Guidance on appropriate levels of supervision for children of different age groups and with different needs.
When working with groups of children or young people, it is important that the level of supervision is appropriate to their age group and their needs, which may be very specific. In general, younger children need to be more closely supervised and will require a higher adult to child ratio.
The following are the adult to child ratios we would recommend for voluntary organisations:
If the group is mixed gender, the supervising staff should also include both male and female workers wherever possible.
When deciding on the number of adults required, it is important to bear in mind that these ratios are guidelines only: in certain situations it will be necessary to have a higher number of adults than our recommendations suggest. If, for instance, the children or young people have specific support needs, or a risk assessment identifies behaviour as a potential issue for the group or event, the number of supervising adults will need to be higher.
It may not always be possible to adhere to these recommended ratios. However, every effort should be made to achieve the best level of supervision of children at all times.
SafeNetwork (accessed April 2013) Adult to child ratios for organisations supervising or working with children.