DBS Checks for School Contractors and Maintenance Staff

maintenance worker mowing school grounds lawn

Do All School Workers Need a DBS Check?

Generally speaking, much like how all NHS workers are required to have valid DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service checks) carried out for working in hospitals, it’s the same for all teaching staff. Whether an applicant is going to be teaching in a school, university, or work as a private tutor, they must apply for a DBS check.

It’s expected that anyone working in a school must apply for an Enhanced DBS check, given the possibilities of contact with children. But does this apply to contractors and/or maintenance workers who work there on a regular basis? What if they work during the summer holidays? 

If they require a DBS check application, then which level of check should they have? 

To help answer these questions, we’ve prepared a short guide covering all you need to know for contractors requiring DBS checks in schools.


Levels of DBS Checks

The three types of DBS checks are as follows:

  • Basic DBS check - these are the only DBS checks which individuals (aged 16 or over) can apply for themselves, without the need for an employer request. Basic disclosure only details unspent convictions.
  • Standard DBS check - an employer or regulatory/governing body must request a Standard DBS application for an applicant. These show spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.
  • Enhanced DBS check - the same information as a Standard DBS check is disclosed (plus any other relevant information held by their local police force). Applicants are only eligible for these checks once an employer has requested one. Employers may also request an Enhanced DBS application along with a Barred List check, if an applicant’s role involves engaging in regulated activities with children or vulnerable adults.

What constitutes a regulated activity?


List of Regulated Activities

Regulated activities specifically involving children are considered such if they are done on a ‘regular basis’. In this case, ‘regular’ constitutes 3 or more times in a rolling 30-day period. These activities involve: 

Work within different organisations or establishments, where there is an opportunity for contact with children. These can include schools, children’s homes and other premises which involve childcare.

While contact with children does not necessarily form part of the job description, the point remains that there is still opportunity to come into contact with them. For example, some schools are open during the holidays, for groups using school facilities or summer activity camps. 

Here are some other common regulated activities:

  • Activities which are often unsupervised, such as training, teaching or providing guidance to children in a close-knit environment. These also include driving vehicles with children on board.
  • Healthcare for children (either provided by a healthcare professional, or someone under supervision of one).
  • Registered childminding, nannying or foster caring. 
  • Anyone providing personal care for children. Or help with hands-on physical assistance, drinking, eating or teaching them how to do this themselves. 

It’s also worth mentioning that any ongoing management of people undertaking these duties also constitutes a regulated activity.


Which DBS Checks are Needed for Contractors?

Based on the fact that school contractors frequently are on-premises more than 3 days in a 30-day period, their roles do indeed qualify for Enhanced DBS checks

However, there would be no additional Barred List check required, unless they were undertaking any of the above activities. In which case, they would need to apply for an Enhanced DBS online and complete a Children’s Barred List check, at the request of the school or governing body.

Most of the time, schools themselves will outline the standards and will advise on which DBS check to apply for. Therefore it’s important to research before applying online

It’s essential for schools to consider DBS check requirements, and ensure all their contractors have up-to-date and valid DBS certificates before they step on-site. A school should have a safeguarding officer with whom to report any concerning or suspicious activity, and this nominated individual would be responsible for ensuring all permanent staff and contractors are deemed suitable for carrying out work on-site.


DBS Checks for Employers and Institutions

Here at Online DBS Checks, we offer e-bulk DBS checks for employers and institutions that need to process multiple applications. Our Fast Track DBS service gives you access to your own secure portal, where you can monitor and oversee the progress of an applicant’s criminal record checks. You can select which DBS check must be completed, and send it directly to an applicant.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and schools are ever-closer to opening their doors in September, now is the time to consider whether any DBS applications need completing. With us, most checks are completed within a few working days. Read more here

Speak to us directly if you have any questions.


Posted in blog, DBS Check, Safeguarding