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Teachers: Vetting

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment has been made of the feasibility of introducing Criminal Records Bureau checks for private tutors or music teachers who work unsupervised with children. (188664)

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 provides the legal framework for the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and scheme.

Individuals such as private tutors will be able to make an application to register with the ISA. In order to register with the ISA all relevant information on the individual will be assessed. This will include criminal information and soft information which is assessed as part of the current Criminal Records Bureau disclosure process. The ISA will make the decision whether the individual should be barred as a risk of harm to children or whether to make them ISA registered.

For the first time, the scheme will allow parents to check that a self-employed person they use, such as a private music tutor, is ISA registered and therefore not barred as a risk or harm to children. This is an improvement on the current system, where private employers such as parents are unable to check whether a tutor they use to work with their child is on a barred list. Moreover, the ISA will continuously monitor new, relevant information on the individual from criminal convictions and referrals and will notify employers, including parents, if an individual ceases to be ISA registered.

An individual who is barred under the scheme commits an offence if they seek to engage in regulated activity which includes working as a private tutor for parents.