The safe recruitment of personnel is the first step to ensuring the safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children in education. As an employer, Spark expects all personnel, including volunteers, to share this commitment. This procedure details the recruitment process.

This policy reinforces the expected conduct outlined in the Tutor Handbook which all Tutor’s have access to.

This policy is an essential element in creating and maintaining a safe and a supportive environment for all pupils, staff and others within the online school community and aims to ensure both safe and fair recruitment and selection of all staff and volunteers by:

  • ensuring that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their common vision, abilities and suitability for the position;
  • ensuring that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently;
  • ensuring that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age;
  • ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance (DfE, ARACIP, Ministry of Education, School Inspectorate)

Spark is committed to using procedures that deal effectively with those adults who fail to comply with the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures and practices.

As an employer we are under a duty to refer any allegation of abuse against a member of staff to the appropriate member of the local authorities within one working day of the allegation being made. A referral will be made if a Tutor or member of staff (including volunteers) has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children

As an employer we are under a duty to refer to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), any member of staff (from the UK) who, following a disciplinary investigation, is dismissed or resigns because of misconduct towards a pupil and we may refer any concerns we have before the completion of this process. Any members of staff from other countries, Spark will contact the relevant authorities in that country. Spark has a principle of open competition in its approach to recruitment and will seek to recruit the best applicant for the job. The recruitment and selection process should ensure the identification of the person best suited to the job at the school based on the applicant’s abilities, qualification, experience and merit as measured against the job description and person specification.



Any member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) can initiate the process of recruiting when a position needs to be filled or when a position is created in Spark.

Job description and personal specification

When the SLT member has defined the role, requirements and specifications into a job description. A job description is a key document in the recruitment process. It will clearly and accurately set out the duties and responsibilities of the job role. The person specification is of equal importance and informs the selection decision. It details the skills, experience, abilities and expertise that are required to do the job. The person specification will include a specific reference to suitability to work with children.

Advertising Vacancies

  • The HR Director will announce the vacancies on the appropriate channels of communication. Depending on the role and requirements, the HR Director can decide on the channels used for each announcement.
  • Publish on website
  • Message to all personnel
  • Message to Alumni
  • Inform Recruitment Partners (TES, Infomunca, Integra HR, other)
  • Post on Spark social media channels

To ensure equality of opportunity, the school will advertise all vacant posts. All documentation relating to applicants will be treated confidentially, following the school’s responsibility for data protection (under EU and Romanian law).


The school only considers employment applications after the candidate has submitted an application form, including their CV; copies of relevant qualification documents; professional references from their most recent workplace and police clearance checks. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to apply for a position at the school. All applicants will be made aware that providing false information is an offence and could result in the application being rejected or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected.

Phone screening

Initial phone screening might be completed if there is need for additional details to be provided.


There will be a face-to-face interview wherever possible, or a Skype interview. A minimum of two interviewers will see the applicants for the vacant position. Interviews will be scheduled by the HR. An SLT member will lead the interview. At least one member of any interviewing panel will have undertaken Safer Recruitment Training.



All offers of employment will be subject to the receipt of at least one reference which is considered satisfactory by the school. The referee should not be a relative. References will always be sought and obtained directly from the referee and their purpose is to provide objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. Any discrepancies or anomalies will be followed up to verify the reference.



The CEO is informed about the successful applicant by the SLT member. HR support is informed by SLT to make the Employment Offer with all the required details: full name; contact details; start date; job title, department and supervisor; salary and number of paid leave days.
HR support prepares the offer and sends it to the SLT member together with the list of mandatory documents required for the labour contract. The SLT member informs the candidate by email of the offer. If the Employment Offer is accepted, the candidate also receives the list of mandatory documents which are required for a work contract to be prepared.

HR support then organise the documentation required with the candidate and prepare the
labour contract with:

  • verification of the applicant’s identity;
  • verification of professional qualifications which the school deems a requirement for the post, or which the applicant otherwise submits in support of their application
  • verification of satisfactory references;
  • verification of the applicant’s medical fitness for the role;
  • verification of the applicant’s right to work in Romania;
  • any further checks which are necessary as a result of the applicant having lived or worked outside of Romania, for example police checks from those countries;
  • the agreement of a mutually acceptable start date and the signing of a contract incorporating the school’s standard terms and conditions of employment.

Police Clearing Checks

Any person who is barred from working with children as a result of their conviction will have their offer withdrawn. The school operates a formal procedure for consideration of candidates with other convictions. Consideration will be given to the UK Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974 and also:

  • the nature, seriousness and relevance of the offence;
  • changes in circumstances,
  • decriminalisation and remorse.

The Executive Director and the SLT have the decision if an offer is withdrawn on the basis of conviction.


Medical Fitness

The school is required to verify the medical fitness of anyone to be appointed to a post at the school, after an offer of employment has been made but before the appointment can be confirmed. This is confirmed by an external medical provider, based on the position appointed for.

Record Retention

As an employer, Spark is legally required to make pre-employment checks. Therefore, if an applicant is successful in their application, Spark will make a conditional offer subject to the following:

  • Provide proof of identity
  • Complete an enhanced DBS application and receive satisfactory clearance or Police check
  • Provide proof of professional status
  • Provide actual certificates of qualifications
  • Complete a confidential health questionnaire
  • Overseas police check for any individual who within the last five years has lived or worked outside the United Kingdom, whether they are a British citizen or not


Roles and Responsibilities

The Senior Leadership Team will:

  1. ensure the school has effective policies and procedures in place for the safe and fair recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers
  2. ensure that appropriate staff have completed safer recruitment training (and repeat this every 5 years)
  3. ensure that the school operates safe and fair recruitment and selection procedures which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect any changes to legislation and statutory guidance
  4. ensure that all appropriate checks have been carried out on staff and volunteers in the school
  5. monitor any contractors and agencies compliance with this document
  6. promote the safety and well-being of children and young people at every stage of
    this process

Inviting Applications

All advertisements for posts of regulated activity, paid or unpaid, will include the following statement;

Spark is committed to safeguarding children and young people. All post holders in regulated activity are subject to appropriate vetting procedures and a satisfactory “Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced check” for those teachers who are British or based in the UK or Police Checks for those non-UK teachers from the country where they are from and from where they are currently based.

All applicants will receive a pack containing the following when applying for a post:

  • A statement of the Spark’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the pupils
  • Job description
  • Spark’s Safeguarding Policy
  • Spark’s Recruitment Policy
  • The selection procedure for the post
  • An application form
  • Copy of the Tutor’s Handbook



Prospective applicants must complete, in full, and return a signed application form. Incomplete application forms will be returned to the applicant where the deadline for completed forms has not passed.

Candidates submitting an application form completed online will be asked to sign the form if called for an interview. Interviews will be conducted online or in person subject to the circumstances of each individual candidate.

A curriculum vitae will not be accepted in place of a completed application form.


Identification of the Recruitment Panel

At least one member of the Selection and Recruitment Panel will have successfully completed training in safer recruitment within the last 5 years.

Shortlisting and References

Candidates will be shortlisted against the person specification for the post.
Two references, one of which must be from the applicant’s current/most recent employer where possible will be taken up before the selection stage so that any discrepancies may be probed during this stage of the procedure (note references should come from the head
of the previous organisation, not a colleague).

References will be sought directly from the referee, and where necessary, will be contacted to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies. Detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges. Where possible references will be requested in advance of the interview.

Where necessary, previous employers who have not been named as referees may be contacted in order to clarify any such anomalies or discrepancies. Detailed written records will be kept of such exchanges.

Referees will be asked specific questions about the following:

  • The candidate’s suitability to work with children and young people
  • Any substantiated allegations
  • Any disciplinary warnings, including time-expired warnings, relating to the Safeguarding of children and young people

Reference requests will include the following:

  • Applicant’s current post and salary
  • Attendance record
  • Disciplinary record

All appointments are subject to satisfactory references, vetting procedures and DBS clearance/Police clearance.

  • Invitation to Interview

Candidates called to interview will receive:

  • A letter confirming the interview and any other selection techniques
  • Details of the interview day including details of the panel members
  • Further copy of the person specification
  • Details of any tasks to be undertaken as part of the interview process
  • The opportunity to discuss the process prior to the interview
  • Be asked to provide proof of identity

The Selection Process

Selection techniques will be determined by the nature and duties of the post but all vacancies will require an interview of short-listed candidates.

Interviews will always be face-to-face and may include additional interview techniques such as observation or exercises.

Candidates will be required to:

  • Explain any gaps in employment
  • Explain satisfactorily any anomalies or discrepancies in the information available to the panel
  • Declare any information that is likely to appear on the DBS disclosure or Police check
  • Demonstrate their ability to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people

Employment Checks

An offer of appointment will be conditional and all successful candidates will be required to:

  • Provide proof of identity
  • Complete an enhanced DBS application (UK teachers) and satisfactory clearance or Police check for Non-UK teachers
  • Provide proof of professional status
  • Provide actual certificates of qualifications
  • Complete a confidential health questionnaire
  • Overseas police check for any individual who within the last five years has lived or worked outside the United Kingdom, whether they are a British citizen or not

All checks will be:

  • Confirmed in writing
  • Documented and retained on the personnel file
  • Recorded on the school’s Single Central Record
  • Followed up if they are unsatisfactory or if there are any discrepancies in the information received

Employment will commence subject to all checks and procedures being satisfactorily completed.



All staff who are new to the Spark will receive information on Spark’s safeguarding policy and procedures and guidance on safe working practices which would include guidance on acceptable conduct/behaviour.

Expectations will form part of new staff members’ induction training.

All successful candidates will undergo a period of induction and will:
Meet regularly with their induction tutor
⦾ Meet regularly with their line manager
⦾ Attend appropriate training including generalist child protection training.


This policy will be reviewed annually