3. Related policies and guidance
4. Responsibilities and roles
5. Recruitment and selection procedure
6. Medical fitness
7. Pre-employment checks
8. Policy on recruitment of ex-offenders
9. Retention and security of disclosure information
Ashbourne College is committed to providing the best possible care and education to its students and to safeguarding and promoting their welfare. Ashbourne provides a supportive and flexible working environment to all its members of staff. It recognises that, in order to achieve these aims, it is of fundamental importance to attract, recruit and retain staff who share this commitment.
All employees involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are required to familiarise themselves with and comply with the provisions of this policy.
The policy applies to all contracted staff, whether by employment, services or otherwise; special provisions are in place for supply staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors. The principles of this policy apply to the professional behaviours of staff towards all students, including those over the age of 18 years.
3. Relate policies and guidance
4. Roles and responsibilities
The Principal has overall responsibility for safer recruiting and in particular must ensure that all applicants for employment are treated equally, fairly and without prejudice.
The Head of Administration is charged with ensuring all documentation and information relating to pre-employment checks is properly secured before employment commences. This includes the employment of supply teachers.
They also ensure that this information is properly entered in the Single Central Record, stored securely and, if appropriate, destroyed securely. These are checked with the Deputy Head of Administration and the Designated Safeguarding Lead. All staff have a responsibility for whistleblowing.
The Manager for Premises is responsible for ensuring that all contractors have properly cleared all necessary pre-employment checks.
Please refer to Appendix B for Safer recruitment staff.
5. Recruitment and selection procedure
All applicants for employment will be required to complete an application form containing questions about their academic and employment history and their suitability for the role. Incomplete application forms will be returned to the applicant where the deadline for completed application forms has not passed. A curriculum vitae will not be accepted in place of the completed application form.
Applicants will receive a job description and person specification for the role applied for. Application forms, job descriptions, person specifications and Ashbourne College’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures are available from the College’s website and can be printed and forwarded to applicants on request.
To determine whether the candidate is suitable and to investigate any gaps or inconsistencies in their history, in the first instance, it is College policy to talk to potentially suitable applicants by telephone. The applicant may then be invited to attend a formal interview at which their relevant skills and experience will be discussed in more detail.
The interview will be face to face and attended by at least two senior members of staff, at least one of whom has had regular training in safer recruitment.
Compulsory documents for interview
The College requests that all candidates invited to interview bring with them:
Please note that originals of the above are necessary. Photocopies or certified copies are not sufficient.
The College aims prior to an interview is to obtain verbal or written references prior to an interview, with the candidate’s consent.
Candidates with a disability who are invited to interview should inform the College of any necessary reasonable adjustments or arrangements to assist them in attending the interview.
5.2 Conditional offer of appointment: pre-appointment checks
Any offer to a successful candidate will be conditional upon:
It is illegal for anyone who has been barred from working with children to apply for a job involving regulated activity. The College has a duty to report any such individuals to the DBS and Teaching Regulations Agency (TRA).
A check of the Children’s Barred List is not permitted if an individual will not be undertaking ‘regulated activity’. Whether a position amounts to ‘regulated activity’ must therefore be considered by Ashbourne in order to decide which DBS checks are appropriate. It is however likely that in nearly all cases a Children’s Barred List check will be carried out.
5.3 Prevent duty
The College has a legal duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This is known as Prevent duty. Schools are required to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. Accordingly, as part of the recruitment process, when an offer is made the offer will be subject to a Prevent duty risk assessment.
Successful applicants should be aware that they are required to notify the College immediately if there are any reasons why they should not be working with children.
6. Medical fitness
Ashbourne is legally required to verify the medical fitness of anyone to be appointed to a post at the College after an offer of employment has been made but before the appointment can be confirmed.
It is Ashbourne’s practice that all applicants to whom an offer of employment is made must complete a Health Questionnaire. Ashbourne will arrange for the information contained in the questionnaire to be reviewed by the College’s medical advisor. This information will be reviewed against the Job Description and the Person Specification for the particular role, together with details of any other physical or mental requirements of the role e.g. proposed timetable, extra-curricular activities, layout of the College.
If Ashbourne’s medical advisor has any doubts about an applicant’s fitness the College will consider reasonable adjustments in consultation with the applicant. Ashbourne may also seek a further medical advice from a specialist or request that the applicant undertakes a full medical assessment. Any medical information is regarded as sensitive personal information and will be held in the strictest confidence according to the College’s Data Protection Policy.
Any withdrawal of a job offer, where appropriate, will be carried out in compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
7. Pre-employment checks
In accordance with the recommendations set out in the DfE Guidance KCSIE, and the requirements of the Education (Independent College Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, Ashbourne carries out a number of pre-employment checks in respect of all prospective employees.
College will also make use of any available resources to confirm that any candidate is suitable for the job for which they have applied. This may includes searches on the Internet and social media.
The College maintains and updates a Single Central Record (SCR) which contains a record of the result of each of these pre-employment checks for teachers, supply staff, volunteers, contractors and self-employed persons who engage in work at the Collegecollege.
7.1 Verification of identity and address
All applicants who are invited to an interview will be required to bring with them evidence of identity, right to work in the UK, address and qualifications as set out below and in the list of valid identity documents at Appendix A (these requirements comply with DBS identity checking guidelines):
Where an applicant claims to have changed their name by deed poll or any other means (e.g. marriage, adoption, statutory declaration) they will be required to provide documentary evidence of the change.
Ashbourne asks for the date of birth of all applicants (and proof of this) in accordance with the Guidance. Proof of date of birth is necessary so that Ashbourne may verify the identity of, and check for any unexplained discrepancies in, the employment and education history of all applicants. Ashbourne does not discriminate on the grounds of age.
All offers of employment will be subject to the receipt of a minimum of two references which are considered satisfactory by the College. One of the references must be from the applicant’s current or most recent employer. If the current/most recent employment does/did not involve work with children, then the second reference should be from the employer with whom the applicant most recently worked with children. Neither referee should be a relative or someone known to the applicant solely as a friend.
Please note that no questions will be asked about health or medical fitness prior to any offer of employment being made.
All referees will be asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the job for which they have applied and whether they have any reason to believe that the applicant is unsuitable to work with children. All referees will be sent a copy of the job description and person specification for the role for which the applicant has applied. If the referee is a current or previous employer, they will also be asked to confirm the following:
*Questions about health or sickness records will only be included in reference requests sent out after the offer of employment has been made.
Ashbourne College will only accept references obtained directly from the referee and it will not rely on references or testimonials provided by the applicant or on open references or testimonials.
The College will compare all references with any information given on the application form. Any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the information will be taken up with the applicant and the relevant referee before any appointment is confirmed. The College will verify all references. Where references are received electronically, the College will ensure they originate from a legitimate source.
7.3 Criminal records check
Due to the nature of the work, the College applies for an enhanced disclosure from the DBS in respect of all prospective staff members, contractors, supply teachers, self-employed workers and volunteers who engage in ‘regulated activity’.
Ashbourne applies for an enhanced disclosure from the DBS and a check of the Children’s Barred List in respect of all positions at the College which amount to ‘regulated activity’ as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act. Any position undertaken at, or on behalf of, the College (whether paid or unpaid), will amount to ‘regulated activity’ if it is carried out:
This definition will cover nearly all posts at Ashbourne. Limited exceptions could include an administrative post undertaken on a temporary basis at Ashbourne’s office outside of term time. It is for the College to decide whether a role amounts to ‘regulated activity’ taking into account all the relevant circumstances.
The DBS now issues a DBS disclosure certificate only to the subject of the check rather than to Ashbourne. It is a condition of employment with Ashbourne that the original disclosure certificate is provided to the College within two weeks of it being received by the applicant. Original certificates should not be sent by post. A convenient time and date for doing so should be arranged with the Head of Administration as soon as the certificate has been received. Applicants who are unable to attend at Ashbourne to provide the certificate are required to send in a certified copy by post or email within two weeks of the original disclosure certificate being received. Certified copies must be sent to the Head of Administration.
Where a certified copy is sent, the original disclosure certificate must still be provided on the first working day. Employment will remain conditional upon the original certificate being provided and it being considered satisfactory by Ashbourne College.
If there is a delay in receiving a DBS disclosure the Principal has discretion to allow an individual to begin work pending receipt of the disclosure. This will only be allowed if all other checks, including a clear check of the Children’s Barred List (where the position amounts to regulated activity), have been completed and once appropriate supervision has been put in place.
DBS checks will still be requested for applicants with recent periods of overseas residence when they were aged 16 years or more and those with little or no previous UK residence. These applicants will also be asked to provide further information, including a criminal records check or certificate of good conduct as appropriate from the relevant jurisdiction(s). Guidance as to the relevant authorities may be obtained from the Home Office. The College may not request such checks and therefore the candidate is responsible for initiating such requests.
It is essential that these checks obtained prove satisfactory. If it is not possibly to obtain such checks the College will institute other checks and procedures to satisfy itself as to the probity of the candidate.
Staff joining the College from another school in England where they have been engaged in regulated activity bringing them into regular contact with children or young people may start employment without another enhanced DBS check provided the gap in employment is three months or less. However they must bring a copy of their existing DBS and will be subject to all other pre-employment checks including a barred list check.
DBS Update Service
Where an applicant subscribes to the DBS Update Service the applicant must give consent to the College to check there have not been changes since the issue of a disclosure certificate. A barred list check will still be required
If disclosure is delayed
A short period of work is allowed under controlled conditions, at the Principal’s discretion. However, if an ‘enhanced disclosure’ is delayed, the Principal may allow the member of staff to commence work:
It is an offence for the College to employ anyone in regulated activity who is barred from engaging in such.
7.3 Seasonal staff
The College employs some staff only during certain periods during the year; for example after the release of exam results or during our Easter Revision course. The usual employment checks are obtained when such staff first join. Since they may have gaps in their employment of more than three months it is necessary to update medical fitness and employment history and require registration with the DBS updating service in order to ensure up to date information on DBS compliance.
7.4 Contractors and supply agency staff
Contractors engaged by the College must complete the same checks for their employees that Ashbourne is required to complete for its staff. Ashbourne requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before employees of the contractor can commence work at the College and will check enhanced DBS and identity upon arrival. If contractors do not possess a DBS and are likely to come into contact with children, they will be supervised at all times.
Agencies who supply staff to Ashbourne must also complete the pre-employment checks which the College would otherwise complete for its staff. These include: identity, DBS enhanced disclosure, right to work in the UK, barred list, qualifications as appropriate, and overseas checks as appropriate. Identity and DBS must be presented when the employee arrives on the premises. Again, Ashbourne requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before an individual can commence work at the College. Ashbourne will independently verify the identity of staff supplied by contractors or an agency in accordance with section 4.1 above.
7.5 Visiting professionals, volunteers
The College will ensure that they have enhanced DBS clearance prior to arrival and if they are likely to come into contact with children, a barred list (list 99) check. The College will check for identity upon arrival. Under no circumstances will the College permit an unchecked volunteer or visiting professional unsupervised contact with children.
The College does not have the right to ask visitors for DBS clearance; however, it ensures that all guests sign in, wear appropriate lanyards and are supervised during their visit.
8. Policy on recruitment of ex-offenders
Ashbourne College will not unfairly discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of conviction or other details revealed. Ashbourne makes appointment decisions on the basis of merit and ability. If an applicant has a criminal record this will not automatically bar him / her from employment within the College. Instead, each case will be decided on its merits in accordance with the objective assessment criteria set out below.
All positions within the College are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. All applicants must therefore declare all previous convictions and cautions, including those which would normally be considered ‘spent’ except for those to which the DBS filtering rules apply, as set out above. A failure to disclose a previous conviction (which should be declared) may lead to an application being rejected or, if the failure to disclose is discovered after employment has started, may lead to summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct. A failure to disclose a previous conviction may also amount to a criminal offence.
It is unlawful for Ashbourne to employ anyone who is barred from working with children. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to attempt to apply for a position at the College. Ashbourne will make a report to the Police and / or the DBS if:
8.2 Assessment criteria
In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a disclosure check, Ashbourne will consider the following factors before reaching a recruitment decision:
If the post involves regular contact with children, it is Ashbourne’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of any the following offences:
If the post involves access to money or budget responsibility, it is Ashbourne’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of robbery, burglary, theft, deception or fraud.
If the post involves some driving responsibilities, it is Ashbourne’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted of drink driving within the last ten years.
8.3 Assessment procedure
In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a disclosure check, Ashbourne will carry out a risk assessment by reference to the criteria set out above.
The assessment form must be signed by the Principal or the Head of Administration before a position is offered or confirmed.
If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a disclosure, he / she can do so by contacting the DBS direct. In cases where the applicant would otherwise be offered a position were it not for the disputed information, Ashbourne will, where practicable and at its discretion, defer a final decision about the appointment until the applicant has had a reasonable opportunity to challenge the disclosure information.
9. Retention and security of disclosure information
Ashbourne’s policy is to observe the guidance issued or supported by the DBS on the use of disclosure information, but is under no obligation to do so.
In particular, Ashbourne College will:
9.1 Retention of information
The College is legally required to carry out all pre-employment checks found earlier in this document. All information relating to recruitment is either stored electronically with access restricted to a few members of the SLT using a robust, secure system of passwords and firewall to prevent unwanted access to records or in secure, lockable filing cabinets with highly restricted access. The College will retain these records for successful applicants but will destroy those of unsuccessful applicants.
9.2 Single Central Record
An entry will be made on the Single Central Record for all current members of staff at the College, the proprietorial body and all individuals who work in regular contact with children including volunteers, supply staff and those employed as third parties.
All staff are trained in whistleblowing to encourage the prompt reporting of any behaviour by another member of staff giving rise to safeguarding concerns.
10.1 Reporting to DBS and Teaching Regulations Agency (TRA)
If an employee is dismissed because of violations of safeguarding guidance and legislation the College has a duty to report this to the DBS and TRA. Similarly if an employee leaves because of allegations regarding safeguarding violations or, having retired, it comes to light that there are safeguarding concerns relating to the employee, the College must report such to these agencies.
|Authorised by||The Principal|
|Effective date of the policy||September 2023|
|Circulation||Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request|
|Review date||September 2024|
Appendix A: Valid identity documents
Group 1: primary trusted identity credentials
Group 2a: trusted government/state issued documents
Appendix B: Safer recruitment staff
|Director of Studies||Lee Kirby|
|Head of Administration||Hien Nguyen|