Single Central Record FAQs

Keeping an accurate Single Central Record is an essential part of keeping children safe in education. As a safeguarding consultant, Andrew Hall, is regularly asked questions about the SCR. In this article he answers some of the frequently asked questions.

I’ve looked at the guidance on Prohibition Checks, but you can’t do a check unless they person has a Teacher Reference Number. Is that right?

No. It is possible to do checks for people without at TRN, but it must be done manually. This isn’t as onerous as it sounds. I have produced a video to explain ‘How to complete Prohibition Checks, including the s128 management check’ for academies, free schools and independent schools.

Could you advise about seeing TA qualifications please. I have suggested to DSLs that it’s a good idea to check their certificates too. Should their qualifications be on the Single Central Record? What do you think?

I agree. If someone is saying they have a qualification, I think they should be able to evidence it. There is no need to record the qualification on the SCR unless it was an ‘essential criteria’ on the job description.

Can you please confirm the procedure if a member of staff was questioned/arrested/convicted of an offence – would we, as their employer, be automatically notified and if so by who?

In theory, you will be notified. On arrest the person gives their name and occupation. If the occupation is related to work with children, then the LADO should be informed and a strategy meeting is convened, to which the headteacher and employer is invited to attend.

However, I’m not convinced this always happens, particularly if a part-time person has another job in a different authority.

We have a music teacher that comes in 1 day a week for 1 hr to do music, she has been in for the last 8 months. We have not DBS checked her as we were under the impression that because she is supervised at ALL times for that 1 hour. Have we done the right thing?

If the person is teaching music and is paid to do that, she is effectively a member of staff and whether she is supervised or not is irrelevant, as she is in regulated activity. (See Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016), page 24)

If the person is not paid (a volunteer) and is supervised, then she is not in regulated activity and you can not legally ask for a barred list check. However, although it is not legally required, it is sensible to complete an enhanced DBS check because of the regular contact with children.

Our Single Central Record does not have a barred list column as I thought that it was done as part of the Enhanced DBS Check?

The Single Central Record should have a column for both the enhanced DBS check and for the Barred List check (previously known as List 99). The two columns are required because they are two separate checks, but are often done together. All paid staff will need an enhanced DBS check and a Barred List check as they are in regulated activity, so you will need to record the date of the check in both columns.

For people who are not in regulated activity, for example, governors, you will record the enhanced DBS check, but enter ‘n/a’ in the Barred List column. It is illegal to do a barred list check for someone who isn’t in regulated activity.

How often in a school year should the prohibition checks be undertaken?  I was told at my last school that they should be run throughout the year and especially after the Christmas period in case there had been any offences with drink driving etc.  They said the Single Central Record should reflect recent dates to show that the checks were frequent enough.

There is no need to revisit the prohibition checks, either on a statutory basis or even on practical level.

In any case this is a poor example, drink driving would not necessarily lead to being prohibited from teaching (unless you were driving the school minibus of course), although it would appear on a DBS. However, as the due process of law takes a time, it wouldn’t appear just after the Christmas period.

Misconduct by an existing employee leading to prohibition is something your school would be well aware of as the head (at least) would be involved in the prohibition hearing (and well before it).

Is there a recommended time limit for how long ex-staff should stay on the Single Central Record after they have left a school?

There is no statutory requirement to keep them at all. (Which I think is a loophole – in the event of an issue, I think we need to be able to track where someone has worked.) Most schools just stick them into a ‘leavers’ spreadsheet separate to the main Single Central Record, and leave them there.

Do you have a template of best practise in relation the Single Central Record please; I have contacted OFSTED who have explained that the SCR was an internal matter and not something they could assist with.

There is no national guidance on the format for the Single Central Record, which is why Ofsted aren’t able to give you a clear answer. What should be included on the SCR is set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education.

I have created a Single Central Record Template to help you help ensure that you are compliant with the statutory guidance. You can purchase your copy by clicking the button below:

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I wondered if I could ask advice the the Single Central Record? Should it be the Headteacher who signs this off regularly as compliant/accurate or should it be the DSL?

It doesn’t matter who monitors the SCR. Sometimes it’s the Head, sometimes the DSL, sometimes a governor. Who ever does it though should know what they are looking for. Governors are required to be assured that the SCR is correct, so the monitoring check should be reported to governors and minuted.

You can download a Single Central Record Checklist here: SCR Checklist (September 2016)

Does legislation, statutory guidance, regulation, require DBS checks to be renewed for existing staff, volunteers and if so at what frequency.

There is no requirement to redo Enhanced DBS checks, unless there has been a break in service of more than three months. Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016) refers to this in paragraph 105.

Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (2016) notes that it is not a requirement to request a [new] Enhanced DBS unless there are concerns about an existing member of staff’s suitability or a person moves from non-regulated to regulated activity. (see page 26)

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