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DBS Checks For Contractors Working In Schools

dbs checks for contractors working in schools

It’s understood that permanent school staff are eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check due to the possibility of contact with children.

But are DBS Checks required for contractors working in schools? If so, what level of DBS Check would they be eligible for?

To help answer these questions we’ve put together the following guide on DBS Checks for contractors working in schools.

What levels of DBS Check are there?

There are three main levels of DBS Check in the UK. They are:

  • Basic DBS Checks – which will detail any unspent convictions the applicant may have
  • Standard DBS Checks – which show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings
  • Enhanced DBS Checks – which show all of the above as well as any information deemed relevant by the applicant’s local police force

If an employee’s role requires them to engage in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults they will also be eligible for a check against the relevant barred list.

But what constitutes regulated activity relating to children? How likely are contractors working in schools likely to be engaged in it?

Regulated activity relating to children

The definition of regulated activity relating to children comprises only:

  • Unsupervised activities:
    • Teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children
    • Provide advice/guidance on well-being
    • Drive a vehicle only for children
  • Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact. For example:
    • Schools
    • Children’s homes
    • Childcare premises

The above is regulated activity only if done regularly – 3 or more times in a 30 day period.

  • Health care for children provided by, or under the direction or supervision of a regulated health care professional – this is regulated activity even if the activity is only carried out once
  • Personal care for children involving:
    • Hands-on physical assistance with washing and dressing
    • Eating
    • Drinking and toileting
    • Prompting and supervising a child with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability
    • Teaching someone to do one of these tasks
  • Registered childminding
  • Registered foster-carers
  • The day-to-day management or supervision of any person engaging in regulated activity, is also in regulated activity

What DBS Checks are contractors working in schools eligible for?

If contractors are working frequently – 3 or more times in a 30 day period – their roles qualify for an Enhanced DBS Check without the check of the children’s barred list.

This is unless they’re performing any of the above activities – if that’s the case the contractor would be able to have an Enhanced DBS Check with the check of the children’s barred list.

Most schools will set the standard and will advise which type of DBS is needed, so it’s important for organisations to check before applying online.

Sometimes schools will request to include the children’s barred list, which uCheck are happy to accept – but only if the school has confirmed it’s absolutely necessary.


DBS Checks for contractors working in schools are necessary if the contractors are working frequently or engaging in any of the activities that would qualify as regulated activity. Otherwise, DBS Checks are at the school’s discretion.

You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are complete within 48 hours.

Get in touch with us to find out more, or get started now.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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