by Aimee Cartwright

Education Social Media Checks play a key role in the safeguarding of pupils at school. The Department for Education (DfE) has specifically recommended online searches as a tool for vetting educational professionals.

As a result, some of the UK’s most prestigious independent schools are investing in SP Index Education Social Media Checks.

Today, we’re going to explain the benefits of Social Media Checks for private schools, as well as the risks of delaying these searches.

The Benefits of Social Media Checks for Independent Schools


UK schools have a duty to ensure all stakeholders are protected from harm within their institution, which helps to keep school environments safe.

When independent schools perform Education Social Media Checks, it demonstrates that they understand the gravity of this duty. They are willing to invest in online research that will tighten the security of their recruitment process.

Ultimately, Education Social Media checks help these schools to recruit trustworthy employees and avoid the recruitment of unsafe individuals.


It is common knowledge that the success of an independent school is strongly linked to its reputation.

If you can prove that your private school is vetting all staff using professional online background checks, it may improve parents’ perceptions of your school. Institutions that offer Social Media Checks are more likely to be viewed as proactive, competent and reliable.

Implementing Social Media Checks may also improve your school’s reputation in the eyes of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), who are asking for evidence of online research, and could eventually request to see reports of online checks.


Since the DfE recommended online research, independent schools are increasingly using Social Media Checks to convey their commitment to student safety.

The longer you delay social media research, the higher the risk that parents will register their children with another independent school, that is known for vetting its staff members with care.

What Happens When Independent Schools Don’t Implement Social Media Checks?

Recruiting educational staff without vetting their social media could put the pupils in your school at risk.

Despite recommendations for teachers to have private accounts, you will be aware that this is not something we see consistently. Until you hire a professional researcher to analyse content, you do not know how much inappropriate material could be on a teacher’s social media accounts.

Schools that do not perform online background checks may also risk developing a negative reputation in the area.

17% of teachers’ disciplinary hearings in 2022 were held in response to complaints about the teacher’s use of social media.

If these accounts had been vetted beforehand, the teacher could have been asked to take down this content, or they may have not been recruited to begin with.

How Should Independent Schools Carry Out Social Media Checks?

SP Index carries out Education Social Media Checks for independent schools all over the country. Our education clients frequently ask us for advice on how to incorporate our objective checks into their processes.

We recommend using SP Index Social Media Checks in the shortlisting stage of recruitment, which is in line with DfE’s advice. By vetting candidates immediately, you could avoid spending time on further interviews for candidates who do not align with your school’s values.

We also advise our clients to arrange Social Media Checks for all staff, including support staff. This is because support staff sometimes have just as much access to children, and therefore it is much safer to investigate all educational professionals.

Why Choose SP Index?

You will not find another company offering specialist Education Social Media Checks.

When performing an online check for an independent school, our researchers check for content that breaches Teachers’ Standards and is potentially harmful to children. This human-led research ensures content is only flagged after being thoroughly analysed and contextualised.

Our unique benchmarking process ensures our independent school clients can calculate the risk of a particular candidate as objectively as possible, which reduces stress and saves time.

SP Index offers Essential and Premium Education Social Media Checks.

Our Premium Checks are ideal for independent schools, as they cover 5+ years of history (as opposed to 3+) and a wider variety of online platforms.

However, to keep costs low, you may want to purchase Premium Checks for your teachers, and Essential Checks for your support staff.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our popular Education Social Media Checks, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 468 1688 or

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