DBS checks for contractors in schools

DBS checks for contractors

Schools should ensure that any contractor, or any employee of the contractor, who is to work at the school, has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS Check (where that is necessary or appropriate) and that adequate supervision is in place whilst on the premises.

Contractors engaging in regulated activity will require an enhanced DBS Check (including a Children’s Barred List Check). For all other contractors who are not engaging in regulated activity, but whose work provides them with an opportunity for regular contact with children, an enhanced DBS Check (not including a Barred List Check) will be required.

Under no circumstances should a contractor for whom no checks have been obtained be allowed to work unsupervised or engage in regulated activity.
If a contractor working at a school is self-employed, the school should consider obtaining the DBS Check as self-employed people are not able to make an application directly to the DBS on their own account.

Where a school uses off site educational providers the school needs to hold written assurances that all checks including DBS Checks have been carried out (via a Letter of Assurance).

Schools should always check the identity of contractors and their staff on arrival at the school and ensure that signing in arrangements are in place and are adhered to.
For contractors visiting the school on a regular basis, details must be noted on the school’s Single Central Record (SCR) and cross referenced with a ‘letter of assurance’ from the employer to confirm that other required checks have been undertaken.

Where contractors only make occasional visits, it is not necessary to add their details to the SCR.



Agency caterer

A school has contracted an agency to provide a catering service at lunchtimes. This contract is fixed term for 3 years.  Each caterer will work at the school at least once a week on an ongoing basis.

  • The catering agency will be at the school on an ongoing basis and the caterers will be working at the school frequently therefore each caterer is in Regulated Activity and an enhanced DBS Check with a Barred List Check is required.
  • As the employer, it is the agency which is responsible for obtaining these checks on the caterers. The school should obtain written confirmation, using a Letter of Assurance, from the agency that all appropriate vetting and barring checks have been completed.

Building contractors

Mr Baker leads a team contracted by a school to undertake the construction of a new building on the school premises. This construction will take approximately 6 weeks and each building contractor will work on the school premises at least once a week during this period.  No member of school staff will be assigned to supervise the contractors.   However, the building area has been separated off from the students and so there is no opportunity for contact with children.

  • Due to Health and Safety, students are not allowed near a “hard hat” area and, therefore, there is no opportunity for contact with children. The work of the building contractors is not Regulated Activity and the contractors are not eligible for an enhanced DBS Check or Barred List Check.
  • All contractors must comply with the school’s signing in arrangements
  • Induction should be in place to include the school’s Code of Conduct for Safeguarding

Maintenance contractors

Miss Cole is an electrician and is sometimes contracted by a school to deal with electrical issues on an emergency basis. These are one-off occasions, and are never more than three times in a month.

  • Miss Cole provides an occasional service and is therefore not in Regulated Activity, so an enhanced DBS Check or Barred List Check is not required.
  • The school should instead apply other safeguarding measures (such as supervisory arrangements, signing in procedures, and an induction explaining the school’s Safeguarding Code of Conduct).

Peripatetic teachers

Dr Green is a private music teacher who works at a school’s premises. Once a week he comes into the school during the school day and delivers tuition to a particular student. He is paid directly by the parents of the student he is teaching.  He is not supervised by any member of staff while he is at the school.

  • Dr Green is not providing an occasional or temporary service and he is coming into contact with a student on a frequent basis, therefore, he is in Regulated Activity and an enhanced DBS Check with a Barred List Check is required.

Transportation contractors

Bus drivers who are employed or contracted by schools or local authorities for the purpose of transporting children or vulnerable adults require enhanced DBS Checks.  Where the driver is employed by BC, the appropriate checks will have been undertaken by BC.  There is not a requirement for those taxi drivers / bus drivers to be included on a school’s SCR.

Where a school arranges transportation (taxi) to an offsite educational provider the school needs to have assurances that the provider has undertaken all appropriate checks including DBS Checks on their staff. 

If the local authority has commissioned the taxi service, they need the written assurances, however, if the school arranges the taxis, the it is the school who needs the written assurances via a Letter or Assurance.


Letter of Assurance (Dec 2021)

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