Disqualification by association: new guidance issued by DfE

New guidance on who can be “disqualified by association” has been issued by the Department for Education (DfE).

The document sets out that only those working in an after-hours capacity with children up to the age of eight can be barred from working, if they live with someone who has been convicted of a relevant offence.

Previous guidance, issued in October, had caused confusion within the sector and the National Association of Headteachers called for clearer information to be issued.

Ben Thomas, national officer for education and children at Unison, said the union still questioned whether the rules were necessary to safeguard children.

Mr Thomas added: “People were needlessly suspended because the original guidance wasn’t clear enough.

“We still question whether it is doing anything to safeguard and whether people should be judged by association.”

It clarifies that those who provide “education” or “childcare” only during school hours are not covered by the legislation. Those who do so after school, are covered by the legislation.

Staff such as caretakers, cleaners, drivers, transport escorts, catering and office staff, who are not employed to directly provide childcare, and those who provide healthcare provision, are also not covered by the legislation.

The guidance will be reviewed again in September.

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  1. Nicholas Collins

    I think this clarification does certainly do as it says on the tin but the whole rationale behind it appears very floored in terms of safeguarding. I cannot see how any children will be safer as a result but I have already seen significant detrimental impact on adults.