15 September, 2015
1. During a DBS Safeguarding and Data Protection session, we were asked about the level of DBS checks required of contractors.
Under the "Keeping Children Safe in Education" statutory guidance 2015 the response to this question is that they must at least have an enhanced check without barring. If they are to be unsupervised on site then potentially they may require enhanced check with barring.
Top Tip -
Check contractor's DBS status before allowing them on site. Some contractors will argue that they do not require DBS checks. That is incorrect and from a school's perspective, it is your legal duty to ensure that those you permit on site have the relevant identification and DBS checks in place.
2. If a teacher is subject to allegations which could be of a safeguarding nature, can I automatically suspend them?
In accordance with the statutory it is the case that suspension should be a last resort even in those cases. It has long been the case that suspension should not be a knee-jerk reaction but the latest guidance confirms that you should make efforts to consider redeployment or putting measures in place to allow that teacher to continue working until the allegations are addressed.
Top Tip -
Ensure that your policies are updated and that anybody dealing with disciplinary or investigation stages in the process are clear on what they have to consider. Consider carefully whether or not to suspend and document your reasons for doing so. It may be the case that you feel it is in both the teacher and pupil's best interest to suspend in these circumstances and to ensure that any evidence can be preserved. You may feel that it leads to a fairer investigation to have the employee suspended. However, what is clear is you should consider this carefully, take advice where necessary and document your decision.