Safeguarding for educational establishments

When it comes to educational establishments, our priority never veers from safeguarding the students that fill them. 

Nurseries, primary and secondary schools, colleges and even universities should all take appropriate measures to keep students safe where possible. These measures can often include DBS Checks for employees and staff.

However, an educational establishment can often feature a large number of different roles for employees. Which of these roles require DBS Checks and if so, what level should the checks be?

educational establishments

Who needs a DBS Check when working in a school?

Any students that are 18 years or younger and still in full-time education are classed as children by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): therefore safeguarding measures must be put in place. 

This means all staff engaged in regulated activity with children – e.g. teachers, nursery nurses or teaching assistants – must undergo an enhanced DBS Check as well as checks against the children’s barred list.

Any other staff members working for a school directly will also be considered eligible for a DBS Check as they’re still considered to be working in-house. 

What about subcontractors?

If you are subcontracted to a school and working at least 3 times in a 30 day period, you are also eligible for an enhanced DBS Check, but without the children’s barred list check. 

Working out of term time

If you work on school grounds but not during term time (or when children will be around) you are still eligible for a standard DBS Check, provided you’re working a similar amount of time as the subcontractors mentioned above. 

This is due to all schools being classified as a limited range of establishments or ‘specified place’, meaning that they qualify for the highest measures of safeguarding.

Cleaners

 

Cleaners in a school will virtually always need an enhanced DBS Check and a children’s barred list check if working during term time. 

Although they may not even work directly for the school, if they are meeting the frequency test then they will still technically be working unsupervised on school grounds.

After school clubs, for example, may overlap with the cleaner’s working hours, meaning there is potential for students to encounter cleaners or build relationships, so the correct safety measures must be enforced.

Volunteers?

Voluntary workers and parent helpers will need the same checks as a permanent staff member. 

As long as they meet the frequency test, they will need an enhanced level check as they could still be unsupervised in the establishment and again be able to build relationships with students. 

Positions such as school governors and trustees will also be eligible for an enhanced check, as they are still working for the school directly. 

These staff members also have a say on recruiting decisions within the premises, and will sometimes oversee a headteacher or staff member in regulated activity with the children.

At this point, they would also be eligible for a children’s barred list check, as they are supervising someone responsible for the children’s welfare. 

Educational Establishments – To conclude

If you want to know more about educational establishments and safeguarding, get in touch with us today – we’d love to hear from you.