Recruitment Guiding Principles

With a strong emphasis on respect for all, we forge effective and supportive relationships with both pupils and adults in our learning community. Together we maximise every opportunity to achieve success for all, inspiring pupils to achieve excellent academic progress.

Fair effective and robust HR Strategies will support OLCT to deliver the ethos.  The HR Recruitment Policy and Procedures (from here referred to as the policy) aims to employ staff, other workers and volunteers who are; well qualified in their field, have the potential to grow, are professional and possess the qualities and personal ethos to work effectively with pupils.  All workers at OLCT must show commitment to supporting pupils to achieve, have high aspirations for the pupils’ success and will contribute to the ongoing pursuit of excellence of OLCT. 
The policy will seek to discourage inappropriate people from seeking employment or volunteering to work with children and young people (CYP). The policy builds upon the recommendations and principles set out in Choosing with Care (Warner, 1992); and the recommendations of Sir Michael Bichard (2004) following his inquiry into the Soham murders, and adopts the subsequent guidance issued by the DfE; Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2013 and includes the DfE guidance; Keeping Children Safe in Education ; Statutory guidance for schools and colleges (April 2014) and specifically Part 3, sections 46 to 100.
Recruitment is routinely the biggest investment OLCT will make. OLCT is committed to robust recruitment and selection procedures to ensure that we secure the best staff to give the best chance to our pupils and our wider Learning Community.  All workers within OLCT are covered by the policy; including; all staff and all other workers (supply staff, volunteers, IITs, third party contractors and workers from other organisations who work within the school). OLCT is committed to the provision of appropriate guidance about safe working practice, boundaries and propriety to all staff appointed within the organisation, and this is included in the Induction programme for all staff. 

OLCT is committed to ensuring that all staff and volunteers have been appropriately screened prior to appointment. OLCT will make clear our commitment to promoting and safeguarding the welfare of pupils and staff in all documentation relating to the recruitment process, including advertising, Job Descriptions / Person Specifications, candidate information and application forms by inclusion of the following statement:
Oakwood Learning Community Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff, other workers and volunteers to share this commitment.
OLCT will employ the following principles and practices of recruitment:

  • Person Specifications will include as ‘essential requirements’ a) commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and b) health and physical capacity for the role.
  • CVs or CV attachments will not be accepted (these will be removed from the application if attached). The OLCT application form has been designed to capture the information needed to recruit safely, effectively and ensuring legal compliance. This includes questions about previous offences, barred lists, referees (must be from current/most recent employer who can verify suitability to work with children).  The form is structured to enable the panel to identify gaps history.
  • A volunteer application form must be completed by prospective volunteers including references and checks.

  • Agencies and other organisations that provide workers are required to provide statements that include photo ID, confirmation of DBS and Right To Work in the UK and to confirm that references have been taken up and checked.  All workers arriving at OLCT for the first time are required to provide photo ID that corresponds with the photo and information provided by their employing organisation / agency.

  • The Trust is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical / mental disability or offending background.

  • The Trust actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcomes applications from a wide range of candidates. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience. Equal opportunities information is detached from applications forms on receipt and prior to panel consideration.  The data collected is used for monitoring purposes only.

  • School posts are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974; all current convictions, cautions and bindovers must be declared on the application form or provided in a sealed envelope addressed to the Headteacher. As a result of amendments to the Act in 2013, candidates are not required to declare some minor spent convictions, cautions or bindovers, applicants should read the guidance provided on Disclosure and Barring Service website if they are unsure what to declare and what not to declare. A reasoned, measured approach to the evaluation of disclosures will be adopted, see Disclosures; Criminal Convictions, Cautions and Bindovers.

  • The Trust uses ‘Strictly Education’ online DBS application service.  Strictly Education as the Registered Body works to the DBS Code of Practice and will provide a copy of the code to applicants, should this be requested.

  • Open references or testimonials will not be accepted.

  • Application forms will be scrutinised and checks relating to suitability (against Person Specification) completed. Any issues will be noted in Section 13 of the application form, including; any gaps in history, that referees stated are in line with career / education history, if the applicant doesn’t provide their current Headteacher or employer as a referee, other issues of concern.  These will be reviewed with the applicant by the Chair during the interview and the responses noted (in section 13).     

  • References will be requested prior to interview and these will be checked against the application form and any vague or ambiguous statements or disclosures will be noted in Section 13 of the application form and followed up in the interview. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their referees are available and willing to provide a reference.

  • Face to face interviews will always be held and all panels will include a senior member of staff who is Safer Recruitment trained. 

  • Successful Applicants for teaching posts (and leadership posts that require a teaching qualification) will be checked against the DfE Employer Access Teacher Status and the Prohibited from Teaching List prior to commencing work, a copy of the check will be kept on the employees HR file.

  • Candidates will be required to provide original certificates for qualifications claimed that are a requirement of the post.

  • All staff who work for OLCT are required to complete a DBS Enhanced check and show a copy of this to the HR Department on receipt prior to commencing employment.

  • All candidates are required to provide evidence of Right to Work in the UK (RTWUK).

 OLCT will not put filling vacancies before the welfare of pupils and staff. Consideration will be given to interim arrangements that will safely cover any necessary gap in provision until the post is filled safely and appropriately. The benefits to making the most suitable appointment to the post outweigh the potential time required should an unsatisfactory appointment be made.
Everyone within OLCT has a responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and for ensuring that they are protected from harm.  All staff / governors or third parties who sit on panels must make themselves fully aware of the contents of this policy prior to sitting on a recruitment panel.