Safer recruitment is one of the most important aspects of safeguarding children and young people and is a pivotal part of the recruitment process.
The governing body must ensure that there are effective systems in place to recruit new staff, including agency staff, volunteers and coaches. Safer recruitment is not only about vetting people before they start, but to also ensure that the staff code of conduct is robust enough to identify inappropriate behaviour in appointed staff.
A key aspect of safeguarding is the vetting of applicants and prospective volunteers working with children to make sure they are not unsuitable. Guidance about this is in the Governance Handbook (Section 6.7), and in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2018) (Part Three).
Schools and colleges must create a culture of safe recruitment and, as part of that, adopt recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might harm children. At least one person on every interview panel must have completed ‘safer recruitment’ training. However, other people are involved in the recruitment process and consideration should be given to training these people too.
Governing bodies must be clear about the checking and vetting processes, before shortlisting, during the interviews and afterwards. They should be assured there are effective processes in place for arranging checks, including DBS, identity, right to work in the UK and any required overseas police checks, often called a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’.
As part of safer recruitment, all governors must have an enhanced DBS check. In academies, free schools and independent schools, governors must also be checked to ensure they are not prohibited from being a governor, this is often known as the section 128 check.
The governing body or academy trust must reassure itself that all appropriate suitability checks have been undertaken and that the school keeps a Single Central Record (SCR), detailing the range of checks it has carried out on its staff. The SCR should be reviewed to ensure that it is being kept accurately, and in some schools this is done by the safeguarding governor. Whoever reviews the SCR should have had suitable training to understand how the record should be kept.
See this safeguarding information from Doncaster Metropolitan Council for you to review should you need further information.
Use this checklist that can be utilised during the recruitment process to ensure all aspects of the recruitment process adhere to the “Safer Recruitment” policies.