Maintained school

It is your statutory duty to check that all Governors have enhanced DBS certificates. It is the responsibility of the governing body to apply for the certificate for any of their governors who do not already have one.

It is your statutory duty to perform a Section 128 check on your Governors. Governors found subject to a section are disqualified from being a Governor.

Governance is not a regulated activity, so governors do not need a barred list check – unless, of course, they also engage in regulated activity outside their governor duties.

Associate members (governors appointed to serve on one or more committees) are not required to have an enhanced DBS check.

Your checklist:

  1. Check all governors have an enhanced DBS certificate

  2. Those who don’t, governing body must apply for enhanced DBS certificate for those individuals

  3. If the governor engages in regulated activity outside duties, conduct barred list check


Governors/proprietors of independent schools, academies, free schools, alternative provision academies, non-maintained special schools

Before an individual is appointed, the Secretary of State will:

  • Carry out an enhanced DBS check, obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate including (or not including) barred list as is appropriate,

  • Confirm the individual’s identity, and

  • If the individual lives or has lived outside of the UK, carried out all of the necessary further checks as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

It is the chair’s statutory duty to ensure that the following are carried out before, or as soon as practicable after, any individual takes up their position:

  1. Enhanced DBS checks are undertaken for all members where this check has not previously been carried out,

  2. Identity checks are completed,

  3. A section 128 check is completed, and

  4. If appropriate, checks for individuals who have previously lived/worked overseas, where an enhanced DBS certificate is not sufficient.

If an academy is converting from a maintained school to an academy, and the chair of an academy trust has already been subject to a check carried out by the local authority, they will no longer need an enhanced DBS check and certificate.

Members of the academy trust, individual charity trustees, and the chair of the board of charity trustees.

In the case of an academy trust (including those established to operate a free school), it is the statutory duty of the trust to require enhanced DBS checks on such individuals.

Where an academy trust delegates responsibilities to any delegate or committee (including a local governing body), it is the statutory duty of the trust to require DBS checks on all delegates and all members of such committees.

It is also the statutory duty of academy trusts to perform Section 128 checks on such members.

Academy trusts (including those established to operate a free school) have the same responsibilities as all independent schools in relation to requesting enhanced DBS certificates for permanent and supply staff.

Your checklist:

  1. An enhanced DBS check for all who have not previously been checked,

  2. Identity check,

  3. A section 128 check, and

  4. If appropriate, checks for individuals who have previously lived/worked overseas.


Sixth Form college governors

If they are engaging in regulated activity, it is your statutory duty to request an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list check.

If they are not engaging in regulated activity, you man only conduct an enhanced DBS certificate without a barred list check.

The above applies equally to volunteer governors.

Your checklist:

  1. If engaged in regulated activity, enhanced DBS with barred list

  2. If not engaged in regulated activity, optional to conduct enhanced DBS without barred list

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