« Resources Home
teaching hub

The Complete Guide to School DBS Checks

Helen Harding, Designated Safeguarding Lead
11 Jun 2023
5 min read
The Complete Guide to School DBS Checks

If you are planning to work in a school in any capacity, including as a teacher, teaching assistant, cleaner, governor, or volunteer, you will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS check in the UK.

What is a DBS check?

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check or a criminal record check, is designed to make recruitment safer by allowing employers to see any criminal convictions you have. Some professions, particularly those involving work with children or vulnerable adults, require an Enhanced DBS record to ensure safety within the workplace. Following a DBS check, the applicant will receive their Enhanced DBS record.

What is the difference between a DBS check and an Enhanced DBS check?

While a Standard DBS check is suitable for roles like security guard, it is not appropriate for those working in a school setting. An Enhanced DBS check is specifically for individuals working with children or vulnerable adults.

An Enhanced DBS check also includes the option to search the Children Barred List, which reveals whether an applicant is barred from working with children. This check is mandatory for candidates visiting a school more than 3 times a month. To apply for an Enhanced DBS check, the process must go through a recruiting organisation, such as a school, which will then submit the application to DBS through a Registered Body.

Why is a DBS needed to work in a school?

To comply with Ofsted requirements and ensure children's safety, all staff and volunteers in a school must undergo an Enhanced DBS check and possess their record. Ofsted review record-keeping during school inspections to prevent any unsuitable candidates from working with children, prioritising the safeguarding of children.

What will show up on an Enhanced DBS check?

An Enhanced DBS check will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, warnings, cautions, reprimands, and any other relevant police information. It will also indicate whether the candidate is on the Children Barred List and prohibited from working with children. If you have concerns about potential issues arising in your DBS check, it is advisable to have an open and honest conversation with the school before the check is conducted. If your situation involves minor infractions like historic traffic offences or cautions received as a teenager, the school may still consider employment. However, it is essential to have this conversation before the DBS check is carried out.

How do I get a DBS check/certificate?

As an individual, you cannot apply for an Enhanced DBS check yourself. Your school employer will need to apply for it on your behalf. The application process can be completed quickly and easily online, usually through a link provided by the school. The cost of an Enhanced DBS check is £38, which is typically covered by the school. For volunteers, the service is free. It's worth noting that the minimum age for a criminal record check in the UK is 16 years old.

DBS for supply teaching?

Looking to get a DBS for supply? Zen Educate can apply on your behalf and will reimburse the cost once you have worked 5 days of cover.

How long does a DBS check take?

The processing time for a DBS check is approximately 14 days, although it may take longer under certain circumstances. Factors that can contribute to a longer processing time include multiple entries found in police databases for the same name or similar, involvement of multiple police forces due to residence in different counties, and incorrect details provided.

Zen Educate is transforming how schools find great teachers.

Sign up as a school
Sign up as a teacher

Share post