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DBS Checks For Schools: Our Guide

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Are you wondering what the guidelines are when it comes to DBS checks for schools?

We’re often asked about DBS guidance for schools – this is because DBS checks play a key role in safeguarding.

But the eligibility surrounding which level of check you may need if you work in education is not always clear. This blog aims to address that issue by covering some key questions surrounding DBS checks for schools and making the legislation clearer.

So whether you’re not working with children directly or if you’re wondering whether to apply for a DBS Check for a teaching assistant, read on for responses to some common questions about DBS checks for working in schools.

Do I need a DBS Check to work in a school?

Whether you’ll be eligible for a DBS check when working in a school will depend on the nature of your job role, and how frequently you work in schools.

Put simply, anyone working directly for the school is likely to be eligible for the highest level of DBS check; this is an enhanced DBS with a children’s barred list check.

This is because often they will be working directly with children, such as a teacher or teaching assistant. This means they will be engaging in regulated activity.

Otherwise, they will be likely to be working in the school on a frequent basis, such as cleaner or administrator, and will be eligible on this basis.

In all of these circumstances, it is the school who will apply for the DBS check on the individual’s behalf.

I’m not working with children directly – will I still need a check?

DBS checks for schools can still apply to those who work in an establishment such as a school or nursery but whose role does not require them to work directly with children. If this is the situation you are in, it would depend on whether you work there on a frequent or on a sporadic basis.

Even if you are not working directly with children, working in a place such as a school or nursery may mean you are eligible for a higher level of DBS check if you are working there frequently.

This example could apply to contractors visiting the school. If they were meeting the DBS frequency criteria, found on page 4 here, it is likely they would be eligible to request an enhanced DBS check.

In these instances, it is likely the school will ask the contracting firm to apply for their checks themselves.

Do I need a DBS check for work experience/volunteering in a school?

DBS checks for schools may still apply to those who are volunteering or doing work experience in a school. Your eligibility for a higher level of DBS will depend on the nature of your role and your age.

An individual must be 16 years old to be able to obtain a DBS check. This means that an individual under 16 cannot obtain a DBS check, even if they are gaining work experience in a school.

If someone is volunteering in a school their eligibility for a higher level of check will depend on the nature of their role. If they are engaging in regulated activity they will be eligible for an enhanced DBS with a check against the children’s barred list.

If they will be supervised at all times, then they won’t be classed as engaging in regulated activity themselves, and an enhanced DBS alone will be most suitable.

It is important to note that a volunteer status will only affect the fee charged for a check, it won’t affect an individual’s eligibility when working in a school.

DBS checks for schools: Next steps to take

If you are an individual who needs a higher level of DBS check for working in a school, then please get in touch with the school, or organisation you are working for, as they will need to apply for the check on your behalf.

If you are a school, or other educational organisation with questions about DBS eligibility you can contact the DBS for more information, or consult the Ofsted DBS guidance for schools.

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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