Parent/Guardian Information Sheet
Your child has expressed an interest in undertaking The Duke of Edinburgh’s Science and Technology Skills Award specifically to study astronomy with the Hampshire Astronomical Group . We are happy to support them in their endeavours and studies. We hope this experience will be of great interest to them as well as informative and fun.
We have a small team of members who have agreed to give of their time to volunteer and support your child with their DofE’s studies.
Most Group members have 24/7 access to the site and the equipment contained therein and they may be using some or all of the equipment on site when you visit. The Group has adopted and adheres to the Federation of Astronomical Societies’ Child Protection procedures. A copy is available on the Group’s website for your information. Consequently, we do not allow children under age of 18 years on site without being accompanied and supervised by either a parent or guardian. This negates the need for the Group to set up formal procedures to have its members DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) vetted.
The small group of members who are involved with the Group’s DofE's award already have Enhanced DBS or the older CRB checks by virtue of their employment or other activities outside of the Group. Nonetheless we will expect you to accompany your child to the observatory and supervise their stay with us at all times.
Facilities on the observatory site are limited, so we ask that when you accompany your child you do not bring family or friends along as well. We want to be able to concentrate on giving our full attention to meeting the needs your child. You should note that other children may be in attendance studying for their DofE’s Award, so there may be quite a few people in attendance in respect to this activity.
As mentioned above, our volunteer members and facilities are limited so we will exercise a limit on the number of children we can support at any one time. We are expecting that much of the study can be undertaken remotely and supported by the Group with regular visits to the observatory. These visits may be every 4-6 weeks or so, but will be negotiated with you and your child.
There will be times during their Award studies when children need to contact us for advice and support; we prefer this is by e-mail. In the interests of transparency we ask that as their parent /guardian, they copy you into that communication at all times. We will insist you are copied into any reply given to your child.
Whilst the above sounds very formal, we hope you will appreciate we do take our responsibility to safeguard everyone on site seriously. I am sure you will find that we are in fact a friendly group of people and want simply to pass on our enthusiasm and love of the night sky to the next generation.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss any matters, please get in touch with us; our contact details can be found on the website. Similarly should you have any queries or concerns during your child’s study with us, you should contact us immediately.
Finally, if you and your child are happy to work with us on the Duke of Edinburgh Science and Technology Skills award (astronomy), please feel free to register them on our website.
Carol Bryan, Secretary