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DBS Checks For School Trips: Who Needs A DBS Certificate?

school trip

At the start of the new academic term, schools will be starting to think about the upcoming school trips for this year. Aside from sorting transport and where to go, this also includes organising teachers, parents and volunteers to help out.

Safeguarding is crucially important for schools generally, and this extends to school trips. So, with this in mind, who needs a DBS check for a school trip?

This blog will outline the key things to consider when determining the requirements around DBS checks for school trips.

DBS Checks for School Trips: Working in a School

It is highly likely that at least some adults who accompany children on a school trip will be working in the school. This includes staff such as teachers and teaching assistants.

As these individuals are already working in the school and engaging in regulated activity with children, they should already have an Enhanced DBS Check with a barred list check in place. This means that they typically won’t need any additional certification before accompanying children on school trips.

But what about parents and other volunteers who accompany children on school trips?

DBS Checks for School Trips: Parents and Volunteers

In order to determine which level of check is most suitable for a parent or volunteer who is helping out on a school trip, the types of responsibilities they will have, as well as the type of trip, needs to be considered.

If a parent or volunteer is helping out at a school on a frequent basis, then they will typically be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. This could also extend to school trips. This is because they will be meeting the requirements surrounding DBS frequency.  

Other points that need to be considered to determine the most suitable check include:

  • Will they have any unsupervised contact with children? e.g. be solely responsible for children at any point
  • Is the school trip residential (e.g. overnight)?
  • Are they driving a vehicle only for children?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then it is likely that the parent or volunteer will be eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check against the children’s barred list in order to ensure their suitability for the role.

This is because by answering yes, it would suggest that the applicant will be engaging in regulated activity and, therefore, eligible for this highest level of check.

However, if a parent or volunteer is helping on a school trip on a one-off basis, not frequently and will not be engaging in regulated activity at all, meaning they will be supervised at all times by someone with an appropriate DBS check, then it is possible they would not be eligible for the higher level of check. If in doubt, schools should contact the DBS directly or Ofsted with any concerns.

DBS Checks for School Trips: A Summary

As we have seen, confirming who needs a DBS check when helping with school trips involves considering a number of points. However, we hope this blog has made the process simpler to understand and posted you in the right direction.

So, when considering school trips and DBS checks, the key points to remember include:

  • Consider all aspects of the parents/volunteer’s role when confirming if they need a DBS check for a school trip, and which level they need.
  • If you’re a parent or volunteer, the school will need to apply on your behalf so discuss your application with them.
  • As a school, any concerns or questions can be discussed with the DBS directly and/or Ofsted to ensure you’re complying with their regulations.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. 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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