DBS Checks Policy and Background

It is the duty of Littleton C of E Infant School to ensure that our pupils’ welfare is promoted, they are cared for appropriately and they are safeguarded from any harm.

This information is to inform you of what measures we need to apply to ensure that all employees and pupil are safe and cared for.

Disclosure and Barring Service Update
With effect from 1 December 2012 the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Following a review the Government has announced the following changes:

  • a large reduction in the number of positions requiring checks to just those who work most closely and regularly with children and vulnerable adults
  • portability of criminal record checks between jobs to cut down on bureaucracy
  • an end to a requirement for those working or volunteering with vulnerable groups to register with the Vetting and Barring Scheme and to be continuously monitored by the Independent Safeguarding Authority
  • stopping employers who knowingly request criminal record checks on individuals who are not entitled to them

The necessary legislative changes will be included in the Protection of Freedom Bill. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Bill is expected to become law in early 2013.  The new regime will be introduced as soon as possible after this.

Ofsted Guidance
CRB checks became mandatory for the entire maintained schools’ workforce from 12 May 2006 (September 2003 for independent schools, including academies). Employees who took up post from this date must have an enhanced CRB disclosure.

  • No further checks are required for any staff unless the person has a break in service of more than three months. (Please note that extended sickness/maternity leave does not constitute a break of service.)
  • There is no requirement for staff employed before March 2002 to have retrospective CRB checks as long as they have been in continuous service. In this context, continuity means no break of service of longer than three months. However, prior to 2002, there was a requirement for all staff who work with children and young people to have to been checked against List 99, and evidence of this should be checked.

Visitors
DBS checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children.

Volunteers
Checks are required only for those who have regular and unsupervised access to children and young people. Under the terms of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 where a volunteer is being adequately supervised, they are not considered to be working in regulated activity however often they do this, and the school does not need to request a DBS check. The Department for Education will shortly be publishing guidance to help schools decide what level of supervision would be considered adequate.

For the purposes of an Ofsted inspection, schools (and colleges) should be able to explain the rationale for those who have been checked and those who have not. The key criterion for checking volunteers is regular unsupervised contact with children.

Governors
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 has removed the requirement for schools to carry out a CRB check on governors simply because of their office. Governors who volunteer to work with children are also exempt from the requirement to hold an enhanced CRB disclosure certificate as long as they are appropriately supervised by a member of staff who has undergone such checks.

Littleton C of E Infant School Policy

The Governors have examined the recommendations made by Ofsted and will apply the following policy:

  1. All staff employed by the School will be required to undertake a DBS check. Rechecks will not be undertaken,
  2. All volunteers will be DBS checked. Safety of the children is paramount and there are a lot of regular parent helpers at the School. By checking all volunteers teachers can be certain of who is and isn’t DBS checked, there is no uncertainty as to which helpers are and which helpers are not DBS checked. As an Infant School the children are very trusting of all adults in the setting. Rechecks of volunteers will not be undertaken,
  3. Visitors to the school will not be checked and will not have unsupervised access to children,
  4. Visiting staff who do not have unsupervised access to the children will not be DBS checked,
  5. Contracted staff having regular contact with the children will be included on the SCR (Single Central Record). Contract requires that these staff are DBS checked by their employer, the school will not carry out rechecks,
  6. Outside Agencies such as clubs whose staff have regular unsupervised access to children are required to provide confirmation that all of their staff working at the school have had DBS checks undertaken, the school will not carry out rechecks,
  7. All governors will be DBS checked on appointment but no rechecks will be carried out. Governors will be DBS checked as there may be some unsupervised access to children when they carry out Governor Visits and because they are familiar to the children the children are very trusting of them.

As required a SCR record of DBS checks will be maintained at the School.

This policy was written on 23rd January 2013