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The Enjoyment and Achievement Standard


  1. The enjoyment and achievement standard is that children take part in and benefit from a variety of activities that meet their needs and develop and reflect their creative, cultural, intellectual, physical and social interests and skills;
  2. In particular, the standard in paragraph (1) requires the registered person to ensure:
    1. That staff help each child to:
      1. Develop the child’s interests and hobbies;
      2. Participate in activities that the child enjoys and which meet and expand the child’s interests and preferences; and
      3. Make a positive contribution to the home and the wider community; and
    2. That each child has access to a range of activities that enable the child to pursue the child’s interests and hobbies.

'Relevant Plans'

Relevant plans are defined in the interpretation section of the Regulations (regulation 2) as: any placement plan; any care plan; any statement of special educational needs; any education, health and care plan ("EHC plan")[1]; and where the child is a youth justice child any detention placement plan, or any other plan prepared by that child's placing authority in relation to the remand or sentencing of that child. 'Relevant' thus has a meaning here that is distinct from the normal meaning of that word. If a child has any of the above plans, they will fall within the meaning of 'relevant plans', but a child may not have all of the plans defined as 'relevant' (for example, there will be children living in children's homes who do not have an EHC plan). Similarly, a child may have a plan that the Regulations define as 'relevant', but may have no impact on the issue the provider is considering at that point in time, and providers should not feel obliged to make a plan apply where it does not. The essential point is that a child's plans should form the basis of their care, and providers should use their judgement as to what is relevant in each case, taking the plans listed in the definition in the Regulations as a starting point rather than a complete list or a tick-box exercise.

[1] In some cases, the child’s special education needs statement (SEN) will be a relevant plan, until such time as it is reviewed (the latest date being 2018) and replaced with an EHC plan.

Each child's placement plan should set out the permissions that their placing authority has delegated to the registered person. This should provide clarity on the home's ability to give permission for school trips, sleep-overs or the child's involvement in sporting, leisure and cultural activities. Wherever possible the home should secure the appropriate authority to support children to be involved in the same positive activities as their peers.

Statutory guidance on entrusting decision making to carers of looked-after children contains further information about delegating authority for decision making on behalf of looked-after children.

Children's homes staff should seek to identify and provide appropriate opportunities for children to develop themselves in accordance with their wishes and feelings and as part of the home's plan for their care. Each child's talents and interests should be understood and nurtured, with children selecting activities based on their personal preferences and abilities, so far as is reasonable. Staff should also support children to try activities that are 'new' for them, where appropriate.

The registered person should ensure that children are offered a wide range of activities both inside and outside of the home (where appropriate) and are encouraged to participate in those activities. Staff should support children to take part in school trips, out of school and other clubs, volunteering and leisure activities.

Staff should ensure that children understand what local leisure and other cultural or religious services are on offer for them, support them to access any relevant leisure passes and encourage them to participate in activities in the community and wider if appropriate.

The home's staff should recognise and celebrate the achievements of their children.

The range of opportunities for children to participate in leisure and cultural activities in secure children's homes may be limited compared to other settings by the nature of the secure setting.

Secure children's homes should still offer opportunities for enjoyment and achievement and encourage young people to participate and develop their skills and interests, as part of the plan for their care. This type of activity will be particularly important to their rehabilitation and preparation for living back in the community.

Children with disabilities or illnesses may have physical or emotional difficulties which mean that participation in leisure or cultural activities in the community is difficult to achieve. The registered person, in conjunction with any relevant person (such as a parent or school) should assess what would be safe, achievable and reasonable for each child, in line with their relevant plans, and ensure appropriate opportunities are available for each child to have fun, form friendships and enjoy life, relative to their stage of development and individual needs.

Last Updated: February 9, 2022