Staying Safe: Tutors and safety checks

Staying Safe: Tutors and safety checks

Staying safe is something we think about all our lives, we are taught about stranger danger, that there are people out there that mean to do you harm. Beyond that we categorise people into safe, unknown and unsafe. Safe people include other parents, police officers, and crucially teachers.

Tutors are to us another form of teacher, and so should be safe. Parents happily go out and leave their children with their tutor with no more than a cursory check.  But like any other person you leave your child with you should be ensuring that you undertake some basic safety checks.

It all depends were about you are, in Scotland teachers are subject to the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme.

This is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults, can’t do ‘regulated work’, such as teaching, with these vulnerable groups.

How the scheme works

When someone applies to join the PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland carries out criminal record checks and shares the results with individuals and organisations.

The application process involves gathering criminal record and other relevant information. This can be shared with the employer who is providing regulated work, unless the person applies to have a conviction removed from their PVG Scheme record.

If the information shows the applicant might be unsuitable for regulated work, they’ll be referred for further investigation as part of the ‘consideration process’.


If you are checking yourself

  1. Make sure the person is in the PVG scheme, or if they have recently moved from England or Wales they are on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service. It’s no longer enough to see the paper copy.
  2. Use several types of identification documents to match up the person you are hiring and the PVG scheme member.
  3. If possible, get some form of reference to ensure they are a practising teacher.

Don’t forget to make sure they are also qualified in the subjects they are tutoring, its always better to opt for a current school or collage teacher.

An easier option

Use a tuition agency, and make sure they are carrying out these checks on your behalf. Agencies that only have practising teachers are ensuring that these checks are done and up to date. The wider range of options available means that you can also enrol your child in revision sessions, as well as one to one sessions.

Other things to consider

Does your child have any medical conditions? Make the tutor aware of this and what they need to do in case your child needs some help.