The safe recruitment of teaching staff is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in international schools. Teacher Horizons is committed to safeguarding and promoting safer recruitment practices. The company expects all team members to share this commitment.
The aims of the Safer Recruitment policy are to help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse pupils or are otherwise unsuited to working with them by having appropriate procedures for recruitment.
Recruitment and selection procedures
Any advertisements for international teaching jobs will make clear the company’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
An international teaching candidate’s online profile includes CV, references, qualification certificates, up to date UK and overseas police checks.
Risk and Disciplinary disclosure
We ask candidates to confirm the following two questions as part of our online sign-up process for teachers:
- Tick this box to confirm that you have never been known to any Children’s Services department or the Police as being a risk or potential risk to children.
- Tick this box to confirm you have never been the subject of any disciplinary investigation and/or sanction by any organisation due to concerns about your behaviour towards children.
These checks are displayed in a prominent place on the admin view of our international teachers’ profile pages so that our Advisers are notified if any candidate has not confirmed either of the above requirements.
We encourage all applicants to provide details of any prior criminal convictions at an early stage in the application process. When a candidate discloses any criminal convictions Teacher Horizons will follow the policy for Disclosing Previous Criminal Convictions.
Most candidates have three references on their profiles. Our references include the question – “Do you know of any reason that the applicant should not work with children?”. We would only put forward candidates whose referees all say ‘no’.
We require candidates to have at least one reference from a Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or member of the senior management team.
References should be completed via referee’s school email addresses so they can be trusted (and can’t be fraudulent). If a reference comes from a non-school email address, the teacher must have a valid DBS or equivalent police check.
If a referee answers the question ‘would you rehire the candidate’ by saying ‘with reservation’ we would call the referee to speak to them about their reasons for doing so.
In some cases, we offer an additional reference call with a referee once a candidate has been made an offer (we charge an additional fee for this service as it is extremely time-consuming.)
Our advisers interview every candidate via Zoom before we put them forward to a school. Our advisers are qualified teachers and have participated in Child Protection and Safer Recruitment training which is certified by EduCare. This is refreshed every two years.
Our advisers have also been trained in spotting inconsistencies with a candidate’s CV and previous employment.
They will explore and challenge any anomalies or gaps they identify in an international teaching candidate’s CV or employment history. They will also ask specific questions designed to highlight potential safeguarding issues.
If any issues regarding disciplinary action or allegations, cautions or convictions come to light, they will be discussed during the Zoom interview. Any concerns will be shared with the Teacher Horizons management team before proceeding with the candidate’s application or membership to Teacher Horizons.
If we think something looks or sounds particularly suspicious we will complete extensive online research on the candidate’s name.
We do background checks on all our International Advisers when they apply for the role. All of our International Advisers will have completed two EduCare training modules below (developed in collaboration with COBIS) during their first few months of working for Teacher Horizons.
If concerns about a candidate are identified, a review meeting will be held to look at the case in more detail to decide what further steps to take. A centrally saved document is used to keep track of these cases.
We have a Safer Recruitment channel as part of our internal communication system. This is used to keep our Advisers updated on current Safeguarding issues and discussions.
All of the above information is available to schools we work with.
NB: We expect school recruiters to carry out their own safeguarding and reference checks as well.