The safe recruitment of staff in schools is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children. Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. It is recognised that this can only be achieved through sound procedures, good inter-agency cooperation and the recruitment and retention of competent, motivated employees who are suited to, and fulfilled in, the roles they undertake.

We recognise the value of, and seek to achieve, a diverse workforce which includes people from different backgrounds with different skills and abilities. We are 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. Our school upholds 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 policy 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
  • have an Enhanced DBS disclosure.

We are committed to ensuring people who have been convicted are treated fairly and given every opportunity to establish their suitability for positions. Having a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position in our school.

We:

  • ensure that every appointment panel includes at least one member who has received safe recruitment training
  • 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.
  • keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks in line with DCSF requirements
  • ensure that the terms of any contract with a contractor or agency requires them to adopt and implement measures described in this procedure. We monitor the compliance with these measures.
  • 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:
  • receipt of at least two satisfactory references, one of which will be from the former or most recent employer
  • verification of the candidate’s identity in line with the requirements of The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006
  • a list 99 check
  • a satisfactory DBS clearance
  • verification of the candidate’s medical fitness
  • verification of qualifications
  • verification of professional registration as required by law for teachers
  • verification of successful completion of induction period (for those who obtained QTS after 7 May 1999)

Roles and responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the governing body to:

  • Ensure the school has effective policies and procedures in place for the recruitment of all staff and volunteers in accordance with DCSF guidance and legal requirements
  • Monitor the school’s compliance with them

It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and other managers involved in recruitment to:

  • Ensure that the school operates safe recruitment procedures and makes sure all appropriate checks are carried out on all staff and volunteers who work at the school
  • To monitor contractors’ and agencies’ compliance with this document
  • Promote the welfare of children and young people at every stage of the procedure

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 LA to:

  • deal with the administration of the disclosure system for the school

School governors are involved in all staff appointments. Our headteacher may delegate the selection process of non-teaching staff to other managers in the school, but remains responsible for the decision to appoint.

Procedures

Advertising

To ensure equality of opportunity, we 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.

Applications

We use the standard Local Authority application form. CVs are not accepted.

We require candidates to account for any gaps or discrepancies in employment history on their 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

References for shortlisted candidates are sent for immediately after shortlisting. The only exception to this is where candidates have indicated on their application forms that 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. We do not accept references from relatives or people writing solely in the capacity as a friend. Only references from a trusted authoritative source is acceptable.

Reference requests specifically ask:

about the referee’s relationship with the candidate

whether the referee is completely satisfied that the candidate is suitable to work with children and, if not, for specific details of the concerns and the reasons why the referee believes that the person might be unsuitable.

Referees are asked to confirm details of:

  • the applicant’s current post, salary and attendance record (if appropriate)
  • performance history and conduct
  • any disciplinary procedures in which the sanction is current
  • any disciplinary procedures involving issues related to the safety and welfare of children, including any in which the sanction has expired and the outcome of those
  • details of any allegations or concerns that have been raised that relate to the safety and welfare of children or    behaviour towards children and the outcome of these concerns

References are compared to application forms to ensure that the information provided is consistent. Any discrepancies are taken up with the applicant at interview.

Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations is 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

This policy requires shortlisted applicants for all posts to declare all criminal convictions whether “spent” or “unspent” and include any cautions and pending prosecution. Such declarations will be made on the Local Authority application form.

Interviews

The selection process always includes:

  • face to face professional interviews including a question related to safeguarding children

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 proof of their qualifications and professional status by producing documentation on the day of interview. We will verify that candidates have actually obtained 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 CRB check being received

In unusual circumstances it is permitted to commence employment prior to receiving a CRB check. However, a List 99 check and risk assessment must be undertaken.

Record Retention / Data Protection

We retain all interview notes on all applicants for a 6 month period, after which time the notes are shredded. The 6 month retention period allows us to deal with any data access requests, recruitment 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

We retain the following information which makes up part of the personal file, for all successful candidates:

  • application form references
  • proof of identification
  • proof of academic qualifications
  • proof of registration with General Teaching Council (for teaching staff)
  • Evidence of medical clearance from Occupational Health (where applicable)
  • Evidence of the CRB clearance on the central register

Single Central Record of Recruitment Vetting Checks

In line with DCSF requirements, we keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks. This central list records all staff who are employed here, 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 coaches.