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Schools: Safety

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what guidance his Department issues to schools other than that relating to the Criminal Records Bureau checking procedures on the steps schools should take to ensure safe school environments for children; (220916)

(2) whether employees of businesses offering work experience to diploma students will be required to undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks; and if he will make a statement.

The Government issued comprehensive guidance for schools and other education institutions, “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” in November 2006 and this came into force in January 2007. This sets out the responsibilities of all local authorities, Schools and Further Education Colleges in England, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This guidance includes arrangements for safe and responsible recruitment of teachers and other staff in schools and further education colleges and sets out background and other checks required on new members of staff. The guidance is available online at:

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk

and hard copies have been made available to schools and colleges.

In addition, the Department have made available on the Teachernet website a range of guidance on health and safety and school security issues. This can be found at:

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/healthandsafety/

The relevant guidance to employees of businesses offering work experience to students at Key Stage 4 and to 16-18 year olds is contained in Annex A and Appendix 14 of the Department’s guidance “Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education”. In principle, any person whose normal duties will include regularly clearing for, training, looking after or supervising a child in the workplace should be vetted and subject to CRB disclosures to ensure he or she is not disqualified from working with children or otherwise unsuitable to be responsible for them. It is intended to apply to people who are specifically designated to have responsibility for looking after, supervising or directly training a child or children throughout the placement.