Safeguarding in Education Facilities

It’s that time of the year again; another school year is beginning, and parents and families have prepared their children to go back to the classroom. The safeguarding of children at school is extremely important, as parents and families need to trust the people who will be taking care of their children’s education and wellbeing.

What is Safeguarding and why is it needed?

Safeguarding is the policies and procedures put in place to protect the wellbeing, health and human rights of children. Any organisation that works with children, even young people and vulnerable adults; regardless of their sector must have safeguarding policies in place to ensure their safety is guaranteed.

So why are DBS checks important for Safeguarding?

DBS checks and background screening are a vital foundation for the safeguarding within an education facility. They ensure the safety and wellbeing of the students and that safeguarding policies can be met! DBS checks help education facilities meet their safeguarding requirements as they are an important step to ensure those that are hired to work with children are safe to do so.

Since the Protection of Freedoms Act 2021, any organisation who are regularly engaged with children have a legal duty to check if an employee or volunteer is not barred from working with them.

This is where DBS checks come into play.

Education facilities that need to complete these checks need to request enhanced DBS checks against those who are wishing to be employed. These detail all criminal history, cautions, warnings, reprimands, spent and unspent convictions held on the Police National Computer. It will also check against the DBS Children and Adult barred list (where appropriate) and information provided by local police forces.

Which employees in education facilities need to go through an Enhanced DBS check?

DBS checks in education are designed to prevent unsuitable candidates from entering the workforce and having access to children. Ofsted, the office for standards in education and children’s services, have set out specific requirements for DBS checks within an education facility and what kind of checks each employee or volunteer must-have.

Most staff within an education facility will require an enhanced DBS check and a check against the children’s barred list as they will be engaging regularly with children and young people. Even employees who do not regularly interact with children still need to go through an enhanced DBS check as there is always an opportunity they may need to be in contact with a child.

Volunteers also need enhanced DBS checks and a check against the barred list, however, if they are supervised when with a child, only an enhanced check will be required.

In addition, since 2016, school governors have also had to undergo checks against the barred list.

How often should DBS checks be renewed and why is it important to do so?

DBS checks within the education sector need to renew periodically, with most requiring renewal every two to three years. However, this can change depending on the governing of the education facility. As mentioned in a recent blog post, you can’t always guarantee how often these rechecks are completed, as the everyday tasks of working life dominate, and checks are pushed to the side. However, regular re-checks are essential for the safeguarding and protection of children; keeping information, including criminal records about the employees up to date.

How can we help you?

As part of our services, we offer enhanced DBS checks and also a DBS update service to ensure anyone who is hired to work in education and in regular contact with children is vetted to the highest standard, and that they are regularly checked for any changes in their criminal histories.

If you require an enhanced DBS check or would like to know more about our DBS update service, one of our experts would be happy to speak with you. Give us a call today on 01443 799900 or email us on info@cbscreening.co.uk

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