Restrictions imposed on teachers in the European Economic Area (EEA)

07 March 2016

As teachers are increasingly recruited from around the world, particularly in boarding schools, the ability to carry out the requisite background checks is crucial. Guidance on carrying out criminal record checks for overseas applicants was last updated on 16 November 2015 and sets out the steps that need to be followed in many countries. Paragraphs 67-68 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) refers to the steps that should be taken. The process can however take a considerable amount of time in certain countries.

From 18 January 2016 where any EEA regulatory authority imposes a restriction on a person’s ability to work as a teacher, this information must be shared with all other EEA Member States. Schools in England may check for sanctions/restrictions imposed by regulators of the teaching profession in other EEA member states online using the NCTL Teacher Services - Employers portal. Only restrictions determined from 18 January 2016 will be shown.

This information will help schools when making recruitment decisions and should be carried out in addition to all other safer recruitment pre-appointment checks set out in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE).

EEA regulator restrictions do not prevent an individual from taking up teaching positions in England. However, any restrictions should be taken into account by a school when assessing the suitability of a candidate for the advertised role.

From 5 February 2016 schools will need to access the "EEA restrictions/sanctions list" to identify restrictions in force. Where a school holds a teacher reference number and date of birth the general search function may be used.

Keeping Children Safe in Education will be updated to reflect these recent changes.

By Joanna Lada-Walicki

For further advice, please call us on 01483 543210 or alternatively email