[holding answer 26 June 2007]: The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 which will be implemented from autumn 2008 provides the legislative framework to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children.
Child chaperones will be covered by the requirements of the Act if they are supervising, caring for or offering advice, guidance or instruction to the children and they do so frequently or intensively. This includes both paid employees and volunteers. The requirements of the Act do not extend to parents, so a parent chaperoning their own child taking part in a performance will not be affected by the new requirements.
An individual who is barred under the new scheme will commit an offence if they seek to engage in this activity and an employer will commit an offence if they seek to use such a person.
The Government will be issuing guidance next spring in preparation for planned implementation from autumn 2008.