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Dear Theo - conviction preventing me getting a job?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by pencil-case, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. I am currently on a secondary PGCE and have recently started my second placement. I have applied for a number of jobs but haven't managed to get an interview. I have a conviction which dates back to 1997 and I have declared it on all applications. I'm now starting to worry the conviction is preventing me from getting interviews. I was hoping you could offer me some advice how I can at least get my 'foot through the door' to interview. Any advice is much appreciated.
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Firstly, it may not be your conviction.
    Ask around - I bet there are lots of your colleagues who are job hunting too and haven't got interviews either.
    So first stage is to read very carefully this advice in the thread I am giving you now, and then read all the clickables, as it says:
    <h3>Application form help needed!! </h3>Next thing is your conviction.
    My view as a Head would be:
    1) Is it for something that could possibly be bad for pupils or colleagues? So obviously (very obviously!) anything to do with child protection, or perhaps uncontrolled rages leading to violence, would make me discard your application. But you would also not have been allowed on the PGCE in the first case if it were that bad!
    2) Is it likely to be repeated?
    3) Would it be to the detriment of the school's reputation if it were known?
    I would have to consider all these carefully. But above all I would consult the school's policy on appointment of ex-offenders, which should set out clearly what my point of view should be.
    You could try asking one or two local authorities what their policy is, to get an idea.
    But you are completely right to declare it, and where possible mitigate it by pointing out that it was a youthful indiscretion that you have learnt from, etc etc.
    Hope you can move forward from this.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  3. Dear Theo griff<
    points 2 and 3 of your reply are insightfull as I have also experienced discrimination due to the enhanced CRB disclosure. I have had to answer questions during interview regarding my CRB disclosure which should not of been asked.
    The reason to disclose any convictions is for the safeguard of the children not so that governors and smt can sit around and
    1/predict the future as in your second response
    2/ discuss the matter which would not of come to be puplic knowledge if it had not been disclosed. Therefore, your third point highlights the innefectivness of the disclosure.

    the rehabilitation of offenders act has been severely damaged by such disclosures and you have highlighted this clearly. Certainly it is essential for people who have shown to be unsafe working with children to be disclosed.
    However minor misdemeanours occuring years ago should not be disclosed when they can jeopordise peoples livelyhoods! I am currently fighting these disclosures for spent misdemeanours with my lawyer and will forward this to him as evidence of how Heads misuse and discriminate.


     
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Theo is absolutely correct on all issues.
    Anyone who engages a 'lawyer' to fight a government department - in this case, the DfE, since it is they who have instructed heads and governing bodies as to how they should proceed on these matters - is wasting money.
     
  5. Hi Theo

    Thank you for your advice, a further question if I may? To date I have been marking on the application form I have a conviction then writing a letter marked private and confidential that gives further information and explains I am remorseful etc. Should I continue with this or can you suggest an alternative method, e.g. also drawing attention to it in the letter of application?

    many thanks,
     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    In advance of Theo's response, I can tell you that as a head I've had such an application, within which was enclosed a sealed envelope containing an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the applicant's conviction - and custodial sentence.
    Yes, you read it correctly. The applicant had served time in prison, prior to training as a teacher.
    Did I appoint the applicant? I certainly did. The person concerned was by far the best teacher ad the nature of the conviction was no reason to assume they'd be any sort of threat to children or colleagues.
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, you are on the right track. Declare it, have a letter, set out the context.
    You may wish to consider whether it is also true that this experience can make you a more effective form tutor, for example, as althougg you would NEVER share this information about yourself with other staff or students, it does help you see the warning signs of potential wrong-doing and take steps to turn the students round.
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  8. Sorry I did not make it clear!
    I am not employing a lawyer to fight a government department, I am along with many others in the country attempting to bring sense to what is a very unfair system.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1221459/Million-minor-convictions-stay-police-files-forces-win-appeal-court-ruling.html
    The Government is currently undertaking a review of the Criminal Records regime with
    the aim of striking the right balance between respecting civil liberties
    and protecting the public and, also, later this year, there is a Protection
    of Freedoms Bill going through Parliament.

    So, by protesting and "wasting money' this may change.
    Theo thanks for the patronising grammar lesson you really are a ....head
     
  9. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter


    For most jobs you have to declare any criminal convictions/cautions and teaching is no different. How big or small it is will generally impact on how it is viewed by the potential employer as will how relevant it is to your job.
    Some schools may favour those with a clean history/CRB over somebody with a past, but as said in a reply to your post they have been employed.
    There really is no need to call Theo for pointing out your gammatical errors, this may be your problem with the application form/letter and not your criminal background and he was just giving you some tips (you did ask him for advice).
     
  10. I did not ask for his advice!
    I was pointing out his inacurate and illegal points (2&3) given to the forum post.
    The enhanced CRB is not for employers to judge on whether they think
    someone will re-offend or that the information may be googled.

    "employers should be fully aware of their duties under the provisions of the

    Criminal Justice and Court services Act 2000 and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

    1974 when considering candidates for employment in their organisation.

    All Applicants must be treated impartially (including those with a criminal record),

    and not discriminated against unfairly, although this does not mean an informed

    decision cannot be made in relation to concerns in respect of the <u>safety of children

    and/or vulnerable adults."</u>


    extract from a code of practice for handling CRB
    I am simply trying to educate Headmasters on a matter of Law so that they treat people correctly.

    please excuse any grammatical errors in the above message and remember this is a forum not a job application
     

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