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Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 30th March 2020.

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Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the practical implications of maintaining safeguarding checks for adults working with children in the event that education providers share staffing resources during the covid-19 oubreak.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It is essential that schools and colleges continue with their statutory duties regarding safer recruitment during the COVID-19 state. Schools and colleges are still required to ensure that those working in their settings are suitable to work in the children’s workforce. The department has published safeguarding guidance, to help schools and colleges who are providing care for vulnerable children and children of critical workers to keep those children (anyone under the age of 18) safe whilst they are at school or college:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers

This guidance includes advice on the portability of Disclosure and Barring Service checks where members of the school or college workforce are already engaging in regulated activity and have the appropriate check for that workforce. Schools and colleges should carry out a risk assessment in these circumstances as they would for a volunteer. Where schools and colleges are utilising volunteers, they should continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in the statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education.

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