Safer Recruitment Policy

Policy Aims

Learning Hive’s greatest priority is to ensure that our organisation meets its commitment to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and we acknowledge the importance that safer recruitment plays in this. We are committed to:

  • Recruiting staff of the highest calibre, who share our commitment to safeguarding.
  • Ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and statutory guidance, including ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2020’.
  • Providing a service which goes ‘beyond compliance’ and advocates best practice.
  • Working in partnership with schools to provide a safer workforce.
  • Through our robust recruitment procedures, we aim to deter unsuitable individuals in the first instance. If, during the course of application, an individual does not meet the requirements, their application will not be accepted. These requirements are outlined in this document. 

Recruitment process

Advertising

Our website and recruitment marketing literature contains the following statement: 

“As an organisation which recruits tutors and facilitates them working with young people, we take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously. We expect all our tutors and staff to share this commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. “

The pre-employment checks which applicants will be subject to are clearly and transparently displayed throughout the online application process. Our partner schools will also be provided with this information.

The following screening questions are asked on the initial application process:

  • What area do you live in?
  • What is the highest qualification you have?
  • Do you have a valid DBS?
  • How many year(s) of teaching experience do you have?

Pre interview questions

Pre-interview questions are sent to the candidate before the interview, for them to complete and send back to Learning Hive before their interview. Some pre-interview questions are 

  • What makes you the best candidate for the tutoring position available?
  • What does education mean to you?
  • Tell us about a current issue in education?

Interviews

Once analysis, scrutiny and validation of the individual’s initial application form and supporting information is complete, an interview is held with the applicant. 

Interviewers have received Safer Recruitment training and how to perform safeguarding interviews. The interview follows a set format and includes safeguarding questions to explore the following:

  • The applicant’s values and attitudes towards children
  • The applicant’s passion for education
  • His or her ability to support schools’ agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • Gaps in the candidate’s employment history, reasons for leaving teaching posts or moving into supply teaching from permanent teaching mid-career
  • Concerns or discrepancies arising from the information provided by the candidate and/or a reference
  • Opportunity to declare any additional information which may not have been included in the application process

Other questions may include:

  • Describe a positive teaching experience
  • How would you deal with a student who is distracted or misbehaving?
  • What does education mean to you?
  • How would you handle a child disclosing something sensitive to you?

To verify the candidates mental and physical fitness to carry out the work responsibilities, a job applicant may be asked relevant questions about their disability and health. This will be to establish whether they have the physical and mental capacity for the specific role.

Successful Candidates Pre-Appointment Checks

In addition to completing an application form, the applicant is required to submit the following documents to Learning Hive: 

  • Teaching certificates (If applicable)
  • QTS certificate (If applicable)
  • Evidence of qualifications (GCSE/A-Level/BSc/BA)
  • Valid Enhanced DBS certificate with Barred List check
  • Proof of right to work in the UK (If foreign national)
  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Details of any spent and unspent convictions

During the application process, tutors are warned that providing false information may be an offence and could result in the application being rejected, subsequent reversal of a successful application and that they may be referred to the police. 

Validation

Our designated safeguarding team thoroughly analyses and evaluates each application. This includes:

Validating the applicant’s DBS status, If the applicant has subscribed to the DBS update service, this will be checked via the online portal, ensuring that they have Enhanced DBS with children’s barred lists check. If they have not, they are required to submit their existing DBS to Learning Hive, and then apply for another with Learning Hive.

An original proof of ID and proof of address is also requested, to verify against the scanned copy the applicant submitted online.

If a person has lived or worked outside the UK, further checks may be necessary. 

References

We request written professional and character references directly from two independent referees provided by the applicant and endeavour to follow up one of these with a telephone call. 

This provides an opportunity to check that information is not contradictory or incomplete. Open references or references ‘to whom it may concern’ are not accepted. As the head teacher/principal is in receipt of any allegations and confidential information about staff, it is good practice to check that references are provided by the head teacher or principal.

Where applicants have worked with children, either in a paid role or volunteer basis, the current or most recent employer will be asked about all substantiated safeguarding allegations and disciplinary procedures that employers are legally permitted to release. In line with OFSTED best practice, we endeavour to gain all school references from headteachers/principals. Regardless of the content of the written references provided, or who provided it, these are all followed up with a telephone call to the head teacher/principal, again as per OFSTED best practice. If head teachers/directors insist on delegating this, confirmation is sought that the head teacher/director has been directly consulted. 

Overseas checks

For overseas applicants and staff who have lived or worked outside the UK, additional checks will be made, such as obtaining certificates of good conduct from relevant embassies or police forces. We will follow the guidance as laid out in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Paragraphs 156-157.

Approval or rejection

Where the analysis, scrutiny and risk evaluation were completed satisfactorily, with no causes for concern or unexplained anomalies, the application will be approved. This will be recorded in the database, and only at this point will tutors be placed with our young learners. Where there are any unexplained anomalies, causes for concern (no matter how minor) or validation checks that cannot be completed, the application will be investigated by the recruitment team. Where concerns cannot be resolved, the application will be rejected. Applicants will be informed by email whether their application has been accepted or rejected.

Start of employment and induction

All pre-employment checks will be completed before an individual is approved by Learning Hive. All successful candidates will then be required to attend a half-day Learning Hive Tutor Training Workshop and complete a Level 2 safeguarding course. 

Once completed training, tutors are required to confirm that they have read the following documents before they are available to be placed with young learners:

  • Learning Hive Safeguarding Policy
  • Learning Hive Handbook

Tutors with be actively and strongly encouraged to register with the DBS update service. Checks will initially be made manually, but the system will very shortly be configured to check the Update Service automatically. Checks can therefore occur daily, not just periodically. Should a disclosure be added, this will be flagged immediately and will be reviewed before they are placed with a young learner. This mitigates the risk of the tutor having further and inappropriate contact with children. 

If an individual starts before a DBS certificate is available, they will be appropriately supervised and not left alone with children. All other pre-appointment checks will be completed including a separate Barred List check.

Responding to allegations against tutors

If an allegation is made against a tutor, it is the responsibility of the centre in which the allegation was made to follow the allegations procedures in line with statutory guidance (Keeping Children Safe in Education). In the first instance the centre Director/safeguarding lead should consider whether the information contained in the allegation indicates that the threshold for LADO intervention has been met (see paragraph 146 of Keeping Children Safe in Education).

If the threshold has been met it is the centre's responsibility to contact the LADO. The centre manager/safeguarding lead will be involved in any allegations meetings that take place and will ensure that agreed actions are met. Learning Hive understand that if an individual is removed from working in regulated activity (or would have been removed had they not left) a referral must be made, by law, to the Disclosure and Barring Service. In this case, the centres will complete the referral.

If, having considered the allegation information, the centre considers that the threshold for LADO intervention has not been met, arrangements should be made with the centre manager to meet and resolve the case without delay. HR support will be used for this meeting.

For more information, please refer to our Whistleblowing Policy.  

Monitoring

These policy and procedures will be reviewed annually, or in the following circumstances: 

  • Changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • As required by the Department for Education or Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • As a result of any other significant change or event

Reviewed by: Atif Hussain (Director/Safeguarding Lead)

Written by: Nayeer Afzal (Designated Safeguarding Lead)    

Date: 20/10/2021

Date of next review: 20/10/2022

Got a question? Get in touch

A journey for success

Get in touch

Start your journey with
Learning Hive

Register
or speak to one of our consultants on 0207 112 8658