DBS Checks For Schools – What You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard of DBS checks before but do you know what they actually entail? They’re nothing to be afraid of and are there to help safeguard children in school environments. Having yours will help you to pursue a career in education with confidence. In this article we’re going to help you to understand what a DBS check is and how they’re used in schools.

What are DBS checks?

A DBS check is a check of your criminal record and any of your unspent convictions (usually convictions will ‘expire’ after a certain amount of time) that will give potential employers relevant information about you. These are especially important in education environments where you will be working with vulnerable children and young people.

The main purpose of a DBS check is to stop unsuitable or dangerous people from working with vulnerable people so you’re going to encounter them in any position in a school or other educational environment. This means that whether you’re going to be in a paid position or just volunteering you’ll need to have yours.

DBS checks shouldn’t be an issue for most people so try not to worry about them, even if you haven’t had one before. They’re just a standard part of working in a school environment and won’t be an issue unless you have a relevant conviction. Minor issues on your record (such as mental health issues requiring police intervention) generally won’t be disclosed if they don’t pose a risk.

How can you get a DBS check? When do you need one?

You won’t need to apply for your own DBS check in most circumstances as that’ll be handled by the organisation that you’ve applied to. The kind of DBS check that your potential employer will request will depend on the position, but most educational jobs will require an enhanced DBS check which includes a check of the list of those barred from working with children. 

You can keep the same DBS record between jobs so don’t worry about having to update it every single time you enter a new position, as this might not be the case. If your new employers requires an up-to-date check then it should be handled the same way as before and the organisation will handle that side of things. Check with your current and future employer if your DBS check is transferable to your new role.

The actual process of receiving your DBS check is very simple and you shouldn’t have to do much other than ensure that the organisation you’re working with has all of your correct details. You’ll receive a hard copy certificate of your DBS check in the post after your employer applies for the DBS check in most cases.

How often will you need to renew your DBS check?

Most organisations like schools and nurseries will renew their staff’s DBS checks around every 3 years to keep them up-to-date, but this is going to depend on the organisation’s governing body and their policies. You won’t be required to keep your DBS check up-to-date yourself in the same way that you don’t need to apply for one yourself most of the time, as your organisation will handle it on your behalf. 

DBS checks are just a routine part of the application process in school careers, so as long as you don’t have any convictions that might get in the way of your job you’ll be good to go.

If you need some help to get that school support position then why not check out our range of online teaching assistant courses ideally suited for teaching assistants and other supporting roles.