Scotland is the Scottish Out of School Care Network's resource which is designed to help out of school care services in Scotland improve their practice and ultimately give children and young people within their care, the best possible opportunities in terms of play, care and informal learning.

Achieving Quality Scotland is designed to support services through processes of change and development and show how they implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC); Safe Healthy Achieving Nurtured Active Respected Responsible Included (SHANARRI) Wellbeing Indicators, and the Playwork Principles- the key criteria against which services should be measuring themselves. Achieving Quality Scotland provides services with a framework for quality improvement and requires services to build a portfolio of evidence for objective external assessment against a clear set of criteria. Services will have to achieve all the criteria in order to gain the Achieving Quality Scotland mark; for excellent services which exceed the criteria there is an opportunity to be 'star rated' over and above the quality mark. Services wishing to gain the additional quality stars must show evidence from the 'star indicators' which are within each quality area.

Achieving Quality Scotland links with the Care Inspectorate quality inspection themes. The tables below clearly show the links between the new National Standards for Health and Social Care (2017) and where they link with the Quality Areas in Achieving Quality Scotland.

The Scottish Government: Health and Social Care Standards: My support, my life (2017) set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

The Standards are underpinned by five principles:

Dignity and respect, compassion, be included, responsive care and support and wellbeing.

AQS and the Health and Social Care Standards: My support, my life (2017)

AQS Quality Areas
Quality Area 1

Commitment to quality, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and the Playwork Principles

Quality Area 2

Equality and Inclusion

Quality Area 3

Partnership and Collaboration

Quality Area 4

Play and Care Practice and Principles

Quality Area 5

Premises, Resources and Community

Quality Area 6

Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)

Quality Area 7

Health and Wellbeing

Quality Area 8

Leadership, Management, Planning and Administration

Quality Area 9

Staffing and Volunteers

Quality Area 10

Holidays, all day play and care services

To find out more about how AQS links with the Health and Social Care Standards 2017, download the document here: Achieving Quality Scotland and New National Standards (pdf)

Health and Social Care Standards
1 2 4 5 6
Dignity and respect:
  • My human rights are respected and promoted.
  • I am respected and treated with dignity as an individual.
  • I am treated fairly and do not experience discrimination.
  • My privacy is respected.
4 6 7 9 10
  • I experience warm, compassionate and nurturing care and support.
  • My care is provided by people who understand and are sensitive to my needs and my wishes.
1 2 3 4 6 7 10
Be included:
  • I receive the right information, at the right time and in a way that I can understand.
  • I am supported to make informed choices, so that I can control my care and support.
  • I am included in wider decisions about the way the service is provided, and my suggestions, feedback and concerns are considered.
  • I am supported to participate fully and actively in my community.
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Responsive care and support:
  • My health and social care needs are assessed and reviewed to ensure I receive the right support and care at the right time.
  • My care and support adapts when my needs, choices and decisions change.
  • I experience consistency in who provides my care and support and in how it is provided.
  • If I make a complaint it is acted on.
4 6 7 10
  • I am asked about my lifestyle preferences and aspirations and I am supported to achieve these.
  • I am encouraged and helped to achieve my full potential.
  • I am supported to make informed choices, even if this means I might be taking personal risks.
  • I feel safe and I am protected from neglect, abuse or avoidable harm.


We have been delighted to award 2 more services their Achieving Quality Scotland award. Both services demonstrated high levels of quality across their practice.

A huge congratulations to everyone involved in achieving these awards. Keep up the good work.

Indigo Childcare (Castleton)
Indigo Childcare (Castleton)

“We found the AQS experience challenging to begin with but as we started to work together and work closely with our AQS assessor, it helped us to realise our strengths and to celebrate our achievements!”

Step Grant, Indigo Childcare (Castleton)


Physical Activity Training

SOSCN's free Physical Activity and Wellbeing training courses are both still available to members. If you have not taken part yet, or have only participated in the first part (the First Steps) of the training and would like to book the follow up session (The Next Steps), then please see this link for booking information.

Further information and booking:

Currently, the training can only be delivered on weekday evenings and at weekends. Both training sessions last two hours and are delivered separately, usually with the Next Steps training being delivered a month or two later. Depending on your location and the required travel time, we may not be able to offer you an evening session. Moreover, depending on the required travel time, we might have to offer you a slightly later start time than you stated. Example training times: Evening Session: 6:30pm to 8:30pm - Weekends: 10:00am to 12:00pm.

Here are some photos from Greig's latest sessions:

Happy Days Out of School Care (Uddingston and East Kilbride)
Doonfoot After School Service have created a great physical activity display as a result of attending the Activity and Wellbeing training, well done Doonfoot.

Glasgow/Berlin European Championships 2018

Our Physical Activity and Wellbeing Coordinator, Grieg, has produced this information and ideas resource in support of the European Championships 2018.

Glasgow will co-host the European Championships with Berlin from 2nd August to the 12th August 2018. During these championships some of the world most inspiring and dedicated athletes will complete in Glasgow in the following sports:

After the success of the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, out of school care services across Scotland have the opportunity to once again promote and celebrate the importance of being fit and healthy through sport.

2018 Summer Sports Days

With just under a year to go until the games begin why not start planning out your summer sports days. Theme the sports days around the 2018 championships and inspire the next generation of athletes in sports such as cycling and gymnastics. Below are some of the simple ways to get all children and staff within your service involved in the planning of the games.

Glasgow and Berlin

Researching the host cities is a good way of starting of the games research. Finding out facts about before cities and countries and creating a wall display will engage children in the long term goal of running a sports day in the summer of 2018 themed around the European championships.

Planning the Sports Day

There are a number of things to think about when planning your sports day for example:

Equipment Ideas

Arts and Crafts

Benefits: Arts and Crafts is a great way to get children participating in an activity and learning about being physically active the same time.

Planning: Staff and children can get involved in making posters and flags that promote the various sports and countries that will be represented and played during the games. Creating a wall display with this information is a good way to motivate children to complete tasks. Staff can discuss with children their views and thoughts regarding sport which might bring up their barriers to taking part in certain sports. Staff can then work on these barriers and assist children in finding a sport that’s right for them.

Service Staff

Staff have the important role of inspiring and motivating children to take part in the planning and research of the sports day. It is important to highlight the team work required amongst all children in order to create visible display. Staff can carry out their own research on the games and take note of important information that can assist children in their own research of the games.

Glasgow 2018 European Championships Website

Staff can visit the website for more background information on the championships and the host cities.

Recap: Suggested Materials and Resources

Wall Space: Highlight the children’s work for parents and guardians to see.

Arts and Crafts Materials:

Computer Access: Children and staff can research the games and gain knowledge of the sports being played.

Sports Equipment: Remember, making your own equipment and involving children in this process involves in the preparation stage.

Remember: You may not be able to carry out all the sports that will be taking place at the games due to equipment or safety such as BMX biking and gymnastic. These sports can still be researched and promoted by posters and flags.

Remember: Not only will planning and carrying out the games inspire children to take part in physical activity but it will develop literacy, numeracy and important life skills such as planning, communication and resilience.

Free Online CPD/PRTL Training Opportunities

There are 2 free online training courses delivered through Future Learn which are relevant to out of school care services:

Filmmaking and Animation in the Classroom

Learn how to use simple filmmaking and animation to bring learning to life, and aid cross-curricular attainment and assessment.

This free online course will help anyone working with young people aged 5-19 to engage them in learning through simple filmmaking and animation. You’ll discover how film and animation can be used as powerful tools for encouraging active learning and enabling pupils to establish strong connections with any area of the curriculum.

Available now. Further dates to be announced.

Challenging Behaviour: Strategies for Helping Young People

How can you manage challenging behaviour in young people? Find out with this free online course featuring the latest research.

Young people today face mounting problems which makes working with and helping them learn, more important than ever. This course will help improve your experience working with young people. On the course, we'll use the latest research to investigate the causes of challenging behaviour and look at strategies, helping you build a toolkit to modify behaviour. Ambition School Leadership work with a variety of experts that offer empirical knowledge and learning from within different school settings, meaning their expertise is drawn from both research and people directly working with young people.

Available now. Further dates to be announced.

YOYP 2018


2018 is 'Year of the Young Person' in Scotland - a supporters toolkit can be downloaded from the website.

Year of Young People 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing young personalities, talents, and achievers that make up Scotland. It's all about inspiring our nation through its young people's ideas, attitudes and ambitions.

Year of Young People 2018 is something everyone can support (young or young-at-heart) and be immensely proud of.

Activity for the Year of Young People 2018 will be based around six key themes, which were developed by young people:

Find out more about Year of the Young Person:


Anti-Bullying Week 2017; 13-17 November

Anti bullying Week 2017 is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Find out how you can get involced here:

Infographic - how children develop skills through play.

Find out more on the Gooey Brains child devleopment blog here:



ScotRail is connecting Scotland - delivering door-step to destination solutions and enhancing the connection between people and communities.

The ScotRail Foundation can provide grants of between £500 and £2,000 to constituted community groups and charities.

WHSmith Community Grant (UK)

Voluntary organisations, charities schools and pre-schools can apply for grants of up to £500 from the WHSmith Trust. The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer the grants to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates.

There are two application rounds each year. The deadline for the current funding round is the 31st March 2018. Applications can be submitted via an online applications form.

B&Q Community Re-Use Scheme for Schools and Community Groups (UK)

DIY store B&Q operates a community re-use scheme through all its branches across the UK. The scheme donates unsellable products and materials for re-use by local schools, other educational institutions and community groups, for the benefit of the local community and the environment.

All items are donated on the understanding that they will be re-used or disposed of responsibly if they aren't used. Eligible groups include:

  • Schools and colleges
  • Child minders, playgroups and nurseries
  • Allotment associations, community gardening projects

Equipment Grants for Mentally & Physically Disadvantaged Children (UK)

Wooden Spoon Society's Capital Grants programme

Schools and not for profit organisations have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Wooden Spoon Society's Capital Grants programme.

Wooden Spoon the British and Irish Rugby charity which supports mentally, physically disadvantaged children. Through the programme funding is available for:

  • Buildings and extensions
  • Equipment & activity aids
  • Sensory rooms and gardens
  • Playgrounds and sports areas
  • Transport
  • Soft playrooms.

Applications can be made at any time and applicants should contact their regional volunteer group. Subject to an application being approved by Wooden Spoon Trustees, the Society require a minimum of one Wooden Spoon membership to be taken out by a representative of the applicant organisation. For more information on how to apply, please click on the link below.

Funding for Disability Tennis Wheelchairs and Equipment (UK)

Grants of up to £1,500 are available to special schools, disability groups and associations, etc for equipment and specialist wheelchairs to enable disabled people to play tennis.

Individuals can apply for grants of up to £500. Individuals can receive support for sports wheelchairs, tennis rackets, coaching lessons with a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) licensed coach or course fees for official LTA development/coaching courses. Groups can apply for: Wheelchairs; Court hire; Coaching fees; and equipment packages which will include:

  • Rackets
  • Balls
  • Mini net
  • Coaching aids such as: cones and throw down marker lines.

In the case of wheelchairs, a deposit will be required; for individuals, the amount of deposit required will depend on the wheelchair type requested, clubs will need to raise a deposit of £250.

The next closing date for applications is the 13th December 2017



Growing Up in Scotland: Patterns of Maternal Employment and Barriers to Paid Work

This report uses data from the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) longitudinal study to investigate the employment patterns of mothers during the first 5 years of their child's life. The analysis draws on data relating to children in 2 birth cohorts: Birth Cohort 1 (BC1), children born in 2004/5 and Birth Cohort 2 (BC2), children born in 2010/11. Surveys were conducted when the children were aged 10 months, 3 years and 5 years, spanning the period 2005 - 2015


A healthier future - action and ambitions on diet, activity and healthy weight

This consultation document proposes a range of actions to improve diet and weight in Scotland.

Closes 31 Jan 2018
Opened 26 Oct 2017
0131 244 4022


A Nation With Ambition: The Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-18 [Government]

The Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2017-18 sets out the actions the Government will take in the forthcoming year.

A Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland: Quality Action Plan [Education and Training]

A Quality Action Plan to underpin the expansion of early learning and childcare (ELC) in Scotland to 1140 hours per year by 2020. SOSCN was involved in the development of this action plan.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - Education and Training Strategy for Scotland [Education and Training]

A Strategy which offers a programme of actions for education, training and lifelong learning in Scotland to achieve our goals for STEM.

British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2017-2023 [People and Society]

This is Scotland's first British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan, as required by the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. It sets out Scotland's ambition to be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit and it includes 70 actions we will take by 2020 to help us make progress towards this goal.

Responding to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) In Scotland - Multi Agency Guidance [People and Society]

This guidance provides a framework within which agencies and practitioners can develop and agree processes for working collaboratively and individually to promote the safety and wellbeing of women and girls and supplements agencies and organisations own policies and procedures on FGM.


Visit to Monkey Puzzle Glasgow Central

Last month I visited Monkey Puzzle Glasgow Central, located in the Gorbals in Glasgow. I met with the manager Lorraine, and spent some time walking about their service talking to staff and children. They have fantastic facilities on offer and I had a great time seeing what goes on there. Here are some pictures below.

Monkey Puzzle recently won 'Team of the Year' at the NMT (Nursery Management Today) Awards. Lorraine also won top 5 Most Inspirational at the Awards for her outstanding contribution to participation and involving parents and community.

What the judges said about Monkey Puzzle:

“The judges chose Monkey Puzzle because their team spirit shone through. They demonstrated how they have established, in a short space of time, a strong, cohesive staff team. How staff collaborate to meet the needs of the local community is to be celebrated. A well deserved winner of this prestigious award.”

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SOSCN is a charity registered in Scotland, No. SC020520
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