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Safer Recruitment


To ensure we are following our safeguarding requirements and offering a fair system for recruitment of new staff we will adhere to the following procedures:-

We will set out all the essential criteria in the relevant person specification

We will use this to go through each application, checking off whether (or the extent to which) each candidate has met the essential criteria for the role, and use that as the basis for shortlisting – We will always have at least 2 people involved in the shortlisting process (see paragraph 220 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023).

We will use fair criteria and rely only on evidence outlined in the application

Criteria will be taken from the person specification

We will use skills and experience outlined in the application that are relevant to the job in question

We will use the same panel to shortlist and conduct interviews

To reduce the risk of bias and data breaches we will use the same panel for both shortlisting and interviews

We will ask all shortlisted candidates to complete a criminal record self-declarations 

We will ask all shortlisted candidates to complete a self-declaration form, concerning any criminal records or information that would make them unsuitable to work with children, according to KCSIE paragraphs 216 to 219.

The purpose of the self-declaration is to inform the conversations we will have with shortlisted candidates, it will not be used to help us decide who to shortlist. You will have a chance to discuss anything that comes up in the form at the interview stage

We will request two professional references for all shortlisted candidates prior to interview

We will request references prior to interview, however candidates are within their rights to refuse.

If you refuse to provide a reference prior to interview, a conditional job offer will be made subject to satisfactory references being received

We will carry out an online search on shortlisted candidates

This is to help identify any incidents or issues that have happened, and are publicly available online, which we may wish to explore with you at interview. This is explained in paragraph 221 of KCSIE.

See below what checks we do and why we conduct these checks – we use Essex County Council to conduct these checks for us:-

An Internet Check reduces risks to companies, reputation, confidentiality breach and data security. The check identifies a candidate's online presence to look for a variety of potential negative behaviours.

Using external suppliers for these checks eliminates any potential bias formed against any protected characteristics if checked in-house. Using an independent third party is more consistent, faster and compliant as all checks are completed using the exact same process and tools.

What Risk Classifications Are Checked?

A multitude of risk classifications are checked on each platform, they are:

• Extreme views / opinions

• Hate/discriminatory behaviour

• Illegal activities

• Inappropriate / undesirable content

• Potential addiction or substance abuse

• Sexually explicit content

• Violent content

There are protected characteristics which cannot be used in any risk classifications:

• Race or ethnicity

• Religion or belief

• Political opinions

• Sexual orientation

• Disabilities

• Age

What Happens With A Check Request?

• A request for an Internet Check is requested by you

• We will use the data supplied of the candidate to locate them on the Social Media sites

• If they are located and have an online presence, a review is then initiated of all public posts and cross referenced against the risk classifications for all public information within the last 3 years

• Once complete, a report is then sent to you outlining any potential flags and the details of those flags

• It will then be down to you as the employer to establish whether or not there is a potential risk to employing the candidate

What Information Do We Need?

To perform an Internet Check, we would require information commonly found on a

CV. The information required is:

• A Full Name

• Personal Email

• Mobile Phone Number

• Employment History

Thing To Note

• All searches are made using public obtainable data i.e. any profile set to private or any private information cannot be viewed or used in this report.

• Alternative online handles/usernames can be used by anyone creating an account on Social Media. Due to this, if there is not an authentic match to the employee, no result will be logged. This is to ensure there are no false positives in the checking process.

• We will only report to you factual public information checked against our risk classification criteria. It is down to you as the employer to decide if the information found would pose a risk for employment or not.

If you decide to carry out a search, you'll need to consider data protection law and fair hiring practices. Online searches can reveal irrelevant personal information, and may lead to bias in the recruitment process.

Take a look at our guidance on how to carry out an online search for a step-by-step process, and advice on avoiding discrimination.

Don't make hiring decisions based solely on information you find during an online search, and give the applicants the opportunity to address anything of concern that comes up. Remember, information you find online may be:

Misleading, false, or out of context, Out of date, referring to someone other than the applicant

We will discuss at interview any gaps in your employment and education history

As part of the interview process you will be asked about any gaps in your employment history for clarification. We may need to conduct further checks based on the information you provide

We will carry out further checks if you are successful in securing the role

If you are successful we will then carry out further checks to ensure you are suitable for the role this includes checking references (if refused at interview stage), applying for a DBS, checking your right to work in the UK, and any relevant overseas checks. If you have lived/worked overseas we need to ensure you do not have any convictions which may stop us from employing you to work with children. We will ask you to provide evidence from the country in question - See Government Website for what is required for each country

You will need to provide this information before you will be able to take up the post and will responsible for any charges in incurred.