The safe recruitment of Bright World staff is key to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people who are under our guardianship care. In line with recent legislation including Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018), Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) and Department for Education ‘Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education’ (2007), Bright World takes seriously the care for all students. The company is committed to an effective, efficient and consistent Safer Recruitment Policy. The policy focuses on the measures in place to recruit candidates who are suitable to work with children, and to deter, reject or identify people who pose a risk to the safeguarding of children. This policy is linked to the overarching Bright World Safeguarding Policy document. This policy applies to candidates who are recruited for full time and part time roles including Head Office Staff and Local Co-ordinators. The recruitment of Travel Companies is covered by the Travel Company Safer Recruitment Policy, and the recruitment of Homestays is covered by the Host Family Safer Recruitment Policy.
Aims of the policy
The aims of the policy are: • To ensure that Bright World meets the commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks as part of the Safer Recruitment process • To ensure that the best possible members of staff are recruited on their abilities and suitability for the advertised role in line with relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance • To ensure that all no applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age; The recruitment and selection process should ensure the identification of the person best suited to the advertised role based on the applicant’s abilities, qualification, experience and merit as measured against the job description and person specification. If a member of staff involved in the recruitment process has a close personal or familial relationship with an applicant, they must declare it as soon as they are aware of the individual’s application and avoid any involvement in the recruitment and selection decision-making process Recruitment and Selection Procedure Advertising a role
Bright World Guardianships plan the recruitment exercise to ensure that the recruitment panel are clear about the qualities, qualifications and experience are needed by the successful candidate, and whether there are any particulate matters that need to be mentioned in the advertisement for the post. This is in order to prevent unwanted applications or ultimately an unsuitable appointment. The Managing Directors will notify the Director of Safeguarding & Operations that an appointment is to be made, and the Director of Safeguarding & Operations, together with the Designated Safeguarding Leads (Lana & James Foster) will oversee the Safer Recruitment policy and process for the appointment.
Planning the recruitment exercise means that Bright World Guardianships identify who should be involved. This should include at least one member of the Accommodation and Travel Department (who are Safer Recruitment trained), assigning responsibilities to panel members and organising the time required to work through each stage to ensure that safeguarding is thoroughly considered. This includes aiming to obtain references on shortlisted candidates before interview. Where a member of the Accommodation and Travel Department are not available, a member of staff who has successfully completed the NSPCC online Safer Recruitment course will lead the process.
The job specification and person specification for each role form part of the pack sent to prospective candidates, and set out the extent that the role involves working with children and young people, and the safeguarding responsibility involved.
Advertisements for roles make Bright World Guardianships commitment to safeguarding clear through the company’s mission statement: “Bright World is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment”, and reference to the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the job descriptions.
Bright World Guardianships advertisements also include the requirement for each applicant obtaining an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check from original identification documents, and where relevant documents to prove their right to work in the UK where relevant. The advertisements also include details of the post, payments and qualities required to fulfil the role.
Bright World Guardianships do not accept curriculum vitae’s (CV’s) drawn up the applicant without an accompanying application forms being submitted. This is because a CV presents only the information the applicant wishes to present and may omit relevant details. The application form details the safeguarding mission statement, the requirement for an applicant to have an enhanced DBS and for references to be sought prior to interview where possible. Completed application forms and accompanying CV’s are stored securely on a confidential computer drive by the Directors.
The Directors and Senior Manager Team maintain the bank of job adverts on a secure and confidential ‘Cloud’ storage website. The storage site is password protected and accessible to members of staff who have completed Safer Recruitment training. The storage site is organised per department, role, and ensures compliance with Safer Recruitment guidance. This includes ensuring the job description makes reference to the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The details are circulated via online advertising organisations which requires applicants to submit expressions of interest together with their CV to the company.
The Application Form
On receipt of expressions of interest and accompanying CV’s, the Safeguarding Lead will screen initial submissions, and the application form will be launched to applicants who have the potential to meet the requirements of the job specification and person specification.
The Application Form for all posts obtains:
full identifying details of the applicant including current and former names, date of birth, current address and National Insurance number; • a statement of any academic and/or vocational qualifications the applicant has obtained that are relevant to the position for which s/he is applying with details of the awarding body and date of award; • a full history in chronological order since leaving secondary education, including periods of any postsecondary education/training and part-time and voluntary work as well as full time employment, with start and end dates, explanations for periods not in employment, education or training and reasons for leaving employment; 36 Safeguarding children and safer recruitment in education • a declaration of any family or close relationship to existing employees or employers (including councillors and governors); • details of referees. One referee should be the applicant’s current or most recent employer and normally two referees should be sufficient. N.B. Where an applicant who is not currently working with children has done so in the past it is important that a reference is also obtained from the employer by whom the person was most recently employed in work with children. The form should make it clear that references will not be accepted from relatives or from people writing solely in the capacity of friends, and that references may be sought from previous employers on short listed candidates for information to verify particular experience or qualifications, before interview; and • a statement of the personal qualities and experience that the applicant believes are relevant to his/her suitability for the post advertised and how s/he meets the person specification
Applicants will be asked to declare that they are not disqualified from working with children through the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) Barring Lists, or subject to sanctions imposed by a regulatory or professional body, and has no convictions, cautions or bind overs. There will be a self disclosure process introduced to ensure the applicant has an opportunity to raise all information in a confidential way. Any disclosures can be discussed with them prior to or at interview (pending receipt of the completed enhanced DBS check). Bright World Guardianships has a Self Disclosure Form which is used by a member of the interview panel to confirm the identification checks completed to process the enhanced DBS check, and also by the applicant to disclose any information in advance about his or her criminal record which they would like to offer.
If the applicant is currently working with children, on either a paid or voluntary basis, his/her current employer with children will be asked about disciplinary offences relating to children, including any in which the penalty is time-expired (that is where a warning could no longer be taken into account in any new disciplinary hearing for example) and whether the applicant has been the subject of any child protection concerns and, if so, the outcome of any enquiry or disciplinary procedure. If the applicant is not currently working with children but has done so in the past, that previous employer will be asked about those issues.
Providing false information may be an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected and possible referral to the police
The Job Description and Person Specification
Once a post becomes vacant or a new post is created, the Managing Director will review the job description to ensure compliance with the Safer Recruitment guidance.
The job description should state the main duties and responsibilities of the post; and the individual’s responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children s/he is responsible for or comes into contact with. The extent of this responsibility will vary according to the nature of the post being advertised.
The Person Specification
The Person Specification is supplementary information to the job description and lists essential and desirable criteria for the post, including experience, competencies and qualities that the successful candidate should be able to demonstrate. The Person Specification should explain how these requirements will be tested and assessed during the selection process. This document will be reviewed by the Managing Director to ensure compliance with the Safer Recruitment guidance.
The Person Specification will explain that the interview will explore issues relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children including:
- motivation to work with children;
– ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with children;
– emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours”; and
– explain that if the applicant is short-listed any relevant issues arising from his/her references will be taken up at interview.
The Application Information Pack
In addition to the application form, an information pack is sent to applicants. The pack will contain:
- The application form – The job description and person specification – Requirement to complete an enhanced DBS Disclosure – Bright World will seek references and may approach previous employers for information and verification of experience or qualifications – Child Protection Policy statement – a statement of the terms and conditions relating to the post – Information about the applicant’s current employer being contacted and asked about any disciplinary offences or relevant information relating to children, where the applicant is currently working with children on a paid or voluntary basis (including expired offences).
Scrutinising and shortlisting applications
Two members of staff are responsible for scrutinising applications and short listing candidates. The guidance recommends that at least one member of the panel is Safer Recruitment trained.
All applications are checked to ensure they are fully and properly completed, that the information is consistent, does not contain any discrepancies and to ensure that any gaps in employment are identified.
As per the Safer Recruitment guidance, incomplete application forms will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant for completion.
Any gaps in employment will be noted and considered during the short listing process. In addition, reasons for any repeated changes of employment without a clear career or salary progression, or a mid-career move from a permanent post to supply teaching or temporary work will also be explored and verified.
All applicants will be assessed equally against the criteria contained in the person specification without exception or variation and without unlawful discrimination.
Bright World Guardianships seek references from each application to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. References will always be sought and obtained directly from the referee with comments requested on work, professional competence and personal qualities. Applicants must provide a minimum of two professional references.
Referees are asked to comment on work, professional competence and personal qualities. Referees are asked to comment on the applicant’s suitability to work with children, to outline any concerns about the applicant with children or any disciplinary details.
‘To whom it may concern’ references are not accepted by Bright World Guardianships to reduce the risk of making an appointment decision on a forged reference.
Where (due to operational need) a reference is secured over the telephone, the reference must be obtained in writing to provide a record of the information obtained from the referee.
Any offer of employment will always be conditional on the receipt of satisfactory references.
References should always be obtained in writing and telephone contact made to verify the reference where possible.
Invitation to interview
In addition to the arrangements for interviews – time and place, directions to the venue, membership of the interview panel – the invitation should remind candidates about how the interview will be conducted and the areas it will explore including suitability to work with children. Enclosing a copy of the person specification can usefully draw attention to the relevant information.
The invitation should also stress that the identity of the successful candidate will need to be checked thoroughly to ensure the person is who he or she claims to be, and that where an enhanced DBS Disclosure is appropriate the person will be required to complete an application for a DBS Disclosure straight away. Consequently all candidates should be instructed to bring with them documentary evidence of their identity that will satisfy the requirements of an enhanced DBS .i.e. either a current driving licence or passport including a photograph, or a full birth certificate, plus a document such as a utility bill or financial statement that shows the candidate’s current name and address and where appropriate change of name documentation. In addition, where the candidate needs permission to work in the UK, they must produce this documentation at the interview for checking and verification.
Candidates should also be asked to bring documents confirming any educational and professional qualifications that are necessary or relevant for the post, e.g. the original or a certified copy of a certificate, or diploma, or a letter of confirmation from the awarding body. If the successful candidate cannot produce original documents or certified copies, written confirmation of his or her relevant qualifications should be obtained from the awarding body.
A copy of the documents used to verify the successful candidate’s identity, right to work and required qualifications should be kept for the personnel file. Separate copies of documents are not required to be kept in order to meet the requirements of maintaining the single central record.
The interview will be conducted by at least 2 people who will have met before the interview to agree the required standard for the role, consider the issues to be explored with each candidate and how the interview will be conducted.
Two interviewers allow for one interviewer to observe and assess the candidate while the other interviewer makes notes using the pre-planned competency based question set. This reduces the possibility of any dispute about what was said or asked during the interview.
The panel will agree the questions they will ask candidates during the interview, the issues that may have been identified in the application form and references that may need exploring. This should include:
• the candidate’s attitude toward children; Using Warner style questions • his or her ability to support the authority or establishment’s agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; • gaps in the candidate’s employment history; • concerns or discrepancies arising from the information provided by the candidate and/or a reference; and • the panel should also ask the candidate if they wish to declare anything in light of the requirement for an enhanced DBS check
The panel will record the interview on the Bright World Interview Form which is saved on the Dropbox – Staffing Organisation – Safer Recruitment – Interview Forms.
If, for whatever reason, references are not obtained before the interview, the candidate should also be asked at interview if there is anything s/he wishes to declare or discuss in light of the questions that have been (or will be) put to his/her referees. It is vital that the references are obtained and scrutinised before a person’s appointment is confirmed and before s/he starts work
The interview process will ask the candidate to produce original documentation of any educational or professional qualifications that are necessary or relevant to the post. If the candidate is not able to produce the certificates, written confirmation of his or her relevant qualifications must be obtained from the awarding body.
A copy of the documents used to verify the candidate’s identity, right to work in the U.K. and qualifications must be kept for the personnel file. These should be checked, signed and dated by the verifier. Confirmation that these documents have been inspected should be recorded in the Personnel section of the confidential Dropbox folder.
Warner Style Questions
Motivations for Working With Children
Questions You Could Ask
• Why do you want to work with children?
• How do you think your own childhood may have influenced your career choice?
• What was the impact or result of this?
• Can you tell us about your interests outside of work?
• What do you think motivates young people?
• What do you have to offer children or young people in terms of support?
• How would you motivate children and young people?
• What has working with children taught you about yourself?
• When working with children, what do you consider to be your biggest strengths and areas to improve?
• Can you give an example of how children have benefited from contact with you?
These types of questions are designed to learn more about the candidates self-awareness, knowledge and understanding of self and professional role. Do they show passion, realistic knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and also give good, detailed examples when asked with sound reasons.
Understanding of Child Protection Principles
Questions You Could Ask
• What do you think are some challenges staff are facing today?
• Have you experienced any of these?
• How did you deal with them and what did you do to avoid them?
• What would you do if you were concerned about a colleague’s behaviour towards children?
• What would you do if you were concerned about a child’s behaviour?
• Can you spot the signs that a child is suffering from a type of abuse, neglect or harm? What are these signs?
• How do Bright World create a safe and caring place for students?
• How have you contributed to this in the past?
• What policies are important to support a safe environment?
• Why are these policies important?
• What are the staff members’ responsibilities in protecting children?
• What have you done in the past 12 months to improve child protection in the workplace?
• Do you know the procedure for reporting a case?
• Do you know how to behave before, during and after a disclosure?
• Are you aware of the relevant people you need to contact and make aware of a potential case?
These questions are designed to test the knowledge of safeguarding and child protection principles to see how aware they are. Do they have up-to-date knowledge of legislation, current policies and practices to answer the interview questions appropriately.
Do they provide strong examples of their own experience and you are they prepared to challenge working practices if necessary to show a proactive attitude.
When answering these questions, it’s important that safeguarding is seen as part of the role, not as an ‘add-on.’ In general, be sure to show willingness and eagerness to work with others to improve safeguarding.
Emotional Maturity and Resilience
Questions You Could Ask
• Can you tell me about a time where you worked with children and your authority was seriously challenged?
• How did you react to this and how did you manage the situation?
• What strategies did you employ to ensure the situation remained on track?
• Can you tell me about a person you have had some difficulty dealing with?
• What made it difficult?
• How did you manage this situation?
• Have you ever felt uncomfortable about a colleague’s behaviour towards children in a previous job?
• What did you do?
• How was this issue resolved?
These types of questions are designed to test their consistency under pressure, their ability to use authority, respond appropriately and the ability to seek assistance or support when they need it. These interview questions might not always be directly associated with safeguarding, but there’s still a correlation.
Safeguarding is a sensitive subject area and in the case of a disclosure conversation with a child or young person, they need to maintain control over their emotions. Their answers will tell you as the interviewer how they behave under pressure and in a position of authority, how they take action to concerns and if they understand how to seek help.
Values and Ethics
Questions You Could Ask
• What are your attitudes to child protection and safeguarding?
• How have these developed over time?
• Can you tell me about a time when a child behaved in a way that caused you concern?
• How did you deal with this situation?
• How would you deal with this in the future?
• Who else did you involve?
• What are your feelings about children and young people who make allegations against staff members?
• How do you feel when somebody holds an opinion which differs from your own?
• How do you behave in this situation?
• Have you ever had concerns about a colleague’s ability to deal with children?
• How did you deal with this?
• How can you personally support the Council’s safeguarding agenda?
• In your experience, what’s the best way to deal with bullying?
• Can you give an example of how you’ve tackled this in the past?
These questions test their ability to build and sustain professional standards and relationships. It also revolves around their level of understanding, how they respect other people’s opinions and how they can contribute towards creating a safer and protective environment for children and young people.
With their answers, they will need to show that they seriously understand the realities of abuse and believe what a child or young person is telling them. They also need to demonstrate a balanced understanding of right and wrong, show respect for other people’s feelings and circumstances as well as showing an appreciation of safeguarding issues.
Boundaries and Inappropriate Behaviour
Questions You Could Ask
• Can you give an example of where you’ve had to deal with bullying behaviour?
• What was the result of this?
• How did you know this was a situation?
• Can you give an example of how you’ve responded to challenging behaviour from children?
• How did this affect you emotionally?
• Why did you respond in this way?
• When do you think it’s appropriate to physically intervene in a situation involving children and young people?
• How do you define an appropriate staff and student relationship?
• Can you give examples of what you would consider being appropriate and inappropriate behaviour between or towards students?
Questions like these about boundaries and inappropriate behaviour allow interviewers to understand what the candidate feels is right and wrong. It shows self-awareness of impact on others and their awareness on appropriate boundaries and behaviour in general.
Conditional Offer of Appointment
The successful candidate will be conditional upon the receipt of at least two satisfactory references, proof of identification, proof of right to work in the UK (if appropriate), an enhanced DBS check, verification of qualifications where they are a requirement of the post and the completion of any probationary period.
Bright World Guardianships will seek advice from the company’s Human Resources lead and follow relevant DBS guidance if a check reveals information that a candidate has not disclosed in the course of the selection process. Enhanced DBS checks will always be followed up where the results are unsatisfactory or there are discrepancies in the information provided.
Where the candidate is found to be disqualified from working with children by a court; or an applicant has provided false information in, or in support of, his or her application; or there are serious concerns about an applicant’s suitability to work with children, the facts must be reported to the police and/or the Independent Safeguarding Authority) by the Designated Safeguarding Leads: James & Lana Foster.
Post Appointment: Induction
Newly appointed staff members have an induction programme to complete regardless of previous experience. The induction programme includes policy and procedure training, details of the support available for individuals in their new role, confirmation of the Staff Code of Conduct, and provides opportunities for new staff members to discuss any issues or concerns through 1:1 meetings with their supervisor.
The content and nature of the induction will vary according to the role and previous experience of the new member of staff, however will always include the safeguarding policy, staff code of conduct, how to report concerns, whistle-blowing policy and with who they should discuss any concerns about their role or responsibilities. The programme will contain Level 1 Child Protection Training.
The supervisor of the newly appointed staff member will report any concerns or issues about a person’s ability or suitability for the role at the outset, and address these immediately.
Maintaining a safer culture
Bright World Guardianships recognises the need for continued awareness of safeguarding issues. Staff receive appropriate training and induction to ensure that they understand their roles and responsibilities and are confident about carrying them out. Staff receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates from Designate Safeguarding lead in line with the NSPCC weekly updates and Andrew Hall Safeguarding Consultant weekly updates. Staff, parents, students and partners are encouraged to report any issues or concerns about the safety or welfare of children, and that they will be listened to and taken seriously. This is achieved through the company’s publications about behaviour standards of staff and students which is expected, online material
Monitoring Monitoring of both the recruitment process and induction arrangements will allow for future recruitment practices to be better informed. The reviews should cover: • staff turnover and reasons for leaving; • exit interviews; • attendance of new recruits at child protection training.
Published: March 2016
Reviewed: January 2021