Company Policies

Safer Recruitment Policy

Time:2021-05-26 16:59:00  Click:0

Safer  Recruitment Policy

Policy  Statement

The Safer  Recruitment policy aims to help to deter, reject, or identify people who might  abuse children, or are otherwise unsuited to work with them. At every stage of  the process, Oxford Education Services’ commitment to safeguarding and  promoting the welfare of children is highlighted. Oxford Education Services is  committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all  staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Safer  Recruitment Policy as part of our Safeguarding Policy describes the procedure  of recruitment including Advertisement, Application Form, Job Description,  Person specification, Scrutinising and shortlisting, Reference, Interview  invitation, Interview, DBS checks, Post appointment. This policy is supported  by the Department for Education ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (2020).

Safer  Recruitment for Staff

Application form

On receipt of  expressions of interest and accompanying CV’s, the Director and 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 details of  the applicant will be obtained 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  post secondary 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;  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. 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;

  • 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).

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.

Job description

Once a post becomes vacant or a new post is  created, the Director or the Designated Safeguarding Leads 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.

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 Director or the  Designated Safeguarding Leads 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.

Scrutinizing  and shortlisting application

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.


Oxford Education Services seeks 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.

Referees are asked to comment on work,  professional competence and personal qualities. The comments on the applicant’s  suitability to work with children and concerns about the applicant with  children or any disciplinary details will be asked as well.

‘To whom it may concern’ references are not  accepted by Oxford Education Services 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.

Interview  invitation

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.

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 present 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 to 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;

  • 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;

  • 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  Oxford Education Services Interview Form which is saved on the Staffing  Organisation – Safer Recruitment – Staff records.

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  present original documentation of any educational or professional  qualifications that are necessary or relevant to the post. If the candidate is  not able to present 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 Staff Records folder.

Conditional Offer

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.

Oxford  Education Services 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 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.

Post Appointment : Induction

Newly appointed staff members will 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 whom 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.

Oxford Education Services will provide  safeguarding training for new staff members to maintain a safer culture in our  workplace.

Safer Recruitment for Host Families

All our host  families are recruited through the recommendation of our friends and previous  host families. However, they will still need to go through application form,  interview, followed by satisfaction of references and DBS checks.

Application Form

Upon receiving an interest from a potential  host family,we will send out the application form with Host Family Guideline  which outlines the responsibility and the requirements as a host family.

The Application Form outlines the requirement  for the applicants (including members of the host family aged 16 and over and  other temporary resident) to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring  Service check. The applicant will be required to provide evidence (i.e.  original documents) of their identification during the initial inspection for  verification.

Enhanced DBS checks are required for all  members of the host family aged 16 and over and other temporary residents.  Enhanced DBS checks are not required for students being hosted by the family  i.e. under 18 and at a boarding school or language school. Enhanced DBS checks  will be required for a student who is over 18 and staying with the host family  or other lodgers.

Scrutinising  and short listing

When the  application form is submitted, the Manager and Host Family Recruitment  Assistant scrutinise the form to ensure they are fully and properly completed,  are in the right host family area for the students and are suitable for the  initial inspection and interview stage.


For the host and hostess in the host family  references are requested (prior to interview). This is to obtain objective and  factual information to support appointment decisions. As a minimum, one  personal and one professional reference must be obtained for each host and  hostess, or one professional reference for each host and hostess with one joint  personal reference. The host family must provide written permission to confirm  these references can be sought.

When the application form is submitted the  applicant must nominate referees who they have known in a professional and  personal capacity, with the personal referee having known the applicant for a  minimum of two years.

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.

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.

Interviews and initial visits

For applicants  who are shortlisted, the Manager or Local Coordinator will arrange the initial  visit. The invitation for the initial visit and interview should stress that  the successful candidate will need to be checked thoroughly in terms of  identification and the completion of an enhanced DBS check. This will require  the candidate to provide the documentary evidence of their identity (for example  current driving licence, passport, full birth certificate, plus documents for  example utility bill or financial statement that shows the candidate’s full  name and address). Where a candidate has changed their name, full documentation  must be provided detailing the previous name and current name.

The host family applicant is advised and given  instructions on how to prepare for the identification and enhanced Disclosure  and Barring Service Check during the visit.

During the initial visit, the Local Coordinator  interviews the applicants face to face to confirm suitability for the role and  suitability to work with children.

The Local Coordinator inspects the house,  garden and car which will be used to transport students and secures photographs  of the property (including individual rooms).

The Local Coordinator is encouraged to discuss  his/her previous employment history and experience,and to note any indications  that the host or hostess may not have the health and/or physical capacity for  the role, together with the applicant’s right to work in the UK where  appropriate. The LC must check and verify the documents used to verify an  applicant’s identity, right to work in the U.K. and/or qualifications (where  appropriate).

The Local Coordinator should assess and  evaluate the applicant’s suitability for being a Oxford Education host family,  their motivation for working with children and young people, and their ability  to support the company agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of  children. There is scope on the visit form to record this detail which should  be submitted to Head Office for assessment.

The Local Coordinator is encouraged to ask the  applicants aged 16 or over in the host family if they wish to declare anything  in light of the requirement for an Enhanced DBS disclosure.

Where references have not been returned to Head  Office before an interview, the prospective host family can be asked at  interview if there is anything they wish to declare or discuss in light of the  questions that have been or will be put to his or her referees.

Conditional  Offer of Appointment and DBS Checks

The successful applicants will be conditionally  accepted pending 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.

Post  Appointment: Induction

Newly appointed host family are provided with a  Host Family Guideline which contains guidance and advice for the role of host  family. The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is also made available to  the host family including Level 1 Child Protection Training.

The host family Initial Visits, Revisits and  Spot Check process provides Oxford Education Services with the infrastructure  to continually monitor the quality of host family for our students to ensure  the highest standards are afforded to our students.

A regular safeguarding feedback should be  sought from students in relation to the host family. DSL is responsible for  leading the resolution of safeguarding concerns and incidents in accordance  with the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.

Post  Appointment DBS checks

Where there is a permanent resident in the house  who is over 16, we need to complete an enhanced DBS check. We are legally  unable to carry out a DBS check for temporary residents, so in these instances,  we inform our students’ parents in advance that there is a temporary resident  for whom we have been unable to carry out a DBS check. Host families are  informed that temporary residents must never be left alone with our students.

Where there is an overseas student staying with  a UK host family via a private arrangement or through another Guardianship Organisation,  an enhanced DBS check will not be required. Head Office will assess whether or  not there is an opportunity to complete the DBS screening check for 16-17 year  olds depending on the availability of the parents to complete the process. For  other overseas students staying in the house short term, it is not feasible for  us to DBS check them.

These cases should be decided on a case by case  basis by the Managing Directors.



We are committed to reviewing our policy and  good practice annually.

This policy was last reviewed on:  …25/11/2020…………………………(date)

Signed: …. 202103260852199912.jpg………………………………………………

Date: ……25/11/2020……………………………………………………………………