9/11/2009

Criminal checks for everyone

The latest initiative by the government to ensure that everyone who has anything to do with children, including those parents who give lifts to and from clubs is an astonishing amount of overkill and symbolic of this government's willingness to ignore common sense at all costs.

Whilst we can all appreciate that criminal record checks (CRB checks) are important and necessary for those employed to work with children and those who run childrens' activities, it seems ludicrous to apply this to a further 11 million people.

Clubs and voluntary groups find it hard enough to find volunteers and this move will make that even harder. The government seem to believe that these checks will eliminate all dangers to children but ignore the fact that all offenders have, at some point, been first time offenders. These checks will not stop people with clean records but bad intent having contact with children, so risk will not be eliminated.

The other aspect is the fact that CRB checks are a very good income stream for the government. My old school had to get me CRB checked when I qualified as a teacher. I then got CRB checked again 3 years later when I became a councillor. There was then a change in the status of my school and all staff (including me) had to have further CRB checks. Then I changed school, and my old CRB check (only one year old) was deemed invalid so I was checked again. Two years later my school changed to a Primary school from a Middle school, thus changing it's name, which apparently invalidated the CRB check so all staff were checked again. So by my reckoning in a little over 10 years I have been CRB checked five times, at a cost of £32 each time, costing more than £150. Why a CRB check and a certificate cannot be transferred, take with you from establishment to establishment for a period of five years, only requiring your new employer to phone your previous school or employer to check you have not got any recent convictions, I do not know.

What is the silliest part though was the fact that all 40 plus staff at my school had to be redone just because our school name changed. That's £1300 on checks that were not needed. And now we are being told that school budgets will be squeezed in the recession !

4 comments:

None of the above said...

The only thing criminal around here is your use of the apostrophe.

I think you're currently working at a level five. :-)

James Higham said...

The latest initiative by the government to ensure that everyone who has anything to do with children, including those parents who give lifts to and from clubs is an astonishing amount of overkill and symbolic of this government's willingness to ignore common sense at all costs.

We have a thing here, Nich, where, as you say, all reaosn has flown. These people quite seriously are on some high, some sort of "have to protect at all costs" without once thinking it through.

It's a combination of duress from above, the type of people they employ and a few other things. They are divorced from any kind of rationality.

Dan said...

I am Head of Public Protection at a Prison. I have chaired Public Protection meetings covering the whole of Norfolk. I am nationally accredited in the assessment of sex offenders etc etc. But.... if I start driving kids to my son's football practice I will neeed another CRB check. Thats life under Labour

Norfolk Blogger said...

I know teachers who need a CRB for work, they coach football teams at weekend (another CRB), they are scout leaders (another CRB) and as Christians helping at their church youth group, they need another CRB. Absolute madness.

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