Safer Recruitment Policy

1. Preamble

 The school’s policy for the screening of new employees and volunteers complies with the following pieces of legislation and guidelines:

o ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, (KCSIE), DfE, July 2015
o ISI Handbook for the Inspection of Schools, April 2015
o The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974
o The Police Act, 1997
o Protection of Children Act, 1999 and Criminal Justice and Court Services Act, 2000
o The National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools (April 2015)
o The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006
o The Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012


2. Introduction


 JESS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of all its students. In this context, our aim is to ensure that the policies and the procedures we follow in the selection and appointment of staff and volunteers comply with the latest regulations and guidance on safer recruitment, and that the principles of safer recruitment are embedded in our collective thinking and practice throughout the school.
 This policy is, therefore, an essential element in our efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for students, staff and all others within our school community. It aims to ensure that the selection and appointment of all staff and volunteers is both fair and safe by:
o helping to attract the best possible candidates;
o deterring prospective candidates who are unsuitable from applying for vacancies;
o identifying and rejecting any candidates who may be unsuitable to work with children and young people.
 The policy has been written in the light of the latest edition of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, published in July 2015. It reinforces the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for staff, including the school’s Whistleblowing policy and the emphasis on the active promotion of Fundamental British Values. As part of their induction, all successful candidates for paid or volunteer employment will receive training on the school’s Safeguarding policy and procedures, including the Code of Conduct for staff.

3. Police Checks in a UAE Context.


3.1.1. School Employees
In line with international best practice JESS require staff to have a full and unbroken criminal-record history. Whilst, the School asks all new employees to endeavour to provide evidence of police checks from every country in which they have worked and completed their teacher training, it is recognised that the international nature of the U.A.E. means that the School attracts applications from a range of countries around the world, many of whom do not have developed safeguarding and vetting procedures. Thus it is not always possible to document a full career of police checks.
 All new employees who are already resident in Dubai, must provide a police clearance from the UAE. These are valid for 3 months only. Police checks are requested in English.
 The School will DBS check all employees who are joining the School directly from the UK.
 All new employees joining the School from another country must request a criminal/police check from their current country of residence and ask them to request one while they are still resident.
 The School will conduct List 99 (List of those barred from working with Children) checks on all employees who have ever lived or worked in the UK.
 All employees who have worked in education the UK must produce a relevant CRB/DBS clearance.
3.1.2. Others who work or volunteer at the School
In addition to its employees, JESS engages a number of contractors who provide services to the School. These include Catering, Security, Swimming Coaches, Peripatetic Music Teachers, and individuals and organisations who run Clubs for the pupils.
 All companies who provided contracted services to the School will be responsible for conducting an initial one-off Dubai Police Check and ‘good conduct certificate’ for each employees working at JESS before he/she starts working in the School. These companies are contractually obliged report any subsequent criminal offences to the School.
 Any individual who provides contracted services to the School will be responsible for providing an annual Dubai Police Check and ‘good conduct certificate’.
 The School will NOT conduct Police checks on Parent/ Volunteer helpers. This is because Parent / Volunteer helpers are never alone with children.


4. Highlighting safeguarding in advertisements and post details


 Advertisements for staff appointments, whether paid or unpaid, will normally include the following statement:
o ‘JESS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. A UK enhanced DBS or equivalent police check is a pre-requisite for all appointments.’
 All statements of ‘Post details’ which are provided for prospective applicants will contain the following statement:
o ‘Safer Recruitment: JESS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students, and this is a responsibility that is shared by all members of staff. The successful candidate will be subject to a UK enhanced DBS or equivalent police check.’


5. Training in Safer Recruitment


 At least one member of the selection panel for any appointment made at JESS will have successfully completed training in Safer Recruitment within the last 5 years.
 All staff at JESS who receive training in Safer Recruitment for this purpose will be expected to renew their training every 5 years.


6. Information for prospective applicants


 Prospective applicants will find a detailed statement of the Post Details on the school website by going to www.jess.sch.ae/introducingjess/recruitment.aspx . There they will also be able to download:
o the relevant version of the school’s Application Form;
o general information for applicants;
o the school’s Safer Recruitment policy;
o the school’s Safeguarding policy, which includes the Whistleblowing policy;
 Prior to submitting their application, prospective candidates will be asked to acquaint themselves with the policy documents listed above (which can easily be printed out).

7. The selection and recruitment process


1. The following procedures will be adopted for all staff employed by JESS in any capacity.
o All prospective employees are required to submit
 a completed JESS application form,
 a copy of their full curriculum vitae and a covering letter. (A curriculum vitae on its own is not accepted in place of the completed application form.)
o These will be checked by the member of JESS staff who is making the appointment and any gaps or discrepancies will be followed up.
o The application form will be kept on file.
2. Original copies of relevant qualifications (e.g., QTS, degree certificates, etc.) will be required.
o The most relevant qualification certificate/s will need to be notarised and legalised at a UAE embassy in order to meet the requirements of Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Agency (KHDA).
o This can be done once an offer of appointment has been made.
3. All prospective employees are required to give the names and contact details of at least two referees, one of whom must, wherever possible, be the person’s current or most recent employer.
o Formal, written references will be sought directly from the referees.
o Once received, at least one reference will be authenticated by the Headteachers (or their appointed deputy) by a phone call to the supplier of the reference, who may also be asked to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies. Where this is the case, detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges.
o Headteachers (or their appointed deputy) will record the details of the authentication phone call to the referees.
4. Where necessary, previous employers who have not been named as referees may be contacted in order to clarify any such anomalies or discrepancies. Where this is the case, detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges.
5. Among other things, referees will be asked specific questions about the following:
o the candidate’s suitability to work with children and young people;
o any substantiated allegations;
o any disciplinary warnings, including time-expired warnings, relating to the Safeguarding of children and young people;
o the candidate’s suitability for the post.
6. Wherever possible, references will be requested in advance of interview. All references will be kept on file.
7. An identity check is carried out on all candidates who come for interview.
8. All prospective employees who have ever lived or worked in the UK are required to seek an Enhanced DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring Service if their post is deemed to be in a ‘regulated activity’. (Please see below for the definition of ‘regulated activity’). This is made clear in the advertisement and in the published post details, and again when an offer is made to the successful candidate.
9. Candidates working outside the UK at the time of application are required to get a local police check (e.g. A Dubai Police Check for those previously working in Dubai)
10. All initial contracts are subject to a satisfactory outcome of the Disclosure and Barring Service checks. The school’s policy on making decisions about the employment of those with a criminal record is contained in the ‘Policy for the employment of ex-offenders’.
11. In accordance with the School Staffing (Amendment) Regulations 2006, where there is a break in employment of more than three months for a member of staff, a new Enhanced DBS or other Police check will be sought.
12. All prospective appointments will be checked against the ‘Barred List’ before the appointment is confirmed.
13. All prospective appointments for teaching posts will be checked against the ‘Prohibited List’ before the appointment is confirmed. This will be done using the Employer Access service.
14. Successful candidates are sent a Health questionnaire along with their letter of appointment. They are asked to complete and return the questionnaire at the same time as their signed contract. Among other things they are asked to confirm (or otherwise) that they are mentally and physically fit to carry out the responsibilities associated with the post.
15. The procedures set out above will not normally be necessary for:
o visitors to the school, who have no unsupervised contact with pupils; building or other contractors provided they have no unsupervised contact with students;
o volunteers or parents who only accompany staff at specific events or one-off trips (excluding overnight stays); secondary school students on work experience; those on the school site only when students are not present.


8. Regulated Activity


 As per the definition given in Keeping Children Safe in Education, July 2015, a member of staff will be considered to be engaging in ‘regulated activity’ if as a result of their work they:
o will be responsible, on a regular basis in a school or college, for teaching, training instructing, caring for or supervising children; or
o will carry out paid, or unsupervised unpaid, work regularly in a school or college where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children; or
o engage in intimate or personal care or overnight activity, even if this happens only once.
 Regulated activity includes:
a) teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children if the person is unsupervised, or providing advice or guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children,
b) work for a limited range of establishments (known as ‘specified places’, which include schools and colleges), with the opportunity for contact with children, but not including work done by supervised volunteers;
Work under (a) or (b) is regulated activity only if done regularly.


9. Safeguarding-related questions during the selection process


 In the course of selection interviews, and among other things, candidates will be expected to be ready to:
o explain any gaps in employment;
o explain satisfactorily any anomalies or discrepancies in the information available to the panel;
o declare any information that is likely to appear on the DBS disclosure;
o demonstrate their ability to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people and their ability and willingness to promote fundamental British values.


10. Employment checks


 An offer of appointment will be conditional and all successful candidates will be required to:
o provide proof of identity;
o complete an enhanced DBS form and receive satisfactory clearance / obtain a relevant police check;
o provide proof of professional status / qualifications;
o complete a health questionnaire;
o provide proof of eligibility to live and work in the UAE;
o obtain an overseas police check in the case of anyone who within the last five years has lived or worked outside the UK, whether or not the individual concerned is a British citizen.
 All checks will be noted on the school’s Single Central Register of appointments (SCR). All relevant documents will be retained on the personnel file and will be followed up if there are unsatisfactory or if there are any discrepancies in the information received.
 The successful candidate will commence their employment subject to all checks and procedures having been satisfactorily completed. In certain rare circumstances, and exceptionally, a new member of staff may be allowed to start work before the DBS disclosure has been received. Details of the procedure that must be followed in such circumstances are set out in section 12 below.


11. Record Keeping


 The school holds and maintains a Single Central Register of appointments (SCR) which complies with all current regulations and which contains records of all the required documentation and checks for all staff and Governors.
 A central register of Dubai Police/DBS clearance dates will be maintained for all staff who work at the School, regardless of whether they are JESS employees, or are staff employed on contract (e.g. etc.).
 The Central Register for Employees will be held in the School Management Information System and will be maintained by the Human Resources Department.
 The Central Register for Contractors will be held in a single file on the Shared Area. The following staff shall be responsible for updating the register:
 Contractors – The Facilities Manager
 Peripatetic Music Teachers – The Finance Manager
 The M&S Swimming Coaches - The Finance Manager
 Providers for School Clubs – The relevant Headteacher’s PA
 Files on all staff are held centrally and securely in the Director’s Offices by the HR Manager.
 DBS checks will be carried out by the HR Manager.
 All references on staff will normally be requested by the HR Manager and returned to her in the first instance.
o At least one reference will be verified by means of a telephone call to the reference provider and will then be passed on to the member of staff making the appointment before filing.
o Any discrepancies will be followed up as appropriate. The date on which a reference has been verified will be noted on the reference and recorded on PASS and on the SCR.
 The HR Manager is also responsible for a regular check of the HR section of the JESS ISAMS database and for chasing up any documentation that may be missing.
 All the above information will be retained in individual files of evidence for each member of staff.


12. Allowing a new member of staff to start work before receipt of DBS disclosure

12.1. Overview

 Offers of employment at JESS are always predicated upon the receipt of a satisfactory DBS disclosure / relevant police check.
 We conduct our own DBS checks even where the new member of staff has a current disclosure from another school.
 The following standard wording appears in all our offers of employment. It makes clear that the appointment is not definitively confirmed until such time as the disclosure has been received.
o ‘Please note that this offer of employment is subject to a satisfactory outcome to the DBS / police checks that, as a school, we are obliged to request on all our staff, and that the school is entitled to end this employment without notice in the event of any details resulting from the DBS Disclosure / police checks which in the school’s opinion render you unsuitable for employment involving work with children and young people. Please see the section on Disclosure below. The offer is also subject to satisfactory receipt of proof of qualifications and (where relevant) evidence of meeting visa requirements conferring the right to work in the UAE.
12.2. Disclosure
 Please note that, as JESS meets the requirements in respect of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, all applicants who are offered employment are asked to apply for an enhanced Disclosure of criminal background from the Disclosure and Barring Service (‘DBS’) before their appointment is confirmed.

This will include details of cautions, reprimands and final warnings, as well as convictions. Criminal records will be taken into account for recruitment purposes only when the conviction is relevant. Further information about the disclosure scheme can be found at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs. This offer of employment is, therefore, subject to satisfactory completion of the checks that we shall need to undertake with the DBS. The school is entitled to end this employment without notice in the event of any details resulting from the DBS Disclosure which, in the school’s opinion, render you unsuitable for employment involving work with children and young people.’
12.3. Starting work
 We will normally seek to ensure that we have received the DBS disclosure before a new member of staff takes up his or her position. Exceptionally, however, there may be a strong operational need for a newly appointed member of staff to take up his or her position before we have received the disclosure. Under current regulations, ‘a short period of work is allowed under controlled conditions, at the head’s discretion’ (ISI Handbook for the inspection of schools, April 2015 – Part 4, paragraph 216). In such circumstances, the following steps will, in all cases, be followed before the member of staff is allowed to start work:
 The appointment will not be confirmed, in the sense that it will explicitly remain subject to a satisfactory outcome of the DBS checks. The standard wording cited above which appears in all offers of employment covers this point.
a) The DBS application will be submitted before the new member of staff starts work.
b) The suitability of the newly appointed member of staff is checked against the Barred List.
c) In the case of a newly appointed member of the teaching staff, a check is conducted against the Prohibited List to ensure that the candidate is not subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State. The check is carried out using the Employer Access Online service, ‘Prohibited List’.
d) A note of the above checks is made on the Single Central Register of appointments (SCR).
e) At least two satisfactory references must have been received and verified.
f) A written risk assessment is put in place and approved by the Principal in each case. The risk assessment will be kept on the relevant person’s HR file.
g) The risk assessment sets out appropriate safeguards to be put in place, such as appropriate supervision.
h) The member of staff concerned is informed of these safeguards.
i) The safeguards are reviewed regularly, at least every two weeks, until the relevant DBS is received.
 

13. Induction


 As part of their induction, all new members of staff and volunteers will receive information on the school’s Safeguarding policy, including the policy and procedures relating to Whistleblowing and guidance on safer working practices as set out in the Code of Conduct for staff.


14. Supply staff


 All supply staff are subject to the standard relevant checks, including a satisfactory enhanced DBS check, have been satisfactorily completed. Any information disclosed as part of the DBS check will be treated confidentially.
 The Headteachers’ PAs are responsible for ensuring that relevant checks are in place and details recorded on the Central Register.
 JESS will ensure that their staff have received appropriate safeguarding training.
 Staff at JESS will carry out identity checks when the individual arrives at school.


15. External Extra-Curricular Club Providers


 All External Extra-Curricular Club providers are subject to the standard relevant checks, including a satisfactory enhanced DBS check, have been satisfactorily completed. Any information disclosed as part of the DBS check will be treated confidentially.
 The Headteachers’ PAs are responsible for ensuring that relevant checks are in place and details recorded on the Central Register.
 JESS will ensure that their staff have received appropriate safeguarding training.
 Staff at JESS will carry out identity checks when the individual arrives at school.


16. Peripatetic staff


 All supply staff are subject to the standard relevant checks, including a satisfactory enhanced DBS check, have been satisfactorily completed. Any information disclosed as part of the DBS check will be treated confidentially.
 The Central Administrative Team are responsible for ensuring that relevant checks are in place and details recorded on the Central Register.
 JESS will ensure that their staff have received appropriate safeguarding training.
 Staff at JESS will carry out identity checks when the individual arrives at school.

17. Contracted Staff

 All Contracted Staff staff are subject to the standard relevant checks, including a satisfactory enhanced DBS check, have been satisfactorily completed. Any information disclosed as part of the DBS check will be treated confidentially.
 The Central Administrative Team are responsible for ensuring that relevant checks are in place and details recorded on the Central Register.
 JESS will ensure that their staff have received appropriate safeguarding training.
 Staff at JESS will carry out identity checks when the individual arrives at school.