Safer Recruitment Policy

Date CreatedDate 1st Review DueDate ReviewedVersionNext Review Due
February 2023February 2024   
September 20232September 2024

Policy Statement

Egham Park School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Introduction

This policy has been written with reference to the DfE’s Publication Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education.

Safe Recruitment is at the heart of safeguarding children. At Egham Park School we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This policy is to ensure that the best practice is taken for safe recruitment for all staff appointments at Egham Park School. It also sets out the minimum requirements to:

  • Attract the most suitable applicants to vacancies available.
  • Deter prospective applicants unsuitable for work with children.
  • Identify and reject applicants unsuitable for work with children.

The recruitment process should be carefully planned and follow the procedures below. It is important to allow for sufficient time for the recruitment exercise so as not to overlook key stages of the safeguarding processes.

Safer Recruitment Practice

Stage 1 – Planning and Advertising

A person specification should be written, or where one already exists for the post it should be reviewed.

The advert for the vacancy or online post should include the following:

  • Egham Park School’s safeguarding statement: “Egham Park School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment”.
  • Successful applicants are subject to a successful Enhanced DBS Disclosure.
  • Details of the post and qualifications required

Stage 2 – Application Form

The application form allows us to obtain a common core of data for all applicants. CV’s will not be accepted instead of the application form, as there is the risk of information required for safeguarding being omitted.

The Candidate Information Pack will contain the following documents:

  • A statement of the terms and conditions relating to the post e.g Identity check, DBS check, Children’s Barred List check, medical clearances and proof of qualifications required.
  • The school’s equal opportunities policy.
  • Information on the DBS disclosure and Children’s Barred List check requirements and process.
  • Job Description.
  • Person Specification.
  • Application form.
  • Equal Opportunities monitoring form.
  • Safer recruitment policy.
  • Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy.

Stage 3 – Scrutinising and Short-Listing Candidates

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned for completion.

All applications will be scrutinised to ensure they are fully and properly completed, that the information provided is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies. Any gaps in employment should be identified and noted.

The criteria mentioned in the Person Specification must be the basis for short-listing candidates.

All short-listed candidates will be invited to interview.

Stage 4 – References

Where possible, we will seek references for all short-listed candidates before they are invited to interview. Applicants should provide the details of two referees, one of whom must be their current or most recent employer. Where the applicant is not currently working with children, but has done so in the past we will also request a reference from that employer. We may approach previous employer for information to verify particular experience or qualifications, prior to interview.

References will always be sought directly from the referee. Open references or testimonials e.g. “To Whom It May Concern” are not acceptable.

Where references are not available before the candidate is interviewed, we will ensure that they are received and scrutinised, and any concerns are resolved satisfactorily, before the person’s appointment is confirmed.

Stage 5 – Pre-Interview Checks

We will obtain verification of any specific qualification or previous experience that is particularly relevant to the post for which the candidate is applying for before interview. The details obtained will be explored during interview.

The applicants online presence may be checked before the invitation to interview. These online searches will be carried out as part of our due diligence checks. Online searches will be in line with our GDPR and data protection laws. We will be conducting a search entering the candidates full name on search engines such as Google. We might enhance this search by including the candidate’s full name, location and current employer. We will also carry out a search on social media to see what content is available to the public domain and if this content is deemed appropriate.

Stage 6 – Involving Pupils and Students

If appropriate to the post the candidate is applying for we may ask to observe candidates interacting with a group of students, for example, ask the candidate to teach a lesson.

Stage 7 – Interview

The purpose of the interview is to assess the merits of each candidate against the job requirements and to explore their suitability to work with children. The interview will also explore:

  • The candidate’s attitude towards children and young people;
  • His/her/their ability to support the School’s agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • Any gaps in the employment history of the candidate.
  • Any concerns or discrepancies arising from the information provided by the applicant and or referee.
  • If references were not obtained prior to interview, whether the applicant has anything to discuss in light of the questions that will be asked of the referees.
  • Whether the applicant has anything they wish to declare in light of the requirement to carry out a DBS enhanced check

All candidates attending interviews will be requested to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of eligibility to live and work in the UK.
  • Proof of qualifications.
  • Documents required to satisfy DBS checks.

These documents will be checked and copied where necessary prior to the candidate entering the interview. The retention of the copied documents will be in line with the School’s policies.

The interview panel will consist of at least The Principal or delegated authority. The panel may also include other members of staff where appropriate to the post applied for. At least one member of the panel will be appropriately trained in safer recruitment practices. However, it is likely that all members of the panel will have undergone training in safer recruitment practices.

Stage 8 – Successful Candidate – Pre-Appointment Checks

An offer of appointment to the successful candidate is conditional upon the following:

  • Receipt of at least two satisfactory references.
  • Verification of the candidate’s identity.
  • Production of documents supporting the candidate’s right to live and work in the UK.
  • A satisfactory Enhanced DBS disclosure (including Children’s Barred List check).
  • Children’s Barred List check (Children’s Barred List Check should be checked separately if the candidate is to start work before the DBS check has been completed).
  • Verification of the candidate’s medical fitness (via a confidential online questionnaire).
  • Verification of qualifications.
  • Verification of professional status where required e.g. GTC registration, QTS Status (unless properly exempted).
  • Satisfactory completion of the probation period (where applicable).
  • Additional checks required where candidates have lived and/or worked abroad.

Stage 9 – Induction

All new staff and volunteers at Egham Park School are required to take induction training where they will be provided with training and information on all of the School’s policies and procedures including specific training on our policies for our Child Protection Policy and Antibullying Policy. The programme will also confirm the conduct expected of staff at the School.

Regular meetings will be held in the first 12 months of the appointment with the Head of School and Line Manager.

The new staff member will also undertake Prevent Training and Child Protection Training that is appropriate to their new role in the School.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Reporting Individuals to the Secretary of State

As an employer in the education sector, Egham Park School is required to supply information to the DfE where we have ceased to use the services of a person (including a teacher supplied by an agency or volunteer) because we consider that the person is unsuitable for work with children, or as a result of misconduct, or because of a medical condition that raises a possibility of risk to the safety of children.

We are also required to provide information where we would have ceased to use the person’s services on these grounds if the person had not ceased to provide them, or might have refrained from making new arrangement for a person on these grounds if the person had not ceased to make themselves available. For example, if the person resigned or left under the terms of a compromise agreement, where the disciplinary process may have been considered had they not done so.

Egham Park School will also notify the DfE if we refuse the employment (paid or unpaid) of an individual on the basis of their DBS disclosure information, where the individual does not appear on the Children’s Barred List.

Reports to the DfE will be made promptly, within one month of the person’s dismissal, resignation or refusal of employment.

This policy note has been written following the guidance of the information in the Education (Prohibition from Teaching or Working with Children) Regulations 2003.

NOTES

 Egham Park School will:

  • Keep and maintain a Single Central Record of Recruitment and Vetting Checks.
  • Require staff, who, during their employment with the school are convicted or cautions for any offence to immediately notify the Principal in writing, detailing the offence and penalty.
  • Ensure that any contract with an external contractor or agency will require them to conduct appropriate checks and implement measures detailed in this policy as required. The School will regularly monitor the compliance with these measures.
  • Treat information disclosed as part of a DBS check as confidential. Disclosed information will only be shared with School staff that are involved in the recruitment process. Disclosure information will be held securely and securely destroyed when it is no longer needed.
  • Ensure that under no circumstances must a staff member, volunteer or any other person who has not obtained an Enhance DBS check be left unsupervised with children.

Single Central Record (SCR)

In addition to the various staff records, which are kept as part of normal business, the establishment will also keep and maintain a single central record of recruitment and vetting checks. The SCR will record:

  • All staff who are employed to work at the school.
  • All staff who are employed as supply staff.
  • All people who have been chosen by the school to work in regular contact with children e.g.
    • Volunteers.
    • Advisory Board Member that also work as volunteers.
    • People bought into the school to provide additional teaching or instruction but who are not staff members e.g sports coach or artist.

The SCR will indicate whether the following checks have been completed, by whom and on what date:

  • Identity check.
  • Qualification check.
  • Right to work in the UK.
  • Children’s Barred List check.
  • DBS check.
  • Further overseas record check (if applicable)

Supply Staff

For the purposes of creating the record of checks for supply staff provided through an agency, the school will:

  • Require written confirmation from supply staff agencies that it has satisfactorily completed the checks required for safe recruitment as listed in this document.
  • Where a DRB check has a disclosure, the establishment will request the disclosure from the agency.
  • Carry out identity checks on Supply staff to confirm that the individual arriving at the school is the individual that the agency intends to refer to the School.

REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 1974

All posts within Egham Park School are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Applicants will be required to declare spent and unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs, including those regarded as spent and have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. A previously issued Criminal Records Disclosure Certificate will only be accepted in certain restricted circumstances. Such disclosures will not be considered as part of the short-listing process. They will become part of the interview process in order to allow the candidate the opportunity to discuss the matter. Such information will not necessarily bar a candidate from employment. If the candidate is not successful, then the information will not be retained and destroyed after six months.

The Disclosure and Barring Service has published a Code of Practice with accompanying explanatory guide for information. Egham Park School is committed to ensuring that it meets the requirements of the Disclosure and Barring Service in relation to the processing, handling and security of Disclosure information.

Data Protection

Employees are entitled to see and receive, if requested, copies of their employment reference. Further disclosed information will be treated in confidence and not used against applicants unfairly.

This policy has been written with reference to the DfE Publication Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education and Education (Prohibition from Teaching or Working with Children) Regulations 2003.