Case Study: The Importance of Asking the Right Interview Questions


The case against William Vahey, which came about in 2014, is significant in demonstrating the failures of an ineffective recruitment process within Schools. Vahey, who was later revealed as a prolific sex offender, sexually abused over 54 pupils at Southbank International School (London) over a 4 year period. Although it is clear that there were other shortfalls in the safer recruitment practices and procedures, the interview process for the role was insufficient.

Despite recruitment processes within international Schools being less formal than those in other UK Schools, the processes in this case still fell short of the expected UK standards.

A structured interview, which asks the right questions and directly addresses an applicant’s understanding of safer recruitment (along with their attitudes), can be crucial in helping to deter and prevent the appointment of unsuitable people.

The Safer Recruitment Training that we offer at EPM, encourages the implementation of best practice to satisfy robust safer recruitment within Schools and Trusts. Our programme ensures that:

  • your designated person understands the key features of staff recruitment
  • interview techniques to explore an applicant’s motives, as well as their suitability, to work with children are learned

Our Safer Recruitment Admin Workshop goes on to demonstrate:

  • how to scrutinise an application form and any pre-employment checks
  • what to be aware of when employing overseas workers
  • and any legislative requirements


EPM can help

If you have any further questions, or are interested in our Safer Recruitment Training or Safer Recruitment Admin Workshop, please don't hesitate to contact us on 01480 431 993, email, or complete our enquiry form.

Topics: Safeguarding, Recruitment, Appointment, Safer Recruitment

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