Chingford House School is clear about its duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and ensuring that we have suitable staff working with the children is fundamental to that. There is a clear process and procedure in place to ensure that we only recruit staff who will share and uphold our responsibility in keeping children safe from harm.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the requirements of a recruitment process that aims to:
- Attract the best possible applicants
- Deter unsuitable candidates as early as the application stage
- Reject unsuitable candidates at the interview stage
- Prevent and minimise future concern through a clear appointment procedure and a robust induction
- Prevent and detect by developing and maintaining a culture of vigilance
The appointment of all employees will be made in accordance with the provisions of employment law and complies with the requirements of DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019. This safer recruitment policy is linked to Chingford House School’s statutory safeguarding and child protection policy, which is reviewed annually.
At Chingford House School we adhere to legal guidance when recruiting staff such as the Early Years Foundation Stage (2019), Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as well as employment and equalities requirements.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Manager will:
• ensure that the nursery operates a regularly reviewed safer recruitment and selection procedures which adheres to current legal guidance;
• ensure that all appropriate checks have been carried out on staff, including references, health declaration, DBS checks and disqualification and suitability checks;
• promote the safety and well-being of children at every stage of this process.
• ensure that at least one member of the interview panel has completed Safer Recruitment Training.
Vacant posts will normally be advertised to ensure equality of opportunity and encourage as wide a field of candidates as possible. This will normally mean placing an external advertisement in reputable newspapers, websites and employment agencies.
We ensure that all recruitment literature includes details of our equal opportunities policy and safer recruitment procedures. Advertisements for posts will include the following statements:
‘Chingford House School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and requires all staff to share and demonstrate this commitment.’
‘The successful candidate will have to meet the job description and person specification requirements and will be subject to pre-employment checks including a health check, an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references.’
Applicants will be required to complete an application form as part of the safer recruitment process, which enables the applicant to provide a more detailed work history than CVs do.
A job description, person specification, an outline of the terms and conditions of the post (including salary) and the selection procedure will be sent to the candidate along with the closing date, prior to selection and the interview stage.
Applicants are invited to interview based on meeting a set of criteria, using the person specification and job description. The interview will be used to further determine the applicants’ suitability based on knowledge, experience, skills and attitude.
The Owner and Manager have both received Safer Recruitment Training and one of them will always reside on an interviewing panel; they have an obligation to refresh their training every two years.
At least one other member of staff will sit on the panel (alongside the Owner or Manager), depending on the seniority of a post; each member of the panel will be involved in the decision-making process.
All applicants will be interviewed using the same set of previously agreed criteria and questions to ensure that it is a fair and equal selection process.
Applicants will be questioned to ensure that the panel are satisfied with their identity, qualifications and the right to work in the United Kingdom. The applicant must satisfactorily explain any anomalies or discrepancies highlighted by the panel and any gaps in their employment history.
The applicant must disclose anything that is likely to be adverse on their DBS; the interview process will also provide the opportunity to discuss any convictions, cautions or pending prosecutions, other than those protected, that are relevant to the position.
Questions which discriminate directly or indirectly will not be used. The selection process for every post will include exploration of the candidate’s understanding and knowledge of safeguarding issues. In addition to the questions as stated above, the applicant should demonstrate a similar thinking, ethos and values to Chingford House School.
The interview combined with two practical exercises makes up the selection process; the practical element of the interview includes:
• interacting with a small group of children and staff
• carrying out an observation & next steps on one of the children
The panel will then score the applicants based on the interview and practical assessments, the needs of the post whilst adhering to the EYFS guidance; the panel will then determine which applicant is most suitable.
Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or not.
An offer of appointment to a successful candidate will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks.
When appointing new staff, we will:
- Verify the applicant’s identity and address using original prescribed documentation
- Verify qualifications by checking original certificates
- Ensure that all applicants other than those that have signed up with the DBS update service will undergo a new enhanced DBS check. (Staff that have a current DBS in place may start work whilst we wait for the one that Chingford House School carries out, but they will not be left unsupervised with the children)
- Carry out additional criminal checks abroad if new employees have lived or worked in other countries
- Ensure that we gather appropriate documentation verifying that the employee has the right to work and live in the UK
- Require the applicant to complete a Health Declaration form to determine the mental and physical fitness needed for the post
- Require the applicant to complete a Childcare Disqualification Declaration form
Chingford House School will record and keep details of the applicant’s selection process in their personal file and on the single central record as part of the vetting process; this will include the DBS issue number and date, documents as stated above and who verified the checks.
Personnel file and Single Central Register:
Chingford House School maintains a Single Central Register of employment and suitability checks in accordance with DfE guidance. The recruitment and selection information for the successful applicant will be retained securely and confidentially for the duration of their employment with Chingford House School. The information will be logged in their personal file including interview notes and the offer of employment letter and signed contract of employment
The Single Central Record will include the following information:
• References (minimum of two)
• Proof of identity (original documentation, i.e. passport)
• Proof of right to work in the UK (where applicable)
• Proof of relevant academic qualifications (original)
• Evidence of DBS clearance Barred List (where applicable)
Offer of Employment
The offer of employment by the Manager/Owner and acceptance by the candidate is binding by both parties, subject to satisfactory completion of the pre-employment checks and satisfactory references. The candidate will be informed that the appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of these checks.
DBS Checks and issues of concern:
There may be instances where a DBS is not clear or where there are discrepancies in the information obtained on behalf of the applicant (i.e. dates of employment not corroborated); in these cases, the Manager will speak with the applicant, seek further information or guidance (i.e. speak with the Referees or LADO) and consider the following:
- Seriousness of the offence
- Whether the applicant accurately disclosed the information in their application form or interview
- The position that the applicant has applied for and the level of supervision needed
- The age of the applicant at the time of the offence
- The length of time in which the offence has lapsed
- The relevance of the offence to working or being in contact with children
The additional checks may result in the continued offer of employment with a Risk Assessment in place if appropriate or the withdrawal of the offer.
References are sought by writing directly to the referee stated on the application form. Where necessary, the referee will be verbally contacted to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies detailed (written records will be kept of such exchanges).
Where appropriate, previous employers who have not been named as referees may be contacted in order to clarify any discrepancies or concerns, this information will also be recorded.
If an applicant is not currently employed in a childcare post, a reference will be sought from the most recent childcare employer to confirm details of the candidate’s employment, suitability and their reasons for leaving.
The reference request (see appendix) seeks to verify information that the applicant has given, i.e. date of employment and position. In addition to this, the reference request will obtain information on any safeguarding concerns or previous disciplinary action carried out against the applicant.
Start of Employment and Induction:
The pre-employment checks listed above will be completed before an employee is given a start date; exceptions will only be made in circumstances where a risk assessment has been undertaken and following advice from the LADO.
All new employees will undergo a robust induction programme which will cover relevant policies including safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, guidance on safer working practices, whistle blowing, emergency evacuation procedures, health & safety issues and the Early Years Foundation Stage (these examples do not fully represent the comprehensive induction process).
The employee will have regular meetings with the Manager (probationary assessment up to 6months) to determine their suitability once they are in post.
Students on placement:
When volunteers or students work at Chingford House School as part of a recognised training course (such as PGCE, NVQ etc.), references will not be required (as their organisation will vouch for them). However, we will require proof of an enhanced DBS clearance and will carry out identity checks when the student arrives at the nursery. Students and volunteers will not be left unsupervised with the children.
Contractors, personnel & other visitors:
We work to ensure that contractors or employees of contractors working at Chingford House School have been subject to the appropriate level of a DBS check, if required. We use reputable organisations to ensure that we safeguard our children. Contractors are asked to bring their DBS certificates as well as appropriate ID. Contractors, personnel (such as Supervisors from College) and other visitors are not left unattended with the children.
Ongoing support and checks
At Chingford House School, staff supervision (termly) as well as annual suitability checks will help towards ensuring staff’s continuing suitability to work with children. However, throughout their employment with us, staff have the responsibility of disclosing any information that may deem them unsuitable. This will include incidents that occur outside of the nursery.
The Manager, in conjunction with the Owner (and LADO), will consider information that may deem the employee unsuitable to work with children and take appropriate action (i.e. disciplinary action, risk assessment, termination of employment)
Training is key to staff understanding their responsibility in keeping children safe and promoting their welfare; training will take place through appropriate training, staff meetings and discussions.
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell, Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar, Owner
Date: April 2020
Date of next review: April 2021