Disqualification through association: DfE updates guidance for teachers and allows those waiting for waivers to return to work

The TES is reporting that the DfE has now updated guidance meaning teachers who were disqualified from working in schools because of an offence committed by a relative, spouse or flatmate will now be able to return to work…

Official guidance issued by the Department for Education had said that primary school staff could face dismissal from their jobs if they shared a home with someone who had committed a serious violent or sexual crime, or who had been banned from working with children.

But new guidance, issued today, has clarified these rules, stating that they only apply to staff working with Reception-aged children or providing childcare outside of school hours.

Staff have always been able to apply for an Ofsted waiver, which will allow them to continue working, despite any convictions held by friends or family. However, under the new guidance, staff will be able to remain in school while waiting for this waiver to come through…

If teachers or support staff live with someone convicted of these offences, they must disclose this fact if asked to do so by their employer. Previously, they would have been suspended while they applied to Ofsted for a waiver, allowing them to return to work.

The new rules state that, while waiting for a waiver to be processed, “a member of staff could be disqualified from working with children of Reception age or under in a school, but could work with children aged 6 and 7, provided that they were not working them in childcare provision, outside of normal school hours”.

If a teacher decides not to apply for a waiver, or the waiver application is declined, it would be up to the school to consider whether to redeploy that teacher, “or whether steps should be taken to legitimately terminate their employment”…

More at: Wrongly suspended teachers allowed back in classroom, government says


Read the detail in the updated guidance from the DfE at: Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006


This sounds like a sensible move in the right direction as the previous guidance seemed full of unintended consequences, but I’m still a bit confused – is the TES report suggesting all primary staff still need to apply for a waiver if affected or that even this is only necessary for those working with reception-aged children or providing childcare outside of school hours? My reading of the DfE document suggested the later but can anyone clarify?


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  1. rob_kelsall

    SchoolsImprove DfE need to apologise to those teachers needlessly marched off the premises due to their original poorly drafted guidance.

  2. rob_kelsall

    SchoolsImprove Careers have been blighted by the needless suspensions. This needs to be remedied by the DfE and personnel files amended.

  3. james_wilding

    The revisions make an absurd situation worse, other than permitting staff who have been identified back into the classroom. Here’s the line: Schools need to make all staff aware of the legislation but do not have to ask relevant staff to complete a self-declaration form, although it does require schools to keep a record of the date on which disqualification checks were carried out for relevant staff
    As an employer how do I check? No evidence is required other than date of check. So did I look in my tea cup check out the leaves and declare all clear. Nonsense!

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