A teacher helping two teenagers with their work on a laptop


The DBS have prohibited British International Schools based outside the UK from requesting Standard and Enhanced level checks for teachers they wish to recruit for their organisation.

The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) have routinely requested DBS checks on behalf of their constituents for some time. However, the DBS have curbed this practice by asserting this is unlawful and needs to stop as DBS checks can only be made for organisations that are based in the UK or Wales.

COBIS revealed their disappointment that the UK Home Office have stopped offering this service as it has a major impact for their members and the safety of the children and people that are taught.

British International Schools that are based abroad can apply for a basic check if they choose to, however, they must be mindful that this level DBS check only discloses convictions that are not spent.

They may also access information through an International Child Protection Certificate, but this would need to be obtained via the ACRO criminal records office.

This transition has not occurred due to a change in law, but in an attempt by the DBS to tighten legislation. The same eligibility rules apply and applicants need to ensure they are entitled to receive Enhanced and Standard DBS checks.

The DBS have confirmed that if an organisation is based abroad, they would not be able to receive the higher-level checks. This has undoubtedly caused a lot of discontent for the international schools and they will now have to see how best to implement a safeguarding practice. Conversely, if an international school is based in the UK then Enhanced and Standard checks can still be requested.

For more information on this matter, please contact us on 0333 777 8575 and we will be happy to offer any advice you need.