IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Policy statement

Policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders to initial teacher training programmes

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) service to assess applicants’ suitability for initial teacher training programmes, UCL complies fully with the DBS code of practice and undertakes to treat all applicants fairly. We undertake not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

UCL is committed to the fair treatment of its students, staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependents, age, physical/mental disability or offending background. 

This written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders is made available to all disclosure applicants at the outset of the recruitment process through inclusion in this prospectus. The policy is also sent to applicants with the DBS application pack after acceptance.

We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talents, skills and potential, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience. A disclosure is always requested for those who are offered places on our initial teacher training programmes, except for our in-service courses, where obtaining a disclosure is the responsibility of the employing school or college. For other programmes where it is likely that students will have unsupervised access to children or young adults, a disclosure will be required, as it is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a disclosure is required, the prospectus and offer packs will contain a statement that a disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered a place.

Where a disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of any criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person within the Institute, and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. Programmes of initial teacher training are exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that the UCL is allowed to ask questions about your entire criminal record, including spent convictions, cautions and bindovers. We ensure that all those in the UCL who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, for example the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matters that might be relevant. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the programme applied for could lead to withdrawal of an offer of a place on our programmes, or of the termination of your registration.

We make every subject of a DBS disclosure aware of the existence of the DBS code of practice and make a copy available on request. We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking admission before withdrawing an offer of a place on our programmes, or terminating registration.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from registering on our programmes. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

We have a policy on the secure storage, use, retention and disposal of disclosures and disclosure information, and a copy of this policy is available on request.

January 2018, ITE Admissions