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Last updated on 7 September 2018
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School types: All · School phases: All

As a governing board, you're responsible for monitoring the single central record (SCR). Download our checklist and use our suggested questions to help you with this responsibility.

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Contents

  1. Download our checklist
  2. Questions to ask your school leaders
  3. What should be recorded
  4. Storing the SCR
  5. Inspection of the SCR

The information in this article is sourced from Keeping Children Safe in Education.

Download our checklist

All schools must keep a single central record (SCR) to demonstrate that they've carried out the mandatory pre-appointment checks on staff and other individuals. 

Governors are only responsible for monitoring it – you aren't expected to write or complete the document. Usually it's the safeguarding governor who monitors this on a termly basis. 

Download our checklist to help you monitor your school's SCR.

Questions to ask your school leaders

In a meeting, ask:

  • Does the SCR have the correct and up-to-date details for all members of staff and others who work in regular contact with children in the school, including volunteers?
  • Does the SCR include the relevant details for supply teachers?
  • Is there evidence on the SCR that appropriate checks have been carried out for all staff (for example, a prohibition from teaching check)?
  • Have we checked the SCR for administrative errors?
  • How and where do we store the SCR? Is it secure?

What should be recorded

Your SCR must include record information for:

  • All staff who are employed to work at the school (including all supply staff and teacher trainees on salaried routes)
  • For independent schools, academies and free schools, all members of the proprietor body (i.e. the members and trustees of the academy trust in academies)

It's for schools to decide how long to keep a staff member's details on the SCR, and the Department for Education (DfE) doesn't have official guidance on this. The DfE told us this. 

Where applicable, schools must record: 

  • Identity checks
  • Barred list checks
  • Enhanced DBS checks
  • Prohibition from teaching checks (for anyone involved in delivering lessons or who has past teaching experience) 
  • Section 128 checks (for those in management positions in an independent school or academy)
  • Further checks on people living or working outside the UK, including checks for restrictions or sanctions imposed by a European Economic Area (EEA) regulating authority
  • Checks of professional qualifications (for example, qualified teacher status) 
  • Checks to establish individuals' right to work in the UK

In respect of these checks, the SCR must record:

  • Whether the check has been carried out
  • The date on which each check was carried out, or the certificate obtained

Supply staff 

For supply staff, schools must also record: 

  • Whether they have written confirmation that the employment business supplying the member of supply staff has carried out the relevant checks and obtained the appropriate certificates
  • Whether any enhanced DBS check certificate has been provided
  • The date that confirmation was received (independent schools/academies and non-maintained special schools should also include the date on which any certificate was obtained)

MATs and federations

There is no requirement for multi-academy trusts (MATs) to have separate SCRs for their schools, but schools should ensure that the SCR is securely stored and easily accessible to those who need to see it, including Ofsted inspectors.

If the schools in your MAT do have separate SCRs, checks on members and trustees should be recorded in each of these SCRs.

Non-mandatory information

Schools are free to record the following, but there's no requirement to: 

  • Who carried out the checks 
  • Individuals' job titles (this is because it gives an indication of their involvement with pupils and which checks they would need) 
  • Childcare disqualification checks (where applicable)
  • Safeguarding and safer recruitment training dates
  • Any checks carried out on volunteers (including maintained school governors and local governors in MATs), but we recommend these are included

Storing the SCR

The SCR may be kept in paper or electronic form. 

Copies of documents 

Schools don't have to keep copies of DBS certificates in order to fulfil the duty of maintaining the SCR. 

Where a school chooses to retain a copy of the DBS certificate, it shouldn't be retained for longer than 6 months.

They should keep a copy of the other documents used to verify the successful candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications for the personnel file.

Inspection of the SCR

Inspectors will ask to see a school's SCR at the start of an inspection. They'll expect it to be complete and meet statutory requirements. 

If there's a minor administrative error on an SCR, such as the absence of a date on the record, and this can be easily rectified before the final team meeting, the school or college will be given the chance to resolve the issue.

Ofsted defines ‘administrative errors’ as:

  • Failure to record 1 or 2 dates
  • Individual entries that are illegible
  • 1 or 2 omissions where it's clear that the information is already held by the school or college, but that the school or college has failed to transfer the information over in full to the SCR

This is set out in Ofsted guidance on inspecting safeguarding.

Sources

Gulshan Kayembe is an independent consultant who has experience of inspecting schools. As a consultant, she provides mentoring for senior leaders and has worked as an external adviser on headteachers’ performance management.

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