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Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership

If you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child or young person

Email: mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 6660

Overseas Checks

Overseas Staff and Teachers

All applicants who have who have lived outside of the United Kingdom in a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerlandmust undergo the same checks as for all other staff in schools, including an Enhanced DBS check and DBS Children’s Barred List check.  

This guidance document has been provided to support schools with fulfilling their statutory duty under the new guidance issued on 6 April 2017, which states that: 

“All Tier 2 (General) visa applicants who want to work in specified health, education or social care sectors must provide a criminal record certificate and so for all new appointments, schools must consider additional checks, including obtaining a Certificate of Good Conduct, where staff have ever lived or worked abroad”.


The requirement is applicable to all *Tier 2 (General) staff from any country (excluding the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland),where an individual has lived or worked for more than 12 months+ either in total or continuously as well as within the previous 10 years.

*The Tier 2 (General) category is for migrant workers with an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer which cannot be filled by a resident worker.

 Schools will need to be able to demonstrate their processes for concluding that “there is a sound reason not to” undertake these checks.  Senior Leadership, in consultation with their governing body can make a decision to use our guidance or an alternative means to ensure this statutory process is followed for all employees who have been employed since April 2017.

Overseas Checks for existing staff

In addition to new employees, the local authority believe it would be beneficial to implement these checks to all existing staff who have lived/worked for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in any country outside of the United Kingdom while aged 18 years or over.

The current DfE guidance regarding additional overseas checks does not require existing staff to confirm their overseas history or provide schools with a criminal record certificate. 

The current guidance is as follows:

Individuals who have lived or worked outside the UK must undergo the same pre-employment checks as all other staff in schools. In addition, schools must make any further checks they think appropriate so that any relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered (Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE, September 2018, s.136).

As this is not currently a statutory requirement, the local authority cannot insist that schools proceed as we are advising, but would recommend that this is done as a good practice measure.

The Lewisham guidance produced in May 2018 provides Head teachers and staff with information about processes that would need to be implemented if schools were to adopt this recommendation, and steps to take should they choose not to.  It will also provide guidance about how to identify which staff may fall into this category and then how to apply for these checks if the need arises.  Templates for risk assessments have also been included, which will, if the school adopts this guidance, need to be in place where staff are awaiting the outcome of an overseas check.  A separate link to editable versions of the appendices is below.

Lewisham Guidance May 2018

Editable Appendices for Lewisham Guidance

DfE Guidance

FAQ Home Office Guidance

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Natasha Orumbie if you have any further queries or questions. 


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