In accordance with the recommendations set out in KCSIE, DUCA and the requirements of the ISSRs the School carries out a number of pre-employment checks in respect of all prospective staff.
In addition to the checks set out below, the School reserves the right to obtain such formal or informal background information about an applicant as is reasonable in the circumstances to determine whether they are suitable to work at the School. This may include internet and social media searches on shortlisted applicants. For successful candidates, the School retains the information generated from online searches for the duration of the individual’s employment and in accordance with its record retention protocols after employment ends.
In fulfilling its obligations to carry out pre-employment checks 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, gender reassignment, disability or age.
4.1 Verification of identity, address, right to work in the UK and qualifications
All applicants who are invited to an interview are requested to bring with them evidence of their identity, right to work in the UK, address and qualifications referred to in their application form.
The School asks for this information at interview to ensure that the person attending interview is who they claim to be, that they are permitted to work for the School if appointed and that they hold appropriate qualifications.
Identity and address: all applicants must bring with them to interview, original documents which evidence their identity and address as set out below and in the list of valid identity documents at Appendix 1 (these requirements comply with DBS identity checking guidelines):
- one document from Group 1; and
- two further documents from either of Group 1, Group 2a or Group 2b, one of which must verify the applicant’s current address; and
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. They will also be required to provide their birth certificate.
The School asks for the date of birth of all applicants in order to verify identity and check for any unexplained discrepancies in the employment and education history. The School does not discriminate on the grounds of age.
Right to work in the UK: all applicants must also bring to interview a valid form of evidence which confirms their right to work in the UK. Valid forms of evidence can be found in the Home Office ‘Right to Work Checklist’.
Qualifications: all applicants must also bring to interview original documents which evidence any educational and professional qualifications referred to in their application form and / or which the School requests.
Copies are made by the School of the documents identified above and are stored in the staff member’s personnel file.
References will be taken up on shortlisted applicants prior to interview where possible to allow
concerns to be explored further with a referee and taken up with the applicant at interview.
All offers of employment will be subject to the receipt of a minimum of two references which are considered satisfactory by the School. 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.
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 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:
The School 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 School 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.
If it has not been possible to obtain a reference prior to interview it will be reviewed upon receipt. Any discrepancies identified between the reference and the application form will be considered by the School. The applicant may be asked to provide further information or clarification before an appointment can be confirmed.
If factual references are received i.e. those which contain limited information such as job title and dates of employment, this will not necessarily disadvantage an applicant although additional references may be sought before an appointment can be confirmed. The School may at its discretion make telephone contact with any referee to verify the details of the written reference provided.
The School treats all references given or received as confidential which means that the applicant will not usually be provided with a copy.
All references received from a school must be countersigned by a member of the Senior Leadership Team of that school.
All internal candidates who apply for a new role at the School will have their application assessed in accordance with this procedure. References may be taken up on internal candidates as part of the application process and can be provided by colleagues as the School will be the most recent employer and will previously have taken up references from past employers.
4.3 Criminal records checks
The School applies for an enhanced disclosure from the DBS and a check of the Children’s Barred List in respect of all positions at the School which amount to “regulated activity” as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The purpose of carrying out an Enhanced Check for Regulated Activity is to identify whether an applicant is barred from working with children by inclusion on the Children’s Barred List and to obtain other relevant suitability information. Any position undertaken at, or on behalf of, the School will amount to “regulated activity” if, as a result of their work, the appointee:
- will be responsible, on a “regular” (see below) basis, for teaching, training, instructing, caring or supervising children if the person is unsupervised, or providing advice or guidance on physical, emotional or educational well-being, or driving a vehicle only for pupils; or
- will carry out paid, or unsupervised unpaid work regularly at the School where that work provides regular contact with children; or
- engage in intimate or personal care or overnight activity, even if this happens only once. For the purposes of the Act, “regular” refers to work carried out:
- frequently (once a week or more often); or
- on 4 or more days in a 30-day period; or
- overnight (between 2.00 am and 6.00 am); and
- provides the opportunity for contact with children.
Roles which are carried out on an unpaid/voluntary basis will only amount to regulated activity if, in addition to the above, they are carried out on an unsupervised basis.
It is for the School to decide whether a role amounts to “regulated activity” taking into account all the relevant circumstances. However, nearly all posts at the School amount to regulated activity. Limited exceptions could include an administrative post undertaken on a temporary basis in the School Office outside of term time or voluntary posts which are supervised.
4.4 The DBS disclosure certificate
The DBS issues the DBS disclosure certificate to the subject of the check only, rather than to the School. It is a condition of employment with the School that the original disclosure certificate is provided to the School within four weeks of it being received by the applicant. A convenient time and date for bringing the certificate into the School should be arranged with Wendy Burton as soon as it has been received. Applicants who are unable to attend at the School to provide the certificate are required to send in a certified copy by post or email within four weeks of the original disclosure certificate being received. Certified copies must be sent to Wendy Burton, the School Administrator. 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 the School.
4.5 Starting work pending receipt of the DBS disclosure
If there is a delay in receiving a DBS disclosure the Headteachers have discretion to allow an individual to begin work pending receipt of the disclosure certificate. 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.
The School may accept a DBS certificate that has previously been undertaken if the applicant has been working in a school in England in a post that brought them in regular contact with children in the three months prior to beginning work at Trevor-Roberts School. In this situation, a separate Children’s Barred List check would be undertaken.
For those who subscribe to the DBS update service, the School will examine the original certificate, check it matches the individual’s identity and undertake an online update check, which will provide any changes since the certificate was issued. If the check shows that there has been a change, a new certificate will be required. The School will obtain permission from the individual before conducting the online update check.
4.6 Applicants with periods of overseas residence
DBS checks will still be requested for applicants with recent periods of overseas residence and those with little or no previous UK residence. The School will take into account the “DBS unusual addresses guide” in such circumstances.
For applicants who are living overseas, or who have lived overseas previously, obtaining a DBS certificate may be insufficient to establish their suitability to work at the School. In such cases the applicant will be required to provide additional information about their suitability from the country (or countries) in which they have lived. The School’s policy is to request such information from each overseas country in which the applicant has lived for a period of three months or more in the previous five years. Such checks must be completed before the person starts work. This applies where relevant both to foreign nationals and UK nationals returning from overseas.
When requesting such information the School has regard to relevant government guidance and will therefore always require the applicant to apply for a formal check from the country in question i.e. a criminal records check (or equivalent) or a certificate of good conduct. The School recognises that formal checks are not available from some countries, that they can be significantly delayed or that a response may not be provided. In such circumstances the School will seek to obtain further information from the country in question, such as a reference from any employment undertaken in that country.
In addition, where an applicant for a teaching position has worked as a teacher outside of the UK, the School will ask the applicant to obtain from the professional regulating authority of the teaching profession in each country in which they have worked as a teacher, evidence which confirms that they have not imposed any sanctions or restrictions on the applicant and that they are not aware of any reason why the applicant may be unsuitable to work as a teacher. The School will also ask shortlisted applicants (and their referees) to disclose whether they have ever been referred to, or are the subject of a sanction issued by, the regulator of the teaching profession in the countries in which they have carried out teaching work.
4.7 Prohibition from teaching check
The School is required to check whether staff who carry out “teaching work” are prohibited from doing so. The School uses the Teaching Regulation Agency Teacher Services system to check whether successful applicants are the subject of a prohibition or interim prohibition order issued by a professional conduct panel on behalf of the Teaching Regulation Agency.
In addition the School asks all shortlisted applicants to declare whether they have ever been referred to, or are the subject of a sanction, restriction or prohibition issued by, the Teaching Regulation Agency or other equivalent body in the UK.
Where an applicant is not currently prohibited from teaching but has been the subject of a referral to, or hearing before, the Teaching Regulation Agency (or other equivalent body), whether or not that resulted in the imposition of a sanction, or where a sanction has lapsed or been lifted, the School will consider whether the facts of the case render the applicant unsuitable to work at the School.
The School carries out this check, and requires associated information, for roles which involve “teaching work”. The School applies the definition of “teaching work” set out in the Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012, which state that the following activities amount to “teaching work”:
- planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils
- delivering lessons to pupils
- assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils; and
- reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
The above activities do not amount to “teaching work” if they are supervised by a qualified teacher or other person nominated by the Head. If in any doubt or if the applicant has taught previously, or may teach in future, the check will be undertaken, including for sports coaches.
4.8 Prohibition from management check
The School is required to check whether any applicant for a management position is subject to a direction under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 which prohibits, disqualifies or restricts them from being involved in the management of an independent school (a section 128 direction).
The School will carry out checks for section 128 directions when appointing applicants into management positions from both outside the School and by internal promotion.
This check applies to appointments to the following positions made on or after 12 August 2015:
- teaching posts on the senior leadership team
- teaching posts which carry a departmental head role; and
- support staff posts on the senior leadership team
The School will assess on a case by case basis whether the check should be carried out when appointments are made to teaching and support staff roles which carry additional responsibilities.
All individuals who are appointed to the governing body will be subject to a section 128 direction check.
The relevant information is contained in the enhanced DBS disclosure certificate (which the School obtains for all posts at the School that amount to regulated activity). It can also be obtained through the Teaching Regulation Agency Teacher Services system. The School will use either, or both, methods to obtain this information.
In addition the School asks all shortlisted applicants to declare whether they have ever been the subject of a referral to the Department for Education, or are subject to a section 128 direction or any other sanction which prohibits, disqualifies or restricts them from being involved in the management of an independent school.
Where an applicant is not currently prohibited from management but has been the subject of a referral to, or hearing before, the Department for Education or other appropriate body, whether or not that resulted in the imposition of a section 128 direction or other sanction, or where a section 128 direction or other sanction has lapsed or been lifted, the School will consider whether the facts of the case render the applicant unsuitable to work at the School.
4.9 Childcare disqualification
The Childcare Act 2006 (Act) and the Childcare (Disqualification) and Childcare Regulations 2018 (Regulations) state that it is an offence for the School to employ anyone in connection with our early years provision (EYP) or later years provision (LYP) who is disqualified, or for a disqualified person to be directly involved in the management of EYP or LYP.
(a) EYP includes usual school activities and any other supervised activity for a child up to 1 September after the child’s 5th birthday, which takes place on the school premises during or outside of the normal school day;
(b) LYP includes provision for children not in EYP and under the age of 8 which takes place on school premises outside of the normal school day, including, for example breakfast clubs, after school clubs and holiday clubs. It does not include extended school hours for co-curricular activities such as sports activities.
DUCA states that only those individuals who are employed directly to provide childcare are covered by the Regulations. “Childcare” means any form of care for a child, which includes education and any other supervised activity for a child who is aged 5 or under. “Childcare” in LYP does not include education during school hours but does cover before and after school clubs.
4.9.2 Relevant roles
Roles which will be covered by the Regulations are teaching and teaching assistant positions in EYP, and those which involve the supervision of under 8s in LYP. Those who are directly involved in the management of EYP and LYP include the Headteachers, and may also include other members of the leadership team as well as those involved in the day to day management of EYP or LYP at the School.
DUCA contains an express statement that cleaners, drivers, transport escorts, catering and office staff are not covered by the Regulations.
Some roles at the School may involve the provision of childcare in EYP or LYP on an occasional basis. They will not automatically be within the scope of the Regulations and the School will therefore consider whether they do on a case by case basis. The Regulations only apply to a limited number of roles within the School but do extend beyond employees to governors and volunteers who carry out relevant work in EYP or LYP.
4.9.3 Grounds for disqualification
The grounds on which a person will be disqualified from working in connection with EYP or LYP are set out in the Regulations. They are not only that a person is barred from working with children (by inclusion on the Children’s Barred List) but also include:
(a) having been cautioned (after 6 April 2007) for, or convicted of, certain criminal offences including violent and sexual criminal offences against children and adults whether committed in the United Kingdom or overseas;
(b) various grounds relating to the care of children, including where an order is made in respect of a child under the person’s care;
(c) having been refused registration for the provision of childcare (including nurseries, day care and child minding or other childcare), having been disqualified from any such registration or having had that registration cancelled;
(d) having been refused an application for registration of a children’s home or having had any such registration cancelled; or
(e) having been prohibited, restricted or disqualified from private fostering.
4.9.4 Self-declaration form
All applicants to whom an offer of employment is made to carry out a relevant role in EYP or LYP will be required to complete a self-declaration form confirming whether they meet any of the criteria for disqualification under the Regulations.
The School will decide whether a role is relevant and within the scope of EYP or LYP by having regard to the guidance in DUCA. Employment with the School in any relevant role will be conditional upon completion of the self-declaration form and upon the applicant not being disqualified.
The School cannot permit any person who is currently disqualified to start work in a relevant role. The School also reserves the right at its absolute discretion to withdraw an offer of employment if, in the opinion of the School, any information disclosed in the self-declaration form renders that person unsuitable to work at the School.
Applicants who have any criminal records information to disclose about themselves must also provide the following information:
(a) details of the order, restriction, conviction or caution and the date that this was made;
(b) the relevant court or body and the sentence, if any, which was imposed; and
(c) a copy of the relevant order or conviction.
4.9.5 Waiver of a disqualification
A person who discloses information which appears to disqualify them from working in a relevant role may apply to Ofsted for a waiver of the disqualification. The School may withdraw an offer of employment at its absolute discretion and is under no obligation to await the outcome of an Ofsted waiver application. If a waiver application is rejected the School will withdraw the conditional offer of employment.
4.9.6 Retention of disqualification information
The School will securely destroy any information which is provided by an applicant which is not relevant to the childcare disqualification requirements as soon as it is established that it is not relevant. Where a person appointed to a role at the School is found to be disqualified the School will retain any relevant information only for the period it takes for a waiver application to be heard and the decision communicated to the School, after which it will be securely destroyed.
4.9.7 Continuing duty to disclose change in circumstances
After making this declaration staff in a relevant role are under an on-going duty to inform the School if their circumstances change in a way which would mean they subsequently meet any of the criteria for disqualification. Any failure to disclose relevant information now, or of a future change in circumstances, will be treated as a serious disciplinary matter and may lead to the withdrawal of a job offer or dismissal for gross misconduct.
4.10 Medical fitness
The School is legally required to verify the medical fitness of anyone to be appointed to a post at the
School, after an offer of employment has been made but before the appointment can be confirmed.
Successful applicants will be required to sign a declaration of medical fitness confirming that there are no reasons, on grounds of mental or physical health, why they should not be able to discharge the responsibilities required by the role. If an applicant prefers to discuss this with the School instead, or to attend an occupational health assessment to consider their fitness for the role, they should contact Wendy Burton so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
The School is aware of its duties under the Equality Act 2010. No job offer will be withdrawn without first consulting with the applicant, obtaining medical evidence, considering reasonable adjustments and suitable alternative employment.