Section 128 Checks

The Section 128 checks the names of individuals who have been barred from taking part in the management of any independent school under the terms of a direction made by the Secretary of State for Education.

OnlineSCR provide a certificate to indicate the check has been completed and you can then enter the dates of the check on your single central record (SCR).

OnlineSCR will then carry out the checks on your behalf. Section 128 requests received before 2.30pm will normally be processed within the same working day. Any orders received after this time will be processed the next working day. As soon as the checks have been completed, you will receive your results certificate via email. Alternatively, we offer the Fast Track scheme which will guarantee the result is provided within 2 hours of receipt of the order if made between 9am-3pm weekdays (excludes Bank Holidays).

Do I need to record the Section 128 check on my single central record?

Yes. The Section 128 check if required should have been completed and recorded on the Single Central Record.

Did you know there are two ways to check a Section 128?

Here are two ways to do the check.

  • For people who are not in regulated activity, it can only be done via DFE Sign-in (NCTL Secure Access). This route is available whether or not the person has a teacher number.
  • For people in regulated activity, the check can be done either as above or via the DBS as part of checking the barred list. To do the latter, schools must include on the DBS application form, within box 61, Position Applied for: ‘Child Workforce Independent School’. This allows the DBS to confirm if a section 128 direction has been made.

What staff are considered to be in management positions for the purpose of the Section 128 check?

The following staff are considered to be in management positions for the purpose of this check:

  • headteachers;
  • all staff on the senior leadership team (including non-teaching);
  • teaching positions with departmental headship;
  • trustee/proprietors;
  • governors

Questions arise as to what amounts to ‘departmental headship’. There is no specific definition available. Inspectors should check that the school takes a reasonable approach in the context.

Did you know a Section 128 check must be carried out for staff appointed to management positions?

From 12 August 2015, schools must check whether staff appointed to management positions after that date are subject to a section 128 direction. This does not apply staff promoted internally.

Why do you need to carry out a Section 128 check?

The Department for Education “Keeping Children Safe In Education” statutory guidance for schools and colleges as part of their safer recruitment, selection and pre-employment vetting.

How long does a person stay on the Section 128 sanctions list?

A Section 128 sanction is generally a lifetime ban, though in some circumstances the teacher may be able to make a request to have it reviewed after a specified period of time.

What happens if a management person has a Section 128 sanction against them?

Entry on this list means individuals are barred from taking part in the management of any independent school (including academies and free schools), under the terms of a direction made by the Secretary of State for Education.

Who is responsible for Section 128 sanctions lists?

The Education Act 2011 gives responsibility to the Secretary of State to regulate teachers’ conduct and to hold a list of teachers who have been prohibited from teaching.

Is a Section 128 check the same as a Enhanced DBS and or Children’s barred list (formally list 99)?

No, a Section 128 check is not the same as an Enhanced DBS check nor a children’s barred list check. A Section 128 check is completely separate check.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is responsible for deciding whether an individual should be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults and for maintaining a list of those individuals who are determined to be unsuitable (the barred list). The DBS is also responsible for processing requests for Criminal Records Checks, including those made as part of the checks carried out by schools prior to appointing staff. The DBS will consider cases that concern safeguarding matters (i.e. harm or the risk of harm to a child), barring individuals from working with children where appropriate. When considering whether to bar a teacher, the criteria used by the DBS differ from those used by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). Where the DBS has decided a case does not meet its criteria for barring, the NCTL can still decide to refer the case to a professional conduct panel for its consideration.

What does the Section 128 check contain?

This list contains the names of individuals who have been barred from taking part in the management of any independent school (including academies and free schools), under the terms of a direction made by the Secretary of State for Education.

Can a Section 128 check be carried out on other staff?

No, the Section 128 check is only to be carried out for a person in a management position in an independent school, academy or free school as an employee; a trustee of an academy or free school trust; a governor or member of a proprietor body for an independent school; or a governor on any governing body.

Which people need to have the Section 128 check carries out?

A person who is to participate in any management of an independent school such as: a management position in an independent school, academy or free school as an employee; a trustee of an academy or free school trust; a governor or member of a proprietor body for an independent school; or a governor on any governing body.

Which organisations need to carry out Section 128 check?

The following organisations must carry out these checks: –

  • Independent Schools
  • Academies and Free Schools
  • Maintained Schools
  • Education Recruitment/Agency companies

What is a Section 128 sanction?

A section 128 direction prohibits or restricts a person from taking part in the management of an independent school, including academies and free schools. A person who is prohibited is unable to participate in any management of an independent school such as:

a management position in an independent school, academy or free school as an employee;
a trustee of an academy or free school trust; a governor or member of a proprietor body for an independent school; or
a governor on any governing body in an independent school, academy or free school that retains or has been delegated any management responsibilities.
The Secretary of State is able to make directions prohibiting individuals from taking part in independent school management under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008. Individuals taking part in ‘management” may include individuals who are members of proprietor bodies (including governors if the governing body is the proprietor body for the school), and such staff positions as follows: head teacher, any teaching positions on the senior leadership team, and any teaching positions which carry a department headship. Whether other individuals such as teachers with additional responsibilities could be prohibited from ‘taking part in management’ depends on the facts of each case.

A section 128 direction disqualifies a person from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor of a maintained school. School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regs 2012 as amended by the School Governance (Constitution and Federations) England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.>

The grounds on which a section 128 direction may be made by the Secretary of State are found in the relevant regulations. The Independent Educational Provision in England (Prohibition on Participation in Management) Regulations 2014.

How much does a Section 128 check cost?

The cost of Section 128 check is £10 plus VAT. We provide a certificate with the results as proof that you have carried out the Section 128 check.

How long does a Section 128 check take to complete?

Section 128 requests received before 2.30pm will normally be processed within the same working day. Any orders received after this time will be processed the next working day. As soon as the checks have been completed, you will receive your results certificate via email. Alternatively, we offer the Fast Track scheme which will guarantee the result is provided within 2 hours of receipt of the order if made between 9am-3pm weekdays (excludes Bank Holidays).

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