Enhanced DBS Checks to be Mandatory for School Governors

New legislation released by the Government is to come into force on the 18th March 2016 which states that Enhanced DBS checks will be mandatory for Governors in Maintained schools.

  • Governors appointed prior to 1st April 2016 must obtain an Enhanced DBS check by September 2016
  • Governors appointed after 1st April 2016 must apply for an Enhanced DBS check within 21 days

Therefore all governors, in any type of school- maintained, independent, academy or free school, must have an Enhanced DBS certificate.

The Department for Education aims to improve the regulatory framework for maintained school governance. Previously, Enhanced Criminal Records checks weren’t mandatory for maintained school governors and the system of disqualification relies on governors self-disclosing their criminal convictions unless the clerk has asked for a check to be made.

Amending the 2012 Constitution Regulations will provide reassurance to the governing body that an individual is not disqualified from holding office as a governor due to criminal convictions. The checks will only be made on those governors that do not already have a certificate. This will bring the arrangements in the maintained sector into line with the requirements in place for trustees in academies and free schools.

The legislation states:

““enhanced criminal record certificate” means an enhanced criminal record certificate issued under section 113B of the Police Act 1997, which includes, in such cases as are from time to time prescribed under section 113BA(1) of that Act, suitability information relating to children, and any relevant up-date information (as defined in section 116A(8) of the Act) where such a certificate is subject to up-date arrangements;”.

What an Enhanced DBS check will reveal:

An Enhanced criminal record check is processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service and searches the applicant’s criminal history for any cautions, warnings, reprimands or convictions (spent or unspent).

Further Information:

An explanation of these legislative changes will be added at the earliest opportunity to the Governance Handbook which provides guidance to governors, clerks and head teachers on the roles, functions and legal duties of governing bodies.

The DfE will monitor the operation of these Regulations through regular meetings with the relevant representative bodies: the National Governors’ Association, the National Coordinators of Governor Services, and through the termly discussions with the Advisory Group on Governance.

View the amendment here.

If you would like to apply for an enhanced DBS check for your school Governors, call us on 01254 355688.


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