When the new version of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 was issued during the summer, it was widely reported that Disqualification by Association was abolished and there was no longer a requirement to ask this question.
This is true to a certain extent, but the only significant change in the requirements under this legislation, is that, schools can no longer ask if a person living with the applicant or member of staff is disqualified (unless the provision is on domestic residential premises).
KCSiE 2018 Part 3 states:
Childcare disqualification 132. For staff who work in childcare provision or who are directly concerned with the management of such provision, the school needs to ensure that appropriate checks are carried out to ensure that individuals are not disqualified under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009. Further information on the staff to whom these regulations apply, the checks that should be carried out, and the recording of those checks can be found in Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 statutory guidance.
Carrying out DBS checks including Barred list checks before the person starts, supports the requirements of Disqualification Under the Childcare Act. The DBS checks will reveal if the applicant is disqualified by virtue of a relevant conviction and barring decision, as well as potentially also providing other relevant information that they may be disqualified.
It is still a requirement to ask all staff who are covered by this legislation, to self-declare that they are not disqualified. This is achieved by the applicant signing a self-declaration form, which must be kept in their personnel file. Any reference to asking the applicant or member of staff to declare information about a person living in their household, must be removed from the self-declaration form.
Please read revised advice to schools regarding the need for staff to self-declare that they are not disqualified, this should be recorded under the heading 'Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2018' in the Single Central Record. With regard to the heading in the Single Central Record entitled 'Disqualification by Association' and the previous Disqualification by Association self-declarations, we suggest that schools take advice from their Data Protection Officer regarding retention of these.
This change applies to staff starting at the school or setting from September 1st 2018, and is not required to be done again on an annual basis but is required for any staff joining after this time.
The Childcare Act 2018 draws a distinction between a person caring for a child and a person supervising a child. Schools need to consider carefully the 2018 Data Protection Act revisions (GDPR) in asking only staff where there is a reasonable need to do so, to complete a self-declaration form; only those who are caring for children should be asked to sign the self-declaration. It is not appropriate to simply ask all staff to complete a self-declaration form.
Examples of supervising or caring:
1. A teacher of a year 3 class runs a football club after school. They are providing supervision, not care, so are not covered by the legislation and do not need to sign the self-declaration form.
2. A teacher in the school sometimes covers at the after school club. They are providing care, so are covered by the legislation and would need to sign a self-declaration form.
3. The site manager goes around the school maintaining lights, fixtures and fittings. Whilst he comes into contact with children he/she is neither providing supervision nor care so is not covered by the legislation, therefore does not need to sign a self-declaration form.
4. The school administrator occasionally pops down with messages to the staff member running the after school club. Whilst there she is asked if she could stay for a few minutes whilst the club leader leaves the room. There is another member of staff present to care for the children. The administrator is supervising the children, not caring for them (unless she is asked to provide personal care), so is not within the scope of the legislation and would not need to sign a self-declaration.
5. The Headteacher occasionally covers for the teacher running the breakfast club. He/she is providing care so is covered by the legislation and would need to sign a self-declaration form. He/she may also be covered on the basis of being involved in the management of childcare provision.
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