In light of the heightened climate around child protection concerns in international schools, an International Taskforce on Child Protection (ITFCP) was established in 2014, with committees representing accrediting agencies, international schools, and recruiting agencies. Search Associates has been an integral part of this task force, with Senior Associate Bridget McNamer co-chairing the Recruitment Committee. This committee has developed a set of recommended practices for evaluating and screening educator candidates, which is currently being pilot tested by 75 international schools around the world. Preliminary results of the pilot are expected to be ready for review at the AAIE Conference in Atlanta in February 2016, with a revised set of practices anticipated to be ready for roll-out by late spring, 2016.
Search Associates has also reviewed these recommendations and has made substantial improvements to our candidate application. Schools can now view greatly expanded information in all of our candidate profiles. These changes are intended to help us gather as complete and thorough a profile of candidates as possible, in order to facilitate screening and make the evaluation/hiring process more efficient and effective for recruiters. These changes will also "shine the light" on those candidates who are not suitable to work with children, since we have made it even more difficult to get through our screening process.
Although we understand there is no "silver bullet" that will solve this complex problem, Search Associates is committed to ensuring that the candidates registered with us have been evaluated, not just for the quality of their teaching, but for backgrounds clear of actual or suspicious misbehavior around children. Since we are asking for more information, we trust that candidates will appreciate that those registered with Search Associates will be even more attractive to our member schools.
We appreciate your support and cooperation in this effort and look to you for ideas on how we can continue to improve our screening processes in order to best serve both our valued candidates and our member schools.