Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

UCET DBS and Keeping Children Safe in Education: guidance for ITE trainees (January 2023)


This leaflet updates ITE providers, local authorities, schools, colleges and others on requirements in respect of DBS checks and disqualification from childcare as they impact on student and trainee teachers. It supersedes previous guidance issued by UCET. It does not represent a comprehensive explanation of the DBS, prohibition and criminal records check requirements and should be read alongside relevant statutory guidance and advice.

The full document is attached. A summary of the key points is below.

Key points:

· ITE providers are responsible for ensuring that appropriate DBS checks (including checks of the barred list) have been completed for fee paying trainees, and to inform partner schools and colleges that they have been completed. Schools and colleges can record this fact in their central record, although they are not obliged to do so.

· ITE providers are, with the permission of the trainee, able to share information relating to the level, date, and number of DBS checks.

· All prospective trainees must undergo checks to ensure that they are not prohibited by the Secretary of State and/or are not prohibited to teach in the European Economic Area. The list of prohibited teachers can be found via the Teacher Services System.

· Certificates of good conduct should be obtained, where possible, from countries in which applicants have lived as adults. There is no firm rule about how far back these checks should go, although 5-7 years would appear to be standard.

· Registered bodies such as ITE providers should not under any circumstances share details of the content of DBS certificates with third parties such as schools or colleges. Schools or colleges may request to see DBS certificates from trainees who will be on placement with them, it is up to the trainee whether they want to share the information

· Providers should reach agreement with partner schools and colleges about the kind of offences that might, depending on when they were committed, be an issue in regard to school or college placement or agree other procedures to reassure schools that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place (for example, referring individual cases to an independent panel or local authority safeguarding teams).

· ITE providers should ask students working or training in relevant settings whether they are disqualified under the terms of the 2018 Childcare Disqualification requirements. Previous rules relating to disqualification by association no longer apply.

· Visiting ITE tutors will not generally be engaged in regulated activity and so do not legally need to be DBS checked. However, schools may expect checks to have been carried out and providers might therefore want to arrange for visiting tutors to be checked.

· It is considered good practice for ITE providers to ensure that at least one member of interview panels has been trained in safe recruitment practice. [1]

· ITE providers should ensure that trainees understand the importance of safeguarding and are aware of the impact that their online presence may have. In this regard, trainees should read and understand Keeping Children Safe in Education, and their placement schools’ staff codes of conduct and safeguarding / child protection policies.

[1] It is difficult to categorically state what constitutes an interview panel as this will vary across providers. It is important that panel members can demonstrate that they are up to speed with the latest KCSIE guidance and are compliant. An Admission Document showing how this is addressed through staff training could be one approach