Safer Recruitment Policy
Aims & Ethos
We work hard to create a safeguarding culture in which staff and parents accept their responsibility to protect children and keep them from harm as well as promoting their safety and welfare.
This safer recruitment policy focuses on the various aspects of recruitment in order to satisfy themselves that recruited staff share our ethos of keeping children safe.
The safer recruitment policy not only focuses on recruiting staff but also our commitment of ensuring ongoing suitability such as carrying out yearly checks of the documents that we hold on staff files (see section on Ongoing Suitability below).
Recruitment is a crucial component in providing high quality care and education; we want to recruit and retain staff that can help us deliver outstanding practice.
At Chingford House Nursery we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer; we will not withhold an offer of employment or indeed offer employment based on a candidate’s ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or gender identity. We welcome applications of interest from anyone in the early years sector.
Chingford House Nursery is happy to conform to the following legal requirements and guidance:
• Statutory Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021)
• Equality Act (2010)
• Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022)
The Owner, Zarkar Akhtar, uses reputable Early Years recruitment agencies when looking to recruit new staff; this guarantees that robust checks and interviews are carried out before we start our own recruitment process.
When working with agencies, we are clear about our stance on safeguarding and equality as highlighted above.
Information sent to applicants:
• A job description and person specification for every role so that candidates understand that there are certain criteria that they have to meet in order to be successful.
• An application form which will give Chingford House Nursery information about a candidate’s experience, qualifications and how they believe they fit the criteria. Within the application form, candidates need to sign a declaration about their suitability to work with children and agree to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)
In order to ensure equity and consistency, Chingford House Nursery uses the same process for each candidate to ensure that we are not discriminating; all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment process:
• Candidates are invited to interview once they have been shortlisted against a pre-set criterion (Personal Specification)
• Where possible the interview panel will consist of the same people throughout the whole process
• The panel will consist of at least 2 people (generally the Owner and Manager), both of whom have had safer recruitment training.
• Each candidate will be questioned about their work/voluntary and educational history to ascertain if there are any gaps or discrepancies that may point to their unsuitability
• For childcare positions, there are pre-set questions to ascertain knowledge, experience and attitudes – these are generally around safeguarding, EYFS, H&S, SEND and equal opportunities. Candidates are then expected to spend time in one of the rooms or carry out a short activity with the children. It is likely that the candidate will be at the nursery for at least one hour.
• The candidate’s responses will be recorded as a tool for reflection to help support the decision-making process
• The following original documents will be requested to verify the candidate’s identity, qualification and status:
• Photographic Identification i.e., passport/driver’s licence
• Evidence of Right to Work in the UK (where applicable)
• Proof of address: bank statement/utility bill
• Reference number for DBS update service (if applicable)
• Qualification Certificate
Offer of Employment:
The candidate who best meets the criteria and demonstrates the skills and knowledge needed will be offered the post. In addition to this, they will have shown that they fit in with the needs of the nursery and share our ethos of promoting early years.
Unsuccessful candidates will be informed and given brief feedback of their interview.
The Owner will formally offer the post via email outlining the position, salary, working hours and holidays, any applicable entitlements and a provisional start date. The offer of the post is subject to 2 satisfactory references, a clean DBS and the completion of a Health Declaration and Staff Suitability check. Once these are in place, a start date will be offered and agreed between the nursery and the candidate.
In some cases, the references may be deemed unsatisfactory or it may raise concerns; subsequently the Manager will speak directly to the referee to get a better assessment of the situation. Subsequently, this may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment if it is seen not to be in the best interests of the nursery to continue.
There may be instances where a DBS check may reveal discrepancies; this may not necessarily mean the withdrawal of employment. However, further consideration would be taken on the basis of:
• The seriousness of the offence
• What age the employee was at the time of the offence
• How much time has lapsed since the offence
• Whether the employee declared it on the application form or at the interview
• Whether the offence has any bearing to the position that the employee has been offered
If the employment still stands, a risk assessment will be devised outlining any potential risks and what actions have been put in place to mitigate them.
Pre-Employment Meeting & Induction:
The Manager will meet with the new employee prior to starting work to begin the induction process; this will help the employee to familiarise themselves with some of the policies and procedures (policies will be sent electronically to the employee). Throughout the induction process, the employee will begin to understand how we work at Chingford House Nursery, the main emphasis during the induction is how we keep children safe through safeguarding (child protection), health & safety (evacuation procedures), risk assessments and the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS.
The employee will be given the contract of employment and the staff code of conduct at the meeting. During the induction meeting the candidate will be informed of training which they are required to carry out prior to starting the position; courses such as Food Safety Hygiene, Safeguarding, EYFS, Child Development and the Prevent Duty are needed for Nursery Practitioner positions.
The employee will be informed of the 3-month probationary period, they will be met monthly by the Manager for support and ongoing assessment of their suitability. If there are any concerns the probationary period may be extended for another 3 months. If the concerns are not resolved in those 3 months the offer of employment will be withdrawn. Alternatively, the employee will be offered a permanent contract following a successful probationary period.
Staff are required to complete annual declaration forms, confirming their suitability; however, staff have a responsibility to inform the Manager/Owner immediately of any issues or circumstances which may affect their suitability to work with children, this includes situations which occur outside the nursery. If a member of staff fails to reveal information that compromises their suitability, that later comes to light, this may lead to disciplinary action and possible dismissal.
Health declaration checks are also carried out on an annual basis; this ensures that staff continue to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit for working with children. By completing these forms, this allows the nursery to provide the necessary support where needed or to signpost staff to applicable services.
The Manager carries out supervision with the staff once a term; this is the forum in which staff are offered support, guidance, training and coaching. It is also an opportunity for staff to raise any safeguarding concerns that they may have about any of the children or members of staff.
Appraisals are a tool which we use for performance management; the Manager meets with the staff to highlight their strengths and any areas in which they need to develop. Targets are then set and agreed; the Manager meets the staff after 6 months to ascertain the progress made.
Staff meetings occur weekly where the Manager/Owner deem that staff need support or training as a collective on a regular basis to raise standards. Where it is felt that staff have met collective targets or standards have improved then staff meetings will occur monthly.
In addition to staff meetings, where staff undergo training, they also have access to training from Waltham Forest as well as Noodle Now courses (online training) which promotes the staff’s knowledge which can then inform their practice; this is seen as part of the staff’s continuous professional development.
The Manager has weekly meetings with Room Leaders to ensure that the delivery of high quality care and education is across the whole setting. The Manager has the overall responsibility of the staff’s welfare, working practices and their ongoing suitability to work with children.
Policy created by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: March 2023 Date of next review: March 2024