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Safer Recruitment Policy

  1. 1. Rationale

This policy is needed to ensure that Primary PPA Cover appoints the highest quality staff to represent the company and that safe recruitment practices are rigorously enforced.

  1. 2. Purposes

2.1. To ensure all those employed at Primary PPA Cover are suitable individuals to work with children and young people (have valid full enhanced DBS checks). Primary PPA Cover will accept DBS check that have been processed by other authorities in the industry, however we will endeavour to have this processed through ourselves, on the update service, or process a List 99 check where possible.

2.2. To ensure all those employed at Primary PPA Cover are qualified and experienced to work with children and young people to teach their specific subject to children and young people.

2.3. To ensure all those employed at Primary PPA Cover share the company’s ethos, values, ways of working and aspirations for the children and communities it serves.

2.4. To meet the requirements of the safeguarding policy and equal opportunities policy and protect both children and employees within the establishment.

2.5. To meet government recommendations for appropriate training especially for safe staff recruitment.

2.6. To ensure all employees understand the requirements within safeguarding and their role.

  1. 3. Guidelines for implementation

3.1. Identification of the need for an appointment
The need for certain posts will be assessed as appropriate e.g. when a member of staff leaves or when ratios exceed those set by OFTSED(1 to 32 maximum classroom ratios)

3.2. Advertisements & post details
Once the need for an appointment has been identified, Primary PPA Cover will proceed to advertise internally, locally and nationally as appropriate.

Advertisements will carry information about the company and the post.

All vacancies are advertised online via Findajob, Facebook, LinkedIn and Indeed.com (as recommended by the UK government).

Potential candidates who request details will be sent a candidate information pack which will contain the following:

  • Details of how to apply for the post, interview date and start date
  • Details of the post
  • A job description and person specification
  • Information about the company
  • Interview procedure and details

All job descriptions will contain this statement of commitment to safeguarding children and young people: “Primary PPA Cover is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. An enhanced DBS, safeguarding certification, disqualification form and two references are required for this post prior to commencement.”

3.3. Applications and short listing
An appointment team will be established at this stage which will usually consist of:

  • One of the two Recruitment Consultants
  • The relevant line manager for the subject field

Applications can be made via email/through the post/via our online advertising platforms.

Once the closing date has passed the appointment team will shortlist the candidates and invite them for their first interview, explaining what they need to do in preparation.

This will include filling appropriate documentation so that a criminal record bureau check can be initiated for the successful candidate.

3.4. Selection procedures
First interviews will normally take place over the course of a day – more if it is for a senior post. The day will normally start with a welcome and introduction. Candidates also will need the opportunity to find out about the post and the team with which they will be working.

  • A variety of selection procedures will be used, for example:
  • First Interview Candidates are asked to talk about particular events or developments in their career and explain to their interviewer how they are suitable for the post. Candidates will be asked questions regarding their experience in the education sector and particularly about their behaviour management skills. This can be a useful way of analysing a candidate’s motives and ways of working.

3.4.1 Practical Interview (Teaching in a school setting)

If candidates get through the first stage of the interview process, candidates may be given an appointment date for a practical interview, if necessary.
All practical interviews are witnessed by a Senior Member of staff. This provides very important information especially about how well the candidates interact with children and how well they teach.

3.4.2 Final Interview

During the final interview, candidates are asked scenario-based, safeguarding and behaviour management related questions. This interview is carried out by a member of our recruitment department or senior leadership team. The final interview panel will receive feedback from each of the various selection activities that have taken place and then proceed to agree questions for the final interview.

All candidates must be given the same questions and tasks to do although it is entirely appropriate to ask candidates about issues arising from their initial application and from other selection methods used on the day.

3.5. References
References will be requested from both of the referees nominated by the candidate, one of which should be an up to date employer referee, i.e. current or most recent employer.
Primary PPA Cover will request a written reference. Primary PPA Cover will request information about:

  • The candidate’s suitability for the post
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Whether there are any outstanding disciplinary issues
  • Whether there are any reasons why the candidate should not work with children and young people.
  • Whether the referee recommends them for the post – without reservation, with reservation or not at all.

References will be read before the interview so that any issues arising can be investigated during the interview.

3.6. The appointment
Taking all the evidence gathered into consideration the panel makes its choice. The successful candidate is made a verbal offer of the post. If they accept then they are sent a contract of employment which states that their appointment is subject to satisfactory references and clear DBS disclosure checks. If a candidates DBS contains information not related to children, this will be at the discretion of the company and the school.

The unsuccessful candidates are informed by email/phone.

3.7. Safeguarding procedures on the interview day:

  • During the day, the following checks will be made:
    • Proof of identity
    • Evidence of highest qualification
    • Evidence of their DBS check/ and update service check
    • All candidates will be asked to bring appropriate documentation for this
  • The candidate will also be asked in the interview to explain any gaps in time on their CV. If there are any gaps or short term posts on the CV, the candidate will be questioned accordingly.

3.8. After the appointment
The successful candidate is made an offer of employment and  contract will be issued immediately.

An induction programme is compiled by the relevant line manager which will include ensuring the appointee understands the company’s and school’s safeguarding procedures as well as completing Prevent and Frist Aid training. All staff must complete Primary PPA Cover online teaching course teaching in any of our schools.

Training will be provided where gaps have been identified. Staff trainings occur 3 times a year, and staff must agree to attend 2 out of 3 minimum to ensure they are receiving training in all necessary areas.

  1. 4. Monitoring, evaluation & review

Primary PPA Cover will evaluate its appointment procedures each year by researching any new requirements by Ofsted and the DfE and make appropriate revisions.
This will include asking people involved in selection procedures how they can be improved via anonymous survey.
Primary PPA Cover also carry out annual appraisals and termly observations for staff which are planned visits to their school by a member of Senior Management. After each observation is carried out, employees receive feedback on their lesson with advice on how to improve for the future.
Any questions are answered by appraiser.

  1. 5. Responsibilities
  • Managers – oversight of the Policy and its implementation
  1. 6. Equal Opportunities in Recruitment
  • Primary PPA Cover adheres to legislation regarding recruitment of staff and considering all applicants on individual merit in terms of suitability, qualification, positive attitude, potential and a diverse blend of skills & experiences. A diverse range of skills held within the team will only benefit everybody connected with the Primary PPA Cover community.
Monday, July 06, 2020

2020 has seen unprecedented times that we, as a company, never thought we would find ourselves in. We would like to express our gratitude to our:

  • Amazing clients

Working in the public sector can be very challenging at times and we understand that for schools, it is difficult to appreciate the way that our business works. Thanks to the support of our schools and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we managed to waive over £300,000 of invoices to schools. This left us in a very difficult situation as we still have our HQ premises mortgage, bills to cover and suppliers that unfortunately have had to charge us regardless of the situation. We have lost approximately 10 schools for 2020-2021 due to COVID-19 and the budget cuts their schools have faced. We are very hopeful that these schools will return to us once they are open in September and have received funding support from the government.

  • Wonderful staff

Given one days notice that all schools in the UK would close, our staff had to frantically cancel over 90 PPA sessions daily, indefinitely. Throughout the peak of the crisis, we have had to work night and day to ensure the decisions we were making were going to have a minimal impact on our regular services once schools resumed. Our staff have taken the time to organise their work, to write new lesson plans for children and new schemes of work and we couldn’t be more grateful of their support. This truly shows their passion for the education sector and above all their love for children and learning!

  • Suppliers

To those suppliers who have been flexible with us during these unprecedented times, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Tsunami Computers Leicester, Lex AutoLease, WaterPlus and many more have allowed us to pause or reduce our monthly payments whilst we have received no income. This has made the difference between us surviving and not surviving the crisis. 

Going forwards, we will be rebuilding our business back up to where we were and support from schools in outsourcing their PPA to us to help us rebuild is greatly appreciated. We understand PPA time is a legal requirement for all teachers and the majority of the subjects that we cover are compulsory so if you are struggling to cover PPA time, would like to explore a new method of covering a compulsory subject such as MFL or ICT, please allow us to provide your school with a FREE trial and show you why you should choose us and support our small business.

We would like to send our well wishes to all small businesses both who have survived the crisis and who unfortunately have closed their doors. If you have managed to survive like us, please dig deep and find that energy to push forwards once more to rebuild your business rather than give up. The UK needs small businesses and even more so now with unemployment on the rise. It will be worth it, we promise!