Vetting external organisations

It’s important to check the suitability of any external organisations or speakers asking permission to use your school.

Many schools organise opportunities for students to hear from external speakers. You might also let your school premises to external organisations for community events. In both these cases, you have a responsibility to ensure that the organisation is suitable.

You should consider the following points before agreeing for an external organisation to use your premises or hold an event at your school:

  • The topic and purpose of the event
  • Whether it would appropriate for your students (and the likelihood of students attending the event if held outside normal school hours)
  • The reputation of the organisers and any speakers – you should check the organisers’ and any speakers’ status and history by searching the internet, including social media
  • Who might attend
  • Any risks to your school’s reputation and ethos
  • The potential or likelihood that the visit will stir up hatred or incite violence
  • The views of the community safety team, local police or local Prevent coordinator if you have any concerns.

Find full advice on hosting speakers here.

Schools should strongly consider having a policy on hosting speakers, including outside school hours. This might set out, for example, that: it will only let organisations and individuals whose views and conduct match your school’s ethos use its facilities and asks speakers to sign up to a particular code of conduct before giving them permission to use your venue. Having a formal policy in place can also make it easier for you to justify refusing to host a particular organisation or person you might have concerns about.

If you happen to outsource your hiring arrangements to a third party, you’re advised to make sure they carry out vetting in line with your school’s policy and any guidance from the government. If you have any concerns, contact your community safety team, police or Prevent coordinator.

Useful links:

Resources

Advice for schools on making sure that invited speakers are suitable – both during and out of school hours.

Statutory guidance to help schools and colleges carry out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of their pupils.

Download, print and display this poster to show you’re fighting against extremism.

Guidance on how to talk about antisemitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict in the classroom.