Checks on teachers from the EEA after transition period

30 October 2020

Although the UK formally left the EU at the end of January 2020, it has remained in an 11-month transition period during which it has continued to comply with all EU legislation.

That period ends on 31 December 2020 and the Government has been busy in recent weeks issuing detailed notices and guides with regard to how various sectors will be affected by the change.

The Department for Education (DfE) has now published information on how schools should carry out pre- employment checks on teachers coming from the European Economic Area (EEA; the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) from 1 January 2021.

From that date, it has warned, professional regulators in the EEA will no longer share information, about sanctions imposed on EEA teachers, with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

“For applicants that have lived or worked outside of the UK,” the DfE said, “schools must make any further checks they think appropriate so that relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered, including obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information (even if the teacher has never been to the UK).”

Teachers may be able to provide proof of their past conduct as a teacher, issued by the professional regulating authority in the country in which they worked.

Where available, such evidence can be considered alongside other information obtained through other pre-appointment checks to help assess their suitability, the DfE has agreed.

Schools are advised to check the Home Office guidance on “Criminal records checks for overseas applicants” which can be found at