If you have school age children, it’s likely that you’ve come across requests for parent volunteers on the latest school trip, to assist teaching staff in ensuring your little angels have a safe and educational visit.

Working with children often requires people to obtain a DBS check. Teachers, nursery staff and child minders are subject to the strictest of regulation with regards to background checks due to their roles at the front line of the childcare and education industries.

However, if you don’t work regularly with children but want to be able to accompany your child and their friends on school trips then you may have some questions as to whether or not you need to obtain a DBS check before you can do so.

If you only plan on supervising one school trip, maybe due to another parent’s absence; or if you only very occasionally supervise a trip, it is unlikely that you will require a DBS check. This is because all school trips are supervised by school staff who are fully DBS checked. If you are not left unsupervised with children and are within sight of a member of staff at all times then there is no need for you to secure a DBS check.

However, the rules change if you are likely to regularly volunteer as a chaperone on school trips. Similarly, if you are likely to be in charge of children and unsupervised by a member of school staff or you’re supervising an overnight stay then you will need to obtain a DBS check.

If, as a head teacher or senior teacher in charge of organising third party volunteers, you keep a pool of regular volunteer chaperones for school trips and events then it is advisable to maintain up to date DBS checks on this group. It is good practice to submit regular, unpaid volunteers for the same pre-employment checks as a paid member of staff.

Parent helpers in schools are defined as volunteers by the Disclosure and Barring Service for the purposes of obtaining DBS checks; the criteria for which is outlined as unpaid, voluntary work primarily benefits a third party.

We offer a reduced cost for Volunteer applications of just £18.00 per person.

If you’re a volunteer at a school, or a teacher in charge of coordinating parent helpers and you would like to discuss your requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01254 355688 or email us at [email protected] where one of our dedicated team of trained advisers will be happy to assist you.


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