Safer Recruitment Training – a new regime

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Safer recruitment training became mandatory for the recruitment of all school staff from 1 January 2010. It is aimed at those involved in recruiting staff in schools, academies and colleges. This will likely include teachers, head teachers, governors or human resources staff.

A recruitment panel must comply with legislation by having at least one member who has completed safer recruitment training; or where an individual is in charge of recruitment, that individual must comply by having completed the training. The expectation is that at least the head teacher and one governor from every school have completed this training. It is the responsibility of schools to comply and Ofsted inspection judgments now include a statement on whether schools comply with this and other safeguarding requirements.

The purpose of the training

The training for the schools sector looks at best practice that should be adopted when recruiting and selecting adults to work with children in schools. It sets out procedures and strategies to help those involved in the recruitment process to deter, identify and reject applicants who are unsuitable to work with children. It also seeks to strengthen safeguards for children in schools by helping to deter and prevent abuse, with the aim of creating an environment where concerns can be raised on poor or unsafe practice.

The training will help staff responsible for recruiting understand what safeguarding is and why it’s important within a recruitment context. It should help in ensuring that those involved in recruiting staff and volunteers take all possible steps to safeguard and protect children and young people at their school, academy or college. On completion of the training recruiters should be readily able to recognise the signs of different types of abuse, inappropriate behaviour or unsafe practice and to develop policies and procedures with safeguarding at their core.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Since December 2012, CRB checks and the Independent Safeguarding Authority are now part of a new service called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS has three functions: to check to see if someone has a criminal record or information recorded about them which suggests that they are unsuitable to work with children, to maintain a list of all those people judged unsuitable to work with children, and to take referrals from organisations who are concerned that someone has not been assessed but is a risk to children and therefore unsuitable to work with them. The eligibility criteria and process for DBS checks (formerly CRB checks) has also changed in recent months. Safer recruitment training should explain the new process and give guidance on how to go about ensuring it is done correctly during the safer recruitment process.

Accessing training

On-line Safer Recruitment training was provided by the Department for Education up until 1 September 2014. Safer recruitment training no longer needs to be approved by the Secretary of State. However, schools will continue to be required to ensure that at least one member of any recruitment panel has received appropriate training in line with safeguarding guidance.

School leaders will use their professional judgement to determine appropriate training for the needs of their staff and their school. As a result of the change on 1 September 2014, the Department for Education will no longer coordinate arrangements for accredited safeguarding training for trainers.

There are a number of bodies who are accredited to offer safer recruitment training and these providers offer both online courses and face to face training, which are advertised on the internet.

For more information, help or advice please contact Tony McPhillips on 0191 211 7908.