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Prohibition from Teaching Requirements

Keeping Children Safe in Education, statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE) states that an individual is classed as a teacher if they are employed to conduct teaching work within a school or college, even if they do not hold QTS (qualified teacher status).

It is a requirement of schools and sixth form colleges to determine that an individual, who is to be employed as a teacher at their organisation, isn’t subject to a prohibition from teaching order. This can be done by using the Teacher Services System, a database which can be accessed through the Dfe’s secure website/portal:


Conducting checks on the Teacher Services System

The Teacher Services System allows schools and colleges to check the records of individuals they already employ or will be employing as teachers. It’s possible to check these records either with or without a person’s teacher reference number (TRN).

If schools know the TRN of a fully qualified, newly qualified or trainee teacher, they can use this and the individual’s date of birth to search for their record on the Teacher Services System.  However this option isn’t possible for those with qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) status. Using the Teacher Services System, schools and colleges are able to:

  • Establish whether teachers have any restrictions, sanctions or prohibitions that prevent them from carrying out particular tasks. These restrictions include teacher prohibition orders, which prevent an individual from teaching in schools and colleges.
  • View information about decisions made by the Secretary of State for Education not to enforce a prohibition order on an individual, following a professional conduct panel finding that the person’s behaviour constituted conduct which may bring the profession into disrepute, unacceptable professional conduct, or a conviction of a relevant offence.

Even without a person’s teacher reference number, schools are able to view alphabetical lists of those teachers and other individuals with active restrictions, sanctions and prohibitions, including:

  • Individuals who are banned from teaching in England. To find out whether a person has been banned from teaching, a school or college can search the lists for their name – if it doesn’t appear, that individual is permitted to teach. If a school does this, they should ensure a thorough check by searching the system for any previous names a person may have had. Schools should already have this information from DBS check application forms, or they can require the individual to submit documents such as a marriage certificate, to prove their change of name.
  • Those who aren’t allowed to help manage an independent school, which includes free schools and academies.
  • People who haven’t completed their probation or induction period successfully.
  • Individuals who, since 18th January 2016, have had a current European Economic Area (EEA) member state sanction imposed upon them by a regulator of the teaching profession.

Support Staff Checks

Schools are advised by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the Department for Education that they should carry out prohibition from teaching checks on any members of support staff who currently carry out formal teaching work, or have done so previously. Although there isn’t a requirement for prohibition from teaching checks to be carried out on teaching assistants (TAs), it is recommended, as there is a possibility that some of these individuals could have been banned from teaching in the past.


Prohibition from teaching checks should ideally be carried out on any higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) involved in lesson delivery, and any individuals may have worked as a teacher in the past. This check can be carried out using the Teacher Services System, however their names will likely need to be checked against the restriction lists, as in most cases members of support staff will not have a teacher reference number.

Differences between Prohibition from Teaching Checks and Barred List Checks

A prohibition from teaching check is different to a barred list check, as it only includes restrictions which relate to the teaching industry, where as a barred list check details individuals who are not permitted to work in any job where they can engage with children or vulnerable adults. The National College for Teaching and Leadership carries out prohibition from teaching checks, while the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is responsible for barred list checks, although both are logged on the single central record (SCR), which all schools are required to keep.