Safer Recruitment Policy
At Tanglin Trust School, we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all students in our care. As an employer, we expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Our safer recruitment policy ensures that appropriate checks are made on all potential staff who will come into contact with children, as part of a transparent and equitable recruitment process.
- 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.
- They must then avoid any involvement in the recruitment and selection decision-making process for the position.
Objectives of This Policy
- To deter, reject or identify people who might abuse students or are otherwise unsuited to working with them by having appropriate procedures for appointing staff.
- To recruit the best candidate for the job, ensuring all job applicants are considered equitably and consistently based on abilities, qualifications, experience and merit as measured against the job description and the person specification.
- To conduct the recruitment and selection of staff in a professional, timely and responsible manner and in compliance with current employment legislation.
Recruitment and Selection Procedure
- To ensure equality of opportunity, the School will advertise all vacant posts to encourage as wide a field of applicant as possible. Normally this entails an external advertisement.
- Any advertisement will make clear the School’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
- All documentation relating to applicants will be treated confidentially.
- All applicants are required to complete a Tanglin Trust School application form (online or hard copy). The application form will include the applicant’s declaration regarding criminal convictions and working with children.
- All applicants will be made aware that providing false information is 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 and other professional regulatory bodies.
- A Job Description is a key document in the recruitment process and must be finalised prior to taking any other steps in the recruitment process. It will clearly and accurately set out the duties and responsibilities of the job role.
- Included in the Job Description are the personal attributes required for the role, with details of skills, experience, abilities and expertise that are required to do the job. This also includes specific reference to suitability to work with children.
- Faculty Staff: References from former and current employers for shortlisted faculty applicants will be sent for immediately after shortlisting. The only exception is where an applicant has indicated on their application form that they do not wish their current employer to be contacted. In such cases, this reference will be taken up immediately after interview and prior to any formal offer of employment being made. Two professional references must be provided. One of the references must be from the applicant’s current or most recent Head of School.
- Business Support Staff: References for Business Support staff will be sent for immediately after shortlisting, where possible. Where an applicant has indicated that they do not wish their current employer to be contacted, references will be sent for upon offer. In such cases where references cannot be completed prior to offer, the offer will be subject to completion of satisfactory reference checks and other employment checks. Two professional references must be provided. One of the references must be from the applicant’s current or most recent line manager. Where the applicant is not able to provide a recent professional reference, a character reference may be provided.
- All references: All references will be sought and obtained directly from the referee and their purpose is to provide objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. Any discrepancies or anomalies will be followed up. Direct contact by email or phone will be undertaken with each referee of the successful applicant to verify the reference.
- If the applicant has only worked at one place of employment in their career, or for an extended period (8 years or more) at their current organisation, two references will be undertaken with two different people from that place of employment. All referees will be asked whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the job for which they have applied and whether they have any reason to believe that the applicant is unsuitable to work with children. Referees will also be asked to confirm that the applicant has not been radicalised, and that they do not support terrorism or any form of “extremism”.
- The School does not accept verbal references, open references, testimonials or references from relatives.
- There will be a face-to-face interview for all applicants wherever possible, and the same panel will see all the applicants for the vacant position. The interview panel will explore the applicant’s ability to carry out the role effectively and will investigate any anomalies or gaps that have been identified in order to satisfy themselves that the chosen applicant can meet the safeguarding criteria.
- Any information with regard to past disciplinary action or allegations, cautions or convictions will be discussed and considered in the circumstance of the individual case during the interview process. Wherever possible, at least one member of any interviewing panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training.
- All applicants who are invited to an interview will be required to bring evidence of their identity, address and qualifications. Only original documents will be accepted and photocopies will be taken.
Offer of Appointment and New Employee Process
- The appointment of all new Faculty employees is subject to the receipt of satisfactory criminal records checks, two references, medical checks, copies of qualifications and proof of identity. A personal file checklist will be used to track and audit paperwork obtained in accordance with the Safer Recruitment Consortium Safer Recruitment Training. The checklist will be retained on personal files. The Human Resources Department will contact the appointing Manager to confirm that all paperwork has been received and a start date can be agreed.
- For Business Support staff, where possible, a criminal records check will be obtained in addition to two references, medical checks, copies of qualifications and proof of identity.
Criminal Records Checks
- International schools are no longer able to request the Home Office Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for staff.
- Individuals who previously joined the DBS Update Service are able to continue to use this service and the School will accept this.
- Individuals who have not joined the DBS Update Service will need to apply for an International Child Protection Check (ICPC) or equivalent criminal records check from their country of birth and for all countries in which they have resided for the past 10 years, where possible.
- It is the School’s policy to re-check an employee’s criminal records check every three years. Staff are responsible for renewing their criminal records check.
- Members of staff at Tanglin Trust School are obliged to inform the HR Department of any cautions or convictions that arise between these checks taking place.
- All applicants will be required to sign a self-declaration form, which will include the applicant’s declaration regarding criminal convictions and working with children.
Dealing with convictions
- The School operates a formal procedure if a criminal records check is returned with details of convictions. Consideration will be given to:
- the nature, seriousness and relevance of the offence
- how long ago the offence occurred
- one-off or history of offences
- changes in circumstances
- rehabilitation and remorse
- A formal meeting will take place face-to-face to establish the facts with the Head of School or Director of Human Resources. A decision will be made following this meeting.
Proof of identity, right to work in Singapore & verification of qualifications and/or professional status
- All applicants invited to attend an interview at Tanglin Trust School or in the UK will be required to bring their identification documentation such as passport, identity card, birth certificate, driving licence, etc. with them as proof of identity.
- In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have obtained any academic or vocational qualification legally required for the position and claimed in their application form.
- Where necessary, the School will take responsibility for applying for employment permission from the Ministry of Manpower, and for the relevant visas for any dependents.
- Anyone appointed to a post involving regular contact with children must possess the appropriate level of physical and mental fitness before any appointment offer is confirmed. All applicants are requested to complete a medical check and where appropriate a doctor’s medical report may be required.
All new employees are required to attend an induction programme which identifies the School’s policies and procedures, including the Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy and Staff Code of Conduct. This programme outlines expectations which govern how staff carry out their roles and responsibilities.
Single Central Record of Members of Staff
- In addition to the various staff records kept in the School and on individual personnel files, a Single Central Record of recruitment and vetting checks is kept in accordance with the UK Department for Education standards. This is kept up-to-date and retained by the Human Resources Department. The Single Central Record contains details of the following:
- All employees who are employed to work at the School
- All employees who are employed as supply staff to the School whether employed directly or through an agency
- All others who have been chosen by the School to work in regular contact with children. This will cover volunteers, governors, peripatetic staff and people brought into the School to provide additional teaching or instruction for students but who are not staff members eg: sports coaches, instrumental music teachers, etc.
Record Retention/Data Protection
All information retained on employees is kept centrally in the Human Resources Office in a locked and secure cabinet.
- Tanglin Trust School recognises that safer recruitment and selection is not just about the start of employment but should be part of a larger policy framework for all staff. The School will, therefore, provide ongoing training and support for all staff.
- Safeguarding training will be conducted for all staff every three years, with Advanced Safeguarding training for senior leadership every two years.
- Senior leadership and Human Resources staff who are regularly involved in interviewing will attend internal Safer Recruitment training every two years. Training resources are obtained from the Safer Recruitment Consortium.
Leaving Our Employment
Despite the best efforts to recruit safely, there will be occasions when allegations of abuse against children and young people are raised. In cases relating to the behaviour of an employee towards a child, the School’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy will apply.
Key Service Providers
Key Service Providers engaged by the School must complete the same checks for their employees that the School is required to complete for its staff. The School requires confirmation that these checks have been completed before employees of the Key Service Provider can commence work at the School.
Visitors to School
- The School receives many visitors in many different capacities throughout the academic year. These include the following:
- Inspirational speakers
- Visiting authors
- Conference attendees
- Senior school students working on the Holiday Programme
- Work experience volunteers
- Private practitioners who work with students
- Fitness practitioners e.g. yoga/pilates instructors
- Depending on the length of time in the School, the level of supervision while in School and the purpose of the visit, different levels of checks will be required. Guidelines as to the level of checks required can be found in the Visitor Procedures.
- All visitors, regardless of the length of their stay, will receive a briefing on arrival which covers:
- The need to wear a Visitor Pass at all times;
- Not to discuss with others any information about the School or the students;
- Not to take photos or videos of students, unless with the express permission from the Head of School;
- To report any concern about the wellbeing of any child or young person to a Designated Safeguarding Lead or to the Tanglin Trust School staff member who has arranged the visit;
- To use only bathrooms/toilets allocated for adult use.