Case study – Toni – “I disclosed my conviction for a teaching assistant job and was successful”

Toni recently contacted our helpline for some advice around what she needed to disclose when applying for a job as a teaching assistant in a school. One of her main problems was that she was unsure of the exact details of her conviction.

We advised Toni to apply for a subject access request (SAR) from ACRO as this would provide her with the exact details of her criminal record. She could then use this to work out whether there was anything on her record that she needed to disclose.

Toni contacted us again immediately she’d received her SAR. As it showed that her one conviction had three counts to it, we were able to clarify that under current DBS filtering rules (the technical term which allows for certain cautions and convictions to be removed from standard and enhanced DBS certificates) it wouldn’t be eligible for filtering because the three counts would be classed as multiple convictions.

We explained to her that as a teaching assistant role would usually require an enhanced DBS check she would have to disclose her conviction to her employers. We made her aware of how she could use a self-disclosure statement as a way of disclosing her conviction, if she felt more comfortable doing it that way. This would also serve as a way of providing evidence of her disclosure.

A couple of months later, Toni told us that she’d disclosed her conviction to the school and although she’d had to attend a further risk assessment interview, ultimately she’d been deemed to be no risk and was offered the teaching assistant role.

Toni stated:

“It was really good to have an organisation like Unlock to talk through my problems with. They helped me deal with things one step at a time and encouraged me to apply for the job once I knew that my conviction would show up on the DBS certificate.”

Lessons

This case demonstrates the importance of knowing the full details of your criminal record before you start applying for work and a subject access request is a good starting point to help you work out what you legally need to disclose.

It’s good to see a school, who are often seen as being very risk averse, willing to conduct a balanced assessment and disregard a conviction which they did not feel was relevant to the work that Toni would be doing.

Links

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Published January 2020

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