No 2 Single Central Record

What is the Single Central Record?

The single central record (SCR) is an essential safeguarding document and must be maintained, reviewed and audited on a regular basis. Schools and colleges must keep a single central record as the register of recruitment and it should be used to log all safer recruitment checks, including details of DBS checks. It will probably be one of the first documents that Ofsted will ask to see.

Who should be included?

all employees (including supply staff, and teacher trainees on salaried routes) who work at the school. In colleges, this means those providing education to children; and
for independent schools, including academies and free schools, all members of the proprietor body.

Who should not be included?

  • Ad hoc visitors
  • Parents attending occasional events such as sports day or meeting with teachers
  • Work experience students under the age of 16
  • Contractors with no possible contact with children
  • Those using the school as a venue before or after school hours

What information must be included (linked to most current KCSiE)?

Generally, the information to be recorded by schools or other providers on individuals is whether or not the following checks have been carried out or certificates obtained and the date on which each check was completed. These are mandatory:

  • an identity check
  • a barred list check
  • an enhanced DBS check/certificate
  • a prohibition from teaching check
  • a check for a section 128 direction (for management positions in independent schools including academies and free schools)
  • further checks on people living or working outside the UK
  • a check of professional qualifications
  • a check to establish the person’s right to work in the UK

Supply staff: schools and other providers should also include whether written confirmation has been received that the employment business supplying the member of supply staff has carried out the relevant checks and obtained the appropriate certificates, whether any enhanced DBS check certificate has been provided in respect of the member of supply staff and the date that confirmation was received.

Best Practice

There is no defined format for the SCR. Most schools hold it electronically as a password protected Excel document. Records should all be on one Excel spreadsheet although they may be held across worksheets in different ‘tabs’ such as employees, volunteers, supply staff, leavers etc.

  • The Headteacher should have the password.
  • It is intended to be a single record, so the same columns should be used for everyone, regardless of role or employer.
  • It should also be a live record and in some schools it requires updating regularly; staff maintaining it can ‘make it work for them’ such as by highlighting rows or using colour codes whilst waiting for checks to be returned, for example.
  • Do not leave columns/cells blank. Write ‘N/A’, ‘Pre 2002’, ‘waiting for certificate’, for example or leave a comment
  • There is no need to print out the SCR, this should not be requested by inspectors but will be reviewed alongside a sample of personnel files.
  • Leavers should be deleted no longer than 6 months after leaving in accordance with Data Protection principles. Most schools do this as soon as they leave.

  • A named Governor who has had some training and/or SLT should be regularly checking the SCR and recording that they have done so and identify any actions to follow-up.

Key things to check and questions to ask:

  • Are all the mandatory columns there?
  • Are there any gaps on the spreadsheet with empty cells?
  • Who regularly checks the SCR?
  • Are staff files sampled to see if the mandatory information is held?

A full check should be made by the Headteacher and/or Safeguarding Governor on a regular basis (we advise termly) and the date recorded.

Further information:

Babcock SCR guidance and template

Inspecting safeguarding in education settings


No. 2 Single Central Record - printable version

This download is for printing only, all the information can also be found on the webpage above.

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