Support to providers of residential holiday schemes

In June 2013 the Department of Education passed legislation which came into effect on the 1 July 2013 requiring all residential holiday schemes for disabled children in England to register with Ofsted.

What is a residential holiday scheme for disabled children?

1. A residential holiday scheme for disabled children provides care and accommodation wholly or mainly for disabled children for a specified period for the purposes of a holiday, or for recreational, sporting, cultural or educational purposes.

2. A provider may operate at any time throughout the year. There is no minimum number of days they can operate. However, a provider cannot operate for more than 56 days in any 12-month period. No individual child can be accommodated for more than 28 consecutive days in any 12-month period.

Any service that meets the definition of a residential holiday scheme for disabled children must register with Ofsted before it can operate. It is a criminal offence to carry on or manage a residential holiday scheme for disabled children without registration. This helps to prevent unsuitable people from owning, operating, managing or working within holiday schemes for disabled. (Source: Ofsted)


Does an organisation providing services for both disabled and non-disabled children and young people need to register?

In most circumstances, if the number of children and young people who are disabled is more than those who are not disabled, then it is very likely that registration would be required. If applicants/providers are unsure about registration requirements they should obtain legal advice about the specific service they intend to provide. (Source: Ofsted)


Is NDCS registered with Ofsted?

We have been working with Ofsted and an external advisor to audit current provision and submit a registration to Ofsted. This includes writing a Statement of Purpose outlining how NDCS holiday and activity scheme operates.

We anticipate that we will become registered over the next 16 weeks and anticipate our first inspection shortly thereafter.

(As of November 2014)


Will NDCS be able to support my residential event?

We are using the Ofsted National Minimum Standard as a benchmark for good practice across the UK.

Whilst NDCS is going through the Ofsted registration process we have temporarily taken the decision not to endorse external partner’s activities which fall under the schemes registration.

This means we cannot support through:

  • advising how to run residential events
  • grant funding organisations or providing bursaries to individuals / families for residential events
  • delivering training or workshops on the residential events
  • use of the NDCS / “We are deaf-friendly working with NDCS” logos.

If your work falls outside of the Ofsted scheme or if you have registered in your entity we will continue to support as appropriate.

We will continue to promote external providers events including holiday schemes and residentials to our membership and our website using a disclaimer. Please do continue to tell us about events you are organising!

We will share information about the scheme with you and keep you updated with regards to changes in NDCS during this period.

We hope you understand our position during this time. If you would like more information about how we can support your organisation contact or speak to a member of the Youth Development and Partnerships Team on 0121 234 9839.


Where can I find out more about Ofsted?

You should contact Ofsted directly for more information on the scheme and whether your organisation should register.

Helpline:  0300 123 1231 (available Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm)