handbook for the inspection of schools commentary

handbook for the inspection of schools commentary
HANDBOOK FOR THE INSPECTION OF SCHOOLS
COMMENTARY ON THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
January 2017
For the use of intended recipients only. Any copying or re-distribution of this document without permission is prohibited.
© Independent Schools Inspectorate January 2017. All rights reserved.
Contents
CONTENTS
CONTENTS .................................................................................................................................1
INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................3
THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL STANDARDS REGULATIONS .............................................................6
Part 1 - Quality of education provided ................................................................................................ 6
Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils .................................................... 14
Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils ...................................................................................... 18
Other legislation .............................................................................................................................. 42
Part 4 - Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors .................................................................... 46
Part 5 – Premises of and accommodation at schools.......................................................................... 76
Part 6 – Provision of information ...................................................................................................... 81
Part 7 – Manner in which complaints are to be handled .................................................................... 85
Part 8 – Quality of leadership in and management of schools ............................................................ 88
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE .................................................................................... 90
Section 1 - The Learning and Development Requirements ................................................................. 92
Section 2 - Assessment ..................................................................................................................... 92
Section 3 - The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements ................................................................... 93
THE NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BOARDING SCHOOLS ......................................... 100
NMS 1 – Statement of Boarding Principles and Practice ................................................................... 101
NMS 2 – Boarders’ Induction and Support ....................................................................................... 101
NMS 3 – Boarders’ Health and Well-being ....................................................................................... 102
NMS 4 – Contact with Parents/Carers ............................................................................................. 104
NMS 5
- Boarding Accommodation ............................................................................................. 104
NMS 6 - Safety of Boarders ............................................................................................................. 107
NMS 7 – Fire Precautions and Drills................................................................................................. 108
NMS 8 – Provision and Preparation of Food and Drinks ................................................................... 108
NMS 9 – Boarders’ Possessions ....................................................................................................... 109
NMS 10 – Activities and Free Time .................................................................................................. 110
NMS 11 – Child Protection .............................................................................................................. 110
NMS 12 – Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships ............................................................. 111
NMS 13 – Management and Development of Boarding ................................................................... 112
NMS 14 – Staff Recruitment and Checks on Other Adults................................................................. 113
NMS 15 - Staffing and Supervision .................................................................................................. 115
NMS 16 - Equal Opportunities......................................................................................................... 118
NMS 17 – Securing Boarders’ Views ................................................................................................ 118
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Contents
NMS 18 – Complaints ..................................................................................................................... 118
NMS 19 – Prefects .......................................................................................................................... 119
NMS 20 – Lodgings (Long-Stay) ....................................................................................................... 119
NMS Appendix 1 – List of policies and documents ........................................................................... 122
NMS Appendix 2 – List of records.................................................................................................... 123
NMS Appendix 3– List of issues to be monitored by the school ........................................................ 123
APPENDIX 1: CHECKING ADMISSION REGISTER ....................................................................... 125
APPENDIX 2: CHECKING THE SINGLE CENTRAL REGISTER OF APPOINTMENTS .......................... 126
APPENDIX 3: VETTING CHECKS ON VOLUNTEERS .................................................................... 127
GLOSSARY .............................................................................................................................. 128
ISI periodically issues further information about regulatory matters which are available through the ISI
online portal. Significant points are then consolidated into the next revision of this Handbook.
Paragraphs in which changes have been made to the September 2016 version of this Commentary are
highlighted by a vertical line in the left-hand margin.
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Introduction
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this Handbook
1.
All independent schools are required by law to be registered with the Department for Education (DfE).
The DfE sets minimum standards which schools must meet for initial and continuing registration. Failure
to meet these minimum requirements could ultimately lead to de-registration of a school at the
discretion of the Secretary of State.
2.
This Handbook provides inspectors with a guide to the DfE’s various legal requirements that are subject
to inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The Handbook does not impose additional
requirements but explains the standards to support consistency across inspections. It is available to
all schools inspected by ISI to assist them in their understanding of inspection matters but it is primarily
an inspection instrument. Schools are responsible for ensuring they understand and meet the
standards. While every effort is made to keep this handbook up to date, in conjunction with
supplementary information disseminated to inspectors and schools from time to time, ISI accepts no
responsibility for any loss or damage of any variety to schools and others due to their misunderstanding
the contents of this handbook, or to their reliance on background information intended for inspectors.
3.
Inspections of regulatory compliance report whether schools are meeting the minimum standards. This
reflects the statutory purposes of inspection, under section 109 of the Education and Skills Act 2008,
which is to ‘report … on the extent to which any relevant standard is being met …’. Reporting against
each standard is in terms of ‘met’ or ‘not met’. It is, therefore, essential that inspections are
underpinned by a common understanding amongst inspectors of the standards and their purpose,
where flexibility is given to meet a range of situations and where the government allows schools
latitude to exercise discretion. The Handbook has been revised for January 2017. Where regulations
specify a written document is necessary, guidance is given about required or indicative content and
how inspectors will check effective implementation.
4.
The Secretary of State for Education requires all independent schools to be inspected against:
5.
•
the Independent School Standards (the standards). These are contained in the Schedule to the
Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (ISSR), made under section 109 of
the Education and Skills Act 2008
•
the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools (NMS), made under section 87 of the
Children Act 1989
•
the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), made under the Childcare
Act 2006,
•
the requirement for disability access plans (Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010)
•
the ban on corporal punishment
Schools are subject to further legislation and regulation, as charities, employers, property owners, data
controllers and businesses. These are not matters for inspection by ISI save to the extent that they are
incorporated into the standards. Examples would be the Prevent strategy and Health and Safety
legislation, which ISI inspections touch upon because of their inclusion in the standards but in the
context of non-specialist review.
How to use this Handbook
6.
The sections of the Handbook are written in the order of the ISSRs, followed by separate sections about
the EYFS and NMS. At the end there is a glossary. Within the document there are hyperlinks to the
glossary. When the document is printed, these links will appear as blue underlined text. To return to
the main text from the glossary, you can use the Windows keyboard shortcut
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Introduction
ALT + LEFT ARROW
7.
The wording of the regulation/legislation is presented in a purple box. This will be followed by
explanatory ISI notes about the requirements, any specific requirements for written policies are shown
in a box with a dotted border and other useful information. Implementation sections are included
where it is thought that additional guidance would be helpful to indicate what inspectors are likely to
want to check. At the end of each section, there are links for additional EYFS and boarding requirements
on the topic in question.
Policies and particulars
8.
Some standards require the preparation of a policy or particulars. The term ‘policies’ is used throughout
this Handbook as it is the form of ‘particulars’ most commonly prepared by schools. The regulations are
not specific as to format and it is possible that the necessary information could be contained in booklets,
letters or similar. For the purposes of inspection, schools are asked to provide the information in a
clearly organised form for inspectors. It is for schools to demonstrate compliance, as part of their duty
to cooperate with inspectors.
9.
The document Documents required for inspection sets out the items which a school is asked to provide
routinely and before an inspection is announced, via the ISI portal or by hosting the documents on their
website. The documents should be clearly labelled as separate files rather than embedded in other
documentation. A school’s documentation should be more than ‘off-the-shelf’ guidance, and be
representative of the school’s individual circumstances and actual practices.
Inspection of the regulatory requirements
10. Reporting inspectors have overall responsibility for recording and reporting whether the standards and
other relevant requirements are met. They carry out the checks themselves, starting with the preinspection documentation, and continue during the inspection, drawing on evidence from their
accompanying inspector(s). They may delegate the gathering of some of the evidence to team
members, but they must retain a clear overview of their own. It is the responsibility of the reporting
inspector to complete the final version of the regulatory checklist for submission to ISI.
11. Inspectors should refer to the Framework and appropriate guidance for inspection approach. During
the oral feedback, the reporting inspector ensures that, if a regulation is not met, the school is clearly
informed about the nature of the failing and the action(s) necessary to remedy the deficiency, though
the process is a matter for the school.
Inspecting the exercise of professional discretion
12. In some areas, the DfE intentionally allows professionals working in schools scope to exercise
professional discretion. In such areas, the role of inspectors is to consider whether the school acted
reasonably in reaching a decision or choosing its course of action. More than one decision or course
may be considered reasonable. A decision or action is not reasonable if it lies outside the range that
could be considered reasonable in the context of that school.
The role of ‘materiality’ in compliance judgements
13. In reporting whether a school meets the required minimum standards, a reasonable and proportionate
approach is to be taken bearing in mind whether the purpose (policy intention) of each standard has
been achieved in all material respects. To this end, reporting inspectors should consider the nature and
extent of any areas of weakness in compliance and the effect or potential effect on pupils. For example,
a single significant material deficiency may call for a judgement of ‘not met’ while a small, correctable
error in an otherwise effective system may not. However, a number of small deficiencies could be
indicative of poor systems and/or a lax approach to compliance and could be judged in context to
indicate that one or more standards have not been met. Schools should be alerted to all noncompliance, whether or not reported as material at the time, so that they may take action to remedy
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Introduction
them. If a school is able to correct issues during the inspection, it will be for the inspection team to
judge as to whether the matter has been fully resolved, including implementation, or if an underlying
systemic issue may still remain and should be reported.
14. On the rare occasions where evidence affecting regulatory judgements is unclear, for example, because
of late emerging issues, then RIs must make sure the school has a clear judgement of the 'worst-case'
outcome along with any implications for associated judgements, such as those for leadership and
management, so that the school is left in no doubt of the possible implications. The RI must contact the
ISI Office as soon as possible for further advice and guidance. It should be made clear that confirmation
of final decisions will be conveyed to the school once all relevant information has been considered
through the quality assurance process.
15. Material non-compliance is reported against the relevant standard, or in the dedicated early years part
of the report for registered early years settings. Care is particularly needed when dealing with a
deficiency which has implications for more than one section (for example, welfare, health and safety
and suitable persons). If there is a need to mark a deficiency against more than one section, any overlap
should be minimised by making a cross-reference. The wording of the report and the ‘Action points’
must make clear if more than one regulatory deficiency stems from the same cause, so as to avoid
suggesting more failings than is the case. Reporting inspectors and editors must make sure that every
part of the written report is fully consistent with the judgements recorded in the Record of Evidence.
Advice to schools
16. Inspectors may discuss current thinking on best practice if time allows, but if they do so they must
distinguish this unmistakably from regulatory requirements and be clear that inspections of regulatory
compliance report only against the regulatory standards and other requirements listed above, not ‘best
practice’ and not other legal requirements.
17. For support on regulatory matters which ISI does not inspect, inspectors may direct schools to other
sources of advice:
•
ISC and its member associations for professional support
•
ACAS for advice relating to employment disputes
•
The Charity Commission for advice relating to duties as a charity
•
The Information Commissioner’s Office for advice about data protection and document retention
•
The Health and Safety Executive
•
The Department for Education for registration enquiries and material changes:
http://registration.enquiries@education.gsi.gov.uk
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL STANDARDS REGULATIONS
Part 1 - Quality of education provided
Paragraph 2 – Curriculum
(1)
(2)
The standard in this paragraph is met if—
(a)
the proprietor ensures that a written policy on the curriculum, supported by appropriate plans
and schemes of work, which provides for the matters specified in sub-paragraph (2) is drawn
up and implemented effectively; and
(b)
the written policy, plans and schemes of work–
(i)
take into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those pupils with
an EHC plan; and
(ii)
do not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law,
individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and
beliefs.
For the purposes of paragraph (2)(1)(a), the matters are—
(a)
full-time supervised education for pupils of compulsory school age (construed in accordance
with section 8 of the Education Act 1996), which gives pupils experience in linguistic,
mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative
education;
(b)
that pupils acquire speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy skills;
(c)
where the principal language of instruction is a language other than English, lessons in written
and spoken English, except that this matter does not apply in respect of a school which
provides education for pupils who are all temporarily resident in England and which follows
the curriculum of another country;
(d)
personal, social, health and economic education which–
(e)
(i)
reflects the school’s aim and ethos; and
(ii)
encourages respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected
characteristics set out in the 2010 Act(a);
for pupils receiving secondary education, access to accurate, up-to-date careers guidance
that–
(i)
is presented in an impartial manner;
(ii)
enables them to make informed choices about a broad range of career options; and
(iii) helps to encourage them to fulfil their potential;
(f)
where the school has pupils below compulsory school age, a programme of activities which is
appropriate to their educational needs in relation to personal, social, emotional and physical
development and communication and language skills;
(g)
where the school has pupils above compulsory school age, a programme of activities which is
appropriate to their needs;
(h)
that all pupils have the opportunity to learn and make progress; and
(i)
effective preparation of pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in
British society.
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
18. The school must set out its curriculum in writing in a manner which makes clear what it provides under
each part of these regulations. Such documentation does not have to be elaborate, provided this
condition is satisfied and it is clear that the aptitude and needs of all pupils within the school are catered
for, including those with special educational needs, including those with a statement of special
educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHC) plan. To satisfy each part of the
regulation, the relevant aspect of the curriculum must be both written down and effectively
implemented. Plans and schemes of work may be those devised by the school itself or from a relevant
published source. Schools are not required to describe in their documentation how they avoid
undermining fundamental British values, but inspectors should be alert to counter-indications both in
the written documentation and in school.
19. There may be shortcomings in meeting any one aspect of the standard without a failure to meet the
whole standard. To make a finding that a standard is not met, inspectors must judge that the provision
for pupils or a group of pupils is not adequate or suitable in respect of the standard in question. It is not
necessary for all the areas of learning to be represented in all years and, for compliance purposes,
inspectors should not have expectations of curriculum breadth beyond those for maintained schools.
20. Indications that the school is undermining fundamental British values, contrary to the standard in
paragraph 2(1)(b)(ii), could amount to a failure to meet the whole standard. Inspectors finding cause
for concern should refer to the ISI office for support.
CURRICULUM POLICY CONTENT
21. The school’s curriculum policy must contain information about the school’s provision in the areas
detailed in (2)(a) – (i) in the box above, and fulfil the general requirements of (1)(a) and (b).
FURTHER GUIDANCE
Full-time education
22. The requirement to register as a school arises when an establishment provides ‘full-time education’ to
five or more pupils of compulsory school age, or one with a statement of special educational needs, an
EHC plan or one looked after child. There is no legal definition of ‘full-time’ but the DfE considers an
establishment to be providing full-time education if it is providing education which is intended to
provide all, or substantially all, of a child’s education. It is unlikely that a school offering fewer than 18
hours per week will be able to meet the standards and be registered as an independent school. The DfE
anticipates that schools offering teaching of around 20 hours per week or more will be providing fulltime education.
23. Parents must ensure that their children receive full-time suitable education, though this does not have
to be all from one school. Schools have discretion to agree to part-time or flexi-schooling, for example,
where pupils are also receiving ‘education otherwise’ or are registered also at another school. In that
situation, the parent(s) would be responsible for ensuring that the education is sufficient and at an
appropriate level, and the local authority has a duty to monitor the arrangements. If a school has pupils
registered as part-time, this should be mentioned in the report and considered also under the standard
in paragraph 15 relating to the admissions and attendance registers.
24. Legal requirements for school hours do not apply in independent schools. Provided that schools are
effective in implementing the regulations for the curriculum and teaching, the time they take to do it is
irrelevant. If the school does not have an adequate curriculum or fails to implement it adequately, then
inspectors may consider whether lack of time is a causal factor to take into account. In that case, it is
worth considering the non-statutory suggestions set out in the previous DfE information (circular 7/90),
for a school year of 190 days (38 weeks):
age 5-7: 21 hours
age 8-11: 23.5 hours
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
age 12-16: 24 hours
Supervised education
25. Normally, this requires a teacher or responsible adult to be available to support pupils as necessary.
Older pupils may be left on their own (for example, in the library) if it is clear that a responsible adult
can be readily contacted if necessary. See also the guidance under Part 3, paragraph 14 on page 37.
Areas of experience
26. The standards are not intended to be prescriptive about the way a school organises its curriculum, and
they do not require the school to follow the National Curriculum. However, it is expected that the school
will give experience in the following areas.
Linguistic: This area is concerned with developing pupils’ communication skills and increasing their
command of language through listening, speaking, reading and writing. In all schools, except for foreign
national schools whose pupils are all temporarily resident in this country, there must be lessons in
written and spoken English. Many schools will also teach other languages and some will use a language
other than English as the main medium of instruction.
Mathematical: This area helps pupils to make calculations, to understand and appreciate relationships
and patterns in number and space and to develop their capacity to think logically and express
themselves clearly. Their knowledge and understanding of mathematics should be developed in a
variety of ways, including practical activity, exploration and discussion.
Scientific: This area is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of nature,
materials and forces and with developing the skills associated with science as a process of enquiry: for
example, observing, forming hypotheses, conducting experiments and recording their findings.
Technological: There is no wish to be prescriptive about how schools develop a curriculum to teach
technological skills and it is recognised that some schools would not wish to teach some of the aspects
below; for example, information and communication technology (ICT). Technological skills can include
the use of ICT; developing, planning and communicating ideas; working with tools, equipment,
materials and components to produce good quality products; and evaluating processes and products.
Human and social: This area is concerned with people and their environment, and how human action,
now and in the past, has influenced events and conditions. In most schools, the subjects of history and
geography make a strong contribution to this area.
Physical: This area aims to develop the pupils’ physical control and co-ordination as well as their tactical
skills and imaginative responses and to help them to evaluate and improve their performance. Pupils
should also acquire knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of fitness and health.
Aesthetic and creative: This area is concerned with the processes of making, composing and inventing.
There are aesthetic and creative aspects of all subjects, but some make a particularly strong
contribution, including art, music, dance, drama and the study of literature, because they call for
personal, imaginative, and often practical responses.
27. There is no specific requirement to provide religious education although, in many schools, religious
education is a major way of providing human and social education and promoting spiritual, moral, social
and cultural development.
Special educational needs
28. The standard does not require schools to have a separate SEN policy but does require the curriculum,
plan and schemes of work to take proper account of the needs of all pupils, in terms of ability, need
and aptitudes. The school must be able to demonstrate that special educational needs are taken fully
into account.
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
29. Changes to the national arrangements for Special Educational Needs began from September 2014 with
the implementation of provisions from the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEN and Disability
Code of Practice, 0-25 years 2014 (SEND Code 2015).
30. From 1 September 2014, there are no new statements of SEN (except for those already in the pipeline
at that time) and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC plans) are being rolled out instead. A transition
period until March 2018 been allowed for local authorities (LAs) to move existing statements of SEN to
EHC plans. The two systems will, therefore, be running side by side for several years. For independent
schools, much remains as before. The definition of SEN remains the same and schools can still request
statutory assessment from LAs when this appears necessary.
31. Where an LA concludes that a child with a statement of special educational needs or EHC plan should
be placed into an independent school and names the school in the statement/EHC plan, the LA retains
legal and financial responsibility for ensuring that the provision specified in the child’s statement/EHC
plan is made. This will include paying the fees charged by the independent school. The day-to-day
practical responsibility of making provision rests with the school. Inspectors should check that schools
are playing their part in making the provision set out in the statement/EHC plan.
32. If an LA is satisfied that the provision set out in a statement/EHC plan can be made more economically
in the state sector, it may decline to name an independent school in a statement/EHC plan. This does
not prevent parents from making their own arrangements to pay for a place at an independent school
of their choice, so long as the LA is satisfied that the arrangements are suitable. From September 2014,
LAs have discretion to make payments to assist parents to make their chosen independent school
suitable. This practice was previously common but not underpinned by law. Again, inspectors will need
to check that the pupil is being properly provided for.
33. It is not necessary for a school to obtain the consent of the DfE to accept a pupil with a statement/EHC
plan.
34. The statements/EHC plans of all pupils in this category, whether placed by parents or the LA, must be
reviewed annually and, if the school is named in the statement/EHC plan, the provision specified in the
statement/EHC plan must be made (including the full National Curriculum, if this is specified). It is the
responsibility of the LA and not the school to review the statement/EHC plan, but it is good practice for
the school to check that the review takes place, and the school must co-operate with the LA in the
review process (see Part 6 – Provision of information).
35. As a general principle, many of the requirements of the SEND code 2015 do not have direct application
to independent schools other than the requirement to provide suitably for pupils with statements/EHC
plans. However, it is good practice for schools to (i) provide, for example, individual education plans
(IEPs) or otherwise record the progress of and support for any pupils with significant learning difficulties
or disabilities, and (ii) ensure that their admissions, discipline and other procedures (for example,
arrangements for school trips or examinations) take account of pupils’ needs. The SEND Code 2015 also
contains advice and guidance concerning Equality Act duties, which will be useful to independent
schools.
36. The exception to the general principle is that independent early years providers that are funded by an
LA and any independent specialist schools which choose to be approved under section 41 of the
Children and Families Act 2014 (Section 41 schools) are obliged to have regard to the SEND Code 2015.
•
Funded early years providers: providers need only have regard to the SEND Code 2015 in relation
to the funded provision. The main part of the school is not obliged to follow the code. The
relevant provisions of the Code largely replicate the requirements of the EYFS.
•
Section 41 schools: it is important to note that this does not automatically apply to all specialist
providers; it is an approved status for which schools meeting prescribed criteria can apply.
However, very few schools within ISI’s remit have opted for section 41 status. Inspectors will need
to check the position when inspecting schools registered with a SEN specialism. The ISI office can
assist.
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
37. It is not for ISI inspectors to report on any failure on the part of the local authority to comply with the
requirements of the SEND Code 2015. However, the report should state if the school is failing to make
adequate provision for groups of pupils (for example, those with dyslexia) or other specific needs, such
as English as an additional language.
38. Inspectors should note that the phrase ‘pupils with special educational needs’ does not only refer to
pupils who have a statement/EHC plan.
Personal, social health and economic education
39. This need not be provided as a named subject, provided there is a written and effective plan
implemented in a broad and appropriate way. From January 2015 the requirements also include
economic’ education, and the regulations specifically require PSHE to encourage respect for other
people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
40. The DfE has stated that the new standard does not amount to a requirement to promote other faiths –
in particular there is no requirement for a faith school to promote other faiths as well as its own.
Likewise, there is no intention to discriminate against Christianity or undermine religious freedoms. The
requirement does not extend schools’ obligations under the Equality Act but is intended to strengthen
existing requirements to promote respect and a culture of tolerance and diversity. It does not mean,
for example, that schools must promote alternative lifestyles or same sex marriage. Rather, the
standard requires schools to encourage pupils to respect other people, even if they choose to follow a
lifestyle that one would not choose to follow oneself.
Careers education
41. Advice must be provided for pupils receiving secondary education to help pupils choose GCSE and post16 courses. From January 2015, specific requirements are included in the regulations for the first time.
These require impartiality, provision which enables pupils to make informed choices about a broad
range of careers options, and advice which generally helps to encourage pupils to fulfil their potential.
42. The requirement relating to careers guidance applies to pupils receiving secondary education. It will,
therefore, be relevant to pupils in Years 7 and 8, whether they are in a senior school or at a prep school,
although in practice it will be especially important for pupils at Key Stage 4.
43. Careers guidance must be presented in an impartial way. This is defined as showing no bias or
favouritism towards a particular education or work option.
44. The guidance must enable pupils to make informed choices about a broad range of options. This will
include timely advice to help pupils choose GCSE and post-16 courses.
45. The guidance must help to encourage pupils to fulfil their potential. To this end, good careers education
should enable pupils to ‘know themselves’ and how their strengths, weaknesses and interests relate to
the world of work; learn about different careers and opportunities; obtain individual guidance; have
some work experience; and gain information about training, education and occupations beyond school.
Schools should consciously work to prevent all forms of stereotyping in the advice and guidance they
provide to ensure that girls and boys from all backgrounds and diversity groups consider the widest
possible range of careers, including those which are often portrayed as primarily for one or other of the
sexes.
46. The statutory guidance for the state sector which gives a detailed explanation of parallel duties for state
schools may be a useful resource for independent schools: Careers guidance and inspiration in schools
March 2015.
Compulsory school age
47. This starts at the beginning of the term after that in which the child becomes five. For information about
the Early Years Foundation Stage, please see the separate section of this guidance which starts on page
90. Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday of June in the school year in which the pupil becomes
16. This is separate to the ‘participation age’ where pupils starting Year 11 or below in September 2013
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
will need to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. This does not necessarily
mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training
post-16, which could be through full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider, full-time
work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training, or an apprenticeship. The
curriculum for pupils above compulsory school age should allow scope for their talents and interests
and help to prepare them effectively for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
in modern British society.
Exemptions from the learning and development requirements in the EYFS
48. Where a school is satisfactorily following the EYFS framework, regulation 2(f) will be met. If an
exemption from the learning and development requirements has been taken up, inspectors use
professional judgement to assess whether the alternative curriculum in operation meets the
educational needs of children below compulsory school age.
Opportunity to learn and make progress
49. This regulation is crucial in judging the adequacy of the curriculum. In particular, no school can meet
the standard if any significant group of its pupils is not properly provided for. This includes those with
special educational needs or learning difficulties, those for whom English is an additional language, and
the most able. Additionally, this regulation also encompasses those pupils who have other particular
needs such as those who perform a caring role at home as young carers and what additional actions
are required to ensure these pupils receive the support they need to achieve educationally while taking
into full consideration the impact of their caring responsibilities.
Preparation for life in British society
50. From January 2015, preparation for future life should be ‘effective’ rather than ‘adequate’ and the
standard has the additional focus of 'British society’. This is explained in Careers guidance and
inspiration in schools, March 2015 as ‘…developing in every young person the values, skills and
behaviours they need to get on in life. All children should receive a rich provision of classroom and
extra-curricular activities that develop a range of character attributes, such as resilience and grit, which
underpin success in education and employment.’
IMPLEMENTATION
51. As in-depth reporting about educational outcomes for pupils is the remit of the dedicated Educational
Quality Inspections, Compliance Inspections take a lighter touch approach to educational quality,
checking simply that the minimum requirements are met for the school to remain registered. During
Compliance Inspection, the effective implementation of the curriculum policy may be checked through
sampling activities such as:
•
direct observation of lessons;
•
responses of parents and pupils to questionnaires;
•
interviews with pupils and staff;
•
scrutiny of work, records and documentation; and
•
analysis of data, including comparison with national norms, where possible.
52. Inspectors will also be alert to counter-indications in accordance with the requirements not to
undermine fundamental British values through the curriculum and to promote respect for others
through the PSHE curriculum.
EYFS ➔ Learning and Development Requirements, Note E19
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
Paragraph 3 – Teaching
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the teaching at the school—
(a)
enables pupils to acquire new knowledge and make good progress according to their ability so that
they increase their understanding and develop their skills in the subjects taught;
(b)
fosters in pupils self-motivation, the application of intellectual, physical and creative effort, interest
in their work and the ability to think and learn for themselves;
(c)
involves well-planned lessons and effective teaching methods, activities and management of class
time;
(d)
shows a good understanding of the aptitudes, needs and prior attainments of the pupils, and
ensures that these are taken into account in the planning of lessons;
(e)
demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter being taught;
(f)
utilises effectively classroom resources of a good quality, quantity and range;
(g)
demonstrates that a framework is in place to assess pupils’ work regularly and thoroughly and use
information from that assessment to plan teaching so that pupils can progress;
(h)
utilises effective strategies for managing behaviour and encouraging pupils to act responsibly;
(i)
does not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty,
and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
(j)
does not discriminate against pupils contrary to Part 6 of the Equality Act 2010.
Paragraph 4 – Framework for pupil performance
The standard in this paragraph is met where the proprietor ensures that a framework for pupil
performance to be evaluated, by reference to the school’s own aims as provided to parents or national
norms, or to both, is in place.
53. From January 2015, pupils must make ‘good’ progress according to their ability. ISI’s data analysis will
indicate if this is not the case in public examinations, and inspectors should seek advice from the ISI
Office if there are any concerns about progress judgements during the inspection. Teaching is now
required to include ‘good’ understanding of pupils’ needs, ‘good’ subject knowledge and using
resources of ‘good’ quality. ‘Good’ is the standard to be reached for an inspection judgement of ‘met’
in a Compliance Inspection; it is not a direct reference to a judgement grade in an Educational Quality
Inspection.
54. The teaching standard stresses the effectiveness of teaching rather than any preferred methods. Thus,
in judging Part 1, paragraphs 3(g) and 4, inspectors should not hunt for elaborate written ‘frameworks’.
55. It needs to be clear that the teaching does systematically assess pupils and use that assessment to plan
and modify provision for them. Inspectors must not interpret Part 1, paragraphs 3(g) and 4 in a way
that in effect makes nationally standardised testing or National Curriculum assessment a requirement.
The issue is whether the school’s approach to assessment is effective in supporting pupils to make
progress.
56. In general, teachers and other staff in independent schools do not have to hold specified teaching
qualifications, but they are expected at least to have relevant expertise or experience. Schools should
also employ adequate quantity and quality of ancillary and childcare staff in residential schools. Further
guidance on legal requirements applying in the EYFS and for boarding are outlined in the relevant
sections of this document.
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Part 1 – Quality of education provided
57. Additionally, teaching must not undermine fundamental British values or discriminate against pupils
contrary to the Equality Act, that is, on the basis of the protected characteristics. The latter does not
create new equality duties but has been introduced to enable regulatory action to be taken under the
registration standards if a school were to be in breach of equality requirements. Advice about how to
avoid discriminating unlawfully is available from the website of the Equality and Human Rights
Commission.
58. A court or tribunal finding that the teaching in a school has discriminated against a pupil or pupils in a
particular instance would put a school in breach of paragraph 3(j). Such a ruling would form part of the
evidence available to inspectors. However, it would not necessarily be conclusive evidence of on-going
discriminatory practice at the time of inspection. Compliance with the standards is to be judged at the
time of inspection. In respect of a ruling against a school concerning discrimination related to teaching,
inspectors should consider whether the terms of any order have been complied with, and all the facts
‘on the ground’ at the time of the inspection.
EYFS ➔ Assessment, Note E22
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Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
Paragraph 5 – SMSC
The standard about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school is met if
the proprietor—
(a)
actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty,
and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
(b)
ensures that principles are actively promoted which—
(i)
enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
(ii)
enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of
England;
(iii) encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand
how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in
which the school is situated and to society more widely;
(iv) enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and
services in England;
(v)
further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to
acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
(vi) encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics
set out in the 2010 Act; and
(vii) encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process,
including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England;
59. Schools are not required to have a separate SMSC policy. Although the title of the standard includes
reference to ‘spiritual’ development, faith and religion are not specified here and the requirements of
the standard, as described in paragraphs (a) – (d), do not deal with (or require schools to deal with)
each of ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural’ as separate educational areas. The focus of the standard is
upon the values and principles which are to be inculcated in pupils by the ethos and education
throughout the school.
60. The idea of ‘fundamental British values’ was coined by the Prevent strategy in 2011 and first introduced
into the ISSR on 1 January 2013. This was built on by amendments to the standards from 29 September
2014. Two non-statutory DfE advice documents support the requirements.
Active promotion of values and principles
61. From September 2014, schools are required to ‘actively promote’ both
•
the fundamental British values identified in Part 2, paragraph 5(a) and
•
the principles in Part 2, paragraph 5(b).
62. Explaining the nature of the changes, the government has stated that this will necessitate little or no
change in many high-performing schools. ‘A good school that properly promotes British values will by
definition already promote such values actively’ and ‘many good schools are already actively promoting
fundamental British values by virtue of their approach…’. ‘The changes are aimed at those schools that
barely meet that standard, without taking positive steps to embed those values throughout the ethos
of their school. The new requirement to actively promote principles that encourage respect for other
people will have no impact on the vast majority of schools, where it is normal practice to encourage
pupils to respect other people.’
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Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
63. The DfE advice emphasises that SMSC can be ‘infused’ within the day-to-day operation of a school and
that expectations must be adjusted for the age and ability of pupils including those with special needs.
The changes mean that rather than encouraging ‘respect’ for fundamental British values, schools must
now ‘actively promote’ these.
64. By judging the quality of the outcomes of the school’s PSHE provision, the inspection of ‘The spiritual,
moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of the pupils’ should contribute to the evaluation of
compliance with Part 1, paragraph 2(2)(d) of ‘Quality of education provided (curriculum)’.
65. ‘Active promotion’ of fundamental British values suggests that schools should have a strategy to
achieve this and should be able to provide evidence of implementation. Examples of such evidence
include PSHE programmes, plans for assemblies, schemes of work in relevant curriculum subjects, work
of a school council, and pupil handbooks. Discriminatory or extremist opinions or behaviours should be
challenged as a matter of routine.
66. Paragraph 5(b)(ii) specifies respect for the civil and criminal law of England, and the DfE advice suggests
that any teaching about religious law makes clear the difference between state law and religious law.
Paragraph 5(b)(iv) includes a new requirement for pupils to acquire a respect for public institutions and
services. Paragraphs 5(b)(v) and (vi) focus on respect for others cultural traditions and nondiscrimination against protected characteristics. These requirements do not require schools to promote
lifestyles contrary to their ethos but do require respect for other people. According to paragraph
5(b)(vii), schools are to encourage pupils to understand the value of democracy and their participation
in the democratic process.
67. The DfE non-statutory guidance of November 2014 advises as follows.
The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of
schools meeting [paragraph 5(a)] of the standard
•
an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic
process;
•
an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential
for their well-being and safety;
•
an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the
judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to
account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
•
an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
•
an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none)
should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or
discriminatory behaviour;
•
an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
IMPLEMENTATION
68. There is no prescribed list of requirements at present to support the duty actively to promote
fundamental British values. This means that schools have discretion as to how they approach meeting
this standard. During the inspection, personal development of pupils will be assessed through a wide
range of inspection evidence such as:
•
observation of interactions in the school;
•
responses of parents and pupils to questionnaires;
•
interviews with pupils and staff; and
•
scrutiny of records and documentation.
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Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
Paragraph 5 – SMSC continued
…the proprietor…
(c)
precludes the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school; and
(d)
takes such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to
the attention of pupils—
(i)
while they are in attendance at the school;
(ii)
while they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised by or
on behalf of the school; or
(iii) in the promotion at the school, including through the distribution of promotional material, of
extra-curricular activities taking place at the school or elsewhere, they are offered a balanced
presentation of opposing views.
69. The purpose of Part 2, paragraphs 5(c) and (d) are to prevent the political indoctrination of pupils
through the curriculum. The DfE non-statutory advice of November 2013 explains.
The aim of this new part of the standard is to prevent the political indoctrination of pupils
through the curriculum. The wording is based on section 406(1)(b) of the Education Act 1996,
which applies to maintained schools. As explained below, the aim is not to prevent pupils from
being exposed to political views or from discussing political issues in school. Pupils should not,
however, be actively encouraged by teachers or others to support particular political viewpoints.
This part of the standard should be read in conjunction with 5(1)(c).
The following are definitions of the key terms used in this part of the standard.
•
Partisan - in a case relating to the alleged promotion of partisan political views in
maintained schools1 the judge considered that the best synonym for ‘partisan’ was ‘onesided’.
•
Political views – views expressed for a political purpose. A political purpose is either directly
or indirectly:
•
to further the interests of a particular political party; or
•
to procure changes to the laws of this or another country; or
•
to procure the reversal of government policy or of particular decisions of governmental
authorities in this or another country.
70. Schools are not required to document how they prevent political indoctrination, but should be ready
to explain to inspectors their guidelines on teaching of political issues. The following guidance in
relation to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 is useful in highlighting the principles that are
equally applicable to other issues.
It is recognised that schools with a religious ethos will want to reflect that ethos in the teaching
they provide and the current framework allows that. There is no curriculum requirement on
independent schools to teach about marriage but when they do so they must ensure that what
they teach accords with the Independent School Standards, including on pupils’ Spiritual, Moral,
Social and Cultural development. A balanced curriculum is one that, amongst other things,
reflects the nature of the world we live in. If marriage were to be discussed in lessons, we would
expect teachers to reflect the fact that marriage for same sex couples is part of the law of this
country, but there is no requirement on them to endorse it. There is nothing in the Equal
Marriage Act that inhibits the rights of teachers or schools to express religious or philosophical
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Part 2 - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
views about marriage in lessons. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights
guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and religion or belief is a protected
characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. However, teachers and schools must ensure their
conduct recognises their responsibilities under those duties to others. Teachers are expected to
respect the rights of others and to respect those with different beliefs; expressing a view in an
unprofessional way that involved singling out pupils on grounds of sexuality, or presenting
extreme views without balance on a topic such as marriage for same sex couples, would be
considered inappropriate.
IMPLEMENTATION:
71. Inspectors will consider programmes of study and extra-curricular events to assess whether reasonable
steps have been taken to ensure a balanced presentation of views. Schools are not required to take a
mechanistic approach to balance; it is enough to show that balance is achieved over a period of time.
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Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils
Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils
Paragraph 7 – Safeguarding
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that—
(a)
arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils at the school; and
(b)
such arrangements have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
72. The DfE guidance to which schools must have regard is:
•
Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2016) (KCSIE)
•
KCSIE incorporates the additional statutory guidance, Disqualification under the Childcare Act
2006 (June 2016)
•
KCSIE also refers to the non-statutory advice for practitioners: What to do if you’re worried a child
is being abused (March 2015)
•
Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2015) (WT)
•
WT refers to the non-statutory advice: Information sharing (March 2015)
•
Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales (July 2015) (Prevent). Prevent is supplemented by
non-statutory advice and a briefing note:
•
The Prevent duty: Departmental advice for schools and childminders (June 2015)
•
The use of social media for on-line radicalisation (July 2015)
73. KCSIE requires governing bodies and proprietors to ensure there is an effective safeguarding/child
protection policy in place. The policy must describe the school’s arrangements which must have regard
to KCSIE. KCSIE explains that the duty to ‘have regard’ to guidance means that schools should comply
with it unless exceptional circumstances arise. To meet the standard, the arrangements described in
the policy must also be implemented in practice. If the school is found not to be following an aspect of
the guidance expressed in terms of ‘should’, inspectors will enquire whether there were exceptional
circumstances and, if so, consider whether the school acted reasonably in departing from the guidance
in that instance.
74. This standard also covers broader safeguarding duties such as making reports to the Disclosure and
Barring Service (DBS) and pre-appointment checks on volunteers, staff of contractors, and other
individuals that are not school staff or supply staff which must be completed according to the
requirements set out in KCSIE. For all information about suitability checks, including those reported
under 7(a) and (b), see note 227 onwards.
75. KCSIE does not expressly specify the required content of the safeguarding/child protection policy,
except for a few elements, which for inspection purposes have been agreed with the DfE. The box below
contains the key indicators that the arrangements described in the policy have regard to KCSIE, as
required. Inspectors must evaluate the significance of any errors, omissions or lack of detail in the
arrangements described, in the context of the particular school, to determine whether the
arrangements have sufficient regard to KCSIE to be judged compliant.
SAFEGUARDING POLICY CONTENT
76. Core content:
•
The school’s commitment to acting in the best interests of the child
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Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils
•
The school’s procedures for dealing with and referring concerns about children in need and/or
at risk, in accordance with locally agreed inter-agency procedures including
•
references to up-to-date key statutory guidance (as set out in note 72 above)
•
name of the Local Safeguarding Children Board
•
in-school provision for listening to children and for early help
•
up to date definitions of abuse, recognising the particular vulnerabilities of those with SEN/D.
•
The school’s arrangements for dealing with allegations of peer-to-peer abuse, including sexting
and any other relevant issues, and how victims will be supported
•
The school’s arrangements for handling allegations of abuse against members of staff,
volunteers and the head, including reporting to the DBS/NCTL
•
The school’s staff code of conduct/behaviour policy, or reference to the separate policy.
•
Whistleblowing procedures, or reference to a separate policy
•
The school’s recruitment procedures, or reference to the separate policy.
•
Management of safeguarding including the identity and role of the designated safeguarding
lead(s), providing sufficient cover for this role, including in the EYFS.
•
The training of the designated person, staff, volunteers and the head.
•
How the board ensures proper oversight of safeguarding, including the identity of the board
level lead for safeguarding and arrangements for reviewing the school’s child protection policies
and procedures annually.
•
The school’s arrangements to fulfil other safeguarding and welfare responsibilities including
teaching children how to keep safe on-line, and arrangements for looked-after children, if
relevant
•
Sufficient contact details to make the policy workable in practice
•
The school’s policy on the use of mobiles and cameras in the EYFS
FURTHER GUIDANCE
77. The notes below provide further detailed guidance about the points which must be included in the
safeguarding policy. The guidance in this section is necessarily generic, and it is important that schools
tailor policies to fit local requirements and the context of the school. Where this has not occurred, and
the issues are significant in the context of a school being inspected, they will be considered when
reaching judgements about compliance.
Concerns about a child
78. The school’s policy should articulate the school’s recognition of the duty to consider at all times the
best interests of the child and take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
79. The policy must be based on and expressly refer to the most up-to-date guidance, as set out above.
80. The policy must clearly identify the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) which sets the local
procedures.
81. It must be clear in the policy that there are arrangements in school for listening to children and
providing early help.
82. The policy must set out guidance for staff and others on what to do if they are concerned, and the main
points of local procedures (including naming the LA(s) to which referrals are to be made). It should be
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Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils
clear that normal referral processes are also available when there are concerns about children who may
be at risk of being drawn into terrorism. It is acceptable to identify where the full local procedures are
available (eg the LSCB website link or location in the school of printed copies), but the policy itself must
be sufficiently detailed for staff and parents to use when needed. Contact details for agency
involvement, should also be displayed prominently, including those for support and advice about
extremism, for example, the local authority Prevent lead in Prevent priority areas, the local police force,
101 (the non-emergency police number) and the DfE dedicated telephone helpline and mailbox for nonemergency advice for staff and governors: 020 7340 7264 and counterextremism@education.gsi.gov.uk.
83. Whilst the guidance places the responsibility for making decisions about referrals with the school’s
designated safeguarding lead (DSL), referrals must in practice be in line with published local referral
thresholds, and it must be clear in the policy that anyone can make a referral, if necessary. KCSIE notes
the importance of children receiving the right help at the right time to address risks and prevent issues
escalating, the importance of acting on and referring the early signs of abuse and neglect, radicalisation,
keeping clear records, listening to views of the child, reassessing concerns when situations do not
improve, sharing information quickly and challenging inaction.
84. Up-to-date definitions of safeguarding and abuse, and the signs and forms of abuse, should be included
in the policy and reflect those included in the guidance documents. The policy should show recognition
of the particular vulnerability of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Specific,
proportionate reference should be made and procedures described, as appropriate to the pupil cohort
of the school, to concerns such as children missing education, female genital mutilation (FGM), child
sexual exploitation, radicalisation, so-called honour-based violence and forced marriage so that staff
and others know how to identify children in need or at risk and how to respond. Specific attention
should be given to safeguarding arrangements where children are engaged in close one-to-one
teaching, particularly in specialist performing arts and sports provision.
85. The policy should differentiate between safeguarding children who have suffered or are likely to suffer
significant harm and those who are in need of additional support from one or more agencies. Subject
to local procedures and reporting thresholds which can vary, the former should be reported to
Children’s Social Care immediately; the latter should lead to early help, inter-agency assessment and
intervention using local processes, including use of the ‘Common Assessment Framework’ (CAF) and
‘Team around the Child’ (TAC) approaches.
86. In the case of pupils identified as being at risk of radicalisation, institutions will need to consider the
level of risk to identify the most appropriate referral, which could include Channel or Children’s Social
Care, for example.
87. In the case of FGM, from October 2015, it has been mandatory for teachers to report to the police cases
where they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out. Unless the teacher has good
reason not to, they should still consider and discuss such a case with the school’s designated
safeguarding lead and involve children’s social care as appropriate. The policy should note this duty
where relevant to the school (eg the school has female pupils).
88. The risks associated with going missing from education have been given more prominence since KCSIE
2015. Schools should have procedures in place to identify and respond to children who go missing,
particularly on repeat occasions, and mention these in their policy. This issue is dealt with in more detail
in note 191 below which relates to admission and attendance registers. From September 2016, failure
to report children missing education to local authorities when required is to be reported under
paragraph 15 (relating to registration requirements) rather than paragraph 7.
89. Although decisions to seek support for a child in need, or about whom there are concerns relating to
radicalisation, would normally be taken in consultation with parents and pupils, there should be no
suggestion in the school policy that their consent is required for a referral when there are reasonable
grounds to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm.
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90. WT stresses the importance of creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel
supported in their safeguarding role, and KCSIE makes clear that any member of staff may make a
referral to external agencies. Guidance should be included in the policy on the actions that staff
members should take when receiving a disclosure including explaining that confidentiality cannot be
promised. The former guidance not to ask leading questions is no longer mentioned in KCSIE or ‘What
to do’ and cannot, therefore, be considered a compliance requirement, but inspectors may advise that
it is still generally considered good practice advice.
Arrangements for dealing with peer-to-peer allegations
91. The policy should include procedures for dealing with abuse by one or more pupils against another
pupil, including sexting and any other relevant issues named in KCSIE of relevance to the school (such
as banter, sexual assaults, gender-based issues), and how victims will be supported. The policy may
mention that the threshold for dealing with an issue of pupil behaviour or bullying under the
safeguarding policy is, subject to local specifics as in any other case: when there is ‘reasonable cause to
suspect that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm’. It should be clear in the policy that
the response will include that any such abuse will be referred to local agencies. It would be an
expectation that in the event of disclosures about pupil-on-pupil abuse that all children involved,
whether perpetrator or victim, are treated as being ‘at risk’. Advice about sexting in schools is available
from the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS): Sexting in schools and colleges.
Arrangements for dealing with allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff
92. Part 4 of KCSIE provides the most recent guidance on this issue. WT requires local authorities to
designate an officer or team of officers to deal with the management and oversight of allegations
against people who work with children. The acronym ‘LADO’ has been removed from KCSIE and WT
from April 2015 in favour of ‘designated officer’, or ‘team of officers’, to indicate that local authorities
now have some discretion over their approach. This does not prevent local authorities, schools and
others continuing to use it as appropriate. ISI continues to use the acronym ‘LADO’ for brevity. The
nomenclature which schools use in their policies is not a compliance issue per se; the compliance issue
is whether safeguarding arrangements are effective. Policies should reflect LCSB arrangements and,
therefore, should be updated in line with local changes.
93. If an allegation is made against anyone working with children in a school, all unnecessary delays should
be eradicated. Schools must not undertake their own investigations of allegations without prior
consultation with the LADO(s), or in the most serious cases, the police, so as not to jeopardise statutory
investigations. Inspectors may advise that, in borderline cases, discussions with the LADO(s) can often
be held informally and without naming the school or individual.
94. The procedures must make it clear that all allegations which appear to meet the reporting criteria in
KCSIE are to be reported straight away, normally to the head, but if the designated person is identified
to receive referrals in the policy, the head must be kept informed. The procedures must also identify
the person, usually the chair of governors, to whom reports should be made in the absence of the head,
or in cases where the head is the subject of the allegation or concern. Where an allegation is against
the head, the head must not be informed of the allegation prior to contact with the chair and LADO.
Where the head is also a sole proprietor, it should be stated clearly that allegations should be reported
directly to the LADO. The LADO(s) should be informed within one working day of all allegations that
come to an employer’s attention or that are made directly to the police. Procedures should therefore
include prominent contact details for the LADO(s) to facilitate this.
95. It should be clear in the policy that immediate contact should be made with the LADO(s) to discuss any
allegation, consider the nature, content and context of the allegation and agree a course of action
including any involvement of the police. Discussions should be recorded in writing, and any
communication with both the individual and the parents of the child/children agreed. Schools must
consider carefully whether the circumstances of the case warrant suspension or whether alternative
arrangements should be put in place. Schools should give due weight to the views of the LADO, KCSIE
and WT when making a decision about suspension.
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96. From 1 October 2012, there are restrictions on the reporting or publishing of allegations against
teachers, and so schools must make every effort to maintain confidentiality and guard against
unwanted publicity. These restrictions apply up to the point where the accused person is charged with
an offence, or the DfE/National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) publish information about
an investigation or decision in a disciplinary case.
97. The policy should also contain the school’s commitment to report promptly to the DBS any person
(whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or student) whose services are no longer used for
regulated activity and the DBS referral criteria are met, that is, they have caused harm or posed a risk
of harm to a child.
98. Ceasing to use a person’s services includes: dismissal; non-renewal of a fixed-term contract; no longer
engaging/refusing to engage a supply teacher provided by an employment agency; terminating the
placement of a student teacher or other trainee; no longer using staff employed by contractors; no
longer using volunteers; resignation; and voluntary withdrawal from supply teaching, contract working,
a course of initial teacher training, or volunteering. It is important that reports include as much evidence
about the circumstances of the case as possible. Failure to make a report when required constitutes an
offence. ‘Compromise agreements’ cannot be used to prevent a referral being made to the DBS when
it is legally required, nor can an individual’s refusal to cooperate with an investigation. Proprietors of
independent schools have a legal duty to respond to requests from the DBS for information they hold
already, but they do not have to find it from other sources. Schools will be asked, as part of routine
inspection, to confirm that they have disclosed to inspectors all instances of action in relation to
safeguarding concerns.
99. Independent schools are also under a duty to consider making a referral to the NCTL where a teacher
has been dismissed (or would have been dismissed had he/she not resigned) and a prohibition order
may be appropriate, and should make reference to this in their policies. The reasons such an order
would be considered are: ‘unacceptable professional conduct’, ‘conduct that may bring the profession
into disrepute’ or a ‘conviction, at any time, for a relevant offence’. Advice about whether an allegation
against a teacher is sufficiently serious to refer to the NCTL can be found in Teacher misconduct: the
prohibition of teachers (October 2015). Further guidance is published on the NCTL website.
Staff behaviour policy
100. The school should have a staff behaviour policy/code of conduct, either in the safeguarding policy or a
separate document signposted from the safeguarding policy. KCSIE requires that it cover as a minimum:
acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications, the use of social media,
and whistleblowing. When drafting the staff behaviour policy schools should bear in mind that it is an
offence for a person aged 18 or over, such as a teacher, to have a sexual relationship with a child under
18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if, in the case of those over
16, the relationship is consensual. The aim of the staff behaviour policy is to provide clear guidance
about behaviour and actions so as not to place pupils or staff at risk of harm or of allegations of harm
to a pupil. The guidance should be tailored to the school, for example, including access to
accommodation in a boarding school, and changing arrangements in a nursery class. Other possible
points for inclusion are in one-to-one tuition, music, performing arts or sports coaching, conveying a
pupil by car, engaging in inappropriate electronic communication with a pupil, and so on. The
safeguarding policy should either incorporate the staff behaviour policy or signpost parents to it.
Whistleblowing procedures
101. KCSIE requires schools to have clear whistleblowing procedures suitably referenced in staff training and
staff codes of conduct. The key principles, mentioned in WT and adapted for schools, can be
summarised as follows: a school should have a culture of safety and of raising concerns. It should have
a culture of valuing staff and of reflective practice. There should be procedures for reporting and
handling concerns, including about poor or unsafe practice and potential failures in the school’s
safeguarding regime, provision for mediation and dispute resolution where necessary. Training and
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support should be provided for staff. There should be transparency and accountability in relation to
how concerns are received and handled.
102. Schools are likely already to be meeting much of this requirement as a result of having regard to KCSIE;
KCSIE already requires that clear processes for the reporting of allegations be recorded in the
safeguarding policy and disseminated through training. Schools are not required to create new, standalone whistleblowing policies where their safeguarding policy, or other existing policy documents cover
the recommended ground (although they may do so). However, whistleblowing procedures should be
referred to in the staff code of conduct.
Safer recruitment
103. The safeguarding policy should record the school’s commitment to safer recruitment processes and
either include details of the school’s recruitment and selection policy and procedures or refer to them.
The policy should set out the school’s process from beginning to end, including details of the required
checks. The section in this document about Part 4 of the regulations starting at note 227 gives further
details.
104. Prevent requires schools to have clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers, whether invited
by staff or by the pupils themselves, are suitable and appropriately supervised. No specific policy or
document is prescribed by the Prevent guidance for this. The Safer Recruitment policy would be a
suitable place. This does not rule out using other documentation instead.
105. The state sector requirement that one person on every recruitment panel should have received ‘Safer
recruitment’ training is not a legal requirement for independent schools. However, inspectors may
advise that it is recommended that schools ensure that sufficient relevant staff are trained in safer
recruitment processes.
Management of safeguarding
106. The school is required to name an individual from the leadership team as the designated safeguarding
lead (DSL) to take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection matters. The DSL’s
responsibility is to maintain an overview of safeguarding within the school, to open channels of
communication with local statutory agencies, support staff in carrying out their safeguarding duties and
to monitor the effectiveness of policies and procedures in practice. The senior role can be exercised in
conjunction with other designated safeguarding staff within the school, but it must be clear who is the
main DSL. Safeguarding procedures should also identify an alternative person to whom reports should
be made in the absence of the designated person in order that there is the required cover for the role
at all times. Schools that have separate sites or separate management lines, may wish to consider
having a designated person for each section.
107. The job description of the DSL should include the key activities of the role. The school should ensure
that the DSL has sufficient time, funding, supervision and support to fulfil his or her child welfare and
safeguarding responsibilities effectively. As a matter of good practice, all professionals working with
children should have regular reviews of their own practice and opportunities to discuss any concerns
they may have about welfare and safeguarding matters. This should include the personal and
professional duty to report welfare and safeguarding concerns to the DSL, or in the absence of action,
directly to local children’s services.
Training
108. The policy must set out the school’s arrangements for the training required as below.
•
All staff must read at least Part One of KCSIE. This applies not only to new staff but also to those
already in post in April 2014 when KCSIE was first introduced. Each time Part One of KCSIE is
updated by the DfE, existing staff must be updated. This is particularly important when new
duties are introduced, as with the introduction of Prevent in July 2015, or the recognition of
additional types of abuse, as in September 2016. The methodology for ensuring existing staff read
Part One of KCSIE is not prescribed. All effective means are acceptable (such as, electronic or hard
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copy distribution and acknowledgement). Schools should take steps to ensure that staff
understand key information. This could be of particular relevance to staff who cannot read
English, or at all.
•
From September 2016, in addition to Part One of KCSIE, school leaders and staff who work
directly with children must read Annex A of KCSIE 2016. This applies to both incoming and existing
staff as at September 2016. It is a matter for schools to decide who is classed as working directly
with children and if they would benefit from the additional information. The role of inspectors
here is to probe whether schools have acted reasonably in their decisions.
•
The DSL should receive updated child protection training at least every two years. This will include
local inter-agency working protocols and training in the LSCB’s approach to Prevent duties.
•
Additional designated safeguarding staff should be trained to the same level as the DSL.
•
All staff must be trained in child protection regularly, in line with advice from the LSCB. Prevent
awareness training will be part of this. Staff training should include on-line safety.
•
The two-yearly training for DSLs and regular formal training for staff should be supplemented
with informal updates, for example, e-bulletins and staff meetings. These should be as required
but at least annually.
•
All new staff must be provided with induction training that includes:
•
the school’s child protection policy, including information about the identity and role of the
DSL(s);
•
the staff code of conduct/behaviour policy including the whistleblowing procedure and the
acceptable use of technologies policy, if separate (see above for more about the staff code);
•
a copy of Part 1 of KCSIE;
•
Copies of the above documents should be provided to all ‘staff’ during induction. Schools should
take a risk-based approach to the level of information that is provided to temporary staff and
volunteers.
109. The required training content for the DSL is set out in Annex B of KCSIE and covers inter-agency working,
participation in child protection case conferences, supporting children in need, identifying children at
risk of radicalisation, record keeping and promoting a culture of listening to children.
110. As the lead safeguarding professional in school, it is envisaged that as local authorities develop their
services to support the Prevent strategy, the DSL will have higher-level training in the LSCB’s Prevent
strategy to be able to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including being drawn into
support for the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This will be based on an
understanding shared with local partners of the potential risk in the local area. If there is difficulty
accessing local training in the short term, while local partners are building capacity to deliver training,
schools can demonstrate their commitment to the Prevent strategy by ensuring that, as a minimum,
the DSL has accessed Prevent awareness training, such as the on-line general awareness training
module on Channel promoted in the non-statutory advice, and is able to provide advice and support to
other members of staff on protecting children from radicalisation.
111. There is no longer a set frequency for staff refresher training. Schools will need to demonstrate that
they consult with their LSCB to determine the most appropriate schedule, level and focus for training.
There are also no national standards for staff training and so inspectors will use their judgement, based
on evidence from records and interviews, to assess whether the training provided by the school has
been sufficient and frequent enough to equip staff to follow the school’s procedures and to raise
concerns appropriately. The Prevent strategy requires that schools ensure that all staff have training
that gives them knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, to
challenge extremist ideas and to know how to refer children and young people for further help. Again,
the Channel on-line general awareness training, mentioned above, is suitable and will be helpful for
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schools which have difficulty accessing local training. Additionally, while online safety and radicalisation
will be relevant in safeguarding measures to all schools, the context of schools within their communities
will also be a factor in determining the level and focus for training and responsiveness to factors such
as child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, so-called honour-based violence, forced
marriage, cyberbullying, and mental health.
Oversight of safeguarding, including arrangements for reviewing policies and procedures
112. A ‘board-level lead’ should be designated to take a lead in relation to responsibility for the safeguarding
arrangements. Schools should appoint a member of the proprietorial body to take this role, but should
bear in mind that the safeguarding duties remain the responsibility of the proprietorial body as a whole.
113. A review of the school’s child protection policies must take place at least annually, including an update
and review of the effectiveness of procedures and their implementation. Proprietors should also ensure
that the school contributes to inter-agency working in line with WT through effective communication
and good co-operation with local agencies. KCSIE indicates that the proprietor should draw on the
expertise of staff, including the DSL, in shaping the safeguarding arrangements and policies. KCSIE is
now intentionally silent about the means for the review and the mechanism for the review; these are
matters for the proprietorial body to decide.
114. The implementation of the policy provisions will be checked through discussion with proprietors and
DSL, and by scrutiny of available evidence underpinning the review (eg any written report or
information to support the review, minutes of meetings, training records, referral information in
respect of requests for help and support for individual children, issues and themes which may have
emerged in the school and how these have been handled, contribution the school is making to multiagency working in individual cases or local discussions on safeguarding matters).
115. If there has been a substantiated allegation against a member of staff, the school should work with the
LADO to determine whether there are any improvements to be made to the school’s procedures or
practice to help prevent similar events in the future.
The school’s arrangements to fulfil other safeguarding responsibilities
116. Information on the points below may be included in the relevant section of the policy or be included
separately.
Teaching children how to keep safe
117. Proprietors should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through the
curriculum and PSHE. Particular attention should be paid to school practices to help children to adjust
their behaviours in order to reduce risks and build resilience, including to radicalisation, with particular
attention to the safe use of electronic equipment and the internet. Where possible, these practices
should be age appropriate and delivered through a planned component of the curriculum. Children
should understand the risks posed by adults or young people, who use the internet and social media to
bully, groom, abuse or radicalise other people, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Internet safety will usually be integral to the school’s ICT curriculum and can also be embedded in PSHE
and sex and relationships education (SRE). The latest resources promoted by DfE can be found at:
•
The use of social media for on-line radicalisation
•
The UK Safer Internet Centre (www.saferinternet.org.uk)
•
CEOP’s Thinkuknow website (www.thinkuknow.co.uk)
Looked after children
118. Proprietors should also ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to
keep safe children who are looked after by a local authority, if they have such children on roll. This
would include ensuring that a designated member of staff has responsibility for their welfare and
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progress and has up-to-date assessment information from the relevant local authority, the most recent
care plan and contact arrangements with parents, and delegated authority to carers.
119. Schools with looked after children on roll will want to be aware of the statutory guidance to local
authorities about how they are to support schools with the care and education of these pupils:
Promoting the education of looked after children.
Specialist settings
120. Specialist settings such as performing arts or music specialist schools should also include details of the
additional measures taken to safeguard pupils, for example in one-to-one or off-site tuition and
performances away from the school.
Childcare
121. Schools providing early and later years childcare should consider including a section in their
safeguarding policy about disqualification from working in childcare, including disqualification by
association. While covering the issue in the safeguarding policy is optional, it will be important to cover
it in the recruitment procedure where relevant. See below note 128 for more information.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
122. When considering their provision for children in need of additional support, schools may wish to be
aware of the most recent DfE advice and information which dovetails with WT and the SEND Code 2015.
These are non-statutory documents meaning that schools are not required to have regard to them:
•
Mental health and behaviour in schools: departmental advice
•
Counselling in schools: a blue print for the future (February 2016)
IMPLEMENTATION
123. During the inspection, effective implementation of the safeguarding policy will be checked through
responses of parents and pupils to questionnaires, interviews with pupils and staff and scrutiny of
records and documentation. KCSIE 2016 is clear that schools should keep records of concerns,
discussions, decisions and reasons for decisions and should share information readily with relevant
agencies. Inspectors will have been provided with any relevant information available to ISI in advance
of the inspection, including anonymised DBS/NCTL referrals and DfE staff census information. Any
concerns raised in relation to safeguarding, whatever the source, must be followed up by inspectors.
Particular attention should be given by inspectors to the arrangements within the school to ‘listen’ to
children including the use of counsellors/listeners, use of helplines and other systems to gain views and
insight. Schools being inspected will be asked to ensure pupils know that they may contact inspectors
directly.
124. KCSIE 2016 requires schools to ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to
safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate material on-line, but without an
unreasonable level of blocking. KCSIE guides schools to ‘consider a whole-school approach to on-line
safety’, including a ‘clear policy on the use of mobile technology’. They are also requested in KCSIE to
‘consider carefully’ how to manage 3G and 4G accessibility on the school’s premises. The
appropriateness of any filters and monitoring are a matter for individual schools and will be informed
in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent duty.
125. The UK Safer Internet Centre has published guidance as to what ‘appropriate’ might look like: UK Safer
Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring. Guidance on e-security is available from the
National Education Network (NEN).
126. Measures taken should be proportionate to the risks in the particular school context. Inspectors may
follow-up whether appropriate filters are in place, and explore whether a school has given
consideration to a whole school approach (without pre-judging the outcome of such a consideration),
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has a strategy in relation to 3G and 4G accessibility, and include behaviour management arrangements
to supplement IT-led approaches if necessary.
127. In relation to Prevent, for compliance purposes, inspectors should consider whether schools can
‘demonstrate activity’, as required by the statutory guidance, in the following key areas: risk
assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies. RIs should check that schools have
arrangements to respond to pupils who may be targeted or influenced to participate in radicalism or
extremism. Inspectors will therefore also consider IT arrangements and policies in the context of
safeguarding. The Prevent guidance expects schools to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and
extremist material when accessing the internet through school systems and to establish appropriate
levels of filtering. No further technical guidance is prescribed by the DfE concerning the levels of filtering
which are to be considered appropriate. This means that schools have discretion as to how they
approach this aspect of the Prevent duty. Inspectors will assess and challenge on the basis of whether
what is in place appears effective in practice to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and
extremist material when accessing the internet in school.
EYFS ➔ Child protection, Note E25
Boarding ➔ NMS 11 Child protection, Note B71
Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006
128. KCSIE now incorporates the statutory guidance, Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (March
2015, revised June 2016), making the latter another document to which schools must have regard under
paragraphs 7(a) and (b). It relates to staff working in the early years and those involved in the care of
children under the age of eight. It concerns how people can be disqualified under the Childcare Act
2006, including by association with others, and explains the effect of the Childcare (Disqualification)
Regulations 2009.
129. The key requirement on schools is that they must not knowingly employ people to work in childcare or
allow them to be directly concerned in its management, if they or others who live or work in their
households are ‘disqualified’.
130. Early years childcare means education, care (excepting health care) and any supervised activity for a
child from birth until 1 September following their fifth birthday. It applies to all early years provision
during and outside school hours, including in school nursery and reception classes.
131. Later years childcare means childcare for children under the age of 8. To the extent that this overlaps
with those in the early years, that category is dealt with above. For children who are older than ‘early
years’ but under the age of 8, the normal school day, after-school co-curricular educational clubs and
health care are not within scope of the regulations. For this age group, therefore, only provision which
would be considered ‘childcare’ (rather than education) is within the scope of the regulations. This
essentially means crèche-like facilities before and after school.
132. The guidance does not only apply to employees, although the word ‘employ’ is used in the regulations.
Others such as volunteers, supply/agency staff, self-employed people, staff of other organisations
contracted to provide childcare, governors who volunteer with the relevant groups or are directly
concerned with their day-to-day management, are also potentially within the scope of the guidance. By
contrast, those who are not involved in childcare are not within the remit of these regulations, for
example, cleaners and kitchen staff.
133. In brief, where people are within the scope of the guidance, schools must either check themselves
whether they are disqualified from childcare or ensure that others have done so. Inspectors may seek
evidence that schools have done so.
134. The grounds for disqualification include, in summary:
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•
being on the DBS Children’s Barred List;
•
being cautioned for, convicted of or charged with certain violent and sexual criminal offences
against children and adults, at home or abroad;
•
being the subject of certain other orders relating to the care of children;
•
refusal or cancellation of registration relating to childcare or children’s homes or being prohibited
from private fostering;
•
living in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or works.
135. Disqualification occurs as soon as the above criteria are met, for example, as soon as a caution or
conviction occurs, even before the person is formally included on the children’s barred list.
IMPLEMENTATION
136. In summary, in order to fulfil their duty to have regard to the guidance, schools must take three steps:
•
inform relevant people of the legislation, including that they may be disqualified by association;
•
take steps to gather sufficient and accurate information about whether any member of staff in a
relevant childcare setting is disqualified, including by association;
•
keep records, either on the Single Central Register (optional) or elsewhere, of staff employed to
work in or manage relevant childcare and including the date disqualification checks were
completed.
137. In taking steps to gather information, staff can be expected to disclose all their convictions and cautions
including those which are spent but cannot be required to disclose spent convictions and cautions of
those who live and work in their households.
138. By definition, a person who is disqualified cannot lawfully do the work from which they are disqualified.
If a person is found to be disqualified, including by association, or if there is doubt over that issue then,
pending resolution, they must be removed from the work from which they are or may be disqualified.
There is no requirement automatically to suspend or dismiss all individuals found to be disqualified;
there is scope in principle to redeploy them with other age groups or in other work from which they
are not disqualified, subject to assessing the risks and taking advice from the LADO when appropriate.
139. Schools must inform Ofsted (not ISI, although ISI can be copied in) where they are satisfied that a person
working in a relevant setting falls within one of the disqualification criteria. Staff who are disqualified,
including by association, may apply to Ofsted for a waiver of disqualification, unless they are barred
from working with children.
140. The precise steps which schools must take to disseminate and gather the required information are not
prescribed. Schools are free to decide how they do so, and inspectors have discretion to recognise any
methods which are effective in reaching all relevant staff. Schools could vary their approach for existing
staff and incoming staff.
141. In deciding what measures to take, schools should bear in mind that the measures must result in a
recordable date or dates when disqualification checks were completed for individuals. This could
include dates of meetings, contracts, emails, individual letters etc. On inspection, the onus will be on
schools to demonstrate that the information they disseminated reached all relevant staff.
142. Schools should remind staff regularly of their duties to disclose the relevant information. The DfE has
written that they do not prescribe the approach to reminders, ‘but an annual check would seem a
sensible measure’.
143. Considerable further technical detail is contained in the guidance. Support is available from the ISI office
for inspectors who need it.
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Paragraph 8 – Safeguarding of boarders
Where section 87(1) of the Children Act 1989 applies in relation to a school the standard in this paragraph
is met if the proprietor ensures that—
(a)
arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of boarders while they are
accommodated at the school; and
(b)
such arrangements have regard to the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or, where
applicable, the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools or the National
Minimum Standards for Accommodation of Children under Eighteen by Further Education Colleges.
144. This standard effectively makes the NMS for Boarding Schools part of the Independent School
Standards so that, if a school to which the NMS apply does not meet one of the NMS, this is also a
failure to meet one or more of the Independent School Standards and the DfE can take regulatory
action. The NMS refers to the same guidance as that which applies to day schools, but there are now
additional issues for boarding schools to consider.
145. The National Minimum Standards for Accommodation of Students under Eighteen by Further Education
Colleges no longer apply to schools, despite the wording of the paragraph 8.1, because schools which
provide accommodation, including those where all boarders are 16 and over, are now inspected under
the NMS for boarding schools due to a regulatory change.
Boarding ➔ NMS 11 Child protection, Note B71
Paragraph 9 – Behaviour
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor promotes good behaviour amongst pupils by
ensuring that –
(a)
a written behaviour policy is drawn up that, amongst other matters, sets out the sanctions to be
adopted in the event of pupils’ misbehaviour;
(b)
the policy is implemented effectively; and
(c)
a record is kept of the sanctions imposed upon pupils for serious misbehaviour.
146. This regulation does not require schools to have regard to any particular guidance document and
schools are able to develop their own policies so long as the policy content meets the regulatory
requirements (see below).
BEHAVIOUR AND SANCTIONS POLICY CONTENT
147. The written policy must include details of:
•
how the school promotes good behaviour amongst pupils;
•
the sanctions to be adopted in the event of pupil misbehaviour.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
148. Non-statutory advice Behaviour and Discipline in schools (2016) may be useful to schools when
developing their policy. Schools cannot be found to be non-compliant if the policy does not follow this
advice in all respects, but the following items from the non-statutory advice are suggested as indicative
content in relation to the above statutory headings. In addition to setting out rewards and sanctions,
behaviour strategy and the teaching of good behaviour, the following points could also be included:
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•
duties under the Equality Act 2010, including issues related to pupils with special educational
needs/disabilities and how reasonable adjustments are made for these pupils;
•
support systems for pupils;
•
liaison with parents and other agencies;
•
managing pupils’ transition;
•
disciplinary action against pupils who are found to have made malicious accusations against staff.
149. Schools must have a register of sanctions imposed for serious misbehaviour, even if it has no entries.
The nature of the record is not prescribed, but schools should be encouraged to include as the basic
entry the pupil's name and year group, the nature and date of the offence, and the sanction imposed
and to centralise the record, so that patterns can be identified by the school and also by inspectors.
150. The school may make its own definition of ‘serious misbehaviour’, and they might, for example, include
exclusions, major detentions and disciplinary meetings involving parents.
IMPLEMENTATION
151. During the inspection, the effective implementation of the policy will be checked through direct
observation of behaviour in the school, responses of parents and pupils to questionnaires, interviews
with pupils and staff, and scrutiny of records and documentation to confirm adherence to policy and
correspondence with any known events already reported. Inspectors will consider classroom
management, staff development and support, and leadership oversight of behaviour issues.
EYFS ➔ Managing behaviour, Note E51
Boarding ➔ NMS12, Note B75; NMS 13, Note B83; NMS Appendix 2, Note B144
Paragraph 10 – Bullying
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that bullying at the school is prevented in
so far as reasonably practicable, by the drawing up and implementation of an effective anti-bullying
strategy.
152. This standard was reworded by the DfE in 2015 to focus attention on the outcome that bullying is
prevented in so far as reasonably practicable, as well as schools having an effective strategy in place
which is properly implemented in practice. Inspectors will seek evidence from schools that
demonstrates effective implementation.
153. This regulation does not require schools to have regard to any particular guidance document, and
schools are able to develop their own approach. Any policy should be short, succinct and written in
accessible language.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
154. Non-statutory DfE advice Preventing and Tackling Bullying (October 2014) and Cyberbullying: Advice for
headteachers and school staff (2014) may be useful to schools when developing their strategy.
Supplementary advice documents for parents, for teachers who find themselves attracting online
bullying, and a fact sheet (March 2014) concerning supporting children who are bullied are also
available. The main points in that advice are listed below and are taken as indicative strategy content
for inspection purposes. The non-statutory document Cyberbullying: Advice for headteachers and
school staff (2014) advises that schools should also have policies in place that address acceptable use
of technologies and suggests content. As these documents are non-statutory, the absence of particular
elements does not of itself mean that a strategy fails to meet this standard but, if any item is of
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particular relevance to a school, the omission might indicate, for example, that the policy is not effective
in context.
155. The purpose of the list below is to ensure common criteria are applied across inspections. Having
ascertained how far the non-statutory particulars advised below are included in a strategy, inspectors
evaluate whether the strategy is potentially effective. Indicative content for an effective anti-bullying
strategy:
•
a working definition of bullying, such as that it may be repeated over time and intentionally hurts
another pupil or group physically or emotionally and is often motivated by prejudice against
particular groups, for example, on grounds of race, religion, culture, sex, gender, homophobia,
special educational needs and disability, or because a child is adopted or is a carer – it may occur
directly or through cyber-technology (social websites, mobile phones, text messages,
photographs and email);
•
the seriousness of bullying, both physical and emotional (which may cause psychological
damage);
•
procedures to follow – so that it is easy to report bullying, including cyber-bullying and bullying
outside school, the threshold for reporting a bullying issue to external agencies (such as
police/children’s social care) is known, and records are kept to evaluate the effectiveness of the
approach adopted or to enable patterns to be identified; note, a bullying incident should be
treated as a child protection concern when there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is
suffering or likely to suffer significant harm;
•
raising awareness of staff through training, so that the principles of the school policy are
understood, legal responsibilities are known, action is defined to resolve and prevent problems,
and sources of support are available; where appropriate, schools can invest in specialised skills to
understand the needs of their pupils, including those with special educational needs or
disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils;
•
using educational elements such as personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE),
assemblies, projects, drama, stories, literature, with discussion of differences between people and
the importance of avoiding prejudice-based language;
•
implementing disciplinary sanctions which reflect the seriousness of an incident and convey a
deterrent effect (strong sanctions such as exclusion may be necessary in cases of severe and
persistent bullying);
•
having clear policies communicated to parents, pupils and staff, and creating an environment of
good behaviour and respect, with helpful examples set by staff and older pupils and celebration
of success;
•
involving parents and making sure pupils are clear about the part they can play to prevent
bullying, including when they find themselves as bystanders.
156. It is not a requirement to have a separate cyber-bullying policy, but with increasing availability to
children of electronic devices that give unrestricted access to the internet, schools should consider
online safety as part of both safeguarding and anti-bullying arrangements. Active management of
hardware, software and connectivity and the vigilance of teachers and parents have a part to play in
the safeguarding and protection of pupils.
157. Pupils will often have access to technologies that have both positive and negative potential.
Consideration should be given to the acceptable use of technology within the school setting and
beyond, with a policy that is clear, understood and respected by staff, students and the wider school
community. Whilst each school’s perspective and practice will vary, the policy should ensure the
school’s expectations and safeguarding obligations are communicated and effective. A policy should
include guidance on:
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•
clearly defined roles and responsibilities for online safety as part of the school’s wider
safeguarding strategy and how this links with other safeguarding policy;
•
clear guidance on the use of technology in the classroom and beyond for all users, including staff,
students/pupils and visitors that references permissions/restrictions and agreed sanctions;
•
mention of the school’s technical provision/infrastructure and safeguards in place to filter and
monitor inappropriate content and alert the school to safeguarding issues; (schools are not
required to give away detail in policies which would compromise safeguards);
•
how the school builds resilience in its students to protect themselves and their peers through
education and information;
•
staff safeguarding professional development that includes online safety;
•
reporting mechanisms available for all users to report issues and concerns to the school and how
they are managed and/or escalated;
•
how the school informs, communicates with and educates parents/carers in online safety;
•
the management of personal data in line with statutory requirements.
IMPLEMENTATION
158. During the inspection, the effective implementation of the strategy, including in relation to cyberbullying and mobile phones, will be checked through direct observation around the school, responses
of parents and pupils to questionnaires, interviews with pupils and staff, and scrutiny of records and
documentation. It is not uncommon to find that routine interviews with staff and pupils do not provide
evidence that corroborates negative views previously expressed in parents’ and/or pupils’ confidential
questionnaires or other sources of evidence and so interviews alone cannot be relied upon but instead
form one element of considered evidence. Records of bullying may be usefully centralised but they may
also be dispersed, for example, among different houses. A school cannot be considered to meet its
duty of care towards its pupils if it does not readily have a clear picture of bullying incidents
throughout the school, whatever system has been chosen to record concerns. It is also important to
consider how well the school is ensuring that the impact of bullying on individual children is being
monitored to ensure that a holistic picture is maintained between different aspects of school provision
such as teaching, boarding and health care.
Boarding ➔ NMS 12 - Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships, Note B75
Paragraph 11 – Health and safety
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that relevant health and safety laws are
complied with by the drawing up and effective implementation of a written health and safety policy.
159. The primary regulator for health and safety is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This standard
provides the DfE also with the right to take regulatory action when necessary. ISI inspects this standard
as non-experts, the main focus usually being to see that appropriate adequate systems appear to be in
place and that on site there are no obvious deficiencies or hazards in practice. Inspectors should avoid
giving detailed guidance or advice on health and safety matters. If a more in-depth inspection of this
standard were to be commissioned by the DfE, additional information about ‘relevant health and safety
laws’ would be available to inspectors from the ISI office.
160. This standard focuses on the outcome that relevant health and safety laws are complied with, in
addition to having the right policies in place. Non-statutory advice, Health and Safety Advice on Legal
Duties and Powers (2014) is available on the DfE website. The regulation requires a written policy, but
does not require schools to have regard to any particular advice document. However, the DfE advice
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does summarise the ‘relevant health and safety laws’ referred to in the regulations. From January 2015,
a written risk assessment policy is required. Further details are provided in note 206 onwards.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
161. The main legislation covering this area is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and regulations
made under that Act. The employer (the proprietor) is responsible for health and safety, though tasks
may be delegated to staff. Employees also have a duty to look after their own and others’ health and
safety. Employers, school staff and others also have a duty under the common law to take care of pupils
in the same way that a prudent parent would do so. The HSE encourages a proportionate, common
sense approach and provides useful advice on striking the right balance in schools on health and safety
matters: Sensible health and safety management in schools.
162. The DfE advice suggests that a policy covers the following core areas:
•
a general statement of policy;
•
who is responsible to do what (delegation of tasks);
•
arrangements to monitor, establish and review measures needed to meet satisfactory health and
safety standards.
163. Inspectors must exercise professional judgement in assessing the adequacy of the school’s
documentation and provide general advice as necessary to help schools in being vigilant about the
welfare of pupils. In addition, the DfE advice states that schools may wish to include any of the following
in their health and safety policy and associated risk assessment:
•
training of staff in health and safety, including risk assessment;
•
consultation arrangements with employees;
•
recording and reporting accidents to staff, pupils and visitors – including those reportable under
RIDDOR;
•
policy and procedures for off-site visits, including residential visits and any school-led adventure
activities;
•
dealing with health and safety emergencies – procedures and contacts;
•
first aid and supporting medical needs (may refer to first aid policy);
•
occupational health services and managing work-related stress;
•
workplace safety for staff, pupils and visitors;
•
school security;
•
violence to staff (may cross-refer to behaviour policy);
•
manual handling;
•
slips and trips;
•
on-site vehicle movements;
•
management of asbestos;
•
control of hazardous substances, including use and storage of chemicals;
•
work at height;
•
selecting and managing contractors;
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•
maintenance (and, where necessary examination and testing) of plant and equipment (such as
electrical equipment, local exhaust ventilation, pressure systems, gas appliances, lifting
equipment and glazing safety);
•
fire safety, including testing of alarms and evacuation procedures (may refer to fire
documentation).
164. Procedures for educational visits should be covered in health and safety documentation (whether the
main health and safety policy or a separate policy) in a way that is proportionate, meaningful and
appropriate to the nature of the trips and risks of the particular school. The DfE advice seeks to make it
easier for schools to take pupils on trips, removing the necessity for some paperwork and taking steps
to reduce teachers’ fears of legal action by stating that it is rare for teachers to be prosecuted under
criminal law with regard to accidents involving children. There is no requirement to have an Educational
Visits Coordinator (EVC), although there should be a clear process for approving visits. Inspectors may
advise schools to be mindful of any requirements set by their insurers when planning educational visits.
165. A written risk assessment is not required for every visit, and schools should make the decision about
when to carry out a risk assessment and when to commit a risk assessment to writing. However, where
a risk assessment is carried out, the employer must record the significant findings of the assessment. A
risk assessment is not needed every time a school takes pupils to a local venue such as a swimming
pool, a park or a museum. Circumstances when a written visit risk assessment is appropriate would
include when activities need a higher level of risk management than is normal during routine activities;
for example, high-risk activities such as mountaineering, canoeing, sailing and residential visits. Trips
abroad also need careful attention to duties under health and safety.
166. Written consent from parents is not required for pupils to take part in the majority of off-site activities
organised by the school if these take place during school hours and are a normal part of the child’s
education at the school. However, parents should be told where their child will be when not on school
premises and of any extra safety measures required. This can be via a specific communication, or a
more general termly calendar or similar. Written individual consent is usually only requested for
activities that need a higher level of risk management, those that take place outside school hours or
high-risk activities and residential visits. A ‘one-off’ blanket consent form may be used for parents to
sign when their child enrols at the school, but it is for the school to decide on how parental consent is
to be sought. Even if blanket consent is relied on, the DfE advises that parents should be told of each
visit and of any extra safety measures required, and given the opportunity to withdraw their child from
any particular visit or activity. This is likely to be a proportionate and appropriate control measure.
167. When planning an activity involving caving, climbing, trekking, skiing or water sports (other than
rowing), schools must currently check that the provider holds a licence as required by the Adventure
Activities Licensing Regulations 2004 (for England, Scotland and Wales). Two additional pieces of
guidance have been published about health and safety issues. DfE have provided guidance on the
requirements for driving minibuses, replacing the section previously located within the general health
and safety guidance. Compliance with correct licensing for minibuses and drivers, when applicable, is
considered part of ‘relevant health and safety laws’ for the purposes of Health and Safety standard. The
requirements in relation to work experience have also been clarified by the HSE.
168. The DfE has produced non-statutory advice for schools about the management of asbestos: Managing
asbestos in your school (2015).
IMPLEMENTATION
169. Inspectors should ask to see monitoring records, including any reports by competent persons, and any
enforcement letters or notices.
170. During the inspection, the effective implementation of the policy is also checked through direct
observation around the school (with vigilance in relation to activities carried out, lessons being taught,
and matters such as access and safety in workshops, studios and labs, storage of chemicals, ponds and
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swimming pools, electrical safety and hygiene), parent and pupil questionnaires, interviews with pupils
and staff, and scrutiny of records and documentation.
171. If inspectors think they may have found hazardous conditions in the school’s accommodation or other
shortcomings in the school’s provision for the welfare, health or safety of the pupils, they must make a
collective decision whether the matter (a) is material, either because in context it is a serious issue
alone or because it evidences a lax culture or approach in relation to health and safety and must be
reported because one or more of the regulations have not been met, or (b) is not material, such as an
isolated incident that has been easily and quickly remedied, and so need not be included in the written
report. If inspectors identify conditions that are of immediate risk to children, then they must contact
the ISI office for advice without delay.
OTHER INFORMATION
172. Workshops and labs should be obviously safe: for example, with adequate ventilation and dust/fume
extraction, a clearly labelled main switch lockable in the ‘off’ position. In workshops, it is recommended
that there is a general emergency switching system with push buttons (preferably red on yellow) and a
well-positioned emergency cut-out for each fixed machine (could be the normal ‘off’ switch, but an
additional switch, sometimes foot/knee operated, is often recommended). Helpful advice on safety in
design and technology is contained in British Standard 4163: 2014, available from the British Standards
Institute.
173. It is a legal requirement to ensure that any electrical equipment which has potential to cause injury is
maintained in a safe condition. The relevant regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom
and how frequently. Inspectors may advise that Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is good practice but
should recognise that it is not a statutory requirement in those terms. The HSE has produced FAQs
about PAT. The presence of unsafe electrical equipment may be reported, where applicable, in terms
of failure to maintain electrical equipment in a safe condition, rather than failure to conduct PAT.
174. Except in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements, it is not the duty of ISI inspectors
to check on the national smoking ban from 1st July 2007 or to include it within the inspection of health
and safety requirements.
EYFS ➔Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment, Note E53
Boarding ➔NMS 6 - Safety of Boarders, Note B45
Paragraph 12 – Fire
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures compliance with the Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005.
175. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the proprietor to take such fire precautions as
will ensure as far as reasonably practicable that safety of staff or anyone else legally on the premises.
The government has produced a short guide to the Order which explains how to conduct a fire risk
assessment and put arrangements in place: Making your premises safe from fire. For ISI inspection
purposes these requirements, when documented are termed a Fire Policy though schools may call it
something else.
FIRE POLICY CONTENT
176. The regulations require a fire risk assessment (formally recorded and regularly reviewed so as to keep
it up to date) and place on the proprietor or governing body additional duties to:
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•
produce a fire risk (prevention) policy which includes the elimination or reduction of risks from
dangerous substances;
•
develop and implement fire procedures and provide staff training (repeated periodically where
appropriate);
•
ensure the safety of staff or anyone else legally on the school premises;
•
carry out fire drills and contact emergency services when necessary;
•
appoint one or more competent persons (with sufficient training, experience and knowledge) to
assist in taking preventive and protective measures (including firefighting and evacuation);
•
have a suitable system for the provision and maintenance of: clear emergency routes and exits
(with doors normally opening in the direction of escape), signs, notices, emergency lighting
where required, fire detectors, alarms and extinguishers; the maintenance should be by a
‘competent person’ (for example, ISO9001 certified or BAFE approved);
•
provide staff and any others working on the school site with fire safety information.
IMPLEMENTATION
177. Inspections will look for effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the
preventive and protective measures, including reference to the documentation listed below in addition
to on-site viewing of fire safety arrangements and interviews with staff and pupils.
178. In order to prove that the duties are properly discharged, the school’s ‘responsible person’ should keep
records of the following:
•
the fire risk assessment and its review;
•
the fire risk (prevention) policy;
•
fire procedures and arrangements;
•
training records;
•
records of inspection of escape routes;
•
fire practice drills;
•
certificates for the installation and records of maintenance of alarms, detectors, emergency
lighting and fire-fighting systems and equipment.
OTHER INFORMATION
179. The DfE has a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the fire authorities. Under this, no new
independent school may open until a satisfactory Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) report has been
received by DfE and the school. The FRS will be involved in building regulations approval, where these
apply to new building or alterations. The FRS will take a risk-based approach to additional school
premises. For established independent schools, risk is considered high for boarding and special schools,
and the FRS will carry out a full safety audit for these schools. For premises posing medium to very low
risk, a minimum of three schools a year will be inspected by the FRS in each fire authority.
180. Inspectors should not be narrowly prescriptive in their interpretation of the fire risk (prevention) policy,
but a written statement of the requirements as in the ‘Fire safety’ note above would denote good
practice.
Boarding ➔ NMS 7 - Fire Precautions and Drills, Note B50
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Paragraph 13 – First aid
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that first aid is administered in a timely
and competent manner by the drawing up and effective implementation of a written first aid policy.
181. From January 2015, the standard includes the timely and competent administration of first aid and the
effective implementation of the first-aid policy.
182. The regulation does not require schools to have regard to any particular guidance and so the policy can
be developed as appropriate for the school.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
183. DfE guidance on First aid in schools is available to assist schools in preparing their policies. The main
points in that guidance are listed below, although it is not a requirement for information about all of
these to be included within the policy, and schools cannot be found to be non-compliant on that basis
alone:
•
practical arrangements at the point of need;
•
the names of those qualified in first aid and the requirement for updated training every three
years;
•
having at least one qualified person on each school site when children are present;
•
showing how accidents are to be recorded and parents informed;
•
access to first aid kits;
•
arrangements for pupils with particular medical conditions (for example, asthma, epilepsy,
diabetes);
•
hygiene procedures for dealing with the spillage of body fluids;
•
guidance on when to call an ambulance;
•
reference to RIDDOR.
IMPLEMENTATION
184. During the inspection, the implementation of the policy will be checked through direct observation
around the school, responses of parents and pupils to questionnaires, interviews with pupils and staff
and scrutiny of records and documentation.
EYFS ➔ Staff qualifications, Note E33
Boarding ➔ Boarders’ health and well-being, Note B17
Paragraph 14 – Supervision
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that pupils are properly supervised
through appropriate deployment of school staff.
185. The standard does not require a written policy about the supervision of pupils. Inspectors will take a
professional judgement in view of the age of the pupils and the activities in which they are engaged.
Records such as staff rotas and guidance provided to staff about supervisory duties will be considered
by inspectors on-site.
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186. When a member of staff is supervising in a remote location, a mobile phone may be advisable. Where
senior pupils (usually prefects or the equivalent) have supervisory responsibilities for younger pupils,
there must always be a member of staff readily available and in overall charge.
EYFS ➔ Staff:child ratios, Note E36
Boarding ➔ Staffing and supervision, Note B103
Paragraph 15 – Admission and attendance registers
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that an admission and attendance register
is maintained in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.
187. The DfE publication Children missing education (2016) describes the legal requirements in relation to
registers. DfE advice about wider attendance issues is also to be found in Advice on School Attendance
(2016) (though this is no longer completely up to date in relation to registration requirements). Many
schools now have fully electronic systems in place to record admissions and attendance. Inspectors
should utilise the electronic systems to evaluate the registers and should not expect schools to print
registers in hard copy for inspection purposes.
ADMISSION REGISTER
188. For each pupil, the admission register must contain:
•
name in full;
•
sex;
•
name and address of every person known to the proprietor to be a parent of the pupil (and an
indication of which parent the pupil normally lives with and which parents hold parental
responsibility as defined by Section 3 Children Act 1989) – NB Parents holding parental
responsibility, even if not actually caring for the child, have a right to receive relevant information
from the school in respect of any pertinent matter affecting the child, unless a court order
indicates otherwise.
•
from September 2016, where a parent notifies a school that a pupil will live at another address, in
addition or instead, the new address, the full name of the parent with whom the pupil will
normally live in future and the date from which it is expected the pupil will normally live there,
where it is reasonably practicable for the school to ascertain this information;
•
at least one telephone number at which the parent can be contacted in an emergency;
•
day, month and year of birth;
•
day, month and year of admission or re-admission to the school;
•
name and address of the school last attended, if any;
•
an indication of boarding or day attendance (in schools which include boarders);
•
from September 2016, the name of the destination school (or additional school, in the case of
dual registration) notified by a parent and the first date of attendance, where it is reasonably
practicable for the school to ascertain this information.
189. The name of a pupil must be included in the register from the beginning of the first day on which the
school has agreed, or has been notified, that the pupil will attend the school. For most pupils the
expected first day of attendance is the first day of the school year.
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190. Deletions from the admissions register are also regulated. Since 2006, schools have been obliged to
inform their local authority (where the school is situated) where a pupil's name is going to be deleted
from the admission register on certain grounds. In summary, these were: when the child has been taken
out of school to be home educated; when the family has apparently moved away; when the child has
been certified as medically unfit to attend; when the child is in custody for more than four months;
when the child has been permanently excluded.
191. From 1 September 2016, the above duty is extended. Schools must notify their ‘own’ local authority
when they remove or add a pupil’s name to the admissions register at non-standard transitions, i.e.
where a compulsory school-aged child leaves a school before completing the school’s final year or
joins a school after the beginning of the school’s first year. The lawful grounds for removing a pupil,
including the original ones above, and the information to be reported to the local authority, are set out
in detail in Children missing education 2016. Schools are also under a duty to provide information to
the local authority for standard transitions if requested. Inspectors may remind schools that there is
overlap also with KCSIE 2016 which recognises children missing education as a safeguarding issue
particularly when a child leaves with no known destination. For this reason, although the legal
requirement under the registration regulations is met if the school reports to its ‘own’ local authority,
inspectors may advise that it is helpful for schools also to copy in the local authority where the child is
normally resident.
192. In relation to deletions from the register, the duty arises as soon as the grounds for deletion are met
and in any event before deleting the child’s name. As to non-standard admissions, the notification is to
be made within five days of the entry on the admission register.
193. From September 2016, a school’s right under the regulations to delete a pupil for non-return within 10
school days after authorised leave of 10 school days or more, or after 20 school days unauthorised
absence (in both cases, in the absence of illness or other unavoidable cause), does not arise until the
school and local authority have jointly made reasonable enquiries (described in the guidance) as to the
pupil’s whereabouts and failed. Inspectors may remind schools that, as independent schools, their right
to remove a pupil will in addition be subject to the terms and conditions of their own school/parent
contract.
194. Schools are also obliged to notify the local authority when a child or pupil fails to attend school regularly
or is absent without leave for more than 10 school days (continuous).
195. For compliance purposes, inspectors should expect schools to be aware of the broad duty to
notify/make returns to the local authority for all non-standard admissions and departures, to know or
be able to ascertain the correct local channels for so doing, to be able to evidence that, if there have
been any non-standard admissions or departures, the required notifications have occurred in
accordance with local procedures, and that the school works co-operatively with the local authority in
making returns as requested and reasonable enquiries where necessary. Inspectors should advise that
it is a criminal offence not to report when so required.
ATTENDANCE REGISTER
196. For all day pupils of compulsory school age, the attendance register must be completed at the start of
each morning session and once during each afternoon session. It must show whether the pupil is:
•
present;
•
absent;
•
attending an approved educational activity outside school (approved by the ‘proprietor’ and
supervised by a person approved by the proprietor or head, and including work experience or
sporting activity);
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•
unable to attend through exceptional circumstances (unavoidable closure of school site or part of
it; unavailability of transport provided by school or local authority, where the home is not within
walking distance);
•
taking authorised absence (granted leave of absence by the proprietor or a person acting on the
proprietor’s behalf; unable to attend by reason of sickness or unavoidable cause; observing a day
exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent belongs);
•
taking unauthorised absence (if no reason is established when the register is taken; the entry may
be corrected later when the reason is established).
197. A pupil may be marked in the attendance register as unable to attend because of exceptional
circumstances where the school site, or part of it, is closed or where transport normally provided for
that pupil by the school or the local authority is unavailable. Where a pupil is attending another school
at which he/she is a registered pupil he/she must be marked in the attendance register as attending an
approved educational activity.
198. DfE has a standard set of codes for schools to use in registers. They are not statutory for independent
schools, but may be used by them. Under this system, an N is first entered when no reason has yet been
provided for absence, and this is later corrected (ideally within two weeks) using the appropriate
symbol (in this case only, overwriting is allowable in an electronic system) and N must not be allowed
to remain indefinitely.
199. Where the reason for absence is not initially known, under the previous system (still allowable in an
independent school), an O is entered and a reason entered within the O at a later stage if it is known
(ideally within two weeks) but, if a reason is never established, the O remains as unauthorised absence.
For convenience, and to act as a check on pupils’ whereabouts for reasons of welfare or health and
safety, it is recommended that all schools should register boarding as well as day pupils, but this is not
a legal requirement. Similarly, it is not a specific legal requirement to register children of pre-school age
or sixth-form students. However, for welfare, health and safety, pastoral and educational reasons, it is
recommended that they should be registered in a similar way. In the case of sixth-form students, the
distinction between authorised and unauthorised absence is not necessary, and the timing of
registration may be more flexible.
200. If an independent sixth form college has five or more pupils of compulsory school age, it must be
registered as a school. Where students are following normal sixth-form courses, it is recommended that
they follow the DfE requirements for attendance (although there is no need to record authorised and
unauthorised absence for the sixth-form students). The keeping of attendance data is essential for the
care of the students’ academic progress and for reporting on it. It is also a welfare matter for the college
to know when students are or are not on the premises. Flexibility is reasonable for the timing and
method of registration for the post-16 students, particularly those on limited programmes of study, but
whatever system is used should be rigorously implemented.
KEEPING THE REGISTERS
201. Entries must be in ink and any amendments must show the original and amended entries, the reason
for the amendment, the date of amendment and the name of the person making the amendment. A
computerised register counts as being in ink. Where the admission or attendance register is kept by
means of a computer, an additional back-up copy must be made either electronically or as a printed
copy, not less than once a month. For example, each month’s permanent electronic copy might be
stored on a CD or flash drive/USB device. Each of these additional copies of the admission register and
the attendance register must be retained for three years after the end of the school year in question,
as must registers hand-written in ink.
202. Inspectors must observe a sample of registration sessions and examine the attendance and admission
registers to assure themselves that the requirements are being met.
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Part 3 - Welfare, health and safety of pupils
OTHER INFORMATION
203. There is no longer a requirement for independent schools to return absence data to the DfE and
inspectors can no longer check a school’s overall statistics, unless it has kept them for its own purposes.
204. Despite the clear overlap between the registration requirements and the safeguarding duty on schools
towards children missing education, failure to report children missing education, when this is a
requirement, is to be reported under standard 15, not 7.
205. The proprietor of a school which fails to comply with the requirements of the Education (Pupil
Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, as amended, including its reporting requirements, is guilty of
a criminal offence, under section 434(6) of the Education Act 1996, and can be fined.
Paragraph 16 – Risk assessment
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that(a)
the welfare of pupils at the school is safeguarded and promoted by the drawing up and effective
implementation of a written risk assessment policy; and
(b)
appropriate action is taken to reduce risks that are identified.
206. The aim of this standard is not to make schools risk-averse but to ensure they take an active approach
to managing risk, and thereby reduce the likelihood that pupils will be harmed through negligence and
lack of foresight or proper planning. This standard requires a written risk assessment policy. This will
already be included in the health and safety policy of schools and does not need to be separated out
providing the procedures for risk assessment are sufficiently detailed and cover all reasonably
foreseeable welfare issues relevant to the school.
207. The policy should demonstrate that risk assessment is systematic with a view to promoting children’s
welfare. In the absence of official published guidance from the DfE, the following is provided to support
a common approach to compliance and advice across inspections; absence of individual items will not
indicate non-compliance unless, in context, the omission is material and/or the policy intention of the
standard is not met. In context it may be clear that other issues should be covered.
•
Suggested areas of coverage: health and safety (eg premises and equipment, public rights of way),
matters related to pupil welfare (eg medical needs, supervision and school trips), recruitmentrelated issues, matters related to safeguarding (eg Prevent, bullying), lessons (activities,
recreation, sport, boarding), other issues of relevance to the particular school.
•
Suggested content: when risk assessments should be completed and by whom, any system of
authorisation, recording (including any pro-forma), training for staff, system for monitoring and
evaluating effectiveness.
208. Inspectors should not expect the policy to require all risk assessments to be in writing, but significant
findings of risk assessment should be in writing and risk assessments should be suitable and sufficient.
209. During an inspection a sample of risk assessments will be scrutinised and actions followed up. Schools
must be able to provide evidence of the actions they are taking or have taken to reduce risks identified.
EYFS ➔ Risk assessment, Note E56
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Other legislation
Other legislation
Equality Act 2010
210. The majority of equality legislation is outside the scope of inspection. However, since January 2015 antidiscrimination considerations have been introduced into Part One of the standards. In addition,
Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 requires schools to have a three-year accessibility plan.
Schedule 10
3.(1) The responsible body of a school in England and Wales must prepare—
(a)
an accessibility plan;
(b)
further such plans at such times as may be prescribed.
(2) An accessibility plan is a plan for, over a prescribed period—
(a)
increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school's curriculum,
(b)
improving the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to
which disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or
services provided or offered by the school, and
(c)
improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is readily accessible to pupils
who are not disabled.
(3) The delivery in sub-paragraph (2)(c) must be—
(a)
within a reasonable time;
(b)
in ways which are determined after taking account of the pupils' disabilities and any
preferences expressed by them or their parents.
(4) An accessibility plan must be in writing.
(5) The responsible body must keep its accessibility plan under review during the period to which it
relates and, if necessary, revise it.
(6) The responsible body must implement its accessibility plan.
4.(1) In preparing an accessibility plan, the responsible body must have regard to the need to allocate
adequate resources for implementing the plan.
211. The requirement for three-year planning originally ran from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2006. It was then
extended to cover subsequent three-year periods. The current period is from 1 April 2015 to 31 March
2018. However, in practice any current three-year period can be accepted.
ACCESSIBILITY PLAN CONTENT
212. The three-year plan should include how the school plans to (with timescales):
•
increase the extent to which disabled pupils (including those with special educational needs)
can participate in the school’s curriculum;
•
improve the provision to disabled pupils of information which is already in writing for pupils
who are not disabled;
•
improve the physical environment of the school in order to increase the extent to which
disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and associated services offered by the
school.
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Other legislation
FURTHER GUIDANCE
213. Even where all appropriate provision could be claimed to be well established, the school should still
have some form of plan with additional developments. ‘Disabled pupils’ for the purpose of the disability
access plan refers not only to those with physical disabilities but could include, for example, those with
health issues, including mental health, or learning disabilities if they meet the legal definition of
‘disability’.
214. The Equality Act 2010 retains the previous definition of disability: ‘A physical or mental impairment
which has substantial and long term adverse impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal everyday
activities’. This has some overlap with the definition of ‘special educational needs’ in the Children and
Families Act 2014 (which includes pupils with significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority
of children of his/her age, or a disability which means that a pupil cannot make full use of the general
educational facilities provided for pupils of their age in mainstream state schools) but not all pupils are
disabled by their SEN and vice versa.
IMPLEMENTATION
215. During inspection, inspectors will check the suitability of the three-year plan and how it is being
implemented in the school, and undertake interviews with relevant staff and pupils.
OTHER INFORMATION
216. To inform their advice and inspection of other standards, which require schools to cater for the needs
of all pupils, inspectors may wish to be aware of other aspects of the Equality Act.
217. Schools must:
•
not treat disabled pupils less favourably;
•
take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage (the
‘reasonable adjustment’ duty) in matters of admission and education.
218. Academically selective schools may select pupils by ability and aptitude (and need not adjust the pass
mark for pupils with disabilities), schools with a religious designation may select by religion and single
sex schools, by gender.
219. The duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ does not include a duty to change physical features. From
1 September 2012 it does include a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services: ‘where a disabled person
would, but for the provision of the auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a
relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, [a duty] to take such steps as it is
reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid’. There are no generic answers as to what is a
reasonable adjustment. The duty is always child specific and context specific. Many suggestions made
in the non-statutory advice from the DfE, or statutory guidance aimed at state schools or LAs, could be
viewed as steps/adjustments which could potentially be reasonable for independent schools to make
for pupils with disabilities. See, for example, the suggestions contained in advice documents listed in
the glossary.
220. The legal definition of ‘disability’ expressly excludes certain conditions: a tendency to set fire, steal,
physical or sexual abuse of other persons, exhibitionism and voyeurism. This has the effect that a pupil
with a disability is not protected by the Equality Act in relation to these specific behaviours though
reasonable adjustments should be made to avoid the behaviours arising (eg ‘cooling off’ strategies,
supervision). Tattoos, piercings and addictions to alcohol, nicotine and other substances are also
expressly excluded from the protection of the Equality Act.
221. Independent schools receiving local authority placements do not have a clear legal obligation to meet
maintained school legislation (the Public Sector Equality Duty) in matters such as producing a written
‘disability equality scheme’, a written ‘race equality policy’ or a written ‘gender equality scheme’.
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Other legislation
However, they may produce these if they so wish and public bodies may impose requirements as a
condition of funding.
EYFS ➔ Special educational needs, Note E58
Boarding ➔ Equal opportunities, Note B117
The ban on corporal punishment (School Standards and Framework Act 1998)
(1)
Corporal punishment given by, or on the authority of, a member of staff to a child—
(a)
for whom education is provided at any school, or
(b)
for whom education is provided, otherwise than at school, under any arrangements made by
a local education authority, or
(c)
for whom specified nursery education is provided otherwise than at school,
cannot be justified in any proceedings on the ground that it was given in pursuance of a right
exercisable by the member of staff by virtue of his position as such.
(2)
Subsection (1) applies to corporal punishment so given to a child at any time, whether at the school
or other place at which education is provided for the child, or elsewhere.
(3)
The following provisions have effect for the purposes of this section.
(4)
Any reference to giving corporal punishment to a child is to doing anything for the purpose of
punishing that child (whether or not there are other reasons for doing it) which, apart from any
justification, would constitute battery.
(5)
However, corporal punishment shall not be taken to be given to a child by virtue of anything done
for reasons that include averting—
(6)
(a)
an immediate danger of personal injury to, or
(b)
an immediate danger to the property of, any person (including the child himself).
‘Member of staff’, in relation to the child concerned, means—
(a)
any person who works as a teacher at the school or other place at which education is provided
for the child, or
(b)
any other person who (whether in connection with the provision of education for the child or
otherwise)—
(i)
works at that school or place, or
(ii)
otherwise provides his services there (whether or not for payment),
and has lawful control or charge of the child.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
222. Corporal punishment is prohibited for all pupils in independent and maintained schools. No separate
policy is required and guidance to staff may be included in a Staff Handbook or similar.
223. The prohibition includes the administration of corporal punishment to a pupil during any activity,
whether or not within the school premises. The prohibition applies to all ‘members of staff’. These
include all those acting in loco parentis, such as unpaid, volunteer supervisors. Teachers may use
‘physical intervention’ to avert ‘an immediate danger of personal injury to, or an immediate danger to
the property of, a person’ (including the child).
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Other legislation
224. Difficulties can arise from the interplay between the rule against corporal punishment and the
legitimate use of reasonable force. The DfE’s advice for schools on the use of reasonable force provides
a useful resource.
IMPLEMENTATION
225. Inspectors will check that the school has a clear policy that corporal punishment is not used and that
guidance is given to all ‘members of staff’ (as defined above) on the circumstances in which ‘physical
intervention’ is allowable.
EYFS ➔ Managing behaviour, Note E51
Preventing Radicalisation (Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015)
Section 26 General duty on specified authorities
(1)
A specified authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to prevent
people from being drawn into terrorism.
(2)
A specified authority is a person or body that is listed in Schedule 6.
Section 29 Power to issue guidance
(1)
The Secretary of State may issue guidance to specified authorities about the exercise of their duty
under section 26(1).
(2)
A specified authority must have regard to any such guidance in carrying out that duty.
(5)
Guidance issued under subsection (1) takes effect on whatever day the Secretary of State appoints
by regulations made by statutory instrument.
226. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on schools to have due regard to the need
to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (‘the Prevent duty’) and in so-doing have regard to
guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The Prevent duty came into force on 1 July 2015. This duty is
reported under paragraphs 7(a) and (b) of the standards, and related standards, as part of safeguarding
duties. See above.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Part 4 - Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
227. The regulations relating to vetting checks are the most complex, and require particularly careful
consideration by inspectors.
228. The first step is to ascertain what category the individual falls within and whether they are required to
be included on the Single Central Record (SCR) of appointments:
Part 4 applies?
Included on the SCR?
Staff,
whether or not in regulated activity
Yes
paragraph 18
Yes
Volunteer
No*
If they are checked, the checks should
be recorded on the SCR – KCSIE.
Supply Staff
Yes
paragraph 19
Yes
Employees of contractors and other
No*
third parties (eg visiting professionals)
No
Self-employed contractors arranged
by the school (whether or not
charged direct to parents)
Yes
if effectively
‘staff’, otherwise,
no. (See note 237
later)
Yes
if effectively ‘staff’, but otherwise, no.
(See note 237 later)
Chair of proprietors/governors
Yes
paragraph 20
No ( see note 304 later)
Other proprietor/governor (members Yes
of a body)
paragraph 20
Yes
Non-proprietor governor
No*
No
Adults who supervise children on
work experience
No*
No
Host families
No*
Not required on SCR if a ‘private
arrangement’ between families.
Otherwise, if the school is the regulated
activity provider, they should be
included.
* Those categories marked ‘No’ may still need vetting checks – as part of the school having regard to
DfE safeguarding guidance, and schools may continue to include them on the SCR if they wish. The
section from note 329 onwards at the end of this Part gives further details.
Relevancy test
229. Changes introduced from January 2015 brought the standards into line with the Protection of Freedoms
Act 2012, and ostensibly removed the blanket application of certain vetting checks requiring them only
for regulated activity or ‘where relevant’. Relevance is defined by reference to whether a person is or
will be engaging in regulated activity using definitions both pre- or post- the Protection of Freedoms
Act 2012. However, having regard to KCSIE 2016, in practice this has little effect in relation to enhanced
criminal record checks.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
230. Barred list checks are only ‘relevant’, available and required when the person will be engaging in
regulated activity as currently defined, that is, post- the Protection of Freedoms Act.
Regulated activity
231. Understanding regulated activity is key to understanding Part 4. The full legal definitions of regulated
activity are set out in Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as amended by the
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
232. Currently there is more than one definition of ‘regulated activity’ which is relevant to schools. The
following are those most relevant and in the order of most relevance to schools
Definitions of regulated activity
1
2
ALL REGULAR WORK FOR SCHOOLS WITH OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTACT WITH CHILDREN IS
REGULATED ACTIVITY, except:
•
Work (not entailing personal care, within definition 2) by supervised volunteers
•
Work (not entailing care or teaching, within definitions 2 or 3) by occasional/temporary
contractors
•
Work by pupils for other pupils (excepting for those in early years) (known as ‘the peer
exemption’).
Relevant personal care, or health care is regulated activity –
•
Personal care includes helping a child, for reasons of age, illness or disability, with eating or
drinking, or in connection with toileting, washing, bathing and dressing;
•
Health care in this context means care for children provided by or under the direction or
supervision of, a regulated health care professional.
Note that ‘care’ within this definition is always regulated; considerations of regularity and
supervision do not apply.
3
Regular, unsupervised teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children is
regulated activity and so is regularly
•
providing advice or guidance for children on well-being, or
•
driving a vehicle only for children.
233. Although the third definition concerns teaching, which is the primary function of schools, this definition
rarely needs to be considered by schools as ALL work, including teaching, which is done for a school will
usually be considered under the first definition above. The third definition is mainly of relevance to, for
example, peripatetic teachers whose work in one school would not be ‘regular’ but whose work across
several schools meets the ‘regular’ definition (for which see the glossary).
Deciding whether a person is engaging in regulated activity
234. Key questions:
•
Is the activity they will do ‘work’? (A person, for example, visiting the head or their own
child would not be working.)
•
Is the work regular? (See definition of ‘regular‘)
•
Does it give rise to opportunity for contact with children? (This applies whether or not that
contact is required by the work and whether or not it actually takes place. The issue is
whether there is ‘opportunity’.)
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
•
Is the work for the purposes of the school? (This would not include, for example, those
working for bodies hiring premises for other purposes out of school hours.)
If the answer to all these questions is ‘yes’, the person is working in regulated activity unless an
exception as below applies:
•
Is the person a volunteer?
•
If so, does their work involve personal care of pupils? (See definition of personal care,
above.)
•
If so, the volunteer is engaged in regulated activity because personal care work is always
regulated activity.
•
If not, are they supervised? (See DfE’s supervision guidance.)
•
If so, the volunteer is not engaged in regulated activity as a supervised volunteer, not
doing personal care work, is not in regulated activity.
•
Is the person a contractor?
•
If so, are they administering personal care or heath care, as defined? [These are always
regulated activity.]
•
If not, are they teaching pupils? [Regular teaching is always regulated activity.]
•
If not teaching work, is the contract for occasional or temporary non-teaching work (such
as, a quick plumbing task)? (There is no definition of ‘occasional or temporary’ but see the
definition of ‘regular’.)
•
If so, the contractor is not in regulated activity as non-teaching work by occasional or
temporary contractors is not regulated activity.
Paragraph 18 – Appointment of staff
(1)
The standard in this paragraph relates to the suitability of persons appointed as members of staff
at the school, other than the proprietor and supply staff.
(2)
The standard in this paragraph is met if—
(a)
no such person is barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section
3(2) of the 2006 Act where that person is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated
activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act;
(b)
no such person carries out work, or intends to carry out work, at the school in contravention
of a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128
of the 2008 Act or section 142 of the 2002 Act, or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction
which takes effect as if contained in either such direction;
(c)
the proprietor carries out appropriate checks to confirm in respect of each such person—
(i)
the person’s identity;
(ii)
the person’s medical fitness;
(iii) the person’s right to work in the United Kingdom; and
(iv) where appropriate, the person’s qualifications;
(d)
the proprietor ensures that, where relevant to any such person, an enhanced criminal record
check is made in respect of that person and an enhanced criminal record certificate is obtained
before or as soon as practicable after that person’s appointment;
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
(e)
in the case of any person for whom, by reason of that person living or having lived outside the
United Kingdom, obtaining such a certificate is not sufficient to establish the person’s
suitability to work in a school, such further checks are made as the proprietor considers
appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State; and
(f)
in the case of staff who care for, train, supervise or are in charge of boarders, in addition to
the matters specified in paragraphs (a) to (e), the proprietor checks that Standard 14 of the
National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or, where applicable, Standard 14 of the
National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools, is complied with,
and in the light of the information from the checks referred to in paragraphs (c) to (f) the proprietor
considers that the person is suitable for the position to which the person is appointed.
(3)
The checks referred to in sub-paragraphs (2)(c) and (except where sub-paragraph (4) applies) (2)(e)
must be completed before a person’s appointment.
(4)
The checks specified in sub-paragraphs (2)(d), (e) and (f) do not need to be carried out where the
new member of staff (‘M’) has worked in—
(a)
a school or a maintained school in England in a position which brought M regularly into contact
with children or young persons;
(b)
a maintained school in England in a position to which M was appointed on or after 12th May
2006 and which did not bring M regularly into contact with children or young persons; or
(c)
an institution within the further education sector in England or in a 16 to 19 Academy in a
position which involved the provision of education or which brought M regularly into contact
with children or young persons,
during a period which ended not more than three months before M’s appointment.
235. The regulations provide a detailed list of the checks which are required for each new member of staff.
The definition of staff is: Any person working at the school whether under a contract of employment,
under a contract for services or otherwise than under a contract, but does not include supply staff or a
volunteer.
236. The three strands of the definition of staff can be applied as follows:
•
Any person working at the school whether
•
under a contract of employment [this covers every employee, no matter what sort of work they
do]
•
under a contract for services [this covers self-employed people arranged and/or paid direct by the
school. It does not include those in a contract for services with others, subject to the exception
immediately below.]
•
or otherwise than under a contract [this covers self-employed people who are arranged by the
school for the purposes of the school but, for example, paid direct by parents, such as some
peripatetic teachers and therapists. It does not include workers arranged privately by parents.]
but does not include supply staff or a volunteer.
237. In relation to the second and third strands, the DfE permits schools to exercise professional discretion
as to when self-employed people should be treated as ‘staff’ or as ‘contractors’ (see later). The
inspection expectation is that, as a rule of thumb, if the person is in regulated activity in the school they
should normally be treated as ‘staff’. This could have the effect that an invigilator who works for a week
is treated as ‘staff’ but a self-employed plumber who does likewise is treated as a contractor. For this
grey area of worker definition, inspectors should respect the DfE policy intention to allow discretion to
professionals in schools and probe, if necessary, whether a school has made a reasonable decision in
context. Contemporaneous evidence of a risk-based decision by the school (eg a brief note on the SCR)
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
which recognises regulated activity as a key risk factor, can be indicative of a reasonable approach,
though individual written risk-assessments should not be considered a regulatory requirement.
238. In the light of the above, the following are included in ‘staff’: teachers, peripatetic teachers and coaches,
part-time staff, students, administrative staff, caretakers and other ancillary staff, staff appointed from
overseas, pupils paid to work at the school (for example as after-school carers).
239. There has been some change over time and the table below sets out the requirements for each change
in regulations.
Staff recruitment checks over time
Date of
appointment
Barred list/List99
check
Pre
1.9.03
✓
1.9.03 to
30.4.07
✓
1.5.07 to
31.8.10
✓
1.9.10 to
2.4.14
✓
3.4.14 to
4.1.15
5.1.15 to
12.8.15
12.8.15 to
5.9.16
5.9.16
to date
Preappointme
nt?
✓
✓(Regulate
d activity
only)
✓
(Regulated
activity
only)
✓
Checked
separately
if the
person is to
✓
be in
(Regulated
regulated
activity
activity and
only)
DBS
disclosure
not
received in
time.
✓
If in
regulated
activity
(past or
current
definition)
✓
If in
regulated
activity
(past or
current
definition)
Applied for
(Note 5)
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
If in
regulated
activity
(past or
current
definition)
Identity
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Medical fitness
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓(Note 3)
Previous
employment
history/CV
✓
✓
✓
✓
(Note 2)
✓
(Note 2)
✓
(Note 2)
✓
(Note 2)
✓
✓
(Notes 2
and 6)
✓
(Notes 2
and 6)
✓
(Notes 2
and 6)
✓
(Notes 2
and 6)
✓
(Notes 2
and 6)
Enhanced
criminal record
check
(Note 1)
References
Character
references
✓
✓
✓
Professional
references,
where
appropriate
✓
✓
✓
Qualifications,
where
appropriate
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
But see
fuller notes
✓
(Note 9)
✓
Overseas checks,
where
appropriate
EEA check for
teachers who
have taught in
the EEA
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Right to work in
the UK
Prohibition from
teaching orders –
for those who
carry out
teaching work
Disqualification
from childcare
Prohibition from
management
directions
(section 128
directions)
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
(Note 4)
✓
(Note 4)
✓
✓
✓
From
27.2.15
✓
(Note 7)
✓
(Note 7)
✓
(Note 7)
✓
(Note 8)
✓
(Note 8)
(Note 8)
Note 1 Boarding staff have needed an enhanced disclosure since April 2002 under the NMS applicable at the time.
Note 2 Required in having regard to KCSIE. Gaps in checking are reported under regulation 7(a)&(b).
Note 3 see note 210 for information about implications of the Equality Act (but note that compliance with this equality
duty towards prospective employees is outside the remit of school inspection).
Note 4 Introduced in April 2014 as part of having regard to KCSIE and from January 2015 by the ISSRs. In late January
2015 the DfE asked schools to do this check on teaching staff appointed since 1 April 2012.
Note 5 For those not in regulated activity, on past or current definitions, gaps in checking are reported under regulation
7(a) & (b). For those in regulated activity, on past or present definitions, gaps in checking are reported under
regulation 18(2)(d).
Note 6 From the introduction of KCSIE in April 2014, the requirement for references does not distinguish between
professional and character references.
Note 7 Required in having regard to Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006. See note 128 above for an explanation
of the scope of these checks for existing and new staff. Gaps in checking are reported under regulation 7(a)&(b).
Note 8 Required for proprietors and staff appointed to management positions from 12 August 2015, but not including
those starting in September 2015 for whom vetting checks had already been completed before 12 August 2015.
See note 278 below for more.
Note 9 The EEA check for applicant teachers who have taught in the EEA, is required from 5 September 2016 as part of
having regard to KCSIE 2016. It is also part of overseas checking within ISSR Part 4. A separate SCR column is not
a compliance requirement. See note 267 below for more.
FURTHER GUIDANCE
Barred list/List 99 check
240. Barring information is usually obtained as part of an enhanced criminal record check via the DBS. To do
this, the employer must indicate on the application form that barring information is requested. A barred
list check can be obtained separately from an enhanced disclosure through the Teachers’ Pensions
online service (search for the application form or call the telephone number given on the website).
There is an annual charge for registration. From September 2016, failure to make barred list checks
when required, where checks subsequently made during inspection show that no person was barred,
is to be reported under Part 3, paragraphs 7(a) and (b) of the Standards (failure to have regard to KCSIE),
and also potentially under Part 8, paragraphs 34(b) and (c) if the failure is considered material.
241. Schools should note that a separate barred list check must be undertaken in the event that:
•
a new enhanced disclosure with barring information is required but is not received in advance of
a member of staff starting work in regulated activity; or
•
a pre-existing enhanced DBS check is accepted under the three-month rule (for which see below)
for a member of staff starting work in regulated activity; or
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•
a pre-existing enhanced DBS check without barring information is accepted from a candidate who
has subscribed to the DBS update service.
Enhanced criminal record check
242. Criminal record checks are carried out via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). A DBS certificate is
a document containing details of a person’s criminal record, including convictions, cautions, reprimands
and warnings held on the Police National Computer. An enhanced disclosure may also contain details
of information held on local police records which the police consider to be relevant to the workforce in
which the person is applying to work. (For this purpose the workforce is categorised as ‘the children’s
workforce’, ‘the vulnerable adults workforce’ or both.)
243. KCSIE is clear that schools are not required to retain copies of DBS certificates. If they choose to do so,
for reasons connected with the Data Protection Act they should not to keep them for longer than
around 6 months. (ISI does not inspect DPA compliance except for the reference to it in the EYFS.) The
Police Act 1997 makes unauthorised disclosure of any information in a DBS certificate a criminal
offence. Consequently, inspectors should not expect to find DBS certificates on file or ask to read any
which have been retained.
244. The three-month rule – Members of staff in schools must be subject to an enhanced criminal record
check on entry to the schools workforce and, thereafter, may move between schools without
requirement on subsequent employer schools to carry out further DBS checks unless they leave the
school’s workforce for three months or more. However, if a new school accepts a pre-existing check
under this rule, they must carry out a separate barred list check, subject to the note below concerning
use of the DBS Update Service
245. Obtaining criminal record checks - The table below indicates the various ways in which the
requirements for an enhanced criminal records check can be met for a person ‘P’.
Situation
Actions for the school
Within three months of an appointment, P has
The school may apply for a criminal record
been working in a school or college and meets the certificate but is not required to do so.
requirements of 18(4) above.
A new, separate barred list check must be
obtained.
P has a criminal record certificate from a previous
employer but does not fall within the threemonth rule, above, and has not subscribed to the
DBS Update service.
The school must apply for a new criminal record
certificate, including a barred list check.
If the DBS certificate is delayed, a separate barred
list check must be obtained in advance of P
starting work.
P has a criminal record certificate from a previous
employer at the enhanced level (including
children’s barred list) and has subscribed to the
Update service (see note 247 below) and gives
permission to the school to check the status.
The school should examine the original
certificate, check it matches the individual’s
identity and run an online Update check, which
will provide information about any changes since
the certificate was issued. If the check indicates
that there has been a change then the individual
must apply for a new certificate.
If the original check did not include barring
information for the children’s workforce, a
separate barred list check must be obtained.
P has a criminal record certificate from a previous The school should apply for a new disclosure,
including a new barred list check, because the
employer at the standard level and has
previous disclosure is not at the correct level.
subscribed to the Update service.
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246. From 17 June 2013 criminal record certificates are no longer supplied to the employer, only to the
applicant. Until the school has had sight of the original disclosure certificate, the applicant should be
treated as unchecked and subject to the safeguards set out below. This requirement arises from both
the DBS Employer Guidance and KCSIE. However, if the school has received official advance information
from the DBS or a registered umbrella body that the DBS certificate has been issued and contains no
information, it will be reasonable for a school to take this into account when assessing the safeguards
which are appropriate.
247. Also from 17 June 2013, the applicant may subscribe to the DBS Update service. This enables other
employers to check instantly on-line that there have not been changes since the issue of a DBS
certificate. See table above for more information.
248. When a DBS check is required, schools may apply once an appointment is made, even if that is more
than three months before the applicant will start work. However, it would be seen as best practice to
undertake the check closer to appointment.
What does the school need to do if a disclosure is delayed?
249. If an enhanced criminal record check is required but the DBS certificate is not available before a person
starts work in regulated activity, a head may allow the member of staff to commence work:
•
after a satisfactory check of the barred list if the person will be working in regulated activity;
•
and all other relevant checks have been completed satisfactorily;
•
provided that the DBS application has been made in advance;
•
with appropriate safeguards taken (for example, loose supervision).
250. Previous additional advice to:
•
avoid confirming the appointment;
•
review safeguards at least every two weeks;
•
ensure the person in question is informed of the safeguards in place;
•
add a note to the single central register and keep evidence of the measures put in place;
does not appear in KCSIE. These points should now be considered good practice advice and/or
evidential of safeguards.
251. Applicants who are residing overseas when applying for a criminal record check should refer to the DBS
guidance for applicants with unusual addresses. It may be possible for a registered body such as a school
or its umbrella organisation to submit a disclosure application form whilst an applicant is still overseas,
depending on the identity documents being provided. The registered body needs assurances of the
applicant’s identity from a reputable source overseas, for example the overseas school where the
individual is currently employed or studying. For staff taking up residence and duties in a boarding
house it is advisable to start the process well in advance of the proposed date of starting work so that
the check is complete beforehand. Where the DBS certificate is not received in advance of employment
commencing, the usual process for all staff where this is the situation outlined in the notes above must
be followed, with supervision arrangements reflecting the potential for access to children.
Identity
252. An application for a criminal record (DBS) check will always include an identity check and in this context,
the methodology for identity checking is subject to detailed guidance from the DBS. In summary, this
typically includes official documents such as a passport, a driving licence, or a birth certificate,
photographic identity, together with evidence of address (for example, a utility bill, bank statement or
similar). KCSIE provides a link to the full guidance which also covers how to check the identity of those
lacking the usual official documentation.
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253. In other contexts, such as staff who are not in regulated activity or the arrival on-site of staff who have
been checked by an agency or other employers, schools are permitted discretion in their approach to
identity checking, acting reasonably in accordance with the risks inherent in the particular context (eg
the role the person is to perform, the level of contact with children, supervision and so forth). Typical
processes entail requesting an official document which verifies identity and address, and photographic
identification.
Medical fitness
254. The DfE advice, Registration of Independent Schools, 2015, explains this duty as follows: ‘Schools must
satisfy themselves of the medical fitness of staff to carry out the duties of the post applied for’. ‘Medical
fitness’ includes both physical and mental health. No particular methodology is prescribed. Popular
means are through asking prospective employees to declare their fitness for the role, or to complete a
medical questionnaire. This could be followed up with a request for medical advice, with the consent
of the applicant.
255. The DfE advice continues: ‘Disabled staff make an important contribution to the overall school
curriculum, both as effective employees and in raising the aspirations of disabled pupils and educating
non-disabled people about the reality of disability. Many disabled people will be medically fit to teach,
though under the Equality Act 2010 employers may have to make reasonable adjustments to enable
disabled people to carry out their duties effectively.’
256. A self-declaration of fitness from each member of staff is the most practical way schools can comply
with this requirement. Where a self-declaration is used, the regulations do not set out a particular
format for this. It is recommended that, for evidential purposes, such declarations should be duly signed
by the applicant and should contain, as a minimum, a simple statement that the applicant knows of no
reasons, on grounds of mental or physical health, why they should not be able to discharge the
responsibilities required by the post in question.’
257. Inspectors should be aware that, under part of the Equality Act 2010 which ISI does not inspect (section
60), employers may only ask health-related questions of applicants before the appointment is offered
if the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work. The DfE advises that this
would not include asking for information about previous sickness absences. Further guidance for
employers on this issue has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Typical
compliant approaches which reconcile the duty under the standards with that under the Equality Act
include ensuring that any health-related questions posed prior to offering a post are necessary and
relevant to the post applied for, or not asking health-related questions until after the appointment has
been offered. Inspectors’ role is to ensure that medical fitness has been checked before new employees
start work.
Previous employment history/CV/References
258. These checks are no longer specified in the regulations, but are required as part of having regard to
KCSIE. The legal difference is that the duty to ‘have regard’ permits some flexibility where exceptional
circumstances arise. By contrast, in principle, flexibility is not permitted in relation to the checks
required by the regulations except to any extent described therein, though even in the later instance,
public reporting is now subject to considerations of materiality (for which, see the introduction to this
handbook).
259. KCSIE states that employers should always take up written information about employment history but
does not prescribe the method by which this is done, thereby leaving schools some discretion. Although
the previous statutory guidance (2007) recommended the use of application forms as best practice
because they support the presentation of information in a standardised and logical way, and
disapproved the use of CVs, this guidance has not been carried over into KCSIE. Inspectors can,
therefore, advise schools of good practice, but the use of a form cannot be considered a specific
standalone compliance requirement. Checks of previous employment history should ascertain
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
satisfactory reasons for any gaps in employment. The information provided by the candidate should be
checked against references subsequently received, and any discrepancies taken up with the candidate.
260. References should be taken up, ideally before interview, including a request whether the referee is
aware of any reason or has any concern that the applicant may not be suitable to work with children.
KCSIE does not specify a number of references but implies that there will be more than one. For
inspection purposes, the usual expectation is therefore that for suitability purposes there will be a
minimum of two, subject to any ‘exceptional circumstances’. If a reference is taken over the telephone,
for evidential purposes detailed notes must be taken, dated and signed, and make clear who was
spoken to. References should be checked on receipt to check that all specific questions have been
answered satisfactorily, with appropriate follow-up where required. Inspectors may advise that, as a
matter of good practice, references not received in good time before appointment should be chased
by telephone and alternative referees approached if needed. For minimum compliance purposes,
references should be received before the person starts work.
261. Inspectors may remind schools that it is best practice in safer recruitment to seek references from the
most recent employer. However, KCSIE does not specify the identity of referees, except in the case of
a teacher candidate who is not currently teaching, when it recommends that it is ‘advisable’ to check
with the school at which they worked most recently to confirm reasons for leaving.
262. Questions are often asked about the value of references which confirm only that a person worked for
a certain company between certain dates. Inspectors may recognise that these do confirm an element
of an applicant’s employment history and their whereabouts for a period, although such references
should be supplemented by one or more others to address the suitability question.
Qualifications, where appropriate
263. It will be ‘appropriate’ to check qualifications where the school stipulates or an individual claims
qualifications as part of the recruitment process. Such qualifications should be checked in advance of
appointment. For compliance purposes, this applies to any qualifications taken into account in making
the appointment.
Overseas checks, where appropriate, including checking for EEA professional sanctions
264. If, because of a person ‘living or having lived’ outside of the UK, a DBS check is not considered sufficient
to establish suitability to work in a school (because a UK check would not cover offences committed
abroad, but only those on the UK Police National Computer), schools must carry out ‘such further
checks as the proprietor considers appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the [DfE]’. Such
checks must be completed before the person starts work. This standard applies where relevant both to
foreign nationals and UK nationals returning from overseas.
265. No period of time is prescribed to differentiate between ‘living’ in a country and an extended holiday,
so schools are permitted discretion to set their own policies within reasonable limits. The duration of a
tourist visa may act as a useful rule of thumb, often around three months. The NSPCC advises that
checks should be obtained when a person has lived overseas for three months or more in the last five
years. ISI adopts this advice as a starting point for compliance. Inspectors may allow that time spent
overseas under the age of 16 is of less significance as, even in England, it is not possible to obtain checks
for those aged under 16. These are rules of thumb only, and there may be situations where it is not
appropriate to limit the checks carried out.
266. Although the standard allows schools some professional discretion as to the nature of the ‘further
checks’ they seek, schools are also required to have regard to the government’s guidance. The Home
Office has published guides on what checks are available from different countries and foreign
embassies. For compliance purposes, schools can be taken to have ‘had regard’ to this guidance if they
have made the relevant application (or ensured the applicant did so, if it must come from them direct),
before the person starts work, whether or not any response is received. In the absence of a response
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
from official sources overseas before the person starts work, schools must obtain alternative ‘further
checks’ before the person starts work. Additional references (beyond the two normally expected),
would be acceptable, for example.EEA check - From 6 September 2016, in accordance with KCSIE 2016,
the ‘further checks’ should include a check for information about any teacher sanction or restriction
that has been imposed by a professional regulating authority in the European Economic Area (EEA).
This check is relevant to applicants for teaching posts in England who have taught in the EEA. It is
applicable to both foreign nationals and UK nationals who have taught in the EEA. This check is carried
out using the NCTL Teacher Services system. Only restrictions imposed on or after 18 January 2016 will
be displayed. There is no official DfE guidance for schools to restrict those checked in this way by
reference to how long ago a candidate taught in the EEA or how long for. Schools, therefore, have
discretion to set a reasonable limit, such as the rule of thumb suggested above. The check does not
require a separate SCR column as it can be considered part of the overseas ‘further checks’.
267. Where a member of staff has worked in a school in the UK since moving from overseas, the standard
checks can be made for subsequent appointments.
Right to work in the UK
268. The rules for employing migrant workers changed from February 2008, so that any employer who
employs someone who is subject to immigration control, aged over 15, who is not entitled to undertake
the work, could face a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. The Home Office has issued guidance on
right to work checks and how to carry them out.
Prohibition from teaching orders
269. Schools must now check that anyone employed or engaged to carry out teaching work in school is not
subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State. It is irrelevant whether the person
carrying out teaching work has Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or a Teacher Reference Number (TRN)
or is peripatetic or is charged by the school to the parents. The check is free and is completed using
Teacher Services, formerly known as Employer Access Online, and can be undertaken on individuals
who do not have QTS by searching the alphabetical list by name. More information about how to do
the check is given on Teacher Services. The requirement applies to those who teach in schools, not
other institutions. Schools may be directed to the DfE helpline: Employer.Access@education.gov.uk.
270. This check applies to those appointed to teach on or after 1 April 2012, but inspectors should bear in
mind that it only became available in April 2014, and in January 2015 the DfE advised that it should
effectively be backdated. So checks for those appointed between April 2012–14 will not have been
carried out pre-appointment through no fault of the school and schools are not to be found noncompliant on that account.
271. From September 2016, failure to make checks for prohibition from teaching, where required, where
checks are subsequently made during inspection but show that no person was prohibited from
teaching, is reported under Part 3, paragraphs 7(a) and (b) of the Standards (failure to have regard to
KCSIE) and potentially also Part 8, paragraphs 34(b) and (c) if the failure is considered material.
272. ‘Teaching work’ is defined in The Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012 to encompass:
•
planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils;
•
delivering and preparing lessons to pupils;
•
assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils;
•
reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
‘Delivering’ includes delivering lessons through distance learning or computer-aided techniques.
273. However, none of these activities is ‘teaching work’ if the person carrying out the activity does so (‘other
than for the purposes of induction’) subject to the direction and supervision of a qualified teacher or
other person nominated by the headteacher. There is no official definition in this context as to what
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
constitutes ‘direction and supervision’, so some discretion is allowed to schools, but clearly the
discretion has to be exercised reasonably and the ‘direction and supervision’ must be genuine and
realistic in context not merely notional.
274. Teaching assistants are unlikely to need prohibition checks as it is likely that their work is carried out
under direction and supervision, but schools vary in how they deploy their teaching assistants and in
the amount of responsibility and autonomy they allow them. Schools should therefore decide on a case
by case basis, in the light of their own practice relating to teaching assistants, whether these assistants
require prohibition checks. Similar reasoning would also apply to those employed as sports coaches and
similar posts.
275. Application to Early Years - In the context of the Early Years, as a matter of best practice advice,
inspectors should encourage schools to make use of the prohibition from teaching check as part of their
suitability checks so that they have full information about candidates before making appointments.
However:
•
Under three – the check is not a compliance requirement for those working with children under
the age of three, though information received that a person is prohibited from teaching would call
into question their ‘suitability’;
•
Three to fives – In relation to those carrying out teaching work with children aged 3–5, the check
is a compliance requirement, subject to the usual considerations, where children are ‘pupils’ of
the main school (ie the check is available but not a requirement in institutions which are legally
stand-alone independent nurseries and not registered as part of an all-through school).
276. ‘Nursery nurses’ may or may not require the check depending on the considerations above: whether
the work of the particular individual amounts to ‘teaching work’; and if so whether it is under ‘direction
and supervision’; the age of the children they work with; whether the children are ‘pupils’ of an
independent school. Inspectors can contact the ISI office for support if required.
Prohibition from management of independent schools directions
277. From 12 August 2015, schools must check whether staff appointed to management positions after that
date are subject to a section 128 direction. This does not apply staff promoted internally.
278. The following staff are considered to be in management positions for the purpose of this check:
•
headteachers;
•
all staff on the senior leadership team (including non-teaching staff);
•
teaching positions with departmental headship;
•
proprietors - refer also to note 309 for more information about this check as it applies to
proprietors.
Questions arise as to what amounts to ‘departmental headship’. There is no specific definition available.
Inspectors should check that the school takes a reasonable approach in the context.
279. There are two ways to do the check.
•
For people who are not in regulated activity, it can only be done via NCTL Secure Access. This
route is available whether or not the person has a teacher number.
•
For people in regulated activity, the check can be done either as above or via the DBS as part of
checking the barred list. To do the latter, schools must include on the DBS application form,
within box 61, Position Applied for: ‘Child Workforce Independent School’. This allows the DBS to
confirm if a section 128 direction has been made.
280. See the letter of the DfE to all schools dated 11 August 2015 for more. ‘Appointment’ is not defined in
this context. Where, as at 12 August 2015, staff due to start work in management positions in
September 2015 had already been subject to vetting checks, schools were not required to re-open the
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
vetting process to run this new check, as it was known that no s.128 directions had yet been made at
that time.
281. From September 2016, failure to check for prohibition from management, where required, is to be
reported under Part 3, paragraphs 7(a) and (b) of the Standards and potentially also Part 8, paragraphs
34(b) and (c) if the failure is considered material, where checks are subsequently made during
inspection but show that no person to whom it applies was prohibited from management.
Disqualification by association – early years and relevant later years provision
282. Pre-appointment checks in this regard (see note 128 above) may also be needed for relevant staff,
leaders and managers as part of having regard to KCSIE, which incorporates Disqualification under the
Childcare Act 2006. This check should be undertaken from time to time, not only pre-appointment. No
particular time has been set by the DfE for repeat checks, so schools can exercise reasonable discretion.
Deficiencies are reportable under Part 3, paragraphs 7(a) and (b).
Transfer of employees under TUPE
283. If there is continuous employment under TUPE (transfer of undertakings protection of employment)
arrangements, there is a requirement for information to be passed to the new owner. If the details are
fully in order, the new employer enters them on its own central register, including the number and date
of the DBS checks, and adds a note to the register that the details have been accepted under TUPE
arrangements. There must have been no three-month break in employment. However, if the
information is incomplete, it may be necessary to undertake a new DBS check and to include all the
other necessary checks.
IMPLEMENTATION
284. Inspectors will review a sample of staff files which includes all categories, and the single central register
of appointment checks (see later section). Where omissions are identified within the sample, additional
files may be scrutinised and inspectors will check whether omissions are appropriate in view of the, for
example, tests relating to regulated activity and ‘relevance’. Interviews with staff involved in the
recruitment process will also contribute to the evidence for inspection.
285. From April 2014, KCSIE requires the retention of copies of identity documents, right to work, and
qualifications. Retention of copies of DBS certificates is not a requirement.
286. If appropriate, inspectors can point schools to the Information Commissioner’s Office or Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development for guidance on more general document retention issues. A
reasonable approach is to keep personnel files for six years after the person has left (in case any legal
process requires them). The Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007 requires employers
in England and Wales to check and retain copies of passports, or alternatively birth/adoption
certificates, belonging to people appointed on or after 29 February 2008. However, inspectors should
be clear that wider document retention issues and Data Protection Act compliance are not within the
inspection remit of ISI (with the exception of the reference to the Data Protection Act in the EYFS
statutory framework).
EYFS ➔ Suitable people, Note E27
Boarding ➔ Staff Recruitment and Checks on Other Adults, Note B90
Paragraph 19 – Appointment of supply staff
(1)
This paragraph relates to the suitability of supply staff at the school.
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(2)
The standard in this paragraph is met if—
(a)
a person offered for supply by an employment business to the school only begins to work at
the school if the proprietor has received –
(i)
written notification from the employment business in relation to that person—
(aa) that the checks referred to in paragraph 21(3)(a)(i) to (iv), (vii) and (b) have been
made to the extent relevant to that person;
(bb) that, where relevant to that person, an enhanced criminal record check has been
made and that it or another employment business has obtained an enhanced
criminal record certificate in response to such a check; and
(cc) if the employment business has obtained such a certificate before the person is due
to begin work at the school, whether it disclosed any matter or information; and
(ii)
a copy of any enhanced criminal record certificate obtained by an employment business
before the person is due to begin work at the school;
(b)
a person offered for supply by an employment business only begins work at the school if the
proprietor considers that the person is suitable for the work for which the person is supplied;
(c)
before a person offered for supply by an employment business begins work at the school the
person’s identity is checked by the proprietor of the school (irrespective of any such check
carried out by the employment business before the person was offered for supply);
(d)
the proprietor, in the contract or other arrangements which the proprietor makes with any
employment business, requires the employment business to provide—
(i)
the notification referred to in paragraph (a)(i); and
(ii)
a copy of any enhanced criminal record certificate which the employment business
obtains,
in respect of any person whom the employment business supplies to the school; and
(e)
except for those persons to whom sub-paragraph (4) applies, in the case of supply staff who
care for, train, supervise or are in charge of boarders, the proprietor checks that the relevant
parts of Standard 14 of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or where
applicable, Standard 14 of the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools
are complied with.
(3) Except in the case of a person to whom sub-paragraph (4) applies, the certificate referred to in subparagraph (2)(a)(i)(bb) must have been obtained not more than 3 months before the date on which the
person is due to begin work at the school.
(4)
This sub-paragraph applies to a person (‘P’) who has worked in—
(a)
a school or a maintained school in England in a position which brought P regularly into contact
with children or young persons;
(b)
a maintained school in England in a position to which P was appointed on or after 12 May 2006
and which did not bring P regularly into contact with children or young persons; or
(c)
an institution within the further education sector in England or in a 16 to 19 Academy in a
position which involved the provision of education or which brought P regularly into contact
with children or young persons,
during a period which ended not more than three months before P is due to begin work at the
school.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
287. Who are ‘supply staff’? Paragraph 19 only applies to people ‘offered for supply by an employment
business’ - not to all third party staff. An employment business is narrowly defined in the ISSR,
regulation 2, effectively as a supply (temping) agency. Supply staff could perform any function, not only
teaching.
288. Schools must receive written confirmation from the relevant supply agency that the required checks
have been carried out to the extent relevant to that person: identity, enhanced disclosure, right to work
in the UK, barred list/List 99, prohibition from teaching, prohibition from management of an
independent school, qualifications, overseas checks.
289. The school must also see each criminal record certificate, whether or not it discloses any information.
The school is not required to retain a copy on file.
290. Additionally, in having regard to KCSIE, the agency should take up references, obtain a declaration of
medical fitness, check previous employment history and, if applicable, check whether the person is
disqualified from childcare under the Childcare Act 2006, including by association.
291. The identity of supply staff must be checked on arrival at school to ensure that they are the same person
on whom checks have been carried out.
FURTHER INFORMATION
292. KCSIE muddies the water in relation to supply staff in that it contains both a section on the vetting of
‘Agency and third party staff’, and a section on the vetting of ‘Contractors’. The checks differ between
the two groups, but no explanation or examples are given as to when ‘third party staff’ are to be
checked in line with ‘agency’ staff and when they may be subject to the less stringent regime for
‘contractor’ staff. In relation to workers who are not from an employment business (temping agency),
but who might be considered either ‘third party staff’ or ‘contractors’, schools can exercise reasonable
discretion whether to treat them in line with agency staff or in line with contractor staff. See later, note
339 et seq, for the vetting requirements for contractors.
IMPLEMENTATION
293. Where a school uses a supply agency, inspectors will review a sample of relevant files, and the single
central register of appointment checks (see later section). Where omissions are identified within the
sample, additional files may be scrutinised and questions asked to ascertain whether omissions are
appropriate to the appointment. The contract with the agency will be reviewed to check that it requires
production of each criminal record certificate, and interviews with staff involved in the managing
process will also be used to gather evidence.
Paragraph 20 – Appointment of proprietors
294. The ‘proprietor’ is the person or body of persons responsible for the management of the school. Part
4, paragraph 20 divides proprietors into three categories:
•
Individuals;
•
chairs of a body;
•
members of a body.
These three categories are dealt with separately below.
295. Every independent school must be registered with the DfE. This process, between the school and the
DfE as registration authority, entails identifying and registering the proprietor. For the purposes of
suitability checks under Part 4, paragraph 20, the starting position for inspectors is that the proprietor
is the person or body of persons who or which has been accepted by the DfE and registered as such on
Edubase.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
296. If inspectors come across a situation where the proprietor is apparently different from the registered
proprietor, for example, the proprietor identified to parents under Part 6 is not the proprietor
registered on Edubase, inspectors should explore with the school what the correct position is and
whether the DfE has been informed of any changes. If DfE has not been informed, inspectors should
inform the ISI office and advise the school to contact the DfE during the inspection, (email address:
registration.enquiries@education.gsi.gov.uk).
Paragraph 20 – The individual proprietor
(2)
Sub-paragraph (3) relates to the suitability of the proprietor where the proprietor is an individual.
(3)
The standard in this paragraph is met if—
(a)
(b)
the individual–
(i)
is not barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2)
of the 2006 Act where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated
activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and
(ii)
does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a
prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section
128 of the 2008 Act or section 142 of the 2002 Act or any disqualification, prohibition or
restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction; and
the Secretary of State makes the following checks relating to the individual before the school
is entered in the register or, in the case of a registered school, before or as soon as practicable
after the individual takes over as proprietor—
(i)
where relevant to the individual, an enhanced criminal record check, countersigned by
the Secretary of State where an application for such a check is made under section
113B(1) of the 1997 Act;
(ii)
checks confirming the individual’s identity and their right to work in the United
Kingdom; and
(iii) in the case of an individual for whom, by reason of that individual living or having lived
outside the United Kingdom, obtaining an enhanced criminal record certificate is not
sufficient to establish the individual’s suitability to work in a school, such further checks
as the Secretary of State considers appropriate;
and, where an enhanced criminal record check is made, the Secretary of State obtains an
enhanced criminal record certificate relating to the individual.
297. The first category of proprietor is the individual. The DfE carries out the suitability checks required for
individual proprietors by Part 4, paragraph 20, either when the school applies for first registration or
upon notification of changes. The DfE treats each person who is a proprietor as an individual proprietor,
even if there is more than one, unless and until, when there is more than one, a chair is appointed.
Once a chair is appointed, the DfE checks only the chair (see second category below) and the chair is
responsible for checking the other members of the body (see third category).
298. In addition to the checks required by Part 4, paragraph 20, carried out by the DfE, the proprietor should
not engage in childcare if disqualified, including by association. This is not checked by the DfE and it
would be the responsibility of the school to check, if this is relevant to the individual. See the extensive
notes above as to when this applies.
299. Individual proprietors who are checked by the DfE are not required to be on the SCR.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Recruitment checks over time – individual proprietors and chairs
Date of appointment
Pre1.9.03
1.9.03 to
30.4.07
1.5.07 to
31.8.10
1.9.10 to
9.9.12
10.9.12 to
4.1.15
5.1.15 to present
Checks to be
undertaken by
DfE?
✓
Yes if person to
engage in
regulated activity
✓
(Note 6)
Barred list/List 99 check
X
✓
✓
✓
X
(Note 1)
Enhanced criminal
record check, by Sec of
State
X
✓
(Note 2)
✓
✓
✓
✓
(Note 3)
✓
Identity
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Overseas checks, where
appropriate
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
Including EEA
from 5.9.16, if
they are to teach
Right to work in the UK
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Yes if the person
will carry out
teaching work
✓
(Note 6)
Prohibition from
teaching
Disqualification from
childcare
Prohibition from
leadership and
management
From 27.2.15
(Note 4)
From 12.8.15
(Note 5)
X
(Note 5)
Note 1 From 10 September 2012, it ceased to be possible to undertake these checks for new appointments unless
the person will be engaging in regulated activity. Proprietorship is not itself regulated activity but a proprietor
who is also the head, for example, or one who will have regular unsupervised access to pupils would
engage/intend to engage in regulated activity.
Note 2 At the standard level unless the individual also had responsibility for regularly caring for, training, supervising
or being in sole charge of children.
Note 3 An enhanced DBS check is required ‘where relevant’ and it is always relevant for proprietors.
Note 4 Required in having regard to KCSIE which incorporates the guidance: Disqualification under the Childcare Act
2006. See note 128 above for an explanation these checks. Proprietors would be within scope of these
regulations if they volunteer to work in relevant childcare on a regular basis of or are directly concerned with
the day to day management of such provision. Gaps in checking are reported under regulation 7(a)&(b).
Note 5 Required for proprietors appointed from 12 August 2015. See note 309 below for the scope of these checks.
Note 6 The DfE does the check on entry. Repeat checks are not required but schools must ensure the position is
maintained by removing a person who becomes barred or prohibited in line with any restriction placed on
the person that comes to the school’s attention.
300. Please see notes 240 et seq. above and 306 below for information about the process for these checks.
All checks must be made in advance of appointment or as soon as practicable after appointment.
Inspectors reach a conclusion as to whether later checks were undertaken ‘as soon as practicable’,
depending on the individual circumstances.
301. The updated ISSRs have retained the right to work check for all appointments, even where the
Proprietor is a volunteer.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Paragraph 20 – The chair of a body of persons
(4)
Sub-paragraphs (5) to (8) relate to the suitability of the proprietor where the proprietor is a body
of persons corporate or unincorporate.
(5)
The standard in this paragraph is met in relation to an individual who is the chair of the school if—
(a)
(b)
the individual–
(i)
is not barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2)
of the 2006 Act where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated
activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and
(ii)
does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a
prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section
128 of the 2008 Act or section 142 of the 2002 Act or any disqualification, prohibition or
restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction; and
subject to sub-paragraphs (7) and (8), the Secretary of State makes the following checks
relating to the individual—
(i)
where relevant to the individual, an enhanced criminal record check, countersigned by
the Secretary of State where an application for such a check is made under section
113B(1) of the 1997 Act;
(ii)
checks confirming the individual’s identity and their right to work in the United
Kingdom; and
(iii) in the case of an individual for whom, by reason of the individual living or having lived
outside the United Kingdom, obtaining an enhanced criminal record certificate is not
sufficient to establish the individual’s suitability to work in a school, such further checks
as the Secretary of State considers appropriate;
and, where an enhanced criminal record check is made, the Secretary of State obtains an
enhanced criminal record certificate relating to the individual.
302. Like individual proprietors, where the proprietor is a formally constituted board of governors, directors
or trustees or a limited company, the chair is required to undergo checks via the DfE, including an
enhanced DBS check counter-signed by the ‘Secretary of State’. This applies to the chair of the
proprietorial body, not the chair of any local governing body appointed by the proprietorial body. (Note:
as for individual proprietors that the DfE does not check for Disqualification from childcare so this must
be undertaken by the school when it applies.) The checks for chairs are as for individual proprietors, as
set out in the table above.
303. It is not a requirement to include chairs of the proprietorial body on the SCR as the checks are not done
by the school.
304. The responsibility of the school is to inform the DfE of a change of chair so that the checks can be made
in advance of appointment or as soon as practicable after appointment. Please see below for
information about the process. Inspectors will reach a conclusion as to whether appropriate notice of
changes has been given ‘as soon as practicable’, depending on the individual circumstances.
305. If inspectors identify that the relevant checks have not been carried out, apart from considerations of
compliance, they may point schools to the following overview of the process. The DfE will provide
schools with more detailed instructions on request.
How to obtain an enhanced DBS check countersigned by the Secretary of State
There are three steps schools must follow to obtain the enhanced DBS check, countersigned by the
Secretary of State, for a new individual proprietor or chair.
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(i)
Firstly, an application form for an enhanced DBS check must be obtained by the school by
telephoning the DBS helpline on: 03000 200 190. Schools must quote the DBS registered Organisation
Name: Department for Education and Registered Body Number: 20881800002. It is important for
schools to inform the DBS whether or not the individual to be checked will be a volunteer so that the
DBS can determine whether the enhanced disclosure fee is payable. If a fee is payable the DBS will
let the caller know the amount due.
(ii)
Secondly, the school will need to contact the Department, either by telephoning 01325 340405 or
emailing: registration.enquiries@education.gov.uk, to explain that they are changing proprietor or
chair and request the relevant form and instructions.
(iii) The DfE form, the DBS check application form and the DBS fee if applicable, must be sent to the
address below:Independent Education and Boarding Team
Department for Education
Bishopsgate House
Feethams
Darlington
DL1 5QE
(iv) The Department will then countersign the application and send both forms to the DBS. Once the DBS
has processed the application, a copy of the DBS check is sent to the applicant in the post direct from
the DBS. The Department has undertaken to comply with the DBS Code of Practice. Under the
provisions of the Code, sensitive personal information must be handled and stored appropriately and
must be kept for only as long as it is necessary. The Code is published on the DBS website.
(v)
The disclosure of a criminal record, or other information, will not bar a person from becoming a
proprietor of an independent school unless the Secretary of State considers that the conviction
renders them unsuitable. In making this decision the Secretary of State will consider the nature of
the offence, how long ago the offence was committed, the person’s age when the offence was
committed and other factors which may be relevant.
(vi) In any case where the information supplied by the DBS differs from that provided by the applicant,
and is of significance, the applicant will be given the opportunity to explain the position. Anyone who
believes that the information given in the disclosure is inaccurate, or relates to someone else with
the same name, is able to appeal to the DBS who will investigate the position.
Paragraph 20 – Member of a body of persons, not including the chair
(6)
The standard in this paragraph is met in relation to an individual (‘MB’), not being the Chair of the
school, who is a member of a body of persons corporate or unincorporated named as the proprietor
of the school in the register or in an application to enter the school in the register, if—
(a)
(b)
MB—
(i)
is not barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2)
of the 2006 Act where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated
activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and
(ii)
does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a
prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section
128 of the 2008 Act or section 142 of the 2002 Act or any disqualification, prohibition or
restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction;
subject to sub-paragraphs (7) to (8), the Chair of the school makes the following checks
relating to MB—
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
(i)
where relevant to the individual, an enhanced criminal record check;
(ii)
checks confirming MB’s identity and MB’s right to work in the United Kingdom; and
(iii) where, by reason of MB’s living or having lived outside the United Kingdom, obtaining
an enhanced criminal record certificate is not sufficient to establish MB’s suitability to
work in a school, such further checks as the Chair of the school considers appropriate,
having regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
and, where an enhanced criminal record check is made, the Chair obtains an enhanced
criminal record certificate relating to the individual; and
(c)
subject to sub-paragraph (8), where the Secretary of State makes a request for an enhanced
criminal record check relating to MB countersigned by the Secretary of State to be made, such
a check is made.
306. In relation to a trust, limited company or unincorporated body, the DfE carries out the checks on the
chairperson and then the chair is responsible for ensuring that all other members of the proprietorial
group have been subject to the following checks.
Recruitment checks over time – members of a proprietorial body, not including the chair
Date of
appointment
Pre1.9.03
1.9.03 to
30.4.07
1.5.07 to
31.8.10
1.9.10 to
9.9.12
10.9.12 to
4.1.15
5.1.15 to
11.8.15
12.8.15 to
5.9.16
5.9.16 to
date
Yes if in
regulated
activity
(current
definition
Yes if in
regulated
activity
(current
definition
Barred list/List
99 check
X
✓
✓
✓
X
(Note 1)
Yes if in
regulated
activity
(current
definition)
Enhanced
disclosure
X
✓
(Note 2)
✓
✓
✓
✓
(Note 3)
✓
✓
Identity
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Overseas
checks, where
appropriate
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Including
EEA check, if
the person
will teach.
Right to work
in the UK
X
X
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Prohibition
from teaching
Yes if the
person will
carry out
teaching
work
Yes if the
person will
carry out
teaching
work
Yes if the
person will
carry out
teaching
work
Disqualification
from childcare
From
27.2.15
(Note 4)
✓
✓
✓
(Note 5)
✓
Prohibition
from
leadership and
management
Note 1 From 10 September 2012, proprietorship in and of itself is not regulated activity and as such a barred list
check is not required of proprietor simply by virtue of their position as proprietor. It is clear if the proprietor
is also engaged in regulated activity in the school, for example in the case of those proprietors who are also
the headteacher, or because their voluntary work as proprietor entails regular unsupervised to pupils, then
a barred list check is required.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Note 2 At the standard level unless the individual also had responsibility for regularly caring for, training,
supervising or being in sole charge of children.
Note 3 An enhanced DBS check is required ‘where relevant’ and it is always relevant for proprietors.
Note 4 Required in having regard to KCSIE which incorporates Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006. See
note 128 above for an explanation these checks. Proprietors would be within scope of these regulations if
they volunteer to work in relevant childcare on a regular basis of or are directly concerned with the day to
day management of such provision. Gaps in checking are reported under regulation 7(a)&(b).
Note 5 Required for proprietors appointed from 12th August 2015. See note 309 below for the scope of these
checks.
307. All checks must be made in advance of appointment or as soon as practicable after appointment.
Inspectors reach a conclusion as to whether later checks were undertaken ‘as soon as practicable’,
depending on the individual circumstances.
Prohibition from management of independent schools directions
308. From 12 August 2015, schools must check whether members of a proprietorial body appointed
thereafter are subject to a section 128 direction. There are two ways to check for prohibition from
management:
•
for proprietors who are not in regulated activity, the prohibited list can only be accessed via the
NCTL using Secure Access; this can be done whether or not the person is a teacher and without a
teacher reference number;
•
for proprietors who are in regulated activity, for example, a proprietor who is also the head or
whose voluntary work as a proprietor gives them regular opportunity for contact with pupils in
school, the check can either be done as above or via the DBS: a s128 direction would show on a
DBS barred list check only. Schools must include on the DBS application form, within box 61,
Position Applied for, ‘Child Workforce Independent School’. This allows the DBS to confirm if a
s128 direction has been made.
See the letter of the DfE to all schools dated 11th August 2015 for more.
IMPLEMENTATION
309. Inspectors will review a sample of records, and the single central register of appointment checks (see
later section). Where omissions are identified within the sample, additional files may be scrutinised and
questions are asked to ensure that the omissions are appropriate for the individual in view of the work
they undertake and the definitions of regulated activity. Interviews with staff involved in the
appointment process will also be used to gather evidence.
The Single Central Register of Appointments
Paragraph 21 – SCR contents for staff
(1)
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor keeps a register which shows such of the
information referred to in sub-paragraphs (3) to (7) as is applicable to the school in question.
(2)
The register referred to in sub-paragraph (1) may be kept in electronic form, provided that the
information so recorded is capable of being reproduced in legible form.
(3)
The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is—
(a)
in relation to each member of staff (‘S’) appointed on or after 1st May 2007, whether—
(i)
S’s identity was checked;
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
(ii)
a check was made to establish whether S is barred from regulated activity relating to
children in accordance with section 3(2) of the 2006 Act;
(iii) a check was made to establish whether S is subject to any direction made under section
128 of the 2008 Act or section 142 of the 2002 Act or any disqualification, prohibition or
restriction which takes effect as if contained in such a direction;
(iv) checks were made to ensure, where appropriate, that S had the relevant qualifications;
(v)
an enhanced criminal record certificate was obtained in respect of S;
(vi) checks were made pursuant to paragraph 18(2)(d);
(vii) a check of S’s right to work in the United Kingdom was made; and
(viii) checks were made pursuant to paragraph 18(2)(e),
including the date on which each such check was completed or the certificate obtained; and
(b)
(4)
in relation to each member of staff (‘S’), whether a check was made to establish whether S is
subject to a prohibition order or an interim prohibition order, including the date on which such
check was completed.
The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to each member of staff in post on
1st August 2007 who was appointed at any time before 1st May 2007, whether each check referred
to in sub-paragraph (3) was made and whether an enhanced criminal record certificate was
obtained, together with the date on which any check was completed or certificate obtained.
310. Paragraph 21 does not create a requirement to make checks but rather a requirement to record
centrally whether or not certain checks have been made and, if so, the dates of those checks. Even if
required checks have not been made, if this is accurately recorded, the standard may be met.
311. The single central register (SCR) must contain an entry for all current members of staff at the school.
This must show the date of the following checks where applicable:
•
identity;
•
Barred list/List 99 (date of DBS check unless a separate earlier barred list check was undertaken);
•
professional qualifications;
•
enhanced disclosure (or DBS Status Check);
•
overseas checks (including EEA), where applicable;
•
right to work in the UK;
•
prohibition from teaching check;
•
prohibition from management check.
Checks of:
•
employment history (eg application form/CV);
•
references;
•
medical fitness declaration; and
•
disqualification from childcare (where applicable)
should be undertaken but are not required to be recorded on the SCR. Many schools choose to include
these checks on the SCR in order to have a record of all checks in one place. If this approach is not taken,
evidence of completion of these checks should be sought on inspection through the checking of staff
files.
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
312. With effect from 1 April 2015, there is no longer a general requirement to include all volunteers on the
SCR but where checks are carried out on volunteers, in the absence of good reason, schools should
record these on the SCR.
313. It is possible in the case of older appointments that evidence will not be available to support the
production of a fully complete SCR. In these circumstances, inspectors will look to confirm that several
recent appointments have been correctly completed and recorded and that reasonable efforts have
been made to complete previously omitted checks that were legally required at the time of
appointment. Inspectors will usually focus on appointments since the previous inspection but are
entitled to review the whole SCR. The latter course is most likely to be appropriate when there is a
history of deficiencies in relation to Part 4 or in response to particular matters arising. Failings already
identified in earlier inspection reports will not be reported again, unless they have not been corrected
as far as it is possible to do so, or have been repeated in later appointments. In the event that older
appointments have not been properly made, two conditions must be met for the school to be judged
compliant.
•
Firstly, the school must have identified the issues outside of the inspection process and taken
appropriate steps to fill gaps so far as practicable. It is not necessary for school to fill gaps in
relation to checks which were not required at the time of the relevant appointment. With respect
to missing references where, for example, former colleagues may no longer be contactable,
schools may use reasonable discretion to seek references from more recent sources. This may
include, for example, making enquiries of current colleagues as to whether, having known and
worked with the individual for some years they have any concerns about their suitability to work
with children.
•
Secondly, there must be a clear track record in relation to recent appointments of properly
completed checks demonstrating that the current recruitment process is effective and thorough.
Reference will be made in the report to both historic issues and the current track record.
314. Where the register is kept elsewhere than at the school (for example, in the offices of a body of
trustees), arrangements must be made by the school for it to be inspected on the school premises,
including on unannounced inspections.
Paragraph 21 – SCR contents for supply staff
(5)
The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to supply staff—
(a)
whether written notification has been received from the employment business that—
(i)
checks corresponding to those referred to in sub-paragraph (3)(a)(i) to (iv), (vi) and (vii)
have been made to the extent relevant to any such person; and
(ii)
an enhanced criminal record check has been made and that it or another employment
business has obtained an enhanced criminal record certificate in response to such a
check,
together with the date the written notification that each such check was made, or certificate
obtained, was received;
(b)
whether a check has been made in accordance with paragraph 19(2)(e) together with the date
the check was completed; and
(c)
where written notification has been received from the employment business in accordance
with a contract or other arrangements referred to in paragraph 19(2)(d) that it has obtained
an enhanced criminal record certificate, whether the employment business supplied a copy of
the certificate to the school.
315. The SCR must contain the following entries for supply staff to the extent applicable to the individual:
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•
date of written notification from the supply agency that it has made checks of:
•
identity;
•
Barred list/List 99;
•
qualifications;
•
overseas checks (including EEA), where applicable;
•
right to work in the UK;
•
prohibition from teaching;
•
date of written notification that it or another agency has received an enhanced disclosure, and
the date of the disclosure;
•
whether the agency has supplied a copy of the enhanced criminal record certificate.
316. Schools must check the identity of supply staff themselves, in addition to the check of identity made by
the agency. This is to ensure that the person presenting themselves for work is the same person on
whom checks have been made. It advisable, but not a requirement, to note this identity check on the
SCR.
317. The following additional checks should also ideally be noted on the SCR to enable a note of all checks
to be recorded in one place. Where this approach is not taken, inspectors will check a sample of files to
verify that the correct approach is taken:
•
identity checks on arrival;
•
CV/application form;
•
references;
•
medical fitness declaration;
•
disqualification from childcare (where applicable).
Paragraph 21 – SCR content for proprietors
(6)
The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation each member (‘MB’) of a body of
persons named as the proprietor appointed on or after 1st May 2007, whether the checks referred
to in paragraph 20(6)(b) were made, the date they were made and the date on which the resulting
certificate was obtained.
(7)
The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to each member of a body of
persons named as the proprietor in post on 1st August 2007 who was appointed at any time before
1st May 2007—
(a)
whether each check referred to in sub-paragraph (6) was made; and
(b)
whether an enhanced criminal record certificate was obtained, together with the date on
which any check was completed or certificate obtained.
318. It is not a requirement to include either individual proprietors or the chair on the SCR as these are
checked by the DfE.
319. The SCR must contain the following information for each member of the proprietorial body (other than
the chair), where applicable:
•
enhanced disclosure;
•
identity;
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•
right to work in the UK;
•
overseas checks (including EEA), where applicable.
320. Schools must carry out checks for barring (where applicable), prohibition from teaching (where
applicable) and prohibition from management, but the standard in paragraph 21 can be ‘met’ without
including these on the SCR. If the school does not include them on the SCR, inspectors will check
underlying files. Inspectors may advise schools of the advantages of recording all checks on the SCR.
IMPLEMENTATION
321. The format for the register is not specified, though a grid format is most commonly used. The
Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) previously promoted a system which consisted of a
cover sheet for each individual which listed the appointments and a related set of separate pages giving
the details of the checks carried out. This system is still used by some schools. In scrutinising this format,
inspectors apply the same considerations as for other formats.
322. Appendix 2 of this handbook provides inspectors with a tool for checking a school’s SCR and other
vetting information. Schools are not required to use this format. For example, inspectors may advise
schools of the advantages of a tabulated SCR and of including notes as a matter of good practice, but
neither of these is a requirement. Only the matters listed above in notes 311, 316 and 320 are
requirements for SCR content although the requirements for checking are wider.
323. In using the inspection tool in Appendix 2, as the performance of each required check in relation to
individuals in the chosen sample is inspected, inspectors should make suitable entries in all the columns
provided. This will include suitable entries as far as relevant and required either by Part 4 or as a result
of having regard to KCSIE. When inspectors complete the table in Appendix 2, the notation ‘Not
applicable’ (N/A) or similar should be entered if a particular requirement was either not applicable to
the appointment in question or not in force at the time of the appointment. The notation ‘No evidence’
(N/E) is available for inspectors to use in relation to appointments made before there was official
guidance on the retention of documentation, to indicate that the SCR records the check as done though
the underlying evidence is no longer available. Under any heading, the entry of ‘No’ by inspectors is
taken to indicate that the inspector judges that the requirement is not met.
324. The standard requires schools to record dates and, sometimes, whether or not something has been
supplied. It is silent in relation to other notation schools should use. Inspectors should not, therefore,
require schools to use the same abbreviations as those used by inspectors, though this can be helpful.
325. In addition to completing an Appendix 2 table, inspectors will check a sample of underlying staff files in
each category against the SCR to confirm that dates have been accurately recorded. Where omissions
are identified within the sample, additional files may be scrutinised. Interviews with staff involved in
the recruitment process will also be used to gather evidence. Minor administrative errors do not
constitute a material failure to meet requirements, but should be corrected as soon as they are pointed
out. Examples of minor administrative errors are failure to record one or two dates, individual entries
which are illegible, one or two omissions where it is clear that the school has the evidence but has failed
to transfer it to the SCR.
326. The SCR must relate to the relevant persons at any time and be kept up to date. In order to ensure that
relevant records are readily available for inspection purposes, schools should be advised not to remove
records for former workers until after at least the end of the school academic year and to retain any
records removed (archive) until at least the next inspection.
327. Some schools renew criminal records checks at regular intervals (such as three years) for some staff
who have not subscribed to the update service. This is not a legal requirement. Schools which do so
should take care to preserve the integrity of the original data at the time of the relevant appointment(s).
Parallel entries should be made; the original entries should not be overwritten.
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Appointment of those falling outside the definitions of staff, supply staff and proprietors
328. Several categories of people fall outside the main regulations concerning appointment but may still
need checks as part of having regard to KCSIE. The main groups are described below.
Staff not in regulated activity
329. Staff not in regulated activity are still staff and are now clearly covered by the regulations and KCSIE
2016. Staff who are not in regulated activity do not require barred list checks. But other checks must
still be undertaken as required by the standard and KCSIE 2016 likewise requires full use of applicable
vetting checks including enhanced criminal records checks (without barred list information) if indicated
by a risk assessment for new appointments.
Visiting speakers
330. The Prevent statutory guidance requires schools to have clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting
speakers who might fall within the scope of the Prevent duty, whether invited by staff or pupils, are
suitable and appropriately supervised. This means that even in cases where specific vetting checks are
not prescribed by Part 4, for example, if speakers will not be left alone with pupils, schools must take
action to ensure that they are suitable. The precise action is not prescribed. An internet search, for
example, may sometimes be more instructive than formal vetting checks.
331. The interaction between the Prevent requirement to check speakers and KCSIE is likely to mean in
practice that checks on visiting speakers will be recordable on the SCR either as checks on staff (eg if
the individual is paid to attend regularly) or on volunteers. Failure to ensure the suitability of relevant
visiting speakers is to be reported under paragraph 7(a) and (b).
Volunteers
332. There is no set formula for the vetting of volunteers, unless they are in regulated activity. The
arrangements for volunteers will vary by individual and activity. The school must, therefore, assess
whether the individual will be in regulated activity.
•
When volunteers are supervised, they do not fall within the definition of regulated activity, and so
barred list checks would not be available or required. This is so no matter how frequently or
regularly an individual volunteers. The exception would be for volunteers doing personal care;
personal care is always regulated activity.
•
An unsupervised volunteer, whose presence is frequent and regular, is in regulated activity, and
the school should obtain an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information.
333. The diagram in Appendix 3 of this document sets out the requirements for new volunteers.
334. The DfE has provided guidance on when volunteers can be said to be ‘supervised’. This can be found in
Annex F to KCSIE 2016:
•
there must be supervision by a person who is in regulated activity (eg a teacher or classroom
assistant);
•
the supervision must be regular and day to day; and
•
the supervision must be ‘reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the protection of children’
(taking into account: the age of the children, the number of children; whether or not other
workers are helping to look after the children; the nature of the work; how vulnerable the
children are; and the levels of supervision).
335. Even where a volunteer is not in regulated activity, they may still require other checks which come from
having regard to DfE guidance, in particular KCSIE (paragraphs 122- 128). In summary, the advice is to
make decisions about the need for additional, discretionary checks on the basis of an informal risk
assessment in relation to the person, the work, the vulnerability of the children and the situation. These
could include, for example: references, an informal interview, and checking with the school community
for any concerns.
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336. ‘One-off’ volunteers, for day outings, school concerts and such would not require vetting checks but
they should not be unsupervised and/or must not undertake any kind of personal care.
337. Volunteers who were already in place when KCSIE was first published (April 2014) should have been
checked as required at the time of appointment. Schools should consider obtaining new checks if there
are concerns.
Contractors and employees of third-parties (other than supply agencies)
Principles
338. KCSIE contains sections both on ‘agency and third party staff’ and on ‘contractors’, with different
requirements for each. However, it is not directive as to when ‘third party staff’ who are not from an
employment business (temping/supply agency) are expected to be checked in line with ‘agency’ staff
(supply) and when they may be subject to the less stringent regime for ‘contractor’ staff. Schools are
permitted to exercise reasonable discretion in making that choice with the grey area in KCSIE indicative
of a need for more stringent checking of some third party staff, such as those who are long-term with
access to children (eg some catering staff). The minimum for compliance purposes is that third party
staff, other than those from supply agencies, are at least subject to the suitability checks for
contractors. (For the requirements relating to supply staff, see above.)
339. Employers can only run direct vetting checks on their own employees. Each employer is, therefore,
responsible for the vetting of their own staff. Where there is interaction between a school and the
employees of another organisation or person, the school should ensure that relevant checks (see
below) have been carried out. The usual way to ‘ensure’ is through obtaining written confirmation from
the employer. This should be retained for inspection purposes. Schools are not required to include
employees of other organisations (other than supply agencies) on their SCR, though they may choose
to do so.
340. The relevant minimum checks always include:
•
barred list check for those in regulated activity;
•
appropriate level of DBS check;
•
identity check on arrival;
•
any other role specific checks, where applicable eg disqualification from childcare.
341. Schools have discretion to as to what further suitability checks or assurances they choose to seek from
contractors/third parties in order to satisfy themselves of the safety of the children (eg DBS check at
the standard level, references). A proportional risk-based approach is likely to be a reasonable exercise
of discretion.
342. The appropriate level of DBS check will be as follows:
•
if the person will be in regulated activity: enhanced DBS with barring information –
•
if the person will not be in regulated activity but their work will provide them with opportunity for
regular unsupervised contact with children: enhanced DBS –
•
other situations: a DBS check at enhanced, standard or basic level can be considered if assessed
to be indicated by the context.
343. Schools are not required to see DBS certificates for employees of contractors and third parties, with the
exception of those from supply agencies. (See above for standards relating to supply staff.)
Visiting professionals
344. KCSIE advises that individuals working at the school or college but employed by third parties (for
example, psychologists, nurses, dentists, and other public sector staff) should have been checked by
their employing organisation. It is not necessary for schools to see their DBS check (although sometimes
it is offered), they need only obtain written confirmation that it and any other appropriate checks have
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
been performed. Schools should check identity when an individual arrives to ensure imposters do not
gain access to children.
345. The same rules apply to CCF instructors, sports referees and equivalent professionals supplied by a
central body. Student teachers (unless employed direct by the school) will have been checked by the
supplying university and so schools do not need to complete their own checks, except for identity.
Employees of contractors
346. Employees of contractors who are working at the school on a long-term basis (caterers, cleaners, et al)
should, as a matter of risk assessment (weighing issues such as role, supervision, access to pupils, age
and vulnerability of pupils) and of good practice, be subject to the same checks as school staff (see note
239 above), with written confirmation supplied by the employing organisation. For compliance
purposes, the relevant minimum checks are as in note 341 et seq above. The school must check identity
on arrival.
347. Where the employees of shorter-term contractors such as builders will have access to areas where
unsupervised contact with children is possible, the school should receive written confirmation from the
company that the required DBS checks have been undertaken and check photographic identification on
arrival at the school.
Self-employed contractors
348. Self-employed contractors should generally be checked by their professional associations. This is
because it is not possible for self-employed people to obtain checks directly on their own account
(except at the basic level), but professional associations usually assist with checks to enable their
members to access work. If it cannot be confirmed in writing that the person has been checked by
another organisation, the school should consider obtaining the DBS check itself.
349. Schools have discretion to make a reasonable decision about when to treat a self-employed worker as
staff rather than as a contractor for the purpose of vetting checks. The inspection expectation is that if
the person is in regulated activity in the school they should normally be treated as ‘staff’. This could
have the effect that an invigilator who works for a week is treated as ‘staff’ but a plumber who does
likewise is treated as a contractor. For workers in this grey area, inspectors should respect the DfE policy
intention to allow discretion to professionals in schools and probe, if necessary, whether a school has
made a reasonable decision in context. A contemporaneous note of risk-assessed decision (eg a brief
note on the SCR) can be helpful evidence of a reasonable approach, though not in itself a regulatory
requirement.
350. Inspectors may wish to advise that the DBS update service is of particular assistance for self-employed
workers and schools may wish to encourage self-employed workers to subscribe. If the self-employed
person subscribes to the DBS update service, receiving schools can check identity, view the original
certificate and check online for updated information.
351. Identity must be checked on arrival as usual.
Occasional/temporary contractors
352. Occasional and temporary contractors who are not involved in teaching/training etc or personal care
are not in regulated activity and cannot be checked against the barred list. The exception is intended
to enable schools to employ emergency workmen more easily but has been used also for professional
musicians at Christmas, for example.
353. KCSIE 2016 advises that in the absence of statutory definitions for ‘occasional’ and ‘temporary’, it is for
schools to determine when contractors are occasional or temporary, and therefore whether or not they
are working in regulated activity. If the school decides the workers are not in regulated activity, they
will not be eligible for a barred list check but if their work gives them opportunity for regular contact
with children, KCSIE stipulates that an enhanced DBS check without barred list information will be
required. Where workers are not frequent or regular, schools should risk assess whether a DBS check
is necessary and proceed accordingly
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Part 4 – Suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors
Supervision of contractors
354. It is recognised that it is not practicable normally for a school to provide supervision of contractors
making emergency repairs by a qualified person at the same level as for volunteers under Annex F of
KCSIE 2016. KCSIE 2016 clarifies that while unchecked contractors should under no circumstances be
allowed to work unsupervised, schools are responsible for determining the appropriate level of
supervision depending on the circumstances. Inspectors should ask schools how regularly they would
check on the contractor staff involved. Inspectors may advise that if supervision presents a difficulty,
it is better if a school can find contractors where staff have been checked anyway.
Non-proprietor governors/advisors
355. Some schools with trustees or a governing board also have a committee of ‘local’ governors or advisors
more closely related to the school. A case in point is the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST). All members of
the proprietorial body need DBS checks, but the members of the Local Governing Body are treated like
any other volunteers. Checks are not required unless they have direct unsupervised contact with
children or give rise to ‘concern’.
Adults who supervise children on work experience
356. KCSIE advises that barred list checks may be required for people supervising a child under 16 on a work
experience placement where the conditions for regulated activity are met, although the duty would be
on the employer to complete the check rather than the school.
Host families
357. Host families are often used to accommodate children on sports or language exchanges. When the
arrangements are made direct between two families which accept responsibility, this can be considered
a personal arrangement and outside the scope of regulated activity. However, where the family is paid,
the arrangement to accommodate a child is not made by the child’s family, or the school has the power
to terminate the arrangement, it is unlikely to be a personal arrangement and could constitute
regulated activity. In that instance, the school would commit an offence if it knowingly allowed a barred
person to undertake regulated activity, and so a DBS check including a barred list check should be
obtained and suitable records kept.
358. Schools will not be able to obtain checks on host families that may accommodate their pupils overseas,
but should work with partner schools to ensure that appropriate assurances are obtained before a visit.
359. Whether or not the hosting activity is regulated in the particular instance or formal vetting checks are
necessitated, schools should take reasonable steps to safeguard young people participating, for
example, ensuring that pupils are seen by a member of staff every day while away from home, have
access to a mobile phone with signal or know who to contact and how, if they have any concerns about
their own safety, and providing parents and pupils with information about risks and protective
measures in place to support their own decisions and actions.
Those who do not require vetting checks
360. It is not necessary to undertake vetting checks on: visitors to the head/other staff or those who have
only brief contact with children in the presence of a teacher (although see guidance on protocols for
visiting speakers in notes 331 and 332 above); visitors carrying out repairs or servicing equipment;
pupils aged under 16 on work experience or similar; supervised volunteers (including pupils aged 16
and over on work experience in other schools) unless they undertake personal care; those on the school
site when pupils are not present; and students (pupils) aged 18 or over studying as pupils. Individuals
returning from maternity leave, sabbaticals or similar, where continuity of employment is maintained,
do not need to be checked as new employees, but schools may choose to renew checks if they wish.
Similarly, staff with ‘zero-hours’ contracts that have continuity of service between periods of work do
not need to be re-checked on each occasion.
IMPLEMENTATION
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361. Where individuals falling within the above groups are identified, inspectors will discuss the relevant
procedures with the school and review a sample of records.
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Part 5 – Premises of and Accommodation at Schools
Part 5 – Premises of and accommodation at schools
362. The premises requirements were updated in January 2013, with some of the previous prescription
removed. Inspectors should apply the regulations and not go beyond them – in particular by not
requiring facilities over and above those expected of a maintained school.
363. Any requirement that provision must be ‘suitable’ means that it must be suitable for the pupils in
respect of whom it is provided, having regard to their ages, numbers and sex and any special
requirements they may have. Thus in the absence of specific ratios, inspection teams will need to make
a judgement about suitability based on inspection evidence.
364. Advice on Standards for school premises has been published by the DfE and relevant information has
been included below.
Paragraph 23 –Toilets and changing accommodation
(1)
(2)
Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that—
(a)
suitable toilet and washing facilities are provided for the sole use of pupils;
(b)
separate toilet facilities for boys and girls aged 8 years or over are provided except where the
toilet facility is provided in a room that can be secured from the inside and that is intended
for use by one pupil at a time; and
(c)
suitable changing accommodation and showers are provided for pupils aged 11 years or over
at the start of the school year who receive physical education.
Where separate facilities are provided under sub-paragraph (1)(a) for pupils who are disabled, they
may also be used by other pupils, staff, supply staff, volunteers and visitors, whether or not they
are disabled.
365. The regulation does not set the minimum number of fittings to be provided in relation to the ages and
numbers of pupils. Previously, the required ratios were one toilet and washbasin for every ten pupils
under 5 years old, rising to one toilet and washbasin for every 20 pupils aged 5–11. For pupils over 11,
one toilet per 20 pupils was considered sufficient. These ratios provide a helpful ‘rule of thumb’ but can
be applied flexibly where there are no concerns apparent with the facilities available.
366. In general, toilet facilities need to be planned and designed so that hand-washing facilities are close by,
the rooms containing them are adequately ventilated and lit, and they are located in areas around the
school that provide easy access for pupils and allow for informal supervision by staff, without
compromising pupils’ privacy.
367. Unisex provision permitted under regulation 23(1)(b) should ensure the privacy of the occupant by, for
example, having a full-height door.
368. Each toilet for disabled pupils needs to contain one toilet and one washbasin (and possibly a shower or
other wash-down fitting) and have a lockable door opening directly onto a circulation space that is not
a staircase. Where possible, the number and location of accessible toilets will be sufficient to ensure a
reasonable travel distance for users that does not involve changing floor levels.
369. It is preferable for changing areas and showers for pupils to be in areas separated from toilets and
designed to provide adequate privacy. Consideration may also be given to providing changing rooms,
with or without showers, at junior schools for pupils who need to wear sports kit for physical education
(including games), but this is not a requirement.
370. Toilets and washing facilities for staff may also be used by visitors. They should be separate from those
provided for pupils, except where they are designed for use by those who are disabled.
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Part 5 – Premises of and Accommodation at Schools
EYFS ➔ Premises, note E55
Boarding ➔ Boarding accommodation, note B37
Paragraph 24 – Medical accommodation
(1)
(2)
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that suitable accommodation is
provided in order to cater for the medical and therapy needs of pupils, including—
(a)
accommodation for the medical examination and treatment of pupils;
(b)
accommodation for the short-term care of sick and injured pupils, which includes a washing
facility and is near to a toilet facility; and
(c)
where a school caters for pupils with complex needs, additional medical accommodation
which caters for those needs.
The accommodation provided under sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) may be used for other purposes
(apart from teaching) provided it is always readily available to be used for the purposes set out in
sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).
371. The previous requirements for accommodation for pupils who are ill have been carried forward to the
new regulations. Medical rooms must enable pupils that are ill or injured to be looked after
appropriately, have a basin within the room and be near to a toilet.
372. Where appropriate, the facility should also enable therapy to be offered to those with special
educational needs or disabilities who need it. This might involve assistance from visiting specialists,
such as a physiotherapist or speech therapist.
373. Some therapy can take place in a teaching space or in a small quiet room, such as an office. The
dedicated accommodation can be used for other purposes, except teaching, so long as it is readily
available for medical use when needed. In special schools, a range of facilities will typically be required
to suit different therapy options.
Boarding ➔ NMS3 Boarders’ health and well-being, note B15
Paragraph 25 – Maintenance
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the school premises and the
accommodation and facilities provided therein are maintained to a standard such that, so far as is
reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of pupils are ensured.
374. This regulation is specific to maintaining school premises so that the health, safety and welfare needs
of pupils are safeguarded. There is also a substantial amount of other health and safety legislation that
applies to most buildings, including schools. Many of these aspects are covered in Part 3 (eg fire safety,
health and safety policies), and this regulation is restricted to the premises aspects of health and safety.
They cover a range of issues such as heating, ventilation, cleanliness, workstations, seating and welfare
facilities.
375. Any identified concerns relating to security, classroom size and condition, kitchen facilities, general
condition of premises and flooring, and other similar issues, will be reported under this regulation.
376. When dealing with potential security issues, inspectors must take account of the particular
circumstances of the school. It is important to form a rounded view, taking all factors into consideration,
such as the location of the school, its physical layout, the movements needed during the school day,
the arrangements for receiving visitors, the other security measures, staff/pupil training, awareness of
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Part 5 – Premises of and Accommodation at Schools
the senior management team and proprietor, the age of the pupils and so on. Push-button combination
locks are considered a useful device for doors which have relatively low usage, but are only one of many
possibilities. Inspectors should raise any concerns but leave the solution to the school. It is not a
requirement to have security designed to prevent an extraordinary tragedy. No specific details of
security concerns should be made in a report, though a generalised statement of ‘some inadequate
security arrangements’ should be included where any such concerns are significant enough for
consideration when making judgements. A separate letter providing all necessary detail must be
written to the head and proprietor, copied to ISI.
Boarding ➔ Boarding accommodation, note B31
Paragraph 26 – Acoustics
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the acoustic conditions and sound
insulation of each room or other space are suitable, having regard to the nature of the activities which
normally take place therein.
377. The acoustic conditions of the premises should enable people to hear clearly, understand and
concentrate on whatever activity they are involved in, and experience minimal disturbance from
unwanted noise (such as from activities in adjacent areas, teaching equipment, ventilation fans or road
traffic).
378. The regulation requires suitability to be in relation to the nature of the activities in the space, and so
there will be higher expectations for music rooms, language teaching rooms, open-plan areas and any
rooms where hearing-impaired pupils may be taught.
Paragraph 27 – Lighting
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that—
(a)
the lighting in each room or other internal space is suitable, having regard to the nature of the
activities which normally take place therein; and
(b)
external lighting is provided in order to ensure that people can safely enter and leave the school
premises.
379. Adequate light levels need to be achieved to permit good visual communication, with a preference for
daylight where possible. Over-bright conditions should be avoided with means to control daylight and
sunlight, to avoid glare, excessive illuminance and summertime overheating.
380. External lighting is important for security and to ensure safe pedestrian movement after dark.
Boarding ➔ NMS5 Boarding accommodation, note B39
Paragraph 28 – Water supply
(1)
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that—
(a)
suitable drinking water facilities are provided;
(b)
toilets and urinals have an adequate supply of cold water and washing facilities have an
adequate supply of hot and cold water;
(c)
cold water supplies that are suitable for drinking are clearly marked as such; and
(d)
the temperature of hot water at the point of use does not pose a scalding risk to users.
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Part 5 – Premises of and Accommodation at Schools
(2)
The facilities provided under sub-paragraph (1)(a) will be suitable only if—
(a)
they are readily accessible at all times when the premises are in use; and
(b)
they are in a separate area from the toilet facilities.
381. Drinking water facilities need to be maintained in good working order and kept clean and with sufficient
outlets clearly marked ‘drinking water’. Tanked supplies can be difficult to maintain in good condition,
and so it is generally preferable if drinking water supplies in schools can be connected directly to the
cold-water main.
382. To avoid the risk of scalding, 43ºC is generally the maximum temperature for hot water in baths and
showers, and in all cases where the occupants are severely disabled. It is also good practice to limit hotwater supplies to washbasins in nursery and primary schools to 43ºC.
383. Distribution temperatures and legionella controls need to comply with HSE guidance on managing
legionella in hot and cold water systems.
EYFS ➔ Food and drink, note E48
Boarding ➔ Provision and Preparation of Food and Drinks, note B53
Paragraph 29 – Outdoor space
(1)
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that suitable outdoor space is
provided in order to enable—
(a)
physical education to be provided to pupils in accordance with the school curriculum; and
(b)
pupils to play outside.
384. ‘Physical education’ includes the playing of games. Schools will have a wide variety of arrangements for
outdoor sports and break times. The regulation does not require the outdoor space to be adjacent to
the school and, in some urban areas, it may be necessary to transport pupils between the school and
playing fields. Outdoor space is also needed for informal play and socialising. Schools should make
necessary consideration for safety, for example, arrangements for crossing roads or for increased
supervision in areas accessible to the public, and inspectors should check that arrangements operate
effectively in practice.
EYFS ➔ Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment, note E53
Paragraph 30 – Boarding accommodation
The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that, where the school provides
accommodation, regard is had to Standard 5 of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
or, where applicable, Standard 5 of the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools.
385. The NMS contain additional detailed premises requirements and these are described separately in this
Handbook.
Boarding ➔ Boarding accommodation, note B31
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Part 5 – Premises of and Accommodation at Schools
Paragraph 31 – Definitions
For the purposes of this Part –
(a)
‘physical education’ includes the playing of games;
(b)
any requirement that anything provided under this Part must be ‘suitable’ means that it must be
suitable for the pupils in respect of whom it is provided, having regard to their ages, numbers and
sex and any special requirements they may have; and
(c)
a pupil has ‘special requirements’ if the pupil has any needs arising from physical, medical, sensory,
learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties which require provision which is additional to or
different from that generally required by children of the same age in schools other than special
school.
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Part 6 – Provision of Information
Part 6 – Provision of information
386. Certain information must be ‘provided’ or ‘made available’ to parents of pupils and prospective pupils.
Both of these terms have a particular meaning under the regulations – summaries are included below
and the full definition is set out in the glossary.
Provided:
(a)
Sending by email either the information/document or the internet address where it can be
located, and making it available for inspection by the person in school; or
(b)
Sending the information/document to the person in hard copy.
Made available:
(a)
Putting the information/document on the school website, making parents of pupils and
prospective pupils aware, and ensuring that the document is available for inspection by the person
in school; or
(b)
Making parents of pupils and prospective pupils aware that they can request the
information/document, and not charging for responding to such requests.
Paragraph 32 – Provision of information
(1)
The standard about the provision of information by the school is met if the proprietor ensures
that—
(a)
(2)
the information specified in sub-paragraph (2) is provided to parents of pupils and parents of
prospective pupils and, on request, to the Chief Inspector, the Secretary of State or an
independent inspectorate;
The information specified in this sub-paragraph is—
(a)
the school’s address and telephone number and the name of the head teacher;
(b)
either—
(i)
where the proprietor is an individual, the proprietor’s full name, address for
correspondence during both term-time and holidays and a telephone number or
numbers on which the proprietor may be contacted, or
(ii)
where the proprietor is a body of persons, the address and telephone number of its
registered or principal office;
(c)
where there is a governing body, the name and address for correspondence of its Chair; and
(d)
a statement of the school’s ethos (including any religious ethos) and aims.
387. This information must be provided to parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils, for example
as part of a prospectus or information booklet.
388. Proprietors need not provide parents with their residential address and telephone number. They may
instead provide parents with an address for correspondence (which may be the school address) during
both term-time and holidays and a telephone number or numbers on which they may be contacted.
The requirement for this to be ‘at all times’ has been removed: it is sufficient that the proprietor be
available during normal working hours. Similarly, where there is a governing body the school must
provide parents with an address for correspondence for the chair of the governing body, but this need
not be the residential address.
389. There is no set format for statements of ethos and aims.
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Part 6 – Provision of Information
EYFS ➔ Information for parents and carers, note E62
Boarding ➔ Statement of Boarding Principles and Practice, note B6
(1)
(b)
the information specified in sub-paragraph (3) is made available to parents of pupils and
parents of prospective pupils and, on request, to the Chief Inspector, the Secretary of State or
an independent inspectorate;
(3)
The information specified in this sub-paragraph is—
(a)
particulars of the school’s policy on and arrangements for admissions, misbehaviour and
exclusions;
(b)
particulars of educational and welfare provision for pupils with EHC plans and pupils for whom
English is an additional language;
(c)
particulars of the policy referred to in paragraph 2;
(d)
particulars of arrangements for meeting the standards contained in paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and
13;
(e)
particulars of the school’s academic performance during the preceding school year, including
the results of any public examinations;
(f)
details of the complaints procedure referred to in paragraph 33, and the number of complaints
registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year; and
(g)
a copy of the report of any inspection carried out under sections 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act
or section 87(1) of the 1989 Act.
390. The school must make the information available, in accordance with the set definition. Posting on the
school website is sufficient to let parents know what is available to them. However, if a website is not
available or used, the school must take reasonable steps to let parents of current and prospective pupils
know what is available to them. This implies some kind of written list of the items. This might be given
in the school prospectus or inserts to it, or in a letter to parents of current pupils. NB parents holding
parental responsibility, even if not actually caring for the child, have a right to receive relevant
information from the school in respect of any pertinent matter affecting the child, unless a court order
indicates otherwise.
391. Parents cannot request particular information if they do not know what is available to them and, if they
are not informed of any of the information, this represents a failure to meet the requirement. The
information is:
•
school’s policy on and arrangements for admissions, misbehaviour and exclusions;
•
educational and welfare provision for pupils with statements and pupils for whom English is an
additional language;
•
curriculum policy;
•
policy to promote good behaviour and set out sanctions;
•
anti-bullying strategy, health and safety policy, first aid policy;
•
academic performance during the preceding school year, including the results of any public
examinations;
•
complaints procedure, and the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure
during the preceding school year; and
•
a copy of the report of any inspections of the school or boarding provision.
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Part 6 – Provision of Information
392. The requirement to provide the number of staff at the school, including temporary staff, and a summary
of their qualifications has been removed.
EYFS ➔ Information for parents and carers, note E62
(1)
(c)
particulars of the arrangements for meeting the standard contained in paragraph 7 are
published on the school’s internet website or, where no such website exists, are provided to
parents on request;
393. The school’s safeguarding policy must be available to the public on the website, unless the school does
not have a website in which case it must be provided to parents if requested. Linked documents such
as the staff code of conduct and the recruitment and selection policy and procedures are not required
to be on the website but the policy should signpost their existence and how they may be accessed.
(1)
(d)
following an inspection under section 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act, a copy of the report of the
inspection (if it has been sent to the proprietor) is published and maintained on the school’s
internet website, and provided to the parents of each registered pupil, by any date specified
by the body who conducted the inspection;
(1)
(e)
following an inspection under section 87(1) of the Children Act 1989, a copy of the report of
the inspection (if it has been sent to the proprietor) is published and maintained on the
school’s internet website, and provided to the parents of each boarder;
394. Inspectors check with the school for a record or plan of report issue arrangements and, if practicable,
ask parents if they received a copy of the previous report. If a school has a website, inspection reports
back to the last report covering full compliance must now be published, once sent to the school by ISI.
EYFS ➔ note E65
(1)
(f)
an annual written report of each registered pupil’s progress and attainment in the main
subject areas taught is provided to the parents of that registered pupil except that no report
need be provided where the parent has agreed otherwise;
395. The annual report of progress and attainment must be ‘provided’ unless other arrangements have been
agreed with the parent.
EYFS ➔ EYFS Profile, Note E23
(1)
(g)
any information reasonably requested in connection with an inspection under section 109 of
the 2008 Act which is required for the purposes of the inspection is provided to the body
conducting the inspection and that body is given access to the school’s admission and
attendance registers;
396. This regulation refers to the provision of information for inspection purposes.
(1)
(h)
where a pupil wholly or partly funded by a local authority (except where funding is solely for
free of charge early years provision in accordance with the duty contained in section 7 of the
Childcare Act 2006) is registered at the school, an annual account of income received and
expenditure incurred by the school in respect of that pupil is provided to the local authority
and, on request, to the Secretary of State;
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Part 6 – Provision of Information
(1)
(i)
where a pupil with an EHC plan wholly or partly funded by a local authority or other body
through public funds is registered at the school, such information as may reasonably be
required for the purpose of the annual review of the EHC plan is provided to the responsible
local authority.
397. If these regulations apply, inspectors should check with the school what information was provided.
(1)
(j)
(4)
The action specified in this sub-paragraph is –
(5)
particulars of any actions specified in sub-paragraph (4) are published and maintained on the
school’s website or, where no such website exists, are provided to parents.
(a)
any decision by the Secretary of State to remove the school from the register under sections
100, 105, 112, 116, 119 or 123 of the 2008 Act;
(b)
any decision of the Secretary of State to impose a relevant restriction on the proprietor under
section 116 of the 2008 Act;
(c)
any order of a justice of the peace under section 120 of the 2008 Act to remove the school
from the register.
For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(b), ‘relevant restriction’ has the meaning given in section
117(1) of the 2008 Act.
398. Schools must now publish online the details of certain regulatory actions. This will apply to a small
number of schools and details will be provided by ISI or DfE when necessary.
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Part 7 - Manner in which complaints are to be handled
Part 7 – Manner in which complaints are to be handled
Paragraph 33 – Complaints
The standard about the manner in which complaints are handled is met if the proprietor ensures that a
complaints procedure is drawn up and effectively implemented which deals with the handling of
complaints from parents of pupils and which—
COMPLAINTS POLICY CONTENT
399. WITH some adaptation to the school in question, the requirements in themselves are almost
sufficient to constitute a complaints procedure.
400. The policy must deal with complaints from parents of pupils.
401. The policy must also include:
•
details of the three-stage process (informal, formal and panel hearing), including clear time
scales for each stage and in line with the particular requirements set out for each stage in the
regulations;
•
arrangements for record keeping;
•
confidentiality of correspondence, statements and records.
402. The primary purpose and requirement of the policy is that it deals with complaints. The standard does
not distinguish between ‘concerns’ and ‘complaints’. Changes to the wording made in January 2015
resolved this issue. Any matter about which a parent of a pupil is unhappy and seeks action by the
school is now a complaint, and in the scope of the procedure, whatever the school labels it as.
403. Attempts to limit matters to be dealt with under a school complaints procedure can put policies at risk
of not meeting the fundamental requirement of the standard, namely to deal with complaints. In such
instances, inspectors will consider, for example, whether the relevant wording is there to provide
helpful clarification to parents about the most appropriate dispute resolution process within the school
procedures or whether the true purpose of such wording could be to limit the availability of the
statutory complaints process to parents.
Exclusions
404. The complaints standard does not require exclusions to be covered by the complaints process. Schools
should certainly have a process for exclusions and, if they wish to do so, they can use the same process
for exclusion appeals as they do for the hearing of complaints but this is not required by the standards.
However, parents are entitled to the relevant information on the exclusions process under Part 6 and
through other relevant policies (for example, behaviour and sanctions).
Three stage process
405. The standard requires a three stage process. Some schools have been known to split one stage into two
parts. While this is not specifically forbidden by the standard, when inspectors come across this they
must consider carefully on the basis of all the evidence, including feedback from parents, whether it is
used in practice to raise an additional barrier to parents escalating the complaint via the complaints
process.
(a)
is in writing;
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Part 7 - Manner in which complaints are to be handled
(b)
is made available to parents of pupils;
406. The policy will self-evidently be in writing. ‘Made available’ has a specific definition in the regulations.
407. The complaints process for independent schools is not required to be available to the world at large
but only to ‘parents of pupils’, meaning current registered pupils. The procedure does not apply to
parents of prospective pupils unless the procedure categorically says that it does, in which case it must
be applied fairly to them as for registered pupils. The complaints procedure does apply to past pupils if
the complaint was initially raised when the pupil was still registered, and it does not cover exclusions
unless the school has indicated otherwise.
(c)
sets out clear time scales for the management of a complaint;
408. The timescales must be clear from the point of view of the complainant, but words such as ‘normally’
are often used to introduce flexibility during school holiday periods. In such cases, deviation from the
‘normal’ timescales would usually need to be exceptional and convincingly explained. An alternative is
setting different timescales for holidays, or a time scale established in working days. The timescale
should set an ‘outside’ timescale for response and not only cover the timeframe for an
acknowledgement or initial meeting.
(d)
allows for a complaint to be made and considered initially on an informal basis;
(e)
where the parent is not satisfied with the response to the complaint made in accordance with subparagraph (d), establishes a formal procedure for the complaint to be made in writing;
409. The informal and first formal stage of the complaints procedure do not specify who should receive the
complaint and the school may identify individuals according to its circumstances.
410. Although all formal complaints will be made in writing, this does not mean that the formal stage is
automatically triggered whenever a concern is expressed in writing, for example, by email. Complaints
will usually only progress to the formal stage after first being considered at the preliminary stage and
only then if the complainant intends to escalate a matter to the formal stage.
(f)
where the parent is not satisfied with the response to the complaint made in accordance with subparagraph (e), makes provision for a hearing before a panel appointed by or on behalf of the
proprietor and consisting of at least three people who were not directly involved in the matters
detailed in the complaint;
(g)
ensures that, where there is a panel hearing of a complaint, one panel member is independent of
the management and running of the school;
(h)
allows for a parent to attend and be accompanied at a panel hearing if they wish;
(i)
provides for the panel to make findings and recommendations and stipulates that a copy of those
findings and recommendations is—
(i)
provided to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about; and
(ii)
available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and the headteacher;
411. The DfE has given the following guidance on the identity of an independent panel member.
‘Our general view is that people who have held a position of responsibility and are used to scrutinising
evidence and putting forward balanced arguments would be suitable. Examples of persons likely to be
suitable are serving or retired business people, civil servants, heads or senior members of staff at other
schools, people with a legal background and retired members of the Police Force might be considered.’
412. Where the parent is not satisfied with the school’s response to their complaint at stage two and
indicates a wish to continue to stage three, for compliance purposes a panel hearing should take place
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Part 7 - Manner in which complaints are to be handled
unless the parent later indicates that they are now satisfied and do not wish to proceed further. The
panel hearing should, therefore, proceed not withstanding that the parent may subsequently decide
not to attend. If necessary, the panel should consider the parent’s complaint in his/her absence and
issue findings on the substance of the complaint thereby bringing the matter to a conclusion. The
requirement for the panel to proceed does not prevent the school from accommodating parental
availability for dates or considering comments concerning panel composition.
(j)
(k)
provides for a written record to be kept of all complaints that are made in accordance with subparagraph (e) and –
(i)
whether they are resolved following a formal procedure, or proceed to a panel hearing; and
(ii)
action taken by the school as a result of these complaints (regardless of whether they are
upheld); and
provides that correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints are to be
kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under
section 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act requests access to them.
413. The policy should contain these stipulations and, when implementing the policy, schools should be
mindful of these provisions.
414. From January 2015, the written record of complaints is limited to all those made in writing under the
formal part of the procedure. In relation to these complaints only, schools are required to record
whether they are then resolved at that stage or proceed to a panel hearing. It is up to schools to
determine whether or how they also wish to keep a record of informal complaints. Inspectors may
advise that many proprietors wish to ensure records are kept, even of informal complaints, for
management purposes to enable patterns of low-level concern to be monitored, though this is not a
requirement.
EYFS ➔ Complaints, note E63
Boarding ➔ NMS 18 - Complaints, note B123
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Part 8 – Quality of leadership in and management of schools
Part 8 – Quality of leadership in and management of schools
Paragraph 34 – Leadership and management
(1)
(2)
The standard about the quality of leadership and management is met if the proprietor ensures that
persons with leadership and management responsibilities at the school—
(a)
demonstrate good skills and knowledge appropriate to their role so that the independent
school standards are met consistently;
(b)
fulfil their responsibilities effectively so that the independent school standards are met
consistently; and
(c)
actively promote the well-being of pupils.
For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c) ‘well-being’ means well-being within the meaning of section
10(2) of the Children Act 2004(a).
415. The leadership and management standard, introduced from January 2015, is outcomes based, the
required outcome being that the other standards are consistently met and the well-being of pupils
actively promoted. The evidence gathered by inspectors in relation to other standards will usually be
sufficient to make the necessary inspection judgements under this heading.
416. The DfE has advised that any material failure to meet the independent school standards, should lead
to consideration by inspectors of whether there has been a commensurate failing of leadership
(including governance) and management. Materiality in this context is to be judged primarily by
reference to the effect of the failing on pupils, or the potential for effect on pupils whether or not any
detriment is evident at the time of the inspection. Safeguarding deficiencies, in particular, are likely to
be considered ‘material’ unless purely administrative, and to lead to corresponding reporting in relation
to Part 8. Inspectors should contact the ISI office for advice where it appears that Part 8 may be
engaged.
417. For illustrative purposes only, mis-recording of vetting checks which have been carried out satisfactorily
pre-appointment, as required, could potentially be considered to be immaterial administrative errors.
So, too, could limited cases of deficiencies in policies which can be clarified or other errors which can
be corrected by immediate remedial action, provided that practice already reflects the intention of the
policy. In considering whether the standard in Part 8 is met, inspectors will not only consider current
compliance but also the findings of previous inspection reports. In particular, where specific regulatory
failings identified previously have not been remedied or have recurred, this will be taken into account
with the likely result that the standard in Part 8 would not be met. Judgements of materiality would be
made in the context of the frequency, severity or extent of the shortcomings and of all other relevant
information pertaining to the school. For example, a case where the inspection identified (and
supported the school in correcting) numerous policy short comings could be considered ‘material’.
Omission to undertake one or more vetting checks when clearly required would be considered
‘material’ unless picked up by the school and rectified outside of inspection, or a system is in place to
do so.
418. Paragraph 34(1)(c) makes clear the importance of leadership and management in ensuring pupils’ wellbeing. Well-being is defined with reference to the Children Act 2004, which lists the following factors:
•
physical and mental health and emotional well-being;
•
protection from harm and neglect;
•
education, training and recreation;
•
the contribution made by them to society;
•
social and economic well-being.
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Part 8 – Quality of leadership in and management of schools
419. The duty to actively promote the well-being of pupils underlines the safeguarding responsibilities of
proprietors, working through their leadership and management team. The introduction of the broad
2004 definition into the independent school sector will entail schools taking the broadest approach to
the promotion of well-being of pupils.
420. Inspectorates made judgements on aspects of leadership, management and governance for many years
prior to the introduction of the regulatory standard. The introduction of a standard relating to
leadership and management empowers the DfE to take appropriate regulatory action following a
finding that the standard in Part 8 is ‘not met’. A school is required to produce an action plan showing
how the standards will be met. The action plan is required to show what the school intends to do to
improve leadership and management to ensure that the school consistently meets all the standards.
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The Early Years Foundation Stage
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
This section must be read together with the main part of this document, which gives advice on the regulatory
requirements for all schools. This is because some information relevant to all-through schools is not repeated
here unless it also appears directly in the statutory framework for the EYFS. The information concerning
‘disqualification by association’ is an example of this.
E1
The revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), effective from 1 September 2014, amended the
statutory requirements for children in any of the years from birth to 31 August in the academic year in
which they become five. From October 2012, exemption from the learning and development
requirements of the EYFS, for children aged 3–5 only, is available to some independent schools on
application to the DfE. All settings must follow the requirements for safeguarding and welfare.
E2
This section of the handbook does not comment on each of the statutory requirements, but notes
where there has been recent change and offers additional guidance on complex points. Inspectors
should consult the EYFS Statutory Framework (available at www.education.gov.uk) for the complete
list of requirements.
E3
There is overlap between the Independent School Standards and the regulatory requirements for EYFS.
•
The EYFS requirements apply to all children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday.
Account is taken of the EYFS requirements where the Independent School Standards Regulations
do not apply.
•
The Independent School Standards apply to all independent school pupils from the age of two as
follows:
•
For children aged two (not ‘rising two’, not ‘two and above’), the Independent School Standards
consist of the EYFS requirements only. (KCSIE does not apply directly as the EYFS does not refer to
it but it can be considered good practice advice.) This has the effect that the only requirements
for two-year-olds are those in the EYFS, but DfE can take regulatory action for failure to comply
with the EYFS.
•
For children aged from three until 31 August following their fifth birthday, both the EYFS and the
Independent School Standards (including KCSIE) apply.
•
The Independent School Standards do not apply to stand-alone independent nurseries which are
not registrable ‘schools’ (ie they do not contain any children of compulsory school age).
Consequently, if an EY setting is not registered with the DfE as part of an independent school (for
which see Edubase) but is for legal purposes a stand-alone private nursery, the children in the
nursery are not pupils of the main school and the Independent School Standards do not apply to
the setting. KCSIE does not apply directly to such settings though it may be considered good
practice advice.
E4
It is for the provider to ensure that the EYFS provision complies with the EYFS Statutory Framework for
children’s learning, development, safeguarding and welfare. On inspections, the early years coordinating inspector (EYCI) judges whether the main EYFS legal requirements are met and investigates
other requirements in the light of all the evidence available. This is with reference to the reporting
inspector, who has the ultimate responsibility. The reporting inspector is responsible for the
Independent School Standards Regulations, which apply to all a school’s pupils from the age of two
upwards, but do not include children below the age of two. These younger pupils come under the EYFS
Statutory Framework alone. The provision for them is registered with Ofsted and inspected by ISI.
E5
Children of five and under – registration requirements. Independent schools must register with Ofsted
on the Early Years Register any care or education that is provided for children aged under two. There is
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The Early Years Foundation Stage
no allowance for those who are ‘rising two’ similar to the former provision for those under ‘rising three’.
Even if there is only one child younger than two, Ofsted registration is a legal requirement, and the
Ofsted registration certificate must be displayed and shown to parents on request.
E6
Schools do not need to register with Ofsted where EYFS provision is for children who are two or older,
if this provision is part of the school’s activities, made by the proprietor or a person employed by the
proprietor and at least one child in the EY provision is a pupil of the school. By section 34 of the Childcare
Act 2006, such provision is exempted from registration.
E7
Schools which have EYFS provision on a site other than the school should inform ISI at the earliest
opportunity so that appropriate inspection arrangements can be made. Registered childcare provision
on a school site which is not owned by the governing body/proprietor is inspected separately by Ofsted
and according to its own schedule of inspections.
E8
Any education or care provided by a third party on behalf of the school, including summer play schemes
not attended by any pupils of the school, requires registration on the Early Years Register if it takes
children in that age range, unless they are exempt from compulsory registration. Exemptions include
where they care for any child for two hours a day or less, operate for 14 days or fewer in the year, or
provide activity-based provision outside the school day – school study or homework support,
performing arts, arts and crafts, sport, religious, cultural or language study.
E9
Third-party provision must also be registered on the Childcare Register where it takes children from 1
September following the child’s fifth birthday up to age eight. Providers may choose to register on the
Childcare Register if they take older children or they are exempt from compulsory registration. Schools
are not allowed to join the Childcare Register unless no child attending is a pupil of the school.
Registered childcare provision that is not owned by the governing body/proprietor will be inspected
separately by Ofsted and according to its own timetable of inspections.
E10 Inspectors must check that a school is correctly registered and fulfils the correct registration
requirements. Schools with pupils under the age of two must have a registration certificate from Ofsted.
Schools are in breach of Regulations if they have not registered their under-two provision. An inspector
who discovers such a situation should immediately report it to the ISI office.
E11 Inspectors will check the ages of the children on roll, the staffing ratios and the exact nature of the
provision, the length of time before- and after-school care runs, the length of any times any holiday
clubs run, and the nature of any out-of-school activities.
E12 ISI bases its regulatory and inspection judgements on whether a provider has met the general and
specific legal requirements. Registered providers are subject to tighter regulation than those offering
only non-registered provision, and have a requirement to report to Ofsted (as the regulatory body for
children under two) where certain events or changes have occurred.
E13 All providers are required to ensure that all members of staff are given copies of policies and procedures
at their induction and that these are accessible and explained to all parents and carers. It is essential
that children are provided with safe and secure environments in which to interact and explore rich and
diverse learning and development opportunities.
E14 ISI inspectors should consult the previous report (Ofsted and/or ISI) when carrying out their own
inspection. They enter comment in ‘The overall quality and standards of the early years provision’ to
indicate the response to any recommendations from the last inspection. They note any significant
changes in provision or quality.
E15 As well as regular nursery provision, some independent schools offer early day (before-school) and late
day (after-school) childcare. The ISI inspection team should observe some of this provision and satisfy
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itself that it is appropriate, safe and stimulating. Before- and after-school childcare may require Ofsted
registration for both children in the early and later years (under eight):
•
Children below two years. Under the Childcare Act 2006, independent schools are required to
obtain Ofsted registration for any provision for children from birth to their second birthday,
regardless of the time of day at which the childcare is provided.
•
Children aged from two to seventeen. Under the Childcare Act 2006, schools are no longer
required to register childcare provision with Ofsted, if it is for children of the school aged two and
above and run by the governing body/proprietor(s) or a person employed to work at the school. If
the provision is made for more than one child who has not attained the age of eight, at least one
of the children must be a registered pupil at the school.
E16 Where children in Nursery or Reception classes attend school for longer than the school day or in the
school holidays, in provision run directly by the governing body or the proprietor(s), it is recommended
that the ratio of adults to children should be 1:8. At least one member of staff should hold a full and
relevant level 3 qualification and half of all other staff should hold a full and relevant level 2
qualification.
E17 Where the provision for young children is not part of the school registered with the DfE and not owned
or managed by them, it should not be inspected by ISI, and the report must clearly state that this
provision has not been inspected. The reporting inspector should ask to see a copy of the latest report
for information purposes and should also check that neither school literature nor other publicity gives
the impression that this provision is covered by ISI inspection. These settings are inspected separately
by Ofsted.
E18 If a setting is registered with Ofsted but it currently has no children, the inspectors should report on the
setting as they find it, including matters such as the physical provision and the records kept. They should
convey their findings as usual at the end of the inspection and the report should indicate clearly the
circumstances of that inspection.
Section 1 - The Learning and Development Requirements
E19 The EYFS Statutory Framework sets out the learning and development requirements comprising:
•
the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes;
•
the early learning goals; and
•
the assessment requirements.
E20 Unless the setting holds an exemption, the learning and development requirements must be followed
in full. The framework has more explicit statements that the judgement about the balance between
child- and adult-led activities is a matter for practitioners and there is an expectation that the balance
will move towards adult-led activities in preparation for Year 1.
E21 If the school has an EAL policy, it should include what reasonable steps the provider will take to provide
opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, to support their
language development at home, and to ensure that they also have sufficient opportunities to learn and
reach a good standard in English language.
Section 2 - Assessment
E22 The 2012 EYFS Statutory Framework introduced a progress check for children aged between two and
three years. This is to provide parents and/or carers with a short written report of their child’s
development in the prime areas. The progress check must identify the child’s strengths and any areas
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where the child’s progress is less than expected, focusing particularly on any areas where there is a
concern that a child may have a developmental delay (which may indicate a special educational need
or disability). Beyond that, it is for practitioners to decide what the written summary should include.
The DfE publication Development Matters provides further detail.
E23 The EYFS Profile must be completed for all children in the final term of the year in which they reach age
five, no later than 30 June in that term, unless the setting has taken up an exemption. Each child’s level
of development must be assessed against the early learning goals. The results of the EYFS Profile must
be shared with parents, with an explanation of when and how the Profile can be discussed with the
teacher who completed it. Year 1 teachers must be given a copy of the Profile together with a short
commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective
learning.
E24 The EYFS Profile must now only be reported to the local authority upon request.
Section 3 - The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements
3.4–3.8 Child Protection
E25 In addition to the requirements outlined above in relation to the main school, policies in schools with
EYFS settings must also include a number of additional points. These are:
•
the school’s policy on the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting; (This does not equate
to a requirement to ban their use, but entails recognising and managing the risks by a means
appropriate to the setting);
•
details of the practitioner designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in the
settings [this role may be assumed by a member of staff who does not specifically work within
EYFS];
•
[registered providers] must notify Ofsted within 14 days of any allegations of serious harm or
abuse by any person living, working or looking after children at the premises (whether the
allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere).
E26 Schools should note the detailed requirements for safeguarding training outlined at paragraph 3.6 of
the EYFS Statutory Framework.
3.9–3.13 Suitable people
E27 Providers must obtain an enhanced criminal record check for every person over 16 who:
•
works directly with the children;
•
lives on the premises on which the childcare is provided;
•
works on the premises on which the childcare is provided (unless the work is not in the part of the
premises where the childcare takes place, or is not at times when the children are present).
E28 Staff carrying out teaching work with pupils aged 3 and above in the EYFS must not be prohibited from
teaching. Schools must, therefore, check that an individual who will be carrying out teaching work with
this age group does not have a prohibition order against them. This will apply to those supervising a
setting and could apply to others if they are carrying out teaching work. Refer to note 276 above for
more detailed information.
E29 The EYFS continues to include the provision that providers must not allow people whose suitability has
not been checked, including through a criminal records check, to have unsupervised contact with
children being cared for. Where a new member of staff starts work before the disclosure is available,
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the school must ensure that the person is supervised at all times, all other checks (including barred list)
have been completed satisfactorily and inspectors ensure that recruitment procedures are otherwise
robust.
3.19 Staff taking medication/other substances
E30 Staff must seek medical advice if they are taking medication which may affect their ability to care for
children, and any staff medication must be securely stored at all times.
3.20–3.27 Staff qualifications, training, support and skills / Key person
E31 Induction training for staff must include:
•
help in understanding roles and responsibilities;
•
information about emergency evacuation procedures;
•
safeguarding and child protection;
•
the provider’s equality policy;
•
health and safety issues.
E32 Providers must support staff to undertake appropriate training and professional development to ensure
they can continually improve the quality learning and development experiences they offer for children.
The concept of ‘supervision’ is a way for staff to discuss issues and identify solutions as well as receive
coaching to improve their personal effectiveness. Supervision should be an individual meeting between
a manager and each staff member, including teaching assistants, in order to support their role as key
persons working with children and their families. The frequency of meetings should be determined
according to the needs of the families and the staff member supporting them. This is in addition to
regular staff appraisals and other opportunities for staff training.
E33 Training in paediatric first aid continues to be a requirement, with at least one person with a current
certificate on the premises at all times when children are present and accompanying children on
outings. It must be clear from the certificate that the course followed has covered first aid for children
(with the words ‘children’, ‘child’ or ‘paediatric’ somewhere on the certificate). As a general principle,
the first-aid training should be appropriate to the age of the children in question. It no longer has to be
local authority approved and providers may choose which organisation they wish to provide the training
but it must cover the course content as for St John Ambulance or Red Cross paediatric first-aid training
and be renewed every three years.
E34 In June 2016, the DfE indicated a commitment to extend the requirement for paediatric first-aid
training. It is planned that, in addition to existing EYFS requirements, newly qualified early years staff
(with a full and relevant level 2 or level 3 childcare qualification) will in future have either a full
paediatric first aid (PFA) or an emergency PFA certificate before they can be included in the required
adult:child ratios in an early years setting. Inspectors may advise that no further details are available
yet or date for when this will become a requirement. More information will be distributed to all schools
through the usual channels when it is available.
E35 As previously, each child must be allocated a key person. This may be the class teacher, teaching
assistant or other member of staff who can ensure that the child’s care is tailored to meet his or her
individual needs.
3.28–3.36 Staff:child ratios
E36 The following qualifications and adult-to-child ratios are requirements under the EYFS Statutory
Framework. Children must usually be within sight of staff and always within sight or hearing.
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E37 Children aged three or over. In Reception classes, where the majority of pupils are five or over within
the school year, the staffing ratio is 1:30 (as in maintained schools) provided that a person with
Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status, Early Years Teacher Status or another suitable
level 6 qualification is working directly with the children. Such a person may be an overseas qualified
teacher or an ‘instructor’ (someone with the necessary qualifications or experience or both, where the
governors/proprietor are satisfied with the qualifications or experience). In such Reception classes,
there is no requirement, as previously proposed, for at least one other member of staff to hold a full
and relevant level 3 qualification.
E38 In other EYFS classes for children of three and above, with a person with Qualified Teacher Status (or
other suitable person as defined above), the ratio is 1:13, and at least one other member of staff is
required to hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification.
E39 In EYFS classes for children of three or above, without a person with Qualified Teacher Status (or
other suitable person as defined above), the staffing ratio must be at least 1:8. At least one member of
staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold a full
and relevant level 2 qualification.
E40 Children who are ‘rising three’. If those ‘rising three’ in their first term at the setting are in a separate
group, they count as being two years old (and the staffing ratio for two-year-olds applies). If they are in
a mixed group with three-year-olds, they count as three if they are in the minority, but as two if they
constitute the majority.
E41 Children aged two in any early years group setting. The staffing ratio must be at least 1:4. At least one
member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must
hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.
E42 Children aged under two in any early years group setting. The staffing ratio must be at least 1:3. At
least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and have suitable
experience of working with children under two. At least half of all other staff must hold a full and
relevant level 2 qualification. At least half the staff must have received specific training in the care of
babies. The member of staff in charge of the babies’ room must have suitable experience of working
with children under two years.
E43 Supervisors and managers. All managers must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification, and
half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification. A named deputy must be
identified, and be capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence.
E44 Break and lunchtime. The EYFS Statutory Framework does not specify different ratios for these times,
but allows a reduction of direct staffing when the children are at rest or sleeping. This is with the proviso
that all the relevant staff are in the vicinity and readily available. The school should undertake risk
assessments to assess the level of supervision that is required taking account of the particular needs
and vulnerabilities of children in the EYFS. Inspectors make a professional judgement on the level of
supervision and raise an issue if they have concerns. Safety should always be the first priority. It is
unlikely that it would be acceptable for lunch-time supervisors to hold no qualifications and for qualified
staff to be distant from the EYFS children.
E45 Supervision of pupils in out-of-school care. The staffing arrangements for the EYFS are given above
under ‘Staff qualifications’. Where the provision is solely before/after-school care or holiday provision
for children who normally attend Reception class (or older) during the school day, there must be
sufficient staff as for a class of 30 children. It is for providers to determine how many staff are needed
to ensure the safety and welfare of children and what qualifications, if any, the manager and/or staff
should have and inspectors will need to consider the effectiveness of the provision made. Practitioners
should discuss with parents and/or carers the support they intend to offer. For older pupils from eight
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to seventeen, a risk assessment should be carried out, so that the staffing ratio is appropriate to
circumstance.
3.44–3.46 Health / Medicines
E46 Schools must discuss with parents the procedure for responding to children who are ill or infectious.
E47 There must also be a policy for the administration of medicines, and training must be provided to any
staff for administration which requires medical or technical knowledge. Usually, only prescription
medicines should be administered. Written permission must be obtained from parents for individual
medicines to be administered. Where medicine is administered to a child, parents must be informed
the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.
3.47–3.49 Food and drink
E48 Schools should be aware of the requirement for fresh drinking water to be available at all times. It is for
the school to determine how this is best achieved. Training in food hygiene must be provided for staff
involved in preparing and handling food. There is not a specified type of training and it would be
acceptable for a school’s catering manager or other suitably qualified person to deliver basic training in
food hygiene principles
3.50–3.51 Accident or injury
E49 Schools should be aware of the duty to inform parents of any accident or injury sustained by the child
on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable, and any first aid treatment given. The first aid
policy for the whole school can include the EYFS as long as the required information is given.
E50 A first-aid box must be accessible at all times and with appropriate content for use with children. An
accident book or similar written record must be kept for accidents or injuries or first aid treatment.
3.52–3.53 Managing behaviour
E51 The requirements to have a behaviour management policy and procedures and a named practitioner
responsible for behaviour management in every setting have been removed. However, providers are
responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way, so the whole-school policy can
apply to the EYFS and should include a statement that corporal punishment is not used or threatened.
E52 The policy should record: when physical intervention is allowable (for example, to avert immediate
danger of personal injury); the procedure for recording any such occasions; and the requirement to
inform parents on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable
3.54–3.56 Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment / Smoking
E53 Providers must ensure that their premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for
purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises.
Schools should ensure that their health and safety policy and arrangements include suitable provision
for the EYFS, which comply with the requirements of health and safety legislation (including fire safety
and hygiene requirements).
E54 The requirement for a no-smoking policy has been removed, but providers must not allow smoking in
or on the premises when children are present or are about to be present.
3.57–3.63 Premises
E55 Schools must ensure that there are adequate toilets and hand basins available. Providers must follow
their legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 (for example, the provisions on reasonable
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adjustments). The requirement for making provision such as a space for children who wish to relax, play
quietly or sleep, equipped with appropriate furniture has been removed. However, sleeping children
must be frequently checked.
3.64 Risk assessment
E56 The requirement for settings to have a policy and procedures for assessing any risks to children’s safety
has been removed, but providers must ensure that they take all reasonable steps to ensure staff and
children in their care are not exposed to risks and must be able to demonstrate how they are managing
risks. They must determine when a written risk assessment is required. Risk assessments should identify
risks that should be checked on a regular basis, when and by whom, and how the risk will be removed
or minimised.
3.65–3.66 Outings
E57 A risk assessment (not necessarily in writing) must be undertaken for outings, and include consideration
of adult-to-child ratios and the steps to be taken to remove, minimise and manage identified risks and
hazards.
3.67 Special educational needs
E58 All providers must have arrangements to support children with SEN or disabilities and are expected to
identify a SENCO.
E59 Providers who are funded by the local authority to deliver early education places must have regard to
the SEND Code 2015. This means:
•
The setting should plan for the four areas of need: communication and interaction, cognition and
learning, social emotional and mental health, sensory and/or physical needs.
•
They should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN.
•
In addition to the two specific points in the EYFS for formal assessment, there should be
monitoring and review of progress throughout the early years.
•
Where a child appears to be behind expected levels, a methodology is outlined in the SEND Code
2015 for gathering information and seeking ‘Early help’ (see Working Together), if appropriate.
The cycle of action: assess/plan/do/review, should be used to create a graduated response to
needs.
•
Guidelines are given for seeking external help of specialists or requesting an EHC assessment.
•
Decisions to involve external specialists should be taken in discussion with parents, and parents
should be informed if their child is receiving SEN support.
3.68–3.71 Information and records
E60 Inspectors should ensure that schools maintain confidentiality of records about staff and children, with
access only available to those who have a right or a professional need to see them. Staff should be
aware of these arrangements but a formal policy is not required to meet the EYFS requirement. Parents
and/or carers must be given access to all records about their child, provided that no relevant
exemptions apply to their disclosure under the Data Protection Act. The retention period for records
relating to individual children must be ‘reasonable’. The three-year retention period for registers may
be a useful rule of thumb.
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3.72 Information about the child
E61 Information must be held about each child, comprising:
•
full name;
•
date of birth;
•
name and address of every parent and/or carer who is known to the provider;
•
information about any other person who has parental responsibility for the child;
•
details of which parent(s) the child normally lives with; and
•
emergency contact details for parents and/or carers.
3.73 Information for parents and carers
E62 Certain information must be made available to parents and/or carers:
•
how the EYFS is being provided in the setting [including any alternative provision in the case of
exemptions];
•
how parents and carers can access more information about the EYFS;
•
the range and type of activities and experiences provided for children;
•
the daily routines of the setting;
•
how parents and carers can share learning at home;
•
how the setting supports children with SEN or disabilities;
•
food and drinks provided for children;
•
details of policies and procedures, including:
•
the procedure in the event that a parent/carer fails to collect a child;
•
the procedure for dealing with the circumstance of a child going missing at, or away from, the
setting;
•
staffing in the setting;
•
the name and role of the child’s key person and their role;
•
an emergency contact number for parents to use.
3.74–3.75 Complaints
E63 Additional requirements apply for EYFS settings beyond those which apply to the main school. Written
complaints about the fulfilment of the EYFS requirements must be investigated and the complainant
notified of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days. The record of complaints must be made
available to Ofsted and ISI on request.
E64 Providers must make available details of how to contact Ofsted, and/or ISI, if parents believe the
provider is not meeting the EYFS requirements.
E65 Schools must notify parents about an inspection once they have been notified. Once the final inspection
report has been provided, it must be supplied to parents of children who attend the setting regularly.
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3.76 Information about the provider
E66 The school must keep information about the name, home address and telephone number of:
•
the provider (where this is an individual) and any other person living and employed on the
premises;
•
anyone else who will regularly be in contact with the children attending the provision.
E67 The reference to persons ‘employed’ on the premises refers to people employed direct by the provider.
The second bullet point could apply, for example, to employees of other employers, such as contractors,
who have regular contact with children attending the provision. The names and addresses of such
people should be supplied by their own employer. It is not necessary to keep names and addresses of
occasional workers who are neither employees nor have regular contact with the children.
E68 Records must also be kept each day of the names of the children attending, their hours of attendance
and the name of their key person.
E69 If the setting is registered with Ofsted, the registration certificate must be displayed at the setting.
3.77 Changes that must be notified to Ofsted
E70 Registered providers must notify Ofsted of a number of specified circumstances, usually within 14 days
but preferably in advance of the changes taking place.
Additional points of guidance – Transporting EYFS children
E71 The EYFS requirements on transport apply to arrangements within a setting or for taking children on
outings. They do not make any reference to transporting children to and from a setting or school. Such
arrangements do not fall within the definition of an outing and the welfare requirements relating to
outings within the EYFS do not apply; for example staff transporting children to and from a setting do
not need to hold a first-aid qualification.
E72 If the transport is a private arrangement made by parents with a third party, then it is the parents’
responsibility to ensure they are satisfied with the arrangements and the setting should make it clear
when their responsibility for the children transported in this way commences or ceases. This will usually
be when they are met from or delivered to the vehicle. In other cases, the setting itself may make the
arrangements for transport. While the requirements of the EYFS for outings do not apply, it is important
for the setting to make it clear to parents the extent of the arrangements for transport, including the
policies or procedures that apply during these times. This is likely to fall within the welfare requirements
of the EYFS regarding the provision of information for parents.
E73 Parents’ perception of arrangements for care is likely to be that the same level of care is offered during
these times as is provided for activities on the premises. Indeed, increased care may be expected, since
transport could provide greater risks. So it is good practice to carry out a risk assessment to assess the
levels of supervision needed: for example, whether staff are suitable to be unsupervised with children
(for example if they hold a DBS check); if a driver is to be unaccompanied and the circumstances in
which this would be acceptable; and what the arrangements are for emergency help. It is also good
practice to follow the requirements of the EYFS regarding the records kept about vehicles in which
children are transported, including insurance details and a list of named drivers.
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The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
THE NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BOARDING SCHOOLS
This section must be read together with the main part of this document, which gives advice on the regulatory
requirements for all schools. This is because some of the information relevant to all-through schools is not
repeated here unless is also appears directly in the requirements for boarding schools.
INTERPRETATION AND GUIDANCE FOR INSPECTORS
B1
The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools (NMS) sit alongside the Independent School
Standards Regulations (ISSRs), having been made under separate legislation (the Children Act 1989).
They are incorporated into the ISSR mainly through ISSR paragraph 8, subject to a few exceptions given
below. In many cases their requirements are explained by having regard to the same guidance as the
ISSR. Legislation also applies to boarding in relation to health and safety, fire and planning regulations.
The NMS apply in England to:
•
all mainstream boarding schools, for all age groups of pupils up to 18 (including schools where all
boarders are 16 or over), including any lodging arrangements organised by the school for
residential pupils;
•
any pupils over the age of 18 on the roll of the school who live alongside those who are under 18;
and
•
children accommodated at the school, other than pupils.
B2
The definition of boarding includes pupils who are accommodated elsewhere under arrangements
made by the school, whether or not the accommodation is in fact provided off-site by a third party, eg
a host family or landlord. If the accommodation arrangements are made by the child’s parent(s) or the
parents’ agents, the welfare responsibility rests with the parents. In all cases where accommodation is
arranged or provided by the school, or agents for the school, the school is required to register as a
boarding school with the DfE.
B3
The NMS do not apply to:
•
boarding schools which accommodate or arrange accommodation for any child for more than 295
days a year, or intend to do so – such schools are required to register as children’s homes with
Ofsted and are subject to the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 and the National
Minimum Standards for Children’s Homes rather than the Standards in this document;
•
Further Education Colleges funded by the Skills Funding Agency. A separate set of National
Minimum Standards for FE colleges which accommodate under 18s will apply, rather than these
Standards;
•
Residential Special Schools – there is a separate set of National Minimum Standards for these (not
included in this Handbook); they are similar to the requirements for mainstream boarding
schools, but more detailed (see National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools);
•
instances where another organisation is responsible for the children, such as when the premises
are let during the school holidays – in such cases, the organisation is responsible for their welfare
rather than the school;
•
the children of staff working at the school and living in their household.
B4
In the following boxes, the NMS are quoted verbatim and followed by guidance for inspection.
B5
Note that, if any NMS is not met, in order to enable the DfE to take action under the ISSR, this will
trigger non-compliance of one (or more) of the ISSRs – usually Part 3 paragraph 8(a) and/or (b), unless
otherwise stated.
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NMS 1 – Statement of Boarding Principles and Practice
1.1
A suitable statement of the school’s boarding principles and practice is available to parents and
staff, is made known to boarders, and is seen to work in practice.
B6
The statement may be expressed as aims and objectives, principles on which boarding is based, or a
statement of outcomes for boarders. Although it may be incorporated within wider whole-school
principles and aims, there should be specific reference to the boarding experience provided by the
school.
B7
It is likely to appear on the school’s website and/or in a prospectus, parents’ handbook or joining
instructions to new boarder parents. Staff should have reference to it within a boarding staff manual,
or its house equivalent, and/or it can be displayed in the staff duty room. Boarders should have access
to the statement on a house notice board and/or in a boarders’ handbook or planner/diary.
B8
A finding that NMS 1 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b).
NMS 2 – Boarders’ Induction and Support
B9
This Standard covers important areas of support for boarders.
B10 A finding that NMS 2 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b).
2.1
There is an appropriate process of induction and guidance for new boarders.
B11 This should include provision for boarders joining at the natural start point for the school, as well as
those joining higher year groups or at ‘non-standard’ start times. If not in writing, the school and
individual housemasters/mistresses, or equivalent, should be able to give a convincing outline of the
process used. During interviews, boarders should be able to corroborate the effectiveness of the
induction process.
B12 NMS 2.1 does not require a written induction process, but NMS Appendix 1, Document 22 requires
schools to provide key written information for new boarders. This is likely, in practice, to provide
evidence of the induction process itself. Many schools will provide the required information in the form
of a pupil handbook or booklet, or a diary/planner. Schools may also operate some sort of ‘buddy’
system for new boarders, although this is also no longer a requirement. It is good practice for older
boarders or house prefects to be involved in supporting new boarders.
2.2
Each boarder has a choice of staff to whom s/he can turn for personal guidance or for help with
a personal problem.
B13 This again can be ascertained through interviews with boarders. Many schools operate a formal schoolbased or house-based tutorial system, but some simply expect boarders to approach a range of
sympathetic adults as needed. It is reasonable to expect the school to have some sort of written
procedure for boarders to resolve problems or concerns (possibly contained in a complaints policy
under Standard 17). The crucial issue is that boarders should be free to consult whichever adults they
feel comfortable with, and are able to indicate a range of approachable people.
2.3
The school identifies at least one person other than a parent, outside the staff of the school and
those responsible for the leadership and governance of the school, who boarders may contact
directly about personal problems or concerns at school. Boarders are informed who this person
is, and how to contact them and they are easily accessible. Boarders are also provided with one
or more appropriate helpline(s) or outside telephone numbers, including the Office of the
Children’s Commissioner, to contact in case of problems or distress.
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B14 The current guidance does not completely bar the use of an ‘independent listener’ who is paid by the
school. The intention is to achieve a balance, such that the listener should be divorced as much as
possible from the hierarchy of the school, but someone ‘who best can do the job’ [Children Act, Practice
Guide]. The person in question must be able to exercise objectivity in responding to concerns and issues
raised by boarders and, consequently, this restricts anyone who may be seen to be in a position where
there could be a conflict of interests by virtue of previous or current roles or allegiances. However,
there are circumstances where a professional counsellor may be commissioned to work within the
school, whose role may encompass so-called independent listening. In these circumstances, an
objectivity test should be applied to ensure the person can always act in the paramount interests of
children and is not adversely influenced by any other factor. The contact details for the ‘independent
listener’, together with those for agencies such as ChildLine, should be freely and easily available to
boarders, and are likely to appear on a house noticeboard, near a public telephone and/or in a boarder’s
handbook or planner. The Standard is met if the school/house provides the information clearly in an
accessible form for boarders. It is good practice if boarders are regularly reminded of who the
independent listener is, and how they may contact him/her. The contact numbers must include the
Office of the Children’s Commissioner (freephone number 0800 528 0731) and email address
(http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk).
NMS 3 – Boarders’ Health and Well-being
B15 This Standard covers the areas of medical and health care for boarders. There will be a variety of types
of provision and so the individual standards need to be inspected in the context of the school – whether
there is a fully equipped medical centre staffed by qualified nurses round the clock, or a non-resident
matron with no nursing qualifications.
B16 A finding that NMS 3 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b).
3.1
The school has and implements appropriate policies for the care of boarders who are unwell and
ensures that the physical and mental health, and emotional wellbeing of boarders is promoted.
These include first aid, care of those with chronic conditions and disabilities, dealing with medical
emergencies and the use of household remedies.
B17 The school should have policies covering general health care, first aid, and storage and administration
of both prescribed and non-prescription medication. These procedures should include the identification
and treatment of boarders with specific chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy
and allergies, and provide boarding and other staff with clear treatment responses. Requirements for
a satisfactory first-aid policy, including appropriate training, are outlined in note 183 above. It should
be clear from school documentation what the arrangements are for overnight care of boarders who
are ill, particularly at weekends, and whether this takes place in a central medical centre or in suitable
accommodation in boarding houses.
B18 Evidence for effective implementation comes from inspection of the medical or surgery areas of the
house or medical centre, interviews with staff responsible for health care, and interviews with boarders
about their experiences when ill.
B19 Records should be inspected and, as a minimum, should involve medical history/consent forms for
boarders (for medical/dental/optical treatment, first aid, and emergency hospital treatment), a list of
boarders who self-medicate (together with appropriate assessment and control measures); a daily
surgery ‘log’ and individual boarders’ records of treatment/medication issued.
B20 If boarding house staff are authorised to administer medication such as paracetamol, care should be
taken to ensure that such distribution is carefully logged in the house, and appropriate communication
takes place with the medical centre (if it exists) to monitor and co-ordinate such treatment.
B21 Although not explicitly stated in this Standard, it is recommended that a school’s health care policy
should mention aspects of health education in areas like smoking, alcohol, drug misuse and sex
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education, as appropriate to boarders’ ages. Such issues may well be covered through a personal, social,
health and economic education (PSHE) programme.
B22 In the context of the new Standard concerning promoting the emotional well-being of boarders, ‘wellbeing’ means well-being within the meaning of section 10(2) of the Children Act 2004. This is the same
definition used in Part 8 of the Independent School Standards. See note 418 above.
B23 When considering their provision for the physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing of
boarders, schools may wish to be aware of the most recent DfE advice and information which dovetails
with WT and the SEND Code 2015. These are non-statutory documents meaning that schools are not
required to have regard to them:
3.2
•
Mental health and behaviour in schools (March 2016)
•
Counselling in schools: a blue print for the future (February 2016)
•
Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils 2015
•
Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (September 2014)
Suitable accommodation, including toilet and washing facilities, is provided in order to cater for
the needs of boarding pupils who are sick or injured. The accommodation is adequately staffed
by appropriately qualified personnel, adequately separated from other boarders and provides
separate accommodation for male and female boarders where this is necessary.
B24 Regardless of whether the school has a central medical centre or sick bay (which should be separately
inspected), inspectors should ascertain any arrangements whereby boarders who are unwell are kept
in bed in the boarding house. Such arrangements should allow for patients to be looked after by a
competent person, to summon help or assistance when needed and, if necessary for infection control,
to have access to dedicated bathroom facilities. There need to be satisfactory arrangements for the
overnight care of ill pupils kept in the house. Schools with separate medical centres should provide such
facilities as a matter of course. If a medical centre is only open during weekdays, the school should be
able to demonstrate that the arrangements in place provide an appropriate level of care to look after
any ill boarders staying in school over the weekend.
3.3
In addition to any provision on site, boarders have access to local medical, dental, optometric
and other specialist services or provision as necessary.
B25 The school should confirm that boarders have ready access to nearby specialist medical, dental and
optical services. Many schools have specific arrangements with a local surgery for prompt attention by
a doctor, irrespective of whether a school doctor attends the school to carry out routine surgeries. It is
no longer a requirement to provide access to both male and female doctors, although this is
recommended. The previous Standards required that boarders be able to choose whether or not to be
accompanied by staff when visiting a doctor’s or dentist’s surgery. This is recommended where
boarders are competent to make such decisions for themselves.
3.4
All medication is safely and securely stored and proper records are kept of its administration.
Prescribed medicines are given only to the boarder to whom they are prescribed. Boarders
allowed to self-medicate are assessed as sufficiently responsible to do so.
B26 This should be checked as part of the inspection of the medical centre and boarding house medical
provision. The school should have a protocol for assessing boarders’ competence to self-medicate, and
have satisfactory arrangements for them to store the medication safely. Prescribed medication (such
as antibiotics) should not be used to maintain a bulk supply but should only be kept for the sole use of
the relevant boarder.
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3.5
The confidentiality and rights of boarders as patients are appropriately respected. This includes
the right of a boarder deemed to be ‘Gillick Competent’ to give or withhold consent for his/her
own treatment.
B27 Gillick competence is used in medical law to decide whether a child (16 years or younger) is able to
consent to his or her own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge.
A child is Gillick competent if he or she has ‘sufficient understanding and intelligence to understand
fully what is proposed’. Schools should be able to demonstrate that any decisions about whether a child
is ‘Gillick competent’ have been made thoughtfully and recorded. Many schools will include an
appropriate confidentiality statement on the medical consent form signed by parents. This Standard
also includes the need for boarders to be granted appropriate privacy and dignity in matters like talking
to staff about medical matters or undressing for medical examinations.
B28 Respecting confidentiality rights ‘appropriately’ does not mean always maintaining complete
confidentiality at the behest of a Gillick competent child. It will not be appropriate to maintain
confidentiality when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a child is or might be at risk of
significant harm, such as abuse or neglect. The referral route for concerns, to access advice for the
school and support for the child, would be to the local authority children’s social services and/or the
police, in line with local procedures. Schools should refer to Information Sharing, Advice for
practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (March
2015) and What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused, Advice for practitioners (March 2015)
for further advice.
NMS 4 – Contact with Parents/Carers
4.1
Boarders can contact their parents/carers and families in private and schools facilitate this where
necessary. This does not prevent schools from operating proportionate systems to monitor and
control the use of electronic communications in order to detect abuse, bullying or unsafe
practice by boarders.
B29 There is no longer a specific requirement to provide a landline telephone, although schools usually do
so as an additional means for boarders to contact home in case alternative methods of contact are not
available. Such provision should be accessible at reasonable times by boarders and provide appropriate
privacy. If such facilities are not provided, schools/houses should demonstrate that reasonable
arrangements are in place for boarders to contact parents. Many boarders may have personal mobile
phones for this purpose, and their use should be permitted for a reasonably large part of a boarder’s
free time. It is reasonable, particularly for younger boarders, for a school to limit their use in the
evening, and even to collect and keep them securely overnight. Due flexibility should be granted to
overseas boarders whose home is several time zones distant. Schools may also permit boarders to
contact home by email or through the internet. Schools should have a suitable policy on preventing
misuse of electronic communication systems and countering cyber-bullying under Standard 12.
B30 A finding that NMS 4 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b).
NMS 5 - Boarding Accommodation
B31 This Standard covers the provision and quality of the boarding accommodation, not only within
boarding houses but also in any other lodgings or accommodation arranged by the school.
B32 A school should be asked to justify any provision of accommodation in houses that is significantly poorer
than other houses. The standard of accommodation across boarding houses should thus be of a broadly
similar standard, as appropriate to boarders’ age and other needs. This Standard does not prevent a
school carrying out a rolling programme of repairs and improvements to accommodation over a
number of years. Where it is not practical to provide accommodation of a broadly similar standard
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throughout the school, for example, because of physical constraints or planning restrictions, all
accommodation must nevertheless at least be compliant with this Standard.
B33 A finding that NMS 5 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 5, paragraph 30.
5.1
Suitable sleeping accommodation is provided for boarders. It is well organised and managed with
risk assessments undertaken and findings acted upon to reduce risk for all boarders. Where
pupils are aged 8 years or over, sleeping accommodation for boys is separate from sleeping
accommodation for girls.
B34 The current regulations for school premises no longer set out specific numerical standards to be met,
so issues such as overcrowding in dormitories should be a matter for reasonable professional
judgement for the school, taking into account the ages, gender and needs of the boarders
accommodated. The boarders’ own views of the suitability of their accommodation should, therefore,
be given due weight. As a rough (non-statutory) guide, the old regulations set the following
requirements:
•
if the school has both boy and girl boarders, the sleeping accommodation must be such that that
no pupil aged eight or above sleeps in the same room as a pupil of the opposite sex;
•
the floor area of a dormitory must be no less than 1.6m2 plus 4.2m2 for each boarder, and the
distance between any two beds must not be less than 0.9m;
•
a cubicle for a single pupil must have its own window and a floor area of no less than 5.0m2;
•
a bedroom for a single pupil must have a floor area not less than 6.0m2.
B35 The requirement to carry out risk assessment of sleeping accommodation is typically included in a
general assessment of risk in each boarding house. Risk assessments should cover not only physical
risks in dormitories and bedrooms (broken windows and fittings, window restraints, ventilation etc) but
also consider aspects affecting boarders’ welfare, such as overcrowding, mixed-age usage, supervision,
potential for unchecked bullying, access to staff and to bathrooms/toilets and so on.
5.2
Suitable living accommodation is provided for boarders for the purposes of organised and private
study outside school hours and for social purposes
B36 It is acceptable for younger boarders to do their homework in a nearby classroom or other communal
space, but questions should be asked to ascertain where they might be able to work quietly outside the
designated ‘prep’ time if they so wished. Older boarders are likely to have their own desk space in a
study or bed-sit. Similarly, they can be asked about any alternative venue for private study at other
times. Most schools make internet access available to boarders during the evenings, but this is not a
specific requirement. Provision of common rooms and games rooms should be sufficient to cater for
the number and ages of boarders in the house.
5.3
Suitable toilet and washing facilities are provided for boarders, which are reasonably accessible
from the sleeping accommodation. Separate toilet facilities are provided for boys and girls unless
each toilet facility is provided in a separate room intended for use by one pupil at a time, the
door to which is capable of being secured from inside. Toilet and washing facilities provide
appropriate privacy for boarders.
B37 It is reasonable to request that a school provide a summary of the numbers of each type of bathroom
item by house, so that any significant under-provision of WCs/urinals, baths/showers and washbasins
can be identified. The requirements of the original Standards for hand-washing provision (hot water,
soap and drying facilities) adjacent to every WC or urinal should be considered as a requirement for
basic hygiene. WCs should be distributed around the house to provide reasonable access by day and
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night. As a general (non-statutory) guide, the old school premises regulations and the original Standards
required the following:
•
1 WC for every 5 boarders (urinals for boys may be provided for up to two-thirds of the required
number of WCs);
•
at least 1 wash basin for:
•
every three of the first 60 boarders;
•
every 4 of the next 40 boarders;
•
every further 5 boarders.
•
at least 1 bath or shower for every 10 boarders (the majority being showers).
B38 Although these ratios are no longer requirements, if provision is below the calculated number then
appropriate investigation should ensure that boarders are happy with what is in place, and the school
should be able to give good reason for the facilities provided.
5.4
Boarding houses and other accommodation provided for boarders is appropriately lit, heated
and ventilated, cleaned and maintained, and reasonable adjustments are made to provide
adequate accessible accommodation for any boarders with restricted mobility
B39 This has to be established by observation and professional judgement, and following up any complaints
boarders might have about the accommodation provided in the house.
5.5
Accommodation is suitably furnished and of sufficient size for the number, needs and ages of
boarders accommodated, with appropriate protection and separation between genders, age
groups and accommodation for adults. Bedding is clean and suitable, and is sufficiently warm.
B40 See above for the application of space standards and potential over-crowding. Resident staff should
not have to share boarders’ kitchen and bathroom facilities. Appropriate separation by gender of
sleeping and bathroom areas typically entails complete separation, while that between different ages
is largely achieved by the natural staggering of access to showers: for example, by different bedtimes.
Where uncommon circumstances advocate a different approach to separation by gender (such as
transgender issues) inspectors should look for a risk-assessed, sensitive approach which ensures the
appropriate protection of all boarders. Inspectors should contact the ISI head office for support, if
necessary. Accommodation in dormitories of widely differing ages is undesirable because of the
difficulty of achieving different ‘lights-out’ times and resultant perceived inequality by boarders. The
original Standards indicated that double bunks should only exceptionally be used for boarders above
Year 8. If so used, they should not be a source of overcrowding, and boarders should be satisfied with
their use.
5.6
Boarders can personalise an area of their accommodation with suitable posters and personal
items if they wish.
B41 This could either be around boarders’ sleeping space or their daytime work space, if they have a
dedicated desk.
5.7
Boarding accommodation is reserved for the use of those children designated to use it, and is
protected from access by unauthorised persons. Any use of school facilities by individuals or
groups does not allow members of the public (including members of organised groups using
school facilities) substantial and unsupervised access to pupils, or to boarding accommodation
while occupied by pupils.
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B42 This should be raised during interviews with boarding staff, and will involve discussion about visiting
arrangements for boarders of both genders from other houses, as well as visitors from outside the
school. It is no longer appropriate for visiting teams to change in boarders’ dormitories. If school-age
visiting teams use school or house changing accommodation, then the school should provide convincing
evidence of adequate security and supervision. The school should also be able to provide appropriate
risk assessments with effective implementation to manage the use of facilities such as sports halls,
gyms, swimming pools and theatres by outside persons at times when boarders are present on the
school site.
B43 Use of other school facilities by outside visitors is largely addressed under Standards 6.1 and 14.4.
5.8
Any use of surveillance equipment (e.g. CCTV cameras) or patrolling of school buildings or
grounds for security purposes does not intrude unreasonably on children’s privacy.
B44 Any such arrangements should be discussed with the school. When it is used by the school, closed
circuit television (CCTV) surveillance should cover the external doors to buildings and not the rooms
and corridors used by boarders. The school should be able to justify the use of surveillance equipment
and explain how the captured information is monitored, stored and disposed of. If the school employs
the services of its own or contracted security personnel, similar questions should be asked about
procedures and routines. External security staff should undergo appropriate vetting and background
checks, particularly if they are patrolling the campus before boarders go to bed.
NMS 6 - Safety of Boarders
6.1
The school ensures compliance with relevant health and safety laws by drawing up and
effectively implementing a written health and safety policy.
B45 The requirement is self-evident and further guidance is available earlier in this Handbook under
Welfare, Health and Safety. Inspectors will also use the judgements under 6.2 and ISSRs Part 5 when
judging compliance and implementation of the policy.
B46 A finding that NMS 6 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b) The standard in
ISSR Part 3, paragraph 11 may also be ‘not met’ if there is a parallel failure within education provision
(including where education and care provision are inseparable).
6.2
The school premises, accommodation and facilities provided therein are maintained to a
standard such that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of pupils
are ensured.
B47 Again, refer to guidance under Welfare, Health and Safety, and judgements made under NMS 5.
B48 A finding that NMS 6 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b). The standard
in ISSR Part 5, paragraph 25 may also be ‘not met’ if there is a parallel failure within education provision
(including where education and care provision are inseparable).
6.3
The school ensures that the welfare of pupils at the school is safeguarded and promoted by the
drawing up and effective implementation of a written risk assessment policy and appropriate
action is taken to reduce risks that are identified.
B49 A finding of ‘not met’ in relation to NMS 6.3 triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph
8(b). ISSR Part 3, paragraph 16 may also be ‘not met’ if there is a parallel failure within education
provision (including where education and care provision are inseparable).
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NMS 7 – Fire Precautions and Drills
7.1
The school complies with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
B50 The same requirements apply as for day schools under the ISSR, Part 3, paragraph 13. Further
information is included from note 175 onwards.
B51 A finding of ‘not met’ in relation to NMS 7 triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8(b).
ISSR Part 3, paragraph 13 may also be ‘not met’ if there is a parallel failure within education provision
(including where education and care provision are inseparable).
7.2
In addition, fire drills are regularly (at least once per term) carried out in ‘boarding time’.
B52 ‘Boarding time’ refers to any time outside the normal school day, after lessons and formal activity
periods cease. Fire drills should be appropriately logged, and such records inspected for the frequency
and timing of fire drills. Houses should include occasional drills during the time when (most) boarders
are asleep, although failure to do this would not necessarily indicate non-compliance. Boarders could
be asked about the procedure, and staff asked about the arrangements for weekly and flexi-boarders,
or pupils who arrive mid-term.
NMS 8 – Provision and Preparation of Food and Drinks
B53 This Standard covers the provision and quality of food for boarders, whether centrally organised or
house-based. A finding that the standard in NMS 8 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR
Part 3 paragraph 8 (b).
8.1
All boarders, including those with special dietary, medical or religious needs, are provided with
meals which are adequate in nutrition, quantity, quality, choice and variety.
B54 The requirement for NMS 8.1 may involve a combination of central feeding as well as house-based
catering arrangements. It would be expected that the range, choice and variety of food may be greater
within a central cafeteria-style provision, but there should be a similar quality and an appropriate
element of choice within house-based catering arrangements, as well as provision for vegetarian and
other specialist diets. A sample menu for a week should provide evidence for a variety of meals.
B55 There should be no reduction in the quality and variety of food at weekends, when only a small
proportion of boarders may be present, and no significant variation in quality of food prepared and
served in different houses.
8.2
Suitable accommodation is provided for the hygienic preparation, serving and consumption of
boarders’ main meals. This may be situated in the main school provided it is adjacent to or
reasonably accessible from the boarding accommodation
B56 Inspectors are not food hygiene experts, but the kitchens should be seen and a professional judgement
made on hygiene arrangements. For example, attention should be given to the cleanliness of crockery,
cutlery and tables, hand washing and drying arrangements and the separation of cooked and uncooked
foods. It is hard to prescribe what ‘reasonably accessible’ from boarding accommodation means in
practice. Many boarding schools have a combination of centrally located and more distant houses.
However, the distance between any central dining area and the furthermost boarding house should not
be so great as to discourage a significant number of boarders from attending meals.
8.3
In addition to main meals, boarders have access to drinking water and to food or the means of
hygienically preparing food at reasonable times. Schools are sensitive to boarders’ individual
needs in this respect.
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8.4
Pupils with disabilities are provided with appropriate assistance to eat, in a manner which
promotes dignity and choice.
B57 Adequate drinking fountains or other sources of drinking water should be available around school and
in the houses. There is no longer a requirement that boarders should be able to prepare their own
snacks, where the school provides food ready for consumption. It would be acceptable in a preparatory
school for house staff to prepare hot drinks and snacks for younger boarders. It would be reasonable
to expect access to a mid-morning snack, afternoon tea and a pre-bedtime snack. Most senior schools
provide a snack food ‘ration’ such as bread and fruit, but older boarders probably provide their own
snack food. If refrigerators are provided in kitchenettes, they should be inspected for cleanliness,
hygiene and temperature.
NMS 9 – Boarders’ Possessions
B58 This Standard covers boarders’ laundry arrangements, the storage of their belongings, and their access
to necessary personal items.
B59 A finding that NMS 9 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8 (b).
9.1
Adequate laundry provision is made for boarders’ clothing and bedding. Boarders’ clothing is
satisfactorily stored and issued to the right boarder following laundering.
B60 There is no requirement for schools to operate their own laundry service, but the great majority do so.
If the laundry is arranged by the school, enquiries should be made to find out how boarders can wash
personal items themselves, especially in case of an ‘accident’, and how domestic staff in houses deal
with the bedding and clothing of any bedwetters.
B61 If boarders are expected to do their own washing, there should be sufficient facilities for washing and
drying, especially at peak times, such as after sport or physical education.
9.2
Boarders are able to obtain necessary personal and stationery items while accommodated at
school.
B62 Younger boarders are likely to obtain such items directly from the matron or other boarding staff or
from a school shop, rather than having the freedom to visit any local shops to purchase things
themselves. Older boarders are likely to have access to any nearby shopping facilities, subject to any
appropriate safeguards and permission. Weekly boarders obviously have access to necessary supplies
when they return home, but there should be arrangements for them to access emergency items during
the week.
9.3
Reasonable protection is provided for boarders’ personal possessions and for any boarders’
money or valuables looked after by the school.
9.4
Any search of boarders’ personal belongings should be carried out in accordance with section
550ZA of the Education Act 1996 and with regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of
State.
B63 The Standard does not specify the provision by the school of a lockable cupboard, drawer or safe but,
in the absence of this, the school should be asked to explain what is provided for secure storage. The
great majority of schools provide such a facility. It is reasonable for schools to expect boarders to
provide their own padlocks. Boarders may have their own lockable tuck boxes but this should be in
addition to provision made by the school.
B64 Other valuables such as money or passports should be securely stored by boarding staff if necessary,
and appropriate records kept.
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B65 The relevant advice on searching referred to in NMS 9.4 is Searching, screening and confiscation: Advice
for headteachers, school staff and governing bodies.
NMS 10 – Activities and Free Time
B66 This Standard covers the organisation and availability of boarders’ free time, including school-based
activities programmes. A finding that NMS 10 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3
paragraph 8 (b).
10.1
There is an appropriate range and choice of activities for boarders outside teaching time,
including sufficient and suitably timed free time each day. Suitable risk assessments are in place
for any activities which may put boarders at risk of harm.
B67 Boarders have access to the full range of clubs and activities within any after-school extra-curricular
programme arranged by the school. Boarders are also likely to benefit from different inter-house events
and competitions. Enquiries should be made to find out what school facilities (such as sporting, musical
or art) are available to boarders in the evenings and at weekends. Many schools organise a Saturday
morning activity period, if no lessons take place. Younger boarders, in particular, are likely to be offered
regular or occasional off-site trips or visits at weekends. A balance needs to be struck between providing
structured activities and allowing opportunities for boarders to entertain themselves and relax.
10.2
Boarders have access to a range and choice of safe recreational areas, both indoors and
outdoors, and there are safe areas at school where boarders can be alone if they wish.
B68 See above under NMS 10.1. Boarders should be asked whereabouts in the house or school they could
go to be alone and how easily accessible such areas are.
10.3
Schools where there are unusual or especially onerous demands on boarders ensure that these
are appropriate to the boarders concerned and do not unacceptably affect boarders’ welfare.
B69 This is likely to be relevant only in schools of a specialist nature where boarders are expected to
undertake demanding performance, musical or choral programmes, in addition to their normal school
day. It might also apply to schools that operate a farm where boarders need to get up very early to
assist in the milking of cows before breakfast. The school should be able to demonstrate, especially for
preparatory age children, that appropriate systems and people are able to monitor and support such
boarders, and help them if necessary to resolve any conflicts and multiple demands made of them. Such
boarders should be included among the interview groups.
10.4
Boarders have access to information about events in the world outside the school, and access to
local facilities which is appropriate to their age.
B70 Modern boarders are likely to reveal that they are very much in touch with the ‘outside world’ through
visits home and trips/outings arranged by school. PSHE and general studies courses may involve an
element of current affairs, reinforced by outside speakers, involvement in community service and
charitable fund-raising. Boarders are likely to have access to television and newspapers in houses. If
local shopping facilities are available nearby, appropriate arrangements are likely to be made for
boarders to visit these at certain times of the day and week. Supervision arrangements for boarders’
use of any local facilities outside school should be appropriate to the age of the boarders involved, and
the facilities used should be of a suitable type without unreasonable risks to boarders.
NMS 11 – Child Protection
11.1
The school ensures that:
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•
arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils at the
school; and
•
such arrangements have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
B71 This requirement refers to the guidance in Keeping Children Safe in Education. Guidance on the drawing
up of a compliant policy and its effective implementation is given above from note 72 onwards.
B72 A finding that NMS 11 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8 (a).
B73 Boarding schools are recommended to make reference to arrangements for alternative
accommodation away from children in cases where a member of boarding staff is suspended pending
an investigation of a child protection nature.
B74 KCSIE notes that children can be particularly vulnerable in residential settings and that schools should
be alert to pupil relationships and the potential for peer abuse particularly in schools with a significant
gender imbalance. In tailoring policies to the nature of the school, schools should make appropriate
provision for responding to these issues.
NMS 12 – Promoting Positive Behaviour and Relationships
B75 This Standard covers the school’s pastoral arrangements and their implementation for promoting good
behaviour and relationships, and for dealing with disciplinary issues.
B76 A finding that NMS 12 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8 (b). ISSR
paragraphs 9 and/or 10 may also be ‘not met’ if there is a parallel failure in the education provision
(including where education and care provision are inseparable).
12.1
The school has and consistently implements a written policy to promote good behaviour
amongst pupils. This policy includes:
•
measures to combat bullying and to promote positive behaviour;
•
school rules;
•
disciplinary sanctions;
•
when restraint, including reasonable force, is to be used and how this will be
recorded and managed; and
•
arrangements for searching pupils and their possessions.
B77 The policy required within this Standard may be set out as a series of separate policy documents, or be
contained within other policies. However, there must be identifiable statements covering each of the
items required. This Handbook sets out the necessary content for an effective anti-bullying (from note
152 onwards) and behaviour/discipline policy (note 146 onwards). It should be self-evident that, for
consistent and effective implementation, the procedures should be known to staff and understood by
boarders.
B78 Other evidence for implementation comes from a judgement of the behaviour exhibited by boarders
and the quality of their relationships, with each other and with staff.
B79 The original Standards provided sound guidance on the suitability of sanctions. No unacceptable,
excessive or idiosyncratic punishments should be used by boarders or staff, including any punishment
intended to cause pain, anxiety or humiliation, corporal punishment, deprivation of access to food or
drink, enforced eating or drinking, prevention of contact by telephone or letter with parents or any
appropriate independent listener or helpline, requirement to wear distinctive clothing as a punishment
(or night-clothes by day as a punishment), use or with-holding of medical, optical or dental treatment,
deprivation of sleep, fines exceeding two-thirds of the boarder’s available pocket money provision, or
locking in a room or area of a building.
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B80 In the NMS, ‘restraint’ means using force or restricting liberty of movement. The policy on restraint
should provide guidance to staff on how it is to be used to prevent a pupil committing an offence,
injuring him/herself or other pupils, or destroying property. Any such instances should be recorded.
The relevant guidance is: Use of reasonable force: Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies.
B81 In their policy on searching pupils, schools should balance the right of boarders to privacy with the need
for the school to search a boarder or his/her possessions with consent, when there is a strong reason
to do so. See Searching, screening and confiscation: Advice for headteachers, school staff and governing
bodies.
B82 NMS Appendix 2 requires that records of major sanctions are kept, probably centrally, together with
those for day pupils. It is reasonable, in addition, to expect that boarding houses also keep records of
sanctions, especially those given by prefects, in order to facilitate monitoring and the identification of
significant patterns and trends. Significant variations between houses in discipline and the use of
sanctions should be formally authorised by the school.
12.2
The policy complies with relevant legislation and guidance and is understood by staff and pupils.
Earlier sections of this Handbook refer to current government advice for some of the above areas – Behaviour
and discipline in schools (2016) and Preventing and tackling bullying (2014).
NMS 13 – Management and Development of Boarding
B83 This Standard covers the way boarding across the school and within individual houses is organised,
managed and developed.
B84 A finding that NMS 13 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b).
13.1
The school’s governing body and/or proprietor monitors the effectiveness of the leadership,
management and delivery of the boarding and welfare provision in the school, and takes
appropriate action where necessary.
13.2
There is clear management and leadership of the practice and development of boarding in the
school, and effective links are made between academic and residential staff.
B85 Governors, the head and the senior leaders of the school should provide clear support for the boarding
experience. There is no requirement for the post of head of boarding, but there should be clear line
management of housemasters/mistresses and, in a school with several boarding houses, an identified
person should be in a position to liaise with different staff and evaluate quality and monitor consistency
of practice between houses.
B86 Links between a boarder’s academic and pastoral lives may be achieved through a house tutor system
and/or regular communication between teachers and non-teaching pastoral staff.
13.3
The school’s leadership and management demonstrate good skills and knowledge appropriate
to their role.
13.4
The school’s leadership and management consistently fulfil their responsibilities effectively so
that the standards are met.
13.5
The school’s leadership and management and governance actively promote the wellbeing of
pupils.
13.6
Senior boarding staff have an adequate level of experience and/or training.
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B87 A finding that NMS 13 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8(b). A failure of
NMS13.3 to 13.5 are likely to trigger a failure of ISSR Part 8 paragraph 34 also, if there are parallel
failures in the education provision (including where the failures in education and care are inseparable).
B88 As each school will have different arrangements, inspectors will need to determine who is directly
caring for boarders and who is in charge. It would be reasonable to interpret ‘senior boarding staff’ as
the housemasters/mistresses who have primary responsibility for an identifiable group of boarders or
house unit. There are clear links here with Standards 15.1 and 15.3, and a relationship to the induction
process for new staff, who should have a senior manager or another experienced colleague as a
‘mentor’.
13.7
The school follows and maintains the policies and documents described in Appendix 1.
13.8
The records specified in Appendix 2 are maintained and monitored by the school and action
taken as appropriate.
13.9
The issues specified in Appendix 3 are monitored, and action is taken to improve outcomes for
children as appropriate.
B89 The school should ensure that the records specified are drawn up and kept efficiently, both as a central
record (for example, in relation to child protection allegations) and/or by individual houses (for
example, to note accidents or injuries). Some may be kept and maintained by specific people where
appropriate (for example, a nursing sister or health and safety officer). It is reasonable to expect that
clear arrangements for one or more nominated members of staff (for example, head of boarding or
equivalent) should ensure that the records are kept efficiently and regularly monitored so that issues
identified can be responded to.
NMS 14 – Staff Recruitment and Checks on Other Adults
B90 This Standard covers the school’s arrangements to ensure safe staff recruitment, and includes all adults
coming into contact with boarders.
B91 A finding that NMS 14.1 in relation to staff is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 4
paragraph 18(2)(f) and in relation to supply staff, a consequential failure of paragraph 19(2)(e), and in
each case potentially also NMS 11. A finding of ‘not met’ in respect of NMS 14.2 –14.6 triggers a
consequential failure of ISSR paragraph 8 (a) and (b).
14.1
Schools operate safe recruitment and adopt recruitment procedures in line with the regulatory
requirements and having regard to relevant guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
B92 The requirements for this Standard involve both compliance with ISSRs Part 4, paragraphs 18 to 21 (as
for day schools) and have regard to DfE Guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education. Full guidance on
the process and the checks required is given earlier in this Handbook from note 227 onwards.
Requirements for vetting of boarding staff have been as for day staff, subject to the provisions of NMS
14.2 – 14.6 below, since the withdrawal of the 2002 NMS. In particular, the more stringent
requirements relating to delayed DBS checks for boarding staff were removed; boarding staff may start
work pending return of the DBS on the same conditions as for day staff, though in practice the assessed
risks may be more severe and the mitigating measures more extensive.
B93 However, it should be noted that, under Standard 20, where a school provides or arranges guardians
or lodgings for its own pupils either directly or through an agent, it must be able to show that members
of the host family aged over 16 have had satisfactory criminal record checks.
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14.2
For all persons over 16 (not on the roll of the school) who after April 2002 began to live on the
same premises as boarders but are not employed by the school, an enhanced certificate with
barred list, information must be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
B94 The original Standards included this requirement only for over 18s, so the arrangements from
September 2011 extend the check to include children of staff living in boarding accommodation if the
children attend another school, whether as boarders or day pupils. It is not acceptable to omit staff
children at university on the grounds that they are away during term time – they would clearly have
access to the family ‘home’ at any time. If such young people work in any capacity at the school, then
they are classed as ‘staff’ and should come under Standard 14.1.
B95 There is no requirement to include such persons on the single central register (although schools may
do so). It would be reasonable for the evidence of checks (and the document referred to in Standard
14.3) to be kept in a paper file.
B96 It is a matter of judgement how far this Standard should apply to overnight visitors or the members of
staff’s extended family. Staying overnight occasionally does not amount to beginning to ‘live on the
premises’ within this Standard. Such people should be treated as ‘visitors’ under NMS 14.4 below. A
grandparent staying in the accommodation as an infrequent and irregular baby sitter, for example,
might be treated as any other visitor, but for a person staying overnight every weekend during termtime, the inspection expectation is that they would fall within this standard and, consequently, need a
criminal record check. Schools are responsible for keeping boarders safe and inspectors should expect
them to be able to evidence a reasonable, risk assessed approach in context to the checking of less
frequent or irregular overnight visitors, and supervision where checks are delayed. The Standard does
not require this to be extended to staff families living in school accommodation elsewhere on campus,
but schools should consider applying the same standards for such individuals if boarders come into
regular unsupervised contact with them.
14.3
There is a written agreement between the school and any person over 16 not employed by the
school but living in the same premises as boarders (for example, members of staff households).
This specifies the terms of their accommodation, guidance on contact with boarders, their
responsibilities to supervise their visitors, and notice that accommodation may cease to be
provided if there is evidence that they are unsuitable to have regular contact with children. They
must be required to notify an unrelated designated senior member of staff if they are charged
with, or convicted of, any offence.
B97 The wording of this Standard should be sufficient for a school to draw up an appropriate document or
letter for the family member to sign.
B98 This standard, as 14.2, applies to those ‘living’ in the same premises as boarders, not to visitors. As a
rule of thumb, this could be applied as a minimum to those staying once a week, although the school
may risk assess that it should be applied more widely.
14.4
All persons visiting boarding accommodation (e.g. visitors, outside delivery and maintenance
personnel) are kept under sufficient staff supervision to prevent them gaining substantial
unsupervised access to boarders or their accommodation.
B99 Although not specifically required, most schools will probably have a ‘visitor policy’ to outline the
approach taken to control all these situations. Discussions with house staff should establish the extent
of supervision in place for such visitors, who should be authorised (and probably ‘badged’) on arrival.
Careful consideration needs to be given to overnight visitors to staff accommodation adjacent to
boarding houses, as it is unlikely that such visits could be considered supervised at all times. Many, but
not all, schools require parents to sign in when visiting the boarding house. Discussions with staff should
confirm the current position and expectations. Procedures in place should reasonably ensure that such
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‘unchecked’ adults do not have significant unsupervised access to boarders or their accommodation.
Parents who are asked to take on wider, ‘voluntary’ activities with children will be subject to the
requirements of KCSIE and consideration should be given whether this constitutes regulated activity
and that supervisory requirements are fully met.
14.5
The school regularly monitors the suitability of any arrangements it makes for the appointment
of guardians.
B100 There is no requirement for an educational guardian (as distinct from a legal guardian) to be appointed
to look after the interests of overseas boarders, although many schools probably include it as a
condition of entry to the school. The issue here is to establish who has made the guardianship
arrangements. The use of a guardianship agency is, in a sense, irrelevant to this issue. Such an agency
is either acting on behalf of the school or on behalf of the parent, and this should be made clear in the
school’s written pre-arrival information. It would be acceptable for a school to supply a list of host
families or guardianship agencies, providing it is made clear that the appointment is the responsibility
of the parent, not the school. It would still be acceptable (and advisable) for the school to set out clearly
the requirements for such appointments, to help ensure that overseas parents do not make unsuitable
choices. Where the school has clearly not made or facilitated the arrangement of guardianship or host
family accommodation, Standards 14.5 and 14.6 are not applicable.
B101 If a school is prepared to find a guardian for the overseas boarder (and some schools effectively run
their own guardianship service), then it takes on the full welfare responsibility for the arrangements it
makes, and Standard 20 also applies. A nominated member of staff should regularly monitor and
evaluate these arrangements and should ensure that guardians/host families appointed are clear about
the school’s expectations of them. They should be provided with an appropriate contact number within
the school (probably the relevant housemaster/mistress).
14.6
Any guardians appointed by the school are subject to the same recruitment checks as staff, and
their care of pupils is monitored.
B102 If the school is responsible for the appointment of guardians under Standard 14.5 above, the school
should ensure that all members of the host family over 16 undergo the same recruitment checks as
staff under Standard 14.1. A member of staff should visit the host family periodically to ensure that the
arrangements are working effectively, and regularly check that the boarder lodged there remains happy
with the arrangements.
NMS 15 - Staffing and Supervision
B103 This Standard covers the deployment and development of staff and other adults working with boarders,
and the arrangements for effective supervision of boarders.
B104 A finding that NMS 15 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8 (b).
15.1
Any person employed or volunteering in a position working with boarders has a job description
reflecting their duties, receives induction training in boarding when newly appointed, and
receives regular reviews of their boarding practice, with opportunities for training and continual
professional development in boarding.
B105 Job descriptions should contain sufficient detail to provide a clear statement of the main requirements
and responsibilities of the job. Induction training may be carried out by a senior member of staff on a
whole-school basis, but should also contain an element of house-specific information outlining the
requirements of being on duty and the precise organisation and routines in the house concerned. The
induction process for a new housemaster/mistress may involve contact with a more experienced
colleague acting as mentor. New members of the boarding team may shadow another colleague before
being asked to undertake a solo duty night.
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B106 Some boarding staff (for example, housemasters/mistresses and teaching house tutors) may be
included in a formal whole-school appraisal process, but this should still contain an element of their
boarding roles. Other staff should have a regular (at least annual) opportunity to discuss performance
and development with a line manager. Even if the process is informal, some written record should be
made of the issues arising and any training opportunities identified. ‘Gap’ assistants, probably only on
the house team for a year, should have some informal review of progress early in their time at the
school, probably in their first term.
B107 All members of the boarding team should have opportunities for training and on-going professional
development, in addition to the safeguarding and first-aid training common to other members of staff.
There is no requirement to undertake external training, although many schools take advantage of
courses and conferences arranged by organisations such as the Boarding Schools’ Association, and
bodies offering expertise in areas like eating disorders, counselling and adolescent mental health issues.
Courses organised ‘in house’ for pastoral and boarding staff should be identified through the school’s
training records.
15.2
Any role of spouses, partners and/or other adult members of staff households within boarding
houses is made clear.
B108 If any adult members of housemaster/mistresses’ households have a role within the house or regular
contact with (and implied responsibility for) boarders, whether paid or unpaid, this should be clarified
and made known to the house staff team.
15.3
The staff supervising boarders outside teaching time are sufficient in number, training and
experience for the age, number and needs of boarders, and the locations and activities involved.
B109 It is difficult to specify the number of staff needed in a particular situation. There is a world of difference
between the supervision requirements for a group of 50 senior boarders quietly doing their homework
in their own rooms, for example, and taking a group of 20 novice preparatory boarders to learn archery.
Previous DfE guidance has advised staff:pupil ratios for organised trips away from the school site of one
member of staff per 10 to 15 boarders aged 8 to 10, one member of staff per 15 to 20 boarders aged
11 and over, increased to one per 10 boarders for trips abroad or overnight stays. Schools would be
expected to exceed these ratios if the safety and welfare of the pupils required it. Schools should be
expected to carry out and record an assessment of risk factors when deciding on appropriate
supervision numbers, in line with health and safety procedures.
15.4
Boarders are at all times under the responsibility of an identified member of staff who is suitably
qualified and experienced.
B110 The principle that held in the original Standards is probably still good guidance – namely that there
should be a minimum of one competent adult responsible for each identifiable group of boarders, with
the means to call for back-up help as required. School-leaver ‘gap’ assistants should not be left in sole
charge of boarders, on grounds of age and experience. Boarders should be able to state who is
responsible for them in any given situation or day. It might be deemed appropriate for reliable sixth
formers to work in the house in their own rooms during a free period, without an adult permanently in
the building, providing that they are deemed reliable and are able to contact a responsible adult quickly
in an emergency. Schools may wish to allocate a prefect to be ‘in charge’ of the house for short periods
of time when staff may be occupied with sporting activities or similar. Standard 15 does not require an
adult to be present in a house at all times but the onus is on the school to demonstrate that such a
situation is reasonable and that all possible steps have been taken to ensure the health, safety and
welfare of the boarders present. A specific member of staff should, nevertheless, have overall
responsibility for the house during such periods. Assessment of the risks involved should take into
account the frequency and duration of such situations, the number and ages of the boarders, the
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reliability of the prefect(s), the proximity of the nearest adults and the ease of communication with
staff.
15.5
Staff know the whereabouts of boarders (or know how to find their whereabouts) in their charge
at all times.
B111 Many schools record mobile phone numbers for boarders and ensure that they have the appropriate
contact number for the member of staff on duty. Boarding houses should have a clear policy for signing
out when boarders leave the house or school campus and signing in on return. Boarders should confirm
that the same arrangements apply in practice. Signing-out records should be regularly monitored by
members of staff. Houses should be able to demonstrate the records or house lists used in the event
of a fire drill, by day or night. Boarding houses will also rely on a series of roll calls or ‘signing in’ during
the day and in the evening.
15.6
Staff working within the school know and implement the school’s policy in relation to children
going missing and their role in implementing that policy. Staff actively search for children who
are missing, including working with police where appropriate.
B112 The school’s policy for identifying and finding boarders who are missing should set out reasonable and
effective steps to be followed by staff. It should, for example, distinguish between boarders who are
absent from a day-time roll call, and those missing at night, or who fail to return from ‘leave out’ at the
appointed time.
15.7
There is at least one adult member of staff sleeping in each boarding house at night, responsible
for the boarders in the house.
B113 This Standard is self-evident. It would not be appropriate for a school-leaver gap assistant to be in sole
overnight charge of boarders. Where a house comprises more than one building, sleeping-in cover from
one of its constituent buildings can cover more than one building only if the buildings are immediately
adjacent, the responsible staff member is easily contactable by boarders at night, staff supervision is
fully satisfactory in practice, and the boarders are at the upper age level in a senior school – normally
sixth formers.
15.8
Boarders have a satisfactory means of contacting a member of staff in each house at night.
B114 Again, this is self-evident. The youngest boarders should be readily able to identify the means of
contacting the relevant resident member of staff at night.
15.9
Suitable accommodation (consisting of accommodation in which meals may be taken, living
accommodation and sleeping accommodation) and suitable toilet and washing facilities are
provided for residential staff. This accommodation is appropriately separated from the
accommodation and facilities provided for boarding pupils.
B115 It is not expected that inspectors will physically inspect and assess private staff accommodation, but it
should be covered during interviews or conversations with resident staff. The intention of this Standard
is to ensure that resident staff have appropriate accommodation that is separate from that provided
for or used by boarders. All resident staff, including gap assistants, should have separate and exclusive
bathroom facilities from boarders. It is unclear whether its intention is that all such staff should be
provided with private dining facilities, so this requirement should be interpreted flexibly, as some staff
in boarding houses may only be provided with meals in the school or house central dining room.
15.10
Any boarder access to staff accommodation is properly supervised and does not involve
inappropriate favouritism or inappropriate one-to-one contacts between staff and boarders.
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B116 This Standard is intended to safeguard both boarders and staff. Many houses provide a staff study or
duty room as a ‘buffer zone’ between the private staff accommodation and the house itself. Staff
guidance manuals should make clear any protocols on entertaining boarders and their access to staff
accommodation. Entertaining a group of boarders with the housemaster/mistress’s family in their
kitchen is likely to be perfectly appropriate; a house tutor in his private accommodation carrying out a
tutorial with a single boarder late in the evening would probably not be.
NMS 16 - Equal Opportunities
16.1
Boarders are not discriminated against, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics
set out in the Equality Act 2010 or of their cultural background, linguistic background, special
educational need, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or academic or sporting ability. These
factors are taken into account in the care of boarders, so that care is sensitive to different needs.
B117 Evidence for this Standard is evaluated in common with the provisions made by the school and the
outcomes for all pupils, day and boarding. Boarding houses may include statements of intent in their
house documentation, and it is likely that it will be mentioned in the statement of boarding principles
(Standard 1). Interviews with boarders and perhaps also with ‘minority groups’ such as overseas
boarders and those receiving learning support should reveal the way the house and/or school embraces
diversity and exhibits tolerance.
B118 Schools are also required to comply with the Equality Act – see from note 210, although the specific
requirement for a three-year accessibility plan is not included within this Standard.
B119 A finding of that NMS 16 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8 (b).
NMS 17 – Securing Boarders’ Views
17.1
Boarders are actively encouraged to contribute views to the operation of boarding provision, are
able to raise concerns and make complaints, and their views are given appropriate weight in
decisions about the running of the school. Boarders are not penalised for raising a concern or
making a complaint in good faith.
B120 Whatever methods are used, boarders need to feel that the school is genuinely interested in involving
them in decision-making and finding out their views of the house and school. Questionnaire evidence
may also indicate boarders’ views on this area. Schools use a variety of methods to facilitate the ‘pupil
voice’ and these may include house and school councils, food committees, year group consultations,
house meetings, suggestion boxes, questionnaires and surveys, entry and exit interviews and so on. If
a formal house or school council is in place, it would be reasonable to expect that some sort of written
summary of the outcomes of discussion is published and communicated to boarders.
B121 The pupils’ complaints policy may well be written more as a means of providing support and resolving
problems or worries (see Standard 2.2). This Standard does not specifically require a formal complaints
policy for boarders, but they should be certain how they might make a formal complaint, and this
process should be verified by staff.
B122 A finding that NMS 17 is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSRs Part 3 paragraph 8 (b).
NMS 18 – Complaints
18.1
The school has, and follows, an appropriate policy on recording and responding to complaints
that is compliant with the relevant regulatory standards.
18.2
The school’s written record of complaints identifies those complaints relating to boarding
provision, and action taken by the school as a result of those complaints (regardless of whether
they are upheld).
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B123 The same provisions apply as for day schools under ISSRs Part 7, paragraph 33. A finding that NMS 18
is ‘not met’ triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3, paragraph 8 (b). ISSR Part 7, paragraph 33
may also be ‘not met’ where there is a parallel failure in education (or where education and care
provision are inseparable).
B124 Note that this Standard is intended as a complaints procedure for parents. It is no longer a requirement
under this Standard for schools to have a separate complaints policy for boarders – this is likely to
provide evidence for compliance under Standards 2 and/or 17. Some schools try to make the formal
policy under ISSRs Part 7 applicable to boarders as well as parents, but it is not usually an appropriate
procedure for children and young people.
NMS 19 – Prefects
19.1
Any prefect system (or equivalent) gives prefects (or equivalent) appropriate specific duties and
responsibilities that are appropriate for them, with adequate staff supervision, training and
measures to counter possible abuses of the role.
B125 This Standard requires loose interpretation of the term ‘prefect’. Some preparatory schools use the
term for children who have little responsibility other than officiating at formal occasions. Others use
dormitory captains and lunch queue monitors and the like, who do have a specific role. Senior schools
frequently have a school prefect system (or equivalent) and boarding houses often operate a similar
system of house prefects, sometimes using the entire top year to fulfil this role. Where school and
house prefects are used, both should be evaluated, since boarders come into contact with them all.
B126 Prefects (or their equivalent) should be clear about the limits and expectations of their role and
responsibilities, and this would best be clarified in some sort of written job description and initial
induction/briefing. They should be supervised or monitored by staff as appropriate, and have
opportunities to discuss issues and resolve problems. If they are authorised to issue punishments, these
should be specific and recorded appropriately, and subject to regular scrutiny. There should be no
significant inconsistency in practice between boarding houses. Boarders should confirm that the prefect
system works effectively, and that they find prefects helpful and supportive.
B127 A finding of ‘not met’ in relation to NMS 19 triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8
(b).
NMS 20 – Lodgings (Long-Stay)
B128 School-arranged lodgings are those provided or arranged for a pupil under 18 by the school or by an
agent or organisation acting for the school, rather than by the pupil’s parent (or an external
organisation acting on the parent’s behalf). They include term-time use of lodgings instead of on-site
boarding accommodation, holiday lodgings arranged for pupils by the school, pupils lodging with staff
members during holidays, and accommodation during term or holiday time with school-arranged
educational guardians. This Standard does not apply for school trips, or short-term language exchanges.
See also Standards 14.5 and 14.6.
B129 A finding of ‘not met’ in relation to NMS 19 triggers a consequential failure of ISSR Part 3 paragraph 8
(b).
20.1
Any lodgings arranged by the school to accommodate pupils provide satisfactory
accommodation and supervision, are checked before use, and are monitored by the school
during use including checks at least yearly.
B130 School documentation and records, and interviews with boarders in lodgings, should provide sufficient
evidence for compliance.
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20.2
It is clearly stated to parents whether any lodgings accommodating pupils are to be arranged by
the school or by parents themselves.
20.3
Schools alert the local authority to any arrangements made by the school that may constitute
private fostering.
B131 The matter in 20.2 should be clearly stated in pre-arrival and other documentation to parents. See also
Standard 14.5.
B132 Lodgings may constitute private fostering for the purpose of notification to the local authority if the
children are aged under 16 and the stay is for 28 consecutive days or more. Inspectors should check
that the local authority where the school is situated has been notified of any lodgings which constitute
private fostering.
20.4
Any lodgings provided or arranged by the school are of a comparable standard to
accommodation provided by the school.
B133 Details of the accommodation provided should be included in the school documentation and records
referred to above under Standard 20.1. Boarders accommodated in lodgings should not be expected to
share a bedroom with a member of the host family, except when living with a member of staff whose
own child is also a member of the school and of similar age and the same gender as the boarder.
Boarders lodged should not usually share bathroom facilities used by adult members of the family.
Accommodation requirements in Standard 5 apply.
20.5
The school visits all potential lodgings, and interviews the adult who will be responsible for the
accommodation of the pupils in each lodging, takes up references, and has recorded a
satisfactory assessment, before any pupil is placed there. The school can demonstrate that
members of the host family aged over 16 are subject to a DBS check completed at the standard
level, with a satisfactory outcome known before any pupil is placed.
20.6
The school ensures that all adults providing lodgings for pupils on its behalf have undergone
safeguarding training that is updated regularly as advised by the Local Safeguarding Children
Board, and that they understand the school’s policy in relation to pupils going missing and their
role in implementing that policy.
B134 The requirement in 20.5 is self-explanatory and requires that appropriate written evidence and records
are kept.
B135 The training requirement in 20.6 is new from April 2015. As a minimum, the school’s usual safeguarding
induction would be a suitable starting place with the addition of the policy regarding pupils going
missing, and regular update training as for other staff.
20.7
The school has a satisfactory written agreement with each adult providing lodgings for pupils on
its behalf.
B136 This should set out the school’s expectations of the host family in terms of what is to be provided, the
behaviour and conduct of the boarder lodged, conditions under which the ‘contract’ can be terminated,
and provide day and night contact details with the school.
20.8
The school provides satisfactory written guidance to host families accommodating pupils on
behalf of the school, covering the school’s policy and practice for lodging pupils.
B137 See above under Standard 20.5. Host families should have a sufficient understanding of any welfare
and medical circumstances affecting the boarder being accommodated, and have clear guidance on
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The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
how to deal with any social or pastoral situations commonly faced by boarding staff in school.
Confirmation should be given about situations such as evening movements and curfews, smoking and
alcohol, visitors, weekend leave arrangements and so on.
20.9
At least once per school term a member of staff discusses their lodgings separately with each
pupil accommodated by or on behalf of the school in lodgings, recording the pupil’s assessment
in writing and taking action on any concerns or complaints.
B138 This should be recorded in writing, and should be corroborated by interviews with boarders
accommodated in lodgings.
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The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
NMS Appendix 1 – List of policies and documents
B139 These policies and documents are required for compliance (NMS 13.7) but do not need to be standalone documents. Some policies are, of course, specifically mentioned in some Standards (for example,
policies for child protection and countering bullying). Others, such as boarders’ access to an
‘independent listener’ will probably be incorporated within other policies or handbooks.
B140 There are some anomalies still, as this Appendix list has not changed with the 2013 and 2015 NMS
revisions. For example, Standard 2.1 no longer requires that the induction process for new boarders
includes key information in writing, and yet this is still included in Appendix 1. Inspectors should,
therefore, use some professional judgement and flexibility in determining the school’s response to such
requirements.
B141 The policies required are as follows:
1.
Countering bullying, including cyberbullying
2.
Child protection
3.
Discipline (including sanctions, rewards and restraint)
4.
Staff disciplinary, grievance and whistleblowing policy
5.
Care of boarders who are unwell, including first aid, care of those with chronic conditions and
disabilities, dealing with medical emergencies and the use of household remedies
6.
Safety and supervision on school journeys
7.
Access to school premises by people outside the school
8.
Pupil access to risky areas of school buildings and grounds
9.
Health and safety
10. Pupil access to a person independent of the school staff group
11. Provision for pupils with particular religious, dietary, language or cultural needs
12. Supervision of ancillary, contract and ‘unchecked’ staff
B142 The documents required are as follows:
13
Staff Handbook/guidance for boarding staff (this document may include many of the policy
documents listed above)
14. Statement of the school’s boarding principles and practice
15. Requirement for staff to report concerns or allegations of risk of harm to pupils
16. Complaints procedure
17. Procedure for enabling pupils to take problems or concerns to any member of staff
18. Responses to alcohol, smoking and substance abuse
19. Plans for foreseeable crises
20. Staff induction, training and development programme
21. Prefect duties, powers and responsibilities
22. Key written information for new boarders
23. Job descriptions for staff with boarding duties
B143 The following are required where applicable:
24. Clarification of whether any educational guardians or lodgings are arranged by the school or
parents
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The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
25. Agreement with any adult providing lodgings to pupils
26. Guidance on welfare to host families accommodating pupils on behalf of the school
NMS Appendix 2 – List of records
B144 These are the records which a school needs to maintain and monitor under NMS 13.8. As with the items
in Appendix 1, schools need to provide these as evidence that policies and procedures required in
individual Standards are being implemented effectively.
B145 Two uses of the word ‘supervision’ are used in the Appendices. In Appendix 1, under ‘Supervision of
ancillary, contract or unchecked staff’, the word is taken to refer to the management sense, in terms of
the usual monitoring and direction of their roles. In Appendix 2, under ‘Staff supervision, appraisal and
training’, the word is taken to refer to the provision of opportunities to ‘off-load’ emotional and pastoral
concerns and talk through difficult situations relating to the demanding nature of their caring roles.
Such supervision could be individual or in small groups, and should be documented, however briefly.
B146 The following records are required:
1.
Child protection allegations or concerns
2.
Major sanctions
3.
Use of reasonable force
4.
Complaints
5.
Individual boarder’s records (containing personal, health and welfare information)
6.
Administration of medication, treatment and first aid (kept confidentially)
7.
Significant illnesses
8.
Significant accidents and injuries
9.
Parental permission for medical and dental treatment, first aid and non- prescription medication
10. Risk assessments (for risky activities and in relation to premises/grounds)
11. Staff recruitment records and checks (including checks on others given substantial unsupervised
access to children or residential accommodation)
12. Staff duty rotas
13. Staff supervision, appraisal and training
14. Fire precautions tests and drills
15. Risk assessments under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
16. Menus
17. Pocket money and any personal property looked after by staff
18. Care plans for pupils with special needs (where applicable)
19. Parental permission for high risk activities
20. Checks on licensing of relevant adventure activities centres
21. Assessments of lodgings arranged by the school
22. Assessment of off-site accommodation used by the school
NMS Appendix 3– List of issues to be monitored by the school
B147 NMS 13.9 requires these issues to be monitored (perhaps two or three times a year). Practice indicative
of compliance would be regular monitoring by the head or another senior member of staff to identify
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The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools
patterns and trends, decide if changes in welfare practice are needed and to take action as appropriate.
Monitoring should also provide schools with the opportunity to identify significant variation or
inconsistency in practice between houses and across the school. Schools should be able to demonstrate
how this review process works and what outcomes may have been identified.
B148 The following matters and records in relation to boarders, as described in the Standards, must be
regularly monitored by the headteacher or a senior member of staff, to identify whether review or
change in welfare practice is needed:
1.
Records of complaints and their outcomes
2.
Records of major sanctions
3.
Records of any use of reasonable force
4.
Systems and management of medical welfare
5.
Records of significant accidents
6.
Records of all risk assessments carried out
7.
Action taken in response to all risk assessments carried out
8.
Suitability of any guardianship arrangements made
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Appendix 1: Checking Admission and Attendance Registers
APPENDIX 1: CHECKING ADMISSION REGISTER
Revised September 2016 for use by inspectors and for information of schools (earlier versions should be destroyed)
Inspectors enter √, X or note
NB For schools which include day and boarding pupils, it should be indicated whether each pupil is boarding or day.
Full name
Sex
Date of birth
(Check a sample
of entries)
Name and
address of all
parents /
guardians* and
one telephone
number
Address of new
or additional
place(s) of
residence of
child, and date
child began to
reside there
Full name of
parent the pupil
lives with
Date of
admission / readmission
Name and
address of last
school
1
2
3
4
5
Does the school have a monthly printout or backup (if electronic)?
Are these kept for at least three years?
* For electronic systems, it is acceptable to have one address on the back-up/print-out, with any others kept in the system.
* More flexible timing is allowable for sixth-form students, provided that a suitable system is rigorously implemented.
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Name of
destination
school
Start date at
destination
school
Appendix 2: Checking the Single Central Register of Appointments
APPENDIX 2: CHECKING THE SINGLE CENTRAL REGISTER OF APPOINTMENTS
For use by inspectors – Revised September 2016. The register may be electronic, provided it can be printed. The school should have recorded in the relevant column
the date on which each check was made. It is good practice to record the initials or name of the checker, but that is not a requirement. Inspectors enter details of
sample checked and N/A (not applicable to the individual or role) or N/E (no evidence). Under any heading, the entry of ‘No’ by inspectors is taken to indicate that
a requirement is not met. The size of sample will vary depending on the size of the school and must be sufficient to give a fair view of the security of the recruitment
process. The sample selected should include staff who are: recently appointed, well-established, part-time, peripatetic, non-teaching, supply.
Name of
Post and Identity
Qualifications DBS Date,
member of start date check (for required
where
staff
example,
(Yes/N/A)
relevant
address and
DoB,
If not
passport)
checked,
inspectors
ascertain
whether
check was
relevant
Check of
barred
list/List 99
Right to
Overseas
work in UK check, inc.
EEA where
appropriate
Required
for those in
regulated
activity
Prohibition Prohibition References Employment Medical
from
from
history
teaching
management
Required
for those
carrying
out
teaching
work.
Required for Checked with regard to
proprietors, KCSIE. Optional entry on
heads, SLT
the register
and teacher
heads of
department
Notes: including any
acceptance of
disclosure from
another institution;
arrangements with a
Required
under Part supply agency;
4. Optional supervision while
awaiting disclosure;
entry on
whether the person
the
is not in regulated
register.
activity.
Staff
Staff nonteaching
N/A
Supply staff
Proprietors
/ governors
Volunteers
(if checked)
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Inspectors will also scrutinise a sample of checks that do not have to be included on the SCR, eg over 16s resident on the premises, guardians.
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Appendix 3: Vetting Checks on Volunteers
APPENDIX 3: VETTING CHECKS ON VOLUNTEERS
Start here
Is the activity personal care?
This is regulated
activity. An enhanced
DBS certificate with
barred list check
must be obtained.
Yes
No
Is the activity frequent or
regular, for the purposes of
the school with opportunity
for contact with children?
No
Yes
Is the activity supervised?
The person is not in
regulated activity but an
enhanced DBS check
may be obtained,
without barred list
information.
No
Yes
This is not regulated activity.
There is no legal
requirement to obtain a DBS
certificate but an enhanced
certificate may be obtained.
School should risk assess
and make checks according
to risks
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This is regulated
activity. An enhanced
DBS certificate with
barred list check
must be obtained.
Glossary
GLOSSARY
Adventure Activities Licensing
Authority
The body which has oversight and responsibility for licensing of
certain adventure activities for young people.
Complex needs
For the purposes of premises sub-paragraph 24(1)(c), a pupil has
‘complex needs’ if the pupil has profound and multiple learning
difficulties in addition to other significant difficulties, such as a
physical disability or sensory impairment, which require provision
which is additional to or different from that generally required by
children of the same age in schools other than special schools or by
children with special requirements.
Contractors
Staff working for a company engaged by the school under a
contract to provide services, for example catering, cleaning or
undertaking building works.
Department for Education
The regulator of independent schools in England.
Address: Independent Education and Boarding Team, Department
for Education, Level 3, Bishopsgate House, Feethams, Darlington,
DL1 5QE.
Designated officer(s)
Local authorities (LAs) have a designated officer or team of officers,
either as part of multi-agency arrangements or otherwise, to deal
the management and oversight of allegations against people that
work with children. Hitherto this function was provided by a single
individual known as the LA designated officer (LADO). The acronym
‘LADO’ has been removed from KCSIE and WT from March 2015 in
favour of ‘designated officer, or team of officers’ or sometimes
‘designated officer(s)’ to indicate that LAs now have some
discretion over their approach. This does not prevent LAs, schools
and others continuing to use it as appropriate.
Disclosure and Barring Service
The body created from the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau
and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Email: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone helpline: 03000 200 190
International telephone helpline: +44151 676 9390
Address for referrals: PO Box 181, Darlington DL1 9FA
Telephone for referrals: 01325 953 795
EHC Plan
Education and Healthcare Plan, replacing statements of special
educational need from September 2014.
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Glossary
Employer Online service (now
known as Teacher Services)
for checking QTS, prohibitions from teaching and from
management, EEA checks
Fundamental British values
Defined by DfE as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty,
and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and
beliefs.
Have regard to
Following the spirit and main features of the guidance unless
exceptional circumstances arise to divert from it
Health and Safety Executive
Agency with statutory responsibility for Health and Safety
Telephone 0845 300 99 23
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
A document that helps teaching staff to plan for a child, teach
him/her and review progress. There is not a standard format, and
other names are also used for the document
Local Authority Designated Officer
(s) (LADO(s))
LAs have a designated officer or team of officers, either as part of
multi-agency arrangements or otherwise, to deal the management
and oversight of allegations against people that work with children.
The acronym ‘LADO’ was removed from KCSIE and WT from March
2015 in favour of ‘designated officer, or team of officers’, or
sometimes ‘designated officer(s)’, to indicate that LAs now have
some discretion over their approach. This does not prevent LAs,
schools and others continuing to use it as appropriate. ISI
continues to use the acronym LADO for brevity.
Local Safeguarding Children Board
(LSCB)
The successor bodies to Area Child Protection Committees, with a
statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
and young people in their area.
Made available
Where information or a document is to be ‘made available’, that is
met—
(a) in a case where the school has an internet website, if—
(i) the information or a copy of the document is—
(aa) available on the website in a form accessible to
parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils;
and
(bb) available for inspection on the school’s premises
during the school day; and
(ii) the proprietor takes reasonable steps to ensure that
parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils are
aware that the information or a copy of the document is
available and the form in which it is available;
(b) in a case where the school has an internet website but the
information or a copy of the document is not available on the
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Glossary
website, or where the school does not have an internet
website, if—
(i) the proprietor takes reasonable steps to ensure that
parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils are
made aware that they may request the information or a
copy of the document; and
(ii) the information or a copy of the document is sent or
given to such parents free of charge, in response to a
request.
National College for Teaching and
Leadership
Guidance on teacher misconduct referrals
Ofsted
Registering authority for the Early Years Register (for provision for
under 3s)
Telephone: 0300 123 1231
Address for correspondence: Piccadilly Gate, Store Street,
Manchester, M1 2WD
Overseas checks for staff
Home Office guidance on checks available from different countries
Personal care
Personal care includes helping a child, for reasons of age, illness or
disability, with eating or drinking, or in connection with toileting,
washing, bathing and dressing
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
Testing of electrical appliances for safety. The Health and Safety
Executive have published further guidance.
Proprietor
The person or body of persons responsible for the management of
the school and includes individual proprietors and formally
constituted boards of governors, directors or trustees.
Protected characteristics
Under the Equality Act 2010, the following are ‘protected
characteristics’:
age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil
partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief,
sex, sexual orientation.
Provided
Where information or a document is required to be ‘provided’ to a
person:
THE SCHOOL CAN EITHER
Where the person has provided the school with a valid electronic
mail address, send to that address
(i) the information or a copy of the document in electronic form;
or
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Glossary
(ii)
the address for an internet website where the information or
a copy of the document can be downloaded by the person,
In which case the information or copy of the document must be
available for inspection by the person on the school’s premises
during the school day.
OR
Send or give the information or a copy of the document to the
person.
Reasonable adjustments
Further useful information is available in:
Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils 2015
Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school
2013
Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions 2014
Mental health and behaviour in school 2015
Supporting children who are bullied 2014
Registered body
A body registered with the DBS to undertake criminal record
checks
Regular (for the purposes of
regulated activity)
For the purpose of assessing whether a person is working in
regulated activity, ‘regular’ includes ‘frequent’ and these are
defined together as follows:
Regulated activity
•
frequently (once a week or more often),
•
or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period,
•
or overnight (between 2am and 6am).
The definition of regulated activity (i.e. work that a barred person
must not do) in relation to children comprises, in summary:
(i)
regular (see above) work in schools with opportunity for
contact with children. Not work by supervised volunteers.
(ii)
unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or
supervise children, or provide advice/ guidance on well-being,
or drive a vehicle only for children, if done ‘regularly’ (see
above)
(iii) relevant personal care, e.g. washing or dressing; or health care
by or supervised by a professional; Applies to any child, even if
done only once.
RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries,
Diseases and Dangerous
Occurrences Regulations, 2013)
The requirement for employers to report to HSE: deaths; major
injuries; over-seven-day injuries; an accident causing injury to
pupils, members of the public or other people not at work; a
specified dangerous occurrence, where something happened
which did not result in an injury, but could have done.
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Glossary
From 1 October 2013, it is anticipated that:
•
The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers will be
replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’.
•
The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial
disease will be replaced with eight categories of
reportable work-related illness.
•
Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ will require
reporting.
Further information is available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/
Special requirements
For the purposes of these regulations, a pupil has ‘special
requirements’ if the pupil has any needs arising from physical,
medical, sensory, learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties
which require provision which is additional to or different from
that generally required by children of the same age in schools
other than special schools.
Staff
Any person working at the school, whether under a contract of
employment, under a contract for services or otherwise than under
a contract, but does not include supply staff or a volunteer. The
following are included: teachers, peripatetic teachers and coaches,
part-time staff, administrative staff, caretakers and other ancillary
staff, staff appointed from overseas.
Overseas checks for staff
Home Office guidance on checks available from different countries
Statement
A formal legal document, prepared by a local authority, which sets
out an assessment of a child’s needs and the special educational
provision to be made for the purpose of meeting those needs.
Replaced by EHC plans from September 2014.
Suitable
Any requirement that anything provided under the premises
regulations must be ‘suitable’ means that it must be suitable for
the pupils in respect of whom it is provided, having regard to their
ages, numbers and sex and any special requirements they may
have.
Supply agency
An employment business which supplies persons, to act for, and
under the control of, the school in any capacity. For example, an
agency which provides supply teachers or temporary
administrative staff.
Supply staff
Any person working at the school supplied by an employment
business – this does not only cover supply teachers, but any
individuals supplied by an agency and catering, medical and
cleaning staff may also be included.
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Glossary
Teacher Services
Service for checking QTS and teacher sanctions and restrictions
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teacher-status-checks-informationfor-employers
TUPE
The employment legislation which transfers employees from one
business to another.
Umbrella organisation
An organisation approved to undertake DBS checks on behalf of
other groups.
Volunteer
A person who performs an activity which involves spending time,
unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket
expenses), doing something which aims to benefit someone
(individuals or groups) other than or in addition to close relatives.
Commentary on the Regulatory Requirements
133
Effective January 2017
For the use of intended recipients only. Any copying or re-distribution of this document without permission is prohibited.
© Independent Schools Inspectorate January 2017. All rights reserved.
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