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Ongoing Suitability Of Staff


Guest debbiel15
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Guest debbiel15

Was wondering if anyone has a form they'd like to share that covers all the annual declaration statements for staff re their ongoing suitability. I have one that covers health declaration but I'm more interested in ones that now also include the statements regarding relationship changes and criminal convictions/pending prosecutions for either themselves, their family members or partners and their families. This is per the information sent out from CAYA in August this year saying declarations should verify the personal circumstances of employees have not changed since the previous year.

 

I don't want to re-invent the wheel if someone has such a form in use now but if not, looks like I'll be cobbling another one together.

 

Just a little moan.....I really do wish standardised forms would be issued from central government on these particularly thorny matters, particularly when it's in relation to safeguarding - there must be stacks of time wasted by individuals creating their own declarations across the nation!! Surely on such a serious matter, standardised declarations should be provided by the authorities when they are required.

 

Gripe over!

 

Thanks in anticipation

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We used to have one that stated simply they had not done anything which would change the status of their previously recorded CRB disclosure. I'm afraid I don't have access to it now to share but it was very simply put. Your CRB agent may have an example you can use. We didn't ask about their personal circumstances, such as convictions or pending investigations on family members as we didn't employ them and had never CRB checked them. I would consider that to be an invasion of privacy possibly, unless those members of the family have access to children or their files.

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I'm not sure an employer can ask employees about their personal relationships or about issues that might affect their ability to get an enhanced CRB. As Holly says, they aren't employed by the setting and don't have contact with the children their mother/partner cares for.

 

I think childminders have to obtain CRB checks for family members or others who live on the premises where childminding takes place though, which is sensible, I guess.

 

So I'd go for a simple statement the employee can sign to say they have not been engaged in any activities likely to compromise their suitability to work with children, and that no current legal proceedings of this type are pending against them. Although I'm not sure where you go if someone refused to sign, unless your contract stipulates that continued employment with the setting depends on this declaration being made each year.

 

If you're concerned about the status of the people your employees are in relationships with, you'd just need to make sure your policies and procedures prevent any real or theoretical risk of harm to your children and ensure they are strictly adhered to.

 

Child protection is such a complicated business in some ways!

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This was brought up by our county Early Years Team and it was suggested that instead of just asking if anything had changed that might affect suitability we should add a sentence saying-

'I undertake to inform my line manager of any changes that occur that may affect my suitability to work with young children' and get staff to sign annually. I have done this and given each staff member a copy of the information on CRB forms that lists reasons you may be unsuitable.

Hope that helps.

korkycat

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Sorry who is CAYA & why on earth would they tell you to obtain personal info like that on staff or their families. I think you would be on very sticky ground here asking about criminal convictions on staff family, whether pending or conviction. Goodness me, I dont think a staff members personal relationships is any of an employers business. They have nothing to do with the children.

 

I can honestly say I have never received any guidance or anything similar form any 'official' body on obtaining anything on staff apart form the normal suitability/crb checks when employed Nobody has ever asked me to obtain annual declarations on health or suitability etc. By nobody I mean Ofsted, LA or even PSLA.

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and I have in the past been asked to produce paperwork on continued suitability for staff by Ofsted... but this was nothing to do with things from family only their own personal information which was relevant, cannot see how you could realistically ask for information about someone who is not in your employment.

 

Could it not be classed as a data protection issue, the person has a right to be asked and know about any data collected about them and how it is stored, will be used etc.. I am often asked to sign about my details and how they are stored in different locations, optician has me sign again every time I visit.. as do a few other places which store my data..

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At our recent inspection she did ask how we checked whether people were still suitable for their job roles.

She suggested and it was certainly not an action to add something onto our yearly appraisal forms which staff sign, to include has anything changed personally that could have an impact on your suitability to work in your present role.

This was for the person employed and not family members or partners.

I agree that i'm not sure you have the right to ask about persons that are not employed by you.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest debbiel15

Thank you everyone for your comments. Just to clarify. We had a letter from CAYA that said we had to have a declaration from staff annually that included the following:

 

- No criminal convictions or prosecution proceedings pending.

- No changes to health including changes in or the need to take medication and mental health.

- Relationship changes and more specifically a relationship with a person who you know to have a criminal record.

- the employee or a member of their family are subject to a police investigation.

 

This was accompanied with the procedure for managing allegations against members of staff. There's been no formal policy/guidance as yet but they plan to issue when they have it but this was supposed to be an interim measure until that time. I was only trying to save myself time by using another setting's form rather than going off creating my own. This, as ever with safeguarding, is Pandora's Box and having been told recently that it is a 'hot topic' on Ofsted Inspections, I want to get it right. Think I will just go with the above statements for now until such time as we're issued with more definite guidance.

 

Thanks again.

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Sorry and I know I have asked this before but who is CAYA? Are they one of the agencies that do CRB checks?

 

Relationship changes and more specifically a relationship with a person who you know to have a criminal record.

- the employee or a member of their family are subject to a police investigation.

 

Still dont think we have the right to ask about sensitive information on people that are nothing to do with the setting- certainly not without their permission.

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  • 4 months later...

We were informed we had to do this at the start of last year. It's buried in the Practice Guidance for the EYFS, paragraph 3.12 on page 16. It specifically covers people living with someone who is disqualified from registration to work with children.

 

I also thought it sounded like a bit of infringement of privacy, so I checked it out with our legal advisors and they confirmed that it is a legal requirement under the childcare act 1996 to ask whether someone is living in the same household with someone who is disqualified from registration.

 

We now ask it as part of our annual staff information update and health declaration

 

HTH

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Paragraph 3.12 refers to refers to records kept on qualifications, identy checks and vetting processes being kept on STAFF, makes no mention of staff relationships.

Paragraph 3.14 is about disqualification of registered providers, QUOTE 3.14 In the event of the disqualification13 of a registered provider, a person living in the same household as the registered provider, or a person employed in that household, the provider must not continue as an early years provider – nor be directly concerned in the management of such provision. Where an employer becomes aware of relevant information which may lead to disqualification of an employee, the provider must take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children. In the event of disqualification of a person employed in early years provision, the provider must not continue to employ that person UNQUOTE

Now perhaps I am stupid (and believe me I frequently am!!) but where does it say I have to ask my staff about their relationships & what their families are up to? Which is basically what is being said. If my son in law has a police record I have to declare this? Sorry but that's his business and has no bearing on my working. We cant even keep copies of staff disclosures so how can we keep that sort of information on them.

 

Masha what your legal dept are talking about is in relation to the registered provider- who would be the owner or management committee of a group- not a normal member of staff. They are not saying that records on this have to be kept but are saying that that person must not continue to be the early years provider or be directly concerend with the management of such provision.

I would not allow details (esp such personal details as a criminal record or police investigations) to be kept on me by my son, daughters or even my husbands employers. I just cannot see how they could do this without my permission?

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Masha what your legal dept are talking about is in relation to the registered provider- who would be the owner or management committee of a group- not a normal member of staff. ... I just cannot see how they could do this without my permission?

 

I argued exactly this at the time, but our LA were adamant it was for all staff, that's why I checked with our legal advisors - to prove them wrong - but everyone seemed to agree that it was for anyone working with children, and they would need to apply for a waiver if they lived with someone who was disqualified - not who had a police record, but who had been disqualified from working with children. Seemed insane to me, but we went ahead and added it to our declaration. Had Ofsted in December and they asked about it too (not that that proves anything as every inspector seems to have their own take on things!)

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I interpreted all this as being in cases of childcare on domestic premises ( as seemed more logical).....am I wrong and it actually means all providers??

 

Who knows? I also thought it seemed a very intrusive thing to ask, as the setting employs individuals, not their households, but I was assured that we should be asking. Here's exactly what our legal advice people said

 

"I can confirm that it is a legal requirement to ask employees about whether or not those who live with them in the same household are disqualified from registration under the Childcare Act 1996."

 

As usual I was left with the feeling that something this important should be made absolutely clear in the EYFS and not written in such an ambiguous way, and hidden away in the non-statutory guidance! However, I can't seem to find any reference to this in the revised EYFS, so I'm back to being confused about the whole issue again :(

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Hi Everyone

 

I too was informed during our recent county provider briefing that staff have to declare if they live with or are in a close relationship with someone who has been disqualified when working with children.

 

This did cause quite an uproar amongst those attending regading privacy etc, however it was made very clear that it only regards convictions (or pending convictions) that are directly related to a person's suitability when working with children. This stems back to the Plymouth case where particular staff may be pressured to act in a certain way to fulfill the needs and expectations of an overbearing partner/family member.

 

I will be adding the question to my staff review forms (carried out 3 x annually) and will ask about their ongoing suitability as well as if they have regular contact outside of the workplace with anyone who is deemed unsuitable to work with children.

 

Looking back in my notes i cant find exactly what the procedure is if staff do declare they or someone close to them is unsuitable, however i assume it would be referred to the LADO who would investigate further?? I will go find this out now!!

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Who knows? I also thought it seemed a very intrusive thing to ask, as the setting employs individuals, not their households, but I was assured that we should be asking. Here's exactly what our legal advice people said

 

"I can confirm that it is a legal requirement to ask employees about whether or not those who live with them in the same household are disqualified from registration under the Childcare Act 1996."

 

As usual I was left with the feeling that something this important should be made absolutely clear in the EYFS and not written in such an ambiguous way, and hidden away in the non-statutory guidance! However, I can't seem to find any reference to this in the revised EYFS, so I'm back to being confused about the whole issue again :(

 

Look back on page 1 of this post. The paragraph I quoted is word for word and is in the stat framework & it is talking about the registered provider- NOT staff.

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Yes lynned55, i too have had my fine tooth comb and magnifying glass out today, and it says registered provider. However, what I couln't find anywhere was a legal definition of registered provider!! That said, its certainly not staff!!

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I have a vague feeling that the revised eyfs requires this now, but only vaguely, because of the plymouth case

 

i have always asked staff if there is any reason why they should not be working or that they are ok to work but not relations they live with but i think some where in my fuzzled end of term coping with food posioning brain this rings a bell

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The registered provider is (in our case) our committee. It may be the owner (in a private group) and most definitely is a childminder but it is most definitely not the staff. If you look on your registration cert from Ofsted I am pretty sure it says on there. However cannot confirm this as it is at work, and I'm not!!.

When you fill out an EY2 form it says on there name of setting (or similar) which is the name of my group preschool- THEN it says name of registered provider which is nameofmygroup preschool committee.

I wonder if the definition of this would be on Ofsted's website. I am now wondering how many Ofsted inspectors will be asking this same question when they re start their inspections.

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