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Last reviewed on 18 August 2021
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School types: All · School phases: All

You need to verify an applicant's mental and physical fitness for the role before appointing them. Read the rules around how to do this and avoid leaving yourself open to discrimination claims.

You must verify fitness

As part of your pre-employment checks for new staff, you must verify that they have the mental and physical fitness needed to carry out their work responsibilities. 

There's no specific way to do this, but it can involve asking relevant questions to assess whether someone’s health or disability would prevent them from doing the job. You must consider whether there are reasonable adjustments that you could put in place to allow them to carry out the role.

Completing this check must be a condition of any job offer.

This is set out on pages 52 to 53 of the statutory safeguarding guidance (Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021). Get further details on pre-employment checks for new school staff and checks for new governors in this article.

When to ask questions


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