Last week, we published a blog which answered some of the questions that we get asked most often around DBS Checks for Teachers. We had several questions off the back of this blog related to whether school governors need a DBS Check, so we have decided to make school governors the subject of this week’s blog.
What role does a governor play within a school?
A school governor is responsible for supervising the management of a school including things such as policy, strategy, staffing and department budgets. Their guidance and advice enable the school to run effectively and efficiently as well as providing support to teachers to enable them to provide an excellent standard of education to the pupils.
Do school governors need to be DBS checked?
Yes, the Government released legislation in March 2016 that made it mandatory for governors in maintained, independent, academy and free schools to have an Enhanced DBS Check within 21 days of their appointment.
Prior to March 2016, Enhanced DBS Checks were not mandatory for school governors and disqualification for a role relied solely on the individual governor disclosing any previous criminal convictions themselves if a check was not being carried out on them.
The amendments to the 2012 School Government Regulations provided the governing body with a level of reassurance that individuals were not being disqualified from becoming a governor due to their criminal convictions.
What will an Enhanced DBS Check show?
An Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of DBS check that is available and covers both spent and unspent convictions as well as cautions, warnings and reprimands.
With an Enhanced level check, the police can also share any information or intelligence that they hold about a person that is relevant to the role that they are applying for.
What if a governor already has an Enhanced DBS Check?
Checks will only need to be made on those governors that do not already have an Enhanced DBS Check. Trustees in academies and free schools are required to have an Enhanced DBS Check so the change brings arrangements in the maintained sector in line with these.
Although it is not a mandatory requirement to recheck governors and DBS Checks don’t expire, a DBS Check is only truly accurate on the day that it is completed. Schools may, at their discretion, want to renew DBS Checks for their governors on a regular basis to ensure that the school, the staff and its pupils are safeguarding and risks are mitigated as much as possible.
Will they need to be checked against the Children’s Barred List?
Typically, school governors are not engaged in Regulated Activity with Children on a regular basis as part of their role so a check against the Children’s Barred List will not be included as part of their Enhanced DBS Check.
However, if you believe a governor to be engaging in Regulated Activity, this should be made clear at the point of applying or reapplying for their Enhanced DBS Check. If you are not sure, please be sure to ask us and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.