New DfE guidance for schools / academies regarding the application of the childcare disqualification regulations took effect on 31st August.
Under the amended regulations, Schools / Academies are no longer required to establish whether a member of staff who is directly employed to work in childcare with children under the age of 8 is ‘disqualified by association’ – that is disqualified as a result as living in the same household as someone who is disqualified. As a consequence of this change schools should no longer ask their staff questions about the cautions or convictions of someone living or working in their household.
It should be remembered that the Disqualification regulations do not apply to all Employees and are relatively narrow in their scope. However, all Employees do have a broader duty to immediately disclose any change in their circumstances or any information which may affect or is likely to affect the suitability of the Employee to undertake their job role or work with children/ young people or in a School setting.
The new guidance reminds Schools / Academies of the importance of setting clear expectations for all staff – including the responsibility to disclose close personal relationships and associations which may present a ‘risk by association’ to the safeguarding of children.
It is recommended that expectations regarding the wider disclosure of information should be detailed in the School / Academy’s Code of Conduct.
We have updated our both our Model SPS Code of Conduct and Discipline and Conduct Policies to reflect the changes to the disqualification by association requirements. The revised policies can be accessed here;
You can view further guidance regarding the Childcare Disqualification Requirements here.
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