Is your SCR up-to-date?

Thursday 01 June 2017

All independent schools must keep an up-to-date Single Central Register (SCR). The SCR, together with a school’s safeguarding policy, is a school’s key safeguarding document. All schools must keep a complete SCR of all staff (including supply staff, trainee teachers on salaried routes, volunteers and governors).

The SCR must list whether checks have been carried out and, if so, on what date the check was carried out or the relevant certificate obtained. It can be kept in electronic form but your school needs to be able to reproduce it in a hard copy, where necessary.

A poorly maintained SCR is one of the most common causes of criticism of schools by the ISI. As a consequence, it is critical that governing bodies and, in particular, their designated safeguarding leads understand the requirements for the SCR and monitor the school’s compliance with it.

What should it contain?

  • An identity check.
  • A barred list check.
  • An enhanced DBS check/certificate.
  • A prohibition from teaching check.
  • A section 128 check (on individuals barred from taking part in the management of an independent school).
  • Additional checks on people who have lived or worked outside the UK.
  • A check of professional qualifications.
  • A check to establish the person’s right to work in the UK. For supply staff, schools should also include whether written confirmation has been received that the entity supplying the supply staff member has carried out the relevant checks and obtained the appropriate certificates, and the date that confirmation was received and whether any enhanced DBS check certificate has been provided for that member of staff. Where checks are carried out on volunteers, schools should record this on the SCR too.

Key questions for governors include:

  • Does the governing body understand the implications for an inspection if your SCR is found to be non-compliant?
  • Does the safeguarding governor have the requisite skills and experience?
  • Does the safeguarding governor check the SCR termly (at least)?
  • Is there a check that details in staff personnel files are also detailed in the SCR?
  • Does your school carry out DBS checks on governors prior to appointment, and records them in the SCR?
  • Do the governors oversee an annual review of safeguarding matters in the school?
  • Is safeguarding included as a standing agenda item at governor meetings?