Police Vetting

 

Adopted 17th June 2019.

Reviewed December 2020.

The next review date December 2023.

Policy Statement

In its role as a good employer, the BOT of KingsGate School is required to ensure a safe environment is provided by meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act (2014), the Education Standards Act (2001) and police vetting through the following procedures.

 

Procedural Guidelines

Police Vetting is required for:

Non-teaching staff

Volunteers who have unsupervised access to students for more than thirty minutes e.g. Camp helpers, sports coaches, parent helpers.

If it is not possible to obtain a Police Vet in the required time-frame, provision must be made to ensure the person does not have unsupervised access to students.

Contractors and their employees who regularly work in the school during the day are vetted through the Ministry of Justice.

 

Police Vetting is NOT required for:

Volunteers who do not have opportunity for unsupervised access to students

Contractors who do not regularly work in the school or do not work during the school day.

The vetting of teaching staff is the responsibility of the Education Council. The Principal is the designated person responsible for:

Organizing the signing of forms

Receiving the completed vet

Evaluation of the vet

Keeping secure records of completed police vet forms

Ensuring police vet forms are disposed of safely.

Police vetting information must be less than two years old or the person being vetted may be requested to be vetted again or at the discretion of the school.

 

The Principal:

Is responsible for vetting or viewing checks carried out by contractors working on site.

Ensures support staff are police vetted by the school before they can be appointed. They must then be police vetted every three years.

Will not police vet parents who volunteer to transport students on day trips.

Will ensure strict confidentiality is observed (s78 CB (3). The only staff member who will read the police vet is the Principal (the “requestor”).

Will ensure the subject of the police vet receives a copy of his/her police vetting and asks the subject to validate the information in the vet if there is anything incorrect or adverse. The subject must be given a reasonable opportunity to validate the information before the Principal can take adverse action.

 

Education Council (Core Workers):

Vets teachers every three years when they seek renewal of their teaching registration. The cost is contained in the registration fee.

Issues Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) to employees and ensures they are treated the same as teachers. The cost is contained in the registration fee.

 

Support Staff:

Information on support staff positions sent to candidates will include information about the requirements of police vetting. A police vet form will be included in welcome packs for support staff appointments.

When the provisional decision has been made to employ a person they will be asked to complete the details found on the police vetting form.

The support staff member will be requested to provide their driver’s licence or passport in order to confirm their identity and complete the police vetting process.

The school will complete all the details and will then submit the form.

Only the “requestor” - the Principal - will open the returned information.

If the vetting is satisfactory the Principal will complete the appointments procedure.

If the vetting indicates an issue of concern, the Principal will give a copy of the police vet to the applicant who will be asked to validate the information (within a two week period).

If the applicant cannot satisfactorily disprove the police vet, the Principal will inform the candidate that he/she cannot be appointed.

 

Contractors – Non-Core Workers:

Contractors will be informed they, and any employee who will be working at the school during school hours and have unsupervised access to children, will be required to be police vetted and that the cost shall be borne by the School.

The Contractor will be responsible for ensuring that all employees comply with this requirement.

Contractors and or their employees who refuse to complete this vetting process will not be given access to the school site during school hours or will not be used at all, at the Principal’s discretion.

In the case of individual contractors employed directly by the school on a regular basis will follow the support staff vetting procedures.

The individual contractor will be requested to provide their driver’s licence or passport in order to confirm their identity and complete the police vetting process.

Only the requestor – the Principal – will have access to the returned information.

If the vetting is satisfactory the Principal will advise the Contractor accordingly.

If the vetting indicates an issue of concern, the Principal will give a copy of the police vet directly to the applicant who will be asked to validate the information (within a two week period). If that person cannot satisfactorily explain the outcome of the police vetting then the Principal will then inform that person, and the Contractor, that he/she cannot work at the school. No details will be given to the Contractor.

 

Volunteers – Non-Core Workers:

Volunteers will be vetted if they are in a situation that requires them to be left alone with children for more than thirty minutes – a period of “vulnerability” or a “window of opportunity”. Volunteers will be vetted by the school.

Should parents/caregivers who are staying overnight on school trips or camps need to be police vetted by the school, this should be initiated six weeks before the trip or camp.

From time to time, parents will be informed of police vetting requirements so they understand both the rationale and procedures to be followed.

The parent will be requested to provide their driver’s licence or passport in order to confirm their identity and complete the police vetting process.

Only the requestor – the Principal – will open the returned information. If the vetting is satisfactory the Principal will inform the teacher organising the trip/camp and the parent.

If the vetting is not satisfactory the Principal will inform the parent and discuss that person’s options: either to provide proof that the information is wrong or to withdraw from the trip or camp. At this stage the teacher in charge of the trip or camp will not be informed. If the parent opts to prove the information is wrong, then two weeks will be allowed for this.

If the parent satisfies the Principal that the information is incorrect, and the original vetting report is amended, the parent will be informed that they can continue with the trip/camp. The teacher in charge of the camp will then be informed of the outcome. If the parent cannot disprove the original vetting report, then the teacher in charge of the trip or camp will then be informed.

 

Evaluation of a Negative Police Vet:

If the vet reveals criminal offences or concerns that need to be given consideration, the following factors are to be considered:

a. How serious was the offence?

b. How long ago was the offending?

c. Has a sentence been served, or is there Periodic Detention/Community Service still being served?

d. Was it a one-­off offence, or is there a pattern of offending?

e. What is the employee’s/contractor’s role in the school, and how does the type of offence relate to it?

 

The concerns raised by a ‘Red Stamp’ – Relevant Offences:

A Red Stamp indicates police have concerns about the person working with children. Individuals will be disqualified from holding positions that require direct contact with children if their criminal records include any of the following:

a. Past history of sexual abuse of children

b. Conviction for any crime in which children were involved

c. History of any violence or sexually exploitative behaviour

Other factors that need to be considered by the Principal/BOT when evaluating criminal history records are:

a. The circumstances surrounding the conduct in question.

b. The age of an individual at the time of the offence.

c. Societal conditions that may have contributed to the nature of the conduct.

d. The probability that an individual will continue the type of behaviour in question.

e. The individual’s commitment to rehabilitation and to changing the behaviour in question.

 

Requirement for Safety Checks:

For all police vetting procedures for core and non­core workers, verification of identity is required. This is to be in the form of two photographic identifications, usually a current New Zealand Driver’s licence or passport. The following key components of a safety check as set out in the Regulations are: (i) identity verification, (ii) candidate interviews, (iii) collecting information about work history, (iv) reference checking, (v) information from any relevant professional organisation or registration body and (vi) police vetting. These elements are used to inform (vii) a risk assessment to inform your employment decisions.

 

Rights & Privacy:

Applicants have the right to be treated fairly and to have their privacy respected. The information contained in a police vet is confidential, and privacy must be safeguarded at all times.

 

Police Vetting Information:

The Principal will hold a secure file for all police vetting information returned by the Police.

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