Summary of August drop-in session

This meeting involved a broad range of discussion topics:

  • Recruitment of freelance workers should provide two references and a confidential declaration. A conviction would not necessarily prevent them being in post, but there should be a conversation with the area diocesan safeguarding advisor (DSA) if something is declared
  • There is GDPR information and some templates of the Church of England Parish Recourses Data Protection page
  • There is a video about the safeguarding hubs The option will automatically appear on your parish safeguarding hubs dashboard for those who read level 2 of the dashboards.
  • There is a DBS and Safeguarding tracker to help you to know who has been trained/has a DBS and when they are due for renewal.
  • Youth attending groups without their parents’ knowledge – if they are under 16 years of age then their parents do need to know. If over 16 their parents do not need to know but it would be good practice to have a conversation about why they don’t want to tell their parents in case they have any concerns at home.
  • It is good practice to keep a record of those attending toddle groups where parents are also in attendance. This must be retained in line with GDPR regulations.
  • Adult choir members of an adult & child choir should have a basic DBS check and the choir master should have an enhanced DBS check and at least Basic and Foundation training.
  • PCC members are required to have an enhance DBS check as trustees of a charity that works with adults and children. This is not about whether a church runs specific activities that a PCC member is involved in, but due to their position as a charity Trustee.  Church of England guidance, section C says that “whenever there is a legal entitlement to obtain a DBS check in respect of such a trustee, a check should be carried out. This goes beyond circumstances where the trustee comes into contact with children…” – Charity Commission policy paper – 14 July 2014.
  • Thirtyoneeight, who administers DBS checks for the Diocese of London has also published a list of roles eligible for an enhanced DBS check and they cannot legally process an enhanced DBS application for someone who is not eligible.  This list states that whether PCC members should have an enhanced DBS is a matter for local determination and should be confirmed with the appropriate diocese. For clarity, local determination refers to the relevant Diocesan Bishop and in the Diocese of London both Bishop Sarah and Martin Goodwin, Head of Safeguarding have determined that PCC members must have an enhanced DBS check.
  • A DBS check that contains information does not necessarily exclude a person from acting in a role, it just means that the applicant needs to have a conversation with a diocesan safeguarding advisor regarding the next steps.