With the increasing mobility of teachers across the World, being able to check their background becomes more important. Although overseas criminal checks are possible for many countries (see Criminal records checks for overseas applicants), checking for teachers who are prohibited or sanctioned elsewhere has not been possible.
An EU directive that came into force at the end of January 2016, will make it much easier to check teachers from EEA countries. Relevant authorities across the EEA now have to make any prohibition/sanctions placed on a qualified teacher available to all other member states. In the UK, these overseas prohibitions can be found using the Employer Access Service, alongside the UK information.
The Employer Access website notes that they will show ’only EEA restrictions that are determined after 18 January 2016’ (the date the EU directive came into force). We understand this to mean that the check does not need be completed retrospectively.
Although this new sharing will give schools more information, the restrictions do not mean that a person is automatically prevented from working as a teacher in England. Employers ‘should consider the circumstances leading to the restriction when assessing a candidate's suitability to be employed’, says the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
Keeping Children Safe in Education will be updated in due course to reflect this new guidance. If your school buys into Kirklees HR, then the above procedures are now part of all pre-employment checks.
Steve Barnes Safeguarding Officer for Schools & Learning