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Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Policy - Recruitment of Ex Offenders

Last reviewed: 22nd Aug 2022
Next review: Aug 2023

Resp Person: Jude Williams, Chief Executive


As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, The Literacy Pirates complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. We work hard to not discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed, and take note of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

We use the recruitment of ex-offenders policy, which is made available to all DBS applicants, at the outset of the recruitment process. We make everyone undertaking a DBS check aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.

We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

These conversations will not be discriminatory. Individual cases will be assessed on their own merit.

While we will undertake not to discriminate unfairly against any applicant, potential volunteers should be aware that if convictions involving violent or sexual offences are disclosed, it will be unlikely that they will be able to work with young people. In the case of any query about a person’s criminal history, the safety of young people will be paramount in the decision-making process. The Literacy Pirates retain the right to make this decision, and will discuss the reasoning behind the decision with the candidate.

Specific to Volunteer Recruitment and Training

All volunteer literature will contain a statement that a DBS check will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position. All volunteers will have been made aware of the policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders at the point of application for the role, when they will have checked a box to confirm they have read it before applying.

Unless the nature of the position allows The Literacy Pirates to ask questions about your entire criminal record, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. We note that most volunteer positions at The Literacy Pirates do require us to ask about your entire criminal record, in order to safeguard the children who volunteers will be working with.

At training, we explain to volunteers that it is their responsibility to inform us of any criminal convictions which may affect their application to become a volunteer. Following a disclosure from the prospective volunteer, in a separate discussion after training, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.

Staff Training

We ensure that all those in The Literacy Pirates who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


Any complaints should be addressed in writing to Chief Executive in the first instance at and

The Literacy Pirates

138 Kingsland High Street


E8 2NS