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Herts County Council logoPre-appointment Checks for School Governors

Governors of local authority maintained schools:

It is a statutory requirement for governors and associate members to undertake a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check before starting duties as a governor. It is for the governing body to ensure a process of the governor DBS completion is in place and must be processed within 21 calendar days of appointment.

As an added safeguarding check, which is optional and not statutory, Governance has produced a self-declaration form. If you choose to use this form a copy should be retained in the governors file at the school do not send a copy to Governance or Safe Staffing team.

The arrangements for checking governors are as follows:

Following the clerk to the governing body uploading the new governor's details on the database, a Welcome Pack is distributed to the new ‘first-time governors’.  The pack includes a self-declaration form. (The governing body should produce their own Governor Induction Pack for new governors).  If you would like a copy of the self-declaration form, a template can be accessed by logging on to:

  • If the self-declaration form is used the completed form should be kept on file at the school.  
  • Arrangements must be made for the new governor to meet with the member of the office staff who processes DBS checks (ID checker) and take along original ID (check with ID checker what is required).
  • The DBS certificate will go to the named governor at their home address.  A copy is not sent to the school.
  • Upon receipt of the original certificate, it must be shown to the ID checker as the information is input on the single central record
  • A copy of the DBS should not be held on file.  In the event a disclosure is listed but does not deem the person unsuitable to work with children but may require a risk assessment being put in place, a copy of the risk assessment should be kept on the individual’s file.
  • It is at the discretion of the governing body how often a DBS update check is carried out for re-appointed or re-elected governors. (Recommendation of aligning with each new term of office – e.g. every 4 years).
  • See www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/governors for FAQs on DBS checks.

If you have any queries, please contact the Governance Helpdesk on 01438 843082.

Governors at Academies/Free schools:

Self-declaration form: Optional as above.

The Chair of Governors is required to have an enhanced DBS Check carried out by the Secretary of State if they have been newly appointed.

If the Chair of Governors was appointed after the school’s conversion to academy status and already has a DBS through Herts County Council a new one signed by the Secretary of State is not required.

Governance Handbook (see 4.1.2 Conduct): All academy Members, Trustees and Individuals on any Local Governing Boards in a MAT are required to have an enhanced criminal records certificate from the DBS.

Further details on DBS checks are within the statutory guidance: Keeping children safe in education (DfE).

Any queries please contact Safe Staffing, Rewards and Learning Team on 01992 555896.