Safer Recruitment Policy | The Arbor School, Dubai

Safer Recruitment Policy

Introduction

We will ensure that we do not knowingly employ a person who is disqualified under the UK 2009 regulations in connection with relevant childcare provision and will carry out relevant checks for new staff through our preemployment checks procedure.

We will make sure that anyone who falls within the relevant categories of staff is made aware of the legislation including that they may be disqualified ‘by association’ under regulation 9 of the 2009 Regulations where they live in the same household as a disqualified person or in a household in which a disqualified person is employed.

Relevant Childcare Provision includes staff members working with the under 5’s in the Early Years, those working in the school’s breakfast and after school care facilities, lunchtime assistants, regular volunteers, agency and supply staff, the Principal and members of the senior management team.

All present and new staff members who fall within the regulations of relevant childcare provision will be asked to sign a declaration to confirm that neither themselves nor any person living in their household is disqualified from registration under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009.

An entry of staff working within relevant childcare provision will be made on the single central register, including the date disqualification checks were completed.

The grounds for disqualification include, in summary:

  • Being on the DBS Children’s Barred List (or relevant authority);
  • Being cautioned for, convicted of, or charged with certain violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults, at home or abroad;
  • Being the subject of certain other orders relating to the care of children;
  • Refusal or cancellation of registration relating to childcare or children’s homes or being prohibited from private fostering;
  • Living in the same household where another person who is disqualified lives or works.
  • Disqualification occurs as soon as the above criteria are met, for example, as soon as a caution or conviction occurs, even before the person is formally included on the children’s barred list.

The declaration made will be rechecked annually as part of the staff appraisal procedure and will form part of a staff member’s contract, stating that they should inform the school if their circumstances change. Failure to comply with this policy shall be regarded as gross misconduct, and subject to the school disciplinary policy for staff.

Equal Opportunities

The Principal of the school will abide by the existing legislation and, in particular, will not discriminate on the ground of any of the protected characteristics, these being:

Age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, marriage and pregnancy.

The school management will promote equality in all aspects of school life, including in regard to the recruitment of staff.

Advertising and Inviting Applications

All vacant posts will be advertised to ensure equal of opportunity and encourage as wide a field of candidates as possible. This will normally mean placing an advertisement externally. However, where there is a reasonable expectation that there are sufficient, suitably qualified internal candidates, vacancies may be advertised internally before an external advertisement is placed.

Advertisement and Application Process

Advertisements for posts shall include the following statement:

“Arbor School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all the students in our care and expects all applicants to share this commitment. We follow safe recruitment practices which are aligned to the recommendations of the International Task Force on Child Protection. We hold ourselves to a high standard of effective recruiting practices with specific attention to child protection. All appointments are subject to a CV and qualification checking, interview, identity checks, criminal record checks, and successful references.”

Prospective applicants must complete, in full and return a signed application form. Incomplete application forms will be returned or the application will not be processed, along with any other documents dependent upon the advertisement and position.

Short-Listing and References

Where a large number of applications are received, a long-list of the most suitable candidates will be selected. These candidates shall undergo a short telephone interview by the Principal in order to short list.

The short listing will be carried out by considering each application against an agreed set of criteria. This will detail essential and desirable qualifications, qualities and experience for the post holder.

References will be sought for all applicants on this short list. Referees will be asked to complete the school reference form. Referees must include (for teaching positions), current and previous school Principals, plus one other of the applicant’s choice.

The school reference request form shall ask for confirmation about the suitability of the applicant to work with children, and whether the applicant has been subject to any disciplinary or capability procedures.

References or testimonials provided by the candidate will never be accepted.

Where necessary, referees will be contacted by telephone or e-mail in order to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies.

The Selection Process

Selection techniques will be determined by the nature and duties of the vacant post. Teaching staff will be required to give a demonstration lesson in front of school management wherever possible.
Leadership posts will require the candidates to undertake a series of tasks and possibly a series of panel interviews.

In all circumstances, candidates will be required to attend an interview with the Principal, whether in person or remotely, dependent upon applicant location.

Interviews will always be face-to-face, where possible. If this cannot be done, interviews will be conducted via a visual skype.

Telephone interviews may be used at the short-listing stage but are not an alternative to face-to-face contact.

Interview

Interviews will be conducted by a minimum of two persons, at least one of whom is safeguarding trained, and/or aware of the safeguarding agenda. The Principal shall be the Head of Panel. Larger panels may be required for senior posts.

Interview questions will be aimed at obtaining evidence on how each candidate meets the requirement of the Job Description.

The same area of questions will be covered for each applicant according to the Arbor School Standard Interview Form (see appendix A).

  • Candidates will be required:
  • To explain satisfactorily any gaps in employment
  • To explain satisfactorily any discrepancies in the information available to the selection panel
  • To declare any information that is likely to appear in police check
  • To demonstrate their capacity to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people
  • Personal interview questions will be asked when selecting staff who will work with children.

Interviewed applicants will be required to provide proof of their qualifications and professional status by producing documentation on the day of interview, where applicable.

A written record of all interviews shall be kept on file.

Verification of Qualifications and/or professional status

Where there is an intention to appoint, the School will verify that applicants have actually obtained any qualifications legally required or deemed essential for the job and claimed in their application by asking to see the relevant certificate, or a letter of confirmation from the awarding body /institution. If the original documents are not available, the school will require sight of a properly certified copy. Where certificates are from those countries outside the UK and European Union, a certified comparability check by BARIC will be required.

Proof of identity and other documentation will be verified by the chair of the panel / Principal.

Contractors and agency staff

Contractors engaged by the school must complete the same checks for the employees that the school is required to complete for its staff. The school requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before employees of the contractor can commence work at the School.

The school will independently verify the identity of staff supplied by contractors or an agency.

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, the School will consider the following factors before reaching a recruitment decision:

  • Whether the conviction or other matter revealed is relevant to the position in question;
  • The seriousness of any offence of other matter revealed;
  • The length of time since the offence or other matter occurred;
  • Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour or other relevant matters;
  • Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offending behaviour or other relevant matters;
  • The circumstances surrounding the offence and the explanation(s) offered by the convicted person.

If the post involves regular contact with children, it is the School’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of any of the following offences

  • Murder, manslaughter, rape, other serious sexual offences, grievous bodily harm, or other serious acts of violence
  • Serious Class A drug related offences
  • Robbery, burglary, theft, deception or fraud.

If the post involved access to money or budget responsibility, it is the school’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 responsibility, it is the school’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted of drink driving within the last ten years.

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, the School will carry out a risk assessment by reference to the criteria set out above.

The Principal must sight the assessment form before a position is offered. Such convictions will also be discussed with the applicant at interview.

Employment Checks

It may be possible to negotiate a provisional start date with the preferred applicant; however, the checks detailed below must all be completed before an appointment is offered. Once all these preemployment checks have been satisfactorily completed and received, an offer of employment will be sent:

  • Undergone successful interview, with the Principal having signed their authorisation
  • Obtained satisfactory references as per expectation
  • Provided proof of identity
  • Undergone a successful CV screening

This offer letter shall then explicitly outline the further paperwork needed for a legal contract to be made. These requirements are as follows.

Confirming the Appointment

The final contracting of a candidate will be subject to further requirements:

  1. Police checks from their home country and country of current residence (if applicable)
  2. Obtaining KHDA approval, if required
  3. Receiving certified qualifications and verification
  4. Obtaining a relevant visa

Single Central Record of Recruiting Vetting Checks (SCR)

The School will keep and maintain a SCR.

The SCR will list all staff who are employed at the School, including casual staff, supply agency staff whether employed directly or through an agency, volunteers, governors and those who provide additional teaching or instruction for pupils but who are not employed by the school e.g., specialist sports coach or artist.

The SCR will indicate whether the required pre-employment checks have been completed, what documents have been checked, when and by whom. The SCR will also clearly show which members of staff are working in the Early Years.

Staff members have a duty through their contract to immediately disclose during their employment if they are:

  • Charged or convicted of any criminal offence;
  • In receipt of a police caution, reprimand or warning, or if there is a formal child protection; investigation of themselves or any of their household;
  • Barred from working with children or vulnerable adults;
  • The subject of a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Staff will also be asked at their yearly review whether they have any of the above to disclose, including the Declaration through Association.

Failure to comply with the requirements above shall be viewed as gross misconduct and subject to staff disciplinary procedures, including potential termination of employment.

Induction

All staff who are new to the school will receive full induction training that will include orientation upon the school’s Staff Handbook, school policies and in particular the school Policy on Safeguarding Children. All staff shall also be required to sign the school Code of Conduct (See appendix B).

Record Retention / Data Protection

If an applicant is appointed, the School will retain any relevant information provided on his/her application form, together with any attachments and evidence of the pre-employment checks completed on his/her personnel file.

If the application is unsuccessful, all documentation relating to the application will normally be confidentially destroyed after twelve months.

Document prepared by: __________________ Signature ___________ Date: ___________

Document approved by Principal: ___________ Signature ___________ Date: ___________

Document approved by Board: ______________Signature ___________ Date: ___________