Clive Chandler And His Puppets

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Thinking of asking me to present a DBS check? 

Updated 2019/20


Clive Chandler currently holds one or more DBS check and is happy to make this documentation available when the circumstances require. He is registered with the Update Service for this purpose. He has both basic and enchanced checks. Such circumstances are defined as 'regulated activity'. In simple terms the question is whether or not he would be supervising children and whether or not he would have unsupervised contact with them which is frequent or intensive. 

When not engaged in regulated activity Clive may choose to offer sight of a DBS certificate on arrival, but he cannot and should not be told that it is in any way a requirement.

A DBS check is not a 'passport' to enter schools, and it is wrong to treat it as such. Requesting disclosure from visitors on a 'blanket basis' is not good practice as it demonstrates a lack of proper understanding of due process and the important checks and balances that are in place to prevent mis-use. Court judgements make it clear that it is unlawful to act in this way.

Please note that if you book me for a single visit, you cannot choose to define me as a 'regular contractor'. To be engaged in 'regulated activity' I would - at the least - have to be visiting for 4 days in a 30 day period.

Occassional visitors enter schools according to the risk assessment of senior management. It is they who decide on the level of supervision based on the nature of the activity.  A vistor can expect to be under the 'reasonbale' 'day to day'  supervison of the staff who are supervising the activity. This needs to be proportionate.

The fact that is easier for schools to ask visitors for disclosure on a blanket basis, does not make it the correct thing to do.  Asking for disclosure when not required is is actually a breach of legislation and accessing and recording information which you do not have good legal reason to access will put you very much on the wrong side of data protection laws and the legal right to 'privacy'.

Clive is a self-employed individual.  It would also be impossible for any school to obtain  a check on his behalf without making a false declaration about the nature of the activity, unless that activity is 'regulated'. Even where a visitor gives access to the update service you would also need to make a declaration that you had a the right to access the information, which you would not be able to do. It doesn't make sense for you to seek access a check made by others in different circumstances which you would not have been able to have done yourselves.

So, as a matter of principle he does not comply with any incorrect assertion that 'occassional visitors' are required to provide a DBS check to enter a school.

Safeguarding is best achieved by the correct implementation of statutory and binding guidance which is properly designed for the purpose and which also pays due regard to the rights of an individual visitor.  In schools this means KCSIE with which Safeguarding Policies are required to be fully compatible and of the full details of which - included the Note on Regulated Activity - staff are required to have a proper understanding. It is not possible for your to go 'beyond' the statutory guidance in this regard, without actually going 'against' it. Doing does not make your safeguarding more 'robust', it makes your practice unlawful.





March 2013 Disclosure and Barring Service A guide for Children's Entertainers and freelance entertainers

What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?

The DBS is a checking service for employers who are legally entitled to ask about an applicant’s criminal background. The service launched on 1st December 2012 effectively replaced the system of Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks that you may have become familiar with over recent years. The new body is a merger between the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

How does this affect Children's Entertainers?
In relation to children, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 defines ‘Regulated Activity’ as activity which a barred person must not do. The definition of this activity is much more tightly defined than it used to be and only those who regularly carry out largely unsupervised activities with children or vulnerable adults would need to be checked. Most freelance work in schools would not meet this criteria as the work is generally supervised so there should be no need for a check. This would also go for a lot of other work connected to local authorities and the public sector in general. Checks have never been needed for work in private homes or for general children’s party work.

Michael Day Equity



Ofsted do not require  visitors to provide DBS checks

Here is a quote from the Ofsted website

DBS checks are not required for visitors. Visitors do not have unsupervised access to children."

"The key test is ‘frequent’ or ‘intensive’ contact with learners. The definition of ‘frequent’ and ‘intensive’ was clarified in December 2009 by Sir Roger Singleton and the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families".

Here is that definition:

"The frequent contact test should be met if the work with children takes place once a week or more. The intensive contact test should be met if the work takes place on 4 days in one month or more or overnight. Individuals who go into different schools or similar settings to work with different groups of children should not be required to register unless their contact with the same children is frequent or intensive".

DBS do not require vistors to have a check

a feelance performer coming in to deliver performances or workshops does not require such a check.

It is a condition of everything I do that I am never working unsupervised or unsupported by properly qualified teaching staff.

I am not staff, but am a freelance worker with the same status as a 'visitor'

A Personal Note:

I believe passionately in the safety and well-being of children. I am less of a fan of mis-placed local policies, based on  mis-understandings of official advice, that cause a separation between our schools and the wider communtiy, foster a climate of fear and suspicion, and give some the same feel as gated communities or prisons.  

I retain the right to decline to comply with any 'local policy' which is outside of Ofsted and Government advice. With regard to DBS any such policy is neither food practice or legal. I have some sympathy with schools who have found it difficult to understand advice in the past.  However there is now plenty of very clear advice on this matter and there should be no reason for misunderstandings.

I enjoy visiting schools which have a proper understanding of the guidelines and know how to run schools safely and also make visiting artists feel welcome. Happily this is the case with the vast majority.

This is a serious issue affecting a range of performers and artists in schools and it important that we stand up to inappropriate requests for disclosure.

Purveyors of fine puppetry to the known world