I was reading about the case of Andrew Smith today. He’s an example why employers in Early Years’ need to ensure that thorough employment checks take place.
Andrew was employed as a chef in a private Day Nursery in London. Despite being a registered sex offender. He was caught by police in 2008 trying to lure a 13 year old girl to meet him. His capture and arrest was shown on an ITV programme “How to catch a paedophile”.
Following this offence, Smith was jailed for 12 months, released early and signed up with a recruitment agency. He got a job in a Day Nursery. His secret was only revealed when a member of nursery staff watched the show and recognised him.
No checks had been carried out by the private Day Nursery as they had recruited Smith via a recruitment agency. He was not subject to DBS checks by the agency as they considered a chef to be a hospitality job.They hadn’t thought about where the chef was to go.
This goes to prove that a Early Years’ employer cannot rely on others to undertake checks. It must reassure itself. Before taking on a new member of the team.
So next time you ask an agency for cover staff, don’t accept their word that they have undertaken a DBS Check, see it with your own eyes and ensure you follow safer recruitment.
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