Updates over the summer have removed the requirement for schools to undertake ‘Disqualification by Association’, whereby the convictions by a person living with an employee or volunteer could prevent the employee/volunteer working with children.
Disqualification by Association now only applies in domestic settings, not schools.
However, Disqualification under the Child Care Act still applies to staff themselves who work in a child care capacity, whether paid, voluntary or on work placements, and schools are required to ensure the following under the ‘Childcare Act 2006’.
What should schools do?
Inform staff of the changes, and record the date that they were informed; a letter, or email might be best.
Ensure that this information is included in the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy; and in the Safer Recruitment Policy
Identify and record which staff are covered by Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006, outlined below (including volunteers and people on work placements).
Ask relevant staff to self-declare that they are not Disqualified under the Childcare Act 2006. (A form is not necessary, though an example letter and form can be accessed on OneHub).
Remind all staff about the expectation to inform the school where their relationships and associations, both within and outside of the workplace (including online), may have implications for the safeguarding of children in the school (code of conduct)
Remind all staff that if their circumstances change they must inform the school. (Decide where to put this in writing: Staff Code of Conduct for example)
Decide whether these self-declarations will be kept on the Single Central Register, or elsewhere.
Review any historic data collected and destroy any information which is no longer required.
Who is covered by Disqualification under Childcare Act 2006?
Staff working with Early yrs – At any time – Early yrs means birth until 1st Sept following childs 5th birthday
Staff working with Later Years – Before / After School – Later Yrs means children between 5 and 8 yrs old
Staff managing people who undertake any of the above
Why can't we just look at an enhanced DBS check and take the information from there?
There are five things which may lead to disqualification under the Child Care Act, but only two of them can be discovered through the enhanced (+barred list) DBS check, these are:
Relevant offences (from DBS check)
Children’s Barred List (from DBS check)
The others don’t appear on an enhanced DBS check:
Had a child placed under a care order (only know by asking)
Childcare registration cancelled or refused* (*except for non-payment of fees) (only know by asking)
Relevant overseas conviction (only know by asking)