Q. 1 Critically examine the recruitment policy and procedure for school education.
The safe recruitment of staff in Schools is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in education. The School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The School is also committed to providing a supportive and flexible working environment for all its members of staff. The School recognises that, in order to achieve these aims, it is of fundamental importance to attract, recruit and retain staff of the highest calibre who share this commitment.
The School recognises the value of, and seeks to achieve a diverse workforce. The School is committed to ensuring that the recruitment and selection of all who work within the School is conducted in a manner that is systematic, efficient, effective and promotes equality of opportunity. This document provides a good practice framework to comply with the principles set down in the School’s Equal Opportunities Policy.
The aims of the School’s recruitment policy are:
- To ensure that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability of the person
- To ensure that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently
- To ensure that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any ground including age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation as outlined in the Equality Act 2010;
- To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance including the statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE), Keeping Children Safe in Education (Jan 2021) and the code of practice published by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- To ensure that the School meets its commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.
- To ensure that all employment checks are recorded clearly on the School’s electronic Single Central Register (SCR).
In line with DfE requirements, the School will keep and maintain a SCR. The SCR will list all staff who are employed at the School, including casual staff, supply agency staff whether employed directly or through an agency, proprietors and those who provide additional teaching or instruction for pupils but who are not employed by the School eg specialist sports coach or artist. The SCR will indicate whether the required pre-employment checks have been completed, what documents have been checked, when and by whom. The SCR will also clearly show which members of staff are working in the Early Years.
Staff members have a duty through their contract to immediately disclose during their employment if they are:
- charged or convicted of any criminal offence;
- in receipt of a police caution, reprimand or warning, or if there is a formal child protection;
- disqualified under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 (when working in relevant childcare provision)
- barred from working with children or vulnerable adults;
- the subject of a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Staff will also be asked at their yearly annual appraisal meetings whether they have any of the above to disclose, including where relevant disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006.
In accordance with the recommendations set out in the Guidance, and the requirements of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulation 2014 which came into force on 5th January 2015 and the ISI Regulatory Requirements (Sep 20) the School carries out a number of pre-employment checks in respect of all prospective employees.
If it is decided to make an offer of employment following a formal interview, employment with the School will be conditional on the following;
- An identity check;
- A barred list check;
- An enhanced DBS check;
- A prohibition from teaching check;
(Must be made for anyone undertaking ‘teaching work’ (with or without Qualified Teaching Status)
- A check of professional qualifications and QTS where appropriate;
- A check to establish the person’s right to work in the United Kingdom
- Further checks on people living or working outside the UK which could include where applicable overseas criminal record checks and for those seeking teaching positions, obtaining a letter of professional standing from the professional regulating body in the country in which the applicant has worked.
- In independent schools, a section 128 check for people in management positions.
- Receipt of at least two references which are satisfactory to the School, one of which will be from the applicant’s more recent employer;
- A separate satisfactory barred list check will be undertaken in the event that an enhanced disclosure is not received in advance of starting employment in the regulated activity, or where a ‘portable’ disclosure is used;
- The signed declaration to satisfy the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulation 2009 where working in relevant Childcare Provision;
- Verification of the applicant’s medical fitness to ensure the duties of the post can be carried out satisfactorily, fully taking into account the Equality Act 2010 where reasonable adjustments may be made to fulfil the role effectively.
- Employees involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the provisions of this policy.
- All employees involved in recruitment of staff will undertake Safer Recruitment training.
- It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and other senior managers involved in the recruitment process to ensure that the school operates safe recruitment procedures and carries out all appropriate checks on all staff, work experience students and volunteers who work at the School.
- Monitor contractors’ and agencies’ compliance with this policy; and promote the welfare of children and young people at every stage of the procedure.
- It is the responsibility of all contractors and agencies who provide services to the School to comply with safer recruitment practices.
- It is the responsibility of the School’s office (Head of Operations), in conjunction with the Headteacher, to ensure all pre-employment checks are complete before employment begins and that they are recorded on the Single Central Register.
All applicants who are invited to an interview will be required to bring the following evidence of identity, right to work in the UK, current address and qualifications:
- Passport or photo-card driving licence providing photographic identity;
- Two utility bills or statements (from different sources) showing their name and home address;
- Documentation confirming their National Insurance Number (P45, P60 or National Insurance Card);
- Original documents confirming any educational and professional qualifications referred to in their application form.
Where an applicant claims to have changed their name by deed poll or an other means (eg marriage, adoption, statutory declaration) they will be required to bring documentary evidence of the change.
The School asks for the date of birth of all applicants (and proof of this) in accordance with the Guidance. Proof of date of birth is necessary so that the School may verify the identity of, and check for any unexplained discrepancies in the employment and education history of all applicants. The School does not discriminate on the grounds of age.
The selection process will always include the following;
- A tour of the School
- The candidate will be observed teaching a lesson
- A face to face professional interview including questions relating to safeguarding children
- Verification of Qualifications and/or professional Status
Short listed applicants will be required to provide proof of their qualifications and professional status by producing documentation on the day of interview. The School will verify that applicants have actually obtained any qualifications legally required or deemed essential for the job and claimed in their application by asking to see the relevant certificate, or a letter of confirmation from the awarding body / institution. If the original documents are not available, the School will require sight of a properly certified copy. Where applicants have obtained qualifications abroad, a certified comparability check by BARIC will be required. Proof of identity and other documentation will be verified by the chair of the panel/headteacher.
The School requires applicants to account for any gaps or discrepancies in employment history on the application form. Where any applicant is shortlisted, any gaps will also be discussed at interview.
Applicants should be aware that providing false information is an offence and could result in an application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected. Where false information is provided in support of an application to work at the School, the School is required to report the matter to the Disclosure and Barring Service, the Police and other relevant professional bodies.
References for shortlisted applicants will be requested immediately after short-listing. The only exception to this is where applicants have indicated on the application forms that they do not wish their current employer to be contacted. In such cases, this reference will be taken up immediately after interview and prior to any offer of employment being made. One reference will be sought prior to interview wherever possible.
All referees will be asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the job for which they have applied. All referees will be sent a copy of the job description and person specification relevant to the role for which the applicant had applied. If the referee is a current or previous employer, they will also be asked to confirm the following:
- The applicant’s dates of employment, salary, job title/duties, reason for leaving, performance and disciplinary record
- Their relationship to the applicant
- Whether they have any reason to believe that the applicant is unsuitable to work with children
- Whether the applicant has ever been the subject of disciplinary procedures involving issues related to the safety and welfare of children including any in which the disciplinary sanction has expired
- Whether any allegations or concerns have been raised about the applicant that relate to the safety and welfare of children or young people or behaviour towards children or young people
The school will only accept references obtained directly from the referee and will not rely on references or testimonials provided by the applicant or open references of testimonials. The School will not accept references from relatives of the applicant or people writing soley in the capacity as a friend.
References will be compared to the application form to ensure that the information provided is consistent. Any discrepancies will be taken up with the applicant and/or the referee before any appointment can be confirmed. Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations will be considered in the circumstances of the individual case.
The School is legally required to verify the medical fitness of anyone to be appointed to a post at the School, after an offer of employment has been made but before the appointment can be confirmed.
It is the School’s practice that all applicants to whom an offer of employment is made must complete and sign a self-declaration of medical fitness which forms part of the School’s job application procedure. The School will arrange for the information contained in the self-declaration to be reviewed. This information will be reviewed against the job description and the Person Specification for the particular role, together with details of any other physical or mental requirements of the role ie proposed timetable, extra-curricular activities, layout of the School etc. If the School’s medical advisor has any doubts about an applicant’s fitness the School will consider reasonable adjustments in consultation with the applicant. The School may also seek a further medical opinion from a specialist or request that the applicant undertakes a full medical assessment.
The School is aware of its duties under the Equality Act 2010. No job offer will be withdrawn without first consulting with the applicant, obtaining medical evidence and considering reasonable adjustments and suitable alternative employment.
Due to the nature of the work, the School applies for an enhanced disclosure check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in respect of all members of staff, proprietors and volunteers on entry to the school’s workforce.
An enhanced disclosure check will contain details of all convictions on record (including those which are defined as “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) together with details of any cautions, reprimands or warnings held on the Police National Computer. An enhanced disclosure will also reveal whether an applicant is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults by virtue of his/her inclusion on the lists of those considered unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults maintained by the DBS. An enhanced disclosure may also contain non-conviction information from local police records which a chief police officer thinks may be relevant in connection with the matter in question.
DBS checks will be requested for applicants with recent periods of overseas residence and those with little or no previous UK residence. These applicants may also be asked to provide further information, including the equivalent of an enhanced DBS disclosure, from the relevant jurisdiction(s).
For any person who have applied to the DBS update service the School will examine the original certificate, check it matches the individual’s identity and run an online update check, which will provide information about any changes since the certificate was issued. If the check indicates that there has been a change then the individual must apply for a new certificate
If there is a delay in receiving an enhanced DBS disclosure before a person starts work in regulated activity, the headteacher may allow the member of staff to commence work:
- after a satisfactory check of the barred list if the person is working in regulated activity;
- and all other relevant checks have been completed satisfactorily;
- provided that the DBS application has been made in advance;
- with appropriate safeguards taken (for example, Risk Assessment carried out and appropriate supervision put in place)
The Risk Assessment will be reviewed every two weeks and a note added to the single central register. The staff member will be informed of all safeguards put in place.
Schools are not required to retain copies of DBS certificates.
Overseas checks, where appropriate.
If, because a person ‘living or having lived’ outside of the UK for three months or more in the last five years, a DBS check is not considered sufficient to establish suitability to work in a school (because a UK check would not cover offences committed abroad, but only those on the UK Police National Computer), the School would carry out such further checks as the proprietor considers appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the DfE. Such checks will be completed before the person starts person. This applies where relevant both to foreign nationals and UK nationals returning from overseas.
Further checks could include where applicable overseas criminal record checks and for those seeking teaching positions, obtaining a letter of professional standing from the professional regulating body in the country in which the applicant has worked.