Introduction

The safe recruitment of staff in schools is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in education.  Iqra School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all pupils in its care.  As an employer, the School expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Aims and Objectives

The aims of the Safer Recruitment policy are to help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse pupils or are otherwise unsuited to working with them by having appropriate procedures for appointing staff. 

The aims of the School’s recruitment policy are as follows:

•             to ensure that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability for the position;

•             to ensure that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently;

•             to ensure that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age;

•             to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance including the statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE), Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2018 (KCSIE), the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2015 (the Prevent Duty Guidance) and any guidance or code of practice published by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS); and to ensure that the School meets its commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.

Employees involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the provisions of this policy.

The School has a principle of open competition in its approach to recruitment and will seek to recruit the best applicant for the job.  The recruitment and selection process should ensure the identification of the person best suited to the job at the school based on the applicant’s abilities, qualification, experience and merit as measured against the job description and person specification.

The recruitment and selection of staff will be conducted in a professional, timely and responsive manner and in compliance with current employment legislation, and relevant safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance.

If a member of staff involved in the recruitment process has a close personal or familial relationship with an applicant, they must declare it as soon as they are aware of the individual’s application and avoid any involvement in the recruitment and selection decision-making process.

The School aims to operate this procedure consistently and thoroughly while obtaining, collating, analysing and evaluating information from and about applicants applying for job vacancies at Iqra School.

Recruitment, selection and pre-employment vetting


Iqra High School (IHS) is committed to create a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children. This procedure describes in detail those checks that are, or may be, required for any individual working in any capacity at, or visiting, the school or college. Governing bodies and proprietors will always act reasonably in making decisions about the suitability of the prospective employee based on checks and evidence including: criminal record checks (DBS checks), barred list checks and prohibition checks together with references and interview information.

The level of DBS certificate required, and whether a prohibition check is required, will depend on the role and duties of an applicant to work in a school or college, as outlined in guidance from the department of an education.

Most appointments will require an enhanced DBS certificate, which includes barred list information, as the majority of staff will be engaging in regulated activity. In summary, a person will be considered to be engaging in regulated activity if as a result of their work they:

• Will be responsible, on a regular basis in the school, for teaching, training instructing, caring for or supervising children; or

• Will carry out paid, or unsupervised unpaid, work regularly in the school where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children; or

• Engage in intimate or personal care or activity, even if this happens only once.

All other staff who have an opportunity for regular contact with children who are not engaging in regulated activity, an enhanced DBS certificate, which does not include a barred list check, will be appropriate. This would include contractors that would have the opportunity for contact with children and who work under a temporary or occasional contract.

At Iqra High School, a supervised volunteer who regularly teaches or looks after children is not in regulated activity. The school follows statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE) on supervision and regulated activity which schools have regard to when considering which checks should be undertaken on volunteers.

In addition to obtaining the DBS certificate described, anyone who is appointed to carry out teaching work will require an additional check to ensure they are not prohibited from teaching. For those engaged in management roles an additional check is required to ensure they are not prohibited under section 128 provisions.

In Circumstances where Iqra high School allows an individual to start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, will ensure that the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks, including a separate barred list check, have been completed.

Iqra High school will never employ or allow any individual to engage in school activities where it has reason to believe that an individual is barred.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILTIES

It is the responsibility of the Governing Body to:

  • ensure the School has effective policies and procedures in place for recruitment of all staff and volunteers in accordance with DfE guidance and legal requirements monitor the School’s compliance with them.

It is the responsibility of the Headteacher, Bursar and other Managers involved in recruitment to:

  • ensure that the School operates safe recruitment procedures and makes sure all appropriate checks are carried out on all staff and volunteers who work at the School
  • monitor contractors’ and agencies’ compliance with this document
  • promote welfare of children and young people at every stage of the procedure.

The Governing Body has delegated responsibility to the Headteacher (teaching staff) and Bursar (support staff) to lead in all appointments.

Teacher prohibition orders

Prior to an offer of an employment Iqra high School will ensure to check that anyone who is prohibited from teaching must not be appointed to work as a teacher. A check of any prohibition will be carried out using the Prohibition orders as described in the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s (NCTL) publication.

Pre-appointment checks

All new appointments

Any offer of appointment made to a successful candidate, including one who has lived or worked abroad, will be conditional on satisfactory completion of the necessary pre-employment checks.

When appointing new staff, the school will:

• Verify a candidate’s identity. Identification

• Obtain (via the applicant) an enhanced DBS certificate (including barred list information, for those who will be engaging in regulated activity);

• Obtain a separate barred list check if an individual will start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available;

• 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 person’s right to work in the UK. If there is uncertainty about whether an individual needs permission to work in the UK, then prospective employers, or volunteer managers, will follow advice on the GOV.UK website;

• If the person has lived or worked outside the UK, make any further checks the school will:

• Verify professional qualifications, as appropriate.

IHS will use Teacher Services’ system to ensure that a candidate to be employed as a teacher is not subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State.

Where an enhanced DBS certificate is required, it must be obtained from the candidate before, or as soon as practicable after, the person’s appointment.

All pre-appointment checks will be completed, including where the individual is engaging in regulated activity, a barred list check.

Employment history and references


IHS will always ask for written information about previous employment history and check that information is not contradictory or incomplete and that any gaps in previous employment history can be explained. References will be sought on all short-listed candidates, including internal ones, before interview, so that any issues of concern they raise can be explored further with the referee, and taken up with the candidate at interview.

References will always be obtained, scrutinised and any concerns resolved satisfactorily, before the appointment is confirmed. The reference will always be requested directly from the referee and school will not rely on open references, for example in the form of ‘to whom it may concern’ testimonials

On receipt, references will be checked to ensure that all specific questions have been answered satisfactorily. The referee will be contacted to provide further clarification as appropriate.

Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations will be considered carefully when assessing the applicant’s suitability for the post (including information obtained from the Teacher Services’ checks referred to previously).

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974


The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply to positions which involve working with, or having access to pupils.  Therefore, any convictions and cautions that would normally be considered ‘SPENT’ must be declared when applying for any position at Iqra School.

Single central record

Iqra high School will always keep a single central record in accordance with the Education (Independent School Standards) Regualtion requirements. The single central record must cover the following people:

• All staff (including supply staff, and teacher trainees on salaried routes) who work at the school, this means those providing education to children.

The information will be recorded in respect of staff members (including teacher trainees on salaried routes) is whether the following checks have been carried out or certificates obtained, and the date on which each check was completed/certificate obtained:

• An identity check

• A barred list check

• An enhanced DBS check/certificate;

• A prohibition from teaching check;

• Further checks on people who have lived or worked outside the UK; this would include recording checks for those EEA teacher sanctions and restrictions described in guidelines from Department of Education.

• A check of professional qualifications; and

• A check to establish the person’s right to work in the United Kingdom.

Where checks are carried out on volunteers, the school will record this on the single central record.

Portability of DBS Certificates Checks

Staff may wish to join the DBS Update Service if they are likely to require another check in the future.  Applicants may sign up to the Service if their check was issued after 17 June 2013, for a fee of £13 per annum, which is payable by the applicant.    

DBS Certificate

The DBS no longer issue Disclosure Certificates to employers, therefore employees/applicants should bring their Certificate to the appropriate member of staff in head office.

Dealing with convictions


The School operates a formal procedure if a DBS Certificate is returned with details of convictions.  Consideration will be given to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and also: 

  • the nature, seriousness and relevance of the offence; 
  • how long ago the offence occurred;  
  • one-off or history of offences; 
  • changes in circumstances, 
  • decriminalisation and remorse.  

A formal meeting will take place face-to-face to establish the facts with the Headteacher and a Board of Governor’s representative.   A decision will be made following this meeting.  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, the Headteacher will evaluate all of the risk factors above before a position is offered or confirmed.

If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a disclosure, they may do so by contacting the DBS.  In cases where the applicant would otherwise be offered a position were it not for the disputed information, the School may, 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.

Trainee/student teachers

Where applicants for initial teacher training are salaried by the school, the school will ensure that all necessary checks are carried out. As trainee teachers are likely to be engaging in regulated activity, an enhanced DBS certificate (including and barred list information) must be obtained.

Where trainee teachers are fee-funded it is the responsibility of the initial teacher training provider to carry out the necessary checks, schools should obtain written confirmation from the training provider that these checks have been carried out and that the trainee has been judged by the provider to be suitable to work with children.

Existing staff


If IHS had concerns about an existing staff member’s suitability to work with children, the school will carry out all relevant checks as if the person were a new member of staff. Similarly, if a person working at the school moves from a post that was not regulated activity, into work which is regulated activity, the relevant checks for the regulated activity will  be carried out. 

IHS has a legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed, or poses a risk of harm, to a child or vulnerable adult; where the harm test is satisfied in respect of that individual; where the individual has received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence, or if there is reason to believe that individual has committed a listed relevant offence; and that individual has been removed from working (paid or unpaid) in regulated activity, or would have been removed had they not left.  The DBS will consider whether to bar the person. Referrals should be made as soon as possible after the resignation or removal of the individual.

Where IHS, dismisses a employee or ceases to use the services of a teacher because of serious misconduct, or might have dismissed them or ceased to use their services had they not left first, they must consider whether to refer the case to the Secretary of State, as required by sections 141D and 141E. 

Volunteers

Any volunteer at IHS will always be supervised and will never be allowed to work in regulated activity until checks have been obtained.

• The supervision will be by a person who is in regulated activity

• The supervision will be regular and day to day; and

• The supervision will be “reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the protection of children”.

IHS may obtain an enhanced DBS certificate (not including barred list information), for volunteers who are not engaging in regulated activity, but have the opportunity to come into contact with children on a regular basis, e.g. supervised volunteers.

IHS will undertake a risk assessment and use its professional judgement and experience when deciding whether to seek an enhanced DBS check for any volunteer not engaging in regulated activity. In doing so it will consider:

The nature of the work with children:

• What the establishment knows about the volunteer, including formal or informal information offered by staff, parents and other volunteers;

• Whether the volunteer has other employment or undertakes voluntary activities where referees can advise on suitability; and

• Whether the role is eligible for an enhanced DBS check.

Leaving Employment at Iqra School

Despite the best efforts to recruit safely there will be occasions when allegations of serious misconduct or abuse against children and young people are raised.  This policy is primarily concerned with the promotion of safer recruitment and details the pre-employment checks that will be undertaken prior to employment being confirmed.  Whilst these are pre-employment checks the School also has a legal duty to make a referral to the DBS in circumstances where an individual:

  • has applied for a position at the School despite being barred from working with children; or
  • has been removed by the School from working in regulated activity (whether paid or unpaid), or has resigned prior to being removed, because they have harmed, or pose a risk of harm to, a child.

If the individual referred to the DBS is a teacher, the School will make a rerral to the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Contractors

IHS will ensure that any contractor, or any employee of the contractor, who is to work at the school has been subject to the appropriate level of DBS check. Contractors engaging in regulated activity will require an enhanced DBS certificate (including barred list information). For all other contractors who are not engaging in regulated activity, but whose work provides them with an opportunity for regular contact with children, an enhanced DBS check (not including barred list information) will be required. In considering whether the contact is regular.

Under no circumstance a contractor in respect of whom no checks have been obtained be allowed to work unsupervised, or engage in regulated activity. IHS will be responsible for determining the appropriate level of supervision depending on the circumstances.

If a contractor working at IHS is self-employed, the school 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.

IHS will always check the identity of contractors and their staff on arrival at the school.

Adults who supervise children on work experience

IHS will always ensure that policies and procedures are in place to protect children from harm. The school will consider the specific circumstances of the work experience, in particular the nature of the supervision and the frequency of the activity being supervised, to determine what, if any, checks are necessary. These considerations would include whether the person providing the teaching/training/instruction/ supervision to the child will be:

• unsupervised; and

• providing the teaching/training/instruction frequently (more than three days in a 30 day period, or overnight).

If the person working with the child is unsupervised and the same person is in frequent contact with the child, the work is likely to be regulated activity. If so, the school will ask the employer providing the work experience to ensure that the person providing the instruction or training is not a barred person.

Visiting Speakers

The Prevent Duty Guidance requires the School to have clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers, whether invited by staff or by pupils, are suitable and appropriately supervised.

The School is not permitted to obtain a DBS disclosure or Children’s Barred List information on any visiting speaker who does not engage in regulated activity at the School or perform any other regular duties for or on behalf of the School.

All visiting speakers will be subject to the School’s usual visitors signing in protocol. This will include signing in and out at Reception, the wearing of a visitor’s badge at all times and being escorted by a fully vetted member of staff between appointments.

The School will also obtain such formal or informal background information about a visiting speaker as is reasonable in the circumstances to decide whether to invite and/or permit a speaker to attend the School.  In doing so the School will always have regard to the Prevent Duty Guidance and the definition of extremism.

In fulfilling its Prevent Duty obligations the School does not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age.

Recruitment Process

We must ensure that the following checks are carried out on all candidates, governors and some checks applying to volunteers.

Collection of required documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • You must only accept valid, current and original documentation
  • You must not accept photocopies
  • You can accept documentation printed from the internet ONLY  if it is an internet bank statement
  • Identity information for the applicant’s name, date of birth and address recorded in section A and section B on the DBS application form must be validated
  • You should in the first instance, seek documents with photographic identity (e.g. passport, new style driving licence, etc.) and for this to be compared against the applicant’s likeness
  • All documents must be in the applicant’s current name as recorded
  • One document must confirm the applicant’s date of birth as recorded
  • You must ensure that the applicant declares all previous name changes and provides documentary proof to support the change of name. If the applicant is unable to provide proof to support the change of name, you should hold a probing discussion with the applicant about the reasons why before considering to validate their identity
  • You must see at least one document to confirm the applicant’s current address as recorded in accordance with the guidance
  • You must provide a full and continuous address history covering the last five years. Where possible you should seek documentation to confirm this address history.  You should cross-match the applicant’s address history with any other information you have been provided with as part of the recruitment, such as their Curriculum Vitae (CV). This can highlight if an address has not been given e.g. if the applicant’s CV shows that they have worked in Liverpool in the last five years, but the application form only shows London addresses, you may wish to question the applicant further about this
  • A document from each of the groups should be included only once in the document count e.g. don’t accept two bank statements as two of the required documents, if they are from the same bank
  • You should not accept the foreign equivalent of an identity document if that document is listed as ‘(UK)’ on the list of valid identity documents

Process of Recruitment must meet the following criteria:

  1. Face to face interview- A sixty-minute consultation is conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the candidate’s behaviour management strategies, knowledge of the UK national curriculum and suitability to work in schools.
  2. Verification of right to work in the United Kingdom- We follow the Prevention of Illegal Working protocol as set out by the UK Border and Immigration Agency.
  3. Proof of Identity – We seek documents with photographic identity (e.g. passport, new style driving licence, etc.) and for this to be compared against the applicant’s likeness
  4. Proof of Address and National Insurance Number or Proof of Self Employed Status – We check all original documents and take copies for our records.
  5. Minimum of 2 verified and authenticated references – we require two recent professional reference letters or referee contact details. All referees are contacted for verification to ensure authenticity. References are assessed to ensure candidates suitability to work in schools.
  6. Enhanced DBS – We apply for an Enhanced Disclosure for all candidates, including overseas candidates, unless they have an existing DBS registered with the DBS Online Update Service. Our candidates are encouraged to sign up to the DBS Online Update Service and once joined, we run annual checks to ensure the DBS remains up to date. If a candidate has a 3 month break in Education we will apply for a new DBS. All issued DBS certificates not registered to the Update Service are renewed every 3 years.
  7. Section 128 check – A clearance check is performed for all candidates to ensure candidates are not included on the list of known child offenders.
  8. Work fitness & health clearance check – Candidates are required to complete a Fitness to Work document.
  9. Offer must be given an advanced start date of 4-6 weeks after supporting documentation is obtained.

For international applicants the following checks are also applicable:

  • Verification of qualification – We sight and copy all documents and ensure that any qualifications obtained overseas meet the UK equivalent standards.
  • Overseas Police check – Police clearance checks need to be issued within 3 months prior to leaving an overseas country.

Which documentation is required

Teaching, Full time and Part Time and Management Staff

  • Completed Application Form
  • Verification to Work in UK
  • Proof of Identity (Route ID compilation)
  • Proof of Address, NI number or Self-Employed Status
  • Minimum of 2 verified and authenticated references (professional, referees)
  • Enhanced DBS
  • Section 128 Verification checks
  • Fit to Work Clearance
  • Qualifications for position applied

Governors and Directors

  • Proof of Identity (Route ID compilation)
  • Proof of Address
  • Enhanced DBS
  • Section 128 Verification checks

Volunteers

  • Proof of Identity (Route ID compilation)
  • Basic DBS (not to be left unattended with children otherwise and Enhanced DBS would be necessary)
  • Section 128 checks
  • 2 references or 1 reference and a risk assessment

Identification Checking-Three Routes

See Appendix A for acceptable forms of identification

Route 1

The applicant must be able to show:

  • one document from Group 1, below
  • 2 further documents from either Group 1, or Group 2a or 2b, below

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address.

If the applicant isn’t a national of the UK or the EEA and is applying for voluntary work they may need to be fingerprinted if they can’t show these documents.

Route 2

Route 2 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Route 1.

If the applicant isn’t a national of the UK or the EEA and is applying for voluntary work they can’t use Route 2.

If the applicant doesn’t have any of the documents in Group 1, then they must be able to show:

  • one document from Group 2a
  • 2 further documents from either Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address. The organisation conducting their ID check must then also use an appropriate external ID validation service to check the application.

EEA nationals who’ve been resident in the UK for 5 years or less may need to be fingerprinted if they can’t show these documents.

Route 3

Route 3 can only be used if it’s impossible to process the application through Routes 1 or 2.

EEA nationals who’ve been resident in the UK for 5 years or less can’t use Route 3.

For Route 3, the applicant must be able to show:

  • a birth certificate issued after the time of birth (UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands) and
  • one document from Group 2a and
  • 3 further documents from Group 2a or 2b

At least one of the documents must show the applicant’s current address. If the applicant can’t provide these documents they may need to be fingerprinted.

Applicants who aren’t a national of the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA)

An applicant who wants to do paid work and isn’t a national of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) must be able to show:

  • one primary document
  • 2 supporting documents

If an applicant is unable to provide this documentation they can’t submit a DBS check. This is because the right to work in the UK can’t be established. They can’t use any other route.

Applicants for voluntary work who aren’t UK or EEA nationals must use Route 1. 

Who performs which checks

Applicant applies                                                                     HR

Interview Arranged                                                                                 HR and Head Teacher

Face-to-Face Interview                                                                           HR, Head Teacher, Recruitment Panel/Governors

Documentation collected and filed                                   HR Department

  • Completed Application Form
  • Verification to Work in UK
  • Proof of Identity (Route ID compilation)
  • Proof of Address, NI number, Self-Employed Status
  • Fit to Work Clearance
  • Qualifications for position applied
  • Enhanced DBS obtained
  • 2 verified and authenticated references (must be sought from HR Department directly, can not be accepted from candidate)

File Verified                                                                                                Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Section 128 Verification checks
  • Safeguarding Training modules issued

Offer for employment                                                                            HR/Head Teacher

Contract Confirmation                                                                            HR/Head Teacher

Appendix 1