“This Authority/School/College is committed to Safeguarding and promoting
the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all
staff and volunteers to share this commitment”
What is safeguarding?
The department for Education and Skills produced a guidance document on
Safeguarding Children through Safer recruitment and selection in an
Education Setting. This was produced on the recommendations from Sir
Michael Bichard’s report.
The DfES recommended that all Head Teachers and School Governors
should received training by Spring 2006 on how to Safeguard Children in their
Schools. This was to be done by completing a training session organised by
Governor Support followed by a test (as required by the Education Act 2002).
Safeguarding has been put into place to ensure children and vulnerable adults
are protected from harm. It is our duty as staff to ensure that we report and
respond appropriately to any concerns we have over a child’s or vulnerable
adult’s safety and welfare.
So who is covered?
Everyone who works in an education setting where there are children under
18 including all staff, non teaching and teaching
and also anyone who is in an educational environment and this includes
volunteers and contractors.
Advertising and Job Packs
When you advertise a post within your school the advert needs to contain the
policy statement set out at the beginning of this guidance and you also need
to inform the candidates that there will be a requirement to undertake a CRB
Within the Job Pack the Job Description and Person Specification should
clearly set out the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of
The person specification should include all the qualifications, experience and
other requirements necessary to perform the role in relation to working with
children and young people.
The new style person specification shows how the requirements of the job will
be tested and assessed during the selection process.
Application forms from candidates
Every applicants application form should detail the full employment history in
chronological order from the day they left secondary education to their most
current employer and should include periods of training and voluntary work
Each applicant needs to give an explanation for any gaps in their employment
history and they must also give valid reasons for leaving an employer.
We only usually request references for senior posts prior to interview such as
Headteachers but you are quite within your right to request them for any post.
During shortlisting you should scrutunise any application form that is not
You need to check for any gaps or discrepancies in their employment history.
You also need to check the applicant’s reasons for leaving each employer and
their pattern of work history. If they have had repeated changes in
employment such as moving from posts that are permanent to temporary or
casual without any clear career progression ask them why.
If you have any concerns or issues, follow them up with the applicant. Don’t
be afraid to ask questions.
Invite to interview letters
When you send invite to interview letters you should include a paragraph to
explain that the interview will explore the candidates suitability to work with
You should re-send the job description and person specification.
You can also request the candidate to bring any qualification certificates to the
interview to support their eligibility.
It is recommended that there are a minimum of two people on the interview
panel and at least one of these members should have undertaken the
The panel members should agree set questions for all candidates to be asked
relating to the role but should also include individual questions relating to the
applicants application form and references.
It is also helpful to ask whether the applicant wants to declare anything in
respect to their CRB and references. On the application there is a section
where candidates are asked to declare any conviction or cautions etc. So
check this prior to interview and if the applicant has declared any offence then
clarify this with them.
Once an applicant has been appointed you will need to request a minimum of
two references. These should include the current or most recent employer
and their previous employer to the current role.
If their last post did not involve working with children then a reference from
their most recent employer that involved working with children should be
The reference request form must also include questions relating to
As previously mentioned, references for senior appointments need to be
sought prior to interview but for posts such as Teaching Assistants and
SMSA’s you would normally request references after interview and these
need to be received prior to the applicant commencing employment.
Details received in the references should be checked against the applicants
application form for any discrepancies.
Further pre-employment checks
Once the candidate has been appointed you need to carry out pre-
employment checks and we cannot stress how important this is before the
employee starts work.
You need to check the employee’s right to work in the UK such as Passport,
Birth Certificate and National Insurance Number or a valid travel document.
There is further guidance on the extranet on what to look out for.
CRB form, this needs to be completed as soon as possible and if clearance is
not back before the start date has been agreed then a risk assessment needs
to be carried out. You will also need to see the applicants previous disclosure
if necessary. Again there is further guidance on this on the extranet.
List 99 checks, Alison Moxon carries these out once she receives the CRB
form and this is a register that lists all people who have been convicted for
Qualification certificates relevant to the post as detailed in the Person
Specification. You also need to check that all Teachers are registered with the
General Teaching Council. Please note that teacher’s are not permitted to
work unless they are registered with the General Teaching Council.
Medical Clearance, this needs to be sought before employment commences.
Applicants who are from Countries who have only recently joined the
European Union may need to complete the Workers Registration Scheme, we
are happy to assist with this should this occur in your school.
Commencement of Employment
Once the employee commences employment it is vital that they are monitored
throughout there employment.
Once they start they should be taken through an Induction of the school and
the role they will be carrying out.
Within the first six months they need to go through the probationary procedure
and the first, second and third probationary meetings should be held. This
helps to monitor the member of staff’s progress in their new role and identifies
learning and development needs.
Teachers also need to undergo professional management and all staff if
necessary should have regular supervision meetings.
All overseas need to be registered with the General Teaching Council so that
their qualifications can be checked to see if they are relevant to the UK.
If you are employing a sponsorship teacher, they need to be assessed under
a point scheme policy. For more information please speak with Alison Moxon.
Check application forms and references thoroughly.
Remember if in doubt check, don’t be afraid to ask questions and question
information. At the end of the day an innocent person will be happy to
clarify your concerns.
If you have any concerns you must report them to Ofsted, the child
protection agency or the police. We must ensure that any concerns are
kept confidential and we must ensure that all members of staff understand
the procedures to be followed in the event of an allegation being made
against a member of staff. We need to be able to respond appropriately to:
• Significant changes in children's behaviour
• Deterioration in their general well-being
• Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse
• The comments children make which give cause for concern
The importance of pre-employment checks.
If a persons right to work is not checked properly and they don’t have the
right to work legally then the employee who was responsible for checking
this could be fined up to £5000.
If medical clearance is not sought prior to the employee’s start date they
may not be fit for employment and it also means correct risk assessments
can not be carried out and this could result in an injury claim.