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Not all of the groups using the church may be organised and run by church members and buildings are often hired by others (Scouts, Guides, nurseries, dance classes etc). If you do have outside hirers who are using your building and who work with children or young people, it is good practice to require them to have a safeguarding children policy and accompanying procedures in place, based on the Home Office recommendations ‘Safe from Harm’.

You should include a clause to cover this in any official hiring agreement that you may use. As evidence of this you would be entitled to request to see a copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures document. It is not your responsibility to ensure that the safeguarding policy is being properly implemented. This responsibility lies with the group themselves and their trustees. However if it came to light that a group using your premises were not following appropriate safeguarding procedures and that children or young people were being placed at risk, the church should seriously consider terminating the rental agreement.

Some groups using church premises may need to be registered with OFSTED. If this is the case you should request to see their OFSTED registration certificate.

‘One-off’ private hirers (for example, children’s parties) would not be expected to have a safeguarding policy, but they would still need to show due care and attention. For general information on letting arrangements refer to the Baptist Union Corporation guideline document PC10 - Hiring of Church Premises.

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