Background to the LASER Alliance

Find out more: RoSPA Blog entry: CSEC and LASER: the future of practical safety education by Cassius Francis, RoSPA’s Youth Liaison Worker

The LASER Alliance was born out of two projects hosted by RoSPA: LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk) and CSEC (Child Safety Education Coalition).

LASER

The LASER project began at RoSPA in April 1999 and was funded by the Department of Health with the ultimate aim to establish good practice guidelines for interactive safety education schemes. The project had three main aims:

  1. to set up a database and conduct an audit of all LASER schemes for children running throughout England
  2. to develop a common evaluation tool for all LASER schemes
  3. to produce some good practice guidelines for LASER schemes

In 2005 further funding was received from the Department of Health to undertake a programme of voluntary accreditation for permanent safety centres and annual events. The first centre to be accredited was in Bristol, in June 2007.

Informed by its members, it also provided a general meeting place where new and established LASER practitioners could connect for advice on:

Funding from the Department of Health for LASER ended in March 2011.


CSEC

In 2008, the DfE (formerly the Department for Children, Schools and Families – DCSF) awarded a grant to create the Child Safety Education Coalition (CSEC). Given that the DfE's remit was limited to England, CSEC had to be similarly constrained – much to the frustration of onlookers from other Home Nations. Unfortunately and in the context of the perilous state of the UK's public finances, the grant funding was ended on 31st December 2010, 3 months earlier than planned. Membership of CSEC had reached 127 member organisations by this point.

CSEC members were able to:

There was considerable interest and enthusiasm for the work of both LASER and CSEC in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Without the Government-imposed geographic restrictions, we will be free to work throughout the UK.

RoSPA is committed to the cause of practical safety education and remains prepared to continue to support these organisations through maintaining the website, sharing effective practice, continuing regular communication with members, supporting network meetings and training and LASER accreditation.