Criminal Checks on People in Contact with Children
Originally there had been plans for around 11 million people working with children to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and to have criminal record checks undertaken. This was with a view to protecting children from the risk of contact with paedophiles.
The government has now agreed to water down these rules, and it is thought that the new rules will apply to about only 9 million people.
For example the checks will now only involve those who have regular, frequent or intensive access to children.
The minimum age of registration is being changed, so that it does not include 16, 17 and 18 year olds in education who help out with school activities. Furthermore parents who host children on exchange visits of less than 28 days will no longer need to register.
The Association of School and College Leavers said that these changes were “a victory for common sense”.
Individuals will be able to apply to register from July 2010. Registration and criminal records checks for those affected by the rules will become mandatory from November 2010.
It will cost £64 to register but volunteers will have their fees waived. The scheme involves individuals undergoing basic criminal record checks, but does not look for malpractice or convictions if they are not relevant. The scheme is being phased across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A separate but similar scheme will be introduced in Scotland at some point in the New Year. Anyone barred in any part of the UK will also be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults anywhere else.
Daven Naghen commented “I agree with the Association of School and College Leavers that this relaxation of the vetting rules will allow there to be a system that is much more proportionate to the risk involved. The previous system would have simply been over zealous, for example most if not all visitors to a school would have had to undergone a criminal record check.”
If you require any advice or further information on this matter then please contact Daven Naghen.