Safer recruitment policy

Chingford House School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and requires all staff to share and demonstrate this commitment in every aspect of their work. We are committed to using disciplinary procedures that deal effectively with adults who fail to comply with the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures and practices, including referring any allegation of abuse against an adult working with children to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one working day of the allegation being made. A referral will be made if an adult has:

• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children.

The purpose of this policy is to set out the requirements of a recruitment process that aims to:

• Attract the best possible applicants to vacancies;
• Deter prospective applicants who are unsuitable to work with children or young people;
• Identify and reject applicants who are unsuitable to work with children or young people.

The appointment of all employees will be made in accordance with the provisions of employment law and we will comply with the requirements of DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2017.

This policy is linked to the Chingford House School Safeguarding Policy which is a statutory policy and which is reviewed annually.

Equalities Legislation

The governing body will comply with relevant equalities legislation, specifically:
• Equality Act 2010
• Employment Relations Act 1999
• Employment Rights Act 1996
• The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
• The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
• The Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Roles and Responsibilities

The Manager will:

• ensure that the school operates safe and fair recruitment and selection procedures which are regularly reviewed and up-dated to reflect any changes to legislation and statutory guidance;
• ensure that all appropriate checks have been carried out on staff, including the completion of the Childcare Disqualification Declaration;
• 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.

Advertising

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 advertisement externally. All advertisements for posts will include the following statements:

“Chingford House School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and requires all staff to share and demonstrate this commitment”

“The successful candidate will have to meet the requirements of the person specification and will be subject to pre-employment checks including a health check, an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references.”.

Information for Applicants

All applicants will be provided with:

• A Job Description, outlining the duties of the post;
• An outline of terms of employment including salary;
• The closing date for the receipt of applications.

Reference Requests

References will be sought directly from the referee and, where necessary, they will be contacted to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies. Detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges. Where necessary, previous employers who have not been named as referees may be contacted in order to clarify any such anomalies or discrepancies. Detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges. If a candidate for a post working with children is not currently employed in a post working with children, a reference will be sought from the most recent employment in which the candidate has worked with children to confirm details of the candidate’s employment and their reasons for leaving.

Reference requests will ask the referee to confirm, in writing:
• The referee’s relationship to the candidate;
• Details of the candidate’s current post;
• The candidate’s performance history and conduct;
• Whether the referee has any reservations as to the candidate’s suitability to work with children and young people (if so, the school will ask for specific details of the concerns and the reasons why the referee believes the candidate may be unsuitable to work with children);
• The candidate’s suitability for the post with explicit reference to the job description.

All appointments are subject to satisfactory references, vetting procedures and DBS clearance. References are the "property" of the school and strict confidentiality will be observed. Employer testimonials i.e. those provided by the candidate and/or marked ‘to whom it may concern’ will not be accepted. References must be in writing and be specific to the job for which the candidate has applied.. References will be verified and any discrepancies or areas of potential concern will be discussed with the candidate.

Interviews

Interviews will always be face-to-face. Telephone interviews may be used prior to inviting the candidate in but will not be a substitute for a face-to-face interview.

The questions asked will be aimed at obtaining evidence of how the candidate meets the requirement of the job description and the candidate will be assessed against all of the criteria for the post. No questions which would discriminate directly or indirectly on protected characteristics under the Equality Act will be asked. The selection process for every post will include exploration of the candidate’s understanding of child safeguarding issues.

Candidates will always be required:
• To explain satisfactorily any gaps in employment;
• To explain satisfactorily any anomalies or discrepancies in the references obtained;
• To declare any information that is likely to appear on a DBS disclosure;
• To demonstrate their capacity to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people.

The interview will also include a discussion of any convictions, cautions or pending prosecutions, other than those protected, that the candidate has declared and are relevant to the prospective employment. The recruitment documentation will be retained. Under the Data Protection Act, applicants have the right to request access to notes written about them during the recruitment process.

Pre-appointment checks

An offer of appointment to a successful candidate, including one who has lived or worked abroad, will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks. When appointing new staff, we will:

• Verify a candidate’s identity from current photo ID (originals) and proof of address (originals) except where, for exceptional reasons, none is available;
• Obtain or request a copy of an enhanced DBS certificate with a barred list information where the candidate will be engaging in regulated activity;
• Check that a candidate to be employed as a teacher is not subject to a Prohibition Order issued by the Secretary of State, using the Employer Access Online Service;
• Use the Employer Access Online Service to check information about any teacher qualifications held and whether induction has been passed
• Verify the candidate’s mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities (a job applicant can be asked relevant questions about disability and health in order to establish whether they have the physical and mental capacity for the specific role);
• Verify the candidate’s right to work in the UK (if there is uncertainty about whether an individual needs permission to work in the UK, then we will follow advice on the GOV.UK website);
• Make any further checks that we consider appropriate if the candidate has lived or worked outside the UK including information on sanctions or restrictions imposed by EEA professional regulating authorities;
• Verify professional qualifications (original certificates), as appropriate;
• Require the candidate to complete the Health Declaration Form;
• Require the candidate to complete the Childcare Disqualification Declaration.

All checks will be:
• Documented and retained on the personnel file;
• Recorded on the school’s Single Central Register;
• Followed up if they are unsatisfactory or if there are any discrepancies in the information received.

Childcare Disqualification Declaration

All appropriate applicants must complete the school’s self-declaration form in relation to the Childcare Disqualification Regulations 2009. Where a positive declaration is made the Manager will meet with the individual to discuss the declaration further. Employment will not commence until an appropriate decision is made by the Headteacher.

Offer of Employment

The offer of employment by the Manager and acceptance by the candidate is binding on 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

Personnel file and Single Central Register

Recruitment and selection information for the successful candidate will be retained securely and confidentially for the duration of their employment with the school including:
• Interview notes – including explanation of any gaps in the employment history;
• References – minimum of two;
• Proof of identity;
• Proof of right to work in the UK (where applicable);
• Proof of relevant academic qualifications;
• Evidence of DBS clearance, Barred List (where applicable) and Teacher Prohibition checks (where applicable);
• Offer of employment letter and signed contract of employment.

The school will maintain a Single Central Register of employment checks in accordance with DfE guidance.

Start of Employment and Induction

The pre-employment checks listed above must be completed before the employee starts work. Exceptions will only be made in circumstances where a risk assessment has been undertaken. Exceptions will never be made in the case of the Barred List and Teacher Prohibition checks. All new employees will be provided with an induction programme which will cover all relevant matters of school policy including safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, child protection procedures, whistle blowing and guidance on safe working practices.

Students on placement

When volunteers are working in school as part of a recognised training course (such as PGCE, NVQ etc.), references will not be required. However, we will require proof of DBS enhanced clearance with barred list check and will carry out identity checks when the student arrives at school.

Students on work experience

Students on work experience will always be supervised.

Contractors

We ensure that contractors, or any employee of the contractor, working at the school have been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check, if any such check is required. Contractors and contractors’ employees for whom an appropriate DBS check has not been undertaken will be supervised if they will have contact with children. If a contractor working at school is self-employed and will be in regulated activity, we will consider obtaining the DBS check, as self-employed people are not able to make an application directly to the DBS on their own account. We will check the identity of contractors and their staff on arrival at the school.

This policy will be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes to legislation and statutory guidance.

Policy reviewed: April 9th 2018