The Single Central Record (SCR) is a vital document in educational settings, serving as a comprehensive register of all staff working with children. Its importance cannot be overstated, as it not only ensures compliance with legal requirements but also safeguards the welfare of children and helps maintain high standards of education and care. Especially during Ofsted/ISI visits, the SCR plays a crucial role in demonstrating a school or institution's commitment to safeguarding and effective governance.

During an Ofsted inspection, the SCR is closely scrutinised to ensure that all necessary checks and procedures have been carried out thoroughly and regularly. Ofsted inspectors assess whether the SCR is accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with legal requirements. Any discrepancies or shortcomings in the SCR can raise concerns about the institution's safeguarding practices and overall effectiveness.

To maintain an accurate and up-to-date Single Central Record, educational institutions should adhere to several best practices:

Regular Review: Schedule regular reviews of the SCR to ensure that all information is
accurate and current.

Timely Updates: Any changes in staff roles, qualifications, or safeguarding status should be promptly recorded in the SCR to maintain accuracy and ensure the document is up to date.

Training and Awareness: Provide training to relevant staff members responsible for
maintaining the SCR to ensure they understand their responsibilities and the importance of accurate record-keeping.

Compliance Checks: Regularly review the SCR to ensure compliance with statutory
requirements and guidelines set forth by regulatory bodies such as Ofsted and the
Department for Education.

Data Security: Implement robust security measures to safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of the information stored in the SCR, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.

Collaboration with Governors: Engage school/college governors in reviewing the SCR periodically to provide an additional layer of oversight and ensure accountability.

Documentation: Maintain clear documentation of all checks and updates made to the SCR to demonstrate compliance during inspections.
External Audits: Consider engaging external auditors periodically to conduct independent reviews of the SCR, providing valuable insights and validation of compliance efforts.

Continuous Improvement: Use feedback from inspections and audits to identify areas for improvement in SCR processes and implement corrective actions as necessary.

Culture of Safeguarding: Foster a culture of safeguarding within the institution, where all staff members are vigilant and proactive in their commitment to protecting the welfare of children.

By following these top ten tips and maintaining an accurate and up-to-date Single Central Record, educational institutions can demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding, enhance accountability, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements,

OnlineSCR is a straightforward yet powerful tool designed to help schools keep track of all necessary background checks, from DBS verifications to professional qualifications. By moving away from traditional spreadsheets and manual processes, OnlineSCR offers a streamlined approach to safeguarding, making it easier for schools to maintain compliance and focus on what really matters - providing a safe learning environment for students.

The Critical Role of SCR in Vetting Staff

The Single Central Record isn't just a regulatory requirement; it's an important part of school safeguarding practices, particularly when it comes to managing substitute teachers and temporary staff. These individuals play a vital role in the educational ecosystem, stepping in to ensure that learning continues uninterrupted, regardless of staff absences or shortages. However, their transient nature poses unique challenges in maintaining the same rigorous vetting standards applied to permanent staff. We addresses this challenge head-on, providing a comprehensive and accessible record of all necessary checks and qualifications for everyone working within the school.

OnlineSCR simplifies the verification process. It consolidates various educational checks—DBS checks, prohibition orders and qualifications — into a single, easily accessible platform. This streamlines the administration process but also significantly reduces the margin for error. This ensures that each staff member, whether temporary or permanent, meets the required standards becomes a more manageable task. Schools can quickly identify any gaps in compliance, allowing for swift action to rectify issues, upholding the highest safeguarding standards.

The OnlineSCR acts as a live document that can be updated in real-time as new checks are completed or as existing staff acquire new qualifications. This means that OnlineSCR provides an ongoing assurance that all staff members, irrespective of their contract length, are suitably vetted to work with children.

Enhancing Compliance and Efficiency with OnlineSCR's Technology

OnlineSCR's technology revolutionises how schools manage their safeguarding processes. By moving away from paper-based systems and cumbersome spreadsheets, it introduces a level of efficiency and reliability that was previously very difficult to achieve. Our digitised approach not only streamlines the management of the Single Central Record but also enhances the accuracy of the data it contains. With features designed to automate routine tasks, schools can now ensure that their compliance with safeguarding regulations is both thorough and up-to-date without dedicating excessive administrative resources to the task.

One of the main benefits of adopting OnlineSCR's system is the automation of verification checks. The platform directly interface with DBS services and other necessary verification databases, reducing the time it takes to confirm QTS, sanctions and clearances. This means that schools can quickly onboard new staff, confident in the knowledge that all safeguarding criteria are met. Our system's real-time updating feature ensures that any changes in staff status or new information are reflected immediately, keeping the SCR current without manual intervention.

OnlineSCR provides comprehensive reporting tools, making it easier for schools to identify any areas of non-compliance and address them promptly. This proactive approach to safeguarding compliance not only supports schools in maintaining a safe environment for students and staff but also prepares them for inspections, with clear, concise records that can be accessed and reviewed at any time. By leveraging OnlineSCR's technology, schools can achieve a higher standard of safeguarding efficiency, ensuring that compliance is seamlessly integrated into their daily operations.


Bringing in supply teachers and temporary staff is essential for maintaining the continuity of education.  While the introduction of temporary staff comes with its challenges, the risks associated with safeguarding compliance can be substantially reduced. With OnlineSCR, schools have a powerful tool at their disposal, one that ensures compliance is continuously maintained, safeguarding standards are upheld, and the educational journey for students remains uninterrupted and secure.

Want to find out more? Schedule a free demo today at a time that suits you.

Importance of a Single Central Record

The Single Central Record acts as a centralised repository that collates and verifies essential information about staff, ensuring that all personnel meet the necessary safeguarding requirements. This includes verifying staff identity, qualifications, references, and background checks. By having a single point of reference for this information, schools can efficiently monitor and track compliance, ensuring that everyone working with children is suitable and safe.

Benefits of a Single Central Record

Implementing a Single Central Record offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it promotes student safety by creating a comprehensive overview of all staff, allowing schools to identify any safeguarding concerns promptly. Additionally, it simplifies the recruitment process, making it easier to assess candidates and streamline employment checks. Moreover, having a centralised system reduces administrative burdens by eliminating duplicated efforts and maintaining accurate records, saving time and resources.

Maintaining Compliance and Efficiency

Regularly updating and auditing the Single Central Record is crucial to maintaining compliance with regulatory standards. Schools should establish clear processes and designate responsible individuals to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the record. This proactive approach ensures that the institution is well-prepared for inspections and demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding and regulatory compliance.

In today's ever-evolving educational landscape, a school's Single Central Record is a cornerstone of effective safeguarding and operational efficiency. By implementing and maintaining this centralised repository, schools can provide a safe environment for students, streamline recruitment procedures, and demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding, ultimately enhancing the overall well-being and success of their educational community.

Since 2007 all 26,000 schools in England and Wales are required to maintain a single central record (SCR). An SCR is evidence that schools have carried out defined recruitment, vetting and ongoing vetting checks on the 2.5 million staff nationwide who work in them.

The problem schools face with their current single central record is the range of vetting checks. There are eight vetting checks in total which differ for the different types of staff a school employs. This leaves a daunting task for schools to manage their single central records as they typically have between 800-9600 vetting checks to manage. To complicate things further the single central record is different, depending on the type of school and so one size doesn’t fit all. It is hardly surprising that there wasn’t a school information management system in the market that covers this due to its sheer complexity. Schools therefore resulted in managing all this information on an excel spreadsheet.

To provide a solution to this complex issue, Single Central Record Ltd was created. Single Central Record’s UK based development team have custom-built their external and internal platforms and connected them up through other MIS systems. This enables schools to process DBS applications quickly and smoothly along with all other checks such as Children's Barred List (List 99), Prohibition from Teaching, Section 128, European Economic Area (EEA) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) checks. The system has been designed from the ground up for easy navigation with all results automatically being fed back into the schools’ online Single Central Record.

Single Central Records’ CEO Mark Gardner said “It took us 4 incredible years of hard work and has been such a challenge to master the single central record. Since launching in September 2018, our early success has not come unnoticed. Within 11 months our product was being used by 126 schools around the country and schools’, both ISI and Ofsted regulated, have passed their inspections which is very rewarding”. Recent feedback has been from The Royal School, Haslemere who commented “We have recently undergone and passed a full compliance inspection of our HR records, and we were able to demonstrate compliance easily using the online tool coupled with our paper records. I can highly recommend this online tool to other schools, I would not be without it”.

For further details on how to move your current single central record online click here.

We look forward to working with you.

Single Central Record Checklist background

The legislation concerning single central records for schools and colleges in the UK was drawn up to help educational institutions safeguard the welfare of the children in their charge. By ensuring that all employees are thoroughly vetted during the recruitment process, your school can provide the maximum protection possible for each and every one of its pupils. You will also remain in full compliance with government regulations.

The concept and aims of the single central record system are well understood by education professionals in the United Kingdom but to help you ensure that complacency does not cause standards to slip. In this article we have outlined a few of the most common mistakes that school administrative departments make with regards to the operation and maintenance of their single central records.

Single Central Record Checklist - the most common mistakes

Our online SCR software solution is the easiest way to avoid administrative errors and omissions where your single central record is concerned.

Tel: 0151 606 5101 –

Do you have volunteers helping at your educational establishment? It is vital that the correct level of DBS check is requested for those coming into contact with children, whether or not they are a volunteer.

What level of DBS check do volunteers require?

If the applicant has an opportunity for regular contact with children but is not engaging in regulated activity, they are eligible for an enhanced DBS certificate (without the children barred list check). Regular contact, as defined by the Disclosure & Barring Service, is working at least 4 days within a 30-day period in a specified establishment. If the applicant is volunteering as a one off, it is at the school’s discretion whether or not a check is needed.

Some school volunteers are eligible for an enhanced DBS which includes a check of the children’s' barred list because the volunteer will be engaging in regulated activity. Applicants are considered to be engaging in regulated activity if, a a result of their work, they:

Does the applicant meet the DBS check volunteer criteria?

In order to be eligible for volunteer status, the applicant must meet the criteria below:

If the applicant does meet the criteria, the government fee of £40.00 for the enhanced DBS check is not applicable, although there may still be an administrative fee.

When should the check be completed for volunteers in a school?

An enhanced DBS check should be completed at the pre-employment stage. If the DBS certificate is delayed, a separate children’s’ barred list check must be obtained before the applicant has started to volunteer.

Are you interested in making safer recruitment decisions for your school?

Single Central Record combines all your educational employment checks – DBS checks, Children’s Barred List (List 99) Checks, Qualified Teacher Status checks, Prohibition checks, EEA checks and Section 128 checks – into one online portal!

Register with Single Central Record here for the solution to all your schools single central record issues!

At Online SCR, we have developed a state of the art online portal where schools can keep all their employee records in one place. Our cloud-based system is fully compliant with Ofsted and ISI and all you need to do is register on our website, pay an annual fee and you are good to go. Once you have an account with Online SCR, your school is invoiced on a monthly basis for services used and many UK schools and colleges are taking advantage of single central record solutions.

Access the Online SCR System from Any Location

As the Online SCR system is cloud based, you do not require any software installed on your device and you can login from any location. All you need is a device and an Internet connection and the easy to use interface is packed with powerful tools that are designed specifically for school administrators. We offer a complementary service for all our clients that includes the Children’s Barred List, Qualified Teacher Status and Prohibition checks, to name but a few. The ability to login from any location saves you a lot of time and with all of your data stored on our secure servers, you can hire with confidence, knowing that all the required checks have been carried out.

Mandatory Check Alert

We have incorporated an email reminder system that alerts you when mandatory checks are due and also records them in your records. This ensures that you are always up to date with all forms of checking and with all of your records safely stored on our secure servers, you have instant access 24/7.

Safer Recruitment in Education

All UK schools, colleges and universities are striving to provide safe recruitment solutions and our single central records software goes a long way towards achieving this. You can literally click and order any type of check on a potential employee and the results are sent to your account. We have collaborated with school administrators around the country to create a software package that simply ticks all the boxes and once you have registered with us, you can then start to key in all of your data into our customised software package.

Additional Recruitment Checks

We offer additional services to help school administrators when they are looking to hire new staff members, and these include the following:

All the check results are sent to your single central record, allowing you access at any time.

Our bespoke services allow you to tailor the software package to perfectly suit your needs and by using a single central record, your school will save time, become more efficient and most importantly, you will always be able to run any check that you feel is necessary at any time.

If you would like to take advantage of this highly efficient cloud-based records system, simply register your school using our online form and take the first steps towards creating a safer recruiting solution for your school.

There should be no higher priority for any educational establishment than child safety. Whether this is making sure the corridors are clean and tidy, adequate supervision during activities or taking every possible measure to ensure the employees of the school and any sub-contractors are fully vetted before working with young or vulnerable people.

Keeping the premises tidy and providing adequate supervision for curricular and extra-curricular activities is easy enough to manage and facilitate but what about the employees themselves? There have many published cases in recent years where basic employee vetting protocol has been overlooked and resulted in barred people working with children. How can this be allowed to happen? Some of these cases can be directly attributed to the convoluted systems currently in place and a lack of adequate training for those involved in the recruitment of staff.

How Can the Employee Vetting System for Schools be Simplified?

Here at onlineSCR we have developed a successful, relatively simple, online resource that allows anyone involved in recruiting staff for schools to check and fully vet all potential employees to ensure they are permitted to work with or in close proximity to children. Previously the administration for such a function involved spreadsheets and dealing with one or more external bodies including Ofsted and the Department of Education and basically taking up a lot of time that could be spent concentrating on the core functions of school rather going through the arduous process of vetting potential employees.

How onlineSCR can help you?

As previously mentioned, centralising your current Single Central Record using our system is relatively straightforward. The first step is log into onlineSCR and register your school or other educational establishment. When this has been completed you simply access your Single Central Record through our 24/7 online portal which is fully compliant with all Ofsted and ISI requirements as set out by the Department of Education ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance. There are options to add additional admin staff and schools if required.

The Main Benefits for Your School

As previously touched upon, the main benefits of our onlineSCR portal is to save time, increase efficiency and ensure compliance with existing and any new guidelines or legislation.  Keeping children safe is obviously the main priority but all of the aforementioned benefits combined with the fact that the school can avoid any negative publicity that can arise in the event of an ‘incident’ as a result of mis-administration are obviously attractive attributes for any school.

If our system is something that you think your school could adopt, please contact us for a no obligation discussion. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the feasibility of onlineSCR for your particular establishment and can also make recommendations if required. You can also get more specific information on the services we offer by checking the relevant pages of our site or calling us on 0151 606 5101.

If you run an institution with young people, such as a primary school or childcare centre, you must have a single central record and keep it up to date in order to comply with the law. The single central record contains information relating to your employees, their qualifications and criminal records, and members of any associated committees. Essentially, the single central record is a critical element of safeguarding children in their early years and ensuring safe recruitment.

In the not so distant past, maintaining a single central record was a time-consuming task that could require an entire department to keep up to date. Now, thanks to onlineSCR, keeping your single central record updated and accurate couldn’t be more straightforward.

Why Is the Single Central Record So Important?

In accordance with keeping children safe in education, every school must comply with the Department for Education Statutory Guidance, and one aspect of that includes maintaining a single central record.

In addition to containing data such as who works for your establishment, their qualifications and any previous criminal record history, the single central record provides information regarding recruitment checks and vetting processes that have been completed.

Checks that contribute to the single central record are included as part of the employment process, such as checking childcare qualifications and any disqualifications. Essentially, the single central record collates all the information required by law in one place so that Ofsted can check the data in one location during an inspection.

Difficulties Surrounding the Single Central Record

To understand the challenges concerning the maintenance of the single central record, it’s perhaps easiest to look at some common mistakes that people commonly overlook:

Prohibition from teaching

Because the teacher you’re thinking of hiring holds the required qualifications to work in your school, it’s often easy to forget to perform the Prohibition from Teaching Check, which is a legal requirement. You must also record the date when this check was completed.

Missing dates

It’s crucial to record the date of every check you carry out, and it’s easy to see where mistakes can be made in this area. Some schools mistakenly have one column on a spreadsheet that records the same date for all checks carried out, but the dates must be filled out accurately for when each individual check was performed.

Right to Work

As you might expect, it’s a legal requirement to make sure the individual you’re thinking of hiring holds genuine documents that prove their right to work in the UK. Unfortunately, forged or fake documents aren’t always easy to spot.

How We Can Make Your Single Central Record Straightforward

At onlineSCR, we know that running a school is challenging enough as it is without having to maintain your single central record in compliance with the law, which is why we’ve developed an innovative and straightforward system to remove the headache from the task. Working alongside, various consultants, schools and heads, we’ve built a state-of-the-art data storage facility that automates many tasks, removing the risk of human error. If you’d like to find out more about onlineSCR, call us on 0151 606 5101.

The legislation concerning single central records for schools and colleges in the UK was drawn up to help educational institutions safeguard the welfare of the children in their charge. By ensuring that all employees are thoroughly vetted during the recruitment process, your school can provide the maximum protection possible for each and every one of its pupils and remain in full compliance with government regulations.

The concept and aims of the single central record system are well understood by education professionals in the United Kingdom but to help you ensure that complacency does not cause standards to slip, in this article we have outlined a few of the most common mistakes that school administrative departments make with regard to the operation and maintenance of their single central records. Take note of these and you stand a better chance of achieving the goals that a well-run SCR is designed to facilitate.

Common Single Central Record Mistakes

If you can avoid the common mistakes listed below, you will be well on your way to ensuring that your SCR is properly maintained.

The easiest way to avoid administrative errors and omissions where your single central record is concerned is to use an online SCR software solution that stores all data in a remote location. Such a solution will make it easy for more than one member of staff to participate in the upkeep of records and will highlight errors such as missing dates and individual checks, making them very difficult to overlook. For details and pricing information on our bespoke software solutions, please call or email any any time.

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