Terms of Programme

AGE ELIGIBILITY POLICY

Our standard age eligibility requirements are as follows:

 Autumn – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year (and must not be 18 during any part of a residential phase, including travel days);

 Summer – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year. Note that this means that young people who are 15 may attend summer programmes, providing they turn 16 on or before 31 August that year.

INCLUSION POLICIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SUPPORT NEEDS

Where possible we provide equal access to our programme for all young people and will make the necessary adjustments to enable a young person to access and get the most out of NCS. Inclusion is about bringing people together. We recognise and celebrate people’s differences whilst ensuring that we provide equal opportunities regardless of these.

The only reason that we would not accept a young person onto the programme would be if we could not guarantee their or other people’s safety.

We are able to accommodate a large range of support needs if we are fully informed of them in appropriate time before the programme starts. Please complete the medical and support form as soon as possible, providing us with full details of the young person’s needs. Our dedicated team may then contact you if they need any further information or to discuss any additional support we could provide. One-to-one support is available on certain programmes (please contact us for information about availability in your area). In some cases, we may require a doctor or other specialist’s input to ensure that the young person is able to participate safely.

If you would like to discuss the possibilities for support on our programme, please call us on 020 3542 2400. To start your young person’s application, and provide details of their support needs, please go to our online portal for applications: http://ncsthechallenge.org/register

COSTS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT POLICY (BURSARY)

The NCS programme costs a maximum of £50 per Young Person although discount deadlines are available which may reduce this to £35, these are linked to school events.

For applicants unable to commit to this expenditure financial support is available. To apply for financial support please contact 020 3510 7672 or speak to the School’s Coordinator for your school.

PAYMENT POLICY AND REFUNDS

Payment

We accept payment by credit/debit card, cheque or postal order and by cash (if the cash is handed in to the young person’s school and you notify us that we need to collect this).

Card payments can be submitted online or over the telephone, whilst cheques and postal orders can be posted to us. Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Challenge Network Ltd’.

Our postal address is: The Challenge, Mezz Floor, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London, SE1 7NQ

Refunds

If a young person withdraws from NCS with The Challenge within 14 days of our receipt of their payment, they will be eligible for a full refund of their payment.

Please contact us by phone or email as soon as the young person knows they will be unable to participate in the programme. This way, we can offer this place to another young person who would like to take up the opportunity.

In the rare circumstance that we are not able to offer a young person a place on the programme on any of their selected dates, we will also offer a full refund.

Refunds will be made in the same format as they were received i.e.

 if you have paid by card we will refund your payment back to the card you paid with

 if you have paid by cash or cheque we will contact you to arrange a bank transfer to your bank account.

 if you have paid by cash or cheque and are unable to accept a refund paid in to your bank account we will provide a refund by cheque

Refunds will be paid within 2 weeks of the request for a refund having been received. Refunds to a card normally take 5 working days. If you have not received your refund within 2 weeks of having requested it please contact us.

ELIGIBILITY OF PARTICIPANTS (YOUNG PEOPLE) – NATIONALITY

Young Person Eligibility – nationality

NCS Powered by The Challenge is open to all Young People at school or living in our specified geographic areas who meet the age criteria. EU Citizens are eligible if being educated in England whether in independent or mainstream schools, Non-EU Citizens are eligible if they hold Indefinite Leave to Remain status (and would therefore normally be eligible for access to public funds), or have Discretionary or Time Limited Leave to Remain (and hence some level of access to public funds in some circumstances) or have Refugee status (with recourse to public funds) or are awaiting their status to be determined (i.e. in receipt of NASS payments).

All Young People eligible according to the other criteria can only take part in the NCS programme once.

 

SAFEGUARDING OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS

We take the health and safety of young people in all manner very seriously and have a stringent Safeguarding policy to ensure that young people are in a healthy environment at all times. As we are continually seeking to improve and keep up with industry best practise our policy is updated regularly. However a copy of our policy is available upon request by written application to contact@ncsthechallenge.org, or:

The Challenge Network Ltd

Mezz Floor

Elizabeth House

39 York Road

London

SE1 7NQ

HEALTH AND SAFETY ON THE PROGRAMME

During the programme Health & Safety is of utmost importance and our staff and activity provider staff are required to conduct regular risk assessments and our requirement in obtaining full medical and support information from a parent/guardian is to enable us to produce accurate assessments and ultimately reduce risk.

AUTUMN 2017 ABSENCE POLICY

The Principles behind the Policy

  • Absences should be minimised. Absences are a significant issue for the programme – whether agreed in advance or not. A core aim of NCS is to build Trust, Responsibility and Understanding between young people from different backgrounds. Absence from the programme is significantly damaging to this aim as it reduces the ability of the team to bond.
  • Absences are sometimes unavoidable: There is therefore some flexibility to allow absences. See below for more details.
  • Absences should be approved in advance with parents or guardians, by filling in an absence request form (you can ask for one by calling 0203 542 2400).
  • Participants with absences should be encouraged to make up any hours missed. However, they may not have to make these hours up in order to graduate. We will discuss this with you if it affects you
  • If you need to request an absence for whatever reason, please email us at contact@ncsthechallenge.org or call 0203 542 2400.

MAXIMUM NUMBER OF ABSENCES

  • A participant cannot sign up to or start the programme while intending to miss more than 2 days (for an authorised or unauthorised reason)  Anyone intending to miss more than this cannot be accepted onto the programme.
  • For any absence (authorised or unauthorised) a participant should be encouraged to make up the hours missed (1 day = 8 hours).
  • Young people with unplanned absences requested after starting the programme may graduate if:
    • The absence is for less than 1.5 days for an authorised or unauthorised absence
    • The absence is for less than 2.5 days for an authorised reason after starting the programme.
    • The absence is for 2.5 days for an unauthorised reason and they make up hours to the equivalent of them only missing 1.5 days (i.e. they make up hours for 1 day, which is 8 hours.)
  • Young people cannot graduate if they have missed more than 2.5 days (regardless of whether it was authorised or not) without being approved by the NCS Trust. We will be in contact if this happens.

LATENESS

  • Anyone turning up between 2-4 hours late on one occasion, should be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a half day (4 hours)
  • Anyone turning up more than 4 hours late on one occasion, should be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a full day (8 hours)
  • If anyone is repeatedly late by less than 2 hours it is up to the Assistant Programme Manager to decide whether to mark them down as having missed a half day or more

ABSENCE APPROVAL CRITERIA FOR AUTUMN 2017

Absences are only approved if they meet the below criteria. Absences that fail to pass these criteria should not be permitted.

  1. The participant cannot attend another programme in their school’s borough or neighbouring borough.
  2. The absence request is received from the parent or guardian using the Absence Request Form (or by phone if during the programme).
  3. The absence does not result in the participant being absent for more than 1.5 days of the programme (if the absence is requested in advance of the programme).
  4. The request is NOT for the first day of NCS Adventure (Phase 1).

AUTHORISED AND UNAUTHORISED REASONS FOR ABSENCE

AUTHORISED REASONS FOR ABSENCE

  • Bereavement or Funeral of close friend or family member
  • Illness or Serious injury
  • Job interviews
  • Commencement of employment
  • Sixth Form College inductions
  • Religious Festival (e.g. Eid)
  • Exams
  • Collecting Exam Results – if for half a day or less
  • Acting as a carer for a family member
  • Court Appearance (with evidence of court date)

UNAUTHORISED REASONS FOR ABSENCE

– Wedding of immediate or non-immediate family or friends

– Family holidays or days-out

– University open days

– Parties

– Other programmes or courses

– School Graduations/Proms

– Signing-on

MAKING UP HOURS

If a participant has hours that they need to “make up” in order to graduate they can carry out any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or community (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to friends and relatives.

If a day is missed the participant needs to make up 8 hours to graduate and if 2-4 hours are missed the participant needs to make up 4 hours.

What if the young person feels they can’t volunteer on their own?

Just let us know by calling 0203 542 2400 or emailing contact@ncsthechallenge.org. Together we’ll agree a plan.

 

EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE USED TO MAKE UP HOURS:

  • Leading sessions at a local youth group or uniformed group such as guides or scouts
  • Giving time to a local community member, group or charity, e.g. volunteering at local charity shop, volunteering in the office of a local charity, acting as a marshal at a charity fun run, or mowing a neighbour’s lawn.
  • Running an after school sports club for younger pupils

EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT CANNOT BE USED TO MAKE UP HOURS:

  • Giving time to a profit making organisation
  • Paid work for a local charity or community group e.g. being paid to distribute leaflets promoting a charity
  • Helping relatives or friends e.g. mowing your parents lawn, cooking your nan dinner

APPLICATIONS, WAITING LISTS AND ALLOCATION OF PLACES

Before we can confirm a place, we need to receive and review your complete application. This includes medical and support information, consent from your parent/legal guardian and payment.

Places are subject to availability and are not confirmed until you receive confirmation from us by either email or letter. If we are not able to offer a young person a place on the programme, we will issue a full refund of the administration fee.

Waiting lists only apply to programmes which are already full.

Young people on a waiting list will be offered any space which becomes available on the programme before it starts. As other young people’s availability changes – due to holidays or other commitments – spaces do become available for those on waiting lists.

Waiting lists are checked daily and in general spaces are allocated to those that completed their applications first.  We are however also obliged to consider other criteria when allocating a place on the programme:

 accommodation restrictions for boys and girls places

 the number of people already on the programme from any one school (as we have to mix young people from different schools)

 if the date selected has a suitable place to meet the young person’s needs (see our inclusion policy for further details).

If you are placed on a waiting list we will contact you.

You might also want to consider whether you are available for any of our programmes on other dates, as this will increase your chances of securing a space. It is possible to be on waiting lists for multiple programmes to increase your chances of getting a space.