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over 400,000 girls and boys across the UK
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Disclosures Compass POL Print Centre

Policy and approach

Scouting is an inclusive, values based Movement. Membership is open to all those who share our fundamental values.

Find out more about The Fundamentals of Scouting in this animation- click here.

Our Equal Opportunities Policy, as in POR, states that no person should receive less favourable treatment on the basis of, nor suffer disadvantage by reason of:

All Members of the Movement should seek to practise equality, especially in promoting equal access to Scouting for all young people. The Scout Association opposes all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. All Scout Groups, as independent charities, have a duty to comply with relevant equalities legislation. All volunteers should make reasonable adjustments where possible to support all young people with disabilities to access Scouting.

Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments means actions to enable young people with disabilities to access Scouting and Scouting activities, as far as reasonably possible, to the same level as young people without disabilities.

This should involve working in partnership with parents/carers, to identify needs and plan support strategies.

Further information is available on reasonable adjustments- click here.

Flexibility statement

There is flexibility within Scouting which means that all young people, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy and achieve. All Scout Groups, Units and Networks should make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support the inclusion of young people with disabilities, medical conditions or additional needs.

The guiding principle throughout the Programme should be that young people are being challenged, while having fun.

Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and Leaders can adapt requirements according to each young person’s abilities.

Further information is available on Badge and Award flexibility- click here.

There is flexibility in the age ranges for moving from one section to the next, and there may be occasions where it is appropriate to further extend this flexibility.

Further information is available on age range flexibility- click here.

The Scout uniform should not be a barrier to inclusion in Scouting, and adaptations can be made for those with religious or cultural requirements or additional needs. For example, those with sensory hyper-sensitivities as often found in autism, may find wearing a necker/scarf difficult.

Flexibility should also extend to young people of a range of faiths, beliefs and attitudes.

Inclusive Scouting

The policy of The Scout Association is to include young people with additional needs and disabilities in mainstream Scouting wherever possible. Where it is not possible or appropriate, there is a network of specialist Scout Groups for young people who would otherwise not be able to participate and enjoy Scouting. For example, there are a number of Scout Groups operating in hospitals and hospices providing Scouting for young people with life limiting conditions.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW