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Is a DBS Check Essential for School Staff?

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Like NHS workers for whom it is mandatory for DBS Checks (Disclosure and Barring Service checks), similarly, it is necessary for all teaching staff. If an individual applies for a teaching post as a private tutor or at a school or university, they must undergo a DBS Check.  

Those employed by a school must have their enhanced DBS check done since they will be working with kids. A frequent question is are the checks mandatory for maintenance staff or contractors engaged regularly or even if they work in the summer holidays.  

If they need a DBS check, what level of check do they require? 

We cover these basic questions in the short checklist we have prepared for DBS checks. 

There are three DBS check levels 

Basic DBS check: The only type of DBS check that anyone 16 years or above can apply on their own. There is no need for an employer to make a request. The basic only covers unspent convictions.  

Standard DBS check: The request is made by a governing/regulatory entity or the employer for a standard check of anyone they intend to employ. The standard reflects unspent and spent convictions, warnings, cautions and reprimands.  

Enhanced DBS check: It offers the same details as a standard check along with any other pertinent information that the local police may have. Only en employer can request for the check. If the potential employee will work in a position with vulnerable adults or children the employer can ask for both barred list scrutiny and an enhanced DBS check. 

What comprises regulated activity?

Regulated activities checklist

For children, any activity done regularly constitutes regulated activities. Regular means three or more times within 30 days. The activities include: 

Any work with institutions or organisations where an employee comes in contact with kids. It covers children’s homes, childcare facilities and schools. 

Even if the job description does not involve coming in contact with kids, any opportunity where an individual will come into contact is considered, such as during the holidays, certain schools may open for groups that use the school facilities or even for summer camps.    

Common activities under the purview of regulated activities

  • Unsupervised activities like offering guidance to kids, teaching or training them in a supportive environment. It also covers driving a school bus for children with them onboard
  • Providing health care for kids as a professional or in the capacity of an assistant
  • Foster care, nannying or registered for childminding
  • It includes any kind of personal care for kids.  Like eating, drinking, physical help or guiding them on how to do it on their own
  • Management of individuals that perform these duties also falls under the regulated activities list

DBS checks for contractors

As a norm, school contractors are on-site for more than three days within 30 days, therefore they must undergo enhanced DBS checks. They would not need a CRB check until they are involved in any of the mentioned activities. If they are part of any of the activities on the list, they must undergo a barred list check and an enhanced DBS online check also. This is done when the school management or governing authority make a request. 

Generally, the institution or school will clarify the standards needed and inform about the type of DBS check required. Before going online for a check it is best to contact them first when applying for a post. 

Schools must ensure DBS check requirements are met while confirming that every contractor has current and valid documentation before they begin work. Every institution must have an officer in charge that can be reported to any activity deemed suspicious. The officer must be accountable for all employees including regular staff and contractors are suitable for working on site. 

DBS for institutions and employers 

We offer an e-bulk DBS check for institutions and employers that have many applications to process. Online DBS Check has Fast track DBS that provides easy access to a personal secure portal for monitoring and oversight of any potential employee’s records. At any school or institution, you can choose to select the applicable DBS check and forward it directly to the prospective employee. 

With the coronavirus raging and schools and institutions planning to open in the coming period, this is a good time to check if you need any DBS checks completed. Majority of the checks done with us are completed in a few business days. 

Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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