Safer Recruitment Policy

1. Introduction

The purpose of the selection process is three-fold:

  • to ascertain that an applicant has the necessary qualifications, experience, knowledge and skills to perform the role for which they are applying
  • to ensure that the applicant has the legal right to employment
  • to ensure that the applicant is, as far as can be ascertained, suitable to work with children

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Criminal Records Check Policy and Equality and Diversity Policy.

2. Pre-Employment Checks

In order to ensure applicants meet the criteria for employment, they must undergo a series of pre-employment checks all of which need to be completed satisfactorily before they can be accepted as a suitable worker.  Any offer of appointment made to a successful candidate, including one who has lived or worked abroad, must be conditional on satisfactory completion of the necessary pre-employment checks.  These include:

  • face-to-face interview
  • verification of identity
  • verification of date of birth
  • verification of the right to work in the UK
  • verification of qualifications
  • confirmation that a teacher is not subject to a prohibition order issued by the US Secretary of State or subject to any EEA restrictions or sanctions, for which a check will be carried out via the NCTL website. Any restrictions or sanctions highlighted by this search will be dealt with appropriately
  • obtaining a certificate for an enhanced DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check, which includes a barred list check for all staff who will be engaging in a regulated activity
  • obtaining a separate barred list check if an individual will start work in a regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available
  • if the candidate has been outside of the UK for more than six months in the past five years, an additional criminal record check from any countries visited will be required
  • additional criminal record check from country of abode for overseas applicants
  • check to ensure that the applicant is not disqualified under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
  • verification of mental and physical fitness to carry out the work responsibilities
  • employment history check
  • reference check
  • English language fluency check

In order to support these checks the following documentation will be required:

  • completed application form
  • passport or national ID card or photo driver’s licence as ID
  • bank statement or utility bill (other than a mobile phone bill) as proof of address
  • marriage certificate or divorce certificate or change of name documentation, if applicable
  • list of all family names used
  • list of all UK addresses in the last 5 years, if applicable
  • visa / vignette, if applicable
  • biometric residence permit, if applicable
  • tertiary qualification certificates and/or degree transcripts for all qualifications, even if non-teaching
  • teacher reference number (for teachers with QTS)
  • overseas teacher registration card or letter, if applicable
  • overseas police check, if applicable – this must be less than six months old at the time of starting work if the candidate is coming directly from that country. In the event that an overseas police check cannot be obtained, an overseas criminal record declaration must be completed.
  • at least two professional teaching references – these must be written by the Head Teacher or a senior leader who has observed the candidate teach. They must be written on school letterhead, addressed to UCM Education Limited and signed by the author. Alternatively, a UCM Education Limited reference form may be completed by the referee.
  • if the most recent position was not a teaching role, an additional last employer reference
  • completed safeguarding questionnaires to support each reference

Only valid, current and original documentation will be accepted.  Photocopies or documentation printed from the internet, e.g. internet bank statements, are not acceptable.  Furthermore, all documents must be in the applicant’s current name, with the exception of qualifications which may have been obtained prior to a name change. All previous names must be provided, and documentary proof to support the name change must be provided.

UCM Education Limited reserves the right to decline candidates at any stage of the recruitment process if the candidate does not or is unable to demonstrate they meet legal or company requirements.

Written confirmation will be provided to clients of all checks carried out on a candidate to enable the client to maintain a single central record.

3. Interview

All candidates placed by UCM Education Ltd undergo the following interview process:

  • An initial competency-based interview by telephone to assess their suitability for a particular position
  • Confirmation of their documentation and references
  • Safeguarding interview to determine their understanding, whether they have had any safeguarding problem in the past and any training they have had
  • Online registration
  • Face-to-face interview and production of original documentation

The final interview is compliance-based, and a form is completed to record any notes from the interview (shown in the Appendix).

4. Qualifications

A person specification will be provided to all applicants, irrespective of the position to which they are applying. It sets out the criteria for essential and desirable requirements in terms of education and qualifications, knowledge and experience, skills and abilities and personal attributes deemed necessary for the role. The person specification also indicates the method by which each of these aspects will be judged.

All applicants wishing to be placed in a teaching position must hold a recognised teaching qualification.

Degree certificates and /or transcripts must be provided for all qualifications, including any non- teaching-related courses.  Candidates holding qualifications from outside of the UK will need to provide evidence of equivalence for their qualifications, usually provided as a statement of comparability from NARIC to confirm the comparable level of overseas qualifications in the UK.  Certificates must be in English, or an official translation provided.

Certification of Qualified Teacher Status or a Teacher Registration Number (TRN) is required for anyone who has completed teacher training in England or has achieved QTS by other means.  Teachers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and the EU will be required to obtain QTS, if not already held. Teachers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and USA may also be eligible to apply for QTS and will be encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

A check will be made for anyone holding QTS to ascertain whether an induction year is required but has not yet been completed or has been failed.  A qualified teacher who gained QTS on or after 1 September 2007, but who has not completed an induction period, can only undertake short-term supply work of less than one term in a relevant school for a maximum period of five years from the point of award of QTS.  Without completing induction, a teacher cannot be considered for long-term positions (longer than 1 term) in a state-maintained school.

Confirmation of teaching qualification is required for all applicants for teaching positions. Where applicable, this will be achieved by reference to teacher registration. In addition to a registration card or letter from the issuing registration authority, an online check of registration will be carried out by UCM Education Limited, where relevant. Those with QTS are automatically registered with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). UCM Education Limited is registered to use the DfE Employer Access database, and this will be used to verify QTS and induction. Where teacher registration is not applicable, confirmation of qualification is required from the issuing university.

Where overseas-trained teachers (OTTs) have not gained QTS, a further check to ensure that the ‘four-year rule’ whereby they are able to teach in the UK for four years as an unqualified teacher, has not been breached. Any OTT who has not achieved QTS within this time period does not meet the requirement to teach in state-maintained schools and, therefore, may not be able to fulfil the qualification requirement.

5. References

The purpose of seeking references is to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. References must be obtained, scrutinised and any concerns resolved satisfactorily before an appointment is confirmed.

A minimum of two satisfactory and current references are required for ALL applicants and must be requested directly by UCM Education Limited from the referee. Open references, for example in the form of ‘to whom it may concern’ letters or testimonials are not acceptable.

References must be written by line-managers who have the necessary authority, and in the case of applicants for teaching positions, must have observed the applicant teach. For experienced teachers, this will be the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher or Head of Department. In the case of newly qualified teachers, this may be teaching practice mentor teachers and/or university teaching practice supervisors.

In order to comply with safeguarding procedures, a reference must be sought from the applicant’s most recent employer. If an applicant for a teaching post is not currently employed as a teacher, this will be an additional non-teaching reference. If relevant, a check will be made with the school, college or local authority at which they were most recently employed to confirm details of their employment and their reasons for leaving.

All references must be addressed to UCM Education Limited. They must be written on school or official organisation letterhead and signed by hand by the referee. When requesting references UCM Education provides referees with a list of areas which are required to be included in the reference. In order to assist with this, a UCM Education Limited reference form will be sent to all referees, which they may or may not choose to complete. If obtained via email, a professional email address must be used for all references.  Referees are asked to provide information which relates to concerns about the candidate working with children, if the candidate has been dismissed from a childcare position and if the referee is aware of any problems in relation to safeguarding and child protection.