Section 128 Check

Section 128 Check

This check confirms whether or not an individual has been barred from taking up a management role (at an independent school, academy and/or free school), under the terms of a direction made by the Secretary of State for Education.


In order to carry out this check, use the free Employer Secure Access sign-in portal to access the Teaching Regulation Agency’s (TRA) Teacher Services’ web page (see TRA FAQs below).


Here, you can check if a person you are proposing to recruit to a management position is prohibited from undertaking that work under a section 128 direction.


Roles in ‘management’ include but are not limited to:

  • Headteacher

  • Any teaching positions on the senior leadership team

  • Any teaching positions that carry a department headship

  • Members of proprietor bodies

  • Governors if the governing body is the proprietor body for the school

  • And whichever other role you deem within reason as ‘taking part in management’


You can also request a section 128 direction to be disclosed during an enhanced DBS check when you request barred list information.


To do this, you must specify that ‘children’s workforce independent schools’ is stated as the employment on the application form.


Your checklist:


  1. Establish whether the person requires a Section 128 check, and perform the above check using the TRA or during an enhanced DBS check

  2. Record the date of when you performed the check


If your school deems it good practice according to your processes, our Sign In Central Record profile also provides a default field for you to input the details of who did the check.



British Schools Overseas


As of 14 August 2023, the Section 128 requirement has been removed for international schools. 


The check is still in existence however and, as always, safer recruitment exists to go above and beyond to ensure the safety of students. The check is still applicable in other settings. 

For further information please see the following Government guidance: British Schools Overseas: Standards for Schools


Please also ensure you check the Individuals prohibited from managing or governing schools list.



New to using the TRA?


The Secure Access / DfE Sign-in portal via the Teaching Regulation Agency’s (TRA) Teacher Services is a free service available to all schools and colleges. Registration is required for first-time users and can be requested from Teacher Services.



How do I use the TRA?


Please consult A guide for using the TRA and proceed to this link to sign into the TRA. The school should complete the TRA checks (as appropriate to the role), print the teacher's record to retain in the personnel file and 'claim' the teacher on the TRA website. Alternatively, schools can save the teacher's record on Sign In Central Record.