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Why we can no longer accept historic background checks as part of the hiring process.

10k Schools

Author: 10k Schools

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School should unequivocally be a sanctuary for our children, a space where they are shielded from harm and nurtured to learn and grow in a secure environment. Sadly, there are instances where individuals in positions of authority betray this trust, subjecting children to various forms of abuse—be it sexual, physical, or emotional—with consequences that can haunt them for a lifetime.

🇨🇦 Canada’s Alarming Reality: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s 2022 report sheds light on a distressing situation. Between 2017 and 2021, 500 students in Canadian schools fell victim to sexual or alleged abuse by teachers or school employees. Shockingly, nearly 75% of the victims were female. Handling these allegations varies significantly across the nation, burdening young students with reporting complex trauma. Additionally, a lack of independent oversight can lead to conflicts of interest in investigations.

🇬🇧 United Kingdom’s Concerns: In the UK, a crime survey from March 2019 disclosed alarming figures: 6.3% emotionally abused, 6.9% physically abused, and 8.5% sexually abused by individuals in positions of trust or authority during childhood. Teacher violence, encompassing physical, verbal, psychological, and sexual assault, is a disconcerting reality. In 2022, one-third of 75 teachers barred from teaching in England were prohibited due to sexual abuse of students.

🇺🇸 United States’ Call to Action: The Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation (SESAME) organization in the USA highlights the urgency of the issue. Approximately 3.5 million students reported physical sexual contact from an adult, often a teacher or coach. This statistic rises to about 4.5 million when considering other forms of sexual misconduct. One child sex offender can have as many as 73 victims in their lifetime(2010 Government Accountability Study)

The reluctance of some educators to report suspicions perpetuates a culture of silence that enables abuse to persist.

🌍 Global Reality: Internationally, research indicates that 55% to 70% of child abuse survivors delay disclosure until adulthood. Recognizing the gravity of this information is crucial for organizations, emphasizing the need for robust hiring practices.

So let’s put this into the real world. A journeyman predatory teacher who works in various schools in various regions/countries leaving each employer with a glowing reference / police check because the abused child does not report the assault until years later.

It’s vital for schools to move beyond standard due diligence during the hiring process. Routine cross-referencing of employees against various checks and balances, including police checks and adverse media checks, is essential throughout everyones career and needs to be carried out during an employees tenure.

Creating a safer environment demands continuous vigilance and a commitment to prioritizing the well-being of our children. We cannot rely on overworked HR personnel having the required skill set and time to accurately carry out these tasks. Now is the time for schools to focus on ‘Knowing Your People’

Let us stand together to ensure schools remain places of learning, growth, and above all, safety.

About 10k Schools

Know Your People by 10k Schools is foundational to keeping children safe in education. KYP is a new era in continuous assessment of safeguarding compliance across a school workforce.

The KYP concept of continuous evaluation of workforce risk, reflects that at any time before or during employment, new information may emerge about an individual’s continued suitability to work in a controlled function. In doing so, KYP addresses a critical defect in legacy guidance for Safer Recruitment and the Single Central Register, concepts which create unacceptable risk by only encouraging safeguarding checks at the point of entry to your team.

10k Schools provides organisations with unparalleled visibility, by automating the collection, analysis and reporting of defects in biodata, references and criminal record checks from candidates, employees, contractors and volunteers throughout their relationship with a school.


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