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What should a School consider when selecting and interviewing job candidates?

What should a School consider when selecting and interviewing job candidates?

Firstly, you should consider whether the School Staffing Regulations apply to you and, if they do, you should ensure that the prescribed process set out is followed.

Independent schools and academies should also check their articles to determine what process they should follow (if prescribed).

Generally, there are a number of processes available to you when assessing and selecting the ideal candidate for the job advertised for example, shortlisting, selection tests, assessment centres and interviews.

There are however important nuances in the recruitment process within the education sector, such as where a vacancy is for a headteacher or deputy headteacher.  In that situation, the board of a maintained school will need to put in place a selection panel of at least three governors – one of whom must have completed safer recruitment training – to select candidates for interview (and, for most types of maintained schools, notify the local authority of the names of the candidates), interview applicants and, if the interviews are successful, recommend a candidate for appointment as headteacher to the board of governors.  This is also good practice in academies, and academies should review their articles of association to determine the process, including the size of any selection panel, that might be prescribed by their articles.

All selection processes undertaken must be fair, consistent and result in the appointment of the best person for the job.

You should ensure that, as far as possible, arrangements for holding tests or interviews, or using assessment centres, do not put any candidates at a disadvantage in connection with a protected characteristic. For example, where the dates or times coincide with religious festivals.

Schools are not required to make changes to recruitment processes in anticipation of applications from disabled people. However, if a School knows, or could be reasonably expected to know that a particular disabled person is, or may be, applying for a role and is likely to be substantially disadvantaged by the premises or arrangements, then reasonable adjustments must be made. For example, if an applicant is a wheelchair user you should make sure that the premises where the interview is being held are accessible in order to remove any disadvantage that individual may suffer because of their disability.

Schools should also consider whether any tests could be indirectly discriminatory.