Recruitment of Ex-offenders

POLICY STATEMENT ON THE RECRUITMENT OF EX-OFFENDERS

As a School using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Felsted complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.  It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. Having a criminal record is not necessarily a bar to employment; it will depend on the nature, circumstances and background of the offence. 

Felsted is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff and users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background. We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on skills, qualifications and experience.

This serves as a written statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all applicants at the outset of the recruitment process. Our full Safer Recruitment Policy and Process can be found on our website.

Recruitment ProcessAs part of the interview process, applicants invited to interview will be asked to complete a DBS application and submit this to the Human Resources department prior to the interview. Should a conditional offer of employment be made, all pre-employment checks, including the DBS and barred list check, will be obtained before the applicant is able to work at the School.

An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to the DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position. This is achieved at Felsted through the Disclosure and Barring Service via an umbrella body (Atlantic Data).

All positions within the School involve a degree of responsibility for the safeguarding and welfare of children. Therefore, all positions are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020). All applicants must therefore declare all previous convictions and cautions, including those which would normally be considered "spent", except those that are classed as protected offences. Information on the DBS filtering rules can be found here. 

It is a condition of employment that the employee should not have been convicted of a criminal offence against children, nor have been dismissed from or resigned from a previous employer for misconduct of a similar nature. 

The opportunity to make Felsted aware of any criminal records is made on the application form, the DBS application form and during the interview process. We encourage all applicants to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process. Any information provided should only be given to the Human Resources department (hr@felsted.org) and will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.
 
At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. We ensure that all those who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.  

DBS Disclosure and Criminal InformationWhere you have disclosed to us that you have committed a criminal offence, or where a DBS disclosure has revealed any criminal information, we will discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position and conduct an objective risk assessment to discuss the conviction(s) and circumstances. The outcome of the impact that this should have on employment will be communicated with the person concerned before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a disclosure, they may do so by contacting the DBS directly.

Applicants should be aware that a failure to disclose a previous conviction (that is not a protected conviction) may lead to an application being rejected or, if the failure to disclose is discovered after employment has started, may lead to summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct. A failure to disclose a previous conviction may also amount to a criminal offence and possible referral to the police and/or Department for Education.

A copy of our statement on the handling of personal and sensitive information is available from the Privacy Notice for Staff on our website.