10k Schools improves school outcomes by enabling higher quality, safer hiring decisions. We simplify workforce credentials management to deliver a quantum leap in new and existing employee administration via our groundbreaking AI-driven platform, which gathers and analyzes data with total consistency and provides globally benchmarked insights on workforce risk, a world-first innovation. In a generational shift in thinking on managing safeguarding risks in the school workforce, the 10k Schools Standard was designed to be 100% executed by assistive technology, rather than developed around the limitations imposed by a human-led vetting process and sample-based inspection regime.
This means our global standard significantly exceeds every criteria established by previous guidance such as the International Task Force on Child Protection, whilst eliminating the risks of human error in the data gathering and analysis process. It also means if you're a member of organisations like COBIS, BSO, CIS, as a 10k School you will be operating way in excess of your accreditation body's Safer Recruitment requirements.
Our platform seamlessly evaluates all your existing permanent, employed or contracted workforce to unparralelled standards of scrutiny, enabling full automation of the creation and maintenance of the most comprehensive and secure central register of workforce risk.
The education sector is rapidly recognizing the power and effectiveness of 10k Schools as a revolutionary change in how this critical work is managed in schools, leading to its rapid global adoption by many of the largest education organizations, accreditation bodies and national regulators.
A Revolution in Educators' Career ManagementFIND OUT MORE
Biometric ID Validation
Is This Candidate / Employee / Contractor Who They Claim to Be?FIND OUT MORE
Cross Referencing Complex Unstructured DataFIND OUT MORE
Unique Security Protocols to Verify RefereesFIND OUT MORE
We Prevent "Passing the Trash"
Criminal Record Checks
We Empower Candidates to Obtain Missing CredentialsFIND OUT MORE
Adverse Media Searches
The World's Most Detailed Media SearchFIND OUT MORE
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Unconstrained by Human Capacity
Until now, school employee vetting has always been constrained by pragamatism of what a school could manually check, and human capability to gather and evaluate data. Our standards were designed around what is possible with technology and thus removing the compromises and risks inherent in every national and international standard.
Technology Drives Consistency
The enemy of unsuitable individuals seeking to gain employment in schools, is a shield of consistency. Human led processes by definition introduce the risk of human error. Technology driven protocols deliver 100% process consistency, at massive scale enabling our platform to perform the work of tens of thousands of school administrators to a flawless standard.
Viewing Human Capital As Risk
When you begin to apply scoring algorithms to candidates' credentials and documentation, for the first time ever we're able to create a fair and impartial perspective to relative risk of a candidate or employee's presentation of their career history and credentials. Fact-based insights allow schools to make decisions on hard-evidence rather than make best-guess judgements.
A TASTE OF THE FUTURE
When under pressure, school teams often lose sight of the real reason why we do certain things, defaulting to collecting documents just to tick a compliance box. An important question that almost always gets overlooked is, "Is this person really who they claim to be?"
To simplify matters for schools, our technology not only collects the necessary data but also provides answers to the critical questions surrounding that data, ensuring compliance with the required standards. Our platform goes beyond simply allowing the upload of a candidate/employee's ID; it includes mechanisms to verify the authenticity of the submitted ID. Additionally, by extracting biodata from the ID document, we minimize the risk of downstream issues such as false negatives (or positives) on criminal record checks due to incorrectly spelled names.
We make things easy for schools, by not only collecting the data but also providing answers to critical questions. We match candidates and employees to their ID through biometric facial recognition and validate ID against proprietary methods to detect forgeries. We also extracting vital biodata from the source document, allowing us to cross match names across all subsequent documents and avoiding false negatives/positives on criminal record checks. When the candidate is hired, adding the school ID photo then creates a 3-way check to ensure the candidate is the actual person who turned up to work.
Try part of our secure solution yourself below.
THE 10K TEAM
Chief Education Officer
Sir Christopher Stone
Advisory Board Member
Advisory Board Member
Mark Leppard MBE
Advisory Board Member
Advisory Board Member
Chief Executive Officer
Whats with the name 10k Schools?
To make a meaningful change to the way an entire sector of the economy works, we need a critical mass of support for the changes we're driving. Our initial target is to enrol 10,000 schools into our global standard and assistive technology, and this is the critical mass of adoption we estimate will make the movement towards the new way of work permanent not just in international schools, but in domestic education markets globally where we are making inroads at national regulatory level to become the regulatory platform for education.
What is Workforce Risk Management / Safer Recruitment
Safer recruitment refers to the process of employing individuals who are suitable and safe to work with vulnerable groups, such as children, elderly, or individuals with disabilities. It involves implementing rigorous screening, selection, and background checking procedures to ensure that individuals with a history of harmful behavior or misconduct are not hired.
The connection between safer recruitment and workforce risk management lies in the fact that the recruitment process is a critical component of managing workforce risks. By implementing safer recruitment practices, organizations can reduce the risk of hiring individuals who may pose threats to the safety and well-being of their workforce, clients, or the broader community. Poor performance is also a risk, and following safer recruitment processes can and do support organisations avoid poor hiring decisions.
By incorporating safer recruitment practices into their overall workforce risk management strategies, organizations can proactively minimize the likelihood of incidents such as workplace violence, abuse, negligence, or other forms of misconduct. This, in turn, helps protect the organization's reputation, minimize legal and financial liabilities, and create a safer and more secure work environment for employees and stakeholders.
Are international schools compromised by the pressures of the hiring cycle?
Before 10k Schools came along, the answer, sadly is 'almost always' - and here's how:
- Time constraints: The urgency to hire teachers within a limited timeframe can lead to shortcuts in the recruitment process, such as inadequate background checks or rushed verification of qualifications. This compromises the thoroughness and effectiveness of safer recruitment practices.
- Limited candidate pool: The demand for qualified international teachers may exceed the available supply, particularly in certain subject areas or regions. In such cases, there may be a temptation to relax recruitment standards or overlook potential red flags in order to secure teachers quickly. This compromises the rigor of the recruitment process and increases the risk of hiring individuals who may not meet the necessary safety requirements.
- Credential verification challenges: Validating education certificates, experience credentials, and criminal record checks from different countries can be complex and time-consuming. International recruitment adds an extra layer of difficulty due to the variations in education systems and the authenticity of documents from different jurisdictions. These challenges can potentially result in gaps or delays in verifying the qualifications and backgrounds of candidates.
- Lack of consistent regulations and standards: Safer recruitment practices can vary across different countries and education systems. The absence of consistent regulations and standards globally can make it challenging for international schools to navigate the complexities of conducting comprehensive background checks and implementing consistent practices across various jurisdictions.
Addressing this conflict requires a commitment from international schools to prioritize the safety of students and staff by implementing robust safer recruitment practices. 10k Schools addresses this need by removing the administration burden from the hiring process and creating a single global standard for Safer Recruitment which surpasses all that have gone before.
Why do current safer recruitment protocols fall short?
Fantastic work has been undertaken over many years by education focused think-tanks, regulators and accreditation bodies to develop Safer Recruitment protocols. However, the bar that has been set is fundamentally too low - this is because current legislation or guidance is fatally flawed by being based on what steps are pragmatic and realistic for a school to undertake in the hiring process.
When we remove human constraints from the way we think about safer recruitment, we begin to realise that the standards are woefully inadequate and in themselves introduce risk and even a sense of complacency. For example, we accept that obtaining criminal record checks from every country of residence is a chore for candidates - and in the pre-digital era this may not even have been possible - but today it is possible yet our policy-makers have not set a clear expectation that absence of a criminal record check for a period of residency (even many years ago), is simply not an acceptable gap in this day and age for someone who is working with children.
We have turned things on their head by establishing the reality of what standards SHOULD look like in the digital era - in doing so and adopting automation we've removed the pragmatic constraints on a school administrator's time meaning there's now no excuse for missing information.
Candidates or employees who have made the effort to achieve high levels of career provenance should be applauded and prioritised in hiring processes and be given direct access to the best employment opportunities. 10k Schools is making that happen!
How are 10k Schools changing attitudes?
We always knew the innate common sense of our approach, will eventually shine through people's fears about change. Engagement with key industry stakeholders has been remarkably positive, but with any change, the biggest challenge will always be tto change the way people think about the problem we face:
- Creating more paper legislation isn't the answer, this just makes an already complicated process even more burdensome and even more likely for people to make mistakes.
- Paper legislation creates a secondary problem, rules in schools are traditionally enforced by sample-based inspection regimes. If a method exists which can provide ALWAYS live visibility of everything relating to safer recruitment in a school, group or even a whole country without human involvement, sample-based inspection methodology automatically becomes redundant as a regulatory tool.
- The reality is that 10k Schools delivers the highest possible Workforce Risk Management protection to schools via ultra-low cost technology to enforce the standards and helps schools to make better decisions - everyone wins.
How much does 10k Schools platform cost?
When we started out, it was a core to our mission that we wouldn't create a solution that excluded those without the financial means to afford the protection we provide. Creating a cost barrier drives unsuitable individuals to schools not protected by the 10k Schools Platform. Whilst we know that wealth disparity impacts life opportunities of children, we can't accept that resource scarcity of schools should make a difference to the very fundamental task of keeping children safe in schools.
Our reality, as a global standard, is that many tens or even hundreds of thousands of schools will join our cause which means that a widespread solution allows us to offer our platform at an extremely low margin. The other factor is that unlike traditional technology plays, our standard and process relies on standardisation - which means no expensive customisation options - schools can use our platform out of the box and be assured of the highest level of protection possible from day 1.
All this means that the global average price to become a 10k School and enjoy our protection, is less than the cost of a daily Starbucks caramel latte - we're making the cost so negligible to get involved, that it's close to indefensible for any school not to.
How does 10k Schools help my school to keep children safe?
We have a vital mission: to improve the safety of children in schools and ensure that they receive the best education possible. We address a concerning issue that affects many schools in the US, where research shows that approximately 1 in 10 children experience some form of sexual misconduct from school employees during their K-12 education.
Whenever a scandal involving abuse comes to light, it's always attributed to weak governance and human error. Before 10k Schools existed, current international standards for safer recruitment, even when using technology, rely on manual collection of data and documents which is unfortunate because manual processes are prone to human error.
Even if a school believes it has robust procedures in place, every public inquiry that follows a failure to protect children uncovers human error as the root cause. It only takes one innocent mistake out of 10,000 to allow a dangerous individual into the school environment - if this risk can be eliminated, there is really no excuse moving forwards for schools continuing to do this work manually.
How does 10k Schools help improve academic outcomes?
Manual processing of safer recruitment protocols creates a far more widespread problem beyond safeguarding. It enables any teacher to exploit the same gaps in the system, for example one trying to conceal a sub-par performance record. One obvious and very common example of this which happens in so many hiring processes, are excuses why a prospective employee doesn't want to provide their current Principal contact details as a referee.
In some cases, their current Principal may be a horrific boss, but equally how do we know for sure that the educator isn't just trying to cover their tracks either on a safeguarding or performance issue. School leaders far too frequently make exceptions to processes without truly understanding the implications.
Let's look at the potential end game - would you be prepared to stand in front of a law enforcement, a public enquiry or your Governing Board to explain why you took someone at their word in choosing not to obtain a reference. This is just a risk we should never ever be coerced into by a candidate.
The reality is that following a consistent data gathering process actually should drive honest and open conversations with candidates at interview about WHY they perhaps didn't thrive with their previous employer. The reality is that the same conditions don't exist in your school and you believe they would be a good fit - but equally if the issue is concealed, it could be that some of the same conditions are true in your school and you owe it not just to your school but also to the candidate to identify that they really might not be the right fit for your school's situation, no matter how much the candidate may appear to be the saviour of your Physics IB department!
A consistent data gathering process and analysis also means that every candidate is judged on the facts of their application and strength of their career history. It creates an intrinsically fair process, it drives honesty and these two features by definition result in far better hiring outcomes.
Why is the safer recruitment process so complex?
The challenges in managing and analyzing data sources and identifying potential risks in the hiring process for school employees can be summarized as follows:
- Complexity of data sources: The hiring process involves multiple types of documents such as CVs, photos, application forms, education certificates, experience certificates, criminal record checks, and references. Each of these documents has its own set of rules and requirements, requiring extensive human memory and training to understand and interpret them accurately.
- Document arrival times: The documents often arrive at different times during the hiring process, which adds to the complexity. Coordinating and organizing these documents can be challenging, especially when they are needed for timely decision-making.
- Unstructured data analysis: The data contained in these documents is often unstructured, making it difficult to extract relevant information and spot patterns. Identifying potential risks, such as undisclosed criminal records or misrepresentations, requires careful examination and attention to detail.
- Human capability limitations: Human cognition poses a significant challenge in this process. Factors such as differing training, experience, capability, concentration, and motivations can affect the ability to consistently identify patterns and potential risks. The reliance on individual diligence and subjective judgment introduces the risk of oversight or bias.
- Overestimation of human capabilities: There is a tendency to overestimate human capabilities in these tasks. While humans play a crucial role, relying solely on human judgment in analysis of unstructured data sets, and not being subject to conscious or unconscious biases, can and does lead to inconsistencies and errors.
Addressing these challenges requires leveraging technology and automation to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data management and analysis, enabling a more reliable and consistent evaluation process.
Aren't safer recruitment issues best resolved with better training?
Training is important, but we need to be realistic about the gaps that remain. Training is designed to improve capability and awareness, however training is no guarantee to bring everyone to the same standard, therefore it is only one risk mitigation factor, rather than a factor which by itself eliminates risks.
This is because training does not directly address innate traits which may make a person unsuitable to undertake the administration work. For example training cannot change the fundamental capability of an individual who lacks attention to detail, nor can training overcome a weak, flawed, or overly complex process. An additional factor is that current training focuses on delivering to current Safer Recruitment standards and best practices, but as we've already established current standards are way below where they should be because the standards themselves are compromised by being based on human's undertaking the work.
As such, whilst training is always to be part of the solution (and we provide this for free), there is a significant risk that training alone results in an unrealistic expectation that a school is on top of things.
Why has this problem not been solved before now?
We believe education policy-makers need to reflect deeply on why this issue still exists:
- Educators see safer recruitment as an education problem, which means that the only people generally in the room when solutions are discussed, are education people.
- In reality, safer recruitment is not an education problem, it's a process problem, which means you also need process and technology people in the room to devise a lasting solution.
- 10k Schools are the first to bring all 3 to the table, and is the first time this global problem has ever been looked at through the process lens, Much like you can't make fire without the 3 components of heat, fuel and oxygen, you can't solve the safer recruitment issue if you don't get the people with the right knowledge, in the right place at the right time. We've made that happen.