Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is a key theme of the Children Act 2004. The statutory duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, put on schools, further education establishments, local authorities and other statutory organisations under the Education Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004 provide emphasis of a wider context for safer recruitment to be an integral part of any organisation’s responsibilities to safeguard children and young people. For this reason, it is vital that Safer Recruitment protocols are followed within the education sector. At least one interview panellist must have completed their training with an accredited Safer Recruitment training provider to ensure that the best and safest selection of candidates is completed.
The Safer Recruitment training aims to build recruiters’ expertise to quickly identify and areas of concern. The training also provides recruiters with the means to help deter or prevent applications and appointments with unsuitable candidates. By having the Safer Recruitment training, it will enable recruiters to spot the key signs and indicators. This is a vital step in the hiring process, referring continually to school policies and procedures. Finally, the course allows for recruiters to reflect on their own culture of vigilance and organisation’s policies to make valuable improvements to protect children.
FEPS’ Digital Marketing Executive, Fern Taylor, recently attended the course and felt that “It made me think deeply about the importance of how education sectors must be so vigilant in identifying any inappropriate behaviour and applicants”. Within the course, our HR Specialist and Accredited Safer Recruitment trained trainer discussed interview questions that would help question behaviour and attitude types as well as checks that must be carried out within the recruitment process.
It is often hard to remember which types of pre-employment checks are required. Certain roles require applicants to apply for DBS checks as well as those of barred lists or they require an enhanced DBS check. It can pose as a challenge to remember which checks have and have not been carried out. There is also an order in which DBS checks and references can be collected and reviewed, making the whole recruitment process often overwhelming with mountains of admin work and check lists.
Our recruitment software, FACE-Ed can help take the worry out of recruitment as it is Safer Recruitment compliant. The software ensures that all candidates must fill out an electronic application form to comply with Safer Recruitment protocols and Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance. Rather than reviewing every application by eye, FACE-Ed can automatically review the applications for gaps in employment, match qualifications against your person specification and highlights any disability or accessibility issues. FACE-Ed also makes key elements of the application form mandatory such as declarations, submission consent and signature. Our recruitment software will not let through applications that do not meet Safer Recruitment protocols, for example, if the candidate has failed to upload details of their current or most recent employer. At least one of the candidate’s referees must be their current or most recent employer to also meet Safer Recruitment protocols.
Working together, Safer Recruitment training and applicant tracking software can provide schools with peace of mind that they are meeting Safer Recruitment protocols and protecting the school and children from unsuitable applicants.