InVentry explores the merits of a sign-in and visitor management system when it comes to keeping your single central record (SCR) up-to-date
Developing an accurate single central record (SCR) is a key requirement for schools, as highlighted in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). It is one of the first things looked at by Ofsted as part of an evaluation of safeguarding in the school. Education establishments, therefore, need to be clear on who and what needs to be checked, and how to do this efficiently.
The ever-evolving nature of education can make it increasingly difficult to determine who needs to be checked. For example, with the introduction of academies and multi-academy trusts, the need to check trustees and members is now a requirement for those organisations – but not for state-maintained schools.
Schools also need to consider how to keep and maintain their SCR. The checks made by an Ofsted inspector will focus on whether there is a SCR in place and ensure that it covers all the mandatory information identified in KCSIE. The mandatory checks a school should be completing are:
- identity checks;
- barred list checks;
- right to work in the UK;
- DBS checks;
- overseas checks.
However, this is just the minimum that an educational institution should be checking. It is strongly recommended that references, safeguarding information and DSL/ADSL training is also investigated and recorded.
Paper or electronic?
In KCSIE, it states that, ‘The single central record can be kept in paper or electronic form.’ When deciding how best to do this, the following should be considered:
- How easily can it be accessed by you in the case of an inspection?
- How easy is it to update information?
- How do you ensure that it meets the requirements of current data protection regulations, including accuracy, security and addressing subjects’ rights?
- How will you ensure it can be recovered in the case of disaster?
Reliance on paper could place a school at risk in the case of disaster or potential theft or inaccuracies. The use of electronic systems – such as spreadsheets – can lead to duplication of data and access by unauthorised staff.
A sign-in and visitor management system can reduce these risks by providing a single system for the secure – and backed up – management of data, with only those with appropriate permissions given access. Such systems can be utilised for the SCR with relevant staff information – including any checks that have been conducted, the date they were conducted and who they were done by. If a check is recurring, the expiry date can be stored and the system can keep you updated via email notifications and alerts of the check status.
In addition to viewing checks and status, you can also store supporting documents as evidence of these checks. This process of managing checks means that they are never missed or forgotten, resulting in a sustained level of security in your school and a SCR that is guaranteed to be always up-to-date.