Four 17-year-old students mean CRB checks for academic staff

I just received this email, about a university insisting on CRB checks for staff – because there are a handful of 17 year-old students… ‘Since our students virtually all over 18 (There are FOUR out of a cohort of 770 who are not) – and we don’t have ANY unsupervised access to ANY students – the university Safeguarding Policy does not require us to have a check. This was confirmed during a recent OFSTED inspection. The course was given ‘Outstanding’ and the Safeguarding Policy was deemed to be ‘Satisfactory’. However, lurking in the background was an audit of our Access and Progression…

The idiocies of the child protection bureaucracy

A guest blog post from Manifesto Club member Nigel Drew: I was recently given a first-hand account of a teenage asylum seeker, made homeless by deportation of his carer. The Social Services felt it was OK to leave him homeless over the Easter holiday and refused to let his teacher offer him a spare room for the night while it was sorted (they were not cleared for fostering! Presumably this means hotels must be cleared for fostering if children are accommodated). Instead Social Services insisted he go into a homeless shelter with the drunks and addicts. How did we come to this…

Child protection training industry

I was just passed an email from an organisation called ‘Child Protection Training UK’, which advertises its services thus: ‘The New Ofsted inspection framework in place from January 2012 is bringing massive changes to the safeguarding procedures. Safeguarding will no longer be a limiting judgement, however it will fall under both leadership & management and behaviour and safety judgements. In addition, inspectors will be heavily scrutinising bullying and student’s abilities to assess and manage risk. In time of reform, are you confident your safeguarding procedures are up to date and aligned with the new Ofsted Inspection framework? Our courses provide information on…

Parent helpers must get CRB checks every 3 months

One county council is advising schools to CRB check parent volunteers every three months, as this email below explains. This shows the extraordinary level of bureaucracy faced by parents seeking to help out at their children’s school. It also shows very strange reasoning by this county council – whereby those helping out only occasionally are required to be CRB checked the most frequently. ‘My children are at the local primary school and I help out there occasionally, usually by helping out on school trips. I know other mums also attend the school regularly about once a week to help with reading. I…

Grandfather needs CRB check to have his grandson to stay

This email reports that a grandfather is only allowed to have his grandson to visit if he has a CRB check: ‘Social services have said that my Dad is not allowed to have his grandson come and stay with him unless he has a CRB check. Social services are working with the boy’s mum to try to resolve issues with his behaviour and her parenting style, but even so, this seems a bit full-on.’ As we outlined in the report, Vetting Tree Surgeons, social services are often guilty of over-vetting. It is common practice to vet, not only foster parents, but also…

Enhanced CRB checks for social work academics

I just received this email from a social work academic – about the growth of enhanced CRB checks within academia, even when academics have little contact with children or vulnerable adults. It shows the continuing confusion about when CRB checks should and should not be carried out – as well as about the interpretation of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. ‘I am a social work academic and one area that I am particularly concerned about is the requirement by many universities for academic social work posts (and related areas) to be subject to enhanced CRB checks. ‘For example, in today’s Education…

Vetting from the EU

I had always thought that over-vetting was a peculiarly Anglosaxon disease: it is only England, Australia and America who employ CRB checks ritually for all adults who have contact with children. It seems that vetting is now seeping into Europe, through EU institutions. This email came from a French lady who works with Brussels organisations – and reports that they are now asking for CRB checks. ‘The European Community now ask their suppliers tendering for public contracts to supply a CRB. I had the case a few months ago: to sell eBooks to Bruxelles, surely it is essential to be CRB checked.…

20 year old cannot become teacher because he stole bikes aged 11

A 20 year old has launched a battle to have information removed from his criminal records – in his case, youthful waywardness and the theft of bikes aged 11. This came up on his CRB check and could prevent him from becoming a teacher. Thousands of people have such incidents in their past – either real misdemeanors as a child, or accusations, or encounters with the police that didn’t proceed to an arrest or prosecution. And all of these people are affected by the enhanced CRB check, which brings up all information on police files – unlike the standard check, which returns…

How unnecessary safeguarding rules sap resources and good will

I just received this email from a trustee of a charity – who wishes to remain anonymous – about the corrosive effect ‘safeguarding’ rules are having on the work of his organisation. Unnecessary proceedures poison the work of the organisation and can absorb scarce resources… “The vetting and barring regime continues to have detrimental effects on the operation of charities. As a trustee I, and others, am faced with re-assuring our staff, officers, and volunteers that the actions they are taking are reasonable in the light of ever increasing fears of the consequences if something goes wrong, especially when volunteers are visiting…

The day your CRB check expires – do you become an instant risk?

I just received this from a university tutor, a case that ‘shows up the absurdity of the CRB system’. ‘Student out on placement, all going ok, manager finds out CRB check due to expire soon. If not resolved student’s placement will terminate then despite all being happy with her performance to date. So on one day she is fine to be out alone with ‘vulnerable’ people, the next day she is deemed so risky that she cannot even enter the workplace! What nonsense.’ Well said. It is strange how the day somebody’s CRB check expires, all hell breaks loose and everybody panics…

Teacher punished for giving stranded pupil a lift home

A supply teacher was suspended for ‘gross misconduct’ after gave a 17-year-old pupil a lift home. The boy had forgotten his bus fare. The teacher was going the same route and offered him a lift for a favour. This comes in the wake of a woman reported to police for helping a boy down from a tree. These are simple acts of human kindness. That they are punished as unprofessional or risky shows how everyday and normal caring has become contaminated. A golf leader told me that for the first time he is seeing cases of kids left alone at the ground…