A Guide to DBS Checks for Schools
Name a job that definitely requires a DBS Check…
The first job that springs to mind for most people is a teacher, usually followed by doctors, nurses, and childminders.
It is obvious that child safeguarding is of paramount importance in the field of education, as children are in the care of teaching staff for 30 or more hours per week during term time.
But what about other job roles within a school that don’t involve direct teaching?
In this article, we’ll look at the DBS Check rules for teaching staff, as well as the levels of check that are appropriate for other roles within a school, such as teaching assistants and administrative staff.
Which School Job Roles Need A DBS Check?
The eligibility of a role for a DBS Check depends on the nature of the role and the frequency of direct contact with children.
If the role involves working directly with children, in an unsupervised capacity, then the chances are that the role will require an Enhanced DBS Check. Due to the nature of a school environment, with a high ratio of children to adults, it is likely that most roles will fall into this category, even administrative and auxiliary staff.
Many of the roles, including teachers, teaching assistants, school counselors, etc. will be classed as regulated activities. A regulated activity is one that involves direct, unsupervised contact with children on three or more occasions within a 30-day period. Any role that is classed as a regulated activity will need an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check.
A barred list check means that the applicant’s details will be checked against a database that contains details of people who are barred from working with children for life due to the nature of past crimes.
The school must submit Enhanced DBS Check applications on behalf of the individual as their ID needs to be verified, along with the details entered on the form.
What About Roles That Don’t Involve Direct Contact with Children?
For roles in schools that don’t involve direct contact with children, there is still a good chance that the role will require a higher level of DBS Checks – either an Enhanced DBS Check or Standard DBS Check, due to the nature of a school environment.
Even if the role doesn’t require contact with children, there is still a good chance that the person may find themselves in a situation where they are left unsupervised with a child. Therefore, for safeguarding reasons many schools insist that all staff, regardless of the role, have a Standard DBS Check or higher.
Examples of roles that may require a Standard DBS Check or higher are administrative staff, cleaners, maintenance staff, and kitchen staff or dinnerladies. DBS Check requirements will also cover contractors that visit the school, such as builders or maintenance workers.
Do You Need A DBS Check To Volunteer At A School?
People that volunteer in a school, such as sports coaches, parents helping to supervise a school trip, trainee teachers, or other people on work placements, may also need to get a DBS Check.
Any individual aged 16 years or more is eligible for a DBS Check. Therefore, anyone volunteering in a school aged 16 or older can get a Basic DBS Check if the school thinks it is necessary. Generally, volunteers won’t be left unsupervised with children, so they may not need a higher level check.
However, trainee teachers will spend a lot of time with children and may be left unsupervised for brief periods, which is why they will normally require an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check.
If the volunteer role requires a higher level check, such as a sports coach, then a Volunteer DBS Check which has a reduced fee may be applicable.
Summary of DBS Checks for School Staff
Most people that work in a school will require a higher level check, i.e. Standard DBS Check or Enhanced DBS Check.
If the job role involves supervising children directly on a frequent basis, then an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check is needed.
To find out more about DBS Checks for school workers, or DBS Checks in general, contact us today.