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Disqualification guidance adds clarity?

6 March 2015

New DfE guidance on disqualification from early years settings adds greater clarity in part, but also introduces a need to understand the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Not an easy task.

On the plus side, the guidance confirms that fewer staff are caught by the requirement and makes it clear that later years staff are not covered, meaning that schools can consider redeploying disqualified staff to work in those settings rather than suspending them pending the outcome of a waiver application. The DfE has also stepped back from suggesting staff complete declaration forms, preferring schools to ensure staff are made aware of the legislation instead. A staff briefing may well discharge that duty.

Where things are muddied is around ‘by association’. The guidance makes it clear that schools can only consider unspent convictions of others in the household under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Expecting schools to understand and apply this complex law may be a step too far.

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