This update states that staff in schools or the education sector generally who work with children under the age of eight (including the manager of such staff) can no longer work in that setting if they or others with whom they live are “disqualified”. An individual is disqualified if that person is barred from working with children e.g. included on the children’s barred list or if:

  • They have been cautioned for or convicted of certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults
  • They are subject to prohibitions relating to the care of children (including where an order is made in respect of children under the person’s care)
  • They have had registration refused or cancelled in relation to childcare or children’s homes or are disqualified from private fostering; and/or
  • They live in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or works (disqualification by association).

Employers should ask employees and workers working with children under the age of eight to provide a self-declaration that they do not fall within one of the disqualified categories. They must also declare that they do not live with anybody who is disqualified. If information comes to light that an employee or worker is disqualified, they can apply for a waiver from Ofsted, although they must not continue to work with children under the age of eight while waiting for the waiver.

We recommend that any employer who believes that they have staff who may be affected by this update seeks legal advice from our specialist education team for further guidance on the content of any self-declaration and steps that they should be taking.