We meet the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that our staff and volunteers are appropriately qualified, and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with statutory requirements.
Vetting and staff selection
- We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection.
- All our staff have job descriptions, which set out their roles and responsibilities.
- We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, age, marriage or civil partnership. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by our imposing conditions or requirements that are not justifiable.
- We follow the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted guidance on checking the suitability of all staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. This includes obtaining references and ensuring they have a satisfactory enhanced criminal records check with barred list(s) check through the DBS. This is in accordance with requirements under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) and the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) for the vetting and barring scheme.
- Where an individual is subscribed to the DBS Update Service we carry out a status check of their DBS certificate, after checking their identity and viewing their original enhanced DBS certificate to ensure that it does not reveal any information that would affect their suitability for the post.
- We keep all records relating to the employment of our staff and volunteers; in particular those demonstrating that suitability checks have been done, including the date of issue, name, type of DBS check and unique reference number from the DBS certificate, along with details of our suitability decision.
- We require that all our staff and volunteers keep their DBS check up-to-date by subscribing to the DBS Update Service throughout the duration of their employment with us.
- Our staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children – whether received before, or at any time during, their employment with us.
- We obtain consent from our staff and volunteers to carry out on-going status checks of the Update Service to establish that their DBS certificate is up-to-date for the duration of their employment with us.
- Where we become aware of any relevant information which may lead to the disqualification of an employee, we will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children. In the event of disqualification, that person’s employment with us will be terminated.
- We advertise vacancies, where appropriate, to encourage all from the community to apply.
- We ensure the advert is clear that we will apply for a DBS and subject the successful applicant to suitability screening. We may also mention that the position is exempt from the Rehabilitation of offenders Act.
- We ask applicants to complete application forms so that, prior to interview, we can vet the suitability of each applicant.
- Give each applicant a Job Description and Person Specification so that applicants are aware of what is expected and we can compare them to our requirements.
- The interview process will involve a formal verbal interview, with a panel of 3 people.
- The same questions will be asked of all applicants and the interviewers will agree the questions and desired answers prior to interview.
- Successful applicants will then be asked to spend a morning at the setting so that we can assess their suitability to work with children and with the existing team.
- The probation period for staff is 3 months.
- The probation period for the Manager is 6 months.
- Employment can be terminated before the end of the probation period, by either side, giving one week’s notice.
- Employment can be terminated within the probation period without following the contractual grievance or disciplinary procedure.
- In the event the probationary period is extended and the staff member fails to make sufficient progress either during or by the end of the extended probationary period, this is likely to result in dismissal.
- If the probationary period has not been extended in writing to the employee before the end of the probation period then the probation automatically ends and the contractual period will apply.
- Probation supervisions will take place with the Manager every month.
- The Manager may take in the Play Leader or a member of the committee to attend these supervisions.
- There may be circumstances when the actions of the employee are serious enough to justify dismissal without notice. This may be action or behaviour which constitutes a breach of trust and confidence and thus destroys the employment contract between the employee and the employer, making any further working relationship impossible.
- There is no right of representation as such at the probation supervisions.
- Where dismissal is being considered staff may be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative.
- During the probation period, sickness absence should be reported in for everyday the staff member is off sick.
- Where there is excessive frequent short term absences during the probation period which are not related to disability or maternity, consideration will be given to whether employment can be confirmed.
Notifying Ofsted of changes
- We inform Ofsted of any changes to our Registered Person.
Training and staff development
- The manager and deputy hold the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent qualification and at least half of our other staff members hold the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent or higher qualification.
- Our budget allocates resources to training.
- We provide our staff with induction training in the first week of their employment. This induction includes our Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy. Other policies and procedures are introduced within an induction plan.
- We support the work of our staff by holding regular supervision meetings and appraisals.
- We are committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation and best practice.
Staff taking medication/other substances
- If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, we ensure that they seek further medical advice. Our staff will only work directly with the children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children properly.
- Staff medication on the premises will be stored securely and kept out of reach of the children at all times.
- If we have reason to believe that a member of our staff is under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that may affect their ability to care for children, they will not be allowed to work directly with the children and further action will be taken.
Managing staff absences and contingency plans for emergencies
- Our staff take their holiday breaks when the setting is closed.
- Where our staff are unwell and take sick leave in accordance with their contract of employment, we organise cover to ensure ratios are maintained.
- Sick leave is monitored and action is taken where necessary, in accordance with the individual’s contract of employment.
- You may be entitled to SSP.
- You are not entitled to contractual sick pay.
- Notification of absence from work due to illness or any other cause should be made on the first day that you are absent from work to the Manger, then phone in every day you are off work.
- If you are absent for more than 3 consecutive days, you must provide a medical certificate.
- You are required to complete a self-certification form for sickness of less than 3 days.