Recruitment and child protection:
candidate information required
We spend a lot of time checking through candidate profiles and CVs in our office. Our focus is to make sure that candidates promote the best version of themselves in order to attract the attention of recruiters.
We aim to do this while keeping in mind the welfare of the children in schools and their right to be safe.
One way we do this is by making sure that the personal information that candidates enter is complete and correct. Sometimes candidates forget to update their new teaching experiences or don’t want to go to the trouble of filling in all past addresses. Sometimes their CVs don’t match their profiles. Our reminder emails and requests are not only to ensure accuracy but to make candidates more employable. That’s why we ask for both partners in a teaching couple to have a profile. Someone who has made it easy for a recruiter to trace their movements will automatically generate more interest. A school recruiter may need to choose between two otherwise equal candidates where one has demonstrated an understanding of the need for providing up-to-date, chronological information. Given the recruiter’s duty to their school, the choice will be plain.
How these requirements evolved
The International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) was formed in 2014, after its members recognized that in order to affect any real change, organizations needed to work together and not in isolation, to set new standards and raise awareness about abuse within international school communities.
The ITFCP’s mandate is to apply the collective resources, expertise, and partnerships of its members to help international school communities address child protection challenges. Now a coalition of 90+ volunteers, ITFCP includes leaders of international education organizations, school leaders, counsellors and teachers, working collaboratively across professions with law enforcement officials and the medical community.
While there are no statistics available which detail abuse by teachers in international schools, the ease of mobility that international teaching provides, coupled with weak recruitment practices, and underdeveloped legal systems in some countries, can make such schools prime targets for child abusers, says Council of International Schools (CIS) Executive Director Jane Larsson. The IB Community Blog: Discussing Child Protection in International Schools
How Search Associates implements these guidelines
Search Associates is a member of the International Task Force on Child Protection (ITFCP) and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of verification in the recruitment process.
The ITFCP has published a set of standards that guide us in the Recommended Screening and Assessment Practices for International School Recruitment. Our candidate profiles at Search Associates request the following information from applicants signing up with us in order to comply –
- Aliases or other names used now or in the past
- Date of Birth
- Secondary Citizenship
- Marital Status
- Country of Residence
- Additional Address
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Education (Institution/degrees/dates, where relevant)
- Certification (Country/state/region/province/expiration date)
- Total number of years in education
- Total number of years living outside of your birth country
- Curriculum Experience
- Work History (Name of school/employer/address/reason for leaving/eligibility for re-
- employment) Explanation for any gaps in work history
- Names & contact details of references (personal and professional)
- Criminal History (arrests/convictions)
- The candidate provides the information requested above in a new application form rather than in an existing CV or other format.
Our duty to you as a candidate is to ensure you understand the importance of this, to provide information and guidance for you to meet these standards, and help you understand that you place yourself at a disadvantage by not meeting these standards.
There are further guidelines on reference checks and referee verification, credential verification, and internet/sex offender registry checks.
In the past, verification standards have been lower. In particular police background checks have not been part of the standard documentation required for Search Associates candidates. Read more about these here.
The reality is a candidate’s level of verification will impact competitiveness. The levels of verification won’t lessen – this is the new reality, and we must work with it to protect children around the world.