Scrapping of ‘disqualification by association’ requirement in schools

With effect from the 31st August 2018, changes are being made to the childcare disqualification arrangements, specifically removing the ‘disqualification by association’ element from schools and other non-domestic settings. It will however remain in place for roles such as home-based childminding. We’ve updated our page Childcare Disqualification Requirements – Primary school teachers, nursery staff and others – ‘Disqualified by association’ to reflect this.

The changes mean that schools will no longer be able to ask their staff questions about the cautions or convictions of someone living or working in their household.  

If you’ve previously been affected by the ‘disqualification by association’ requirements and have been granted a waiver from Ofsted, this will no longer be needed as of 31st August.  

Ofsted have confirmed to us that schools would still need to document that, prior to 31st August, a waiver had been granted together with the date that it was issued. However, they have suggested that all personal data including any details of the criminal record relating to it should be removed.  

We’d suggest that you speak with the school and ask them to confirm that they’ve deleted any data relating to your waiver which is no longer relevant.  

We’ve yet to see how schools will deal with these changes although the Department of Education has recommended that schools should “review their staffing policies and safer recruitment procedures, and make changes accordingly”. If you find that a school is:

  1. still asking you to provide details of the criminal record of someone living with you; or
  2. refusing to delete data when requested, we’d like to hear from you.

Please email details of the issue you’re having to  

 For more information 

  1. For practical information – More information can be found at Childcare Disqualification Requirements – Primary school teachers, nursery staff and others – ‘Disqualified by association’ 
  2. To read personal stories – You can read personal stories about this posted on theRecord, our online magazine. 
  3. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline. 




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Doug Yarnton