A Guide to DBS Checks for School Trips
Every year there are thousands of school trips organised by teachers across the UK, during which large groups of pupils are taken out of the school building to visit a separate location or venue.
The groups of school children are supervised by teachers and, in many cases, by parent volunteers.
School trips are a valuable part of the school experience for children and are often the strongest memories that people have of their school days as they get older.
However, school trips need to be organised safely and safeguarding is one the most important things to consider when organising a school trip. In this article, we’re going to talk about the DBS Check requirements for school trips and how to get everything in place before the event.
DBS Checks for teachers and support staff
Teachers and teaching assistants will normally be the main supervisors on a school trip. They will be in charge of making the arrangements, organising the itinerary, transport, etc. and supervising the children while out and about.
For this reason, they need to have the highest level of DBS Check possible, which is an Enhanced DBS Check with children’s barred list check. Fortunately, teachers and teaching assistants are already required to have this level of DBS Check in place as part of their everyday role, so there is no need to get an extra check done to supervise a school trip.
DBS Checks for parents and volunteers on a school trip
If the school trip involves a large number of pupils or students, then it may be necessary to arrange extra helpers and volunteers. Most often the volunteers will be parents or carers of one or more of the children on the trip.
The level of DBS Check required for parents and volunteers depends on the frequency of the trip. If it is a one-off school trip and they won’t be left unsupervised with children during the trip, then they may not need a DBS Check at all. If it is a frequent school trip, taking children on a monthly visit to a library or museum for instance, then the parents and volunteers may need to get either a standard or enhanced check.
If the parent or volunteer is going to be involved in a ‘regulated activity’ which means being in direct unsupervised contact with children on three or more occasions over a 30 day period, then they will need an Enhanced DBS Check with children’s barred list check.
Safeguarding factors to consider for a school trip
When a teacher is planning a school trip, they should take into account some considerations before deciding whether DBS Checks are appropriate for parents and volunteers. The factors include:
- How much unsupervised contact with children will there be?
- Do all the teachers and teaching assistants have DBS certificates in place?
- Is it a residential or overnight trip?
- Will the transport driver need a DBS Check?
- How many children will be on the trip and how many volunteers are needed?
- Do the volunteers need DBS Checks?
The answers to these questions will help you to cover the safeguarding element of the trip.
Summary of DBS Checks for school trips
When school trips take place, safeguarding is one of the most important considerations.
Most teachers and teaching assistants will already be covered by a DBS certificate. However, if there are extra volunteers and parents assisting with supervision during the trip, then they may need to get DBS checks done if it is a frequent trip or they will be left unsupervised with children.
To find out more about DBS Checks and how to make sure you get the right ones in place when organising a school trip, then get in touch today.