There was an excellent article by Douglas Fraser in the Glasgow Herald about the new Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill, which will mean obligatory vetting for up to one million more Scots who work or volunteer with kids.
Fraser notes that the ‘grannies army’ of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service will have to march down to the police station to be checked – at a cost of £250,000 to the organisation. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that these new measures will cost its members a staggering £20million.
The Herald article concludes: ‘Adding layer upon layer to the protection of young and vulnerable people not only risks choking the life out of voluntary work, but of doing immense harm to the trust that holds society together. After all, if one million people are cleared to work with children and vulnerable adults, that means three million more of us are deemed to pose a threat. Going too far with stranger danger carries the danger that we all become strangers to each other.’
The Scottish bill will be discussed in parliament over the next few months. The Scottish Parent Teachers Council, among others, plan to make the case against the new legislation. We’ll keep in touch with their progress.