[Skip to content]

NAHT - For Leaders, For Learners
Search our Site
Advice button

Disqualification by association

The DfE issued new guidance on 17 October clarifying that the childcare regulations outlining who is disqualified from providing childcare do apply to childcare provided in a school setting. School leaders must be aware of what obligations this places on them.

The Childcare Act 2006 and the childcare (disqualification) regulations 2009 place separate and additional requirements on schools. At the point that an individual is convicted of, or cautioned for, a criminal offence of a specified type or category, or where they meet other disqualification criteria set out in the regulations. The act and regulations disqualify staff from:

  • providing early years childcare or later years childcare to children who have not attained the age of eight; or
  • if they are directly concerned in the management of that childcare.

In addition to inclusion on the children’s barred list, the wider disqualification criteria include:

  • being cautioned for or convicted of certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults;
  • grounds relating to the care of children (including where an order is made in respect of a child under the person’s care);
  • having registration refused or cancelled in relation to childcare or children’s homes or being disqualified from private fostering;
  • living in the same household, where another person who is disqualified, lives or works (disqualification ‘by association’).

This is what the legislation specifies, but in practice it should not really be limited to early years, as all schools should be safeguarding all children and young people. By making all staff employed in schools aware of the implications for schools, not just of essential DBS checks, but the wider implications of the pupil-safeguarding.

You can find out more about childcare disqualification, along with NAHT's guidance, here.


If you and your school need up to date knowledge of child protection processes and how to apply legislation and statutory guidance effectively in practice, NAHT can offer a tailored training course delivered in your school. For more details visit Safeguarding in education: protected pupils, safer staff.


Page Published: 28/10/2014