As a contractor company, it can get a little confusing when you're working in a school.

Do your staff need a DBS check, do they not? What if your staff are working during school hours? What about if they're working outside the building? If so, what type of DBS check do they need?

We can see how it would get confusing, and we've been asked these questions many times before, so you're not alone!

That's why we've compiled the following guide discussing DBS checks for contractors working in schools.

What Types Of DBS Checks Are There?

In total, there are three main levels of DBS checks, which are: 

Basic DBS Checks - The lowest level, which will only include unspent convictions. They can be requested by an individual or employer. 

Standard DBS Check - Includes both spent and unspent convictions. Unlike the Basic, these can only be requested by employers. 

Enhanced DBS Check - Shows spent and unspent convictions, as well as any information believed to be relevant by the Local Police Force.

If the contractor is engaging with Regulated Activity with children whilst working at the school, they will also have to give an additional check against the Children's Barred List. The same applies if working around vulnerable adults. Like Standard DBS checks, these can only be requested by employers.

Examples of Unsupervised Activities With Children

Regulated Activities around children can involve:

  • Unsupervised activities with Children.
  • Working in the establishment itself - although this is only classed as Regulated Activity if it is done 3 or more times within a 30-day period.

Examples of Places of Work With Opportunity For Contact:

  • Schools.
  • Childcare.
  • Children Homes.

However, there are also types of activities that count as regulated, even if only done once (as opposed to the above). An example of this includes providing health care by yourself, or under the supervision of regulated health care professionals.

What Are Contractors At Schools?

Contractors are professionals who provide a skill or service to other companies, in this case, schools, for a set period of time - often hours or days.

What Types Of Contractors Need A DBS Check?

In many cases, no matter what type of contractor you are in a school, you will need a DBS check. However, the level is mainly dependent on the opportunity to be in contact with children.

Below we have given some examples of contractors in schools, and the type of DBS check they may need, depending on the situation.

DBS Checks For School Catering Agencies

Whether it be fixed-term, daily, or once a week, a contracted cater would require an Enhanced DBS with Children's Barred List check. The caters are highly likely to be in contact with children during their work, and form relationships with them. Therefore the catering contractor or agency must ensure they have taken the correct safeguarding measures to protect the children.

DBS Checks For Lunch Staff

DBS Checks For School Building Contractors

One of the more common areas for confusion, the DBS check level which building contractors in schools needs vary depending on when and where they will be working in the school. 

To decipher whether or not an Enhanced DBS check with Barred List is required, the following needs to be established:

  • Are the contractors working in an area where children are, or is it completely separate where students cannot go?
  • Is it during term time, or when there will definitely be no students in the school such as at night?
  • How often will the building contractors be in the school? 2 days? Once a month? Once every week?

If they are going to have the chance of being in contact with children on a "regular basis", then it is likely they will be in need of an Enhanced DBS check with Barred List.

DBS Checks For School Maintenance/Electrician Contractors

Again, this depends on how regularly they will be attending the school. If, for example, it was for emergencies only, then it's more likely it won't be more than 3 times a month (hopefully there aren't many emergencies!).

However, if they are regularly at the school, and are around children, then they will need the Barred List check!

DBS Checks For Other School Contractors

As you may have noticed, there is a common theme going on here! 

No matter what type of contracting work you are doing for a school, you will need an Enhanced DBS check with Children's Barred check if you are performing Regulated Activity or are in a place with the opportunity for contact more than three times in a month. 

If you are wanting to get a DBS check for your staff, but are not sure which type they require, you can always get in touch with us! 

Simply give us a call on 0113 877 0171, or drop us an email at and we'll do our best to help you out, and your DBS application sent off as soon as possible! 

Know what type of DBS check you want? Great! You can get started by pressing the button below or find more out about our service by clicking the other button.