Staff Handbook: Policies
Document owner: PRR
Last reviewed: July 2021
Employee Recruitment and Selection policy
(Seniors, Juniors, Infants including EYFS)
Bristol Grammar School is committed to providing the best possible care and education for its pupils and to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. The School is also committed to providing a supportive and flexible working environment to all its members of staff. The School recognises that, in order to achieve these aims, it is of fundamental importance to attract, recruit and retain staff, of the highest calibre who share this commitment.
The aims of the School’s recruitment policy are as follows:
Employees involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the provisions of this policy.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCEDURE
For clarification ‘staff’ includes teachers, support staff, peripatetic teachers and coaches, part-time staff, gap students, administrative staff, ancillary staff, casual staff and students paid to work at the school. All vacancies will have a detailed job description, including candidate specification which will be available from the School website, or sent out via email upon request.
All applicants for employment will be required to complete an application form containing questions about their academic and employment history and their suitability for the role. Application forms will be checked and any gaps in employment history will be explored with the applicant. A curriculum vitae will not be accepted in place of the completed application form.
Applications will be shortlisted, on the basis of the requirements for the role as outlined in the job description and all shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a formal interview process at which their relevant skills and experience will be discussed in more detail. The interview panel will always include a staff member who has completed an agreed Safer recruitment in education e-learning module.
If it is decided to make an offer of employment following the formal interview process, any such offer will be conditional on satisfactory completion of pre-employment checks, and confirmation of a start date will be subject to completion of these checks, which include:
See Appendix A for further details of the pre-employment checks.
Subject to all other checks being completed, there may be exceptional instances when an individual is allowed to start work under controlled conditions if a DBS or overseas check is delayed, at the sole discretion of the Headmaster, providing that it has been applied for in advance of the start date. Controlled conditions would include appropriate safeguards (supervision of the individual), communications to individual and team members of the safeguards, review of safeguards at least every two weeks. Notes will be made on the Single Central Register of the controlled conditions implemented.
CONTRACTORS AND AGENCY STAFF
Third party contractors engaged by the School must complete the same pre-employment checks for their employees that the School is required to complete for its staff. The School requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before an individual can commence work at the School.
Agencies who supply staff to the School must also complete the pre-employment checks which the School would otherwise complete for its staff. Again, the School requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before an individual can commence work at the School. The School will independently verify the identity of staff supplied by such an agency.
The School retains the right to audit contractors and agencies to ensure pre-employment checks are completed.
RECRUITMENT OF EX-OFFENDERS
The School will not unfairly discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of conviction or other details revealed. The School makes appointment decisions on the basis of merit and ability. If an applicant has a criminal record this will not automatically bar him/her from employment within the School. Instead, each case will be decided on its merits in accordance with the objective assessment criteria set out in Appendix B.
In view of the fact that all positions within the School will amount to “regulated positions” within the meaning of the Protection of Children Act 1999 (in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012), they are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. All convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013) must be declared when applying for a position at the School. A failure to disclose a previous conviction may lead to an application being rejected or, if the failure is discovered after employment has started, may lead to summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct. A failure to disclose a previous conviction may also amount to a criminal offence.
Under the relevant legislation, it is unlawful for the School to employ anyone who is included on the barred lists maintained by the DBS of individuals who are considered unsuitable to work with children.
It is a criminal offence for any person who is disqualified from working with children to attempt to apply for a position within the School. The School will report the matter to the Police and the DBS if:
RETENTION OF RECORDS
If an applicant is appointed, the School will retain any relevant information provided on their application form (together with any attachments) and the pre-employment check data on their personnel file. If the application is unsuccessful, all documentation relating to the application will normally be confidentially destroyed after six months.
Oct 2021 CFG
October 2019 - Pupils and Staff Committee
APPENDIX A – PRE-EMPLOYMENT CHECKS
In accordance with the recommendations set out in the DfE Guidance, the School carries out a number of pre-employment checks in respect of all prospective employees.
Verification of Identity, Address and Qualifications
All applicants who are invited to an interview will be required to bring the following evidence of identity, right to work in the UK, address and qualifications:
Where an applicant claims to have changed their name by deed poll or any other mechanism (e.g. marriage, adoption, statutory declaration) they will be required to provide documentary evidence of the change.
Proof of date of birth is necessary so that the School may verify the identity of, and check for any unexplained discrepancies in the employment and education history of all applications. The School does not discriminate against applicants on the grounds of age.
References will, in general, be taken up on short listed candidates prior to 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 employer does/did not involve work with children, then the second referee 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 this 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 and person specification for the role which the applicant has applied for. 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 only 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.
Criminal Records Check
Due to the nature of the work, the School applies for an enhanced disclosure with barred lists from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in respect of all prospective staff members deemed to be employed in regulated activity, including peripatetic staff, casual and fixed term employees and volunteers. In line with DfE guidance the School will apply for an enhanced disclosure only for all Governors, this does not include the barred list check.
An enhanced disclosure will contain details of those convictions on record (including those which are defined as “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) that are not ‘protected’ under the amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2014) together with details of any cautions, reprimands or warnings held on the Police National Computer. An enhanced disclosure may also contain non-conviction information from local police records which a chief police officer thinks may be relevant in connection with the matter in question.
Where applicants have recent periods of overseas residence or little or no previous UK residence they will be asked to provide further information, including an overseas criminal records check from the relevant jurisdiction(s).
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.
It is the School’s practice that all applicants to whom an offer of employment is made must complete a medical fitness self-declaration form and an employment health questionnaire. The information contained in the questionnaire will then be held by the School in strictest confidence and will not form part of the selection process. The information contained in the questionnaire is reviewed against their specific role requirements, as outlined in the job description and the particulars of the working environment. If it is deemed necessary the School will refer them to for an Occupational Health assessment to consider reasonable adjustments in consultation with the applicant. The School may also seek a further medical opinion from a specialist or GP.
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.
Prohibition order check
For all teaching posts the School will use Teacher Services to check that the applicant is not subject to a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128 of the 2008 Education and Skills Act or section 142 of the 2002 Education Act. The information provided about a teacher confirms that they have:
The information received will be fully considered and any concerns raised will be fully investigated with the applicant prior to making any decision regarding an offer of employment.
In addition a check for prohibition from management, where required, will be carried out. There are two ways to check for prohibition from management:
APPENDIX B – ASSESSING DISCLOSED CRIMINAL RECORD INFORMATION
In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a DBS check, the School will consider the following factors before reaching a decision regarding an offer of employment:
If the post involves regular contact with children, it is the School’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of any of the following offences:
If the post involves access to money or budget responsibility, it is the School’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of robbery, burglary, theft, deception or fraud.
If the post involves some driving responsibilities, it is the School’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted of drink driving within the last ten years.
In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a DBS check, the School will carry out a risk assessment by reference to the criteria set out above.
If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a DBS certificate, they can do so by contacting the DBS direct. In cases where the applicant would otherwise be offered a position were it not for the disputed information, the School will, where practicable, defer a final decision about the appointment until the applicant has had a reasonable opportunity to challenge the disclosure information.
Retention and Security of Disclosure Information
The School’s policy is to observe the guidance issued or supported by the DBS on the use of disclosure information, but is under no obligation to do so.
In particular the School will: