The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has come under renewed attack after it emerged that teachers and carers were working with children and vulnerable adults before checks on them had been completed.
John Dunn, chairman of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s education sector group, said the revelation revealed a “serious capacity problem” in the current CRB checking procedures.
“It shows the CRB’s inability to turn criminal checking around quickly enough,” he said.
His comments came after West Sussex County Council admitted that its HR department advised schools to allow some teachers to start work before their CRB checks had been returned.
A council source told Personnel Today that checks had been taking up to three months, leaving schools with little choice but to let teachers start work.
A statement from the council said: “With 5,000 new starters every year in our schools, there will be, on very rare occasions, times when the process cannot be completed in time for a person taking up their employment.”
Last month it was revealed that thousands of social care staff were also working without a full CRB check.
Charity Action on Elder Abuse http://www.elderabuse.org.uk said many managers feared losing staff if they waited for the “bureaucratic” checks to be completed.