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1) LEGISLATION - Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education

https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview

The most significant and important current legislation to refer to with regards to Safer Recruitment is “Safeguarding Children and Safer recruitment in Education 2007”.
It sets out recruitment best practise for schools, local authorities and FE sectors.
The aim of the document to “help establishments develop a culture of safeguarding awareness and risk assessment and management” through guidance and legislation
It was updated in 2010 but was instantly out of date due to the inclusion of the role of the ISA.

However the legislation is still valid and can be found at:

https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Safeguarding%20Children%20Guidance.pdf

Whilst the whole document is important, the following sections give clarity over the vetting and recruitment process:
Chapter 3 – Recruitment and Selection
Chapter 4 – Recruitment and Vetting Checks

2) RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION - Advertising, Job Descriptions, Interviews

Recruitment – safe practise in recruitment means starting from very beginning of process – job advert and person specification should always refer to the organisations commitment to safeguarding and promotion of welfare of children.

All employers should have an explicit written recruitment policy and a designated person who is trained and involved in all aspects of recruitment, selection and vetting.

Job Descriptions and advertisements should always make clear that the successful candidate will be required to undertake an enhanced CRB disclosure and job offers are subject to satisfactory references.

There is a requirement to adopt a consistent and thorough approach for obtaining, collating, analysing and evaluating information about all candidates. As much information as possible should be obtained at interview stage to ensure that it can be scrutinised and anomalies or discrepancies questioned with the candidate directly. This should include issues or anomalies with references in addition to CV analysis.

A face to face interview is also the opportunity to assess suitability for both the role and their suitability to work with children.

3) MANDATORY VETTING CHECKS - Who to check, what to check (Elig, ID, Refs, Health, Employment History)

The following checks MUST be carried out on all new candidates at the latest prior to appointment (although the earlier the better):

  • ID Checks
  • List 99
  • CRB
  • Qualification checks
  • QTS/GTCE/The Teacher Agency – the changes
  • Eligibility to work in the UK
  • Verification of employment history – Full current CV with all gaps accounted for

References:

Always sought directly from the referee
Not rely on open references/testimonials/ref provided by the candidate
Always ask if you can request referee from most recent employer

Should always ask the following on all references:

  • Referees relationship to the candidate and how long they have known them for
  • Whether they consider the candidate to be suitable to work with children
  • Verifiable comments about the applicants performance history and conduct – All candidates assessed against the same grading and criteria
  • Details of any disciplinary procedures
  • Any child protection related allegations of concerns

4) CHILD PROTECTION CHECKS

  • Employers are eligible to apply for an enhanced CRB disclosure for anyone providing education and regular care for, train, supervise or have sole charge of persons under the age of 18.
  • All candidates should be asked to declare any convictions cautions or reprimands warnings or bindovers which they have incurred, including those that may be regarded as “spent” under the Act in other circumstances.
  • Childrens Barred list – set up by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act to supersede List 99 and POCAL, lists that included people whose employment with children has been barred or restricted either on the grounds of misconduct or on medical grounds.
  • CRB – CRBs should be processed before an individual starts work. However should this not be possible, HeadTeachers and local Authorities have the discretion to allow a candidate to begin work within their school, pending receipt of their CRB. The candidate should be appropriately supervised and all other checks should be completed.
  • The level of supervision required if the candidate starts pending their CRB should be judged on their previous experience, the nature of the duties and the level of responsibility they will carry in school.
  • CRBs have a validity of 3 years for agency staff or earlier if the teacher has a break in service of 3 months of more, page 112, appendix 11 of Safeguarding Children.

5) RECORD KEEPING - Single Central Register

Must include:

  • All staff who are employed to work at the school

  • All staff who are employed as supply staff to the school

  • All candidates who work in regular contract with children

  • All candidates brought into school to provide additional teaching or instruction for pupils but who are not staff members

Must cover:

  • ID checks
  • Qualification checks – If the position requires a qualification, then you must have confirmation proof. This should include confirmation of QTS and the candidates TRN.
  • Eligibility to work
  • Childrens Barred List and CRB – for both you must include the date the check was completed and the person that carried out the check. Must show the date that the check was carried out and who completed the check
  • Must be completed by whoever is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the register. In addition, the person completing the register must sign and date the register to confirm they have verified the information.

6) OFSTED REQUIREMENTS

“Safeguarding in Schools: Best Practice” (September 2011)

19% of maintained schools inspected between 9/09 – 7/10 were deemed outstanding in safeguarding.
OFSTED do not try to catch schools out – a school will not be judged inadequate because of minor administrative errors or because an inspectors ID wasn’t checked.
For safeguarding and safer recruitment in schools to be considered satisfactory and reasonable, OFSTED does not ask for more than the Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education legislations requires.

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/schools/for-schools/safeguarding-children

January 2012 inspection criteria changed from being compliance based to focus on:

  • Achievement of pupils at the school
  • Quality of teaching in the school
  • Quality of leadership and management of the school
  • Behaviour and Safety of the pupils at the school
  • Schools must see safeguarding however as a reasonable and essential fabric of the school and NOT as a burden.

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