University of Plymouth Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure Policy for use within the Faculty of Education for the recruitment of students


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University of Plymouth




Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure Policy for use within the Faculty of Education for the recruitment of students



CONTENTS:

Disclosure Policy

CRB Code of Practice for Registered Persons and Annexe A

Other Recipients of Disclosure Information

Meaning of Regulated Position Annexe B

Guidance Notes for staff on the issue and completion of

Disclosure application forms Annexe C

Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Annexe D

Self Disclosure of Criminal Records Form Annexe E

Policy Statement on the Secure Storage, Handling, Annexe F

Use, Retention and Disposal of Disclosures and

Disclosures Information

Faculty Disclosure Panel Procedures Annexe G


List of “regulated courses” as at 19 March 2009 Annexe H

Criminal record checking processes in certain countries Annexe I

Key facts and advice for applicants on completing a

CRB disclosure application form Annexe J


CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU - DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR USE WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH


  • FACULTY OF EDUCATION

  1. Introduction





    1. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the amendment orders prohibit discrimination against persons with prison/criminal records within defined limits relating to length of sentence and the period free of a criminal record after the sentence was completed. However some professions which involve contact with children or vulnerable adults are excepted from the Act; teaching is one of these professions.



    1. The University of Plymouth Faculty of Education enrols students on a range of courses in a variety of settings which involve contact with children or vulnerable adults. Students accepting firm offers on these courses must apply for an Enhanced Disclosure from the CRB (see section 4 Level of Disclosure, below).



    2. Criminal records searches are administered by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), a government agency established under the Police Act 1997, by means of the Disclosure Service. The CRB defines a child as someone who is under 18 (under 16 if the child is employed) and a vulnerable adult as a person aged 18 or over who has a learning or physical difficulty, a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or a reduction in physical or mental capacity.




    1. The Disclosure Service assists employers and educational institutions in making appropriate recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who are unsuitable for certain work or courses, particularly those where there will be contact with children or vulnerable adults.



    2. As teaching or training to teach involves working with children or vulnerable adults, the government requires (Joint Circular 12/88 “Protection of Children”) that anyone pursuing training in or a career in teaching should disclose any criminal or police record. The University of Plymouth is a registered user of the CRB and uses the CRB Disclosure Service for this purpose. As a registered body, the University complies with the CRB Code of Practice (see Annexe A) and undertakes to treat all applicants for courses fairly and consistently. It will not discriminate unfairly against any applicant on the basis of conviction or other information revealed in a criminal records Disclosure.




    1. The University of Plymouth is committed to the fair treatment of all of its staff and students and potential staff and students, regardless of gender, ethnicity, colour, disability, religion, nationality, age, occupation, marital status, sexual orientation or any other irrelevant distinction, as laid out in the Equal Opportunities Policy and Code of Practice.




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  1. Disclosure by new students



    1. Self-disclosure: “regulated courses”



      1. Regulated courses” are defined as those for which the Faculty of Education arranges or requires contact with children or vulnerable adults (e.g. school placements), or which might involve such contact for research or experiential reasons. As a general policy the Faculty of Education requires all new students enrolling on “regulated courses” to apply for a CRB Enhanced Disclosure. A list of current regulated courses is attached at Annexe H.



      2. A “new student” is defined as a student joining for the first time a listed course whether at Stage 1 or at a later stage. Students progressing from partner colleges or changing courses within the university or commencing PGCE courses (irrespective of where they gained earlier qualifications) will be treated as “new students”.



      3. All new students for Faculty of Education regulated courses are required to sign a self-disclosure form on application. This is to assist the faculty in assessing their suitability for the course for which they have applied, and also to ensure that the faculty is able to fulfil its duty of care to the university community and those of its partners. It also enables, where appropriate, timely advice, guidance and counselling to be given to applicants as early as possible in the application process.



      4. To this end details of a disclosed offence may be referred to the faculty’s Disclosure Panel when an offer of a place is made.



      5. For applicants for courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status, the self-disclosure form also serves to allow the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) to assess the applicants’ suitability to be provisionally registered with the GTCE.



      6. Applicants will be made aware of the fact that, whilst many offences will not of themselves debar an applicant from a course or from the teaching profession, failure to disclose an offence of any nature may lead to the withdrawal of an offer of a place or exclusion from the course or the university. See also 5.3 below.



    2. CRB Disclosure – “regulated courses”



      1. It is a condition of entry to regulated courses that a satisfactory CRB Enhanced Disclosure is received by the faculty. If a disclosure certificate reveals any offences, these will be reviewed by the faculty Disclosure Panel to assess suitability (see Section 6 below and Annexe G – Faculty Disclosure Panel Procedures)



      2. CRB Disclosures are not automatically transportable and it is not normally possible to accept Disclosures obtained for other courses or through other institutions, however recent they are.



      3. The university cannot be responsible for the activities of its students which may involve contact with children or vulnerable adults (through employment for example) if such activities are not a requirement of the course. By law, the university will not be able to carry out a CRB check in respect of such activities.



      4. A satisfactory Disclosure Certificate is required before a student can commence any teaching practice. If the return of a student’s Disclosure Certificate is delayed the faculty will discuss with the hosting institution whether any other temporary safeguards can be put in place to allow the placement to proceed. If such measures are not available, the placement will not take place. Prolonged delay in this regard may require the interruption of studies or withdrawal from the course.



      5. There is no lifespan to Disclosures. Whilst the Faculty would normally expect a Disclosure to last for the duration of a three year course (or four years in the case of a BEd course), it reserves the right to require a further disclosure at any time.





  1. Disclosure by existing students



    1. Returning students on regulated courses will be asked to complete a self-disclosure form at the start of each academic year during their course. A new CRB disclosure will be required if the self-disclosure form reveals any offence that was not disclosed on the original CRB disclosure.



    2. Students on any course are also required to inform the faculty via their course leader promptly if they commit an offence during their course. Once any legal processes (e.g. consideration by a court, registration of a caution by the police and so on) are completed a further CRB Disclosure will be required. In the meantime, the procedures described in Section 6 will be implemented based on the self-disclosure.



    3. Failure to disclose an offence may lead to exclusion from the course or the university (see also 2.4 above and 5.3 below)



    4. Existing students who interrupt their studies must complete a self-disclosure form and may, at the faculty’s discretion depending on the reasons for and length of the interruption, be required to apply for a further CRB disclosure, on the resumption of their studies.



    5. Existing students on non-regulated courses may, for research or experiential reasons, wish to engage in activities which bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults. Authorisation for this is required from the course or programme director, and a satisfactory CRB Enhanced Disclosure will be required before any such activity commences.



  1. Level of Disclosure



    1. As teaching is amongst those professions which is excepted from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, the level of CRB disclosure required of applicants for courses leading to a teaching qualification, or which in their own right involve contact with children or vulnerable adults (for example during observation in schools, teaching practice, summer schools and so on) will be an Enhanced Disclosure.



    2. This level of disclosure involves an extra level of checking with local police force records in addition to checks with the Police National Computer and the government department lists held by the Department of Education and Skills and Department of Health, where appropriate.



    3. Applicants should be aware that, as the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 do not apply in these circumstances, an Enhanced Disclosure will reveal all convictions, cautions, reprimands and bind-overs, irrespective of when they occurred or whether they would otherwise be considered “spent”.



    4. The identity of applicants will be thoroughly checked.



    5. As an organisation using the CRB Disclosure Service to assess applicants’ suitability for courses involving or leading to contact with children or vulnerable adults, the University of Plymouth complies fully with the CRB Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly and equitably and it undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.


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