Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Guidance

Sensible response to CRB checks

Members will be aware that, following the Ofsted report on child protection procedures in schools, they now have to get to their local authority a list of all those who were liable for a CRB check but for whom they do not have a record of the check.

The DfES is aware that many, if not most, of the people on the list may well have had the check and it is only the record that is missing.

Officials have heeded ASCL's request to avoid a knee-jerk response, and they are working out how to enable schools to update their records, and how to handle the possible flood of applications if the number who actually do not have a check turns out to be great.

Members are advised not to apply yet in bulk as there will be a special line through to the CRB for these applications.

It would be prudent, when applications are made, to do everything possible to make sure that they are legible and accurate. This should help to minimise delays.

In the meantime, ASCL would advise schools to use their own discretion with staff who do not have a record of a CRB check.

Employed or not?

A ruling recently made in the Court of Appeal further nails down the position and rights of 'agency' workers.

The implication of the case is that once an arrangement between an agency worker and an 'end user' has been in existence for more than a year the courts will consider that an implied employment contract exists.

A similar case in an educational context has established that a series of contracts for a home tutor (despite being broken by August holidays) gave sufficient continuity to create a mutual obligation, ie the obligation on an employer to provide work and on the employee to accept it, which constitutes the fundamental basis for employment rights.

Schools and colleges need to keep a careful eye on long-term arrangements with staff whom they do not directly employ. This could have implications for extended school arrangements.

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