Posts tagged: Barred Lists

Barred people working with vulnerable groups

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September 7, 2011 4:33 pm

Fears that barred people will still be able to work with vulnerable groups have resurfaced following a Freedom of Information request to the ISA

In July, a report by the Child Protection All Party Parliamentary Group concluded that the government must act to prevent changes to vetting and barring procedures in the Protection of Freedoms Bill that could allow unsuitable people to work with children.  However under the proposed legislation currently going through parliament, people will only be eligible for disclosures if they have ‘unsupervised’ contact with children.  And another proposed change means that, in future, the person must have committed the serious offence and the ISA or Secretary of State must have reason to believe they have worked in, are working in or may work in a regulated activity.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority  information showed that 36 people were suspected of applying to work with children between 1 May 2010 and 10 August 2011 while barred.  However the ISA’s annual report for 2010/11 also shows it had provided evidence to the police in relation to 215 people who tried to gain employment with children or vulnerable adults while barred.   Campaigners fear the numbers of cases detected and pursued by police represent the tip of the iceberg because as of 31 March 2011, there were 35,654 people on the children’s barred list. This represents a 66 per cent rise on the figure for 31 March 2010 of 21,419.  The true figure for offences committed could be far higher as individual police forces do not routinely inform the ISA of all cases where a person has engaged, or attempted to engage, in regulated activity. 

 Following a Freedom of Information request to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) made by Children & Young People Now,  it has emerged that, since April 2006,  just 19 people appeared before the courts charged with a total of 21 offences related to working with children while on the barred list.    Of those 19, only 9 were recorded as being convicted of the offence, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence. For the latest year available, April 2010 to March 2011, 6 charges proceeded to court against 4 people.

Jan Cosgrove, National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, said: “The government must consider urgently the implications of these figures. There needs to be a mandatory reporting system to the minister and the Association of Chief Police Officers, which tracks these issues, one based on centrally decided criteria that should determine when and how police forces must inform the ISA of such attempted breaches.”  He added: “The misguided proposal in the Protection of Freedoms Bill needs a complete rethink. The one thing that should inform legislators on this is the compulsive, opportunist nature of such offending. These worrying figures reinforce that lesson.”

 At present, anyone who has committed certain serious offences is automatically barred.  The barred list includes all individuals who have committed sexual offences against children, as well as other specified sexual and violent offences.  Discretionary bars can be made as a result of employers or other regulatory bodies referring relevant safeguarding information to the ISA, a key change introduced in the wake of the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley in Soham in 2002. The ISA made 517 such discretionary bars in 2010/11.  

GTCE handover responsibility for teacher misconduct and barring in April 2012

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April 13, 2011 6:42 pm

The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) will be handing over its regulatory functions to the Department for Education in April 2012, from which time Mr Gove will become accountable for cases of teacher misconduct and maintaining the list of those barred. The changes were outlined in the recent Education Bill, which is currently being scrutinised by Parliamentary committee. Continue reading 'GTCE handover responsibility for teacher misconduct and barring in April 2012'»

Expert briefing – London 14th April

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February 22, 2011 10:02 am

Following a number of enquiries, we are organising a briefing event in London on Thursday, 14th April with Simon Morrison, previously Head of Communications for the VBS , Mark Williams-Thomas,  a criminologist who is frequently interviewed in the media about child protection issues and Liz Morrison who led the VBS roadshow programme.  Continue reading 'Expert briefing – London 14th April'»

Changes to Sex Offenders Register

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February 18, 2011 2:23 pm

The Government response to the Supreme Court ruling about the human rights of sex offenders is to make the minimum possible changes to the law in order to comply with the ruling.  These are summarised below. Continue reading 'Changes to Sex Offenders Register'»

RCN challenges ISA

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January 31, 2011 2:23 pm

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is supporting three nurses to launch a major test case against the Government in the European Court, following a High Court ruling last year.  The nurses were automatically barred from working by the ISA  following cautions. If successful, the action could mean that the government was liable for significant compensation payouts. Continue reading 'RCN challenges ISA'»

Education Bill impacts barring decisions

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January 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Several elements of  the new Education Bill will impact safeguarding in schools.  Continue reading 'Education Bill impacts barring decisions'»