Educational Establishments – A Guide to Safeguarding:

Group of nine children drawing on school chalkboard with chalks.

When thinking about educational establishments,our priority must always be on safeguarding and therefore DBS checks must always be put in place. Places of this nature include all schools whether that is Pre, Primary or Secondary, Nurseries, Colleges and Universities.

Who needs a DBS check when working in a school?

With anyone under the age of 18 years in full time education, in the eyes of the Disclosure and Barring Service they are classed as children and therefore safeguarding measures must be put in place at all times.  This includes having all staff working with the children DBS checked which also include having a check against the children’s barred list. This type of check applies to be people in positions such as teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants. Other positions which also will need this check include all staff members that work directly for a school as their in an in-house role.

If you are not permanently contracted to the school but are working as a sub-contractor at least 4 times in a 30 day period then you will be eligible for an enhanced DBS check without the child barred list.

If you are working on school grounds but are not working in term time or when children will be around, you will still be eligible for a standard DBS check if you meet the frequency as mentioned above.  The reason for this is because a school falls into a category called a limited range of establishments and anything within this category has the highest measures of safeguarding in place.

Cleaners in a school will mostly always need an enhanced check with the barred list check if working in school term. The reason for this is, even though they may not directly work for the school, if they are meeting the frequency test then technically they will be unsupervised on school grounds and for example be around when after school clubs are going on therefore there is an opportunity there for relationships to be built up with the children so the correct safety measures need to be in place first.


Volunteers and people on work experience will need exactly the same check as a person in a permanent working position. Just because they are volunteering, if they are meeting the frequency test then they need to have an enhanced level check. They could be unsupervised in the establishment and again be able to build up relationships with the children so the said person needs to be checked appropriately.

For positions like school governors and trustees they will also be eligible for an enhanced check. The reason for this is because; again they are working for the school and have influence on recruiting decisions within the school premises.  Also sometimes a governor will oversee a head teacher or directly oversee staffs that are in regulated activity with the children and at this point they would be eligible for a check against the child barred list too. This is because they are overseeing somebody who’s responsible for the children’s welfare.


In conclusion we hope you found our Blog on “Educational Establishments” in regards to DBS checks helpful. If you need any more information or need any further clarification, please feel free to us here at the CRBS on 0800 197 8800 or contact us at