Recruitment Checks on School Staff - Everything You Need to Know

When you apply for a job in a school you will be subject to a number of additional recruitment checks which you would not normally be required to undergo in other sectors. These checks are in addition to the right to work in the UK checks that should be carried out on all employees in the UK and are underpinned by the need to keep children safe in education.

Reference Checks

References are applied for prior to the interview stage for all shortlisted candidates. The reason referees are contacted prior to interview is so any information that is disclosed as part of the reference can be discussed at interview. You will need to provide 2 referees when applying for a role in education and you will be required to provide details of your referees when completing the Kent-Teach online application form.

You can find more information about references and what information you will need to provide on our blog – Everything You Need to Know About References.

Online Recruitment Checks

In September 2022 the Keeping Children Safe in Education document has been updated to include the statement “as part of the shortlisting process schools and colleges should consider carrying out an online search as part of their due diligence on the shortlisted candidates. This may help identify any incidents or issues that have happened, and are publicly available online, which the school or college might want to explore with the applicant at interview.”

This means that schools should be reviewing information about a shortlisted candidate that is available publicly online. This can include using search engines to search for information about a candidate, and potentially reviewing information on social media sites including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Searches will only be undertaken in relation to information that is in the public domain. Any information found may be discussed before or during the interview process and following assessment could result in a shortlisted candidate being removed from the recruitment process. 

Recruitment Checks Performed on Successful Candidates

There are also further checks carried out on candidates who are successful at interview.

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check

Successful candidates will also be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, this was formally known as a CRB check. A DBS check is designed to filter out candidates that have a criminal record with offences that would make them unsuitable to work with children and ensures that schools do not employ any individual on the children’s barred list.

Candidates who are shortlisted for a job interview in a school will need to disclose information about their criminal history (if they have one) and this may be discussed at interview. Having a criminal record may not necessarily be a barrier to an individual working in a school, but this would depend on the nature of the offences committed and be at the school’s discretion. If a DBS check is returned with information on it, then schools are encouraged to contact their HR provider for further advice.

Prohibited Teachers Check

Candidates for teaching positions will also be subject to a search of the list of prohibited teachers. This is to ensure that the candidate has not failed as an early careers teacher or has not been prohibited for practising in the profession due to conduct that has made them unsuitable to teach and or to work with children.

There are a large number of checks that are carried out on applicants when they apply for and are successful at securing a job in education, but these are designed to ensure that all staff working in schools, colleges and childcare settings are safe to work with children and young people. Kent-Teach is committed to supporting schools to practice safer recruitment and our application form complies with all recruitment legislation.

There is no doubt that searching for a job can be time consuming, so balancing your current role and your personal life alongside your job search can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, we have collated some top tips to help you become more efficient in your job search, saving you time and reducing stress.

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