Safer Recruitment and Selection Policy (2019-2020)
Date agreed: December 2019.
Date of next review: July 2020.
Approved by: Elena Vlasenko (School Director)
Pushkin’s School is committed to promoting and safeguarding the welfare of every pupil and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The effectiveness of this policy and its procedures make a major contribution to child protection by helping to deter, reject or identify people who might be unsuitable for working with children.
The Safer Recruitment and Selection Policy and its procedures are based on and conform with the statutory and non-statutory guidance contained in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 and the Disqualification under Childcare Act 2006. Pushkin’s School aims to recruit teachers that share and understand our commitment and ensures that no applicant is treated unfairly by reason of a protected characteristic (as defined within the Equality Act 2010). We will ensure that the appointment of all teachers is based on merit, and applicants will be treated solely on their abilities and potential.
Pushkin’s School is committed to ensuring that candidates will be appointed only if they have a clear understanding of the specific issues regarding safeguarding that apply generally as well as specifically to EYFS children (up to the age of 5).
Disciplinary procedures will be used to deal effectively with adults who fail to comply with the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures and practices. This includes referring any allegation of abuse against an adult working with children to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) within one day of the allegation being made. Full details can be found on the school’s Allegations Against Staff Policy. 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; or
behaved towards a child in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children.
School Director/School Manager Responsibilities
The School Director and School Manager will:
ensure that the statutory legislation and non-statutory guidance is complied with by all members of staff;
ensure that the school operates safe and fair recruitment and selection procedures which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes to legislation and statutory guidance;
ensure that all appropriate checks have been carried out on staff and volunteers in the school;
monitor any contractors’ compliance with this policy; and
promote the safety and well-being of children at every stage of this process.
All vacant positions will be advertised to ensure equality of opportunity from a wide field of candidates. This will normally mean placing an advertisement on the school website or on the school’s Facebook page. All advertisements for vacant positions, paid or unpaid, will include the following statements:
“Pushkin’s School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and requires all staff and volunteers 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 and satisfactory references.”
All applicants will be provided with:
a Job Description, outlining the duties of the position;
a Person Specification (the qualifications, skills, experience and knowledge which a candidate must possess to perform their job role);
an Application Form;
reference to this policy, the Safeguarding Policy and other pre-employment requirements; and
an outline in terms of employment including salary.
All applicants will be required to complete an Application Form which asks for the following:
full, identifying details of the applicant, including current and former names, current address and National Insurance Number;
a full, chronological career history (a CV may be provided);
details of two referees; and
any relevant qualifications.
The School Director or School Manager will short-list applicants based on the Person Specification of the job role. The criteria for selection will be consistently applied to all applicants. Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend a formal face-to-face interview at which his or her relevant skills and experience will be discussed in more detail. Aspects of safeguarding will also be discussed to better understand the candidate’s attitudes, motivations and suitability to work with children.
All candidates are required to bring documents to the interview that confirm any educational or professional qualifications relevant to the job role. Candidates must also bring evidence of their ID that will satisfy DBS and Safer Recruitment requirements. Government-issued guidance details the documents that should be provided: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/documents-the-applicant-must-provide.
References will usually be obtained prior to the interview, unless the candidate has indicated that they do not wish for these to be taken up prior to being offered the position.
The recruitment documentation will be retained in line with GDPR legislation, and applicants have the right to request access to this documentation. All information about unsuccessful candidates will be securely destroyed within 6 months.
If it is decided to make an offer of employment following the interview, the offer will be conditional upon the satisfactory completion of the staff recruitment checks listed on the next section of this policy.
Staff Recruitment Checks
All checks will be:
documented and retained on the Personnel File;
recorded on the school’s Single Central Record; and
followed up if they are unsatisfactory or if there are any discrepancies in the information received.
Pushkin’s School will undertake the following checks prior to the applicant’s first day at work:
1. Career History
Candidates are asked for a full, chronological career history on the Application Form.
2. Reference Requests
Pushkin’s School will request two references for each candidate, which will usually be a combination of the candidate’s current or most recent employer and their most recent instance of working with children.
References will be sought directly from the referee and, where necessary, they will be contacted to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies. Where necessary, previous employers who have not been named as referees may be contacted in order to clarify any such anomalies or discrepancies. Written records will be kept of these exchanges.
Reference requests will ask the referee to confirm, in writing:
the referee’s relationship to the candidate;
the candidate’s performance history and conduct;
whether the candidate has been subject to disciplinary action relating to the safety and welfare of children;
if the referee has any reservations as to the candidate’s suitability to work with children; and
the candidate’s reasons for leaving, if applicable.
3. Qualifications Check
All candidates will be asked to provide original proof of any professional qualifications they hold which are relevant to the position. Copies will be taken and kept on file. If no original document is to be found, the school will request confirmation of the qualification in writing from the organisation or institution. Confirmation will be kept on the candidate’s file.
4. Identity Check
In line with DBS requirements, candidates will be asked to provide the following:
driving licence or birth certificate;
proof of address; and
any evidence of a change of name.
Copies will be taken and kept on file.
5. Right to Work in the UK
This will usually be the candidate’s UK passport. If the candidate cannot provide a UK passport, the school will follow government-issued guidance found at: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work. A copy of the evidence will be taken and kept on file.
6. DBS Check
All positions at Pushkin’s School require an Enhanced DBS check. The Disclosure may be obtained by either asking the individual to apply for a new DBS Certificate, or by them producing a DBS Certificate which has been registered on the DBS Update Service. Candidates who have registered with the DBS Update Service must produce their original DBS certificate. In accordance with DBS guidance, the candidate will be asked to sign a statement to say that they give Pushkin’s School permission to access their record on the DBS Update Service. A copy of the DBS certificate will be kept on the candidate’s file, along with a printout of the Update Service result.
If the DBS is delayed, the School Director may allow the member of staff to start work, with the following conditions being met:
other relevant checks have been completed successfully;
the DBS application has been made in advance;
a Risk Assessment is written and kept on file;
a separate Barred List check is made and kept on file;
the Risk Assessment is reviewed every two weeks until the Disclosure Certificate arrives;
appropriate safeguards are taken (such as supervision); and
the member of staff is informed as to what these safeguards are.
7. Disqualification from Childcare Declaration
Under Section 75 of the Childcare Act 2006, individuals are disqualified from childcare provision if they have committed certain specified offences. Candidates must complete a Disqualification from Childcare Self-Declaration Form prior to the start of employment. All staff will be required to complete this form annually before the start of the academic year.
8. Medical Fitness Declaration
Candidates will be asked to sign a Medical Fitness Declaration Form confirming that they know of no reasons, on grounds on physical or mental health, why they should not be able to undertake the responsibilities of their job role.
Outcomes of the Application and Recruitment Process
Once all checks are completed successfully and the candidate becomes a member of staff, the three-month probation period will commence. During this period there will be regular reviews and classroom observations to monitor performance. If the member of staff decides to leave before the probation period is over, they must give the statutory minimum notice period (which is a week).
The staff member may be dismissed from work at any time during the probation period if they are not performing at the level they are expected to. This will be determined in the reviews conducted by the School Director or School Manager.
In rare circumstances, where the following apply, the school will report the facts to the Police and/or the Disclosure and Barring Service:
the candidate is found to be on the Barred List, or the DBS Disclosure shows that they have been disqualified from working with children by a Court;
the candidate is found to have been prohibited from the teaching profession;
the candidate has provided false information in, or in support of, their application; or
there are serious concerns about a candidate’s suitability to work with children.
All new staff will take part in an induction programme designed to help familiarise them with Pushkin’s School policies and procedures, including confirming that they have read, understood and agree to the following:
Appointment and Safeguarding Procedures for Others
The hired school will notify Pushkin’s School about any planned contractual work during school hours. The hired school will ensure that contractors have been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check, if any such check is required. The identity of all contractors and their staff will be checked on arrival to the school.
Pushkin’s School will ensure that all visitors have their identity checked on arrival, are signed in and out, and are always supervised by a member of staff.
New regular volunteers will be subject to an identity check, DBS check and other checks where necessary. They will be signed in and out on the Visitor Sheet and will always be supervised by a member of staff.
Personnel File and Single Central Record
The Personnel File consists of all documents provided and checks made for each member of staff. The information in this file will be retained throughout the staff member’s employment period. All information will be immediately and securely destroyed if the staff member is no longer employed at Pushkin’s School.
Pushkin’s School keeps a Single Central Record for all current members of staff. It is a spreadsheet that outlines whether all staff recruitment checks (which are identified in this policy) have been completed.
Pushkin’s School will ensure the security of all staff members’ personal data, including the data of prospective or ex staff. Personal data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Data will be retained and destroyed in line with the school’s Retention Schedule.