Group Policies

Parents should familiarise themselves with the following group policies when joining the group:

  • Group Behaviour Policy
  • Prevention of Bullying Policy
  • Waiting List Policy
  • Hardship Fund Policy
  • Payments Policy
  • Attendance Policy

The text of these policies is provided below and is up to date as of 11/06/2015

Behaviour Policy

All sections to determine their own code of conduct (i.e. list of rules) which should be agreed by all members and align with the group behaviour policy. Sections may choose their own sanctions for minor misbehaviour (e.g. time-out, extra chores, etc).

Group behaviour policy to be issued to parents on joining the group and moving between section or as relevant. ‘Starting Scouts’ letter to include statement on group behavioural policy and parents to sign to agree with this.

Any behaviour which is unacceptable including, but not limited to, that which poses a risk to the Scout or others, bullying of any type, behaviour in serious conflict with the section code of conduct, shall be managed according to three levels;

Level 1: Individual to be sat out of, or sent home from, meeting or activity.

Parent shall be contacted to request collection from meeting or individual sat out of activity as appropriate to location, timing, etc… Parent and Young Person to be made fully aware of the background to issue. GSL shall be informed, though may already be aware of potential issue from young person.

Level 2: Fixed period exclusion from activity or meetings.

Young person shall be excluded from one or more meeting nights or events with agreement from leadership team and GSL.

Level 3: Termination of Group Membership

Young person shall be permanently excluded from 66th Bath Scout Group and shall no longer be a member of the group. This may only be actioned by the GSL.

 

In the event of severe misbehaviour, it may be deemed appropriate by the leadership team and Group Scout leader to proceed straight to level 2 or even level 3. Examples would include serious bullying, or seriously dangerous behaviour.

Right of Appeal

Appeal may be made to the Group Scout Leader in the first instance.

Should the parent or young person not be happy with the Group Scout Leader’s decision upon appeal, a right of further appeal to the District Commissioner exists, and is enshrined in Scouting’s Policy Organisation and Rules. The Group Scout Leader shall supply the contact details of the District Commissioner if they are required.

 

Prevention of Bullying

The Scout Association’s Anti-Bullying Policy states:

It is the responsibility of all adults in Scouting to help develop a caring and supportive atmosphere, where bullying in any form is unacceptable.”

In order to ensure that incidences of bullying are effectively dealt with:

  • During normal Section Meetings and activities, all incidences will be brought to the attention of the leader in charge of that section (or at Group Events, The Group Scout Leader) at the earliest opportunity
  • At overnight events or activities involving leaders from outside the group, all incidents will be logged in a central log book (to be kept in the “locked box” or with the first aid kit). This is to include any incident involving accusations of bullying, fights or major arguments between young people. It need not include every minor misdemeanour! Threats and “last chances” (e.g. warnings of a young person being sent home) should also be recorded.
  • Each evening on overnight events, and at the end of one day group events, a quick “hot debrief” will be held, and any incidents discussed. This is to ensure that all leaders are aware of issues, and that they can be dealt with effectively.

All incidents of bullying should be dealt with as per the behavioural policy and the “three-strikes“ process, and the Group Scout Leader should be informed at the earliest opportunity.

Waiting List Policy

Where sections have no spaces for additional young people, such that they are full, a waiting list shall be operated. The group waiting list shall be listed on Online Scout Manager to give visibility to section leaders and executive members.

The allocation of places on the waiting list shall be managed according to the following priorities:

1. Succession within the Group

Where a young person is already in the group, places shall be maintained to allow them to progress through the sections.

2. Parental involvement in Group

Where a parent/guardian volunteers to help with the group or there is other involvement priority may be given based on the potential benefit to the group.

3. Existing family involvement in Group

Where young people have siblings in the group or parents already volunteering with the group, priority shall be given over those with no connection.

4. Date of Birth and Time on List

Places shall be allocated according to age. Where individuals are within 6 months of each other, the length of time they have been on the waiting list shall be taken into account.

The decision to offer membership of the Scout Group to any young person rests entirely with the Group Scout Leader. There is no “automatic right” to membership, regardless of how long a young person has been on the waiting list, and as such there is no right of appeal. This does not affect a young persons rights under equality legislation or the Scout Association’s Equal Opportunities Policy. 

 

Payments Policy

Unless otherwise agreed, all payments to the group for Subscriptions, Trips and Camps must be made via Online Scout manager.

Subs

The rate of subs is set annually at the AGM. The group charges subs three times a year and these payments fall due on the following dates:

  • 1st June
  • 1st October
  • 1st February

Later payment dates will apply for new members joining the group each term.

Camp / Trip Fees

Payment for all camps/trips is due IN ADVANCE of the trip, unless agreed with the leader in charge of that trip. Places may be forfeited should payment not be received by any due date, and any overdue payment will still remain payable.

All deposits are non-refundable. Where there is a single payment for a camp or trip, this should be taken to constitute a non refundable deposit.

Other payments are generally non refundable, in particular where cancellation is made after  a payment deadline has passed.

If attendance is cancelled the payment will remain payable. Signing a young person up to any trip or event constitutes an agreement to pay the full amount for that trip or event.

Payments may be waived at the sole discretion of the Group Scout Leader where:

  • Where a young person is signed up in error and this error is notified to the GSL or section leader within 24 hours
  • Where there are mitigating circumstances (e.g. family emergency/illness) only if the group will not incur a financial loss by doing so

In some circumstances payment will be taken after a trip.

On these occasions, non payment may result in suspension of membership of the group until payment has been made. Cancellation of attendance of a trip does not remove the requirement to pay unless this has been agreed with the Group Scout Leader or leader in charge of the trip.

Non Payment of Subs

If amounts become overdue, two reminders will be sent automatically by email, or manually by leaders.

Should the amount remain outstanding after 21 days, a formal letter/email will be sent giving 7 days notice to make the payment, and explaining that unless payment is made within 7 days membership will be terminated.

At least 7 days later, a further letter will be sent terminating membership. Upon membership being terminated, the relevant space will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. Should you wish to rejoin the group, you will need to enter the waiting list afresh.

If payment is a problem, please talk to us!! We can always sort something out to avoid having to resort to this policy! 

Hardship Policy

Where parents/guardians raise concerns regarding financial difficulty, the group shall respond according to the following policy;

1. Deferment of payment or payment in instalments

Sectional leaders may, at their own discretion, offer deferments of payments or payments in instalments as appropriate. The treasurer shall be informed of this.

2. Sectional hardship budget

All sections shall have a budget of £25 per term, agreed in advance with the executive, which may be allocated to individuals at the leader’s discretion to ease financial constraints for individuals. This shall be discussed with the treasurer.

3. Exceptional cases

Requirements for greater amounts or repeat cases shall be referred to the group executive for discussion.

Attendance Policy

Scouting is not designed to be “dipped in and out of” but rather is a continual programme of development, and requires a level of commitment. We ask all young people to make a commitment to attend every week unless they have a good reason.

Our leaders put a lot of time and effort into putting the programme together, and having young people drop out at short notice, or no notice, can be a major headache. Therefore we ask that parents let us know in advance if their son or daughter cannot attend.

Failure to attend for three consequetive weeks without good reason (e.g. illness / family holiday / school event) or regular non attendance without notice will result in the young person being asked to leave the group and their place being offered to the next person on the waiting list. Any subs, trip fees, etc will be non refundable.

Furthermore, regular non attendance, even with notice, will result in a young person being asked to consider whether Scouting is really for them. With a waiting list of young people waiting to join, it is our policy that spaces will be given to those who will use them. An initial warning will be given, and should attendance not improve, then the young person will be asked to leave the group.

Trip Signups

We use an automated system to send out signup requests for trips, events, etc. Please make our lives easier by clicking on the link and responding either “yes” or “no” – not responding at all makes it very hard for our leaders to plan trips as they do not have a good idea of how many will be attending. Thank you for your cooperation.