Schools should ensure that any contractor, or any employee of the contractor, who is to work at the school, has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check (where that is necessary or appropriate) and that adequate supervision is in place whilst on the premises.
Supply teachers from agencies
The responsibility for obtaining the safer employment vetting checks lies with the relevant agency.
There is a responsibility for a school to carry out the necessary ID checks for a supply teacher on first stating at a school – ie they are who they say they are.
These details must be noted on the SCR and cross-referenced with a ‘letter of assurance’ to confirm that the other checks have been undertaken
BCC children’s services staff visiting educational settings
The Letter of Assurance from Tolis Vouyioukas, Executive Director Children’s Services, provides the required confirmation for educational settings, on behalf of children’s services, that all staff working in this area have completed all the appropriate recruitment and vetting checks.
Educational settings are not required to ask for further evidence from relevant staff from the children’s services area visiting or working in schools in relation to those checks.
Please retain a copy of this Letter of Assurance which should be cross-referenced to the relevant staff from children’s services, where appropriate, on the Single Central Record.
Visitors to educational settings (including relevant staff from children’s services) should be asked to provide their council photo ID to confirm proof of identity.
All visitors should be asked to sign in and out at reception
The Disclosure and Barring Service defines a volunteer as a person who performs an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), undertaking a role which aims to benefit a school.
Volunteers in schools who are unsupervised will required an Enhanced DBS Check with Children’s Barred List Check as those volunteers are regarded as being in “regulated activity”.
Volunteers in schools (IE ‘specified places’) who are supervised at a reasonable level do not require a DBS Check as those volunteers are not regarded as being in “regulated activity.” Nevertheless, an Enhanced DBS Check, excluding a Children’s Barred List Check, may be obtained for those volunteers on a discretionary basis. Keeping Children Safe in Education 3 September 2018 states that:
A written risk assessment should be undertaken to determine whether an Enhanced DBS Check (excluding a Barred List Check) should be obtained for volunteers not engaged in “regulated activity (paragraph 164);”
The BCC “Safeguarding in Employment Team” has developed a “Risk Assessment Template Form” to be completed in these circumstances. Any written risk assessment should be kept in local personnel records.
Action: complete a written risk assessment for volunteers not in “regulated activity” so that a rationale is available about whether an Enhanced DBS Check (excluding a Barred List Check) should be obtained for a volunteer.
Work experience can be defined as short-term (less than 15 working days) experience of employment in a workplace. Those undertaking work experience are gaining experience for themselves.
Is a DBS check required?
A DBS Check is only required for someone undertaking work experience if they are:
- aged 16 or over
- if their placement will involve regular contact with children or vulnerable adults
If the work experience activity undertaken takes place in a ‘specified place’ such as a school or college, and gives the opportunity for contact with children, this may itself be considered to be a regulated activity.
In these cases and where the individual is 16 years of age or over, consideration should be made as to whether a DBS enhanced check should be requested for the person in question.
Trainee or student teacher placements
Please refer to the guide for information on DBS Checks for trainee teachers who are:
- who are salaried by the school
The hiring of school premises
Any school or academy considering hiring out or leasing its premises must consider whether a hirer complies (where relevant) with the:
- DBS Code of Practice
- Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board’s safeguarding requirements
Where relevant, a hirer must obtain appropriate DBS checks.
A hirer must keep appropriate records in line with the DBS Code of Practice and advise the school of any safeguarding concerns which may arise about any of its:
A hirer will be required to provide evidence when requested, that DBS Checks have been carried out.
Schools may wish to use the attached Hiring Request and Certificate of Assurance Template.
This information is applicable for Safeguarding in Employment only. For information and guidance relating to maintenance of premises, please refer to the premises and property pages.
Where a school places a pupil with an “alternative provision provider” (e.g. a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)) then a school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil (paragraph 178 Keeping Children Safe in Education: 3 September 2018)
A school should obtain written confirmation from an alternative provider that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment (i.e. those checks that a school would otherwise perform in respect of its own staff)
BCC’s Safeguarding in Employment Team have developed a template that can be sent to the alternative provision provider for completion and return. A copy of the letter should be retained in the school’s local files.
Children staying with host families (homestay)
Where a school or college arranges a homestay it should identify which adult(s) will be responsible for the visiting child during the stay. Schools and colleges should use their professional judgement in deciding what intelligence will best inform its assessment of the suitability of these adults. To help inform that assessment, schools and colleges should obtain a DBS Enhanced Check (including a Barred List Check);
Where the family is well-known to the school or college and has confidence in the care that is being offered, the adult primarily responsible for the care of the visiting child may be the only adult for which a DBS Enhanced Check (including a Barred List Check) is obtained. In family settings that are less well known to a school, then a DBS Enhanced Check (including a Barred List Check) may be obtained for more or all of the adults in the family;
Professional judgement alongside all other intelligence will inform this assessment.