DBS Checks for supply teachers are an essential part of the safeguarding picture in schools.
All teachers of children in schools are required to have Enhanced DBS Checks, including supply teachers. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about DBS Checks for supply teachers.
What sort of DBS Check should supply teachers have?
Teaching staff in schools, including supply teachers, are required to have an Enhanced DBS Check.
An Enhanced DBS Check will show any spent or unspent convictions or cautions the applicant has that are not subject to filtering. It will also show any information held by the applicant’s local police force that is relevant to the role in question.
A Children’s Barred List Check (previously referred to as List 99 Checks) will show whether the applicant has been barred from working with children.
All teachers – including supply teachers – are required to have this type of check if their role involves working in regulated activity with children.
What is regulated activity with children?
The definition of regulated activity includes:
- Unsupervised activities, including teaching, instructing, caring for or supervising children
Regulated activity, such as these activities, is work that someone who has been barred from working with children is not allowed to do.
This work is considered regulated activity if it is done regularly, which is defined as at least once a week, or three or more times in a 30-day period.
As supply teachers will be involved in teaching and training children within a school, if they are working within this frequency, their work will be considered regulated activity.
They will therefore be required to have an Enhanced DBS Check with a check of the Children’s Barred List.
If you have any questions about supply teachers working infrequently with children, please contact us for more information.
Applying for DBS Checks for supply teachers
As we’ve established, supply teachers working once a week or three or more times in a 30-day period need to have an Enhanced DBS Check with a Children’s Barred List Check.
So, how do you go about applying for DBS Checks for supply teachers?
Only employers or agencies can apply for Enhanced DBS Checks – individuals cannot apply for an Enhanced Check for themselves.
In the case of supply teachers, this will mean that the agency or school they work for will need to apply.
Employers can apply for checks through a DBS umbrella body – find out more here
How often should supply teachers’ DBS Checks be renewed?
While DBS Checks have no official expiry date, teachers might require a new check when they start a new teaching role. However, once a supply teacher has received their initial DBS certificate, they can subscribe to the DBS Update Service.
This service enables teachers to keep their DBS certificate up-to-date, and allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent. It also helps to enhance the safeguarding procedures which are so important in schools.
Supply teachers subscribed to the DBS Update Service won’t necessarily need a new DBS Check for every new post.
If they are applying for another role that requires the same type of check within the same workforce, such as a similar supply teaching position in a school, they may be able to use their certificate again.
However, this is ultimately up to the school, who can also request a new check if they wish.
You can find out more about the DBS Update Service here. Please note that this service is not available through uCheck.