The Single Central Record (SCR) is one of the many statutory requirements for schools and academies in England and Wales to ensure the safety and security of students. And also one of the first focal points for when the call comes in from Ofsted!

Keeping your SCR current and complete is an ongoing activity – and the stakes are high if it’s incorrect. Aside from the risk to students, a disorganised SCR can also bring penalties at inspection time. But what if there was a simpler way of keeping on top of it, and even getting praised on it?

“The Single Central Record was praised in our two recent Ofsted visits. It gave confidence to the inspectors of how seriously we take our approach to safeguarding.”
Sarah, TLET

Now that’d help you sleep at night!

What is a Single Central Record?

All schools and academies in England and Wales are required to maintain an SCR of statutory checks for all people employed by the school, from full-time staff and trainee teachers to governors and contractors. These checks are an essential element of safeguarding an organisation’s students. So, it doesn’t matter if a person is only employed for a single day or twenty years – details of their checks must be recorded in the school or academy’s SCR.

What must the SCR include? 

The SCR needs to hold the following vetting and recruitment checks for each employee:

  • Verified identity
  • Enhanced DBS check
  • Standalone children’s barred list check (where an individual will start work with children before the DBS certificate is available)
  • Prohibition from teaching
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Professional qualifications (where applicable)

Why is keeping an updated SCR important?

The DfE’s KCSIE document sets out the regulatory requirements for schools and academies to maintain an accurate and current SCR to uphold the safeguarding of students. The record supports safer recruitment practices, which is why it’s one of the focus areas of an Ofsted inspection.

It’s in a school’s best interests to keep its SCR as complete and error-free as possible. An SCR with out-of-date information and gaps reflects poorly on an organisation’s safeguarding procedures, which could contribute to an inadequate Ofsted rating overall. During one of our webinars, ‘easy reporting for inspections’ was voted for by 88% of attendees as the help they need from a system when managing the SCR!

How can schools and academies achieve a truly Single Central Record?

We understand that maintaining the SCR is one of the biggest stresses schools and academies face. That’s why our education HR software has a dedicated SCR module has been designed to make the maintenance of the record as straight-forward as possible at all times, not just for inspections.

The module displays an entire organisation’s SCR data on a single dashboard. Information that’s incomplete or out-of-date is highlighted, so you can spot what you need to action straightaway. For MATs, our multi-site SCR dashboard displays the status of Single Central Records across all schools, helping you to identify where support and interventions are needed from the get-go.

The ‘expiry dates upcoming’ feature fast becomes a user’s best friend, encouraging you to proactively keep checks in your SCR up-to-date. Alerts are sent for checks that are expiring soon, meaning you can update the record or submit a request for a new check in good time.

What’s more, different checks require different details, so we’ve made sure they’re as specific as they need to be. Take the DBS check – it’s got a ‘date issued’ field rather than ‘date expired’.

Can you add additional checks?

Our module records all standard checks required by the DfE and allows you to add your own additional checks. That could be safer recruitment training checks for staff involved in recruitment panels, or a check to confirm that a candidate-turned-employee had an online search carried out during shortlisting. You can also customise the requirements of each check. For example, to require a certificate to be required by specific groups of employees.

For further support during the recruitment process, when a successful candidate becomes an employee, our SCR module prompts for the required checks which can then be added to the record. And when a vacancy is created and a recruitment panel set up, the module checks each panellist’s details against the SCR to make sure they’ve completed the required safer recruitment training.

How to use Every HR to complete the Single Central Record

Once you’ve spotted that a certain school or employee has checks missing, you can use our drill-down functionality to get the full details of the information that’s outstanding. From the type of check to certificate number through to the person who’s carried out the check, our system lets you know exactly what’s incomplete. So, it’s simple for you to complete it.

Does a person with multiple roles need multiple SCRs?

No! Whilst it’s common for school staff to have more than one role, this doesn’t mean they need a separate single central record for each one. No matter how big or small your school or academy, your SCR should be a single source of truth for all employee information.

If you have a different SCR for each school in your trust or a different way of inputting data into your SCR for each school, there’s opportunity for disparity. That’s why our module only needs each individual’s checks to be entered once.

We split the individuals on the SCR into different categories, like employees, volunteers, agency staff, and contractors, and their information is shared across the schools they work in. If any one of these records is amended, it’s automatically updated on the others. This way, you only ever have one record for a single source of truth!

How to link the SCR with the rest of HR

When you’ve spent this long keeping your SCR updated, then it makes sense that it lends itself to other areas of HR, too. All Every HR users have access to their own Self-Service Employee Portal, where they can update their personal information, view payslips, access training, and more!

Users are accountable for keeping their own details up-to-date, and receive reminders when information is missing – e.g. their home address or next-of-kin details. Information from the portal that’s required for the SCR is automatically transferred to the Single Central Record module for consistency across all elements of personal data. For schools and trusts that have our School Workforce Census module, it’s also sent there to support the completion of that statutory activity, too!

When should someone be removed from the SCR?

When an individual no longer works at the school or academy, their details should be removed from the SCR. You guessed it – our SCR module does this automatically. How’s that for getting a solid 8 hours the night before your inspection?

Try our SCR module by booking your free demonstration with one of our support team!