Tes Institute is committed to ensuring that:
- trainees on its initial teacher training programmes have the capacity to teach;
- the necessary checks have been carried out to ensure that trainees are suitable to work with children;
- trainees are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities as trainee teachers.
Health and physical capacity to teach
Providers have a responsibility to ensure that trainees have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm. The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003. Providers are responsible for ensuring that only trainees who have the capacity to teach remain on the programme.
People with disabilities or chronic illnesses may have the capacity to teach, just as those without disabilities or medical conditions may be unsuitable to teach. Further information on training to teach with a disability is available from the DfE website.
Successful applicants offered a place on an ITT programme may be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme. ITT providers should not ask all-encompassing health questions but should ensure that they only ask targeted and relevant health-related questions, which are necessary to ensure that a person is able to teach.
Disclosure and Barring Service checks
Tes Institute has a policy on DBS and other safeguarding checks which can be found on the VLE.
Any queries about DBS checks should be referred to the DBS at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 03000 200 190.
Other background checks
Individuals who are unsuited to working with children may not have any previous convictions, and providers should be vigilant during the selection process. Providers or employing schools have a duty to ensure that trainees are properly managed and supervised and that, if they have concerns, information is referred to the police and the DBS.
Trainees from overseas who teach in schools in England should be subject to criminal record checks, including a check of the children’s barred list. The Home Office has published guidance on criminal record checks for overseas applicants.
The Department for Education has published statutory guidance on the application to schools of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 and related obligations under the Childcare Act 2006. ITT providers should have regard to this statutory guidance when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Further advice on the childcare disqualification arrangements can be obtained from the Department for Education by emailing Mailbox.email@example.com or on 01325 340 409.
Recruitment Policy and Processes relating to Safeguarding
All applications are reviewed for both eligibility and suitability. The education and employment chronology is also checked to ensure there are no gaps or unaccounted-for periods of time greater than 3 months, as part of the safeguarding checks. If there is a gap of less than 3 months, the application may still be accepted but further information may be requested for clarification.
Each application is graded, using a standard assessment form, and strengths and weaknesses identified. Any possible conditions (e.g. additional school experience) are also noted. If an application is incomplete, applicants may be contacted and asked to provide further information before an assessment can take place.
Successful applicants are invited to attend an interview day, which will take place at the relevant school (a representative of Tes Institute will participate in a sample of interviews across the partnership). Candidates are asked to bring their identification documents with them to the interview, so that their identity can be checked. At least one of the interview panel members must have undergone the Safer Recruiting Training.
Tes Institute will undertake a 100 per cent quality and compliance check on all applicants who have been recommended by the Lead School that they be offered a place on the Programme and ensure that it has a complete set of documentation for each applicant recommended to be offered a place on the programme backing up and supporting the recommendation.
When an offer has been made to a candidate, and the offer accepted, the Lead School will ask the candidate to attend at the school so that the Lead School can take copies of the applicant’s original identity and qualifications documents and sign to confirm that the original documents have been seen. The Lead School will send copies of the documents, together with Tes Institute’s Compliance Check document, to Tes Institute.
If Tes Institute agrees a recommendation for a place offer, Tes Institute will have lead responsibility between the making of the place offer by the Lead School and the start date for the Programme, for following up and ensuring that all remaining eligibility and suitability criteria and other conditions for entry to the Programme have been met. DBS and other safeguarding checks are carried out in accordance with Tes Institute’s Safeguarding Checks Policy.
Once the candidate has confirmed acceptance of the offer, they will be asked to sign a Trainee Agreement, setting out their responsibilities as a trainee, prior to starting the Programme.
Where a trainee is scheduled to start the Programme but does not have a completed DBS check in place, the School where the trainee is to be placed must carry out a risk assessment and submit the completed and signed risk assessment, together with written confirmation that the trainee will be supervised in school at all times, to Tes Institute prior to the trainee starting in school. In addition, all other safeguarding checks for the trainee must have been completed successfully.
If any of a trainee’s safeguarding checks are delayed for reasons outside of Tes Institute’s control, the trainee may be delayed or prevented from entering the Programme at Tes Institute’s and the School’s discretion, should those safeguarding checks not be completed in time for the start of the Programme.
Code of Conduct
Each trainee on a Tes Institute teacher training programme signs a Trainee Agreement when registering for the programme which contains a Code of Conduct, detailing the trainee’s responsibilities as a trainee. The wording of the Code of Conduct is set out below.
Trainees are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of their Trainee Agreement with Tes Institute, including the Tes Institute Code of Conduct, throughout the period of their Tes Institute ITT programme, including their school placement experience. The trainee is also expected to comply with their placement school’s code of conduct and any additional requirements.
All trainees are expected to behave responsibly at all times and not to engage in any activity which might bring the good name of Tes Institute, fellow trainees or staff into disrepute.
Any act or omission, which affects adversely the rights of any other member of the Tes Institute or associated partners, or which disrupts the orderly and responsible conduct of any Tes Institute activity, or which breaches any Tes Institute policy or procedure, shall constitute a breach of discipline, triggering the implementation of Tes Institute’s Disciplinary Policy.
Tes Institute may suspend a trainee from the Programme at any time and with no prior warning if the trainee has, in the sole opinion of Tes Institute, behaved in such a way as to either: put at risk themselves, a pupil, a fellow trainee, a member of school staff, a member of Tes Institute or anyone else they come into contact with through the Programme or: bring the Programme or Tes Institute into disrepute. This might include, but is not limited to:
- a criminal conviction or charge;
- a breach of professional safeguarding protocols;
- financial irregularity;
- breach of confidentiality;
- lying or cheating through the application, recruitment, selection and registration process;
- cheating or plagiarism during the Programme;
- failure to notify Tes Institute of a material or significant factor which would impact on the trainee, Tes Institute or any school partner.
Such suspension will be notified to the trainee in writing and will automatically trigger Tes Institute’s disciplinary procedure. At the conclusion of the disciplinary procedure, the suspension may be lifted or may be made permanent, at which point the trainee will not be allowed to return to the Programme.
Trainees should uphold the reputation and standing of the teaching profession. They should act with honesty and integrity in all aspects of their work. They should provide complete and accurate information and authentic documents with respect to their professional status, qualifications and experience and should avoid direct conflict between their private interests and their professional work. Trainees should complete the application form for any Tes Institute programme, together with any associated documentation, fully and honestly. If at any time Tes Institute becomes aware of any misrepresentation or omission made by the trainee during the application, recruitment and selection process, or during their Programme, which would have, if known at the relevant time, impacted on Tes Institute’s decision to offer a place to the trainee on the Programme, Tes Institute’s Disciplinary Policy will be invoked. Depending on the seriousness of the misrepresentation or omission, the trainee may be suspended immediately.
Recognising the unique and privileged relationships that exist between trainees and the students entrusted to their care, trainees should conduct these relationships in a way that is professional, respectful and appropriate. Trainees must respect confidential information relating to colleagues, students and families gained in the course of any school experience they may undertake, unless the well-being of an individual or a legal imperative requires disclosure.
Trainees should note that their conduct is expected to be thoroughly professional at all times, in the online environment, at onsite workshops, and in school, including breaks and lunch times, and also before and after school, especially but not excluding when they are close to the school site.
Trainees are expected to take responsibility for their professional behaviour and learning. It is the trainee’s responsibility to familiarise themselves with, and adhere to, the policies and procedures of Tes Institute and the programme upon which they are enrolled. In addition, each school will have its own rules, regulations and requirements, which are normally expressed in a staff handbook. Trainees are expected to read these and abide by them.
The responsibilities of the trainee will be to:
- comply with the Code of Conduct at all times;
- familiarise themselves with the requirements and expectations of the programme;
- complete and submit all required assessments on time;
- complete all required documentary evidence and keep all records up to date in the VLE;
- consult regularly with key personnel involved in their Programme, including, where applicable, the pathway tutor and in-school mentors;
- prepare appropriately for lessons and meetings with tutors and mentors;
- play a key role in the evaluation and reflection of their own professional practice and be proactive in finding out about anything which they are unsure of;
- be proactive rather than reactive and develop a positive and enthusiastic approach;
- demonstrate high standards of professional behaviour and demeanour at all times;
- manage their other time commitments, and to make such other alternate arrangements as necessary, to ensure they have sufficient time in which to make the necessary progress towards achieving programme learning outcomes within the expected and required timescales;
- engage fully with all aspects of the programme, attending all online and onsite days and School Experience, where applicable.
Policies and procedures follow the statutory guidance from the DfE:
- Working together to safeguard children 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015
- PREVENT Duty - Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (HMG, 2015)