Recruitment of Ex-offenders Policy

Policy review date: October 2023

Policy owner: People & Engagement Team

Policy Statement

CATS Global Schools (CGS) will not unfairly discriminate against any applicant for employment based on conviction or other details disclosed. The Company makes appointments based on merit and ability. If an applicant has a criminal record this will not automatically bar them from employment within our Colleges and Schools. Each case will be decided on its merits in accordance with the objective assessment criteria.


CGS provides education for young people. Therefore, the Company uses the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service as part of the Safer Recruitment process for all positions (including staff members, governors and volunteers), in order to assess the suitability of the applicant for employment. An enhanced level DBS check will be requested for all roles. This will include details of cautions, reprimands and warnings, as well as spent and unspent convictions. Non-conviction information from local police records may also be included at the discretion of a Chief Police Officer.

For applicants who are living or have lived outside of the UK, the Company will carry out a DBS check and an additional Overseas Police Check or obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the relevant country. This additional criminal record check is required for anyone who has lived outside of the UK for more than three months in the last five years.

All positions at the Company are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. All applicants must therefore declare all previous convictions and cautions, including those which would normally be considered ‘spent’ except those received for an offence committed in the United Kingdom if it has been filtered in accordance with the DBS filtering rules. We encourage all applicants to provide details of any criminal convictions in the early stages of the application process.

A failure to disclose a previous conviction (which should be declared) may lead to an application being rejected, an offer of employment withdrawn or, if the failure to disclose is discovered after employment has started, may lead to summary dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct. A failure to disclose a previous conviction may also amount to a criminal offence.

It is unlawful for the Company to employ anyone who is barred from working with children. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to apply for a position at our Colleges and Schools.

The Company will make a report to the Police and/or the DBS if:

  • it receives an application from a barred person;
  • it is provided with false information in, or in support of an applicant’s application;
  • it has serious concerns about an applicant’s suitability to work with children.

Assessment Criteria

In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through a disclosure check, the Company will consider the following factors before reaching a recruitment decision:

  • whether the conviction or other matter revealed is relevant to the position in question;
  • the seriousness of any offence or other matter revealed;
  • the length of time since the offence or other matter occurred;
  • whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour or other related matters;
  • whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offending behaviour or other relevant matters, and;
  • the circumstances surrounding the offence and the explanation offered by the applicant

If the post involves regular contact with children, it is the Company’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted at any time of the following offences:

  • violent behaviour towards children or young people
  • a sexual, or otherwise inappropriate, relationship with a student (regardless if the student is over the age of consent)
  • grievous bodily harm or any offence involving serious violence – drug trafficking or other drug related offences
  • murder or manslaughter
  • rape or other serious sexual offences
  • robbery, burglary, theft, deception or fraud – repeated misconduct or multiple convictions unless of a very minor nature.

If the post involves access to money or budgetary responsibility, it is the Company’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted ay any time of robbery, burglary, theft, deception or fraud.

If the post involves some driving responsibilities, it is the Company’s normal policy to consider it a high risk to employ anyone who has been convicted of drink driving.


Assessment Procedure

In the event that relevant information (whether in relation to previous convictions or otherwise) is volunteered by an applicant during the recruitment process or obtained through DBS, the Company will carry out a risk assessment by reference to the above criteria. The assessment must be signed by the CEO/Managing Director, Schools or Managing Director, Arts & Enterprise, which ever is relevant to the post and the Principal/Head.

If an applicant wishes to dispute any information contained in a disclosure, they may do so by contacting the DBS directly. In cases where the applicant would otherwise be offered a position were it not for the disputed information, the College or School may, where practicable and at its discretion, defer a final decision about the appointment until the applicant has had a reasonable opportunity to challenge the disclosure information.


Retention and Security of Disclosure Information

The Company’s policy is to observe the guidance issued or supported by the DBS on the issue of disclosure information.

In particular, the Company will:

  • not retain disclosure information or any associated correspondence for longer than is necessary, and for a maximum of 6 months;
  • keep a record of the date of a disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of disclosure, the unique number issued by the DBS and the recruitment decision taken;
  • ensure that any disclosure information is destroyed by suitably secure means such as confidential waste bin; and prohibit the photocopying or scanning of any disclosure information without the express permission of the individual to whom it relates.


If a DBS certificate reveals any convictions, the person concerned will be invited to attend an interview with the Principal/Head to discuss the conviction(s) and circumstances. Following the meeting, a risk assessment will be carried out by the CEO/Managing Director, Schools or Managing Director, Arts & Enterprise and Principal/Head and a decision made and communicated back to the person concerned. For Safer Recruitment purposes, until this decision has been made the applicant must not commence employment.


Further Information Regarding Conviction Information

On 29 May 2013, legislation came into force that allows certain old and minor convictions and cautions to no longer be subject to disclosure. All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specific offences of relevant for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, will remain subject to disclosure. In addition, all convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where an individual has more than one conviction recorded. Please see the guidance on the DBS website, which explains the filtering of old and minor cautions and convictions which are ‘protected’ and not subject to disclosure to employers:


Data Protection and Sharing Information

  • Data protection regulations are not barriers to justified information sharing. Instead, they provide a framework to ensure that personal data is protected and only shared appropriately.
  • Be open and honest from the outset about why, what, how and with whom the personal data will, or could be shared.
  • In some cases, we may need the individual’s (or for our students, their parent or guardian’s) consent before we share their personal data.
  • Where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not want to share confidential information. But know this does not prevent us from sharing personal data with good reason, such as where safety or wellbeing may be at risk.
  • Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it if you decide to share or not to share the data, and record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose. For more information please see our Privacy Notice.
  • Seek advice from our Data Protection Officer at if you are in any doubt about if the personal data can be shared.