To Head Teachers and Personnel Managers of all academies, schools and colleges receiving provision from Severn Arts in 2021-22.

Dear colleague

Severn Arts Staff: Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment and DBS Clearance

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 continues to require schools to maintain a Single Central Record and list on it all agency staff who are employed by a third party, recording that the third party has confirmed that its staff have appropriate clearances. (KCSIE para 268) 

I am writing to confirm the status of all employees of Severn Arts in relation to safer recruitment checks enhanced DBS clearance and Safeguarding training. 

I confirm that all Severn Arts employees have an Enhanced DBS check in line with Disclosure and Barring Service guidance to employers and have been appointed following full Safer Recruitment processes. All employees also receive regular Safeguarding training and updates. 

All Severn Arts employees are subject to Severn Arts Policies and Procedures which can be provided upon request. In all instances, your school’s individual policies supersede ours when Severn Arts staff are working on your site. Please make staff aware of any additional restrictions of which they should be aware. 

As envisaged by KCSIE 2021, the Severn Arts procedures mean that schools should not need to hold information on individual Severn Arts employees on their central record of adults working at the school, or carry out separate DBS checks themselves on Severn Arts appointed employees who carry Photo ID. The appropriate statements from DFE and OFSTED are reproduced below. 

In addition to our core team of employees we also contract self-employed artists or arts organisations to deliver projects on our behalf.  Contracting self-employed artists or arts organisations go through a different recruitment process as they are not employees. Where appropriate artist’s contracts state they should have an Enhanced DBS and Public Liability Insurance.  We ask them to take this and photo ID to schools when they visit.  

Severn Arts encourages schools to continue taking all appropriate safeguarding measures. These include checking the identity of our employees and contractors on arrival to schools and ensuring they sign-in on each occasion that they visit. In the event of any concern about a particular member of the Severn Arts team, I would welcome direct contact from you to discuss the individual situation. 

Ofsted opinion

Visiting staff

Staff such as educational psychologists, supply teachers, trainee teachers, nurses, sports coaches and inspectors should be DBS checked by their 'providing' organisation, for example the supply agency, the university, primary care trust, local authority, and so on. 

It is sufficient, for schools and colleges to seek written confirmation that appropriate checks, including DBS checks, have been carried out (most commonly on appointment) and by whom (most commonly the relevant human resources department), and to confirm the identity of these visitors. Written confirmation may take the form of a public statement on the providing organisation’s website, a practice adopted by Ofsted. 

Part-time staff may use the same DBS check for two or more posts as long as they are at a similar level and the school/college have satisfied themselves about their veracity and appropriateness. This level of ‘portability’ is currently available to employers at their own risk.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

Agency and third-party staff

268  Schools and colleges must obtain written notification from any agency, or third-party organisation they use that the organisation has carried out the checks (in respect of the enhanced DBS certificate, written notification that confirms the certificate has been obtained by either the employment business or another such business), on an individual who will be working at the school or college that the school or college would otherwise perform.

270  Where the position requires a barred list check, this must be obtained by the agency or third party prior to appointing the individual.

271  The school or college should also check that the person presenting themselves for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made.

Retention of documents

258  Schools and colleges do not have to keep copies of DBS certificates in order to fulfil the duty of maintaining the single central record. To help schools and colleges comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018, when a school or college chooses to retain a copy, it should not be retained for longer than six months.

    Yours sincerely

    Laura Worsfold

    Chief Executive