Government reconsiders registration of people working with children

The
Government may scrap plans to register the entire children’s workforce – a key
recommendation of a report into the failures that led to Ian Huntley’s
appointment as a school caretaker in Soham,
Cambridgeshire. Huntley was convicted of the murder of school pupils Jessica
Chapman and Holly Wells.

Children’s
minister Margaret Hodge said that a central register for the estimated 2.4m
people working with children was a “huge undertaking” that would present “huge
resource and practical issues”.

In
a report published in June, Sir Michael Bichard
recommended that all people working with children should apply to a registering
company who would vet them before they applied for a job.

Workers
would then carry a photocard or licence showing they
had been cleared as fit to work with children.

However,
Hodge told a conference organised by Personnel Today’s sister publication
Community Care and the Association of Directors of Social Service that the
Government was now considering a registration scheme that would list only those
people who were unsuitable to work with children.

The
registration scheme would be in addition to checks carried out by the Criminal
Records Bureau.

All
parties responsible for implementing Bichard’s
recommendations – including a group from the Department for Education and
Skills which has been working on the central register – are expected to submit
evidence of their progress in December.

Bichard will reconvene his inquiry in January to review
what work has been carried out.

By Daniel Thomas

 

 

 

 

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