DBS Checks For Schools: Ensuring Child Safety
If you’re employed in a school, it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of students in your care. With the increasing prevalence of child abuse and neglect cases, it is essential to take all necessary precautions to protect students from harm. One key safeguarding measure is to ensure that all staff and volunteers who work with children have undergone the appropriate DBS checks for schools (This would be An Enhanced Check with Children’s Barred List). By conducting these checks, you can identify any past criminal behaviour or history of abuse that could put children at risk and make informed recruitment decisions.
What are DBS checks?
A DBS check is a criminal record check conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service, a UK government agency. It helps employers make informed recruitment decisions by revealing any criminal history or relevant information about an individual. The level of disclosure depends on the level of check being requested.
There are three types of DBS checks: Basic, Standard and Enhanced. Basic checks disclose any unspent convictions or conditional cautions. Standard checks reveal the same information as the Basic check, plus any spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings. Enhanced checks are the most comprehensive, providing the same information as the Standard check, plus any additional information held by local police forces.
DBS Checks For Schools – Why Are They Important?
Schools are responsible for the safety and well-being of their pupils. This includes ensuring that staff and volunteers who have regular contact with children are suitable to work with them. DBS checks are a legal requirement for anyone who works or volunteers with children. This includes teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors, administrative staff and anyone else who has unsupervised contact with children.
The purpose of DBS checks for schools is to prevent unsuitable people from working with children. By conducting these checks, schools can identify any past criminal behaviour or history of abuse that could put children at risk. It also provides reassurance to parents and guardians that the school takes child protection seriously and has taken all necessary precautions to ensure their child’s safety.
DBS Checks For Schools – How Are They Done?
Schools are responsible for ensuring that all staff and volunteers who work with children have undergone the appropriate level of DBS check for schools. This is usually carried out during the recruitment process, before the individual starts working with children. Schools can request DBS checks directly from the DBS or through a registered umbrella body, which acts as an intermediary between the school and the DBS.
Once the DBS check has been completed, the school will receive a certificate that shows the level of disclosure. The school is responsible for interpreting the information and deciding whether the individual is suitable to work with children.
If schools don’t DBS check their staff properly, Ofsted comes down on them like a ton of bricks, which is another reason schools need to pay close attention to their safeguarding measures. (We’ve written more about Ofsted and DBS in this handy article, Childcare and Education – Ofsted DBS Checks
DBS Checks For Teachers
DBS checks are particularly important for teachers, as they have regular contact with children and are in a position of trust and responsibility. Teachers are required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check before they can work in a school. This check includes a check of the barred lists, which lists individuals who are prohibited from working with children or vulnerable adults.
Additionally, teachers are strongly recommended to have a DBS check at least every three years to ensure that any new information about their criminal record is revealed. This helps to ensure that schools have the most up-to-date information about their staff and can make informed decisions about their suitability to work with children.
There is technically no legal requirement to renew staff DBS checks for schools or any other profession. Organisations implement their own policy because if any harm came to the people under their trust & care from a member of staff who hadn’t been DBS checked in years – that would be the fault of the organisation for ineffective safeguarding, and they would face legal consequences. We would suggest that 3 years is the very upper limit for how frequently schools should renew their staff’s DBS checks, but the more frequent the better.
Does A DBS Check Expire?
DBS Checks do not expire, but simply record everything up to the date of the check. We include a handy graph below with more visual information about why renewing DBS Checks is an important task.
Teachers who move between schools may also be required to undergo a new DBS check if their previous check is not deemed to be transferable.
It is also important that any contractors you have working on-site in a school are DBS Checked. We have a further article you can read that talks about DBS Checks for Contractors working in schools. Read more here DBS Checks for contractors working in schools
Do You Need a DBS Check For University Work?
Most of the time, no! University students are fully matured adults (or so we’re told), so a DBS check is not required to work with them. However if you do come into contact with children or vulnerable adults then a DBS Check will be necessary. If you are unsure, ask the university for help.
DBS Checks For Schools – A Summary
In conclusion, DBS checks for schools are an essential safeguarding measure that help to ensure the safety and well-being of children in schools. It is the responsibility of schools to conduct these checks for all staff and volunteers who work with children.
At Aaron’s Department, our system makes getting regular Enhanced DBS checks for schools as easy as can be. Our automatic error-checking system saves time and money by flagging incorrectly-filled-out applications before they’re sent to the DBS, and our built-in tracking system lets you see how fast the government is processing the application. This gives you and your new-hires a better idea of when they’ll be able to start.
We know that time is money in situations like these, which is why we process all applications we receive on the day we receive them. If we get an application sent before 4pm, it’ll go to the government that same day – error free, and cheaper than other leading umbrella companies too!
Our admin prices start as low as £3.11, on top of the standard government application fee.
If you need to apply for lots of DBS checks for schools and our services sound helpful, you’ve got a few options. You could click the big green button below to register for free, or take a look around our website for more details. If you want to contact us, you can reach our team of DBS experts at +44 113 877 0171 (we’re available from 8-5, weekdays) or reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help you with any questions you may have.