SAFER RECRUITMENT POLICY
The safe recruitment of staff in schools is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the 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.
This school recognises the value of, and seeks to achieve a diverse workforce which includes people from different backgrounds with different skills and abilities. 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 and opportunity. The school will uphold its obligations under law and national collective agreements to not discriminate against applicants for employment on the grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or creed. This document provides a good practice framework to comply with the principles set down in the school’s Equality Policy.
All posts within school are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all applicants will be required to declare spent and unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs, including those regarded as spent and have an Enhanced Criminal Records Disclosure.
The school is committed to ensuring people who have been convicted are treated fairly and given every opportunity to establish their suitability for position.
The school will:
1. ensure that appropriate staff who undertake recruitment have received accredited safer recruitment training
2. ensure that every appointment panel includes one member who has received safe recruitment training.
3. implement robust recruitment procedures and checks for appointing staff and
volunteers to ensure that reasonable steps are taken not to appoint a person who is unsuitable to work with children, or who is disqualified from working with children, or does not have the suitable skills and experience for the intended role.
4. keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks in line with DFE (Statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education) requirements.
5. ensure that the terms of any contract with a contractor or agency requires them to adopt and implement measures described in this procedure. The school will monitor the compliance with these measures.
6. require staff who are convicted or cautioned for any offence during their employment
with the school to notify the school, in writing of the offence and the penalty.
The following pre-employment checks will be undertaken:
Roles and responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the governing body to:
It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and other managers involved in recruitment to:
It is the responsibility of all potential and existing workers, including volunteers to comply with this document.
It is the responsibility of all contractors and agencies to comply with safe recruitment pre-employment checks.
It is the responsibility of the school’s HR provider to:
Deal with the administration of the disclosure system for the school
In accordance with the School Staffing Regulations, the governing body has delegated responsibility to the Headteacher to lead in all appointments outside of the leadership group.
School governors may be involved in staff appointments, but the final decision will rest with the Headteacher. The Headteacher may delegate the selection process of staff outside of the leadership group to other managers in the school, but remains responsible for the decision to appoint.
To ensure equality of opportunity, the school will advertise all vacant posts to encourage as wide a field of candidates as possible, normally this will entail an external advertisement.
However, where there is a reasonable expectation that there are sufficient qualified internal candidates or where staff are at risk of redundancy, an internal advertisement may be considered appropriate.
The form – The school uses a standard application form. CVs will not be accepted
The school requires candidates to account for any gaps or discrepancies in employment history on this application form. Where an applicant is shortlisted, these gaps will be discussed at interview.
Applicants should be aware that providing false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected, and possible referral to the police and other professional regulatory bodies (eg: General Teaching Council for England).
References for shortlisted candidates will be sent for immediately after shortlisting. The only exception to this is where candidates have indicated on their 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.
References must be in writing and be specific to the job for which the candidate has applied – open references or testimonials are not acceptable. The school will not accept references from relatives or people writing solely in the capacity as a friend. Wherever possible, only reference from a trusted authoritative source will be acceptable. Reference requests will specifically ask:
Referees will also be asked to confirm details of:
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 at interview.
Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations will be considered in the circumstances of the individual case. Cases in which an issue was satisfactorily resolved some time ago, or an allegation was determined to be unfounded or did not require formal disciplinary sanctions, and which no further issues have been raised, are not likely to cause concern. More serious or recent concerns or issues are more likely to cause concern. A history of repeated concerns or allegations over time is also likely to give cause for concern.
Self-declaration of convictions by job applicants
The school’s policy requires shortlisted applicants for all posts (including volunteers) to declare all criminal convictions whether “spent” or “unspent” and include any cautions and pending prosecution.
Such declarations will be made on the appropriate section of the Derby City Council application form, which the school administrator will remove prior to the selection panel shortlisting process. The chair of the panel/Headteacher will discuss relevant, positive declarations confidentially with the applicant at interview.
The disclosure of convictions, cautions or pending cases will not necessarily prevent employment but will be considered in the same way as positive DBS disclosures.
The selection process will always include the following:
Proof of Identity and Right to Work in the UK & Verification of Qualifications and/or Professional Status
Shortlisted applicants for all posts will be required to provide proof of identity by producing documents on the day of interview in line with those set out in The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Similar information is also required to undertake a Criminal Records Bureau check on the preferred candidate.
Short-listed candidates will also be required to provide original proof of their qualifications and professional status by producing documentation on the day of interview. The school will verify that candidates 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 candidates have obtained qualifications abroad, a certified comparability check by NARIC will also be required.
Proof of identity and other documentation will be verified by the chair of the panel/Headteacher.
Commencement of Employment prior to DBS check being received
In exceptional circumstances it is permitted to commence employment prior to receiving a DBS check. However a Barred List check and risk assessment must be completed by the Head teacher.
It may be possible to negotiate a provisional start date with the preferred candidate, however, with the exception of DBS disclosures, the checks details above must all be completed BEFORE a person’s appointment is confirmed. In the case of DBS disclosures, the certificate must be obtained before or as soon as practicable after appointment. All employees and volunteers are required to complete a Childcare Disqualification Declaration in accordance with the DfE advice in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education.’
Once all pre-employment checks have been satisfactorily completed/received, an offer of employment will be made and the contract of employment issued within a reasonable timescales as in accordance with employment legislation.
Record Retention/Data Protection
The school will retain all interview notes on all applicants for a 6 month period, after which time the notes will be destroyed (i.e shredded). The 6 month retention period will allow the school to deal with any data access requests, recruitment complaints or to respond to any complaints or to respond to any complaints made to the Employment tribunal.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, applicants have a right to request access to notes written about them during the recruitment process. Applicants who wish to access their interview notes must make a subject access request in writing to the chair of the panel/Headteacher within 6 months of the interview date.
Personal file records
The school will retain the following information which will make up part of the personal file, for the successful candidate:
Single Central Record of Barring and Recruitment Vetting Checks
In line with DFE requirements, the school will keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks. The central list will record all staff who are employed at the school, including casual staff, supply agency staff whether employed directly or through an agency, volunteers, governors who also work as volunteers, and those who provide additional teaching or instruction for pupils but who are not staff members, eg: specialist sports coach or artist.
The central record will indicate whether or not the following have been completed:
It shall also indicate who undertook the check and the date on which the check was completed or the relevant certificate obtained.
In order to record supply staff provided through an agency on the record, the school will require written confirmation from the supply agency that it has satisfactorily completed the checks described above. The school does not need to carry out checks itself except where there is information contained within the disclosure. However, *identity checks must be carried out by the school to check the person arriving is the person the agency intends to refer to them.
School staff will be given a copy of the DFE guidance on Safe Working Practice and asked to sign a declaration that they have read and understood the document and will follow the guidelines required to maintain professional boundaries at all time.
The school has a specific safeguarding related whistle policy which has been disseminated to all staff and volunteers.
The school adopts a culture of vigilance where all concerns are listened to and taken seriously.
The school will follow DFE and Derby Safeguarding Children Board allegations procedures and refer any allegation for initial consultation to the Designated Officer.
*the school prefers to use only primary trusted identity credentials in the form of passport or driving licence