Ball night isn’t all about fun – Supervising Contractors #DBS #safeguarding

It’s Ball night and I cannot thank the staff enough for everything they do to make it a great night. And boy is there a lot to do now. From a safeguarding point of view, the organisation has turned into a complete tick box exercise.

For example every contractor the school pays for has to either confirm they have a DBS or be supervised by a member of staff all the time. Sounds simple doesn’t it but let’s think this through.PicCollage

Bumper cars arrive at 7:30 in the morning and bring with them 6 staff. They aren’t all DBS, this could be for several reasons, the boss doesn’t use the same staff and picks and chooses, sometime the people he hires have no fixed address and therefore the DBS process won’t work, and from my experience some of them can’t read or write. Honestly this isn’t me being judgemental, this is my experience when asking them to sign in and out. So we need to write a risk assessment and decide when we need supervise them between 7:30 am and 11pm ( we are a boarding school so pupils can be on site at any time).

Then there is the band. 7 young lads, who are trying to make it big and are on the ladder to success. They don’t even know what a DBS is. Doesn’t help that one of them used to go out with a current pupil. So risk assessment again and a member of staff supervising them from 7 pm until midnight.

The photographer and DJ. Luckily we use them four and five times a year so he knows our system, has a portable DBS. The balloon lady is only there for an hour or so setting up, so the caretakers can keep an eye on her.

That leaves the hog roast. They are only there for a few hours and getting staff to supervise this area isn’t a problem. Staff are more than happy to eat and supervise. You can say the same for the bar ( which is full of ex students coming back to earn an extra pound or two) although bar staff seem to be needing to run around and get top ups so supervising them can get a little tricky. That just leaves the magician. He had never heard of a DBS. ( scary as he is also a clown for children’s parties) So risk assessment was needed and supervision.

My admin staff had a lot of chasing up to do to ask for confirmation of DBS and insurance and many companies are surprised at our request. This confuses me. Either I am going over the top ( as my Bursar has suggested ) or no one else has picked up that in the new KCSIE and inspection criteria, you need to keep evidence that all contractors we pay for, either have a DBS or a risk assessment is in place. Perhaps it’s because I have been through three audits this year and one inspection, perhaps I am trail blazing ( I like to think this sometimes) or perhaps I belong in a mad house. Either way I would love to thank the staff for everything and for putting up with my mad requests and I hope that tonight the students have a great ( and safe ) time.


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Assistant Head ( DSL) at a boarding school. Interested in all PSHE and safeguarding topics.

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