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Surprise Inspection Reveals Private School Failed To Check Staff

Private schools are likely to be more vigilant when it comes to using employment verification services after one was found to have failed to check staff appropriately in an unexpected inspection.

A surprise visit from the Department for Education (DfE) in February revealed Clifton College in Bristol did not adequately conduct safeguarding checks for their teachers and other employees, The Times reported.

The boarding school, which charges up to £40,000 a year to attend, had failed to meet safeguarding regulations for its boarders, as well as thoroughly determining whether staff were suitable to be around its 1,200 pupils.

A spokesperson for the department told the news provider: “Staff are sometimes employed before all the necessary recruitment checks are undertaken.”

They went on to say: “These include suitable references, checks against the barred list, a DBS [disclosure and barring service] check and checks on an employee’s identity.”

DfE stipulates that thorough employment checks need to be carried out when making appointments.

It states that once the governing body has chosen a candidate, it has to check their identity; their right to work in the UK; whether they are prohibited from teaching by the Secretary of State; look at references from current or previous employers; consider capability procedures in the last two years; and those who are working with ‘regulated activity relating to children’ need to have a DBS check to determine they are not barred from being around youngsters.

By failing to undertake these assessments vigilantly, Clifton College put its students, including 400 boarders, at risk.

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