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DBS Checks in Education: A Guide

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

Safer recruitment is at the heart of any school’s hiring and onboarding processes. A major part of that process is completing DBS checks for each employee. Here is a quick guide on the DBS service and the education sector.

The Appropriate Check

Due to the nature of teaching roles, involving a significant amount of unsupervised time with children, teachers must have an Enhanced Check with Barred Lists conducted on them before they start in a role.

It is recommended that other staff in the education sector also have an Enhanced DBS Check, even if they do not spend the majority of their time with children. This is due to the contact with children all workers in education have even if they are not teaching staff. Because of this, most school safeguarding policies dictate that all staff must complete an Enhanced DBS Check before they start working.

Can You Fail a Check?

DBS Check Results do not give a definitive ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. They simply display any past convictions and cautions that the individual has. If the Check returns no previous unspent convictions or cautions, then there should be no issue with the individual proceeding to the next stage of the compliance process.

If the check returns serious convictions, including drug-related offences, then while the Check will explicitly say the individual has ‘failed’ their DBS Check, the school will immediately reject that individual.

If the Check reveals less serious convictions, then it is up to the individual school whether to proceed with the application or not. This will depend on the nature of the conviction or caution, and the safeguarding policy of the individual school.

Who Requests Checks in the Education Sector?

Advanced DBS Checks, which are the ones that are needed in the education sector, can only be requested by schools on behalf of their employees. It is not possible for an individual to request an Enhanced DBS Check for themselves.

If you have any more questions on DBS Checks in the education sector, please visit our FAQs page. If you want your recruitment and compliance process to be more streamlined through remote onboarding, then you can request a demo here.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash


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