Rightly, background and compliance checks for teachers are very stringent. The process can seem complex and confusing and often there is a lack of comprehensive guidance. So we put together this guide to explain what’s required and why, and how you can help the process.


Supply Teacher Safeguarding and Background Checks Guide



What happens

We’ll go through your experience and ask what you’re looking for. Then we’ll ask questions relating to best practice in the classroom, your motivations and assess your knowledge of safeguarding procedure and practice. Please read the Government’s Keeping Children Safe in Education document and familiarise yourself with its content before your interview – click here for the document: Keeping Children Safe in Education.


Post-interview compliance

After we’ve met and we’re confident that you’ll be great in the classroom, we’ll go through some compliance checks, These are very important and can be quite detailed, so it is a real help if you are able to prep the documents and information that we need.



DBS Certificate

What is it?

A DBS certificate shows us the results of a criminal record check. To work through Teacher Booker you need to have undergone an Enhanced DBS Check with Children’s Barred List Check.

The Update Service

A DBS check only details your history up to the point at which the check was conducted. The Update Service is an electronic system that updates your criminal record with any subsequent convictions or reprimands. It costs just £13 for a year’s subscription. We check your criminal record every year, and if your DBS is not on the Update Service you will need to pay for a new one to be conducted (£44 + admin fees). This has an associated lead time which can be several months, during which you may not be able to work. If your DBS is registered on the Update Service we do not require you to pay the £44 for a new check and there will be no interruption to your ability to accept jobs.

You are able to register on the Update Service either when applying for your DBS check or within 19 days of receiving your certificate. We strongly recommend you do this as it will save you money.

Why do I need this?

Safeguarding of children is of the utmost importance to us and to the schools we work with. It is standard practice to require an Enhanced DBS Check with Children’s Barred List Check.

How do I get one?

If yours was issued more than 18 months ago and is not on the Update Service, you’ll need a new DBS check. You can’t apply for one yourself — only your employer can. Get in touch and we can help you. You can also apply through your current agency or school.

How you can help

If applying for a new DBS through an agency or school, please make sure that you register it on the Update Service. If you have multiple DBS certificates, use the latest one. You don’t need the others — the most recent one covers your whole history, not just the period since your previous check.


Teaching Qualification (for teachers)

What is it?

There are several classifications of qualification, dependent on where the qualification was awarded. Yours will appear in your profile, and schools will see it.

Why do I need this?

In the UK you are only considered a qualified teacher if you hold QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) and have completed your Induction period. There are different permissions, especially in permanent work, for teachers who are fully qualified and those who aren’t.

How do I get QTS?

If you do not hold QTS, for example if you were trained outside of the UK, we advise you to apply for it. You can start this process by clicking this link: https://teacherservices.education.gov.uk/MutualRecognition.

How you can help

When you come for interview, or pre-interview if you are Skyping, be sure to provide either the original or a PDF of your teaching qualification. If you have QTS, you can download your certificate in just a couple of clicks here: https://teacherservices.education.gov.uk/SelfService/Login.


Proof of Identity, Right to Work and Address

What is it?

Standard documents that we require to verify your identity. Please provide:

ID: A passport, driving licence, national identity card or biometric residence permit

Right to Work: A UK/EEA passport or work visa for the UK

Proof Of Address: A recent (last 3 months) bank/credit card statement or utility bill (not a mobile phone bill), a bank account opening confirmation letter, a council tax bill, a P45 or P60, or a driving licence.

Note that a single document cannot be used as both Proof of Address and ID document. A DBS certificate cannot be used as Proof of Address. Please ensure that your ID and RtW documents are current and valid.

Verifying your ID document

If you are having a Skype interview, we will not see the original ID document. Therefore please ensure that you provide a verified scan. You can do this at your local Post Office – Click here for more information: http://www.postoffice.co.uk/document-certification-service

Alternatively, there are a number of people who can verify your document —  click here for advice on who is able to do this: https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document.



What is it?

We require contact details for two referees: Preferably, at least one should be someone from an educational setting and one should be your most recent employer. We need these references to be from an official institutional account, i.e. not a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account, where possible.

If you are unable to provide contact details for a second educational or professional referee, it is sufficient to source a statement of work from your current or previous agency. Let us know your contact there and we’ll get in touch. We will gather a full reference from another employer at the earliest opportunity.

Open testimonials and character references are acceptable only if there is a good reason that the above options can’t be provided.

Why do I need this?

We need to verify your experience with a previous employer.

How you can help

Please send contact details (email addresses) for your referees to references@teacherbooker.com. We’ll get in touch with them as soon as you let us know their details. Please also let them know that we’ll be contacting them, as this can help speed up their response.


Completing your profile

While we’re processing all of this information, you can be filling out your profile. Be sure to input your

  • Profile picture (this will be visible to schools)
  • Years of experience
  • Your minimum day rate
  • Maximum travel time & preferred transport method
  • Personal Summary


If you need any help, let us know. We’ll check your profile one last time before it’s set live.

Hope that was helpful! If you do not have one or any of the above, get in touch at support@teacherbooker.com. It speeds up your onboarding hugely if you are able to provide all your details and documents in one go.