Safe recruitment policy
including policy on the recruitment of ex- offenders, Appendix 1

1. General

EM Normandie UK Limited (hereafter ‘EMN’ or ‘EMN UK’ or ‘the School’) is committed to ensuring the best possible environment for children, young people in its care. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people is our highest priority.

The company aims to

  • ensure that the best possible applicants are recruited as employees and contractors on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability for the position 
  • recruit staff and contractors who share and understand our commitment
  • to deter, identify and prevent access to, applicants who may present a thread to the safety of children and young people
  • ensure that no job applicant is treated unfairly by reason of a protected characteristic as defined within the Equality Act 2010.

All queries regarding the company’s application and recruitment process must be directed either to the person responsible for HR or to the Principal.

All checks will be made in advance of appointment or, if this is not possible, as soon as practicable after the appointment.

EMN occupies premises within the Further Education College in Oxford, run by Activate Learning. In view of ensuring that all safeguarding requirements for their own students are met, Activate Learning has extended the relevant checks and searches it normally carries out (such as Enhanced DBS, Barring, checking of documents, etc.) to all EMN employees and contractors. 

Activate Learning is a Further Education Corporation, registered under the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) on 01 April 2003, as Oxford and Cherwell College. The Corporation was renamedOxford and Cherwell Valley College on 17 August 2005 and became Activate Learning on 01 September 2013.

Activate Learning is an exempt charity under Part 3 of the Charities Act 2011 and until July 2016 was regulated by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as Principal Regulator for all Further Education (FE) Corporations in England, and since July 2016 has been regulated by the Secretary of State for Education. The Activate Learning Group includes Activate Enterprises Ltd, Activate Investments Ltd and the Activate Learning Education Trust, of which Activate Learning is a Member.

EMN provides Activate Learning with a list of new employees and contractors.

The results of all checks and searches are communicated by Activate Learning to EMN and recorded on both entities’ Single Central Registers. In cases where there are questions regarding the suitability of an applicant with EMN to gain access to children and vulnerable adults, Activate Learning and EMN will reach a common decision.   

Entries will be made on the Single Central Registers for all company employees, all contractors engaged in the context of teaching courses or research activities, competitions, admission tests or examinations organised by EMN or any other activities and any volunteers. 

2. Scope of this Policy

The recruitment, selection and disclosures procedure in this document refers and applies to staff directly recruited and employed or engaged by EMN, that is to say any person working at the School whether under a contract of employment, under a contract for services or otherwise than under a contract but does not include volunteers.

3. Application 

The School will make applicants aware that all posts in the School involve some degree of responsibility for safeguarding children, although the extent of that responsibility will vary according to the nature of the post. 

Checks will be made of the previous employment history disclosed by the applicant, and we may ask the applicant to explain gaps in their employment history. Any discrepancies will be discussed with the applicant.

As successful applicants will gain opportunity for access to children, it is important that they provide EMN with legally accurate answers during the application process. Upfront disclosure of a criminal record may not automatically disqualify an applicant from an appointment. EMN shall consider the nature of any offence, how long ago it was committed, the person’s age at that time and any other relevant factors. Information should be submitted in confidence enclosing details in a separate sealed envelope to the Principal. If applicants would like to discuss this beforehand, they are asked to please telephone the Principal for advice.

Any unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings must be disclosed to the EMN. However, amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’, are not subject to disclosure to employers and cannot be considered. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found at the Disclosure and Barring Service website: www.criminalrecordsservices.com/dbs-check/what-is-the-difference-between-spent-and-unspent-convictions.

Successful applicants have to be aware that all Disclosure and Barring Service and other checks will be carried out by Activate Learning on behalf of EMN and the information will be retained by Activate Learning and EMN. 

All documents required have to be submitted to Activate Learning as requested and all checks have to be carried out either before the start of the contract or as soon as possible afterwards. 

Some documents may be required by both Activate Learning and EMN.

Additionally, successful applicants should be aware that they are required to notify EMN immediately if there are any reasons why they should not be working with children. This includes any staff who are disqualified from childcare or registration.

EMN will ask the current employer and/or any referees about the applicant’s suitability to work with children. Where the applicant has no previous employment history, EMN may request character references which may include references from the applicant’s school or university.

All applicants should be aware that provision of false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal by EMN if they have been appointed, and a possible referral to the police and/or DBS.

4. Interview

  • The school will short list applicants according to the relevance and applicability of their professional attributes and personal qualities to the role. 
  • Short-listed applicants will then be invited to attend a formal interview (face-to-face or on-line) at which their relevant skills and experience and the requirement of the role they have applied for will be discussed in more detail.
  • All formal interviews for new employees will be carried out by the Principal who may ask for another appropriate member of staff to assist. 
  • Formal interviews for associate lecturers and other contractors will be carried out by the relevant head of programme who may ask for the Principal or another appropriate member of staff to assist.
  • Interviewers involved in this process will be required to state any prior personal relationship or knowledge of any of the applicants and a judgement will be made by the Principal as to whether or not another person should carry out the interview. Should the Principal have a conflict of interest, he/she will be replaced by another Company Director, or a person designated by them for the purpose of the interview. 

 

All applicants (contractors and employees) will be asked to submit

  • a current driving licence including a photograph or a passport or a full birth certificate (originals only)
  • utility bills and/or financial statement issued within the last three months showing the applicant’s current name and address (originals only)
  • proof of professional qualifications where applicable and if requested
  • personal details 
  • where applicable, proof of entitlement to work and reside in the UK 
  • a completed self-disclosure form 
  • valid Public Liability Insurance (contractors only)
  • 2 professional referees  

Applicants with a disability who are invited to interview should inform EMN of any necessary reasonable adjustments or arrangements to assist them in attending the interview.

5. Conditional Offer of Appointment: Pre-Appointment Checks

Any offer to a successful applicant will be conditional upon

  • receipt of at least two satisfactory references (if these have not already been received)
  • verification of identity and qualifications (where applicable) including, where appropriate, evidence of the right to work in the UK
  • satisfactory enhanced DBS check and, if appropriate, a check of the Barred List maintained by the DBS  (carried out by Activate Learning on behalf of EMN)
  • where the successful applicant has worked or been resident overseas: such checks and confirmations as the school may consider appropriate so that any relevant events that occurred outside the UK can be considered. 
  • receipt of a signed Staff Suitability Declaration form showing that the applicant is not disqualified from providing childcare as set out in the statutory guidance “Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006 (July 2018)” 
  • for an applicant to be employed into a senior management position as set out above under “Scope of this Policy”, receipt of a signed “senior charity manager positions’’: 
  • where the successful applicant will be taking part in the management of the school, a check will be carried out under section 128 of the Independent Educational Provision in England (Prohibition on Participation in Management) Regulations 2014. This applies to all Governors, Senior Management Team and teaching heads of department

6. References

  • The school will seek the references referred to in section 5 above for shortlisted applicants and may approach previous employers for information to verify particular experience or qualifications. One of the references should be from the applicant’s current or most recent employer. 
  • References must be received by a senior person with appropriate authority. By communicating their referees’ contact details, the applicant agrees to EMN approaching them to ask for a reference. 
  • EMN will ask all referees whether the applicant is suitable to work with children.
  • EMN will only accept references obtained directly from the referee and it will not rely on references or testimonials provided by the applicant or on open references or testimonials. The school will verify all references. Where references are received electronically, the school will ensure they originate from a legitimate source.
  • The school will compare any information provided by the referee with that provided by the applicant. Any inconsistencies will be discussed with the applicant.

7. Criminal Records Policy

Activate Learning (on behalf of EMN) will refer to the Department for Education (“DfE”) document, ‘Keeping

Children Safe in Education’ and any amended version in carrying out the necessary required DBS checks.

Activate Learning (on behalf of EMN) complies with the provisions of the DBS Code of Practice, a copy of which may be accessed via www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-code-of-practice.

DBS Update Service

Where an applicant subscribes to the DBS Update Service the applicant must give consent to Activate Learning (on behalf of EMN) to check there have not been changes since the issue of a disclosure certificate. A barred list check will still be required.

If the DBS check has been delayed

A short period of work is allowed under controlled conditions, at the Principal’s discretion. If an ‘enhanced disclosure’ is delayed, the Principal may allow the member of staff to commence work.

8. Retention, Security of Records and Data Protection Obligations

The school will comply with its obligations regarding the retention and security of records in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice and its obligations under its Data Protection Policy and the processing of criminal records information. More information can be found in the Data Protection Policy and the Recruitment Privacy Notice, accessible on our website.  

The school will comply with its data protection obligations in respect of the processing of criminal records information. More information on this is included in the Recruitment Privacy Notice and the Data Protection Policy.

Please note that Activate Learning’s Privacy Notice for Staff of Third Party Companies on Activate Learning premises also applies and can be accessed via www.activatelearning.ac.uk/who-we-are/privacy-and-data-protection

Appendix

Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

EMN will not unfairly discriminate against any applicant for employment on the basis of conviction or other details revealed. The school makes appointment decisions on the basis of merit and ability. If an individual has 

a criminal record this will not automatically bar them from employment within EMN. Instead, each case will be decided on its merits, in accordance with the objective assessment criteria set out below.

All applicants should be aware that provision of false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if they have been appointed, and a possible referral to the police and/or DBS.

Within the context of EMN Normandie occupying premises which are part of the Activate Learning Campus in Oxford, the relevant legislation applies to EMN, which makes it unlawful to employ anyone who is included on the lists maintained by the DBS of individuals who are considered unsuitable to work with children or who is the subject of a disqualifying order made on being convicted or charged with the following offences against children: murder, manslaughter, rape, other serious sexual offences, grievous bodily harm or other serious acts of violence. 

It is a criminal offence for any person who is disqualified from working with children to attempt to apply for a position within Activate Learning and therefore, by extension, with EMN. EMN and/or Activate Learning will report the matter to the Police and/or the DBS if

  • an application from a disqualified person has been received
  • false information has been provided in an applicant’s application or in support of an applicant’s application
  • there are serious concerns about an applicant’s suitability to work with children

If relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is either volunteered by an applicant or obtained through a disclosure check during the recruitment process, EMN will consider whether the conviction or other matter revealed is relevant in the context of the person’s application. 

In line with the Amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020) protected convictions and cautions will not be taken into consideration.