WHAT IS SAFER RECRUITMENT IN EDUCATION?
12th August 2020
When working with children and in educational settings, the safety and welfare of the children and young people you care for it is of utmost importance.
Effective safeguarding for educational provision starts with the employment of the very best person for the post. When hiring new staff or volunteers, safer recruitment panels should understand that recruitment is not just about vetting them against the DBS check before they start in school but also includes effective induction and a strong and clear staff code of conduct. Schools should be confident that whomever they hire is entirely trustworthy and does not present a threat to any child or young person.
While most people applying to work in school (paid or voluntary) are safe and trustworthy, we know that some individuals target organisations which allows them access to children. Safer recruitment in education involves having a set of robust procedures and practices for hiring within your setting. These set of arrangements ensure that you are recruiting new staff and volunteers in the safest way possible and will reduce the chances of hiring somebody who is possibly unsuitable to work with children or young people.
With these procedures in place, you will be supported to deter, identify and reject candidates who may pose a risk to the children and young people in your care.
SAFER RECRUITMENT GUIDANCE
There are various pieces of legislation and government guidance that detail how and why safer recruitment should and must take place.
The statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) and The Governance Handbook sets out the duties and responsibilities of governing bodies to comply with safer recruitment rules. It states that schools or colleges ‘should have written recruitment and selection policies and procedures in place’ to ‘prevent people who pose a risk of harm from working with children.’ These effective systems should include procedures to check out agency staff, volunteers and coaches.
In addition, the Competency Framework for Governors outlines the essential knowledge for all members of an educational board, including ‘how staff are recruited and how this compares to good recruitment…practice.’ To gain this essential knowledge, staff involved in recruiting must be formally trained in safe recruitment.
The Staff Advice Handbook highlights the importance that all schools are familiar with the KCSiE guidance when recruiting. One of the requirements in for KCSiE is that ‘governing bodies of maintained schools [must] ensure that at least one of the persons who conducts an interview has completed safer recruitment training.’ In academy schools, the trust must reassure itself that all appropriate suitability checks have been undertaken.
Based on this guidance, no matter what your organisation, whether you are a school, college or independent organisation which provides educational services or works with children and young people, it is good practice that everyone involved in the recruiting process to be trained in safer recruitment. Your organisation should also have its own set of recruitment and selection procedures which are in-keeping with legislation and regularly reviewed and updated. As well as reassuring themselves that mechanisms are in place to check that any person employed to teach has the required teaching qualifications and has successfully completed any statutory induction required, including online safety.
This will allow you to make sure everyone involved with your organisation knows how to create a safe environment for the children or young people you work with.
In short, serious case review findings and recommendations continue to highlight the importance of effective safer recruitment. They make it is clear that the consequences of inadequately trained practitioners, ineffective safeguarding arrangements and polices can be devastating for all those involved.
HOW TO RECRUIT SAFELY: THE IMPORTANCE OF SAFER RECRUITMENT TRAINING
Safer recruitment training courses ensure that the staff involved in recruiting within your organisation can construct and conduct recruitment processes in the safest way possible. As a result of safer recruitment training, they will:
- Be aware of, and up to date on, the necessary knowledge, legislation and guidelines for safe recruitment
- Know how to carry out the appropriate checks on potential candidates and determine when it is appropriate to do further checks
- Be able to develop clear messages and procedures to communicate to other staff and applicants
- Be able to identify and eliminate unsuitable candidates, and know what to do if they suspect that somebody might pose a threat to any child
- Know how to improve their own procedures to recruit more effectively and more safely
At Safeguarding Support Ltd we provide training, either face to face or virtual, which is developed in accordance with the latest safer recruitment legislation and best practice. We are able to offer both full-day, nationally accredited and half-day, non-accredited sessions. Following our training sessions your recruitment panel will be self-assured in their selection of their new team members, confident in the knowledge they are complying with keeping children safe in education legislation and ultimately, demonstrating that the welfare of the children you care for is of paramount importance to your setting.
More information on our safer recruitment sessions and other safeguarding training can be found by Clicking Here.
References / further information:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 (draft)
- Governance Handbook
- Competency Framework for Governors
- Staff Advice Handbook